If the Press Can Publish Harry and Megan’s Correspondence, then We Should See Murdoch and Co’s


The National Press always want it their way, but yes, they should be transparent and ‘Conflicts of Interest; should be made public.

How do we know that this interest in ;Harry and Meghan; may also be a Conflict of Interest.

The press state that Harry and Meghan should not have ‘their cake and eat it’, but it appears it is OK for The Press to do so. Hypocrisy in all its connotations.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Harry and Meghan and suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing a letter from Megan to her father. And today, that bastion on the British press – and as the late Terry Wogan used to say of the Beeb, ‘there are many basty ‘uns in there’  – the MoS set out its defence. It’s the old ‘public interest’ argument. They’re going to argue that Meghan and Harry don’t have the same right to privacy as the rest of us, because they’re private correspondence and activities are of interest to the public. Zelo Street has put up a piece demolishing it by showing how circular the argument is. The letter, and anything else the royal couple writes or does, is of interest to the public because the press tells them it is. Zelo Street states

What the MoS is setting out in its defence is that what it did is…

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Brexit is a necessary crisis – it reveals Britain’s true place in the world | David Edgerton | Opinion | The Guardian


Who backs Brexit? Agriculture is against it; industry is against it; services are against it. None of them, needless to say, support a no-deal Brexit. Yet the Conservative party, which favoured European union for economic reasons over many decades, has become not only Eurosceptic – it is set on a course regarded by every reputable capitalist state and the great majority of capitalist enterprises as deeply foolish.

If any prime minister in the past had shown such a determined ignorance of the dynamics of global capitalism, the massed ranks of British capital would have stepped in to force a change of direction. Yet today, while the CBI and the Financial Times call for the softest possible Brexit, the Tory party is no longer listening.

 

Source: Brexit is a necessary crisis – it reveals Britain’s true place in the world | David Edgerton | Opinion | The Guardian

Amber Rudd resigns from Cabinet and quits Tory party as she hits out at Boris Johnson’s purge | Daily Mail Online


  • Rudd said there was ‘no evidence’ to suggest Johnson was seeking an EU deal 
  • She said she ‘could not stand’ for the dismissal of 21 Tory rebels last week
  • Ms Rudd called the exiles ‘good, strong conservatives with progressive values’
  • In addition to quitting Cabinet she stood by them by surrendering the whip

Cabinet Minister Amber Rudd resigned from the Tory Party last night in protest at Boris Johnson’s sacking of the rebel Tory MPs who voted last week to block a No Deal Brexit.

In a devastating parting salvo, the Pensions Secretary — one of only a handful of Remain supporting Ministers in Mr Johnson’s Cabinet — said she thought there was ‘no evidence’ that Mr Johnson was trying to strike a deal with Brussels.

Announcing that she would be standing as an independent Conservative in her Hastings and Rye constituency, Ms Rudd attacked the Prime Minister’s decision to deselect 21 Tory rebels as an ‘assault on decency and democracy’.

Ms Rudd was criticised by her former Remain allies after pivoting to sign up to Mr Johnson’s Cabinet and backing his pledge to leave the EU ‘do or die’ and had been under huge pressure over her ‘pivot.’

 

Source: Amber Rudd resigns from Cabinet and quits Tory party as she hits out at Boris Johnson’s purge | Daily Mail Online

John Bercow defies Eurosceptics with vow to stay on as Speaker | Politics | The Guardian


John Bercow has said he plans to stay in his post as Speaker of the House of Commons despite previous expectations he was about to leave, risking the fury of hardline Eurosceptics who believe he wants to thwart a no-deal Brexit.

The Speaker told the Guardian it was not “sensible to vacate the chair” while there were major issues before parliament. And, amid growing indications that frontrunners for the Conservative leadership are willing to depart the EU without a deal, he warned candidates not to try to force such an outcome without the permission of MPs.

Bercow had told friends he intended to stand down as Speaker this summer, possibly in July, after concluding 10 years in the post. But his remarks on Tuesday appear to confirm reports he was reconsidering after the UK did not leave the EU at the end of March.

Speaking to the Guardian after a speech in Washington, Bercow said: “I’ve never said anything about going in July of this year. Secondly, I do feel that now is a time in which momentous events are taking place and there are great issues to be resolved and in those circumstances, it doesn’t seem to me sensible to vacate the chair.”

 

Source: John Bercow defies Eurosceptics with vow to stay on as Speaker | Politics | The Guardian

Conservative leadership candidates: the Tory contenders in the running to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister : i News


  • PM announces resignation date for next month
  • Tory leadership contest to comment on 10 June to find replacement

Theresa May will resign as Conservative leader and Prime Minister on 7 June, clearing the way for her successor.

The rumblings of a leadership contest began some time before Mrs May’s official announcement, with Esther McVeyRory Stewart, and Boris Johnson already declaring they would be standing.

And now that a date has been confirmed more candidates are expected to come forward.

 

Source: Conservative leadership candidates: the Tory contenders in the running to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister : i News

‘I’ Newspaper: Rail Franchise System Not Working and Needs to be Changed


I agree the rail network could be much better and maybe the franchise contracts are to blame.

But when accounting blame which are purely down the train operators and which are down to rework Rail which is not a private company.

Before privatisation the Rail network, rolling stock, train stations and the line and signal infrastructure were need great need of investment.

The food was the butt of a joke, as the British Rail Sandwich was infamous as it curled up at the edges.

My own line was ‘The Midland, which was the poor relation in the industry as the rolling stock was secondhand, passed on from other regions.

In my 20 odd years of using British Railways and then British Rail I hardly ever got on and off a train that was to time.

The various Governments over that period showed a distinct lack of interest and investment into the industry. Hence all the new rolling stock was came about during Privatisation. This led to very outdated systems, not fit for the 19th century, let alone the 20th and then the 21st.

Who would have thought that Great Britain invented the Railways, through early train inventors who were Matthew Murray who created first steam powered locomotive, Richard Trevithick who popularized trains series of showcasing in London, George Stephenson who become famous for ‘The Rocket’ and for the coal transporting trains.

But were some of these private companies up to the job and this goes down to the Tender process and in many ways still does, the NHS, other parts of the health service, Local Government and other such services. As it appears any contract is given to the lowest bidder without any apparent investigation into the bids to ascertain if they are, in fact, viable.

This a fault of the tender process and the Governments administering the process.

Then what about the Contracts themselves are they effective and efficiently written?, do they meets the needs of the industry and the customers?, are the companies themselves sufficiently solvent? and many more investigative questions.

Here again the Governments are at fault.

There are indeed many problems, but to re-nationalise them, would this go back to British Railways and British Rail.

If it does, then the required investment needs to be guaranteed for way into the future and not be allowed to run on the whims of any Government as it was previously.

Much like the NHS and Social Care, especially Social Care today.

Governments need to realise that these industries and organisations are not there to be used for political purposes, but for the benefit of the population of the UK.

For until that realisation comes into any Government, these areas will continue to faulter to the whims of each and every Government, who only care for themselves, irrespective of its Party colour.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I found this report in the I newspaper on our country’s failing rail network. The article states that a recent report has found that the current system of rail franchising doesn’t work and cannot continue as it is. The article, ‘Rail franchising ‘no longer delivers clear benefits’, on page 4 of today’s paper, 27th February 2019, by Neil Lancefield runs

Britain’s rail franchise system no longer delivers clear benefits and cannot continue in its current form, according to the man leading an official review of the network.

Keith Williams told industry leaders that operators were not adapting to changing consumer demands.

The contracting out of passenger services has drawn heavy criticism, with some contracts failing and customer complaints rising. The rail industry has said it accepts that the status quo cannot continue.

Mr Williams was appointed by the Government last year to lead its “root-and-branch” Rail Review. Speaking in London…

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The resignation of three Tory MPs is a dire warning to the party | Andrew Gimson | Opinion | The Guardian


If the resignation of Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen means the Tories are becoming a narrower and less tolerant party, it is a disaster. The Conservatives cannot afford to decline into a sect which drives out all those who are unable to subscribe to whatever its stern, unbending ideology happens to be at any particular moment. It must remain a broad church within which a continuous and never finally settled argument about doctrine can take place. Only then is it able convincingly to offer its services to the nation as a party of government.

Theresa May looks so weak because she has been attempting to hold her party together. She is not herself of a sectarian disposition: an accusation which can more justly be levelled at Jeremy Corbyn. She is a pragmatist, who hopes she can persuade the vast majority of her backbenchers to support a pragmatic Brexit deal, even though it does not conform in every particular to the different and mutually incompatible things they would like in an ideal world to see.

 

Source: The resignation of three Tory MPs is a dire warning to the party | Andrew Gimson | Opinion | The Guardian

Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope called ‘appalling’ after blocking anti-FGM amendment – again – inews.co.uk


A Tory MP who angered colleagues after blocking a bill to make upskirting illegal has objected to an amendment that would toughen the laws against female genital mutilation (FGM).

Sir Christopher Chope objected during the second reading of an amendment which would have altered the Children Act to allow the courts to issue protection orders if they are concerned a child may be at risk of FGM.

Sir Christopher shouted “object” when the bill was read out in the Commons on Friday, leading to an audible groan from other MPs, despite being under pressure to allow it to pass through the house.

Asked not to object

He objected to the bill during its first reading in November and, as a result, campaigners contacted him to request that he not do the same again.

Ahead of the reading, campaigner Nimco Ali texted the MP asking him not to stand in the way of the bill’s passage, saying: “I do hope you understand… the need to give girls at risk all the protection possible”.

Source: Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope called ‘appalling’ after blocking anti-FGM amendment – again – inews.co.uk

Rebel Labour MPs set to quit party and form centre group | Politics | The Guardian


A group of disaffected Labour MPs is preparing to quit the party and form a breakaway movement on the political centre ground amid growing discontent with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on Brexit and other key issues including immigration, foreign policy and antisemitism.

The Observer has been told by multiple sources that at least six MPs have been drawing up plans to resign the whip and leave the party soon. There have also been discussions involving senior figures about a potentially far larger group splitting off at some point after Brexit, if Corbyn fails to do everything possible to oppose Theresa May’s plans for taking the UK out of the EU.

On Saturday night, three of the MPs widely rumoured to be involved in the plans for an initial breakaway – Angela Smith, Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger – refused to be drawn into talk of a split, and insisted they were focused on opposing Brexit. But they did not deny that moves could be made by the spring or early summer.

 

Source: Rebel Labour MPs set to quit party and form centre group | Politics | The Guardian

John Strafford: The Conservative Party no longer belongs to its members. No wonder it faces an existential crisis. | Conservative Home


The Conservative Party faces an unprecedented existential threat. This arises because there is a wide gap between the hierarchy of the Party, backed by parts of the Parliamentary Party, and the voluntary Party members. The hierarchy of the Party includes the Leader, Party Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, and Treasurer, none of whom have been elected by the members. The backbenchers are reliant on the hierarchy for their promotion within the Party and in Government, and so are mainly deferential to that hierarchy.

The gap between the hierarchy and the members has been growing for the last 20 years since the introduction of the Party’s constitution, and has been brought to a head by Brexit. Roughly 60 per cent of the hierarchy and Parliamentary Party supported remaining in the E.U, whilst 70 per cent of the members of the Party want to leave the E.U. If we do not leave the E.U. on terms that are acceptable to the members of the Party, large numbers will leave it – hence the existential threat. How have we arrived at this appalling situation? We must go back to 1998 to see how this gap was created.

Once the 1998 constitution was brought in, CCHQ began to demolish all lines of communication between the members and the hierarchy. All the checks and balances which existed prior to 1998 were abolished. Pre-1998, the annual Party Conference was organised and run by the National Union (i.e: the voluntary Party). It invited the Leader and other Ministers to speak at the conference. There were motions for debate tabled at the conference and published in a handbook. Votes were taken on the motions. After CCHQ took over, 1999 was the last Conference at which we had motions for debate.

So what else happened after 1998?

The Central Council of voluntary members met twice a year and the Party Chairman and other Ministers used to attend. It consisted of several thousand members, including representatives of the Women’s Organisation, Young Conservatives and others and at which motions for debate on Party organisation were tabled. It was abolished.

The National Union Executive Committee which was regularly addressed by the Party Leader and had elected representatives by the membership was abolished.

Regional meetings for Party members which used to be held four times a year and which had officers elected by the members, motions for debate etc, were all abolished with a couple of exceptions.

Regional meetings of the Conservative Political Centre (CPC) which had officers elected by the members and which discussed policy issues were abolished, also with a couple of exceptions.

 

Source: John Strafford: The Conservative Party no longer belongs to its members. No wonder it faces an existential crisis. | Conservative Home