"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sunday Round-up

Boris Johnson is apparently threatening to quit as London Mayor if cuts to London's transport budget go ahead.  No link - it's in the Sunday Times.
A senior Labour source said: “After Condi Rice met Gordon for the first time she complained to the White House about the way he behaved. No 10 suddenly starting getting these messages from the White House that there were grave doubts about the desirability of Gordon taking over. It wasn’t just the White House either, it was other people based in the US, business leaders, people like that."
The culling of the SAS  It is understood that the cut was decided several months ago, by the former government, and is not part of the current defence review, which in itself could result in further cutbacks.  "I'd be astonished if Liam Fox  is even aware of this, " said an 'insider'.
EU FBI-style police force here within 10yrs  Tory MP and security expert Patrick Mercer last night agreed with the need for a unified force.  “If that means a loss of sovereignty, then so be it because in this case I do think it’s a good thing.”
NHS secret cancer pay-outs An investigation has uncovered critical errors  and secret payments of thousands of pounds to patients who were harmed as a result of incorrect diagnoses.
Asil Nadir: opportunist  Donations to the Tories are in the spotlight again.
The sparring Milibands: here and here
New rules for travellers' sites  The Labour government ploughed £97million into a programme begun in 2008 in a bid to increase the number of gypsy sites. It set councils targets, often forcing them to build on green field sites or compulsorily purchase land in the teeth of local opposition.
It's just not cricket:  It's alleged that some members of the Pakistani team were involved in cheating during the Lord’s Test.  The NotW claims it gave £150,000 to a middleman who promised to arrange for Pakistani players to bowl “no balls” during the match.
Parental consent not needed:  Family rights campaigners have called for a change in the law after it was revealed that girls as young as 12 can be given the cervical cancer vaccine without their parents’ consent.  Doctors and nurses have been told they are under no legal obligation to seek the permission of the parent or guardian.
The secret service must not be so...er...secret [Demos] warns of the dangers posed by conspiracy theories – from hindering counter-terrorism work by reducing public trust in the Government, to encouraging new alliances between extremists based on such theories – and recommends the Government fight back by infiltrating internet sites to dispute these theories.
EU says fake goods are fine  Looky-looky: a report disputes claims that the counterfeiting of luxury brands is funding terrorism and organised crime and argues there is little public appetite for tough law enforcement measures as consumers enjoy the bargains offered by the illegal trade, which has been estimated to be worth £1.3 billion in the UK.
The BBC is on a warning  The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has warned the BBC that it faces making deeper cuts and refused to rule out a reduction the licence fee.  Same story, different perspective here.
The Blairs house-hunt in Barbados "He told me he is a great admirer of our state education system and he would have liked his [four] children to have gone to school in Barbados," said one islander... The Blairs are also said to like the weather, the beaches, the low crime rate, the stylish restaurants and the laid-back lifestyle of the island in which celebrities are generally left alone by the local population.

An amazing life  An obituary to Hope Bourne.
Losing the battle for the hedgerows

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