It's very clear that AI is going to impact every industry. I think that every…
Life Has Been Made Hell For Those Who Least Deserve It ..
Who could have failed to be angry looking at the photo of the skeletal 64-year-old Stephen Smith who, despite having multiple debilitating illnesses, weighing six stone, and barely able to walk, was denied benefits by this Government and deemed fit for work.
It was only when he went for free advice at the CASA community centre in Liverpool, where volunteer advisers appealed and won his case, that he received the benefits that kept him alive.
There was a typically rabid response from the right in this country to Tusk’s remarks about those who sold Brexit without a trace of a plan deserving a place in hell. But many of us agree with him.
Because they are the dangerous ideologues behind the three years of political paralysis that has made life hell for those who least deserve it.
( Brian Reade, 08.02.2019 )
The media’s the most powerful entity on earth.
They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.
Because they control the minds of the masses.
( Malcolm X )
If we all judge our leaders and politicians by their actions, there is hope that even the ignorant and the idiots will never be fooled by their words.
In Just 94 Days, 50 People Have Been Killed On London’s Streets ..
Someone very close to me has experienced something that no one should ever have to be familiar with.
Three young men he knew have been victims of gang knife crime within the last year.
One of them, a 17-year-old, was knifed to death by a gang as he screamed for his mum in what turned out to be an unspeakably tragic case of mistaken identity.
In just 94 days, 50 people have been killed on London’s streets, including a young man just a five-minute walk from where I live.
He lost his life after being stabbed last Sunday.
Yet the last time I saw a police vehicle – which is a long while ago – it was parked up for a rush-hour traffic speed-check effort, featuring a gaggle of traffic cops.
I can’t remember the last time I saw an actual police officer, a preventer of person-on-person crime.
But there are enough traffic wardens to form an army on the streets where I live.
It’s profit over safety in my Tory-led London borough.
Parking attendants on mopeds and on foot everywhere, cameras on bus lanes (£160 fine) and at yellow box junctions (£130 fine) all making a fortune for the council.
Maybe some of that cash could be used for actual cameras that make people feel safe?
To catch criminals intent on harming people rather than criminalising drivers hard-pressed to find somewhere to park.
Where are the cameras on housing estates?
In London’s neighbourhoods?
And no, I wouldn’t be keen on cameras in my road, but many of my neighbours are and have installed their own.
In my borough the council rakes in £127million a year from fines connected to bus-lane cameras alone.
Let me work this out – so a police salary, plus pension, costs around £50,000 per year per officer, and no, I didn’t ask Diane Abbott.
By my reckoning, then, my council’s profit from bus-lane cameras could fund an extra 2,540 police officers.
Stop and search worked.
It was ditched because young black men were very often unfairly hauled over.
But can we just look at the victims of the latest London killings – the majority of them are young, black or Asian men, slain with knives, sometimes a gun.
It has to stop.
Police power alone, although a deterrent, is not enough.
It’s not the answer.
Education is the answer.
Let’s start with there’s nothing big, brave or clever in taking another person’s life.
Whichever gang you belong to.
Whatever postcode you live in.
( Fiona Phillips, 07.04.2018 )
Back in early 2013, I was deeply puzzled to read down-to-earth Geordie boy Ant McPartlin admit he’d voted Tory because Labour weren’t offering him a valid argument for voting them into power.
Having read, thanks to his court fine, that he earns £6.7million a year, I’m puzzled no more.
( Brian Reade, 21.04.2018 )
Yes I’ve heard this word.
I think sociopaths use it in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy.
( John Cleese on snowflakes )
Jeremy Corbyn Is A Scapegoat Par Excellence ..
Jeremy Corbyn has not been cast away to die, thank heavens – so we should keep a sense of perspective.
But in modern terms, no question, he’s a scapegoat par excellence.
And in British politics, unlike Thatcher or Blair, he hasn’t done anything to deserve it.
He’s scapegoated for Brexit.
He’s scapegoated for MPs opposed to him from the outset of his leadership having left (when was John Major blamed for the rebel Tories under his government? It’s they who were deservedly blamed most of the time).
He’s scapegoated for not being able to wave a magic wand and change the Parliamentary arithmetic out of nothing.
He’s scapegoated for not having a ‘credible plan’ for Brexit, despite Donald Tusk having said it’s a plan the EU could work with.
He’s scapegoated for there being no 2nd referendum, despite himself proposing a Parliamentary amendment in such regard which was voted down.
He’s scapegoated for the obviously appalling crime of the poorest in society actually being given a voice at last.
He’s scapegoated for not winning the 2017 election – despite having spent the previous 21 months constantly undermined by his Parliamentary Party, who were completely wrong in just about all of their analysis.
Above all, their belief that Labour was now too left wing.
Scapegoated for not winning an election which Labour started 20 points behind.
A snap election called by Theresa May for the express purposes of destroying Labour for at least a generation and ‘crushing the saboteurs’.
The result? A hung Parliament.
He’s scapegoated for not making greater inroads in Scotland – despite the damage having all been done by New Labour’s arrogance and complacency.
Labour’s image is dirt to many Scots.
It’ll take a generation to undo that.
He’s scapegoated for opening up party democracy.
Scapegoated by political illiterates who don’t understand our archaic electoral system, and think he can afford to abandon working class Leave voters who voted Leave because they’d been betrayed for decades.
He’s scapegoated for being a ‘Marxist’, ‘Leninist’, ‘Trotskyist’ or ‘Stalinist’ (what, all of them?!) – by people in such a bubble that they can’t see the world changing all around them and do not care about skyrocketing poverty, homelessness, inequality, rent or house prices.
He’s scapegoated for not being an autocrat then scapegoated for being one (even though he’s the exact opposite of one).
He’s scapegoated as some terrible ‘economic danger’ having stood on a moderate, centre-left platform in 2017.
A platform of European-style social democracy.
He’s scapegoated as a ‘liar’ on Brexit despite that manifesto supporting Brexit.
Scapegoated for the obviously disgraceful crime of respecting democracy.
He’s scapegoated for ‘not being able to get his message across’ when virtually the entire media is implacably opposed to him; and even the public broadcaster is openly, wilfully, deliberately biased in its treatment of him and his party.
( Shaun Lawson, 19.02.2019 )
If they want Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law.
Russia does not need minorities, minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privilege, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘Discrimination’.
( Vladimir Putin )
If the Conservative Government is serious about tracking down tax evaders, they just need to hold more fundraising events – most of them will probably be there.
( Len Firswood )
In 2016, the European Commission produced its first draft of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, and within a month, then UK PM David Cameron announced the date for the EU referendum.
A Country Made Poorer And Less Civilised ..
Twisted words, half-truths and outright lies are the weapons that have kept this country locked in a state of arrested development for the past three years as all political energy has been spent on failing to deliver an imaginary freedom from invented tyrants.
Meanwhile, the issues that affect the lives of the vast majority living in the real world are ignored, leaving the weakest to go to the wall.
Hence the mass use of foodbanks becoming an acceptable part of life in the world’s sixth biggest economy.
I was one of 16 reporters who spoke to some of the thousands of people forced to live on our freezing streets every night.
The reasons behind their soaring numbers are complex but the scourge is beatable.
And surely every rich and civilised country wants it beaten?
But what happens when your country is made poorer and less civilised due to devoting its resources to solving one political party’s insoluble dilemma?
In the past three months alone, the Cabinet Office has handed £14.6million to outside consultancy firms helping them with Brexit.
How many people could that have taken off our streets?
( Brian Reade, 08.02.2019 )
Angela Merkel invited Donald Trump To Hallstadt, birthplace of his grandfather Friedrich in 1885.
It’s also where in 1905 Bavarians deported Friedrich as an illegal immigrant.
I don’t care that they stole my idea.
I care that they don’t have any of their own.
( Nikola Tesla )
The Mistake Of Over-Relying On Intelligence Evidence ..
In 2014 I incurred the wrath of the Board of Deputies of British Jews when I wrote that the Israeli Government’s two-week shelling of Gaza, killing 1,000 people including 165 children, was a war crime.
The Board publicly wrote to the Lords Chief Whip asking me to be dealt with.
I don’t recall them condemning the Israeli actions.
In 2016, after the publication of the Chilcot Report into our Labour Government’s role in the Iraq war, I wrote that I’d come to agree with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that, as the prime aim was regime change, the war was illegal.
I used the article as a platform to publicly apologise for my role in that decision to go to war and how I had to live with the guilt.
Alastair Campbell didn’t like it.
But the mistake of over-relying on intelligence evidence could even turn out to be true about Russia’s alleged involvement with the Salisbury attacks.
( John Prescott, 08.04.2018 )
When they have nothing intelligent to say, and when they are losing the argument, the ignorant and the witless resort to personal attacks in order to sound clever.
According to research there could be over 13,000 veterans living on the streets of Britain, ranging through different ranks and varied ages.
( Nation News, Issue 1 )
It’s Not Corbyn Who Has The Problem ..
He’s scapegoated for antisemitism despite his party taking more steps to combat it than any other party in British history.
His policies aren’t scrutinised; they’re caricatured, by a media whose only interest is ridiculing and excoriating him and all his supporters, which could not care less about the causes of his rise: the sheer perniciousness of neoliberalism.
The failure of our entire system.
Even his personality and appearance are scapegoated.
His raincoat. His mild manner.
His refusal to speak in soundbites at Prime Minister’s Questions. “We just can’t have someone like him as PM! He’s a danger, a danger I tell you!”.
And all this, at a time the public is sick to the back teeth of oily, slick-haired salesmen who speak with forked tongue then sell them all down the river the moment they get into power.
‘Power’, please note, not ‘office’.
Our leaders are supposed to be our democratic servants.
Corbyn is. Corbyn understands that perfectly.
That’s why his expense claims were so low.
Meanwhile, the Tories publicly bribe a party of bigots to stay in power; and were even trying to bribe Labour MPs the other week too.
Jeremy Corbyn cannot be both ‘useless’ and magically able to solve all our ills – or else – at the same time.
The truth is: he’s inflicted more defeats on the government than the opposition to Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron combined.
The truth is: he oversaw the largest rise in Labour’s share of the vote since 1945 – despite standing on a platform which the media and his own Parliamentary Party insisted would destroy Labour forever.
The truth is: he saved Labour from a quite hideous post-2015 fate: bankrupt, bereft, without a clue, hemmed in from all sides.
The truth is: he, personally, has given so much hope to so many millions ignored, shut out and walked all over for decades on end.
And here’s the thing about much of the left.
Many of us have known the kind of adversity which our political opponents never have.
That adversity, that – in many of our cases – trauma – is why we reach out and empathise with those who’ve experienced similar things.
It’s why we see causes, not symptoms.
It’s why so many of us are in caring professions, while so many on the right disappear off to enrich themselves and give nothing back (including, in many cases, even taxes: which they avoid through their accountants and offshore havens).
And it’s also why, when we see someone under such sustained, never-ending attack (constant abuse every single day: why is it the media doesn’t care about that, but does care about disgusting abuse of others?) for the crime of representing us, we stand by him.
The more abuse he gets, the more steadfast our resolve becomes.
The unprecedented nature of this onslaught can only mean one thing: much of the British establishment is up to its neck in cronyism and corruption, and terrified of what would come out under a Corbyn government.
I can’t speak for my followers – but I’d like to think most of them, like me, would be delighted to discuss issues people have with Corbyn’s leadership *constructively*.
Through analysis based on facts.
Not just opening your mouths and letting your bellies rumble.
Not cliche, not caricature, not lies, not ill-informed nonsense.
But actual detail.
Real, thoughtful analysis.
There’s loads of things that can be criticised about his leadership.
He’s not the Messiah, but he’s not a very naughty boy either.
The truth lies somewhere in between.
But if you just join in with the scapegoating – if you have some ritualistic desire to blame seemingly everything on the planet on a kind, decent, gentle man – the truth is: it’s not Corbyn who has the problem.
( Shaun Lawson, 19.02.2019 )
You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.
( Harry S Truman )
The simple-minded follow the loudest voice, the loudest crowd, the loudest group, and believe much of the lies and propaganda spewed in the media by those same groups, crowds and people.
The number of rapes, murders and other serious crimes committed by offenders on parole has risen by more than 50% since privatisation of probation was introduced four years ago.
( Labour Press Team, 06.03.2019 )
Jeremy Corbyn Has Never Had Sympathy For IRA Terrorist Tactics ..
Whilst he condemns ‘all bombing’ carried out by the IRA, he has also been insistent on acknowledging the joint responsibility of ‘the British Army’ for the Troubles, not only because of such atrocities as Bloody Sunday but also because he believes that ‘the treatment of IRA prisoners’ was a key factor in their radicalisation.
Corbyn has never claimed to be neutral on this issue — and there are many who would hotly contest his point of view — but it does not follow from what I have just outlined that he has ever had any sympathy for IRA terrorist tactics.
As he has explained repeatedly , his campaigning on this issue in the past was shaped both by a belief ‘that Ireland should be reunited’ and by a desire for ‘a peace process’.
He claims to have always been insistent that there would never be ‘a military victory for either side in Northern Ireland’.
( Luke Davies, 28.07.2016 )
It’s all very well the PM holding another summit on violent crime but the public want some real action now.
The Tories cannot cut our police officers and expect to tackle violent crime.
Tories are not the Party of law and order but the Party of crime and disorder.
( Angela Rayner, 06.03.2019 )
We live in a completely corrupted world where every government is a bunch of businessmen and none of them give a shit about the people.
The sad fact is no one knows how to change it, because no one knows how to take on the corporations.
( Woody Harrelson )
Taxpayers’ Money Spent On Sending Military Officers’ Kids To Private Schools ..
The National Audit Office says the UK armed forces have a shortfall of 8,200 regular troops making it so understaffed that some operations can’t be carried out without cancelling leave.
In a separate report, it was revealed that taxpayers have spent £246million in the past three years subsidising the private education of 5,216 children of military officers at elite schools such as Eton and Harrow.
In 2011, the Government was pressurised to scrap this subsidy on the grounds it was antiquated, costly and worked against social mobility.
But Old Etonian David Cameron’s government review concluded that the grants made “a key contribution to operational effectiveness”.
Surely anyone with half a brain can deduce that military operations would be far more effective if, instead of giving the officer class millions to pass their privilege and wealth down a generation, we used it to hire more troops?
Or maybe the majority of us who went unsubsidised to state schools don’t have a brain educated enough to understand that.
( Brian Reade, 21.04.2018 )
When the economy is measured, it measures how those at the top are doing, not how the masses are doing.
And when governments make economy their sole objective, destruction is disguised as progress.
If you think things are bad now, wait until we get even closer to Number 10.
They will stop at nothing to demonise Jeremy.
They’ll lie, cheat and slander in ways you couldn’t dream of right now.
We’re expecting it and so should you.
( John McDonnell, 2016 )
United States Added To List Of Most Dangerous Countries For Journalists ..
At least 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018, a 15% increase over last year, said Reporters Without Borders.
The number of deaths rises to 80 when all media workers and people classified as citizen journalists are included.
The world’s five deadliest countries for journalists include three — India, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States — where journalists were killed in cold blood, even though those countries weren’t at war or in conflict.
Reporters Without Borders said the three most dangerous countries for journalists to work in were Afghanistan, Syria and Mexico.
Meanwhile, the shooting deaths of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, in June propelled the United States into the ranks of the most dangerous countries for the first time.
Reporters Without Borders said 348 journalists were being detained worldwide, compared with 326 at this time in 2017.
China, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt hold more than half of the world’s imprisoned journalists.
( Reuters, 19.12.2018 )
On 29 April 2016, and after considerable concern and controversy leading to high-profile and senior suspensions from the Labour Party, the Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP asked me to conduct this Inquiry into antisemitism and other forms of racism.
( Shami Chakrabarti )
The Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism and other forms of racism in the Labour Party was published on June 30, 2016.
Professor David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, was appointed as Vice-Chair and lent his expertise to the Inquiry.
The report is the result of two months consultation with a wide range of groups and individuals and more than 1,000 written submissions.
( Pears Institute )
I Think It Dangerous To Argue Guilt By Association ..
There can be little doubt that Corbyn reacted swiftly and decisively by commissioning the country’s leading human rights lawyer to conduct an independent inquiry.
But what does the report itself actually say?
And does it cast a light in any way on the controversies surrounding Corbyn?
The take-home point of the report is that whilst the Labour Party ‘is not overrun by antisemitism’ there remains evidence of ‘minority hateful or ignorant attitudes’.
In the second paragraph of her foreword, Chakrabarti also criticises ‘an occasionally toxic atmosphere’ that is ‘in danger of shutting down free speech within the party rather than facilitating it’.
In the report Chakrabarti singles out for attention those who ‘build cases of criticism against people on the basis of those with whom they have “shared a platform”’.
She objects: ‘I think it dangerous to argue guilt by association and in so doing to undermine the kind of dialogue and debate that is the basis of peace, progress, and greater understanding in the world’.
Far from condemning Corbyn for tolerating or associating with antisemites, or for dismissing antisemitism within his own party, the Chakrabarti report appears to endorse his approach of engaging in dialogue and to strongly criticise those who have attacked him on this basis.
I’d be grateful if anyone can point to a single piece of media coverage of the report that makes this obvious point.
( Luke davies, 28.07.2016 )
Complicit in misery, suffering and death.
Our governments and politicians ignore, and fail to condemn, the sickening and brutal atrocities and crimes committed by the nations they profit from.
Greed has become stronger than morals and decency.
We live in a time when the rich and those with power are able to suppress, or deny, the truth, and feed the many not-too-smart masses with lies and propaganda that helps their dodgy, selfish, greedy agendas.
( Rose Winfold )
Theresa May is in complete denial about the impact of austerity tearing apart the fabric of our communities, shutting youth services and cutting by 21,000 police numbers.
She has been Home Secretary and Prime Minister for 9 years and failed to control violent crime.
( Dan Carden MP, 06.03.2019 )
What About The Jacks And Jills Out There? ..
I have no children or grandchildren.
My quality of life will not be affected.
I am all right, Jack.
But what about the Jacks and Jills out there?
Are they to be stripped of their rights on the whim of those who peddled rubbish in the referendum and are afraid to be challenged in another?
I was a government whip when Harold Wilson was prime minister.
He said that anyone who claimed that membership of the European Community was a black and white issue was either a charlatan or a simpleton.
I leave your Lordships to adjudicate on that one.
Which brings me to Mr Boris Johnson.
His campaign bus did not proclaim, “Say yes to no deal”.
We were promised an easy ride with a cash bonus thrown in.
The question on the ballot paper did not ask us to choose between a hard or soft Brexit, a Canadian or a Norway-plus deal, or a deal that would separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
Nobody dreamed that we would be frantically preparing for worst-case scenarios.
We are now paying the price for a referendum that was dominated by falsehoods.
Brexiteers promised the world but ignored the social and political realities festering in our own country.
Now, parliament is convulsed, Whitehall is pulverised and Downing Street has become a drop-in for chilled wine and persuasive chats, while industry and business are alarmed and our friends and allies are bewildered.
Who can possibly blame them?
( Baroness Boothroyd, January 2019 )
A small number of major corporations owning and controlling large parts of what we see, hear and buy, poses a real threat to the kind of democracy we want to be.
( Bernie Sanders )
In a crystal we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being.
( Nikola Tesla )
The Customer Doesn’t Come First, Big Profit Does ..
Depression and anxiety are rising off the scale.
Is it any wonder?
Our overcrowded island has changed from one where common pleasantries were regularly swapped with strangers, to one where eye contact is actively avoided.
It’s dog eat dog.
It’s all for one.
Not one for all.
Lifestyle envy is a plague at the same time as homelessness is burgeoning.
Our society is one where every shyster is competing with every other shyster to catch us out, hook us in and screw us up.
Where pride in customer service has been replaced by disdainful disregard and false claims to sell us “bargains” that don’t exist.
We’re slaves to the greed of massive corporations, who go to any length possible to squeeze our last pennies into their humungous accounts.
Encounters with corporate giants are like being stamped on by a very large boot.
The customer doesn’t come first – big profit does.
More than it ever did before.
( Fiona Phillips, 28.04.2018 )
A grasping, contagious sickness called ‘greed’ is infecting many in the world.
( Rose Winfold )
I think that we’re all mentally ill.
Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better, and maybe not all that much better after all.
( Stephen King )
The Hostile Environment For Disabled People ..
More than 17,000 people have died while waiting to hear whether their claim for disability benefit had been successful.
Ministers have been accused of “failing people at the most vulnerable point in their lives” after figures revealed 17,070 disability claimants have died while waiting for decisions on their personal independence payment (PIP) claims since 2013.
One in four (4,330) of those who died were suffering from a form of cancer, while 270 had anxiety or depressive disorders.
In more than half of cases (9,020), the main disability was not recorded.
Waiting times for PIP claims have risen over the last year, with the latest figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showing that the average waiting time for new claims is 14 weeks – a rise of a month since March 2018.
Shadow disabilities Marsha de Cordova accused the government of allowing a “cruel and callous” PIP assessment process to create a “hostile environment for disabled people”.
“Disabled people are being forced to wait months for vital social security and all too often face a lengthy and traumatic appeals process, resulting in a system in which thousands of people die before their PIP decision is reached,” she added.
Philip Connolly, policy and development manager at Disability Rights UK said the figures were further evidence that the government was struggling to deliver a benefits system which is fit for purpose.
“Disabled people shouldn’t have to wait for so long for assessments for PIP,” he said.
“How vulnerable do you have to be before the government will change how things are done and ensure people get their assessments in a timely manner? Tax payers have a right to expect a decent service funded by their money. And disabled people have a right to an accurate and timely assessment so they get the benefits they qualify for promptly.”
( May Bulman, Independent, 14.01.2019 )
In 2013, then UK PM David Cameron, personally wrote to the then president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, to prevent off-shore trusts from being included into an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance.
In 2015, Conservative, UKIP and DUP MEPs voted against the EU’s plans to crack down on corporate tax dodging by making companies report where they make their profits and pay taxes.
What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.
( Stephen King )