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Syria: Bloody hell, do we really need another war?

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The streets are littered with bodies. Up to 5,000 people (children, women, men) are dead. Between 7,000 and 10,000 are injured.

The cause of death and injury is chemical weapons—some experts claim these weapons “may have included mustard gas, the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX and possibly cyanide.”

Yet, no action is taken against the dictator who authorized the attack.

This may all sound familiar, but it’s not Syria, it’s Halabja, Iraq, in 1988.

This was “Bloody Friday” when thousands were gassed on the orders of a psychotic and deranged dictator, Saddam Hussein.

This was when Ronald Reagan was POTUS and Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister.

When news of the slaughter reached governments in America and the United Kingdom, nothing was done. Well, that’s not quite true, the Americans blamed Iran for the attack.

Now sheriff President Obama and his side-kick deputy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, are warming-up to declare possible war on Syria’s dictator, President Bashar al-Assad for allegedly authorizing the use of chemical weapons on his country’s people.

Over 100,000 Syrians have died since civil war began in the country in 2011. Nearly 1.5 million people have fled the country, while an estimated 1.2 million have been displaced within the country—nearly half of these are children.

Today, UK Prime Minister Cameron gave a strong performance in Parliament, where he referenced the Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons. Syria was a signatory to this protocol in 1968, but with reservations—they only agreed not to use chemical weapons in a war with another country.

Syria did not sign the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

Essentially this means it doesn’t matter what chemical weapons Syria uses on its own people.

We all may be horrified by this, but there’s very little we can legally do to change it.

This also means countries like America and the U.K. have no legal recourse to action against Syria on the basis of the Geneva Protocol or CWC.

With this in mind, why are the elites of America and Britain so keen to “intervene” in Syria with public opinion in both countries so overwhelming against getting involved?

There have been 14 instances of the use of chemical weapons in Syria already noted, why now?
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Also, what is the actual evidence of who used what chemical weapons and when? Even Cameron admitted he didn’t know but had made “a judgement” Also, filling news channels, papers and sites with pictures of dead children will not help a rational debate.

Moreover, why is the use of chemical weapons considered a fair reason (the “red line”) to intervene, and not the deaths, since 2011, of 100,000 Syrians?

What is their end game?

It would be fair to assume that Iran is somewhere on the US/UK agenda. But why? Why now, that the once feared looney tunes, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is out of office, and has been replaced by the mature, level-headed Glasgow Caledonian University-educated, Hassan Rouhani as President?

Moreover, with Russia upping the ante (by allegedly sending in two warships to the area), why are East and West falling back into their expected roles as enemies? Is it better for business? Does it save these countries from dealing with internal dissent? 

Whatever the answer, the next few days will be crucial, and it can only be hoped that our glorious leaders will get their facts right, and think before they shoot from the hip.

Again.

UPDATE:

Thankfully it does seem some politicians are thinking before acting, as David Cameron’s hope of a UK Government motion on “a strong humanitarian response” being required, which may “include military action,” has been defeated tonight by 13 votes—285 (No), 272 (Yes).
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Sensational’ Sex Scandal said to have rocked UK Government

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The Mail on Sunday is more than a little coy about a story on its front cover today, which claims:

No.10 rocked by secret love affair: ‘Stunned’ PM holds crisis talks over fears tryst will ‘blow political agenda out of the water’

The paper refuses to give details of this “sensational love affair” for “legal reasons” but says it does not involve anyone serving in Cabinet. But the scandal is “dynamite,” and “If the affair is revealed, it is likely to cause as much public surprise as the disclosure of the relationship between [former Prime Minister] John Major and [politician] Edwina Currie, which was kept secret for nearly two decades until 2002.”

The MOS begins the story as follows:

David Cameron has held crisis talks at Downing Street after being told of allegations of a sensational love affair which has potentially significant political implications for him.

For legal reasons, The Mail on Sunday cannot disclose the identities of the people involved or any details of the relationship – even its duration – other than that they are middle-aged figures. The affair has now concluded.

But this newspaper can report that when aides told Mr Cameron the identities of the alleged lovers he was ‘stunned’, and, according to sources, ‘immediately realised the importance of the story’.

The Prime Minister and his aides also discussed the possible fallout should details of the affair become public – and how such disclosure could ‘blow out of the water’ any major political set pieces planned by No 10.

One senior source told this newspaper last night: ‘This revelation is dynamite. None of us could believe it when we first heard it. Then we just thought, “What a complete mess”.’

The source added that, apart from the political implications, the revelation had caused ‘great personal distress to innocent parties’.

It is understood that the Prime Minister was told of the relationship - which does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet - within the past few weeks.

The whole story suggests more than it offers, and as many of the “Conservative faithful” want rid of David Cameron, it would appear the Mail on Sunday may have the whiff of something which may expedite this sooner rather than later.

At 16.00 BST, there has been no coverage of this story on any of the UK television news networks—BBC, ITV and Sky News.

Only the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian have given the story any coverage.

The Telegraph, contradicts one of MOS assertions, by quoting a government spokesperson who declares:

“There have been no crisis talks or meetings.”

As a topical aside, the Telegraph ran a story, a few years back, about a survey on who would have an affair with a Downing Street politician.

Meanwhile, Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog, is at a loss to explain the who, what, when, where, why, of the story, and can only conclude:

Of course, it could be nothing more than journalistic hype, but I somehow doubt that. It’s not in the nature of the MoS editor, Geordie Greig.

So what’s it all about? What “legal reasons” prevent us from knowing more? Is there an injunction in place, an anonymised injunction possibly?

I have asked and, as yet, no answers. I would guess that the MoS’s lawyers have advised those in the know to say no more.

Whatever the nature of this “sensational” story, it would appear that it is one, which will run and run—until the “truth” is out, and the political agenda behind the headlines has been done.

Read the whole MOS story here.

Another tale of interest, is this one regarding a past 10 Downing Street scandal involving 2 non cabinet members, which led to calls for resignation.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Glenda Jackson denounces ‘heinous’ Thatcherism in House of Commons tirade

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For a moment, I thought I was watching a film—perhaps a re-make of Peter Barnes’ The Ruling Class? You know the scene where a demented Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney (Peter O’Toole) gives an insane speech in favor of the death penalty to a parliamentary chamber that is received with the most rapturous applause from his decrepit audience, the literal-living dead—the rotten, skeletal, cobweb-covered corpses of the House of Lords?

This was the only way I could make sense of what I was watching, as the British House of Commons gathered at a specially convened session to eulogize the evil dead—Margaret Thatcher.

By turn, all three leaders (Cameron, Clegg, Miliband) of the main electoral parties (Conservative, Liberal, Labour) praised the politician whose policies callously attacked the poorest, the weakest and least able, destroyed families, communities and industries, divided a country, and created mass unemployment for generations of Brits.

The vile stench of greed, hypocrisy and fear was almost palpable, as each bland politician paid homage to evils of Thatcher and Thatcherism.

I suffered through more than 3 years of unemployment during the Thatcher era—and know first hand, the evil Thatcherism inflicted on the UK. And yet today the faceless, forgettable MPs came to sing her highest praises.

Thank goodness then, to Glenda Jackson, the former actress-turned-politician (MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, London), who did not follow the sheep, but stood up and told the British Parliament the truth about Margaret Thatcher and her evil policies.

“There was a heinous social, economic and spiritual damage wreaked upon this country, upon my constituency and my constituents.”

“I tremble to think what the death rate for pensioners would have been this week if that version of Thatcherism had been fully up and running this year.”

“By far the most dramatic and heinous demonstration of Thatcherism was not only in London but across the whole country in metropolitan areas, where every single shop doorway, every single night, became the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom for the homeless.”

Ms. Jackson went on to explain how Thatcherism promoted the vices of greed and selfishness as virtues.

“That everything I had been taught was a as vice, and I still regard them as vices, under Thatcherism was a virtue.”

“Greed, selfishness, no care for the weaker. Sharp elbows and sharp knees, this was the way forward.”

“People saw the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“What concerns me is that I am beginning to see possibly the re-emergence of that total traducing of what I regard as the basic spiritual nature of this country—where we do care about society, where we do believe in communities, where we do not leave people to walk by on the other side.”

If only more Members of Parliament, these so-called elected representatives of the people, were as honest and as courageous as Glenda Jackson was today, then there would be genuine hope for a better tomorrow.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Shameless Tory Lies?: A spoonful of Twaddle helps the Clap-trap go down

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It was George Orwell who explained that “Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Well, there’s certainly been a lot of wind expelled by the Conservatives this week in their lap dog press.

The Daily Twaddle-graph has been putting about a bogus claim that two-thirds of British millionaires have become tax exiles because of the last Labour government’s introduction of a 50% tax on salaries over £150,000.

The paper quotes Tory MP, Harriet Baldwin who claims the 50p tax led to a “cull” of millionaires and has cost up to £7billion in lost revenue.

Since most of us have never heard of Ms. Baldwin, let me explain who she is: “the backbencher with blond hair and a brown nose,” who once presented “a magnificent display of oleaginous toadying” during prime minister’s questions when she inquired of Mr. Cameron, ‘Can I praise the prime minister’s staunch support …?’

Ms. Baldwin’s tax claims are loosely based on figures released by the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs, which apparently reveal a disparity between the number of millionaires paying tax on their incomes.

The figures show that more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million for the 2009-10 tax year.

But after the previous Labour government introduced the new 50 pence in the pound top rate of income tax shortly before the 2010 General Election, only 6,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million.

This figure has now risen to 10,000 after current Chancellor George Osborne announced in his budget speech in March 2012, there will be a reduction in the top tax rate to 45 pence commencing in April 2013.

Sniffing the whiff of a story, the Conservatives seized on this information to claim that “increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.” As the Daily Telegraph reported:

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50p top rate will be reduced to 45p from next April.

Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.

However, the number of million-pound earners is still far below the level recorded even at the height of the recession and financial crisis.

Last night, Harriet Baldwin, the Conservative MP who uncovered the latest figures, said: “Labour’s ideological tax hike led to a tax cull of millionaires. Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue.

“Labour now needs to admit that their policies resulted in millionaires paying less tax and come clean about whether they would reintroduce this failed policy if they were in power.”

This is a case of 2 + 2 = 5.

Which is something we may come to expect from Harriett Baldwin who, as a novice MP, has previously been corrected on her spurious claims about workless households.

But it’s not just Baldwin, the Daily Telegraph has to take a good part of the blame for printing such a “bizarre”, “bogus” and misleading story.

As Richard Murphy, at Tax Research, points out that although there was indeed 16,000 millionaires in 2009-2010, and only 6,000 a year later, this is because:

...£18 billion of income was ‘forestalled’ from 2010-11 unto 2009-10 to avoid the 50p income tax rate. That meant income was simply shifted from the later year into the earlier year to get round the additional tax charge.

In round sums the above data shows those earning more than £150,000 paid tax of £33 billion in 2010-11, implying taxable income of about £88 billion, based on the data (not all will be taxed at 50%, of course).
The previous year the income of those earning over £150,000 was about £121 billion.

Forestalling would explain maybe £18 billion of this change. Even the Treasury agreed that. But remember that means an adjustment is needed to both years. In other words 2009-10 was overstated by £18 billion. It should have been £103 billion as a result. And 2010-11 was understated by £18 billion. It should have been £106 billion after the forestalling effect was removed.

So there was actually an increase in income in 2010-11 for those earning over £150,000 but for a massive and one off exercise in tax avoidance. And there was no impact at all of people leaving the country.

And the Telegraph story is utterly bogus.

The Tory government was aware of this forestalling on the £18 billion of income, and as far back as March 2012, Faisal Islam explained this in his his report on George Osborne’s budget speech for Channel 4 News:

Here’s an amazing fact. Apart from the leap in the personal tax allowance, what was the largest annual tax cut today? Expected tax avoidance this year.

In fact you may have missed the mini fiscal stimulus at the heart of this Budget. There will be a £3bn fiscal loosening over the next year, followed by a £3bn tightening in the following years. What may be surprising is that this is almost entirely caused by £2.4bn of tax avoidance from Britain’s rich this year, that is then unwound in later years. Yes, this is the OBR’s expectation in this financial year that the rich will not pay out £6.5bn of dividends and bonuses in this tax year, but shift it into April 2013 when it attracts the 45p tax rate. Perfectly legal.

This follows on from that truly amazing staistic that I revealed on Channel 4 News on Monday. The Chancellor confirmed in his speech that Britain’s rich moved a staggering £16bn of dividends and bonuses. The HMRC report says £16-£18bn. My report on Monday put this “forestalling” at £18-20bn.

So the fact remains that the decision on the 50p rate was made on the basis of one year’s highly distorted data. Now the chancellor’s take on this was that avoidance at this level shows that the tax didn’t work. But what he didn’t say was that the forestalling effect was a one-off. The HMRC report does try to strip out the impact of forestalling and analyse other “behavioural impacts”.

Harriet Baldwin’s comments are not only misleading they are actually false.

There has been no “cull” of millionaires.

Two-thirds of British millionaires have not become “tax exiles.”

It is in fact - shock horror - Harriet’s party, the Conservatives who are helping Britain’s millionaires avoid tax, by allowing them to forestall until the 45p tax rate arrives in 2013.

This means the any lost tax is solely down to the forestalling of taxes due on £18-£20 billion.

So, it the Tories’ “policies resulted in millionaires paying less tax” NOT Labour’s 50p tax rate.

Worse, while the Tories allow their rich chums to forestall on paying the correct rate on tax, they are brutally cutting financial support to essential welfare services.

All of this tax avoidance may be legal but it hardly sits with Cameron’s view of “Big Society”, and his hopes to make “poverty history.” Well he’s certainly a long way from ever achieving this fantasy, when he supports tax cuts for the rich and welfare cuts for the poor.

Let’s not forget as the Guardian has pointed out, Cameron has already sanctioned a series of £20 billion welfare cuts by 2014 that will, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies:

...throw 80,000 children back into poverty each year, or 300,000 over the lifetime of the parliament. The Department for Work and Pensions puts the number of children currently in poverty at 27%, or 3.6 million children, two thirds of them living in working families; by 2020 it will be 4.2 million.

...

The IMF global outlook reported [in October] that for every pound that is cut, GDP will contract by up to £1.70. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says the annual cost to the UK’s GDP of child poverty is £25bn, while only £200m will be saved by limiting child benefit to two children. If it sounds like madness, it is.

If the Tory press has to stoop to publishing “bizarre” and “bogus” stories to convince the public that the Rich should not be taxed, then the Conservatives are not only morally bankrupt, they are NOT fit to govern any country. And that’s the real story the Daily Telegraph should have published.
 
Illustration (and inspiration for headline) by Alan Rogerson.

You can see and buy more of Alan’s excellent work at his site Baggelboy.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Members Only: A Look at London’s Private Clubs, from 1965

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This short film on Member’s Only Gentlemen’s Clubs and London Club Life from 1965, may look dated and even slightly quaint, capturing a world of seedy Anthony Powell characters in run-down, thread-bare, drafty rooms, but in very real terms, little has changed.

The Old Boy’s Network of privilege and power is still very much alive, and the British Establishment is probably now stronger than it has been in decades. Look at the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee, or the sofa jingoism of the Olympics, or this week with the failure of the Church of England to vote in favor of Women Bishops, and now today, the appointment of Lord Tony Hall as the new Director General of the BBC.

Hall was chosen by Lord Christopher Patten, whose previous choice for DG had been the hapless “incurious” George Entwistle, the man who was forced to resign after 54 days in office. Now Patten has appointed Hall - without an interview - as the new DG.

Hall is a successful ex-BBC man, who currently runs the Royal Opera House. He may be a decent and honorable man, he may kiss dogs and pat babies, and help old age pensioners across the street, but he is a BBC man, steeped in the arcane and out-dated traditions of a Corporation that is out-of-touch with the reality of life in Britain. His appointment is rather like voting for a Mitt Romney rather than a Barack Obama, it’s a wishful return to an illusory past, rather than moving forward into the present century. Even some of the effusive praise on twitter harks back to an older time - this from broadcaster David Dimbleby:

‘A brilliant choice. It feels like being in the Royal Navy when they were told, “Winston is back!”’

It’s strange that a previous era of strife, hardship, bigotry and division should be seen as commendable. Earlier this year, the up-market Daily Telegraph (of all broadsheets) reported on the analysis of “the make-up of the Lords found that 45 per cent of peers also had a London club such as the Garrick Club, Carlton Club or White’s.”

The [analysis], published in the journal Sociology, also showed the enduring power of Eton and Oxbridge, with around one in 10 of all members of the Lords educated at the Berkshire school whose past pupils also include David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Dr Matthew Bond, a sociologist at London South Bank University, who conducted the study, said that it showed that, despite reforms, the Lords continued to be dominated by those with “vested interests in traditional status structures”.

He said it showed that: “The persistent hold of the British establishment on the political imagination is not without reason.”
...

Those who went to school at Eton showed a particular propensity to join such clubs, the study found, while they were also popular among this with a background in the military, civil service and the church.

“These groups – hereditaries, males, Old Etonians, Tories and, to a lesser extent, business people – have vested interests in traditional status structures,” said Dr Bond.

“In their social characteristics they also closely mirror popular conceptions of an establishment which have featured in popular discussions of the British power structure since the 50s.

“If they do not have a monopoly over elite positions, they at least have a formidable presence.”

This “formidable presence” is what links Tony Blair’s working-class father’s move from Glaswegian Communism to middle-England Toryism, with Eton-educated David Cameron belief that elitism in education will mend Britain’s so-called “broken society.” This “formidable presence” isn’t tradition - it is the maintenance of an out-dated, misogynistic, divisive and malfunctioning Establishment.

Members Only is a fine snap shot of club life in the 1960s, which moves from gentlemen’s clubs to casinos and then onto the bohemian hang outs, such as the Colony Room (look out for the legendary Muriel Belcher) and jazz clubs, where a young Annie Ross performs.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Cassetteboy vs. The Diamond Queen

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Celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee of HMQ start this weekend in Britain, and the duo behind Cassetteboy have delivered a fine piece of juvenile piss-takery at the expense of Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family, the British Prime Minister(s), the BBC and its presenter Andrew Marr.

Puerile, silly, and full of cheap innuendo, Cassetteboy have excelled themselves.  However, not everyone is happy, as allegedly the BBC has had this little gem removed form You Tube. As Cassetteboy explains:

‘If you’re interested, here’s what happened: Our video was removed by youtube after a copyright claim by the BBC. We then deleted the vid…’

Now you know, so, catch it while you can.

We say more power to Cassetteboy. And less to the killjoys.

Follow Cassetteboy on twitter.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Cameron: The British PM’s Christmas card

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This is apparently British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Christmas card, which looks more like a wedding invitation from the English Defense League. The image was shared by @VictoriaPeckham, who notes:

There are signs of British isolationism even in the PM’s official Xmas card pic.

This might explain today’s events in Brussels.
 
With thanks to Suzanne Moore and Charles Shaar Murray
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Two little girls with messages for David Cameron


 
The kids are all right.

The Prime Minister, however, appears to be a lil’ defensive today!
 

 
Both via The Telegraph’s live blog coverage of the today’s strike in the UK.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Another layer of the rotting onion that is the British ruling class


 
George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer (and David Cameron’s college chum and next door neighbor) is pretty much fucked, I think, no matter how you slice it. On Australian television today, Natalie Rowe—a former dominatrix who ran the Black Beauties escort agency, a $500 an hour prostitution ring in the 1990s—dumped a bucket of shit all over Osbourne’s head, reminding viewers of her role in what Osbourne himself called an “absurd smear campaign” against him in 2005.

Ms. Rowe, speaking on ABC Australia:

“I mean it’s been said in the newspapers that he was at university. He wasn’t. At the time he was working for William Hague. I remember that vividly because he called William Hague insipid and I didn’t know what the word meant. I do now. So he definitely was in government by then but I think he was getting more and more of a high profile. So there was definitely, there was cocaine on that night on the table. George Osborne did take cocaine on that night. And not just on that night. He took it on a regular basis with me, with his friends. There were more witnesses, not just me, that witnessed George Osborne taking cocaine. So it’s you know, there are other people out there that know the truth. On that particular night he had taken a line. And I said to George jokingly that when you’re prime minister one day I’ll have all the dirty goods on you. And he laughed and took a big fat line of cocaine.”

But it doesn’t end there, oh no, the sordid mess is even messier, and is now deeply connected to the News of the World hacking scandal.

Mark Lewis, the attorney representing Rowe had this to add, speaking to Australian journalist Emma Alberici:

MARK LEWIS: The editor at the time was Andy Coulson. And I think that’s worth remembering because of the future relationship that we have between the Conservative Party, the prime minister and Andy Coulson… That editorial could have gone completely the other way. It could have said, for example, whilst we do not believe that George Osborne took drugs he showed a serious error of judgement being at the party or being at the flat where drugs were taken, where there was an allegation of prostitution. He showed that error of judgement and therefore he’s not right to be in the heart of politics. Now the decision on which spin to give to the story by the editor of the News of the World particularly was something that determined his future in politics.

EMMA ALBERICI: You think so?

MARK LEWIS: Undoubtedly so because the editorial could have been written the other way. And if it would have been written the other way it would have finished his career I’m sure.

Rowe decided to sell her story to The Sunday Mirror in 2005 after watching Cameron and Osbourne refuse to say whether or not they’d ever taken drugs in a session of the House of Commons. Later that day, she was shocked to see the story on the front page of The News of the World. Police have allegedly told Rowe that reporters working for Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper had hacked into her phone.

News of the World called Rowe a coke-snorting hooker and used an unnamed source to discredit her story.

MARK LEWIS: The editor at the time was Andy Coulson. And I think that’s worth remembering because of the future relationship that we have between the Conservative Party, the prime minister and Andy Coulson.

EMMA ALBERICI: Andy Coulson also wrote an editorial, or had it written for him, dismissing Natalie Rowe’s story.

MARK LEWIS: That editorial could have gone completely the other way. It could have said, for example, whilst we do not believe that George Osborne took drugs he showed a serious error of judgement being at the party or being at the flat where drugs were taken, where there was an allegation of prostitution. He showed that error of judgement and therefore he’s not right to be in the heart of politics.

EMMA ALBERICI: You think so?

MARK LEWIS: Undoubtedly so because the editorial could have been written the other way. And if it would have been written the other way it would have finished his career I’m sure.

Tory sleaze is back with a vengeance! But Chunky Mark, the angry cab driver is having none of it…
 

 
Via Ian Bone’s blog/Thank you Chris Campion of Berlin, Germany!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
PM David Cameron at a Rave in 1988?
08.15.2011
01:22 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Politics
David Cameron
Rave

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Around 12 seconds in you will see someone you might just recognize. Someone who looks very like a young David Cameron, enjoying himself at a rave, circa 1988.

If it is the Right Honorable Prime Minister, I wonder if he did any ecstasy? It would be refreshing if he did. I think we should be told.
 

 
With thanks to Mark MacLachlan
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
After England’s Riots: David Cameron calls for Social Media clampdown

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In response to the English Riots, British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced a series initiatives to “do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities.”

Amongst the suggested plans (including removal of face masks) was the rather disturbing news that Cameron plans to block access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberrys.

In a speech to Parliament, Cameron said:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.

And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.

So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

The Iranian government claim they have a suitcase which can block the internet.

A little closer to home, the French have been punting this idea for quite some time, and earlier this year President Nicolas Sarkozy urged his G8 buddies that it would be a good idea to have:

...private, high-level, inter-governmental talks, in an attempt to work out a global strategy for Internet regulation.

Like the script to some dystopian film, It will be only a matter of time before Western Governments decide to regulate and control the internet on grounds of National Security, Public Safety, or Law and Order.

Which in the short term means, if Cameron gets his way, then it may not be Anonymous that ends blocking Facebook on November 5, but the Conservative government.
 

 
With thanks to Niall O’Conghaile
 

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If only the rioters had started here…

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If only…
 
Via Looters vs Photoshop
 

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Nathaniel Tappley’s ‘Open Letter To David Cameron’s Parents’


 
Before anyone gets carried away getting all biblical on the asses of the UK looters, it’s best to remember that the people in positions of power have been getting away with much worse crimes for years now. This brilliant open letter to the parents of the UK’s Prime Minister by the writer Nathaniel Tappley makes that abundantly clear with facts, figures and more than a pinch of humor. And yes, before anyone mentions, he does know that Mr Cameron’s father died last year, his point being that he is reflecting assumptions about parenting that Cameron regularly makes.

“Are they really surprised that this country’s culture is swamped in greed, in the acquisition of material things, in a lust for consumer goods of the most base kind? Really?

...

Our politicians are for sale and they do not care who knows it.

Oh yes, and then there’s the expenses thing. Widescale abuse of the very systems they designed, almost all of them grasping what they could while they remained MPs, to build their nest egg for the future at the public’s expense. They even now whine on Twitter about having their expenses claims for getting back to Parliament while much of the country is on fire subject to any examination. True public servants.

The last few days have revealed some truths, and some heartening truths. The fact that the #riotcleanup crews had organised themselves before David Cameron even made time for a public statement is heartening. The fact that local communities came together to keep their neighbourhoods safe when the police failed is heartening. The fact that there were peace vigils being organised (even as the police tried to dissuade people) is heartening.

There is hope for this country. But we must stop looking upwards for it. The politicians are the ones leading the charge into the gutter.”

Read the whole letter here - it’s worth it.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned of riots if Tories elected in 2010

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Respected journalist and broadcaster, Andrew Neil posted an interesting tweet regarding comments made by the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

Neil points out that last year, Liberal-Democrat Clegg warned of riots if the Conservatives were elected, and wonders if Clegg “ever thought he’d be in government with them when they happened?”
 

 
With thanks to Andrew Neil
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Telegraph tweeted this so you know it’s true
07.20.2011
08:10 am

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events

Tags:
Rupert Murdoch
David Cameron


 
We’re just relaying it.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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