David Cameron slammed for ‘swanning around’ in £42m luxury jet as Tories prepare to slash sickness benefits

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https://leftfootforward.org/2024/04/david-cameron-slammed-for-swanning-around-in-42m-luxury-jet-as-tories-prepare-to-slash-sickness-benefits/. Many articles from LeftFootForward today.

The foreign secretary travelled on the hired Embraer Lineage 1000 for a five-day visit to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia last week

The Tories have been slammed for their rank hypocrisy, after former Prime Minister David Cameron hired a £42 million private jet to travel around Asia, costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, while the government prepare to slash benefits for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

The foreign secretary travelled on the hired Embraer Lineage 1000 for a five-day visit to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia last week, the Mirror reported.

The shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, posted on X: “I get that David Cameron may need to charter a plane when travelling to multiple countries in one week, but that does not justify spending hundreds of thousands of pounds at taxpayers’ expense to hire one of the most luxurious private jets on the market.”

The taxpayer is footing the bill for the private jet at the same time as the Tories cut benefit payments for those with disabilities and physical and mental health conditions.


Continue ReadingDavid Cameron slammed for ‘swanning around’ in £42m luxury jet as Tories prepare to slash sickness benefits


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A World Central Kitchen vehicle hit by an Israeli drone in Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy via Alamy)

New court documents reveal that ministers David Cameron and Kemi Badenoch authorised UK arms sales to Israel right after an airstrike killed three British charity workers in Gaza.

On 1 April, Israeli forces launched a series of airstrikes on a convoy of aid workers in Gaza, killing three Britons, a Polish national, a Palestinian, an American-Canadian dual citizen, and an Australian.

The Israeli Air Force carried out the bombing with a Hermes 450 drone. According to Campaign Against the Arms Trade, this drone may be powered by a R902(W) Wankel engine produced in Britain by UAV Engines Limited (UEL).

New court documents show that the UK government decided to continue arms exports to Israel on 8 April, one week after the strike on the aid workers who were employed by the charity World Central Kitchen (WCK).

The revelation will put additional pressure on the Foreign Office to justify its decision not to suspend arms sales to Israel.

‘Killed with British weapons’

Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq challenged the UK government today in court over arms sales to Israel.

Documents provided to the court show that the UK government has conducted five legal assessments of the situation in Gaza since 18 December.

One of those assessments, which covered the period 18 December to 29 February, was delivered to UK foreign secretary David Cameron on 28 March.

On 3 April, two days after the Israeli airstrike on the aid workers, Cameron used this assessment to recommend that the UK continue arms sales to Israel. 

Five days later, UK trade secretary Kemi Badenoch authorised the continuation of extant licences and new licences to Israel, according to GLAN’s press statement.



Iran’s attacks against Israel has the West scrambling for a narrative

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Original article by people’s dispatch republished under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

David Cameron stumbles while defending Israel on Sky News

The West jumps through rhetorical hoops to defend Israel and condemn Iran after Iranians respond to attack on diplomatic premises in Syria

It is difficult to dispute the major escalation that Israel undertook on April 1 when it bombed the Iranian embassy in Damascus, assassinating a top Iranian Commander. This was a major escalation that the West—namely, the US, UK, and France—failed to condemn during an April 2 UN Security Council meeting.

On April 13, after multiple warnings, Iran retaliated—becoming the first country to directly attack Israel in 33 years—launching “extensive” missiles and drone strikes at military targets within historic Palestine. 

The attack did not result in any casualties. No hospital attacks, no mass graves, no thousands of women and children dead. Iran showed no intention of creating a mass casualty event, and predictably, many of the dozens of Iranian missiles were intercepted. 

Although to some, this is a sign of Iranian weakness, not restraint. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes, Iran’s attack “showed the whole world that Israel and its Western allies have far superior anti-missile capabilities than Iran has missile capabilities.” Friedman also claims that Iran revealed “that President Biden was able to predict almost the exact hour of attack over a day in advance,” citing that fact that Biden warned Iran not to attack the day prior. Friedman does not take into account that Iranian officials had been openly stating their intention to retaliate against the Zionist state since the embassy attack in Damascus. 

This is a point of view seemingly shared by Biden, who said shortly after the attack that “Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks—sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.” It is unclear how the attacks were unprecedented, however, given that following the embassy attack, Iran’s Ambassador to Damascus Hossein Akbari, whose residence was bombed in the strike, said, “We will give a decisive response to this action.” 

It is international relations common sense that the bombing of an embassy is a major escalation. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, following Iran’s striking of Israel, that “the principle of inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law, as I stated when condemning the 1 April attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.”

David Cameron, British Foreign Secretary, went on Sky News to denounce the Iranian attack on Israel, but was thrown off guard when a journalist asked, “What would Britain do if a hostile nation flattened one of our consulates?”

Cameron stuttered through his response, “Well, we would take very strong action.”

Israel has been attacking both Iran and Iranian targets for years. On January 20, Israel killed five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Damascus. At the time, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian claimed that, “although the Zionist enemy has destroyed Gaza on a large scale and martyred tens of thousands of people, it has not achieved any of its goals, so it is trying to make up for its defeat by resorting to blind terrorism.” 

In February of last year, Iran accused Israel of attacking a military workshop complex in Isfahan. Iranian oil tankers carrying oil to Lebanon through Syria were attacked late on November 8. According to IRIB, Iran’s state news source, the attacks were carried out using “Israeli drones.” Israel has openly boasted about committing covert operations against Iran, including the assassination of a nuclear scientist in 2020.

Biden reiterated the US’s “ironclad” support for Israel, promising a Group of Seven (G7) diplomatic response. However, following a similar pattern of recent Biden administration responses to Israeli aggression, a Biden official leaked to Axios that the president privately warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not support a counterattack against Iran. Biden has several times expressed private frustrations with Netanyahu as the genocide against Gaza continues to unfold, but continues to send massive weapons shipments to Israel and provide unconditional support in public.

Israel’s war cabinet is now meeting to discuss potential responses. According to a source communicating with NBC News, an Israeli counterattack could be imminent

Original article by people’s dispatch republished under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingIran’s attacks against Israel has the West scrambling for a narrative

Calls mount for ethics probe into David Cameron over Israel arms sales

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People take part in a pro-Palestine protest, organised by London for a Free Palestine, outside the Department of Business and Trade in Old Admiralty Building, central London, March 28, 2024

AS THE death toll in Gaza tops 33,000, calls are mounting for an ethics probe into whether Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron and Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch are violating the ministerial code over Britain’s arms sales to Israel.

MPs have faced increasing calls to stop arms sales after three British aid workers were killed in an attack by Israeli forces on Monday.

Campaign Against Arms Trade says the engine of the drone used in the attack was produced in Britain by UAV Engines.

More than 600 lawyers signed a letter warning Britain to suspend the sales, or risk committing serious violations of international humanitarian law.

It added that nationals responsible for aiding and abetting international crimes are liable for prosecution.

In January, documents filed in High Court showed that Lord Cameron recommended British arms sales to Israel despite “serious concerns” in the Foreign Office that it had breached international law.

The document was filed in defence to a challenge by Global Action Network and Palestinian rights group Al-Haq, which said Britain had a “legal and moral obligation” to not grant the exports.


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‘Heartbreaking’: Shocking decline in public satisfaction with NHS under Tories

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‘The NHS isn’t failing, it’s being failed. What an appalling act of state vandalism’

Public satisfaction with the NHS is at its lowest ever level, plunging for the first time in the 41-year history of the survey to show less than a quarter of people are satisfied with the way the health service is currently running. 

Compared to 2010 when 70% of the public were satisfied with the NHS, the latest survey findings lay bare what 14 years of a Tory government stripping funds and resources from the NHS has had. 

Campaign group Keep Our NHS Public has called it “an appalling act of state vandalism” commenting that the NHS “isn’t failing, it’s being failed”. 

NHS workers have expressed heartbreak over the shocking decline in public satisfaction for the service under the Tories while unions have called for immediate action to address the staffing crisis.

One palliative care doctor wrote on X: “14 years of Tory government understaffing, underfunding & private sector outsourcing have trashed the NHS into a travesty of the service we want to give you.

“It is heartbreaking and so disgustingly wrong.”


Continue Reading‘Heartbreaking’: Shocking decline in public satisfaction with NHS under Tories