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Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.
Everything else is public relations.
( George Orwell )

A Record Number Of Billionaires In Britain ..
The latest Rich List shows there are a record 134 billionaires in Britain and the wealthiest 1,000 people have seen their fortunes go up 14% since last year, rising by £83billion to £658billion. Meanwhile, ordinary British people are suffering the worst pay squeeze since Victorian times. Yet when Jeremy Corbyn says the main plank of Labour’s manifesto will be to put right “a rigged economy” that works for “the few not the many” he is lambasted as an out-of-touch dinosaur. Do you think those lambasting the loudest might just have something to lose?
( Brian Reade, 13.05.2017 )

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 )

Trademarking Your Child Is Controlling And Demeaning ..
I don’t envy the Beckhams. Sure they have infinite wealth and fame, but they also have struggles that most people will never face. David, for instance, has to remember to breathe in and out every three seconds – something that comes so naturally to the rest of us but uses up the majority of his almond-sized brain’s processing power.
And Victoria, as well as the normal nightmares of bringing up children that she has to contend with, this week had to trademark her five-year-old daughter’s name.
Harper Beckham can sleep soundly in her VB jim-jams knowing that no one can stand in the way of her one day launching a handheld vacuum cleaner with her face on it.
That the law will assiduously defend her birthright to launch a brand of self-styled anti-fungal foot cream. And that one day she can lay the foundation stone of the UK’s first Harper’s Poundshop. This is conditioning a little girl, and seeing the dollar sign potential in her. It’s the Chipping Norton version of selling your child off for parts, kidney by kidney, cornea by cornea. But worse still, it’s denying them an opportunity to plough their own furrow. Trademarking your infant is controlling and demeaning – no better than getting her a tattoo of the family crest for her sixth birthday.
( Adam Kay, 15.04.2017 )

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.
( Wayne Dyer, 1940-2015 )

The UK Is Ranked A Shocking 40th In The World For Freedom Of Press ..
Because of new laws brought in by the Conservative Government, the UK is now ranked 40th in the world for freedom of press.

The 2017 World Press Freedom Index ranks the UK behind countries such as Costa Rica, Jamaica, Estonia, Slovakia, Samoa, Czech Republic, Namibia, Uruguay, Ghana, Latvia, South Africa, Liechtenstein, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Andorra, Lithuania, and Slovenia.

He Doesn’t Need To Con Voters Any More ..
Nigel Farage’s unashamed support for Marine Le Pen smacks of an extreme right-wing politician who has deliberately kept his dangerous views hidden from the public view. And now he doesn’t need to con voters any more he’s letting it all hang out.
Just as he did as a public schoolboy in Dulwich where one of his teachers claimed he held “neo-fascist views” and had “marched through a quiet Sussex village shouting Hitler Youth songs”. I don’t know why we still give this odious reptile the time of day.

( Brian Reade, 13.05.2017 )

Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
( Arthur Stanley Eddington, 1882-1944 )

Our Kids Deserve To Dare To Dream Of A Better Future ..
Why is Theresa may about to splash nearly £1billion on her pet grammar schools project when the NHS is on its knees? Why are schools, once nurturers of active, inquisitive minds, now factories featuring a production line full of students who have been trained to pass tests and exams rather than to listen, learn, bloom and go forth with the absorption of new knowledge? Why, with adolescent mental health problems exponentially on the rise, is there next to no funding for pastoral care in schools?
Why, with local health authority child and adolescent mental health services’ waiting lists a mile long and on the increase, is mental health funding not a priority?
Why is PE almost non-existent in some state schools when exercise is vital to physical and mental health? These are all glaring, goading omissions and injustices that are not only allowed, but endorsed. Our kids face uncertain futures. This week, our teenage girls were named among the least happy and most stressed pupils of the world’s developed nations, with the report’s authors citing the stress of tests as partly to blame.
Our kids deserve to dare to dream of a better future. One where they, rather than the establishment and big business, have the biggest stake in society’s future.

( Fiona Phillips, 22.04.2017 )

This soulless nature of the scientific world need not worry those who are persuaded that the main significances of our environment are of a more spiritual character.
( Arthur Stanley Eddington, 1882-1944 )

A Record High Of Zero Hours Contracts ..
The number of people working on zero hours contracts has soared to a record high of 910,000. That figure is up 105,000 – 13%  – on a year ago, think-tank the Resolution Foundation said. People on zero hours contracts are paid an average of £1,000 less than full-timers, with no guaranteed hours, holiday or sick pay.

( Jason Beattie, 04.03.2017 )

I mean what I say and I say what I mean.
There won’t be an early election.
There should be no general election until 2020.
( Theresa May, 30.06.2016 )

Big Beasts Were Skewered On A Red Spike ..
Twenty years ago the No 1 single across Britain was R Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly.
Which was apt, as, thanks to the events of May 1, many of us felt the wind beneath our wings. It was General Election night and we were treated to the most entertaining bloodbath since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Big beasts like David Mellor, Michael Portillo and Malcolm Rifkind were skewered on a red spike, as a Labour landslide ended 18 years of Tory rule. Large parts of this country had been deliberately allowed to fall off the map during that time. In 1997, unemployment was twice what it had been under Labour in 1979, the number living in poverty had trebled and the richest 10% had became 60% richer while the poorest 10% were 17% poorer.
One-in-five NHS hospitals had been shut, waiting lists were at a record high, there was a chronic shortage of nurses and doctors, and the crime rate had doubled. State schools had outstanding repair bills of £3.5billion and nearly half of all 11 year-olds were failing national curriculum tests in maths and English.
So witnessing Labour win a Commons majority of 179 was, for me, and I’m guessing many of you who were around then, one of the most intoxicating nights of our lives.
( Brian Reade, 29.04.2017 )

We have leaders and politicians who have lost sight of the truth.
And who have replaced truth with laws and regulations to further their greed.

Giving Up Eating Crisps But Not Giving Up Persecuting The Disabled ..
As a vicar’s daughter, Theresa May says she always gives up something for Lent. But for those of you hoping it might be a Christian-inspired abstinence, like not persecuting the disabled back into work, or giving up stopping child refugees coming here, you’re wrong. She’s giving up eating her favourite salt ‘n’ vinegar crisps. Although what she didn’t say is she’s replacing those snacks by nibbling away at cabbages, plankton and chickens. Otherwise known as putting down Tory ministers during Cabinet meetings.

( Brian Reade, 04.03.2017 )

It’s Sheriff-of-Nottingham times.
Why aren’t the bankers in the dock?
The working classes are suffering in this country.
They’re a joke in the media – they’re portrayed as chavs and rioters.
( Paul O’Grady )

There was a time when science wasn’t taken seriously and religion ruled the world.
We called it the Dark Ages.

Osborne Had So Little To Do He Was Able To Take On Five Other Jobs ..
Imagine being an NHS worker in Tatton who’s just been told your pay rise for this year is 1%, or, in most cases, a fiver a week. Imagine realising this is the seventh year rises have been capped at 1% or frozen, meaning a real term loss of income of 17% since 2010. Imagine realising that the pay of your MP has just gone up 1.4%, following a 10% rise two years ago, meaning in the past three years his basic wage has shot up by £8,951 to £76,011. Imagine realising that he has to do so little to earn that salary he has time to take on FIVE other jobs including newspaper editor and financial advisor – and the government ministers who are freezing your wages can’t see a problem with it.
Then imagine how tempted you’d be to run a trolley over his foot if George Osborne hobbled into A&E suffering from an excess fine-dining bout of gout.

( Brian Reade, 01.04.2017 )

Education makes us a white man’s equal.
The lack of it makes us his victim.
( Joe Medicine Crow, 1913-2016 )

Passports? ..
When government takes your right to travel and sells it back to you.

Tories Allow Foreign Governments To Make Billions From Our Vital Services ..
Why should we have any faith in government claims that they know how to take on foreign powers to protect British interests? This week the Chinese bought South West Trains, meaning – along with the Italian, German, French, Dutch, Belgian, Singaporean and Qatari governments – foreign state-owned companies now run three-quarters of our rail routes. It’s not just railways. London’s major airports are all foreign-run, four of the Big Six energy firms are in French, German and Spanish hands, and only three of our ten water authorities are British-owned. Oh, and the French are starting to build nuclear power stations here, with Chinese money. So our political masters have allowed foreign governments to make billions from asset-stripping our vital services, diverting profits that should go back into our infrastructure to theirs.
( Brian Reade, 01.04.2017 )

The belly is an ungrateful wretch.
It never remembers past favours, it always wants more tomorrow.
( Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008 )

What’s Not To Like About A 70s Revival? ..
A brief modern history lesson: The phrase “dragging us back to the 1970s” is used to inflict maximum damage because Tory spinmeisters have managed to portray that decade as even grimmer than the 1340s when the Black Death was all the rage.
The Satanic 70s, they say, was when rats roamed streets feasting on unburied corpses, inflation was on a par with 1920s Germany, all houses were lit by candles because the miners were always on strike, and it took you so long to get a phone most people invested in a homing pigeon instead.
That’s not how many like me remember a glorious decade.
There was Bowie and The Clash, Rigsby and Fawlty, cheap football, and tens of thousands of kids becoming the first in their family to go to university (for free).
But mostly there were still proud, content, working-class communities which had yet to be destroyed at the expense of a Thatcherite economic model based on individual greed. Which was why, in the 70s, inequality in Britain reached its lowest-ever point.
If Labour are offering to undo some of that damage by re=nationalising key industries, bringing in a £10 minimum wage, forcing salary caps on bloated executives and properly funding our schools and hospitals, then what’s not to like about a 70s revival?
( Brian Reade, 13.05.2017 )

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
( Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008 )

Fire Officers Warn That Cuts Pose A Risk ..
Chief fire officers have warned that further budget cuts pose a risk to community safety as official figures revealed the biggest increase in fire deaths for a decade.
The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21% compared with the 242 deaths recorded in 2014 and the largest increase since figures were published in 2001-02. The chief fire officers from the six largest English cities outside London said the rise was worrying as the fire service faces budget cuts of up to 50% by 2020, from the 2010 benchmark.
( The Guardian, April 2016 )

The estimated cost of Trump’s Mexican wall is now £53.5billion when he said it would be £6billion. Did he plan to build it with Lego?
( Brian Reade, 01.04.2017 )

A Horror Caused Entirely By Us ..
It is almost physically painful to listen to our political leaders as they jut their chins, do their Churchill imitations, and march towards yet another disaster.
I ask all these people to see if they can arrange a weekend break in Libya, the country they ‘liberated’ a couple of years ago. The Tripoli airport, alas, long ago closed and seems to have been burned down. But perhaps they can hitch a ride on one of the pirate boats that criss-cross the Mediterranean, bringing uncontrollable legions of migrants to Italy, bound for Calais. That filthy business, too, is the fault of our Prime Minister and those who supported his Libya adventure. The disturbing scenes at Calais, as migrants battle to board British-bound ships, are David Cameron’s direct responsibility, and the responsibility of all those who uncritically backed his adventure.
Nobody goes to Libya, now a cauldron of blood and screams where no sane person will venture, a horror caused entirely by us.
( Peter Hitchens, 07.09.2014 )

I’ve voted Labour all my life and, ironically, the only time I’ve held my nose as I did so was in 2005, after Blair invaded Iraq with his tongue embedded in George Bush’s backside.
( Brian Reade, 29.04.2017 )

Laid-Back Italians Are More Productive Than The UK ..
For all George Osborne’s bluster, Britain remains a low-wage, low-output economy. British workers put in the longest hours in Europe yet produce less than any other major industrialised nation. The French could take every Friday off and still produce more each week than we do. And even the laid-back Italians are nine per cent more productive than us. Of the original fifteen EU states, only Europe’s basket cases Greece and Portugal have lower hourly wages. Instead of investing in plant and technology essential for long-term growth, business is investing in labour because it is so cheap.
( Nigel Nelson, 13.12.2015 )

If you’ve come into our country and you commit a crime, you should be deported, end of story.
( Ray Winstone, December 2008 )

The New Fiver Isn’t Quite As Indestructible As We Were Led To Believe ..
In the quickest downgrading from “indestructible” to “erm, totally destructible actually” since the Titanic got intimate with an iceberg, it turns out the new fiver isn”t quite as bulletproof as we were led to believe.
Some of these lurid plasticky banknotes have already become so battered and bedraggled that police in Cornwall mistakenly assumed they were counterfeit.
Supposed security features on the fiver (now worth £4.23 since Brexit) have started rubbing off, and poor Winston Churchill now looks like the poster boy for facial psoriasis. This is despite initial claims that the note would survive the most hostile conditions, such as going through the hot cycle in the washing machine or your partner realising that you forgot their birthday and you just slipped one into a card at the last minute.
The Bank of England has made excuses from “We never claimed it was indestructible” to “It must have been extreme use”, only just stopping short of “A big boy did it and ran away”.

( Adam Kay, 15.04.2017 )

We don’t have to be unequal. Poverty isn’t inevitable.
It doesn’t have to be unfair. Things can, and will change.
( Jeremy Corbyn )

George Orwell ..
George Orwell was a patriotic, liberty-loving socialist who learned to loathe most of his Leftist comrades. His writing, unlike theirs, was as clear as a newly cleaned windowpane. That is because he, unlike them, refused to lie for the cause, and admitted its faults. They loathed him for it when he was alive, and they always will loathe him for it.
( Peter Hitchens, 07.09.2014 )

British voters and European leaders should have one thing in common. Not trusting David Cameron. As slippery as a mud wrestler covered in grease.
The only thing open about Mr Cameron is his gaping mouth when he’s telling porkies.
( Daily Mirror, 18.12.2015 )

Bogus Food Poisoning Claims ..
Spanish hotels are threatening to ban British tourists after our ambulance-chasing solicitors spiked a 700% rise in bogus food poisoning claims. I don’t have a problem with their stand. Indeed I wish we could ban all ambulance chasers from our hospitals, where compo claims cost our already-battered NHS £1.4billion a year, £418million of which goes to blood-sucking “no win no fee” legal firms. That’s money that could hire 19,000 nurses or pay for 25,000 kidney transplants. And that’s a realisation that makes me throw up far more than a plate of dodgy paella.
( Brian Reade, 06.05.2017 )

ISIL hasn’t come from nowhere.
ISIL isn’t funded by nobody.
ISIL doesn’t sell its oil to nobody.
ISIL doesn’t receive its arms from nowhere.
You’ve got to ask some questions about the arms sales we’ve made to many countries around the Gulf. And we’ve got to ask some questions of the bankers and the banking system that allows that oil money to go in and out.
( Jeremy Corbyn )

Amazon Workers Sleeping In Tents In Sub-Zero Temperatures ..
Sometimes you read stories about red carpets being rolled out to undeserving people that leave you gobsmacked. Take the news that Amazon has received £3.6million in Scottish Government grants since 2007 to set up “fulfilment centres” in places like Dunfermline. Before Christmas it was reported that workers there were so poorly paid they couldn’t afford the commute, so were sleeping in tents, in sub-zero temperatures, by the side of the M90 motorway. This from a company worth £290billion, which paid only £9.8million tax on profits in the UK despite raking in £6.3billion from sales.
Yet our politicians go cap-in-hand to them, turning a blind eye to their tax affairs and treatment of their zero-hours contracted workers.
And you can be assured it will get worse after Brexit, when, without the “red tape” of EU labour laws, our politicians will seduce even dodgier firms here in order to show we are “open for business” as an off-shore tax haven.

( Brian Reade, 08.04.2017 )

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
It works the same way in any country.

( Hermann Wilhelm Göring, German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party )

Austerity Policies Are Designed To Dismantle The Welfare State ..
Judged by its own stated goals, government austerity policy isn’t working.
Of course, the reality is that austerity policies are actually designed to dismantle the welfare state, bring down wages and fully marketise the economy, destroying all social and economic gains of ordinary people since the second world war. So from the government point of view the policies are working.

( Ken Loach )

There’s a very good chance that I’ve called some very nice people some very bad names when I’ve been stuck in traffic.

I told the then Prime minister that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the beginning and that the fanaticism and extremism that you will unleash will travel and cascade everywhere including onto our own streets.
( George Galloway )

The Oscars Churned Out Fake News Which Sided With White People ..
It’s not been a great week for luvvies, what with them turning up for the most high-profile opening of an envelope, only to find it was the wrong one. And in doing so, giving their biggest comedy target Donald ‘lying, racist’ Trump the last laugh as the Oscars churned out fake news which sided with white people (La La Land) over blacks (Moonlight). We had the standard self-obsessed speeches, with Viola Davis thanking God for making her an actress “because we are the only profession that celebrities what it means to live a life”. And there was I thinking God put frocks on priests to do that job in churches, when it was designer frocks on actresses to do it on Hollywood sets.
Then there was Emma Watson telling Vanity Fair that she’s banned fans taking selfies with her because they immediately post them, which lets the world know her exact location. “I just can’t give that tracking data,” she said, sensationally forgetting she’s a former child actor from Harry Potter films – not a nuclear missile from North Korea.

( Brian Reade, 04.03.2017 )

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
( Mark Twain )

Theresa May has the warmth, wit and oratorical ability of a fridge-freezer.
( Rod Little )

Michael Gove Transformed Our Children Into Angry, Disaffected Young People ..
Courtesy of a Michael Gove-inspired pressure cooker regime, our kids are now automatons, constantly under stress from exam bombardment.
I have to admit I shed a tear over one message in particular. Straight from the coalface, Gary, head teacher of a Middle School in West Yorkshire, wrote to thank me for high-lighting the effects that the battery hen-type education of our kids is having on their mental health and happiness.
“The pressure we have to place the children under is immense,” he says. “We are forced to push them as hard as we can, otherwise we are judged to be failing.”
He attached a letter from a parent, which, he said “greatly pains me”. It’s from a mum at her wits’ end because her 10-year-old son, “for the first time ever in his school career attempted to feign illness so that he could be absent”.
She says: “A happy, fun-loving, kind, empathetic human being has been transformed into an angry, disaffected young person who frequently describes himself as thick, stupid or dumb.” “He is none of those things,” she states, “But why does he believe it to be true?” She concludes: “The answer for him, and presumably many others, is of course KS2 SATs. “The pressure to succeed by passing these tests is tantamount to abuse. Training and cramming is not education. Introducing GCSE-standard work to a 10-year-old brain does not make them 16. It just produces frustration and anger.”
She adds: “To see our son, a happy bright light only a few months ago, try and make himself vomit in order to skip school has been a real shock. How many other lights will be extinguished before their 12th birthday?”
Many I fear, if the current regime – described by head teacher Gary as “the pernicious environment in which pupils and teachers have to work” – persists. He says education should be “a thing of beauty and joy, not an exam factory which reflects self-satisfied glory on our politicians” or is used to “hold teachers to account for simply trying to open the eyes of our children to the amazing world in which they live and to encourage them to make a positive difference”. 

Gary very kindly thanked me for being “one of the few voices in the media who regularly stands by teachers”. It is my pleasure to stand beside a profession which is hugely overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated. As Gary heartbreakingly told me: “Teaching can be a very lonely place.”
For their hard work and forbearance, their dedication in the face of government ignorance, for providing our precious kids with the essential building blocks for rich, creative, fulfilling, happy lives, teachers deserve to be lauded, not lambasted.

( Fiona Phillips, 25.03.2017 )

Our population is being replaced by people with norms and values that are not ours.
( Geert Wilders )

Andrew Will Be Promoted To Arrogant-Insulter-In-Chief ..
I was saddened to hear that Prince Philip is retiring from all of his royal “work” at the age of 95. Mainly because it reminds us that in 20 years’ time that’s the age everyone will be made to work to before they get a state pension. I just hope Phil will be able to get by on the £122.30 a-week pension (that’s if he doesn’t get sanctioned by the DSS for leaving the job of his own accord) especially with those big heating bills.
But I’m sure the firm will cope without him. No doubt Andrew will be promoted to Arrogant-insulter-in-Chief (he’s already put in the hard yards) and Edward will help hold the gun of the President Emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund when he shoots wild birds out of the sky in his grounds.
( Brian Reade, 06.05.2017 )

Politicians –– You don’t need to hear their lies and excuses or what they have to say. Their actions already speak the truth.

Leaving would cause business uncertainty, while embroiling the Government for years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems that have nothing to do with Europe.
( Boris Johnson, February 2016 )

The Living, Breathing, Bumbling Human Embodiment Of A Blooper Reel ..
Think your kid’s smart for knowing how to play a Peppa Pig video on the iPad all by themselves? Sorry, they’re practically sub-normal compared to a certain eight-year-old in the States, who learned to drive using YouTube tutorials. He then half-inched his parents’ keys and got behind the wheel to rock up at a McDonald’s drive-thru with his baby sister. And he probably did a much better job than most of the Uber drivers I’ve been taken home by recently. His initiative certainly puts us Brits to shame – a study this week claims one in five of us can’t change a light bulb and a third of us can’t read a map. But is it any surprise we’re so clueless when you look at our role models?
There’s Theresa – the wicked witch of Westminster, who I wouldn’t trust to run a bath let alone the country, and Boris – the living, breathing, bumbling human embodiment of a blooper reel. Come to think of it, maybe we should just put that eight-year-old in charge, actually?
( Adam Kay, 15.04.2017 )

A Fox-Hunting Supporter In The Labour Party ..
I don’t have much time for tactical voting, but if I lived in London’s Vauxhall I’d find it easy to vote for anyone but Labour candidate Kate Hoey.
Mainly because I can’t see which part of her is supposed to be Labour.
Months before the 2010 General Election, when asked if she would be upset if the Tories kicked out Gordon Brown, she answered: “No. Absolutely not.” And recently she described her party as “extremely unpatriotic”.
She was an advisor to Boris Johnson when he was London Mayor, she floated down the Thames on a boat supporting Nigel Farage and she said she was “proud” that Theresa May was her Prime Minister. Maybe because Hoey knew May would promote her two biggest political passions: a hard Brexit and fox-hunting.
( Brian Reade, 13.05.2017 )

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