Phone Hacking Trial: Andy Coulson, “I am not a bully”, trial hears – Martin Hickman


Mike Sivier:

It depends what you call a bullying culture, really, doesn’t it? I worked at a regional newspaper for nearly four years – people there would not admit they were bullies either.

Originally posted on Inforrm's Blog:

CoulsonDay 91, Part 2:   Andy Coulson today denied a “bullying culture” took root at the News of the World under his editorship.

Giving evidence for a second day at the phone hacking trial, the editor-turned-Downing Street communications director said: “I am not a bully”.

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Tom Davey – another example of the best Conservatism has to offer

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[Image: Political Scrapbook]

[Image: Political Scrapbook]

These creeps are coming out of the woodwork, it seems.

The latest member of the Conservative Party to reveal his true colours via the social media is Tom Davey. That’s DaVey, not DaLey the Olympic diver – although the world would be a happier place if this guy took a running jump.

Davey has been broadcasting his thoughts on Facebook, spreading messages of hatred towards minorities and women, along with dubious attempts at humour (according to Political Scrapbook) – for at least the past six years.

For example, take a look at this message:

“Benefit claiming scum beware. ps i don’t like paying taxes for you lazy bastards!”

or this one:

“Finding a job would be easier if [I] were a black female wheel chair bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women.”

or this one:

“More excited than Harold Shipman in a nursing home.”

The messages were posted in 2008, when he was at the London School of Economics. One is led to question whether he was a member of that organisation’s Tory clubs because this man is now a Conservative councillor in Barnet.

The following year he delivered this:

“Smacking [my] bitch up… that’ll teach her for ironing loudly whilst the football is on!”

He later justified this by saying he does not like football and his wife doesn’t do the ironing.

Has he mellowed in the years since? Evidence suggests otherwise.

Last week, as Barnet Council’s lead member for housing, he admitted that he doesn’t care about the lack of affordable housing pushing poor people out; he wants rich people to take their place.

In a debate that was filmed by a member of the public, he said: “If there is such a problem with Barnet, if Barent is such a terrible place to ive and if it is so unaffordable, why are people flocking to Barnet and why are house prices going up? It’s because people want to live here.”

Challenged by an opposition councillor who said the only people coming were those who could afford it, he blurted: “And they’re the people we want!”

See for yourself:

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Inflation drop doesn’t mean wages will rise

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'For the privileged few': If you're earning the average wage of £26,500 per year, or less, then nothing George Osborne says will be relevant to you.

‘For the privileged few’: If you’re earning the average wage of £26,500 per year, or less, then nothing George Osborne says will be relevant to you.

Why are the mainstream media so keen to make you think falling inflation means your wages will rise?

There is absolutely no indication that this will happen.

If you are lucky, and the drop in inflation (to 1.7 per cent) affects things that make a difference to the pound in your pocket, like fuel prices, groceries and utility bills, then their prices are now outstripping your ability to pay for them at a slightly slower rate. Big deal.

The reports all say that private sector wages are on the way up – but this includes the salaries of fatcat company bosses along with the lowest-paid office cleaners.

FTSE-100 bosses all received more pay by January 8 than average workers earn in a year. Their average annual pay rise is 14 per cent. Bankers get 35 per cent. These are all included in the national private sector average of 1.7 per cent, which means you get a lot less than the figures suggest.

Occasional Chancellor George Osborne said: “These latest inflation numbers are welcome news for families.” Why? Because they aren’t sinking into debt quite as fast as they were last month? They’re great news for the fatcats mentioned above, along with MPs, who are in line to get an inflation-busting 11 per cent rise; but as far as families are concerned, rest assured he’s lying again.

“Lower inflation and rising job numbers show our long-term plan is working, and bringing greater economic security,” he had the cheek to add. Employment has risen, although we should probably discount a large proportion of the self-employed statistics as these are most likely people who’ve been encouraged to claim tax credits rather than unemployment benefits and will be hit with a huge overpayment bill once HMRC finds out (as discussed in many previous articles).

The problem is, Britain’s economic performance has not improved in line with the number of extra jobs. If we have more people in work now than ever before in this nation’s history, then the economy should be going gangbusters – surging ahead, meaning higher pay for everybody and a much bigger tax take for the government, solving its debt reduction problem and ensuring it can pay for our public services – right?

We all know that isn’t happening. It isn’t happening because the large employment figures are based on a mixture of lies and low wages. The economy can’t surge forward because ordinary people aren’t being paid enough – and ordinary working people are the ones who fuel national economies; from necessity they spend a far higher percentage of their earnings than the fatcats and it is the circulation of this money that generates profit, and tax revenues.

Osborne compounded his lies by adding: “There is still much more we need to do to build the resilient economy I spoke of at the Budget.” He has no intention of doing any such thing. He never had.

Conservative economic policy is twofold, it seems: Create widescale unemployment in order to depress wages for those who do the actual work and boost profits for bosses and shareholders; and cut the national tax take to ensure that they can tell us the UK cannot afford a welfare state, opening the door for privatised medicine and private health and income insurance firms.

This is why, as has been discussed very recently, leaders of the Margaret Thatcher era including Nicholas Ridley and Keith Joseph determined that the defeat of the workers would require “the substantial destruction of Britain’s remaining industrial base” (according to ‘The Impact of Thatcherism on Health and Well-Being in Britain’). It is, therefore, impossible for George Osborne to seek to build any “resilient economy” that will improve your lot, unless you are a company boss, banker, or shareholder.

The plan to starve the public sector, as has been repeated many times on this blog, has been named ‘Starving the Beast’ and involves ensuring that the tax take cannot sustain public services by keeping working wages so low that hardly any tax comes in (the Tory Democrat determination to raise the threshold at which takes is paid plays right into this scheme) and cutting taxes for the extremely well-paid (and we have seen this take place, from 50 per cent to 45. Corporation tax has also been cut by 25 per cent).

This is why Ed Balls is right to say that average earnings are £1,600 per year less than in May 2010, why Labour is right to point out that the economy is still performing well below its height under Labour…

… and why the government and the mainstream media are lying to you yet again.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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his independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

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Merseyside MP Esther Mcvey sends a political tweet during the Hillsborough service


Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

Tory front bench MP Esther Mcvey obviously wasn’t watching the Hillsborough memorial service.

Because she sent a political tweet attacking Labour right bang in the middle of it:

mcvey hillsborough

She did finally apologise – after a good few hours:

mcvey hillsborough 1

It seems hard to understand how McVey could make such a gaffe. She is after all from Liverpool.

But I can explain it very easily.

She’s a Tory:

Top Tory Bernard Ingham calls relatives of Hillsborough victims ‘contemptible’

Over a third of Hillsborough victims were kids or teens. And still being blamed.

Name the guilty. The Sun’s ‘source’ for its Hillsborough story was ….. Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick.

Don’t think Chief Constable Bettison should resign over Hillsborough? You will when you read this

Too late to strip ‘Sir’ Irvine Patnick – the Sun’s source for its Hillsborough story – of his title

.

Please feel free to comment.

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Tories Less than 100,000 Members: Now Elitist Party According to Fascist Doctrine


Originally posted on Beastrabban\'s Weblog:

Mussolini Pic

I’ve blogged about how the Italian Fascists and Nazis in Germany consciously appealed to middle class support by posing as the defenders of private industry against Socialism and the organised working class. Mussolini took his elitism partly from the economic doctrines of Vilfredo Pareto, the anti-democratic defender of free trade. He appeared to embrace the middle-class ideology of liberismo, stressing the need for a balanced budget and a stable currency. He also suggested at various times that he would end state unemployment benefit, and allow private involvement in the telephone network and state life insurance.

Mike over at Vox Political this morning reports that membership of the Conservative party has fallen below 100,000. This makes them an elitist party, according to Fascist doctrine. Both the Nazis and the Fascists, as opponents of democracy, declared they were not interested in forming mass parties. They thus declared that they were formally…

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The truth about the bedroom tax. It costs the taxpayer MORE


Mike Sivier:

We ALL knew the Bedroom Tax would create a greater cost for the taxpayer – at least, those of us with any forewarning knew that this would be the case.
The Conservative-led government (including the Tory Democrats who prop it up) was told that the cost would be greater and ignored the warning.
My impression was that they wanted it to cost more, as part of their overarching “starve the beast” policy to make public services unsustainable.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

Karen Buck the Labour MP tweeted a stunning and stunningly simple message which exposes the bedroom tax for what it is, a costly mistake.

Here is how the bedroom tax costs the taxpayer in just one case the princely sum of £7,398.92 per year more in Housing Benefit.

The HB bill for this social tenant who downsized from a social housing 2 bed to a social housing 1 bed (Yes no private rental involved here!) increases from £5,384.83 per year to £12,783.75 per year.

kbuckbtax-page-001

This social housing tenant would have received £103.20 per week in HB in the £120 per week 2 bed social housing property after the 14% bedroom tax deduction was applied.  Yet she downsized to a 1 bed “affordable rent” (sic) social housing property with a rent of £245 per week all of which is payable in Housing Benefit as there is no bedroom tax and because the misnamed affordable…

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Phone Hacking Trial: Coulson, no knowledge that NOTW detective accessed Milly Dowler’s voicemail – Martin Hickman


Originally posted on Inforrm's Blog:

Andy CoulsonDay 91, Part 1: Andy Coulson had no knowledge that the News of the World’s private detective had accessed Milly Dowler’s voicemail, he told the phone hacking trial today.

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Austerity, socio-economic entropy and being conservative with the truth


Mike Sivier:

Here’s an article that is doubly worthwhile – firstly because of the trashing of Tory ideology at the beginning, then because of the list of Tory lies at the end.

Originally posted on kittysjones:

734072_148205235330533_659227219_n
The coalition have a track record of lying and trying to mislead the public. David Cameron has now been rebuked several times for making false claims: on NHS spending, the rising national debt and the impact of his tax rises and deep spending cuts on economic growth. The Tories invented figures to claim people are now “better off”, but which totally ignored and excluded an account of the impact of significant factors like the rise in VAT, the cost of living, cuts to tax credits and other benefits.
The government is committing fraud on a grand scale. The reason for such deceit has nothing to do with public finances or the state of the economy, and everything to do with shrinking the public realm. There is an irreducibly ideological dimension to Tory economics, and by making it sound “scientific” when really, it’s more akin to philosophy or Tory buck passing

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Conservative MP ‘unspeakably sorry’ over failure to not get caught declaring donations


Mike Sivier:

“Unspeakable” is about as far as the description of Charlotte Leslie needed to go.

Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(satire?)

Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie admits ‘full responsibility for not covering up administrative mistakes’ that meant she did not manage to hush up donations to her local party.

A Conservative MP has apologised to the House of Commons for getting caught declaring donations to her local party that were relevant to interventions she made about the Severn Barrage project.

Charlotte Leslie, who represents Bristol North West, told MPs she was “unspeakably sorry” for not sweeping the declarations under the carpet in a timely manner.

Ms Leslie admitted to not covering up donations from David Ord Ltd  - joint owner of Bristol Port, an opponent of the Barrage project – which made a cash donation of £5,000 to Bristol North West Conservative Association in March 2009, First Corporate Shipping Ltd which donated £2,000 in September 2012 and David Ord Ltd which made a further donation of £10,000 in June 2013.

Fellow MPs branded…

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From 2013: Private Eye on Complex Corporate Structure and Dodgy Accounting of Private Health Contractor


Mike Sivier:

I would have thought the complex offshore corporate structure was for the purposes of tax avoidance; keeping losses off the balance sheet would be a lucky bonus.

Originally posted on Beastrabban\'s Weblog:

This is from the Eye’s edition for 22nd March – 4th April 2013.

NHS PLC

Broken Circle

Worrying symptoms of Enron-it is have broken out at groovy health company Circle Health which, in partnership with its staff, runs NHS facilities and a group of private hospitals.

Circle’s parent company, Circle Holdings plc, is owned largely by hedge funds, including Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management and Sir Paul Ruddock’s Lansdowne Partners, plu8s the offshore trusts of founder and ex-Goldman Sachs banker Ali Parsa. As 51 percent controller of the Circle Health group that now runs Hinchingbrooke NHS hospital trust in Cambridgeshire, as well as the Nottingham NHS treatment centre, it might be hoped that the company’s financial position is above board and fully understood.

Alas, corporate transparency is in even shorter supply than profits at the struggling firm, especially when it comes to financing what it describes as its “flagship” private…

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