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Friday, 30 November 2012

UN general assembly vote in favour of Palestinian statehood



 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/united-nations-vote-palestine-state




Israel and the United States increasingly isolated as more and more nations support the Palestinians
 
Palestinians celebrate in the West Bank
Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah after the general assembly voted to recognise Palestine as a non-member state


  Netanyahu says that nothing has changed. Wrong Benyamin. Israel and the United States are becoming increasingly isolated as more and more nations support the Palestinians and their quest for statehood. Only those countries who rely on American aid, or who have some misguided pro Israeli leaning, voted against the proposal, but could in any case only muster 9 votes. The list of  41 abstentions, shows the extent to which unquestioning support for the Israeli/United States position in respect of Palestine and its aspirations for statehood, has declined with the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany amongst those who would normally vote with the United States, electing to  sit on their hands. As would be expected, Israel and the United States immediately condemned the resolution, with Netanyahu describing Abbas's speech as incitement and full of lies. The U.S secretary of State Hillary Clinton, described the vote as "unfortunate and counterproductive" with the US ambassador to the UN  Susan Rice saying, "Today's grand announcements will soon fade and the Palestinians will wake up to realise that little in their lives has changed,". There seems to be a collective state of denial in Washington and Tel Aviv. There has been a significant change in the Middle East dynamic not necessarily in the continued occupation of Palestine and the illegal blockade of Gaza, but certainly in the options now available to Palestine in the diplomatic field. Israel and the United States should tread very carefully from here on in with their threats of cutting aid, imposing new restrictions and all the other punitive measures promised over the last few months. The situation has changed and will not be the same again, no matter how much Tel Aviv and Washington may wish it to be different.

Leveson report divides coalition.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/29/david-cameron_n_2211388.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics


 Cameron and  Clegg Split Over Legal Underpinning Of Press Regulation




Lord Justice Leveson unveils his report

 

Cameron's "statement" in the House of commons yesterday (29th November 2012) in response to the Leveson report, was pathetic as were his "answers" to subsequent questions. It was not only Milliband who was shaking his head in stunned disbelief. The cracks and splits in the coalition were abundantly clear as soon as the deputy prime Minister began to speak in his own unprecedented response to the report. Clegg's statement was diametrically opposite to that of the prime Minister in the fundamental area of legal under pinning of press regulation. Another area where the Conservatives and the Liberal democrats are uneasy bedfellows. It is not surprising that Clegg and his LibDems are crumbling away from this disastrous rag bag coalition, and a Prime Minister who seems determined to ignore all the recommendations and findings arising from the Leveson report and kick the whole subject "into the long grass" with yet more committees, meetings, analyses anything in fact to ensure that the matter may be forgotten. The status quo of a self regulating body "marking their own homework" must be changed and it must be changed now. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Austerity tightens its grip.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/28/greeks-forests-fuel-winter-nears


 Greeks turn to the forests for fuel as winter nears



Wood poacher's warehouse
A wood poacher's warehouse near Mount Pelion, Greece.


 When Merkel, Lagarde, the Eurozone finance ministers and  IMF sit down to yet another lavish 2 Micheline star banquet (paid for of course by taxpayers), to discuss for the umpteenth time the never ending economic crisis in Greece, and the plan of how they can extort even more money in exchange for another "bail out", do they ever consider the effect that their policies have on the ordinary people of Greece? I think not. Their first consideration is and has always been, ensuring the continued dominance of the IMF and the European Central banks in Europe. (Closely followed of course by the quality of the Filet de veau rôti, girolles d’Écosse et purée de cresson at the evenings nine course meal.)
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Greek people face even more severe austerity, in order to fund the conditions imposed from outside. There is something fundamentally wrong with the logic, when bailout funds are used only to repay installments of previous bailouts, without any effect on the underlying problem.  The problems of the Greek people have not gone away. Soup kitchens on the streets of Athens and other cities across Greece, food banks for people who have no jobs and little prospect of finding work, temporary foster centres for children and all the other odious ramifications of austerity remain. Now, with a 40% surcharge on heating oil, and with winter fast approaching, people are gathering wood to heat their homes.This article, adds more evidence to the already obvious reality that austerity is not working and that an alternative way forward must be found. This winter, not only in Greece, but in other countries in Europe, (including our own) people will die as a direct result of the austerity measures being enforced by governments acting on the instructions of the Troika.The time cannot be far off when people across Europe will say "enough is enough".

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Confusion at LibDem offices?


  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/27/sir-cyril-smith-abuse_n_2198713.html?ncid=GEP


 Overwhelming evidence that Smith abused boys.





The Lib Dem MP was accused of inappropriate conduct with young boys




 
There is a quotation from a Liberal democrat spokesman shown in this Huffington post story, which I must admit causes me some confusion.
The comment is,  "The Liberal Democrats are not aware of any allegations being made to the party, and have never been involved in any investigations." Now the reason for my confusion arises from David Steel's Press Office being quoted as saying on the 22nd April 1979 that "....all he seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms".  The quote is taken from "Anorak" and indicates to me, that David Steel's press office were aware back in 1979 that there were some questions being asked about Smith's behavior even then. Perhaps someone can clarify or explain the apparent confusion..

Why did CPS not prosecute Cyril Smith?


 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/nov/27/cyril-smith-abused-boys-police



Police find 'overwhelming evidence' former Rochdale MP attacked vulnerable boys.

CPS criticises 1970s decision not to prosecute




Cyril Smith, the former Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale


The question is "Why did the CPS not bring charges against this odious individual?" As in the case of Savile and as in Jersey with the Historic Child abuse inquiry, these perverts had irresistible influence and control within the "establishment" and the investigating bodies and thus were able to evade prosecution for decades. There are compelling arguments to support the view that the conspiracy of silence amongst those who were part of the abuse and those who, even today, perpetuate the cover up, demands the deepest investigation and exposure. For far too long, the victims of this evil abuse have been ignored, threatened, ridiculed and smeared by the investigating authorities who are themselves as culpable as the perpetrators of the abuse. The evidence is there. The prosecutions, where prosecutions are possible, must be perused. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

No change for the ordinary Greeks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20506251

 Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF have reached another deal on Greek bailout.


 
Eurozone finance ministers


 
The IMF dictators reaching an expedient "deal" to ensure that Greece remains on or below the poverty line and in continuing debt to Europe for years to come. The Greek debt crisis will never be resolved because it is the long term interests of the "Troika" to keep it that way. There is no mention of the effect that this continuation of "austerity" will have on the people of Greece now and in the future. Again, it is the ordinary people who pay the price for the failure and incompetence of previous Greek governments, and the never ending political and economic ambition of European domination from the IMF and Eurozone.

Who runs Weymouth and Portland Borough Council?

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/localnews/10071171.Council_plan_to_demolish_Pavilion_and_sell_North_Quay_offices/


 Council plan to demolish Pavilion and sell North Quay offices




The civic offices at North Quay.


Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, is considering demolishing the Pavilion and selling the council offices on North Quay in a bid to save money.The council is also considering selling off other council assets including seafront hotels and reducing the number of councillors as it struggles will cuts which means it will be spending £3.9 million less each year by 2019/20.



It seems to me that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is, along with some other councils, run by and for the benefit of, its officers and departmental directors. Unelected and un accountable, these faceless shadows create "policy" and projects suited to only to themselves and their over inflated perception of their own importance. The elected members are relegated to the function of "nodding through" the officers recommendations on Green, Yellow, Red or White papers, (or whatever colours are used in Weymouth) and adjourning to the members bar for a few nibbles and a gin and tonic.The position of Councillor and membership of "the Club", has become more important than representing the interests and views of their electorate. That in itself, is another reason why fewer and fewer people vote at local elections. These days, there is no such thing as politics in local government. The "Yes Minister" satire of faceless civil servants running the show, is alive and well living in Town Halls and the elected members are allowing them to get away with it. In this respect Weymouth and Portland Council is little different than many others. 








Censorship at the Huffington Post?

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/25/tony-blair-the-uk-cant-af_n_2188328.html?ir=UK+Politics#postComment



Tony Blair will warn this week that Britain's future prosperity relies on the country remaining a committed member of a strong European Union.




Huffington Post
Tony Blair

















 Why the Huffington Post should choose to delete or otherwise not publish my comment to this article, is a mystery known only to the back room, anonymous editors and censors of the Huff Post. In comparison to some of the other remarks on this page, mine is no worse than others in its criticism of Blair, and reflects, in my view, "fair comment on a matter of public interest". The reader is invited to make their own judgement at:

http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/blairs-personal-agenda-remais-as-it.html

(Also available on Facebook, Twitter and New Agenda)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A "crackdown" or a gesture?


 http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/25/treasury-british-tax-havens-crackdown


 Treasury to crack down on UK's offshore tax havens




Gate Number 3



Will this "crackdown" apply to Mr and Mrs Smith with their £200 in Barclays Isle of Man, or is it for the large corporations with their millions in the Cayman Islands and other off shore accounts? 
History tells us that the HMRC will always go after the soft, easiest option.

Blair's personal agenda remains as it always has been.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/24/tony-blair-uk-eu-membership


  Blair still seeks prominent role in European politics.






Tony Blair



 Blair has always wanted to be the first president of a "United States of Europe". His personal ambitions and arrogant conceit, destroyed the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, took this country in to (at least) one illegal war, betrayed colleagues and friends in government and party and has shown bias towards Israel in his dealings as "Middle East Peace Envoy". His credibility lies in tatters and he now offers advice (or as he would prefer, instructions) to the people of this country on membership of and its relationship with,the European Union. Blair's "advice", as with his perception of history, should be treated as self serving rhetoric, designed to promote Blair and his egotistical vision of his desired role on the world stage. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Israel "defending" itself.

 http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/most-killed-gaza-deserved-it-even-though-they-were-children-and-civilians-says?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=cbeb02754a-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

 “Most” killed in Gaza “deserved it” even though they were children and civilians, says Israel’s Danny Ayalon




A Palestinian medic carries the body of Abdel Rahman Majdi Naim, 2, who was killed in an Israeli strike on a building housing media offices in Gaza City on 21 November 2012.

 
 The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, says what many Israeli's believe, which demonstrates why there can never be a resolution of this problem. His comments should be condemned by the United States and the United Kingdom in the strongest possible fashion, and he should immediately be sacked from his post in the Israeli government. He should also be arrested and charged with incitement to murder. Of course, none of this will happen because the myth that Israel is "the victim" is ingrained in the mind set of Washington and London and is sustained by the well worn fabrication that Israel is defending itself when each new barbarity and aggression is inflicted upon the people of Gaza and Palestinians generally in the occupied territories. This attitude, shown by Ayalon and so prevalent in Israeli society, ensures that the "peace process" and the "two state solution"are now completely dead, not that either was really a viable proposal as far as the government in Tel Aviv was concerned.
When the opinion of the Israeli government is expressed in such vile terms and the United States and  British governments endorse it, there can be little surprise when ordinary people in other countries express revulsion and abhorrence of Israel and all it evils.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Not in my name !

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/israel-demands-our-support-because-it-fights-its-war-against-terrorists-in-our-name-8335857.html


 Israel claims to hold the same values as the supposedly moral West. It says that it is fighting “terrorism” in our name as well as its own.


Pillar of Defence


Pillar of Defence













Israel does not fight its war in my name. It may be a generalisation, because I am sure that there are some Israeli's who are equally appalled by their governments actions as are many of the rest of us, but judging from the Israeli media and comments in the Jerusalem Post for example, it is clear to me that Israel is a nation of hysterical Palestinian hating bigots wallowing in self pity and constantly playing the "we are the victims" and the "holocaust" cards. Israel constantly relies on its relationship with the United States, emphasised over the past few days by Obama and Clinton, to carry out its heinous aggression against Palestine, thinly disguised under the label of "acting in self defence". These atrocities have been going on, since the days of the British mandate in Palestine and have, since 1948 been supported unconditionally by the United States both publicly and at the United Nations Security Council. Israel is not fighting a war against terrorists. It is doing what it has been doing since 1948. Israel is fighting a war of expansion, annexation and displacement of the existing populations. Israel has no interest in the "peace process" or in a "two state solution" and has lost what little legitimacy or sympathy it may once have had. Successive Israeli governments, this current one and no doubt the one to be elected in January 2013,  demonstrate vividly everything that is evil and gross in a nation conceived in terror and perpetuated by lies and duplicity. There are many in the world, including it seems the British government, who accept the fantasy of insidious Israeli rhetoric, and fall in behind American backing for this nefarious nation. The Israeli war of aggression is not in my name and no matter what my government may say or do, it never will be.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Gaza hospital runs out of medicines

Gihttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/overwhelmed-palestinian-doctors-run-out-of-lifesaving-medicines-8327307.htmllad


Pandemonium in Gaza City hospital as survivors are pulled from rubble


Chaos in Gaza hospital as doctors run out of medicines

  
The Israeli assault on Gaza is not about self defence, it is not about Hamas and its rockets, it is not even about achieving peace. This Israeli aggression against Gaza is about ethnic cleansing and the systematic killing of Palestinians.An Israeli politician has already admitted that the objective should be to "drive the Palestinians out of Gaza and into the Sinai dessert" and today Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, "We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza,". The Israeli press of course agrees with him, and in a speech shown numerous times across the worlds media Obama repeats the lie that the present conflict is a result of Hamas firing rockets, and promises unconditional support to Israel. The state terrorism of Israel encouraged by Obama and the United States.

Car-free plan for Weymouth seafront



http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/10054446.Weymouth_Esplanade_may_shut_in_summertime_car_free_plan_for_seafront/?ref=mr


Weymouth Esplanade may shut in summertime



Weymouth Esplanade.



  Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset County Council, preparing to shoot themselves in the foot again. After their collective self inflicted wounds of 2012, it is surprising to think that they have any toes left to aim at.

Fueling the flames

A demonstration in Tel Aviv.







 Watch this video. The man giving the speech through the loud speaker, is Michael Ben Ari, an Israeli Knesset member. A demonstration against something is one thing, but the hatred shown in the actions and the chants of these demonstrators is something evil and despicable. In any other country they would be arrested for racial hatred and incitement, but in Israel, it seems that hatred of Palestinians and people in Gaza, is accepted as the norm. Many people in Israel wonder why they are, at the same time feared and despised. Many Americans support and defend the sentiments shown by these evil bigots and then wonder why the United States is criticised as hypocritical and loathed by many for their unconditional support, both political and financial for a regime which occupies territories in Palestine, enforces a blockade of Gaza and its population of around 1.7 million people crammed into an area of around 140 square miles, and then regularly kills hundreds of the population with indiscriminate air strikes and ground incursions. It cannot be that all Israeli's share the hatred for Palestinians as shown by these demonstrators, yet this is the sentiment, to a greater or lesser degree, that is seen every day on the television media and reported in the press. The almost unbelievable factor here, is that due to the relentless propaganda of the western press and our own government, coupled with the unconditional support shown in many Obama speeches, particularly the one yesterday (Sunday 18th November 2012) many people actually accept the Israeli "we are only defending ourselves" nonsense. If Israeli's have a right of self defence, then the Palestinians have the same right. However, the Palestinians do not have the same weaponry.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Immoral and deeply socially divisive.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/17/benefit-cap-immoral-sarah-teather

 
The government's flagship plan to impose a £500-a-week cap on benefits paid to families has been denounced as immoral and deeply socially divisive in a savage attack by the former coalition minister for children and families.



 
Sarah Teather MP

 Has Sarah Teather actually "seen the light"? Her comments certainly do not concur with what she said on "Question Time" some months ago. Either it is sour grapes, or she was telling porkies when she was in cabinet.
Perhaps she actually believes now what many of us have been arguing for months and she will now join the opposition to this socially decisive and politically bankrupt apology of a government.




A spokesman for Iain Duncan Smith , the work and pensions minister, said: "The criticisms Sarah Teather is leveling against the government's welfare reforms are hugely misinformed"
Well, he would say that wouldn't he.








Saturday, 17 November 2012

Peers are calling for the inquiry into Waterhouse's work to be withdrawn or amended.



http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2012/11/14/peers-want-probe-into-child-abuse-inquiry-dropped



McAlpine aftermath: Peers demand child abuse investigation is dropped



The House of Lords





This is outrageous. How many of these dinosaurs have something to hide? If they get away with this they can get away with anything. If ever there was one single justification for dismantling the House of Lords, this would be it. To perpetuate the abuse and scandal of the cover up, by abuse of privilege and political position is an insult to the victims and to the people.

Due to a lack of interest, the idea of police commissioner elections should be abandoned.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dismal-turnout--but-prescotts-rival-still-gets-enough-votes-to-beat-him-8324062.html



  The outcome will raise serious doubts over the democratic legitimacy of the victors.



voters stay at home in Police Commissioner election



 A discredited "Flagship" policy lays in ruins having been rejected by voters. In some places the number of people voting was zero! Overall the turnout was around 15%, the lowest national turnout ever. The new appointees have no mandate and the public has no confidence. The whole "election" should be declared void and the "Flagship" policy abandoned.

'Come Dine With Me' Jersey Style

 http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_jerseynews/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=502427

The week of competitive dining featured some ruined food, shameless self promotion, raucous fun, and some truth telling round the table.


The contestants: Jane-Anne Collier, Jess Stanier, Craig Dempster and Kevin Pamplin
The contestants: Jane-Anne Collier, Jess Stanier, Craig Dempster and Kevin Pamplin





Watched this programme last night. It seemed to follow the usual format of the 1week to a 1 hour view, as other Come Dine With Me programmes from around the country. I am still pondering a question which comes to mind each time that there is nothing else on TV for that hour and we watch a "Come Dine With Me". Are these people/contestants hamming it up for the sake of the camera, or are they  really as crass, ignorant and cheap as they come across? (The commentator/presenter is actually very good with his wit and asides, and makes the "show" watchable).  

Friday, 16 November 2012

Israel playing the "We are the victims" card.

More than 130 Israeli airstrikes against Gaza  over the past 24 hours, and another Israeli politician tries to convince everyone that they are defending themselves.

 

  Tzipi Livni has just been giving an interview on Sky News. (Friday 16th November) I am  very fed up with Israeli politicians and “spokes persons” for numerous groups either in Israel or in other countries, who constantly try to convince the rest of us that Israel is always the victim of aggression. 
 
Tzipi Livni
 Additionally, she has been repeating parrot fashion, the Israeli, American and now it seems the British, hypocritical nonsense that everyone who agrees with them are the “good guys” and everyone else is a terrorist. The hysterical gibberish pouring out of Tel Aviv, Washington and London, demonstrates a determination to perpetuate a “guilty conscience” mentality within others, in respect events in Europe during the 1930's and 1940's, designed to ensure that Israel can do no wrong. 

Gaza air raids
 All this against a background of continuing Israeli aggression against Gaza and the Palestinian people with more than 130 air strikes against Gaza in the last 24 hours, troops, tanks and armoured personnel carriers massed near the southern border, and the killing of 19 Palestinians, including six children and a pregnant woman. Israel has been carrying out atrocities against Palestinians even before the state of Israel was declared in May 1948. The world should not forget Deir Yassin, or any of the hundreds of other villages ethnically cleansed by Irgun, Hagganah and the rest.
Israel is and always has been the aggressor and the Palestinians are the real victim

Police commissioner elections turnout heads for record low


 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/nov/15/police-crime-commissioners-election-turnout#start-of-comments

 Polling stations report as few as 5% coming to cast their votes




Fears of record low turnout for first Police Commissioner elections


 This whole "election" should be declared null and void, the concept completely abandoned  and consigned to the dustbin of history. The government, certain parts of the media and Mail readers would have hysterical fits of outrage if an industrial action decision was passed by a union or unions on such a low vote. (I can almost hear the screams of "Well that's different". In this country hypocrisy rules.)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.




Among those killed in the Israeli air strikes in the last two days was the 11-month-old son of a BBC Arabic Service cameraman in Gaza City.


air raids on Gaza



 BBC News and SKY News placing great emphasis on the three Israeli's being killed by rockets fired by "militants" from Gaza. Live interviews with Israeli government spokespersons, neighbours, police and emergency services at the scene, are filling the lead news slots and the reporters seem almost as hysterical as the people being interviewed.  There has been little, if any, mention of the eleven Palestinians including at least two children,  killed by Israeli airstrikes in the last 24 hours. No mention of the bombing of civilians and their homes and infrastructure in Gaza City.  So much for the balanced reporting of the British media who are resorting to type and perpetuating the Israeli/United States inspired myth that Israel is always the victim. Message to Tel Aviv and Netanyahu. Forget the peace process, you have never been interested in it anyway. Forget the two state solution to which you have only paid lip service while frantically building your illegal settlements. The only way forward now in a one state solution. That one state is called Palestine.

Ex cons snouts back in the trough.

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/only-in-the-lords-the-expenses-cheats-who-just-carry-on-working-8316284.html


The only workplace in the United Kingdom where someone can be caught making fraudulent expenses claims, be convicted, go to prison, then return, to carry on claiming as if nothing had happened.




House of Lords


Exchanging the porridge and mailbag sewing for the bottomless trough of taxpayers money. The snouts of these convicted criminals, and the ones who got away with it and avoided a prison sentence, go back to claiming extortionate amounts of expenses as if nothing had happened. In the world of shameless greed, these freeloaders have no equals.