Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking trial again


This video from Britain says about itself:

PHONE HACKING: ‘We thought Milly Dowler was alive’

21 November 2011

Bob and Sally Dowler tell the Leveson Inquiry that journalists at the News of the World gave them false hope after their daughter went missing. Report by Sam Datta-Paulin.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Coulson‘s perjury trial continues

Tuesday 26th May 2015

THE trial of David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson continued yesterday as the court was told how the one-time News of the World editor knew that the source of voicemail messages was from phone hacking.

Mr Coulson is back in court after being accused of lying under oath in 2010, during the perjury trial of former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan.

News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck told Edinburgh High Court how Mr Coulson knew that the paper’s coverage of the Milly Dowler murder used hacked messages.

According to Mr Thurlbeck, the editor was “not initially” aware that News of the World private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was on the case.

He added that Mr Coulson only knew of Mr Mulcaire’s involvement “when Glenn came back with voicemails.”

When asked by prosecutors whether Mr Coulson ordered the recordings be taken to the police, Mr Thurlbeck said: “The short answer is no.

“I explained [to Mr Coulson] there was a source, a police source, who was revealing to us, via Glenn, the existence of these voicemails and content of them.

“I didn’t have to explain who Glenn was.”

Asked whether the decision not to go to the police was “ultimately made by Andy Coulson,” Mr Thurlbeck replied “yes.”

He added: “He trusted the source because he trusted me.”

The Prime Minister’s former director of communications previously stated he did not know of the involvement of News of the World reporters with Mr Mulcaire until the investigator’s arrest in 2006.

News of the World news editor ‘used hand signal’ to tell Andy Coulson of phone hacking. Former news editor of defunct tabloid tells court that hacking was ‘systematic’ at paper and Coulson knew about it when he was editor: here.

Cameron’s fox hunting plans stopped by Scottish nationalists?


This video from Britain says about itself:

Illegal Fox Hunt by Cameron’s local hunt

18 December 2012

Anti fox-hunt protesters filmed this footage of a hunt in Oxfordshire in which a fox is chased by hounds and killed. Members of the Heythrop hunt, Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield, admitted illegally hunting a fox on land in the Cotswolds after the footage was passed to the RSPCA for investigation. They were due to be sentenced on Monday. David Cameron has previously ridden with the Heythrop hunt.

From Common Space in Scotland:

SNP could make voting U-turn and oppose Tory fox hunting plans

Angus Robertson says that party will consider voting against repeal after “massive lobbying” campaign

18 May 2015

Liam O’Hare

THE NEW team of SNP MP’s at Westminster could be set to vote against a repeal of the fox hunting ban, despite an earlier commitment to not vote on the issue.

Writing in the Guardian earlier this year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explicity ruled out voting on foxhunting, as part of the SNP’s policy to not vote on matters that do not impact on Scotland.

In the article on 8 February 2015, Sturgeon said: “The SNP have a longstanding position of not voting on matters that purely affect England – such as foxhunting south of the border, for example – and we stand by that.”

However this position could now be reversed with group leader at Westminster Angus Robertson saying that the 56 SNP MPs would be looking “very, very closely” at the legislation after the party has been contacted by people opposing the plans.

Scotland banned hunting with dogs in 2002, followed by England and Wales two years later.

The Conservatives have pledged to hold a House of Commons vote on repealing the ban, with Tory MP Simon Hart saying it could take place within months.

Speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan show, Robertson insisted that the SNP would not make a decision until they had seen the legislation.

“The SNP has of course opposed fox hunting and it’s with SNP votes that now no longer continues in Scotland,” he said.

“There’s a massive lobbying operation going to try and ensure that the ban is not repealed in the rest of the UK.

“SNP MPs still have to consider the legislation, which we haven’t seen. We need to see it, but of course we will be looking at that closely.

“You do of course understand that the UK Government imposes its will on Scotland without any significant legitimacy whatsoever, so we’re having legislation foisted on Scotland with only one MP.

“So we have to look at all of the issues coming forward in this new parliament following the independence referendum on its merits and we’ll be doing that when we see the legislation that is proposed by the government.”

The SNP is now by far the third largest party at Westminster and it has claimed that it will provide the “effective opposition” to the Conservative government.

The party has traditionally not voted on “devolved” issues at Westminster, but this position was rolled back during the General Election campaign, with Nicola Sturgeon suggesting that the party may vote on issues such as the privatisation of the NHS.

Robertson says that the party will listen to those who “care passionately” about the issue before making a decision on whether to vote against the repeal of the fox-hunting ban.

“We have to look at all of the opportunities we have to exercise our voice and our vote at Westminster and we will be doing it on the basis of seeing the proposals that are actually made and then making up our mind.

“There are a lot of people who care passionately about this issue and I understand why. Many of them have been getting in touch in recent days and I would like to assure them that we will be looking at the case they’re making very, very closely and will do so on the basis of the legislation when its proposed.”

Among those calling for the SNP to vote against fox hunting is the Labour party.

“The barbarism of fox hunting is clear for all to see,” said Labour’s environment spokeswoman at Holyrood, Sarah Boyack.

“Scotland’s moral voice as part of the UK doesn’t end at Berwick-upon-Tweed and the SNP must make clear they will vote against any bill which would repeal the hunting ban.”

SNP considers voting to stop lifting of foxhunting ban: here.

Fox hunting, don’t bring it back in Britain, petition


This video from Britain says about itself:

Fox hunting – Cameron wants to make this legal again

15 January 2010

Scenes of fox hunting pre-ban.

Shocking scenes show the true face of hunting, not the sanitised version that is all the public are ever shown by the media.

This is what David Cameron thinks should be legal.

From 38 Degrees in Britain:

DO NOT repeal the fox hunting ban

To: David Cameron (Prime Minister) and the House of Commons.

David Cameron, you stated that if re-elected, you would repeal the ban on fox hunting.

Please do not go ahead with this plan.

Why is this important?

In a modern, civilised society, there is no place for this grotesque and cruel pastime. The previous government banned the practice, but the new government is planning to legalise hunting foxes using dogs. This is a barbaric and outdated activity that should stay where it belongs – in the past.

We have a choice in this life, we can be kind, or we can be cruel. I think the choice is easy…

You can sign this petition here.

We beg the SNP MPs at Westminster to vote against any repeal of the Hunting act: petition here.

European Union guilty in refugees’ drowning, United Nations say


This 20 April 2015 video says about itself:

More migrants drown in latest shipwreck

The calls for help from the middle of the Mediterranean continued on Monday after another boat filled with migrants ran aground off Greece.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

UN attacks ‘callous’ EU over sea tragedy

Tuesday 21st April 2015

UNITED NATIONS high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein urged European Union governments yesterday to take a new and “less callous” approach to the surge of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Mr Hussein said in Geneva that recent deaths in the Mediterranean were “the result of a continuing failure of governance accompanied by a monumental failure of compassion.”

He called for the creation of a robust and well-financed European search-and-rescue effort and urged the international community to set up an independent inquiry.

The UN high commissioner said that Europe was turning its back on some of the world’s most vulnerable migrants and ran the risk of turning the Mediterranean into “a vast cemetery.”

His passion and humanity contrasted with the tired repetition of past failures by EU border surveillance agency Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri, who insisted that recent tragedies involving migrants trying to enter Europe showed the continent must do more to stop economic migration.

EU leaders will hold an emergency summit on Thursday to address the crisis in the Mediterranean.

The bloc’s president Donald Tusk made the announcement yesterday after days of waffling and indecision on how to tackle the rapidly worsening tragedy of hundreds of migrants drowning during desperate attempts to reach Europe’s shores.

The situation worsened further yesterday, with rescue crews still searching for survivors and bodies while hundreds more migrants took to the sea.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been to the fore in demanding an end to seach-and-rescue operations as a supposed “pull factor” for refugees, welcomed the summit.

He said: “I think what we need is a comprehensive plan that does involve elements of search and rescue but, crucially, we have got to do more to deal with the problems in the countries from which these people are coming.”

That in itself sounds OK, Mr Cameron. However, you forgot to mention that these ‘problems in the countries from which these people are coming‘ are caused to a very large extent by the warmongering by your government and governments like yours, in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Mali etc.

DEATH TOLL FOR MEDITERRANEAN DISASTER COULD HIT 900: Only 28 survivors have been found thus far. The captain and a crew member have been arrested for “multiple homicide.” [NYT]

THE appalling death of up to 950 people fleeing the war-torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa has prompted the political representatives of European capitalism to rush to Luxembourg for an emergency meeting to discuss this ‘humanitarian’ crisis. Most of them support the ‘Australian solution’ – that the boats should be turned back at gunpoint as soon as they set sail, and to hell with the poor, the oppressed and the hungry: here.

European Union plans more aggressive measures against refugees: here.

EU officials are considering bombing Libyan smuggling boats. That’s the last thing refugees need: here.

Blood on their hands: Libya’s boat refugees and “humanitarian” imperialism: here.

The military intervention against “smugglers” bringing migrants from Libya to EU shores will set a “dangerous precedent” for the EU to unilaterally engage in hostilities and endanger innocent people’s lives, believes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: here.

‘British voters, stop Cameron’s warmongering on Syria’


This video from the British parliament says about itself:

30 August 2013

Cameron loses crucial vote on military intervention in Syria

David Cameron lost a government motion on possible intervention in Syria by 272 votes to 285. This vote came after an amendment, tabled by Labour, also failed to pass. The amendment called for ‘compelling evidence’ that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons. Cameron confirmed that the vote rules out British involvement in military action in Syria.

By Peter Ford in daily The Guardian in Britain:

Cameron’s unthinking policy on Syria has fuelled the rise of British jihadism

The current focus on domestic politics and the election shouldn’t blind voters to the fact that this prime minister has been a foreign policy disaster

Tuesday 7 April 2015 16.25 BST

Foreign policy is virtually absent from the election campaign. But if David Cameron had had his way, we could have been embroiled by now in yet another Middle East war – more than we are already. As it is, his Syria policy has still backfired, contributing to the rise of jihadism in our own back yard.

Cameron should not be let off the hook for supporting the armed opposition in Syria and being ready to start bombing Syrian government forces in 2013 after the Syrians had apparently used chemical weapons. The planes were ready to take off from Cyprus. It was only parliament, in a historic and too soon forgotten vote, which stopped this recklessness in its tracks. True, Syria subsequently disarmed itself of chemical weapons, but this was after the climbdown on bombing had shown western public opinion had no appetite for another war of choice. So it was no thanks to Cameron’s warmongering; rather, it was a result of Russian pressure.

True also, Britain has gone on to join bombing operations against Isis. But it is one thing to bomb a rabble collection of fighters, and another to bomb a regular army with an anti-aircraft capability. And what was Cameron thinking – that decimating the Syrian army would make life harder for the Islamists, who are palpably the bigger and more atrocious threat?

If Cameron had had his way, the jihadists could be in control of Damascus by now. Where is the accountability? William Hague took the fall for the embarrassing failure with parliament – after a decent interval he was removed from the Foreign Office. But Cameron is the Teflon man here. Having got away with bombing Libya (with barely a thought for the poor Libyans, whose country is now a tragic mess) he must have arrogantly thought that Syria would make a nice encore.

This is all the more deplorable because Cameron’s unthinking policy on Syria can only have fuelled the rise of support for jihadism among British Muslim youth. To call for the overthrow of the secular Syrian government, to demonise it out of all proportion (and remember, this is the same President Assad who was having tea with the Queen in 2006), to predict its imminent fall, as Cameron and Hague were doing in 2012 and 2013 – and then to wail as though it was nothing to do with them when British Muslims set off to help hasten said overthrow – is inconsistent and nonsensical.

If we have seen a rise in the terrorist threat in Britain in recent years, Cameron must be held to account for his share in creating the conditions in which it has happened. I would be surprised if the security services had not warned him of this only-too-predictable turn of events. Presumably he ignored them.

Since the debacle in parliament we have sung small on Syria. Even Cameron could belatedly see his gung–ho policy was a tar baby. Now we have a non-policy of saying nothing, shovelling aid at the humanitarian situation and tagging along on the Americans’ coat-tails. Yet to this day our official position remains that Assad must go and the opposition should be supported – as though there was a significant non-Islamist opposition today.

There may have been a significant non-Islamist opposition in the early days, before the withering of the Arab spring. But the Syrian “revolution” was quickly and predictably sidetracked and deformed by the much more powerful Islamists. And it’s no good claiming our support is “nonlethal”: this is still aiding and abetting. We also continue to support sanctions against Syria, even though sanctions, as usual, do little harm to the regime they are directed at. Indeed, they have done immense harm to the Syrian economy, with consequent humanitarian suffering. If we want to help Syrians, it would be a good start to stop making their situation worse.

At the moment we are on the one hand arsonists, causing the situation to deteriorate by indirectly giving succour and encouragement to the Islamists and hampering Syrian government efforts to rebuild in pacified areas and destroying Syrian jobs. On the other hand, we are the firemen hosing taxpayers’ aid money on to a humanitarian disaster that we are helping fuel.

Far from symbolising loss of spine, the parliamentary vote against military intervention in Syria was a perfect instance of how Britain can still provide a moral lead to the world without “punching its weight” militarily. It is no accident that the US Congress drew in its own bellicose horns after the historic vote in Westminster, where 30 brave Conservative rebels joined forces with Labour and others. Obama appeared relieved to be off the hook.

We will need to spend more on defence – more billions than we do already – if we have a government that is going to get us into reckless scrapes. And this is the point about David Cameron: it’s no good having a strong economy and a sound NHS if all this is going to be put at risk by a leader who bases his foreign, defence and internal security policies on little save arrogance, ignorance and wishful thinking.

Peter Ford, former [British] envoy to Damascus, says unthinking policy on Syria has encouraged rise in jihadism among young British Muslims: here.