"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, 16 January 2011

Sunday Round-up

6 more MPs to be investigated "...the allegations have been made by a Labour MP, who represents a northern constituency, who passed details of alleged wrongdoing to police because he believes he was unfairly singled out for investigation over his own allowances."
An interview with Stuart Wheeler "Before the election, everyone said Cameron can't come out as being too Eurosceptic. They all said: 'Just you see what he does when he comes to power.' Well, he's there now, and he's made no efforts whatsoever to curb the influence of the EU. He has given up, and it's disastrous for our country." (A bit of a hatchet job by the Indie).
Cameron "reduced rebel MP to tears" A confused and denied story from the DM. "Cameron was effing and blinding at Chris and several others. Chris took it badly. We thought he was going to defect to the Government – then he joined the rebels. The talk in the tea room was that he was more worried about upsetting his dad."
Cameron intervenes in MPs' pay rise "Some MPs claimed they have lost up to £20,000 with the expenses crackdown and previous pay pledges that were never fulfilled. One Labour backbencher said: ‘This is an outrage. I am not being lectured by millionaire David Cameron on what I earn and many hard-working colleagues will feel the same.’
Private sector ready to take over some public service provision "The reality is that the government is skint," said Paul Barnsley, national officer with the PCS Union, which represents many public sector workers. "The private sector can offer what the government can't at the moment, which is hard cash."
Overseas aid spent on coffee mornings and salsa dancing in the UK to 'raise awareness of poverty'. "Trade unions, charities, schools and churches can apply for the money - but any organisation that receives it must agree to spend it all in Britain, and is specifically barred from sending any abroad. The initiative is being funded even though the Conservatives attacked such UK-based "awareness" spending when they were in opposition and said it would end as soon as they came to power."
Swiss whistleblower hands over tax evasion info to Wikileaks. "British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, "approximately 40 politicians".
Blair at the Chilcot Inquiry "Members of the five-strong Chilcot inquiry have grave doubts over the truthfulness of statements the former prime minister made to them last January and in his memoirs, published last autumn."
Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre is in the spotlight again as Jamaican mother is held without charge for a year.
Police cars axed in petrol crisis  "Nearly half Britain’s forces have already reduced their fleets of vehicles and bigger cuts are coming as climbing oil prices, and duty rises and the VAT rise force up petrol bills."
Swine flu causes hospital chaos "Dozens of NHS units have cancelled surgery and clinics for outpatients. At least 10 major centres issued “black alerts” — the highest emergency warning — meaning they were at breaking point, forcing patients to be sent elsewhere."
Undercover police units "The NPOIU is deemed so discreet that police will not even confirm the location of its base or the identity of its head, although sources say it can be found within Scotland Yard. Yet it is not part of the Met. In fact, Kennedy's handlers are wholly unaccountable. Acpo, the lead body on domestic extremism, is a private company, incorporated in 1997. It is subcontracted by Whitehall to operate the policing responsibilities of the government's "anti-extremism" strategy and can, for instance, ignore freedom of information requests."
An undercover policeman's story

Susannah York, RIP
4 Englishmen and The An-tiki
The spread of Sudden Oak Death

The rise of Marine le Pen
Obama scraps Arizona/Mexico fence
Berlusconi & the 14 prostitutes
Hedge funds bet against China

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