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#IN_MEMORIAM: #Martin_McGuinness (Sadly) Born 23-May-2017 Died Too Late 20-Mar-2017

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 21/03/2017

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#IN_MEMORIAM: #Martin_McGuinness
(Sadly) Born 23-May-2017 Died Too Late 20-Mar-2017 …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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.

Hi,

I am happy to offer my condolences to the children & grandchildren of Martin McGuinness who had no choice in whom their parents were.

That said: The world would have been a far better place without the birth of Martin McGuinness and vile and cowardly criminals like him. To seek to eulogise this vile man for his hand in a peace process that was instigated when he had failed in his aim to overturn democracy and impose his vile will, together with his vile asso0ciates, he chose to switch to claims of peace to avoid arrest and trial for numerous cowardly murders he had committed and instigated.

The peace process would never have been needed were it not for Martin McGuinness and his odious criminal ilk, as Ireland would have been a democratic and peacefull entity all along! There would never have been some 2,000 killings, the Police and Army would never have needed to impose a single curfew nor fire a single shot and harmony would have prevailed through the ballot box and democracy had it not been for the cowardly men of evil like Martin McGuinness.

KATIE HOPKINS: Good riddance, McGuinness. The reason you never said sorry for the dead was because you weren’t. You just realised you could win another way AND be treated like a saint 

I started reading about the rare condition that killed Martin McGuinness. I got about four words in. And then I realised.

I couldn’t care less. Couldn’t care less what he had, what impact it had on him or why it caused him to die.

I am just glad he is dead.

Glad he is gone and we no longer have the monster paraded about on our screens as the Second Coming of Christ. Lauded by our state broadcaster as the White Mandela. Fawned over by glib performers such as Blair, as a truly great statesman. 

I couldn’t care less. Couldn’t care less what he had, what impact it had on him or why it caused him to die. I am just glad he is dead

Martin McGuinness (pictured right in 1985): I am just glad he is dead. Glad he is gone and we no longer have the monster paraded about on our screens as the Second Coming of Christ 

Martin McGuinness (pictured right in 1985): I am just glad he is dead. Glad he is gone and we no longer have the monster paraded about on our screens as the Second Coming of Christ 

I’m not the least bit concerned if his death was painful or otherwise. He had the extraordinary blessing of a reasonably long life. And the gift of knowing he was going to die. He was able to set his affairs in order, to say thank you to the people who loved him, and to feel at peace with the life he was leaving behind.

His victims, those who died at the hands of his army, his bombs, and allegedly his own sub-machine gun — had no such opportunity.

Many never saw thirty. Never got to enjoy the long life he has enjoyed. Their relatives were handed life sentences of their own, too, having to deal with the devastation he wrought.

Joanne Mathers was just 29 when she was murdered by the IRA. Shot dead on the doorstep of her home for being part of the government census-gathering, which the IRA was campaigning against.

Almost 36 years later her husband said he was still haunted by the loss of his wife and the fact no one had been brought to justice.

‘People may well say he is a champion of peace, but Joanne was murdered when she was just 29 years old, and I was left to bring up a child of just a year-and-a-half by myself.

‘I had to navigate through all those milestones in his early years without her. Shane missed so much not having his mother. 

‘I would pick him up at school every day and would look out the car at all the mothers coming to pick their children up, greeting them at the end of the day. She wasn’t there to comfort him when he was sick and wasn’t there to run to when he was hurt.’

I'm not the least bit concerned if his death was painful or otherwise. He had the extraordinary blessing of a reasonably long life

I’m not the least bit concerned if his death was painful or otherwise. He had the extraordinary blessing of a reasonably long life

It is this man I feel sorry for, this man and his son who deserve the sympathy of leaders today.

Or Lord Tebbit’s wife, permanently paralysed by the 1984 Brighton bombing, another casualty in McGuinness’s campaign of terror.

Or the ‘disappeared’, those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA, four of whom have never been found despite a commission set up to locate their remains. The families of these victims walk hand in hand with grief and injustice every day.

The list is endless. Kneecappings, bombings, shootings, sniper fire. Men, women and children. Particularly children: Mary Travers, 22; Kathleen Feeny, 14; Carol Ann McCool, 4; Kathryn Eakin, 9; Gordon Gallagher, 9 … it goes on and on. A mountain of dead. Murdered during the period in which the Butcher of Bogside was in command.

So no, Gerry Adams — you who also have blood on your hands — McGuinness did not work ‘tirelessly for peace and reconciliation’. If he had, the bodies of the disappeared would be back with those they loved.

Whatever side of the fight you take, Protestant or Catholic, I wonder what sort of man can watch the killing of children and feel no remorse

Whatever side of the fight you take, Protestant or Catholic, I wonder what sort of man can watch the killing of children and feel no remorse

And no, Blair, we do not remember him with ‘immense gratitude and immense affection’. Shane Mathers might have said the same of his mother — if he hadn’t been deprived of her his whole life by the monster you choose to mourn.

And no, Enda Kenny, Irish Taoiseach, the butcher will not ‘always be remembered for the remarkable political journey he undertook in his lifetime’.

He will be remembered for the lives he took. And we will forget him as quickly as we can.

I couldn't care less what he had, what impact it had on him or why it caused him to die

I couldn’t care less what he had, what impact it had on him or why it caused him to die

Unlike her public message of condolence for the family of Nelson Mandela, the Queen has shared a private message with the widow of Martin McGuinness, Bernie. After the death of Lord Mountbatten at the hands of the IRA, she truly understands the hurt he caused. And has acknowledged this with a private message of support for one woman. Not public affirmation of the hurtful life of one cruel man.

Martin McGuinness may have conned many of the Establishment with his written commitment to peace. But he was the author of much of the war. And we do not condone the sins of other war criminals with such enthusiasm.

Only last year, a 94 year old former Auschwitz guard was sentenced to five years in prison for his actions in camp. He stated he never killed or abused anyone, and was deeply ashamed. But survivors wanted him to say more, needed him to tell the truth for young people. To help people understand the horrors of the past so they can be healed.

It is a sentiment echoed by the families of the victims of McGuinness’ IRA today.

In contrast, justice never caught up with this monster. It canonized him instead.

Lord Tebbit speaks for many of us when he says; ‘the world is a sweeter place today. He was a coward who never atoned for his crimes’.

Whatever side of the fight you take, Protestant or Catholic, I wonder what sort of man can watch the killing of children and feel no remorse.

But, I can understand why Martin McGuinness never said sorry.

The simple truth is he never was. He was only sorry he was going to be caught, that he needed to find power another way.

McGuinness was a monster. Death does not redeem him. Nor return the young lives his terrorist bombs took away.

To read the original of this article CLICK HERE

Martin McGuinness death: Tebbit says ‘world sweeter place’ – TUV chief says ‘he took dark secrets to grave’

March 21 2017

Lord Tebbit at home with his wife Margaret
Lord Tebbit at home with his wife Margaret

Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed in the 1984 IRA Brighton bomb has said the “world is a sweeter place” now that Martin McGuinness has died.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lord Tebbit branded the veteran republican a “coward who never atoned for his crimes”.

 

The IRA targeted the Conservative party conference at the Grand Hotel in Brighton planting explosives in walls. The subsequent blast killed five people.

Norman Tebbit was in bed when the bomb went off, along with Lady Margaret Tebbit, who remains severely paralysed.

“He was a coward who knew that the IRA was defeated… the IRA army council had been penetrated by British intelligence and they were beaten,” he said.

“And he, coward as always, opted to try and get out of that by posing as a man of peace.

“He was a murderer, a multi-murderer. He became a man of peace because he was desperately afraid he was going to be arrested and charged with murders which he had committed himself.

“I’m just pleased that the world is a sweeter and cleaner place now,” he said.

He was asked if it could be possible someone like Mr McGuinness could leave his past behind.

“It might be possible, But first thing to take the step to for forgiveness would be to confess for his sins,” he added.

Jo Berry, whose father the MP Anthony Berry was killed in the 1984 bomb is founder of charity Building Bridges for Peace. In response to Lord Tebbit, she tweeted: “Tebbit not speaking for all, I value Martin McGuinness as inspiring example of peace and reconciliation.

“I lost my Dad in Brighton Bomb.”

Speaking on the BBC she added: “I admire Martin McGuinness for what he has done for peace in Northern Ireland. His friendship with Ian Paisley was real and in order to do that I think he showed incredible courage and his example of reconciliation influences everyone – he showed the way forward.”

TUV leader Jim Allister paid his condolences to the McGuinness family.

He said: “In the case of Martin McGuinness he lived many more decades than his victims because sadly he thought it appropriate not just to sanction, but to commit murder.

“And he took those dark secrets to the grave denying truth and justice to his many IRA victims.

“So today my primary thoughts are with the many victims of the IRA who never got to the age of 66, who never saw their grandchildren because McGuinness’s IRA snuffed out so many lives.

“Whatever became of Martin McGuinness, he chose to be a terrorist, no one made him be a terrorist and no one should be lauded because they turned to peace having been a terrorist.”

He added: “I will not be a party to white-washing the vile, vicious, wicked terrorism he brought to our streets.

“I then acknowledge that as a different phase, he was part of protecting those that brought that vile terrorism to our streets. He then tried a different tactic, namely that of what is called the the peace process and at a great price.

“I acknowledge that with his head he chose a path of peace, if it was with his heart would he not have given up those secrets and brought truth and justice to the victims of the IRA? That is where he will be judged.

“I have nothing kind to say of a person who carried out, presided over and directed the terrorism of the IRA, that gave us over 2,000 innocent victims.

“They brought needless terror to our streets. There was no need for anyone to die on the streets of Northern Ireland, but Martin McGuinness thought there should be.”

“So I am not going to be a hypocrite and sweep that under the carpet and say he took a different tact.

“I am not going to white wash the life of terrorist leader, IRA commander Martin McGuinness.”

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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IN MEMORIAM Col. Harry Beckhough born 08-Feb-1914 Died 15-Mar-2015 Aged 101

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 15/03/2017

IN MEMORIAM Col. Harry Beckhough born 08-Feb-1914 Died 15-Mar-2015 Aged 101

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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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I was very honoured to have been able to count Harry Beckhough as a friend for a number of his later years, and even more honoured when he proclaimed me as a trusted frien before an audience in Marlborough Town Hall.

Harry very kindly, some years ago, agreed to attend a political meeting for two days for me at The Huntsman near Chepstow – too impart a prodigious flow of his experience and political knowledge and reminiscences. Harry’s contribution was invaluable.

After his visit to Chepstow we kept in touch for some years and I well remember that when he realised I was genuinly interested in social and political history he wrote me some 30 or 40 pages of his reminiscenses and experiences from his early years until he left Bristol, just prior to WWII.

Final farewell in Marlborough to wartime code breaker Harry Beckhough, 101

Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey / Saturday 11 April 2015 / 

Mourners gathered at St Mary’s Church in Marlborough this afternoon to say goodbye to centenarian and wartime code breaker Harry Beckhough.

Around 100 people gathered at the church for the service in tribute to the 101-year-old led by the Rev Dr David Maurice.

Mr Beckhough’s son-in-law James Munby read from Ecclesiates followed by a reading of Psalm 29 by his daughter, Jennifer Munby.

She then read a poem Not How Did He Die, But How Did He Live followed by a tribute from Mr Beckhough’s grandson, Thomas Munby.

He said: “When you’re asked to speak about someone like my grandfather where do you start?

“I tried to start by thinking what Harry would say, trouble is, I know exactly what Harry would say. He’d wander in, look around, smile at us all, he’d pull his innocent face and say ‘oh, has somebody died’?

“In my mind Harry Beckhough was an astonishing man. I loved him, I miss him and I’m very proud to call him my grandfather.”

Marlborough Mayor Marian-Hannaford Dobson spoke of Mr Beckhough’s 19 years in the town, moving in 1996 to be near his family. Mr Beckhough is thought to be the longest serving member of the Conservative party, joining it at the age of 15, and he continued his interest in the party all his life.

She said: “Harry used his desk in the Constituency office five days a week for the rest of his life.

“He regularly lectured at the Marlborough College summer school and also volunteered at Savernake Hospital once a week. Another of his pleasures was to work on the Marlborough Jubilee committee and centre.

“I count myself fortunate, and privileged, to have had Harry Beckhough as my friend.”

Mr Beckhough chose hymns Abide With Me; I Vow to Thee My Country; and He who would Valiant Be to be sung at the service.

Claire Perry, who up until the dissolution of parliament was the Conservative MP for the Devizes constituency that includes Marlborough, also paid tribute to Mr Beckhough. She said: “He was an amazing representative of all that my party stand for.

“He was so capable of seeing the big picture but also of seeing the small details.

“He was always there for a chat, he was always there for a counsel. I spoke to him just a few weeks ago and he said ‘I’m not doing so well but best of luck in the election, I’m proud of country and I’m proud of our government’.”

Mr Beckhough, who lived in Castle Court retirement apartments in River Park, died on March 15.

He grew up in Bristol attending Fairfield Grammar school and studying at Bristol University.

He was a Colonel in the Intelligence Corps and a code breaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.
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He celebrated his 101st birthday twice, first on February 8, the day he was born, and on February 15, which is on his birth certificate because his father didn’t register him until a week after his birth.

After the service mourners went to a celebration of Mr Beckhough’s life at the ConservativeClub.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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#Nuclear Engineer: ‘#Fukushima is as close to hell as I can imagine’ …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 14/03/2017

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#Nuclear Engineer: ‘#Fukushima is as close to hell as I can imagine’ …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

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.

Hi,

Fukushima is still so contaminated that some areas will kill a worker within 30 seconds and is so bad it will destroy a robot making it all but impossible to work on.

Fukushima, although new in many areas was based on old technology due to lack of development in Nuclear technology, largely due to the irresponsible actions of the USSR funded CND movement making R&D in nuclear physics both unpopular and controversial which has set back development by at least 30 years!

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine” — Melted fuel ‘disappeared’ — Contamination will go on for hundreds of thousands of years… “No one knows when it’ll end” — Gov’t perpetrating ongoing cover-up

Image: Nuclear engineer says Fukushima contamination will go on for thousands of years
Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear engineer, Mar 11, 2017 (emphasis added): The scientific impact of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi is an ongoing disaster that was never envisioned by the engineers who created and designed these atomic reactors and countries who built them… no country in the world with nuclear power reactors was prepared for the explosive radioactive contamination of Fukushima Daiichi. Over and over, people ask me about what happened inside the plants and what is still happening inside with robots fried by radiation, corium that can’t be found, and massive amounts of radioactivity migrating to sensitive estuaries, aquifers, contaminating all the ground water, and polluting the Pacific Ocean… No one has discovered where the nuclear cores have disappeared to.  The $400,000,000 “ice wall” continues to leak… Moreover, the cover-up continues, with the health effects from radiation being camouflaged as stress related illnesses… I decided to share the photographs I took last year in Japan… these photos cannot adequately convey the scientific and human impact of the worst industrial cataclysm in the history of the world[R]adioactive isotopes will be extreme hazards for 250,000 years, of course no one knows when it will end.

 

BBC Newsday interview with nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, Feb 28, 2017: “As they get in [the containment vessel at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2], they’re finding that combination of hot steam — these are not just radioactive chemicals, but it’s a toxic mix of chemicals that are going to react with the steel. So there’s rust and hunks of nuclear fuel lying around, and steam, and it’s raining all the time because of the condensation. I think it’s about as close to hell as I could imagine.”

Arjun Makhijani, nuclear engineer, Feb 17, 2017: Yes, so the bottom of the reactor under the reactor there is a grating and then under the grating there’s the concrete floor, and what this robot discovered… the grating was deformed and broken. So, now it appears that some of the molten fuel may have gone through the grating… [H]igh radiation turns into heat, so the whole environment around the molten fuel is thermally very hot, and so whether it is going through the concrete, whether it is under the concrete, I don’t know that we have a good grip on that issue… Fukushima is possibly the longest running, continuous industrial disaster in history. It has not stopped because the risks are still there.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Interview with Gundersen here |

Radiation Spikes At Fukishima

Air Date: Week of February 17, 2017

Juan Carlos Lentijo of the International Atomic Energy Agency looks at tanks holding contaminated water and the Unit 4 and Unit 3 reactor buildings during a February 2015 tour of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photo: Susanna Loof / IAEA, Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Almost six years after a tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) faces overwhelming problems to clean up the site. Tepco now reports radiation in reactor 2 that would kill a worker in thirty seconds, and even destroys robots. Arjun Makhijani, the President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and host Steve Curwood discuss the implications of this new report and the challenges of cleanup.

Transcript

CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Steve Curwood.

Six years after an earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated Fukushima, Japan and led to the melt down of three nuclear power reactors there on the coast, radiation levels have reached a staggering 530 sieverts an hour, many times higher than any previous reading. Tepco, the plant’s operator, claims that radiation is not leaking outside reactor number two, site of these readings, but concedes there’s a hole in the grating beneath the vessel that contains melted radioactive fuel.

Joining us now to explain what it all means is Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Welcome back to Living on Earth Arjun.

MAKHIJANI: Thank you, Steve. Glad to be back.

CURWOOD: So, this report from TEPCO seems serious, maybe even ominous. What what exactly is going on?

MAKHIJANI: Well, they are exploring the molten core of the reactor in reactor number two with robots, and the robot called Scorpion went farther into the bottom of the reactor in an area called “the pedestal” on which the reactor kind of sits and measured much higher levels of radiation than before. The highest level was 73 Sieverts per hour before and this time they measured a radiation level more than seven times higher. It doesn’t mean it’s going up. It just was in a new area of the molten core that had not been measured before.

CURWOOD: Still, it sounds to me like it’s problematic, that six years after this meltdown there’s such a high reading.

MAKHIJANI: It is a very high reading; they may encounter even higher readings. The difficulty with this high reading is that the prospect that workers can actually go there, even all suited up, becomes more and more remote. Robots are going to have to do all this work – That was mostly foreseen – but the radiation levels are so high that even robots cannot survive for very long. So now they’re going to have to go back to the drawing board and redesign robots that can survive longer or figure out how to do the work faster, and it’s going to be more costly and more complicated to decommission the site.

The lid of Unit 4’s Primary Containment Vessel lies close to the reactor building. The reactor was shut down for maintenance at the time of the accident. (Photo: Gill Tudor / IAEA, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

CURWOOD: Remind us, Arjun, please, of the human impact of this kind of radiation. What’s toxic to humans?

MAKHIJANI: Right. So, if you get high levels of radiation in a short period of time, four Sieverts is a lethal dose for about half the people within two months. So, in 530 Sieverts per hour would give you a lethal dose in less than 30 seconds.

CURWOOD: Wow.

MAKHIJANI: So, it’s a very, very, very high level of radiation. That’s why people cannot go into the reactor and work there. That’s not the end of the bad news, but that’s quite a bit of it.

CURWOOD: OK. All right, there is more bad news. I’m sitting down. Tell me.

MAKHIJANI: Yes, so the bottom of the reactor under the reactor there is a grating and then under the grating there’s the concrete floor, and what this robot discovered — It was supposed to go around the grating and survey the whole area, but it couldn’t because a piece of the grating was deformed and broken. So, now it appears that some of the molten fuel may have gone through the grating and maybe onto the concrete floor. We don’t know because even robotic surveys are now difficult, and a high radiation turns into heat, so the whole environment around the molten fuel is thermally very hot, and so whether it is going through the concrete, whether it is under the concrete, I don’t know that we have a good grip on that issue.

CURWOOD: So, Arjun, what’s going on with the reactors one and three? There have been published reports that TEPCO, Tokyo Electric Power Company that has these reactors, hasn’t really taken a good look at those reactors. What do you know?

MAKHIJANI: Well, they have to develop the robots, and I think that developing them, by looking at reactor two, and they’re finding these surprises, radiation levels much higher than previously measured. It shouldn’t actually be unanticipated. The big surprise here was that a part of the grating was gone, and so that the molten fuel would possibly have gone through the grating. So, I think similar surprises will await reactors one and three because each meltdown will have a different geometry.

Storing contaminated water in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi site presents an ongoing risk, says Makhijani. (Photo: Gill Tudor / IAEA, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

CURWOOD: So, now what about the decay products here? We’re starting with the Uranium family, but we wind up with Cesium and Strontium – Strontium 90. What risk is there of Strontium 90 getting into groundwater there?

MAKHIJANI: Yeah, so the peculiar thing about a nuclear reaction is the initial fuel, Uranium, is not very radioactive. It’s radioactive but you can hold the uranium fuel pellets in your hand without getting a high dose of radiation. After it’s gone through the nuclear reaction – Fission, that’s what generates the energy – the fission products which result from splitting the Uranium atom are much more radioactive than Uranium, and Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 are two of the products that last for quite a long time, half-life 30 years, and are quite toxic. So, Strontium 90 is specially a problem when it comes in to contact with water. It’s mobilized by water. It behaves like calcium, so if it gets into like sea water and get into the fish, the bones of the fish, or human beings, of course, it gets into the bone marrow and bone surface, increases the risk of cancer, leukemia. So it’s a pretty nasty substance, and Strontium 90 has been contacted with water. You know, rainwater goes and contacts the molten fuel. Groundwater may be contacting the molten fuel. So, we have had Strontium 90 contamination and discharges into the ocean. They also collect the water. They’ve got about more than 1,000 tanks of contaminated water stored at the Fukushima site. By my rough estimate may be about 100 million gallons of contaminated water is being stored there.

CURWOOD: What happens if there’s an earthquake?

MAKHIJANI: That’s exactly right. So about a week into the accident, I sent a suggestion to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission that they should buy a supertanker, put the contaminated water into the supertanker, and send it off elsewhere for processing. They do have a site in the north of Japan which was supposed to be for plutonium separation, but it could be used to support the cleanup of Fukushima. But they rejected that proposal more than once and decided to build these tanks instead. They have a decontamination process on-site, and there are a very vast number of plastic bags on the site filled with contaminated soil. Nobody wants the stuff and nobody knows what’s going to happen with it.

Arjun Makhijani is the President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. (Photo: Francisco Martinez/Tides Momentum, Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

CURWOOD: It’s six years after the original meltdown. How much of a disaster is Fukushima today?

MAKHIJANI: Well, Fukushima is possibly the longest running, continuous industrial disaster in history. It has not stopped because the risks are still there. This is going to take decades to decommission the site, and then what is going to happen with all this highly radioactive waste, ‘specially the molten fuel? Nobody knows.

CURWOOD: Arjun Makhijani is President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Thanks for taking time with us today, Arjun.

MAKHIJANI: So good to be back with you, Steve

LINKS:

Interview with Makhijani here

The Guardian: “Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown”

Washington Post: “Japanese nuclear plant just recorded an astronomical radiation level. Should we be worried?”

TEPCO’s Decommissioning Plan for Fukushima Daiichi

About Arjun Makhijani

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
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The Folly Of #HS2, The Failures Of #BT & The Impossibility Of Fully Funding The #NHS

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 06/03/2017

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The Folly Of #HS2, The Failures Of #BT &
The Impossibility Of Fully Funding The #NHS …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

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Hi,

astonishing isn’t it that despite the fact that so many areas in Britain lack reliable broadband, with better than glacial speeds and large areas lack workable mobile phone signals – politicians witter on about ‘infrastructure’ and threaten rational members of society with squandering an estimated £42Billion on HS2, which is nothing more than a pointless vanity programme which is no more than an outright scam, using OUR money!

Not only is it pointless – anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together has learned enough history to realise that all it will do is siphon off people and jobs from the towns and cities where it stops and Britain will become yet more London centric!

This is a lesson most clearly shown when the French set up their railway network to decentralise Paris, and other cities, taking the public from the cities into the countryside and they found it merely attracted those already in the countryside to come into the cities, with disasterous consequences.

HS2 may well marginally help commuters to London (one or 2 trains in the morning & one or two home in the evenings!) but anyone else who wants to get there, 20 WHOLE minutes sooner, from Birmingham can at the moment catch a slightly earlier train!

They can’t run the trains on time anyway, just look at the farce that passes for a service in the South East.

Just what is the point of HS2 when a fraction of the money could improve the existing service and leave plenty over to fund fast direct optical cable to all parts of Britain, improved video conferencing and the decentralising of many offices, resulting in less travel and better lives for all – there might even be some money left over to fund the drugs that are currently bankrupting the NHS!

Clearly it is not a simple lack of funding that is causing problems for the NHS, but an inability to function within a budget! Many falsely apportion blame to health tourism and immigrants when in reality they account for a paultry 0.3% of the NHS budget!

Consider the unrealistic expectation whereby the NHS is no longer a National HEALTH Service but all too often a life style service used as a political football and whipping boy.

I guess such a solution is far too logical for a politician or a major corporate director!

None of this takes into consideration, the inevitable fall in requirement for travel once video conferencing is more widely used due to improved efficiency. In the slightly longer term robotics and automation will inevitably give rise to a fall in numbers of people who have any need to work or any meaningfull need to work physically thus ever more jobs will pass into history together with the need for work related travel.

Instead of politicians thinking in the short term as to how they can be re-elected asurely it is time for a more mature and responsible attitude where consideration is given to the needs of the future rather than meeting the needs as perceived in the past.

Cancel the HS2 vanity project and update communications to meet the modern world’s needs of today whilst thinking of the needs of the future by even considering managing the total closure of rail in Britain as it has not, nor will it ever, under any circumstances, be an efficient and cost effective concept!

It is time to think ahead.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
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Abuse Inquiry Judge Urged To Investigate Dunblane Boarding School …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 05/03/2017

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Abuse Inquiry Judge Urged To Investigate Dunblane Boarding School …
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Greg_L-W

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Hi,

untitled
wp-1488746448482.png

Abuse inquiry judge urged to investigate
Dunblane boarding school

Anne Smith is chairwoman of the Scottish child abuse inquiry.
The judge at the helm of an historic child abuse review in Scotland is being urged to investigate a top private school with links to the royal family.
Glenn Harrison, a former housemaster at Dunblane’s Queen Victoria School (QVS), has raised fresh concern that pupils were sexually abused by a paedophile ring during the 1980s and 1990s. He first blew the whistle 26 years ago but has written to Lady Anne Smith, chairwoman of the Scottish child abuse inquiry, making a new case for its inclusion in her review.
The prestigious school, attended by children of Scottish servicemen and women, did not feature on a list published in January that detailed more than 60 establishments under investigation.
The omission has raised eyebrows in legal circles and among child abuse campaigners who believe that there is a prima facie case for fresh examination of Harrison’s claims.
The Sunday Times understands that discussions about the school’s inclusion arose shortly after ministers announced the inquiry in October 2015. It was argued that as the independent boarding school is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), it might fall within the remit of a mirror inquiry running in England and Wales.
On Friday, a spokesman for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said its remit was to consider institutional failure to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation in England and Wales. Although the inquiry can consider failures by English and Welsh institutions outside those two countries, it said there are “no current plans to investigate issues” relating to Queen Victoria School.
The admission has prompted fresh calls for Lady Smith to include the Dunblane school in her abuse inquiry, particularly in light of Harrison’s approach. Simon Collins, a lawyer representing the charity In Care Abuse Survivors, said: “My view is that if abuse is alleged to have taken place in Scotland, then it should be considered as part of the Scottish inquiry.”
One lawyer, who asked not to be named, said it was “disgraceful” that QVS was not among the institutions named in January, which included leading private schools such as Gordonstoun and Fettes. However, a spokeswoman for the inquiry said more establishments in Scotland could yet be investigated.
Queen Victoria School, which counts the Duke of Edinburgh as its patron, has been dogged by claims that pupils were abused by high-ranking government officials since Harrison raised concern in a letter to parents in 1991.
At the time, he was convinced that young boys were in danger and claimed that a group known as Friends of QVS would often take boys away for the weekend, with the pupils returning “distressed but flush with cash”.
It was later claimed that Thomas Hamilton, the man who carried out the Dunblane massacre in 1996, was a paedophile who had close ties to the school. Several investigations, by the police and the now-defunct Scottish Schools Inspectorate, failed to find evidence to support Harrison’s concerns.
A spokeswoman from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said: “We are currently undertaking over 60 investigations into individual establishments. We will announce further investigations in due course. The fact that a particular establishment was not mentioned at the preliminary hearing does not mean that it will not be investigated. We would encourage anyone with relevant evidence to come forward and share their experience.”
The MoD and QVS declined to comment.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

SEE ALSO:

Do also view CLICK HERE
Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
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NB:
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  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
  3. I do NOT use an obfuscated eMail address to hide behind
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  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

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Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections & Referendums …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 02/03/2017

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Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections &amp; Referendums …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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.

Hi,

the Government is making claims of ensuring everyone has high speed connection to broadband – a situation they are seemingly a million miles from achieving, whilst the public, myself included, clamour for workable broadband speeds and reliability in this modern age (which we do not have in this area!).

People can hardly complain when once people get decent connections, particvularly if they are stupid enough to plaster their private details all over the likes of Facebook, Instagram and the like, don’t be surprised if corporations, politicians, government and crooks use that data you have freely given.

We jhave here the latest version of invasion of privacy which is just as specious and fundamentally dishonest as all those petty nobodies who had their phones hacked and got huge compensation for being too idle or too stupid to change their passwords!

The internet is remarkably simple to control, but the will to do so is not there!

On line obscenity, abuse, pornography can be stopped with one simple control – but the industry and Government seem unwilling to do anything about it.

In the mean time don’t expect anything on the internet to be private – it just isn’t – and for as long as it isn’t don’t be surprised or complain if the information you pump out is used, whether to your advantage or against!

Leave.EU used ‘creepy’ Facebook profiling technology to win Brexit campaign — and now the data watchdog is investigating

Jake Kanter March 2017

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

PA

  • Leave.EU admits using “creepy” Facebook tech to scoop up data and target voters with anti-EU messages.
  • The data firm that helped Donald Trump take office, Cambridge Analytica, distances itself from the Leave.EU project.
  • Questions over whether Leave.EU broke rules on political donations and if Cambridge Analytica breached data protection laws.

LONDON — The communications director for Leave.EU, the Nigel Farage-backed Brexit campaign group, has admitted using “creepy” Facebook profiling technology to persuade Brits to vote to leave Europe. 

Leave.EU communications director Andy Wigmore told The Observer at the weekend that the group — which is bankrolled by UKIP’s biggest donor Aaron Banks — harvested personal data last year and targeted voters on Facebook with anti-EU messaging.

He claimed Leave.EU worked with Cambridge Analytica (CA), the data firm credited with helping Donald Trump win the US election, on an informal basis on the project. CA has denied it worked for the campaign, however.

Now Leave.EU is the subject of a complaint over whether it broke the rules on political donations, and Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by the government’s data protection agency over whether it breached privacy laws, sources tell Business Insider.

Facebook as a propaganda weapon

Wigmore told The Observer that Facebook was a powerful weapon in Leave.EU’s armoury. “Using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert,” he said.

“And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

View photos
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Thomson ReutersHe admitted that the technology’s accuracy is unsettling. Wigmore said: “It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.”

He told The Observer that CA was “happy to help” with its work on Brexit on a pro bono basis. This, he said, is because Farage is a “good friend” of Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is reported to have invested in CA.

The firm has developed a proprietary technique known as “psychographics” to profile individuals and target them with messages, but in a statement to Business Insider, it said it played no part in Leave.EU’s Brexit campaign. “Cambridge Analytica did not carry out any kind of paid or unpaid work for Leave.EU,” a spokesman told us.

Business Insider contacted Leave.EU four times to ask why CA was disputing Wigmore’s version of events and request more information about the data firm’s actual involvement in the social media profiling. Leave.EU did not respond to our emails or phone calls.

Complaint to Electoral Commission and data protection probe

A complaint has been filed with the Electoral Commission over CA’s alleged work for Leave.EU, according to a source who has seen the complaint. Under election rules, political parties must declare donations of £7,500 or more, including services-in-kind.

“My guess is that we are now beginning to see a rather fuller picture of how the Leave vote and the Trump vote really came about,” the source told Business Insider. The source was a supporter of Britain remaining in the European Union but agreed only to talk anonymously in order to avoid any attendant negative publicity. 

Brexit protest

Brexit protest

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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#Scotland Is Not Alone In Suffering Self Serving Political Bullies & #FAKE_NEWS

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 04/02/2017

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#Scotland Is Not Alone In Suffering Self Serving Political Bullies & #FAKE_NEWS …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

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.

Hi,

the vile and divisive nature of Nationalist politics and the self serving grubby little men and women who exploit the concept, not just by ‘wagon jumpin’ but by powering the insular nature of Nationalism is not just a disease confined to the self destructive Scots but is something of a pandemic this century, it would see.

In Britain we have lurched from the overt Nationalism of the National Front & the BNP, which were a bit to strong a flavour for the electorate, such that their morays have been absorbed into the more clandestine Ukip which has many of the same morays and attracts the same greeds and low lifes as did their forerunner the BNP.
One need only go back to Oswald Mosley and his Black Shirts to realise that there wilol always be an underclass willing to support such fashistic cults but also to discover that whether they are overt or clandestine in their somewhat xenophobic nature and not too well hidden racism Nationalists in a relatively balanced society as Britain are unlikely to top a membership of more than around 50,000 achieved by both Mosley and Ukip briefly.
That that may translate into a widespread vote of around 10% is undeniable, with short term and localised flares approaching 20% an ever present possibility – as displayed by Geert Wilders in Holland and Marine LePen in France.
There are two other contingencies to take note of that can add a philipe to the divisive and intollerant extremes of Nationalism, either small groups outside of the mainstream, usually dependent on others for survival or Nations made up from strife and exile.
I shall leave my readers to position the SNP, Plaid, Shin Feine, Basques, Trump, Front Nationale, Ukip, PVV and the like, where you may consider appropriate!
With regard to divided nations and the divisive nature of Nationalism it is worth remembering how recently Jugoslavia devolved into a vile civil war over their values of Nationalism and religious hatreds or for that matter Greece, Macedonia, Austria, Germany and it is hard to forget Guernica and the vile Nationalism of the Spanish Civil war or that of Portugal or all too recently America where casualties between the Northern & the Southern armies were horrendous and the nature of their war was vile.
That self serving pumped up little individuals like Martin McGuiness, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Oswald Mosley, Nicola Sturgeon, Geert Wilders, Marine LePen, Berlesconni,, Paul Nuttall, Barrosso, Salzar, Adolph Hitler, Franco, Benito Musselini, Mitterand, Idi Amin, Erdogan, Makarios, Alex Salmond, Gerry Adams and their strutting self aggrandising ilk are given platforms for their vile incitement to hate is one of life’s tragedies.
It is quite astonishing just howmany of them can be shown to have lied for their own personal gain be that in declarations of Fake News, mythical oil incomes or the like or the forming of hate groups to rally against be that the Jews of Germany & France or the Muslims of today!
We have seen the swing of mainstream politicians to clothe themselves in sufficient of the extremists clothes as to enhance their chances as in the recent Dutch elections where Rutte led his moderate policy to a more extreme stance to ‘bump’ Wilders failing to suppress the right but at least dividing them so as to retain his position leading Holland, and there is no doubt that the British Tories have moved to the right to accomodate the petition, rebellion and referendum planned, instigated and achieved by Nikki Sinclaire and her many supporters and co workers.
Stephen Daisley’s excellent article below shows all too clearly just how these vile Nationalists strive to bully and brutalise to ensure the media tow their line, taking a leaf out of Hitler’s Stalin’s and more recently Boris Yeltsin’s book by demanding the media use the headlines they are given and excluding them from Press Conferences should they fail to put the right spin on the news – Stephen Dailey has shown just how effective such bullying can be and it is becoming all too apparent in Trump’s America, where if the media fail to publish his lies and distortions he villifies and blocks them resorting to his own media antics with his Fake News on Twitter!
Do you really believe that the farcical phone hacking enquiry by Lord Justice Leveson in Britain was other than a corruption of power and a squalid and deliberate effort by the corrupt to intimidate and penalise the media making a few £Thousand for themselves on route! Was Justice seen to be done, was the witch hunt ethical, moral or just – was it hell!

SNP tried to silence me. And their freedom to bully, vilify and malign is a chilling glimpse of one-party Scotland

Nationalist stalwarts: John Nicolson, far left, and Pete Wishart help define the party’s attitude to scrutiny

THE rise of nationalism around the world is a shocking, disorienting experience. Mainstream politics is under threat like at no time since the 1930s. Demagogues are coming to power, journalists face intimidation, once-sturdy institutions and assumptions are collapsing like derelict tower blocks.

The political character of entire countries is transforming almost overnight. Nowhere is this more visible than in the United States. But viewers glued to Donald Trump’s presidency as if to a Netflix thriller should familiarise themselves with the original series.

The new world disorder is greeted with more equanimity in Scotland, a testing ground for the potential of identity politics in recession-hit economies. Over ten years, the SNP has concentrated power, stifled dissent, bullied opponents and divided the country along a nasty dichotomy of Nationalist versus Unionist.

Much of the blame lies with Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first First Minister of any stature but also our first postliberal leader. For all their protestations about ‘civic’ nationalism, the SNP under Mr Salmond was instrumental in the cowing of non-nationalist Scotland. The change of tone hoped for when his successor took over has sadly failed to materialise.

I documented these developments as a journalist but never expected that I might be next. I was wrong, and learned the hard way that journalism and nationalism do not mix.

Last month, I left STV where I was digital politics and comment editor. In my five years there I graduated from reporting to writing comment and analysis on politics. STV’s website is not regulated by Ofcom in the same way as its broadcast output and the company thought incisive commentary could set us apart from rivals.

I prided myself on being a critic of all sides, rebuking Jeremy Corbyn for associating with anti-Semites and David Cameron for pandering to anti-immigrant prejudices. I took the SNP to task for tolerating cybernat extremism but praised Nicola Sturgeon for her leadership abilities. I gave the Unionist parties credit for delivering The Vow but hauled them over the coals for stopping short of the ‘modern form of home rule’ they promised.

Everything I wrote was approved in advance by the head of digital. On several occasions I was told that my work had been praised in STV board meetings. But as I grew more sceptical of independence and began to question if it was just souped-up nationalism I found myself a target for the SNP’s cybernats.

IN spring 2016, STV chief executive Rob Woodward held a briefing for MPs at Westminster. I wasn’t there but was told by someone present that SNP MPs Pete Wishart and John Nicolson had ‘hijacked’ the proceedings and launched an ‘ugly’ denunciation of me. As double acts go, Wishart and Nicolson are less Montrose and MacEwen than Abbott and Costello.

Wishart, a walking snarl, is the former keyboard player in Runrig whose greatest achievement as an MP is being the former keyboard player in Runrig. A BBC broadcaster whose career stalled – columnist Euan McColm memorably compared him to ‘an Eddie Mair tribute act playing matinees at Pontins’ – Nicolson changed tack and went into politics, entering Parliament in 2015.

They are figureheads of the SNP’s anti-journalism wing, a faction which has come to define the party’s attitudes to scrutiny and accountability. Journalists are malefactors working against the SNP and ‘lazy’ regurgitators of untruths.

Wishart began hectoring STV about me on social media and I was immediately concerned. When a colleague found himself uninvited to press conferences at one Glasgow football club, STV stood by him – for a day, before capitulating and sending another journalist to cover the story. I didn’t fancy my chances.

I was right. Soon Nicolson, who sits on the powerful Westminster media committee, joined in. I was summoned to a meeting with STV’s head of digital and head of news and told my role was being changed. I could edit STV’s politics page or I could write but I could no longer do both. As the head of news put it: ‘We can’t afford to have a member of the culture, media and sport committee complaining about us.’

I couldn’t believe this was happening. Two Nationalist MPs had used the bully pulpit of Twitter to lean on STV and STV had caved.

And now its online politics and comment editor would no longer be allowed to edit and comment on politics online. This wasn’t Kafka, it was Lewis Carroll.

Twitter is a red herring. As Wishart told a newspaper editor, he had complained to Woodward that my journalism was ‘crap’. And the very people whose job it was to resist political interference acquiesced for an easy life. The novelist JK Rowling did more to support me with her tweets than any of my editors at STV.

I don’t blame Wishart and Nicolson. They are Nationalists and conduct themselves accordingly; no one laments the character of a viper when it bites. The fault lies with Civic Scotland and its unhealthy relationship to power. In some cases this is a function of ideology but the real problem is structural. An adversarial press, independent academy, and nonaligned third sector are key pillars of a liberal society. In Scotland – despite and in some ways because of devolution – the bolshie approach is reserved for the UK Government.

For many years Westminster was antagonist in the home rule morality play, the longestrunning show in Edinburgh, and much of Civic Scotland has failed to move on. The Scottish Government, while still held to account by some, is viewed as more benign, more palatable, more our sort of people.

Scotland gives all the impres-

sions of an advanced polity but that facade rests on hollow institutions: A parliament of biddable backbenchers and scant scrutiny; a media lacking resources and corporate gumption; a voluntary sector conscripted into politics; and an intelligentsia that has already made up its mind.

When reports emerged that I had been gagged, the Scottish branch of the National Union of Journalists rushed to dismiss them – without speaking to me.

Nationalist hacks lent their support to Wishart and Nicolson and the BBC aired a ‘debate’ in which neither pundit bothered to contact me or confirm any facts before broadcasting wild speculation and assertion. Best of all was the charity board member who endorsed STV’s decision on Twitter. The charity? Scottish PEN – the campaign for writers’ freedom of expression.

George Orwell lamented that English intellectuals ‘would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during God Save the King than of stealing from a poor box’. Scottish intellectuals would gladly tan the poor box for a selfie with Nicola Sturgeon. Far from sniggering at national institutions our intelligentsia act as a patriotism police, charging political and cultural dissidents with ‘self-loathing’.

The Scottish establishment is a curious creature, a lion convinced it is a mouse. Yet however much we like to pretend otherwise, the Caledonian Elect exists and its only distinguishing characteristic is composition.

The British establishment prides itself on exclusivity but its Scottish counterpart pursues converts with evangelical zeal, the lustre of democracy paying court to our national myth of egalitarianism. Many are the familiares eager to lend a hand against heretics.

There is now in Scotland a Nationalist nomenklatura of true believers and latter-day converts, sincere and cynical alike. They are united in their support for independence and the 24-Hour Grievance Hotline that passes for a government at Holyrood. In return, they benefit from a revolving door between Nationalist politicking and prominent positions in business, the public sector, media and NGOs. Across Civic Society those politically outof-step are pressured, cajoled and harassed, not only by government but by its boosters in these sectors.

Last month, a senior NHS bureaucrat launched an astonishing public attack on a journalist, calling him ‘disgusting’ and accusing him of ‘trying to deflect from the NHS humanitarian disaster over the Border’. His crime? He reported on the 1,700 Scots whose operations were cancelled in 2016.

Other journalists have hardly fared better. When Mr Salmond stood down as First Minister after his referendum drubbing, the Mail, Express and Telegraph were banned from his final press conference. The Guardian refused to send a correspondent after his office insisted on choosing which one. The sensitive wee soul even admits to calling the editor of this newspaper over a reporter’s tweet, though nothing will surpass the open letter he penned denouncing his own biographer.

In the New Scotland, even journalists’ union the NUJ can’t be relied on to stand up for all its members. When reporters came under attack from Nationalists during the referendum, its Scottish organiser declared that ‘serious abuse and threats to Scots journalists is mainly from small group of BT [Better Together] supporters’.

WHEN Nick Robinson spoke of the intimidation he faced, the same union boss blamed the BBC broadcaster’s ‘personal politics’. He even publicly sided with a Nationalist exposed for her false claims about the NHS over the reporters who exposed her.

Things aren’t much better in the academy. It’s bad enough that Nationalists champion obscure cranks peddling conspiracy theories about the BBC. That they also busy themselves bullying dissenting voices in the professoriate is more alarming. When the principal of St Andrews University voiced fears about research funding after independence, Mr Salmond’s spin doctors drafted a retraction praising the SNP Government and demanded she sign it. The then First Minister even telephoned the academic and treated her to a ‘loud and heated’ call.

SNP minister Shona Robison complained to Dundee University when a respected history professor spoke at a Better Together event, while our friend Mr Nicolson asked bosses at Birkbeck, University of London to give a psychology lecturer ‘a little extra marking’ after she criticised him on Twitter.

One might expect business to be more distant from all this but that’s not always the case. I saw this at STV in its courtship of the SNP, a friends-with-benefits arrangement fated for a messy break-up. There is an alarm that should go off in any organisation when it gets too close to government. At STV, that alarm always seemed to be on silent.

There are the conference suppers held exclusively for the SNP, promoted in 2016 by switching the TV screens outside the news studios to declare ‘STV WELCOME SNP’. Or the decision to allow a Nationalist MP to embed himself in the newsroom for two days and participate in editorial meetings.

Take the critically acclaimed Road to Referendum documentary that was presented by proindependence commentator Iain Macwhirter and produced by an SNP activist and later MP. Not to mention the 2015 Hogmanay special, with Nationalist comedian Elaine C Smith interviewing Miss Sturgeon, her mother and her sister. It was like a North Korean Family Fortunes – only one team allowed and the survey always said ‘SNP’.

STV is drunk on access and stumbles over the line so many times it no longer remembers that the line exists. Given the intimidation of industry leaders during the independence referendum – the phone calls and raised voices and thinly veiled threats – it is not surprising that businesses are keen to keep ministers on side.

Nationalism is an all-consuming worldview. A conservative can accept the need for change and still be a conservative, a socialist that class alone doesn’t explain all injustices and still be a socialist. A Nationalist must subordinate all things to ‘the restoration of Scottish sovereignty’ or forfeit their place in the tribe. Under this most barren of ideologies there is only national pride and nothing else. Independence is always the answer because Nationalists spend so little time thinking about any other question.

This allows for great leeway on other matters of public policy. The SNP can pose as civil libertarians at Westminster and govern as authoritarians at Holyrood. It can shift from believing in scrapping the council tax to retaining the council tax, with equal fervour and scarcely an admission that the policy has changed. It is why Miss Sturgeon could go from casting doubt on EU nationals’ right to remain in 2014 to castigating Theresa May for doing the same in 2017.

You will search in vain for a Nationalist of any standing who will acknowledge these contradictions, let alone criticise them.

Epistemic closure is all the rage in Scotland these days. Independence enthusiasts cling to The National, one Nicola Sturgeon sticker offer away from pure fanzine, and assail those trying to hold the Scottish Government to account. The First Minister, who ought to know better and does, lends her office to fanatical howls of ‘SNP bad’, the faithful’s favoured chant when confronted by bothersome facts.

One cartoonist beloved of the Nationalists refuses to satirise the SNP until after independence, lest he undermine The Cause.

The practice of boycotting pro-UK businesses such as Asda and Barrhead Travel is now so commonplace that MPs and MSPs admit to doing it. Even the humble Tunnock’s teacake, beloved staple of Scottish larders, has become biscoctus non grata.

The most unnerving aspect of my experience was that I am not an investigative journalist. I wasn’t uncovering secret reports or exposing corruption. I’m a commentator. I analyse policies and personalities and give my take on events. I wield no power save the ability, on occasion, to coax 20 minutes out of someone’s day, and even then they may disdain or dismiss what I have to say. My words, if you are so disinclined, can be waved away as the scribblings of a fool, a quisling, or whatever is cybernat insult du jour.

But this the Nationalists could not do. Having co-opted so much of the third sector, academia and some of the best and worst of Scottish journalism, they want it all and they want it waving flags. And when you can’t do that, when you have to point out their mistakes or remind them nationalism is not sanctified by some cant about social justice, you must be destroyed, anathematised, made an example of.

This hostility to open inquiry has bled into public policy-making, epitomised by the decision to ban genetically modified crops without scientific advice. Reasonable people may disagree about GM but not to seek evidence in the first place is an act of intellectual cowardice. It’s little wonder the post of chief scientific adviser went unfilled for 18 months. In the nation of Fleming and Hutton, blind faith now trumps the scientific method.

NOW, as the world peers from behind quivering fingers at what President Trump will do next, we would do well to reflect on the importance of institutions. America’s founding fathers designed a government of divided powers to ensure no one individual or party could become too powerful. Democrats who decry Trump’s outrageous presidential orders must now sorely regret the executive overreach they supported under Barack Obama. They forgot the first lesson of American history: power unchecked is a charter for tyranny.

Institutions and customs matter. Whether it’s an inquisitive press or academic freedom, they are the guardrails of democratic societies. Government must be held to account, politicians must not influence the media and ministers ought not to co-opt independent organisations – otherwise we risk leaving ourselves open to another Trump, or worse.

If Scotland is going to make a half-decent stab at devolution, and especially if it aims to be independent in the near future, it will need real democratic infrastructure. Journalists will have to be more sceptical – please but please can we stop referring to ‘Nicola’ in our newsrooms? – and academics free to deal in constitutional realities and not just national ambitions.

Third-sector organisations will have to be honest about the pressure they are sometimes put under or forgo public funding altogether.

We all want Scotland to succeed but we are not all in this together. Governments are there to make policy and journalists are there to hold them to account, no matter if they are based in Edinburgh or London and no matter how awkward it makes the boss’s next Malbec with a minister.

The same goes for voluntary sector bosses, church leaders and academics. We are not friends. We are not partners. We are not stakeholders. The soppy sodality of Civic Scotland was all fine and well in the birthing of devolution and saw us through the parliament’s teething problems – but it’s time to grow up.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

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Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Also:

ABOUT ME, Details & Links: CLICK HERE
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
UKIP Its ASSOCIATES & DETAILS: CLICK HERE
Summary & archive, facts & comments on Ukip: http://Ukip-vs-EUkip.com
General ‘Stuff’: http://GL-W.com
Leave-The-EU Referendum & BreXit Process CLICK HERE
Documents, Essays & Treaties: CLICK HERE
The Hamlet of Stroat: CLICK HERE
Data & The Study of a Wind Turbine Application: CLICK HERE
Health Blog.: CLICK HERE
Chepstow Chat: CLICK HERE
Christopher Story: CLICK HERE
Des Watkins DFC; CdeG: CLICK HERE/
Hollie Greig etc.: CLICK HERE
Psycheocracy: CLICK HERE
The McCann Case: CLICK HERE
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Stolen Kids Blogs with links:
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  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
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  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
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Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s Name To Be Cleared By His Son Ali …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 29/01/2017

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Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s Name To Be Cleared By His Son Ali …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Hi,

‘The world will know he’s innocent’: Lockerbie bomber’s son launches fresh appeal to clear his father’s name claiming he has new evidence 

  • Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of planting bomb which destroyed a Pan-Am jumbo jet over southern Scotland in 1988
  • Now his son Ali, backed the British relatives of those who died in the atrocity, is to ask Scottish authorities to declare the conviction a miscarriage of justice
  • Megrahi’s family have also now formally become part of the appeal process
The son of the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is launching a fresh appeal to clear his father’s name and has declared: ‘The world will know he is innocent.’
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of planting the bomb which destroyed a Pan-Am jumbo jet over southern Scotland in 1988 – killing 270 people in the worst act of mass murder ever carried out on British soil.
Now his son Ali, backed by his family and the British relatives of those who died in the atrocity, is to ask Scottish authorities to declare his father’s conviction a miscarriage of justice.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi (pictured) was found guilty in 2001 of planting the bomb which destroyed a Pan-Am jumbo jet over southern Scotland in 1988

Now his son Ali (pictured) is to ask Scottish authorities to declare his father's conviction a miscarriage of justice

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi (pictured left) was found guilty in 2001 of planting the bomb which destroyed a Pan-Am jumbo jet over southern Scotland in 1988. Now his son Ali (right) is to ask Scottish authorities to declare his father’s conviction a miscarriage of justice
Within weeks, the son of the man who came to be known as the Lockerbie Bomber, will present a dossier of documents and new evidence to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).
He said: ‘We believe as a family that my father is innocent. My father knew he would die one day, so he gave us all the evidence for his case and it is with me right now. 
‘Injustice is there to see, because there is new evidence that has never been handed to the court of Scotland or any other place.
‘I want the opening of the case again, and we are ready to give all the new evidence from start to finish and the world will know that my father is innocent. 
The bomb killed 270 people and is  the worst act of mass murder ever carried out on British soil

The bomb killed 270 people and is the worst act of mass murder ever carried out on British soil
The freed Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al Megrahi is surrounded by his sons and grandsons and hugged by his mother and daughter at home in Tripol. The new appeal is backed by Mr Al Megrahi's  family and the British relatives of those who died in the atrocity

The freed Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al Megrahi is surrounded by his sons and grandsons and hugged by his mother and daughter at home in Tripol. The new appeal is backed by Mr Al Megrahi’s  family and the British relatives of those who died in the atrocity
I want to tell the victims of the massacre and the people living in Lockerbie: ‘I want you to give him a chance so that you will know the truth.’
‘The evidence that will be put forward to the court will show the innocence of my father.”
Megrahi’s son added that the case would be re-opened ‘pretty soon’.
After being found guilty of the bombing, Megrahi served his sentence in a Scottish jail. 
New evidence will cast doubt on a fragment of circuit board (pictured) said to be part of a timing device sold only to Libya by arms manufacturers

New evidence will cast doubt on a fragment of circuit board (pictured) said to be part of a timing device sold only to Libya by arms manufacturers
From prison he referred his case to the SCCRC – which ruled in 2007 that there were several grounds for considering there may have been a miscarriage of justice.
But despite the apparent vindication he had received from the SCCRC, Megrahi – who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer – dropped his appeal. Soon afterwards he was controversially freed from jail on compassionate grounds and flown back to his native Libya, where he died in May 2012. 
Campaigners including Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was among the passengers killed when the Pan-Am flight was blown out of the sky, tried to persuade the SCCRC to re-open the case in a bid to overturn Megrahi’s conviction posthumously.
But the SCCRC ruled it could only look at the case again if Megrahi’s family formally became part of the appeal process – which is now happening, the Scottish Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In November, Scottish lawyer Aamer Anwar flew to Zurich with Dr Swire to meet Megrahi’s son Ali and widow Aisha to collect documents relating to the appeal and to Megrahi’s estate. 
Last night Mr Anwar declined to discuss the case, saying only that it was at ‘a sensitive stage’.
Remains of Pan Am 103. For three years Police Scotland has also been running an Operation Sandwood investigation into claims that Crown officials, police officers and expert witnesses acted illegally to secure Megrahi's conviction

Remains of Pan Am 103. For three years Police Scotland has also been running an Operation Sandwood investigation into claims that Crown officials, police officers and expert witnesses acted illegally to secure Megrahi’s conviction
But Dr Swire confirmed the case is progressing. He said: ‘I’m starting to believe that by the 30th anniversary in December 2018, we must have progress. With Baset’s family now able to prove it is on board, I really believe the justice system has nowhere to hide.
‘The commission cannot go back on its findings of a decade ago that there may have been a miscarriage of justice, and there is an absolute avalanche of fresh forensic information that will destroy a case already picked apart ten years ago.’
Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gaucci’s (pictured) claim that Megrahi bought clothes packed in the suitcase around the bomb has since been discredited

Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gaucci’s (pictured) claim that Megrahi bought clothes packed in the suitcase around the bomb has since been discredited
Megrahi’s oldest son, Khaled, said: ‘I know that one day the truth must go out. The last words my dad said were that one day God will show the truth.’
Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988 killing all 259 on board and 11 people in the town.
At first suspicion fell on Palestinian terrorists, possibly acting for Iran as retaliation for the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus by the US.
But the focus of investigators later switched to Libya – in particular former intelligence agent Megrahi and his colleague at Libyan Arab Airlines, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah.
In 1999, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi handed the pair over for trial under Scots Law in a special court in the Netherlands on the former US base at Camp Zeist.
In January 2001, three judges, sitting without a jury, cleared Fhimah but found Megrahi guilty of mass murder.
For the past three years Police Scotland has also been running an Operation Sandwood investigation into claims that Crown officials, police officers and expert witnesses acted illegally to secure Megrahi’s conviction.
Yesterday the SCCRC said: ‘We do not currently have an application in this case.’ The Crown Office said that as papers had not yet been lodged it had nothing to say.
‘We believe as a family my father is innocent. The justice system has nowhere to hide’
To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
Regards,
Greg
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

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  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

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IN MEMORIAM: Tam Dalyell aged 84 …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 27/01/2017

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IN MEMORIAM: Tam Dalyell aged 84 …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Hi,

on having heard of Tam Dalyell’s death, at the age of 84, on my birthday, he having died the day before on the 25-Jan-2017 I felt compelled to mark it on my Twitter feed, as he had had a considerable influence on the politics of our great nation, during his many years as an MP – not least of which was on the issue of the West Lothian Question, making the issue his own as the MP for the seat, a subject with which I agreed.

He also spoke forcefully in opposition to Scottish indipendence, with which I also agreed, however I could not for a moment agree with his contrarian views on either UK or Scottish independence from the ill considered EU nor his strident views regarding the sinking of The Belgrano for fairly obvious reasons.

My brief Tweet was as follows:

Twitter Updates

  • #IN MEMORIAM “Tam Dalyell” Died 26-Jan-2017 aged 84 after 43yrs as an MP having slid from privilege & money at #Eton to #Labour contrarian! 7 hours ago

I also noted a Tweet from a friend – Marcus Stead which handled the matter well in its brevity:

 

I had differences with Sir Tam Dalyell, but his West Lothian question is a powerful legacy,& he was a fiercely independent,backbench MP. RIP

The death of Tam Dalyell and the need for a good public life

There has been a coarsening of the culture of public life on both sides of the Atlantic since Dalyell’s time

BY Iain Martin   27 January 2017

The concept of a brief telephone conversation with Tam Dalyell did not exist. In the mid-1990s a young Sunday Times Scotland reporter looking for a quote and ringing “the Binns”, the ancient Dalyell family seat in West Lothian, had better have set aside a good half an hour, at least. Other anti-devolutionists in Scottish Labour (I’m looking at you, once shadow minister and long-time journalistic colossus Brian Wilson) had the delivery of the pithy off the record quote about the daftness of devolution down to a fine art. Tam even on the record needed to take a long run up, or more like a meandering stroll, towards the point. He always got there in the end, delivering many a punchy phrase, particularly in describing Scottish devolution as a motorway to independence with no exits.

It was fashionable in pro-devolution Labour circles twenty years ago to laugh at him for his anti-devo view, deep voice and courtly manners. Well, they’re not laughing now, with the SNP ten years into government at Holyrood and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pondering a second punt at breaking up the UK.

Tam Dalyell was a nuisance for his party, but highly unusually for a leading member of the parliamentary awkward squad he carried out his guerrilla activities for the most part courteously.

When the young Edinburgh-lawyer-turned-MP John Smith was Labour’s Home Rule minister in the late 1970s, and Tam was doing his best to frustrate his efforts, Dalyell’s drawn out approach in telephone calls so infuriated Smith that during one late night call too many, about a problem with the parliamentary Bill to create an Assembly in Edinburgh, Smith snapped.

 

Attempting to change the subject and take an advantage, Smith asked suddenly why Dalyell had failed the test to become an officer during his National Service. He had been to Eton and was a Baronet. The army usually made allowances for these matters, surely? Smith said he had always wondered what had gone wrong. Tam had served only as a private. Why? There was a long pause. “John, it was something to do with me losing a tank on Salisbury Plain.”

Donald Dewar told me that. It certainly sounds true, although all three – Dewar, Smith and now Dalyell – are sadly no longer with us. This week another connection with the tumultuous politics of the 1970s and 1980s was severed.

To most people under 40 the announcement that Tam Dalyell has died, aged 84 after a short illness, is unlikely to register. He stepped down from the House of Commons more than a decade ago, in 2005, and the peak of his activities came in those late 1970s battles over devolution running through to clashes with Margaret Thatcher.

For a period he was extremely well-known as the MP who pursued her over the Falklands War and the decision in particular to sink the Belgrano, an Argentinian cruiser, during the conflict. Dalyell kept asking: Why was it sunk? Why had Thatcher authorised such slaughter? Eventually some of his frustrated colleagues at Westminster responded outside the chamber with a bleak and fair assessment: The Belgrano was an Argentinian warship full of Argentinians. That was why it was sunk. Regardless of which direction in which it was sailing, because it could have turned round and headed for the Falklands to kill British sailors.

Dalyell never achieved high office and would have been unsuited to it anyway. His comments about Blair and the “Jewish lobby” at the time of the Iraq War in 2003 were a stain on his reputation and completely beneath him. It suggested fading powers and a loss of perspective. At the election two years later he retired.

On the question of the wisdom or otherwise of mangling the British constitution to deliver an Edinburgh parliament, without treating England fairly, his judgment is vindicated by events since. On Brexit he was fiercely opposed, only a few days ago giving an interview in which he said MPs should vote down Article 50 because departure from the EU will, he claimed, bring about Scottish independence. We’ll see.

My last of many encounters was at the Binns and Tam, missing the Commons, was typically keen to talk about the latest happenings in politics. The celebrated novelist Alexander McCall Smith had been invited to launch one of his books by the Dalyells with a smart dinner and speeches in the library of their home outside Edinburgh.

I arrived early on a flight from London to Edinburgh and Tam grabbed me. We retreated to a corner to talk about Gordon Brown and the transition from the Blair era, I recall. Dalyell was always contemptuous of Blair, but concerned about whether Brown would be able to step up. I think, though cannot recall fully, that he was a supporter of an early Scottish independence referendum, on the back of having a Scottish PM. That would have been a sensible move, before the SNP had too much time to organise. By that point prominent Labour devolutionists were also of that view. Brown as Prime Minister from 2007 prevaricated and then missed the moment. Shame.

I do not propose to paint the flawed parliamentarians of the past such as Tam Dalyell as somehow infinitely superior, as though there has been nothing but a decline in quality since. Those debates in which Tam first posed the West Lothian question (it was Enoch Powell who named it, not Dalyell) are certainly of an extremely high standard to read now. There was a stateliness to the best of the exchanges and a willingness by some MPs to co-operate across the chamber and respect views that they did not necessarily share.

But the Commons of old does not read or sound to me like an expression of the Athenian ideal. In the 1960s there was plenty of corruption and hypocrisy. In the 1970s it was almost exclusively male and awash with alcohol, making it rich in silly anecdotes. My friend Alan Cochrane, then a young parliamentary correspondent, recalls Gerry Fitt standing at the edge of the Commons terrace holding up his gin and tonic, pointing it out to the passing tourists on pleasure boats and shouting “it’s all free!”

Parliament has changed, they say, with MPs spending more time in their offices or meeting delegations. Still, there are plenty of good Commons performers, and if the Lords has become too large there is quality of intellect scattered amid the throng.

Reflecting on the passing into history of Dalyell and his generation, it is undeniable that there has been a coarsening of the culture of public life on both sides of the Atlantic, however. In Britain it is in part down to serial scandals – in parliament, the police, the military and the press – and the speed at  which the modern news cycle spins, chasing outrage and novelty.

Social media then amplifies the aggression, and in the Scottish referendum of 2014, the EU referendum and then the US election of 2016, the keyboard warriors – journalists, activists who can now respond direct and outright bampots (Scottish term) – fought endless duels which continue. Getting caught in the middle of one of these rows could be energising, although in the end the effect is akin to being at an overcrowded bar with multiple conversations going on and loud music playing while a fight breaks out near the toilets.

Social media also suits journalist snark or sarcasm. Irony doesn’t work as it is often misread. The tone is generally – there are exceptions – inhospitable and a tad grumpy. No wonder so many journalists use Twitter.

I am probably the last person who can complain about this coarsening. I’ve been too rude in print and online – to my regret – about the shortcomings of several figures, Nick Clegg and Jeremy Corbyn, to make the case that there should be a more civil discourse. It will never catch on. Anyway, there’s always been a role for journalists, or commentators more particularly, being punchy and sometimes personal about the powerful, since the dawn of “Grub Street” and Fleet Street. But how to stop it spilling over into ad hominem attacks that get no-one anywhere when you conclude that the man in the White House proves daily by his actions that he is utterly unfit? Pass.

There I am like many journalists wrestling in the Age of Trump and rampant populism with a problem to which I confess I simply do not know the answer.

It is easy to say that when it comes to Trump one should stick to the basic facts. But that is difficult, when even the new President himself is incapable of sticking to the basic facts. His outrages, at the CIA wall, on the debunked notion of widespread voter fraud, mean that it is all but impossible, unless you are writing a straight news report, to avoid poking fun or calling it out. Trumpism and ultra-liberalism are two sides of the same coin, incidentally, both equally intolerant and short-sighted, although that is for another time. What is clear is that Trump’s 2016 campaign put a particularly strong dose of poison in the bloodstream.

Even though the EU result was, for Brexiteers like me, worth celebrating, a poisoning also occurred in Britain during the referendum campaign last year. Two large groups in combat both fundamentally mistrusted each other’s motives and at moments of extreme stress even questioned the patriotism and sanity of their opponents.

Anger plus anger, minus civility, multiplied by social media, is no good in the end. There must be room for the concepts of public good, for honest disagreement and at least some respect for the idea of a good public life in service of country. There is no formula to ensure it, but a sensible place to start is strong, independent institutions filled with dedicated and sometimes wrongheaded people determined to defend them in a civilised manner. Tam Dalyell was such a man.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

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&
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Also:

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General ‘Stuff’: http://GL-W.com
Leave-The-EU Referendum & BreXit Process CLICK HERE
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The Hamlet of Stroat: CLICK HERE
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Chepstow Chat: CLICK HERE
Christopher Story: CLICK HERE
Des Watkins DFC; CdeG: CLICK HERE/
Hollie Greig etc.: CLICK HERE
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A Concept of Governance Worthy of Developement: CLICK HERE

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NB:
  1. I NEVER post anonymously on the internet
  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
  3. I do NOT use an obfuscated eMail address to hide behind
  4. I do NOT use or bother reading FaceBook
  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump’s Family & Cabinet So Far, Summarised – As At 22-Jan-2017 …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 23/01/2017

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 Trump’s Family & Cabinet So Far, Summarised – As At 22-Jan-2017 …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Hi,

Who are Donald Trump’s cabinet picks? Rex Tillerson, Betsy DeVos and more key names profiled

The new president’s cabinet includes millionaires, amateurs, donors – and Hulk Hogan’s old boss.

  • Trump’s cabinet picks
Donald Trump is set to take office today and his top team is finally taking shape.

The new president’s cabinet includes millionaires, amateurs, donors – and Hulk Hogan’s old boss.

One nomination is currently suing the organisation he’ll soon be running while another has called for his new Department to be abolished altogether.

And the new Education Secretary thinks guns should be allowed in schools to combat the threat of grizzly bears.

Here’s a run down of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees.

Key figures in Trump presidency

  • Vice President Mike Pence
  • Melania Trump waves as husband Donald gazes at her at the Republican National Convention
    First Lady Melania
    https://i1.wp.com/i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160504160857-03-donald-trump-0504-super-169.jpg
  • Trump family

THEIR father, Donald Trump, is the 45th President of the United States – but who is the new First Family?

Along with his third wife Melania, Trump’s five kids will join him as he enters the White House.

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Holds Election Night Event In New York City

Getty Images
Donald Trump appears at his election night event with his son (L-R) Barron, wife Melania, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Tiffany

Here’s everything you need to know about the President-elect’s brood following his inauguration as US President:

Donald Trump Jr

NINTCHDBPICT000280078471

Associated Press
Donald Jr. campaigning for his father in the run-up to the election

Trump’s oldest child, 38-year-old Donald Jr, is a real estate developer and Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization.

Like his father, he studied economics at the University of Pennsylvania – telling New York Magazine he had a reputation for drinking too much during his college years, which led to him giving up alcohol.

As well as working for his father’s organisation, he also appeared on numerous episodes of his father’s TV show, The Apprentice.

Donald Jr married model Vanessa Hayden in 2005, and like Donald Sr is now a father of five children – Kai, Chloe, Donald III, Tristan and Spencer.

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump

AP:Associated Press
Ivanka Trump speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in July

35-year-old Ivanka is a businesswoman and former fashion model.

Trump’s first child with his first wife Ivana, Ivanka also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 with a degree in economics.

She has dabbled in modelling – walking fashion runways for big names such as Versace – but is currently an Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization.

Ivanka also has her own jewellery and fashion lines – and Trump has often referred to his eldest daughter as his ‘favourite’, with some even suggesting she may have a First Lady-esque influence over her father in the White House.

The mother-of-three is married to Jared Kushner, a real estate developer – and she converted to Judaism, her husband’s religion.

The pair are parents to 5-year-old Arabella, 3-year-old Joseph and 8-month-old

Ivanka Trump insists she won’t meddle when dad Donald becomes President

Eric Trump

Eric Trump is seen prior to an official ribbon cutting ceremony at his father's hotel in Washington

Reuters
Eric Trump attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington DC last month

Trump’s third and youngest child with first wife Ivana, 32-year-old Eric joined the Trump organisation in 2006.

After graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Eric assumed responsibility for expanding his father’s company’s real estate portfolio.

He also established the Eric Trump Foundation in 2006 – an organisation whose purpose is to raise money for terminally ill children.

However, the foundation has been dogged by controversy after tax records showed significant amounts of funds raised went towards the costs of hosting fundraising events at Trump Organization golf venues.

Eric Trump has also been criticised alongside his older brother by animal rights activists for trophy hunting.

He also came under fire after illegally tweeting a picture of his ballot paper, showing his vote for his father.

Eric married Lara Yunaska, a television producer, in 2014.

Tiffany Trump

RNC in Cleveland 2016

EPA
Tiffany Trump speaks on the second day of the 2016 Republican National Convention

23-year-old Tiffany is Trump’s only child with his second wife, Marla Maples. She is named after the jewellery retailer Tiffany & Company, and was raised by her mother in Los Angeles from the age of 5 – reportedly spending only two weeks a year with her famous father’s side of the family.

After trying her hand at pop-stardom – releasing a single aged 17 – Tiffany followed in family tradition and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, studying sociology and law.

She’s also interned at Vogue magazine, and like sister Ivanka dipped into modelling – posing for Andrew Warren during New York Fashion Week this year.

Tiffany is something of a social media personality, regularly uploading snaps to Instagram – a habit that has seen some New York newspapers dub her a member of the so-called ‘Snap Pack’, a similar concept to the Rich Kids of Instagram.

Barron Trump

Republican U.S. president-elect Donald Trump waves at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York

Reuters
Barron Trump is seen with his parents at Donald Trump’s election night rally

Trump’s youngest child, 10-year-old Barron, is his only child with current wife and soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump. Born in 2006 – a year after his parents’ 2005 nuptials – he is closer in age to his eight nieces and nephews than to his siblings.

Speaking to Parenting.com, Melania said of her son: “He is a very strong-minded, very special, smart boy. He is independent and opinionated and knows exactly what he wants. Sometimes I call him little Donald. He is a mixture of us in looks, but his personality is why I call him ‘Little Donald’.”

The youngest Trump became a viral sensation after appearing to begin falling asleep during his father’s victory speech, which took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

To view the original summary of the family CLICK HERE

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 
Rex Tillerson (l) with Vladimir Putin

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has no experience in government, having worked for the oil giant since 1975.

He’s the 29th highest paid CEO in the US, and earned $24.3 million this year – which was a 15% pay cut on 2015.

Secretary of State is the US equivalent of Foreign Secretary – a senior cabinet position with responsibility for overseas and diplomatic relations.

But his nomination will intensify concern over the Trump administration’s cosy relationship with Russia – particularly after the CIA’s assertion that Russian hackers tried to manipulate the election result – not to mention the unverified Watersportsgate dossier.

Tillerson was awarded an Order of Friendship medal by Putin himself, after he brokered a major deal giving Exxon access to Russia’s Arctic oil reserves.

Secretary of Defence: James “Mad Dog” Mattis

 
Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis

A retired US Marine Corps general, James Mattis was appointed to serve as Commander of US Central Command in 2013 by Barack Obama.

He’s disliked by the right for backing a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

He once said “have a plan to kill everyone you meet” and singles out Iran as world’s threat ahead of ISIS but takes a strong line on Vladimir Putin.

Secretary of Homeland Security: John F Kelly

 
General John F. Kelly

John F Kelly is another retired Marine general who served under the Obama administration.

He was the longest serving Marine general in US history – and is notable among Trump’s picks because he refused to endorse either presidential candidate.

He’s been a defender of US troops using ‘force feeding’ tactics in Guantanamo Bay, saying it’s a “necessary practice” to keep inmates healthy.

The Intercept reported last week that he’d failed to disclose links to the Spectrum Group, a defence contractor lobbying firm – as well as two other board memberships at other contractors – on his ethics form.

CIA director: Mike Pompeo

 
Representative Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo is a Republican congressman from Kansas, and a former Army Captain.

He was swept into congress along with the tea party movement in the 2011 mid-term elections.

He was an outspoken critic of Hillary Clinton ’s handling of the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 and thinks Edward Snowden should be executed for leaking government secrets to the press.

He’s spoken out in favour of the CIA’s use of torture, and has barely spoken about cybersecurity at all in his career, leading some to question his eligibility to lead America’s response to cyberattacks from Russia and elsewhere.

Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin

 
Steven Mnuchin

Ex Goldman Sachs exec Steve Mnuchin profited greatly from the 2008 housing bust.

He was an early supporter of Trump and was described by the President elect as a “world class financier, banker and businessman.”

He also co-produced a number of Hollywood movies, including Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

 
Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions is the junior United States Senator for Alabama.

He’s previously served as Attorney General of Alabama, before being elected to the senate in 1994. He supported most of George W Bush’s legislative priorities, including tax cuts, the Iraq War and proposed bans on same-sex marriage.

He opposed Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill, Obamacare and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

His confirmation hearings have been dogged by protests over his alleged sympathies for the Ku Klux Klan – which he denies.

Jeff Sessions said allegations that he harboured sympathies towards the violent white supremacist organisation are false.

Sessions was denied confirmation to a federal judgeship in 1986 after allegations emerged that he made racist remarks, including testimony that he called an African-American prosecutor “boy,” an allegation he denied.

He once referred to the American Civil Liberties Union and National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People as “unamerican” because they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.

US trade representative: Robert Lighthizer

Robert Lighthizer was a deputy US trade representative during the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

He is a harsh critic of China’s trade practices, and has spent the last 30 years as a lawyer representing US steelmakers in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.

Secretary of Labor: Andrew Puzder

 
Incoming Trump administration cabinet secretary nominees, including Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder (L-R), Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson

Andy Puzder is the CEO of the CKE Restaurants, which owns fast-food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

He served as an advisor to Romney’s 2012 campaign and raised money for Trump ahead of last year’s election.

In 2009, he defended a string of Carl’s Jr ads which objectified women by saying: “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.”

CNN reported on Tuesday that Puzder is having “second thoughts” about his nomination because he’s “not into the pounding he is taking – and the paperwork.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Price

 
Rep. Tom Price

Tom Price has been a Georgia congressman since 2005.

In that time he’s been a critic of Obamacare and voted to terminate a program that subsidises contraception for low-income women.

He also voted against a law barring employers from firing women for using contraception.

Most recently he’s faced calls for an investigation into his investments in healthcare stocks while he was an influential voice on healthcare policy.

Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry

 
President-Elect Donald J. Trump is seen inside the lobby
Rick Perry (Photo: REUTERS)

Rick Perry was governor of Texas for 15 years until 2015.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in both the 2012 and 2016 elections.

During a 2011 primary debate he called for the Department of Energy to be abolished, something he now says he regrets.

He reportedly misunderstood the job of Energy secretary, assuming he was taking on the role as a global ambassador for the US oil and gas industry.

According to the New York Times: “In the days after, Mr. Perry… discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.”

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson

Video thumbnail, Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become US president

Ben Carson is a former neurosurgeon who ran unsuccessfully to be the Republican nominee in last year’s presidential election.

He has little experience in the field of housing and urban development.

Ben Carson believes the pyramids were built not by the Pharaohs of Egypt as tombs, but by Joseph (of the Bible’s book of Genesis) as silos in which to store gain.

 
(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt

 
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruit is a climate change sceptic who has been accused of being a “puppet” of the fossil fuel industry.

As Attorney General of Oklahoma, he campaigned against the Clean Power Act, which was aimed at combating climate change.

In his confirmation hearing, he claimed human activity only “impacted” rather than “caused” climate change.

He has sued the organisation he is about to lead 14 times in the last six years and lost almost every time.

One of the lawsuits is still ongoing.

Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross

 
Investor Wilbur Ross (Photo: Getty)

Donald Trump’s new trade chief has urged Britain’s rivals to take advantage of the “God-given opportunity” of Brexit to take business away from the UK.

Wilbur Ross, a billionaire businessman, said Britain was facing a “period of confusion” following the vote to leave the EU and that it was “inevitable” there would be “relocations”.

The billionaire businessman will be responsible for negotiating a free trade deal with the UK and his reported comments will raise concerns the incoming US administration will seek to exploit Britain’s isolation following Brexit .

Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao

 
Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao is the first Asian American woman to be appointed to the President’s cabinet.

She’s married to Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority leader, and served as deputy Secretary of Transportation under George HW Bush, and as Secretary of Labour under George W Bush.

US ambassador to the UN: Nikki Haley

 
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley
(Photo: Reuters)

Nikki Haley is the Governor of South Carolina, and at 44 is the youngest current governor of a US state.

She’s the second Indian-American, after Bobby Jindal, to serve as a US governor.

She shot to fame after delivering the official Republican response to Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address in January 2016.

During her confirmation hearings, she accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria.

She said: “Russia is trying to show their muscle right now. It’s what they do. I don’t think we can trust them. We have to continue to be very strong back, and show them what this new administration is going to be.”

Secretary of Interior: Ryan Zinke

 
US Congressman Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke is a Montana congressman and ex Navy SEAL Commander.

After leaving the Navy, he embarked on a career in property management and business development consulting – and served on the board of oil pipeline company QS Energy.

As Secretary of Interior, Zinke will oversee all 254 million acres of federal lands – and there are concerns he will launch a programme of selling off public land to oil and gas firms.

He told his confirmation hearing: “Some areas need to be set aside, but a lot of it you can hunt and fish, you can drill an oil well. I don’t think they’re in conflict, I think you have to do it right.”

Education: Betsy DeVos

 
Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos is an outspoken fan of “school choice” – which aims to undermine the US public school system by giving federal money to private schools.

During her chaotic confirmation hearing she blamed a “clerical error” for appearing on the board of her mother’s foundation, which donated more than £4 million to Focus on the Family, an anti-gay extremist group designated a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

She also argued that guns should be allowed in some schools because of the threat from grizzly bears.

Head of Small Business Administration: Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon is the co-founder and former CEO of of World Wrestling Entertainment.

That’s right. WWE. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H, Kurt Angle. That one.

She personally owns $84 million in stock in the wrestling entertainment empire.

She donated $6 million to Trump’s campaign in August and September.

The above gif shows her in a wrestling ring, kicking her husband Vince McMahon in the crotch.

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