Doomwatch 2/1: Patrick Henningsen - Catching up on 2015
Wednesday 16 September 2015 - Join alex:g for a brand new series of Doomwatch, broadcasting every two weeks on Wednesdays, at the more adult-orientated slot of 9.00pm to 11.00pm, beginning this week. New Text Jockey Jade Cawthorn looks forward to receiving your texts, emails and shout-box comments, and Nik Fox is the ‘Voice of the Visuals’, as the show looks at the year 2015 so far with the help of Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire. Listen at www.peterborough.fm or watch at www.ukcolumn.org/live
Jeremy Corbyn – “Everyone furious as agnostic republican doesn’t sing song about God rescuing a monarch”
Is this ‘change’ we can believe in??? From a full member of The Fabian Society??? Financial Times (Philip Stephens) – During more than 30 years as a backbench MP, the new Labour leader has been a consistent opponent of EU membership. Brussels, in the eyes of many on the far left, is the agent of international capitalism — the cheerleader for a globalisation that has made the very rich richer while heaping austerity on to the poor.
Most recently he has nuanced his opposition, suggesting that he might not campaign for withdrawal in the plebiscite due by 2017. But he has left himself a get-out clause. Were the government’s renegotiation of the terms of membership to dilute Europe-wide social protections — and that is one of Mr Cameron’s objectives — Mr Corbyn says he could indeed join the campaign to leave. Senior Labour figures believe that, at best, the new leader will take a neutral stance. Just as likely, he will follow the precedent of the 1975 referendum and offer his party a free vote, perhaps putting himself in the “out” camp.
Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell know of and support the concept of the Bradbury Pound - now, let's make sure they get on with taking the Bank of England (NOT our Bank, a private one) out of the equation in terms of creating interest-free money for national and public projects...
Eight resignations from the Shadow front benches in the House of Commons before Corbyn could even speak to them - Chris Leslie (Shadow Chancellor), Yvette Cooper (Shadow Home Sec), Rachel Reeves (Shadow Work and Pensions), Vernon Coaker (Shadow Defence), Emma Reynolds (Shadow Communities), Shabana Mahmood (Shadow Chief Sec to Treasury), Liz Kendall (Shadow Public Health) and Tristram Hunt (Shadow Education). Now, rather than keeping your salary for being a Member of a Party you no longer feel part of, serving against the will of the majority of the Labour Party, why not resign as an MP as well? Anything less would be a sign of being a hypocrite, wouldn't it? Cheerio!
Cameron’s Fear of Corbyn Is Palpable, As Tories Cry: ‘He’s a threat to national security!’
Clearly, Conservatives are afraid of Corbyn because of the new Labour leader’s ability to derail David Cameron and his party’s fast-approaching plans for a new war in Syria starting next month. Their embarrassing defeat of a war motion for Syria in August 2013 is still fresh in Tory minds, and the thought of another failed war vote could spell political disaster for Cameron’s own fragile leadership legacy.
France’s Le Pen Says Europe Migrant Crisis Is Same As ‘Barbarian Invasion of Rome’
European leaders and establishment media continue to misrepresent the ‘migrant crisis’ because they do not want the public to know that it is European, North America and Israeli leaders who have caused it to happen in the first place. Marine Le Pen, the current French presidential front-runner, claims that Europe’s migrants and asylum seeker trend is the same as when the barbarians invaded Rome. Le Pen also compared it to the ‘Nazi invasion of Europe’.
Sadly, Le Pen is not currently articulating France’s roles in the following: the sacking of Libya (although she has commented intelligently on Libya in the past), France’s support for the foreign proxy insurgency in Syria, and NATO’s failed 15 year takeover attempt in Afghanistan – all of which have been the key drivers in the synthetic ‘migrant crisis’. These realities continue to stump one dimensional politicians and their media pilot fish.
Currently, the staged crisis playing out in front of corporate mainstream media news cameras is all part of NATO’s strategy to ramp-up military intervention in the Middle East by establishing “safe havens” (No Fly Zones) in northern Syria, and thus allowing NATO and Israel a clear run to bomb unimpeded, and possibly invade and occupy Syrian territory, in order to protect their terrorist proxies present running wild in both Syria and Iraq, followed by plans to remove the Syrian government in Damascus.
The engineered migrant crisis media campaign is also fuelling the agenda of aspiring right-wing nationalist political leaders, hoping to seize power in the near future general elections throughout Europe.
Assad: ‘If you are worried about refugees, stop supporting terrorists!’
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has dropped the following bombshell in a new interview with RT, where he well and truly drops the hammer on recent Western foreign policy decisions: “It’s not about that Europe didn’t accept them or embrace them as refugees, it’s about not dealing with the cause. If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees.
“If we ask any Syrian today about what they want, the first thing they would say – ‘We want security and safety for every person and every family’. If you want to implement anything real, it’s impossible to do anything while you have people being killed, bloodletting hasn’t stopped, people feel insecure.”
Soros in Syria: ‘Humanitarian’ NGO Deployed For Regime Change, Not Aid
One of the largest humanitarian organisations operating in war-torn Syria – the ‘White Helmets’ – has been accused of being an anti-government propaganda arm that encourages direct foreign intervention. In an article for the 21st Century Wire news service, investigative journalist and peace activist Vanesse Beeley says that the White Helmets use search and rescue activities as a cover-up to demonize Syrian President Assad and help terrorists.
The official website of the White Helmets says that its volunteers have already saved more than 20,000 people on all sides of the conflict, adding that the organization is following the principles of humanity, solidarity and impartiality outlined by the International Civil Defense Organisation.
However, according to Beeley, the White Helmets and other NGOs such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, are used to justify the West’s policy of arming and supporting the insurgency in Syria.
Not Content: Frustrated Dick Cheney Hints At Nuclear First Strike on Iran
Former US Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been making the rounds in the mainstream media recently, allegedly to promote his new book which he claims to have co-authored with his daughter Liz Cheney.
Judging by the success of Bill O’Reilly’s books, FOX News watchers are still mostly unaware that with all celebrity and political ‘legacy’ books, the publisher hires a ghost writer to write it for them. If you’re lucky enough to get a copy signed by the author, know that’s the only thing truly authentic in the book.
So far this week, his numerous and unapologetic interviews have ranged from hawkish diatribes about the recycled cut-throat neoconservative platitude of “American exceptionalism” (the subject of his new book), to proto-fascist rantings about how the US needs to be more aggressive militarily with the world (as if that’s possible).
The usual sycophantic middle-aged right-wing media pundits have been gushing over Cheney’s second-hand ideologies, crowing, “Here’s someone who’s not afraid to tell it like it is”.
Maybe Cheney’s grandiose junket tour is part of Karl Rove’s covert campaign strategy: to help improve the abysmal approval ratings of the dynastic GOP Presidential ‘hopeful’ Jeb Bush. For the last three weeks, Jeb has been getting pounded by Donald Trump. Frankly, Jeb looks as if he’d rather be doing something else besides running for President.
It could be that GOP strategists believe that by promoting Cheney in a positive way to conservative voters – that this will automatically rub-off on the latest model on the Bush assembly line.
Egyptian Army Slaughter Mexican Tourists Having Picnic
This past weekend, trigger-happy Egyptian military brutally mowed-down a caravan of visiting Mexican tourists having an afternoon desert picnic, killing 12 and injuring 10 others. The cruel nonsensical act was carried with an Apache helicopter gunship supplied by the USA.
Egypt’s joint police and military operation claimed they were “chasing terrorist elements” in the Wahat region, and claim to have “mistakenly” emptied hundreds of rounds per second into four pick-up trucks carrying innocent Mexican tourists.
David Bowie Face on New Parallel Currency Note Sees ‘Brixton Pound’ Go Viral
The Brixton Pound was introduced five years ago into London’s last remaining authentic borough that hasn’t yet been culturally sanitized, although they are moving very aggressively right now to ‘gentrify’ the area by inflating a local property bubble and making the area unaffordable for the area’s most valuable asset: local artists, musicians and Afro-Caribbeans.
One of the area’s most famous artist alumni is rock and pop icon, David Bowie. Bowie’s debut on the area’s local parallel currency note has already catapulted the value of that note. Bowie notes have been spotted on eBay trading for a high as $66.00 (£43.00). The high end of this spike is certainly inflated because of a collector’s rush, but the fact remains that the value of that note with local businesses is recognized – and in very high demand. In this case, the currency is backed by the ‘cool factor’ (which seems to carry some inherent albeit intangible value) of the British cultural icon David Bowie, but it should raise some very interesting questions as to what other options might be available to the public at large.
How did jihadists hack into top UK ministerial emails if no security breach took place?
GCHQ has declined to comment on a report in the Daily Telegraph this weekend, which claimed that UK cabinet ministers' emails had been hacked, but that – bafflingly – no breach had occurred. Which is a bit like saying "nothing happened, but we're going to write a story anyway."
Spokesbeings at Britain's eavesdropping nerve centre told The Register on Sunday morning that GCHQ doesn't "comment on intelligence matters". We could go on to tell you that we understand that Whitehall was warned of a threat to ministerial accounts, but that successful hack attacks failed to happen.
But you'd be forgiven for thinking something went seriously wrong, with some kind of major security breach taking place affecting top government bods, if you read the Torygraph's report, which carried the headline "Cabinet ministers' email hacked by Isil spies". It went on to claim that "Jihadists in Syria have hacked into ministerial accounts in a sophisticated espionage operation uncovered by GCHQ".
Sadly, the claims have been parroted elsewhere in the UK by other national newspapers, which have failed to see the contradiction between claiming that a hack had taken place and then going on to say that no breach occurred. It has also been reported that Junaid Hussain – the UK fugitive hacker turned ISIS recruiter killed in a US drone strike in Syria in August – was understood to have been behind the "cyber attack".
To reiterate, the cyber attack in which no security breach occurred.
Why are houses so expensive?
The average house price for the UK was £282,000 in July according to the Office for National Statistics, which, if you live in London, sounds like nothing – the average house price there nudged £525,000 this month.
But the average UK earner, who takes home £24,648 gross, including bonuses, can only afford a house worth around £110,000, if you imagine them taking out a mortgage worth 4.5 times their salary. To find a job paying that much and a house that costs that little isn’t easy – saving for a deposit while paying market rents is even harder.
Part of the problem is scarcity. Britain simply isn’t building enough housing to meet the demand for homes. Part of that is due to a brick shortage that began before the recession, and a skills shortage: British workers predominantly don’t want to be builders, and the rhetoric against hiring in skilled workers from the EU and beyond also stymies attempts to build more.
But many people profit from rising house prices: landbanking is a huge problem that exacerbates the housing crisis. In areas where homes are needed, it works in private companies’ interests to sit on land that could be developed, inflating its prices, and in turn inflating house prices.
Tax Flakes – from Private Eye
Last year, 820 British councillors at 280 Councils were threatened with court action for failing to pay Council Tax. 93 of them continued to ignore reminders and ended up in Court, wasting public money and Court time in the process.
Under the Local Government Finance Act 1992, any councillor in arrears of more than two months is barred from voting on budget and financial issues.
According to figures seen by Private Eye, a total of 23 councillors suffered this indignity nationwide, with Stockton-on-Tees and Peterborough City Council top of the league – two councillors being barred at each.
Private Eye asked several authorities for details of the worst offending councillors. None would give out names, on grounds of “data protection”.
Peterborough MP blames “sheer incompetence” of expenses body
Stewart Jackson MP has criticised the regulatory body for MPs’ expenses after it ‘named and shamed’ him over a parking ticket for £7.50. Mr Jackson was included on a list of 26 current and former MPs who had expenses debts written off after failing to repay them.
However, Mr Jackson claimed he was more than willing to pay back the £7.50 and he criticised the “sheer incompetence” of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) which he says prevented him from doing so. He said Ipsa had written off the expense claim before he had been able to repay it.
Ducking and Daving – From Private Eye
David Cameron was trying to reward his donors in the latest Honours’ list, but must be feeling pretty rattled. He has an unprecedented seven peerages blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, three of them being generous donors to the Conservative Party. He did manage to slip a few benefactors into the Lords. James Lupton, until recently co-treasurer of the Conservative Party, has given more than £3 million to the Tories since 2009.
Stuart Polak, since 1989 has chaired the Conservative Friends of Israel, once described by Channel 4’s Dispatches show as “beyond doubt the most well-connected and probably the best-funded of all Westminster lobbying groups.” CFI has directly given £220,794 to the Conservative Party since 2004, but Dispatches alleged a figure of more than £10m through assorted proxies, companies and individual members – something CFI strenuously denies.
Restriction of stop-and-search is a victory for 'politically correct brigade', claims police leader
The reduction in the use of stop-and-search police powers is a victory for the “politically correct brigade” who have hamstrung the ability of officers to fight crime, a senior police leader has claimed. John Tully, the head of the body representing rank-and-file officers within the Metropolitan Police, cited changes in use of the tactic as one of the reasons he has become disillusioned with the job of policing after nearly 30 years.
“It’s ridiculous the way the politically correct brigade have changed things,” Mr Tully told the Police Oracle website after announcing that he would be stepping down from his post this year. “We can’t police as we should. We’re fighting crime with our hands tied behind our backs.”
UK 'could quit human rights court'
Britain's top law officer last night said he 'doesn't know' if the UK will still be signed up to controversial European human rights law by 2020. The comments by Attorney General Jeremy Wright are the strongest hint yet that the Government will quit if Strasbourg does not stop its meddling.
Mr Wright also dismissed claims that Britain walking away from the European Convention on Human Rights would set a bad example to the rest of the world. He said there were many countries in the world with proud human rights records which were not members.
His predecessor, Dominic Grieve, had insisted that leaving the Convention would turn us into 'a pariah state by European standards'. Mr Grieve was subsequently sacked to make way for Mr Wright - whose comments to MPs yesterday showed he takes a far more robust line.
They will intensify the pressure on Strasbourg to agree to David Cameron's demands that Britain's judges should be supreme when deciding human rights cases.
Justice Secretary Michael Gove is working on plans, to be published later this year, to abolish Labour's Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. The new legislation is expected to be worded in such a way as to give the UK supremacy over the European Court of Human Rights, which oversees the ECHR. It will include the wording of the Convention, which Labour enshrined into UK law with the Human Rights Act.
Stopping fracking won't stop climate change
By Baroness Worthington, a Labour life peer in the House of Lords.
“I have never supported a big push for fracking in the UK. I am neither pro- nor anti-fracking on principle, and I agree there are legitimate concerns about the technology’s potential environmental and social impacts that must be addressed.
“This is why, during the Infrastructure Act debate last year, I spent many hours persuading the government to think again about their ill-judged enthusiasm for the technology, emanating from far too simplistic an analysis of energy markets in the US.
“I am very proud that Labour successfully forced the government to introduce much needed new environmental protections and am saddened to see the government now trying to row back on these hard won commitments.
“There is also the incontrovertible truth that the economics of fracking now look poor. Even without steeply falling oil and gas prices, fracking was going to be a risky venture, since the process of extracting gas from tight shale rock involves more effort than the conventional tapping of natural gas from reservoirs.
“It is definitely not going to be the magic cure the Treasury is seeking to bolster tax receipts, as our conventional sources of hydrocarbons run out. That will require far deeper understanding of future energy and clarity of vision than they have shown hitherto.”
Shale gas fracking should go ahead in UK, says taskforce
Fracking for shale gas in the UK should be pursued as an alternative to the use of coal, a taskforce on the controversial technology has concluded, in order to provide a bridge to a low-carbon future.
The Task Force on Shale Gas, which is funded by the UK’s shale gas industry but operates independently, found that climate change targets could still be met even with an increase in the use of gas, which is less carbon-intensive than coal.
New Computer Chips Will Self-Destruct On Command
The new class of chips were designed by Xerox's PARC research company as part of DARPA's Vanishing Programmable Resources project for United States Defense Department. The goal? To protect sensitive data, like encryption keys or other high-security materials.
Researchers used a modified version of Corning's Gorilla Glass to create the chips which contain a small resistor placed at the bottom. When triggered by photo-diode -- either from a laser, physical switch or via radio signal -- chips will shatter into tiny pieces, rendering them useless. The Gorilla Glass material -- which is also used in smartphone screens -- has been specially tempered to create stress. Researchers say the smaller broken pieces will continue to shatter even after the initial detonation.
Ancient Mysteries: The Lost Civilization of 10,500 BC and the Great Pyramid of Giza
There is a myriad of evidence pointing to the existence of what is now an entirely lost civilization existing around 10,500 B.C. that was quite literally erased from the surface of the Earth by a 120 metre rise in sea levels at the end of the last ice age.
The Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx are tied to this lost civilization, and explanations for their existence may be found in the stars. Unfortunately, mainstream science and history refuses to acknowledge these discoveries.