'Hot air': Rear Admiral John 'Sandy' Woodward has hit out at ministers over their handling of the government's diplomatic offensive against Argentina over the Falklands
Admiral Woodward, who was also skeptical of the value of Prince William’s deployment.
‘To have a Royal anywhere near the front line is a bloody nuisance for the rest of the front line.
‘You have to take extra precautions that he doesn’t get shot down, that his plane doesn’t fail. You maintain it three times as carefully.
‘If you have a Royal on board your ship it is the end of your career if he gets so much as a scratch. It’s never said, but it goes without saying.
‘He’s not there as a military man, he is there as air sea rescue which is really not military at all. It’s civil. I think it’s pointless, I can’t imagine why they sent him. Maybe they were just trying to wind up the Argentineans, I don’t know.’
AS CAMERON WOOS SCOTS WITH “DEVO MAX” HE SHOWS HE DOESN’T GIVE A FIG ABOUT THE REST OF US
Lords committee sets things straight
Committee chairwoman, Lady Jay, said: "Having looked at the consultation paper by both the UK and Scottish governments, and a significant amount of case law, it is clear that currently the Scottish parliament cannot unilaterally call an independence referendum.
"We are firmly of the view that any referendum held must be a straight choice between full independence or the status-quo.
"A third 'devolution-max' option is clearly something every part of the UK must have a say in as it has the potential to create different and competing tax regimes within the UK."
Scottish independence referendum should be straight yes or no, say peers
'Devo-max' alternative should be put to all UK voters because it affects whole population, committee says
FARCE OF GERMANY’S CEREMONIAL PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE LAID BARE WITH ANOTHER RESIGNATION
Angela Merkel's handpicked choice for German head of state was forced on Friday into a humiliating resignation, after being caught up in an alleged corruption scandal and misguided attempt to muzzle the press.
German criticism of other European powers for less than perfect statesmanship came back to haunt Merkel's leadership as Christian Wulff finally stepped down as president after a months-long row about a dubious loan, a string of undeclared freebies and his attempt to silence a German tabloid that was investigating the matters.
The 52-year-old has now lost his immunity from prosecution and could potentially face jail if he is found guilty of criminal wrongdoing. Prosecutors indicated shortly before Wulff fell on his sword, that they had "factual indications" of Wulff's long-suspected improper ties to rich businessmen
Party-loving Wulff, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has been embroiled in the slow-burning affair since mid-December, when it emerged that he had received a private, €500,000 (£415,000) loan from a wealthy friend's wife in his previous job as governor of Lower Saxony state.
As Wulff became the second German president to fall on his sword in two years, many in the country were asking whether the country really needed to replace him.
The position is largely ceremonial, involving endless receptions at the grand Bellevue palace in Berlin and certain quirky duties – such as becoming honorary godparent of the seventh child of any German woman. Since the rule was introduced in 1949, 77,100 seventh children have become honorary godchildren of the president. Each is currently given €500 (£415) as a present. The president also congratulates both Germans and foreigners living in Germany on reaching their 100th, 105th and all subsequent birthdays.
Mainly, the president's job is to be an upright member of society, morally and ethically unimpeachable, representing Germany at home and abroad. When a stream of murky allegations suggested Wulff was not acting as befitted a model German citizen, his days were always numbered.
German president resigns and could face prosecution in corruption scandal
Christian Wulff was picked by Angela Merkel for head of state role but couldn't shake off row over improper business ties
Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit
Mental health groups and charities attack plans drawn up by Department for Work and Pensions
Housing benefit cap forces families to leave central London or be homeless
As primary schools struggle to cope with the disruption caused to children, a council officer declares: 'To live in Westminster is a privilege, not a right'
CAMERON HORSE TRADING TO MANIPULATE SCOTTISH REFERENDUM
Cameron is continuing the New Labour policy of giving as little as possible to each region of the Kingdom to satisfy separatist tendencies
The result is a hotchpotch of differing arrangements that would embarrass any other country
We need a full federal constitution for Britain with symmetrical arrangements for each autonomous region.
Cameron’s shameless tactics are designed to give away as little as possible and to maintain the maximum of power in the centre
Cameron offers Scotland more powers if it votes no to independence
David Cameron has said he would consider further powers for Scotland, but only after a referendum
TOP BANKER SAYS BANKERS “SAVED THE COUNTRY”
Their arrogance and greed knows no bounds
Their threat to quit the City is hollow.
If they want to go and live in Frankfurt let them go.
They will soon find the truth of Mayor Boris Johnson’s statement that “the best advert for London is a night out in Frankfurt”
Row over bonuses is making London the worst place to do business, warns leading bankers
Government ministers have been accused of trying to gain favour with the public by openly criticising banking chiefs in the City.
APPEALS MUST NOT BE ONLY ALLOWED BECAUSE OF FRESH EVIDENCE
The number of wrong convictions that the British criminal justice system creates should rank is as a corrupt Third World country as far as justice is concerned.
All the cases that are eventually “put right” concern high profile crimes such as the Guildford five, the Birmingham six. But what about all the ones we don’t know about?
Now we are going to revisit the Bamber case after 27 years.
The justice system is always going to be imperfect and that is why there is an appeal procedure.
But the fundamental flaw is that to justify an appeal you have to find new evidence. That is crazy for if the defence did a good job in the first place they have already presented all the evidence. There IS nothing new.
The appeal procedure does not acknowledge that sometimes the whole trial was badly done.
The Mail reports: “the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which rejected Bamber's last attempt to win freedom 12 months ago, now had no option but to refer the case.”
Until we accept that trial judges are not perfect and that A SUSPICIOUS VERDICT ALONE regardless of fresh evidence should justify an appeal we will continue with the shame of a third world justice system.
And we will continue to destroy the lives of innocent people
Jeremy Bamber murder conviction in doubt after review by gun experts
Bamber was jailed after being found guilty of killing his adoptive parents June and Nevill, his sister Sheila Caffell and her six-year-old twins Daniel and Nicholas, at their Essex farmhouse.
NEED FOR FEDERAL SOLUTION INTENSIFIES
The idea put forward in this piece for an assembly for Northern England is just a sticking plaster solution. Unless this region gains a high degree of real economy from the centre its future will not be in its hands. This will only be possible under a fully worked out symmetrical federation of autonomous regions as the Democratic Republican Party advocate
North-south divide grows as jobs are lost at four times the rate elsewhere
Unemployment figures give new impetus to calls for an elected assembly for the north of England
POLITICS AND BUSINESS ON THIS SCALE
DO NOT MIX
Daily Mail writes:
Indus Basin Holdings (IBH) was set up by Aamer Sarfraz, a merchant banker at London-based investment company Tigris Financial, to make money out of burgeoning farm businesses in Pakistan.
As Foreign Secretary, Mr Milliband had frequent contact with Islamabad – including personal visits – as part of anti-terror negotiations.
Tax avoidance: David Milliband has managed to structure his business affairs in a way that limits tax liability
David Milliband takes lucrative new job with a Pakistan-based City firm backed by a Swiss playboy as.
The former Foreign Secretary, who has picked up a string of highly paid positions since losing the Labour leadership battle to his brother, has been appointed as a senior adviser to Indus Basin Holdings.
LOBBYING OF POLITICIANS BY VESTED INTERESTS MUST BE OUT IN THE OPEN AND RECORDED
Labour Cabinet Office spokesman Jon Trickett said the proposals were full of loopholes and left too much scope for future scandals.
Senior Liberal Democrats said lobbyists should declare details of how much they were spending and what they were seeking to influence.
The plans rule out a code of conduct for lobbyists and do not cover those who work directly for companies.
David Cameron accused of watering down lobbying crackdown
Ministers yesterday published a long-awaited consultation document that proposes lobbyists should be registered. But critics said the proposals left too much scope for future scandals.
TO REFORM CAPITALISM GET RID OF RENTIER BANKS
This article puts its finger on some of the right things but fails to get the whole picture and see the solutions that we need. Hutton does not understand that:
1. You cannot talk about banks and productive businesses in the same way. UK banks are not interested in the distinction between risk (gambling) on purely financial vehicles, bonds, derivatives, etc, and risk (investment) on productive businesses. You cannot have the government taking risk on the former (as we do now)
2. You cannot run businesses successfully on the basis that the ownership can be traded in nanoseconds, so that the owners have no interest in it AS A BUSINESS. This is how the London Stock Exchange currently works
3. The mechanism by which the government would assume risk would be far too complicated and bureaucratic. Banks must assume the whole risk. Also venture capitalists can be encouraged. Banks must be structured to accept long term commitment to companies (as in Germany) and that means taking shares in them as well as making loans (as in Germany).
4. Keynes was mostly wrong in his analysis. Companies are risk averse not because the owners and others are hoarders of cash, but because the system under which they trade is skewed in favour of the rentier banks who suck the lifeblood out of the economy by diverse financial manipulations such as creating asset bubbles with Ponzi money. This can only happen because banks are the creators of money ad lib, with no control by anyone on the money supply. Very little new money finds its way into productive investment under the Anglo-American model
Hutton ignores these key points because he is wedded to the system of prioritising non-productive banks over productive industries
Words won't change capitalism. So be daring and do something
Will Hutton: Western governments must replace their redundant inflation targets with a target for the growth of the value of the goods and service they produce
RICHARD BRANSON TAKES A STAND ON DRUGS PROHIBITION
GUARDIAN BLOGGER WRITES:
Prohibition has triggered the worst crime wave in history.
* It has helped escalate the number of people on welfare who can't find employment due to their felony status.
* It has created a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.
* It has made these substances widely available even in schools and prisons.
* It has escalated gang warfare beyond what was experienced in the days of alcohol bootlegging.
* It has helped remove many important civil liberties from the very citizens it falsely claims to represent.
* It has put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.
* It has grossly escalated Murder, Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.
* It has diverted scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.
* It has overcrowded the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.
* It has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources.
Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That's what our misguided drug policy looks like. Isn't it time we all should up and told the government we're tired of being beaten and jailed so that pharmaceutical companies can poison and kill us for obscene profits?
Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!
Richard Branson expected to tell MPs: it's time to end the war on drugs
Virgin boss heads the list of campaigners who are set to appear at select committee hearing
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