The Belief That Things Could Be Better

A Nation can’t resolve what the press won’t let it perceive.
( Julian Assange )

The Chief Rabbi Attacked The Labour Leader ..
The Jewish establishment in Britain and the Israeli propaganda machine have taken out a contract on the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The contract was taken out a long time ago, and it was clear that the closer Corbyn came to being elected prime minister, the harsher the conflict would get. It reached its climax in an article by the chief rabbi of Britain, Ephraim Mirvis, in The Times. Mirvis has decided that the anxiety of British Jews over Corbyn is justified and he is not fit to be prime minister. He called on Jews not to vote for Labour in the election on December 12.
( Gideon Levy, 28.11.2019 )

A Myth To Distract People From The Truth ..
My thoughts on the self-flagellating post-mortems: I’m struck by how much blame is being placed on Corbyn and how much of it is framed in the personal context of ‘people just didn’t like him’. I don’t know whether I like Corbyn or not. I don’t KNOW him. And there’s the rub. How do people ‘know’ Corbyn if not through the media portrayal? Have we forgotten that? If we’re not supposed to label people as ‘thick’ and ‘racist’, what are they if they ‘don’t like’ someone who has campaigned against injustice all his life but they ‘do like’ someone who is openly bigoted against just about every ‘other’ group in society? I have issues with Corbyn’s failures: failure to work together with other parties; failure to denounce Brexit from the start; failure to hold the government properly to account. But this construct, that it’s all his fault because of ‘him’ is another myth to distract us from what actually went on. This ‘win’ which the right are now crowing about, is in the context of lies and corruption and mass manipulation. Are we going to dismiss that now? That Labour members and other ‘progressives’ are now actively engaged in it is frankly rather distasteful and exactly what went wrong. They’re still talking about ‘appealing to the Northern working class’. Those people voted Tory! They voted for racism and bigotry and the false sense of power you get when you ‘win’ a Pyrrhic victory. They voted against a better, more just, considered society. Whilst it’s worth noting that Labour won the popular vote in all but the over 65s, it doesn’t matter now. Labour may as well pack up and go home. There is about as much meaning in an opposition party in the UK now, as there was in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. That was all part of the plan.
( J. Green, 17.12.2019 )

I don’t think the internet and social media changes the propaganda model at all. The propaganda model was about the major media institutions and they remain, with all the social media and everything else, the primary source of news, information and commentary. The news that appears in social media is drawn from them. So, if you look at the news on Facebook, it comes straight from the major media. They don’t do their own investigations.
( Noam Chomsky, 13.03.2018 )

Unprecedented Levels Of Misinformation ..
Being free to participate fully requires being well informed – this relies upon the adequacy of processes, institutions and organisations of knowledge production. Yet this election saw unprecedented levels of misinformation, obfuscation and bias across most mainstream media. The Conservatives changed their Twitter account to look like a fact checking service; Johnson refused to be interviewed by Andrew Neil on the BBC and clumsily hid a reporter’s phone in his pocket,rather than respond to questions about the NHS. The study by Loughborough University showed that the Press were overwhelmingly negative about the Labour Party. Fairness and freedom are about the ability to hold power (including media power) to account. Yet both have been in short supply during this election. The Conservatives have been elected on a mandate to drop the second stage of the Leveson inquiry and repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts act (the final and integral part of the Royal Charter Framework of Press Regulation). There is no sign that they intend to regulate the tech giants to make elections and electioneering any fairer or freer. Quite the opposite. Democratic delusions abound.
( Natalie Fenton, 16.12.2019 )

Massive Interference In Elections ..
Let’s say all the claims are true. Suppose Russia tried to interfere in the American elections. That ought to make people laugh hysterically. There is huge interference in American elections. It comes from the corporate sector. They practically buy the elections. In fact, there is extensive work in mainstream academic political science that demonstrates very convincingly that you can predict the electability, hence largely the votes, of people in Congress on major issues just by looking at their campaign funding. That is one factor, let alone lobbying and everything else. That is massive interference in elections.
( Noam Chomsky, 13.03.2018 )

The Disgraceful Connivance By Labour MPs ..
The idea that four years of character assassination by the print and broadcast media, bombarding an unusually honest, principled, courageous, kind and sharp politician with smears and slanders almost every day, could be connected to a lack of personal popularity was sneeringly dismissed by BBC attack dog Andrew Neil. But it was connected, and it was reinforced by the disgraceful connivance in those attacks by many MPs, whose personal contact with Corbyn meant they knew the accusations they threw at him were untrue. MPs who have spent the years since 2015 attacking Corbyn have a greater responsibility than he for the election disaster. And the attacks were inspired by Labour’s socialist policies. Those imagining that Labour would have benefited from a different leader are kidding themselves.
( Extract from an article by the Morning Star, 13.12.2019 )

Just to be clear, the media campaign against Corbyn went far beyond anything against any previous Labour leader. It was surely the biggest propaganda campaign in UK history. Key to this is agenda-setting: shaping what people think *about* (and what they don’t).
( Mark Curtis, 17.12.2019 )

Outrage About The Bias Of The Media ..
Britain has one of the most concentrated media environments in the world. Just three companies dominate 83% of national newspaper circulation; five companies account for 80% of national newspaper news-brand reach; five companies command 80% of local newspaper titles; and two companies own nearly half of all commercial analogue radio stations. The phone hacking scandal and its aftermath demonstrated how that power has been used nationally, whilst at the local level community after community is losing the means to publicly hold power to account. Outrage about the bias of the media has been a constant over many years of elections but the past four years allow us to make a fairly direct comparison between events. The main thing that has changed is not the media, but the leading figures in the campaign. Boris Johnson won for the Tories in 2019 for all the reasons that Brexit won in 2016. They had the man, the message and the machine. Media coverage at elections is always biased against Labour because of the agenda-setting role of the pro-Conservative press (online as well as in print). The only period when this has not been the case is during the Blair years when the Murdoch empire swung behind New Labour.
( Angela Phillips, 16.12.2019 )

Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. His real sin is to fight against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates.
( Gideon Levy, 28.11.2019 )

The BBC Have Lost Any Sense Of Its Democratic Purpose ..
This was a terrible election for the BBC, which seems to have lost any sense of its public, democratic purpose. It spent the campaign floundered from one editorial aberration to another, while its senior political reporters acting in the most reckless fashion, shocking many of their younger, more junior colleagues. There was the editing out of the Question Time audience laughing at the Prime Minister in the clip for the BBC’s news bulletins. There was the failure to secure an interview with Johnson for the Andrew Neil Interviews, only to then grant the Conservative Party’s request for an interview with Andrew Marr instead, having just at first refused to do so. There was Laura Kuenssberg tweeting a fabricated story about Labour activists attacking a Tory advisor, without any basic fact checking. There was Emily Maitlis (who mused about the possibility of a ‘coup’ against Corbyn ahead of the last election) retweeting remarks about ‘Corbyn’s cult’. Finally, a day before polling day, the BBC press office was forced to issue a statement saying that it ‘does not believe it, or its political editorial, has breached election law’ following on-air remarks made by Kuenssberg, which appear to have prompted a statement from the Electoral Commission.
( Tom Mills, 16.12.2019 )

Frankie Boyle was right to argue that “media plurality is an issue we need to address in this country: the alternative is living in a timeline where, because Corbyn has wonky glasses, in a couple of years you’ll be living in a tent city outside an Amazon warehouse trying to GoFund a tonsillectomy.” That future has come closer because of Johnson’s victory that was aided by a propaganda campaign that illustrates just how desperate vested interests were to maintain the status quo.
( Des Freedman, 16.12.2019 )

Falsehood Is Allowed To Spread Unchecked ..
Journalists just don’t understand how to implement impartiality in a post-consensus world. In the EU referendum they adopted a ‘X claims A, Y claims B’ approach to balance which proved to be disastrous in allowing falsehood to spread unchecked. In this general election, they took the approach of ‘scrutinise claims on both sides equally’ but ran into a problem. The vast majority of falsehoods were spread by the Tories and Lib Dems but ‘presentational’ impartiality meant that Labour had to be presented as equally culpable. The biggest problem, however, is a herd-like group think about ‘what the story is’. When IFS attacked the Labour manifesto, that was a far more of a ‘story’ than the equally scathing IFS response to the Tory manifesto. It just somehow ‘made sense’. When anti-semitism allegations surfaced in the Tory party it just didn’t seem like much of a headline (in spite of ticking every box of news value criteria).
( Justin Schlosberg, 16.12.2019 )

Manipulation On An Enormous Level ..
About 70% of the population of the U.S. is not even represented, meaning that their own representatives pay no attention to their views, and follow the views of the major funders. This is manipulation on an enormous level! Whatever the Russians might have done is not even a toothpick on a mountain compared to that, quite apart from the fact that the U.S. not only intervenes in elections (including in Russia), but overthrows governments. The whole thing is a bad joke, and a sign of the collapse of the Democratic Party as a serious institution. They are focusing on this marginal phenomenon as a way to discredit Trump, and almost totally ignoring the really devastating things carried out by the Trump administration.
( Noam Chomsky, 13.03.2018 )

A Political Economy Of Lies ..
Fair elections means elections that are fundamentally honest. But in an age of social media, honesty is not straightforward. Corbyn had tweets sent in his name from fake accounts and First Draft found that 88% of Conservative Facebook campaigning ads were deemed by Full Fact, the UKs leading fact checking organisation, to be misleading. The BBC also stood accused of dishonesty through misleading editing (and later apologised – twice). Rather than honesty being the driver of content, this election, more than any other, felt like it was fuelled by a political economy of lies. Lies are simply more crowd pleasing, circulate rapidly, are based on intensely affective responses, are mood inducing and therefore are often more commercially attractive. But lying also erodes trust and so it is telling that the Ofcom news consumption survey for 2019 notes that in age of distrust ‘word of mouth’ is now considered a legitimate source of news. Fair also means everyone has equal opportunity to get their point across. This election has seen lack of clarity about who bankrolls the politicians. Billionaire donors have been shown to protect the position and interests of those with wealth and power. Money in politics and campaigning has corrupted the electoral system turning the digital landscape into a playground for the elite. New techniques of digital manipulation give rise to sophisticated propaganda that is only just beginning to be understood.
( Natalie Fenton, 16.12.2019 )

Russian Donations And Interference ..
The Conservative Party accepted £200,000 from the wife of a former Russian finance minister under president Putin, just days after refusing to publish a report into Russian interference in UK elections. The Conservative party received £5.6 million in donations in the first week of the campaign, from senior business figures and hedge funds, more than 25 times the amount raised by the opposition Labour party. The largest single donation received in the first week of the campaign was £200,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of Russian oligarch Vladmir Chernukhin. Chernukhin has reportedly paid £160,000 for a tennis match with the prime minister, and £135,000 for a night with former prime minister Theresa May. Before parliament dissolved, Johnson’s government refused to publish a report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) into potential Russian interference in UK elections. The report into Russian interference will not be published until after the election, even in spite of a petition which received more than 230,000 signatures.
( Matthew Nixon, The New European, 23.11.2019 )

The vicious personal vilification of Jeremy Corbyn and, significantly, the bogus anti-semitism smear of him and others who had supported the Palestinians: a vendetta that shames all those who promoted it.
( John Pilger, 16.12.2019 )

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Far-Right Connections ..
In August 2013 Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke at a dinner event thrown by the far-right Traditional Britain Group. The group is run by Gregory Lauder-Frost, a well known figure in British far-right politics. Lauder-Frost argues that anyone living in the UK not of what he calls “European stock” should be offered “assisted voluntary repatriation” to their “natural” homeland. Despite being warned of the nature of the event by the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, Rees-Mogg attended the Traditional Britain Group dinner as their guest of honour. 
This was not Rees-Mogg’s only encounter with the far right. In 2017 he met with president Trump’s ex-chief of staff Steve Bannon at the Mayfair hotel in London to discuss how conservative movements in the UK and US could keep power. Bannon is the darling of far right politicians across Europe. He has been feted by Hungary’s antisemitic prime minister Viktor Orban and Italy’s rabidly anti-immigrant deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini. In March 2018 Bannon told a rally of France’s racist Front National (now “Rassemblement National”, the National Rally) that they should wear the label of “racist” and “xenophobe” as a “badge of honour”. The latest chapter in Rees-Mogg’s engagement with the far-right is his retweeting the anti-EU arguments of Alice Weidel, the leader of the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD). The AfD has been linked to having racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic and xenophobic politics and is linked to Indentitarian movements in Germany.
( The Independent, 02.04.2019 )

The Latest Under-Hand Tactic Employed By The Tories ..
The Conservatives have set up a website that purports to contain Labour’s manifesto, in a bid to trick voters looking for the document. The governing party paid Google to promote the website labourmanifesto.co.uk towards the top of its results for people searching for the opposition plan. It is the latest under-hand tactic to have been employed by the Tories, who were earlier this week accused of running an authoritarian-style disinformation campaign to confuse voters about opposition plans. The party was branded “dystopian” by senior EU politicians after it set up a fake fact-checking service that was actually broadcasting messages from the Tory press office to unsuspecting voters. Other than having the domain name “labourmanifesto.co.uk”, the new website features a picture of Jeremy Corbyn at the top and the headline “Labour’s 2019 manifesto”.  Once users are on the page, it notes in smaller writing further down that it is “a website by the Conservative party”. The page then launches into Tory talking points and PR messages instead of the party’s actual manifesto.
( Jon Stone, Independent, 21.11.2019 )

Is Corbyn A Threat To National Security? ..
The stories — which quote former or current members of the army, navy and special forces, as well as MI5, MI6 and an ex-senior civil servant — have averaged one every six weeks since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September 2015. There have, however, been significant spikes in frequency during the 2017 and 2019 general election campaigns. There is a strong suggestion that, for some stories, intelligence officials have themselves provided secret documents to journalists as part of what appears to be a campaign. Every story has been picked up across national print media, often setting the news agenda and chiming with statements from Conservative government ministers. Nearly every story appeared in four papers — The Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Daily Mail, or The Sun. Our research also found 440 articles in the UK press since September 2015 specifically mentioning Corbyn as a “threat to national security”. The intelligence services and the military are supposed to abide by the “constitutional principle” of non-involvement in political affairs. But the numerous instances of serving national security officials briefing against Corbyn in the media raises questions about whether this principle has been upheld.
( Matt Kennard, 04.12.2019 )

The Belief That Things Could Be Better ..
It feels so hard to heave oneself up from the swamp of despair, seeing so much passionate energy for change trampled by a self-serving elite, as contemptuous of truth as they are of most of the people they continue to govern. We know our only hope is somehow to nurture those cross-generational forms of resistance and solidarity that were energised over recent years of hope, where so many new and creative ideas were developed, whether for citizens wealth funds, investment in local economies, shorter paid working time, commitments to financing home-care, life-long learning, mental health provision, and so much more. The overlap between those confronting climate emergencies and those fighting poverty, racism and deterioration of jobs and services won’t disappear overnight. But nothing will be easy, as we struggle to keep alive the imagination needed for connect movement campaigns and collective survival strategies with any levers for power, while confronting those deep regional divides. We never simply win, or simply lose, people like to say, which is in itself too simple. But hopefully what we never lose entirely is our rage against all that is wrong and our belief that things could be different, now is the time to care a little more, understand a lot better, and support all progressive struggles wherever they emerge.
( Lynne Segal, 16.12.2019 )

The Truth Is No Longer Respected

One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.
( Aldous Huxley )

A Witch Hunt Against Corbyn ..
The UK’s main press regulator has reprimanded The Jewish Chronicle for “significantly misleading” claims in reports about supposed anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. The Independent Press Standards Organisation also called the newspaper’s obstruction of the investigation into a series of articles published this year “unacceptable.” In a ruling on Friday, the press body upheld a complaint by a Labour activist named in the articles. Audrey White is a trade unionist from Liverpool and a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – a veteran Palestine solidarity campaigner. The paper smeared her as being behind a “hard-left plot” and of being at “the centre of bullying claims against Jewish MP Dame Louise Ellman” – then the member of Parliament for White’s Liverpool Riverside constituency. Louise Ellman, the chairperson of Labour Friends of Israel, has for years helped drive a witch hunt against Corbyn and the party grassroots over “Labour anti-Semitism.” In a now widely discredited episode of Panorama, the BBC in July put Ellman’s claims at the centre of a film which portrayed Labour as an anti-Semitic party. Ellman, for years a leading Israel lobbyist, quit Labour in October, claiming that party leader Jeremy Corbyn “is not fit to serve as our prime minister.”
( Asa Winstanley, Investigative Journalist, 02.12.2019 )

Intelligent Folk Recognise The Dishonesty ..
Conservative media lies and propaganda aimed at the Labour Party is nothing new. In 2013, the Tory-supporting Daily Mail described the legacy of Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father, a Jewish refugee, as evil and posted an image of his grave on their website. 
Never under-estimate how those in power along with the greedy, wealthy elite are able to not only influence, but to make many people believe and actually support their rhetoric, propaganda and lies. Intelligent folk recognise the dishonesty and deceit, others need to wake up.
( Rose Winfold )

Since the Tories came to power in 2010, the NHS has endured the longest period of austerity in its history, underfunded by £20-30billion compared to Germany and France. Since 1950, NHS expenditure has grown at an average annual rate of 4%. But since 2010, it has risen by just 0.4%.
( James Melville, 01.12.2019 )

I myself have never experienced anti-semitism from a member of the Labour Party. Though there is a big issue and it has to be addressed, I do not myself believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic, that is my honest view.
( John Bercow, Jewish former Speaker of the House of Commons )

Rough sleepers are just the visible tip of the iceberg. An estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, according to the latest research by Shelter.

Misleading The Fishermen ..
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is claiming that the Brexit withdrawal agreement will let Britain take full control of its fishing waters back from the EU. The withdrawal agreement specifies that the UK will be bound by EU policy until the end of the transition period. While the UK will cease to be part of the Common Fisheries Policy, its membership of international organisations and the obligations it will have to accept means the UK is not “taking back control” of its fishing waters. The prime minister is misleading fishermen, who were major supporters of Brexit during the referendum.

Boris Johnson’s pledge for 50,000 more nurses is not quite what it seems – 12,000 from abroad, 14,000 new undergraduate students, and 5,000 degree apprenticeships. Which leaves 19,000 nurses “retained” who would otherwise have left. So not “new” nurses at all.
( Rowena Mason, 24.11.2019 )

We live in a time when the truth is not just distorted, but disrespected and totally disregarded by the spiteful and the greedy in a vain and shameful attempt to ridicule or gain advantage over those who oppose them. Always speak from the heart and don’t say what you think others want to hear you say. We earn respect by telling the truth. Sadly, both truth and respect seem to be in short supply at the moment.
( Len Firswood )

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
( Aldous Huxley )

What I can’t understand is: if there is such overwhelming and compelling evidence that the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic, why did the Jewish Chronicle have to publish an uncorroborated series of lies about the Liverpool Labour Party?
( Ian Saville, 05.12.2019 )

When something ‘wrong’ is made ‘legal’, it has nothing to do with justice, or being fair, or being moral, or being decent. It’s made legal so that a particular group of people can profit from that wrong. We live in a time when people will get mad with you for telling the truth, rather than being mad at the politicians they support who lied. Don’t let this cruel, corrupt world make you hard. Be gentle. Be kind. Don’t let the evil and the greed steal the compassion in your heart.
( Dion Felsrow )

Jews Will Leave If Corbyn Wins ..
In calmer times, I like to think, a senior, mainstream politician’s ostensible expression of concern for the security of the UK’s Jewish population which at its core contained the antisemitic assumption that all Jews are rich, would have been exposed for its hypocrisy. But such times are a receding memory. General alarm and media concurrence, rather than reasoned scepticism, met Tory Party chairman James Cleverly’s comment in a Sunday Telegraph interview that Jewish ‘individuals and groups, including entrepreneurs and other business figures’ – people he had known ‘much of my life’ – were planning to leave the country if Labour won the forthcoming General Election. The paper’s front page editors didn’t hesitate before turning the people Cleverly knows into an unlimited number in their banner headline: ‘Jews will leave if Corbyn wins’ – a statement that, given the paper’s leading role in fanning the flames of a nasty English nationalism, could easily be read as assuming that those clever rootless cosmopolitans, interested only in turning a profit for themselves, can shift their assets and homes around the globe at will.
( Antony Lerman, Open Democracy, 09.11.2019 )

In May 2017, UK Intelligence officers identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers. Only one in 10 jihadis returning from Syria are prosecuted. In February 2019, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said all Isis fighters who re-entered the UK had been investigated and “the majority have been assessed to pose no or a low security risk”.

Since 2010, the Tories have been selling off parts of the NHS. They sold 80% of the NHS blood plasma supply for £200million to a US private equity firm, Bain Capital, who then sold it on to a Chinese company in 2016 for £820million.
( James Melville, 01.12.2019 )

We could make all manner of beautiful things that aid humanity rather than killing it, and how much better we could feel about our nation because of that?
( Alexei Sayle, 20.09.2019 )

I know Jeremy Corbyn personally and I know he’s not an anti-semite. He’s a man of principle. Johnson has shown again and again that he is not. I would do anything to keep Boris Johnson out. I don’t want the England that Johnson wants.
( Miriam Margolye, Jewish Actress )

Good People Should Expose The Lies And Speak The Truth ..
This government doesn’t realise or understand that, from their political greed, corruption, ignorance, and arrogance, is born the homeless, the prostitute, the violent criminal, the abandoned child, the loan shark, the depressed and the suicidal. When presented with irrefutable evidence, the dishonest politician will become irritable, critical and offensive, and just push the truth aside as inconsequential or incidental. I don’t understand why so many people don’t bother to check the facts or the truth. They just seem to want constant reassurance from the political party they support that what they are being told is the truth. When the media and those with power support themselves and the corrupt few because it suits their agenda, it’s the responsibility of good and decent people to expose the lies and speak the truth.
( Rose Winfold, 31.10.2019 )

Fodder For The Tory Propaganda Machine ..
Michael Gove took to social media to urge Jeremy Corbyn and some of his high-profile supporters to condemn a tweet from a user claiming to be a member of Labour and Momentum, saying ‘we can’t trust Jews’. Both organisations confirmed that the account ‘Joe Woods #JC4PM’ did not belong to any of their members. Mr Gove was attempting to ‘smear us through association’, Momentum said. It seems that cabinet ministers are licensed to say anything outrageously untrue to smear Jeremy Corbyn and Labour as anti-Semitic, and that Jews are just fodder for the Tory propaganda machine.
( Antony Lerman, Open Democracy, 09.11.2019 )

Modern conflicts and wars are started by the greedy elite to gain more power and to make themselves even more money. Those we send to war may suffer or die, but those who do the sending, and profit from the conflict, sit comfortably and safely at home.
( Rose Winfold )

I have never voted in my life. I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it’s certain they will win.
( Louis-Ferdinand Céline )

A Well-Packaged Web Of Lies ..
The media who support the wealthy elite sell a well-packaged, constant web of lies to the masses, and the good people who speak the real truth are ridiculed and their character smeared by that same media. A handful of billionaires own 80% of the UK media. Their influence on elections is huge, yet they and their companies are registered abroad. They pay no UK tax, and that’s how they want it to stay. Which is why they back the Conservative Party. 
Many of our politicians truly care, but there are many who don’t care, many who are obsessed with power and wealth and are blind to our fears, our sadness, our pain, our anger, and our misery, and who lie and promise just about anything to get us to vote for them. The politicians who lie to themselves and listen to their own lies come to a point where they cannot distinguish the truth within themselves, or around them, and so lose all respect for themselves and for others.
( Rose Winfold )

Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.
( Aldous Huxley )

When interviewed or giving speeches, listen how many times Boris Johnson mentions Jeremy Corbyn, and indeed attempts to smear Corbyn. Why? Because Johnson and his fellow Tories are fearful of good, honest, truthful opponents.
( Rose Winfold, 04.11.2019 )

Millions Are Being Excluded From Mainstream Society ..
Social security payments have hit their lowest level since the launch of the welfare state, excluding millions from mainstream society and fuelling food bank use, according to research. The £73 standard weekly allowance for universal credit, the government’s flagship benefit claimed by 2.3 million people, is now equivalent to 12.5% of median earnings. By contrast, when unemployment benefit was introduced in 1948 it was worth 20%. As a result, millions are being “excluded from mainstream society, with the basic goods and amenities needed to survive let alone thrive increasingly out of their grip”, the study by the IPPR think-tank said.
( Robert Booth, The Guardian, 18.11.2019 )

Why is it that the wealthy, often dishonest, elite who have it all can’t be thankful for what they have, and always want more? And the honest, humble folk who have nothing count their blessings for what they do have. Since 2010, the richest 1,000 people in the UK have tripled their wealth. The six richest people in the UK have the same amount of wealth as 13 million of the poorest people. One third of billionaires donate to the Conservative Party.
( Rose Winfold )

Over the last ten years under a Conservative Government we have seen the lowest sustained rates in history for the NHS.
( BBC News, 13.11.2019 )

UK media is now on a war footing. Literally stunning levels of propaganda; anything goes to stop Corbyn. The enemy is the public, it cannot be allowed to prevail over elite interests. UK system reveals itself at these times. Anti-democratic, authoritarian, ruthless.
( Mark Curtis, 08.11.2019 )

The Tory Party and the Tory-supporting media are truly great manipulators. They treat you badly, spew lies, cheat, deceive, and falsify events, and somehow make many people believe it’s someone else’s fault. Boris Johnson assumes that anything he believes and asserts strongly enough must be the truth. Whatever the explanation, we now have a prime minister from whom no statement of any kind can be believed without  corroboration.
( Rose Winfold )

The election is in the bag for Corbyn if someone can locate the picture of Boris Johnson’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Arcuri in stiletto heels and whip flogging Johnson on all-fours naked. If you’ve got the pic (or can photo-shop it), send to the Daily Mail asap.
( Norman G Finkelstein, 10.12.2019 )

The Lie Began To Cut Through To The Electorate ..
As I have reported for more than four years, Corbyn’s new Labour Party has been subjected to an unprecedented smear campaign. Yes, of course, in a mass movement of half a million people, there will inevitably be a few with reactionary views. But the idea that Corbyn’s Labour Party had any unique problem with anti-Semitism was always a deliberate smear campaign. There is simply no evidence for this. It was a lie manufactured to smash the left and the Palestine solidarity movement. When it became clear in 2015 that a veteran Palestine solidarity activist would lead Britain’s main opposition party, the campaign began to falsely paint the movement that swept Corbyn into the leadership as anti-Semitic. People are not stupid and usually know when they are being lied to. But propaganda sustained for long enough works. In this election, the lie began to cut through to the electorate.
( Asa Winstanley, Investigative Journalist, 13.12.2019 )

A Conceited Conspiracy By The British Elite ..
There’s no threat of anti-Semitism in British society. I’ve read all the data. I’ve studied it closely. It just doesn’t exist. It’s all being designed and manipulated. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but this is a conspiracy. Jews were the spearhead of this campaign to stop Corbyn. And so, there’s going to be a lot of anger within the Labour Party. That’s not anti-Semitism, that’s factually based. The British elites could not have gotten away with calling Corbyn an anti-Semite unless they had the support, the visible support, of all the leading Jewish organisations. You have to remember that during the summer all three major British publications for the first time in British Jewish history all took out a common editorial denouncing Corbyn as an anti-Semite and saying that we’re now standing on the verge of another Holocaust. They are the enablers of this conceited conspiracy by the whole British elite society to destroy Jeremy Corbyn.
( Norman G Finkelstein, political scientist, professor, and author, Nov. 2019 )

So Many Can’t Be Bothered To Check The Truth ..
If you can lie without consequence, why would anyone tell the truth?
Nearly 90% of Facebook ads paid for by the UK Conservative Party contained misleading claims, untruths, fake news and blatant lies, an investigation found. None were found by the Labour Party. History tells us that Tory Party election promises are never kept, and their time and effort to be re-elected is spent doing nothing other than making the opposition look bad. It’s strange that so many people say they dislike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and yet when you ask them why, they repeat, and presumably believe, the rhetoric spouted by Tories and the Tory media, and can’t be bothered to check the facts or the truth.
( Rose Winfold )

The Suppression Of Truth

An Attempt To Influence The Local Elections ..
Many Jewish voters are done with the ongoing smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, which they claim is an “attempt to influence the local elections”.
On 25 March the Board of Deputies of British Jews joined the chorus of attacks against Corbyn, accusing him of “siding with antisemites”. But in a statement published by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), Jewish supporters challenged the claim:  “We are appalled by the actions and statements of the Board of Deputies. They do not represent us or the many Jews in the Party who share Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for social justice and fairness.”
( The Canary, 26.03.2018 )

The Politicians Led The People ..
If EU membership were as onerous as the Brexiteers suggest, the UK would have left decades ago. Instead it has remained a member for nearly 47 years (albeit in a comatose state for the last three). 
In the decade before the 2016 referendum, fewer than 10% of UK voters cited Europe as the most important issue. Indeed, as late as December 2015, a mere 1% did. Only after the Leave vote did its salience spike (47% now name it as the most important issue). In other words, contrary to David Cameron’s claims, it was the politicians who led the public rather than the public who led the politicians.
( George Eaton, 16.10.2019 )

The Destruction Of Whole Countries In Lie-Based Wars ..
Not even his most extreme critics are suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn is offering the kind of threat to Jewish people consistently offered by Tory and Blairite MPs to millions of people in countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Iran and Yemen. Even if Corbyn had erred in failing to perceive the ugliness of a mural declared antisemitic by the press; even if he had been lax in taking action against party racists, and so on, how do these failings compare to the destruction of whole countries in lie-based wars of aggression? Why do corporate media never make this moral comparison? Because they are incapable of perceiving US-UK crimes against humanity as crimes; a wilful moral blindness that renders them completely unfit to pass judgement on Corbyn. Especially as they are themselves, of course, complicit in these same war crimes.
( Media Lens, 13.03.2019 )

Caution in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends of history is especially important for the historian of modern times, because the last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.
( Hannah Arendt )

This uncaring Conservative Government allow the big online companies to pay very little tax and employ people on a “you-only-come-to-work-if-we-need-you” basis with no holiday or sick pay, and then sit back and do nothing as our high street stores and shops continue to close down. And this deluded Government consider this to be progress and a good economy.
( Rose Winfold )

A Scam Of The Utmost Cynicism And Brutality ..
The claim that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-semite presiding over a surge in Labour Party anti-semitism is fake news. It is a scam of the utmost cynicism and brutality.
It should be viewed as the latest in a long line of attempts to destroy Corbyn by all necessary means. He has been smeared for not bowing low enough, for not singing loudly enough, for hating women, for disrespecting gay people, for consorting with terrorists, for refusing to unleash a nuclear holocaust, for being a shambolic leader, for being a shambolic dresser, for leading Labour towards certain electoral disaster, for being a Putinite stooge, for aping Trump, and so on. Now, finally, someone widely admired for thirty years as a decent, socialist MP, has been transformed into an anti-semite.
( Media Lens, 13.03.2019 )

In February, 2019, the European Commission added Saudi Arabia, Panama and four U.S.A. territories to a blacklist of nations it considers a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering. Several countries, including the UK and the USA, criticised the move because of worries about their economic relations with the listed nations.

Political Forces That Cannot Be Trusted ..
Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries. It is as though mankind had divided itself between those who believe in human omnipotence (who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organise masses for it) and those for whom powerlessness has become the major experience of their lives.

( Hannah Arendt )

Disrespecting And Exploiting The Millions Who Suffered And Died ..
Anti-semitism does exist in the Labour Party, as it exists throughout UK society, and of course these delusions should be resisted and exposed. But the smear campaign against Corbyn is not rooted in concern for the welfare of Jewish people. It is not even about blocking a political leader who cares about Palestinian rights. It is about preventing Corbyn from undoing Tony Blair’s great achievement of transforming the Labour Party into a second Tory Party, thus ensuring voters have no option challenging corporate domination, including the ‘humanitarian interventions’ for oil and other resources. The goal is to stop Corbyn letting democracy out of its box. Stephen Law of Heythrop College, University of London, warns that cavalier accusations made ‘on the basis of obviously flimsy or nonexistent evidence’ are ‘disrespecting the memory of the millions who were slaughtered by real antisemitism during the Holocaust’. But in fact, it is worse than that. State propagandists and their corporate media allies are exploiting the suffering of these millions as part of an attack on British democracy. This is obscene. But it is not particularly shocking after the campaigns of deceit which knowingly risked and then shattered the lives of millions of innocent human beings in US-UK wars of aggression. One thing is certain, if Corbyn and his style of socialism can be made to disappear, we’ll hear no more about anti-semitism in the Labour Party, just as we heard no more about Iraqi democracy after Saddam Hussein, or human rights in Libya after Gaddafi; just as we will hear no more about press freedom in Venezuela, if Maduro is overthrown.
( Media Lens, 13.03.2019 )

The Audience Of Mass Propaganda Is Ready At All Times ..
In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism. Instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.

( Hannah Arendt )

The charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are without merit, an underhanded contribution to the disgraceful efforts to fend off the threat that a political party might emerge that is led by an admirable and decent human being, a party that is actually committed to the interests and just demands of its popular constituency and the great majority of the population generally, while also authentically concerned with the rights of suffering and oppressed people throughout the world. Plainly an intolerable threat to order.
( Noam Chomsky, 09.09.2018 )

Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.
( Hannah Arendt )

Jeremy Corbyn Is An Anti-Racist, Not An Anti-Semite ..
Firstly we need to restore some perspective. The Labour party has thousands of Jewish members, many Jewish councillors, a number of prominent Jewish MPs and several Jewish members of its ruling council. Many people at the heart of the Corbyn team, such as Jon Lansman, James Schneider and Rhea Wolfson are also Jewish. Ed Miliband, the previous party leader, was Jewish (and suffered antisemitism at the hands of the press and the Conservatives). I have been a member for five years and, as a Jew, have had only positive experiences. Jeremy Corbyn has been MP for Islington North since 1983 – a constituency with a significant Jewish population. Given that he has regularly polled over 60% of the vote (73% in 2017) it seems likely that a sizeable number of Jewish constituents voted for him. As a constituency MP he regularly visited synagogues and has appeared at many Jewish religious and cultural events. He is close friends with the leaders of the Jewish Socialist Group, from whom he has gained a rich knowledge of the history of the Jewish Labour Bund, and he has named the defeat of Mosley’s Fascists at the Battle of Cable as a key historical moment for him. His 2017 Holocaust Memorial Day statement talked about Shmuel Zygielboym, the Polish Bund leader exiled to London who committed suicide in an attempt to awaken the world to the Nazi genocide. How many British politicians have that level of knowledge of modern Jewish history?
( Joseph Finlay, a former Deputy Editor of the Jewish Quarterly, who co-founded a range of grassroots Jewish organisations such as Moishe House London, Wandering Jews, Jewdas and The Open Talmud Project, 02.03.2018 )

The Cost, And We Haven’t Left Yet

Many economists fear that the past nine years of austerity could have all been for nothing, as no-deal Brexit threatens to plunge the UK back deep into the red.

Brexit has cost the British economy £66billion in just under three years, or around £1,000 for every person in the country.
( Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, April 2019 )

The UK Government spent £25,300 of taxpayers’ money on a single Snapchat advert promoting its “Get Ready For Brexit” campaign. The six-second ad was posted on September 9, 2019 and ran for six days, according to data released by the app’s owner, Snap Inc.

Even a ‘relatively benign’ no-deal Brexit would push UK debt to its highest since the 1960s. Borrowing was likely to rise to £100billion and total debt would soar to 90% of national income. The government is now adrift without any effective fiscal anchor.
( The Institute for Fiscal Studies )

The UK government has spent £97million in consultancy fees alone in its preparation for Brexit, according to the National Audit Office. The money was spent on hiring external ‘experts’ because government departments lacked the necessary staff and skills.

The Impact Of The Referendum ..
The Brexit vote increased aggregate inflation by 1.7 percentage points in the year following the referendum. There is uncertainty about the exact size of this effect, but our analysis unambiguously shows that the referendum led to a substantial rise in inflation. The 1.7 percentage point increase in inflation implies that by June 2017, the Brexit vote was costing the average household £7.74 per week through higher prices. That is equivalent to £404 per year. Higher inflation has also reduced the growth of real wages. The impact of the referendum is equivalent to a £448 cut in annual pay for the average worker. Put another way, the Brexit vote has cost the average worker almost one week’s wages due to higher prices.
( London School of Economics )

The cost of staging the EU referendum and the 2017 General Election, which can also be attributed to Brexit came to £269million. In addition, MPs who were voted out of office as a result of the election claimed £4.6million in ‘winding up’ costs.

The latest Brexit impact assessment comes after Goldman Sachs estimated that the UK has foregone £600million of economic growth each week since the referendum.The Bank of England put the figure at £800million
( Independent, 04.04.2019 )

In 2018 the UK Government paid £13 billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was around £4 billion. So the UK’s ‘net contribution’ was about £9 billion. In 2018/19, £48.7 billion was spent on interest payments on the UK National Debt, which has nearly doubled since 2010 despite severe austerity policies.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Nomura have all already announced that they will be relocating some operations and staff from Britain to the EU because of Brexit.
( Independent, 26.12.2017 )

Two years on from the referendum, we now know that the Brexit vote has seriously damaged the economy. We know that the government’s Brexit dividend is a myth. The vote is costing the Treasury £440million a week, far more than the UK ever contributed to the EU budget.
( John Springford, Centre for European Reform, November 2018 )

Up to January 2019, the UK Treasury had allocated a total of £4.2 billion towards government departments for Brexit preparations since 2016. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings says Brexit has cost the UK economy £66 billion in just under three years.

There’s Only One Answer ..
One of the advantages of EU membership is that we get to negotiate wider and deeper trade deals from a position of strength. If we leave, the boot will be on the other foot – and that will put Britain at a serious disadvantage.
Do businesses want the benefits and security of continued access to the Single Market, or the instability and uncertainty of a lost decade? However you feel about Europe, whether you’re an enthusiastic federalist or an ardent advocate of leaving, that is the question you have to answer on 23 June. And from where I’m standing, there’s only one answer – a vote to remain.
( Sajid Javid, 14.05.2016 )

Brexit is already making us all worse-off, costing jobs and damaging investment in our country – and that’s before we’ve even officially left the EU. This is not what anyone was promised during the EU referendum. No-one voted to be poorer.
( Ian Murray MP, February 2019 )

Around 6,000 civil servants, of which 4,500 were new recruits, are involved specifically in no-deal Brexit planning, and has cost UK taxpayers an estimated £1.5 billion just in the past year. With a deal or no-deal, plenty of things will need to be done to prepare the UK for life outside the EU. This will include recruiting 15,000 to 20,000 extra staff across government and the civil service to deal with the challenges of Brexit.
( Independent, 08.10.2019 )

The 2016 vote meant households were £900 worse off than they would have been had the UK remained in the EU. This was already an awful lot of money for households struggling with high inflation and stagnant wage growth.
( Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, November 2018 )

In the Autumn Budget, November 2017, it saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce £25billion in extra spending to prop up the economy. Data in the Budget showed families are suffering the biggest financial squeeze since the 1950s.

I Still Believe That Britain Is Better Off In ..
Just like Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and IMF head Christine Lagarde, I still believe that Britain is better off in. And that’s all because of the Single Market. It’s a great invention, one that even Lady Thatcher campaigned enthusiastically to create. The world’s largest economic bloc, it gives every business in Britain access to 500 million customers with no barriers, no tariffs and no local legislation to worry about. It’s no surprise that nearly half of our exports go to other EU nations, exports that are linked to three million jobs here in the UK.
And as an EU member we also have preferential access to more than 50 other international markets from Mexico to Montenegro, helping us to export £50 billion of goods and services to them every year. Even companies that are neither exporters nor part of the export supply chain, your local corner shop, for example, benefit from the economic growth that kind of access brings.
( Sajid Javid, 14.05.2016 )

Before today’s announcement of an additional £2.1 billion of Brexit funding, a total of £4.2 billion had already been allocated by the Government to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. Spending began in autumn 2016, a few months after the referendum, when £400 million was earmarked for Brexit. This was followed in the 2017 Budget by a further £3 billion to be spent during 2018/19 and 2019/20.
£250 million was drawn from the UK’s reserves in 2017/18 for Brexit spending, and at the 2018 Budget another £500 million was made available.
( The Canary, 01.08.2019 )

In November 2017, professional services firm EY said that the UK is expected to have lost 10,500 finance jobs by day one of Brexit. It said that almost a third of City firms had already confirmed moves to the continent.

We’ve already witnessed an increase in the number of EU construction workers leaving the UK for jobs on the continent, according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering. Findings by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in a report published in March showed that almost 200,000 construction jobs could be slashed if Britain loses access to the European single market, jeopardising billions of pounds worth of infrastructure projects.
( Independent, 26.12.2017 )

Two Prized Regulatory Bodies Lost Because Of Brexit ..
The European Medicines Agency moved from London to Amsterdam, and the European Banking Authority, also based in London, moved to Paris in one of the first concrete signs of Brexit as the UK prepared to leave the EU. The medicines agency employs 900 people and the banking authority employs 150. The UK government was powerless to stop the relocation of these two prized regulatory bodies, secured by previous Conservative prime ministers. Seen as one of the EU’s most important agencies, the medicines agency carries out assessments and issues approvals for medicines across the union. The agency is also a boon for hotels, as 36,000 scientists and regulators visit each year.

While the economy out-performed expectations in the aftermath of the referendum, since then, the UK has dropped below Italy to become the slowest growing economy in the G7.
( John Springford, 23.06.2018 )

A range of estimates calculated by the Financial Times suggests that the value of Britain’s output is now around 0.9% lower than was possible if the country had voted to stay in the EU. That equates to almost exactly £350million a week lost to the British economy — an irony that will not be lost on those who may have backed Leave because of the claim made on the side of the bus.

The £39billion ‘divorce bill’ agreed with the EU, with payments to Brussels in pensions liabilities are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
( Independent, 08.10.2019 )

The UK economy is already around £60billion smaller than it would have been without a vote to leave the European Union, with the UK missing out on a bout of global growth. Business investment is up to 20% lower than it would otherwise have been, hurting productivity and wage growth. A no-deal Brexit – even with a substantial stimulus – could mean no growth at all for the next two years. Remaining in the EU would be the best scenario for economic growth in the next few years.
( Dr Christian Schulz, Director and Chief UK Economist, Citigroup Global Markets, October 2019 )

The Brexit Referendum Was Won By Lying To The Public ..
Buried in a 19,800 word Spectator essay written by former online editor and Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings is an admission: The Brexit referendum was won by lying to the public. At the heart of the vote to leave the European Union is an entanglement of lies and propagandist sensationalism that even the most brave souls wouldn’t dare admit to. There is the admission that the NHS wouldn’t really take back our £350 million EU fee, and that immigration wouldn’t really be capped, and that standards of living wouldn’t really change if we left the EU. All of which are matters that the general public voted on, and all are incorrect.
And so to the damning paragraph that outs the Leave Campaign for what it was:
“Pundits and MPs kept saying ‘why isn’t Leave arguing about the economy and living standards’. They did not realise that for millions of people, £350m/NHS was about the economy and living standards – that’s why it was so effective. It was clearly the most effective argument not only with the crucial swing fifth but with almost every demographic. Even with UKIP voters it was level-pegging with immigration. Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests No. Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the Single Market? No way.”
( The London Economic, 08.01.2019 )

The NHS Will Be Getting No Extra Money ..
It was on the side of a bus, it was on the lips of Brexiteer politicians – £350million a week would go to the NHS if we voted to leave the European Union. Except, as soon as we did vote to leave, politicians back-tracked and Nigel Farage denied ever making the promise. The Leave campaign quickly erased the promise from its website. In her Brexit speech in January 2017, Theresa May failed to mention the NHS at all. In fact, in October 2016, Theresa May said the NHS will be getting no extra money. This is despite 40% of hospitals issuing an alert within the first week of 2017, and by the second week, 20 hospitals had declared the highest level of alert, which usually means they have no beds free and patients arriving at A&E will need to go to another hospital.
( Independent, 08.02.2017 )

The Plot Dating Back Decades

We’ve Accidentally Sold Weapons To Saudi Arabia ..
UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has been ridiculed after claiming the government had accidentally granted two military export licenses for Saudi Arabia. Truss was forced to apologise to the Court of Appeal for the “two inadvertent breaches”. The UK suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia in June, 2019, after the court ruled that ministers had acted unlawfully by not determining whether weapons could be used against civilians in the war in Yemen. As a result, the government stated that no new licenses would be issued to Saudi Arabia while a review is conducted. Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade, which brought the original legal challenge, said: “If the government cannot be trusted to follow its own rules, or an order from the Court of Appeal, then it must immediately end all arms exports to the Saudi regime”. Before the court ruling in June, 40% of arms made in the UK were sold to Saudi Arabia.

The Wealthy Elite Who Support The Tories ..
Many of us know, apart from most of the unsuspecting public, that racism, including anti-semitism, is rife and prevalent in the UK Conservative Party, much more so than the Labour Party. But both political and religious groups, organisations and corporations, including the right-wing media, remain silent of this fact.
Why? Because keeping a Conservative Party in power is a huge benefit to them.
These groups, organisations and corporations are all part of the greedy, wealthy elite who are obsessed with power and control. They will attack, and attempt to discredit and smear, spewing outright lies, rhetoric and propaganda, anyone or any group who opposes or threatens their selfish existence. Look at history and this is nothing new. In 1945, prior to a General Election, the right-wing media who supported the Conservatives, splashed on their front page: “Gestapo In Britain If Socialists Win”. The public weren’t fooled on that occasion and Labour won the election.
( Rose Winfold, 07.06.2019 )

Remotely Controlled Killing Machines Made In The UK ..
From 10-13 September, London’s ExCeL Centre hosted arms companies from around the world. Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) is the world’s largest arms fair. On 11 September, the government announced a contract worth ‘approximately’ £100 million for new drones. It stated: The world-class Protector will be the first remotely controlled aircraft capable of attacking targets anywhere in the world while being operated from their home base in RAF Waddington. The government also stated that Protector 
will use enhanced data links and carry next-generation, low collateral, precision strike weapons, including the UK-made Brimstone missile (MBDA) and Paveway IV Laser Guided Bomb (Raytheon UK). The aircraft’s design enables almost unlimited payload options in the future, depending on requirement. The Protector will be armed with the same missiles used in the brutal Yemen war. In 2018, evidence emerged that since 2013, the UK sold 2,400 Paveway IV bombs worth £150 million, and 1,000 Brimstone missiles worth £100 million to Saudi Arabia. The key selling point of Protector is that it can fly for up to 40 hours and operate in civilian airspace. The U.S. and Israel led the way in the use of armed drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). China followed. Following 9/11, the U.S. was the first country to kill people with missiles launched from drones. The UK seems keen to push further forward as a world-leader in this technology. Authoritarian countries around the world are increasingly violating international law using these drones. The U.K., Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Nigeria, and Turkey have all used armed UAVs to kill targets since 2015. The U.S. has set a precedent of impunity by carrying out hundreds of strikes that have killed civilians over the last decade. In Yemen’s brutal war, U.S. drone strikes alone have killed over 1,000 people. This includes around 200 civilians and up to 50 children. In 2018, as people in Gaza protested against Donald Trump opening the Israeli embassy in Jerusalem, Israel launched drones to unleash lung-burning tear gas on demonstrators. In 2012, Israeli drones constantly circled the skies over Gaza launching hundreds of missiles. Despite Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, the British government is importing Israel’s drone technologies to be integrated into its armed forces.
( Extract from an article by Fréa Lockley, 21.09.2019 )

The UK Are Currently Engaged In Conflicts In Seven Countries .. 
UK special forces (UKSF) are currently engaged in conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Yet the nature of UKSF operations means that our political system enables ministers to conduct secret wars in our name with zero parliamentary or public oversightThe British government states that its policy on the covert wars it fights is “not to comment, and to dissuade others from commenting or speculating, about the operational activities of special forces because of the security implications”.  Added to this, the UK’s Freedom of Information Act gives “absolute exemption” to UKSF activities. So this makes it virtually impossible for anyone to question or “scrutinise policy”.
( Extract from an article by Fréa Lockley, 18.09.2019 )

David Goldberg Was Found Dead In New York On June 8th. 2019 ..
Friends of Mr. Goldberg believe he was murdered and did not pass away of natural causes. His friends were also given access to his accounts before his passing. They are reviewing many documents in Mr. Goldberg’s possession, some of which appear to be top-secret government documents and White House memos. The documents and much of what Mr. Goldberg posted on his YouTube account relates to the upcoming planned Iran War, which will be precipitated by a series of False Flags conducted by the United States and Israel. Mr. Goldberg’s Iran War false flag video was posted first on April 14th, 2019. Goldberg says that new alternative media organisations, particularly the ones exposing Israel and Zionism, those with the best work, highest standards, are run by Israel to tag activists for assassination. Goldberg, before he was murdered, says Israel plans to murder 15 million Americans using disease, accidents and eventually, as America becomes more “Trumpish,” simply outright murder.
( Veterans Today, 01.09.2019 )

Documents He Felt Could Get Him Killed ..
David kept me abreast of things over email, and he told me he had been given some documents he felt could, for certain, get him killed. The documents related to some internal White House memos in which a couple of New York rabbis were meeting with Trump frequently, and the memos talked about the nature of those meetings.
I didn’t get full details, except that it seems the rabbis were going to deliver for Trump a re-election victory if he did things they were asking. I guess Trump was listening intently, because — well this is what David said to me — because the rabbis had a lot of power, in ways in which they could rig the elections if they needed to. The memos also talked about how Trump’s poll numbers were not very good and he could easily lose in 2020, and the White House knew this, and this was part of the reason why Trump was paying so much attention to these rabbis. I guess they just have a lot of control or something, and Trump needed them. David said the documents, if they ever got out, would be very bad for Trump, because there was no way to put a positive spin on them. He said the memos were pretty blunt, and seemed to have been written by a couple of staffers coordinating the meetings.

( A friend of David Goldberg who wishes to remain anonymous, Veterans Today, 13.06.2019 )

Fewer Prison Officers In England And Wales ..
There are 7,000 fewer prison officers now than there were in 2010 on one definition. This fall followed on from the 2010 spending review which reduced funding for the Ministry of Justice.
( Full Fact, 13.02.2017 )

Historically High Levels Of Deaths, Assaults And Violence ..
Around 85,000 people are in prisons in England and Wales. The prison population peaked at 88,000 in 2011, partly explained by the riots that summer, before falling to 84,000 at the end of 2012. The total population of the UK has also increased over time. There were 182 prisoners per 100,000 adults in England and Wales in 2016. This is higher than historic levels back to 1901, apart from the peak in 2011, according to the House of Commons Library. A quarter of prisoners are held in crowded accommodation. Around 24,000 people work in operational roles in the prison service. 10,800 more work in non-operational roles, like management, administration and services. The number of staff in both areas has fallen since 2010. In March 2017 there were 30% fewer operational staff, and 29% fewer non-operational staff, than there were in March 2010. Over the last 12 months the number of operational staff has fallen by 168. This is largely due to falling numbers of operational support staff and supervising officers, which outweighs the increase in prison officers. The number of non-operational staff has increased by 248, driven by 155 more managers. There are 15,000 ‘front-line’ prison officers working at band 3 or 4, who are not in management or supporting roles. That number is down from 20,000 in 2010. More frontline officers left than were recruited or promoted every year until 2015. Although this changed in 2015 (with 507 net new officers) the total number of full-time equivalent frontline officers first increased in 2016. In 2017, there was a net gain of 711 front-line officers through recruitment and promotion, which translated into an increase of 122 full-time equivalents. The government announced in November 2016 that it plans to recruit 2,500 new frontline officers by 2018.
The number of deaths in custody fell slightly for the first time since 2013 this year, but remain at historically high levels. Other measures of violence have reached record highs. Assaults on other prisoners and staff are the highest on record.
( Extract from Full Fact article, 02.08.2017 )

The Tory Plan For Privatising The NHS ..
Everyone suspects the Tories have a long-term plan to abolish the NHS.
A new documentary film will lay bare the plot dating back decades, and within sight of success. ‘Under The Knife’ charts the secret Conservative strategy to open up the health service to private sector companies as a prelude to total sell-off.
The devastating documentary, made by Pam Kleinot and Susan Steinberg, draws on dozens of interviews with doctors, nurses, politicians and patients to track the steps towards today’s crisis. Under The Knife tells how the NHS was almost strangled at birth by opposition from doctors and Tories. And while it offered the best health service in the western world for 40 years, the campaign to get rid of it never ended. Margaret Thatcher wanted to privatise, but a Cabinet riot stopped her. So she appointed Sainsbury’s boss Roy Griffiths to “reform” the NHS. He brought in a new managerial class dedicated to running the service like a business. This was the first step on the road. The health service was to be a “business operation” with management, not the patient, at its heart. Dr James Le Fanu, a doctor at Whipps Cross Hospital, says in the film that Griffiths “introduced a new class in the health service, a management class that hadn’t existed before. Doctors were stripped of power. They were told how to run wards. It was a serious blow. Thatcher also listened to U.S. economist Alain Enthoven, who believed the only way to meet patient demand was to bring in so-called market competition. Tony Blair tells the film-makers: “There was no bigger challenge for the incoming Labour government of 1997 than the NHS.” His first Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, agrees: “It was underfunded, understaffed and a lot of hospitals were very run down.”
The Tories’ return in 2010 brought hard-liner Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary. He brought in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011, seen by many as taking the NHS on to the final stretch to privatisation. He took away the Health Secretary’s ultimate responsibility to provide a national health service for all. “It really was the end of the national service,” says Prof Pollock. The Tories’ coalition partner, the Lib Dems, initially opposed the bill.
“At its heart was privatisation,” Lady Shirley Williams admitted to the film-makers.
But they caved in, and the 2012 Act laid down that all NHS services should be subject to competitive tender, bringing private companies into the whole range of public healthcare. There was outcry from doctors and nurses, but behind the scenes lobbying firms working for private sector companies like Virgin and Circle had the ear of Lansley’s policy team. They kept the Tories on the privatisation track.
The next step was to transfer control of the NHS to new management. The service was divided into smaller regional systems, under private or public control, with powers to decide what services will be available and who will provide them.
In 2017, 43% of the total value of these contracts went to the private sector.
Virgin won over a billion pounds worth of NHS business.
( Paul Routledge, 20.09.2019 )

Are The Actions Of The Prime Minister In The National Interest ?..
The troubling role of one of the few sectors in the economy which could benefit from a ‘no deal’ Brexit was exposed by a Channel 4 documentary, including an interview with Crispin Odey, a hedge fund owner who contributed more than £870,000 to pro-Leave groups in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum, as well as bankrolling the parliamentary campaign of MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and the leadership campaign of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Odey, with his partner at Odey Asset Management, made a fortune of £350 million by shorting the pound and moving 65% of his fund into gold in anticipation of the shock Brexit result three years ago. Prior to the EU referendum, Odey had incubated Rees-Mogg’s Somerset Capital Management hedge fund as a start-up. This summer, Odey was reported by The Times as having made an equally large bet on UK equity prices crashing  £299 million in short positions on some of Britain’s biggest firms. In June he donated to Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign. That Odey had such a strong interest and apparent knowledge of the actions of the prime minister, including a desire to prorogue Parliament a month before it happened, raises a question of acute public interest.. How involved – and how influential – are the rich backers who have funded the Prime Minister so far? This highlights the potential for conflicts of interests to arise between the Prime Minister’s backers and the national interest as a ‘no deal’ Brexit looms. While it is the role of hedge funds to reduce risk by spread betting on multiple market fluctuations, a ‘no deal’ Brexit is a one-off market-moving event ultimately in the control of politicians.
( Extract from an article by Peter Jukes, 23.09.2019 )