Propaganda Is Masked As News

The media is a closed shop for the privileged, the press being mostly run by wealthy oligarchs who defend a status quo from which they benefit.
( Owen Jones, 23.08.2018 )

A ‘no deal’ Brexit would be an unmitigated disaster – and the fact that UK Government is even talking about it is evidence of their abject failure.
That they once had the nerve to tell us that independence threatened our place in Europe adds insult to injury. Scotland deserves better.
( Nicola Sturgeon, 23.08.2018 )

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
( Edgar Allan Poe )

It’s often said we become the average of those we spend the most time with.

Life is so very difficult.. How can we be anything but kind.
( Buddha )

We live in the most complex, sophisticated biological masterpiece on earth.
We must do everything we can to look after it.
Take care of your body, you live in it.

A free press is essential to our democracy, but much of our press isn’t very free at all.. I want media workers to be free to do their best work, not held back by billionaire owners, tech giants or the state.
( Jeremy Corbyn, 23.08.2018 )

We live in a time when ignorance is disguised as politics, propaganda is masked as news, and greed is dismissed as capitalism.

Abundance is not a number or acquisition.
It is the simple recognition of enoughness.
( Alan Cohen )

May all that have life be delivered from suffering.
( Buddha )

Health is not just what you’re eating, it is also what you are thinking and saying.

Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement.
( Buddha )

Those who are weak, those who are afraid, will more easily accept the policies and believe the propaganda from Government.

If a man earnestly seeks a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from animal food.
( Leo Tolstoy )

The truth is very bitter.. There is no purpose for humans.. The only purpose is to propagate and consume resources.. In Nature, humans are the most useless species.. If we disappear, Nature will thrive.. The bacteria, the fly, the insects, the algae, the plants all have more important roles.
( Rohit Kale )

The Nazis used the term ‘Socialist’ to cover the fact that they were not socialists.
The clue is in the fact that they killed all the real socialists first.. Read some history.
( Penny Flynn )

The claim is not hysterical..
From health to disability benefits to prisons, it’s clear that Tory policies cost lives.
( Zoe Williams, Guardian, 13.11.2017 )

The harsh austerity plan rolled out under consecutive Conservative Governments has been linked to 120,000 deaths in Britain.
( Jack Peat, London Economic, 16.11.2017 )

Adopt The Pace Of Nature

Are Badgers Being Made A Scapegoat ?..
An independent report by researchers at the University of Edinburgh revealed that 97 dogs were euthanised following an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) at Kimblewink hunting kennels. This confirms that hunts are a major biosecurity risk.
The report also contains information which suggests both the hunt and Defra kept quiet about key aspects of the outbreak – such as claiming only 25 dogs were affected, rather than the actual total of 97.
Government statements about the outbreak gave the impression that there was no real threat of disease spread by hunting hounds – while at the same time they amended regulations to restrict the feeding of offal to hunting hounds.
If there was no threat – why change the regulations ?
The condition of the Kimblewick kennels – a typical hunt – is described as ‘suboptimal’, with dogs being kept in dirty, unhygienic conditions which are a breeding ground for disease. Some biosecurity measures were introduced at the kennels once the infection had been confirmed. However this backs up evidence that basic biosecurity measures at hunting kennels are generally low or non-existent.

Is The UK Government Turning A Blind Eye To Protect Fox Hunters ?..
The 97 dogs which were destroyed because of bTB are just the tip of a diseased iceberg. This story isn’t about one kennel infected with bTB, it’s about the way hunts routinely avoid even basic biosecurity and animal welfare measures, meaning their poor dogs are often living disease carriers.

There’s a simple truth here. When livestock dies, potentially of disease, it is given to hunts to feed raw to their hounds. These hounds are often in poor health due to kennelling conditions and lack of care, and pick up the disease. They then spread the disease back into the countryside – and the cycle continues. The government knows this is a huge risk but is either turning a blind eye or not giving people the full picture, both of which are unacceptable.
If farmers are concerned about disease on their farms, be it bTB or anything else, then they need to take a close look at any hunts in their area. There is stacks of evidence showing that disease can spread between livestock and hunting hounds, but the government seem intent on playing this down with misleading or disingenuous statements which deflect from the truth.
They brought in new regulations last year while pretending there was no problem when clearly there was. And those regulations won’t make any significant difference – it’s a clear case of shutting the kennel door after the hounds have bolted.
If this country wants to take disease control seriously and protect livestock, then proper biosecurity is vital – and that means stopping hunts from galloping all over farm land.
( Chris Pitt, Deputy Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports )

Adopt the pace of Nature.. Her secret is patience.
( Ralph Waldo Emerson )

Eating Dogs In China Has Nothing To Do With Culture ..
Few people know that the dog-eating trade in China has absolutely nothing to do with culture.. While Ancient China condoned the consumption of dogs, the spread of Buddhism in the 10th Century saw a massive decline in dog meat, and from 1644 to 1912 when the Qing Dynasty reigned, dog meat was banned.. The Qing (Manchus) considered killing and consuming a dog to be barbaric.. This stemmed from the legend of the first Manchu leader, Nurhachi, whose life was saved by a dog.. He told his followers: “In the mountains, there are so many kinds of animals which you can hunt for food, but from now on, no one is allowed to eat dogs, nor wear dog skin. When dogs die, they should be buried because dogs can read man’s emotion and can rescue their masters. Dogs are loyal.”
For almost three hundred years, dogs were revered and beloved by rulers of China who considered the slaughter and consumption of them to be so heinous that they outlawed it.. Only in the south did they continue to defy this rule.. It all changed drastically in 1912 when the Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist Party got to power.. As a symbol of their hatred towards the Manchu, they would boil dogs alive simply to spite them.. This was only the beginning of the dogs’ descent into hell, for when the communists subsequently took power a few decades later, Chairman Mao ordered the mass execution of dogs, declaring them filthy, unclean and representative of the elite.. This led to the annihilation of millions of dogs, perpetuating a widespread hatred of them which continues to this day.. So, let’s acknowledge China’s dog meat trade for what it truly is.. Not culture, but a political perversion that manifested in the last century and was the result of one political government hating the previous rulers.
( Sarah Brownlee )

China, A Country With Zero Animal Welfare Laws ..
Both international governments and citizens alike do not dare criticise another’s ‘culture’ for fear of being deemed racist.. The result ?.. A country with zero animal welfare laws, countless dogs being burned, boiled and skinned alive on a daily basis, and millions of grieving, weeping dog-lovers and owners throughout the country who have had their dogs snatched and killed for the trade, and are utterly powerless to act, because they have a government that simply will not listen to them.. For it is true that the majority of these dogs are stolen pets – and why ?.. Because if the dog is under-nourished, this could cause a potential health hazard for the consumer, and if a dog trader wants to ensure his meat is plump and well-fed, he only needs to look to the beloved pet of a family home where the dog has been cared for and looked after.. This adds a whole new layer of sickening depravity to the trade.. And even if it was in the name of culture, in what world is it morally or remotely acceptable to steal a person’s pet dog before hauling it off to the slaughterhouse ?
( Sarah Brownlee )

No Animal Is So Cruel As Man

Until we allow all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never call ourselves civilised.

The vegan considers the abolition of the slaughter-house as a reform of the first importance in the reconstruction of human society.. For as long as it remains, society has no morality.
( Donald Watson )

Members of the UK Government and their wealthy mates on horses should have progressed beyond chasing innocent foxes around the countryside and having their dogs tear the poor souls to pieces.

They try and hide their cowardly actions by calling it ‘sport’ or ‘hunting’..
When in fact it’s cold-blooded murder.

People speak sometimes about the ‘bestial’ cruelty of man.
But that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts.
No animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.
( Fyodor Dostoyevsky )

Who will be the first supermarket or store to show mercy and compassion, decency and morality, and have the guts to stop selling animal products – and put an end to enslavement, misery, fear, terror, torture, unimaginable pain, suffering, and brutal death ?

Many people are wholly unconnected to what is on their plate.
They see meat but do not see the slaughter.
( Ruth Owen )

The complete character, the true human, are those who see and hear and feel the most.. Who have the deep sympathy of understanding and compassion for all creatures on our earth.

As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks.
I am eating misery, I thought, as I took the first bite.. And spit it out.
( Alice Walker )

All animals are here with us, none are here for us.

The Earth was made for all beings, not just human beings.
Many animals show more kindness and compassion than do many humans.

The vegan lifestyle is a compassionate way to live that supports life, supports fairness and equality, and promotes freedom.
( Robert Cheeke )

It’s very disturbing when you have a prime minister and government who have a perverted desire to not only kill wildlife animals for fun but to cheer and celebrate when a pack of frenzied dogs tear the poor souls to pieces.

Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything.
It is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable.
( Gary Francione )

Animals do not give their life to us.. We take their lives..
They struggle and fight to the last breath..
Just as you would if you were in their place.

When they are gone.. When every last life has been stolen..
How will we remember them ?
Extinction is forever.

The arrogant delusion of superiority and the belief we have a God-given right to decide who lives and who dies.
( Rose Winfold )

Behind every fur, behind every piece of fur trim, there is a story of life, fear, horror and suffering.

The commonly held notion that punching and kicking an animal is cruelty but shooting them in the skull and slitting their throat is not, is so utterly ridiculous that it sounds like satire.

We must always remember that our world leaders and politicians are also responsible for the misery and the suffering of animals.. They have the power and the resources to end both animal and human suffering.. But they choose not to.

When I read of the possible annihilation of the elephant or the whale, or the pouring of oven cleaner or cosmetics into the eyes of live kittens, or the close confinement of pigs and calves in lightless pens, I feel myself confronted by human stupidity, which I recognise as an enemy.
The connection between stupidity and cruelty is a close one.
( Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 )

Several studies now confirm that pigs are more intelligent than the despicable creatures who abuse and slaughter them.

When you describe an action as being ‘humane’, it is an action you are prepared to have done to yourself.. If you are not, it’s not humane.

Once the facts have been presented, you’d have to be wilfully ignorant to continue eating animal products.
( Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018 )

We can judge the character and the hearts of people by the way they treat animals.

We share this planet with wonderful and amazing animals and creatures.
If you can’t show them kindness and compassion..
Then at least do them no harm.

To say that a being who is sentient has no interest in continuing to live is like saying that a being with eyes has no interest in continuing to see.. Death, however ‘humane’, is a harm for humans and non-humans.
( Gary Francione )

People saying that vegans are weak clearly have no idea of how much strength it takes to stand up for what you believe in.

The small number of folk who truly care must educate the arrogant many that all life is as precious as their own.

The systematic torture of sentient beings, whatever the pretext and in whatever form, cannot achieve anything more than it already has.. To show us what is the lowest point of debasement man can reach.
( Joaquin Phoenix )

The Dairy Industry.. The only place where rape victims, who cry for days over their stolen babies, are depicted as being happy.

Those who put their ‘taste’ above unimaginable pain and suffering tells us everything about them.

In one week, more farmed animals are killed than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout history.
( Melanie Joy )

Vegan is not extreme.
What’s extreme is that we say we love animals yet pay people to torture, abuse and kill them just because we like the taste of their dead bodies.. Now that is extreme.

The truth has long been met with anger before acceptance.
Soon we’ll see eating animal flesh and drinking animal milk as another barbaric relic in our history.

As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people.. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
( Isaac Bashevis Singer )

Saying the flesh of animals tastes good as a justification for killing them is pretty much the same argument as saying rape is okay since it feels good to the rapist.. Civilised people require more than sensory pleasure to justify behaviours.

So I started thinking to myself, jeez, I’ve always been told nothing but ‘milk does a body good’.. It’s a fundamental thing.
So from there it was like, what else are they lying about ?.. I just started realising there are all these things we’re brought up to believe that are just a total hoax, just bullshit advertising, you know ?
( Woody Harrelson )

Few people see the beauty that surrounds them and the wealth of love and warm affection in the soul of animals.

Not a single creature on our planet has been free from the exploitation and the persecution of man.

Unlike any other animal, you have a choice.
You can choose to kill and destroy, or you can choose to save and create.
I chose the latter.
( Edward Sanchez )

In the USA alone, three times as many animals await to be slaughtered as there are people on the entire Earth.

Fox ‘Hunting’ Is Cruelty Dressed Up As Sport ..
The pompous, posturing, red-jacketed oafs and the sick cronies who follow them don’t have the dignity of the animals they are chasing.. The barbaric activities of these gangs of posh, rural thugs is unnatural and very disturbing.. It’s cruelty dressed up as sport.. They seem to have a driven, blood-thirsty need and desire to inflict fear and pain on innocent, defenceless animals.. They are, without exception, among the cruellest, most thoughtless, most evil members of our community.
Male ‘hunters’ are invariably impotent and women who ‘hunt’ climb on horses purely for the clitoral stimulation.
( Rose Winfold )

Truth v Propaganda

People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
( Aldous Huxley )

Due to Government cuts, around 900,000 old folk in the UK on Pension Credit are no longer eligible for emergency cold weather payments. Targeting the vulnerable seems to be the policy of the Conservative Party.

Ideologies are exportable, and legitimise attempts to alter the internal regimes of other countries ( such as the USA’s recent attempt to bring ‘democracy’ to Iraq ).
( Peter Hitchens )

Russian gangsters with their stolen loot are allowed to live freely in Britain.. Russian traitors are given refuge there.. And the UK Government descend into uncontrollable, deranged hysteria over the consequences of their own shifty dealings.

Politicians and media fear-mongering demonising Russia for political agenda is now the norm in the Western world.. Russia pose no threat to the West .. We all need to wake up and look closely at who benefits from the propaganda and the scare-mongering.

Why have we unquestionably allowed public servants to replace the three-letter word ‘lie’ with the three-word phrase ‘error of judgment’ ?
( Brian Reade, 24.02.2018 )

Just by listening to, and observing the actions of some people, even some in our Governments, it does seem that intelligence is in short supply. Common-sense is almost non-existent among those who are in charge. Greed, self-interest and vanity is rampant among those in power.

It seems that the American people have been conditioned to hate Russia.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans accuse Russia of meddling in elections and hacking just about everyone.
The people of America need to wake up.
Russia poses no threat to the West, they have more important things to attend to.
I think the ‘enemy’ of America lies within.
( Dion Felsrow )

Britain Refuses To Back Investigation Into War Crimes By Saudi Arabia ..
Britain vowed not to back a proposed UN investigation into possible war crimes by Saudi Arabia in Yemen after the Kingdom threatened to review its trade with nations who backed the move.. A Saudi-led coalition has been waging war in northern Yemen for more than two years against Houthi rebel forces who are opposed to the country’s leader, President Abdrabbuh Mansour.. More than 10,000 have been killed – many of whom are said to be civilians – and some 50,000 injured, figures show, after mostly air strike attacks by fighter jets dispatched by Riyadh.. It comes after figures from charity War Child UK claimed that British arms companies have earned more than £6billion from trade with Saudi Arabia since the conflict erupted.. UN members Holland and Canada have called for an inquiry into alleged war crimes by the Saudis in its campaigns against the Houthi forces over its border with Yemen.. But the Kingdom said it “will not accept” any outside investigation into the allegations and warned countries that supported the move could see their trade with the Saudis suffer.. A letter distributed by the kingdom read: “Adopting The Netherlands/Canadian draft resolution in the Human Rights Council may negatively affect the bilateral political economic relations with Saudi Arabia”, according to the news agency AFP.. Britain’s Middle East and North Africa minister Alistair Burt said “finding a resolution for the conflict in Yemen was a high priority”, but added the UK would not support the proposed UN inquiry.
( Independent, 28.09.2017 )

Thousands of unnecessary deaths, millions suffering pain and misery.. Homelessness, suicides, violent crime at highest recorded levels.. The money-laundering, drug capital of Europe.. This is the UK, ruled by an incompetent, greedy, selfish, arrogant government.
The weak and the vulnerable and the powerless are blamed for economic ills and left to wither.. While those at the top, responsible for all the shit and all the misery, are exonerated and grow richer.

I suppose it’s possible that Russia, a country with no ideology, a falling population and a GDP the size of Italy, is in some way threatening western democracy, though I can’t think why. Main threat to western democracy is intellectual decline of western media and politicians.
( Peter Hitchens )

Politics is no longer Left v Right.. It’s Truth v Propaganda.

Most world religions denounced war as a barbaric waste of human life.
We treasured the teachings of these religions so dearly that we frequently had to wage war in order to impose them on other people.
( Jon Stewart )

Almost Half Of British Arms Exports Go To Saudi Arabia ..
The UK Government has absolutely no problem murdering innocent civilians on foreign soil.. It has no problem engaging in acts of aggression with and on behalf of other nations.. It has no problem extracting profits from the sale of armaments to genocidal regimes.. It has no problem subjecting its own citizens to the head-choppers and covering up their massive, organised, systematic raping of British girls.. Almost half of British arms exports go to Saudi Arabia, up fivefold since they intervened in Yemen’s civil war.. British bombs are being dropped by British planes maintained by British personnel over one of the world’s poorest countries.. Tens of thousands of people have died, if not from direct bombardment then from starvation or disease as a result of the Saudi-led blockade and the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure.. The Department for International Trade employs hundreds of civil servants as sales reps for the private arms industry.. No other export industry of the same size enjoys such a perk.. Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, has said he would ‘personally lead on helping the defence and security industries to export’.

I don’t blame Farage for hating the EU really.
Imagine having to keep attending an institution where everyone is smarter than you even in their second language.
( Ralf Little )

I am here to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t lead on the evening news.. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simple statistics instead of being vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.
( Naomi Wadler )

The UK Government have picked another £48million from the magic money tree to invest in building a chemical weapons defence centre to tackle what it says is a growing threat from Russia and North Korea.
The sick and the homeless and the children in poverty will have to wait.

Every single major BBC commentator is a Tory voter.
Many have actually worked for the party in the past.
Bias is therefore unavoidable, whether conscious or not.
( Mel Melvin )

Best For Britain ? ..
Hungarian/American multi-billionaire financier George Soros plans to give up to half a billion to overturn the referendum result decided by the British people.. He’s handed it to a campaign group called Best For Britain.
Soros has got a interesting record on doing what’s best for Britain.
He took on the Bank of England by betting against the pound in 1992.. Britain was then part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a device to align all currencies ahead of the introduction of the euro.. This meant us following the German mark.. But because the Tories had made our economy weaker than Germany’s, their attempt to follow the ERM made matters worse, leading to low interest rates and high inflation.. The Tories started putting up interest rates to try to boost the pound’s value, but Soros began shorting the pound – effectively selling heavily on the currency.. The Tories were then forced to push up our interest rates from 10 to 12% in one day and up to 15% the following morning.. When that failed to stop the crisis, they pulled out of the ERM on Black Wednesday, costing the taxpayer over £3billion and earning Soros $1billion .. Now he wants to interfere again in Britain’s business by making us stay in the EU.
( John Prescott, 18.02.2018 )

People, including politicians, who express opinions that go against the agenda of the Government are being insulted and vilified, not only by the Tory-supporting media, but by Government ministers.. This is not democracy, nor is it respectful, nor is it how Britain should be.

They did it to the first Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald with the fake Zinoviev Letter.. They did it to Harold Wilson and they did it to trade union leader Jack Jones.. And now the Right are doing it to Jeremy Corbyn.. Quoting dodgy East European sources to prove that everyone on the Left is a spy who wants to sell this country into the hands of communism.. Thank God they think Corbyn is that much of a threat to their Thatcherite agenda.
( Brian Reade, 24.02.2018 )

The US, the EU and Israel have a list of targets and agendas in the Middle East but Russia poses a problem, disrupting the outcome in Syria and supporting Iran.. Just one reason for the scaremongering, propaganda, and false claims that Russia is a threat to the West.
( Dion Felsrow )

A country where the media attack the opposition rather than the government is a country where freedom is under threat.
( Peter Hitchens )

NHS hospitals are borrowing record amounts of money from the Government. Figures reveal that Hospital trusts owed £7.5billion in loans in 2016/17, up from £5billion on the previous year. The Government should be giving, not loaning it to them. After all, it’s taxpayers’ money.

She is a charisma free, mentally fragile calamity in waiting, which would be wonderful if she were merely a Tory leader.. But she’s in charge of Britain at its most crucial negotiating time with foreign powers since Suez.. And rather than resemble a statesman from the 1950s she looks increasingly like she’s playing the senile nun in Call The Midwife.
( Brian Reade, on UK PM Theresa May, 24.02.2018 )

The Unlucky Victims Of Cameron’s Childish Vanity ..
Whose fault is it that so many of our fellow creatures have drowned in the Mediterranean on the way to Britain ? Whose fault will it be when many more do so, crying out for help that will not come, in the future ?
One thing is quite certain. Completely avoidable actions have made this crisis much worse. The worst action of all was the unforgivable stupid decision by David Cameron and others to over-throw Colonel Gaddafi’s state in Libya. I am still amazed that this blunder did not destroy Mr Cameron, as it should have done.
Like all shallow modern politicians, he wanted a cheap and victorious war to make him seem more important than he is.. Libya and its people were the unlucky victims of his childish vanity.. Not only did this bird-brained action turn Libya into a hideous, bloody chaos without hope, it removed the single most important barrier between Europe and the Third World.. Without Gaddafi’s stringent control of his coastline, the economic refugees of the whole of Africa and much of the Middle East (many of them fleeing wars and conflicts begun or encouraged by us) can clamber into coffin ships and set out across the Mediterranean.. Liberal vanity kills and goes on killing.. And it is all the worse because the culprits continue to have such high opinions of themselves.
( An extract from an article by Peter Hitchens, 02.11.2014 )

In 1991 when the Communist Party was crushed and the USSR collapsed, the Russians believed there was an unspoken agreement that, in return for this, they would be allowed their dignity.. Yet for the last 25 years they have been falsely accused of all sorts to hide Western agendas.
( Dion Felsrow )

Why Are Fat-Cats Allowed To Cheat ?

Tory Activist Alleges Rape By Party Employee ..
A former Tory activist who alleged she was raped by a party employee claims senior Conservatives have repeatedly ignored a culture of sex abuse and harassment within the party.. Lisa Wade claimed she was so violently attacked she was left with whiplash-style injuries, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take her case to court.
She reveals that, by then, she had already made an official complaint to the party about drunk young girls being targeted by sex pests while campaigning on the Tories’ infamous ‘battle bus’ before the 2015 election.
But Lisa, in her twenties, claims she was hounded out for what she did, and says many of the worst offenders still hold senior roles in the party.
( Geraldine McKelvie, 12.11.2017 )

Why Are People Who Run Big Businesses Allowed To Cheat Us ? ..
I’m finding it increasingly hard to deal with the anger produced by the way people who run big businesses are allowed to cheat us.. Carillion bosses grovelled before MPs saying how upset and sorry they were that they allowed the firm to collapse with a billion-pound pension deficit and a billion-pound debt, despite giving themselves lavish pay and bonuses right until the end.. If courts can take the savings, cars and houses off guilty criminals, why can’t we do the same to guilty sharks who knowingly enriched themselves by gambling with workers’ pensions and livelihoods ?
( Brian Reade, 10.02.2018 )

A 30-Year Low On Home Ownership ..
Nothing exposes how useless this Tory government has been more than housing.
The Tories have produced 11 government housing statements and two White Papers – proposed government plans – in their seven years in power.. The last White Paper promised to mend the housing market.. But they bloody broke it !
Rough sleeping has doubled, home ownership has decreased to a 30-year low and they have built the lowest amount of social housing on record.
Thanks to Osborne’s ‘Help To Buy’, YOU subsidise peoples’ deposits to buy homes costing up to £650,000 .. And thanks to Philip Hammond, YOU are subsidising a £3.2 billion Stamp Duty giveaway to people buying homes for up to £300,000.
Tory housing policies have always been about the cash-strapped many paying for the lucky few.. The £3.2 billion Stamp Duty cut over six years could have built more than 30,000 new council homes.. Instead it will end up in the back pockets of house sellers, estate agents and property developers.. In fact, it’s been suggested by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility that it will help only 3,500 first-time buyers a year.. It would be cheaper to buy them houses.
( John Prescott, 26.11.2017 )

Ten Thousand Died In Tiananmen Square Protest ..
The Chinese army crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests killed 10,000, dwarfing estimates, a document claims.. Wounded girl students were bayoneted, human remains were hosed down drains and a mother was shot as she tried to help her injured tot, it is alleged.. The detail, said to be from a member of China’s cabinet, was in a cable from Alan Donald, then UK ambassador to China.
China said 200 civilians and dozens of security staff died.
( Keith Perry, 24.12.2017 )

Prisoners Behind Bars In The UK ..
There are around 80,000 prisoners behind bars in the UK.
Women make up just 5% of the inmate population, and are kept in 12 prisons.
The average cost of keeping a prisoner in jail is £40,000 a year.
England and Wales have the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe, with 148 people in prison per 100,000.
Serious assaults on staff from prisoners have trebled since 2012.
Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults went up 28% from 2015-2016.
37.4% of prison officers in the UK are female.
( National Offender Management Service, January 2018 )

A Strong Support For God Within Science ..
There is a strong support for a Creator or God from within science.
Science shows the universe is not eternal and that it began to exist at the ‘Big Bang’.
Stephen Hawkings admits ‘many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention’.. Equally, the astonishing fine-tuning of the laws of nature to make life possible are also consistent with a divine creator.. Thirdly, Richard Dawkins admits that ‘living objects look overwhelmingly as though they are designed’, although he prefers evolution’s account of why this is so, despite a number of serious holes in the evidence.. Of course, none of this scientific evidence ‘proves’ God exists, but it does create a strong cumulative case that it is probable, provided you do not rule out the possibility before you have weighed the evidence.
Faith is not ‘blind faith’, but a rational position consistent with an open mind.

A Huge Rise In Children Contacting Childline ..
The number of children contacting Childline about child sexual exploitation rose by a third last year.. The cash-strapped NSPCC-run helpline now counsels eight victims every day on the issue.. They are lured or tricked into sexual activity with gifts, money or affection, both online and offline.
( Geraldine McKelvie, 26.11.2017 )

Fat-Cats Squealing Because They Might Lose Their Cream ..
It is accepted across the political spectrum that certain public services should not be privatised – the NHS, the police, the fire service and the BBC .. Yet if you want to get a Tory frothing at the mouth suggest that transport and public utilities should be renationalised.. These are also essential public services.. We need to move around the place, and water, gas and electricity are some of life’s most valuable commodities.. That’s why this newspaper believes they should be in public ownership.. That they are not is the lasting legacy of Thatcherism.. Margaret Thatcher believed that these industries would perform better in the private sector.. This was based on the fact that they could not perform any worse.. But what may have been true decades ago no longer holds today.. Just ask Southern rail passengers, or those who use Southeastern, Thameslink or Great Northern.. Water firms have paid £13billion to shareholders since 2010 while receiving more in tax breaks than they paid in tax.. They fund reports by right-wing think tanks to rubbish Labour’s nationalisation plans.. That sound you can hear is fat-cats squealing because they fear they might lose their cream.. The ability of an industry to serve its customers has nothing to do with whether it is private or public, only that it has good management.. And the principle must be right that a public service is there first and foremost to serve the public, not to make a fat profit out of it.. The Tories say Labour must borrow to take industries back into public control.. They are right.. But it is no different from borrowing to buy a house.. You own the house which becomes an asset which, all being well, will grow in value.. The Tory Party argument against nationalisation is rooted in a past long since gone.. Labour’s refreshing new thinking shows it is the party of the future.
( Sunday Mirror, 11.02.2018 ) 

The Big Con Trick ..
Austerity was David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s big con trick – a way to slash budgets for public services and councils so they could give £60 billion in tax breaks to their mates running big businesses.
They blamed the 2008 global financial crisis on Gordon Brown and Labour.
They claimed we’d spent too much and austerity would restore the economy.
The Tories promised to eradicate the deficit by 2015, then 2016, then 2017, then 2020.. Now it looks like it won’t be until 2030 at the earliest.
( John Prescott, 26.11.2017 )

Horse-Loving Royals ..
My favourite story about the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote concerns Emily Davison throwing herself under King George V’s horse at the 1913 Derby.. Many saw it as the ultimate act of heroism by a courageous feminist, but not King George’s mum Queen Alexandra.. She sent a telegram to the jockey at the time saying how sad she was that he couldn’t finish the race due to ‘the abominable conduct of a brutal lunatic woman’.. Heartless I know, but I reckon a century on those horse-loving royals would take the same view.. Let’s face it, if you come from a family which doesn’t need to worry about voting because the cap-doffing voters blindly accept they are your subjects, I guess you’d see them all as lunatics.
( Brian Reade, 10.02.2018 )