Thursday 16 November 2023

Supreme Court rules Rwanda scheme unlawful.


Suella Braverman 

Suella Braverman's dream of sending aeroplane loads of immigrants on a one way trip to Rwanda, now lies in tatters after the Supreme Court ruled the British government's Rwanda policy unlawful yesterday.

The proposal to deport migrants who arrive illegally into the UK, some 4,000 miles to Rwanda, in east Africa, was first announced by Boris Johnson in April 2022. The policy was meant to deter people from crossing the English Channel in small boats or in the back of lorries, but it hasn't deterred. The British government said that anyone who entered the UK illegally after 1 January 2022, could be sent to Rwanda with no limit on numbers. The government said that when in Rwanda, their asylum claims would be assessed and if successful they could remain in Rwanda or apply for asylum in another country, but not Britain. If they were unsuccessful, they would be returned to the country of their origin from which they had fled.

While some migrants such as unaccompanied asylum seeking children, asylum seekers from Rwanda, the disabled, pregnant women, and those with sexual issues, are exempt, those eligible for a one way trip to Rwanda are migrants who had failed to claim asylum in the first safe country they have entered and those deemed to have tried to enter the UK by dangerous means. Migrants from Rwanda are exempt because the British government doesn't consider it a safe country in which to return them but nevertheless, considers Rwanda a safe country for other refugees. However, the government's main target turned out to be young single men.

Some critics immediately denounced the Rwanda plan has unlawful, unworkable, and a political stunt by the Tory government. The Rwanda scheme has already cost the British taxpayer £140 million and yet not one migrant has been deported to Rwanda.

For the last 18 months, the British government have been embroiled in costly legal actions that seek to challenge the legality of the plan under international law. In June 2022, the first flight to Rwanda was halted after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) examined the case of a 54-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who crossed the Channel in a boat. The ECHR said they were granting an interim measure and told the British government that the applicant should not be removed to Rwanda until three weeks after the delivery of the final domestic decision on his ongoing judicial review. Although the ECHR didn't rule on whether the policy or relocations were unlawful, the interim measure was issued because it was felt there was an "imminent risk of irreparable harm" to the Iraqi national who is believed to have suffered torture. It also opened the door to other legal challenges. 

In December 2022, the High Court ruled that the government's plan to deport migrants to Rwanda was lawful in principle. However, the court didn't make a determination on whether Rwanda was a safe country to deport migrants to. It simply considered whether the Home Secretary had made a lawful decision.

By a majority decision the Court of Appeal, found that there was a real risk of asylum claims receiving inadequate consideration in Rwanda and a consequent risk of claims being refused and asylum seekers with valid claims being returned to their country of origin where they might suffer persecution, which is known as 'refoulement', which breaches the ECHR and the Refugee Convention. The court also ruled that Rwanda is not a "safe third country." The British government appealed against this decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that Rwanda is not a safe country and that it would be unlawful for refugees to be removed there. The court declared that Rwanda is widely acknowledged to have a poor human rights record and is in breach of numerous treaty commitments it has made. It noted that the courts in Rwanda don't act as an effective check on government behaviour and there is no real judicial independence. The Supreme Court said that Rwanda had breached the terms of a previous asylum deal it had entered into with Israel.

Although Rishi Sunak has said that his Conservative government will press ahead with the Rwanda plan in spite of the Supreme Court ruling, and have said that Britain might leave the ECHR, no-one credible, thinks the Rwanda plan is practical or that it deters significant numbers of refugees. What are the likely costs of detaining tens of thousands of refugees in detention camps and then flying them to Rwanda? The Home Office say it costs £169,000 to send one asylum seeker to Rwanda. The chartered Boeing 767 Rwanda asylum flight that had to be cancelled in June 2022 because of a legal challenge, cost an estimated £500,000.  In 2022, the British government managed to remove around 500 failed asylum seekers. And how many refugees can Rwanda really take? In reality, the Rwanda scheme, is likely to apply to probably a few hundred individuals.

Most countries recognise that something has to be done about the issue of refugees and asylum seekers, but the British government's policy of deterrence, isn't really working. The country needs to speed up the process of dealing with the backlog of asylum claims and ensure that the process is quicker and less complex.

While Suella Braverman talked about England being invaded by asylum seekers, the UK actually receives far fewer refugees than other countries in Europe or elsewhere. The Supreme Court judgement will prevent the UK government from lawfully removing anyone to Rwanda based on the evidence as it currently stands.

Suella Braverman SACKED.


Minister for Hate Suella Braverman

Sue-Ellen Cassiana Braverman, who has just been sacked as Home Secretary, is not exactly reliable when it comes down to telling the truth. She's was no stranger to embellishing the truth when she wanted to make the headlines. As the Home Secretary, she often made public statements that were at odds or were even contradicted by evidence held by the Home Office and were inaccurate and baseless.

Two examples come to mind - bogus asylum seekers and the ethnicity of grooming gangs. In December 2022, Braverman backed the assertion made by her predecessor former Home Secretary Priti Patel, that "70% of individuals on small boats are single men who are effectively economic migrants." In December 2021, Braverman told MPs, "There is considerable evidence that people are coming here as economic migrants, illegally."

When the Home Office was asked for the evidence to support the claim made by former Home Secretary Priti Patel that the majority of those who are trying to reach the UK are so-called "economic migrants", they couldn't provide it. The Home Office said: "We have carried out a thorough search and we have established that the Home Office does not hold the information requested." However, the "Home Office's own data did confirm that most of the people who reached the UK by small boat in 2022 - at least six in ten (60%) - would be recognised as refugees." This is because many of them are fleeing war, persecution, trafficking, violence and torture, and qualify as asylum seekers.

The fact that refugee’s/asylum seekers try to cross the English Channel in small boats is because the British government have closed or severely restricted safest routes to the UK. This makes room for traffickers.

According to government figures around 70 to 75% of those claiming asylum in the UK, are successful, with another 25% of claims being rejected. Many of these rejected claims are won on appeal. Although the Home Office failed to provide any evidence to support the claims made by Braverman and Patel that the majority of those refugees trying to reach the UK are "economic migrants", the statements made by both Home Secretary's, were never corrected or retracted. Both Patel and Braverman deliberately gave the public misleading figures on refugees and boat people to gain a political advantage and to pander to the base instincts of some English voters, who fear being swamped by illegal immigrants or dislike foreigners.

Though Braverman and Patel have vilified and demonised refugees, both their parents are of Indian origin and came to this country as immigrants from East Africa.  Braverman's father, Christie Fernandes, who was born in Nairobi, left Kenya in the late 1960s along with many other Asians, when restrictions were placed on them by Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the newly independent Kenya. There was political turmoil in Kenya and a policy of "Africanisation." Fernandes was offered a British passport and left the country. Ugandan Asians were expelled by Idi Amin.

Braverman's mother, Uma, was recruited from Mauritius to work in the NHS. As the Tory Health Minister during 1960 to 1963, Enoch Powell, famous for his rivers of blood speech, recruited many nurses from abroad to work within the NHS and many were from the West Indies.

Before being sacked as Home Secretary, Braverman falsely claimed that child grooming gangs in the UK were "almost all British-Pakistani." The press regulator, Ipso, found that her decision to link "the identified ethnic group and a particular form of offending was significantly misleading" because the Home Office's own research had concluded that offenders were mainly from white backgrounds. Four days after publishing the article, the Mail on Sunday, who published the article, offered to amend the article to make clear that the claim related specifically to high profile grooming gangs. The wording was rejected by the complainant who took the case to Ipso. The Mail on Sunday also said that before publishing the article they had double checked with advisers to the Home Secretary and the prime minister about Braverman's decision to single out British Pakistanis, who confirmed they had "no concern with this particular line."

Since her sacking, Braverman, has been denounced as the most divisive British Home Secretary in history and dubbed the 'Minster for Hate' and Cruella Braverman. A Buddhist with a Jewish husband, she was a divisive and authoritarian figure who sowed racial division and unrest and inflamed racial tensions in this country which played into the hands of the far right. Her language was inflammatory and dangerous. This daughter of immigrants said she dreamt of seeing immigrants deported to Rwanda and believed that rough sleeping was a lifestyle choice. She denounced the pro-Palestinian marches has "hate marches" and called on the Met to ban them entirely.

It seems some protestors were carrying placards depicting Braverman and Sunak has "coconuts", and there have been press reports that the Met are now treating this has a possible "hate crime." This analogy is often used as a derogatory term for a black or Asian person who is perceived to conform to "white culture", at the expense of his or her own ancestral culture. The term "Uncle Tom" syndrome, is also used. Braverman's husband, Rael Braverman, who has lived in Israel and some sources say was born in South Africa, describes himself as a "proud Jew and Zionist." He works for the Mercedes -Benz Group as a manager.

Thursday 9 November 2023

What’s a Terrorist?

 What’s a Terrorist? By Les May

The only definition which makes sense to me is that it is someone who uses violence, or the threat of violence against the civilian population to achieve a political goal. If we accept that definition then it is legitimate to refer to Hamas as a ‘Terrorist Organisation’ when it kills or kidnaps Israeli civilians as it did on 7 October 2023.

You may prefer to call the military wing of Hamas ‘Freedom Fighters’, but bear with me a moment because the definition above has some interesting consequences.

AlJazeera English Service on Freeview channel 235 is the ONLY TV news channel with reporters in Gaza. What it has broadcast for the past month is the visual evidence of repeated attacks by the Israeli military on the civilian population of Gaza in pursuit of a political goal. Israel fits the definition of being a ‘Terrorist State’.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Protestor showers Starmeroid with glitter.


The Labour Party leader, Sir Kier Starmeroid, literally shit himself when a protestor rushed on the stage at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool and sprinkled him with glitter. For some considerable time now, critics have said that Starmeroid is badly in need of some sparkle.

Watching this made my day. I was immediately reminded of what the writer, Christopher Hitchens, once said about the American pastor Jerry Falwell. "If they gave Jerry Falwell an enema, you could bury what's left of him in a matchbox." The same could be said of Sir Kier Starmeroid, he's so full of shit. 

Tuesday 24 October 2023

George Orwell's invisible wife.


I've just finished reading the book 'Wifedom: Mrs. Orwell's Invisible Life' by Anna Funder. This book contains some useful information about both Orwell and Eileen Blair but it's written from a feminist perspective.

Anna Funder observes that throughout his life Eric Blair relied on women to help him out and they did so. They brought him up, provided financial help and accommodation, and provided contacts to literary agents and publishers. However, Funder argues that Eric Blair treated women badly, including his wife Eileen, who was little more than skivvy for him.

Although Orwell, gave instructions that he didn't want biographies to be written about him, there have been a number of biographies written about him since his death in January 1950. Funder quite rightly points out that many of the biographer’s erase and obscure facts about the women in George Orwell's life and Orwell does the same.

In Homage to Catalonia, Orwell's refers to his 'wife' but he doesn't say anything about her or what she was doing in Spain. Anna Funder says: "I had read Homage twice and never registered that Eileen was in Spain. No one I ever asked remembers her. How can you read a book and have no memory that a person was not in a place alone, but with their spouse? Orwell seems to have written her out of the story himself."

What Eileen Blair made of being erased and forgotten and plunged down the memory hole, we will never know, because she's not here to tell us and nor is it mentioned in her letters. Funder says of Eileen, “At no point in her life does Eileen seem to have felt she deserved more than she got.” She adds, “Wifedom is a wicked trick we have learned to play ourselves.”

When Orwell got shot through the neck on the Aragon front, one of the stretcher bearers reported Orwell saying, "Please tell Eileen that I love her", but this isn't mentioned in Homage to Catalonia. It might well be that this omission, simply reflects English stoicism and a hesitance to display feeling. Yet, Orwell's publisher Fred Warburg, said: "He (Orwell), was as secretive about his private life as any man that I ever knew."

People who knew Eileen Blair describe her as 'sophisticated', 'fastidious', 'highly intelligent', and 'intellectual'. Apparently, she didn't suffer fools and didn't spare anyone. By all accounts, she could give you a good tongue lashing. Neither Eric or Eileen were in good health but it didn't stop him from pursuing other women. Orwell hardly ever told anyone that he had TB.

Funder seems obsessed with Orwell's sex life or lack of it. While we're told about Orwell's extra marital relationships, his frequenting of brothels in Paris, Burma, and Morocco, and attempted sexual assaults that Orwell allegedly made on a number of women, Funder also thinks that he might have been a repressed homosexual. She writes: "Numerous friends of Orwell thought his virulent homophobia odd. No biographer deals plainly with the possibility of Orwell's homosexuality."

Funder thinks that Orwell possibly inhabited a world where "desire and disgust mingle." Personally, the best of the book are the sections on Burma and Spain. Orwell served as a colonial policeman in Burma and grew to despise the British Empire and British colonialism. His first novel was called ‘Burmese Days’ and he wrote: “You see louts fresh from school kicking grey-haired servants.” Orwell admitted to kicking his own servant, a houseboy, who he’d taught to wake him by tickling his feet. Funder says that when the governor’s wife in Burma campaigned for British men to marry their concubines or stop sleeping with them, the response was “no cunt no oil.

As both Eileen and George Orwell were working with the Marxist POUM, they were constantly spied on by Communist agents who had infiltrated the POUM and their lives. English men like David Wickes and David Crook, who were reporting to Alexander Orlov, Stalin's man in Spain, who was quietly compiling a kill list. Both Eileen and Orwell had to get out of Spain in a hurry to avoid being liquidated by Stalin's goons. 

Thursday 19 October 2023

How Israel went from helping to create Hamas to bombing it!



I recently watched an appalling BBC interview with the Israeli journalist and author, Ronen Bergman, of the New York Times. He called the Hamas attack on Israel an "intelligence failure" and claimed that Israel was caught by surprise.

Yet, we've heard reports that Egypt told the Israeli's of an imminent attack on Israel days before it happened. I first heard of this on BBC 2 Newsnight. The Israeli government spokesman being interviewed denied this.

The Texas Republican Congressman and former attorney, Michael McCaul, who heads the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, told the press that he'd been told at a "closed door" intelligence briefing, that Israel had been forewarned of an attack. Yet none of this was put to Bergman.

Israel initially supported Hamas because they saw the Islamic fundamentalist as a useful tool against the more secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This isn’t some ridiculous conspiracy theory but perfectly true.

Brig. Gen, Yitzhak Segev, who was the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s, told a New York Times reporter that he’d helped to finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a ‘counterweight’ to the secularists and leftist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat. The PLO leader had referred to Hamas as “a creature of Israel.” The retired brigadier general confessed: “The Israeli government gave me a budget”, and the “military government gives to the mosques.”

In 2009, Avnar Cohen, a former religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for for twenty years, told the Wall Street journal: “Hamas, to my regret, is Israel’s creation.”

If what Congressman Michael McCaul says is true, why didn't the Israeli government act to thwart the attack by Hamas?

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Starmer says Israel has the right to cut off water and energy to Gaza.


Keir Starmer - "A Zionist without qualification."

The Labour Party is led by a man who has said, "I'm a Zionist without qualification."

Although the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has declared Israel to be "The nation-state of the Jewish people, and the Jewish people alone", and is "not a state of all its citizens", Keir Starmer, refutes the charge made by Amnesty International that Israel is a racist apartheid state.

The same charge was also made by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who in 2014, urged U.S. Presbyterians to vote in favour of divestment from companies that assist "apartheid" Israel's occupation of the Palestinian people.

On Monday, the Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, called the people of Gaza, "human animals".

Some 1.6 million Palestinians still live in Israel and account for 20% of the population. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to be illegal under international law.

Starmer has been condemned for saying that Israel has the right to cut off water, energy, and food supplies, to two million people in Gaza - almost half of whom are children. They have been unlawfully 'imprisoned' in Gaza for the last 16 years which is blockaded. This has been denounced as collective punishment for the attack by Hamas on Jewish settlers. Starmer was once a human rights lawyer but he seems to have a blind side when it comes to Palestinians and their rights.

Experts from the U.N. have accused both sides in the Israeli/Hamas conflict of possible war crimes where innocent civilians have been targeted. They've accused the Israel government of Indiscriminate bombing in Gaza. The deliberate withholding of water, energy, and food supplies, can also constitute a war crime under international law.

Both the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and Keir Starmer, believe that displaying a Palestinian flag in the streets of Britain may be a criminal offence. Nevertheless, Starmeroid has suggested that the Wembley arch should be lit with the colours of the Israeli flag during England's friendly against Australia on Friday.

Russian dissident hospitalised after suspected poisoning.


Marina Ovsyannikova

The former Russian TV journalist, Marina Ovsyannikova, has been hospitalised after falling ill in a suspected case of poisoning. She was prosecuted for staging a live on-air protest against Russia's invasion of the Ukraine in March 2022 and was fined.

After her home was raided and she was put under house arrest, she fled Russia and now lives in Paris with her daughter. Earlier this month, a Moscow court sentenced the 45-year-old to eight and a half years’ imprisonment in absentia, for spreading false information about the Russian army.

Monday 9 October 2023

"Why Do Some Jews Spit on Gentiles"?


Israeli Jewish attacks on mosques, Palestinian religious sites and Palestinian worshippers, are well documented. Palestinian attacks on Jewish synagogues and Jews, also occur. Graffiti can often be seen scrawled on walls declaring, "Gas the Arab's."

 Attacks by Israeli Jews on Christians and Christian sites of worship, are also on the rise, since the ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionist parties, formed a hard-right Israeli government. Christian priests are often spat on and harassed by Israeli Jews and Christian grave yards are being desecrated. 

Earlier this year, a conference organised by the Open University of Israel entitled, "Why Do (Some) Jews Spit on Gentiles", was denounced as anti-Semitic and cancelled after intervention by a key aide to the mayor of Jerusalem. The conference was organized in response to a rise in attacks on nuns and priests in Israel.

 The Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, has said that "Israelis spitting on Christians is an old Jewish tradition." It might well be, but I'm pretty sure it's not good for Israeli tourism or for Christians.

 Jonathan Reynolds MP, who represents Stalybridge & Hyde, in Greater Manchester, manages to sit with his arse on both sides of the same fence. An invertebrate, he's both Chair of 'Christians on the Left' and vice-chair of 'Labour Friends of Israel' A mealy-mouthed Christian and a languid Labour politician, Reynolds is unlikely to publicly condemn attacks on either Muslim or Christian religious sites by Israeli Jews.

 Amnesty International have accused Israel of committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinians and enforcing a system of oppression and domination against them. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, denounced Israel as an "apartheid state" and urged Presbyterians to divest from companies that support apartheid Israel. Yet, deluded Reynolds, believes that Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East and the only country where minorities have full equality before the law. Reynolds conveniently overlooks the fact that much of the West Bank has been under illegal Israeli occupation since 1967 and that many Palestinians have had land stolen from them and their homes demolished by the Israeli army, supporting illegal Jewish settlers.

 The Israeli's have also turned the Gaza strip, into the biggest open-air jail in the world. In 2014, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, defended the Nation-State bill and declared Israel to be, "The national-state of the Jewish people and the Jewish people alone." Despite Israel being a racist apartheid state and violating international law, the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmeroid, says he supports "Zionism without qualification." 

Thursday 5 October 2023

Fox arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit criminal damage!


Mr. Nasty - Laurence Fox

Politically, I would have thought that Laurence Fox, has made much political capital out of a recent police raid at the home he shares with the actress, Billy Piper. He wants to advance the cause of himself and his 'The Reclaim Party' and this police raid has just done that.

I haven't seen the comments that are alleged to have been made, so I can't comment on this. According to this Guardian article, Fox was arrested by the police "on suspicion of conspiring to commit criminal damage to Ulez cameras and encouraging or assisting offences to be committed." In a video that appeared on Twitter, Fox, seems to be suggesting that Britain is becoming a police state.

His opposition to Ulez (ultra low emission zone charges) and his arrest are going to be politically popular with some voters in the capital who don't like Ulez. Incidentally, who set up the camera? The police don't normally announce a raid and Fox seems to be acting a part in a film script. He's certainly not a poor man and he's got some political clout, so he’ll have no problem making himself heard.

Ipso rules that Braverman misled public on ethnicity of 'grooming gangs'!


Home Secretary - Suella Braverman

The press regulator Ipso, has ruled that the Home Secretary Suella Braverman, misled people when she falsely claimed that child grooming gangs in the UK were "almost all British-Pakistanis." Ipso said that what Braverman had claimed had contradicted data from her own Home Office department. Although a number of high-profile child grooming gangs have involved British-Pakistanis, research published by the Home Office in 2020, showed that offenders are "most commonly white" and come from diverse backgrounds.

The Mail on Sunday who published Braverman's "significantly misleading" comments, said they had double checked Braverman's decision to single out 'British-Pakistanis' with advisers to the Home Secretary and the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who confirmed they had 'no concerns with this particular line" and were happy for it to be published.

This is not the first time that politicians have used racism to further their own political agendas and to mislead the public. Both Braverman and her predecessor at the Home Office, Priti Patel, have claimed that most migrants who cross the English Channel in small boats are economic migrants and not genuine asylum seekers. In 2021, Patel told parliament, "70% of individuals on small boats are single men who are effectively economic migrants." In December 2022, Braverman backed the assertion, saying: "There is considerable evidence that people are coming here as economic migrants, illegally."

When the Home Office was asked to confirm what Patel and Braverman had said in March 2023, they were unable to do so, stating that they did not hold "the information requested." However, Home Office data does confirm that of those people who reached the UK by small boat in 2022, some 60% would've been recognised as refugees. In the year to June 2023, some 70% of asylum claims made by people wishing to enter the UK, were successful.

Politicians like Cruella Braverman, need to be reminded of what the 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift said: "where falsehood flies, truth comes limping after it."

The Marx Family.


Paul Lafargue and Laura Marx

Karl Marx's maternal uncle was the Dutch tobacco merchant Lion Philips, the grandfather of Gerard and Anton Philips, who founded Philips Electronics. Leon Philips was a financial supporter of Karl Marx. Laura Marx and her husband Paul Lafargue, committed suicide together in 1911. Marx's eldest daughter, Jenny Marx (Longuet), died of bladder cancer in 1883 aged 38.

 In the 1970s, the British Socialist Worker Party (SWP), used to organise 'Right to Work' marches or as some of us, argued at the time, the right to be exploited marches. The Cuban-born, French revolutionary Marxian socialist, Paul Lafargue, believed in the right to shirk. He wrote an interesting book entitled 'The Right to Be Lazy' where he opposed the labour movements fight to expand waged labour or (wage slavery). He argued for its abolition or at least its limitation.

 Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor (Tussy) Marx, committed suicide in March 1898 aged 43, after drinking prussic acid (cyanide). She lived with a slime ball called Edward Aveling. Eleanor discovered that he'd secretly married another woman while he was living with her. He'd also squandered most of the money that she'd inherited from Fred Engels.

 In 1886, Eleanor Marx visited the USA with Aveling and campaigned for the Chicago Anarchist who had been sentenced to death for a bomb attack during a meeting at the Haymarket in Chicago in May 1886. The bombing was believed to have been done by an agent provocateur. She visited the men in gaol. After their execution, they became known as the 'Chicago Martyrs'. Eleanor also helped to set up with Will Thorne, the General Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers founded in 1889. This became the GMB trade union. 


Thursday 28 September 2023

Bee Network launch turns into a damp squib!


Andy Burnham - Mayor of Greater Manchester

It's early days yet, but it sounds like Andy Burnham's launch of the Greater Manchester Bee Network new bus system, turned out be more of a damp squib than a 'Big Bang'. The public reported that Bee Network buses had arrived late or didn't turn up at all.

A passenger complained of being late for work and having to use a taxi. Even the Bee Network App was dysfunctional. It all sounds like business as usual on the buses in Greater Manchester, where the bus system is notorious for its unreliability.

Andy Burnham has apologised for the cock up but wants people to appreciate the vast scale of what his team have tried to do within the last 48-hours. This seems like a lame excuse to me and I'm sure it won't impress the public. Transport for Greater Manchester spent £23m of taxpayers' money on consultants' reports assessing franchising and Burnham's expert transport commissioner, Vernon Everitt, recruited from TfL, was appointed and paid £650 a day to get things up and running. Bus reform in Greater Manchester has been under discussion and planning for years now and yet they still can't get the buses to turn up on time, or even to turn up.

I support what Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Transport are trying to do in reforming public transport in Greater Manchester. Bus deregulation, which was introduced in 1986, has been a complete failure. Bus passenger numbers fell, bus routes were cut, and bus fares increased. Many of the smaller bus operators went out of business and couldn't compete with the likes of Stagecoach and First, who dominate bus public transport in Greater Manchester. Anything has got to be better than what we've presently got in Greater Manchester.

I recently spoke to a woman who told me that she'd been sat waiting for one hour in a freezing cold bus shelter in Ashton-under-Lyne, because her 'one-an-hour' Stagecoach bus hadn't turned up to get her home.

Unless buses can turn up on time and are reliable, Andy Burnham is deluding himself if he thinks the public will abandon their cars for public transport has bad as this, or that the Bee Network will be a success. Let's hope that he can sort things out quickly.

Dan Wootton sacked by MailOnline after GB News suspension!


Laurence Fox - Dan Wootton & Ava Evans

The actor Laurence Fox, might be the son of the posh actor James Fox, but he's no English gentleman, even if he often portrays one on the big silver screen.

Fox has been suspended by GB News because of insulting and misogynistic remarks he made live on the Dan Wootton show about the reporter Ava Evans. He asked what "self-respecting man" would "climb into bed", with her, adding: "who would want to shag that." 

Wootton, who won't be climbing into bed with any woman, was suspended after he failed to intervene. He was seen to be smiling and laughing throughout Fox's remarks. He’s also had his MailOnline column terminated following his suspension by GB News. He was already under investigation for allegedly sending sexually explicit texts to colleagues using the pseudonym ‘Martin Branning’. Wootton denies the allegations and says he’s the victim of “dark forces.”

Fox, who is also a host on GB News along with a menagerie of other right-wing cranks, such as Lee Anderson, Esther McVey and Jacob Rees-Mogg, said he stood "by every word of what I said."

In his youth, Fox seems to have been something of addlepated malcontent. He was expelled from the public school Harrow, just before he took his A-Level exams and was unable to obtain a place at any university because of a report from Harrow. It seems his father and grandfather were also expelled from Harrow, so it could be a family tradition. After a short spell working as a gardener and in an office, he decided to follow his family into acting and entered RADA. Fox is married to the actress Billie Piper.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Rishi Sunak: the man who robs the poor to give to the rich!


Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murthy

Britain's unelected Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is filthy rich and his Indian wife, Akshata Murthy, is one of the richest people living in Britain. So why should any of us be surprised that he wants to abolish inheritance tax that only the wealthy pay.

Little Rishi, wants to pay for this by not uprating state benefits in line with inflation. He's Robin Hood in reverse. He robs from the poor to give to the rich. He's believes in wealth redistribution for the rich.

He defends established privilege and vested interests and that's why he's a Tory. Most of the people in Rishi's government are multi-millionaires. Britain is governed by a plutocracy.

Will Labour scrap the 'triple-lock' if they come to power?


Angela Rayner MP

Angela Rayner, the Labour Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden, and Failsworth, says that she's fought for the interests of working people all her life. Yet, during a recent BBC Breakfast interview, she was repeatedly asked if the Labour Party would guarantee the 'triple-lock' on state pensions if they take power at the next general election.

Although Labour pledged to keep the triple-lock in 2019, Rayner wouldn't give a guarantee and evaded the question. She told the BBC that Labour wouldn't make unfunded spending commitments as the country is in "a very different place" now.

Since 2020, Angela Rayner has been the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and she describes herself has being on the "soft left." She's also the Labour shadow minister for "levelling up."

Jess Phillips: The MP who received 600 rape threats in one night!


Jess Phillips MP

I don't find Russell Brand very funny. While he's been condemned in some quarters as a sexual predator, I'm not aware that he's been found guilty of any of the allegations that have recently been levelled against him by a number of women.  Nevertheless, I'm curious why all these women have suddenly come forward with these allegations of sexual assault, and why they didn't speak out at the time.

I saw Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, being interviewed on TV about Brand and she seemed certain that he was guilty even though Brand denies all the allegations. She stated that she wasn't surprised and had heard previous reports about him. However, she seems to think all men are serial gropers and sex pests, so all males are suspect to Jess. When the slightly eccentric Conservative MP, Sir Christopher Chope, blocked an "up skirting prevention bill" in the House of Commons in 2018, Jess said she was going to write his name in the gusset of her knickers.

Rape is a serious matter and so are false allegations of rape that can also ruin lives. For some career feminists, rape threats have almost become a rite of passage. Nowadays, no celebrity female's memoir or personal history, is complete without some reference to sexual abuse or a rape threat. Jess Phillips claims to have received "600 rape threats" in one single night. She blames it all on something called "patriarchal culture." It seems that for Jess, masculinity is to blame for everything.

The convicted murderer, Rose West, blamed all the murders on her husband Fred West. Myra Hindley blamed Ian Brady for the Moors Murders, and Ghislaine Maxwell, said she'd fallen under Epstein's spell, because of her 'overbearing, narcissistic, and demanding' father. Thankfully, none of this claptrap, seems to wash with juries. They generally hold people accountable for their own actions.

Jess Phillips, also claims to be "working-class" and once likened herself to a 'scullery maid' in the House of Commons. Yet, her father was a school teacher who taught English, and her mother was the deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chair of South Birmingham Mental Health Trust.  Both her parents became company directors of their own business, 'HealthLink's Event Management Services', which gave Jess her first job. It's claimed that her net worth is around $5m dollars and most of her income comes from politics, journalism, and TV appearances. Her husband, Tom Phillips, a former lift engineer, now works as Jess Phillips's office manager. 


Thursday 21 September 2023

Life Below Zero.


I like watching National Geographic's TV program 'Life Below Zero; I'm watching it now. I like subsistence hunting and the independent lifestyle. However, I sometimes question how genuine it's portrayal of life in Alaska is.

I can well understand that Sue Aikens, a woman living alone in a remote part of Alaska called Kavik, feels vulnerable from attacks by wild animals. Women do feel preyed upon and she says she was once attacked by a bear. But why she should feel threated by a lone wolf or a wolverine, seems strange to me.

The name ‘Kavik’, is also the name of the river that runs through the area, but it literally means “Wolverine or demon dog.”

Although Sue Aikens shot the Wolverine for its fur, there's no evidence that wolverines have ever attacked a human because they generally avoid us like the plague and aren't interested in us. Likewise, a lone wolf is unlikely to be threat to Sue Aikens. Humans are more of a threat to wolverines and wolves, than they are a threat to us.

Wally of the Week: Dr Daniel Coventry.


Dr Daniel Coventry

Wally of the week. Educated idiot, Daniel Coventry, aged 33, was suspended from medical practice for 6 months after he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in December 2019.

Coventry, a FY2 trainee junior doctor, had been reported to the General Medical Council because he'd been working while on sick leave from his £35,000-a-year job at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex.

It was discovered that Coventry had been undertaking private cosmetic surgery at the 'A New You' clinic in Brighton and at his own medical practice, 'DC Aesthetics', while pocketing paid sickness leave and being off work with a suspected virus infection.

 At the Tribunal, Coventry pleaded ignorance, insisting that he was unaware that there was any conflict of interest in doing private medical work while being off work with a sickness. He argued that he'd not knowingly been dishonest because he’d advertised his work on social media but accepted that he was naïve and had committed errors of judgement.

Before studying medicine at Oxford, Coventry had graduated with a first class degree in biology at the University of Brighton. Why the police weren’t brought in is a moot point. This looks suspiciously like fraud to me.

Monday 18 September 2023

The failure of NHS dentistry.


At the moment I'm fortunate to have a dentist who dispenses dental treatment to NHS patients. I believe that in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, it's almost impossible to find a dentist who will take on NHS patients.

Doesn't it seem strange that you can get a sex change operation on the NHS, but if you're in agony with toothache, you can't get NHS dental treatment in many areas of Britain and have to go private. Some people in Britain now have to borrow the money to pay for dental treatment or are pulling out their own teeth. It's what you'd expect in a third world country or some remote part of Appalachia in the U.S.A. where people walk about with no teeth.

When the NHS was introduced in 1948, dental care was free at the point of use, but charges were introduced in 1951. Although the British taxpayer pays for the training of dentists with a subsidy of "hundreds of thousands of pounds", many people can't access dental treatment as they live in "dental deserts", which don't offer NHS dental treatment.

After training, only one in three graduate dentists end up working for the NHS. Isn't it about time we stopped this racket for the middle classes, and made them pay for their own dental training unless they're prepared to work in NHS dentistry? Another alternative, is for dentistry to be made available at NHS centers.

Greater Manchester 'Bee Network' launches first phase next week.


This month (24 September) will see the launch of the first franchised routes of the Bee Network bus system in Greater Manchester. The plan is for the whole of the Greater Manchester bus network to be franchised and phased in by January 2025. The Bee Network app is also to be launched this month and should be joined up in a London-style contactless fares system by January 2025.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: "It's not 'big bang' - but in Wigan, Bolton, and bits of Salford and Bury, it will be very transformational."

The zero emission yellow buses of the Bee Network, are all electric. A year ago, Andy Burnham, introduced a £2 flat fare for buses across the region and has pledged to guarantee this until September 2024. Although the £2 bus fare cap is a step in the right direction, it is still expensive and higher than the bus fare cap in London of £1.75.

Under the TfL 'hopper' system, your standard bus fare in London, is transferable to other buses and trams within one hour of touching in. Although Burnham, has talked of introducing a London-style bus system in Greater Manchester, bus fares are not as yet transferrable and are much higher than in the capital, where the bus network was never deregulated.

Another thing that needs looking at urgently, is the frequency of bus services in Greater Manchester, during UK bank holidays and over the Christmas period. The Mayor of Greater Manchester isn't going to get people out of cars and onto buses, when everything in running on a limited Sunday service every time there's a bank holiday or you can't get a bus over the Christmas period to go to the boxing day sales or to socialise. It's a case of stop at home, Shanks's pony, or get a taxi, if you don't possess your own car.

Another issue is late night bus and tram services in Greater Manchester and what should be made available to the traveling public.

The tragic life of poet Sylvia Plath.


Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath

I can't comment on the poetry of Ted Hughes or Sylvia Plath. I only know that I like poetry that rhymes or is at least, thought provoking.

I know of Sylvia Plath because of the number of times articles about her have appeared in the Guardian newspaper. The articles were not really about her poetry but about her troubled life. In death she seems to have become a feminist icon and many blame Hughes for her death. I believe that Hughes walked out on Plath and the children and that she later gassed herself, while both her children, aged one and two, slept. The poor woman had opened the windows and used masking tape to seal the doors so that the gas wouldn't reach the children. She'd even left food for them.

This is very sad and tragic, but she herself acknowledged publicly that she had made several suicide attempts before this, the first being in 1953, before she met Ted Hughes. She swallowed sleeping pills. I believe this is referred to in her novel ‘The Bell Jar’. There have been reports that Sylvia Plath tried to cut her throat at 10 and disfigure her face at 14. The suicide attempts tended to coincide with traumatic events such as the death of her father or the breakdown of a relationship.

One can never be certain why people take their own lives and it often comes as a tremendous shock to friends and family who weren't expecting it. It isn't always the case that it's due to mental health issues, some people just want to stop living; they become weary of life.

We all take life for granted, but one of the greatest things, is to have been given a life and I think we ought to try and make the most of it in spite of its trials and tribulations. Life has a lot to offer but it's not a dress rehearsal, you get one shot at it. I'm approaching 69 years of age, and my 21st birthday, seems like yesterday.

Are the public losing confidence in British policing?


A Tale of Two Cities (Forces).
By John Wilkins

For a long time, the London Metropolitan Police had a bad press whilst under the leadership of Cressida Dick and others. Her failure to censor the behaviour of officers behaving unprofessionally gave a 'green light' to others in the force to do likewise. Many cases involved racist and misogynistic attitudes of officers.

Although the murder of Stephen Lawrence was before Cressida Dick was in charge, she was when it was revealed that that undercover officers had spied on the family's campaign for jus-tice. Whistle-blower Peter Francis claimed he had been tasked with finding "dirt" on the Lawrences and their supporters.

In March 2021, Dick was criticised for the Met's handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by an officer. Dick's advice to women worried at being approached by male police officers, was that if they felt unsafe they should resist arrest, run away, then "wave down a bus" or call 999!! In the 2021 report into the murder of Daniel Morgan, Dick was criticised for hampering efforts to access to important information, causing delays to the report's release.

Only six Met Police officers had been disciplined over the misuse of stop and search since 2014 despite 5,000 complaints. In July 2020 three officers were investigated for gross misconduct over the stop and search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams. She and her partner, and baby son were in the car when the couple were handcuffed and separated from their son. They felt they had been racially profiled!

Whilst Cressida Dick 'brushed complaints under the carpet', a report was released by the Independent Office of Police Conduct accusing officers of misogyny, racial discrimination, bullying and sexual assault and suggesting these were not isolated cases within the force.

Now we have a 'new broom' in Sir Mark Rowley who wants to clear out, by his estimate, hundreds of officers who have been getting away with misconduct and even criminal behaviour. However, on BBC Radio 4 he said the MET were 'pretty much the only organisation where the leaders are not able to decide which people stay in the organisation or not'. He has asked the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and the London Mayor to look into this anomaly. See

Back in November 2022 Rowley admitted that he had shed a tear over a misconduct report led by Baroness Casey condemning the force. Writing to her he said "You uncover painful experiences from those within our ranks who have suffered discrimination and hate from col-leagues, only to have their suffering compounded by a weak response from the Met”. This cannot continue and he should be able to continue his reforms. What a contrast to the apathetic attitude of his predecessor!

Let me turn to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), whose reputation has fluctuated over the decades.

Having recently read GMP Deputy Chief Constable John Stalker's book I must confess I had already formed a poor opinion of James Anderton, the Chief Constable at the time. He showed lack of loyalty to Stalker, who had been given the difficult task of investigating the work of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in relation to alleged 'shoot to kill' policy of six suspected IRA members.

Stalker's removal from the case was perceived by many as a cover up. # He and his family suffered harassment for him doing his job though his work was vindicated later.

Anderton had strong views on morality, putting great emphasis on cleaning up prostitution, and a purge on 'gay' community. This found resonance with many residents and the Thatcher Government of the time. His closeness to the now disgraced politician Cyril Smith was a blot on his career (settling for only an informal warning to Smith). He openly championed corporal punishment, which he would not be against using himself.

Between Anderson and Watson there have been four other Chief Constables, some who have tried to improve the image of GMP.

Anderson's successor Sir David Wilmot appears to have been a decent man and I credit for him branding GMP as 'institutionally racist' in 1998.

He was followed by Mike Todd, who some regarded as the perfect modern police chief, intelligent, articulate, charming and with a burning desire to nail crooks. When he took 2002 when it was seen as one of the UK's worst forces. He appears to have been an inspirational leader, often personally on the front line.

Sir Peter Fahey took charge in 2008 during a time when police funding and numbers were reduced. Fahey expressed his dismay at the increase in 'red tape' for police officers. He wanted policing led by judgement rather than targets. He wanted more discretion to be given officers to enable them to deal with minor incidents in a more sensible way.

The next Chief Constable Ian Hopkins was mired in controversy and was removed from office by GM Mayor Andy Burnham in 2020 after a police inspectorate report revealed the force had failed to record an estimated 80,000 crimes in one year.

One of the greatest skeletons in GM Police's cupboard concerns the poor response over decades to sexual exploitation of young girls, first in Rusholme and then in Rochdale. Thanks to the hard work and bravery of retired detective Maggie Smith and Chief Prosecuting Council Nasir Afzal some offenders have been prosecuted. See

The latest scandal is the failure to use of DNA evidence in the prolonged incarceration of Andrew Malkinson. He has been cleared of a murder charge after 17 years now DNA has finally been accepted.

I am concerned that the new Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, is not going to be a 'new broom' sweeping out bad practice. Speaking at the funeral of James Anderton he said he had left "a lasting legacy in policing." I would suggest that legacy was not a good one!

Senior ranks who will be sent out to work on divisions 'will be expected to go out on patrol' as he would do also, he confirmed (echoes of Mike Todd).

He claimed the number of arrests was up by 61%, the number charged with crimes had risen by 19% and the number of complaints was down by 38%. This should be expected after the low level under his predecessor.

I feel Peter Fahey's approach of judgement rather than targets needs to be heeded. I speak as I am personally aware of three or four cases where lack of judgement and lack of empathy have been shown by police in North Manchester, in particular towards the black community.

When obsessed with targets whether in policing, health or education staff are human and will make mistakes or 'cut corners'.

The jury is out though I have heard from retired officers that the new Chief Constable is 'old school' like Cressida Dick and James Anderson.

I hope the new Chief Constable can take note of past errors and build a police force tough on real crime, but more empathetic in dealing with the public.

# Ken Livingstone was outspoken in Parliament accusing the Attorney General of a cover up and was ordered to leave the Chamber.