Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Irish PM, the Vatican and Murdoch
The reaction in Ireland to Enda Kenny’s speech denouncing the Catholic church and separating it from the state has been remarkable. He touched a nerve. What he said has been greeted with enthusiasm by most Irish citizens. He has been met with standing ovations when he arrives at public functions. 
Just as the hacking affair exposed the Murdoch empire as corrupt and rotten, the sequence of reports into child abuse and its cover up in Ireland, have revealed the Vatican to be as iniquitous. 
And just as the Murdoch hold has been broken so too has the power of the church. There will be rumblings and grumbling but a line has been crossed. It is interesting to note that the PM has had ‘thousands of messages of support’ from all over the world. He said he was ‘astounded’ at the number from members of the Catholic clergy who said ‘it was about time’ that someone in his position had spoken out. 

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Vatican and Child Abuse
“....some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions."
This must rank as one of the more incredible reactions to emerge from the den of iniquity otherwise known as ‘The Vatican.’ The statement from the Vatican Press Office was in reaction to the entirely justified howl of outrage by the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. The PM was finally expressing in Parliament the concerns of many Irish citizens who have listened to report after report castigating the Catholic church - not only for systematic child abuse - but also for covering it up. 
There has been a deafening silence from the political establishment until  this latest Cloyne Report exposed abuse and cover up as recent as 2009 in the Cork area. Like the Millie Dowler phone hacking, this has been a tipping point among the establishment.  For years they have colluded with the excesses of the Catholic Church. At long last a political leader has told the truth. 
And the Vatican’s response? “Disappointment at certain excessive reactions.”
Disappointment? Excessive? They have not seen anything yet.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Met and the Masons
It is a weird thing that in this modern age there are among us people who cling to the relics of a bygone era. A time when secret societies flourished and to belong to one was a way of getting ahead in a competitive world. That such a society is deeply enmeshed within the Metropolitan Police is deeply troubling. The rituals undergone to become a mason reveal an organisation which is irrational, anti-enlightenment, bigoted and undemocratic. 
There are some who claim it is harmless and that it is a society which helps its members in trouble.
It is an organisation devoted to mutual back-scratching. It is an organisation with a proven record of corrupting justice, planning applications and business. It is an organisation with its claws well and truly embedded within all strata of our society. Which is why there was a move in the 1980’s to outlaw it from the Met following yet another corruption probe. The fact that the Freemasons opened another lodge specifically targetted at the Met within a year of the campaign showed the contempt the organisation holds for ordinary folk and the Rule of Law. 
There is a thread running through much of the phone-hacking and paying police saga. Nick Davies writing in the Guardian back in early June pointed out that one of the rogue investigators used by several newspapers, Jonathan Rees, had used his membership of the freemasons to gain information from corrupt policemen, customs officers, tax officials and bank employees. He was not alone. 
Any member of the police found to be a freemason should be dismissed. There is no place in the Rule of Law for secret deals and ‘arrangements.’ Justice needs transparency - which is the last thing the Freemasons want.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Murdoch Hague and Blunkett

Plain-speaking Yorkshireman Hague was on the Today programme earlier this week defending Cameron's decision to hire Andy Coulson. He also defended Cameron having 26 meetings with News International executives in 15 months. Hague added that it was not unusual for Cameron to invite Coulson to spend the night at Chequers in March, two months after his resignation.

Not such a surprising reaction when Private Eye revealed that between 2003 and 2005 Hague had been paid 'more than £180,000 per year' to write a column for the News of the World (editor at the time – Andy Coulson).

He is not alone. Another bluff Yorkie also enjoys taking the Murdoch shilling. David Blunkett has an Advisory post for corporate social responsibility (file under 'You couldn't make it up') for News International, (6-month contract, £25,000). This is in addition to many other money-making opportunities regularly taken by the greedy Blunkett who represents Sheffield Brightside constituency. It is one of the poorest constituencies in the country. 

It is deeply sickening how our political class cast their principles aside as they demean themselves for cash. It would be wonderful to see our MPs for what they really are when they speak in Parliament or appear in the media. They should wear outfits similar to those worn by racing drivers. They should have to wear the logos or badges of the companies and organisations they are being paid by. In Blunkett's case it would be quite a challenge fitting them all in.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Cameron and Murdoch

Listening to the Murdochs yesterday it was clear just how corrupt our society has become. For over thirty years the Murdoch Media empire has had a baleful influence over our democracy. Thatcher was the first PM to really get into bed with them. She refused to refer the company to the Monopolies Commission against the wishes of the Labour Opposition. What followed set the template for politicians thereafter. Michael Foot was regularly pilloried and ridiculed by the Murdoch press. Neil Kinnock had similar treatment. Throughout that time, thanks to a not insignificant third party, the Social Democrats, and the first past the post voting system, the Tories enjoyed sizeable majorities with barely a third of the votes.
The 1992 election was close. The tories scraped home with a small majority. A further 1% swing would have thrown them out.

The egregious Tony Blair, being very aware of this travelled to Australia in 1995 to prostrate himself at the feet of King Rupe. It worked – although some would reasonably argue that Murdoch backs winners and had sensed the public shift against the tories.

What has happened since then has been quite disgraceful. Alistair Campbell, Mandelson, Blair and many others courted the Murdoch regime. Forget democracy. How would this play with Rupe?

Gordon Brown in his rant of rage last week was another with selective amnesia. He courted the regime as assiduously as the rest but suffered when the worms turned. They did so with a vengeance.

Cameron continued where the NewLabour spivs left off. His decision to employ Andy Coulson is still incredible and reflected the perceived need to keep News International on side. The links between the tories and News International were reinforced by the acquisition of Neil Wallis to help the election campaign.

Our Banks are rotten and run by greedy corrupt bastards. Our media have many rotten apples who are also corrupt greedy bastards. It turns out the Met has many greedy corrupt bastards too. And as for the political class.....well we have seen many of them for what they are too. Greedy corrupt unprincipled bastards.

For years we have derided other parts of the world for their corrupt practices. They in their turn now look at us. It is time for wholesale swingeing reform from top to bottom.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Sir Paul Stephenson
It is just two weeks since the Guardian broke the story about Millie Dowler’s phone being hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World. The pace of events since then has been hectic. Occasional lulls followed by periods of frenzied developments. 
The resignation of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner is the latest chapter in this extraordinary period. 
In his resignation statement Stephenson said, "I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity.” 
He claims not to have been informed about the extent of the phone hacking scandal by his senior colleagues. He says he had nothing to do with the hiring of Neil Wallis, the ex-deputy editor of the NOTW. He also takes credit for giving the force strong leadership in difficult times. Up to a point Lord Copper. 
The recent performance of the Met is a cause for serious concern. The death of Ian Tomlinson yet again showed just how the Met’s first reaction to a serious incident is to lie and cover up the facts. Just as they did with Jean Charles de Menezez and just as they successfully did all those years ago with the death of Blair Peach. The collapse of the case against the climate change protestors only came about because an undercover police spy spilled the beans. The inquiry into that fiasco is underway and the Met are in the firing line over their handling of these officers. Stephenson takes credit for the policing of the recent Royal Wedding and for, “The professional and restrained approach to unexpected levels of violence in recent student demonstrations.” He seems to have forgotten that there is a current case against the use of kettling against 11 year olds currently in the courts. Yes, the full might of the anti-riot squad deployed against 11 year olds. Confined in a small space without access to food, water or toilets for up to 12 hours. Now that is 'professional and restrained'!
Then we come to the really serious stuff. It emerged over the last fortnight just how close the relationship between the NOTW execs and journalists have been with the Met. At lower levels, officers are regularly and routinely paid for information. At higher levels, senior officers engaged in investigating the company had a series of dinners and meals together.  By April 2010, the Guardian was writing of the Met's original investigation: "Something very worrying has been going on at Scotland Yard. We now know that in dealing with the phone-hacking affair at the News of the World, they cut short their original inquiry; suppressed evidence; misled the public and the press; concealed information and broke the law." Then this year Stephenson helped himself to a freebie - a 5 week stay in a health spa - usual cost £12k. 
From top to bottom the organisation stinks. 
Any attempt to clean it up must come from the top. There needs to be a purge at all levels of the force. 
We can also do without the hypocritical guff emanating from politicians involved. All talk of ‘doing the honourable thing’ and ‘accepting his resignation with sadness and reluctance’ is basically twaddle. Boris Johnson had a very serious discussion with Stephenson about the Wallis affair last Thursday. The home Secretary was equally unimpressed and no doubt reflected the view of Downing Street. 
All talk of there being no pressure is just so much hot air.
Let us leave the last word to the egregious Vaz, "I don't think we should criticise people when they decide to take responsibility."

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Murdoch and the Pope
What a combination. The man from hell meeting the head of an evil empire. You decide who’s who. Murdoch senior became a Knight Commander of St Gregory after donating $10million towards a new cathedral in Los Angeles. Having obtained his 'knighthood' (cash for honours anyone?)  Sir Rupe would have more influence in predominantly Catholic countries. 

James Murdoch is reported to have paid £100,000 to have a personal audience with the Pope during last year’s papal visit. Neither of the Murdochs are catholics.
Battered by all sides for their sins, both organisations seem made for each other. They have each made abuse (and its cover up) their stock in trade. 
It will be ironic if the contact with the Murdochs was the tipping point for decent catholics who have so far kept schtum about the systematic covering up of child abuse. The latest revelations from Ireland (overshadowed by the Murdoch news) show that nothing has changed despite the fine words. The Vatican still collude with protecting the abusers. They still do not pass on details to the civil authorities. They still deny the victims justice.
Just as ordinary folk have vented their anger at News International to such effect, is it not time that decent catholics threw out or rejected their so-called superiors?
Failing that, what about starting a breakaway church? 
Finally, a large group of christians recently left the Church of England to join the Catholic church. They left the C of E for the kiddyfiddlers over the issue of women priests. Hard to credit but true. How do these pious fools feel now when they learn of the contacts between the Murdochs and the Pope?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Keith Vaz
Many people listening to Keith Vaz’s summing up of John Yates’s evidence before the Select Committee as ‘unconvincing’ might think ‘well done!’ for putting the boot into the hapless copper. However a glance through Mr Vaz’s record as an MP throws a different light on matters. On the one hand he is perceived by some as a friend to the asian community. On the other he is perceived by many others as a slippery helper to asian billionaires. His record on Wikipedia tells a story of collusion and assistance to some decidedly dodgy characters. 
“In 2002 Vaz was suspended from the House of Commons for one month after a Committee on Standards and Privileges inquiry found that he had made false allegations against Eileen Eggington, a former policewoman. The committee concluded that "Mr Vaz recklessly made a damaging allegation against Miss Eggington to the Commissioner, which was not true, and which could have intimidated Miss Eggington or undermined her credibility". Wikipedia
Quite nice that ‘recklessly.’ It covers a multitude of sins. An intimidatory bully or a hot-tempered man? A self-centred egoist or a principled individual?
“The complaints the committee upheld against Mr Vaz were:
That he had given misleading information to the Standards and Privileges Committee and Elizabeth Filkin (the Parliamentary Commissioner disgracefully forced from her job by appalling MPs who did not like being held to account - this was in the glory days before the expenses scandal -my addition) about his financial relationship to the Hinduja brothers.
That he had failed to register his paid employment at the Leicester Law Centre when he first entered Parliament in 1987.
That he had failed to register a donation from the Caparo group in 1993.
It was concluded that Vaz had "committed serious breaches of the Code of Conduct and showed contempt for the House" and it was recommended that he be suspended from the House of Commons for one month.” (ibid)
A whole month! He must have been bad. The going rate is normally a week. 
As an ultra-loyal Blairite, he was rewarded for his toadying performances in the Commons by being the only Chairman of a select committee to be appointed by the government. It was claimed it happened because of ‘shortage of time.’ Hmm.  
He did not enjoy a good ‘expenses scandal’ either. However, like so many of his egregious  colleagues he returned to Parliament with his majority largely unaffected. Just like the loathsome Maude. What will it take for some of these people to get their comeuppance?
Yates would have been perfectly justified to reply to the ‘unconvincing’ comment that it was a bit rich coming from you! Kettle and pot etc.

Hmm and even hmmmm.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dodgy Geezer
Arthur Daley, Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and now Andy Hayman. Welcome to the slippery world of a top copper at the Met. From his early days as a beat policeman from Essex he rose quickly to become Chief Constable of the Norfolk force. He joined his old chum Sir Ian Blair at the Met as Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Anti-terror unit. He seems to have made some serious enemies on his journey. He also did some decidedly dodgy doings. 
Craig Murray, the ex-ambassador wrote on his blog following the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes. “The Met maintained that De Menezes was a terrorist for 24 hours after they knew he was innocent. The Met then proceeded to tell a series of lies about De Menezes behaviour to justify his killing. They said he had:
- Run into the tube station
- Vaulted the ticket barrier
- Raced through the subway and dashed onto the train
- Been wearing a bulky jacket from which wires protruded
These were 100% lie. In fact De Menezes had
- Picked up a newspaper in the station
- Used a ticket in the normal way
- Walked calmly through the station
- Been wearing tight clothing with no wires
These lies by the Met are inexcusable. In fact the IPCC were unable to get to grips with much else for lack of evidence – the cover-up went much deeper. Especially
- The CCTV footage of De Menezes throughout the station and at the shooting got “Lost” or corrupted. The IPCC named only Andy Hayman, the Head of counter-terrorist operations at the Met, as guilty of these lies.” (my emphasis)
Private Eye took the case against Hayman further.
“Hayman of course is the former assistant Met commissioner who so spectacularly mishandled the original investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the Screws.
Hayman resigned from Scotland Yard in a hissy fit in 2007, complaining of “unfounded accusations” about his expenses, his foreign business trips with a woman police sergeant and his blizzard of messages to a female ex-colleague who worked for the Independent Police Complaints Commission – which was then investigating the Met over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. (The IPCC said that his 400 phone-calls and texts to the woman were “not work related”.)
The News of the Screws had a story about his private life at the time, but it was spiked. And, shortly after returning to Civvy Street, he joined the payroll of News International as a columnist for the Times. (my emphasis)
In February this year Scotland Yard gave the Metropolitan Police Authority a list of all the private dinners hosted by Screws executives for senior officers. In September 2006, for instance, the then deputy commissioner Paul Stephenson dined with the paper’s deputy editor, Neil “Wolfman” Wallis, only a month after the arrest of royal correspondent Clive Goodman. In November 2009, shortly after deciding not to reopen the hacking inquiry, assistant commissioner John Yates dined with editor Colin Myler and crime editor Lucy Panton. In all, the list disclosed eight previously unacknowledged private dinners and five other meetings with NI executives. But Andy Hayman’s name was curiously absent.
Two weeks ago, after an FOI application, the Yard listed a number of meetings between Hayman and News International, including a lunch at the Times in February 2006. But it omitted to reveal that he had three lunches and two dinners at the News of the Screws between 2005 and 2007, even while he was investigating the paper for criminal offences. The embarrassing belated disclosure of these contacts with the Screws was lamely described by acting commissioner Tim Goodwin – on April Fool’s Day, fittingly enough – as “an oversight”. (My emphasis)

To bring matters up to date here from Simon Hoggart’s piece in today’s Guardian is a little snippet from the Select Committee.
“Lorraine Fullbrook, another Tory, asked outright if he had ever accepted money from NI.
You would have thought she'd accused him of being a predatory paedophile, not someone who had conducted a hopelessly inadequate inquiry into a firm which had wined and dined him, and then given him a well-paid job.
"Good god!" he exploded. "Absolutely not, I can't believe you suggested that! That is a real attack on my integrity!"
Imagine this response spoken by  Arfur Daley or Del Boy. Andy Hayman is a truly dodgy geezer.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

What If?
What if members of Her Majesty’s Opposition used ill-gotten information to boost their election chances? What if that information made a difference to the outcome of the election? What if their illegal actions had been discovered during the election? What if their illegal actions are discovered after they had won the election?
For those who are still unconvinced that the phone hacking scandal matters, the above questions are pertinent to where we are today. Our democracy has been subverted by a powerful media group. It has been with the connivance and collusion of our political leaders. 
Only the LibDems emerge from this debacle with any honour. Not a sentiment expressed very often recently. Murdoch and his minions despised them - and they made it very clear to all and sundry in their daily rags. Anyone impressed with Ed Milibean should remember he said nothing when he met Murdoch at a party three whole weeks ago. Cameron is even worse with his christmas dinners and frequent ‘off-the-record’ chats with the Murdoch mafia.
So what if the evidence emerges that there was skullduggery before and during the last election? Can we expect all the facts to emerge? Can we expect another cover up? Can we expect a fresh election?
Watch this space.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Blair and Murdoch
‘Blair denies leaning on Brown to get Tom Watson MP to stop pursuing Murdoch.’ Oh yeah! This is the creep who flew halfway round the world to pay homage at the court of King Rupe in Oz. This is the warmonger who worked with Murdoch to propagandise the awful invasion of Iraq. 
As Henry Porter adds in today’s Observer,  “It was galling last week to listen to the likes of Lord Falconer, Tessa Jowell and Alastair Campbell pronounce on the shortcomings of the press without for one moment acknowledging New Labour's part in the creation of the incubus that was Murdoch's power. .... let's not forget that a journalist, not Lord Falconer or Alastair Campbell, was responsible for exposing the scandal.”
From Thatcher onwards, Murdoch has exerted a baleful influence on the higher reaches of our democracy. It was pointed out on Radio 4 yesterday that despite sharing frequent dinners, weekend gatherings and many other social occasions with Murdoch, he did not get one mention in her autobiography. Odd that.
Another insight comes from the departure of Blair.  “Guests streaming out of No 10 on a sunny evening in May 2007, after a farewell party hosted by the departing Tony Blair, may have noticed a black Bentley outside No 11. The windows were blacked out. "Murdoch," said my partner Jonathan Powell, Blair's former chief of staff. Of course! Hardly had Tony Blair packed his bags than Rupert had dropped round to see the new man, Gordon Brown.” Sarah Helm Observer 10/7/11
As the Murdoch name is now so toxic, all these two-faced creeps who once ruled us are disassociating themselves from the brand. One of the proposed Enquiries should look into the way our political class prostrated themselves before King Rupe. 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Cameron and the Scum

“In the careers of all prime ministers there comes a turning point. He or she makes a fatal mistake from which there is no ultimate recovery. With Tony Blair it was the Iraq war and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. With John Major it was Black Wednesday and sterling’s eviction from the Exchange Rate Mechanism. With Harold Wilson, the pound’s devaluation in 1967 wrecked his reputation.
Each time the pattern is strikingly similar. Before, there is a new leader with dynamism, integrity and carrying the faith of the nation. Afterwards, the prime minister can stagger on for years, but as increasingly damaged goods: never is it glad, confident morning again.
David Cameron, who has returned from Afghanistan as a profoundly damaged figure, now faces exactly such a crisis. The series of disgusting revelations concerning his friends and associates from Rupert Murdoch’s News International has permanently and irrevocably damaged his reputation.
Until now it has been easy to argue that Mr Cameron was properly grounded with a decent set of values. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make that assertion any longer. He has made not one, but a long succession of chronic personal misjudgments.
He should never have employed Andy Coulson, the News of the World editor, as his director of communications. He should never have cultivated Rupert Murdoch. And – the worst mistake of all – he should never have allowed himself to become a close friend of Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of the media giant News International, whose departure from that company in shame and disgrace can only be a matter of time.
We are talking about a pattern of behaviour here. Indeed, it might be better described as a course of action. Mr Cameron allowed himself to be drawn into a social coterie in which no respectable person, let alone a British prime minister, should be seen dead.
It was called the Chipping Norton set, an incestuous collection of louche, affluent, power-hungry and amoral Londoners, located in and around the Prime Minister’s Oxfordshire constituency. Brooks and her husband, the former racing trainer Charlie Brooks, live in a house scarcely a mile from David and Samantha Cameron’s constituency home. The two couples meet frequently, and have continued to do so long after the phone hacking scandal became well known.
PR fixer Matthew Freud, married to Mr Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, is another member of this Chipping Norton set. When Mr Cameron bumped into Freud at Rebekah Brooks’s wedding two years ago, he and Mr Freud greeted each other with exuberant high-fives to signal their exclusive friendship.
The Prime Minister cannot claim in defence that he was naively drawn in to this lethal circle. He was warned – many times. Shortly before the last election he was explicitly told about the company he was keeping. Alan Rusbridger – editor of The Guardian newspaper, which has performed such a wonderful service to public decency by bringing to light the shattering depravity of Mr Murdoch’s newspaper empire – went to meet one of Mr Cameron’s closest advisers shortly before the last election. He briefed this adviser very carefully about Mr Coulson, telling him many troubling pieces of information that could not then be put into the public domain.
Mr Rusbridger then went to see Nick Clegg, now the deputy prime minister. So Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg – the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister – knew all about Mr Coulson before last May’s coalition negotiations. And yet they both paid no attention and went on to make him the Downing Street director of communications, an indiscretion that beggars belief.
So the Prime Minister is in a mess. To put the matter rather more graphically, he is in a sewer.”  Peter Oborne Telegraph 7/7/11
Cameron’s evasiveness and rehearsed responses at his press conference yesterday did little to improve his situation. He has been very seriously damaged by this affair. 
The surprise is that Nick Clegg has not made a great deal more of it. The LibDems were despised and dismissed by the Murdoch group. No toadying there. They have the clearest consciences of all the major parties. Sadly, Clegg is himself too toxic a brand to take advantage of the embarrassment and unpopularity of his rivals. Millibean has taken the initiative and appears more in tune with the generality of opinion. He accepts that NewLabour were far too close and that he could and should have spoken out earlier. 

It is difficult to appreciate that the Guardian article about the hacking of Millie Dowler's phone was published just last Monday. Five days ago. It was a tipping point and the day the hacking scandal went nuclear. Our politicians and the political class are struggling to keep up. 

Who would have thought that Hugh Grant would emerge as one of the heroes of the week, revealing another, deeper, side to his character which is very attractive.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Goodbye Scum of the World - Hello Sunday Sun
Breathtaking for its audacity and sheer brass neck, the statement by James Murdoch was quite incredible. In subsequent interviews where he gave an excellent impression of a rabbit in the headlights, he continued to defend the indefensible and deny the undeniable. 
Rebekah Wade/Brookes must know where an awful lot of bodies are buried. 
Over 200 journalists and other staff will lose their jobs. Yet she keeps hers. There is reported to be absolute fury inside Wapping tonight as staff contemplate a most uncertain future and yet Brookes sails blithely on. 
Then out creeps the news that there is a plan to launch the Sunday Sun - the web name had already been purchased earlier this week. 
Cynical or what.
After what could be called a ‘Murdoch Spring’ when ordinary folk rose up in their hundreds of thousands and declared enough. The Millie Dowler revelation horrified most of the country. Subsequent scandalous revelations poured petrol onto the inferno. Drastic action had to be taken as the harm was spreading across the Murdoch empire - share price dropping, advertisers walking away - the brand was toxic. And Parliament, after years of craven subservience to the dirty digger was finally getting off its knees and speaking up. Hallelujah!
So to save the empire a limb must be amputated. Will it work? It is quite a gamble - there are still many more shocking stories to emerge, court cases and possible sentences for many executives and senior journalists at the Scum. The move to launch a Sunday edition of the Sun will be seen by most as a calculated move to keep the money rolling in. But there is a big but....
What if advertisers and citizens feel the entire brand is tarnished? What if the whole of the empire is seen as toxic? What if the whole thing crumbles into dust? 
Bring it on.

An as for Cameron - he too looks like a rabbit in the headlights as all his schmoozing and cruising puts him right in the dock. Guilty by association. Or to put it another way - if you are prepared to get into a pool filled with sharks then understand that you could get your willy bitten off.

Call me Dave has become call me dickless.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hats off to Steve Bell
  Scum of the World
Here is another way to express disgust at the behavior of the News of the World.
Copy and paste the SCUM box into your computer. Then use the ‘label‘ element within Word or Works (or its Apple equivalent) to print out a page or two of sticky labels.
On Sunday add the label to the paper’s masthead at the newsagents/supermarket as a little reminder to potential purchasers of what the paper has been up to.

It should then read 
       SCUM of
       the WORLD

which is a far more accurate and appropriate title
Sorry, could not quite replicate the masthead. The 'of' sits above 'the'. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Chuck another sheila on the barbie.

Oh dear.  “I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.” Rebekah Brooks email to her staff. 

Well sweetie pie, that must mean that you were a crock of poo as an editor. Perhaps you feel happier to be perceived as thick and incompetent rather than culpable and despicable.

Rupe, who it is claimed is a staunch supporter of the harpie, must be having doubts. Advertisers pulling out. Howls of outrage across the airwaves. Much discussion about the Murdoch empire and BSkyB - most of it negative. This will cost him millions and millions.
So what is a fine upstanding yankee aussie to do? Easy peasy. Chuck her on the barbie. Nothing like a sacrificial lamb to appease the hordes. 

Or will it?

Scum of the earth part 2

What you can do about this disgraceful paper.
“The public is not impotent. People can act in response to what the prime minister has called "a truly dreadful act."
1. Boycott the paper. Treat it just as the people of Merseyside did when The Sun ran its infamous Hillsborough story in 1989 following the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters.
2. Pressure advertisers and media buyers not to buy space in the News of the World and to withdraw ads they've already booked.
In last Sunday's issue, the advertisers included Tesco, Aldi, Currys, the Body Shop and Xtra-vision. I called for a sales boycott and for public pressure on advertisers on Twitter last night. Now see some of the tweets here, with more names of advertisers.
3. Back the call for an independent public inquiry into the whole hacking affair. It will be officially launched tomorrow at a meeting in the Lords.
Among the organisers are media academics, lawyers, MPs and peers. More information will be found soon on the website.
There are so many aspects to this saga that require proper investigation: the roles of the paper and two police forces; the activities of various private investigators; the response of the Press Complaints Commission; and the relationship between the paper's publisher, News International, and senior politicians.
4. Demand to know who has been, and is, paying the legal expenses of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed for intercepting voicemail messages on behalf of the News of the World.
News International has consistently refused to confirm or deny that it is funding Mulcaire. Note clauses 15 and 16 of the editors' code of practice, which is the PCC's "bible". So...
  1. Ask the PCC if it has inquired of News Int whether it, or any of its associated companies, has been responsible for paying the legal fees of a convicted man? If it has not, why not? And is it therefore time that it did so?”
Thanks to Roy Greenslade in the Guardian for the above suggestions.
A couple more:
A letter from me is winging its way to Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt - there should be thousands of others too. 
Email your MP to enlist their support for a public enquiry.
Any other suggestions welcome.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Scum of the earth

So, the bar has just been lowered. All those of you who have dismissed the phone hacking story as a storm in a teacup had better think again. The revelation that a Private Investigator acting on behalf of the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s mobile phone, listened to her voicemail messages and - get this - deleted some so they could listen in to fresh ones, takes this episode onto an even more serious level. Who is shagging who is of interest to the prurient and those engaged in celebdom.  Listening in to the calls of senior politicians and to police engaged on high level investigations is more serious. What has been revealed today goes much further. Interfering with evidence is a criminal act. Causing untold distress and raising unjustified hope in a family in despair is beyond the ken of decent folk. Those found guilty should face a criminal court. 
There are no depths to which this despicable organisation will not sink. Anyone who thinks they were uniquely awful in the slimy world of the tabloids should get out more. The deafening silence from papers who specialise in celeb scoops has been remarkable. As each sad chapter unfolds, their squirmy behaviour comes closer to the light.
Today’s news could well be a tipping point in this scandal. Politicians, the Met and the redtops are linked in a symbiotic dance which affects the way we run our democracy. MPs have admitted being scared of the power of the Murdoch press yet a Government Minister is actively contemplating giving that same empire even more media power. It is disgraceful and there should be a howl of outrage directed at Jeremy Hunt. The initial investigation by the Met was so awful it cannot just be put down to incompetence. There has to have been collusion with the execs at News International. Andy Hayman enjoyed several meals with them as he was ‘leading inquiries’ (or helping cook up the initial scenario of the rogue journalist and the private detective)? Hayman left the Met to write for the Times shortly after the first crap investigation was concluded. Co-incidence or corruption? 
Rebecca Wade/Brooks and Andy Coulson are once again back in the frame. They were the editor and deputy editor when the Milly Dowler case broke. They have also been implicated for similar activities in the Soham murder case. They claim they did not know about these activities. It is an incredible position to sustain. It came at the time the News of the World was waging war on paedophiles. For them not to know what was being done in their name means that they were too stupid and incompetent in their job to run a national paper. What would you rather be known for? Being a knave without a vestige of a moral compass or a useless clueless idiot?
A full public enquiry is essential when (eventually) the current investigation has run its course. In the meantime please contact the Minister for Culture Jeremy Hunt and let him know just what you think about this disgraceful, slimy, sleazy, despicable outfit otherwise known as News International. And remind him that he works for us, the citizens of the uk, not a media magnate who once was an Australian but became an American to further his ends.
And hats off to Nick Davies, the Guardian reporter who has battled on in the face of much hostility and massive indifference to lift the lid on this cess pit. He is a journalist in the finest tradition of his profession. Quite a contrast to the scum who run the News of The World.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Nasty Party are back

For anyone in any doubt that the Tory Party remain the nasty party, the leaked letter describing the effect of benefit cuts on the poor should make them think. As the evidence revealed in todays Observer spelt out.
“■ 40,000 families will be made homeless by the welfare reforms, putting further strain on services already "seeing increased pressures".
■ An estimated £270m saving from the benefits cap will be wiped out by the need to divert resources to help the newly homeless and is likely to "generate a net cost".
■ Half of the 56,000 affordable homes the government expects to be constructed by 2015 will not be built because developers will realise they will not be able to recoup even 80% of market rates from tenants.”
What was not made clear, but has been emphasised since is the way that housing benefits are used to subsidise lower paid workers in London where the cost of affordable housing has skyrocketed. Until subsidised accommodation is  built - (anyone remember council houses?) and that is a long way off, many essential but poorly paid jobs in London will not be done as folks cannot afford to live there. Whoops. 
As usual when something serious happens to the detriment of our political leaders they disappear into the woodwork. “No Minister was available for comment.” Quite happy to make people homeless but scared stiff of justifying their callous deeds. 
The LibDems must feel like virgins in a whorehouse as they try to justify staying put yet continue holding their noses and not looking too closely at their bedmates. 
Come on guys! Have a go at the bankers and high rollers - not the poor.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Mealy-mouthed buggers

Who will support the workers, the poor and the dispossesed? The Tories? You have got to be having a laugh. The LibDems? Maybe once upon a time but now they have had a little taste of being in charge they are corrupted beyond salvation. NewLabour? Oh! You mean Torylite. The party that has travelled across the political spectrum from its birth with Keir Hardy to its demise under the Blair/Brown axis. For evidence consider the mealy-mouthed pusillanimous response to the Public Sector strike. Millibean claims the negotiations are meaningful on planet Westminster. Anyone with a grey cell knows they are a charade with certain key areas off-limits. So why does he and many of his colleagues dance to the Tory tune?
We expect Tories to support their friends in finance and corporate business. It is a symbiotic relationship. A mutual backscratching exercise to the detriment of almost everyone else. We did not expect the Labour Party to suck up to the same avaricious crew too. Now the LibDems are in on the act what is a voter to do?
Where are the alternative approaches which are thriving in Germany and in Scandinavia?
Why did they escape the worst of the banking crisis? Probably because they regulated the banks and have split investment banking (the casino part) from local business support. In Germany regional banks help local businesses to develop and thrive. 
Why is that so difficult here?

Why is Vince Cable still a Minister when he is seriously weakened and has little credibility or chance of sorting out the banks. Are the two issues connected?