Posts Tagged 'Labour'



Labour flip flop over Stuart MacLennan

Just hours after Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy stated to news organisations that Twitter twat Stuart MacLennan would remain as Labour’s candidate for Moray, the abusive candidate has been sacked by the party.

This is yet another example of Labour’s sure footed, joined up approach to everything (/irony), where the left hand doesn’t know what the far left hand is doing.  Jim Murphy looks like the fool he is having made his public utterance then having his legs cut from underneath him.  Labour HQ looks terrified of yet another failed media management operation exposing the contemptuous mindset that so many supposedly virtuous socialists hold.  The media corps gets its first ‘social media gaffe’ story of the election campaign that will run all day in order to give the impression this election is about more than National Insurance rises.

Meanwhile those of us outside the political bubble look on, bemused, at the self regarding political class and their media groupies haggling over pathetic non stories, while the issues that matter to us are kept under lock and key.  Oh the excitement.

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Gordon Brown: Disconnected to the point of autism

‘I’m happy to answer questions at public meetings, but I was actually on my from one meeting to another.’

This, according to Gordon Brown, is justification for what you can see in the video above, as the Prime Minister completely ignoring a question put to him by a member of the public, Ben Butterworth, about the lack of decent schools in his area.

In the absence of a carefully spun sanitised answer and lacking the basic social skills to interact with anyone he cannot control, Brown demonstrates he is – to borrow the brilliant description used in political satire ‘The Thick Of It’ – disconnected to the point of autism.

Brown is incapable of speaking to anyone without the discussion being stage managed and the people being pre-screened by Labour’s spin doctors.  In any case, he treats Parliament with contempt, so it’s only to be expected that he will treat voters with contempt too.  He is without doubt the worst Prime Minister in modern times.

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Political class playing their political games

More evidence of the disconnect between the political class and the human race today from the Press Association, as we are informed that:

Gordon Brown would not find it “impossible” to work with the Liberal Democrats if the forthcoming general election produced a hung Parliament, an ally of the Prime Minister said.

Wow. Never saw that coming did we? This is the political class all over, playing their insular games and hyping up faux intrigue. All that matters to them is the sweet seduction of other parties who are trying to win votes at their expense. What about them serving our interests instead of their own?

Just how are we served as a nation by this pathetic posturing? Perhaps the best we can hope for as a people is that the political class is so busy navel gazing it won’t find time to intrude further in our lives and strip away more of our freedoms and privacy.

Update: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the image below is worth a complete book. (Hat tip: Radio Free Britain)

‘A matter of taste but essentially the same thing.
If you knew what the ingredients were, you wouldn’t buy either.’

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Home repossessions up by 15%

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has revealed that 54,055 people had their properties repossessed during 2009, an increase of more than 15% on the 46,945 properties repossessed in 2008.

This must be a red letter day for Labour’s Housing Minister, John Healey MP.  You remember him.  He was the Minister who in February, during an interview on BBC Five Live, said with breathtaking flippancy that in some cases repossession is the best thing for the people who are struggling with those mortgages.  But let’s stick to the numbers issue for now, which Healey also covered during the interview when he said:

‘The important thing is that people are informed about the help that’s available, able to deal with their lenders, confident that they know that the lenders must only use repossession as a last resort because of the rules we’ve got in place and so that’s part of what we’ve been doing in government… a campaign to make sure that people know there’s help available and can get it.’

Clearly that is absolute tripe.  A 15% increase in repossessions is an indictment of the failing big government approach Labour loves.  It is the consequence of the economic devastation brought about by high tax-high borrowing-high spend policies and a needless increase in the size of the public sector at the expense of the private sector.  Under Labour, which repeatedly spins that its policies are helping people (at great expense to the taxpayers), things are getting worse, not better.

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UK ‘hidden joblessness’ one of the highest in Europe

Labour’s economic miracle is revealed for all to see thanks to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) analysis of official Eurostat data, which found the UK accounts for one in seven of Europe’s entire hidden jobless population.  This hidden jobless are defined as people of working age who are not active in the jobs market but are willing to work.

According to Eurostat only five EU countries – Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Austria and Poland – registered higher rates of this type of economic inactivity than the UK, which reported a rate of 5.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.  Britain’s performance was particularly poor in relation to male unemployment, where only eight member states exceeded the UK’s male jobless rate of 9.1 per cent.  Dr John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economic adviser, said:

“The UK may draw comfort from having lower measured unemployment than the EU average but in truth we are no better than a mid-table performer in the EU jobless league.

“Taking hidden joblessness into account makes the UK’s relative performance look less impressive still, and once again highlights the scale of the macroeconomic and employment policy challenge that awaits us in the next few years.”

This just goes to show Labour can massage the figures and spin statistics all they like, but the truth will out.  Now the real extent of our job market weakness compared to the major European nations is laid bare, added to our declining education standards and increasing reliance of people on welfare – where the cost is increasing by billions each year – we can see the mismanagement of the country by this pathetic and spiteful government is harming our competitiveness and storing up long term problems for us.

Labour’s answer is to keep spending other people’s money and to borrow like mad to ‘stimulate’ growth. That is the socialist way.  But footing the bill for welfare payments and losing out on the tax receipts that would be collected if these people were in work, is unsustainable and ruinous. It failed in the 1970s and Labour is failing again. The only thing that is unknown is the size of the debt Labour will leave for future generations to pay off once Brown and his politburo are finally ejected from office.

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What does the EU have in store for Britain?

What does the European Union have in store for us next?  Let’s take a quick look…

In a story about further delays to defendants in criminal trials having effective translation services available, we get confirmation of the bigger picture of the EU’s ambitions:

“Today we are taking a first important step towards a Europe where justice knows no borders,”
– EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding

Elsewhere in the Brussels nest occupied by the cuckoo chick, greater tax and budgetary co-ordination is the order of the day as next month will see a communication designed to start a debate to:

“correct the imbalance of what was not agreed at Maastricht.”
– anonymous EU Official

When the Euro currency was being planned there were warnings that ‘imperfect labour mobility and the lack of a European political union could pose problems’ for the new currency.  It seems the EU wants to address this ‘imbalance’ by increasing labour mobility and driving forward ever closer political union.  That means completely open borders and more power shipped off to Brussels from Westminster.

With Peter Mandelson promising it’s a matter of when not if Labour scraps the pound sterling and adopts the Euro, and Labour’s EU sycophants signing up enthusiastically to every sovereignty sacrificing treaty or agreement stuck under their nose by the Brussels bureaucrats, we have a clear view of what will be forced on us next.

David Cameron’s slow self destuction is only making it increasingly likely that Labour will get another five years to make this nightmare a reality.  Ruled Britannia it is then.

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Take a second look at Labour said Gordon Brown

So I did and I am grateful for the delusional one’s urging.  For I remembered that Gordon Brown’s Labour government wants to impose a so called Tobin tax on bank transactions and for political cover is trying to get the world’s other major economies to follow suit.  I was reminded that the Association of British Insurers thinks the scheme is ridiculous, describing it as unworkable and counter-productive.

I was also reminded of the ‘Labour way’ by Brown’s refusal to listen to any dissenting voice and ignore any criticism.  Brown was pressing ahead regardless because of the desperate state of the UK economy that has been wrecked by Labour’s financial mismanagement.  He was claiming the world’s top economies were close to agreeing this international levy on banks and that a deal could be thrashed out during a G20 summit in June.  It reminded me that Brown’s great delusion is that he saved the world and that he is some great economic brain that all other nations turn to.

Naturally I wondered if I was the only one with doubts about Brown’s supposed brilliance.  But then I stumbled across reports that those wonderful Canadians are opposed to Labour’s global bank tax plan for the world’s major economies.  As the Wall Street Journal explained, the Canadian’s decision to go public with their opposition is in part based on irritation that Mr. Brown is painting a picture of a global consensus, one that exists only in Brown’s mind.

Having been invited to take a second look at Labour and being reminded of Labour actions such as throwing open Britain’s borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a “truly multicultural” country, repeated raids on our pension funds, the refusal to give us the promised referendum on the Lisbon Treaty… not to mention the record £1.2 trillion public debt run up with nothing to show for it, decline in education standards, increase in violent crime, surge in the size of the welfare state, record number of economically inactive UK citizens, lies about the evidence for the invasion of Iraq, criminalisation of ordinary people with over 3000 new crimes created etc, I think Gordon Brown has made a huge mistake.  All he has done is ask people to remind themselves of the spite and incompetence that has characterised the Labour party.  That should secure a well deserved Labour defeat at the polls (unless David Cameron snatches defeat from the jaws of victory).  Cheers Gordo!

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Losing their home is ‘the best thing’ for some people

So says John Healey MP, Labour’s Housing Minister.  In an interview on BBC Five Live today with Victoria Derbyshire (available for 7 days, interview starts at 1:07:40), he was reeling of a raft of impressive sounding figures in an attempt to tell listeners just how much this overbearing and wasteful government had been able to help people who had fallen behind with their mortgage payments, by throwing huge sums of our money at the problem.  During the discussion, listeners heard this exchange:

VD: So why do you think 46,000 homes were still repossessed last year?

JH: Because in some cases there is no way around that. And in some cases it is the best thing for the people who are struggling with those mortgages. Erm…

VD: Is it?

JH: What I want to make sure…

VD: Sorry, did you just say that, it’s the best thing for people struggling with their mortgages, to lose their home?

JH: Well sometimes it is impossible for people to maintain the mortgage commitments they’ve got. They may…

VD: But you’re saying it’s the best thing.

JH: I’ve said it may be the best thing in those circumstances. The important thing is that people are informed about the help that’s available, able to deal with their lenders, confident that they know that the lenders must only use repossession as a last resort because of the rules we’ve got in place and so that’s part of what we’ve been doing in government… a campaign to make sure that people know there’s help available and can get it.

VD: Right, I’d be interested to hear from people who have had their homes repossessed if they did think it was the best thing for them.

This should tell any voter what they need to know about Labour and its mindset.  If this government can throw taxpayers’ money at a problem and it goes away for a while, it is considered a success, demonstrating how capable and effective the government is.  When simply throwing cash at the problem doesn’t fix the long term issue, then the terrible, distressing consequences that follow are ‘the best thing’ for those people.

Perhaps Healey is with his Marxist friends in resenting those who stepped onto the housing ladder and feels satisfaction when they come a cropper.

Perhaps he is longing for days gone by, where public bodies owned most of the houses and most people were trapped into reliance on the state for the provision of poorly maintained identitkit housing on sink estates where tenants were kept in deprivation.  To Labour it didn’t matter so long as the people knew their place and the elite determined what everyone else would be entitled to.

If the state can’t fix your problem by getting involved and splashing the cash around, then you’re not worthy of saving.  What Healey doesn’t mention is Labour’s massive contribution to people losing their homes by encouraging them to buy now and pay sometime later.

Many homeowners were seduced into thinking boom and bust had been abolished, the good times were here to last and borrowing more than you could afford wasn’t a problem because there’s loads of credit and it’s dirt cheap.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Yes people are responsible for their behaviour, but they took their steer from the government that said have your jam today and the bill will be easy to deal with tomorrow.  Therefore the responsibility must be shared, but the government is absolving itself of blame the role it played.  Its behaviour is an absolute disgrace.

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Communications Capabilities Directorate aka Snooper Squad

It might seem unfair of me to criticise the media (with the notable exceptions of The Register and ZDNet) for not reporting about the government’s new snooper squad, the Communications Capabilities Directorate (CCD), given I am only turning my attention to it four days later.  But the journalists are paid to investigate and report this kind of stuff as their day job, whereas I’m not.  But for many journalists such as enviropropagandist Louise Gray, unless ‘news’ is fed to them by way of press releases to cut, paste and publish, nothing is happening in the world that’s worth covering and they are content to sit around with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral.

As The Register explains, the Communications Capabilities Directorate comprises the same civil servants who have been working on the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) since 2007, but now the group has a defined structure even though it has not been added to the Home Office’s list of directorates.  One for our honourable MPs to get their teeth into, methinks.  The sole aim of the CCD is online surveillance of us, namely the interception and retrieval of all our internet activity, giving the government and law enforcement access to the details of who contacts whom, when, where and how via the internet.

Despite substantial disquiet about this huge invasion of our privacy, the cost to internet service providers (ISP) of maintaining database archives of everything their customers do online; including sending and receiving emails, use of social networking sites, web browsing history, financial transactions and making voice calls through computers, the Home Office is pressing ahead with the scheme at a cost of at least £2bn to taxpayers, plus the costs that ISPs will pass on to customers.  Many people believed the plans were on hold until after the general election after the Home Office’s consultation saw ISPs strongly criticise the plans.  But the Home Office has been quietly pressing ahead with its scheme to turn all web users into criminal suspects and harvest our data.

It might have been nice if the media had, you know, taken notice and reminded people what is being done to us ‘for our own good’ by our noble public servants.  After all, with so much pressure on the government to reduce spending on non essential, non front line services, one would think cancelling this voyeuristic, £2bn socialist wet dream snooper squad dedicated to exerting control over the population would be far more beneficial for the general public than keeping it going.  It’s nice to know what Labour’s priorities are.

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Lord Hutton… a Labour saving device

Today we have yet another example of our Lords and masters at work in their parallel reality.  The Mail on Sunday is retailing the story that Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the inquiry into the death of UN weapons inspector Dr David Kelly (who had earlier been outed as the source of BBC information that the Iraq dossier had been sexed up) has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post mortem, and unpublished evidence.

This is the second twice that James Hutton has ridden to the rescue of the Labour government.  Clearly Hutton was not content with publishing a whitewash of an inquiry in 2004 that hammered the BBC while clearing the government of any wrongdoing.  With the Chilcot Inquiry closing in on the possibility of seeking to re-examine evidence concerning the death of Dr Kelly, a move that could embarrass Labour again, we now see that Hutton has taken a draconian step to hide the medical records, post mortem results and other evidence that was unpublished.

There is no justification for such action.  It is inexplicable.  What is it these socialists keep telling us, if you’ve nothing to hide then you’ve nothing to fear?  So what is it Hutton and the government have to hide?  It should not be legally permissible to seal the records in this way to prevent objective independent scrutiny of the available information.  Hutton is seeking to hide information he is trying to keep out of the public domain and the only possible beneficiary is this squalid Labour government.

The stench of scandal and corruption surrounding this action is nauseating.  It is imperative that independent judges overturn this ruling and allow proper scrutiny of that which Hutton is trying to hide for the government.  Such an abuse of the law must not be tolerated.  The law should serve all citizens of this country fairly and be used as a tool to establish the truth and hold wrongdoers to account.  It should not become the sole preserve of the political and moneyed class, to be abused for their own ends and shield them from justice.

But perhaps people will remain more concerned with Celebrity Big Brother and the latest goings on in Albert Square to be bothered about this.  Until that is it directly affects them in a damaging way, by which time it will probably be too late to act.

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Will David Miliband’s school choice be a Balls up?

So David Miliband and his wife Louise have chosen to send their son at a Church of England primary school two miles from their home, when there is a ‘successful’ state primary school just 80 yards from their door.  Good for them I say.  Parents should have the ability to seek the best school they can find for their children without being hindered by the state and its interfering bureaucracy.  They should have the ability to send their children to a faith school if that is their choice.

Now that Miliband has nailed his colours firmly to the mast of parental choice and spurned the local state primary in favour of a faith school, we expect to see him standing up for his principles in the House of Commons the next time the vindictive Ed Balls launches another of his assaults on faith schools.

It’s probably just a coincidence that the Milibands lived in their home for five years and their son was two years old before Lutheran Mrs Miliband was suddenly inspired to seek spiritual nourishment in the local Anglican communion – and with it the near certainty of a place at the nearest Church of England school for Miliband Jnr (will he take an apple in for teacher, or will it be one of his dad’s infamous bananas?).  It should not matter that Mr Miliband is an avowed atheist and agreeing to send his son to a faith school is anathema to his orthodoxy.  It’s probably just a sign he’s becoming more open minded.

What matters is the ability to choose.  The ability for parents to decide what is best for their children and pursue it with vigour.  The Milibands have chosen and more power to their parental elbows.  Of course, by doing this the only logical course of action is for David Miliband is to champion faith schools in Parliament and demand that all parents enjoy to same opportunity he has taken advantage of.  Surely he has no option but to fight any proposals the arch secularist Ed Balls brings forward that make it harder for other committed parents to do the same as Miliband has.

Anything else would be sheer hypocrisy.  No self respecting and ambitious politician would ever stoop so low as to secure an advantage for themselves that they would deny to others through legislation.  Would they?

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A statistic for Gordon Brown to note

Gordon Brown likes to use statistics.  In fact there is nothing more likely to make him contort his face into one of his inappropriate and disturbing manic grins than the opportunity to spout reams of figures at his opponents.  So here is one that this Autonomous Mind would like to see him share in Parliament in full view of the TV cameras… the UK has dropped out of the top-ten countries in the Index of Economic Freedom.  As the Institute of Economic Affairs explains:

The country’s score dropped from 79 to 76.5, the second largest fall among the world’s twenty largest economies (only in the USA is economic freedom declining even more rapidly). Worse still, the 2010 Index is based primarily on data from July 2008 to June 2009 – before December’s disastrous Pre-Budget Report and the arbitrary supertax on bankers’ bonuses.

Perhaps Brown will respond by calling for yet another international conference to discuss concerted international cooperation to deal with his incompetence and mismanagement of the UK economy.  And there was Brown believing he had saved the world.  All he’s done is make it easier for the rest of the world to outperform the UK.

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Labour evasion over international aid money to Unions

Last week following the release of a report by the International Policy Network Autonomous Mind blogged about how a significant sum of international aid money, that is supposed to be distributed to dedicated aid charities for use in poorer countries by the Department for International Development (DfID), was being channelled to the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) for use in the UK.

The matter was raised in the House of Commons yesterday by Conservative MP, Andrew Robathan, who asked DfID Minister Gareth Thomas ‘How much funding his Department has provided to the Trades Union Congress for international development purposes since 2003; and if he will make a statement,‘.  Thomas tried to bat away the question by giving one example of the use of the money, namely the TUC spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS in Ugandan workplaces.

It was a surprising answer given there are numerous charities that are far more qualified than a British trade union body in delivering HIV/AIDS education.  But Robathan came back with the real charge, that most of the money the TUC receives for international development work is ‘spent in the United Kingdom and is not accounted for in any way,‘.  Thomas’ answer deliberately avoided addressing that essential point and made a pathetic party political dig:

Like every other NGO to which we give funding, the TUC has to spend the money in accordance with the requirements of the International Development Act 2002, which, as I recall, had the support of all parties. I gently encourage the hon. Gentleman to look at the work of the TUC in supporting local trade unions in Iraq and Zimbabwe, for example. Although I recognise that he relishes the role of an unreconstructed member of the Conservative party, he might want to be careful about associating himself with a position that is more extreme than any taken by the last three Conservative Foreign Secretaries. Indeed, the last Conservative Government, from 1989 to 1997, paid the TUC to do work on international development.

If there was no truth in the charge Gareth Thomas would have denied it vehemently and with no small amount of indignation.  The fact he did not demonstrates that taxpayers’ money allocated to international development work carried out by charities in the developing world, is being siphoned off to sweeten Labour’s paymasters and fund political education and training in the UK, as the International Policy Network has claimed.

This is a disgraceful and unacceptable abuse of public money for party political interests.  This kind of casual corruption has to be rooted out and those responsible held to account.  I wonder how long it will take before an MP tries to defend this misuse of international development money, our money, by claiming such use was within the rules?  And politicians wonder why they are held in such low regard by the public.

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Trade Unions soak up international aid money

It is embarrassing that this story almost went past Autonomous Mind Towers without being noticed.  Yet again we have another example of public funds being misused for self serving political ends by the Labour government.  Once again it is the Department for International Development (DFID) which is being free and easy with our hard earned cash (hat tip: ConservativeHome).

Earlier this week it was confirmed in Parliament that a DFID civil servant has been seconded to Tony Blair for his work as Quartet Representative in the Middle East.  But at the same time the International Policy Network (IPN) was explaining that:

Following on from our previous investigation [Sept 2009] of how “foreign aid” is being used for advocacy work by NGOs inside the UK, IPN has discovered that trades unions are benefiting from millions of money aimed at “international development”.

From 2003 to 2006, the Trades Union Congress [TUC] has rececived £3.6 million from the UK Department for International Development (DfID). But much of this money has been spent on projects benefiting the domestic UK labour movement. We’re just not sure how this benefits the poorest people around the world.

Download the IPN report ‘A Closer Union’

Perhaps this is another generous ‘thank you’ from Labour to the trade unions who are keeping the party alive financially.  After all, during the period in question, 2003-06, trade unions donated £39,086,216.09 (yes, £39m) in cash to Labour both directly and through constituency Labour party groups.

In return, Labour has channelled around £10m of our money back to the trade unions for the ‘trade union mondernisation fund‘.  This meant the unions did not have to use their own money for training and development, enabling them to maintain huge political donations to Labour.  And now we see a further £3.6m of our money being given to the trade unions to help train people how to be better advocates of the trade union movement and the Labour party.  Labour is only one short step away from actually paying the subs for union members!

Strangely enough, the DFID web page ‘Where the money goes‘ makes no mention at all of these Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA) payments to the TUC for use in the UK.  PPAs are made through a mechanism that is supposed to channel money to dedicated aid charities operating in poorer countries, such as Oxfam.

Clearly the payments to the TUC are neither international aid nor benefiting people in desperate need.  They are a corrupt abuse of public funds for political gain by a corrupt and morally bankrupt government.  This is just another example of ‘public spending’ that can be cut without affecting front line services.

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Labour’s selective use of civil servants

Just after New Year the Times reported that the Treasury had published detailed official analysis of 22 Conservative tax and spending proposals yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information request.  This provoked a storm of opposition protest at Labour’s use of civil servants to draft information for party political campaigning use.  Compare and contrast the amount of effort that was devoted to collating and number crunching those 22 tax and spending proposals with the following story.

A Ministerial written answer was published in the House of Commons yesterday in response to a question from Dr John Pugh (Lib Dem, Southport) who mindful of data protection concerns had decided:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of NHS staff have been disciplined for inappropriate use of information on (a) an NHS database and (b) medical records in each of the last 10 years.

As the answer clearly wasn’t going to provide any party political ammunition for Labour in the forthcoming General Election, Minister Mike O’Brien’s response was no less than could have been expected from a government that is determined to hand many more public servants access to our personal data without proper controls or safeguards.  This is a defining issue for Autonomous Mind because it has far reaching implications for us all.  No doubt acutely aware of the implications for data protection, he wrote:

The information requested is not held centrally. Legal responsibility for the secure handling and management of patient information rests with individual national health service organisations. It is therefore a matter for NHS organisations to take the appropriate action where patient information has been inappropriately accessed by their staff.

In other words, the details would be too inconvenient and embarrassing to publicise and would Dr Pugh please stop asking awkward questions.  It seems that civil servants can be tasked with building policy strawmen for the government to use to attack the opposition.  But they cannot be tasked with collating important information, from health authorities and care trusts who could have it, about the misuse of our personal data by NHS employees.

Why is it left to Autonomous Mind to highlight this issue?  The press should be all over this deliberate attempt to conceal important information about data protection breaches from the public.  If we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear, right?  Think again.

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It’s so cold…

This was too good not to shamelessly plagiarise and adapt for Autonomous Mind from Tony Hake at CC Examiner.

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