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.
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 oversight. The 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 )