I had a visit from my benefits assessor – and now I fear the state more than poverty


Power is a very important feeling and skill and needs to be used with discretion and in some instances it may be used without the persons knowledge. For just being employed by certain organisations casts a feeling of power onto others.

I know of people who are just scared of entering the Town Hall, the base of power of people in local government.

So, if a place creates a feeling of power in people, how much more can be assumed coming from people who work there.

What is genuinely forgotton by some who work in these places of power and those who come into contact with people from these place, is that the people there are Servants of the Public, so in fact every people within that community are, effefctively, the employers of the people in these places.

How many of you have come across some council officiers, as an example, who state to you that they work for the council in such as a maaner that it is uttered as a threat of ‘do not mess with me, because I have the Council behind me’. This is a massive abuse of this assumption of power.

But, in some respects, we may be right to fear, for, and has been proved, especially with DWP assessors that they have, in fact, appeared to blatantly lie on assessment forms.

Should this not be a criminal actions, for it is for claimants making false statements, so then, it should be for Officers filling in these forms.

How a Saudi royal crushed his rivals in a ‘shakedown’ at the Ritz-Carlton


WASHINGTON — The Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia’s capital bills itself as an “elegant oasis” that “completely envelops its discerning guests in majestic surroundings.”

But a year ago Sunday, on Nov. 4, 2017, the ultra-luxurious Riyadh hotel — with its marble floors and vast indoor swimming pool — became a gilded prison, when hundreds of Saudi royals, billionaires and senior government officials were detained in an extraordinary power play by the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The involuntary guests were told they had to sign away large chunks of their assets to be released. The detention involved both psychological abuse and — in some cases — torture, current and former U.S. officials say.

The move, described by Saudi authorities as a crackdown on rampant corruption, allowed the crown prince to tighten his grip and sent a shock wave through the kingdom’s elites.

“This was a shakedown operation and a power consolidation operation,” said one former senior U.S. official who was in office at the time.

The Ritz detentions were designed “to remind people going forward that their wealth and their well-being would depend on the crown prince and not anything else, which is why it was so upsetting for many in the royal family,” said the former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A year later, the event has taken on even more importance in the wake of the death of the Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Bin Salman is suspected of ordering Khashoggi’s death, and is struggling to defuse the crisis that has put the country’s international standing in jeopardy.

 

Source: How a Saudi royal crushed his rivals in a ‘shakedown’ at the Ritz-Carlton

BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News | Express.co.uk


UK and EU negotiators are understood to have reached a tentative agreement on their future relationship surrounding services, as well as the exchange of data, with just five months to go before Britain leaves.

With five months to secure a Brexit deal before Britain is due to leave the EU, business leaders are demanding certainty over the kind of trade terms the divorce will deliver.

The services deal would give UK companies access to European markets as long as British financial regulation remained broadly aligned with the EU’s, The Times reported.

Following the news, the British pound was up nearly 1 percent versus the dollar overnight at 1.28 US dollars.

 

Source: BREXIT LATEST: Victory for May – EU CAVES with major concession in huge blow for France | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

Empowering Muslim women strengthens our community, and that begins in our mosques – The i – Weekend Reads #47


It’s been a long but important month as Muslims around the world marked Ramadan.

Eid, this weekend, will mark the end of a month-long spiritual journey. Your soul is fed and you celebrate with your loved ones. Eid is a vibrant celebration which continues the focus on charity.

Muslims see Ramadan as an opportunity to give back to their local community and make a positive contribution. This sense of community is reinforced through al-jama’ah, the act of collective prayer.

Being part of a community

According to the Qur’an, it is obligatory for men to pray within their mosque while women should pray where they can. Although there is not a requirement that women must attend the mosque, it is a special place for everyone. Praying is not just about the building you’re in, it is about being part of a community.

To pray together may be optional for women,

Source: Empowering Muslim women strengthens our community, and that begins in our mosques – The i – Weekend Reads #47

Trump posturing before G7, says Capital Link CEO | Asia Times


Brett McGonegal of Capital Link International says President Donald Trump is good at being “unpredictable” on trade policy, but that may not translate into results.

“I think this is classic posturing ahead of the G7,” McGonegal said.

 

Source: Trump posturing before G7, says Capital Link CEO | Asia Times

Monica Crowley – Why the Swamp Hates Donald Trump




Monica has a right to her opinion and here she eloquently expresses it, she is a true believer.

She is quite correct that the swamp needs to be removed, but is Donald Trump the person to do this, for I believe he his also part of the Swamp.

He may be removing parts of the swamp, but only to replace it with other parts of the swamp.

Within the this YOUTube video she expresses that Donald Trump is imperfect and that he is making mistakes, as we all do.

The problem with Trump is that when he makes mistakes he does not accept that he is making mistakes and therefore is not aware that he should be learning from them.

Making mistakes is something we all do, but the message to learn is that by making mistakes you learn from them and this then mitigates  making these or similar mistakes again and you become a stronger, better person in doing so.

To always assume you are always correct is a fatal flaw as no one is 100% correct, 100% of the time, but Donald Trump truly believes that he is.

You either like or do not like Trump and I am one of the latter. Some of his principles are not in agreement with mine, especially his racist views and his inability to understand the concept of mistakes, in reference to himself, are a major contributory factor.

Whether he is or will be good for America is still to be seen, however, the bigger picture needs to be considered and this is in respect of The World.

I feel in World affairs that individualism is now not a major factor, although this is still a consideration, but now in most aspects there is globalism as whatever is done in one area as consequences for other areas. the two need to be working in conjunction with each other.

In fact with his America First he is acting within the aspects of individualism, the continual interference of America in international areas is not individualism but globalism. Even Trump promised in his campaign to not have American action in areas outwith America and that he would pull American forces out of non-American areas of conflict. This is one of his promises that he has not kept to. Trump could argue that some American forces need to be provided to ensure the safety of America, but the appliance of these forces is, in many areas, counter productive as it only provokes more aggression from the people native to these areas, which, in turn, creates more problems for the seen to be invaders.

Great care and attention needs to be applied before any country inflicts their forces on any other independent country.

Unfortunately it is a human trait that we feel we need to intervene, without considering all the consequences, in many areas of the world and in doing so cause many conflicts that may not have occurred, should they have not intervened.

Why can we not all agree to live in peace, which would be then beneficial to us all.

 

Sixena Art Piece Removed from Museum of Lleida, Catalonia


This is deplorable and the power crazy Spanish Government need to be held accountable.

A legally and democratically elected Government of Catalonia, responded to the wishes of those who voted them into power and held a referendum on the question of Catalonia becoming independent of Spain. The Spanish Government decided that to hold a referendum was against the Spanish constitution and therefore called the referendum illegal. But the elected Catalonian Government went ahead with the referendum. The Spanish Government appeared to request the Justice of Spain to decide whether the referendum was illegal and the Court came down in favour of the Spanish Government. The Catalonian Government still went ahead and the Spanish Government with the backing of the Spanish legal system called in the Spanish police to use all their powers and apparently more to stop the referendum proceeding. While major disruption was caused a sizeable number of persons did come out to vote and there was a substantial support for Independence from Spain to go ahead.

Eventually the Catalonian Government did declare independence and the Spanish Government then created arrest warrants for the Members of the Catalonian Government and the majority of the Catalonian Government were arrested and are still held in captivity.

The Catalonian President went to Brussels to obtain the support of the EU, which he did not receive. The Spanish Government did create an European Arrest Warrant but they now seem to have withdrawn this.

Now they are plundering artifacts from a Catalonian Museum, are the Spanish Government endeavouring to humiliate the population of Catalonia for their apparent defiance against the Spanish Government.

Is this truly how a democratic country should proceed.

Surely, why could not the Spanish Government have allowed the Catalonian referendum to proceed and if they had all would now be fully aware how the majority in Catalonia had wished to go forward.

Unfortunately common sense is not prevailing just a jockeying for showing a semblance of power.
.

Josep Goded

On Monday, Spain’s militarized police looted 44 art pieces from the Museum of Lleida, where the latest chapter of a long legal dispute over the works between Aragón and Catalonia has been playing out.

The operation, which was orchestrated by the Spanish government, began in the dead of the night and ended at 2 pm. Hundreds of Spanish and Catalan police officers cordoned off numerous streets to prevent large protests in the area. Officers and art specialists from Spain loaded the 44 pieces of art onto a moving van. The Director of the Museum said that the specialists could have damaged some of the pieces due to the speed of the packing. A crowd of hundreds of peaceful protesters unsuccessfully attempted to halt the operation on numerous occasions. A few incidents were reported in nearby streets when the protesters tried to break the police barrage. The Catalan police responded by…

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A straight-faced Kellyanne Conway says anyone in office who committed sexual assault should resign : ThinkProgress


Irony is dead.

By ALAN PYKE

Kellyanne Conway, center, with husband George Conway, right, greet guests on the South Lawn of the White House during a Halloween event. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

KELLYANNE CONWAY, CENTER, WITH HUSBAND GEORGE CONWAY, RIGHT, GREET GUESTS ON THE SOUTH LAWN OF THE WHITE HOUSE DURING A HALLOWEEN EVENT. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway refused repeatedly to say whether Alabama Republican Roy Moore should step aside in his Senate race over allegations he is a serial child molester.

Conway, who played an essential role in protecting President Donald Trump’s candidacy a year ago when tapes of him describing his pattern of sexual assault nearly sunk his campaign, told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that the allegations are disqualifying if they are true but would not give a clear answer on her view of the charges.

In the process of demurring on Moore’s guilt or innocence, Conway said elected officials who are guilty of sexual assault or harassment should resign — a call to action that would seem to implicate Conway’s boss, who openly bragged about grabbing women and has been accused of sexual assault by numerous former associates.

“I want to be very clear, I want to be explicit here, I denounce that conduct, and if the allegations are true he ought to step aside,” Conway told ABC’s Martha Raddatz during a tense, long exchange about the report that Republican senate candidate Roy Moore (AL) habitually sought the romantic and sexual company of children during his 30s.

“And if the allegations are true about a lot of people, they oughta step aside,” Conway continued. “And some of them are probably holding office right now.”

Conway said the press should pay more attention to Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) ongoing corruption trial. She also invoked former President Bill Clinton (D), who was repeatedly accused of sexual assault and predatory behavior toward women staffers and associates during his political career. The details of the allegations against Clinton from women like Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones are getting renewed scrutiny thanks to their parallels to the tactics of confessed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein, as numerous pundits have noted in recent weeks.

But where Clinton’s alleged history of predation goes, so follows Trump’s. Both men have been accused of sexual assault by multiple women over a course of decades.

“I don’t know the accusers and I don’t know Judge [Roy] Moore. But I also want to make sure that we as a nation are not prosecuting people through the press,” Conway told Raddatz Sunday morning.

With Raddatz repeatedly pressing Conway for a straight answer on whether or not she personally believes the allegations leveled against Moore in reporting that pulls from 30 different source interviews in his state, Trump’s senior communicator demurred.

“I don’t know Leigh Corfman,” Conway said, referring to one of four women who told the Washington Post that Moore touched them while he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. “I believe that both sides are alleging different things here,” she said, before reiterating her call for anyone who’s raped a woman or child to step down from office.

“If there’s anyone currently in public office who’s behaved that way to any girl or any woman, maybe they should step aside. Because in a country of 330 million people we oughta be able to do any of this,” Conway said.

She went on to invoke her own history of speaking out about sexual assault and harassment by powerful men in politics, all without ever acknowledging that she continues to work for a man who bragged on tape about “grab[bing women] by the pussy” because “when you’re a celebrity they let you do it.”

“I tried to raise this issue a year ago, on October 9th, I said explicitly that I had been a victim of people in power,” Conway told Raddatz. “And nobody took me seriously. You know why? Because of who I work for, of whose campaign I was managing.”

The October 9, 2016, comments Conway was referring to followed the bombshell publication of videos showing Trump bragging about groping women he found attractive and getting away with it. Conway insisted her boss was a “gentleman” and praised him for apologizing after he dismissed his comments as “locker-room talk” in a televised debate.

Steve Bannon, then campaign manager for Trump, later told reporters that Conway deserved all the credit for Trump’s candidacy surviving the release of the tapes, which seemed to corroborate in his own words a pattern of assaultive behavior alleged against him by more than a dozen individual women over the years.

“If Kellyanne had not been there when the firestorm hit, I don’t know if we would have made it,” Bannon told the Atlantic in the spring. “She literally became a cult figure during that time period, just because of her relentless advocacy for Trump on TV.”

For her pains, Trump rewarded her by being himself. Four days after Conway’s public defense of her boss as a “gentleman,” Trump mocked the women who have accused him of sexual assault by saying they were too unattractive for him to have bothered with.

Believe me, she would not be my first choice,” Trump said of one of his many accusers on October 13, 2016.

Conway has now worked in service of Trump’s message and career for 17 months and counting.

 

Source : A straight-faced Kellyanne Conway says anyone in office who committed sexual assault should resign : ThinkProgress

John McDonnell calls for #Labour under #Corbyn to give Theresa #May a Hard #BREXIT blank cheque


There are so many twists and turns that organisations and people are making over Brexit that at times it is impossible to understand and ascertain where any of them are in relation to an eventual Brexit outcome..

Surely it would be in the best interests of the UK for everyone of us to make clear where we stand.

As this article states both McDonnell and Corbyn both were strongly against joining the EU and retaining in the EU, but were prepared to follow the Labour Party line of staying in the EU, although their visible support was hard to see. Surely they should have stood by their long held principles.

They are not on their own as Cameron tried to dupe the UK population into believing he would negotiate the best deal for the UK or would walk away, which would be his basis to put to the country in the referendum and we can all see he was not successful in achieving a best deal and therefore would never have walked away.

Ukip with Farage were always to come out of the EU completely, while the Lib Dems were always for staying no matter what the deal.

Currently the Conservatives would appear to wish to leave the EU, but cannot decide on what deal, while Labour appear to want to come out, but at the sametime stay in for the parts they like.

In the last election the country were apparently not with UKip or the Lib Dems, but more for the undecided Labour and to some extent the possible out Tories.

So we are now negotiating with the EU, but on what basis. There is still a mishmash of detail from the Tories, while the official line from the EU is to punish the UK for daring to exercise its right to leave the EU.

While in the EU various people and the 27 other EU members are unsure what they also want. They want the best deal for themselves rather than a combined approach from each of the 27.

From my point of view how the 27 are behaving is how the EU is and was for the 28, when it should have been with one voice, The EU bureaucrats again appear to be in it for themselves, well they are politicians or similar and so are only there for their own power, which is my view of most, if not all politicians.

Will it be when the UK leaves the EU, for that was the will of the people, a good result for the UK, well that is for the future and so will how the EU continues, if it so does.

Currently the EU is not working for the majority of the populations within the UK, but is for its officials, so you can see why its officials do not wish any changes which could rocks their current lifestyles, but then again this could be said for the political elite in any country.

These negotiations need to be continuing and the bombastic and intransigent approach from both sides needs to change. I may be biased, but I do feel this is more so for the EU negotiators in the allout requirement to punish the UK as an example to other counties who may have an inclination to leave or some other manner of change for the EU. If they do not then I do feel the EU will not continue, as it may not anyway, but if they do achieve a reasonable settlement for the UK then the EU may have more of a survival chance than at present.

The ramblings of a former DWP Civil Servant ...

John McDonnell calls for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn to give Theresa May a Hard BREXIT blank cheque.

McDonnell Blank Cheque

Continuing UK membership of Euratom is an arcane matter:

McDonnell remains confused on freedom of movement:McDonnell Blank Cheque3

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