UK Foreign Secretary Didn't Know What The Customs Union Was. Boris Johnson, the former UK…
An Estimated 600,000 People Were Killed In The Fraudulent Attack On Libya.
We live in a war-like society.
One that supports, and is in league with, the world’s number one terrorist threat: the United States of America.
Corporate media propaganda plays a key role in keeping things that way.
In March 2011, the US, UK and France attacked oil-rich Libya under the fictitious cover of ‘humanitarian intervention’.
The bombing was ‘justified’ by Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy by the supposed imminent massacre of civilians in Benghazi by forces under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
As we have documented previously, the propaganda claims were fraudulent.
Libya, previously a wealthy state with free health care and education, was essentially destroyed.
An estimated 600,000 Libyans were killed.
Many more were displaced from their homes.
In the barbarous conditions of the failed state, black people have been ethnically ‘cleansed’, lynched and auctioned off as slaves, illicit arms transfers and terrorism have become rife, and many Libyans have attempted to flee to better lives across the Mediterranean, thousands of them drowning en route.
( Media Lens, 29.03.2021 ) .. medialens.org
In hindsight, it is clear that the U.S. was completing a 40-year regime change operation targeting Colonel Gaddafi for which media disinformation was pivotal.
It is important today as such to revisit the 2011 war so that U.S. citizens can learn from the history and not be duped again into supporting an intervention of this kind.
The powerful Western perpetrators of this human calamity have never been brought to justice.
( Jeremy Kuzmarov, managing editor of CovertAction Magazine )
U.S. Climate Deniers Donate Millions To Tory-Linked Think Tanks.
Influential right-wing UK think tanks with close access to ministers have received millions in ‘dark money’ donations from the U.S.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Institute of Economic Affairs, Policy Exchange, the Adam Smith Institute and the Legatum Institute have raised $9million from American donors since 2012.
Of this, at least $6million has been channelled to the UK, according to tax returns filed with U.S. authorities – representing 11% of the think tanks’ total UK receipts, with the figure reaching 23% for the Adam Smith Institute.
In that time, all five have steadily increased their connections in the heart of government.
Between them, they have secured more than 100 meetings with ministers and more than a dozen of their former staff have joined Boris Johnson’s government as special advisers.
Representatives from right-wing think tanks – many of whom are headquartered at 55 Tufton Street in central London – frequently appear in British media and have been credited with pushing the Tories further to the right on Brexit and the economy.
ExxonMobil gave Policy Exchange $30,000 in 2017.
The think tank went on to recommend the creation of a new anti-protest law targeting the likes of Extinction Rebellion, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
None of these think tanks disclose their UK donors.
With the exception of the Adam Smith Institute, none provide any information about the identity of donors to their U.S. fundraising arms.
Among the U.S.-organisations who have donated to UK think tanks are oil companies and several of the top funders of climate change denial in the U.S.
The think tanks’ U.S. arms received $5.4million from 18 donors who have also separately donated a combined $584million towards a vast network of organisations promoting climate denial in the U.S. between 2003 to 2018, according to research from climate scientists.
( Adam Bychawski, 16.06.2022 ) .. opendemocracy.net
Washington Continues To Recklessly Involve Itself In Ukraine.
The 2014 revolution in Ukraine was an enormously complicated affair.
Yet for most Western observers, many of its basic, well-documented facts have been either excised to push a simplistic, black-and-white narrative, or cast as misinformation and propaganda, like the crucial role of the far right in the revolution.
In truth, the Maidan Revolution remains a messy event that isn’t easy to categorise but is far from what Western audiences have been led to believe.
It’s a story of liberal, pro-Western protesters, driven by legitimate grievances but largely drawn from only one-half of a polarized country, entering a temporary marriage of convenience with the far right to carry out an insurrection against a corrupt, authoritarian president.
The tragedy is that it served largely to empower literal neo-Nazis while enacting only the goals of the Western powers that opportunistically lent their support — among which was the geopolitical equivalent of a predatory payday loan.
It’s a story tragically common in post–Cold War Europe, of a country maimed and torn apart when its political and social divisions were used and wrenched further apart in the tussle of great power rivalry.
And the Western failure to understand it has led us to a point where Washington continues to recklessly involve itself in a place full of shadowy motives, shifting allegiances, and where little is what it seems on the surface.
Western involvement helped bring the country to this crisis.
There’s little reason to think it’ll now get it out.
Little to nothing has changed about Ukrainian corruption or authoritarianism, under either Poroshenko or current president Volodymyr Zelensky, elected in 2019 as an outsider change agent.
Each has governed like an autocrat, using their powers to go after political opponents and weaken dissent, and have been embroiled in personal enrichment scandals that remain endemic to the Ukrainian political class.
Not that it stopped either from being feted by Washington and flooded with American support.
In fact, this new imperial patron has only added to these problems, with the current U.S. president’s family being personally embroiled in one of the country’s major corruption scandals, before using his position to install a markedly corrupt prosecutor general.
( Branko Marcetic, 07.02.2022 ) .. jacobin.com
Tory MPs Using Taxpayers Money To Pay Their Housing Rent.
Conservative MPs are putting their rent payments worth tens of thousands of pounds on taxpayer-funded expenses while cutting housing benefit for the poorest tenants – with many MPs renting out properties for profit.
Between April and November 2020, Conservative MPs claimed almost £3million in housing rent on expenses.
The Observer identified 42 Conservative MPs who claim their own rent on expenses while at the same time renting out other residential properties for at least £10,000 a year in income.
Among them are:
Kevin Hollinrake, who claimed £2,925 each month from April to November while owning a share of five different rental properties in York.
Paul Howell, elected in 2019 for the “red wall” seat of Sedgefield, who claimed £1,917.50 every month from April to November while renting out 16 different houses and flats across County Durham.
Paul Bristow, who claimed £10,500 of his own rent on expenses between April and November while renting out three residential properties in London.
Sixteen Tory MPs rent out residential property in London, according to the parliamentary register of interests, while claiming their own rent on expenses.
They include Liam Fox, Geoffrey Cox, James Cleverly and Philip Davies.
There is no suggestion any of the MPs have broken any rules.
Because non-London MPs have to work from two locations – London and their constituency – they can claim rental costs for one of those homes on expenses.
The revelations came as the government froze the local housing allowance(LHA) benefit, meaning tenants will get the same amount of money as the last financial year, even where rents have risen by hundreds of pounds a year – effectively a benefit cut.
LHA is paid to private sector tenants on low incomes, in or out of work.
However, only the lowest rents in each area are fully covered by LHA – those paying average rents are left with a shortfall that can drive them into debt.
By contrast, in October 2020 alone, 54 Conservative MPs claimed at least £2,000 each in housing rent on expenses – far higher than the LHA levels available to most tenants in London, let alone the rest of the country.
Welfare secretary Thérèse Coffey, whose department runs the LHA system, claimed £1,885 a month.
The Tory MP claiming the highest rent expenses is Helen Whately, minister for social care.
Despite earning £113,612 as an MP and minister, she claimed £3,250 in housing rent from the taxpayer each month between April and November 2020 – £26,000 in total during those eight months.
( Chaminda Jayanetti, 11.04.2021 ) .. theguardian.co
A Massive Cover-Up To Preserve The Western Narrative In Syria.
The corporate media declared with instant unanimity and certainty that Syria’s President Bashar Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7, 2018.
One week later, the U.S., UK and France attacked Syria in response to the unproven allegations.
Since then, there has been a mounting deluge of evidence that the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has perpetrated a massive cover-up to preserve the Western narrative that Assad gassed civilians in Douma.
Five former OPCW officials joined a group of prominent signatories to urge the UN chemical weapons watchdog to address the controversy.
But Western violence against other nations, and the ‘justifications’ trotted out to defend ‘our’ crimes, or simply ignoring them, has become normalised in ‘mainstream’ journalism.
( Media Lens, 29.03.2021 ) .. medialens.org
Leaks from inside the OPCW show that key scientific findings that cast doubt on claims of Syrian government guilt were censored, and that the original investigators were removed from the probe.
Since the cover-up became public, the OPCW has shunned accountability and publicly attacked the two whistleblowers who challenged it from inside.
The western media, across the spectrum, has buried this story – which is pretty incredible.
You have extraordinary allegations of a cover-up, you have whistleblowers, and not only do you have allegations, you have documents – a trove of documents released by WikiLeaks.
( Aaron Maté, an independent journalist with The Grayzone website )
House Of Lord Members Complain About Taxpayer-Subsidised Food And Drink.
Members of the House of Lords have complained about the quality of food and wine served in Parliament, despite £25million of taxpayer subsidies.
One peer grumbled: “There are only so many smoked salmon or prawn and crayfish salads one can take week after week. Both the Chardonnay and the Sauvignon Blanc are really poor quality… Can something be done?”
The complaints were made in letters and emails sent over the past three years.
Taxpayers were charged £25million to bail out bars and restaurants across Parliament in the past three years.
This includes a £3million subsidy for the exclusive Members’ Dining Room in the House of Lords, which can be used only by current and retired peers – and their personal guests.
Members of the Lords do not get a salary, but can claim £323 for every day they attend Parliament.
That has not stopped some from submitting angry complaints about the discount food they’re entitled to.
One complained about the “limited range” of “pre-packaged sandwiches”, which were “very disappointing”.
Another asked: “Could the sandwiches be presented on a plate with a bit of salad rather than in cardboard?”
Several peers complained about “disastrous changes” to the Bishops’ Bar, which has received more than £370,000 of subsidies in the last three years.
The bar is one of several facilities in Parliament that is available only to members of the House of Lords.
( Martin Williams, 13.06.2022 ) .. opendemocracy.net
The Rape Allegations On Russian Soldiers Were False And Baseless.
The transition of Zelensky from clown to President to dictator has been horrifying for Ukraine.
He has banned opposition parties, burned thousands of Russian books and is now throttling press freedom.
Kyiv, according to Western propaganda is fighting a war to conserve its sovereignty and ideology.
However, if freedom of the press itself is barred in Ukraine then the Western powers that proclaim themselves to be the champions of democracy should once again think about their support of Zelensky’s dictator regime.
Ukrainian journalist Sonya Lukashova ended up on the notorious Mirotvorets (‘Peacemaker’) website in the aftermath of her authoring an article that claimed the data on Russian military rape allegations produced by the country’s former human rights chief, Lyudmila Denisova, were false.
Mirotvorets is a state-run unit under Ukraine’s Security Service that produces a list of people and organisations deemed to be “Enemies Of Ukraine”.
Sonya Lukashova wrote the piece published by the Ukrainskaya Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) newspaper.
The piece crafted by her cited many official sources proclaiming the “Rape Allegation” on Russians false and baseless.
Zelensky and his allies have been citing a much-hyped number of casualties on the Russian side to demotivate the Russian public, the truth however can be seen on the ground with the swift advancement of the Russian forces.
Alleging Russian soldiers of brutal war crimes such as rapes and minor abuse is too disgraceful to be done by a country’s president.
Ukrainian law enforcement officials tried to investigate Denisova’s claims but found no evidence to back them up.
After interrogating Denisova several times, officials discovered she had received all her explosive revelations from her daughter, Alexandra Kvitko, “over tea.”
The latter ran a ‘psychological hotline’ for victims of wartime violence, established in collaboration between Denisova’s office and UNICEF.
Rampant corruption at the highest levels in the Zelensky government and their plot of winding up fake propaganda to tarnish the image of Russian soldiers have now been exposed, all thanks to brave journalists like Sonya Lukashova, whose future now lies in deep uncertainty.
( Vishwas Makkar, 30.06.2022 ) .. tfiglobalnews.com
Tory MPs, Lords Members And Multi-Millionaire Landowners Receive Taxpayer-Subsidies To Heat Their Mansions.
Conservative MPs, Lords members and multi-millionaire landowners are raking in eye-watering sums from a taxpayer-funded subsidy to heat their mansions even as millions face fuel poverty this winter.
Among the beneficiaries identified are international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who has claimed £80,000.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, the MP who headed a parliamentary inquiry into whether the scheme was delivering value for money, and two members of the House of Lords, one of whom is in line to make more than £1million.
The non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was meant to encourage a shift to cleaner energy and has been running since 2011.
Under the scheme, anyone who installs an eligible ‘green’ boiler in a business or public sector building receives 20 years of payouts for their trouble.
A similar scandal caused a political earthquake that shut down Northern Ireland’s government for three years.
Around 110,000 homes and 22,000 businesses have claimed the RHI, which is set to cost £23billion and run until 2042.
The final round of new applicants were awarded funding this year.
Documents reveal Conservative politicians repeatedly failed to clamp down on some of the most egregious loopholes in the subsidy even as they cut support for other key green measures.
Among the parliamentarians claiming the renewable heat incentive is Arthur Gore, the Earl of Arran, who has had a seat in the House of Lords since 1983.
Gore’s family home, Castle Hill in Devon, is heated by a biomass boiler system.
Castle Hill is part of Gore’s own Fortescue estate, where 50 cottages are rented out.
The house itself is not open to the public.
But the public are paying for its heating – which has been designed to “maximise” the amount extracted from taxpayers, and which heats a pool as well as the sprawling country pile.
( Caroline Molloy, 10.06.2022 ) .. opendemocracy.net
Ukraine MP’s Wife Caught Crossing Border With Six Suitcases Full Of Cash.
Anastasia Kotvitska, wife of former Ukrainian MP Igor Kotvitsky, was caught crossing the Ukraine-Hungary border with six suitcases full of cash.
According to reports, after Kotvitska had been waved through by Ukrainian border officials, Hungarian customs discovered cash amounts of $28million in U.S. dollars, and €1.3million in euros, hidden in the suitcases during an inspection on March 14, 2022.
She was then obliged to declare the funds.
Kotvistka was travelling with her mother and two Hungarian men in a minivan when she was stopped at the border crossing in Vylok.
In response to the incident, Kotvitsky said that his wife was leaving Ukraine due to pregnancy, but claimed that his money was deposited in Ukrainian banks and that he had not withdrawn any of it.
He further claimed that his wife was not being held.
A criminal case has now been initiated by the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigation against Kotvitska for not declaring the funds.
Austria’s Kurier reports that an investigation has been launched as to whether Kotvistky and his wife were able to amass such wealth through legal means.
Ukrainian businessman Seyar Khushutov broke the news of the incident via social media, publishing the names of the Ukrainian border officials who had allowed Kotvitska through.
Khushutov claimed that the names of the border officials in question were “well known in narrow circles,” as they had a reputation of turning a blind eye to significant amounts of cash leaving the country, in exchange for receiving a share “between 3% and 7.5%,” depending on the total amount being smuggled.
( Iain Muir, 01.07.2022 ) .. scotlandtoday.online