News review

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    • UK in worst recession since 1955
    • Nick Clegg sent white powder and called a “devil worshipper” by a nun
    • Insane Tony Blair calls himself insane


Never had it so bad: UK recession is the worst since Fifties

GDP figures yesterday showed the economy shrank for the third quarter in a row – down 0.7 per cent between April and June – meaning the UK is in its worst recession since 1955.

  • But as Conservative Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron insisted yesterday there was no need for a change from their austerity policy, Mr Cable demanded what he termed a “Plan A-plus” to help boost growth in the UK.Business leaders also called for a rethink, criticising the government’s lack of growth policies….


Nick Clegg Abusive Letters Calling Lib Dem Leader ‘Devil-Worshipper’


Sister Ruth Augustus pictured in 2004
Sister Ruth Augustus pictured in 2004

A nun has been found guilty of sending threatening letters containing white powder to parliamentary figures including Nick Clegg, whom she accused of being a “devil-worshipping Freemason”.

Sister Ruth Augustus, 71, was found guilty on six counts of hoaxes involving noxious substances before Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday after the jury took only two-and-a-half hours to deliver a verdict.

Augustus, of Leyton, east London, was found to have sent the letters to Clegg and three others, each with allegations scrawled on the envelopes.

On a letter sent to the Lib Dem leader, the nun wrote the phrases “devil worshipping”, “freemason”, “sex with 30 plus women” and “your poor Catholic wife and children”.

Justifying why she sent the letters to the Lib Dem leader, Augustus said he had “lied about all the tuition fees and everything else, keeping those Tory millionaires and rats in government”.

“He boasted about all the women he’s had sex with. He’s an atheist singing hymns in the Albert Hall.”

Commons committee slams Blair on FoI

Tony Blair: nutter
Tony Blair: nutter

The Commons Justice Select Committee has criticised former Prime Minister Tony Blair for failing to cooperate with its investigation into impact of Freedom of Information (FoI).

“We deplore Mr Blair’s failure to cooperate with a committee of the House,: Sir Alan Beth, the Chair of the Justice Select Committee said. “Former prime minister Tony Blair described himself as a ‘nincompoop‘ for his role in the legislation, saying that it was ‘antithetical to sensible government’. Yet when we sought to question Mr Blair on his change of opinion he refused to defend his views before us and submitted answers to our written questions only after our report was agreed, and after a press report had appeared, suggesting we might criticise his failure to give evidence.”

Mr. Blair was in office when the FoI law was brought in but since then the former Prime Minister has said it was one of the worst legislation his government brought in.  However, the Justice Select Committee in its report concluded that FoI has been a “significant enhancement of democracy” and not hindering better governance.


Continue ReadingNews review

News review

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  • Tony Blair a liability to the Labour Party
  • Ed Miliband calls Nick Clegg a Tory accomplice – also true of Tony Blair
  • Since we’re discussing Tory Blair, he was involved in this mass deception and contempt for democracy

Tony Blair’s return as prime minister would not get Britain’s backing

He has been reported as saying that experience could make him a better prime minister the next time around, but the voters beg to differ with Tony Blair. According to a Guardian/ICM poll, if Blair were to return as leader, a prospect he acknowledges is “not likely to happen“, the party’s standing would sink by three points, from the 39% vote share under Ed Miliband, down to just 36%.

Labour coalition government with Lib Dems would be difficult with Nick Clegg as leader – Ed Miliband

ED Milliband has revealed striking a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats, after the next general election, would be “difficult” if Nick Clegg is still leader.

Mr Clegg has admitted that he would be “open” to a partnership with Labour in the event of a hung parliament.

• Ed Miliband has said that a coalition deal with Lib Dems would be “difficult” with Nick Clegg as leader

• Miliband calls Lib Dem leader a Tory “accomplice”

But Mr Miliband poured cold water on the idea by suggesting Mr Clegg was an an “accomplice” of the Conservatives.

“Clegg’s biggest problem is that he will say he is a brake on the Tories, but he is an accomplice,” he said.

“He chose not to kill the Health and Social Care Bill – a really bad bill doing damage to the NHS – and to pursue House of Lords reform.”

Asked if he could work with the Liberal Democrat leader, Mr Miliband replied: “I would find it difficult to work with him.”


Penta-lawn 2000

On September 11, 2001, a bunch of mean nasty Arab terrorists — who hated our freedoms — hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 fully loaded with fuel, and crashed it through the first floor of the west side wall of the Pentagon.

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Working on a pome for Mr.Spoons

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I object to Mr.Spoons sucking up to camra and camra promoting Mr.Spoons chain of public houses. Mr.Spoons could do far more to promoting [edit: promote} local, real beer instead and camra should refrain from promoting a s**t pub chain and Mr.Spoons’s associated political agenda (I phrased that politely and the pome may engage artistic licence).

[edit: camra should realise that they can’t promote Mr.Spoons’s crap pubs without also promoting Mr. Spoon’s political agenda. He uses his pub chain to promote his polical views. camra should not be involved.}


Continue ReadingWorking on a pome for Mr.Spoons

NHS news review : ConDem scum withdraw claim that they are privatising the NHS

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Conservative election poster 2010

The UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat(Conservative) coalition government – the ConDems’ – brutal attack on the National Health Service continues.

Update: Lansley does not withdraw the 49% cap on private patients. What’s going on? Did they do a Uee? 


  • So far the New Statesman and the Financial Times have noticed that Lansley is to announce today the abolition of the cap on private work that hospitals can do. Hospitals can now exclusively treat private, paying patients.

Lansley opens the door to full-scale NHS privatisation


Update 2: Just to clarify, this piece was based on a Financial Times story, which the Department of Health has told us is incorrect. The FT has silently changed the headline, standfirst and content of its story. However, we have decided to leave this piece online, with the relevant correction.

Update: The Department of Health has been in touch to say that the cap is not being removed, rather that the planned 49% limit will be introduced from 1 October 2012.

The 49% cap on private work done by NHS trusts will be abolished.

When the government unveils a policy change on a Friday it’s a sure sign that it doesn’t want you to notice. Today, Andrew Lansley will announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS hospitals, which his bill introduced, will be abolished (so far, only the FT has noticed). In other words, the Health Secretary has just opened the door to the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, with hospitals able to raise 100% of their income from private healthcare.

Sue Slipman, the chief executive of the NHS Foundation Trust Network, describes the removal of the cap as “a really creative way of bringing more money into the health service”. What she doesn’t say is that foundation trusts, in pursuit of profit, will likely prioritise the treatment and care of private patients over NHS ones. Since the most profitable procedures are usually the simplest, those requiring more complex treatment will be pushed to the back of the queue. As Howard Catton, head policy at the Royal College of Nursing, has previously warned: “NHS patients may feel a subtle pressure to reach for the credit card.” Since all of the remaining 113 NHS trusts are required to become self-governing foundation trusts by April 2014, the removal of the cap will apply to all NHS services – hospitals, ambulances, mental health, community services and clinics.


How the Orange Bookers took over the Lib Dems

What Britain now has is a blue-orange coalition, with the little-known Orange Book forming the core of current Lib Dem political thinking. To understand how this disreputable arrangement has come about, we need to examine the philosophy laid out in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism, edited by David Laws (now the Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Paul Marshall. Particularly interesting are the contributions of the Lib Dems’ present leadership.

Published in 2004, the Orange Book marked the start of the slow decline of progressive values in the Lib Dems and the gradual abandonment of social market values. It also provided the ideological standpoint around which the party’s right wing was able to coalesce and begin their march to power in the Lib Dems. What is remarkable is the failure of former SDP and Labour elements to sound warning bells about the direction the party was taking. Former Labour ministers such as Shirley Williams and Tom McNally should be ashamed of their inaction.

Clegg and his Lib Dem supporters have much in common with David Cameron and his allies in their philosophical approach and with their social liberal solutions to society’s perceived ills. The Orange Book is predicated on an abiding belief in the free market’s ability to address issues such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government and prisons.

The Lib Dem leadership seems to sit very easily in the Tory-led coalition. This is an arranged marriage between partners of a similar background and belief. Even the Tory-Whig coalition of early 1780s, although its members were from the same class, at least had fundamental political differences. Now we see a Government made up of a single elite that has previously manifested itself as two separate political parties and which is divided more by subtle shades of opinion than any profound ideological difference.

Nick Clegg’s demand for the NHS to be broken up (2005)

Continue ReadingNHS news review : ConDem scum withdraw claim that they are privatising the NHS