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Friday, 30 December 2016

May's comments designed to curry favour with the incoming Trump administration.


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/29/theresa-may-john-kerry-comments-israel-palestine-un-resolution

Theresa May has distanced the UK from Washington over John Kerry’s condemnation of Israel.



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I am not a fan of John Kerry, or of any American administration or "Secretary" which over the years, has given unqualified support and diplomatic protection to the state of Israel. However, after the United States refused to exercise its veto on the question of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine, and Kerry's subsequent speech defending the Obama administration’s decision to allow the UN Security Council to declare Israeli settlements illegal, I was inclined to believe that America was now moving towards accepting that the building of settlements is a major obstacle to peace in the region and the creation of a "Two State" solution.



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                       Kerry condemns growth of Israeli settlements

The huffing and puffing of outrage, pique, table thumping and indignation of Natanyahu that he has been "betrayed" by the United States, coupled with the severing of diplomatic ties with other countries and cutting aid, cannot hide a simple reality. 




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The building of settlements on Palestinian lands occupied by Israel after the 1967 war, has for many years been condemned by the "International Community" and the United Nations as being illegal, but Israel has been supported in its defiance of international opinion by successive American administrations. That now seems to have changed, at least until President Trump's position is clarified after his inauguration in January.
It is therefore incredulous, that the United Kingdom government, certainly in the form of Prime Minister Theresa May, with comments that appear to be designed to build bridges with the incoming Trump administration and to again appease Prime Minister Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, is intent on maintaining "good relations" with Israel, regardless of the prospects for the "Peace Process".
May is placing this country in the position of supporting Israel on the question of settlements in occupied territories and joining Tel Aviv in becoming even more isolated in international and UK public opinion.
Or perhaps more likely, May is indulging in a cynical and duplicitous exercise to curry favour with the incoming United States President and demonstrate that the United Kingdom remains committed to the "Special Relationship" and is eager to continue the role of puppet and do what ever the incumbent of the Oval Office may command.
Prime Minister Theresa May and her conservative government do not govern in my name.





Monday, 26 December 2016

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 25 December 2016




Good morning everyone and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.


As promised (or threatened last week), I am "slipping in a quicky" on Boxing day, to mention just a couple of events which have occurred over the festive week.


More names on the 2016 listing of "names" who have passed away this year.(And there are still 5 days of the yer remaining!)


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Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member (with Andrew Ridgeley) of the music duo Wham!
George Michael R I P




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Richard John Parfitt, OBE (12 October 1948 – 24 December 2016) was an English musician, best known for being a singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist in the rock band Status Quo. R I P
The Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died at the age of 68 after suffering from a severe infection.



Meanwhile back in Jersey.

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Sad to read that some of the exhibits from the former Shell Garden attraction have been damaged.
I first visited the Shell Garden back in the late 1970's and over the years became friendly with Jon, who ran the attraction, and his wife Sandi with whom we spent many evenings enjoying a meal in one of the St. Aubin restaurants. Sadly Jon became quite ill over recent years which I assume contributed to the eventual closure of the Garden.
The items "rescued" from the garden by James Bissell-Thomas were quite stunning and hopefully the damage caused will not be too severe.


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The United States of America, has officially elected its new President. Following Nixon, Bush and now Trump history again repeats itself, and America has elected the Evil of Two Lessors.
May God help us all.




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Between April and September 2016, Trussell Trust Food banks alone distributed 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 506,369 during the same period last year. 188,584 of these went to children.
The total number of people who are now reliant on Food bank charities now stands at over 1.2 million and the figure rises each month.
 You may read the whole story at:
http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/the-food-bank-scandal-grows-even-worse.html 



Over the Christmas period the weather was mild. In fact Christmas Day was the warmest on record!
Where is all the predicted snow?

Have a great week and enjoy what remains of 2016

United States abstains on settlements vote.



Israel rejects 'shameful' UN resolution 

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In a fit of furious outrage and pique, Benjamin Netanyahu throws his toys from the pram and immediately recalls Israel’s ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal in addition to stopping all current aid to Senegal. 


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Settlement in Jerusalem

The building of settlements on Palestinian lands occupied by Israel after the 1967 war, has for many years been condemned by the "International Community" and the United Nations as being illegal, but Israel has been supported in its defiance of international opinion by successive American administrations.


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United States abstains

Now with no veto from the United States, Netanyahu is absolutely furious today. For probably the first time, the USA has (even if by default) been critical of Israel.They should have gone the extra mile and voted in favour of the resolution, that would have caused even greater outrage in Tel Aviv. The question is what will the UN now do to enforce the decision? The resolution has been passed under Chapter 7 and other countries have been invaded for "defiance of UN resolutions".



Thursday, 22 December 2016

Corbyn critic becomes Head of Development and Community Relations with Sellafield Ltd

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/21/corbyn-critic-jamie-reed-quits-labour-mp-byelection-copeland



Corbyn critic quits as Labour MP, triggering tight by election race

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Jamie Reed
A labour MP leaves the party to take up a lucrative position as Head of Development and Community Relations with Sellafield Ltd, a private limited company owned by HM Government, a position which pays, "not that much more than" his £74,962 MP’s salary. A Labour MP who publicly resigned from the shadow cabinet in June This is the same Labour MP who, when calling for Jeremy Corbyn's resignation said, “In the short time you have been Leader, along with the shadow Chancellor, you have sought to inject an unprecedented poison into our party,” adding, “You have actively worked to divide Labour MPs from the Labour Party membership…you have repeatedly incited you supporters on social media to confront Labour MPs; without doubt you are not fit to lead our great party.” 
Jamie Reed, who has been Labour Member of Parliament for Copeland since 2005, has never been known for his support of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party leadership and during the Trident Nuclear deterrent renewal debate described Corbyn as "reckless, juvenile and narcissistic".
The general tone of his resignation letter however, is not particularly compatible with the views publicly expressed be Reed, certainly since Corbyn was elected to the leadership of the party in September of 2015. However, with one or two notable exceptions, Reed's resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn, follows the normal conventions in thanking everyone for their help and encouragement, heaping praise on a few sections adding, "I wish you every success in your endeavours to become our next Prime Minister." and "I hope that the next Labour government will help to deliver this".
Reed's resignation creates the necessity for a by election in this marginal seat sometime early in the New Year. Both Labour and Conservative lost ground to UKIP at the last election and now with the result from the referendum, the Labour party will face a problematic campaign in a Constituency which is known to have a pro Brexit persuasion.
Will Reed be missed by the party generally?
Probably not.




The Food bank scandal grows even worse.


519,342 three day emergency food supplies distributed in just 6 months.




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On December 22nd 2012. I wrote under the heading, "In 2013 Food banks will feed more than 200,000 people in the UK". (http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/in-2013-foodbanks-will-feed-more-than.html)
Today, it is the 22nd December 2016 and there have been a few changes over the years since then.
Between April and September 2016, Trussell Trust Food banks alone distributed 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 506,369 during the same period last year. 188,584 of these went to children.
The total number of people who are now reliant on Food bank charities now stands at over 1.2 million and the figure rises each month.
This is what I wrote in 2012.

"This is 2012 soon to become 2013 and Food banks have doubled in number over the past 12 months. In 2013 foodbanks will feed more than 200,000 people across the country, double the number of 2012, and the expectation is that this number will grow. It is a situation about which we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about. Some people will no doubt have such emotions, but sadly there are many others who will not. Watch the video and remember that we have been told that "we are all in this together". as usual, there are those who are more "in it" than others. As we lift our glasses across the table full of Christmas dinner with heat rising from the turkey, roast potato's gravy and all the other goodies on our plates, we might consider that there are those who are unable even to qualify for assistance from the foodbanks. It is a sad but true fact that even the Trussell Trust, and all the similar organisations now springing up around Britain, do not have sufficient resources or volunteers to cope with the an ever increasing problem and therefore have to be selective when helping those in need. Many people will spend the next two weeks, as they have spent the past year or even years, on the streets of towns and cities in this country. A country which once boasted having "an empire upon which the sun never sets" and a collective wealth envied by nations around the world in the 19th Century is now, in the 21st Century, reduced to witnessing ordinary people, many of whom actually employed, queuing for food charity. This video report is a damning indictment of the present state of British society, which has been brought about by the failure of government policies over previous decades, and now compounded by the ConDem coalition's "austerity measures" imposed by bankers and the IMF/Eurozone dictats. As I said previously, we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about."

The words are as true today as they were 3 years ago. Only the figures have been amended to reflect the scandalous increase in the number of people, families and children who rely on Food bank charities to provide food for their tables. This disgraceful situation has grown alarmingly over the years and continues to grow at a rate which no civilised nation should accept. We must work together to reduce and bring an end to this stain on our society which is now at unacceptable levels and can only get worse with this governments continued drive towards cuts, sanctions and attacks upon living standards across the country.

Austerity is not an economic necessity. Austerity is a political choice and the price is being paid by those least able to afford it.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The arrogance of the Prime Minister placing herself above Parliament again.

Theresa May suggests MPs will be denied a vote on the final Brexit deal

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Theresa May again shows arrogance and contempt for Parliament, by suggesting that MPs will be denied a vote on the final Brexit deal instead stating that "MPs would be able to influence Britain’s new relationship with the EU with the passing of the so-called ‘Great Repeal Bill’, by 2019".
Whichever side of the European Union debate you happen to be on, Brexit or Remain, the fact remains that this government, particularly the current Prime Minister and her "government by executive powers" philosophy are destroying Parliamentary democracy in this country and replacing it with an almost dictatorial administration with power concentrated in a sinister and unaccountable cabal within Downing Street.
The examples of "the Executive" undermining and by passing Parliament are becoming the norm and are a threat to democracy in this country.


Monday, 19 December 2016

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 18 December 2016



Good morning everyone.


More name to add to the list of "celebrity" obituaries during 2016.


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Ian McCaskill (born John Robertson McCaskill; 28 July 1938 – 10 December 2016) was a BBC weatherman.



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Zsa Zsa Gabor (February 6, 1917 – December 18, 2016) was a Hungarian-American actress and socialite. Quote: I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.


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Michael Nicholson OBE (9 January 1937 – 11 December 2016) was an English journalist and former ITN Senior Foreign Correspondent.


I noticed an article in a BBC News magazine, asking the question "Have more famous people died in 2016?" It seems that it is not only me seeing something strange about this year.



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Strictly Come Dancing has gone for another year! Ore Oduba (who?) and his dance partner Joanne Clifton (again, who?) won the "Glitter ball" trophy, and ended the evening with the usual tearful and emotional speeches. Saturday evenings will not be the same until Strictly returns next year. Even longer for Len Goodman of course who has now retired from the show for good. Smart move Len.
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In another show which will not be seen again until next year, Andy Murray has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time.




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With more tearful and emotional speeches the sports "celebs" paraded in front of the camera's to collect their respective trophies for their place in the bookcase. Sport and award shows combined. Not a dry eye in the house.




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Weymouth "lights"
There is a debate brewing as to whether Weymouth should appoint a "Town Centre Manager".
Weymouth certainly need something.
This years "Christmas Lights" for example, seems to be nothing more than a few coloured but predominately off white light bulbs, randomly draped across the pedestrian streets with very little though for the overall effect.The final result is a rather drab featureless display which does nothing for the town or for the visitors and residents.
The town would probably benefit from an "El Supremo" type figure to pull all the threads together (rather than having an interminable amount of committees, working groups and "meetings") and get things done, not only at Christmas but through out the rest of the year too.

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Dr Michael Vincent
Meanwhile, back in Jersey it seems that mobile phone providers are much the same on the island as they are on the mainland.
Jersey Dr Michael Vincent, received his mobile phone bill for a staggering £32,000! (It should have been £320). A spokesman for Jersey Telecom said: ‘We would like to apologise to Dr Vincent and thank him for doing exactly the right thing, which is to contact JT straight away to highlight this clear mistake on a bill reminder letter, which we corrected immediately". Which is of course all very well until he receives Final demand letter and the threat of the heavy mob coming round to collect.


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As next Sunday will be Christmas Day, today’s circular for New Agenda on Sunday will be the last one for 2016 (unless I can "slip in a quicky"on Boxing Day), so thank you for reading this weekly view of the world and for the comments some of you have sent over the past 12 months, all of which are greatly appreciated.
May I wish you, your family and friends a really Merry Christmas and a Happy festive season and all best wishes for the coming year.

John.

PS. There is still no sign of snow. In fact it is getting warmer and the forecasters are predicting heavy rain and high winds over the Christmas period. (Nothing to do with the Brussels sprouts either, I understand). You could not make this up.







Sunday, 18 December 2016

Gerald Coyne accuses the Unite general secretary of meddling too much in Westminster politics,







Unite leadership challenger Gerard Coyne says Len McCluskey has put Labour infighting above members’ needs




Image result for len mccluskey Gerard Coyne Unite regional secretary
Gerald Coyne

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Len McCluskey












Gerald Coyne, another of the Quasi intellectuals so much in favour with the Guardian and other "centrist" media who will grasp at any opportunity, now matter how small or how unclear such opportunity may be, in their incessant campaign to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership of the Labour party. In his bid to replace Len McCluskey as General Secretary of "Unite", Coyne accuses the Unite general secretary of meddling too much in Westminster politics, a comment which in itself is reason enough for members to re elect McCluskey for another term. Had the TUC generally and other specific Trade Union leaders in particular, spent more time over the last 18 months "meddling" in Westminster politics, then the Labour party may have been spared the trauma of the second leadership election and the internecine warfare which still simmers in the back rooms of the Commons and in the proprietors editorial offices in many sections of the media.




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Coyne argues that Unite together with presumably other Unions, are "neglecting the crucial issues facing working people". Where in fact, it is Coyne and others of his persuasion, who are "neglecting" the issues facing working people and thereby their own members with their obsession to remove Corbyn. It will come as no surprise to many, that Coyne has the support of "Labour First" the splinter group with the avowed intention of replacing the current Labour party leadership with one more in tune with their own political position, and a number of Labour members of the Parliamentary Party, who have been openly hostile to Corbyn and to Len McCluskey for his continued support for the party leadership. This overriding objective of changing the leader, does not sit well with the notion of "neglecting the crucial issues facing working people".
The essential truth is that the Labour party in Westminster was founded by the Trade Union Movement with the objective to "to establish a voice for working people within parliament" .
It is therefore crucial that Unions generally do "meddle" in Westminster politics, to address and campaign on "the crucial issues facing working people", for that is the role for which the Labour party was created and the role upon which all Labour party MP's should be directing their energies, rather than on the self indulgent distraction of the leadership question.




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These are some of the reasons why I shall be casting my vote for Len McCluskey in the ballot taking place in March/April next year and urge other brothers and sisters to support McCluskey also.
We must not allow the continuing self interests of some elements within the Union movement and the party, to detract from what our only objective must be. We must address the "crucial issues facing working people" in the workplace and in Westminster for that is the reason for the Trade Union movement and for the creation of the Labour party.




Friday, 16 December 2016

Trumpanzee !.A new one to add to the list.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/15/vladimir-putin-personally-involved-in-us-hack-report-claims

Vladimir Putin 'personally involved' in US hack, report claims

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I have been called many things over the years that I have been involved in politics, ranging from "Commie b******", through to "Corbynista" (and all stops in between). The latest label comes from the pen of a Carl Maltby, responding to a comment I made on the "story" headlined "Vladimir Putin 'personally involved' in US hack, report claims" 

(my comment: "This almost daily hysterical nonsense is becoming very silly. The western media and many politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, seem convinced that the general public is naive enough to believe this drivel. It is a sad reflection on the media and on those people peddling this absurd rubbish.").

..as opposed to the squeaky clean racist misogynistic double-digit IQ orange goblin being satisfactory in all ways? 
Get real, Trumpanzee

.
Maltby, completes his "contribution" with the comment "Get real, Trumpanzee". 
Trumpanzee! Now there is a new one which is neither particularly adroit or even accurate.

Just goes to show that Trolls can get in anywhere even onto the pages of Guardian comments.


Unfortunately the Guardian closed the article with their, "This article is now closed for comments," which prevented me from responding, which is a pity because Maltby will never now know my reaction. Unless of course he reads New Agenda at some time.