UK Foreign Secretary Didn't Know What The Customs Union Was. Boris Johnson, the former UK…
Damaging Tory Policies Widen The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor.
The Uk has missed out on a mammoth £400billion of economic growth during more than ten years of Tory rule, according to TUC research.
A toxic combination of tax breaks for the richest alongside cuts to public services and key worker pay has seen the country’s GDP fall well behind where economists in 2010 predicted it would be.
Tory ministers claim that inflation-matching wage rises for public-sector workers are unaffordable, despite arguing unlimited bankers’ bonuses are needed to “attract the best talent.”
The Tories must end its damaging fixation with boosting the wealth of the rich at the cost of a strong economy with decent wage growth and improvement to living standards.
Wage growth is the fuel in the tank that drives the economy.
Businesses need customers with money to spend — that’s the only way our economy is going to grow sustainably.
But since 2010, Tory policies have held down wages year after year and ministers have given more and more in tax breaks to banks, corporations and high earners.
The TUC’s study examines the trend for weaker economic growth from 1979 onwards, when Margaret Thatcher came to power, compared to the post-WW2 period of sustained growth in GDP, wages and living standards.
The damaging change coincided with policies which prioritised tax cuts for the richest, legislation to weaken workers’ bargaining power and declining corporate oversight, leading to widening gaps between rich and poor.
( Matt Trinder, 02.02.2023 ) .. morningstaronline.co.uk
The UN And Their Fat Controllers Manipulated The Situation In Ukraine.
We now know that the Ukraine war is being used entirely by the Tory government and the establishment as a blatant propaganda exercise that hides a flagrant desire to profit from misery, again.
As in World War 2 when the corporations maintained their trading relationship with the Nazis, they are at it again.
From minute one the evidence was sky high that the UN and their fat controllers had manipulated the situation in Ukraine to incite a response from Putin and that it was part of a much bigger global strategy.
Since then the evidence has increased exponentially as one act after another suggests this is much more about profiteering and control than it is about fighting back against an illegal attack.
And all the while Ukrainians have suffered as part of this global strategic plan.
( James Finlayson, 25.03.2023 ) .. dorseteye.com
A Question Of Impartiality Of Former UN Special Envoy To Yemen And Now The UN’s Under-Secretary-General For Humanitarian Affairs.
Martin Griffiths, now the UN’s humanitarian chief, co-founded his personal consultancy with the vice-president of an energy firm which has worked on multi-million pound projects in the states leading the bombing campaign in Yemen.
The former UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has close links to the vice-president of a private energy group which has had significant financial interests in the oil sectors of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Saudi and UAE regimes are belligerents in the Yemen conflict, together leading the devastating air war in the country which has killed thousands of people since it began in 2015.
Over 25,000 bombing missions have been flown by the UK-backed coalition, mainly by Saudi warplanes.
In his position as UN envoy, Griffiths had access to high-level officials in both regimes.
There is no suggestion that this access has been used for commercial purposes.
However, the new information raises further questions about the undermining of the appearance of impartiality crucial to the role of the UN special envoy.
Griffiths held the Yemen role from 2018 until August 2021.
He is now the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and took part in the Riyadh Humanitarian Forum in Saudi Arabia.
( Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis, 22.02.2023 ) .. declassifieduk.org
The President Of Ukraine Is Endangering Any Efforts At Peace.
A protracted conflict would be disastrous for Ukraine because all of the fighting is occurring within its borders.
The nation has lost territory, military hardware, and suffered tens of thousands of deaths.
The economy has taken a beating, and its infrastructure has come under siege.
It has little chance of surviving the Russian assault without the regular stream of armaments from the West.
The only realistic option for Ukraine to defend itself against further Russian aggression is a peace proposal.
Hence, it is regrettable that the president of Ukraine is endangering any efforts at peace simply to continue receiving cosmetic accolades for mounting a supposedly valiant defence against Russia.
( Ansh Pandey, 28.02.2023 ) .. tfiglobalnews.com
Former Politicians Can Secure Privileged Access To Government For Their New Paymasters.
More than 170 former UK government ministers and senior officials have taken private sector jobs related to their old policy briefs since 2017.
A report from Transparency International found large numbers of ex-ministers and senior officials were going straight from their government jobs into private sector roles relevant to their former responsibilities, which it said raised serious questions over how potential conflicts of interest are managed in Westminster.
Overall, 177 out of 604 jobs since 2017 were linked to the former policy responsibilities of government ministers and officials, with the highest prevalence among former defence and education office holders.
Duncan Hames, the director of policy at Transparency International UK, said: “Britain’s revolving-door watchdog has proved powerless to stop former ministers and officials cashing in on the contacts they made in public service. The Greensill saga highlighted just how easily former politicians can secure privileged access to government for their new paymasters – with potentially huge implications for public policy and the use of taxpayers’ money.”
( Rowena Mason, 24.03.2023 ) .. Source: theguardian.com
President Zalensky’s Offshore Bank Accounts.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rode to power on pledges to clean up the Eastern European country, but the Pandora Papers reveal he and his close circle were the beneficiaries of a network of offshore companies, including some that owned expensive London property.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his partners in comedy production owned a network of offshore companies related to their business based in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
Zelensky’s current chief aide, Serhiy Shefir, as well as the head of the country’s Security Service, were part of the offshore network.
Offshore companies were used by Shefir and another business partner to buy pricey London real estate.
Around the time of his 2019 election, Zelensky handed his shares in a key offshore company over to Shefir, but the two appear to have made an arrangement for Zelensky’s family to continue receiving money from the offshore.
( Elena Loginova, 03.10.2021 ) .. occrp.org
The UK Is Determined To Maintain Arms Exports To Saudi Arabia.
Since the war in Yemen began in 2015 the UK has exported over £23billion worth of arms to the Saudi-led Coalition.
Despite warnings from the very early stages of the war that International Humanitarian Law violations were occurring, arms exports from the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany to the Saudi Arabian-led coalition, and especially to the Saudi regime itself, have continued.
Some of these states have limited arms export licences to the Coalition.
But the UK stands out for its unrivalled determination to maintain arms exports in the face of multiple legal, political and moral challenges.
The former UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen as well as numerous Yemeni and foreign NGOs have documented hundreds of cases of specific attacks.
These have been against residential areas, schools, hospitals, agricultural facilities, market places, gatherings such as weddings and funerals, and civilian factories, many of which have killed dozens of civilians, and where no military target has been in evidence nearby.
The attacks are violations of International Humanitarian Law, and may constitute war crimes.
There is also a strong case that Saudi Arabia has also been using starvation as a weapon of war, which would also be a war crime.
In the midst of this horrendous humanitarian crisis, UK aid to Yemen has been slashed by 63% since 2020, despite the fact that people are starving.
( Katie Fallon, 30.05.2022 ) .. declassifieduk.org
Sewage Discharges Into The Sea Affect UK Popular Tourist Destinations.
New warnings have been applied to dozens of beaches across the UK after sewage water was discharged into the sea – with the newly-crowned ‘best beach in the UK’ among those affected.
Members of the public have been told to steer clear of 83 beaches across the country due to sewage leaking into the water.
New pollution alerts from swimming charity Surfers Against Sewage have been unveiled following heavy rainfall over recent days, which has caused waste water to be discharged into the sea.
An alert has even been applied to Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, which was last month (February) named by Tripadvisor as the best beach in the UK.
Other popular tourist destinations affected by the warnings include Brighton, Scarborough, Blackpool and Whitstable.
In just one year, England and Wales’ waterways had sewage pumped into them for at least 3.4million hours, according to recent figures analysed by Top of the Poops.
( Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas, 16.03.2023 ) .. mirror.co.uk
Boris Johnson Blocked Peace Negotiations Between Ukraine And Russia.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said peace talks will continue with Russia despite accusing Moscow of war crimes and genocide.
Mr Zelensky was speaking in Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, where bodies of civilians were found strewn on the streets after Russian troops withdrew.
Responding to a question from the BBC on whether it was still possible to talk peace with Russia, Mr Zelensky said: “Yes, because Ukraine must have peace. We are in Europe in the 21st Century. We will continue efforts diplomatically and militarily.”
It was only days later, after a phone call and then a visit by the British prime minister Boris Johnson, that the Ukraine ended the negotiations with Russia.
According to Ukrainska Pravda sources close to Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, who appeared in the capital almost without warning, brought two simple messages.
The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he should be pressured, not negotiated with.
And the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they are not.
Johnson’s position was that the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee, now felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to “press him.”
Three days after Johnson left for Britain, Putin went public and said talks with Ukraine “had turned into a dead end”.
Boris Johnson made his unannounced visit to Kiev on April 9 2022.
The Ukrainska Pravda account has been confirmed by Fiona Hill, Russia specialist in the National Security Council under the Trump administration.
In a piece for Foreign Affairs Fiona Hill and Angela Stent wrote in August 2022:
According to multiple former senior U.S. officials we spoke with, in April 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement: Russia would withdraw to its position on February 23, when it controlled part of the Donbas region and all of Crimea, and in exchange, Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.
Former prime minister of Israel Naftali Bennett, who was personally deeply involved in the negotiation process, also alleged that the ‘West’ blocked them.
When asked if the Western powers “blocked” the mediation efforts, Bennet said, “Basically, yes. They blocked it, and I thought they were wrong.”
( Moon of Alabama, 22.02.2023 ) .. moonofalbama.org
The War On Yemen Would Stop Within Weeks Without UK Supplies To Saudi Arabia.
British arms company BAE Systems maintains the Saudi air force’s Tornado fleet which bombs Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.
Exports of Tornado spares were allowed to continue because the scheme began before a court ordered an embargo on new licences.
UK customs made 194 seizures of goods that violated arms export law, a four-year high, but prosecuted no one.
Britain donated arms to a Somali counter-terrorist unit and took part in an ‘outreach event’ with Israel’s arms industry in 2019, amid human rights abuses in both countries.
Saudi planes bombing Yemen received 2,323 spare parts from the UK military in 2019, according to the government’s annual report into strategic export controls.
The long-awaited report shows that supplies to Saudi Arabia’s air force and navy continued despite a court order in June 2019 banning new export licences for use in Yemen.
Tornado spare parts were exempt from the arms embargo because they were covered by licences issued prior to the court ruling.
The equipment was diverted from the Royal Air Force (RAF), which stopped flying its own Tornado fleet in March 2019.
Saudi Arabia continues to use Tornados on combat operations in Yemen, having purchased the planes from BAE Systems in the 1980s and 1990s under the notoriously corrupt Al-Yamamah series of arms deals.
The intense fighting requires a constant stream of spare parts.
Some experts say the war would stop within weeks without British supplies to the Saudi air force.
( Phil Miller, 03.12.2020 ) .. declassifieduk.org
The 2014 Sniper Killings Still Remain Unsolved Today.
The massacre by snipers of anti-government activists and police officers in Kiev’s Maidan Square in late February 2014 was a defining moment in the US-orchestrated overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government.
The death of 70 protesters triggered an avalanche of international outrage that made President Viktor Yanukovych’s downfall a fait accompli.
Yet today these killings remain unsolved.
Enter Ivan Katchanovski, a Ukrainian-Canadian political scientist at the University of Ottawa.
For years, he marshaled overwhelming evidence demonstrating that the snipers were not affiliated with Yanukovych’s government, but pro-Maidan operatives firing from protester-occupied buildings.
Though Katchanovski’s groundbreaking work has been studiously ignored by the mainstream media, a scrupulous study he presented on the slaughter in September 2015 and August 2021 and published in 2016 and in 2020 has been cited on over 100 occasions by scholars and experts.
As a result of this paper and other pieces of research, he was among the world’s most-referenced political scientists specialising in Ukrainian matters.
In the final months of 2022, Katchanovski submitted a new investigation on the Maidan massacre to a prominent social sciences journal.
Initially accepted with minor revisions after extensive peer review, the publication’s editor effusively praised the work in a lengthy private note.
They said the paper was “exceptional in many ways,” and offered “solid” evidence in support of its conclusions.
The reviewers concurred with this judgment.
However, the paper was not published, a decision Katchanovski firmly believes to have been “political.”
He filed an appeal, but to no avail.
( Kit Klarenberg, 12.03.2023 ) .. thegrayzone.com