Posts Tagged 'Abuse of Power'

He was wrong then and he is still wrong now

Time has done nothing to diminish the pompous stupidity of the sopping wet Europhile Tory, the Rt Hon Geoffrey Howe – now of course Lord Howe – when it comes to matters of ‘Europe’.

During the recent tributes and look back at some of the key moments in the political career of Margaret Thatcher, Howe’s resignation speech in the House of Commons, was referenced and used in audio/visual clips time and again.  The clip used, that was so devastating back then, has allowed people to see in hindsight just how wrong Howe had been about the Euroclub, its aims and direction and its approach:

We commit a serious error if we think always in terms of “surrendering” sovereignty and seek to stand pat for all time on a given deal–by proclaiming, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister did two weeks ago, that we have “surrendered enough”.

The European enterprise is not and should not be seen like that–as some kind of zero sum game. Sir Winston Churchill put it much more positively 40 years ago, when he said:

“It is also possible and not less agreeable to regard this sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty as the gradual assumption by all the nations concerned of that larger sovereignty which can alone protect their diverse and distinctive customs and characteristics and their national traditions.”

I have to say that I find Winston Churchill’s perception a good deal more convincing, and more encouraging for the interests of our nation, than the nightmare image sometimes conjured up by my right hon. Friend, who seems sometimes to look out upon a continent that is positively teeming with ill- intentioned people, scheming, in her words, to “extinguish democracy”, to “dissolve our national identities” and to lead us “through the back-door into a federal Europe”.

What kind of vision is that for our business people, who trade there each day, for our financiers, who seek to make London the money capital of Europe or for all the young people of today?

These concerns are especially important as we approach the crucial topic of economic and monetary union. We must be positively and centrally involved in this debate and not fearfully and negatively detached. The costs of disengagement here could be very serious indeed.

The nightmare image envisaged by Thatcher was frighteningly accurate.  What has characterised our experience in Europe is being faced with ill-intentioned schemers whose behaviour seeks to further aims that have eroded and continue to erode democracy, that have dissolved national identity and are building a federal Europe.  Howe was wrong then and he is still wrong now – only ignorance can be no defence for Howe after all these years.

As always, the same justifications for this larceny is presented, economic interests and the needs of business and employers.  As always, the question about why economic and trade relationships require this country to give up control over its laws, borders, international relationships and immense sums of our money, is never asked by our agenda-ridden excuse for a media and never volunteered by the likes of Howe and the political class – who slither through the corridors of what used to be a seat of power and influence, but is now a provincial hub of managerialism and execution of the diktats faxed over from Brussels.

Howe has clearly not learned – or more likely not wanted to learn or acknowledge – the reality, which is why the human-cum-dead sheep is still there even today declaring that if a proposed referendum led to the UK leaving the EU, there would be dire consequences for the country’s global influence.  Compounding this quisling’s idiocy is his willingness to perpetuate the impression that not wanting to be governed from overseas by unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats over which we have no democratic control is ‘anti European’:

The ratchet-effect of Euroscepticism has now gone so far that the Conservative leadership is in effect running scared of its own backbenchers, let alone UKIP, having allowed deep anti-Europeanism to infect the very soul of the party.

The Conservative Party’s long, nervous breakdown over Europe continues and what is essentially a Tory problem is now, once again, becoming a national problem.

Serious mistakes have been made, but the situation is not irretrievable.

The ‘situation’ to which he refers is the perceived bad behaviour in some people in the Conservative Party daring to question our EU overlords and having the temerity to disagree with their rule over us from overseas.  For the situation to be retrieved, those who wish to rebuild democracy, maintain a national identity and oppose a federal Europe – namely those things he derided all those years ago as conspiracy theories and scare stories – need to be silenced and beaten into submission by the party leader.

The irony – perhaps that should read hypocrisy – of a man calling for the leader of the Conservative Party to rein in dissenters, when he resigned as a minister for being reined for his dissent against Thatcher, is not lost on us.

Howe and his ilk are the enemy within. These carefully deceitful and treacherous fifth columnists have spent too many years seeking to destroy this country’s status as a nation state to see their anti-democratic enterprise undone now and people given the opportunity to say No to the political class.

Labour and Lib Dems ask: What do you think this is, a democracy?

It has long been argued that Labour, and to a lesser extent the Lib Dems, have been waging a class war in this country.  The evidence of this is clear.  The political class has declared war on the class most simply defined as ‘everyone else’.

The defiant refusal of Labour and Lib Dems to support a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, is the most serious and pressing political story of our time.  It has far reaching implications for the democratic process.  Yet the media, for reasons we understand all too well, is ignoring the most obvious questions this issue poses.  Where has a single BBC, Sky or ITV news journalist asked Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg:

‘Why are you refusing to let the British people decide if this country should be part of the EU?’

This position goes beyond arrogance.  It is the continuation of a nothing less than a coup d’etat.  The British people have never been asked for their permission to consign the independence of the United Kingdom to the dustbin.  They have never been asked if they consent to more than 75% of the laws and regulations by which they are bound to be created by alien bodies overseas.  They have never been asked to approve the wholesale export of billions of tax pounds to Brussels to be spent in the way special interests and other nations see fit.  They have never been asked if they want our borders torn down to enable millions of foreign nationals to set up home here and take advantage of benefits and infrastructure to which they have never contributed a penny of funding.

It is this way because the political class does not want to know or hear the answer.  When the wishes of the people are ignored and even suppressed this country cannot be called a democracy.

Even when some tiny vestiges of democracy are permitted by the establishment, such as the requirement put on local authorities to hold a local referendum if they want to increase council tax by more than 2%, the response is a desperate and aggressive campaign by the politicians and bureaucrats to eradicate that need to ask permission to tax people more.  They want our money to fund what is of interest to them, such as first division civil service salaries for senior bureaucrats, index linked pensions far more generous than anything in the private sector, and hugely expensive rafts of sustainability related positions and campaigns to service an repressive and controlling agenda set down by UN bodies and the EU, which have never been put to or approved by the electorate.

This is why we see the Labour, Lib Dem and not a few Tory members of the Local Government Association, a kind of cross-party self interest ‘union’ for councils, demanding the right to extract as much as they like from local taxpayers without the need to get our permission or approval.  They have done this is such a stunningly brazen and transparent manner because the local authorities consider themselves to be above challenge, untouchable by ordinary people.  They believe they should be able to do what they like and feel they can.

Democracy in this country is a myth.  Being allowed – increasingly pressured – to vote every 4-5 years is not democracy.  What marks a democracy is the control the people have over their representatives and public servants between elections.  We have none, because this is not a functioning democracy.  The British people are not permitted to decide how this country is run or by whom.  Every election cycle is characterised by pledges to ‘change’ yet the only changes are the faces of the grubbing parasites that infest our town halls, county council chambers and parliament.  No matter who people vote for the outcome is a continuation of the same agenda handed down from supranational bodies.  The wishes of the people are trampled upon, scoffed at and ultimately ignored by those who like to tell us they know best.

Increasing numbers of people are seeing that voting in elections is meaningless.   They are increasingly rejecting the political process.  Tellingly the political class is becoming nervous about this because they know the lower the percentage gets, the weaker their claims of systemic and personal legitimacy will be.

That is why we see their ideological allies in ‘think tanks’ coming up with ideas such as compelling 18-23 year olds by law to vote in the first general election that takes place after they attain the age of majority, or face a fine.  Other ideas include making voting compulsory for all, or moving voting to the weekend in the hope of increasing turnout.  All these ideas have one objective in mind – preserving the legitimacy of the political class.

Participating in the process gives it legitimacy.  As long as people continue to vote they are validating the political class and enabling it to continue eroding our democracy while continually reducing accountability.  It’s not enough to want to vote the current lot out by voting an identikit lot in.  It plays into the hands of the parasites and maintains the illusion of democracy.

To achieve genuine democracy – and thus take back for ourselves the power to address the vital issues that are before us instead of dancing to the political class’ tune – we need a different approach.  We need to educate and inform people and show them how we can take back power and eject the parasites.  The strategy for doing this is being developed.  More to follow in due course…

EU ‘relationship’ Bullshit Bingo

For those avid players of Bullshit Bingo, we have had a plethora of bovine turd flooding the airwaves and column inches today from a number of Tory tribalists which would have enabled many of you to shout ‘Chateau! at your game cards.  Taking the topics in turn…

Trust in politicians

Gavin Barwell led the way in today’s game with his appearance on BBC Radio 4 Today where he said he would be voting for the amendment to the Queen’s Speech.  His rational was that the vote:

… isn’t an issue about Conservative MPs trusting David Cameron.  It is about using the legislative process to convince the electorate that the clear commitment he gave in his speech in January is going to happen. What we need to do is convince the sceptical electorate that we actually mean it. I think a very effective way of doing that would be bringing forward legislation, so we can go back to our constituents and say look, if you vote Conservative at the next election, here is a guarantee that we will get a referendum.

Presumably little Gavin was out of radio contact when Cast Iron Dave dropped his promise for a referendum on the Lisbon  Treaty, and again in 2010 when Cameron was asked about holding a referendum and opened his response thus:

I do not believe in an in-out referendum for many reasons. I think we are better off in the European Union…

Well Gav, what’s not to trust?

Cameron gets results in ‘Europe’

Tory MEP Martin Callanan, speaking on BBC Radio 4 PM this evening, argued that David Cameron is right to try to renegotiate the UK’s ‘relationship with the EU’ and that Lord Lawson’s claim that any deal Cameron might strike would be ‘inconsequential’ was wrong.  Referring back to the Trust in Politicians line taken by Barwell, he tried to suggest people didn’t trust Labour or the Lib Dems, while pretending Cast Iron Dave had not dropped his own promise to give voters a say on the Lisbon Treaty.

Callanan’s evidence that Cameron could renegotiate a good deal with the EU?  To paraphrase… apparently Cameron has shown he can get results in ‘Europe’ because of his success in reducing the EU budget.  Stop laughing at the back.  Yes, that’s right, this is the same EU Budget coup Cameron supposedly pulled off, that is about to be circumvented as EU finance ministers prepare to vote through extra contributions anyway.  As an EU official succinctly explained last week:

Britain cannot get a blocking minority of countries to stop the first €7.3 billion (£6.2bn) tranche of the €11.2bn the European Commission needs.

There is nothing the British government can do about it as the annual budgets are agreed by majority voting.

Yet despite this being common knowledge, Callanan deceitfully attempted to maintain the budget deal myth to talk up Cameron’s ability to get things done when dealing with the EU as part of the effort to hold the line on the faux renegotiation scam.

Callanan also took the new line rapidly being adopted by Europlastic Tories that if a referendum was being held tomorrow he would likely vote to leave, shamelessly trying to convince us he would vote himself off the gravy train and out of his luxurious Brussels pad! As if.  Clearly the plan of the Eurosceptics is to declare they would leave tomorrow, so in the event of a Cameron-led renegotiation that resulted in nothing of any benefit to the UK, they could all rush to declare a fundamental change and that we should remain firmly in the EU.

‘Breaking off’ the ‘relationship’ with the EU

The UK remaining firmly in the EU is the stated wish of one half of the Axis of Weasel, Barack Obama.  In between Barwell and Callanan’s appearance on BBC Radio, we were treated to the fortune cookie wisdom of the Chicago community organiser.

While graciously acknowledging that it was for the British people to decide the matter of EU membership – which is more than the other half of the Axis of Weasel, aka Cast Iron Dave, has been prepared to accept – he went on to lie that being subsumed into the EU and denied our own voice in international affairs and trade negotiations, is an “expression” of the UK’s global influence!  Doublespeak is alive and kicking in the White House.  Obama observed his view that Cameron’s:

basic point that you probably want to see if you can fix what is broken in a very important relationship before you break it off – that makes some sense to me.

This of course is complete manure.  Nothing is broken.  The EU is functioning exactly as intended, accumulating ever greater control while neutering nation states and dismantling every vestige of democratic accountability and avenues for people to influence and dictate the direction of government.  And of course, ceasing to be ruled from Brussels does not mean the UK and other member states would cease to trade, cooperate and support each other.

The language is purposely designed to give the impression that leaving the EU signals these isles would figuratively move away from the continental land mass and float off into the Atlantic, exiled and isolated.  Independence, it seems, is to be feared and dismissed for our own good…

Throwing in the Towel

With the odor of dung hanging heavy in the air, it was over to Cameron himself to add to the pungent aroma of stage-managed theatrics.

He called the position held on EU withdrawal by former cabinet ministers Lord Lawson and Michael Portillo ‘very, very strange’.  Presumably he feels every Tory should be in lockstep behind his efforts to bribe voters with a stitched up referendum if only they will consent to him remaining in Downing Street for an additional five years of inactivity, inertia, handwringing, excuses, mismanagement, patronage, debt, erosion of liberty and expansion of state power.

Cameron accused Conservatives wanting to leave the European Union of ‘throwing in the towel’ before negotiations had even started.  Only the most ignorant and delusional of people could kid themselves that they alone can reform the EU and reverse its essential core pillar – that of ever closer union, which entails ever more power surrendered by member states to the Brussels bureaucracy.

One would have thought that on the eve of the extent of Cameron’s impotence being revealed to all, when the EU finance ministers torpedo his supposed victory over the EU budget, he would show a bit more humility and re-engage with reality.  But the great con must go on.  The act must be played out to its conclusion and events in the real world must not be allowed to shatter the illusion that he has carefully created within the political bubble.

Media collusion

We can’t cover these steaming piles of bullshit without a special mention for the other enemy within, our fearless media.

Not once has any journalist pointed out the yawning chasm of difference between the EU and the single market, which are conflated by the europhiles as being one and the same – despite the fact leaving the political union does not automatically mean the UK cannot be part of the single market.

Not once has any journalist asked for an explanation about why it is necessary for national sovereignty and political power to be given up in return for ‘benefits’ that can be enjoyed just as easily through simple treaties.

Not once has any journalist mentioned Article 50 or explained its significance, much less asked for Cameron to explain why he won’t invoke it and makes no mention of it.

Not once has any journalist challenged Cameron to justify his tag of being an ‘instinctive Eurosceptic’ when he is desperately opposing every eurosceptic move being made to bring forward a referendum.

Anyone would think they are being careful not to challenge the politicians too hard in case ordinary people start to, you know, think there is an alternative to being ruled with no good reason by the BBC’s Brussels-based benefactor.

“We are the State” but it needn’t be so…

Guest Post by Andy Baxter

The current system of public protection was updated (there has been a ‘Public Guardian’ to protect the vulnerable for a very long time) by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its provisions which tightened the legislation regarding mental incapacity (supposed more stringent tests to determine capacity and removing the ‘enduring’ power that was being abused in many cases to one of ‘lasting’ power that could be automatically revoked on demonstration of capacity) all this took effect in legislation 1st October 2007.

Being an IFA and reading of this sort of issue constantly in my trade press and having come across it many times in a long career it forms the foundation of financial planning where protection is concerned for my clients.

I am reminded of one particular case (from our trade press) where a farmer who suffered an accident and went into a coma where his wife approached the public guardian to seek the power to manage the affairs of the farm and her husband. The court sensing mega bucks refused this power to his wife!!! On the grounds she was not qualified to make these decisions despite having been involved in the management of the farm and their personal affairs for decades.

A court official was appointed and her husband lingered for over 7 months in a coma before eventually dying. The court official sold some of the farm’s land to meet the fees of the court and its agents! completely against the long term financial interests of the farmers wife and the family, this also created a tax burden that she then had to meet from his estate! The wife is on record as saying and I quote “it was a relief when he died for then I was able to take back control of our affairs once more under probate” her comments regarding the ‘service’ and ‘costs’ of the court are unprintable.

The situation described could have been avoided totally but for the expenditure of a few hundred pounds to create Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

These documents if completed correctly totally remove the States power to determine not only the financial decisions regarding someone who loses mental capacity on their money ‘financial and property’ affairs but also removes the State’s power to determine ‘health and welfare’ issues even and up to including decisions regarding ‘life sustaining treatment’.

With these documents properly completed and then registered with the ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ an attorney YOU trust appointed by yourself duly endowed with such legal powers to make decisions as if they were YOURSELF to protect financial, property, health and welfare issues can then give the proverbial two finger salute to any officials or agents of the State as they have the legal power to act as if they were yourself.

Want to know more about how one can protect yourself and your loved ones from an interfering State? And for a cost thousands of pounds below what a solicitor would charge and with no VAT either?  e-mail me (work) at andy[at] (replace the [at] with @)

We are the state. We are public servants. You will comply.

Via a story in the Daily Mail a light has again been shone on police state Britain and the disturbing and sinister way citizens can be treated by the authorities.

We do not know the full story, but we do know that Wanda Maddocks was imprisoned for contempt by a judge sitting in the Labour-created ‘Court of Protection’ in the High Court.

Her crime?  She refused an order to not remove her ailing father, John Maddocks, from a care home, where the local authority – Stoke-on-Trent city council – decided he should be placed and should remain.  The Mail reports Mr Maddocks was in the care home against his family’s wishes, kept there under the Mental Capacity Act.

The wishes of Wanda Maddocks and her family, who were concerned about her father’s welfare in the home because he was unhappy, confined to the building, barred from going out on trips with this family and even attacked by another patient, were ignored.  The state, in the form of the local authority and the Court of Protection, decided it knew what was best for Mr Maddocks and rejected the family’s wish to care for him.  When Wanda Maddocks took matters into her own hands and took her father away, Judge Martin Cardinal jailed her for five months for contempt of court.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, it happened in secret, behind closed doors, without Wanda Maddocks even having legal representation.

If this is not an example of state power running out of control because of the establishment’s desire not to be challenged by the people the state is supposed to serve, then what is?  The local authority has sought to justify its behaviour thus, with Councillor Gwen Hassall, Stoke-on-Trent city council  cabinet member for social services, saying:

‘This is clearly an extreme case, but one that the Court of Protection supported the council on. It was the court’s decision to issue a custodial sentence to Wanda Maddocks.

‘Our chief concern was always centred around the welfare of her father, who was suffering from a deteriorating condition and required 24-hour supervision in a stable environment.

‘This was a decision reached by medical consultants, geriatricians, social workers, community psychiatric nurses, dieticians, consultant health and nursing professionals and others who were involved in assessing his needs.

‘This decision was also ratified by the Court of Protection, which carried out its own  independent assessment of his needs.

‘Unfortunately safeguards had to be put in place to ensure he had the support of a stable environment because there were no signs that this could be provided otherwise.

‘Safeguards also had to be put in place to protect the care professionals who looked after Mr Maddocks.’

One wonders what safeguards were put in place to protect John Maddocks, who was assaulted in the home despite supposedly being under 24-hour supervision in a supposedly stable environment.

When the state can behave in this way, holding secret trials, not giving defence lawyers an opportunity to represent their clients, handing down custodial sentences for upsetting the court when people guilty of violent offences stay on the streets, and affording itself the power to do all this without the permission of the British people, it proves we are no longer citizens, we are slaves to the self selecting establishment.

We need genuine change in this country. We need to shift the balance of power by taking it back.  We need nothing short of an intelligent, well planned revolution to change the way this country functions.

Bankster racket – The Cyprus template that wasn’t a template is now a template

Remember how Cyprus was supposed to be a special case and not a template for similar wealth confiscation elsewhere in the future?  Remember how it transpired the measures taken in Cyprus had already been written into the Banking Act 2009?  Well the Banksters are getting bolder as a piece on ZeroHedge makes clear:

The CEO of Unicredit Federico Ghizzoni said yesterday that it is “acceptable to confiscate savings to save banks.” He said that the savings which are not guaranteed by any protection or insurance could be used in the future to contribute to the rescue of banks who fail and that uninsured deposits could be used in future bank failures provided global policy makers agree on a common approach.

The organised racket is very clear.  Any money we put into bank accounts is a loan to the bank.  Given that governments don’t have the money to bail out banks, which have been run into the ground while using our money to carry out poorly considered lending to borrowers who are defaulting or declaring bankruptcy, they are now treating the money lent to them by depositors as exactly what the rules say it is – theirs.  Caveat creditor.

Note the reference to having a common approach to global policy.  Global governance is the agenda at play.  The wealthy elite makes the rules and is now applying the rules to protect their financial position at the expense of anyone who is willing to risk putting their money in one of their institutions.  If the Banksters don’t get your money, then be assured the global cooperation and harmonisation gradually being developed by governments will see to it that taxation will hoover up your wealth.  No permission sought, no approval given, just the abuse of power by the political class and their establishment cronies.

It has been clear in the way governments are exchanging supposedly confidential account information between each other, under the pretext of tackling tax evasion.  But even where there is no evasion, this exchange provides vital intelligence about the holdings of individuals that can be used to inform governments about who has what, so policy can be created to target them for specific taxes and wealth confiscation – all to satisfy the bribery and spending fetishes that politicians rely on to buy votes of the net consumers at the expense of the net producers.

While politicians like to spout off about democracy and freedom, their actions are designed for a single purpose, to enslave the people who are supposed to be their masters.  Government, both supranational and national, never shrinks.  The parasite continues to expand by feeding on the people they are supposed to serve.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to have planned for is what happens when the incentives to production have been destroyed and the wealth it plunders has run out.  What will the state’s clients do when their free handouts come to an end?  Perhaps by they the planet will be so collectivised we will be scratching the land to produce food and resorting to barter as the medium of exchange.  Progress will have been reversed and the green wet-dream of ‘sustainability’ will be realised.

At what point will the sleepwalking masses wake up and put an end to it?  There is no conspiracy theory here, just conspiracy.

Arch Tory Timmy and the Conservative fetish for big government

It’s interesting to see that Timmy of The Times has been holding forth over on the ConservativeHome blog.  He is arguing that although David Cameron is not a great leader, he can still win the next General Election and should not be ousted by the party’s MPs.

In his assessment, Timmy references a story hidden behind the same Times paywall where he will be shrinking to greatness, talks about the way Cameron has allowed the so-called centre right vote to be split:

Most of all, I hold Cameron responsible for the splitting of the centre right vote. Successful leaders spend 50% of their time looking after their existing voters and 50% reaching out to new voters. In recent months Cameron has scrambled back to a more balanced approach but the damage is already done. UKIP is booming in the polls and today’s FT reports (£) that they are about to broaden further – adding a low tax message (which seems completely unaffordable to me) to their existing core messages on Europe and immigration. UKIP, remember, don’t need to win a single seat in order to still deny Tory candidates victory in key marginals.

As you can see from the piece I have emphasised in bold, Timmy has his eye on the fusion between electoral appeal and economics.  The piece in the Times that he refers to is summarised on ConHome’s main page as follows:

“The UK Independence party is to broaden its electoral message beyond its usual campaigns against Europe and immigration with a new tax strategy aimed squarely at swing voters in middle Britain. Godfrey Bloom, the party’s economics spokesman, wants to create a flat rate of income tax at 25 per cent with a personal allowance of £13,000, a policy which he accepts will bring particular benefits to middle earners. Meanwhile, in another attempt to chisel support away from the Conservatives, Mr Bloom also wants to allow non-working parents to transfer their tax allowance to a working spouse.”

Timmy’s big problem here is the same one that infests the Cameron Conservatives; the belief that the plans UKIP are putting forward are unaffordable because government has to spend so much money.  It is this kind of lazy thinking, and the authoritarian bent that accompanies it, which is causing so much financial misery to ordinary people.

UKIP’s economic plan is entirely affordable – as long as the government stops spending money on non-essential services and provisions.  But politicians of every stripe are in an arms race to make promises to voters that cannot be delivered without stealing ever greater sums of our money.

And when the consequences of a government’s irresponsible spending, unaffordable borrowing, increasing taxation and syphoning of our wealth to service its own ends become so serious they can no longer be hidden, we are presented with the ‘false choice’.  Brandon Smith, writing on this from an American perspective on Zero Hedge, defines it superbly when he writes:

Large and corrupt governments love to use the magic of the false choice.  For instance, “…it is better to sacrifice some of your money and your principles to the establishment than it is to live through total collapse of the nation…”  This false choice process, though, never ends.  The offending government will demand more property and more freedom from the citizenry everyday while constantly warning that if we do not submit, the alternative will be “far worse”.

The truth is, Cyprus is not the issue.  What the disaster in Cyprus reflects, however, concerns us all.  It is a moment of precedence; an action which sets the stage for the final destruction of the idea of private property.  It dissolves one of the final barriers to total government control.  Governments and elitists have always stolen from the public through misspent taxation and rampant inflation, but with Cyprus, we see a renewed feudalistic paradigm.  The EU and the banking hierarchy are sending a message to the Western world:  You are now their personal emergency fund, and nothing you own is actually yours anymore.

When an institution confiscates property and capital at will from a subdued and frightened populace without consent, they are essentially exploiting the labor of that populace.  In any culture or language, this is called “slavery”.

The Tories, for all their pontificating about personal freedom and responsibility, are following this exact path, just as Labour and the Lib Dems would if they held ‘power’ exclusively.  This is the disease that has infested the political class and will harm us all.

Where Timmy should be shouting from the rooftops that government should not be continuously expanding and over reaching and does not need to be so big or spend so much, he merely whimpers that leaving people to decide for themselves how their money is spent and how they use their resources, is unaffordable – for the government!  How is that viewpoint reconcilable with someone who professes to want limited government and individual freedom?  He clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue.

We’re all in this together – on scandalous wind power deals

As David Cameron announced the austerity measures that would be taken in the UK by the coagulation government, he was very fond of repeatedly telling voters ‘we’re all in this together‘.

It may not have been true when it came to the financial hardship many have experienced due to this so called austerity.  But it certainly was true – and remains true – when it comes to describing the political class working against the interest of the poor bloody energy consumer by agreeing insane deals for wind power.  It has resulted in a glaring example of the damage that is caused when lazy consensus politics is coupled with idiots, who have no experience of the real world, seeking to demonstrate their virtue:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yes, that’s right.

… a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers,

No questioning, no challenge, no scrutiny.  Just a huge commitment made with other people’s money so the politicians can indulge their deluded wet dreams of being seen as ‘green’ and taking action to ‘fight climate change’.  This is a party political scandal.  Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – oh yes, they’re all in it together, ripping off the taxpayer and exhibiting a degree of incompetence that is enough to make this blogger reconsider his position on euthanisia.

Following the MPs damning report into the wind farm contracts, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now said it will “re-examine some of the terms” of the lucrative deals.

Too little, too late.

Under the terms of the contracts the companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation linked income for 20 years regardless of how much the infrastructure is used.

The estimated returns of 10-11 per cent on the initial licences “look extremely generous given the limited risks”, the MPs said.

And where were the MPs when all this was being set up?  Asleep at the wheel, or drifting around Westminster with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral, doing what the whips told them?

Millions of votes swing between these parties at general elections as voters seek to punish unpopular governments.  Perhaps the message will soon get through to voters that voting for any of this consensus of careerist power-seekers results in an identical outcome and real change will only come about if voting for none of them removes their legitimacy.  Otherwise the faces might change and the colour of the rosettes may differ, but everything else stays the same to the detriment of this country and its long suffering people.

We don’t need change, we need a grassroots revolt to end this elected dictatorship.  The power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and if the people develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.  It’s in our hands to take back power.

EU scare stories now coming thick and fast

Earlier today Richard explained over at his EU Referendum dominion that:

A little while ago, we identified a three-legged europhile strategy – “renegotiation-reform-scare”. The three legs are intended to blunt calls for a referendum or blur and confuse the issues so that any result is indecisive. And Van Rompuy is doing the scare bit for us.

It’s not just Van Rompuy doing the scaring, now Viviane Reding has weighed in with a EUroscare of her own concerning a British opt-out from EU crime and policing laws, including the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

La Reding says in an interview given to the Barclay Beano:

“Do you want criminals and paedophiles running around freely on the streets, is that really in the United Kingdom’s interest? It is crazy.”

The meme is clear, without the EU there will be no law and order in Britain, which therefore cannot survive without the EU. This laugh-out-loud fallacy is presented as a reality by a true believer who is desperate to see the EU become a United States of Europe. Reding clearly fails to recognise it is law from Europe incorporated into this country’s legal system that keeps criminals and paedophiles running around freely on our streets on the spurious basis of protecting their human rights.

The fact Reding cites British police forces as desperate to keep some of the EU’s proposed powers should be reason enough for us to be gravely suspicious of the package.  But the real issue here is that the EU crime and policing package dispenses with protections that are essential in a society where people must be considered innocent unless proven guilty.  The package does not require police in other EU states to present any evidence that there is a case to answer before this country’s citizens can be put into custody and shipped overseas without any recourse.

No doubt the BBC will faithfully report the EU viewpoint on this and perhaps pull in a EUphile Lib Dem to explain why we absolutely must opt-in to EU crime and policing laws, while doing the bare minimum to provide a platform for the opposing viewpoint.

If they were minded to impartial coverage they should give a platform to Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, who have been convicted of fraud in Hungary only in the last month having been whisked off and detained for four months in a judicial process that began in 2009 with the processing of a questionable extradition under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant.

A victory for state sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation

Following on from the BBC-enabled Margaret Hodge hypocrisy fest on the Today programme this morning…

American citizen Sam Bloggs, who when in Europe is resident in the Netherlands and pays tax on his earnings in full there, has told the UK government he is going to voluntarily pay more tax to the Exchequer than required by law, following a sustained campaign by his neighbours who argue that because he has a lot of money and he should pay more here.

Bloggs had followed the letter of the law enabling free movement of trade and capital in the EU after taking advice from taxation specialists.  But following his hard work and success in building up his worldwide franchise business, which indirectly employs a large number of people and contributes a substantial sum in tax and National Insurance to this country’s coffers, he was subjected to an onslaught of vilification in the media and even in Parliament.  Bloggs told AM:

My business model has helped create companies, wealth and jobs, generated substantial tax income and contributed a great deal through National Insurance in the UK. I give money and time to charity, working with the Fairtrade Foundation and supporting the Prince’s Trust through a partnership agreement even though I’m not based in Britain.

But because I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful a number of people and politicians have demanded I pay more than the rules say I am obligated to. They say it’s not fair that I’ve been successful and earned a lot of money and pay full tax in Holland instead of here.  Because I’ve earned it and got it they say fairness dictates they should have it instead.  They say they want it and they make the rules so therefore they’re entitled to it.

It means I’ll have less money to invest in creating more opportunities and supporting charity, but if I don’t make these additional payments some people are going to keep smearing me and telling people to boycott my brand.

State sanctioned and engineered bullying and intimidation has won the day for the feckless incompetents.  When will people wake up and say enough is enough?

Those who fritter away our money – not just on deserving vulnerable people in our society in need of support – on those who think they have a right to be kept in return for nothing, on those who come to this country to take advantage of the enhanced suite of benefits and services they have never contributed a penny to, and worst of all on massive handouts to the establishment’s friends who farm taxpayer subsidies for all manner of wheezes on an industrial scale to boost their already substantial wealth, are demanding even more money with menaces while hoodwinking the unthinking into applying the necessary pressure to make it possible.

The pressure to fork over ever more money to the government is not just being applied to the likes of Starbucks and Amazon.  Via the spiteful tactics of HMRC conducted outside the view of the public, it’s happening to small businessmen too, driving some out of business altogether.  And the state calls this ‘fair’.  Bollocks!

When will the state’s increasingly untrammelled power become ‘too much’?

‘You have money and we are taking it.’  This increasingly the attitude of the British government and its agencies and it is a phenomenon stretching across Europe and into the Americas.

In fairness to the state it has played a blinder.  It has successfully turned one part of society, the less well off, more aggressively against better off members of society, despite the fact the less well off stand to gain nothing from an increase in the tax take.  The only beneficiary is the government which possesses an almost limitless capacity for squandering the money and leaving the country with nothing to show for it.

What used to be simple envy or disdain of the better off has been transformed into resentment and outright hostility.  The media has been an willing accomplice, fanning the flames and parroting a narrative that anyone who seeks to keep their tax liabilities to a minimum is somehow being unfair to the rest of society, not paying their fair share and by definition morally repugnant.

The hostility first became entrenched when it was directed at the lavishly remunerated corporate officers and the bonus happy bankers.  But now it has broadened to encompass anyone who is not an average PAYE employee.

Never mind that many of those people being subjected to unjust anger have taken huge risks to build businesses and create jobs, while working 18 hour days, going without holidays, not being able to spend time with their families and working when unwell because there is no luxury of sick pay to fall back on.  No, unless their pockets are being turned out to satisfy the state’s fetish for controlling how their money is spent, without any form of consultation or consent, they are the most selfish scum of the earth.

So it is against that backdrop of sown division, mistrust and resentment that two stories this weekend combine to paint a picture of our elected and supposed representatives running out of control, rigging the rules against the ‘ordinary’ citizens to suit ideological interests they have adopted from a plethora of unelected and unaccountable bodies that are positioning themselves as a de facto global administration.

The first story concerns the shocking actions of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) falsely accusing a company’s directors of fraud, shutting down the company making over 30 people unemployed and using draconian powers that prevent the former owners from challenging the action through the courts while pressuring them to settle the accusation with payment to cover the alleged £7 million in taxes and duties.  There was no evidence.  All this happened on the basis of a suspicion that something fraudulent was going on.  Indeed, HRMC’s defence of their actions was to state there was no evidence the company wasn’t acting fraudulently, a clear inversion of the principles of justice.

The second story concerns HRMC tearing up the basic principles of privacy and data protection.  At the behest of the government, HRMC is to use credit reference agencies to cross-check details of the income people declare on their tax returns against their spending patterns to identify “high” and “medium” risks of both illegal and legal tax avoidance.  As we have said on this blog and Twitter before, tax evasion is a crime, but tax avoidance is perfectly legal.  So why should HMRC bother checking to see if people are legally minimising their tax liability?  The clue can be found in the comment by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander:

“It is simply not fair that at a time when most people are making a contribution to balancing the nation’s books, there is a small minority of taxpayers who try to escape their responsibility.”

Really? Who determines what is ‘fair’?  Never mind that some of these people pay more in tax each year than a lot of other people earn.  Never mind the risks and sacrifices many of them have made as detailed above.  No, they are supposedly escaping their ‘responsibility’ – a word the definition of which governments of every stripe over the last 20 years or more have simply not grasped and believe to be a one-way street that travels in their direction.

We are witnessing a concerted effort to demonise those who have something the government wants in order to enable the government to use nefarious mechanisms to obtain it.  In the eyes of the government – as it stokes up the spiteful societal divisions it is fostering by using vocal members of the less well off as useful idiots to demand exactly that which the government wishes to do – this state over reach is justified for being a populist measure demanded by the public.  And for fear of kneejerk vilification, by the unthinking useful idiots and hypocritical, comfortably wealthy trough hogging politicians, many reasonable and right thinking people who see the wrong-headedness of the government’s behaviour and irresponsible waste of our resources, keep quiet.  This is the UK in 2012.

Small wonder we see cries of frustration such as this in response to the tightening grip our supposed servants are exerting on ordinary people.  Common sense is evaporating and manipulation of the people by those who make the rules is all pervasive.  What will it take before the slumbering masses wake up and realise the state’s self conferred and increasingly untrammelled power has become too much?  When will people take the power back?

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.

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.


Where is the justice?

Following on from our post about people being imprisoned for giving offence to others online and through nasty messages written on clothing, this story from Northamptonshire underlines how crimes of violence are being ignored as prosecutors seek to clamp down on what people think and say.

What provides society with the greater protection?  Prosecuting offensive people for what they think and say resulting in them being jailed, or refusing to prosecute a thug who has committed a violent assault resulting in physical injury and leaving him at liberty on our streets?

These things don’t happen without an agenda at play behind the scenes.  As James Higham, in the comments on the previous post rightly says, ‘thin edge of the wedge all right’.

Rather than celebrate the jailing of people who have done nothing but offended others with sentiments (not incitement to violence or crime) however disgusting, we should be very concerned about how speech is being criminalised.


Democracy and politics, Stoke-on-Trent style

If one wants yet another small but significant piece of evidence demonstrating that we don’t live in a democracy and the political process is an utter failure, look no further than a story from early last week from Stoke-on-Trent.

For it is there, as The Sentinel reports, that council officers are running out of control and operating in defiance of the law.

More than £118,000 has been spent on a survey to review how much repair work is needed on the city’s council houses – but tenants and councillors are not allowed to see the results.

Not just tenants, but their supposed representatives who were elected (albeit by a small minority of voters) to make decisions and direct governance in the city.  The refusal was of a Freedom of Information request for which there is no legal basis at the local authority for rejection.  Taxpayers’ money has been taken (from national and local level) and spent to garner information, but no one can see the results collected by the authority’s Officers.  Well actually, as the story goes on to qualify, councillors can see the information but only after Officers have ‘briefed’ them – presumably to tell them what they must not say in public.  But ‘information control officers’ say releasing the results would cause:

… an increase in customer enquiries relating to when improvements will be carried out.

Prior to publishing the stock condition survey it will be necessary to properly brief frontline staff, elected members and other stakeholders.

Information control?  How apt a description.  Heaven forbid that the public, the majority of whom pay their taxes to fund essentials such as housing repairs to council stock, should deign to ask about the findings or draw upon the very services that they are entitled to receive.  There can be no more clear example of the inversion of the positions of servant and master.

Since then, to compound the sense of incompetence that seems to permeate the city’s halls of ‘power’, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has gone on to write off £7.5m of unpaid council tax in addition to £8.1m already wiped off the books.  Out of control and above the law, councils are gouging the wallets and purses of taxpayers with the usual raft of charges and fees in addition to the annual charge – to fund non essential boondoggles rather than essential services only – which is undoubtedly fuelling resentment at the ever rising level of council tax and avoidance of its payment.

There is a perfect storm brewing caused by the failure of politics and absence of democracy.  An alternative, positive vision is required and thankfully a group of people are developing one known as the Harrogate Agenda,  but some residents are failing to grasp this and rather than demanding the council limit its scope and activities to essential services, instead are calling for it do more to chase down non-payers, and even call in bailiffs with their often illegal and intimidating tactics, to recover unpaid council tax.

Perhaps those who thought Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s ‘corporate logo’ was meaningless were being somewhat unfair.  The image, with its ever decreasing circles sinking lower and lower while fading away, seems somehow rather prescient.  Perhaps it was designed that way intentionally as a metaphor for the continuing erosion of illusory people power and democratic control.

Tory Party faced with new rift as MPs prepare to mount coup

So reads a headline in the Independent.  But this isn’t another instalment in the recent string of stories planted in the media to convince voters that backbench Tory MPs will rein in David Cameron and protect the right flank of the party from UKIP.

No, this story is different from the fayre trotted out in the pages of the Failygraph as it marks the increasing confidence of the Cameroons and a concerted effort they have undertaken to eject members of the so called ‘awkward squad’ from official positions on the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee.  And it will come as no surprise to regular readers that at the heart of this operation to protect the ‘instinctively Eurosceptic’ Cameron is supposed critic and prominent Judas goat, George EUstice – his former press secretary.

Cameron, with an ever watchful eye focused on crushing any dissent of his autocratic control of the party, has seen to it that parliamentary private secretaries – MPs who are ministerial aides and therefore are expected to toe the leadership’s line – are now able to vote in the election. This means the backbench group, which is supposed to hold the leadership (and by definition any Conservative government) to account could now have its executive and direction influenced by the leadership.  It is the political equivalent of castration – or at least it would be if there were any more than a tiny handful of Tory MPs with balls.

It is classic Cameron.  If anyone opposes his direction he changes the rules enabling his minions to be dispatched to initiate a hostile takeover.  They keep the opponents’ organisation structures intact and wear their clothes, but change the language and corrupt definitions to mean the opposite of what they did.  He has already done this by adopting the mantle of Eurosceptic despite his words and actions being entirely Europhile.

If successful, this putsch against the 1922 will still see the committee describing itself as holding Cameron to account and putting pressure on him to be ‘more conservative’, yet it will be entirely supportive of Cameron’s actions and utter all the sycophantic words of endorsement he wants to hear.  And no doubt the Failygraph will continue to publish op-eds from various talking heads earnestly telling readers that Cameron will soon show his conservative credentials, that there is real pressure for change inside the party which will win the day and there’s no need to support UKIP.

Only a simpleton could believe it.

Forget climate change, we must focus on the real issue

Over at Bishop Hill there is a post titled A Study in Groupthink that looks at an exchange of Twitter comments between Maurizio Morabito (@Omnologos) and Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ), the blogs editor at Scientific American.

The author of the Bishop Hill blog, Andrew Montford, explains in his post that Zivkovic is clearly very much out of the same mould as Peter Gleick, which I take to mean an unswerving true believer, a rigid in his views who sees anyone dissenting from what he chooses to believe in and argue for as ultimately evil or corrupted by vested interests.  Montford’s take is that Zivkovic perhaps views his cause as beleaguered by wicked big business, and opines that reading Zivkovic’s tweets it’s a fascinating study in groupthink.

Strictly speaking, when looking at the cabal of proponents of man-made global warming theory (AGW) and the band of sceptics lined up against them, you can see they are all in fact caught up in a groupthink.  Because both sides act as if the issue at hand is about whether mankind really is causing the planet to warm significantly and therefore endangering the earth.  Which is why I left the following comment on the blog:

Ultimately it is all meaningless. While people like Zivkovic, Gleick, Mann, Trenberth, Briffa, Jones etc try to make this into a scientific argument, because they are funded to churn out hypotheses about the climate and the ecosystem, it is nothing of the sort. It is all about politics.

Sceptics, and scientists who dissent from the ‘consensus’, could falsify, debunk and disprove every element of the AGW narrative and see off every member of the ‘team’ and make a laughing stock of the ’cause’, but we will still come under assault.  For this is all about politics and ideology, even if the prominent actors don’t realise it.

Ultimately if it is not climate change it will be some other vehicle connected to ‘sustainability’ that will be used as a means of controlling the population and redistributing wealth from the industrialised world to the developing world in a way that enriches the corporates.

From the United Nations down, every tier of governance has been tasked with executing the ‘progressive’ agenda, which in reality is regressive for all of us.  It’s not some crackpot conspiracy, it’s just the way those with power and wealth are steering the ship.

This direction of travel will not be defeated by butting heads with a small band of AGW blowhards who are lavishly funded to continue producing ‘findings’ and ‘projections’ that fit in with the actions needed to further the overarching agenda.  Until people start to tackle the root cause of the disease instead of the symptoms, we will continue to go round in circles playing ‘he said, she said’ while our democracy, liberty, wealth and individual rights ebb away.

Expose the distortions, errors, scientific flaws all you like, but don’t lose sight of what is really going on and why.

Politics has changed.  We no longer have a left-right paradigm, even if many who are politically active but unaware of what is going on around them still define themselves in such terms.  Today we have an authoritarian mix of progressive and fascist corporatism (rule by and in the interest of government and corporations) on one side, and mix of classical liberalism and libertarianism (limited government and individual liberty) on the other.

We can see the evidence of the corporatist approach.  It makes me laugh when the global warming fanatics try to undermine opposition to them by arguing the sceptics are in the pay of ‘big oil’.  One of the worst propagandists for spinning this line is Bob Ward, mouthpiece for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.  Australian Journalist Jo Nova reported that Exxon-Mobil had paid $23 million to sceptical groups over a ten-year period.  Big corporate Exxon-Mobil are therefore considered evil personified by warmists like Ward.

Ward’s employer is named after its benefactor – the uber wealthy fund manager, Jeremy Grantham.  In 2011 Grantham held 11,309,048 shares of Exxon stock.  Why would Grantham fork out to fund an institute researching climate change when he is making a fortune from the very company cited by his minions as evil big oil?  Perhaps because as a corporate animal his only interest is making money, and his hypocritical fence straddling is a means to that end.

Let’s compare Exxon’s oft cited $23m funding of sceptics to money poured into environmental interests.  How about another big corporate, BP?  They were investing $8 billion in biofuels, wind power and solar while building long term options in carbon capture and storage and clean technology. Five billion dollars of that had already been invested by 2011.  That money is funnelled into delivering exactly what the environmentalists want and also supports lobbying and activism.  But they are still considered ‘big oil’.

There are plenty more examples of these kind of inconvenient facts, where the supposed enemy is a friend and supposed ally is an opponent.  The bottom line is these companies will support whatever helps their bottom line.  They are super powerful and influential corporates, and with the subsidies on offer utterly committed to keeping the climate change gravy train on the tracks.  And we, the taxpaying consumers, foot the bill to increase the wealth of these corporations.

To believe the corporates have anything other than a vested interest in the centralisation of power and control that coordinates global action, to erode democracy and liberty which thus enables the transfer of wealth, is to reside in a realm of delusion.  No matter what the ‘science’ reveals and how much it is debunked, there will always be another line of attack from the sustainability playbook to further the political – and dare I say economic corporatist – agenda.  This is where the battle needs to be fought, not in the theatre of carbon dioxide emissions, raw and adjusted data or fractions of a degree of temperature change.

Liverpool City Council’s latest money making scheme

In November a trawl of local newspapers unearthed this little story in the Liverpool Echo.

It is another example of local authorities looking for opportunities to use their official status to forcibly part people from their money, while increasing the powers and adding to the weight of regulation for which they are responsible for enforcing:

BUSKERS could soon have to hold a permit to play in Liverpool under new plans being drawn up by Liverpool Council bosses.

Proposals due to be put to the council’s cabinet before the end of the year could see street musicians told to buy a licence – and then being limited to when and where they can play and for how long.

Performers would also be required to take out costly public liability insurance.

Importantly, the article went on to tell readers that:

A council spokesman described the current arrangement as a “free for all” and said the proposals came in response to requests for better regulation from the public, city shopkeepers and even other buskers.

One thing that never rings quite true is a claim from a council that residents and businesses want more regulation and officialdom.  So AM sent a Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council to see their evidence for this claim.  The response arrived during the hectic pre-Christmas period, hence the delay in writing this up.  It is shown in full below:

Imagine my shock and surprise to find the response provides no formal evidence whatsoever for Liverpool’s council officers to justify the regulation and increase in council powers!  Yet the officers are asking councillors to put the regulation into force.  Clearly the questions are a little too inconvenient, hence the response being packed with text that is irrelevant to the FOI enquiry.

Liverpool City Council is setting itself up as the judge and jury of which performers are the ‘more professional entertainers’ thereby stopping others from plying their trade and perhaps being noticed by someone who might open doors for them to build a career.  The people who benefit are the City Council and their approved entertainers, creating the conditions for cronyism and backroom deals.

Drunk on power and free from anything approaching proper oversight and control by elected councillors, this is another example of councils serving their own interests at the expense of the taxpayers; who are treated as nothing more than cash cows to fund the whims and biases of officers and their bumper salaries and generous pension schemes.

AM has written back to Liverpool City Council asking for a copy of the papers officers have prepared for elected councillors about this recommedation to see all of the evidence the decision will be based upon.

And so the Tory deception continues…

Writing in the Telegraph, political editor Patrick Hennessy tells readers that up to 70 Conservative MPs are to join a new group dedicated to “reversing the process” of closer European Union integration in a move he says is likely to place fresh strain on the coalition.

Three Conservative MPs are setting up this new group, one of whom is Daventry MP, Chris Heaton-Harris. They were the authors of a letter circulated among Conservative MPs that explained:

“The political objective of the group would be to reverse the process of ever-closer union.”

Of course the bullshit-o-meter should already be blaring. Surely, someone who is opposed to ever-closer union would be shouting from the rooftops about something as far reaching as, say, the EU’s Draft Regulation establishing a programme to support the further development of an integrated maritime policy. There is evidence to the contrary.

This blog wrote about the draft regulation in July, to highlight how Parliament’s European Scrutiny Select Committee – chaired by ‘Eurosceptic’ Bill Cash – nodded through the regulation in 2010 without so much as a murmur.  It should come as no surprise to readers therefore that Heaton-Harris sits on that Select Committee. Despite his supposed opposition to further integration it seems Cameron the cat has got his tongue.

After the blog post AM submitted a Freedom of Information request to Parliament by email for the full minutes of the committee’s deliberations about the draft regulation, to see what Cash and Heaton-Harris had to say about it.  The response received last month showed that the only information in the public domain is what we had already linked to in the blog post.

We keep being told the UK is very a democratic country, boasting a Parliament that is committed to openness and transparency in such weighty matters; so it obviously follows that in response to such a request it tells the citizens it is supposed to serve:

Any other information which may or may not be held by the House of Commons on any discussion in the European Scrutiny Committee on this item is exempt information under section 34 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under this section, information is exempt if it its exemption is required to avoid infringing the privileges of the House of Commons, which include the right to decide whether, when and how to publish information about proceedings in Parliament, such as meetings of select committees held in private.

You can see the full response below:

The long and short of this is that even when the so called Eurosceptic Tories have an opportunity to take a stand against further integration and ever closer union, they don’t. Their promises are meaningless, and they do not honour their duty to the people they are elected to serve.  For all the acres of newsprint devoted to diversion pieces like the one Hennessy has published, all we have to show for Tory Euroscepticism is an acceleration in the transfer of power to Brussels and a long list of broken promises.

Stealth editing becomes stealth censorship

Airbrushed from history?  Words that were never written?  Did it not happen?  Was that the intention? We should be told.

News media around the globe, from the US to Australia, from India to the Gulf States, reported the story that the Guardian’s investigations executive editor, David Leigh, had admitted to engaging in phone hacking yet denied it when asked about it by the Guido Fawkes blog.  One of the most senior journalists at the paper which pursued the ‘phone hacking’ story so vigorously had himself been pressing * and # keys to listen to another person’s voicemails. Around the world the Leigh hacking story was deemed worthy of coverage.

But there is a bigger story to this that every UK citizen needs to know about.  It concerns the nefarious activities of a number of Britain’s journalists to collude with each other in an attempt to ‘walk back’ a story to remove it from public record.

As a bit of context, this blog has already previously pointed out the BBC, the world’s largest news gathering organisation whose stories have a global reach, ignored the story.  Completely.  Since the story re-emerged this month, because the BBC referred to Leigh’s hacking in a piece by Torin Douglas back in April,  it has published not a single word of the case against David Leigh, a case which underpins the gross hypocrisy of the Guardian’s position and criminal actions of its staff.  So interwoven are the left wing Guardian and left wing BBC, neither will do anything that harms the other, even if that means leaving their respective audiences in ignorance of an important story.

Elsewhere, although some UK newspapers ran the story on the back of the Guido Fawkes blog post, efforts to find reports of the story on the wire service run by the UK based Press Association turn up a blank too.  The PA, often accused of leftist bias, turned a blind eye to the Leigh story despite its substantial reporting of the phone hacking story.

But far worse than all this are efforts by some media outlets that have already run the story to delete their report in an attempt to airbrush it from history.  Let us be clear, this is not a retraction of the story.  This is not an open correction of an error.  It is a conscious effort to forever scrape from that outlet’s own virtual record any trace of their report in order to rewrite history.  It seems the UK audience is being denied news and information from the UK involving British journalists, because some British journalists will close ranks to shield each other.

Which paper has done this?  Is it a left wing rag?  The Mirror or the Star perhaps?  No.  This was the action of a supposedly truth seeking, supposedly conservative newspaper.

The Daily Mail.

Without explanation the Daily Mail has deleted the David Leigh phone hacking story.  A search to see if only the story’s title or location had changed shows it has not been moved or altered, simply deleted.  The only sign it ever existed is the Google search result thrown up when looking for stories about David Leigh and phone hacking.

Why is this important?  Because in months and years to come, when people look back to research a piece and see what had been reported at the time, the Daily Mail’s official digital archive and archive discs will not contain any trace of the story.  It is tantamount to telling a lie.  It is an effort to remove a story from history.  And no justification has been provided for it.  If you missed the now deleted article, here is a screengrab of it.

The Daily Mail should explain why the story has been deleted barely 10 days after it was published.  This is how history can be manipulated and managed by people with an agenda to conceal something.  And it should be of concern to everyone who cherishes the idea of an open and transparent news media.

How farcial it is that the record of this British story about the honesty or otherwise of the media in this country will be confined to a few mid-circulation papers such as the Express.  In contrast a large number of overseas titles, which saw the significance of the story and felt it important enough to report to their own domestic audiences, will be the source British researchers will need to rely on.

Again we see the dark underside of a self serving and manipulative element in the British media that is content to conceal facts inconvenient to their friends despite an obvious public interest significance.  The incestuous relationships between supposedly competing stables in the UK and the desire of too many journalists to put future career opportunities before a fearless pursuit of the truth, ill serves the British public and keeps many in a state of engineered ignorance.

If they can do it with the David Leigh story, what else are they choosing not to report to the British public?

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