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The government "honestly" believe that having lost in the high court and in the court of appeal, if they are successful in confounding both those courts that the Guardian would meet the governments legal costs in full? Isn't it a tad unlikely that the supreme court would award the government costs even if they did against all likelihood side with the government? Isn't it quite likely that if the next court ruling also goes against the government then the government would be likely to be required to pay the Guardian's legal costs?
ATOS are indeed hated and detested by most who have either had to undergo their assessments or those who have people close to them in need of the support that can be taken away by them. Is it not especially frustrating that it was not the Tories who put them in place but New Labour in an attempt to move to the right of the Tories on disability benefits. With the possible exception of individual member candidates with genuine principles is there any reason why people should vote Labour in preference to the Lib Dems or Tories in future elections. Would people not be better of choosing to support candidates or parties who are not in general broad agreement with the free market, light regulation, tough on the poor policies that have led us to this precipice we are now being pushed over.
" It is the long standing policy of successive governments not to comment in detail on matters of intelligence" A long standing policy, whose time has come to change. Especially given that people, where they've thought about it at all, have always assumed that spying is carried out against our "enemies" and now find it is apparently primarily carried out against our citizens and our businesses and our political representatives by spying agencies of "friendly" nations or by those of our nation on behalf of these supposedly "friendly" nations. What a change from the cold war eh? Back then you couldn't be sure who "our" spies were working for, but nowadays, we know who they are working for and we even officially accept payment for it too.
"We are talking about our political leaders banding together to DECEIVE the public." Nice as that sounds, providing utter absolution to the people who elect and re-elect these people, the supposed deception is down to the apathy and irresponsibility of the electorate. You can't put cats in an aviary and say in the inevitable aftermath that the fault lay with the cats.
The invasion of Afghanistan was an unjustifiable act, carried out by a fearful US determined to be seen as strong by picking on the weakest and most friendless country in the world. It is a shame to us all, that the UN effectively rubber stamped that crime, with an extra helping of shame for countries that actually participated. It was at the point when the US wanted to lash out, that good and firm counsel from a true friend was what was needed, unfortunately for Afghanistan, the US and the world, what they got was Blair and a UN so sympathetic to the US that they were willing to endorse a gratuitous and pointless attack on a incredibly weak and powerless proto-nation. It was one of those points in history, that at the time you know is a key turning point and I remember well, hoping and wishing that the UN would deny the US the chance to make themselves feel better by randomly lashing out. Preventing unnecessary and gratuitous wars is after all the principal purpose of the UN and when it came to it, it failed and failed miserably, setting us up for cultural war, mass mayhem and increased misery for the middle east to be the defining features of the 21st century.
Well one benefit they were just starting was to try to undermine the business model of the parasitic money lenders. That is now being sidetracked by the fact that with an investment fund that they have money invested in has invested part of that fund in Wonga. They haven't directly invested in Wonga, but that doesn't eliminate all traces of hypocrisy because some of their money still funded Wonga and the return on their investment which was from the poorest of society still increased the funds of the CofE. They have to change that, but we wouldn't be aware of any of it if they hadn't determined to raise public awareness about the parasitic and destructive nature of these payday lenders. It was their positive and deliberate urge to do something for the benefit of society that is now being derailed by their passive, non-deliberate and indirect involvement with one of those companies. It can't be ignored, but it shouldn't be allowed to distract people from what needs doing. And Wonga, Moneyshop etc. need to be put out of business.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2013 on Choose your commandments at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
Fair enough to point out the hypocrisy Paul, but it would be even better to see you attacking the cancerous and parasitic companies that include but are not limited to wonga, that are legal for reasons best known to successive governments who never put in place the kind of regulation that would truly minimise the harm they do. That churches are like everyone else, and have a gap between what they say and what they do, isn't really news to anyone nor does pointing it out do anything to prevent these bottom-feeding money lenders from sucking on the blood of the poor and most vulnerable in society. So it would be very encouraging Paul if you could put a bit more into attacking those who directly and actively harm people and communities. By all means also point out that indirect support by investment helps these businesses to thrive and castigate supposedly moral organisations who provide them with their funding but don't just concentrate on them.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2013 on Choose your commandments at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
"We could not have stopped Bush's war" Well, in fact, maybe we could. After all it didn't seem all that likely to many that Britain could even put up much of a realistic defence against Hitler's Germany, but it's amazing what can be done if you put your mind, heart and soul to it. But it is absolutely true to say that while the populace didn't particularly want to help Bush with his war, there certainly wasn't the stomach to put anything on the line to try to stop them. So we wouldn't have tried to stop Bush's war, so it is likely it would have gone ahead even we'd had the guts to verbally and politically oppose it. But Tony Blair's Britain did put a lot of effort into muddying the water to help make it happen, even before actually joining in with the commission of the crime. It's hard to say it would have definitely happened if we'd put the same level of effort into opposing it. We played good rational reasonable cop to the United States', crazy might just kill you and claim it was accidental, bad cop routine as they went around the globe bullying and threatening every small and not so small nation into either providing token support or at the very least to not speak in opposition to their planes. We cannot remove Britain and say everything would have been the same if we hadn't played the part we did. It was a big part and it dragged us all down into the mud and all that stuff that gets mixed in with mud and the stink of it is on us all still. With our lack of opposition to what the Obama led US now does, we are doing nothing at all to clean ourselves off and with what we do in support, in fact get a little dirtier each day.
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2013 on Monarch decision on war at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
It's not important to either the subject under discussion or your point, but democracy was born in Greece something more like 2500 years ago. It also seems that as Mike Gapes MP is declaring that he was neither bamboozled nor bribed, that he must therefore be an idiot. That he still makes a case for what is to date the greatest criminal act of the 21st century would seem to prove that he is. Why the people of Ilford South chose to be represented by such an idiot is a mystery.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2013 on Monarch decision on war at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
Given the apparent commitment of every major party to go go go on the incredibly expensive option of nuclear, no matter what they say before they are in government, with massive upfront costs, immense financial risk passed to the country and incalculable costs on the other end of the life cycle and no sane idea of how to deal with the waste, it seems a little party political to be blaming the Lib Dems for carrying on in the same tradition as New Labour, current Labour (I don't which word that signifies "let's not have any policies but if we end up with some by mistake let's make sure they aren't left wing ones is") and the Tories. In order of hopelessly incompetent and completely lacking in any sane vision for the future the parties currently stack like this 1) Tories followed closely by 2) Labour and coming up the rear as marginally less contemptible struggles 3) Lib Dems Out in the far reaches of the universe or possibly beyond them are the likes of the BNP and UKIP who on the whole are no more mad than the worst of the Tories but surprisingly are not taken as seriously as the rest of the rancid right. That makes the Lib Dems the best of a bad lot, thank goodness there are not only 3 parties and there will be other options. It's like the 70's fashion sense that orange, brown and lime green were the colours of cool. Like those 3 options, our political 3 options are just as incredible, awful, unthinkable and all heading firmly and decisively to oblivion. Thank goodness for the rest of the spectrum. We can hope the electorate start taking some responsibility for who they elect by the next election (although we certainly can't expect it) If Labour want support from people, they might perhaps actually articulate positions that aren't the same as the Tories but with vaseline smeared on the lens to make them look softer and nicer without having the guts to actually be better.
Okay, so the only way to guarantee a nuclear free middle east is for those countries that don't have nuclear weapons to be dealt with first. After that, I'm sure Israel will be quite happy to join the NPT and make the same good faith efforts to get rid of its nuclear weapons that the US, UK, France, China and Russia do. That seems like he has his finger on the pulse, or at least some digit is somewhere appropriate.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2013 on Lead by example, Israel? at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
Dear Mr Flynn, You know I read the kind of comments that Roger here posted and I think, I bet he feels angry all the time, about everything. Only by living a life of constant nurtured rage could someone whose living supposedly requires him to live out of hotels, presumably travelling all the time just to earn barely enough to support himself could be raging about a financial transactions tax. The kind of transactions that whilst occurring in microseconds trade the value of many chains of multinational hotels time and time again, back and forth, contributing to massive irrational volatility in the stockmarket are more akin to pure and reckless gambling than any kind of prudent trades or investments and are done by people who do little and contribute absolutely nothing to production of any kind, and with their tax affairs carefully arranged, very little or nothing to the society that has enabled their lifestyle and rewarded their brand of lack of contribution far beyond sense. To actually manage to be livid about being one of the supposed few who actually pays tax, whilst being incandescent about the closing of loopholes that both tax evaders and avoiders use requires a particularly angry and irrational frame of mind. He doesn't believe in the past, doesn't recognise what he has been given and doesn't believe in the future as he has bought the neo liberal arguments about the unsustainability of the government of a country actually paying it's debts to the people of the country in the shape of pensions etc, while not once objecting to making massive payouts to the same gamblers whose suggested taxation has sent him into paroxysms of wrath. Angry and deluded it seems. When a child falls down and cries out, everyone around is concerned. Some children cry out whenever they are unhappy about anything and those without children will for a brief time be just as concerned by all sets of tears and wails. But those with children and those with experience recognise which yells and cries signify genuine distress and which are attention seeking bratty behaviour. Likewise, Paul, when an angry little man cries out because of the pain of a financial transactions tax that does not affect him in any way, I trust you are experienced enough to judge the difference between a cry of despair and a tantrum from someone who isn't getting exactly everything his own way. Although, as with all truly bitter arguments, one suspects that the real cause of anger is something else entirely (probably the EU). Britain is an extraordinary country that way, when you query people you usually find that their greatest objections to the EU are all things that would be resolved by progressing rather than retarding the European project, as with standardising tax rates or taking power from the commission and giving it to the elected parliament, but the very idea of being merely an equal member of a voluntary union causes paroxysms generally in those who are staunch supporters of one particular involuntary union, one unrepresentative government and the UK's special privileged global position as lackey to the US. Ah the US, where life is so much better for, far fewer people and where politics is more game show than anything else with a handful of winners and 180 million losers.
For me this isn't a story about terrorism, if it was it would be about the most pathetic piece of terrorism you could hope to find. In the last few months alone we have had pathetic people brutally murder numbers of children by accident in some cases by design in others. The murder of this young man is horrifying and awful but I don't think the people of London or England or the UK are reacting with terror. People like Ingrid Loyau-Kennett have given the immediate and glorious response to an act of brutality. There are two things that will be remembered about that day - the death of Lee Rigby in what was a cowardly attack on an unarmed and unsuspecting man and the level headed courage of people like Ingrid Loyau-Kennett. People like the EDL wish this incidence evoked terror in people and it seems they have had some success in attracting a few more cowardly racists to their organisation on the back of it, but they will fail in their aim to have British people in general strike out like fearful and frightened children at anything they don't like or understand. The story we will remember is that a cub scout leader, a lady in her 40's, unarmed, first went to the aid of a man she believed injured and then stood eye to eye with armed and bloody murderers, spoke calmly with them, requested to give up their weapons and did not back down or blink. This is something to be proud of, a reminder of what once allowed the Britsh to claim greatness and will allow the people of Britain to celebrate the fact that after years of fearfulness and overreaction, there is a sign that this noble spirit is not yet dead.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2013 on Warning -ten year ago at Paul Flynn - Read My Day
"THE CONVENTION MENTIONED BY WILLIAM HAGUE IS THE 2003 PRECEDENT OF THE VOTE BEFORE THE IRAQ WAR" So that'd be the convention that the opposition vote overwhelmingly in favour of whatever illegal wrong headed and idiotic proposal the government puts forward and help the government carry the day over it's own backbench revolt. At least Hague recognises the company his foreign policy shares.
Hague is every bit as good at redefining words to suit his purpose as the previous and current US administrations are and as Tony Blair was. Apparently armoured vehicles and body armour supplied to one side of a war don't count as military equipment, because they in themselves are non lethal (presumable exception being if you drive an armoured vehicle over people) It is of course as valid as the claim that torture isn't torture unless the pain experienced is equal to death. The trick is the same, all you do is redefine the word you're using to a meaning that isn't usually applied to it and then stand by your words and/or stake your reputation on your good intentions. The staking of reputation only seems to be done by people whose reputation wouldn't attract any buyers at any price.
Also not really on topic, but it does sort of involve the royal family, viz Liz. Interesting to see the CofE apparently throwing a tantrum over gay marriage. Almost nice to see them getting upset about anything actually, just for the novelty. But, are they right to worry that as an established church that a change in the legal definition of marriage could by the nature of laws and agreements against discrimination mean that they could be forced into performing marriages for homosexual couples? Would they actually have to become disestablished to be able to successfully separate the civil marriage from the religious?
The proper placement of such awards is important though Paul, they can't just be shoved anywhere. If the sun isn't sparkling off such shinys then people won't notice them and yet I suspect people are talking about placing them where there is little or no natural sunlight.
"For example, part of the problem with legal highs has been that young people have been taking them because they equated legality with safety." There are no stupidities too far for some. If that equation had been made by anyone, then surely it would have been that due to entirely misinformed unreason people might think that all dangerous drugs are subject to prohibition. As opposed to knowing, what every adult and most children already should know; that all drugs, legal or otherwise have potential dangers. Which adds yet another situation to the problems caused by prohibition increasing even further the lead it has over the problems caused purely by the use or misuse of the substances being prohibited.
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