British police spies made women environmental activists pregnant


This video from Britain says about itself:

Police’s corrupt ‘Special Demonstration Squad‘ part 1/3 (06Mar2014)

Part 1 of 3: Looking into the criminal behaviour of the UK’s police and their “Special Demonstration Squad” that have been fitting poeple up for crimes they didn’t commit, infiltrating families who are victims of crime, and groups that are no threat to anyone.

And these two videos are the sequels.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Met exposes sex spies -but tries to justify their actions as ‘normal’

Saturday 16th August 2014

Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert fathered children with activists they secretly monitored

POLICE malpractice watchdog Netpol welcomed the formal unmasking yesterday of two Met spies who slept with women activists — but expressed disgust at new attempts by the force to justify its officers’ actions as “genuine relationships.”

Eight women are demanding compensation from the Metropolitan Police for emotional trauma over the actions of four undercover members of the Special Demonstration Squad, lodging claims for deceit, assault, negligence and misfeasance in public office.

But until yesterday the police had refused to confirm statements by journalists and the claimants identifying two of its operatives as Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert.

The Met only dropped its official policy of “neither confirm nor deny” after High Court judge Mr Justice Bean told police chiefs if they did not name the officers concerned the court would take it as an admission that names put forward by the claimants were correct.

However in their filing defence lawyers attempted to frame the spies’ actions as being based on “genuine personal feelings,” sparking a furious reaction from supporters of the victims.

Netpol co-ordinator Kevin Blowe said: “The Met’s insistence that these relationships were ‘genuine’ is both jaw-dropping and genuinely sickening.

“If the claim was true, why would every one of the spies, who were the supposedly ‘real’ partners of eight women currently suing the police, follow protocol and their training and disappear without trace at the end of their tours of duty?”

Mr Boyling and Mr Lambert, both of whom fathered children with targets, were previously named by Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis in their book Undercover.

While Mr Boyling has since stayed out of the limelight, Mr Lambert has belatedly gone on record admitting his role with the force.

Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, representing the women, condemned police bosses for attempting to maintain a shroud of secrecy despite the known facts.

She said: “Their ongoing refusal in the face of an overwhelming body of evidence in the public domain has greatly aggravated the distress caused to my clients, who want answers from the police as well as justice and accountability.”

Mr Blowe said Netpol was further concerned by evidence of recent cases of police infiltration against protest groups — including by phoney environmental activist Mark Kennedy.

Police were also found to have repeatedly attempted to infiltrate activist groups in Cambridge as recently as last autumn.

“The police need to come clean about other SDS officers who deliberately instigated intimate relationships to gain intelligence,” he added.

During his undercover years Mr Lambert says he helped write the infamous leaflet which sparked McLibel, the longest-running legal case in British history.

He is also alleged to have been one of three activists who planted incendiary devices in branches of Debenhams in 1987. The other two men were jailed for arson.

Mr Boyling’s disappearance following his “tour of duty” resulted in his partner taking an expensive wild goose chase to South Africa, where she believed he had gone. She returned weighing less than seven stone.

See also here.

Undercover police officers who formed sexual relationships with female members of organisations they were targeting will not face charges, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced last week: here.

New Italian football boss accused of racism and sexism


This video says about itself:

Controversial Carlo Tavecchio Wins Election

12 August 2014

Carlo Tavecchio has been elected the president of Italy’s football federation, less than a month after making a racist remark about African players.

After a self-styled fascist as Italian football boss in Sunderland in England, now a somewhat similar case from Italy itself.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Football: Italy elect racist to lead governing body

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Carlo Tavecchio appointed Italian Football Federation president

Carlo Tavecchio, the candidate at the centre of a racism controversy, has been elected as the new president of the Italian Football Federation.

The 71-year-old beat former AC Milan player Demetrio Albertini after three rounds of voting in Rome, the governing body announced through its official Twitter account yesterday afternoon.

Tavecchio drew heavy criticism last month for making an allegedly racist comment about “eating bananas” during an address to a summer assembly of Italy’s amateur leagues and was also accused of sexism in an interview back in 2009.

But despite the fact Serie A clubs including Fiorentina and Sampdoria withdrew their backing in the weeks leading up to the elective assembly, Tavecchio was confirmed as Giancarlo Abete’s successor at the FIGC when polling 63.33 per cent of the third-round votes after the first two rounds proved inconclusive.

He polled 60.20 per cent to Albertini’s 35.46 per cent in the first round, which had required a quorum of 75 per cent, and had 63.18 per cent of the votes to his opponent’s 34.07 per cent in a second round requiring a quorum of 66 per cent.

The delegation was comprised of 278 representatives from Serie A, Serie B, the Lega Pro, the Amateur League, the Players’ Association, the Coaches’ Association and the Referees’ Association.

The Lega Pro, which represents 60 third and fourth division teams, last week said nearly all of its members would back Tavecchio, who had been vice-president of the FIGC since 2009.

The campaign against his candidacy began when he made an allegedly racist comment when using a fictional example to try to make a point about the number of foreign players in the Italian leagues.

Quoted in La Repubblica, Tavecchio said: “England identifies the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play.

“Here, on the other hand, let’s say there’s (fictional player) Opti Poba, who has come here, who previously was eating bananas and now is a first-team player for Lazio.

“In England he has to demonstrate his CV and his pedigree.”

He subsequently apologised but Fifa has since asked the FIGC to conduct an investigation into the comments and to report its findings back to the world governing body.

He has a string of criminal convictions to his name and was recently at the centre of a racism and sexism storm in Italy, but – quite remarkably – Carlo Tavecchio is the new president of the FIGC: here.

See also here.

ITALIAN football prosecutors won’t take any action against new federation president Carlo Tavecchio over allegedly racist comments he made: here.

Irish ‘pro-life’ government threatens women’s lives


This 15 November 2012 video from Ireland is called UTV coverage – Vigil and Protest in Memory of Savita Halappanavar- Belfast.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pregnant women face abortion ban in Ireland even if they’re a suicide risk

Guidelines allow pro-life medics to stop vulnerable women from terminating pregnancies at all costs, pro-choice experts warn

Henry McDonald in Dublin

Thursday 7 August 2014 18.27 BST

Pregnant women in Ireland could be blocked from having an abortion even if they are at risk of suicide after conceiving as a result of rape or incest, under new guidelines issued to Irish doctors.

Experts warned that the Guidance Document for Health Professionals, which has yet to be made public but has been obtained by the Guardian, will give power to doctors, obstetricians and psychiatrists to prevent vulnerable women from terminating their pregnancies.

Some clinicians, including one of the Irish Republic’s leading psychiatrists, said the rules would leave women “at the mercy of a local, moral and political lottery”. Veronica O’Keane, professor of psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, said a woman could potentially have to see up to seven medical experts before getting a decision on her right to an abortion.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which has also been shown the document, has described the guidance on dealing with women contemplating suicide as “an excessive degree of scrutiny by medical professionals”.

The guidelines were drawn up after the Irish government introduced legislation last year to allow for abortion in extremely limited circumstances. The law followed the death of Savita Halappanavar, 31, who was denied an emergency termination that could have saved her life.

Pro-choice campaigners are concerned that conservative attitudes among health professionals will put more women’s lives at risk. More than 100 Irish psychiatrists – nearly one in three in the country – signed a statement last year opposing any kind of abortion reform, including those cases of women at risk of suicide.

The 108-page guide does not include provisions for an independent committee to make decisions on treating those with “suicidal intent”, which was a key demand among campaigners for reform. They argue an independent committee would be more objective than local medics and allow women more privacy.

Pro-choice doctors are also concerned that the language in the first few pages of the guidelines is more stridently anti-abortion than last year’s law. In its introduction, the document states that “the purpose of this act is to restate the general prohibition on abortion in Ireland“. Medical professionals are also advised on the first page that the act provides “a clear criminal prohibition on abortion”.

On page 10, a diagram explaining the procedure for applying for a termination makes clear to Irish doctors that the initial referral for women including those with “suicidal intent” begins with her own GP.

If the GP agrees, he or she will refer the woman to three doctors – including one obstetrician and two psychiatrists – who will decide whether there is a real risk to the woman’s life through suicide. If her request is rejected, she will go through an appeal system involving another two psychiatrists and another obstetrician.

The guidance states that the first psychiatrist to assess the woman has the right to “seek a second psychiatric assessment” or appoint a psychiatrist of their own choice. Critics say this will allow anti-abortion psychiatrists to recommend a colleague sharing the same views.

On the same page it advises that any of three medical experts, including an obstetrician, can assess a woman with suicidal intent and certify whether or not the woman should be allowed an abortion – although obstetricians have no mental health training.

O’Keane, a consultant psychiatrist for more than 21 years, said because there was no national body to rule on these cases vulnerable women were left “at the mercy of a local, moral and political lottery. They could come up against anti-choice physicians who in effect become conscientious obstructors to abortion.”

She added: “The repeated examination of a woman’s mental state by at least four doctors, and possibly seven, the repeated questioning specifically about suicidal ideation and intent, will not only be overly invasive, confusing and distressing emotionally, it will also be time-consuming in a period of crisis when a suicidal woman needs access to a termination as soon as possible.”

She called the guidelines “completely inappropriate”. “I would have preferred a national review panel to make these decisions because Ireland is a small country,” she said. “It would have been better in terms of privacy and access to mental health professionals who are committed to enacting the spirit of the legislation. We have a very strong anti-choice lobby in psychiatry and there should have been procedures put in place to allow women to bypass them and their moral, political, theocratic obstacles.”

O’Keane pointed out that the section called “Risk to life from Suicidal Intent” means pregnant women have to state explicitly that they are going to kill themselves before being considered for a termination.

“This is very bad practice because if psychiatrists are practising within these guidelines then that will be the stipulation, that the woman in question must state that. Yet in the majority of cases of suicide that psychiatrists deal with there is no stated intention of killing themselves.

“The terms of reference are too narrow and dangerous, and we in Ireland have very high rates of suicide and even a government drive to reduce suicide numbers. In these guidelines, what we are actually doing is saying to Irish women, ‘You have to actually tell us that you’re going to kill yourself or you won’t get that abortion.’ It is completely contrary to good psychiatric practice.”

Margaret Bondfield, British pro-peace World War I heroine


This 1926 video from Britain is called Another woman M.P. Miss Margaret Bondfield wins Wallsend bye-election.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

A real hero of World War I

Thursday 7th August 2014

PETER FROST introduces Margaret Bondfield who bravely campaigned for peace in the first world war

Suffragettes had fought hard for votes for women in the decades leading up to the first world war but, when war was actually declared, some leaders of the movement suspended the votes campaign to join in the jingoism of the war.

Some leaders demanded that all Suffragettes support the war effort. In return, the government released Suffragettes from prison.

Emmeline Pankhurst, who would later become a Tory parliamentary candidate, announced that all militants had to “fight for their country as they fought for the vote.”

After receiving £2,000 from the government, Pankhurst organised a demonstration in London.

The banners read: “We Demand the Right to Serve” and “For Men Must Fight and Women Must Work.” Christabel Pankhurst started a recruiting campaign among the men in the country.

But not all suffragettes were taken in by the warmongering propaganda.

One, Margaret Bondfield, disagreed with this new policy. She helped to establish the Women’s Peace Crusade to campaign for a negotiated peace.

Today Bondfield is not much remembered, except perhaps among the socialists, anti-war campaigners and feminists of my local market town Northampton where she was elected, in 1923, as one of the three first-ever Labour women MPs.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Bondfield. In 1909 she wrote a book called Socialism for Shop Assistants. I have never been able to find a copy, but that title alone won my heart to her.

She learned her early radical political ideas from her parents and by the age of 14 Bondfield left home to become apprentice in a large draper’s shop in Hove.

She became friendly with one of her customers, Louisa Martindale, a strong advocate of women’s rights. Through [Martindale] she met progressive thinkers and discovered political books and periodicals.

In 1894 Bondfield went to live with her brother Frank in London where she found work in a shop. It didn’t take long before she was elected to the Shop Assistants Union district council.

In 1896 the Women’s Industrial Council asked her to carry out an investigation into the pay and conditions of shop workers.

The report was published in 1898, the same year she was appointed assistant secretary of the Shop Assistants Union.

By now, Bondfield was Britain’s leading expert on shop workers and gave evidence to the select committee on shops (1902) and the select committee on the truck system (1907).

With Mary Macarthur, she established the first women’s general union, the National Federation of Women Workers in 1906.

In 1908 Bondfield became secretary of the Women’s Labour League. She was also active in the Women’s Co-operative Guild, leading early campaigns for a minimum wage.

The guild also fought for an improvement in child welfare and action to lower the infant mortality rate.

In 1910 the Liberal government asked Bondfield to serve as a member of its advisory committee on the Health Insurance Bill. She persuaded the government to introduce maternity benefits.

In October 1916, Bondfield joined with George Lansbury and Macarthur to set up a new National Council for Adult Suffrage.

In 1929 prime minister Ramsay MacDonald appointed Bondfield as his new minister of labour. She was the first woman in history to gain a place in the British Cabinet.

In the financial crisis of 1931, Bondfield supported the government policy of depriving some married women of unemployment benefit.

It was not a popular move. She refused to join McDonald’s national government and lost her seat in the 1931 general election.

On the anniversary of WWI the Establishment has been honouring warmongers and jingoistic generals.

Let us instead honour Margaret Bondfield, who fought for peace and also achieved much more besides for the rights of women.

Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War. Imperial War Museum, London SE1 6HZ. Until 8 March 2015: review here.