Tag Archives: director

Derision for Liam Fox as he’s knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

Liam Fox: bye bye.

Tory joke candidate Liam Fox has been knocked out of the race to become director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

According to the Torygraph, the former international trade secretary was eliminated before the last of three rounds to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down a year earlier than expected at the end of August, so

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee will go head-to-head to become the trade body’s first female director-general

The reaction has been what you might expect, considering the person involved.

Fox was forced out of an early David Cameron cabinet for letting a friend of his, Adam Werrity, into confidential defence meetings and taking him on foreign junkets.

He has since crept back into Tory cabinets and was Theresa May’s International Trade secretary.

But he is widely held to be another inept Tory fool.

So the reaction to his WTO failure was clear:

Despite his abject ineptitude, Fox seems to be one of the survivors of the modern Tory Party, having managed to hang on in Parliament and in government circles for the last 10 years and more.

Let us hope this finishes him off and he retires to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

Source: Liam Fox knocked out of race to lead World Trade Organisation

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Incoming BBC chief wants to restore its reputation for impartiality. But will he?

Tim Davie: will this new broom sweep the BBC clean?

New BBC Director General Tim Davie is set to tell staff it is now a condition of their employment to be politically impartial.

It seems he has realised the Corporation’s credibility has suffered after years of kowtowing to the Tory administrations of the last 10 years.

And there’s academic information showing an “Establishment” bias during Labour administrations that made it hard for that party to get a fair hearing on the UK’s most-used TV and radio news outlet.

Fine words.

But will they cut any ice with entrenched right-wingers like Laura Kuenssberg and Andrew Neil, or the Tory-riddent BBC newsroom?

We’ll know soon enough.

Here’s the gist of the story:

The incoming director general of the BBC is expected to tell journalists that those who cannot leave their politics at the door are no longer welcome in a drive to repair the broadcaster’s reputation for impartiality, it has been reported.

Tim Davie will set out his plans for the corporation from its Glasgow offices on Thursday having taken on the role from Lord Hall, who stepped down from the top job last week to serve chair of the board for the National Gallery.

And the new director general is expected to make combatting accusations of partisan bias a focus of his tenure, The Sunday Times reported, by using his opening address to staff to tell those who cannot leave their politics at the door that they have no place at one of the world’s most trusted news brands.

Source: ‘You have no place here’: Incoming BBC chief to tell partisan journalists to leave bias behind | The Independent | Independent

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POLL: Should a person’s religious beliefs – as NHS Trust director or prime minister – affect their politics?

Richard Page says televised remarks opposing gay adoption stemmed from his Christian faith [Image: Matthew Walker/SWNS.com].

Richard Page says televised remarks opposing gay adoption stemmed from his Christian faith [Image: Matthew Walker/SWNS.com].

It is interesting that Richard Page’s claim to have suffered religious discrimination over his Christianity follows Theresa May’s claim that her own Christian beliefs are informing her conduct regarding Brexit.

This Writer’s opinion is that it is right that Mr Page should have been sacked as a magistrate and as a director of an NHS trust if he was allowing his religious bias to override the value of the evidence that was put before him, as he carried out those roles.

This story raises the following question, then (let’s run it as a poll):

A former director of an NHS trust is suing Jeremy Hunt for religious discrimination after he was effectively barred from applying for positions following his public opposition to gay adoption.

Richard Page has lodged a claim at the employment tribunal, saying his televised comments in 2015 that it was in the best interests of a child to have a mother and father stemmed from his Christian faith.

His remarks led to him being sacked as a magistrate in March for serious misconduct, after 15 years on the bench. Two years earlier, the lord chancellor and lord chief justice reprimanded Page after finding his religious beliefs, rather than evidence, had influenced his decisions during a family court hearing.

Page, 70, was also a non-executive director at the Kent and Medway NHS and social care partnership trust. In March, following a complaint by the trust’s LGBT staff network, Page was suspended for the final three months of his four-year term in office.

In August, the NHS Termination of Appointments Panel told Page “it was not in the interests of the health service for you to serve as a non-executive director in the NHS”, in effect barring him from applying for directorships in the future.

Page, a former NHS manager from Headcorn, Kent, is bringing a claim against the health secretary and NHS Improvement, which has the power to appoint non-executive directors. He is pursuing a similar case against the lord chancellor over his sacking as a magistrate.

Source: Former NHS director sues Jeremy Hunt for religious discrimination | Money | The Guardian

Lord Janner to face justice after DPP ruling overturned | UK news | The Guardian

So there it is – there will be a ‘trial of facts’ on the Janner sex abuse allegations.

This Blog believes pressure should be put on the CPS for further ‘trials of facts’, to establish the guilt/innocence of others who have been accused but have not faced trial.

Pressure grows on director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders to resign as it emerges trial of facts will take place after sex abuse allegations

Source: Lord Janner to face justice after DPP ruling overturned | UK news | The Guardian

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Paedophile politicians vilified on mainstream TV as Janner decision is overturned

Greville Janner: He will face paedophilia charges after all.

Greville Janner: He will face paedophilia charges after all.

It’s what some might call a ‘happy coincidence’: Reports emerged that the decision not to prosecute former politician Greville Janner for alleged historic child sex offences, at almost the same time comedian Adam Hills was raging about the way politicians have been able to cover up such activities in the past.

The rant, on Channel 4’s The Last Leg, was well worth seeing. For those who missed it, here it is, but be warned – he uses extremely strong language:

In Janner’s case, we are told a barrister has spent several weeks examining the evidence as part of an independent review, and has concluded there should be a hearing of the allegations. A decision, expected next week, would overturn the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision in April not to pursue the peer, who is said to have dementia.

The move would put pressure on the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to resign. She was criticised after it emerged that several other alleged paedophiles who have been diagnosed with dementia have still been pursued through the courts, and a review of the decision was announced last month.

The evidence could be tested in a criminal court in a ‘trial of facts’. The judge would declare at the outset that Janner is unfit for trial, but then ask a jury to decide – on the basis of the evidence – whether he committed the acts of which he has been accused.

There could be no verdict that he is guilty and no criminal sentence – but the jury could make a hospital order, a supervision order or an order for the defendant’s absolute discharge. This would be in order to protect the public, although it is unlikely that Janner is capable of any misdeeds in his condition.

This raises an interesting question: Can we have a ‘trial of facts’ in the cases of other MPs, against whom allegations have been made but who cannot – for many reasons – be punished?

The Blog has no intention of making unsupportable allegations but there are many questions hanging over the name Leon Brittan that deserve to be resolved – along with many others.

While the public may not need to be protected from them – especially if they are dead – isn’t there an argument to be made that they should not be held up as a good example to others, if the allegations about them are true?

Does anybody agree?

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A quick thought about the Conservative ‘tax lock’ silliness

Anyone who thinks David Cameron’s promise of a five-year ‘tax lock’ is a good idea must need psychiatric help.

Cameron promised to introduce a law banning income tax, VAT or national insurance increases in the next parliament if the Conservative Party is elected back into office, clearly in the belief that anybody on average wages or less is too stupid to know what this means.

We know better, don’t we?

We know that taxes are set according to each income group’s ability to pay. This means that people in the lowest taxable bracket pay the lowest amount, as they need most of the money they earn in order to pay their way. The amount of tax then increases by increments up to the highest earners – who take home considerably more than they need to survive, and who can therefore afford to contribute a much larger amount with no impact on their quality of life.

We also know that a five-year ‘tax lock’ will not affect the lowest-earning people at all. Nobody earning up to £10,600 pays any tax at the moment, so a freeze on nothing is still nothing.

What will it do to the people in the highest tax bracket? Well, it depends what they earn and how fast their pay increases, doesn’t it? Let’s have a look at the handy guide to average UK pay rises, created by fellow blogger Tom Pride last November:

141112average-uk-pay-risesTomPride

So the director of a FTSE 100 company, paid the average amount of a mere £2.4 million, would have contributed 45 per cent in tax, or £1.08 million in the 2014-15 tax year. Over a five-year period, if that person’s income continued to rise at 14 per cent, then by 2020 – at a 45 per cent tax rate – they would pay a total of £8,138,360 in tax over the years until 2020. That’s certainly a respectable figure.

But Labour has proposed an increase in the top rate of tax, back to 50 per cent. Under the same conditions, this would mean FTSE 100 directors earning £2.4 million in the tax year 2014-15 would pay £9,042,623.

That’s a difference of £904,263; nearly a million pounds each.

This writer doesn’t have current figures for banker salaries and cannot, therefore, work out how much tax they would pay – but you can see for yourself that the difference between the two scenarios is likely to come to several million pounds per top banker.

Those people don’t need that amount of money in order to survive. The cost of living in the UK is less than 1/50 of what the FTSE directors take home, let alone the bankers. But David Cameron wants them to keep that money.

Meanwhile the UK Treasury goes without millions of pounds that could be used to help balance the national deficit, pay off the national debt, and boost the economy.

We’re back to ‘Starve the Beast’ economics again. The nation’s finances can go to Hell, as far as Cameron is concerned. He wants to starve the Treasury with tax cuts for the rich – either actual cuts or de facto cuts like his ‘tax lock’ – and then claim that public services cost too much and will have to be scrapped or sold off to rich corporations in return for donations to the Conservative Party – as we have seen in the years of the Coalition Government (most obviously in the case of the NHS).

Unless you are a banker, an FTSE100 director, or a member of Parliament, you would be mad to support such a wasteful and selfish plan.

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Mockery of May and the Mail: Worst crisis since when?

The Fail on Sunday has fallen foul of its readers yet again, with a headline that begged for ridicule the moment it was released into the community. Here it is:

150426worstcrisis1

The worst crisis since when?

The Flail seems to be suffering from selective amnesia. As many commenters – especially on Twitter – have pointed out, the worst crisis since the abdication was probably World War II. Does anybody remember that little scuffle?

But then, what can you expect from the Mail? The abdication involved a Nazi sympathiser (Edward VIII) and at the time, the newspaper was run by a Nazi sympathiser too.

Edward VIII met Hitler - and was one of the few people who were delighted to do so.

Edward VIII met Hitler – and was one of the few people who were delighted to do so.

And what exactly was this “worst crisis”? It was the threat of a Labour/SNP deal that, according to Labour leader Ed Miliband’s categorical assurances, will not happen.

The good people on Twitter saw through the headline immediately – of course – and set about undermining it with extreme vigour. There followed a series of candidates for ‘worst crisis’ – some in pictures. See for yourself:

There's no hot dinner, and you're the one who has to tell Clarkson #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication (Ian Fraser).

There’s no hot dinner, and you’re the one who has to tell Clarkson #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication (Ian Fraser).

How about this one?

Left the wean [child] with Nicola Sturgeon #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication (LynoSNP2016).

Left the wean [child] with Nicola Sturgeon #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication (LynoSNP2016).

Or this one, from screenwriter, novelist and recent Doctor Who scriptwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce?

Button Moon exposed as cruel hoax! There's no such place!!! :-0 #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication

Button Moon exposed as cruel hoax! There’s no such place!!! :-0 #WorstCrisisSinceTheAbdication

John Prescott got in on the act: “I had to eat fish and chips without vinegar tonight .”

Shona MacLeod offered: “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again .”

There was this, from Lawrence McNeill: “ pubs run out of Beer 

And of course this, from ‘Mr Ethical’: “Worst crisis since Daily Mail supported Hitler. .”

The Guardian‘s Patrick Wintour made a serious point: “Home Secretary should be entitled to display her ignorance of history but not to question the legitimacy of a free and fair election in UK.”

Let’s give cartoonist Gary Baker the last word – on a serious point: “It’s a good job Theresa May hasn’t got serious things to sort like child abuse claims otherwise her talk of ‘abdication’ would seem puerile.”

Yes indeed. What is happening about the Director of Public Prosecutions and Lord Janner – and why is the Home Secretary wasting everybody’s time on this instead?

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Labour will ban MPs from having second jobs – hooray!

 

Corporate 'partners': These are just some of the companies that 'work with' your representatives in Parliament. Wouldn't it be better if the relationship was kept at arms-length and your MP wasn't their employee?

Corporate ‘partners’: These are just some of the companies that ‘work with’ your representatives in Parliament. Wouldn’t it be better if the relationship was kept at arms-length and your MP wasn’t their employee?

 

This is an important step on the way towards winning a personal crusade of Vox Political – to clear corruption out of the House of Commons.

The Labour Party will change the law to ban MPs from having second jobs including corporate directorships, employment or consultancy work.

Think about it; this means MPs will no longer be allowed to have dangerous conflicts of interest between their positions as representatives of the electorate and any responsibilities to other employers.

It would go a long way towards meeting the terms of the Vox Political e-petition from last year, which called on Parliament to ban MPs from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest.

It would not help when MPs have shares in particular companies – but those should be declared in the register of members’ interests in any case, and neglect to mention such interests should lead to strict penalties.

I know. The Maria Miller case (to quote a recent example) isn’t going to fill anybody with hope, is it?

A Daily Mail report has stated that the move will infuriate many MPs on both sides of the House, and some Facebook commenters have already trotted out the now-tired line that they’ll believe it when they see it, or Labour won’t be able to push the measure through as MPs would oppose it.

That’s a mistake – a whipped vote in a House of Commons with a Labour majority means an automatic victory – in exactly the same way the Coalition government has continually won controversial votes in the current Parliament (against ardent Labour opposition that has subsequently gone unnoticed by the public – or at least, by many commenters on this site).

The Mail‘s article affected shock at Labour’s temerity in wanting to force this measure on members of other political parties, claiming it is likely to fuel claims that the party is anti-business.

This is, of course, poppycock. How is it anti-business to make sure serving members of Parliament concentrate on their jobs as public representatives, rather than trying to serve two masters at once? It seems more likely that business will revive without their over-rated expertise.

After all, look how well they’ve managed the nation’s finances!

The Mail also quoted some goon who said it meant the electorate would be lumbered with more career politicians who have worked as researchers and special advisors, when there need to be MPs in every party who have had “real world” professional experience.

This too is poppycock. There is no reason a person in any career cannot stand for election and, if returned to Parliament, take a sabbatical from their day job until they are voted out again or choose to return to their vocation.

Ah. I’ve just looked up the name of the goon who made this claim: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen. Need I say more?

Finally, the Mail turned to the Institute of Directors for support. It’s as if the paper really wanted to hammer home how corrupt the system has become, and will remain, if left as it is. Of course, the director general, Simon Walker, said MPs could better serve the public if they have “active links” with the business community.

Well, of course!

How could he influence Parliamentary decisions without a few directors in the Cabinet?

This is a policy that we should all support to the hilt.

I strongly advise you to contact your MP and seek their support for it.

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Liars exposed! Why has nobody been sacked yet?

Questions to answer: Maria Miller, the minister for evasion, cannot be expected to respond. She obstructed Parliament's inquiry into her expenses claims and her eventual apology for her misdeeds lasted just 32 seconds.

Questions to answer: Maria Miller, the minister for evasion, cannot be expected to respond. She obstructed Parliament’s inquiry into her expenses claims and her eventual apology for her misdeeds lasted just 32 seconds.

This blog asked yesterday whether Downing Street communications chief Craig Oliver was a liar, an incompetent, or both after he denied that government officers threatened the Daily Telegraph with tougher press regulation if it published its investigation into Maria Miller’s expenses.

It turns out he was both.

The Telegraph has now published a recording of the conversation between reporter Holly Watt and Miller’s advisor Joanna Hindley, on which its allegations are based. There can be no doubt that the reporter did indeed have Leveson held over her (corruptly); there can be little doubt that this was done at the request of Miller; and there can be no doubt at all that Mr Oliver knew about it.

So – a liar. And incompetent, because he had obviously discounted the possibility that the Telegraph reporter might have recorded the exchange.

It appears that Mr Oliver still has his job, despite having become the second person to disgrace it out of only two appointed by David Cameron. We cannot comment on Joanna Hindley.

The bullying, possibly blackmailing fraudster Maria Miller – who also persecuted thousands of disabled people while she was minister for equalities, also remains part of the government.

This speaks volumes about the lack of judgement displayed by ‘comedy’ Prime Minister David Cameron.

The longer he delays removing his rotten minister, her rotten advisor and his rotten media chief, the more rotten he and his government will become – in the opinion of the public.

And for this Prime Minister, public opinion is everything.

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The Telegraph must stand firm against Downing Street bullies

Self-satisfied: Downing street communications chief Craig Oliver. But does he have any reason to look so pleased with himself?

Self-satisfied: Downing street communications chief Craig Oliver. But does he have any reason to look so pleased with himself?

Is Downing Street director of communications Craig Oliver a liar, or incompetent? Or is he an incompetent liar?

These are the questions we should ask after he denied threatening the Daily Telegraph with tougher press regulation if it published details of its investigation into Maria Miller’s expenses.

The Telegraph reported that Miller’s parents were living in her taxpayer-funded south London second home, implying that she had fraudulently claimed expenses for it, in December 2012 – and immediately followed its report with another, alleging that government advisers tried to bully the paper out of running the story.

The Telegraph claimed that Miller’s special advisor, Joanna Hindley, told a reporter that the Editor of the Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson, and that the reporter should discuss the issue with “people a little higher up your organisation”.

The report continued: “Miss Hindley immediately contacted the Telegraph’s head of public affairs to raise concerns about the story. The news group decided to delay publication in order to ensure the facts were correct.

“Having carried out further checks, the newspaper concluded that the story was accurate and decided to publish the article at the first opportunity, meaning it appeared on the day same-sex marriage was debated in the Commons.” The government then suggested that the Telegraph was using the story to “overshadow” the announcement.

“Miss Hindley also accused the Telegraph of harassing Mrs Miller’s father, John Lewis,” the story continued

“In fact, reporters had a brief conversation with Mr Lewis in order to establish how long he had lived with Mrs Miller. Over the course of the conversation, Mr Lewis said he enjoyed reading the Telegraph.”

These claims are clearly damaging to Miss Hindley’s reputation as she is shown to be threatening, on Miller’s behalf, to use government powers to clamp down on reports in the Telegraph, which would be an abuse of the system.

Today’s report on the BBC News website has former Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher claiming that Mr Oliver contacted him to “lean” on the newspaper and “prevent it going about its legitimate business”.

He said: “She has done the free press a great favour,” he said.

“Maria Miller provides a cast-iron example of why politicians should have no power over the press.”

Mr Oliver denied the claim that the Telegraph was threatened. But the question remains: If this is true, why did he not take appropriate action sooner?

If he is right in his claim, then the government could have sued the Telegraph for libelling not only Miss Hindley, but also Mr Oliver andMiller herself. Why didn’t he?

The Telegraph provided its own version of events immediately after they took place, but Mr Oliver has waited 16 months to offer us his side of the story. It’s too late now.

We can only conclude that he is either lying about what happened, incompetent in not having taken the appropriate action at the appropriate time, or an incompetent liar because – given then evidence available to us – it was those acting for the government who misbehaved.

And the bullying, possibly blackmailing fraudster is still in her job. Why?

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