marahfreedom

Archive for the ‘England’ Category

5 Articles on Why No Wars are needed to destroy ‘the West’ : Crony Level Extreme Awarding for ‘Samaritans’, A Bankrupt Also Bankrupts the State When Jailed, Lookalikes the Dictator’s choice . . . , Confetti Fiat Bonanza for Syria’s Opposition, Uruguay Teeters But on the Right Side – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 31st March 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, best practices, better judgments, better laws, England, spiritual abuse, unprofessional behaviour on March 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

ARTICLE 1

Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement – by Stephen C. Webster – Tuesday, March 27, 2012 15:52 EDT

A depiction of an arrested person holding a large quantity of U.S. currency. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,” Glik said in an ACLU media advisory. “I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”

The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,” Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory. “With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Glik isn’t the only American to face arrest for recording police officers in public. Others have been taken into custody in states like Florida and Illinois. A federal jury in Oregon, as well, awarded minor damages to a man who was arrested for filming an officer in 2009.

“The First Amendment includes the freedom to observe and document the conduct of government officials, which is crucial to a democracy and a free society,” ACLU Massachusetts staff attorney Sarah Wunsch concluded in the advisory. “We hope that police departments across the country will draw the right conclusions from this case.”

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Good on the recording, BAD on the reward. Too damn high! Instead they should offer this guy a job in enforcement and sack the worst in the police. Giving away 170K is so very wrong when a 401K is considered a retirement. This quantum of payment could lead to abuse of the system where staged abuse cases which are colluded on for exposure with so-called whistleblowers to defraud the tax payers of funds possibly splittingthe payout later on. Do a second investigation and end this pay-out practice at once. At most award what a journalist (not the plutocrat type journos) could get for any special ‘scoop’. 170K is s sign of corruption somewhere. The system is being tweaked to ‘feel good’ but still the THEFT continues, but in different form. 170K of taxpayer’s funds are excessive and corrupt!

ARTICLE 2

Dennis Rodman ‘extremely sick’ and ‘broke’ his lawyer claims as ex-NBA great faces jail time over ‘nearly $1million in unpaid child and spousal support’ – by Daily Mail Reporter – PUBLISHED: 23:39 GMT, 27 March 2012 | UPDATED: 15:16 GMT, 28 March 2012

His reputation for living dangerously has followed him since his retirement from the NBA.

But former basketball star Dennis Rodman is now ‘broke’ and ‘extremely sick’, according to his lawyer.

Attorney Linnea Willis says the 50-year-old is suffering from alcoholism and is barely able to cover his living expenses, as he fights off claims the Hall of Fame player owes nearly $1million in child and spousal support.

Rodman faces up to 20 days in jail for missed payments.

Legal woes: Dennis Rodman, pictured hosting a St Patrick’s Day bash in Las Vegas on March 17, faces up to 20 days in jail for missed payments

Court documents obtained by The Daily Record show as of March 1 Rodman owed $808,935 in child support for his nine- and ten-year-old children.

Rodman also owed $51,441 through March 1 in back spousal support, Jack Kayajanian, attorney for his ex-wife, Michelle Moyer, claims in the filings.

The news outlet reports Michelle Rodman is identified in the documents as a Costa Mesa, California resident. She is also requesting attorneys’ fees.

But the former athlete’s attorney says it’s unreasonable to expect Rodman can afford the $5,000 he has for one child from another relationship; and the $4,500 monthly payment for spousal and child support to Michelle Rodman.

‘Respondent Dennis Rodman is broke and cannot afford any additional fees,’ Mr Willis writes in filings on his behalf, adding that he is ‘extremely sick’.

‘…And in all honesty, Dennis, although a very sweet person, is an alcoholic,’ Mr Willis writes.

Together: Actor Dennis Rodman, with then-wife Michelle Moyer and children, in June, 2006

‘His sickness impacts his ability to get work. This case, especially his wife filling for divorce, has put him on a binge that I have never seen before. He is extremely hurt and extremely sick. He is often unable to obtain work because of this sickness. And his sickness is getting increasingly worse.

‘Dennis cannot afford his own monthly expenses. If the court awards attorney fees, it is setting Dennis up to be in contempt because you cannot get blood from a turnip,’ Mr Willis contends.

The attorney says those who have represented Rodman to date have worked pro bono.

Mr Willis claims Rodman this year has paid more in child support than he’s earned; and that he has only been able to pay by borrowing money from his finance manager, Peggy Williams, and his agent, Darren Prince, according to The Daily Record.

Mr Willis claims Rodman has made $8,000 this year, a staggering difference from the $570,000 in earnings he claimed at the time his wife filed for divorce.

The former couple married in 2003 on Rodman’s 42nd birthday, settling in Newport beach, California.

According to a Los Angeles Times article published in 2004, Rodman listed his monthly expenses then as more than $30,000. Michelle Rodman listed her monthly expenses as $17,000.

But in 2008 police were called to a domestic violence incident at a Los Angeles hotel.
Hall of Famer: Former Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman is called for illegal defense in a match against the New York Knicks in December, 1995

Hall of Famer: Former Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman is called for illegal defense in a match against the New York Knicks in December, 1995

Rodman pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor spousal battery charges and was sentenced to one year of domestic violence counselling and three years probation. He received 45 hours of community service.

Rodman later entered rehab for treatment for drug abuse, and appeared on Celebrity Rehab.

The reality television stint came long after Rodman retired from NBA basketball in the 1999-2000 season after a 14-year career, known then as one of the most revered rebounders in the NBA.

Rodman is scheduled for a court hearing in Orange County, California on Tuesday.

The discrepancy over his spousal and child support payments are not his only financial woes, however.

The Daily Record reports Rodman owes more than $350,000 in back taxes, which Mr Willis says were calculated incorrectly by a former accountant. He claims his client owes about $100,000.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

– Jackie, Wolfville Nova Scotia, 28/3/2012 02:01 – So he can afford parties, bling, fancy girlfriends, clothes, trips etc but owes 1 million in child support? What a louse! You would think providing for his kids should be his number one priority. > Yeah, well if the child support wasn’t a ridiculous unfair amount. Maybe, he wouldn’t be a “louse”

– amonavis, Hectic London, 28/3/2012 10:27
Rating   22

“His sickness impacts his ability to get work. This case, especially his wife filling for divorce, has put him on a binge that I have never seen before. He is extremely hurt and extremely sick. He is often unable to obtain work because of this sickness. And his sickness is getting increasingly worse”================ In other words he is a pathetic weakling who chooses to pour alcohol down his throat instead of manning up and looking after the children he created. Then has the nerve to present his weakness as “sickness”. Sickness is something like cancer – not overdoing the sauce, which is alcohol addiction, which is behavioural, not a disease.

– Harsh maybe, London, 28/3/2012 10:21
Rating   60

He is an alcoholic. That says it all.The court should force him into a rehab program to get him clean and sober. If he was sober he could earn money doing odd jobs in Holly Wood and Las Vegas. Putting him in jail won’t help anything.

– YoungSinatra559, United States, 28/3/2012 10:14
Rating   98

I’m sorry but what kind of lifestyle is his ex-wife and kids living to be owed that much money? I know he is a bit of an idiot to waste his cash on nonsense and at the time he had alot of money when the ex-wife’s claims were made but surely he should be paying somthing that is reasonable enough for them to live a decent comfortable life. Sounds like they bled him dry. He’s still an idiot though.

– Nav, Oxford, UK, 28/3/2012 08:37
Rating   63

A real shame. He is a good guy who got caught up in the showbiz lights. He was one of the best basketball players of all time and helped people like Jordan and Pipen shine, because he did all the dirty work. If anything, he was too generous and the party was always on him. Where are the good time “Friends” now when he needs some help ? I hope he lands on his feet and gets back on track.

– A wise guy, Smurf Village, 28/3/2012 08:32
Rating   55

I had met him back in Canada when I was working. He is one of the discussion person I never met. I remember he did push a boy who had cancer because the recognize him and he did ask him an autograph. He throw in my face some paper. He was steeling food in the fridge we had to put locker on them during the night to stop him. Already then he was drinking a lot. I just remember that experience was really bad. He on my list of the worst clients I never had!

– vero, Canada but now living in UK, 28/3/2012 08:06
Rating   4

While there is no doubt he needs to put his kids’ welfare before partying/boozing, I don’t see how his ex’s living expenses are $17.5k per month. And what is this “spousal support”?? Is this something he’d still have to pay if they didn’t have kids? What about if she was co-habiting with a new fella? The American judicial system confuses me…

– Sarah, Sussex, 28/3/2012 07:48
Rating   21

Just another fool who threw away millions of dollars. No sympathy here.

– PGA, King, USA, 28/3/2012 06:48
Rating   98

What a shock. Never saw this train wreck coming, did we?

– Jo Jo, Lima, USA, 28/3/2012 04:27
Rating   73

Jeremy Lin: Save your money.

– Ted, Fort Wayne, USA, 28/3/2012 03:54

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

If the solution for bankruptcy of an individual is to jail at 40+K a year on the taxpayer’s back, then the West won’t need any enemies. Instead of a honmeless person costing nothing on the street, the taxpayers get to pay for this persons’ food and lodging for as many years as the Judge decides.

Leave the West alone long enough (heck do trade sanctions and the West could immediately collapse from supporting prisoners alone . . . ) and the West will bankrupt themselves on ‘criminals’ sleeping and eating and being housed under the idiot ‘prison contractor enriching’ system (guess who’s relatives are the cronies) thanks to inpplicable and unreasanable laws.

Looks like the Soviet Cold War Era all over again, except this time the world isn’t going to allow any colonialism or proxy wars anymore, with Human Rights secure nations immune in any case. The Middle East looks like the last frontier and even then, those regions are increasingly peopled by eduicated people who will not tolerate any foreign incursions anymore. Palestine issue is the worst sideshow of course . . . such a small region of the world will not hold hostage 192 countries.

ARTICLE 3

How PM gave his Oxford chum top job (and a peerage) – By Andrew Pierce – PUBLISHED: 23:18 GMT, 26 March 2012 | UPDATED: 00:40 GMT, 27 March 2012

He had never been an MP or a councillor, but is Cameron’s closet friend
He is the first Tory chairman to be given office space in 10 Downing Street

He is one of the most influential men in the Conservative Party.

Yet he never gives interviews, has never stood for elected office, and is virtually unknown outside Westminster.

There has never been a Tory Party chairman like Andrew Simon Feldman.

He was given the job after the general election by David Cameron not because he has long political pedigree in the Conservative Party but for one reason only: he is Cameron’s closest friend.
Oxford friends: Andrew Feldman, circled top left, and David Cameron pose with Brasenose College tennis club pals

Oxford friends: Andrew Feldman, circled top left, and David Cameron pose with Brasenose College tennis club pals

This perhaps explains why he is known among his increasing number of detractors on the Tory benches – detractors who want him sacked for his role in the cash-for-access scandal – as the ‘crony chairman’.

When he was appointed there were inevitably arched eyebrows among the Tory faithful.

It was not just that he had never been an MP or even a councillor but he also had none of the clout of his more illustrious predecessors such as Cecil Parkinson and Norman Tebbit.

Trusted: Andrew Feldman is the first Tory chairman to be given office space in 10 Downing Street

There was further unease when Cameron rewarded his friend with a peerage at the end of 2010. ‘What was it for, other than being Dave’s mate?’ asked one senior Tory figure pointedly last night.

But, most controversially, he is the first Tory chairman to be given office space in 10 Downing Street.

He meets party donors there, as and when he chooses, appearing to breach the Parliamentary rules which prohibits party political business from being conducted on government premises.

Feldman, 46, is so intimately involved in the funding of the Tory Party that he was present at private dinners in the Downing Street flat when the Prime Minister was entertaining donors.

‘Cameron takes Feldman to all his donor meetings,’ said one senior Tory.

‘He butters them all up. He’s a businessman so can speak their language.’

Comparisons between Lord Feldman and Lord Levy – Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, who was dubbed Lord Cashpoint after bringing in millions of pounds from wealthy businessmen – are inevitable.

The irony is that money-raising is only one aspect of Lord Feldman’s role: another is to ensure that Cameron was never tainted, as Blair was, by rows over dodgy donations.

Even his most loyal friends will now concede that he has failed spectacularly in that task.

After all, it was Feldman who was responsible for the disastrous decision to bring in David Rowland, a multi-millionaire former tax exile who had been based in Guernsey for 40 years, as Tory treasurer in June 2010.

Rowland’s business practices had attracted considerable criticism in the years before he was appointed, and he was denounced as a ‘shady’ financier in a Commons motion over one particular deal.

He stood down just two months after he was appointed – and before he had even started the job – after the Daily Mail exposed the extent of his chequered business career and colourful private life.

Feldman was also responsible for the even more catastrophic appointment of Peter Cruddas, who this week resigned in disgrace as treasurer after his boasts to undercover reporters about his ability to arrange access to the Prime Minister.

Peter Cruddas, of CMC plc
Millionaire David Rowland pictured in London. He resigned as treasurer for the Conservative Party, before he even took up the position.

Feldman who was responsible for the disastrous decision to bring in David Rowland, right, a multi-millionaire former tax exile, as Tory treasurer in June 2010.  Feldman was also responsible for the even more catastrophic appointment of Peter Cruddas, who this week resigned after his boasts to undercover reporters

Senior donors had themselves warned Feldman against appointing both men.

But he simply ignored them because he was so desperate to find someone to do the job.

So who is Lord Feldman of Elstree, and how has he become so close to the seat of power?

Born into a well-off family, he went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Hertfordshire, where he won a place to study Law at Oxford.

It was at Brasenose College, Oxford, that he met Cameron.

They organised a college May ball together and discovered they had a mutual love of racquet sports (another similarity shared between tennis-playing Tony Blair and Lord Levy).
Feldman urged Cameron to run for the Tory leadership as the dark horse candidate when Michael Howard announced that he was handing on the baton in 2005

Encouragement: Feldman urged Cameron to run for the Tory leadership as the dark horse candidate when Michael Howard announced that he was handing on the baton in 2005

Since those college days, the friendship has been cemented, with Cameron describing Feldman as ‘one of my oldest and best friends’.

Like Cameron, Feldman got a First in his final exams; then he took a job with management consultants Bain & Co. before, in 1991, being called to the Bar and practising as a commercial barrister at one of the country’s top chambers.

His family owns Jayroma, a multinational textile company making ladies’ clothes, and in 1995, aged 29, he joined the firm, drawing a salary of £900,000 in one year alone.

It meant he was able to buy the £3million house in Holland Park, West London, where he lives with his wife Gaby and their three children round the corner from David Cameron’s house in Notting Hill.

Tory figures describe Feldman as likeable, friendly, extremely bright and unassuming. He skis regularly, enjoys yoga, and owns another house in Andalusia, southern Spain.

It was Feldman who not only urged Cameron to run for the Tory leadership as the dark horse candidate when Michael Howard announced that he was handing on the baton in 2005 after the party’s third successive general election defeat, but also masterminded his campaign.

Feldman helped run Cameron’s bid with ruthless efficiency, calling in favours from his network of contacts in the business world and raising tens of thousands of pounds in the process. Through his family clothing firm, Feldman himself donated £10,000 to the successful cause.

He was appointed deputy treasurer of the party in 2005, and – ironically given the circumstances today – immediately let it be known that he wanted to end the dependency on major donors such as Cruddas and Rowland.

‘He’s not comfortable with individuals giving large amounts. He wants a wider base of people giving smaller amounts,’ said a party official at the time.

But even before the Conservatives got into power, Feldman made the wrong call.

In 2007, he was chairman of the Leaders’ Club, a dining group for Tory donors who each gave a minimum £50,000 to party funds each year.
In 2007, Feldman was chairman of the Leaders¿ Club, a dining group for Tory donors who each gave a minimum £50,000 to party funds each year – they would have lunch or dinner in Mr Cameron¿s office in the Common

In 2007, Feldman was chairman of the Leaders’ Club, a dining group for Tory donors who each gave a minimum £50,000 to party funds each year – they would have lunch or dinner in Mr Cameron¿s office in the Common

They would have lunch or dinner in Mr Cameron’s office in the Commons and meet senior Tory politicians.

But this arrangement was in breach of Parliament’s rules, which do not allow party-political fundraising in the House of Westminster, and Mr Cameron was forced to ‘unreservedly apologise’ after he was rebuked by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer.

In 2008, Lord Feldman was appointed chief executive of the Tory Party and was given specific responsibility for attracting party donors. Yet he blundered in the summer of 2009.

With the then shadow chancellor George Osborne, they met the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at billionaire financier Nat Rothschild’s luxury villa in Corfu, where a possible £50,000 donation was discussed.

Donations from foreign nationals are illegal, although Feldman insists he was not soliciting money from Deripaska.

He was made joint chairman of the Conservative Party with the Muslim peer Sayeeda Warsi after the 2010 election. Since then he has emerged as one of the key players in Cameron’s inner circle of advisers.

When Cameron became Prime Minister, in his first Press conference with his deputy Nick Clegg, he pledged to end the old political culture where ‘tight-knit tribes make important decisions in wood-panelled rooms’.

Allowing the Tory chairman to talk to party donors in the comfort of a Downing Street office, or in the kitchen of the flat above, hardly fits in with that firm commitment to clean up politics.

Sir Alistair Graham, who was chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life which drew up the rules on party political funding, said Lord Feldman’s decision to hold meetings at No 10 is ‘entirely improper’.

He said: ‘The ministerial code says there has to be a clear divide between genuine government matters and overtly party political matters such as talking about donations. This is a clear breach of the rules. I would have thought that the Conservative Party had enough office space of its own without the chairman setting himself up in 10 Downing Street.’

[[[ *** RESPONSE ** ]]]

Isn’t this sort of post voted for (by the MPs at ‘Representative Democracy’ level very least, or at some kind of quorum based on London’s citizens ‘ True democracy’) and not installed by??? Amend the method of selection or prohibit installed posts. Very undemocratic. Also see below pic : Phenotype Favouritism, not much better than familial NEPOTISM. A ‘Spiritual Offence’ if anything, once formalized in the almost currently entirely corporeal code of law, this sort of selection (especially more so without vote) should be very apparent to all see those committing the act in the future.

Dictators are narcissists. Lookalikes make the best cronies? Mirror mirror . . .

ARTICLE 4

Britain to give Syria’s opposition £500,000 aid to ‘gain skills to build democratic future’ – By Nick Enoch – PUBLISHED: 20:34 GMT, 29 March 2012 | UPDATED: 20:41 GMT, 29 March 2012

William Hague: Funding will help ‘hard-pressed’ opposition document regime’s violations
Arab leaders back UN peace plan at summit in Baghdad
Assad vows to assist with plan – if his opponents end violence
Syrian rebels kill two army colonels

Britain will provide a further £500,000 to support Syria’s political opposition in the face of president Bashar Assad’s regime, the Foreign Secretary said.

William Hague is expected to announce the extra funding tonight during his annual speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet.

Mr Hague said the money would help ‘hard-pressed’ opposition groups to document the regime’s violations.

His announcement comes as Arab leaders at a regional summit in Iraq’s capital today endorsed a UN-backed peace plan for Syria which they said should be implemented ‘immediately and completely’.

William Hague said the aid would help opposition groups to document the Syrian regime’s violations. His announcement comes as Arab leaders at a summit endorsed a UN-backed peace plan for Syria drawn up by Kofi Annan (right)
The peace plan was agreed at the Arab summit in Baghdad (above)

The peace plan agreed at the Arab summit in Baghdad (above) calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centres, humanitarian assistance, the release of prisoners and free movement and access for journalists

The six-point plan, drawn up by Kofi Annan, calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centres, humanitarian assistance, the release of prisoners and free movement and access for journalists.

Assad has promised he will do all he can to ensure Mr Annan’s plan succeeds but has demanded a pledge from his opponents to halt violence.

In his speech, Mr Hague will set out that he has ‘agreed to provide a further half a million pounds of British support to Syria’s political opposition’.

‘It includes agreement in principle for practical non-lethal support to them inside Syria,’ Mr Hague said.
President Bashar Assad smiles as he speaks to local supporters during a tour in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs earlier this week

Amateur footage shows smoke rising from buildings in Homs, Syria, yesterday

Syrian rebels take their position behind a sand barrier, in the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood in Homs. Britain has pledged ‘non-lethal’ aid to help them ‘build a democratic future’

‘It will help hard-pressed opposition groups and brave civil society organisations inside and outside the country to document the regime’s violations and gain the skills and resources they need to help build a democratic future for Syria.’

The Government has, over the last eight months, given £450,000 of practical support to the Syrian opposition, including media skills training to internal activists and advice to Syrian human rights defenders.

The support is intended to aid Syria’s political opposition groups to develop themselves as a credible alternative to Assad’s regime and develop the necessary capability to realise an orderly transition to a more democratic Syria.

Britain sent an expert mission to the region last month to help document the atrocities that have taken place.

Assad vows to aid peace mission

Bashar Assad’s promise to do all he can to ensure the peace plan came as rebels carried out a string of bold attacks, killing two army colonels and kidnapping a high-ranking pilot.

The president’s condition of an express promise from the opposition to stop attacks could complicate Mr Annan’s attempts to bring an end to more than a year of violence that the UN says has killed more than 9,000 people.

Syrian president Bashar Assad talks to officials during a tour in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs earlier this week

The opposition has cautiously welcomed Annan’s six-point plan, which calls for Assad’s regime to implement a cease-fire.

But the opposition is also deeply sceptical Assad will carry it out, believing he has accepted the plan just to win time while his forces continue their assault to crush the uprising.

Armed rebels are unlikely to stop fighting unless offensives by security forces halt.

In speeches at the Arab leaders’ annual summit in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, yesterday, many made clear they felt the burden was on Assad’s regime to halt the fighting.

A Syrian rebel stands guard in front of a damaged building in Homs

‘The Syrian government is required today to listen to the voice of reason and wisdom and stop all kinds of violence,’ the emir of Kuwait told the gathering.

In comments carried on Syria’s state news agency, Assad said: ‘Syria will spare no effort to make (Annan’s) mission a success and hopes it would return security and stability to the country.’

But he added that Mr Annan must also get a commitment from armed groups to cease their ‘terrorist acts’ against the government.

Throughout the crisis, Assad’s regime has held that it faces not a popular uprising against his rule but a campaign of violence by terrorists.

Syria’s uprising began a year ago with peaceful protests against Assad, which were met with a fierce crackdown by security forces.

A damaged Syrian military tank in Homs, Syria. Throughout the crisis, Assad’s regime has held that it faces not a popular uprising against his rule but a campaign of violence by terrorists

Since then, army defectors and protesters who took up weapons have formed militias, initially to protect protesters.

But as the bloodshed rose, they turned to seizing pro-opposition neighbourhoods, towns and areas and launching attacks on government forces, usually raids on checkpoints or on army convoys.

The new attacks today were particularly bold.

In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, gunmen opened fire on two army colonels in the central Bab al-Hadid roundabout, killing them.

The state news agency Sana said the four attackers belonged to an ‘armed terrorist group’.

In eastern Ghouta, a suburb a few kilometres from Damascus, gunmen kidnapped the pilot, a brigadier, while on his way to work,

Rebels also attacked an army truck and killed two soldiers in the central province of Hama, activists said.

Fresh clashes also broke out between government troops and army defectors in the north and south, and activists said security forces reportedly killed at least 16 civilians across Syria, including a child and two women.

Sana said authorities successfully liberated five military personnel who it said were kidnapped earlier by an ‘armed group’ in the northern province of Idlib.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

This has always been the strategy of the Tories give Billions away overseas of tax payers,aged pensioners money and allowances ect.In the hope that,overseas countries will buy from British manufactureing companies,so the Tory owners give big donations to the Tory Party.

– Jim Lamb, Queensland Australia, 31/3/2012 05:00
Rating (0)

They cant chuck it away fast enough!!

– Sues, Northampton, 30/3/2012 22:58
Rating   13

‘To gain skills in democracy’, are these idiots in Westminster kidding. As for ‘democracy’, how about they get us out of the EU Dictatorship, that parasitic UNDEMOCRATIC blight on the UK, that we have undemocratically had foisted on us, and are being bled dry to fund.

– TW, London, 30/3/2012 22:55
Rating   14

Oh, won’t you people in government ever learn?

– Andrew, Bournemouth, 30/3/2012 22:50
Rating   9

Wouldn’t you just love to line up every person in Parliament and shoot them? They are totally despicable and anti British. – The Fall of Britain and UKIP member, This government hasn’t a clue!, 30/3/2012 21:12 ______________________ CERTAINLY NOT!…… … The lady who hoovers the carpet at weekends is a lovely old soul…………….!

– (Old) Robert , Worcester UK, 30/3/2012 21:44
Rating   5

So nice that the government has so much tax payers money to throw around, aide, welfare, the Soviet EU, it goes on and on. The taxes go up the borrowing continues. This ‘conservative government is just neoLabour, exactly what they do, tax, borrow waste and spend. Every party’s policy.

– Jim, Soke of Peterborough,Soviet EU, 30/3/2012 21:23
Rating   15

Wouldn’t you just love to line up every person in Parliament and shoot them? They are totally despicable and anti British.

– The Fall of Britain and UKIP member, This government hasn’t a clue!, 30/3/2012 21:12
Rating   13

Waste of money!

– Wakeuptheworld, London UK, 30/3/2012 20:13
Rating   15

Think how many pasties that would buy.

– stuart, chesterfield.derbyshire, 30/3/2012 18:00
Rating   14

Its a JOKE, Barmy Britian handing out aid to any one, anyhow, anyplace… What the heck is going on? ALL overseas aid should STOP NOW!! Plenty to be done HERE.

– Ali, Lincs, 30/3/2012 17:26

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Scraps of paper with lots of zeros is not real aid. If they sent food or blankets that would be more meaningful. Scholarships (indoctrination) are free as many people who can be squeezed into a room with a droning lecturer or repeating film. A machine prints those dollars on paper. Paper is worth not very much. 500K of nada is what was sent to Syria.

That ‘scholarship’ (worth x days of seated rights in a lecture hall is for the Syrians). Please warm at our expense! Might as well watch some reality TV, less pretentious if propaganda is what this is all about. A slap in the face of the Syrians if anything. A bunch of leaflets on the UNHCR will do just fine. Why the 500K pretense? The English are not giving anything real.

ARTICLE 5

Uruguay against any Falklands’ blockade; supports trade with the Islands – Friday, March 30th 2012 – 06:47 UTC

Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro said that the Uruguayan government does not oppose trade with the Falkland Islands and any undertaking to that effect by the private sector is welcome since “Uruguay does not agree with any commercial or economic blockade of the Islands”.

Foreign Secretary Almagro, as with Cuba, “we do not support blockades” Foreign Secretary Almagro, as with Cuba, “we do not support blockades”

“Supporting any form of blockade would be a violation of the Malvinas inhabitants’ human rights and the same we say with Cuba, we repeat in this case” said Almagro.

The minister added that Uruguayan business people make business “with whom they wish and with whom they can…Uruguay, the administration of President (Jose) Mujica from the very first moment never said that a commercial blockade of the Islands was needed”.

Nevertheless Uruguay supports Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Falklands and recently co-sponsored a Mercosur resolution barring all Falklands’ flagged vessels from regional ports.

Almagro’s statements come at a crucial moment for the government of President Mujica who is going through one of its worst moments in the bilateral relation with Argentina because of the continuous trade restrictions imposed by the administration of President Cristina Fernandez. President Mujica has encouraged his ministers and Uruguayan business people to search for new markets.

The controversy about trade with the Falklands was born out of a piece from London’s The Sun saying that Uruguay ‘was breaking the trade embargo imposed on the Falklands by Argentina’, with a business delegation that will be flying to the Islands with a chartered aircraft next April 13.

A group of 19 Uruguayan businessmen had already visited Falklands during February seeking for new opportunities mostly in the agribusiness area.

Guillermo Wild, vice-president of the Uruguayan-British chamber of Commerce said the piece from The Sun was ‘confusing’.

“Uruguay has traded with the Falklands continuously during 200 years. Trade was never interrupted and now we have a concrete problem with Argentina so any trade from Uruguay with the Falklands outstands and is motive of headlines for the English media”, said Wild.

Furthermore “there is not such economic blockade as mentioned by The Sun. The only impediment is for vessels flying the Falklands flag to access Mercosur ports. Besides that any vessel and sail in and out of the Falklands”.

Wild said the whole thing blew out of proportion when The Sun got hold of “a copy of a note I sent Falklands’ businesses on the possibility of a cargo charter flight and if anyone was interested to let us know”

“An air cargo company showed up at the Chamber and asked about the possibility of making a flight to the Falklands and consulted us on possible business contacts. What we did was to contact local businesses but so far no one has turned up”, revealed Wild.

The vice-president of the Uruguay-Britain Chamber said the trade situation from Uruguay with the Falklands is “business as usual” with the only exception for Falklands flagged vessels, which was agreed at last December’s Mercosur summit and ‘sent the wrong message’.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Try a limited blockade targeting only England and the Commonwealth nations (where the English Monarch is the head of that organisation – any countries choosing to drop out of Commonwealth can resume trade with Mercosur . . . ). Uruguay’s suggestion plays both sides as much as the above suggestion does. 30% (pro-West) /70% (pro-South American nations)! Should Uruguay concur with the above selective blockade suggestion, we’ll all be sure that Uruguay is on the right side of things.

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2 Articles Relating to Royalty : Pro-Tory NLP article with a pro-EU response, Malay Intransigence? (or out of touch? otherwise cynical neglect?) Borne of Uncontrolled Immigration and Institutionalised Apartheid – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 26th March 2012

In Abuse of Power, Anders Behrin Breivik, Charlemagne, England, Imperial Aachen, Imperial Europe, Imperial Germany, Islam, Knights Templar, Malaysia, misplaced adoration, non-Muslim rights, non-Muslim Rights in a Muslim country on March 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

ARTICLE 1

A load of codswallop! Labour MP’s astonishing outburst at plan to rename Big Ben tower for the Queen – a ‘fifth-generation German’ – by Simon Walters And Brendan Carlin – PUBLISHED: 02:07 GMT, 25 March 2012 | UPDATED: 11:58 GMT, 25 March 2012

Outburst: Ex-miner Ronnie Campbell MP described the Queen as a ‘fifth generation German’

A left-wing Labour MP last night launched a campaign to stop Big Ben tower being renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Ex-miner Ronnie Campbell said he resented being ‘ruled over by fifth-generation Germans who changed their name from Battenberg to Windsor’.

The anti-monarchist denounced a plan backed by Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Labour’s Jack Straw to rename  the tower containing Big Ben the Elizabeth Tower as ‘a load of  codswallop’.

The MP for Blyth Valley in Northumberland said: ‘I don’t think the Queen would want it. She is probably embarrassed.

These MPs are only doing it to suck up to her. Big Ben has always been known as  Big Ben and always will be. It is ludicrous to change it.

‘It would be much better to rename Heathrow Airport or the new London skyscraper, The Shard, after her. At least they have been built in her lifetime: Big Ben is older than she is.’

PM chimes in to back calls to rename Big Ben landmark Elizabeth Tower after the Queen

The tower’s official name is the Clock Tower, but it is known universally as Big Ben, the nickname of its bell.

Praise: Despite his anti-Royal views Mr Campbell said now was not the time to abolish the Monarchy, because the Queen was ‘a nice lady’

A lesser-known tower, completed in 1860, was named the Victoria Tower in honour of Queen Victoria.

Time for change? Big Ben may be renamed the Elizabeth Tower

Mr Campbell said: ‘Every socialist bone in my body tells me we should abolish the Monarchy as an outdated institution that nurtures a class  system based on birth, not worth.

‘Why should we be ruled over by families descended from robber  barons, bandits and illegitimate heirs?

‘Or, in the case of the current lot, fifth-generation Germans who changed their name from Battenberg to Windsor during the First World War.’

Mr Campbell also said the Queen had ‘no right to lord it’ over ordinary working-class people like him.

‘I bend my knee to no one,’ he continued. ‘Without the Monarchy, there would be no aristocrats owning vast swathes of our green and pleasant land simply because their ancestors stole it from the previous occupants.’

Mr Campbell claimed his own  family of miners had done more for Britain than the Queen.

‘It is a better legacy than waving from cars and opening Parliament while wearing a heavy crown,’ he said.

But despite his anti-Royal views, now was not the time to abolish the Monarchy, Mr Campbell said, because the Queen was ‘a nice lady’.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

But despite his anti-Royal views . . . because the Queen was ‘a nice lady’. . . . (this is a ‘u-turn’ type of article, draw’em in, key’em up then make a sudden u-turn – right at the end in this case. Wow DM how pro-Tory though semi subtle can DM get? The sod just expressed support of the Queen DM, though the title condemns on their behalf. Please report honestly instead of being manipulative, or DM will be insulting the intelligence with all this pro-royal propaganda! NLP closing statement alert!

Germany and France backed by a NORMALIZED and transparent 4th Reich, and a neo-Imperial Frankish Imperator via the EU, should just revive Charlemagne’s Lion Throne (Imperial Capital at Aachen, with vassal Kings in Spain, France and Germany? Africa would be pleased to provide REAL Lions, or would the EU prefer to cast replicas in solid gold for effect as well . . . heck have both . . . would convert a whole lot of weak minded ‘Sand N1ggers’ and ‘Gooks’ to Xianity (if Germany’s neo-paganiss do not dominate the religious scene – Paganism btw is more PC than Xianity) at once . . . WH40K! Emperors don’t die, but become more than the living . . . their children’s iniquities or inaccuracies being punished accordingly, those able to hear would doubtless fight on – in this case for the EU.

. . . though PC EU would probably ferret out those who were victims of proselytization (also what would the neo-nazis and Templars say???) and declare England a mere colony and abolish the monarchy for the English since they need ‘codswallopers’ like Mr.Campbell to throw semi-obvious counter-counter propaganda [ . . . ] those gemstones mentioned earlier would also be returned to the rightful owners [ . . . ] . But would the PC Germans consider the original inhabitants, Irish, Scots and Welsh as the original sovereigns rather than the 5th generation German who waged war AGAINST Germany the motherland in WWII? And if not under consideration for TREASON against Europe, what does the south-eastern portion of the North Atlantic Isles (England), represent but a Barony (see note 1) comprising East Wessex up to South Anglia (North Anglia being Danish territory though originally Scottish) at most?

Image

Note 1
– Considering that England is only less than one quarter the size of India or the EU
– if India and EU were proper Kingdoms
– Africa and Russia would be true Empire size, China, Europe and Old Rome (the planetary/Archon worshippers under the Legions) barely making the size requirement

– England unless with every other ethnic group’s territory (with Wales, Scotland and Ireland all brutally colonized, probably not considering the German link through the Angle conquest later but maybe under EU auspices, only if those 3 kingdoms want to)
– England on their own (East wessex to South Anglia) would be a Barony.

The long passed Charlemagne would never have allowed a claim of Royal title ahead of a Throneless heart of the EU European Empire and probably led to this inspired backlash. Doubtless the greatest among that era would not tolerate a smaller area led by one of his distant scions to ATTACK Germany (how could they?). Claim sovereignty over what that one still considers sovereign territory via the EU.

Germany and France doubtless will benefit much from close consideration of what Charlemagne would have thought and reinstatement of the Frankish Empire under Constitutional Monarchy (what else is the Western portion of EU after all??? A spiritual continuation of France, Germany and Spain, being vassal Kings under a Frankish Emperor probably to match and equal what the Commonwealth or whats left of the Commonwealth is . . .).

Image

England being quite un-PC though always acting as if England was PC,  and not suitably sized to warrant a kingdom title (size wise Charlemagne would never allow the use of the Royal title by such a small territory, even the whole of the Atlantic Isles would probably be a Duchy at most), the English have been so insulting and ‘British’ for so long, that no unity could really count, could under EU, after straigtening out the sovereignty issues with the Triple Crown (of Ireland, Wales and Scotland), re-formalise itself as an independent Barony based from East Wessex to South Anglia region which pledges allegiance to the Imperial Capital of Aachen in Germany (after all the Battenburgs are 5th generation Germans so why keep up the creepy name 1917 change to ‘Windsor’ from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha – thats the REAL name of the ‘English’ Royals btw – pretense, might as well revive House Hanover (truly the last pure English line) as the apex English family which is 100% English pureblood . . . ) with that royal title reduced to one of nobility at most.

The NWO needs reshuffling, the head of EU being a FRANKISH pure blood European from Charlemagne’s Merovingian line if still traceable. EU should also reinstate Old Frankish as the EU’s national and court language, and DROP English which belongs in a small south-eastern corner (much like the Balkans perhaps?) of the North Atlantic Isles as a local dialect instead. Russia, Africa, India and China, could start learning Old Frankish instead of English here on. The other nations worldwide should also learn this language of a potential future Imperial European Court. (Hitler may have been Charlemagne reborn who knows, but society, life experiences and upbringing did not contribute well to the expression of the conquering instinct . . . that and France was no longer close to Germany at that point . . . ). EU is the European (perhaps Imperial European) revival after all with England a vassal fief at very most. The trappings are waiting to be formalized with the re-Imperialisation of Aachen . . . this one’s for good side of Anders Breivik (the Fifth Columnist Outer Breivik, not the Fifth Columnist Killer Breivik . . .) and the good side of Hitler (the Nazi franchise Hitler, not the Nazi-Auswitch Hitler . . .). . . depending on how EU fares, those considered mad in this sick era could true champions be, in a revival . . .

ARTICLE 2

Sultan: Set aside political differences – Friday, 23 March 2012 17:45

SHAH ALAM- The Sultan of Selangor on Monday advised all state lawmakers, regardless of political affiliation, to cooperate with the state administration for the sake of the people’s welfare.

“Political differences shouldn’t be a barrier (for any assemblyperson) to assist the state in (carrying out) measures that would benefit the people,” said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah when opening the state assembly.

He reminded the elected representatives to put the people’s and state interests before party interest.

He added that lawmakers play a key role in scrutinising policies and programmes to ensure they have a positive impact for both people and the state.

The Sultan also advised lawmakers to debate intellectually, not emotionally, and to voice out the views of the people in the House.

“Every matter (debated in the House) should be judged wisely and fairly, based on the merits and substance of the proposal itself, not just the person who made it,” he said.

He praised the state for achieving 5.9 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth last year and attracting RM8.74 billion investments.

However, the Sultan also reminded the Selangor government to protect the state’s forest reserves, water catchment areas and river reserves.

“Encroachment must be eradicated and approval shouldn’t be given for development projects in these areas,” he said in his address.

Finally, the Sultan also cautioned the state to preserve Malay reserve land and prevent it from being transferred to non-Malay individuals or companies.

-Selangor Times

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

“Every matter (debated in the House) should be judged wisely and fairly, based on the merits and substance of the proposal itself, not just the person who made it,” the Sultan said.

How does the below sound to the Sultan? Someone who has the ear of the Sultan needs to stress how important the below 3 items are :

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism (Article 1 of the UNHCR, non-Asabiya in Islam, non-“Al-Fitrah”)
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy. (Article 18 of the UNHCR, Qur’an 2:256 “let there be no compulsion in religion)
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.

Would never do to claim double standards against you-know-who, but for certain the 3 items are already well known to the Sultan. Why is this institution being so oblique if not obtuse?

Political differences shouldn’t be a barrier for any assemblyperson to assist the state in carrying on measures that would benefit the people,” but should the state not act as required per the state’s responsibility to remove any such remaining political differences?

The dual system of citizenships based on race and face doubtless make carrying out any measures to benefit the people more difficult. Would be unconscionable for the state to continue these political differences? Tacit approval by inaction only weakens the right and voice of those who should act at a considerate pace. The dual system of citizenships (aka non-Bumi / Bumi) based on race and faith, doubtless make carrying out any measures to benefit the people more difficult.

If the petitioned will not bend to the truth, (do not wait till) then the truth bends the petitioned. The socio-political fallout of this Bumi /non-Bumi divide is very serious as of now, and cannot be ignored. Let Malaysia adhere to what being a signatory of UNHCR Article 1 requires, and consider the disenfranchisement of non-Muslim and non-Malay citizens who have always been forthcoming and supportive of the institution that keeps Malaysian flaws uncorrected. Act in the interest of humanity, be Royalty to all men not just men of your own ethnicity or own faith. Continued neglect to address these issues is unconscionable.

Sultan Idris said set aside political differences via Article 1 of the UNHCR. Well The best way to to this is to end apartheid. Religious difference can also be ended but this will need Article 18 of the UNHCR. Who better than the Royal Collective of Malaysian Princes to make the initiative? We’re not waiting for a 10,000 B.C. (2008 Roland Emmerich) or Arab Spring now are we? These are basic human rights elucidated in the UNHCR, shall we all leave the 3rd World status behind from here on . . .

“AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU (you here refers to any formally converted Muslim person) THAT YOU (you here refers to any any formally converted Muslim person who has consensually in full awareness and without coercion and in free will embraced that faith)  FIGHT NOT IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH, AND FOR THOSE WEAK , ILL TREATED AND OPPRESSED AMONG MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, WHOSE CRY IS: “OUR LORD! RESCUE US FROM THIS TOWN WHOSE PEOPLE ARE OPPRESSORS; AND RAISE FOR US FROM YOU ONE WHO WILL PROTECT, AND RAISE FOR US FROM YOU (you here refers to any formally converted Muslim person) ONE (one here refers to any formally converted Muslim person who has consensually in full awareness and without coercion and in free will embraced that faith) WHO WILL HELP.” SURAH AN-NISA -verse 75

“THE ONE WHO WORKS FOR ASABIYA, CALLS FOR ASABIYA OR FIGHTS FOR ASABIYA IS NOT ONE OF US….AND HE IS LIKE THE (censored in case of lese majeste) WHO LIVES IN (censored in case of lese majeste)“. PROPHET MUHAMMAD(PBUH). 14+ centuries on, the Quran can be applied, well in obvious cases like these at any rate.

Asabiyyah is most strong in the nomadic phase, and decreases as civilization advances. As this Asabiyyah declines, another more compelling Asabiyyah may take its place; thus, civilizations rise and fall, and history describes these cycles of Asabiyyah as they play out. – Ibn Khaldun, Tunisian Ruler and Historiographer.

Ibn Khaldun

2 Articles on West and Middle East Compared (soft strategy for conquest), 2 Articles On Proactive albeit indirect actions by the Media establishment for the 99% – resposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 11th march 2012

In 99%, Abuse of Power, amendments to law needed, bad laws, best practices, better laws, emo subculture, England, Equitable Distribution, Freedom of Expression, freedom of speech, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Maximum Wage, Media Neutrality, oligarchy, Plutocracy, political correctness, preventing vested interest, social freedoms, Socialism, soul, soul binding, soul theft, subculture persecution, term limits, too damn high, voting methods, voting strategy on March 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

ARTICLE 1

Number of European criminals in British jails DOUBLED in last ten years… with 12% of all prisoners now from outside the UK

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 15:31 GMT, 10 March 2012 | UPDATED: 15:37 GMT, 10 March 2012

The last decade has seen the number of foreign offenders locked up every year in English prisons more than double, with only a few actually completing their full sentences.

With the majority of them guilty of serious crimes, receiving sentences of four years or more.

Official figures show the number of European offenders sent to jail for violent or sexual offences has tripled in recent years.

English prisons are seeing a large increase in criminals from EU countries, new official statistics have revealed

Despite there being a scheme in place to repatriate foreign offenders for some time, only 10 have been sent back in the last few months under existing arrangements.

The statistics were uncovered in parliament by Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood, who sits on his party’s international affairs committee.

Horwood said that Britain could save millions by returning offenders to their home countries under the new scheme. The cost of keeping one prisoner locked up for a year is more than £30,000.

Mr Horwood told the Daily Telegraph said: ‘This represents a staggering cost to the British taxpayer for looking after prisoners from other European Union countries who are in the UK.

‘I think the Government should certainly not be contemplating opting out of the one EU-wide scheme which gives us the possibility of sending these prisoners home to serve sentences in their own country.’

The prison population in England and Wales is at 98 per cent capacity, affecting jails like HMP Pentonville in London

Last month the prison population in England and Wales reached 98 per cent capacity – a figure of 57,583.

Offenders from the European Union make up more than four per cent of the total.

Foreign nationals make up 12 per cent of the total prison population, with most coming from Poland, Jamaica and Ireland.

The number of EU nationals in English jails is 2,696, 10 years ago that number was less than half that – 1,321.

The biggest increases were in violence against the person (196 to 610), sexual offences (75 to 348).

Drug offences have actually fallen slightly in the last 10 years, from 524 in 2002 to 441 in 2011.

Last year 949 EU nationals were sentenced to four years or more, with a further 772 given prison sentences of between one and four years.
Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Walter in Germany, I do not know if you are German or not, but i am amazed by your comment about xenophobes, I believe that it was the Germans who believed themselves to be the master rate, and with the rise of the far right still do, even there bullying of Greece via the EU shows that things have not changed that much.

– Smudge RN Falklands Vet/ and RMR, Worcester, 10/3/2012 20:31
Rating   1

You might be interested to learn that 30 seconds research show that the proportions in other countries are:- France 20%, Germany 26%, Spain 35%, Italy 37%, Sweden 28%, Norway 32%, Austrailia 20%. So, perhaps the UK at 12% is not doing so bad after all!! The full picture usually gives a better perspective, but, hey ho, this is the DM.

– Gary, Glad to be free from the UK, 10/3/2012 20:19
Rating   2

And all our politicians are waiting for someone else to do something about it.

– Paul, Liverpool, 10/3/2012 20:00
Rating   21

That will be down to good’ole B.Liar, Plunkitt and co. Nobody wanted to hear it back in the early 2000’s…and apparently ‘nobody’ voted for these idiots -time and time again. Still fewer ‘nobody’s’ wanted our boy’s to be killed in a ‘toilet’ as one man said earlier…and ‘nobody’ wanted the banks to be allowed to destroy our economy… Its pretty not ironic that NOBODY wants to see, hear or listen to Milli-Bland nor Mr. Balls at the moment… One thing is for sure. The treaties that Labour signed us up to for before they were hauled out of office….NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO REMOVE THESE CRIMINALS IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE…

– Dean, eermm…not me…, 10/3/2012 19:57
Rating   23

Well, aren’t we just amazed by this revelation – not

– lulu, Yorkshire, 10/3/2012 19:52
Rating   26

and we are not allowed to say what we think about them.

– Alan, Huddersfield, 10/3/2012 19:42
Rating   32

Bill their home countries !

– Robbie, Sidmouth UK, 10/3/2012 19:35
Rating   29

soon as there charged send them back to there home country to serve there sentence why should taxpayers have to keep them here.

– rick, lincoln, uk, 10/3/2012 19:34
Rating   30

return all of them to france as most will have come thru that country, let the eu masters sort it because our lunatic MPs cant

– jim rooney, leeds england, 10/3/2012 19:25
Rating   40

The Labour Legacy lives on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on………………………………………………………………………………..

– Disillusioned, Middle England, 10/3/2012 19:25

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Heres how Osama should have taken out England. Pay for as many tickets to England as possible for uneducated and impoverished, hopeless future-type 3rd world Muslims who are willing to shout about religion in the middle of the street or be rude and offensive to ‘underdressed’ Muslim women in England, pick random fights with unknown people, then get themselves locked up for a few years. Repeat when released before leaving – then before long a few million Muslims multiplied by 40+K a year (thats the cost of per prisoner yearly – how could that cost so much for a single cell and ‘gruel’, most poor 99% types survive on far less than 40+K a year .  . . ) should put England under.

ARTICLE 2

Stoned to death for being an emo: NINETY Iraqi students killed for having ‘strange hair and tight clothes’

Number of deaths could be even higher
Cleric calls the stonings ‘an act of terrorism’
Ministry of Interior ‘complicit’ in the killings

By Paul Milligan PUBLISHED: 10:55 GMT, 10 March 2012 | UPDATED: 18:59 GMT, 10 March 2012

More than 90 Iraqi students have been stoned to death for their Emo haircuts by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after Iraq’s  interior ministry dubbed it ‘devil worshipping’.

Iraq’s Moral Police released a statement on the interior ministry’s website condemning the ’emo phenomenon’ among Iraqi youth, declaring its intent to ‘eliminate’ the trend.

The move is part of a wider clampdown on young people taking on what government officials call ‘Western appearances’ in Iraq.
Iraqi activists said this unnamed teenager was brutally killed by religious police for having an ’emo’ hairstyle

Iraqi activists said this unnamed teenager was brutally killed by religious police for having an ’emo’ hairstyle

‘The Emo phenomenon or devil worshipping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate (the phenomenon) as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,’ the statement read.

‘They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationary that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities.’

Since the statement was published religious extremists have been harassing and killing teenagers with ‘strange’ or ’emo’ appearances.

Religious extremists have been harassing and killing teenagers with ‘strange’ or ’emo’ appearances

A group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, according to activists, activists told the Cairo-based al-Akhbar website.

The armed men are said to belong to ‘one of the most extremist religious groups’ in Iraq.

‘First they throw concrete blocks at the boy’s arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead then, they start all over again,’ one person who managed to escape told Al-Akhbar.

Iraq’s moral police was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter Baghdad schools and pinpoint students with such appearances, according to the interior ministry’s statement.

The exact death toll remains unclear, but Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, an NGO dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges ‘between 90 and 100.’

‘What’s most disturbing about this is that they’re so young,’ she said.
This ’emo’ youth was one of nearly 100 who were targeted for having a western hairstyle or wearing ‘American jeans’

This ’emo’ youth was one of nearly 100 who were targeted for having a western hairstyle or wearing ‘American jeans’

Al-Bayaty said the killings appear to have been carried out by extremist Shia militias in mostly poor Shia neighborhoods and said she suspected ‘there’s complicity of the Ministry of Interior in the killings.’

Photos of the victims were released on Facebook, causing panic and fear among Iraqi students.
WHAT IS EMO?

Described as both a cult and sect, it’s name derives from the word ‘emotional’

Its teen followers dress in black, favouring tight jeans, T-shirts, studded belts and sneakers or skater shoes.

Hair is often dyed black and straightened, and worn in a long fringe brushed to one side of the face.

Music also plays a critical role, Emos like guitar-based rock with emotional lyrics – bands such as My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World, and Dashboard Confessional are particular favourites.

They regard themselves as a cool, young sub-set of the Goths.

With the trend comes accusations of self-harming and suicide – something its followers strongly deny.

A young man with long hair was among those fearful at the  government-ordained harassment of teenagers with Western appearances.

‘I have long hair but that doesn’t mean I’m an Emo. I’m not less of a man if I have long hair. Let’s not say that if I have long hair, I’m a homosexual, but I have long hair because this is my style, this is me,’ he told Iraq’s Al-Sharqiya television network.

Safiyyah al-Suhail, an MP, said on Thursday that ‘some students have been recently arrested because they were wearing American jeans or had Western haircuts.’

The interior ministry has not disclosed the number of teenage victims, but released a follow-up statement on Thursday warning extremists ‘not to step on public freedom of Iraqis.’

News of the gruesome deaths drew a stern reaction from Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who criticised the stoning of the young men as ‘an act of terrorism.’

He added: ‘The Ministry of Interior took this situation very seriously and received an approval from the Ministry of Education to set a plan under my full supervision and to allow us to enter schools in the capital.’

‘There are some cases of the spread of this phenomenon specifically among schools in Baghdad, but we are facing great difficulty in the lack of women on the force who would allow us to carry the investigation more accurately since the phenomenon is more popular among girls between the ages of 14 and 18.’

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

I thought that was IRAN. Wow Iraq is worse than Iran now. And even after USA trashed then occupied Iraq as well! USA, can you see this? Meanwhile Iran has become more open!?!

ARTICLE 3

Clegg wants ‘tycoon tax’ to trap rich who pay less than 20% with fury raging over child benefit axe – By James Chapman – UPDATED: 11:44 GMT, 10 March 2012

Crackdown: Nick Clegg last night called for a ‘tycoon tax’ to address the problem of tax evasion by the nation’s highest earners

Nick Clegg last night called for a ‘tycoon tax’ that would force the rich to pay a minimum rate and tackle the problem of tax avoidance.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was unfair that while ordinary Britons were paying 30 or 40 per cent, hundreds of millionaires were getting away with sacrificing less than 20 per cent of their income by using an ‘army of lawyers and accountants’.

He said he would be willing to support the scrapping of the 50p top rate of income tax – a key demand of senior Tories – as long as millionaires are ‘properly’ taxed in Britain.

Mr Clegg said the wealthy used a wide array of tax loopholes and reliefs, which are inaccessible to ordinary workers, to reduce their bills. It means they often pay lower rates on annual earnings than those on much lower wages.

The Lib Dem leader yesterday repeated to his party that ‘the wealthy have to pay more’, as Government plans to remove child benefit from the better-off came under fierce attack as a measure that would undermine marriage.

Mr Clegg, speaking on the opening day of his party’s spring conference, insisted austerity measures must be targeted at the wealthy – with tax relief on their pensions also in the Government’s sights.

But in an interview, he turned his attention to the issue of tax avoidance. He said thousands of millionaires pay tax at a rate of less than 30 per cent, depriving the Exchequer of hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Mr Clegg said he was arguing in government for a specific minimum rate of tax to be written into law to ensure people are ‘paying their fair share’ and not ‘massaging’ the system.

He said he decided on the need for a tycoon tax after Mitt Romney, who is expected to be the U.S. Republican presidential candidate, disclosed he was paying just 13.9 per cent tax on his multi-million dollar earnings.

George Osborne insists it is ‘fair’ to ask high-income families to share the burden of cutting Britain’s debt by removing their child benefit

He said: ‘You hope that kind of thing doesn’t go on in this country. So I looked into it. There are hundreds of people earning millions per year who are barely paying 20 per cent tax, forget 40 per cent, forget 50 per cent, forget 30 per cent. They are not even paying 20 per cent.

‘Therefore, I think it’s time that we look at what I call a tycoon tax. If you’re earning millions per year, if you’re able to pay an army of lawyers and accountants to basically pick and choose what tax you are paying, if you are paying as low as 25, 20 per cent or even less in tax, there should be a minimum fair share that you should pay to society.’

He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘It makes people so incredibly angry when you are getting up early in the morning, working really hard to try and do the right thing for your family and for your community, you are paying your taxes and then you see people literally in a different galaxy who are paying extraordinarily low rates of tax.’

Mr Clegg said he was undecided on a figure for the minimum rate. However, it is understood it could be set between 20 and 30 per cent.

Supporter: David Cameron has backed same-sex marriages

A big increase in the tax-free allowance for 23million basic rate taxpayers will be the centrepiece of this month’s Budget, but there are rare signs of tension between Downing Street and the Treasury over how far ‘wealth taxes’, which would help pay for the move, should go.

However, Danny Alexander revealed that he was close to agreeing proposals with the Chancellor, George Osborne, to go ‘further and faster’ towards removing low earners from tax. In an interview in today’s Independent the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said that raising the tax threshold ‘is our priority’.

At the last budget, Mr Osborne said the personal tax allowance would rise by £630 to £8,105 this April. The coalition has pledged as a long-term goal raising the income tax threshold to £10,000, which would enable some 2.2 million people to stop paying tax.

And Mr Alexander told The Independent that the Lib Dems would pledge to further raise the allowance to £12,000 in their next election manifesto, meaning that no one working full-time on the minimum wage would pay tax.

Meanwhile pressure on the Chancellor increased as a thinktank set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith shredded his proposal to remove child benefit from higher-rate taxpayers from next year.

Family stability will suffer a further blow if the Government presses ahead with its plans, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) warned in a report.

Couples will be deterred from marrying or cohabiting and there will be a greater risk of fraud in the benefits system, which already costs the country £1.8billion a year, it said.

Single mothers will be particularly hard hit because they will be worse off if they marry or move in with a high-earning man.

Treasury sources have insisted that the proposal to remove child benefit from families where one parent earns £42,745 a year or more is, in fact, ‘very popular’, though they are working on ways to soften its impact.

The Government says it will save £2.5billion a year by starting to means-test child benefit, traditionally paid to all families regardless of income.
BOOST FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES

Middle Britain will benefit most from Government plans to increase the income tax allowance to £10,000, economists say.

Households with incomes of around £40,000 will be the biggest winners, since they tend to have two earners rather than one who will enjoy the maximum benefit of new tax breaks, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

All 23million basic rate taxpayers will benefit from plans to increase the amount that can be earned tax-free. A big increase in the tax-free allowance, to around £8,400, is expected to be at the heart of the Budget this month.

However, if the move is paid for by holding down the higher rate tax allowance – currently just under £43,000 – more people will be pulled into the upper band as a result.

The Coalition says it wants to increase the allowance to £10,000 by the time of the 2015 election.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said last night he wanted to see that ‘the largest amount of money by far, if you are delivering tax cuts, is spent on getting people on low pay out of paying income tax’.

Labour’s Treasury spokesman Rachel Reeves said: ‘An increase in the personal allowance is better than doing nothing.

‘But a temporary VAT cut would help pensioners and others on low incomes who don’t pay income tax.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Too right the rich should pay more, they earn more and exploit others! Also people shouldn’t be paid to have children if you can’t afford them, don’t have them simples and if you’re both earning £40000 you def don’t need them!

– Scarlett, Sheffield, 10/3/2012 22:47
Rating (0)

Dave, 20.41. Dave, I just don’t believe you are self employed. You would know a lot more about exactly what taxes have to be payed when you are a company director. You’ve exposed your ‘inexactitudes’ with your inaccurate post.

– ohdear, UK., 10/3/2012 22:39
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. How about this if you have kids – YOU pay for them? I’m sick and tired of going without and constantly struggling myself (working) and at the same time being forced by bleeding-heart liberals to bank roll others. – George Brown, Hornchurch, Essex, 10/3/2012 20:46<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Does that apply to pensioners as well?

– Peter, Kent, 10/3/2012 22:39
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Envy is a terrible thing!!!

Stupid people with pathetic lives ALWAYS complaining how other smarter people should pay more tax – why?

Because they happen to be smarter than you and have made something of themselves through risk and hardwork rather than sit on their butts whining about their miserable lives

Don’t blame your failures and inadequacies on the successful – you may be able to learn something from them

– Toppers, London, 10/3/2012 22:27
Rating   4

Our MPs would be well advised to put as much effort into ensuring that tax revenue is spent wisely as they do in dreaming up new ways to tax us. Instead we hear constant stories of money being wasted left, right and centre. Millions spent on the development of computer systems that either fail to materialise or end up being scrapped. Millions spent on aid to countries that can easily support themselves. Millions spent on unions reps who do nothing. Millions spent on relocation bonuses to those MPs who can’t manage to get re-elected. It seems to me that the only way to put a stop to this wastage is to remove the temptation. If the wastage was dealt with then the need extract ever larger sums from the populous would abate and our leaders would find that lifting the tax thresholds would be a simpler matter. Attempting to generate a higher tax take without dealing with the underlying problems just means that the wastage increases, something of a vicious circle.

– Paul, Holbeach, UK, 10/3/2012 22:13
Rating   13

Here’s an original idea; EVERYONE pay 10% tax. No matter who they are. Across the board. Same for businesses. I guarantee it will bring more revenue for the coffers than anything Cloggy and scameroon can think up. No inheritance tax- we all already paid the taxes, no capital gains tax, just that 10% on what you earned from the capital invested as part of your annual income. It completely simplifies the tax system, doing away with the legions of taxmen we have at the moment and it would so encourage business, enterprise and the workforce that everyone would be quite happy to pay it. Probably the lowest tax system in the developed world. But I suppose it would never be implimented. Politicians like to think they are being generous with our money…..

– Nonpc, Toytown,UK, 10/3/2012 22:10
Rating   7

All very well prancing around and sounding off about a mansion tax. Who is going to value the properties and how often? How much are all the valuations going to cost? Will the effect be to drive wealthy people overseas so that then the government gets next to nothing? Clegg just wants to get points with his own back benchers for some class hatred. Will the valuations be reviewed and how often? And is any account to be taken of the age of the occupants, the purchase price when they first bought it? Otherwise there will be some real cases of injustice. A million quid barely buys a shoebox in some parts of London. And before there are exorbitant demands on home owners for tax every year are there going to be exceptions for those unable to pay – pensioners, people who had money once and now have very little due to bereavements or loss of employment? This all sounds like the Poll Tax all over again – a brilliant wheeze but no one has thought it through.

– Kathryn Bennett, Reading, UK, 10/3/2012 22:05
Rating   6

What a stupid man I will simply leave the country and stop creating wealth and employment. – Pip, Peterborough UK, 10/3/2012 21:05 Go on then and the property prices will fall giving the young dispossessed their first chance on the property ladder. And anyway currently there really isn’t anywhere to go, the whole world’s in crisis, so you can’t bully boy your way out of it this time this way.

– Clare Kingston, Swindon, United Kingdom, 10/3/2012 21:35
Rating   1

What a stupid man I will simply leave the country and stop creating wealth and employment.

– Pip, Peterborough UK, 10/3/2012 21:05
Rating   13

bolshevik clegg, lets hope he goes the same way trotsky did….. ice for my gin barman!

– simon, GB, 10/3/2012 20:58

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

The rich do not need any benefits. In fact class distinctions between middle and upper (lower and middle even) when uncertain (regardless of wealth – y’see wealth does not make class, it is a certain ethos adnd pathos that determines who is classed as what) will depend on who SHAMELESSLY takes benefits.

Example here – 2 people of same wealth (won’t say how much) both claiming to be upper or middle. REGARDLSS OF WEALTH – the real middle class society type will be typified by a sense of principles and pride that is expressed in refusing to take benefits, and the upper class even GIVE benefits (via philanthropy) rather than take benefits. Guess English principles stayed lost after the colonial era eh? Anyone who can push Opium or Colonize and subjugate the really quite alright Indians (they don’t try to convert people and generally are tolerant of general weirdness) can’t claim any ethical compass . . .

This is a very condiderate law (aslo demographically sound – 1 billionaire has 1 vote only, so who do you think Cameron would prefer to write policy for. 99% votes of the poor (well maybe 50%) or 1% of the votes?

ARTICLE 4

Channel 4 search for ‘fresh meat’ forced me off Countdown, reveals Carol Vorderman – PUBLISHED: 01:53 GMT, 11 March 2012 | UPDATED: 01:54 GMT, 11 March 2012

TV trauma: Carol Vorderman left Countdown after 26 years

Carol Vorderman has claimed  she was forced off Countdown after 26 years because Channel 4 bosses were looking for ‘fresh meat’.

The former co-host of one of TV’s longest-running quiz shows waded into the debate about older women on air in a candid interview with Piers Morgan for his Life Stories series. She revealed she has not watched the show since she left in 2008. Ms Vorderman, 51, also  said she was bitter that Channel 4 bosses have never invited her  back, even as a guest.

She said: ‘To me, it is like a bereavement as I was always terribly loyal to Countdown and I protected it. It was more than half my adult life.’ She recalled the last show that her co-host Richard Whiteley recorded, in which he inexplicably said: ‘Welcome to the final Countdown.’ In another eerie twist, the last conundrum of that episode spelt ‘lifefails’.

Mr Whiteley died in 2005 from septicaemia, which he contracted after emergency heart surgery.

Ms Vorderman said she ‘loved’ him and never argued with him in their 23-year TV partnership.

At the time of Ms Vorderman’s departure from Countdown, it was reported that the Cambridge maths graduate left because she refused  to take a 90 per cent cut in her £1.2 million annual salary.

But Miss Vorderman said: ‘I agreed for them to take a third  off my wages, or even halve them, but once new bosses came on to  the show they wanted fresh meat.’

Ms Vorderman’s interview is likely to be broadcast in the next few weeks.

Carol with her Countdown co-host Richard Whiteley

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

2.5 decades is Mubarak-esque/Gaddafi-esque/Abdullah Saleh-esque term limitless in feel. Vorderman should be happy they took her off before she looks like the female version of the ‘Evil Math-magician’. Also Vordermans’ fans would be happy to remember Vorderman in the prime of health rather than aged. It’s better for everyone and especially Vorderman who can retire and enjoy a probably many many times more than 401K retirement. Finally, how the hell is a Math programme host supposed to be allowed to earn 10s of millions anyway? Ridiculous! Blah to 1%ters! Good sense of democracy going on here! Vorderman has become a plutocrat, and in this day and age of even honourably serving military officers (some badly injured) becoming bankrupt and homeless on the street, this sort of citizen speaks very badly about USA’s priorities.

Nothing against Voderman but this extreme salary is just wrong. Once any person reaches 401K or depending on the social position lets say 10 times 401K, it’s time they stood aside for others to earn a living. Asset hogs are a blight on wealth distribution and at a 10 times 401K quantum, any ‘axings’ cannot be considered Marxism, especially when there are wars going on and trhe country is so heavily in debt that bankruptcy is already in effect but not formalized. What business does a Math Programme Hostess have in holding such wealth?!? Any hostesses should only retire at upper class, or ‘lower rich non-working class’ wealth levels at most. Kudos to ‘Channel 4’ and ‘Countdown’ .

Next, media establishments should consider a ‘give back’ paradigm that perhaps returns anything beyond a 300% profit reserved above the total overhead to the society (one can imagine how many 1000s of percent turn over can be for some media outfits, those mogul or star types should not sequester far too much either, say 50 times of 401K at most perhaps should be fair? Society is fractured when veteran soldiers beg on the street while porn stars drink 50K bottles of champagne every night . . . ). Sequestration of wealth by media owners and stockholders should not take away wealth from society as well. This should be optional of course, but considered a ‘best practice’  and ‘people friendly media’ status for countries with extreme debt especially.

‘Sadistic and surpassed belief’: Evil pair jailed for MINIMUM of 55 years for torturing 15-year-old boy to death after accusing him of being a witch – by Amy Oliver – Created 1:05 PM on 5th March 2012

In better judgments, England, Justice, taxpayer funds on March 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Eric Bikubi ordered to serve at least 30 years and Maglie Bamu a minimum of 25 years
Bikubi told Kristy and siblings to jump out of the window to see if they could fly during abuse
Judge says the belief in witchcraft, however genuine, could not be an excuse
Judge agrees the couple also attacked Kristy’s sisters but would not pass separate sentences
Kristy’s father Pierre said his son died in ‘unimaginable circumstances at the hands of people he loved and trusted’

A couple were today jailed for life for the ‘sadistic’ torture and drowning a teenage boy they accused of being a witch.

Kristy Bamu, 15, died on Christmas day 2010 after suffering four days of horrific abuse at the hands of his sister Magalie, 29, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, 28, in their flat in Newham, east London.

The pair used weapons including a metal bar, hammer, chisel, pliers and even heavy ceramic floor tiles to inflict 130 injuries on Kristy, after he refused to say he was a witch.

Jailed: Eric Bikubi, left, and his partner Magalie Bamu, right, were both jailed for life today for the horrific torture of Magalie’s brother Kristy, which led to his death

Jailed: Eric Bikubi, left, and his partner Magalie Bamu, right, were both jailed for life today for the horrific torture of Magalie’s brother Kristy, which led to his death

The teenager eventually drowned in the bath in front of his four terrified siblings as Bikubi hosed them down with freezing water in an abhorrent ‘cleansing’ ritual.

Football coach Bikubi and Magalie were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey last week.
Today Bikubi was ordered to serve at least 30 years and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.

Sentencing, Judge David Paget told the couple the case was particularly serious and involved sadistic behaviour.

‘It was prolonged torture involving metal and physical suffering being inflicted before death,’ he said adding: ‘I am in no doubt that this murder did involve a sadistic element.’

He told Bikubi that he accepted his mental damage may have made him more inclined to believe Kristy was a witch and a threat to the young child of the family.

Victim: 15-year-old Kristy Bamu, pictured left with a friend, suffered 130 injuries after being hit with an arsenal of weapons including broken ceramic floor tiles

But added: ‘The belief in witchcraft, however genuine, cannot excuse an assault to another person, let alone the killing of another human being.’

He told Magalie he did not accept her denial of belief in witchcraft and that she was forced to attack Kristy by Bikubi.

‘It is only explicable if you shared Eric Bikubi’s belief. It provides some explanation for what happened, but it does not excuse it,’ he told her.

Judge Paget said the couple had also attacked Kristy’s sisters but he would not pass separate sentences for that.

In court: Kelly Bamu, pictured on the witness stand, said Kristy asked for forgiveness. ‘He asked again and again,’ she said, adding ‘Magalie did absolutely nothing. She didn’t give a damn’

In court: Kelly Bamu, pictured on the witness stand, said Kristy asked for forgiveness. ‘He asked again and again,’ she said, adding ‘Magalie did absolutely nothing. She didn’t give a damn’

He added: ‘The ordeal they were subjected to almost surpasses belief.’

Kristy had come to London from Paris with his two brothers and two sisters to spend the festive season with Magalie.

But things turned sour when Kristy wet himself and the couple, who were said to be obsessed with witchcraft known as kindoki in their native Democratic Republic of Congo, accused him of witchcraft.

Bikubi, a heavily-built sportsman, accused the teenager of trying to control another child in the house and of orchestrating a series of unlucky events, the court had heard.

He punched, kicked and headbutted his victim before beating him with a metal weight-lifting bar ‘as hard as he could’ and knocking out his teeth with a hammer.

Violent evidence: Kristy suffered 130 injuries after being tortured for four days with weapons including broken ceramic floor tiles

Witchcraft: These weapons were found at the scene in what officers called an ‘unprecedented scenario’

Evidence: Officers found a whole array of weapons in the flat, including pliers, a pole, and a piece of wood

Terrible death: Kristy’s last words were ‘I just want to die now’ before he slipped underneath the water in the bath

In one act of savage cruelty, as Kristy’s siblings were hit, forced to join in and help clear the blood, Magalie ripped apart one of his ears with a pair of pliers.

At one point, Bikubi told the youngsters to jump out of the window to see if they could fly, the court heard.

Five hours of desperate phone calls were made to Kristy’s parents in Paris but at first they did not believe their children and were then unable to travel because of the Christmas break.

On Christmas Day, with his face beaten to a barely recognisable pulp, Kristy was thrown into a bath.

His last words were ‘I just want to die now’ before slipping underneath the water.

Kristy’s sister Kelly, now 21, broke down several times in court as she relived the terror. She said: ‘It was as if they (Bikubi and Magalie) were obsessed by witchcraft. They decided we had come there to kill them.’

Kelly added: ‘Kristy asked for forgiveness. He asked again and again. Magalie did absolutely nothing. She didn’t give a damn. She said we deserved it.’

In mitigation Henry Grunwald QC, for Bikubi, said: ‘What happened would not have ended as it did had it not been for Mr Bikubi’s mental impairment.’

Shocking: This was the squalid and bloodstained scene police were confronted by when they discovered the killing of Kristy Bamu by his sister and her partner in Newham, east London

Scene of the crime: Kristy was forced to pray for deliverance for four days and deprived of food and water

While Philippa McAlasney QC, for Magalie, said: ‘Not only has she has lost her entire family, she faces a solitary life in prison.’

Kristy’s father, Pierre, said in a statement: ‘Kristy died in unimaginable circumstances at the hands of people he loved and trusted – people we all loved and trusted.

‘I feel betrayed. To know that Kristy’s own sister, Magalie, did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse.’

Scotland Yard has investigated 83 cases involving abuse resulting from ritualistic or faith-based beliefs, and brought 17 prosecutions, over the last 10 years.

Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe said: ‘This is a hidden and under-reported crime and therefore difficult to deal with in terms of protecting potential victims from harm.

IMMIGRANTS IN THE GRIP OF ‘FERAL SUPERSTITION’

Christian fundamentalist pastors in Britain are fuelling the belief in witchcraft, experts have warned.

Dr Richard Hoskins, a police adviser, said he has spoken to many immigrant Londoners gripped by the potential power of malicious ‘spirits’ threatening to damage their families.

Traditional methods of exorcism include wearing a charm, fasting or sacrificing an animal and are controlled by the Church.

The university lecturer warned that Christian extremists and evangelists have begun taking advantage of vulnerable families and perpetuating beliefs in witchcraft by offering expensive ‘deliverance services’.

Dr Hoskins said: ‘What seems to happen is that there is this dislocation and, in this case, something feral and wild. It is completely out of control.’

The issue was first highlighted by the case of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000. Victoria, who travelled to Britain from the Ivory Coast, died at the hands of her aunt and her boyfriend after being branded a witch.

A year later the torso of a Nigerian boy, named Adam by police, was found in the Thames after he was ritually sacrificed.

Police believe he may have been killed by someone with a terminal illness who believed his murder would save them.

In 2005, three people were convicted of beating, cutting and rubbing chilli peppers in the eyes of an eight-year-old Angolan girl to ‘beat the devil out of her’.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Life for life as will be judged and decided by the victim’s family, if not after determining that the victim’s family is not incapable of making judgment the judge instead. Or if the victim survived, the victim gets to decide to torture in the same manner. Otherwise let the creeps go or shoot them if they appear to be likely to kill more people and show not remorse etc… 55 years x 2 people x 40K a year will make these offenders cost the English taxpayers 4.4 million pounds, something both victim and offenders AND the entire families of both victim and offenders AS WELL would not earn even in 55 years.

Wakey wakey, or is that perfumed and rollered wig, black robes and massive dais mounted podium desk, making thinking too difficult for the judge?

2 Articles Identifying Liverpool (and another 2 cities) as housing suitable LC districts and demographics for a OPZ (Organic Psychedelics Zone) – @AgreeToDisagree – 29th February 2012

In advocacy, amendments to law needed, better laws, candidacy, drug laws, drugs, England, Freedom of Expression, freedom of speech, preserving chav culture, Prostitution, psychedelics, separation of powers, specialisation, spirit of the law on February 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

ARTICLE 1

UN: drug gangs controlling parts of British cities Parts of British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control, a United Nations drugs chief said today. – 10:00AM GMT 28 Feb 2012

Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said there was ”a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities” in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

The development of ”no-go areas” was being fuelled by threats such as social inequality, migration and celebrities normalising drug abuse, he warned.

How should Britain’s drug problem be tackled?

Helping marginalised communities with drugs problems ”must be a priority”, he said.

”We are looking at social cohesion, the social disintegration and illegal drugs.

”In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas.

”Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas.

”Examples are in Brazil, Mexico, in the United States, in the UK, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and therefore it is no good to have only law enforcement, which always shows it does not succeed.”

Prof Ghodse called for such communities to be offered drug abuse prevention programmes, treatment and rehabilitation services, and the same levels of educational, employment and recreational opportunities as in the wider society.

”Youth of these communities must have similar chances to those in the wide society and have a right to be protected from drug abuse and drug dependence,” he said.

”It is crucial that the needs of communities experiencing social disintegration are urgently tackled before the tipping point is reached, beyond which effective action becomes impossible.

”The consequences of failure are too high for society and should be avoided at all cost.”

The INCB’s annual report for 2011 found persistent social inequality, migration, emerging cultures of excess and a shift in traditional values were some of the key threats to social cohesion.

As the gap between rich and poor widens, and ”faced with a future with limited opportunities, individuals within these communities may increasingly become disengaged from the wider society and become involved in a range of personally and socially harmful behaviours, including drug abuse and drug dealing,” it said.

The report added: ”While migration offers many positive benefits to the migrant and to society at large, it can create a sense of dislocation from the surrounding community and a sense of vulnerability on the part of those who are displaced.

”Where migrating social groups have travelled from areas associated with illicit drug production and drug abuse, there is a greater likelihood of individuals engaging in forms of drug misuse as a way of coping with such a sense of dislocation.”

Celebrities’ use of illicit drugs may also ”contribute to a growing normalisation of certain forms of drug misuse within the wider society and in turn can lead to the undermining of social cohesion”.

But the INCB warned none of the factors ”should be seen as leading individuals inevitably into a lifestyle of drug abuse and criminality”.

”Whatever the social processes and social pressures at hand, human beings still have the capacity to exercise some element of choice in what they do and what they refrain from doing,” it said.

A Home Office spokesman said: ”The Ending Gang and Youth Violence report published by the Government in 2011 sets out a comprehensive strategy for supporting local areas to reduce the effects of gang violence.

”We want to stop young people from joining gangs in the first place through intervention and support to children and families at risk of gang violence.

”This will be matched with tough and intensive enforcement action to bring perpetrators to justice.”

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

The ‘downtown’ districts of these areas Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester could be considered for Organic Psychedelics Zones (OPZ) like the one in  the city of Amsterdam  near the red light district (RLD) in Netherlands.

ARTICLE 2

Jane Doe to Lady Mayor : She’s the serial mistress who destroyed a defence chief. Now she’s aiming to seduce the voters of Liverpool and transform herself – by Helen Weathers – Last updated at 11:13 PM on 24th February 2012

Glamorous: Bienvenida Buck has made a career of seducing powerful and influential men

Pink champagne in hand, Bienvenida Buck leads the way into her chic new Liverpool apartment. It is only 11am but, as she explains, there is nothing quite like a fine crystal glass of something ‘light and sparkling’ to bring a glow to a lady’s complexion.

We pass through the hallway where a vast canvas of Bienvenida, painted in 1990 by royal portrait artist Richard Stone, takes pride of place. It was a wedding gift from her first husband, the late Sir Anthony Buck, former Tory MP and QC.

‘It’s magnificent, no? He used the same canvas as he used for the Queen,’ she says, padding across the pristine pale beige carpet. ‘Sir Anthony brought me into a world of beauty. He was a good man.’

Sadly for him, he was not the only man. Bienvenida has made a career of seducing powerful and influential older men, capitalising on her kittenish charms. Her most notorious conquest was Sir Peter Harding, Chief of the Defence Staff during the Gulf War, with whom she had an affair while still married to Sir Anthony.

The ‘Spanish Firecracker’, as she was dubbed by the Press, sold her story in 1994 to a red-top tabloid for a reported £150,000, ending Sir Peter’s career and accelerating her divorce from Sir Anthony (who died in 2003).

But that was 18 years ago — ancient history in Bienvenida’s eyes — and there have been two husbands (one a Count) and several lovers since.

Her third husband, Spanish lawyer Eduardo Jimeni, died from cancer in 2008, so she’s a widow now — and seemingly a merry one.

‘Marriage does not suit me,’ she says. ‘I have had 20 years of married hell. I am a romantic, I like to be taken out to dinner, to hold hands, but I will never marry again. No, no, no!

‘I don’t need companionship — I have a dog for that.’

Today, at the age of 55, the former Lady Buck is looking for a completely new direction. Where once her life’s ambition was to be the ‘power behind the throne’, now, it seems, she wants the throne for herself.

Power and passion: Lady Buck in 1994 with her ex-husband Sir Anthony Buck, left, and in 2000 with then Chief of Defence Staff Sir Peter Harding, her lover

It is hard to imagine a more unlikely candidate for Mayor of Liverpool, but Bienvenida tells me she is seriously considering throwing her designer hat into the ring.

This May, Liverpool is set to become one of the first cities outside London to ask voters to directly elect a Mayor, and Bienvenida likes the idea of becoming the North’s equivalent of London’s Boris Johnson — another blonde with an interesting private life.

Though born in Spain and a resident in Liverpool for just three years, Bienvenida firmly believes she could provide the ‘strong and accountable leadership’ required.

‘I think that I could win. I am the voice of the young people of this city. I know a lot of influential people who could bring investment to Liverpool, I have very good connections,’ she says knowingly, before taking a delicate sip of her champagne.

Independent: Lady Buck claims she is finished with marriage after three husbands, and is not looking for companionship

‘I have travelled on Concorde hundreds of times and stayed in palaces. I have lived in Dallas, Texas and Dubai. I have met princes and have contacts with very powerful entities and governments.’

Whether this is the sort of contact that might benefit Liverpool is open to debate, but Bienvenida believes she is truly in tune with her new adopted home.

‘I live in a very secure, prestigious part of Liverpool, but here I like to travel by bus. I like to go out of my comfort zone to learn about this city,’ says Bienvenida, who shares her home with her 14-year-old King Charles spaniel, named Lalique after her favourite crystal.

‘The people of Liverpool are kind and generous. I have lost my mobile phone three times and it has always been returned to me. The people here are hard workers. These are not lazy people, they are fighters. They deserve much better.’

The question is, do they deserve Bienvenida?

After all, she tells me she moved to Liverpool from St John’s Wood in London after watching an episode of the Channel 4 programme Location, Location, Location and marvelling at the ‘quality of life’ afforded by much cheaper property prices.

She knows few people in Liverpool. Much of her vision for the city is the product of conversations with the gardeners and cleaners who maintain the swish complex where she lives, or the students working part-time in the upmarket bars she frequents.

‘I don’t have many friends here, no,’ she admits. ‘I did have a couple of ladies I used to go out with, but they didn’t have much to talk about. I have never seen a woman here reading a newspaper, but I am very much in touch with the students.’

Not exactly sentiments to clinch the female votes — but to this she seems oblivious. She ushers me into her elegant living room to discuss her manifesto, which she has rather appropriately called ‘Blonde Ambitions’.

The first paragraph contains this insightful gem: ‘Cuts in manpower, police, firefighters and council workers should be avoided.’

Before we can tackle Liverpool’s infrastructure, however, Bienvenida can’t resist pointing out an exquisite Venetian mirror hanging on the wall.

‘That was a gift from a very special man in my life,’ she says coyly. ‘I’m not saying who, but he is very, very special.’

Beneath the mirror is a Lalique vase filled with more than 20 long-stemmed red roses. ‘They were a Valentine’s Day gift,’ she purrs.
Strong: Bienvenida believes she would make an excellent leader for Liverpool, despite having only moved there from London three years ago

‘Who from?’ I ask.

‘I’m not saying, nosy.’

Veering away from her agenda for Liverpool, she can’t resist telling me that middle age has done absolutely nothing to diminish her allure.

‘I have two lovers,’ she says. ‘They are both bankers — one on Wall Street in New York and the other in London. One is married and the other is not.

‘They know about each other and do not mind sharing me. They have been in my life for more than 20 years. They are very influential. They are my dear friends.’

Her second marriage in 1994 to art dealer Count Nicholas Sokolow ended in divorce after three years. Her third marriage lasted ten years.

‘My marriages have always been about men wanting to control me,’ she says now. ‘I cannot breathe when someone is pulling my strings. But I do not like to dwell on the past — my strategy is always to move forwards.

Savvy: Lady Buck admits she moved to Liverpool for the ‘quality of life’ afforded by lower property prices

‘I may be 55, but I don’t feel invisible to men. On the contrary. Thank goodness I haven’t lost my beauty and I look much younger than my years.

‘I am chatted up all the time. I’m always having to tell men “Please, I am not interested” because I only like men who can challenge my intellect, men of power who I can look up to. I am not interested in young men. Not now, and not then.

‘I make love to a man’s brains, not his body. Being with me is a privilege people have to earn. Sex is only a tiny part of seduction. Wealthy, powerful men look upon women like myself as an investment.

‘I am really enjoying being a single woman. I never feel lonely. I am the most independent woman I know. I enjoy climbing into my bed with its crisp white linen sheets and my dog, who does not snore.

‘I go to the gym, I nurture my mind, I read a lot, I love doing embroidery as I listen to music. I am never alone because I live with my ego.’

Certainly, should she stand for election, Bienvenida has one advantage over the other candidates: she has no embarrassing skeletons left to rattle in her closets. Her life is an open book. Indeed she called it The Making Of A Modern Mistress.

And on the back of her fame (or should that be infamy), 12 years ago she launched one-to-one tutorials entitled The Art of Seduction and Romancing The Rich, costing £5,000 a piece.

‘I killed the project before it even started because women were not prepared to pay £5,000 to become ladies, basically,’ she says dismissively. ‘They would rather spend the money joining a dating agency. They want short cuts.

‘Modern women are not willing to put in the hours studying art and deportment. I never asked a man to buy me jewellery or frivolities. I asked for him to invest in my future with a college course or something else which would improve me.

‘I have no regrets. I am a product of my life and the men who have been there supporting me through thick and thin.

‘If I stand for Mayor, my life will be dissected like a laboratory animal, but you know the advantage with me is that I don’t care. I have nothing to fear because the real men behind me are very powerful and they are there with me. I laugh off insults. No one can touch me. I am not hostage to my past.’

Born Bienvenida Perez-Blanco in a poor quarter of Valencia, her upbringing seems to have left indelible scars. Her mother left her father, a watch repairer, when she was two, then sent Bienvenida to live with her grandmother while she moved from Spain to England for work. The young Bienvenida then spent six miserable years in foster care from the age of ten after her grandmother died.

She was 16 when she joined her mother, who was working as a housekeeper in a smart home for elderly people — but even then she did not receive a warm welcome.

Today, she describes her mother as cold, unloving and a ‘diabolical’ woman. They remain estranged, and Bienvenida says she is grateful she never had children of her own.

‘My mother was never there for me. She didn’t deserve to have me. I have no children because I know I cannot deal with the responsibility.’

Befriended by an aristocratic resident at the home where her mother worked, Bienvenida took her advice to ‘find a husband to look after you’ to heart.
If I stand for Mayor, my life will be dissected like a laboratory animal, but you know the advantage with me is that I don’t care. I have nothing to fear because the real men behind me are very powerful and they are there with me. I laugh off insults. No one can touch me. I am not hostage to my past.

After honing her skills on a series of older men who fell under her spell, she thought she’d found the perfect husband in Sir Anthony Buck, MP for North Colchester, who was 30 years her senior.

‘Sir Anthony was a brilliant man, a highly respected barrister, Minister for the British Navy under Edward Heath. When I married him, it was my dream to have a man of power, of a certain age, that I could look up to,’ she says.

‘But sadly, he never recovered from the divorce from his first wife to whom he’d been married 34 years. He started to drink, and that coupled with the pressures of politics turned him into a very difficult man to live with. The drink took its toll on him, and later on me.’

Bienvenida says she feels no guilt about her affair with Sir Peter Harding, a married father-of-four, and that his resignation was just ‘collateral damage’.

‘I asked Sir Anthony for a divorce within a year of our marriage,’ she continues. ‘I could not cope with his drinking, and then I met Sir Peter. I was the one paying for our relationship financially. I was booking the hotels, entertaining him, giving parties, introducing him to powerful people.

‘And on my birthday, three years later, he did not even bring me a bouquet of flowers.

‘When my husband found out about our affair, he said he was going to tell the Press, instead of giving me the quiet divorce I asked for. It all started from there.’

So, Bienvenida found herself seeking advice and protection from another powerful and influential man, media agent Max Clifford.

‘I am not responsible for other people’s moralities. I am far too busy with my own. Sir Peter should not have taken me for granted,’ she says dismissively. ‘I sleep like a baby at night. I just thank God I survived.’

It took two further marriages for Bienvenida to realise she wasn’t the marrying kind. Her second also ended in scandal and the headline ‘Lady Bucky’s husband cheats with kinky sex queen’.

In 1994, American model and waitress Suzannah Fleming, then aged 39, told a red-top tabloid she’d indulged in shenanigans with the Count — involving leather, high heels and whips — three months after his wedding to Bienvenida

Nor did her third marriage bring her much happiness.

‘We separated in 2005, so I didn’t see him in the three years before he died,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t divorce Eduardo, because sometimes in life it is better not to take drastic measures and we did not want people to gossip.

‘He was a very kind man, a Spanish playboy with a heart of gold, but he didn’t know the meaning of work. I didn’t go to his funeral. I don’t do weddings and funerals or big emotions.’

But is Bienvenida really happy in her new adopted home of Liverpool, with her distant lovers, few friends, no job (she refuses to discuss finances) and mayoral ambitions?

‘I like who I am,’ she says. ‘I can sleep with my conscience and integrity. I do not regret what I had to do to survive. I am proud of the woman that I am today.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Sounds like Nancy Dell’ollio and looks like Debbie McGee ….. How could any man resist her?

– merka, south coast, 25/2/2012 09:33
Rating   5

“I make love to a man’s brains, not his body. Being with me is a privilege people have to earn. Sex is only a tiny part of seduction. Wealthy, powerful men look upon women like myself as an investment.”- Oh dear! Based on your past performance, current appearance, and the downward trend of your future prospects dear – I think you’ve lost your Triple AAA rating a long time ago!

– Ronnie, Cynical, UK, 25/2/2012 09:26
Rating   14

Saw this specimen in my local market – didn’t bid on her though ..

– Lord Snooty, Chester, 25/2/2012 09:16
Rating   10

I S THIS WOMAN FOR REAL!!!!!!! for a minute i thought it was the 1st april…

– matt, liverpool uk, 25/2/2012 09:16
Rating   10

Well, to all in Liverpool, you should be so proud of this potential candidate!! or not…

– Kim, UK, 25/2/2012 09:13
Rating   5

She looks young? No sorry love you look your age.

– Kay, Garden of England, 25/2/2012 09:06
Rating   15

Forza Bienvenida !!!!!!!!

– Steven, Surrey, 25/2/2012 09:06
Rating   5

I admire her a lot, but why on earth would she want to live in Liverpool when she could live here??

– Jane, Spain, 25/2/2012 08:52
Rating   6

I can think of nobody less qualified to take on civic responsibilities. Someone who reckons taking a bus is going outside her comfort zone, will not be able to handle a single problem that affects folk living in the real world.

– Jen, Gloucester, 25/2/2012 08:50
Rating   8

She has no friends because she’s a man stealer. It’s lock up your husbands when she’s around.

– i Love Cheese, Bucks, 25/2/2012 08:49

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

A LC majority constituency would be winnable as many more people would not mind her background or the moral issues with thye way that wealth was obtained. The serious minded or social class conscious types, even the moral types would not vote for this example of false success. The spiritual implications on a nation would be tolerable at a certain level for a specific type of constituency, but not acceptable to run or represent a country by.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9110374/UN-drug-gangs-controlling-parts-of-British-cities.html

Note how Scottish visual-materials culture via use-matching of Tartan-Plaid to Burberry’s (or is it Mulberry’s), is affected or even bound to chav culture. Intentional or is it contrived or ‘groomed’ by buying of the same. There are REAL chavs who have taken up on the tartan-plaid-punk meme, and there are false ones possibly the original users of the same material with the intent in putting down the Scots. Subtle but not immediately evident? Think punk bands in ripped batik or such in Malaysia, get the idea? . . . Do refute this postulation otherwise!

Next up, in a time slip, England by sheer similarity of Beefeater, Ushanka-Cossack hat similarities somehow becomes a colony of Moscow . . .

2 Articles on Royalty : Debuttante Ball in China, Prince Charles’ Tracked Adventure – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 25th Febryary 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, Bajan, England, sovereignty, unwanted gentrification on February 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

ARTICLE 1

Debutante ball bounces back – by Xu Junqian (China Daily) – 08:12, January 10, 2012

Larissa Scotting, 17, from the UK, leads a group of young women in the “coming out” formalities during the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball on Saturday. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang)

Glamour event steeped in tradition makes a glittering return to life, Xu Junqian reports from Shanghai.

Sparkling tiaras and wine, young men sharply dressed and women wearing gowns, a Puccini aria as background music, and presentations to society: the trappings of another era – and of the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball.

Guests on Saturday night might have been taken back in time, but the organizer hopes such events are the future. If, that is, she can find any young Chinese women who are up to snuff.

“For all these years, people have been talking about our nation’s zeal for luxury. But I don’t think people really get the point of what luxury is,” Zhou Caici said.

“All they have been chasing after is material stuff. Now I am showing them the real lifestyle.”

Zhou, founder and executive director of the ball, has been an active socialite in Hong Kong, London and her native Shanghai. Two socialite friends from London helped her organize the party, and it followed a Victorian script with some 2012 tweaks.

‘Impeccable’

The setting was the gilded grand ballroom of the Shanghai Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which occupies a historic building on the Bund overlooking the Huangpu River. Of course, attendance was by invitation only.

The 160 guests, with the men in tuxedos, began to arrive around 9, mingling under huge chandeliers and sipping Champagne from flutes. The music, although recorded, was operatic.

At 10 sharp, two uniformed attendants opened the heavy doors through which 13 smiling young women made their debuts. Each handed her white-gloved hand to her escort, and they began their first dance – to the title song from Flashdance.

“Everything is impeccable,” Jennie Hallam-Peel said. She and Patricia Woodall had organized the Queen Charlotte’s Ball in London and had flown to Shanghai to help with this one.

“Shanghai is a city very similar to London,” Hallam-Peel said. “It can’t be more appropriate to have a debutante ball in as modern as well as historical place as here.”

Hallam-Peel had her own “coming out” in the mid-1970s, and she described the tradition as a “unique English identity” that should not be lost.

The tradition – mainly to declare the availability of young women, especially bluebloods, for the marriage market – hasn’t fared so well since 1958, when Prince Philip said that presenting the debs to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace was “bloody daft”. The focus has shifted to charity work in a debutante’s pedigree and includes middle-class families, not just the upper crust.

[[[ *** There can be a few different balls – one for lower (to foster stable marriages good values etc), one for middle (to foster less materialistic value as middle classers who become wealthy regress to lower class crassness and materialism WHILE becoming extremely wealthy), one for upper crust (to foster families seeking altruism, philantrophy and perhaps even revival of the Chinese Imperium) *** ]]]

Larissa Scotting, 17, from the UK dances with her escort on Saturday night at the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball. She was named Debutante of the Year. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang)

‘The perfect city’

Zhou, 66, is the youngest daughter of Zhou Xinfang, a Peking Opera master, and Qiu Lilin who, Zhou said, certainly would have qualified as a deb if there had been such a thing in 1920s Shanghai. Zhou is known in Hong Kong and the UK as Vivian Chow Wong (adding her husband’s family name).

She moved back to Shanghai in 2003 and said she had been thinking since then about reviving the ball tradition, not in its place of origin but on more receptive distant soil.

“Shanghai is the perfect city, if not the only one in China, to have a ball like this,” she said. “Shanghai people love dancing, from ballroom dancing to morning dancing in the park, which serves a solid base for our ball.”

Young Chinese women on the mainland have yet to warm to the idea of the ball as a matchmaking event. She said they are more used to one-on-one meetings arranged by their parents in restaurants or teahouses.

But Zhou thinks the Shanghai Debutante Ball could provide a connection for English aristocrats and well-off young Chinese women. After all, she said, in the United States in the 1930s, down-and-out English gentlemen traveled overseas to marry the daughters of American magnates.

Zithers and dumplings

But there is a problem: Although she interviewed scores of young women in opulent Yangtze River areas over the past year, she found not one on the mainland who met the conditions for an invitation: Age 17 to 25, competence in English and, preferably, from a family that has contributed to society in a certain way.

“The reason the first ball has no participants from the Chinese mainland is that we didn’t find a suitable one,” Zhou said. “We would rather go with nobody than someone shoddy, as we know how good people are at digging out others’ pasts nowadays.”

Zhou, who has a married son in his 30s, defined the perfect debutante as someone “every mother would like her son to marry, but not every son could get”.

“Ideally, I would want someone who can stand out as a Chinese zither player or a deft embroiderer, which I think are the most basic skills of Chinese fine ladies, besides a clean (upstanding) family and good upbringing. However, as it turned out, I cannot even find someone who can make dumplings.”

Lots of bachelors

Zhou did select two of the debutantes, one each from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Hallam-Peel and Woodall handpicked the rest, one Polish and 10 British women, most the daughters of engineers, doctors or graphic designers.

The Asian debs have backgrounds most closely resembling those of traditional debutantes. Vivien Lee, a bubbly 22-year-old from Hong Kong, attended a top private girls school, Benenden in Kent, England, and was the UK’s Undergraduate of 2010 when she graduated from Cambridge University.

Zhou described Jen Hau, 22-year-old daughter of the mayor of Taipei, as “the surprise” of the ball – a surprise because her father is a politician.

Hunting for escorts for the debs proved easy. The most recognizable name among the 13 was Tom Savernake, a viscount and the future heir to the Marquess of Ailesbury. The others were “talented gentlemen” from England, Germany, France and Hong Kong.

“It turned out there are more bachelors than I expected in the city,” Zhou said Saturday night. “And they are all showing a keen interest in the ball. One recommended another and, finally, they are all here.”

The young women had their own reasons to attend.

“How often does a girl get to dress up with a white gown and dance at such a fabulous ball, apart from her own wedding?” Hau said.

Lee, who works in equity derivatives marketing at J.P. Morgan, didn’t tell her colleagues what she was up to when she took annual leave for the ball. She said she wanted to keep a low profile.

Thirteen young women wore traditional white gowns for the formalities of coming out to society, then changed into party clothes for dancing. (China Daily Photo)

‘Princess’ hair

The cost of having “a once-in-a-lifetime-experience” as a debutante ranks up there with the expenses of a wedding. Although parents of these debs did not have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to buy a table, the bills for hairstyles and dresses were high.

For the night, French jewelry maker Chaumet – a company that once crowned Napoleon and a galaxy of European royalty – offered a collection of tiaras collectively worth 60 million yuan ($9.5 million), the most expensive one more than 6 million yuan. And Australian hairdresser Kim Robinson, who worked for supermodel Kate Moss and the late Princess Diana, was hired to style for 13 debs.

“Of course, doing the hair for debutantes differs from other areas,” he said. “It has to be classy, elegant and show the princess part of every girl.” Robinson said he had his best team brought in from Hong Kong for the ball, leaving his salon empty.

Zhou, who said she paid all the costs of putting on the ball, would not say how much money she invested in the “deluxe” night – which she defined as “graceful and spending every penny necessary” as distinguished from mere luxury.

“I am not running this ball as a charity, which I have already done in my May Day Ball,” Zhou said. That event, which Zhou launched in 2005, was dubbed the first upper-class ball in town. Zhou said it has helped raise around 8.5 million yuan since it began and saved more than 100 children who were “on the brink of death”.

“The debutante ball is more like a private party,” she said. “It’s all about looking like a princess or pretending to be a princess for a day, for some girls like a dream.

“Good times or bad times, people always need something dreamy to fantasize about. And I want my ball to be a fairy tale for every girl and the mothers of the girls to believe in.”

The future

“I feel very honored. It’s so wonderful to have been chosen,” 17-year-old Larissa Scotting said. The British organizers had selected her as Debutante of the Year. “I am thrilled to be given this award here in Shanghai.”

A freshman at King’s College in London, she confessed that she didn’t quite know how the title would help her in her future. She plans to start a company of her own.

Zhou, however, was quite confident about the future as the ball she founded wound down Saturday night.

“It will be an annual thing. And the most urgent thing is to find some qualified Chinese mainland ladies.”

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

‘Looking like’? ‘Pretend to be princess for a day’? Yea right you NLP lobber, and the only REAL princesses in the world are Caucasian and wear Caucasian styles? China and these supposed purveyors of culture need to wake up, those princesses need to be REAL and not PRETEND – to match and balance the princesses in ‘the West’. This is the middle of the Middle Kingdom, with all that wealth and political power, Imperium WITH Chinese characteristics is the only conclusion.

The will be ROYALS, including princesses, and they will be neither ‘pretend’ nor ‘look like Princesses’, they will be nothing like Vivian Chow (who looks rather mixed-blood IMHO), in fact there will be (by several promotors of Imperial culture active at  the moment) very Chinese and 100% pureblood ACTUAL PRINCESSES with state given powers and state given privileges and state protections – the Chinese section of the Debuttante’s Ball will be a celebration of the Han, Manchu, Tibetan and Mongol pedigree, not a vestige of Anglo centred colonialism with fifth columnists that innocuously go “asian princesses are ‘pretend’ or ‘lookalikes'”.

This Vivian woman looks quite Eurasian btw . . . *PUREBRED HAN ONLY* to count as necessarily 100% Far Eastern oriental pedigreed family organisers and debutanttes in the Chinese section of the Debuttante’s ball! If Vivian is not somehow indispensible, I suggest that a purebred Han replace Vivian as the face of Chinese ‘debutantry’. If Vivian is not indispensible, then I suggest Vivian take a advisory role and let purebred Hans lead the entire event anyway – in purely Chinese characteristic form.

ARTICLE 2

The Prince of Rails: Charles’s delight as he drives train while visiting British train factory – Last updated at 3:16 AM on 25th February 2012

Prince Charles showed he is all aboard British manufacturing when he visited Bombardier’s train building factory.

The Prince of Wales toured the country’s last remaining train builders in Derby, yesterday, and test drove a London Underground train to applause from workers.

His visit follows the Canadian-owned company’s announcement earlier this month that the Litchurch Lane plant will remain open, having secured a number of new contracts.

But its long term future is unclear – with 1,400 jobs being axed after last year’s controversial Government decision to award the £1.4bn Thameslink contract to German rivals Siemens, and Bombardier waiting to see if it will also lose out on the £1bn Crossrail deal.
Eyes on the track: Prince Charles turns tube driver on his visit to Bombadier in Derby yesterday

Eyes on the track: Prince Charles turns tube driver on his visit to Bombardier in Derby yesterday
Mind the gap: David Moss, left, and Laurence Rostron show Prince Charles a Tube carriage under construction at Bombardier in Derbyshire

Mind the gap: David Moss, left, and Laurence Rostron show Prince Charles a Tube carriage under construction at Bombardier in Derbyshire

Prince Charles was shown the industrial design studio, where he met designers working on the interiors and exteriors of Tube trains.

He then moved to the assembly line, where he spoke to Nick and Kane Jellyman, who are third and fourth generation workers employed by Bombardier.

Nick, 46, who has worked for the company for 30 years and whose dad and grandad worked at the plant, said the mood was upbeat and very positive now the threat of closure had lifted.

He said he was honoured to have met the Prince, adding: “He asked me about my work and said I must be very proud of my son, which I am.”

Kane, 19, an apprentice with Bombardier, said the visit was a massive boost for morale.

‘It was difficult last year when we lost the contract but it’s looking brighter now we’ve secured a few more,’ he said.

Prince Charles was also shown the inside of an s stock (sub surface) train, which are made at the plant under a long running contract to replace those on the Tube’s Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.

The Prince was joined by Derby South Labour MP Margaret Beckett non-executive chairman Sir Neville Simms and president of rolling stock UK Dr Francis Paonessa.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Prince of Rails?!? How crass.

Glad to see the ‘prince who could be passed over for king’, enjoyed himself at the train’s controls (would Charles be the one to press the button/pulls the lever or crank that fires the first nuke England ever fires?). But isn’t public infrastructure quite beneath royalty (Royal appearances should be limited major local festivals, new years etc.. culture based things and highest level diplomacy – i.e. commemoration-renewal of quarter-centennial diplomatic relations – mostly?)? Have some lower ranked aristocrat or peer to do this sort of crown representation. Bowlderises the whole institution, much like even Mayors would prefer to send local Councillors to open new highways or new rail stations because they are too high ranked to do the opening themselves. Perhaps in senescence ( . . . going Joo-joo . . . ) or if a royal is particularly eccentric (i.e. cou-cou), or if there are luxury VIP cars on the train, but this amounts to mere media hogging. “Too Damn Toff!” or “Not Yob Enough!”

Blue Train in South Africa

 

(Incidentally Barbados belongs to the Bajans-Arawak Natives who should have a sovereign Bajan led government holding parliaament in Bajan language, and who should have a representative seat at the UN held by an ethnic Bajan if not Arawak . . . ) http://www.bajanreporter.com/

Heres the real thing looking at the sumbsumption intending . . . http://www.lastgangintownuk.net/pgigs1.html

2 Articles on USA and England : Uniformed Personnel-Civil Servant Waste of Taxpayer funds – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 5th March 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, Abuse of Power, collusion, conflict of interest, corruption, England, intent, meatball, misrepresentation of facts, police on February 24, 2012 at 8:12 am

ARTICLE 1

4,500 serial offenders are let off with caution despite committing at least 15 crimes each – by Jack Doyle – Last updated at 10:30 PM on 23rd February 2012

Thousands of serial offenders are being let off with a slap on the wrist – despite each committing more than 15 crimes.

Some 4,500 criminals with 15 or more convictions were given a caution last year.

Tens of thousands more were handed fines, community sentences or suspended jail terms. Overall, some two-thirds of the worst serial offenders escaped jail, Ministry of Justice statistics show.

The police are handing out more and more cautions, even to those committing offence after offence

MPs said the figures betrayed the ‘soft justice’ system and called for more public control over sentences.

Tory MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said: ‘From November we get to elect our police chiefs. We now need to ensure democratic accountability over the rest of the criminal justice system.

‘So long as we leave it to the Secretary of State, we will never sort this problem out and get the criminal justice system we want and the public demands.

‘Soft justice is a consequence of an unaccountable justice system.’

Sentencing figures published yesterday showed nearly 105,000 criminals with at least 15 previous offences came back before the courts in England and Wales.

More than one third were locked up. But 67,461 were given a non-custodial sentence. Around a third of those, 20,553 were given community sentences and 16,149 were given a fine.

More than 11,000 were handed an absolute or conditional discharge – in effect no punishment at all. A further 8,160 were given suspended jail sentences.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke wants to promote better reform programmes rather than filling up prisons

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke wants to promote better reform programmes rather than filling up prisons

In 2004 the custody rate for offenders after 15 or more crimes was 42 per cent, nearly 7 per cent higher.

Overall, three quarters of crimes are committed by adults and juveniles with existing records.

Last year re-offending accounted for some 638,153 out of more than 850,000 offences.

Government officials suggested average prison sentences were at a ten-year high, with burglars locked up for an average of 19 months.

Average sentences for robbery and drug offences were also up.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has pledged to mount a ‘rehabilitation revolution’ to turn offenders away from crime.

He wants tougher community punishments and better reform programmes.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘Overall re-offending is falling but the levels are still too high and we are determined to address the root causes of this behaviour.

‘We are making our jails places of hard work, toughening community sentences and making offenders pay back victims and communities.’
Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

This must be the underclass equivalent of getting a bonus (and promotion) for failure. . We are certainly living in very strange times.

– Brian., Wellingborough., 24/2/2012 06:13
Rating   21

Prisons cost money to build, and that money comes from taxation. You can’t have it both ways.

– john, scotland, 24/2/2012 06:03
Rating   4

A far more shocking headline would have been “serial offenders given jail terms”…

– King Cantona, republik of mancunia, 24/2/2012 05:44
Rating   26

The public need to be as enraged about this as they were the riots (which the government couldn’t hide) This situation is an insult to the law abiding public

– dean motley, the Commonwealth, 24/2/2012 05:13
Rating   12

Nowhere near enough detail here. Are these people who have walked free hardened serial muggers and burglars, or recidivist litter louts and casual drug users? There’s a world of difference. But what I really want to see is these three things : harsher, (and hence cheaper) prisons that either deter crime, or make it economically viable to lock up the worst offenders for a long time; a legal framework that permits long sentencing for the worst crimes; and judges who hand down sentences that properly punish the guilty.

– Sean, Up a mountain somewhere, but I’m not saying where, 24/2/2012 04:49
Rating   18

NOT going to prison isn`t working. Send them to prison with two priorities, the primary being to punish and the secondary to rehabilitate. Decent folk deserve protection from criminals.

– Escapee, Sainoi, 24/2/2012 04:36
Rating   23

oh come on..they didn’t mean to they’re of good character really..they had a hard upbringing..they had a bad day nothing’s their fault! yawn..this country is absolutely pathetic!

– mark adam, london, 24/2/2012 02:47
Rating   17

‘We are making our jails places of hard work, toughening community sentences and making offenders pay back victims and communities.’

———————————————————————————————————— In your dreams MOJ spokesman. The crims are almost queuing up to get into HMP

‘Butlins lookalike’. They are doing their best to get ‘put inside’ with dozens of repeat offences, but the legal system won’t cooperate.

– Gordon, Thailand, 24/2/2012 02:30
Rating   14

In the USA it is three strikes and you are out, in other words you get life if you repeat offend twice. However I don’t believe this rule applies for misdemeanours, just for serious crimes.

– Sittingburns, England, Great Britain, 24/2/2012 02:23
Rating   9

Adopt the American system caught three times and you are in for life. After all they have shown they have no respect for society so lock them up forever without parole or possible sentence reduction. I don’t believe it can cost the general public more than these criminals actions are already costing. Plus sack all the promoters and judges who prefer the soft option, protect the victims and forget the bill of human rights unless you consider it from the victims point as it is law and the criminals have already made the choice to be lawless and have rejected the standards of the general law abiding society.

– Toady the Toad, London England, 24/2/2012 02:20

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Am with the Secretary of State (not the Carls Jr toting one from Idiocracy, different morons . . . er people when they’re not morons ) on this.

At least some judges do not believe in enriching prison contractors. Simple enough. If someone steals 1000 sterling worth of goods in 1 year but is locked up at cost of 40+ thousand at tax payer expense for 1 year, he would have done the same damage in 40 years by being in jail for 1 year from some unthinking judge’s punishment – so the taxpayers get punished instead by wastage of painfully extracted taxpayer funds to enrich prison contractor/supplier/jobs system. Let the pettiest criminal be punished in any method by imprisonment (I recommend paying the same amount to the vendor . . . on the spot by the police, no need to waste court time . . .), it is still cheaper overall! And what is to stop the same behaviour from continuing after 1 year in jail?

The judges who ‘let criminals off’ are SAVING England’s economy by saving tax funds which are stupidly spent maintaining prisoners. If the ‘let off’ trend continues, massive funds from PRISON CLOSURES (though a handful of prison contractors/suppliers and gaolers lose their jobs) could be saved. What is worse, a collapsed economy and prison state or a handful of cronies who probably could find another better, more morally and also ethically correct way of making a living than this insidious corruption of civilisational values (i.e. to make a living I don’t care what is involved in my salary – the system is too large and unwieldy for MOST ordinary people to fathom, though some heavier thinkers take on the thankless work simply to validate the educations they never had or will never use because some crony was given the job instead . . .)?

MPs said the figures betrayed the ‘soft justice’ system and called for more public control over sentences. Tory MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said: ‘From November we get to elect our police chiefs. We now need to ensure democratic accountability over the rest of the criminal justice system.’ This should read ‘From November we now get to ensure COLLUSIVE PROFITEERING over the UNCORRUPTED PORTIONS of the criminal justice system (at tax payer expense). Did Douglas Carswell fail math, or is this MP just too daft to figure out the facts in the comment on the above 2 paragraphs? Soft justice is better than a Theft/Extreme Wastage of tax funds on pretext of being tough on criminals, like so many paedophiles (MP) in a Church (Parliament) victimising the children (voters) . . .

Perhaps the best way to punish petty theft or minor crimes would be to bar repeat offenders with electronic bracelets or such, from patronizing shop chains they offended in (keep stealing enough, the offenders would not be able to enter most shops in the end) WHILE saving imprisoning costs.

ARTICLE 2

Something is Wrong when a U.S. Soldier Costs $1 Million a Year – Yahoo! Contributor Network – By Calvin Wolf | Yahoo! Contributor Network

According to CNN, the Pentagon comptroller said during a congressional budget meeting that it cost “about $850,000 per soldier” per year in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reached a more expensive conclusion: $1.2 million per soldier per year. The estimate is supposed to increase for 2012.

The Pentagon comptroller, Department of Defense undersecretary Robert Hale, said higher weapons operating costs were “a good part that’s probably 50 percent of the budget” when explaining the $850,000 per-soldier statistic.

Something is wrong when the U.S. is spending around $1 million per soldier per year to fight in Afghanistan. It’s more wrong when we’re getting “probably” and “a good part” and other ambiguous terminology. While I’m struggling to pay my rent on a public school teacher’s salary, I want to know why the Department of Defense lacks hard-and-fast figures on its overseas spending.

I want to know who allowed military spending to swell to the point that enough was being spent per individual soldier to pay 21 Americans at home a comfortable $40,500 annual salary.

Weapons operating costs? Are they firing shells of pure gold? Platinum bayonets? Are Humvees suddenly being made by Rolls-Royce? Hearkening back to the wars of generations past, how would generals like Pershing, Patton, MacArthur and even Westmoreland view a figure like $850,000 per man per year?

When the nation still struggles to pull its way out of a recessionary pit, why are we spending like this? The recent riots over the Quran burnings at Bagram Air Base, explained by ABC News, show our billions of dollars have not helped us secure and solidify the notoriously unstable nation of Afghanistan. If we’ve been unable to turn Afghanistan around in over a decade worth of active intervention, why do we continue to burn through taxpayer dollars like they grow on trees?

One million dollars per soldier has not given us anything resembling a true victory in Afghanistan. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. It’s time to decide whether we want higher unemployment and an inefficient military or whether we want an effective balance; a nation where we’re willing to help the poor and unemployed and forego gold-plated bullets.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

More collusion on the part of term limitless legislators (governors, sanators congressmen etc..) with the military contractors and suppliers. Ideally as in the 9th and earlier crusades, anyone who wanted to go to war would have to get their own horse and supplies. Today they should allow the same. A millionaire/billionaire instead of being a wasteful consumer of luxury and exuding decadence and laziness that influences his lessers, should be allowed to buy and maintain his own fighter jet, tank, artillery or even warship, if he wanted to. This would save money, foster a sense of personal pride and take the funding issue entirely out of the equation for government, while at the same time, keeping citizens safer by ensuring ‘Big Government’ won’t be able to decide to spend much needed tax payer monies on war instead of civilian expenses. That is, if the ‘big boys’ want to go to war, they can jolly well fund out of their own pockets, instead of using tax payer funds who are not so big.

Perhaps 2 different taxpayer fund pools? Perhaps an opt out for taxpayers in that separate fund for citizens deciding that their funds will not be used to fund wars or maintain nukes and missile silos that will never be used? That when dismantled AGAIN give some contractor a nice tidy sum of tax funds? The citizens should only vote for legislators that are very clear (and on penalty of quitting their posts if failing to keep their word to amend or change constitutional articles or laws in a given timeframe, that allows States to use taxpayer funds for things that they cannot afford) that the nation is after all the people and those tax funds may not be theirs to use for those who opt out for war.

Such obviously civilian derived funds to create cheaper sources of food, better housing, or for necesssary welfare – instead of political personnel perks, parliamentary privileges (which taxpayers vote that politicians will not be entitled to tea and crumpets at their expense? Or special funeral funds – while serving a bureaucrat get paids a salary after the bureaucrat retires they have a pension – that should be given no more than the same amount of time spent working – who the hell is going to give a civil servant an entire or more than normal 401K equivalent for that region for just dying?!? Especially when they can afford their own funeral etc..?)

$16 Muffins, $8 Coffess, $5 Meatballs : Justice Dept. Spending Rapped

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/09/21/140661100/-16-muffins-8-coffees-5-meatballs-justice-dept-spending-rapped

The smoked salmon is ‘awful’ and the pork escallops are a ‘disgrace’: What peers said about their exclusive cafeteria (which costs the English £1.44m a year to subsidise)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2110365/The-smoked-salmon-awful-escallops-disgrace-What-peers-said-exclusive-cafeteria-costs-1-44m-year-subsidise.html

If a soldier costs 1 million a year to maintain (that Afghanistani Naan and side of meat DO NOT cost USD$100 for the whole month to requisition . . .  think . . . ), then 20 years of a single soldier in service will cost, 20 million which means 29.9 401Ker’s retirements. That same soldier retires in the same manner as well later AND at taxpayer expense! So think about that ‘Letters of Marque’ format or ‘Privateering’ concept where ALL military are voluntary and paid for by themselves. This would create massive jobs (as well as massive capability to wage war – instead of fostering useless plutocrats – how many Battalions of soldiers, or Nuke Subs and navy crew is 40 billion worth Mayor Bloomburg able to support and fund? But the law would have such ‘GLC’ people as lazy and indolent symbols of excess who keep oligarchies that result in worsening laws and Orwellian social conditions in the USA that could fund the entire US military themselves but do not – and who are ready to leave the country with ALL the taxpayers’ funds at the first sign of trouble.

I bet you that under the Plutocrat’s personal funding, the price of a single soldier will suddenly drop to 10,000 a year per soldier . . . thats how much the taxpayers are losing yearly because of government/military contractor-supplier collusion USD$990,000 in all likelihood.). Create that second pool of tax funds specific to persons who believe in war and those who believe in peace (at least those who opt out from allowing their funds to be used for military purposes) by the civilians for civilian purposes – and that means transparent accounts to determine if a hammer or toilet seat do not cost USD$4000 each instead of USD$4 at discounted prices – the rest as of now is being handed out in extreme yearly salary raises when GDP is dropping, and way beyond inflation rates to boot. Anyone able to consider these issues had better act.

David Cameron: Scotland and the UK are stronger together – The Union should be viewed as a joint effort, according to David Cameron. – Published on Thursday 16 February 2012 00:00

In Apartheid, critical discourse, criticism, England, Equality, politics, Scotland, sovereignty, subtle insults on February 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

WHEN we unite and help each other we are safer, richer and have a fairer society. We should not undo that, writes David Cameron

The fight is now under way for something really precious: the future of our United Kingdom. I am 100 per cent clear that I will fight with everything I have to keep  our United Kingdom together. To me, this is not some issue of policy or strategy or calculation – it matters head, heart and soul. Our shared home is under threat and everyone who cares about it needs to speak out.

My argument is not that Scotland couldn’t make a go of being on its own, if that’s what Scots decide. Of course Scotland could. They are plenty of small, independent nation states of a similar size or even smaller.

There are arguments that can be made about the volatility of dependence on oil, or the problems of debt and a big banking system. But that’s not the point. The best case for the United Kingdom is entirely positive: We are better off together.

Why? Well, first of all, let’s be practical. Inside the United Kingdom, Scotland – just as much as England, Wales and Northern Ireland – is stronger, safer, richer and fairer.

We’re stronger because together we count for more in the world, with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, real clout in Nato and Europe, and unique influence with allies all over the world. We’re safer, because in an increasingly dangerous world we have the fourth-largest defence budget on the planet, superb armed forces and anti-terrorist and security capabilities that stretch across the globe.

We’re richer, because inside the United Kingdom Scotland’s five million people are part of an economy of 60 million, the seventh-richest economy on the planet and one of the world’s biggest trading powers. Today, Scotland has a currency which takes into account the needs of the Scottish economy as well as the rest of the United Kingdom when setting interest rates and it can borrow at rates that are among the lowest in Europe.

The United Kingdom helps ensure fairness, too. Not just because we all benefit from being part of a properly-funded welfare system, with the resources to fund our pensions and healthcare needs, but because there is real solidarity in our United Kingdom.

When any part of the United Kingdom suffers a setback, the rest of the country stands behind it. Whether it is floods in the West Country, severe weather in the north or the economic dislocation that has hit different parts at different times and in different ways we are there for each other.

So the practical links directly to the emotional. The strength of the United Kingdom is about the heart as well as the head. I am not just proud of the Union because it is useful. I’m proud because it shapes and strengthens us all.

The link between our nations is a precious thing. It’s about our history, our values, our shared identity and our joint place in the world. Just think of what we’ve achieved together. Scotland has contributed to the greatest political, cultural and social success story of the last 300 years: the creation and flourishing of a United Kingdom built on freedom and inclusivity (Yeah right – watch ‘Braveheart’ to see how inclusive ‘Prima Noctis’ is yer gits . . . ).

The Union has never been about shackling different nations: it’s a free partnership, a joint effort, often driven by Scottish ideas and Scottish leadership. Together we have turned a group of islands on the western edge of Europe into one of the most successful countries in the world.

And one of the reasons we are tempted to look backwards is because Scotland as a nation – and as part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years – has achieved so much.

But proud as that past and present are, I am convinced that for both Scotland and the United Kingdom our best days lie ahead of us. Though it may be a great historical achievement, the United Kingdom is even more of an inspiring model for the future.

Look at the key challenges of our times. In an increasingly globalised world, with populations moving, cultures clashing and new connections offering opportunities for prosperity, every state is asking itself how can we build institutions that combine diversity with strength?

Nothing encapsulates the principle of pooling risk, sharing resources and standing with your neighbour better than the United Kingdom.

And it is a United Kingdom which is not monochrome and minimalist but multi-national, multi-cultural and modern in every way. That is what the United Kingdom offers – and what other nations aspire to.

Far from growing apart as separate nations we’re actually growing together. There are now more Scots living in England and English people living in Scotland than ever before. Almost half of Scots now have English relatives (do rape children count as relatives? Give over the sovereignty then talk.).

I don’t believe the people of Scotland – any more than the people of any other part of the United Kingdom – want to turn inward and away from each other.

A Conservative leader joining this debate is accused of everything from interference to irrelevance. I accept my party’s presence in Scotland is small. I know there are some who even argue we would do better politically without Scotland. My response to all these points is the same: I am not interested.

This matters too much – to me personally, and to the future of our country. I’m not coming to Scotland today to make a case on behalf of my party, its interests or its approach to office. I am coming as the Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom to stand up and speak out for what I believe in.

The strengths that have served us within the United Kingdom through the centuries are precisely the ones we most need today. So let’s have this debate, set out the arguments – and settle the question.

• David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Taking the Scots for granted? And that does not preclude Scotland FIRST getting sovereignty and a UN seat? What is to stop Scotland and England from ‘being together’ and helping each other out AFTER Scotland gets sovereignty? Why doesn’t England want Scotland to get it’s own seat in the UN? England still wants to control Scotland, and by this, ‘stronger together’ England retains CONTROL of policy, mainstream language, faith (of which the Anglican Xian denomination led King of *England* heads Scotland AGAIN instead of a Druid or Bard council of sorts) and Scotland for England and a lack of sovereignty for Scotland. Sugarcoat a lie . . . where’s that Scottish Monarchists movement btw? King MacAlpin awaits sovereignty and to stand equal to the English King to be William . . . then talk about standing together AS EQUALS not as suzerain of a kingless vassal people denied UN representation.

Even cowgirls go nude, apparently: Police arrest woman, 18, wearing only cowboy boots after low-speed chase – by Daily Mail Reporter – Last updated at 5:04 PM on 14th February 2012

In Abuse of Power, better judgments, England, Law, overkill, profiteering off fines, spirit of the law, too damn high, unreasonable fines on February 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Taylor Burnham

Naked cowgirl: Taylor Burnham, 18, fled when she saw police

Taylor Burnham, 18, was arrested on drunk driving charges after she was spotted wearing only cowboy boots in Corpus Christie, Texas, and then led police on a low-speed chase in her Jeep Wrangler.

Police were called to an alley behind homes in one of the city’s subdivisions about 3.30am Sunday.

When officers arrived and spotted Burnham, she was standing stark naked — except for a pair of cowboy boots — near her Jeep.

Instead of stopping, Burnham climbed into her vehicle and drove off.

She proceeded to lead police on a low-speed chase, never exceeding 30 miles per hour.

Burnham drove through a neighboring subdivision before stopping after she ran up on a sidewalk.

A police report says a female officer helped her dress herself before police administered a breathalyzer and a field sobriety test.

It’s unclear why she was naked except for her cowboy boots.

She was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving, as well as evading arrest, a felony.

Burnham was released from jail after posting $3,500 bail.
Mystery: It’s unknown why Burnham was wearing cowboy boots and nothing else

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Naked Cowgirl for President! 3500 fine for nakedness? Are English now Taliban? They could ignore her as she was in her car – a private space obviously then people should not be looking into. Only if outside in the public space, they should issue a warning and only fine not more than $10-$50 on the second and subsequent offences. It’s about public order, not profiteering off fines. Also there should be some nudist colonies or nudist districts she could be referred to.

Madonna reinvents herself yet again – this time into Egyptian Queen for Super Bowl (or is Maddie a Roman gladiator?) in Givenchy couture – by Deborah Arthurs Last updated at 3:13 PM on 6th February 2012

In colonialism, England, Equality, Ethics, historical, media traps, media tricks, political correctness, USA on February 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

At last night’s Super Bowl, 53-year-old Madonna high-kicked and cartwheeled her way through a high octane performance. (No somersaults and backflips?)

But her physical and musical prowess were not the only things to get fans excited: Madge’s costumes proved to be top talking points too. Given the furore Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction caused back in 2004, the notoriously risqué singer wisely kept it all well above board.

Her wardrobe was a stunning series of bespoke Givenchy Haute Couture creations by Riccardo Tisci, designed with a melange of themes that embraced both Roman gladiatorial style and the elegant excess of Egyptian queens.

Egyptian queen meets Roman gladiator: Madonna’s Givenchy Couture look for the half-time performance at the American Superbowl

What that translated to was a set of architectural pieces heavy on gold embellishment, featuring statement flourishes lavish in detail, with plenty of sequins, leopard print, metalwork and evocative cuts channelling Tisci’s work for Givenchy over the past few years.

There were three main designs: a gold, hand-embroidered full-length gown with headdress; black and gold miniskirt with hand-studded warrior-style belt, and the final design – a heavily embellished black coat with high collar.

The transition between costumes took place on stage, and was choreographed to form part of the spectacle. ‘Following my collaboration with Madonna on her last tour three years ago, it is a great honor for me to be a part of yet another historical and iconic moment,’ Riccardo Tisci said of the collaboration.

Egyptian queen meets Roman gladiator: Madonna’s Givenchy Couture look for the half-time performance at the American Superbowl
Madonna in the gladiator look

Black mini dress in silk cady, worn with leopard print short cape in silk charmeuse hand-embroidered with gold metal cut out pieces, studs, crystals, sequins and paillettes, worn with a black python hand-studded and hand-embroidered belt with removable matching flaps

‘People say everything has a limit, but limits do not exist with Madonna.

‘I am so happy that, after being busy in other scenes, she decided to go back on a music stage. Not only to bring us music, but also to make such a statement of performance and fashion.’

All of the outfits were worn with hand-embroidered nappa leather gloves – an essential accessory, given that Madonna has rarely gone without gloves in public over the past few years.

Her bespoke headpiece was designed by Philip Treacy; the jewellery was Bugari.

For her set, Madonna performed a greatest hits selection of her classics, including Vogue, Music, Express Yourself, and her new single, Give me all your Luvin, featuring Nicki Minaj, who appeared on stage with the star.
In the gold cape for the Bridgestone Superbowlhalftime show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
Madonna in the black coat, embellished with rectangular sequins

Left, Madonna in the hand-embellished gold coat, and right, wearing the final outfit, the black coat, embellished with rectangular sequins

Egyptian queen meets Roman gladiator: Madonna’s Givenchy Couture look for the half-time performance at the American Superbowl

Left: Gold cape with all-over hand-embroidery, gold metal cut-out pieces, studs, crystals, sequins and paillettes, lined in leopard-print chiffon. Right, black coat in silk cady, hand-embroidered with shiny black rectangular sequins and micro-pearls

Madonna in the controversial 1989 video for Like A Prayer in which she seduced Jesus; right, in white lace gloves and corset – a look that she would make her own – at the MTV awards in 1984

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. The comments below have not been moderated.

the QUEEN came ….and the QUEEN conquered!!! the bar was raised sooooo high from her amazing performance last night…that next year’s performer will need a rocket ship to get over it!! Bees, Ohio and glen1946 Texas…don’t forget to take the dishes out of the sink before you pee in it!

– Mattress, Minneapolis, MN USA, 06/2/2012 15:07
Rating   1

There is nothing elegant about Madonna. Nothing.

– Sophie , East Side, 06/2/2012 15:02
Rating (0)

We switched over to ‘ How its Made’ while she was doing her act. Why would the Super Bowl Committee choose this woman to perform on a family show when she is renowned for nudity, sexually provocative film roles and other unsavory antics? What message are children supposed to take from this? Ah well, At least the Giants won.

– glen1946, Texas USA, 06/2/2012 14:57
Rating   4

One word for “Madge” : RETIRE

– Bees, Ohio USA, 06/2/2012 14:26
Rating   13

Madge totally ripped off Kylie’s Aphrodite Tour!

– daniel, melbourne, 06/2/2012 13:18

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Don’t create a fusion culture between the 2 distinct cultures and peoples. Relations between Rome (bronze, dark eyed) and Egypt (darker/dark-eyed-pre-Arab) were one of unhappy vassal and colonial oppressor/aggressor – if not reading wrongly this ‘concert’ sets Rome against Egypt again bringing back to mind the enmity between the 2 great cultures and their faiths in those barbaric times where there was nothing to do but wage war. The entire pantheons of gods were different. So in the interest of cultural purity and peace between 2 massively popular cultures, let us not write articles or present the concert in a way that ends up reminding of how warring Rome destroyed Egypt in those un-PC barbaric times. Ethnic purity and cultural-religious purity should be attenuated where possible, this pro-fusion article is a subtle apologist thing for mixing to oblivion what are 2 distinct cultures – if so intended. If the push and shove trend towards continual fusions occur, we’ll have a ‘too many cooks’ scenario, guess what the kings of the empires at their peak would feel? Not happy about Givenchy’s treatment of their unique cultures! Pastiche!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastiche

Or ‘hiply’ put, ‘Fusion’. Talk to some pet breeders some day to get an idea of how much purity is valued. Then apply to culture . . .

Doubtless the awareness of Roman and Egyptian are present though in another ‘time’ and era, and would appreciate the blessed who would make the distinctions clear than blur for the expense for a single people – the Angles who are from Germany and worse, after terrorizing and subjugating the Irish, Welsh and Scots (original dwellers of the Isles – the hinterland being Scandinavian and Viking – Pan -Germanic Paganism, Nordic pantheons etc. . . .), tried to destroy Germany later on in WW2, talk about ungrateful !

There is no Britain or United Kingdom, and Xianity the selected religion of choice, was from Aramea (created by dark haired dark eyed Jesus). The true original peoples and faiths long predating Xianity were Celtic Welsh of Wales, Druidic Irish Ireland, and Scotland’s Faerie(Wiccan?)Tuatha Pantheon of the Scottish all 3 nominally red haired and green eyed peoples, woad painted dear skin warrior peoples etc.. These were the ONLY and righful sovereign peoples of the North Atlantic Isles (call them the Triple Crown) until the Angle invaders made landing there and brutalized the unique people and converted them with force, denouncing them as pagas and what not. They shuold each have a seat on the UN and their own Kings and governments, the Angles can go back begging to Germany if Germany will have them, who knows Wales after independence could under the issue of invasion reclaim the entire eastern region where ‘England’ is now.

This I guess is what the Mayans meant by the end of an era . . . the end of the violent colonialist era that is. Everywhere they went the Angles colonized and brutalized, AFrica, India, China, and even a shot at their original homeland where Charlemagne reigned! Worthy of historical mention but not worthy of keeping lands effectively stolen and colonized. The IRA wouldn’t exist otherwise, not would all the negative or harmful memes floating about on the North Atlantic Isle (NAI) genotype. So Rome and Egypt should not have to suffer this fusion, and Madonna should go back to her Italian roots and perhaps lobby the Italian Court or whats left of them and take up the challenge of getting a title or few before retiring, figure out where Italy belongs in a resurgent Roman Empire (even as Israel should consider getting buddy-buddy with the Egyptians who were their patrons and sovereigns before Egypt fell to the Romans and they became Jews . . . ! ) not necessarily by force of arms, but because they are well loved and thought highly of in history and in the present. How about it, Miss half Italian half Scandinavian Judaic entertainer extraordinaire? Graduate from the circus yet?

By the way Maddie, take a look at the below link and drop a few ‘quid’ for the ‘Fam’ eh? Their poor state does not dignify Maddie or the Cicionne clan, *sel….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053026/Madonnas-big-brother-Anthony-Ciccone-sleeping-rough-river-bridge.html