Danny Alexander’s Colon

by craig on March 13, 2014 11:47 am in Uncategorized

The government announces today there is simply no money for a pay increase for NHS workers. Yet we have 320 billion spare for new Trident missile systems.  Highly skilled NHS workers need to investigate just how deep it is possible to insert a nuclear warhead into Danny Alexander’s colon.

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72 Comments

  1. I find somewhat offensive the suggestion that Danny Alexander has anything in the way of guts.

  2. Ba'al Zevul (hmmm)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 11:51 am

    And the award for Headline Least Likely To Get You To Read Any Further goes to….

  3. Ba'al Zevul (hmmm)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    “I find somewhat offensive the suggestion that Danny Alexander has anything in the way of guts”

    For one to talk out of one’s arse, one needs a supply of wind. If you think about it.

  4. Whoa! Don’t go there. He sees himself as the next leader of the partei.

    ‘As his party’s otherwise successful Spring conference drew to a close, speculation over the leadership rattled around the media as treasury secretary Danny Alexander appeared to be emerging as the strongest contender for the succession.

    Clegg’s office issued a statement saying: “It’s up to the British people to decide but if Liberal Democrats are in government again after 2015 he would like to serve a full term.” That was immediately read to mean, if there was no coalition he would quit.’
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nick-clegg-sparks-leadership-chatter-liberal-democrats-conference-ends-1439632

    Mrs Cable says it’s a no no for Vince as far as she’s concerned.

  5. Come off it, nurses are luxuries we can do without but we need Trident to protect us against…er…North Korea.

  6. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Mr Murray,

    If one looks at NHS one finds a huge gap in pay difference between qualified doctors and everyone else under NHS umbrella. Whereas I support pay increase for other (non doctors) within NHS, I think that doctors are paid simply too much. It might actually be one of the problems of NHS budget drain. Another being highly paid managers (most of whom ex doctors anyway).

    None of it is of course not an excuse to spend many billions on nuclear warheads, but I simply disagree that doctors need to be paid more than they are.

  7. Secret recording from the Ministry for Truth and Justice:
    Minister: How much money do we have available for renewing Trident?
    Official: About 300 billion, Minister.
    M: Why so much money?
    O: It used to be for fighting Communism, Minister
    M: But the Cold War’s over. What do we need it for now?
    O: For fighting terrorism, Minister.
    M: But terrorists don’t have the power of states. All the state resources we use for fighting them don’t take a fraction of that.
    O: We also need it for maintaining our international prestige as a permanent member of the Security Council, Minister. Without it, what would happen to our Special Relationship with the United States? English-speaking civilisation must be maintained, without which the world would degenerate completely.
    M: You’re right. It’s up to us, I remember Barack Obama’s speech in Westminster Hall well.
    O: That’s the spirit, Minister!
    M: (Nods approvingly)

  8. Ba'al Zevul (hmmm)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:12 pm

    Anatomy aside, isn’t the figure for Trident replacement nearer £20Bn? And wasn’t Alexander making electorate-friendly noises about this last year?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2352082/Lib-Dems-defy-Tories-replace-Trident-cheap-Danny-Alexander-says-Britain-Cold-War-postures-past.html

    Also in the news, nonentity smokes cigarette –

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2579839/Rosie-Fortescue-takes-smoke-break-shoots-scenes-seventh-series-Made-In-Chelsea.html

  9. Anger As Thousands Of Nurses Denied 1% Rise

    Unions threaten to ballot members after the Government announces a 1% public sector pay rise but say 70% of nurses will miss out.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1225231/anger-as-thousands-of-nurses-denied-1-percent-rise

    As the privatisation of the NHS continues apace (but nobody seems concerned, it is obvious that the plan to ‘destabilize, demoralize and destroy the NHS’ is working out for the ConDems. Burnham says the legislation will be repealed if Labour is elected but by then it will be too late to save it.

  10. Ba’al Zevul,

    I am perfectly confident that, ten years from now, you will find that Trident cost the figure I have given. Am willing to bet a pint on it, if you like!

  11. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Mary

    Anger As Thousands Of Nurses Denied 1% Rise

    Something similar as I have heard is happening with staff involved in education.

    It seems that sick and uneducated people are what the government is pushing for. It is worthy trusting such (sick and uneducated) Trident nuclear missiles?

  12. Ba'al Zevul (hmmm)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    ‘Am willing to bet a pint on it, if you like!’

    No takers! History is on your side!

  13. Uzbek in the UK

    I understand what you are saying, though I would rather tackle it through them doing more for the money than reducing their pay. But doctors get paid very much less than investment bankers, for example.

  14. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Talking about history.

    It is very controversial but, if we follow Nuclear deterrence theory, and analyse issue from this perspective; it would be interesting to know how many lives and money seemingly costly nuclear arsenals within major powers have saved us since their inception? This is of course if we assume that nuclear deterrence theory is right and that nuclear arsenal prevented major wars between great powers.

    Any takers on this analysis?

  15. Craig, I’ll accept your bet; how much do you think the pint will cost me in ten years time? I’ll buy it this August; a sort of investment.

  16. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Mr Murray,

    I agree. Doctors are paid much less than bankers, who are paid much less than some celebrity football players (for failure to deliver).

    But looking at Germany or France UK doctors are paid much more for much worse service (if we look at complication or death rate within NHS). I am not even comparing NHS to healthcare in Scandinavia. Somehow on TV whenever discussion about doctors pay is discussed UK doctors are compared to US. Why not look somewhere closer to home? Germany, France?

  17. In fact recent governments have already saved vast amounts of money by off-loading large areas of work that used to be NHS or local authority responsibilities, onto the private sector. Since the first priority of the private companies employing “support workers” and running care homes is to their shareholders, they make the necessary profits by employing workers on minimum wage, well below the going rate for equivalent jobs in NHS, and at minimum staffing levels. If they can get away with it, some of them will even employ staff as “apprentices” on £2.60 per hour, less than half the minimum wage, working unsupervised and recieving no meaningful training.

    The clients whom these untrained, underpaid, badly-treated staff are looking after are not just nice old ladies needing help to get out of the bath. They include clients with “challenging behaviour” which is the modern PC euphemism for violent and severely disturbed.

    Needless to say, almost none of these workers are in trade unions. The very idea of a trade union hardly enters the heads of most younger minimum waged workers nowadays. Millions of people have been taught to conceive “the Unions” as some overbearing force quite seperate from themselves, from whom the country was “liberated” by the Thatcher government. The “Labour” party has entirely given up on trying to change this perception, focusing only on distancing themselves even further from the unions to whom they owed their very existence.

  18. The cost of nuclear weapons depends on what you include in the cost. It’s costing 70 billion just to ‘decommission’ Sellafield. I know there’s been debate over whether the government is being overcharged for this, but it can’t be cheap:

    Building B30, colloquially known as dirty thirty, is a pond which was used to store spent fuel from MAGNOX power stations. The pond is 20 m wide, 150 m long and 6 m deep. Birds can land on its surface and take small amounts of radioactive substances with them. The pond was used from 1960 until 1986. A confinement wall is scheduled to be built in the future to help it withstand earthquakes. The pool is to be emptied and dismantled in years to come.

    It is impossible to determine exactly how much radioactive waste is stored in B30; algae is forming in the pool, making visual examinations difficult. British authorities have not been able to provide the Euratom inspectors with precise data. The European Commission has thus sued Great Britain in the European Court of Justice.[66][67] According to Greenpeace there is an expected 1300 kg of plutonium, 400 kg of which is in mud sediments.[68] It is thought the pool also contains waste from the Tokai Mura plant (Japan).[69]

    Radiation around the pool can get so high that a person is not allowed to stay more than 2 minutes, seriously affecting decommissioning.[70] The pool is not watertight; time and weather have created cracks in the concrete, letting contaminated water leak.[71]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_thirty_%28Sellafield%29#B30
    MAGNOX was supposed to make a profit for Britain! The technology was “dual-purpose”; power stations and nuclear weapons cores.

  19. @Uzbek in the UK, the problem with making your suggested analysis is that we cannot really know whether, in the absence of nukes, the USA and USSR would have gone to war head-on with each other at the various flashpoints eg Suez, Yom Kippur, etc. The conventional assumption is that fear of M.A.D. inhibited them, therefore they fought each other indirectly through numerous smaller wars, which still killed millions (mostly in the Third World).

    However, they could have still fought a conventional war between themselves, without using nukes. Just as both sides in WW2 refrained from using poison gas. Since they didn’t directly fight each other at all, even with conventional weapons, I’m not convinced that it was fear of nukes that kept the “peace”.

    Furthermore, you have to factor in the huge risk of accidental nuclear war- there were several near misses such as the “Able Archer” incident.

    You might also factor in the lives that could have been saved, and greatly improved as well, if even a fraction of the money spent on nukes had been spent on eradicating malaria and hookworm, teaching women to read and to use effective contraception, etc etc etc.

  20. It would appear that the purpose of the state is to siphon money from the public purse into the private pockets of the rich. We seem, or example, to be able to find massive amounts of cash to quite literally fill bankers’ pockets by way of quantitative easing, to waste vast sums with the totally useless work programmes that don’t work, to pour ever increasing amounts of public money into the numerous and totally wasteful PPI projects and to underwrite super rich employers who pay poverty wages to their staff through working tax credits and Housing Benefit. The paltry 1 per cent offer to vital public sector workers like nurses is a drop in the ocean by comparison. This government would put their hearts out to tender if they indeed had one.

  21. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Pete,

    Thank you for your thoughts. Very useful to read (without sarcasm).

    It is of course all based on speculation on whether or not US and USSR would have gone into war with each other in the absence of nuclear warheads.

    I somehow base my analysis of this probability based on centuries of balance of power politics in Europe. Major powers have always fought each other (directly), to either obtain or keep hegemony or to prevent other from obtaining it.

    One interesting factor (which is often overlooked) is that nuclear arsenal has not only (possibly) prevented major war between great powers, but also prevented them using nuclear powers against others (who do not have them). For instance 1950th war in Korea is clear example. Or Kissinger’s (speculated) suggestion to use nucs against Vietcong (which was ignored for obvious reasons).

    Yes, great powers fought each other in many proxy wars killings millions in Africa, Latin America and Asia, but the deaths and destructions could have been much greater if they fought each other in WWI or WWII style.

  22. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Mar, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    Just to add here that Hiroshima and Naggasaki have happened while US had nuclear preponderance. Which is yet another argument in favour of nuclear deterrence theory.

  23. I don’t understand the shortage of money argument, isn’t there a peace dividend or something from the draw down of involvement in Afghanistan…or is that money already earmarked for some other military adventure?

  24. The healthcare in the US is satisfyingly capitalistic so healthcare providers don’t have pay gripes.

    But a parallel is apparent.

    We have school teachers who can’t get a raise, and then there’s the layoffs.

    Administrators, School Boards and School Superintendents are fully employed with rich salaries
    and pensions with no end in sight for their security.

    The destruction of Unions is well underway.

  25. O/T
    Worth a read;

    How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware

    The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

    The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.

    In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

  26. Ba'al Zevul (I'm a Devil, Aren't I?)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    “In fact recent governments have already saved vast amounts of money by off-loading large areas of work that used to be NHS or local authority responsibilities, onto the private sector.”

    Have they saved money? A good proportion of the care work, to say nothing of the insane PFI deals on hospitals, is still funded by the taxpayer, as is a good proportion of the private companies’ profits. I think there’s still a case to be made for the proposal that a nationalised NHS would be no more costly to the taxpayer than a private one. And it would be subject to much better scrutiny.

  27. ” I think there’s still a case to be made for the proposal that a nationalised NHS would be no more costly to the taxpayer than a private one. And it would be subject to much better scrutiny.”

    B: That’s where we are now.

    The complexities of ACA wrt private hospitals and PHARMA and inefficiencies may lead to the simpler model of Single payer, but I have a question;

    There is provision for what I call ‘Concierge’ healthcare, wherein wealthy types may pay a sort of entry fee to immediate access to the best practitioners.

    Is that the covert undermining of the NHS leading to a lack of service? Has there been a kind of ‘brain drain’ where similar coverage for the public has been denuded. leaving the chaff for the multitudes; wheat for the wealthy?

  28. We will have to accustom ourselves to using ‘Successor’ rather than ‘Vanguard’. What’s in a name? All evil. Deterring what exactly?

    Loads of money swilling around it would appear.

    Successor submarine shipyard gets £300m investment
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26559534

  29. Ba'al Zevul (The NHS IS Safe In Our Hands, heh, heh)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    ‘Is that the covert undermining of the NHS leading to a lack of service? Has there been a kind of ‘brain drain’ where similar coverage for the public has been denuded. leaving the chaff for the multitudes; wheat for the wealthy?’

    I don’t think our countries are very similar in this. Your assumption has – correct me if I am wrong – always been that health is primarily a matter for market forces, and the poor access to funded care for the less wealthy- whether as a cash payment or via insurance – has been accepted to some extent as a necessary result of this. We started, post war, from somewhere else. The NHS was wholly funded from taxation (read National Insurance originally, but this mutated into just yet another tax whose disposal was obscure); the presumption being, if you like, that health was an inalienable right, (or maybe that poor peoples’ epidemics didn’t help their productivity) There has always been a parallel, privately funded health market for those who can afford it, and until the last couple of decades the NHS could often point to providing equally good service. So not chaff, then. The main attraction of going private may well have been the probability of getting a private room…

    Now we are adopting your model, with the added bonus for the healthcare companies, many of whom have MP’s and peers on their boards, that they will be paid by the taxpayer to make it look as if the taxpayer is not paying for healthcare. Another route for taxpayer money has been the PFI hospital – a private concern builds it, and then charges an exorbitant rent to the taxpayer – who will still have to stump up if something hasn’t been included in the original contract -for the use of the place by the NHS. For a very long period. This fits in nicely with the Blair-onwards model of kicking financial shortfalls into the long grass of the distant future.

    The process is also driven by the rising costs of equipment and drugs to treat conditions which were deemed incurable in Beveridge’s day, and an aging population requiring more treatment.

    I’m not saying it’s an easy problem to solve, but giving cream to corporate fatcats doesn’t seem to me to be the best solution.

    Sorry to ramble on.

  30. “I’m not saying it’s an easy problem to solve, but giving cream to corporate fatcats doesn’t seem to me to be the best solution.”

    That’s quite an understatement, and I fully agree. The cost of drugs, and patient care on folks living longer is also a big ticket on long-term rising costs, but on those Boards and administrators;

    Is anyone discussing the inefficiencies of redundant layers of management sopping up the gravy?

    As I mentioned above, the American public school system is top heavy with mouth-breathers who protect their payroll turf by cutting ground-level teachers to feather their own nests.

  31. Ba'al Zevul (The NHS IS Safe In Our Hands, heh, heh)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    YES, Ben. Management is engaged in a constant discussion as to how it can insert more layers of redundant management, preferably without any experience of the field of interest, in order to sop up all the gravy. I’ve just had a reorganisation myself (not quite public sector, but near enough) which has replaced a highly capable line manager – without promoting her, naturally – with an ex- junior academic, and inserted another, specially recruited and better-paid, manager on top of him. They’re running half-a – dozen staff.

  32. B: That’s the way bureaucrats think. A bureaucrat is nothing more than a politician without a constituency, and we know how accountable politicians are. :)

  33. Ba'al Zevul (The NHS IS Safe In Our Hands, heh, heh)

    13 Mar, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Come the revolution, Ben, those suspected of management will be handed the order for their execution, written in managementese. If they understand it, it will be explained to them that the cost-benefit analysis of using a firing squad did not stand up. They will then be beheaded with a rusty hacksaw. If they do not understand it, they will be awarded official citizenship.

  34. Another question; As a closet smoker, I am concerned that higher premiums will be levied. It’s my dirty little secret and I lie out of shame and disgust with meself. :)

    Does NHS simply ask, or do they test blood for nicotine?

  35. Coming eventually to the UK.

    Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study
    25 Jun 2013

    Bankruptcies resulting from unpaid medical bills will affect nearly 2 million people this year—making health care the No. 1 cause of such filings, and outpacing bankruptcies due to credit-card bills or unpaid mortgages, according to new data. And even having health insurance doesn’t buffer consumers against financial hardship.

    /..
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148

  36. The Scottish government ignored the prick. NHS workers in Scotland will get the rise.

  37. To put it into perspective. All nurses along with members of the armed services, prison officers and judges will get a 1% pay rise. Some nurses will get more than 2.5%.

    I’m self employed, commodity prices have fallen drastically while other prices have risen. I’m taking a pay cut and a hefty one. I honestly don’t think only getting a 3% rise instead of a 4% rise is going to make that much difference to the nurses, it aint gonna break them. Not when a nurse’s average pay is over £30,000. They’ll still manage to put bread on the table which is more than some can say. They won’t be queuing up at any food banks, lots of people who work will.

  38. In response to Mary’s comment about the vanishing charity pages of Arseniy Yatsenyuk (reminiscent of Atlantic Bridge methinks) I’ve linked a video I only discovered today which says very much what my NJP article says about what we are not being told. It’s on the appropriate page.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/03/stating-the-obvious/#comment-445813

  39. @Fred:
    ‘I’m self employed, commodity prices have fallen drastically while other prices have risen. I’m taking a pay cut and a hefty one.’
    ———————

    You could always try getting a regular job…

  40. “You could always try getting a regular job…”

    And those people who have regular jobs, on zero hour contracts with supermarkets, what do you think they should try. Or the disabled who just can’t get a job but have seen their benefits slashed. Or those with the extra bedroom tax which they have to pay because there just aren’t any single bedroomed properties available what are they going to try?

    The nurses are getting the same rise as the armed services, prison officers and judges. Some are getting more. They already get better pay than those in the private sector and a very good pension as well. What is all the fuss about?

  41. Nice one Craig…

    Its good to get a wee Chuckle ..even on a blog that deals up shit n Corruption n evil n truths

    But because Ben taught me about Louis XIII cognac; a hundred bucks a shot…. And i bought a bottle… to shower it oot after reading great comedy ..is a Moratal Sin….

    NR …. You owe me a small Fortune Lol

    ” The derided, foil-hatted, conspiracy theorists are proving more right than wrong recently.

    It would not be a surprise if David Icke is also correct about the Reptilians. The next time anyone is lucky enough to stand beside a Royal, firmly grasp their ears and give a sharp tug upward. Their humanoid outer covering should slip off easily.

    And more Smiles… Welcome back Mary.

  42. DomesticExtremist 9.13pm.

    Stupid fucking comment.

  43. Brian; You bought a bottle? Now I have to visit. :)

  44. BREAKING:

    Another helicopter down in Norfolk.4 feared dead.

  45. Helicopter apparently civilian,reports of heavy fog….

    Is Beccles in Norfolk or Suffolk??

  46. Beccles is in Suffolk but right on the banks of the river Waveney which is the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. Lord Ballyedmond’s statley pile is near Gillingham which is just the other side of the river, in Norfolk.

    Just been confirmed that his Lordship is one fo the deceased which will no doubt get the conspiracy theorists going; ignoring the sheer foolishness of trying to fly through thick fog.

  47. A great parliamentarian and good man, Tony Benn, has died. Rest in Peace, Tony Benn, because peace was one of your best-remembered campaigns. And thank you. There are not many politicians you can say that of.

  48. I think the death of Tony Benn pretty well spells the death of Socialism in the Labour Party.

  49. Socialism died in the Labour Party the day Tony blair became leader.

  50. Kempe; “Socialism died in the Labour Party the day Tony blair became leader”

    Yes, New Labour, Thatcher boastful “greatest achievement”.

  51. A real sad day; Tony Benn was the most passionate of persons, yet never said a personal bad word about anybody, and is the only politician I can recall who admitted that he was wrong about a policy he once supported, namely nuclear power.

    We will not see his like again.

  52. Father forgive them….

    Felicity Arbuthnot writes of the change in Iraq law where nine year old girls can now legally marry. Another side effect of Bliar’s legacy.

    The US and Britain’s Paedophile Colony
    by Felicity Arbuthnot / March 13th, 2014

    Less than a month before the 11th anniversary of the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq, the near destruction of much of the country, heritage, culture, secularism, education, health services and all State institutions, the country is poised to revert “two thousand years” say campaigners.

    On February 25th, Iraq’s Cabinet approved a draft law lowering the age of legal marriage for females to nine years old.

    Iraq was, prior to the invasion, a fiercely secular country, with a broadly equal male, female workforce and with women benefiting from a National Personal Status Law, introduced in 1959, which remained “one of the most liberal in the Arab world, with respect to women’s rights.”

    The legal age for marriage was set at eighteen, forced marriages were banned and polygamy restricted. Cohesion between communities was enhanced and fostered by “eliminating the differential treatment of Sunnis and Shiites under the law (and erasing differentiation) between the various religious communities …” Women’s rights in divorce, child custody and inheritance were an integral part of the Law, with Article 14 stating that all Iraqis are equal under the law.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/03/the-us-and-britains-paedophile-colony/

  53. Ba'al Zevul (O Tempora! O Mores!)

    14 Mar, 2014 - 8:32 am

    “….ignoring the sheer foolishness of trying to fly through thick fog.”

    ….after dark. Jesus. And owned a helicopter charter company, too. Must have been pissed.

    RIP him, anyway, and Tony Benn too. The latter was always a ray of hope in the encircling gloom of Bliarism, but sadly ineffective at dissipating it. His like will not be seen again, as politicians these days are mass-produced from PVC by immigrant labour on a special homogenising machine. In Oxford, I believe.

  54. I thought it was Neil Kinnock who started “New Labour” in the wake of the Tory landslide of 1983. In fact we could go further back to the internal party soul-searching that led to the creation of the SDP in the wake of Maggie Thatcher’s victory in 1979. Then there’s Joe Gormley being a Special Branch informant in the 1970s …

  55. Two things about Tony Benn which I found unforgiveable. Otherwise I agree with what is being said about him.

    He picked up the phones for Blair in the 2005 election although he had condemned the Iraq War then of two years’ duration.

    ‘Little wonder that Benn was easily recruited by Blair to canvass disillusioned Labour voters, during the recent British General Election, for the imperialist Labour Party. The standpoint on imperialism in Socialist Register cannot combat Benn’s reactionary position but rather tends to reinforce it.’

    That was from Robert Fisk in The Independent in May 2005.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-let-us-rebel-against-poisonous-academics-and-their-preposterous-claptrap-of-exclusion-6146243.html

    ~~~
    It’s a pity Benn did not support the move to have Blair arraigned as a war criminal when he was president of STWC. A letter was signed by over 4000 people which sought the arraignment of Blair and his cabal for war crimes. It was addressed to Kofi Annan the Secretary General of the UN. A meeting to make a final decision was recorded thus in Tony’s new diary:-

    ‘Lindsey German and Nicholas Wood came to see me about the next stage in the campaign on the war crime question, about how we could advance the cause of the letter. There’s been no coverage in the press, although Kofi Annan has replied. We went on to discuss the whole question really of whether we were demanding a war crimes tribunal. My view is that you shouldn’t do that. I think it’s a complete waste of effort trying to put Blair and Bush on trial : (a) it won’t happen; (b) it’s so negative: ( c) it’s all about personalities.’

    He should have stood with the 4,000.

  56. Ba'al Zevul (O Tempora! O Mores!)

    14 Mar, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Ben – ‘Does NHS simply ask, or do they test blood for nicotine?’

    While it has been frequently suggested that treatment should be withheld or surcharges applied to smokers, the guiding principle of equal access for all, free at the point of delivery, still applies generally as far as I know. Anyone you meet in the NHS will ask you if you smoke, with a view to discouraging you, and, frankly, there’s no need for a nicotine test, as the aroma is quite distinctive. Me too, Ben. Wish I didn’t :-)

  57. Lord Ballyedmond RIP
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26573893

    The BBC are impressed that he was one of Northern Ireland’s richest men. Pal of Haughey.

    His entry on the Lords register. Extensive interests.

    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-ballyedmond/3693

  58. Ba'al Zevul (O Tempora! O Mores!)

    14 Mar, 2014 - 8:49 am

    “I thought it was Neil Kinnock who started “New Labour” in the wake of the Tory landslide of 1983. In fact we could go further back to the internal party soul-searching that led to the creation of the SDP in the wake of Maggie Thatcher’s victory in 1979. Then there’s Joe Gormley being a Special Branch informant in the 1970s”

    Sure, sure, but Blair actually got in, in part trading on Kinnock’s remaining , and Benn’s consistent, Left credentials. I was referring to the despair that set in within weeks of Blair’s triumph, on realising that we(1) had in fact elected another bloody Tory.

    (1) Loosely speaking. I’d voted SNP…

  59. If Ed Milliband gets rid of Union power in Labour (which ironically pushed for his leadership over the now Kissinger protege David) will it mean the only organised group remaining within the Party will then be the FOI? Mebbe thats been the plan all along only the mancunian meat-pie eaters are fast asleep.

  60. Mary; “Two things about Tony Benn which I found unforgiveable”

    Although an inspiration to millions throughout the decades, as Ba’al Zevul mentioned he was rather ineffectual at causing decisive change, and this because he was too much the gentleman in confronting the ruthless individuals that stood in the way. The reality is that believing that it’s “all about policies not personalities”, is only half correct, because if you exposed the hidden real reasons & the hypocrisy of these venal types that are supporting the bad policies, you ARE attacking the bad policies.

  61. “I thought it was Neil Kinnock who started “New Labour””

    It was

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUgaitskell.htm

    In truth “Thatcherism” should be called Gaitskellism, he was way ahead of Thatcher, the other evil seed in the creation of NuLabour was

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRhealeyD.htm

    A lot of info here

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/intro/search.cgi?zoom_query=labour+party&zoom_and=1

  62. Ba'al Zevul (O Tempora! O Mores!)

    14 Mar, 2014 - 9:46 am

    Diverting for a moment into someone else’s airspace –

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/14/malaysia-airlines-radar-idINDEEA2D05S20140314

    200 miles is indeed about the limit for a conventional S-band search radar.

    Hint as to why Malaysian air traffic control is disorganised – and they know it –

    http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/02/malaysia-to-launch-atc-centre-by-april/

  63. This is from the 1980s, when Tony Benn was younger and Channel Four was very good.

    They’re discussing the intelligence services:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvAAY7UiMH8

    Very spookie altogether.

  64. “Tony Benn”

    Let me explain how it works!.

    Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, John McDonnell, Jon Cruddas, Diane Abbott, etc, now, no one who claims to be a socialist could possible be in a far right party!, doesn’t make any sense, so what are the above doing in NuLabour, a party that has killed so many!, sent people to be tortured!, etc, etc.

    The answer is simple, they serve to give the FALSE impression that there is still a vistage of decency, justice and liberty in the NuLabour party, it keeps so many people voting for NuLabour!, it works a treat for the far right, it makes people think they have a choice, when in fact, they ‘don’t have a choice!.

  65. “so what are the above doing in NuLabour, a party that has killed so many!, sent people to be tortured!, etc, etc.”

    In the case of Skinner, their best to return to the founding principles. In the case of Abbott, riding a vehicle which takes them to minor media celebrity. Maybe they should have resigned, but where could they go, poor lambs?

    The only Right conspiracy you need invoke is Thatcher’s huge success in playing on the bourgeois aspirations of the floating voter. Old Labour having failed utterly to exploit enormous public discontent, Nu Labour was inevitable from then on.

  66. “Me too, Ben. Wish I didn’t :)”

    Thanks, B.

  67. I have no opinion on this issue, but thought it worth mentioning that CMOS technology is used in capsule colonoscopy procedures and in satellite guidance/navigation systems. So there is some common ground in your comment, Craig.

  68. Cameron’s tribute to Wedgie Benn was unnecessary and rude.
    He said that he rarely agreed with Tony Benn opinions. As if Cameron’s opinions on anything were anything more than a pee specimin.

  69. Can we get back to Danny’s Colon. I want to know how it ends!

  70. Tony Benn: How he defied the BBC on Israel 14 March 2014 Tony Benn, probably the last real socialist to serve in a British government, died today aged 88.

    I’m posting a short video of him below in action (long after his retirement from politics) in early 2009. It sums up what was so great about him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9cKcFG8hiQ

    Here he is using a three-minute interview on BBC news not to self-aggrandise but to subvert a BBC decision to refuse to publicise a charity appeal to help Palestinians in Gaza deal with the humanitarian crisis provoked by Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

    It was notably the first time the BBC had rejected an appeal for help from the Disaster Emergencies Committee. The decision was so embarrassingly craven towards Israel it ended up even being criticised by members of the British government, the BBC’s paymasters.

    In those three mins, Benn twice reads out the address for people to send in donations; points out that all the BBC staff he has spoken to objected to the management’s ruling; notes that the BBC decision was capitulation to Israeli pressure (a capitulation that continues to this day); and ends with a savage indictment of BBC policy by telling viewers the BBC will be responsible for the deaths in Gaza caused by the refusal to publicise the appeal.

    It’s an example of why Benn was that rare beast: a politician with truly democratic instincts. Another short video offers some condensed wisdom, with Benn arguing that the US and Britain fall short of being democracies.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-03-14/tony-benn-how-he-defied-the-bbc-on-israel/

    ~~~~

    That BBC decision of Mark Thompson and Caroline Thomson was disgusting and cruel.

  71. The late Lord Ballyedmond was not a pal of Charles Haughey. His name was Edward Haughey before he was ennobled although there is said to be no Haughey family connection.

    Read this for more info on him.

    Capitalist tyrant targeted by bomb on Co Louth border
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77927

    Tory party funder, Thatcher follower, supporter of Pinochet etc etc.

    Also read the comment from Barry lower down and others.

    Friend of tyrants and war criminals
    author by Barry – 32csmpublication date Déar Lún 17, 2006 19:11

  72. I don’t think anyone has mentioned the death of Bob Crow.

    Phil Jupitus in the Morning Star.

    A Poem to Bob Crow – Phil Jupitus

    I heard
    On the train
    We had lost
    A most singular
    Essex man
    Fighting man
    Union man
    Railed against injustice
    Made points
    And kept track
    Of the bastards

    So I wrote these lines
    On the same train
    And realised that
    In his memory
    None of us
    Should be
    Sleepers

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