Saturday, 22 September 2018

No Bar

I would say that UKIP's Muslim-only prisons were unfeasible, because anyone can become a Muslim, really just by saying that they are one.

But there are already women-only prisons, and these days, well, you know how it goes these days.

Double Thinking?

Of course rail passenger numbers have doubled since privatisation. That would have happened, anyway, regardless of who had owned the railways or run the trains. 

The economy grew, so more people commuted. Especially, financial services exploded, meaning that so did house prices in London, requiring more and more people to commute further and further.

The rail privateers merely profited from this. They did not in any way cause it.

Canada Plus What?

If you need to, then look up the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Right Out

On Newsnight last night, Iain Martin seemed aghast at Paul Mason's suggestion of any kind of rapprochement between business and John McDonnell. Martin needs to get out more. The Tory family has fallen apart.

Much of the intellectual weight for the Corbyn project is being supplied by the Church of England. Jeremy Corbyn has been endorsed by name by the National Farmers' Union and by the Federation of Small Businesses, endorsements that Tony Blair certainly never received. 

Lord O'Neill, a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management who went on to serve as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury under David Cameron, has endorsed Corbyn and McDonnell in the pages of the Financial Times. Even the Adam Smith Institute and The Economist are in favour of the Universal Basic Income. Even Theresa May has slaughtered the Thatcherite holy cow of continuing to defend the sale of council houses.

And so on. Martin sounds like one of those bitter old Blairites. But in fact, his is a position that is now more marginal even than it was in the Heath years. It was last this far from the mainstream 20 years earlier again, during the Indian Summer Premiership of Winston Churchill, when "free" market Conservatives were denied office in a Government full of people whose roots were in the Liberal Party and its splinter organisations, or in the Labour Party and its splinter organisations, or outside politics altogether.

If May were to be removed, then the presenting issue might be to force a second referendum, between Remain and the only thing worse, some kind of "Norway Option". The people doing the forcing could live with either.

But mostly, they would be concerned to abolish Universal Credit, a political need that is now as pressing as the abolition of the Poll Tax was in 1990, and as impossible to meet without a change of Prime Minister. And they would be concerned to implement the report of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, which would then be the Beveridge Report of our age, guaranteed to be implemented regardless of the outcome of the next General Election, just as Beveridge was guaranteed to be implemented regardless of the outcome of the 1945 General Election.

Of course, just as the Attlee Government went far further than Beveridge, so a Corbyn-led Government would go far further than the IPPR. But no one suggests that the next Conservative-led Government would reverse any part of the Corbyn Settlement. It would be just that: the Settlement. And the Conservative Party would do just that: conserve it.

Note, by the way, that use of "led". Neither party has won an overall majority within the law since as long ago as 2005, and there would have been a hung Parliament then if the Conservatives had had the wit to oppose the Iraq War. Two of the last three General Elections have resulted in hung Parliaments, and the one in the middle would also have done so if the Conservatives had not overspent, which they do not deny having done. The Crown Prosecution Service merely decided not to pursue the matter, because there had been another General Election in the meantime. Make of that what you will.

But I digress. The abolition of Universal Credit, and the implementation of the report of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, are now the only way for the Conservative Party to secure so much as a hearing from what are otherwise the explicitly Corbynite Federation of Small Businesses, the explicitly Corbynite National Farmers' Union, the actively Corbynite Church of England, and the likes of Lord O'Neill, a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury under David Cameron, writing in the Financial Times in support of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

The removal of Theresa May in order to secure all of that might be presented in terms of a securing a referendum between Remain and full EU colonial status. But that would be only the excuse, as "Europe" was only the excuse for removing the Prime Minister without whom the Poll Tax was going to condemn the Conservative Party to electoral oblivion.

In any event, however, it will have nothing to do with Iain Martin. He needs to get out more.

Trial Date Watch: Day 132

More than 23 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 185

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Friday, 21 September 2018

The BRICS of Brexit

There are those who are appalled at my openness to a "No Deal" Brexit because it would open the door to deals with the BRICS countries, to integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, and so on.

Well, that is where the money is. Get on the bus, or fall under it.

If they do not necessarily like or trust us all that much in some of the countries in question, then I think you'll find that there is historical bad blood between Britain and several EU countries, too. Even more so now, in fact.

And the choice is not between this and the EU. It is between this and a deal with America that would include the privatisation of the NHS.

The EU has also sought such a deal with the US in the past, and it will do so again. Meanwhile, the Liam Fox crowd has already published its blueprint for our own.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Priority

Today is Saint Matthew's Day. Consider that that erstwhile tax-collector is the Patron Saint of Bankers.

Consider also that that strange and increasingly unfashionable thing, Biblical criticism, purports to read the Bible "as if it were any other ancient text", yet in fact subjects it to a series of methods that would be laughed out in any other literary or historical discipline. Those methods are carefully constructed to "prove" the presuppositions of that strange and increasingly unfashionable thing, liberal theology.

Thus, if two Biblical books are word for word alike, as Matthew, Mark and Luke certainly are in parts, then they must have been copied from each other, since there is no way that God could have inspired them all and, funnily enough, done so in such a way that they confirmed each other's accounts.

Hence the theory of Markan Priority, that Saint Mark's Gospel was the first to be written, and that Saint Matthew and Saint Luke copied out great chunks of it word for word. And hence the theory of Q, the compendium of the material found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark; no copy of Q exists anywhere.

Jesus simply did not claim divinity for Himself, so that rules out John at a stroke. Miracles simply do not happen, a position not even compatible with agnosticism. Style simply does not develop (seriously), so Saint Paul cannot have written several of the Epistles beginning with the words, "From Paul". And so on, and on, and on. Academia is at last moving away from this sort of thing. When will the Church in practice, since of course She has never adopted it, and cannot do so, in principle?

Perhaps a gentle fillip from the wider culture might be in order? Although they differ in length, the different structures of the Gospels mean that they could each be dramatised in 12 episodes of one hour apiece, perhaps running from January to March, i.e., more or less from Christmas to Easter. The order ought to be as in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – exactly as if any other ancient text were the subject.

That might even provide an opportunity to do some taking apart of the ridiculous theories of Markan Priority, of the interpolation of Mark 16, of "the Gospel of Thomas" and other such Dan Brown drivel, and of the historical unreliability of Saint John's Gospel on the grounds that Jesus "never claimed to be divine", the "proof" of which is held to be the historical unreliability of Saint John's Gospel.

All of these pieces of nonsense continue to be peddled by half-formed schoolteachers, and by clergy too old to have been part of the traditionalist revival among Catholics or the Evangelical revival among Protestants. Markan Priority was disproved a very long time ago by Saint Augustine, whose Wikipedia pages in Portuguese and Slovene are significant source of traffic to this site, as is the page on U and non-U English. Make of those facts what you will.

Acts could also be dramatised in this way, and it has some great stories in it. But it looks as if they would do the Ramayana first, and stick to the text if they did. That is not treating the Bible as a work of world literature, which is what they would claim that it was, and which, among other things, it is.

Why not dramatise the Ramayana, exactly as it is? Why not dramatise the Odyssey, exactly as it is? And why not dramatise the Four Canonical Gospels and Acts, exactly as they are? Of what are the television companies afraid? Of what, in practice even though not in principle, would the Church be afraid?

All Hung Together

Do not bother asking why either party is not miles ahead of the other one. Under no Leader would that be the case, because Britain is no longer that country.

Neither party has won an overall majority within the law since as long ago as 2005, and there would have been a hung Parliament then if the Conservatives had had the wit to oppose the Iraq War.

Either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party is always going to be the largest party in the House of Commons, so that the Leader of one or the other will always be the Prime Minister. That would remain the case even if the electoral system were to be changed.

But neither party is going to win anything more than the tiniest, if any, overall majority for many decades, if ever. Again, that would and will be as true under First Past the Post as under anything else.

Two of the last three General Elections have resulted in hung Parliaments, and the one in the middle would also have done so if the Conservatives had not overspent, which they do not deny having done. The Crown Prosecution Service merely decided not to pursue the matter, because there had been another General Election in the meantime. Make of that what you will.

So another hung Parliament is coming, no matter what, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Charming and Disarming?

The net is closing around Tony Blair. In addition to everything else, he knew about Mark Kennedy, and about all of the others.

A Chambers and Partners Band 1 legal practice is now on standby to pursue an action to bring about a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, an action before the International Criminal Court against those who had brought slavery back to Libya, and an action before the High Court of Justiciary of Scotland inviting it to exercise its declaratory power against Blair and his accomplices in the aggression against Iraq in 2003. 

All of these actions are to begin immediately upon my election to the House of Commons. As are the actions to bring about a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, and to challenge the legality of the recent bombing of Syria after the confirmation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that no nerve agent had been used at Douma. 

And this? Why ever not.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Irish Ayes?

There are those who will vote against any Brexit, no matter what: the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, Caroline Lucas, probably Sylvia Hermon, and certainly a tiny number of Conservative MPs.

And there are those who will vote to bring down this Government, no matter what: almost certainly everyone who was elected as a Labour MP, with only John Woodcock as a possible exception.

But then there is the DUP. Which prospect does it hate more? Giving the keys to 10 and 11 Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, who will die eventually? Or drawing a permanent border all the way down the Irish Sea?

Brexit now hangs on the answer to that question.

From Nuclear To Enterprise

So, is the Public Accounts Committee part of some Trotskyist plot, then? Or was it Jeremy Corbyn who caused this shortfall of £20 billion? How much? And that is only the shortfall on the support infrastructure. Just scrap this whole wretched thing.

We need the cancellation of Trident in favour of rebuilding the conventional Armed Forces, in favour of care for veterans, in favour of flood defences, and in favour of an “all of the above” energy policy based around civil nuclear power and around this country’s vast reserves of coal, with the commanding heights in reformed public ownership, with no need for fracking even in its own terms, and with the requirement of the approval of the House of Commons before energy or water prices could be increased.

In the case of Trident, we could pay the affected shipyard workers quite eye-watering sums in compensation, and still save amounts that there were scarcely the adjectives to describe.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

The Radical Change That People Seek

Yes, the Financial Times. Yes, a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, a former Treasury Minister under David Cameron, and the man who coined the BRIC acronym. And yes, as good as an endorsement of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. 

Serious economists have preferred Corbyn to all available alternatives since the summer of 2015. And now, even the one who was Commercial Secretary to the Treasury at that time is saying so. In the Financial Times

Jim O’Neill writes: 

Among executives it is fashionable to say that if you think Brexit is bad enough, wait until you see what happens when the markets focus on the risk of a Labour government. 

While I have concerns about the overall fiscal framework of the opposition’s policies, I am not overly concerned by some aspects of a prospective Jeremy Corbyn administration. 

Indeed, in at least six policy areas, which Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell are treating as priorities, businesses and the government need to catch up. 

Dealing with Brexit is obviously the most pressing task facing Theresa May’s government. 

But it remains a matter of grave concern that the UK prime minister has virtually no time for anything else, including the few ideas that the previous Conservative government introduced, such as devolving powers and responsibilities to the urban regions. 

The Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine schemes now receive almost no attention. 

The first area on which Labour sees clearly is Britain’s productivity crisis. For all the apparent self-inflicted damage caused by Brexit, improving wage growth will be considerably more challenging. 

The largest estimate for the decline in real gross domestic product following a hard Brexit is about 11 per cent over 15 years. 

Stark as this sounds, it is still less than the accumulated 15-20 per cent decline stemming from weaker productivity since the 2008 financial crisis. 

While some of Labour’s ideas, such as imposing a productivity mandate on the Bank of England, are unconventional, their readiness to explore new ways of shaking up the status quo is admirable. 

Second is the orthodox belief that lower corporation tax will magically boost investment spending. This is not just a failure of imagination. It is also not backed up by the post-2008 data. 

In theory, cutting corporation tax should lead to more investment. And from the 1980s through to 2000, the evidence appeared to back this up. 

But that was in the days of more rigid labour markets, and a world in which companies could not shift their domicile to minimise taxes. 

Modern company structures and practices suggest that the historical forms of corporate taxation are no longer sustainable. 

We need a tax overhaul to link government revenues to business revenues in the country of sale. Or, at a minimum, we should stop cutting corporation tax to increase profits with little societal gain. 

Here again, Labour is on the mark. 

Third, risking large amounts of money on fixed investment no longer appears attractive. It was once assumed that, when unemployment fell below a certain level, wage growth would accelerate. 

Yet in an era of flexible labour markets, it has not happened. Reintroducing the unionised pay cartels of the 1970s is not sensible. Shifting the cost and risk of wages, however, is an appropriate thing for governments to do. 

Fourth, businesses need to rediscover profit with purpose. Often modern enterprises are driven solely by the aim of maximising sales revenues, with price/earnings ratios massaged by chipping away at fixed costs in the interests of enhancing quarterly earnings. 

And of course executive remuneration is directly linked to this. It often has very little connection with investment risk or productivity.

Businesses are seemingly unaware of or indifferent to the consequences of reported profits continuing to rise. Chief executives need to realise that rising profits are, at some point, supposed to make markets more competitive and greater benefits for employees. 

Changes to risk-versus-return incentives are needed, and Mr McDonnell is right to explore them. Why not make it less easy for companies to make profits if they are not creating future economic value? 

The Labour party plans to nationalise railways and utilities. That may be a step too far. But we need more from these industries that most people have no choice but to depend on. 

All they are asking for is that their daily commuter train arrives on time or that their water supply is affordable. 

Yes, government monopolies were wasteful and inefficient in the bad old days. But that does not make today’s market failures acceptable. 

Finally, there is the housing crisis. It is hard not to think that the market is broken. The decline in social housing has greatly contributed to the growth of the low-income rental market. 

Yet conventional approaches to remedying the problem focus on boosting home ownership, even when this requires a large subsidy, such as the help-to-buy scheme. 

Surely we need a market where owning a home is more affordable and in which social housing no longer carries with it a stigma? 

As with the other challenges of our time, the government likes to brandish solutions (and Mrs May’s pledge on Wednesday of £2bn for new social homes was certainly welcome), but it rarely explores how to tackle the core supply and demand issues. 

There are undoubtedly other serious policy challenges. 

And it continues to surprise me that the jolt of Brexit has not woken up businesses and those in the centre ground of politics to do more than merely try to reverse the result of the 2016 referendum and keep Britain inside the EU. 

Dealing with the UK’s deep-seated economic problems requires sustained thinking and attention, not just occasional lip service. 

The Labour party has stepped into the vacuum left by the government and appears to be offering the radical change that people seek.

The problem, alas, is with very many Labour MPs. Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

The Deep State vs. Jeremy Corbyn

T.J. Coles writes:

In light of the recent rehash of old allegations against the late Labour Party leader, Michael Foot (that he was a Soviet spy), it is perhaps worth looking at the so-called security services’ efforts to surveil, intimidate, and disrupt the activities of the left wing of the Labour Party, particularly where its current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is concerned. 

The security services mentioned in this article include Special Branch, MI5, and MI6. But they also include those in the USA, particularly the CIA. 

The late Labour PM, Harold Wilson, was accused of being both paranoid and senile for believing that MI5 were plotting against him. But the evidence shows that MI5 did open a file on Wilson while he was still an MP. 

The CIA vs. Corbyn 

A now-declassified CIA report dated May 1983, when Foot was leader of Labour, cites the Party’s then-commitment to trade “protectionism,” withdrawal from the European Economic Community (later EU), and even the dismantling of Trident. 

Consequently, “a majority government headed by Labor [sic] would pose the most serious threat to US interests.” 

The Labour Party “roundly criticizes US policy in the Third World, particularly in Latin America, and calls for ... improv[ing] relations with other socialist regimes.” 

A year later, Corbyn had come to the attention of the CIA as a Labour MP (for Islington North). He was critical of the US invasion of Grenada, which had taken place in the previous year.

In 1979, says the Spectator, Corbyn “went to Grenada with dignitaries of the Islington race relations and  feminist industry, to see and admire the Revo[lution].” 

Corbyn participated in a fact-finding mission, which claimed that most Grenadian working class people supported the revolution. 

In 1983, the US invaded to restore a political system favourable to its elite interests. 

A year later, the CIA noted the publication of a book written about the revolution in which, it says, the findings of Corbyn are quoted. 

Keeping in mind the CIA’s concerns over anti-US foreign policy within the Labour Party, particularly with regards to the former’s Latin America policy, another CIA report from 1986 notes Corbyn’s support for the Salvadorian union, FENASTRAS. 

Notably, Corbyn’s name is mentioned explicitly, compared to foreign “union members” who are not named. 

At this point, the CIA record on Corbyn dries up, so we’ll have to wait until more files are opened. 

Let’s now turn to the UK. 

MI5 vs. Corbyn and Labour 

After World War 2, many Labour MPs, including the anti-“communist” PM Clement Attlee, helped to expand MI5. 

One of the consequences was that MI5 used its expanded resources to spy on and infiltrate so-called far-left groups, including many which joined the Labour Party throughout the 1960s and ‘80s—the so-called “entryists.” 

Labour MPs John Stonehouse, Bernard Floud, and Will Owen were spied on by MI5 from the 1960s-80s. 

MI5 spied on Joan Ruddock MP in the 1980s, supposedly due to her work with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. 

MI5 also spied on Dave Nellist MP, supposedly on account of his association with the “hard left” group, Militant. 

Ex-MI5 director Stella Rimington claimed that Corbyn’s now advisors were also monitored by MI5 for being “communists” in the 1980s (when Rimington was part of an MI5 unit targeting miners and unions). 

Rimington refused to specify but claimed that many are now part of Momentum. 

The Daily Mail which reported on Rimington’s comments speculates that Jon Lansman, Andrew Murray, and Seamus Milne were the likely targets. 

Then-Labour MP Ken Livingstone claims that the French court case concerning the extradition of MI5 whistle-blower-turned-delusionist, David Shayler, revealed that MI5 kept a file on Livingstone because of his association with the Northern Ireland republican party, Sinn Féin. 

Livingstone also claims that when he became PM, MI5 handed their file on him to Tony Blair. 

As for Corbyn, a source told the Telegraph that in the early-1990s, MI5 opened a file on him, again allegedly due to his associations with Sinn Féin. 

Special Branch vs. Corbyn and Labour 

From 1990 to 2001, one Peter Francis worked undercover for Special Branch. 

Francis blew the whistle and exposed Special Branch’s surveilling of numerous Labour MPs in the 1990s. 

“Francis saw a special branch file on not only me,” said Peter Hain MP, but on other Labour MPs and Cabinet Ministers, including Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Tony Benn, Bernie Grant, Harriet Harman, Ken Livingstone, Joan Ruddock, Dennis Skinner, and Jack Straw. 

Hain said that Special Branch
had a file on people like me, dating back 40 years to anti-apartheid and Anti-Nazi League activist days, because we were seen through a cold war prism as ‘subversive’. Even though we vigorously opposed Stalinism, that did not stop us being lumped together with Moscow sympathisers.
Corbyn said:
I was put under surveillance for a long time because I campaigned on human rights issues and was involved in justice campaigns ... I want to know who ordered the spying higher up, and whether there was any co-operation between the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and MI5.
Known as “the hairies” because of their long hair and beards, the SDS was established in the 1960s to infiltrate and subvert the counterculture. 

The SDS operated well into the ‘90s, spying on the Lawrence family, and others, following the murder of Stephen. 

Undercover officer, Peter Francis, worked for Bob Lambert, the same undercover operative later exposed as an informant and provocateur who targeted numerous social justice groups. 

Corbyn told the Islington Tribune (3 April 2015, dead link):
I worked with Bob Lambert [still undercover] around Finsbury Park Mosque, he was good in that [counter-extremism] role. Later I was interested in his book at the time and I was involved in the launch. But for all I know he could have had me under surveillance.
The Ministry of Defence vs. Corbyn 

A senior Ministry of Defence general, who reportedly served in Northern Ireland, told the Sunday Times in 2015: “The Army just wouldn’t stand for it,” namely Corbyn becoming PM, shrinking the MoD, withdrawing from NATO, and dismantling Trident.
The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security.
In February 2017, allegations were made that Corbyn was spying on Thatcher for Soviet Czechoslovakia in 1986. 

The Czech STB intelligence archives were examined and the allegations debunked. Former MI6 head, Richard Dearlove, claimed: “discussions I have had with friends close to the current Czech intelligence community [suggest otherwise],” that Corbyn did have connections. No evidence was provided. 

In June, following the Tories’ loss of their Parliamentary majority, Dearlove wrote:
no one has stood up and said, unambiguously, how profoundly dangerous it would be for the nation if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister. So let me be clear, the leader of the Labour Party is an old-fashioned international socialist who has forged links with those quite ready to use terror when they haven’t got their way: the IRA, Hizbollah, Hamas. As a result he is completely unfit to govern and Britain would be less safe with him in No 10.
The USA vs. Corbyn 

It was revealed that in 2009, future Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was informing on the Party to individuals associated with the US National Security Council. 

As a source, Smeeth is designated “strictly protect” in the leaked cables. 

The information she was passing on concerned the prospects for Labour success in the general election under PM Gordon Brown. 

Smeeth says she can’t remember being an informant. 

Having taken money from Israeli groups, Smeeth as MP later joined the chorus of accusations of anti-Semitism in the Corbyn-led Labour Party. 

With Ed Miliband leading Labour, a secret Congressional Research Service memo concerning the approaching May 2015 general election, read

“A significant degree of the UK’s international influence flows from the success and dynamism of the British economy, further raising the stakes on whether the UK can sustain stronger economic growth while continuing to pursue ambitious fiscal consolidation.” 

“Dynamism” means maintaining London as the money laundering capital of the world. 

The Daily Mail, which picked up the story, comments that the memo “states that the UK’s continued importance to the US will hinge on the future success of the economy – and Chancellor George Osborne’s implementation of spending cuts,” meaning crippling austerity. 

The implication is that any leftward drift could affect US-UK trade and investment relations. 

In October 2015 at a private fundraiser, ex-US President Bill Clinton said that after Tory PM Cameron “thumped” Miliband in the election, Labour “reached the interesting conclusion that they lost because they hadn’t moved far left enough” (which was not true. It was the grassroots, mainly Momentum, that pushed the Party further left, not the Party managers). 

Clinton adds: “so they went out and practically got a guy off the street,” meaning Corbyn. 

Implicitly, Clinton likened Corbyn to Trump, saying that British people were so disaffected by the government’s economic policy “they just want the maddest person in the room.” 

By implication, a Corbyn government could hurt US-British political relations. 

Given the failure of the Tories in the 2017 snap election, the US Congressional  Research Service, which authored the secret memo above, took the unusual step of updating its public information about the UK, America’s closest ally. 

“Unusual” because US-British relations had, until Corbyn and the Leave result in the Brexit referendum, been predictable (meaning that Britain acquiesces in US demands). 

The report says: 

“Having implemented an overarching program of domestic spending cuts, the Conservative Party also faces growing calls for a new definition of what it stands for in order to counter voters’ receptiveness to the anti-austerity messages of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.” 

It continues: 

“The Labour Party was relatively effective in focusing on concerns about proposed Conservative social and economic policies, to the extent that some voters seemingly overcame previous doubts about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, often derided as radically left-wing.” 

As the CIA report quoted at the beginning of this article confirms, “radically left-wing” groups concern the US establishment. 

Conclusion 

The deep state represents elite interests and, as a consequence, tries to subvert democracy. 

Those within it believe the opposite: that members of the public who advocate direct democracy and social freedom are subversive. 

The deep state also believes that left (e.g., Corbyn) and even not-so-left (e.g., Jack Straw) politicians are potential threats to their class interests. 

Corbyn continues to withstand the psychological strain of relentless smears and character assassination. 

While we might not agree with every Corbyn move, policy, or reaction, we can perhaps take comfort in the fact that the top-down panic over the prospect of a government that is not even “radical” in any real sense of the word, has triggered terror and hysteria among the privileged. 

A Corbyn government is not the answer to our problems, but it could be a serious first step toward a “better Britain” (to quote PM Theresa May) and at least an easing of the barbaric attacks by the Tories and “centrists” against the most vulnerable.

NATO's Fascist Wedge In Ukraine

I remain profoundly unconvinced that Gavin Williamson is a real person, rather than a character played by an actor. But fresh from his hilarious spoof visit to Ukraine, he should use Remembrance Sunday to explain the matters of Alex Gordon writes:

The latest advert for Ukraine’s armed forces depicts chiselled military hunks over a caption: “THEY WILL PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENTS — Ukrainian Army: protecting the borders of civilisation.” 

In reality, Russia was Ukraine’s largest single investor in the first six months of 2018, comprising 34.6 per cent of total foreign direct investment. 

Advertising slogans for Ukraine’s army targeted at English-speaking investors are a sign of increasing desperation within ruling circles. 

Recent public reports of the mafia running Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port, were linked via the Paradise Papers in a BBC investigation to money laundering in London’s property market by Alexander “The Don” Angert and his enforcer Hennady Trukhanov, currently Odessa’s mayor. 

Ukraine’s real economy meanwhile is flatlining. 

GDP collapsed from $183 billion (£139bn) per annum in 2013 to $93bn (£70bn) last year. The average Ukrainian wage today is €190 (£170) per month. 

In May rail workers shut down production at Ukraine’s largest steel mill in wage protests against owners ArcelorMittal. 

Daily shelling of urban areas and civilian infrastructure by Ukraine’s army and their allied fascist paramilitary formations affects 60 per cent of the population of the Donbass living along the heavily mined 457km contact line with the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. 

Food insecurity has doubled in Ukraine since 2016, now affecting 1.2 million people, alongside escalating cases of multidrug-resistant TB, HIV and even polio. 

According to the UN refugee agency, Ukraine currently has 1.8 million internally displaced persons and the World Health Organisation records 4.4 million affected by the war in the east, of whom 3.4 million require humanitarian assistance and protection. Over 10,000 have died. 

In this human catastrophe, it is remarkable that the British government’s gift of another £35 million in aid to Ukraine’s military announced in June 2018 receives so little media attention. 

Britain’s latest donation is in addition to £850,000 of “non-lethal” military equipment announced by then Tory defence secretary Michael Fallon in March 2015. 

Around 100 British military trainers were deployed to run 30 courses for infantry, medical and logistics corps across 14 military sites in the Ukraine. Britain also installed a “senior adviser” inside Ukraine’s defence ministry, no doubt, given Ukraine’s epically corrupt politics, to ensure British largesse is greasing the right palms. 

British military funding of Ukraine, however, is dwarfed by that of Canada and the United States. 

In April this year the US supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and in May 2018 the US Congress approved $250m of military funding, specifically including deliveries of lethal weaponry. 

Just two weeks ago on September 1, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker (a neocon, acolyte of senator John McCain, previously appointed by George Bush as US ambassador to Nato) announced further US arms supplies would follow, boasting of rising anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine. 

One day earlier, a terrorist bomb in a central Donetsk cafe killed Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Ukraine is where the new cold war has tipped into a hot war. 

However, Ukraine’s endemic corruption, state instability and poor-quality armed forces have proved to be constraints on Nato ambitions. 

These constraints have reinforced a reliance on far-right militias, with links to organised crime and neonazi, white supremacist groups. 

Socialists have long warned against the dangers of Western states nurturing far-right Ukrainian political forces. 

In June 2018, Labour MSP Neil Findlay criticised a visit to the Scottish Parliament by Andriy Parubiy, a founder of the neonazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), saying: “I would prefer to know the next time I am asked to welcome a racist, fascist nazi to this parliament.” 

Predictably, the Labour MSP was accused of having “tallied perfectly with Kremlin messaging.” 

More recently, however, “Bellingcat” (an “open source, social media investigation” website with a pronounced pro-Nato reputation) has warned about Western financial, military and political support for Ukrainian neonazis. 

This suggests that Nato countries’ increasing reliance on openly neonazi paramilitaries to maintain the current pro-Western regime in power in Ukraine is causing serious concerns. 

On August 30, Bellingcat published a report (“Ukrainian Far-Right Fighters, White Supremacists Trained by Major European Security Firm”) by Oleksiy Kuzmenko, detailing the “sophisticated training geared towards combat application” delivered since 2016 by the European Security Academy (ESA) to Ukraine’s neonazi Azov Battalion, now part of Ukraine’s National Guard. 

Californian Congressman Ro Khanna, a strong critic of Azov, claimed in May 2018 that the “battalion has very much engaged in incidents of neonazism.” 

Khanna characterizes Azov as a “neonazi battalion” and promoted the 2018 US Congressional ban on the use of US budget funds “to provide arms, training, or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” 

Based in Wroclaw, Poland, ESA is Europe’s largest private military training agency. 

Serving British soldiers are sent there on specialist training and security courses paid for by the British government as part of “resettlement programmes” to prepare them for the world of private security contractors in civvy street. 

Azov Battalion veterans and activists in Azov’s political party, The National Corps, received special-ops training at ESA’s training centre in Poland along with activists of other far-right organisations in Ukraine linked to attacks on Roma, LGBT persons and civil rights activists. 

Members of Azov’s aggressively expanding street force, the National Militia, which attacks minorities in Ukraine and seeks to mirror law-enforcement to enforce “Ukrainian order,” also received ESA training. 

Yet another, Tradition and Order, “an aggressively expanding violent ultra-nationalist organisation,” at least one of whose leaders is a self-admitted “national-socialist” with a penchant for nazi salutes, also attended an ESA course in Poland. 

Politicians like Neil Findlay have shown that it is possible to stand up against the normalisation of the far right in Ukrainian politics. 

It is now essential that the Westminster government is held to account for its funding and training of far-right, Ukrainian paramilitaries.

Trial Date Watch: Day 131

More than 23 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 184

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Chess, Not Chequers

A General Election could now come at any moment.

This is one of the areas the votes of which decided the EU referendum. We voted to reject 39 years of failure under all three parties, going all the way back to the adoption of monetarism by the Callaghan Government in 1977, the year of my birth. 

Brexit needs to meet our needs, which are not for chasing after the unicorns of the “Anglosphere” (what were once the Dominions have moved on, and anti-British protectionism is America’s historical norm), but for trade deals with the BRICS countries even while remaining thoroughly critical of their present governments, for integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, for full enjoyment of our freedom from the Single Market’s bans on such measures as State Aid and capital controls, for an extra £350 million per week for the National Health Service, and for the restoration of the United Kingdom’s historic fishing rights in accordance with international law: 200 miles, or to the median line. 

Anything along the lines of “the Norway Option” would represent the only thing worse than staying in the EU, namely becoming a rule-taker but not a rule-maker, and paying while having no say, so that Britain would be reduced to a colony and a satrapy. 

The advocates of such a thing are those who, going all the way back to the initially pro-Market Enoch Powell, have only ever objected to the terms rather than to the principle of EU membership. In a referendum between that and Remain, then even Remain would be preferable. But the key is to stop matters from ever making it that far.

Although even if we did find ourselves in that position, then we could simply resume the struggle the next day. We could, we should, and we would. Some of us stand in the tradition that did precisely that in 1973, in 1975, and in 1983.

Unlike those who think that the whole thing only went wrong at some point in the very late 1980s, before which any opposition to it was labelled “Loony Left”, we have been in this for the very long haul, and we always will be.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Systemic Failures

Yes, Chris Grayling, they are called privatisation. 

Rail privatisation did not even begin until 1994, and it was not completed until 1997. You do not have to be some Delphic elder in order to remember better days. That increasingly unchallenged suggestion needs to be well and truly shunted into the sidings.

Like the huge majority of the population across all political allegiances, and like so conservative a figure as Peter Hitchens, I support the renationalisation of the rail services as each franchise came up for renewal, and thus at no cost.

The outright lie is now being spread that proponents of this massively popular policy claim that there would then be no need to subsidise the railways. We have never made any such suggestion.

I would make the renationalised rail service the backbone of a rebuilt network of public transport, eventually free at the point of use, and extending to every village in this or any other constituency.

Even prior to that, I would require the approval of the House of Commons for any increase in public transport fares, with the cost of HS2 diverted to reconnecting many towns to the rail network. That would include several towns in North West Durham. 

Another hung Parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Endeavour

If HMS Endeavour has indeed turned up, then remember that, under various names, she was a collier that powered the Industrial Revolution with coal from the North East, she was a discoverer of new worlds, and she was at least present at the birth of the American Republic.

None of this was without pain, just as there were terrible aspects to the expansion from the original Thirteen States all the way to the Pacific, then to global superpower status, and even to the Moon and back.

Or to the transition, in a mere 44 years, from the feudal Tsardom to the capacity to send a man into outer space and return him safely to earth.

Only with the utmost caution should we presume to judge today's Asia, Africa or Latin America.

There is still plenty of coal in the North East, waiting to power reindustrialisation. There are still new worlds to be discovered; it is not a coincidence that there is also a Space Shuttle Endeavour.

And America, like Britain, is crying out for the Hamiltonian American System, as expanded by the American School, which made America the world's largest economy, with the world's highest standard of living: large amounts of federal credit, at low interest rates and over a long term, to build great national projects, notably enormous expansions in infrastructure, which then pay for themselves many times over.

America urgently needs all of that, and so does Britain. Like America, Britain urgently needs industrial protection through tariffs or subsidies; I prefer the latter, where possible.

Like America, Britain urgently needs targeted government investment to improve infrastructure on a colossal scale.

And like America, Britain urgently needs a National Bank that promotes the growth of productive enterprises rather than speculation. Brexit offers Britain these opportunities at last.

These days, this is hardly the stuff to enthuse most Labour or almost any Conservative MPs. Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it.

My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Vet That, Comrades

Having presided over the largest demonstration in British history, which has turned out, in the long run, to have been the defining event of modern British politics, Andrew Murray writes: 

That weekend break in Dnipropetrovsk is off. I have been banned from entering Ukraine. 

I learned of this edict via the Mail on Sunday, naturally. I was unlikely to be appraised any other way, since I have never sought to go to Ukraine in my life. 

Doubtless frustrated at being unable to turn down a visa application they were never going to receive, the Kiev authorities simply issued a ban anyway – just in case, as it were. 

Being prohibited from setting foot in Ukraine will not trouble me particularly. Unlike, for example, Donald Trump’s disgraced campaign manager Paul Manafort, I do not need the assistance of an unwitting Ukrainian hairdresser to conduct my tax affairs. 

Nor was I planning a political visit to a country where the parliamentary speaker is a Hitler admirer and pogromists and Nazi collaborators are national heroes – a place where as much as a favourable mention of the Red Army’s wartime record risks prosecution. 

As for Ukrainian state security service the SBU, its only other claim to distinction this year has been to fake the murder of a journalist, to the distress of his wife and friends, before revealing that he was alive and well a day later. 

So, no, visiting a land where the morality of the brownshirts meets the methods of the Keystone Cops was not on my to-do list. I may as well be barred from eating celery or listening to the Eagles. 

What prompted my appearance on what looks like a British blacklist-of-one maintained by the super-corrupt Poroshenko government? 

Ostensibly, a speech I made more than four years ago protesting the takeover of Ukraine by ultra-nationalists. 

So the SBU has not moved fast, but what with deaths to stage, ministerial mobsters to protect, not to mention munificent hairdressers to keep an eye on, it has had other things to do. 

The SBU claim is that I am part of “Putin’s global propaganda network”. For the record (again) I am no admirer of the Putin regime. 

Those charmed by its authoritarian conservative nationalism are found on the alarmingly well-populated authoritarian conservative nationalist wing of contemporary politics. 

However, I empathise with those millions of ex-Soviet citizens who found themselves in the “wrong” country when internal boundaries became state frontiers after the dissolution of the USSR and who have since had to live under regimes they didn’t want and that often don’t want them either. 

Those who don’t understand that tragedy will always be at a loss to explain Putin’s popularity in Russia. 

Doubtless the Mail on Sunday’s interest in this arcana was stimulated by the revelation that I have not been issued with a parliamentary security pass nearly a year after applying for one. 

Not that such a pass has been denied either – the application has been met with stony silence from those who process such things.

Now, I would like to go to the House of Commons more than I want to go to Ukraine, but the inconvenience is only that. 

My role in Jeremy Corbyn’s team is advisory, and advice can be tendered from almost anywhere. 

But the story of the pass-that-isn’t fits snugly into the endless agenda of attacks on the Labour leadership. 

Thus, the news that I have no Commons security clearance was followed immediately by “revelations” that I have presided at anti-war meetings and made speeches criticising Nato. 

Pity the poor trainee spook trawling through decades of Stop the War rally videos in the service of the next Mail exclusive. 

The charge sheet rolls on. I am accused (accurately) of having said that Russia’s intervention in the Middle East was “minuscule compared with the serial and disastrous interventions of the Western powers”. 

Hello? Has someone missed the last 15 years – the last 250 in fact? 

There are two issues of substance in all of this. 

The first is that the establishment at home and abroad deplore Labour’s approach to foreign policy more than anything else. 

They fear the popularity of Corbyn’s opposition to war, backing for global human rights and support for the Palestinian cause and their loss of control over the international narrative. 

The powers-that-be can perhaps live with a renationalised water industry but not, it seems, with any challenge to their aggressive capacities, repeatedly deployed in disastrous wars, and their decaying Cold War world view. 

The second is the manoeuvrings of what is now called the “deep state”. 

Call me sceptical if you must, but I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail’s sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the SBU. 

Yes, they got a copy of an SBU letter allegedly banning me back in June, although it is dated 14 September and does not mention me anyway. Don’t publish what you can’t read guys! 

Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows? 

We are often told that the days of secret state political chicanery are long past and we must hope so. 

But sometimes you have to wonder – this curiously timed episode seems less rooted in a Kiev security scare than in a political stunt closer to home. 

My trouble is that I will have to phone in my advice for now.

Senior parliamentary sources tell the Mail – they’re not speaking to me, by the way – that I have “vetting problems”. 

Still, I am not despairing – they may yet prove speedier than the SBU. 

And this much I know: the millions of people headed by Corbyn who were right on Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan when the elite, the security services included, were wrong, are near to office – in significant part because of those views. 

Britain could soon have an anti-war government. Vet that, comrades.

Changing The Game

You see, this is why we still need Tom Watson. This is why we still need the Old Labour Right. Against the Blair Government's super-casinos, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner and Kelvin Hopkins, David Drew and Alice Mahon all voted with Frank Field and Kate Hoey.

Fixed-odds betting terminals are a very recent innovation, so it is rubbish that the betting shops would go bust without them. Instead of delaying even a very modest "crackdown" on them by two years as part of some dodgy deal, they should simply be banned outright.

We also need the empowerment of local authorities to limit the number of gambling venues, the use of that power, an end to gambling on television, an end to the advertising of gambling other than at venues such as casinos and betting shops, a ban on gambling with credit cards, and the writing into the Statute Law of the rules introduced earlier this year by the Competitions and Markets Authority against the sharp practices of the gambling industry.

New Right libertarians in both main parties would fight all of this tooth and nail. Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Air Lines

Hell froze over last night, as Newsnight finally reported on the Israeli Nation-State Law.

But don't hold your breath for any coverage of the claim that the Syrians shot down their Russian allies' plane, killing 15 people.

Everyone reacts weakly when the Israelis do this kind of thing. Google, if you need to, the USS Liberty.

And the Russians react weakly when anyone does this kind of thing to them. Turkey had already shot down one of their planes, and now this.

Trial Date Watch: Day 130

More than 23 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 183

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Gathering Storm

Today's statement of the obvious is that Stormy Daniels has entered the 2020 Republican Presidential primaries.

House Rules

Thatcherism died today. It is now as dead as Blairism. Margaret Thatcher's assault on council housing had been the one thing that her supporters had still felt able to defend unconditionally.

But in reality, it created the Housing Benefit racket, and it used the gigantic gifting of capital assets by the State to enable the beneficiaries to enter the property market ahead of private tenants, or of people still living at home, who in either case had saved for their deposits.

What, exactly, was or is conservative or Tory about that? Or about moving in the characters from Shameless either alongside, or even in place of, the respectable working class?

As recently as 1980, what is now a breathtaking 20 per cent of the richest tenth of the population lived in social housing. I have never been rich, but I have certainly always been middle-class, and I did live, albeit briefly, in a council house in the early 1980s. In, for local readers, Burnhope.

Now, after three decades of selling off the stock and of not building any more, the stringent criteria for new tenants effectively guarantee a large number of single mothers of dependent children who are thus unable to work full-time, if at all, and of people newly released from prison or newly discharged from psychiatric institutions.

In central and local government until 1979, the Conservatives used to take housing at least as seriously as anyone else did. But since 1997, even Labour in government has failed miserably on this issue. 

We need a minimum of 100,000 new homes every year for at least 10 years, including council homes with an end to the Right to Buy, with the capital receipts from council house sales released in order to build more council housing, and with councils empowered to borrow to that end.

We need a minimum of 50 per cent of any new development to be dedicated to affordable housing, with affordability defined as 50 per cent of average rents. We need rent controls. We need action against the buying up of property by foreign investors in order to leave it empty.

And we need a statutory requirement of planning permission for change of use if it were proposed to turn a primary dwelling into a secondary dwelling, a working family home into a weekend or holiday home. That would set the pattern for the empowerment of the rural working class, assisted by the Land Value Tax.

As Prime Minister, either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn would face strong opposition to this from the Thatcherite or Blairite Undead.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.

Trial Date Watch: Day 129

23 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 182

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Russia's USS Liberty Moment?

If so, then the world just became a much more dangerous place.

But if not, and it was France, then the world just became an almost indescribably dangerous place.

Benjamin Netanyahu is many terrible things. But at least he is not the swaggering pipsqueak, Emmanuel Macron.

Spare Capacity?

I read the following on Facebook, but it checks out:

Class war breaks out in Hythe, Kent, where the Council is going to sell off the housing of 56 families and offer them relocation in Co Durham as they cannot rehouse them locally. 

The Council maintain there is ‘spare capacity’ of housing in Co Durham more than 300 miles away. So the only housing option to be offered these families is far, far away from their friends, schools and jobs. 

If they refuse they will become ‘intentionally homeless’ and no longer the responsibility of the Council.

Update 

Folkstone and Hythe District Council says that the building is not its to sell, and the Leader Councillor David Monk, says:

Due to the unfortunate intervention of a Hythe town councillor, Pensand have brought forward their programme of repossessing the buildings.

We will do all we can to help the 57 households affected by the redevelopment if they approach us for housing and we have already placed one couple in sheltered housing.

However, we do not have accommodation immediately available to meet that level of demand and we already have more than 1,000 families and individuals waiting for social housing in our district.

In common with many other councils in the south east we are facing unprecedented pressures on local housing which is why we wanted to highlight the opportunities available for people if they wanted to look for a new home beyond East Kent.

The availability and choice of housing is County Durham is far beyond what we are currently able to offer here and we wanted people to be aware of this.

Trial Date Watch: Day 128

More than 22 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 181

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Monday, 17 September 2018

No Bar Behind Bars

And so to the hospitalisation of at least four staff of HMP Bedford.

As a civilian, giving up the right to strike, such as by becoming a Prison Officer in recent years, or such as by becoming a Police Officer since rather longer ago, is part of a wider deal.

The State undertakes to protect you in other ways.

But in the case of the Prison Service, the State is obviously failing to keep its side of the bargain.

Until it does, then there is at least no moral reason why the Prison Officers should keep their side, either.

Getting Back On Track

Of course one in seven trains is officially late. Even that figure depends on an overly generous definition of punctuality. 

Like the huge majority of the population across all political allegiances, and like so conservative a figure as Peter Hitchens, I support the renationalisation of the rail services as each franchise came up for renewal, and thus at no cost.

I would make that the backbone of a rebuilt network of public transport, eventually free at the point of use, and extending to every village in this or any other constituency. 

Even prior to that, I would require the approval of the House of Commons for any increase in public transport fares, with the cost of HS2 diverted to reconnecting many towns to the rail network. That would include several towns in North West Durham. 

I was the first person ever to suggest that the trade unions develop an app in competition with Uber, and that is now developing well in the form of CabFair, an example of the key role of the unions in the mutualisation of the gig economy. 

Being disabled, I am dependent on public transport. I appreciate that a Member of Parliament for a rural constituency could never be entirely so, no matter how good that transport was, so I would create employment in North West Durham by employing one or more drivers. 

Vehicle Excise Duty does not really raise very much money at all, but it colours the debate on transport, so it ought to be abolished.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. My crowdfunding page is here, or email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com for other options. That address accepts PayPal.