Tag Archives: legal action

Will Damian Green retract ‘lie’ claim about porn found on his computer?

[Image: Reuters.]

Mr Quick makes a good – and timely – point.

Tories who are defending Mr Green have given up trying to claim that police did not find pornography on a computer in the First Secretary’s Parliamentary office in 2008.

Instead, they have admitted practices that suggest serious data protection breaches (Nadine Dorries), or suggested that the indecent material could have somehow downloaded itself onto the computer as if by magic (Eleanor Laing).

Neither seems plausible, but both seem to clearly accept that images were found on a computer for which Mr Green was responsible.

So Mr Green’s claim that Mr Quick was lying now appears to be highly actionable.

I wonder how he’ll respond.

A former senior police officer has demanded cabinet minister Damian Green publicly retracts a claim that he lied about pornography being found on a computer in the MP’s office in 2008.

Bob Quick said he would consider legal action against the first secretary of state if he did not do so.

In a tweet, Mr Green had described Mr Quick as “untrustworthy” and accused him of making “untrue” allegations.

Mr Green denies downloading or watching pornography on his work computers.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Quick said: “Damian Green called me a liar in the statement he tweeted on 4 November 2017. That is completely untrue.

“Everything I have said is accurate, in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest.”

He added: “I am in no way motivated politically and bear no malice whatsoever to Damian Green.

“This is despite unfortunate and deeply hurtful attempts to discredit me.”

Source: Ex-police officer demands Damian Green retracts ‘lie’ claim – BBC News


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Our Mayfly prime minister’s #Brexit speech should get her squashed like the bloodsucking bug she is

Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday will set out her approach to Brexit and be keenly watched by ministers across the EU. Some of them may bring popcorn [Image: Hannah McKay/PA].

Theresa May seems determined to make as many mistakes as she possibly can.

If she continues with this bid to be one of the shortest-lasting prime ministers in UK history, we’ll be calling her Theresa Mayfly. In fact, let’s start now.

The gist of today’s (January 16) Guardian story appears to be that she is threatening the EU with the possibility that the UK will take its trade to the US, under a new agreement.

What, like the now-defunct Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

That project would have been an agreement between the US and the EU to cut the cost of trade – but the price would have been high.

The quality of goods would have been cut to the lowest common denominator – a considerable fall for products made in the EU, including the UK.

Working conditions would have been devalued, meaning workers in the UK would have lost many of their valued working rights. Mrs Mayfly is already working hard to strip you of those rights in any case.

And – crucially – the agreement would have given multinational companies the right to take national governments to court if any legislation they passed was likely to interfere with their profits. This would have sealed privatisation into the National Health Service, to name one obvious example.

TTIP was stopped because an international protest was launched against it, in which ordinary people came together across national borders to stand up for their rights, for the high quality of their goods, and for corporations to be put in their place.

It seems Mrs Mayfly is threatening to take those things away from UK citizens, despite the obvious and demonstrable public feeling.

If so, then the EU nations will laugh at her – and encourage her to continue.

Her threat will not harm them, you see. It will harm ordinary British people – like you.

It will give American corporations the opportunity to asset-strip the UK for anything worthwhile and leave a worthless husk in its place.

And it will give the EU nations opportunities they would not otherwise have had, if the UK did not enter into such a devastating deal.

If Theresa Mayfly makes this threat – and tries to follow up on it – she’ll have to go.

Theresa May will aim to strike a defiant tone in her upcoming Brexit speech on the risks to the rest of the EU of giving Britain a raw deal, echoing the combative approach taken by the chancellor.

In a speech by the prime minister on Tuesday that will be watched closely in EU capitals, Downing Street is keen to impress that there are potentially lucrative economic opportunities elsewhere, weeks before the UK is expected to trigger article 50.

There has been no decision about whether to publish a document setting out May’s approach to Brexit negotiations or let the prime minister’s speech stand as the plan, as she promised to MPs.

May is likely to emphasise Britain’s enthusiasm for pressing ahead with negotiating trade deals with countries including the US.

Source: Theresa May’s speech to warn EU of risk of giving UK a raw Brexit deal | Politics | The Guardian

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Tories and Lib Dems collaborate to help corporations sue countries

Ignored: Protesters from across the EU who have mounted a huge campaign against the corporatists who want to override your rights in the name of profit. [Image: Huffington Post].

Ignored: Protesters from across the EU who have mounted a huge campaign against the corporatists who want to override your rights in the name of profit. [Image: Huffington Post].

Did you think the Budget was the only important thing that happened yesterday (July 8)? Think again.

The European Parliament had its first-ever vote on the controversial TTIP trade deal between the EU and the United States – and, thanks to British Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, it went against the will of the people.

Millions of us, across Europe, have demanded the removal of part of the proposed partnership agreement that allows corporations to take legal action against national governments if they pass laws that inhibit the firms’ profit-making ability.

But a compromise on the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) secured a majority, with help from the UK’s Liberal Democrat and Conservative MEPs.

It was opposed by Labour, Green, Plaid Cymru, SNP and UKIP MEPs

Stronger amendments, that were opposed to ISDS altogether, were kept off the agenda by procedural manoeuvres – leading to EU President Martin Schulz being accused of “shredding the rules of procedure”.

Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now said: “The only reason that MEPs are still trying so desperately to push this through is because of the enormously powerful corporate lobby machine in Brussels. TTIP is fundamentally an issue of people and democracy versus encroaching corporate power.”

Campaigning group 38 Degrees released a press release stating: “We know exactly what the corporate lobbyists writing this deal want: they want us to go quiet.”

Instead, the group is proposing a series of actions to ramp up the pressure:

  • Another huge national day of action. “Enormous public pressure has been a huge factor in causing chaos around TTIP so far. We know that as soon as people get the facts, outrage follows. The more people that know, the more worried decision makers will be.”
  • Commission an expert report on TTIP, to throw in the face of anyone who says it is a good idea. “It’d give us a valuable chance at media coverage, and we can take out adverts in newspapers and online to expose the findings.”
  • Meet face-to-face with MPs to ask them directly where they stand on TTIP “and what they’ll do to represent the British public’s opposition.”
  • Get ready for MEPs to come back from their summer holidays and be ready to pile the pressure on them again. “As soon as they’re back, they need to be reminded about TTIP. We need to make sure that whenever the next vote is, we’re ready to step in.”

“To be honest, this is probably one of the hardest issues 38 Degrees members have ever taken on. Many people hear “trade deal” and their eyes glaze over. The acronyms and figures that fly out of the mouths of TTIP officials are designed to get people to switch off,” the 38 Degrees press release states.

“But when people like us hear what’s going on and choose to stand up, that changes everything. TTIP has gone from zero public awareness to huge public outrage. There’s plenty more we can do together to stop this awful deal.”

Visit 38 Degrees to learn more.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Cameron has shown that protecting the NHS from corporate rape is the last of his concerns

What a bunch of... bankers: As mentioned in the article, government ministers are happy to spend your money defending bankers' bonuses in the European Union - but when it comes to defending your publicly-funded health service, they haven't squeaked.

What a bunch of… bankers: As mentioned in the article, the government is happy to spend your money defending bankers’ bonuses in the European Union – but when it comes to defending your publicly-funded health service, they haven’t squeaked.

Remember the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? Also known as TTIP? The proposed agreement between the EU and USA that – in its current form – would lock future UK governments into a legal framework that protects the privatisation of health services in this country?

A part of the agreement called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement would allow any commercial organisation the ability to sue governments that acted in an anti-commercial way such as – for example – re-nationalising health services that the Conservative-led Coalition has sold off to firms in which many government MPs have shady personal financial interests.

David Cameron used to have a cabinet minister responsible for handling negotiations on the TTIP – Kenneth Clarke, the Minister Without Portfolio (aha! Now we know what he was supposed to be doing for a living).

But of course Clarke left the government in the July reshuffle. He gave every indication that he was delighted to be going, which suggests that work on the TTIP was not agreeing with him.

Perhaps it was the weight of all those people campaigning against the locked-in commercialisation of the NHS, in which treatment for particular conditions will depend on whether it is profitable where you live, coupled with the weight of Cameron’s determination to do nothing to prevent it – all obscured by the veil of secrecy that all involved have tried to draw across the negotiations.

Unite’s Len McCluskey told the Huffington Post: “First David Cameron claims there are no exemptions [so the NHS will be included in the deal – we should always remember that is Cameron’s default position], then EU Trade Commission[er] Karel De Gucht suggests that the NHS may have been exempted.

“Now civil servants are sending out statements claiming that the NHS was never in TTIP to begin with. It seems the government simply does not know what the world’s largest bilateral trade deal actually covers.”

Confusion! That’s an excellent way to slip in unwelcome changes – but it would mean the government was admitting its own incompetence.

McCluskey added: “David Cameron can choose to exempt the NHS if he’s prepared to fight for it. He was prepared to go to Europe to defend bankers’ bonuses.”

Good point. Despite the fact that bankers caused the financial crisis and many banks are still in debt, Cameron went to Europe to defend the ridiculously high bonuses they continue to award themselves. Then again, Cameron and his ministers have spent the last five years pretending that the crisis was entirely the fault of the previous Labour government. They must think we are stupid if they think we’ll swallow that – and we must bear that in mind when considering Coalition policy towards the TTIP.

Under the TTIP, a few other British standards will also suffer, according to the HuffPost:

  • We will be forced to accept other countries’ rules. UKIP voters take note that your party supports the TTIP.
  • Bosses will be allowed to reduce wages and hammer labour rights.
  • Food regulations will be weakened to allow banned products – like chlorine-bleached chicken and growth hormones in beef – into the country.
  • The UK could be forced to reverse its ban on asbestos in order to match US standards, leading to an increase in lung cancer and mesothelioma.
  • Private information about you could become public under e-commerce provisions – although it seems the Conservative-led UK government is already determined to publicise as much of your personal information as possible.

Put it all together and you can tell why the Coalition, the EU and the USA all want to keep this squalid deal secret!

The question is: Are you going to let them get away with it?

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Don’t be naive, Len – Cameron WANTS to lock privatisation into the NHS

140703NHS-TTIP

Unite’s secretary general Len McCluskey would be naive indeed to think David Cameron is ever likely to heed his call for the National Health Service to be kept out of the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

McCluskey has warned that the NHS could be sued by American healthcare multinationals if a UK government tried to return services to state control; they would argue that such renationalisations interfered with their potential profits, in breach of the trade agreement, as has been discussed on this blog in the past.

His appeal misses the point. The entire thrust of Coalition government policy is to ensure that the NHS becomes vulnerable to just such pressure, in order to ‘lock in’ the privatisations inflicted on us by Andrew Lansley’s horrifying Health and Social Care Act 2012.

One has to look no further than Vince Cable for confirmation of this. The Whig business secretary (you can’t call him a Liberal Democrat any more, and as a commenter pointed out today, the government as a whole behaves more like the old-style Whig Party from the 19th century. If the cap fits…) told The Independent: “There is no suggestion whatever that the TTIP negotiations could be used to undermine the fundamental principles of the NHS or advancing privatisation.”

What he means by this is that – as far as he is concerned, advancing privatisation is a fundamental principle of the NHS since Andrew Lansley’s hateful Act of Parliament. Therefore the TTIP agreement can only contribute to that project.

He said: “Our focus for health is to enable our world-class pharaceutical and medical devices sectors to benefit from improved access to the US market.”

If we have world-class healthcare already, why do we need access to a market-driven system that can only drag us down into mediocrity? Clearly he is not talking about healthcare at all; he is talking about the health service as a source of profit. The “benefit” he describes can only be profit – income for shareholders in private companies that could not be accrued while they were excluded from NHS work.

Everybody involved in this betrayal should be imprisoned as a traitor, with Cable and Lansley first to be sent down.