UK politics news review


Labour MP Michael Meacher asks why it is Nick Clegg rather than the Labour Party that is proposing taxing the filthy rich

The super-rich, roughly 1 per cent of the working population – around 300,000 individuals – with incomes in excess of £3,000 a week, rising to £92,000 a week for the average FTSE 100 chief executive and soaring into the stratosphere beyond that, have contributed virtually nothing additionally since 2008-9 to pay for the costs of the bank bailouts.

The very poorest are being made to pay £18 billion through benefit cuts and are expected to have a further £10bn cut imposed on them shortly because of the current shortfall in debt reduction.

The rest of the population, as well as the poorest, are being made to suffer the effects of £81bn cuts in public expenditure, mainly through 300,000 or more public-sector job losses.

The super-rich meanwhile sail on untroubled by the pains of austerity and, according to the available evidence, are doing very well, thank you.

So why isn’t Labour raising the roof about this? Thirty years ago Labour would have done so, but not in today’s parliamentary party.

I raised this very issue at the last PMQs before the summer recess on July 18.

I asked Cameron: “Since the richest 1,000 persons in the UK have increased their gains by £155bn over the last three years of austerity, why doesn’t he charge capital gains tax on those gains which would raise over £40bn, enough without any increase in public borrowing to fund the creation of 1-1.5 million jobs over the next two to three years – a much better way to cut the deficit than the Chancellor’s failed policies?”

So why isn’t Labour running with the ball instead of letting Clegg get some acclaim?

The UNISON union warns about further attacks on benefits by the UK Conservative – Liberal-Democrat Conservative coalition government.

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, has today written to Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, urging them to think again about stopping council tax benefits.

The union is warning that many low earners will be hit hard by the coalition’s decision to replace council tax benefit payments with a postcode lottery of local schemes at the same time as cutting councils’ budgets by 10%.

At a stroke the move will wipe out any gains the low paid would have received from the changes to personal tax allowances next April– a central part of the coalitions’ claims that it is helping working people on low wages.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:

“It is time for the Government to put its money where its mouth is. We hear a lot from Cameron and Clegg about helping low paid workers, but actions speak louder than words. For many hardworking families the changes to council tax benefits will wipe out any gains from changes to the personal tax allowances next April.

“Only this week, Nick Clegg called for the wealthy to pay more tax. And the coalition has claimed that it has taken real action to help low and middle income earners by changing personal tax allowances. But what the government is giving with one hand, it is taking away with the other. It is also helping to take away the incentive for carrying on working when the financial benefit is being cut.”

Some Lib-Dem calls for Lib-Dem Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to be dumped

Arrests related to Tommy Sheridan’s perjury trial



Continue ReadingUK politics news review

UK politics news review

Continue ReadingUK politics news review

UK political news review

  • UK Liberal-Democrat Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggests taxing the super-rich. The suggestion has unsurprisingly raised opposition from the Conservatives who are not afraid to call themselves Conservatives. This suggestion and Clegg’s opposition to a third runway at Heathrow should be considered in the context of Clegg’s recent and belated realization that he and the Liberal-Democrat Conservative party are hugely unpopular. A strange (and fawning) article that – suggesting that Clegg is after Bliar’s middle-class following. He’s even doing the right thing and employing driving analogies (although I have it on bad authority that he – similarly – can’t drive).
  • UK Liberal-Democrat Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and UK Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron  oppose a third runway at Heathrow consistent with their election manifesto pledges. Some Tory is pushing for a third runway and suggesting that Cameron should demonstrate if he is “a man or a mouse”. (eh?) Those of us that pay attention to UK politics no doubt suspect the influence of lobbying and money trousering.
  • It is claimed that Larry, the number 10 mouser has caught a mouse. The mouse was not UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Watch out for rats in number 10 Larry.
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Lansley loves crap food

Lansley has caved in to fast-food industry, says former adviser

Man who helped formulate policy accuses Health Secretary of ‘dereliction of duty’ over Britain’s obesity epidemic

Andrew Lansley is guilty of a “dereliction of duty” for failing to tackle Britain’s growing obesity epidemic, one of his former public health advisers warns today.

In an interview with The Independent Professor Simon Capewell, who served on the Health Secretary’s Public Health Commission in opposition, accuses Mr Lansley of conniving with the food industry and ignoring scientific evidence on obesity.

<originally quoted at greater length>

McDonald’s and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy | Politics | The Guardian


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While I am supporting Wikileaks and Julian Assange …

While I am supporting Wikileaks and Julian Assange …

It occurs to me that there may be other political activists and dissidents that need supporting by a capable band of encrytption and associated capable people.

It is not only Assange that has made a stand and expressed himself.

While having no intention to diminish the treatment of Assange, there are others that have similarly confronted injustice and been subjected to similar treatment,

To be an out there dissident – an (effective, on the web) vocal opponent – of Fascist agenda and policies – means that you (me) are targetted by the powers that shouldn’t be in all sorts of *nasty* ways.

I would welcome some Wikileak activists, especially encryption experts to research for themselves – of course if that is not already apparent – about the activities of the New Labour government, the murder of  Brizzlian  Jean Charles de Menezes and the following murders by UK police. Were these murders identifying one particular person?

Ian Blair’s statements (particularly the Dimbleby lecture) but I can give you lots of info re: statements in the immediate aftermath of the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes. I would particularly like confirmation of the foreign – right-wing death squad – that murderd Jean Charles de Menezes i.e. it was not Met Police.

edit: Ian Blair, Tony Blair & John Reid’s statements.

(4am BST edit: Of course if Jean Charles de Menezes (because of his name) murder identified some particular person then – of course – it was pre-meditated. Were further murders (and other confrontations) about identifying a particular person?

Riz Ahmed. Riz Fucker.

edit: j7





Continue ReadingWhile I am supporting Wikileaks and Julian Assange …

Wikileaks: Collateral Murder

The editor of one of the internet’s biggest sources of classified government information says there is strong evidence to suggest that video footage of an alleged US attack on Iraqi civilians is genuine.
Julian Assange, the editor of, told Al Jazeera that the footage, released on Sunday, corroborates witness testimony.

The video is believed to show a US helicopter firing at civilians in Iraq in 2007, during an attack in which 12 civilians were killed, the website said.
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows

Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.

After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010.


Continue ReadingWikileaks: Collateral Murder

News review

It’s time to stop the private train firms in their tracks

Sam Bogg rails against a system that’s seen fares rise and services get worse while the fat cats get a first class seat

Sky-high ticket prices. Overcrowded trains. Bumper profits for private firms. Massive bonuses for bosses. The reality of Britain’s privatised railways was brought to everyone’s attention last week as another year of above inflation fare increases sparked protests at 40 stations.

But just how do the rail firms keep getting away with it? When the Tories privatised British Rail in 1994 they said the free market would bring us cheaper, more reliable and comfortable rail travel—and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a thing.

However, privatisation has done none of this. In fact it has cost the public purse much more. In 1994, £1.14 billion of public money was spent on British Rail.

But in 2011 the public subsidy for the private railways hit £11 billion. Transport commentator Christian Wolmar expects this to increase further to over £18 billion by 2018.

A recent study also found that Britain’s railways were less efficient, more expensive and less comfortable than those in France, Spain, Germany and Italy, all of which are majority public-owned.

Rail fares in Britain are an average of ten times higher than they are on the continent. This is because no matter how they perform, train firms are given a free hand to jack up the fares …

The Public Thinks Tax Dodging Is Morally Wrong – Now It’s Time for Action


We’ve heard a lot in recent months about the immorality of tax dodging from both David Cameron and George Osborne. It turns out the public agree with them but crucially don’t think they’re doing enough about it.

Research published this week by ComRes has revealed 56% of British adults believe that tax avoidance by multinational companies (while a technically legal way of reducing what they owe the taxman) is morally wrong and half of people think it should be made illegal.

Only 4% think tax avoidance by multinationals was ‘morally justifiable’ and just 4% described it as ‘fair’.

In June the Prime Minister described Jimmy Carr’s offshore tax arrangements as ‘morally wrong’ and in March his Chancellor lambasted aggressive tax avoidance as ‘morally repugnant’. Even Treasury Minister David Gauke got in on the act, questioning the morality of tradesmen taking cash in hand to avoid tax.

Despite these strong words the survey, commissioned by Christian Aid, showed that the public did not feel the Government rhetoric was being matched by action. Seventy-four per cent felt that David Cameron should be demanding international action to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, yet only 38% believed the Government is genuine in their desire to combat the problem.

Britain won’t budge over ‘safe passage’ for Assange

The UK has insisted it will not grant Julian Assange “safe passage” to Ecuador as the row over his asylum continues.

Downing Street said the government was obliged to extradite Assange to Sweden where he faces questioning over sex assault claims, which he denies.

The Wikileaks founder has been staying at Ecuador’s London embassy since June.

South American nations have pledged support for Ecuador after the UK said it could legally enter the building.

The UK Supreme Court in May dismissed Assange’s bid to reopen his appeal against extradition and gave him a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings could start.

“We hope that we can reach a diplomatic solution and we are doing what we can to achieve that,” Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said.

“Under our law, having exhausted all the options of appeal, we are obliged to extradite him to Sweden. It is our intention to carry out that obligation.”

Last week, Ecuador described as a “threat” a UK letter that drew attention to the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, which could allow it to potentially lift the embassy’s diplomatic status to allow police to arrest Assange for breaching his bail terms.

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, has suggested Assange could co-operate with Sweden if assurances are given that there would be no extradition to a third country.

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