Tag Archives: Ed Miliband

Conservatively valued

When I was relaxing last night, I knew that there was an issue with the UK Labour party. There has been one for the longest of times, what was not clear to me is that it went a lot further than I expected. Not only was I unaware that in all the waves of Media bias, the voters themselves had figured out a few things. Not that the voters are in need of education, because proper information tends to give voters a better view of what way not to go. No, the fact that we se (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/local-elections-tories-profit-from-ukip-collapse-amid-labour-losses), that the local pats of the Labour party have been decimated by losing over 300 seats, they are not out of the war yet. In that the General elections of June will still be a fight to consider. What seems to be the case is that on a local level, the people seem to have had enough of the Labour party. UKIP took a dive too and has now no election seats left. I am not sure how I feel about that, because it is a local thing and the people will vote for those who will achieve something for them, in that regard I cannot state that for one, how active UKIP has been, and in the second part that for the most, the charisma of Nigel Farage was the driving force of UKIP, without him active in the party, it would all be about the people of the local electorate and how they perceive their local elected youkiperino. The LibDems did OK, which was a little bit of a shock, but perhaps like in the previous elections as there was an interchangeability in electorate councils between UKIP and the LibDems, there is a chance a chunk of those people switched back. I would need the actual datasets to take a better look at that part. The quote in the article by Anushka Astana and Heather Steward is an interesting one, we see: “May’s claim that the EU was meddling in British affairs, which propelled her on to the front page of every national newspaper on Thursday morning as voters headed to the polls, was believed to have contributed to her party’s success against Ukip”, there is every bit an optional truth in that, the entire EC issues and the Europe against Britain has given Theresa May a much stronger view and an increased improved exposure and that is what the local voter are influenced by. I agree with that part, yet that would still not have been possible without Labour pooching their political game. In that Jeremy Corbyn is that larger loser, as I pointed out the day before yesterday in my previous blog. So as the UK moves forward towards next month elections, we will see levels of accusation of foul play by the Labour Party and possible UKIP too, the truth is that the people are realising that it is not one against the other, it is the UK against a non-trustworthy engine in Brussels and in addition the European Central Bank and Germany. Two sides that are trying not to get thrown of the European Gravy train. In that side, the additional usage of a German opening his mouth in, what I would classify as ‘stupidity’ with ‘Brexit: English is losing its importance in Europe, says Juncker’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/brexit-english-is-losing-its-importance-in-europe-says-juncker), where we read: “Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” Juncker said, to applause from his audience. “The French will have elections on Sunday and I would like them to understand what I am saying.” After these opening remarks in English, he switched to French for the rest of the speech”. It was bad form, even worse decorum and in that he is now desperately not be seen as a failure, which still has a 50/50 chance of getting getting painted as the ‘village idiot’ in the cold light of day this coming Monday.  The fact that a French election was super unpredictable in round one was pretty much a first in French modern history, the fact that t is not just party polarisation, it is the fact that the people have suffered a massive quality of life, whist in addition that level of loss has been frozen for over a decade is also an issue never addressed by those parties and the opposition is now screaming ‘everyone but Le Pen’ is doing so whilst he was part of a business that took the quality of life away from the French in the first place. It seems that the moment the voters remember their 10 years of hardship and see that one of the choices is a former investment banker, his goose is cooked and ready to get gobbled.

What we do know is that the English language has only increased in importance and it will do so for a long time to come, it does not matter whether the UK is in or out of the EC, the UK remains part of Europe, a trivial matter that Juncker overlooks, in equal measure, when people do business out of their own country in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, it is the English language that they hold one too, both sides feel comfortable with. The European population has not felt comfortable with the German language since WW1 and the French in all honesty elide on the elitist ambassadorial need for French, which tens to be not used in those circles either. So Juncker strikes out twice and the hostility created here is also setting the UK population in what might be seen as ‘fighting mode’, which supports conservative values lot more than many bargain for. When a person is attacked on values, that person looks towards family, the homestead, the workplace and staying strong, all conservative values (here I mean original values, not just Conservative party values) and the Tories profited by the situation.

Even as Theresa May keeps a cool head not relying on this victory for the general election, there is a truth in he fighting stand to keep Britain together. In that the Labour party with all its infighting is hurting itself with every round that some Labour person comes out with some strong statement trying to look clever. They merely seem to alienate their own member base. The fact that the Welsh side of the Labour party feels safer doing it on their own is a second sign that shows how much they bungled their own chances (not the Welsh mind you). I have seen and heard cries for Miliband, yet I am not certain how he could fit in. We could argue that anything is better than Jeremy Corbyn, yet the strength of Labour was always coming from a local side and they los that, implying that without that momentum there is no Labour to consider. I am not certain that this is true, in that France can be a driving force for the Labour message in the UK, especially is Le Pen wins. I have stated before and a few times that ‘nationalism’ is not an ugly word, we al believe in our nationalism to drive national pride in sports and products. Do you think that ‘buy Australian’ is merely an empty gesture? As the French rely on the national pride to grow its economy, Labour could do that in the next local elections and regain their own strength (be it with an essential lack of infighting). Yet, this is for the next local elections and in that, unless a miracle happens, the General elections are a wash for the Labour Party. If you doubt me, then consider that this path had proven to be a winning strategy for UKIP and it is still giving momentum to the LibDems. Too bad that the Corbyn groups did not figure this out in time. Will there be a power shift in Labour? It essentially need to be because they have nothing left to rely on, Corbyn threw that away. I cannot state that Miliband is the solution, it is weird, but I do believe that if Ed takes the lessons of his father Ralph to heart, he could swing it all over the next elections. Those who rely on the hatched job the press did two years ago need to realise that his father a Polish Jew immigrated to the UK, fought the Germans (as all British did) and as a University professor created what is now known as ‘the New Left’, Marxist in origin or not, you need to be a person of particularly strong vision to pull that off and he Labour party grew from near nothing to true strength, historical sides that were ignored, even by junior himself. I am not going into he said, she said, and the mud slinging. We know that historically both sides have been fiercely Nationalistic as only the Brits can be. That side has been lost by Labour as it tried to be more European at times, which is now a decided disadvantage, because how did the UK fare under the ECB? Not that great, or at least not to the degree they could have been and the people are seeing the realisation of that more and more, to the detriment of the Labour numbers. Even as some people are urging that Mario Draghi is easing down from his spending spree, Draghi is defiant in his need to wave the trillion-euro credit card around, leaving whatever to come next to pay for the bills. It only resolves the need for Brexit and any anti-Brexit noises we hear will impact the voting numbers, UKIP started it, the people voted on it and now France is moving on it too, yet that outcome is not a given. In all this we see the IMF calling in negativity towards the UK, whilst they have been wrong already three times. In all this we also see the influence of Greece on all this, because it will. Ekathimerini reports: “Greek bonds are investors’ last chance to take a free ride courtesy of the European Central Bank. Athens could soon be eligible for the bank’s program of bond purchases, pushing up prices just as those of other Eurozone bonds start going the other way”, they did not learn the last time, now they have to get to be this stupid again? You see, bonds are lovely for those mediating in this, the expected windfall for those mediating was roughly 50 million Euro last time, and this time? Consider that the Greeks ended up with literally nothing t show for, so why repeat such a stupid mistake, this just drives the need for Brexit and Frexit faster and stronger. That is how Greece is impacting on Europe. We can argue on how desperately the Greeks need it, yet when we know the consequence that it merely keeps the lights on for merely a month and it will take the people years to pay it off, how good an idea do you think this is? And that is when we realise that the interest levels will only rise again giving additional hardship to the Greeks, in all this that so called ‘independent’ ECB seems to be setting the stage for themselves alone. How is that European, acceptable or even problem solving this ECB is? So far there has been no evidence that they are anything but a facilitation to a group that was not elected and seems to have an agenda that is locked down and detrimental to the heath of the entire Eurozone.

Now I agree that my previous statement s a little too strong and perhaps off the boil, yet the election over the next 48 hours are giving us the reality that the people are feeling the hurt, whilst unelected elements are paving the way for big business to get free rides and easy access to the options of profit which will not help the voting population any. Website Fortune.com is giving us “The gross domestic product of the 19-country euro zone bloc grew by 0.5 percent on the quarter in the first quarter, which translates to annualized growth of 1.8 percent in all of 2017, the European statistics agency Eurostat said”, my issue is that the year is not over and in the bulk of all instances in the past, expectations ‘suddenly’ get winded down in Q1 2018, In addition we know that after one quarter 0.5% does not make for 1.8%, and that reality has been shown to many of us too often, the issue is also that this is happening whilst Mario Draghi is spending €60 billion a month, so basically it is fuelling some commerce which is not any level of economic growth, in that realisation, the UK is growing decently and France could go the same way when it Frexit’s the hell out of the ECB jurisdiction. With every spiced report we read, with every ‘speculated translation’ we are given less of less faith in a system that is fuelling itself by plunging the European nations in deeper debt. Tell me, when was that EVER a solution to economic hardship? In my view nationalism seems to be one of the few working solutions left. We just need the right champion and so far (even as I was not a fan of her) Theresa May has been doing the right job, steering the right path, so as a conservative, I feel pretty good. I just hope that Labour gets its act together, because better politicians are forged through opposition, and in the coming four years we need Theresa May to be as strong as possible, because Brexit will not be a cake walk, as the European players are losing their power base and as their fear of a mediocre income grows they will be changing their games and tactics into something insidious, hoping to strong along weaker players and seeing what they can bank for themselves. The lack of transparency will increasingly allow for it. The fact that there is such a lack of transparency has been voiced by others for some time, yet the lack of actions ran updated code of conduct, whilst the ECB powers have grown (source: Handelsblatt Global), when we see such a failing after a decade, whilst the ECB is all about stopping people leaving the European Fraternity is a weird situation, the act that you cannot be thrown out (see Greece) and when a party seeks a better place (see UK) we are confronted with actual issues on the ECB and its spending spree, even hen its largest player (see Germany) is asking  Mario Draghi to ease off. All this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth and that is even before we realise that the UK has big national fish to fry and solve (see NHS). In all this should we even wonder how France will react? How the French will act when Emmanuel Macron wins and makes a quick deal with his former investment banker friends? I reckon that there is the smallest of chances that in the hereafter Louis XVIII will ask Emmanuel Macron: ‘You too?’. In that, it is so Monty Python to quote that Emmanuel Macron was 171cm in life, whilst at the day of his death he was only 149 cm tall. I joke and offcourse it is unlikely to happen, yet the rage of the French people is such that 50% is siding with Marine Le Pen, a situation that would be unthinkable before Francois Hollande became president. So you tell me, if Le Pen does not win (not unrealistic) and suddenly the people see Frexit fall away (also not unrealistic), how unrealistic is it when some elements of the ECB get exposed and the French rage that follows, especially when the UK economy remains growing stronger and stronger, that not only will a Frexit referendum be demanded by well over 70% of the French, or what will happen at that point when Emmanuel Macron starts dragging his feet?

We will not know for two days, but after that, no matter who wins, France will be in for several large changes. You might have seen how Emmanuel Macron voiced his view on Frexit, yet like Jeremy Corbyn, talk is cheap and the agenda of an elected official tends to change after getting elected, that much has been proven for decades. The question is how far is Macron willing to take it and how will the French view the changes offered. This all impacts on the UK general elections as it will set the tone for Europe. It will have an impact that will last the rest of this current generation to clean up the mess that EC non-elected officials created.

For those who vote, do so, be true to yourself and your family, whilst being in support of your nation, that is as much as anyone can do, do so truthfully and you should be fine.

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What the law allows

This is not the usual article for me. This is not a mere look at facts and at information, one could say that I have skin in the game (me using the loosest of all interpretations). You see, I know Paul Farrell. We might not be on the same side at times, for the same reason I am on opposite sides of Brendan Molloy, but we all went to the same University and I know them both to be good people, both with integrity and with a decent moral compass. These issues matter. For the same reason that I stand next to David Cameron, yet I remain holding a healthy respect for Ed Miliband. Ed sees things wrong (read: does not see them my way), but he truly believes that he was fighting the good fight for his party, which is all that mattered.

So how does this relate?

You see, whenever the name Edward Snowden comes up, it seems to raise a red flag for me, like a bull my horns go into battle mode. There is something really wrong about the Snowden case and it forever will be from my point of view, so when I read ‘Edward Snowden on police pursuing journalist data: the scandal is what the law allows‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/17/edward-snowden-on-police-pursuing-journalist-data-the-scandal-is-what-the-law-allows) got my attention to the smallest degree, yet when the quote “singled out for critique the Australian government’s contention that it broke no laws in its leak investigation of Paul Farrell, a Guardian reporter who in 2014 exposed the inner workings of Australia’s maritime interception of asylum seekers“, I became wide awake. You see, I know Paul, which makes it another matter entirely. This links back to an article where Paul Farrell was part of a team (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/07/asylum-seekers-will-be-handed-to-police-on-return-sri-lanka-confirms), that reported on certain issues. The quote “a group of 53 legal experts have called on the federal government to reveal how asylum seekers are being assessed on board customs vessels” points towards an issue that is very valid to be raised upon. When we see “a group of 53 legal scholars from 17 Australian universities warned that the government’s conduct under its hardline military-led border regime “Operation Sovereign Borders” was in violation of international law“, that point of view does not change one bit. The press has every right and even a mandate to report on it (read: why this is not done more often in commercial cases remains a mystery). These elements are not part of the actual spying issue, but they are related to the issue.

The rest of the article reads nice, but there is a side that I saw missing. Where were these people stopped? You see that makes all the difference. How far have people looked into the matter? When we consider UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), we need to consider article 17 where we see “Subject to this Convention, ships of all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea“, which is at the heart of the matter. Refugee boats are for the most smugglers, meaning that they cannot rely on ‘innocent passage’, in addition, article 18 gives us the passage bit with “traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters“, which is exactly what smugglers are intent on doing, and whilst doing so we get article 19 where we see “Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State“, which again is exactly what smugglers ignore, because the status of these people cannot be confirmed, as such they can be regarded as prejudicial to both the peace and the good order as well as the security of the coastal state. Perhaps these 53 legal experts looked at that part, perhaps not (read: if I get any documents proving that part, I will reopen this blog article at a later stage).

So at this point, I saw an article that has issues, but I see nothing short of a mere article, nothing that should have woken up Edward Snowden, more important, why did it wake up the AFP? The article gives more than just 53 legal experts, it mentions “Hanson-Young also called on the minister to reveal the fate of a second vessel of 153 asylum seekers believed to have departed from India“, it mentions “The Tamil Refugee Council of Australia” as well as “UNICEF Australia and Save the Children said they were also “seriously concerned” over the secrecy on the second boat“, which are clear quotes, clear issues to be raised by a member of the press, so why do we get: ‘Federal police admit seeking access to reporter’s metadata without warrant‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/federal-police-admit-seeking-access-to-reporters-metadata-without-warrant)? You see, in the 2014 case we have the quote “The Australian government’s “on-water” activities to turn back asylum seekers have been shrouded in secrecy under the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders. They led to several incursions into Indonesia’s territorial waters in December and January”, you see, this makes it not an AFP case, but an ASD case as this was a military led operation. The quote: “incorrect calculation of the boundaries of Indonesian waters” is even more hilarious especially when you realise that RADAR, SATNAV and other means tend to show shorelines, can we assume that those on board of the Ocean Protector should have known these little facts? If not, than let us meet with the captain and discuss the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, where we see in section 2(a):

Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

Which gets us nicely to the duties of being a ship’s captain, where we could now conclude that the Ocean Protector could be regarded as in violation of that pesky UN law named UNCLOS, to be more precise in violation of section 19 of that one, because it could be seen as acting against the ‘security of the coastal State’. This is why I looked at the IRPCS, as that is foremost on the mind of any ship captain, which gives us section 2a and this now gets that person in hot water with section 19 of UNCLOS. Going from other sides there are now the 1st and second mate to consider of the Ocean Protector, as the transgression, unless clearly defined in a military agreement, could be cause for a tribunal and as such the captain could stand a chance to be ‘captain-no-more’, which means that the mates move up a position, this is sometimes regarded as promotion through termination (read: this doesn’t always require extreme prejudice).

My issue is less with the statements of Edward Snowden and much more about (as I see it) the stupidity of the AFP to look into a matter that has so many clear sources named, especially names of people who would know more than the article revealed that the investigation into Paul Farrell seems to be a waste of time to say the least. To be honest, I am much more worried about the escalations we get from the SMH with the title ‘Scott Morrison to share Australian Christian Lobby stage with anti-gay extremists‘ than anything Paul has written here (sorry Paul, I am not trying to diminish your work).

You see, the article Paul partially wrote asks questions, they ask the right question. What is a clear issue is: “the secrecy on the second boat and were worried that unaccompanied minors could be on board whom required additional assistance from Australia under international law“, now also consider “The council had previously stated that at least 11 of those on board had previously been tortured by the Sri Lankan authorities before fleeing“, we see a pattern. A pattern that some elements (I reckon mostly UNICEF) had data and information that was vital, in all this we see the statement that also matters “Morrison told Sydney radio that the second boat was no longer in Australian waters“, so basically Morrison has clearly stated that the second boat had entered Australian waters. Yet when and where? This does not change my view on UNCLOS and its interpretation of it, but it does have an issue with what happened afterwards and the Guardian does not really report on it, it asks questions. Now if Paul got Morrison to make the statement, than that does not make Paul a better investigative journalist, but it does make him an awesome and dangerous interviewer and no matter how he got the quote, he did get the quote and Morrison will have to place his virtually burned bum on a cushion for a little while. So why did the AFP need the metadata of Paul Farrell?

You see, I look at the article with different eyes, as a data miner I see other patterns and the article skates on one that seems to be ignored. We get that from “The AFP have undertaken a number of investigations targeting journalists’ sources, many related to stories about asylum seeker operations“, a statement where I see ‘many’ in a different light. I am wondering, especially in light of what was written why Paul’s data was sought for. My assumption is that there is another side to this. I personally reckon that Paul has had interactions with another person, on perhaps another story. I reckon that someone else is under investigation and Paul Farrell is only connected to some extent.

Can I prove this?

That is of course part of all this. You see, I cannot without seeing more than one source smitten with all this. But consider all the sources the Guardian has had. Any maritime issue can be much easier ascertained by the ASD (and it was a military led operation), they have a lot more resources and any maritime leak can more easily be traced at the maritime source (you know the instigating server side of things). In all this, the quote “Earlier this year Guardian Australia reported that the AFP had accrued a file of at least 200 pages on Farrell in an attempt to uncover and prosecute his confidential sources” from the ‘surveillance’ article now matters. It links to a Feb 12th article where we see the quote “In April 2014 I reported for Guardian Australia that one of the vessels involved in Australia’s unlawful incursions into Indonesian waters, the Ocean Protector, had gone far deeper into Indonesian waters than the government had disclosed“, which is the statement that caused all this. You see, the Ocean Protector is a government vessel, yet a civilian one that falls under the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The ASD has options here, but it seems overkill to use them when it is not a military operation. The ASD can rely on “The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) provides foreign signals intelligence, known as SIGINT, to the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government to support military and strategic decision-making“. So why use the AFP instead of a much better equipped ASD? That is the question that comes to mind. What is without doubt is that this is not merely a Paul Farrell investigation. This is just a personal opinion, but when we see the amount of sources Paul Farrell had, in addition if the ship had an Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board, was it logged off and shut down? Even crew members with a smartphone turned on could have been enough of a source. A dozen sources all lower than open intelligence sources, were they looked at? In addition if the Ocean Protector had any switched on Esterline Technologies equipment on board, there might be additional ways to get certain information. I wonder how deep this was investigated before someone had the less than bright idea to, no matter how lawful I was, to the metadata of a journo?

The article raises questions, and what it does not tell us makes me wonder about several other questions, none of them considered.

In all this the by-line of a picture in the February article gives us “Michael Pezzullo, secretary of the immigration department, told a Senate committee this week he had referred a cabinet leak to the police. He also referred a Guardian Australia journalist to the AFP after a report that revealed a customs ship had entered Indonesian waters far deeper than previously disclosed“, which makes sense, yet that line gives me the issue of the Cabinet leak and a lot less about the Guardian leak. It seems to me that the massive file on Paul Farrell reads like a bright light, one that dissuades away from the cabinet investigation that is one that many parties would want to keep out of the press. I just wonder what Paul will find when he takes a look at that Cabinet member and the information that is being looked at. I am not certain that it will be about Asylum seekers or refugees, or another matter entirely, but that again is merely speculation from my side.

Can I be wrong?

Off course I can. You see, my speculations are merely the consequences of data I saw and other data I read. Now ask yourself, knowing the backlash spying on the press gets you; do you think that the AFP is actually this stupid? As I raised issues of location tracking in many forms, the essential part isn’t whether he got a hold of that data, the question becomes how many non-illegal methods could he have used to get it. So, the actions by the AFP seems to be a massive overreaction. That is even before we see whether the Ocean Protector is on http://www.marinetraffic.com. Even after that, there are Indonesian systems to consider. If anyone had revealed that data it would have been a political issue between Indonesia and Australia (the second party without any claim to secrecy within the territorial waters of Indonesia). All these mere issues, all clearly within the view of the public, the audience, the press and the governments at large.

So now ask yourself: ‘Is there any sense to exposing one’s self to internal investigation as the press demands visible answers?

That is why I got to the path I am on. Consider one additional path. If we consider a phone number, for example (purely a random example): 8816 273 14432, now consider that this is an Iridium sat phone. You see these puppies also tend to be on boats. They have been used in many non-metro environments since the mid 90’s. These puppy’s come with data and GPS enabled and Iridium is actually one of the better more secure solution, there are few cheap ones that offer very little security. So was this about Paul Ferrell, or did Mike Pezzullo (or one of his top minions) drop the ball in another way and was this his panic solution?

These are mere thoughts in all this. It took mere minutes to get to this place and I had initially read the article in February. We must acknowledge the issue that “Law enforcement did not need a warrant for accessing the information at the time“, which is not as much a cause for concern as people make it out to be. Let’s face it, we are all held to a need for results. So was the AFP wasting time? In my summary they were for other reasons. The need to give the image that they are looking in one area is adamant, for politicians the need for the AFP to look somewhere else is equally their personal need, yet where lies the real need? On the foundations given, it was clearly not looking aty Paul’s data I raised many issues on that matter.

This gets me to the final article. There is nothing about the article that is wrong, it is the reflection of Paul Farrell (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/australias-attacks-on-journalists-sources-are-about-politics-not-national-security). The title ‘Australia’s attacks on journalists’ sources are about politics, not national security‘ hits the mark on several issues. The quotes that I needed in my case were “It’s become a sadly normal reality that journalists’ sources can be targeted in Australia in an effort to hunt down whistle-blowers“, the operative word here is ‘can‘, which is not a given, just a mere option. It does not make the action correct. What is more an issue is “this is the first time the AFP has ever made such an admission in Australia“, you see, why is this the first time? Was there too much overwhelming evidence, or is was the clear visibility of the search a reason to hide something else?

You see, that could be seen as a clear case of ‘conspiracy theory’, but regarding the evidence. The document (at https://www.scribd.com/doc/298816051/Paul-Farrell-AFP-Decision-Letter-and-Documents) that reveals nothing really, there is too much marked out. So was this a clear case of wrongful investigation, or was that the case because it dims the lights of what the AFP is actually looking into. So when we see the quote “From the AFP’s point of view, it has done nothing wrong. As it has indicated in its statement, it has sought to undertake investigations within the scope of the law. It has “sought to identify the source of the disclosure, and then determine whether they had the appropriate authority to release that information”“, to me it shouts not ‘what was wrongfully looked at‘, in my personal belief it screams ‘We are actually sneakily looking at something else‘, again, it is a speculation and I could be massively wrong, yet there is enough in the air to wonder about that issue, not just by me.

 

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Outrage

I am angry and I need your help!

This is not some weak story about a person who is lost, this is a story about a person who is determined. You see, we have all had enough of the press to some extend and now the time is right to give them a little medicine of their own. This all started as I saw this article ‘Matrix director Lilly Wachowski comes out as a transgender woman’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/09/matrix-director-lilly-wachowski-comes-out-as-a-transgender-woman). This seemed not a biggie at first, people make choices, they make them of their own accord and initially I shrugged and thought nothing of it. It is the subtitle that got my blood boiling, almost in a literal way. It stated “she went public after Britain’s Daily Mail ‘threatened public outing’“, now add to this the quote “she referred to the incident as a “threatened public outing against my will”, drawing comparisons to a similar incident involving the paper“. Now add the following parts: “Lucy Meadows, took her life after the Daily Mail published a column by Richard Littlejohn titled “He’s not only in the wrong body … he’s in the wrong job”. Michael Singleton, coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and Rossendale, criticised the “sensational and salacious” coverage which he blamed for her death” and “I just wanted – needed – some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable. But apparently I don’t get to decide this“. Well, let’s see if we can change that. I think that change is inevitable, especially if we all unite. You see, from my point of view when ‘pussies’ like that prey on those in vulnerable positions, whilst at the same time ignore transgressions by places like Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and a few other players, I feel it has become important to change the game that some Journo’s have been playing.

So, let’s turn the tables, especially for those in the UK. Let’s open our offensive on people like Paul Dacre, the Journo’s at the Daily Mail and DMG Media with Viscount Rothermere (for now). Let’s put them in the spotlight!

First up – Viscount Rothermere

Rothermere believes the Daily Mail has been “built on solid ground” and a unique place in the market (Leveson testimony). In my view, as seen in the Guardian as stated by Lilly Wachowsky: “a journalist from Britain’s Daily Mail attempted to coerce her“, so Harold, that unique place, is that coercing people? Why not show some balls and try that on Ian Powell and Gaenor Bagley and coerce some information regarding PwC’s alleged action with Tesco? Perhaps they will give you the goods or that coercing Journo and you will end up with a real scoop, you know, the kind of real ground-breaking stuff towards possible criminal indictment and so on. Or is that a little bit too much of a stretch? Or perhaps there is the ever so slight chance that they will strike back in different ways? Now consider “Rothermere says: “built on a fundamental belief in a trust in journalism as opposed to technology. That’s what makes me proud“, yes, coercing laptops is a little hard, unless you hack them, which might be not all on the up and up legally seen. Finally we get the quote (from the Leveson part) “he is confident the Daily Mail has acted ethically. ‘And I am willing to stand up for us’“, which can be clearly thrown out of the window regarding Lilly Wachowsky. I wonder if we see shrugs, excuses (by stating: ‘It’s on the desk of Paul Dacre’) and other modes of a trans-neglecting mindset.

Second up – Paul Dacre

In December 2015 he proclaimed that he is all about Freedom of Information. He stated: “In the main, I suspect, dislike of FoI is driven by Whitehall’s belief that civil servants should be exempt from public scrutiny. This is in my view counter-productive, and perceived by the public simply as a compulsion to cover backsides“, so is that FoI under any option? Like coercion, blackmail, hacking? Whilst Paul was nice enough to have the quote: “an elitist political class protecting its own interests“, which is like the Journo calling the Politician selfish. That is not the idea we get when their profit is numbers of circulation and now includes Coercion, we can hope it is ONLY coercion (meaning the least offensive way) you get to feed your papers circulation with.

Now let’s get back to 2013 (at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/10/03/miliband-daily-mail-inquiry_n_4038824.html), where we see: “The chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust has apologised to Ed Miliband after a reporter turned up uninvited at a family memorial service, but insisted the incident did not reflect the “culture and practices” of his papers“, which we can of course set as fictional when we see the ordeal of Lilly Wachowski just faced.

So until the Daily Mail starts their front-page with ‘alleged trans gender’s Harold Jonathan Harmsworth and Paul Dacre surprised their staff by growing some balls‘, they have now promised to actively dig into the involvement of PwC regarding Tesco. I very much doubt that it will ever happen, so until that moment comes, why don’t we make sure that the public at large gets to see every act from these Daily Mail journalists and their family members? I reckon that the public has a right to know, let’s see how many articles and photographs it takes for these revelations until we get:

  1. Some fake apology
  2. Threats that there is oppression against the freedom of the press
  3. Demands from Whitehall against acts that endangers the independence of journalists.

In all this, it seems utterly unlikely that the Daily Mail will hold itself up to any scrutiny and any level of Ethics and/or Integrity.

 

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The moment UKIP was waiting for

There is no given what will happen next. For one, I feel that a solution can still be found for the Conservatives as they are looking at the pressures currently on the desk of George Osborne. The subtitle gives us the issue at hand. ‘Fresh pressure on George Osborne to halt controversial measure that will leave 3.2 million families worse off by average of £1,300 a year‘, there are two elements. As the leftish media is shouting how the rich are making the people worse of, we must consider that truth to be utterly bogus. Who in his right mind would think that the Conservatives would play fast and loose with seventy one seats for a mere £320 million a month is out of his/her head. Yes it hits 3.2 million people, but why? You see, the total bill of £3.8 billion is the issue.

You see the quote “The tax credits system is hopelessly complex and needs reform but we should be backing those who get up and go to work for low wages instead of living on welfare. The national living wage and changes to income tax thresholds will not offset enough of their loss and they will struggle to earn more money. They need our support and should be rewarded by a welfare system that is fair and helps them move forward in life“. The non-emotional part is that these are working families and they cannot make ends meet. This is the British version of Wal-Mart! Too many tax breaks have gone to corporations, where the savings of billions went straight into the pockets of less than a hundred board members. As the gravy train ends, they now move to fatter shores leaving the rest to fend for themselves. This was ALWAYS going to happen, and we must acknowledge that both sides of the isle have enabled this option. Both sides (mainly labour) have spent massive amounts in an irresponsible way and the UK credit card is now maxed, meaning that tax cuts are pretty much a thing of the past. You see, both the opposition as well as the current administration are trying to appease their congregation, but it is no longer allowed to cost anything. This is one of the reasons that George Osborne was not giving in to tax breaks last year, and he was right not to do so. This does not solve the problem and it is going to be a puzzle whether a solution can be found. The bad news is that if the Conservatives stand on principle, they will massively cut their own plan and in addition their chances on any re-election go straight out of the window. So what to do?

That part is not the focal point, what is the issue is the statement “71 Tory MPs in marginal seats could be vulnerable“, you see, if you go back to the bible of elections (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2015/may/07/live-uk-election-results-in-full), you can see that the marginal seats only for the smaller extent go towards Labour. The options for UKIP are not that great, but the issue are now a decent amount of seats that were for the Liberal Democrats, these seats will go somewhere and my money is that many of them could now move towards UKIP too, now we have ourselves an old fashioned horse race. Because this is the momentum Nigel Farage has been hoping for. Should we be worried? Well, that depends on any solutions the Conservatives can offer. The quote at the end “While some Tories are expected to voice serious concerns about the policy on Tuesday, few if any are expected to rebel on what is a Labour motion. Instead Osborne is likely to come under sustained pressure behind the scenes to act in his autumn statement next month” (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/17/tory-mps-at-risk-tax-credits), gives the reality. At present, whatever happens at whatever election follows at some point, the governing body better realise that stretching credit cards is no longer an option.

This is only one view, even within the party there is a growing concern of the loss of tax breaks, especially as it hits the lowest incomes. I myself understand this. I agree that something must be done and overall the lowest incomes should be protected to some extent, yet the tax breaks were never much of a solution. It was a stopgap at best. I came up with a solution, which was in three parts. I got the idea using a simple abacus (MS Excel). I designed the solution on March 16th this year in my article ‘In fear of the future‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/03/16/in-fear-of-the-future/), so far I have not found any credible opposition from the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats (whatever survived the last election), or even UKIP for that matter. I see all these claims left, right and centre, whilst they are all full of the ideology of their own voices. Even Mark Carney has seemingly been unable to oppose my logic in this matter. You see, the solution is so very simple. I raise the basic level with 1% and the higher rate with 2%. In all this the lowest group would not get hit and the basic group would pay annually a maximum extra of £318 (only if they earn the maximum basic income). The higher rate gets to deal with an additional 2%, so they get the full £318 and in addition 2% of the higher rate, which could end up being a maximum of £836 (if you are on an income between £42,386 and £150,000). These two groups represent 96.2% of all taxpayers and the added income to the coffers would be a nominal addition of £2.9 billion. I found a solution in a mere 5 minutes whilst politicians and marketeers still cannot figure out. And the wealthiest group? Well they also pay the 1% and 2% extra, this group of 300,000 is paying already all kinds of extras. In addition I would be willing to remove a tax break or two from them and in all this, the pensioners and lowest incomes were left alone, was that so hard?

The manoeuvring we see by McDonnell and Corbyn as we read “Does anybody dispute the arithmetic which demonstrates that a 2% GDP deficit will eventually result in a perfectly manageable public debt ratio of 40% GDP, just so long as nominal national income can be persuaded to grow at around 5% annually, as it generally did before Mr Osborne was in charge?” is part of the issue no one wants to address. You see, the debt is hanging around the neck of the UK. Even at 1%, the debt amounts to an £18 billion invoice. The coffers are getting annually drained and without a clear strategy there will be no social justice and there will be no NHS. Is it that hard for people to grasp that the life we all had before 2003 is gone and as far as I can tell, it is gone forever. EVERY presentation we have seen by every party has not amounted to any increase in the quality of life. Managing bad news is at the core, a game that the conservatives have not been playing. So as we read at http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/Fixing the roof while the sun is shining – Osborne’s new spending rule” you better that believe foul weather is coming to the Commonwealth. The Euro is in upheaval and that is not going to end soon. Most people are currently forgetting about the Greek situation. The harsh austerity adoptions are being made, but the streets of Greece are not in a good way. The dangers of the Greeks cutting their fingers by alienating the tourists (especially the German ones) is still a risk that cold set Greece back an additional 10-20 years. The fact that places like the Acropolis are hiking the entry prices by 400% is not a good sign either. We could debate whether the Greeks had an alternative. Yet scaring away tourists that are spending hundreds of euros by making museums no longer an affordable choice will in addition to diminished numbers scare away the American and the rich Asian tourists. In addition, the Financial Times is stating an economic recovery for Germany, but I am not convinced. http://www.dw.com/ stated that Germany has trimmed the full year growth outlook, which is a given, yet the part no one is thinking of at present is that the view for 2016 is not that strong, investors are worried and in all this Brexit and Frexit remain a reality. All this impacts the UK economy as well and as such ‘fixing’ the roof now is essential. In all this there is a second danger to the conservatives. You see, there is still a chunk of these 71 marginal seats that could have gone to Labour, yet, with the infighting, the non-clarity of views and the bad statements (as well as those lacking on common sense), even though it sounds good, most people can see through them. This is exactly what costed Ed Miliband his seat and those people will at all times select UKIP before the conservatives, which is not good for my party, but that does mean that people will be making plans for Nigel.

 

71 seats and any of them feeling a push towards Brexit, which will be a worry for David Cameron on more than one front. Am I right, am I wrong?

It is not about me being right or wrong, it is about the shifting political landscape, one that has been pushed by a massive debt that is not being dealt with. A massive debt that gives power to large corporations, which get the options of leaving wages low and pushing a non-liveable life towards the people currently in financial pain. In all this, the 30,000 refugees will have a minimal impact on a health system that is already beyond breaking. These little parts all add up to more and more hardship. The Conservatives are trying to find a working solution that will not break the bank, yet that path is less and less feasible, which all works for Nigel Farage. In that light, UKIP should also see the dangers that loom. Now we all know that when it comes to respectability, we tend to consider the crack dealer to have a better value than most journalists. Their approach has been questionable to say the least. Yet, when the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/44-of-ukip-voters-could-imagine-backing-a-military-coup-poll-shows-a6698056.html) starts getting its fingers on data that makes the following quote a reality: “As many as 44 per cent of Ukip voters could imagine supporting a military coup in Britain“, UKIP better starts realising that these extreme expressions that they are only digging their own holes. Or as Raphael Behr form the Guardian states: “Nigel Farage is the gift that keeps on giving“. I would never oppose honest outspoken opinions, yet when we see links to ‘coups’ in the land of Windsor, you better rethink your strategy. In all this his attempt to give rise to emotional stated people will only hurt him more (the Lord Brittan case). So, yes, he is the nonstop giving gift. Yet, he is not down and out, because the European situation is far from settled. He basically has an ally in Marine Le Pen, a situation that remains watching, and remains a growing power in France, especially is the less economically strong north of France. That part people forget. France has impact here because the French have had it and like Farage, Marine Le Pen is all for dumping the Euro, and if need be the EEC too. Which implies that if Frexit becomes a reality Brexit better be ready for implementation. David Cameron will not have the option to vie for time. At that point it all falls apart. No matter who comes first (Brexit or Frexit) that pain will be felt all over Europe and when one goes, the other one better follows.

So is this the moment UKIP was waiting for? I reckon it is to some degree (if Nigel is able to not drop the ball), but the field is wide open and several options remain. If the Conservatives want to continue, they will have to find a way to deal with the £3.8 billion question that is the centre of the field. In similar light a look needs to be taken regarding the budget. George Osborne is quite right to set into law the responsibility of a government to keep the books balanced. The minus trillion plus will take decades to manage and there is no given that it will be gone any day soon, with deficits growing another path is needed. One that I have been in favour of (for all governments) for a long time. So soon we will see the truth. Is Jeremy truly about a new kind of politics, or is he just another Labour speaker with a clever slogan?

We will get insight into that truth soon enough.

You see, as I stated, the field remains open, but as we see al he bickering and speeches, which of them is actually worried about the diminishing situation for merry old England? Who spoke out? That part is the issue, as the Liberal Democrats have Farron, who seems to be stuck next to the Blackburn Rovers. You could say that one is a founding member of soccer, the other cries about the ‘theft’ of school meals. Perhaps Mr Farron could consider where the money needs to come from, we all know that the treasury coffers are empty and Farron has yet to show a responsible bone in his body regarding the need of proper budgeting. Tim Farron seems to be all about “The flagship Lib Dem policy is supposed to save families more than £400 a year per child and provide a healthy lunch to every five-, six- and seven-year-old“, which is a good cause, I truly agree that it is, but who pays the baker and the butcher? Not one party has a clear answer here, not even the Conservatives, which it is exactly why it could end up getting scrapped. In that same light Jeremy Corbyn is all about getting elected, which means he has to spend money and promise all kinds of deals down the track. Basically it will be about spending money he does not have, not now, and after the elections it will not be in the treasury coffers. His view regarding ‘ending austerity’ is principally Mr Corbyn’s objective. This sounds nice as a slogan, but where will he get the money to govern, in that regard they have always made the same basic mistake. Spend now and let the next one clean up that mess. An option the UK can no longer afford. The three of them have set a dangerous precedent. In all this UKIP could get a massive slice of the cake, if they do not drop the ball or screw with the gains they got. Any momentum lost will be a massive drain towards the elections. This could end up being the moment UKIP was waiting for, the question remains, who will they trust? Only the right team will make it and infighting will drop their political victory chances to 0% overnight, a danger that remains realistic, which is what the conservatives and Labour are both hoping for, because them 71 marginal Tory seats are indeed the currency desired, yet the marginal Labour seats are not mentioned here, which to the best of my calculations are an additional 12 that UKIP could grab there, it will include the more tropical sights of Caerphilly after Charges against the three Caerphilly council bosses were ‘dropped’. The population there could find themselves at odds and if they turn from labour, UKIP becomes the new option. In that case brilliant work by senior labour people might not be enough to save Caerphilly for Labour, yet they could stem the tide for a few additional places. You see, Delyn might get hit too. Not because of David Hanson, he did a good job, but his choice for Yvette Cooper could now raise the question: ‘what else will he get wrong?’ Not a fair situation, but a consequence of choice. Unless Jeremy Corbyn makes a massive blunder, that choice could cost him and with every labour goof that comes from now until election time will affect his chances. Here Nigel Williams will remain a contender. His correct view “We didn’t quite get there but the vote for UKIP in Delyn increased by over 800%” is the issue. If Williams remains the level headed than Williams remains just that a dangerous contender. David Hanson will face an actual fight next election, which means that Nigel Farage needs to get his A-Game out. Labour and my Conservatives will push for infighting as much as possible (all things are fair in politics and desire), but that view could backfire too (not the desire view though). The numbers have shifted and the UK has moved in the direction Nigel Farage desired it to be. He just didn’t plan for this shift to happen, which gives us a small window of opportunity against UKIP.

I wonder who’ll take it.

 

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Pointing where?

An interesting article is hitting the Guardian, the title ‘Child poverty rise across Britain ‘halts progress made since 1990s’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/20/child-poverty-rise-uk-halts-progress-charities-claim) is hitting out at choices made, and let us be frank here, we have to point at certain actions and certain choices, but are we pointing at the right one?

In this both Labour and Conservatives are at fault. My own party of choice has made choices (bad ones) in the past, yet is the bedroom tax and are the benefit cuts truly the reason? They might (they do) have an impact, but are they the factors that are central in all this?

The quote “Child poverty is on course for the biggest rise in a generation, reversing years of progress that began in the late 1990s, leading charities and independent experts claimed on Saturday” is important. you see, at minus one and a half trillion cuts need to be made, in all this we need to see that unless the Commonwealth take responsibility in getting a budget, we are all doomed, the children aren’t even the first one to feel this. Both sides of the political isle have squandered their duties to a larger extent. Now, even though the conservatives are working on fixing this, we cannot ignore that certain damage was done under leadership of The Right Honourable Sir John Major. You see, the budget is set on two parts. What is spend and what is received.

It is the ‘what is received’ that is now a global issue. As individual governments were so eager to see industries grow, they decided to give tax breaks as an incentive. It did work, but guess what, it lowered the maximum received coins, which at that point was not a biggie. Now, we have created a different behemoth, as globalisation started stronger in 2002 onwards, no one (me blaming BOTH sides here) was looking at the cookie jar and wondering how continuation of feeding the future would be ensured (or is that insured?). No, many politician went by ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘, which gave us a different scenario after 2004. When the banking crises hit, it hit every shore on a global scale. So large corporations decided to maximise their ‘interests’, which I see was divided between shareholders and personal commissions, many combined, merged and used every tax break possible to avoid taxation. Now consider in an age of industry that the largest player (the industry) does not get to be held accountable for the needs of governing. They want their politicians in their pockets, their bonus in the other pocket and protection without invoice. They pulled it off because the parties on both sides did not correctly adjust legislation the way it had to be. Now, 11 years later, much of this legislation is still missing. The corporations see the sustenance of government not their responsibility, it is for the people, let them pay! They might not say it, but they will think it loudly!

So we have created a sea of chaos, and as the larger players avoid taxation, the people will end up with less. Now we get the quote “Ministers were remaining tight-lipped about the release on Thursday of the Ministers were remaining tight-lipped about the release on Thursday of the Households below Average Income statistics. Any increase in the number of children in poverty since 2013 would be an embarrassment. Child poverty fell from 3.4 million in 1998-99 to 2.3 million in 2010-11 – a reduction unparalleled in other wealthy nations over the same period – after the last Labour government promised to eradicate it by 2020. Any increase in the number of children in poverty since 2013 would be an embarrassment. Child poverty fell from 3.4 million in 1998-99 to 2.3 million in 2010-11 – a reduction unparalleled in other wealthy nations over the same period – after the last Labour government promised to eradicate it by 2020“, here is the second reason why Ed Miliband had no chance of winning, moreover, it shows a little more than that. The entire promise of child poverty eradication was never realistic to begin with. You see, by 2007 that given goal was no longer possible under both the economic meltdown as well as the tax evasion numbers, so did either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown inform the people that child poverty was there to stay? I have a hunch that this was not done. You see, ‘Households below Average Income statistics‘ is depending on income and cost of living. Income is still down due to past events, yet cost of living is going up and is going up slightly faster than wage corrections can provide for at present. So as we see these dwindling statistics, there should not be the wondering of how it is happening, we need to look at the way to deal with it. Lowering taxation is not a solution, it must be replaced by other means of taxation, which means that corporations need to pay their fair share, a part still not addressed. By the way, that part is also not addressed in Australia, as we see in the Australian Financial Review, the quote “The Business Council of Australia, comprised of the chief executives of big companies, cautioned the government that “global tax issues require global solutions”“, that the Business council of Australia is working for Global Companies, not for the Australian government. You only need to look at their board to see that they have the Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Qantas, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of the Westpac Group, the Managing Director of Origin Energy Limited and a few more, all people very intent on paying as little taxation as possible, for the need of their shareholders and their personal bonuses. Guess, what, the Australian Financial Review does not really state that part, does it? No, they state “The Law Council of Australia has told the government not to enact the laws as they are currently drafted“, which might be a valid part, but valid to what extent? You see, last year I already stated part of the solution, make all purchases taxable at the location of the consumer buying it, or better the point of delivery. You see, the person buying the iTunes track, that video game, those bracelets or that suitcase is buying an item online, instead of in the shop. There might be valid reasons for why it was done, but it affects that nations GDP, so, as such, GST and other taxable parts should be paid there, not in Ireland or another low taxing nation. So, we do not begrudge the sale to be online, but on the same foot, just as a storekeeper pays its fair share of local taxation (read GST and such) the online store should do the same, it is just fair trade).

In all these years, those super clever members of the Law Council of Australia did not come up with this solution? If they did, why did the government not enact it? This directly reflects back to the UK. As taxation is now so unbalanced, the government is forced to scrap things.

No one is happy, everyone complains, but are they complaining in the right direction?

So as we see this article on child poverty, we also see the new Labour run “Yvette Cooper, who has put the fight against child poverty at the heart of her Labour leadership campaign, said the government’s record was a “damning indictment” of its approach and meant many children were being denied the start in life they deserved. “Their policies have delivered the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation and they have abandoned any pretence of even moving towards the target they promised to meet [to all but eradicate it by 2020].”“, no Yvette, this is not about ‘their’ policies, it is about your lack of realism, you should unite with the Tories to find the taxation that halts corporate greed and hold them to account for the protection they receive, the responsibilities that they should face, when that is correctly done, and as the coffers fill up again (move towards less or no debt), that you will see as a result that child poverty goes down again, yet as you ‘advocate’ your ego, realise that eradicating child poverty by 2020 was never realistic, getting it down by a lot is. By the way, whatever promise Yvette Cooper, or any other runner for the Labour Boss chair makes, make sure you realise that the pounding hammer of ‘interest payments’ is stopping many restorations in social projects, cutting and diminishing the debt is a first need, so as you contemplate that the next government should be labour, then also realise that they will spend it all again, they will do a ‘Gordon Brown’ on the treasury coffers! Now you, the reader, consider what is happening in Greece, when that hits the UK shores, it will be a massively larger and poverty will not be the nightmare. It will be that 23:00 news where they found a baby that starved to death, only because certain politicians had to feed their ego instead of realistic common sense. So where are we pointing? I want to point at a solution, which means properly fixing legislation, properly adjusting sentencing and fines. When you consider that some at the banks are still laughing at the 1.5 billion fine for Libor, than wonder how much they made. When the fine is 15 billion, they will wake up and stop feeding greed!

Oh, and before you think I have it simple, these cutbacks are hurting me a lot too, yet I realise that our future will depend on us not being in debt to the levels we are in now.

 

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The politics of dancing

Yes, as the best party is continuing to govern the nation through a path of cautious progress, we see articles on how the parties can get back on their feet, what they need to do and what went wrong. It seems to me that those people were not out in flock ‘protecting’ their party so to speak. For a few players there is some good news. It seems to me that there is massive infighting in both Labour and UKIP, so as such, as they waste time, effort and resources on who is the Alpha, the top dog. The additional issue is how those players are going about influencing the base of their own party. It is time to see the works of Machiavelli to be executed in its most basic form. You see, we look at what others write (including me), we look at what others predict. Sometimes it helps us to clear our mind, but we must all realise that whatever we read is often coloured. That includes what you read regarding what I write, just so you know.

So as we read the Guardian, take a look at the following paragraph: “A quickie contest was assumed to favour Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, and Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, because they start with the widest name recognition. A longer contest is thought to be of greater help to the younger, less established contenders. The more important point about a long contest is that it gives a greater opportunity to assess the candidates. Chuka Umunna came out of the stalls as the bookie’s favourite only to pull out of the race before the first hurdle“, there are two parts here. It is a little surprising that the former minister of health is short listed to be the new boss of Labour. Like in soccer, is it not the midfielder that is at the helm of it all? It seems to me that the same ruling applies to politics. From that point of view, it seems to me that the true favourite for labour is Yvette Cooper, yet in all this it was Chuka Umunna who got painted ‘favourite’. The Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, was regarded as ‘the one failing at the first hurdle’, one part that we should not forget any day soon! Not the fact that he allegedly ‘failed’ but who was behind that hurdle pushing the button. Yes, I do mean the press! But back to the Labour race!

There is a second article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2015/may/17/labour-must-come-up-with-a-better-offer-for-voters), which is connected to all this. The title gives the point, but not all the elements ‘how Labour must work out why Britain stopped listening‘ is perhaps not entirely true, from my conservative view it is more ‘when will labour give us something worth listening to?’ The promises Labour gave before the election were never realistic. I pointed them out in earlier blogs, no reason to repeat them here. People know that 1 trillion debt is a problem, it needs to be dealt with and the NHS had a 12 billion pound bad ticket. All due to labour! All issues the conservatives are working on fixing. This is not about blaming Labour (not here), these are all issues that need fixing and the public at large do not see a solution under labour. Ed Miliband talked a nice talk, but none of it was going to come true, it was not feasible. So here we have the issue, the issue of Britain not listening. Labour needs to be real and to get real. There is no extra spending and reduce deficit, not in this economy. The issues linked to this is about to get worse when we take the Eurozone in consideration. When we see the headline ‘Eurozone recovery accelerates as France and Italy return to growth‘, which was in the Guardian last Wednesday, we are being told a story which is repeated by the press. How the large Euro nations are doing a 0.3% growth. Who are they kidding? You see, growth in economy only works if you do not spend it, so when we are confronted with ‘The public deficit, will remain at around 4.4 percent of gross domestic product, up from 4.2 percent last year‘, which came from the French finance minister Michel Sapin. So they grew 0.3% whilst spending an additional 0.2%, this is not progress. By the way, this is 1.4 percent more than the Euro rules allowed for, so that beast is still to be tamed. The Italian deficit might only be at 2.6%, meaning that they are spending more than they are receiving, but with the Italian debt being at 2.25 trillion euro’s the only thing they are feeding are the bankers. So, the UK is in a spin to get back up and the two parts to get back up is to get out of debt and either leave the EEC, which is the Nigel Farage solution, or to change the rules so that the deficit rules are changed to make all governments budget neutral or better. The conservatives are hoping to ‘educate’ the European Community. The latter one would be good, but it remains doubtful whether that would ever work. Which is why the Farage solution is getting stronger and that is how Nigel got his 4 million votes.

I pressed on this more than once in the past. If the Labour party want to get itself out of the ropes it needs to realise that the massive debts are only serving a community of less than 5,000 people. Now, those people will go into the rhetoric on how it is only a small fee, but 1% on bonds and 1.02% on 12 trillion is still 144 billion, gives those ‘bankers’ 28 million each for not doing anything (just a very lose calculation mind you). In addition, the last batch of Greek bonds gave the traders 50 million to divide amongst them. So, as you see, the debt is a millstone making a few people rich, just be leaving the status quo, this is why the debt needs to go down. The politicians giving that ‘let’s make your life easy now’ are selling you a stale crumpet, one that you will pay for year after year. Not having the crumpet now is the only safe move.

Everyone knows it and most people accept that the debt is a really bad thing. The part Labour is just not getting (and their fumbling 12 billion of NHS IT did not help any either).

So, will Labour change? Well that is up to them, but in my view, they need to show a united front, the quicker they do this, the quicker they can restore faith to the party. The longer the infighting and power seeking last, the less faith the voters will have. There is no 5 year time! Whatever they want to start, they will have to start doing this within the next 8 weeks. I reckon that personally the best idea they can have it to get the new leader and Miliband together, as public as possible. The reasoning? Simple, Ed Miliband has 5 years of experience, ignoring that is just really really silly. The fact that Ed Miliband did not win is beside the point. This is about getting the new person ready!

So, the politics of dancing is as simple as the Re-Flex made it out to be in 1983

We’re under pressure – yes the Labour party is!
Yes we’re counting on you – only if you make sense!
Like what you say – and it better be real!
Is what you do – and do what you say you do!
It’s in the papers – yup, clobbered by the press any way you go.
It’s on your TV news – filtered by the news and the ’emotional’ presenter
Oh, the application!
Is just a point of view – and it is that view of the voter you need to get voted!
Getting on the ballot is as easy as eating pancakes, to get elected you need to be real.

 

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Choices we make under pressure

It is an odd day, one day we predict and await, the next day we see how issues are just settled out of media. Now, at times I am all for keeping the media out. Not to put too delicate a point on it, but some members of a group we at times laughingly refer to as ‘people with journalistic integrity’ seems to have a moral view that is only slightly worse than a crack user in Camden. So as I saw that Chuka Umunna was going for the Labour leadership, I took a look at him. I saw just one interview he had just after the elections and I was not impressed. That is not a measurement of anything. You see, when Ed Miliband abdicated, which is a shame in one way, but understandable in another, I expected to see a person equal to the presenting task. Mr Umunna was not it. Now, that is just a first impression. I have no idea about his family, his extended family or anything else, I do not care about them (not meant in a bad way). In my view, it is about the man/woman and his/her political ability. The rest does not matter to me. Doesn’t it seem strange that a person who fights to get on top of things, who works hard to get anywhere, that person should not be measured by anything else but him/her! If I was to be measured by my abusive alcoholic father, I would be a lot better of going to the top of the closest by high building and enjoy the view on the way down (and I do not mean via the stairs or elevator). I am my own man, I fought to get where I got and I did it mostly myself. That is how I would measure Chuka Umunna!

So when it was revealed that he pulled out, I became curious (at https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/waugh-room/why-chuka-pulled-out). It is this quote “But the 48 hours crystallised his view that he just didn’t want the level of private scrutiny that being a Labour leadership contender, let alone Labour leader or Prime Minister, could entail“, which is fair enough! Or is it?

You see people in high places always had scrutiny, they accept that, but nowadays, the press has taken all of this into a realm that is no longer acceptable. So when you see this quote: “It’s also true that his girlfriend’s elderly grandmother was contacted by the media” in that article, we should consider what level of harassment any person in public office should get, and to what degree their family members are allowed to be shielded from. Remember, this is not the media around the election, this is day 5 after the elections and the pressure is already on. The fact that Chuka is shielding his family from all this for the coming 5 years is understandable but still regrettable.

This reflects back to the beginning. Was my view right? For now, I reckon so! For now he is the starter, the newbie, likely to be prone to all kinds of beginner’s mistakes, but that is what happens in year 0 (as any faction leader would face). Yet, should we accept this? Even as a conservative, I wonder whether the press is now engaging in acts that deprives the British people from proper representation. Is Chuka Umunna the best representation Labour would get? Well, now it seems that the Labour party will never find out, the press seems to have put a stop on that. Let me be frank, as a public figure, Mr Umunna can expect all kinds of exposure, to a limited degree the immediate family too, but the pressure to the extent some people get now it is a lot less acceptable. We get back to the press and how the press is actually abusing its freedom.

Lord Tebbit, former conservative MP for Epping and Chingford once stated: “It’s better to risk the press abusing its freedom than to risk the authorities abusing an unfree press“. In my own way I would add to that, that this might have been true in the days when his lordship was young and innocent, but in today’s society we must truly consider whether the press remains such a force of consideration. The term ‘risk regarding the press abusing its freedom‘ is now with some certainty the issue of ‘the press abusing the rights and freedoms of the people for the need of innuendo and circulation‘. This goes far beyond the old Hacked off issues. From the moment that was settled we saw some articles grovelling, then hyping on how freedom is such a good thing and how the press can regulate itself and that entire matter was not even a month old we got ‘MH370 suicide flight‘, were we ever shown any actual evidence to that? Now it is likely to get worse and many of my readers from the UK have not signed up for their possible political representation to be scrutinised to such a harassing degree. Here I must oppose Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter. In the interview in the Guardian, where after only 8 seconds he goes on with ‘but we have a great range of talent out there still hoping to run‘, so the person the conservatives feared the most (me thinks not) is replaced after 8 seconds for the next person. There is something wrong here too. If Chuka Umunna is such a great person, why not fight for him. You see, either Chuka is not that great a politician (fair enough) or this is about the worry on how much limelight labour will get from the press regarding the ‘wrong’ person. That is an immediate threat to the democratic freedom of all. So this is not about NOT looking into a politician, this is about the decent level of privacy the not immediate family is entitled to.

In the Guardian we also see Mary Creagh who was quoted from BBC Radio 4 “Modern politicians with social media, Facebook and emails face pressures even 15 or 20 years ago they did not face … We are expected to be some how superhuman”, is that true, or is there an increasingly skewed action by the press to overexpose whatever is not perfectly spotless and in that manner undo whatever good a politician is trying to do.

In the Daily Mail (I apologise for using a lowly regarded source of information) we see two quotes “Chuka Umunna is the articulate politician who had hoped to make the Labour Party electable again after the humiliations suffered under Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. But many party workers were worried that this 36-year-old, 6ft-tall, well-dressed former lawyer may be just a little too smooth. The grandson of a British prosecutor at the Nuremberg war trials, Chuka was educated at a private boys’ school, and was a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. His voice can be heard singing the theme tune to the Rowan Atkinson comedy Mr Bean. Mr Umunna thinks nothing of spending £1,200 on bespoke suits from Alexandra Wood, an exclusive Saville Row tailor“.

So why would this be an issue? The terms ‘well-dressed‘ and ‘too smooth‘? The fact that he is the grandson of a former War Crimes prosecutor! That counts! Then there is the Saville Row reference, so this is not about skill, this is about the image that he inherited, the choices he made. Yet this person also decided to give his time to Labour, to champion the workers. He did not become a conservative as rich people seem to be seen as. In addition we get the quote “He was forced to apologise two years ago after it was revealed that he had once commented on a website that London’s nightclubs were ‘full of trash and C-list wannabes’“, so now people must apologise for speaking the truth? Have you seen the trash that comes out of some of these clubs? Smashed, drunk as a skunk and regularly we see how some of these places will have people leaving on all kinds of chemical trips. This is a consequence of binge drinking and slipping 1-2 pills with the white wine. This whilst many of them ladies complain on how they were entitled to VIP treatments in clubs so much better than the one they just crawled out of on all four. So perhaps Chuka Umunna is more than just a little right. Perhaps the press was worried on not having a hold on a person like this and they prefer a person slightly more ‘colourful’ (pardon the pun).

So where will Labour stand? Time will tell. Bren Bradshaw was right in one regard. The Labour party has loads of talent, no one denies that, but they’ve already forgotten that Ed Miliband was plenty talented and to some extent even visionary (in the wrong time as I saw it). So as the second talented member gets pushed off stage, are we seeing the effects of internal power plays and if so, should the press not be held to account for being the tool in all this?

I will let you, the reader mull over those facts and you should come to your own conclusions.

 

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