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High-flying MP invests in alleged tax fiddle (Mirror)

High-flying MP invests in alleged tax fiddle (Mirror) | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Britain’s highest-earning MP has invested in an alleged tax avoidance scheme being investigated by officials.

 

Tory Geoffrey Cox QC, who earns up to £600-an-hour as a top lawyer, is one of hundreds of wealthy figures and celebrities putting cash into Phoenix Film Partners LLP.

 

But HM Revenue & Customs has decided the movie investment scheme was designed to avoid tax and is demanding users pay up.

 

Mr Cox recently earned £329,452 in a year as a barrister, while bagging £67,000 a year for his work as MP for Torridge and West Devon.

 

He joined Phoenix in 2008, three years after he was elected. It is not known how much he has invested and there is no suggestion he has done anything illegal.

 

The 54-year-old said: “I am not going to comment on my private tax affairs.”

Pessimal's insight:

Personally, I am impressed by the public-spiritedness of this man who takes time away from his lucrative £330K a year legal career to represent the interests of common folk in Parliament, for a (comparatively) paltry £67K.

 

I am quite sure his reasons are entirely altruistic, and that any suggestion his privileged access as an MP might generate income outside his official salary is entirely misplaced.

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Westminster caught illegally orchestrating business scare stories

Westminster caught illegally orchestrating business scare stories | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Police investigation is required.

This leak broke the law and meant the media was aware of commercially sensitive information before the shareholders were informed through a proper stock exchange announcement. The share price was also affected which makes it all the more serious.

 

These actions are desperate, panicky and shady dealing and will no doubt be investigated by the Police and wider prosecution and regulatory authorities. We cannot have one rule for business in dealing with shareholders and another for politically motivated Treasury officials.

 

The resultant media coverage stated that RBS may move to London and raised the prospect of job losses.  However, this scare story crumbled the very next day when Business for Scotland (amongst others) published the apology letter from RBS CEO Ross McEwan to his staff which stated emphatically: 

 

“This is a technical procedure regarding the location of our registered head office. It is not an intention to move operations or jobs”.


Financial Times editor confirms orchestration

If you are still in any doubt about the collusion and the lack of sincerity in these co-ordinated scare stories then don’t just listen to me, take it from Financial Times editor Lionel Barber who said on the Today Programme that business leaders had to be pressured to get involved in politics, and they were pressed by Downing street and senior civil servants as polling day drew closer and the polls tightened: Barber said “Mr Cameron and the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has been on the phone saying, ‘will you please speak up?’”


Lets be clear civil servants are obliged to be politically neutral and Sir Jeremy has clearly, according the FT editor, been breaking the rules, just as they did when releasing RBS scenario planning information to the press. This is totally unacceptable and must again be investigated.

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Thatcher aide role in 'No' camp's marshaling of business FUD - FT

According to the Financial Times, the stream of corporate pull-out scare stories dominating headlines on the Independence Referendum has been organised from behind a desk in 10 Downing Street by Andrew Dunlop, described as a "Jaguar-Driving rightwinger" who advised Margaret Thatcher on " tax reform at the time of the Poll Tax"

 

The FT was unable to  elicit information on Dunlop from a Downing Street aide, who refused to answer their questions, insisting "He is a background guy."

 

Without revealing a source for its information, however, the FT claims Dunlop has been "influential" in "encouraging the corporate world to come off the fence" - presumably referring to the stream of stories currently exercising Mr Salmond in which dire warnings have been  issued by or on behalf of large companies like John Lewis. 

 

Like new European Commissioner Lord Hill, Dunlop created a lobbying business, Politics International, whose customers included Virgin Money, National Express, and Coca Cola before it was sold to Hasgrove in 2008 for around £3 million.

 

Pessimal's insight:

FUD:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

 

Story loosely paraphrased from ft.com: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/7d5d3d0a-39be-11e4-93da-00144feabdc0.html. On Dunlop, see also: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/308827/Questions-over-Cameron-s-new-independence-adviser-s-link-to-poll-tax

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UK Government confirms NHS is not exempt from controversial trade deal

At a press conference today (1st September) held at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Lord Livingston confirmed that the NHS was part of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) The deal, known as TTIP, is being negotiated behind the closed doors of the European Commission, between EU bureaucrats and delegates from the United States. It is the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated and threatens to make privatisation of the NHS irreversible by giving the profits of corporations precedence over national lawmakers. Secret courts would grant American multinationals, or any firm with American investors, the power to sue the government if it ever attempted to take privatised health services back into public ownership. Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey  said: “Now that the government has finally admitted that the NHS is not exempt from the controversial trade deal called TTIP, David Cameron must act on voter’s concerns and get an exemption for the NHS without fail. “The government is allowing faceless bureaucrats in Brussels and Washington to make the sell-off of our treasured NHS permanent. The French have already used their veto to exclude the French film industry. There is no reason why the British government can’t do the same to protect the NHS. “The people of this country didn’t vote for selling-off our NHS and they didn’t vote to make the sell-off irreversible by giving US companies the right to sue us in secret courts. It is an outrage that this government is prepared to expose our NHS to US companies and Wall Street investors.
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Wrexham councillor stripped of executive role after making serious allegations 'without evidence'

Wrexham councillor stripped of executive role after making serious allegations 'without evidence' | It's All Bad | Scoop.it
Cllr Malcolm King has been axed by council leader Neil Rogers over controversial allegations against a social work service

 

He said: “The story according to Cllr Rogers is he’s removed my portfolio as Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance as a result of raising concerns on behalf of social workers that Wrexham’s child protection team was dangerously overstretched.


“After 25 years of raising concerns about child protection and being attacked by all sorts of people with vested interests, this latest episode comes as no surprise.


“However whilst attacking whistle blowers is nothing new, for a report paid for by the council which attacks its own whistleblowing social workers for lacking integrity is utterly despicable.”


.

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UN condemns UK disability cuts - Tories are furious! | ilegal

The United Nations sparked fury today after launching an unprecedented inquiry into Britain’s treatment of the disabled.

 

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities launched a formal probe into whether this country has committed ‘grave or systemic violations’ of the rights of disabled people.

Pessimal's insight:

I don't normally post anything that could pass for good news on here, which this surely is, on the surface (furious Tory MPs almost always indicates something to cheer about.)

 

Thinking about it, though, leads one to consider how divorced from reality political discourse and policies are here in the UK, where we even consider it credible to question the idea there has been a dereliction of the State's duty to aid and protect its citizens, when the evidence is so plain to see.

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Burnham: Stop the "forced privatisation" of the NHS and give the public a say

Burnham: Stop the "forced privatisation" of the NHS and give the public a say | It's All Bad | Scoop.it
NHS England should delay the signing of all contracts for clinical services with private contractors over the coming months, which would tie the hands of the next government, until after the 2015 election – apart from cases where there are issues of service quality that need addressing or threats to ongoing service provision.
Pessimal's insight:

Labour propose to DELAY the backdoor privatisation of the NHS apart from some cases where it can go right ahead???

 

That is incredibly weak.

 

There is simply no credible opposition left (or on the left) to the fatcat backscratchers currently gracing the Government benches.

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Phone Hacking, So they think it's all over - Julian Petley

Phone Hacking, So they think it's all over - Julian Petley | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Eleven more trials are due to take place involving twenty current or former Sun and the News of the World journalists, who are accused variously of making illegal payments to public officials, conspiring to intercept voicemail, and accessing data on stolen mobile phones.  On 7 July Coulson was served with an indictment to face perjury proceedings at the High Court in Glasgow on 6 August, having been charged with the offence in 2012 after being questioned in connection with his evidence at the 2010 Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.


In the high court, Murdoch has been mired in civil litigation.  News UK has already paid damages of £250m to 718 of Mulcaire’s victims, but the settlements involve less than 15% of the suspected 5,500 victims. Now News UK faces a new round of litigation from victims of Dan Evans, the former Sunday Mirror showbusiness writer recruited by the News of the Worldspecifically on account of the hacking skills. As noted above, he pleaded guilty in 2013, and he also co-operated with police in the hope of receiving a lighter sentence. According to one source, detectives have recently been warning up to 90 people a week that they were targeted by Evans,  whose final total of victims may amount to 1,600. His former employer, Trinity Mirror, is currently facing phone-hacking claims from at least thirty public figures, including Alan Yentob, Peter Andre, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Gary Flitcroft, Cilla Black, Christopher Eccleston, Davina McCall, Sheryl Gascoigne and Shane Richie. These are being investigated by Operation Golding


Furthermore, Operation Weeting detectives are understood to have found evidence that Mulcaire hacked the voicemail messages of officers from Scotland Yard’s highly secret witness protection programme. These officers have access to the new identities and current whereabouts of witnesses, victims of crime and offenders whose safety could be in jeopardy – information that is often the subject of a high court order prohibiting its disclosure, a breach of which could be ruled to be a contempt of court. Any action would be brought by the attorney general’s office, which was informed of the possible breach by the Metropolitan Police in April 2012. Absolutely inevitably, among those targeted by Mulcaire were the tabloid hate objects Robert Thomson, Jon Venables and Mary Bell.

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UK government approved supply of lethal chemicals to Syria

UK government approved supply of lethal chemicals to Syria | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

"There was a serious failure of due process within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in that neither of the licence applications for the export of sodium fluoride or potassium fluoride to Syria in January 2012 was put to Ministers for approval,"  [MPs] found.


“The committees had been unable to make a complete report to the House of Commons of its detailed scrutiny of government policy since 2004 on the export to Syria of dual-use chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons because the government refused to disclose to the committees the names of the companies to whom export licences were granted unless the committees undertook to take evidence from the companies in private, but not in public," a spokesperson said.


A decision to grant five export licences to Syria by the previous government between 2004 and 2010 was also attacked by the committee as "highly questionable" given the Assad regime's record on chemical weapons.

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New Environment Agency chairman has fracking links

New Environment Agency chairman has fracking links | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Sir Philip Dilley, who will work three days a week on a salary of £100,000, was until April the chairman of Arup, an engineering firm that has been employed to write environmental reports on fracking for Cuadrilla – the company hoping to become the first to exploit Britain's shale gas resources. He will take on his new role in September.


Arup, an employee-owned company whose website still lists Dilley as a trustee, has donated money to the all-party parliamentary group on unconventional oil and gas and is an associate member of the organisation founded to "debate and explore the potential for developing" such reserves in Britain. Dilley, who was knighted for services to engineering last month, also worked for at least two years on Cameron's business advisory group that gave "regular, high level advice to the prime minister on critical business and economic issues facing the country" according to his CV.


The Environment Agency will have responsibility for granting permits for fracking across the UK as part of the coalition's promised shale "revolution". While Cameron has signalled he believes it could help bring down energy bills, green groups and local campaigners have protested over potential damage to the landscape, harm to the environment and greenhouse gas emissions.

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US: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion | Human Rights Watch

US: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion | Human Rights Watch | It's All Bad | Scoop.it
“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US,” said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch and one of the authors of the report. “But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
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Corruption probe into 'sacking' of cop after he named minister as child abuse suspect

Corruption probe into 'sacking' of cop after he named minister as child abuse suspect | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Anti-corruption police have launched an investigation into claims a top detective was removed from a child sex probe when he named a minister in Tony Blair’s government as a suspect.

 

In 1998 Clive Driscoll was subjected to disciplinary proceedings and moved from his child protection post in Lambeth, South London.

 

Mr Driscoll, who was forced to retire in May despite nailing two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers, was yesterday quizzed about his claims for more than three hours by detectives from the Met’s Department of Professional Standards. His meeting follows the Daily Mirror’s probe into the alleged cover-up of abuse that went on for many decades in children’s homes in Lambeth, South London.

 

Pessimal's insight:

(27/8/14: This story is oddly whited out on the Mirror's site.  But archived for now at: http://holliegreigjustice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/nonce-wars-clive-driscol-silenced-by.html - thanks to @snowfaked on twitter for finding that!)

add your insight.

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Craig Murray » Stockholm Syndrome

Craig Murray » Stockholm Syndrome | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Most of the Stockholm hearing into the Assange case yesterday was held in secret. It is plain fromcomments on my blog that many people have not grasped this point: if Assange goes to trial in Sweden it will be mostly held IN SECRET. There will be no jury. There will be a judge and two assessors. The assessors are nominated one each by Sweden’s main political parties.


It will not be like the Oscar Pistorius trial, where justice is open and society can form a fair view of the strength of the evidence against the member of society who has been accused. It will be a secret proceeding in which you will hear little more than the verdict. You will never know what the evidence was. All this is to “protect” the false accusers from the public obloquy they so richly deserve.


I have yet to hear a single one of those jumping on the “Assange should face a fair trial” bandwagon address the point that it will be a secret trial, stitched up in advance by Sweden’s political parties who are, to say the very least, CIA-friendly.

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Tories charge £2,500 a head for access to ministers at party conference

Tories charge £2,500 a head for access to ministers at party conference | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

The Conservatives are charging business executives and lobbyists £2,500 each for access to David Cameron, George Osborne and other ministers at their party conference in Birmingham this year.

...

Companies sending representatives are able to avoid disclosing if they have bought a table because parties are allowed to class the cash as fees received as part of a commercial transaction, rather than a political donation. Political donations of more than £7,500 have to be reported to the Electoral Commission.

...

The Conservatives had no comment about the rise in price or the classification of the cash as a donation.

 

The Tories are not the only party to sell access to their frontbench. Labour is also marketing a "business forum package" for its conference in Manchester that includes breakfast, lunch and a guaranteed place at its business reception for just under £1,300 a head. It also classifies the cash as a commercial transaction.

 

The Liberal Democrats are selling tickets for their business day at £800 each and for their business dinner at £350. The party's conference website describes the event as "an excellent occasion for business leaders and public affairs executives to meet senior Liberal Democrats and discuss the current issues, challenges and opportunities facing British businesses today".

Pessimal's insight:

The three leading UK political parties troughing it up.

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Shocking tactics at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group scandal

Shocking tactics at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group scandal | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Ducker was just 24 when he joined Lloyds in August 2004 as a treasury consultant. In his account he illustrates how colleagues showed the same ruthless approach to squeeze money from small businesses as branch staff have demonstrated with retail customers.


He describes how the bank routinely sold complicated ‘interest rate swaps’ to small business customers who did not understand them and side-stepped safeguards designed to prevent mis-selling.


These complex financial contracts were sold alongside loans to businesses and were meant to be a form of insurance to protect them if interest rates increased.


But as interest rates fell to record lows, tens of thousands of small firms across the country have been hit with crippling ‘break’ penalties to switch to a cheaper deal, or trapped with expensive contracts that they do not understand.

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City Of London Police Issue Vague, Idiotic Warning To Registrars That They're Engaged In Criminal Behavior Because It Says So | Techdirt

This was mentioned briefly in our recent post about EasyDNS changing how it deals with online pharmacies, but it's still dealing with bizarre requests from the City of London Police. As we've been detailing, the City of London Police seem to think that (1) their job is to protect the business model of the legacy entertainment industry and (2) that they can do this globally, despite actually just representing one-square mile and (3) that they can do this entirely based on their own say so, rather than any actual court ruling. It started last year when the City of London Police startedordering registrars to transfer domains to the police based entirely on their say so, rather than any sort of due process/trial that found the sites guilty of violating a law. The police wanted the domains to point to sites that the legacy entertainment industry approved of, which makes you wonder why the police are working on behalf of one particular industry and acting as an ad campaign for them.
Speaking of advertising, the City of London Police's more recent tactic is inserting ridiculous and misleading banner ads on websites based on a secret blacklist that has no oversight and no due process or way to appeal. Such lists often include perfectly legitimate sites. But, I'm sure we can trust the City of London Police to get this right, given that the guy in charge of the City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), Adrian Leppard, believes that "the Tor" is 90% of the internet and that "Bitnet" is a "huge risk and threat to our society."
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Police seized journalists' phone records in order to out Plebgate whistleblowers | Press Gazette

Police seized journalists' phone records in order to out Plebgate whistleblowers | Press Gazette | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

The National Union of Journalists has condemned the actions of the police.

 

General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "Instances like this amount to the outrageous criminalisation of sources who have taken the decision that information they are in receipt of deserves to come to the attention of the public. If whistleblowers believe that material they pass to journalists can be accessed in this way – without even the journalists and newspaper knowing about it - they will understandably think twice about making that call.

 

"The Met’s actions here have been to pursue witch-hunts of their own staff, with clearly not a jot of interest in the wider damage they are causing to public trust in journalism. It is an outrageous abuse of their position which needs urgent addressing.”

 

Executive director of the Society of Editors Bob Satchwell said: "This is another example of action which is rapidly waltzing us into a police state. It was clearly heavy handed misuse of power which was designed to fight terrorism not whistleblowing or journalists".

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Never Forget, It Is David Cameron Who Is Ultimately To Blame For Welfare Reform Deaths

Never Forget, It Is David Cameron Who Is Ultimately To Blame For Welfare Reform Deaths | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

David Clapson, who recently took his own life after his benefits were stopped, couldn’t be more different than the Prime Minister.


 Whilst David Cameron spent his youth trashing restaurants and quaffing champagne with the elite Bullingdon Club, David Clapson was a serving soldier.


Whilst Cameron has spent much of his working life ‘chillaxing’ on holiday, David Clapson worked for sixteen years as a BT engineer, eight years for other companies, and cared for his sick mother.


If David Cameron were ever to have to stop work due to ill health he would still live a life of luxury that normal people could only dream of.  Yet when the same thing happened to David Clapson he was driven to despair, destitution and tragically his death because he missed a couple of meetings with the fucking Jobcentre.

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Dark Reading - Breach of Homeland Security Background Checks Raises Red Flags

Dark Reading - Breach of Homeland Security Background Checks Raises Red Flags | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

"If [leaking] credit card data [to attackers] is like giving your kids a spoonful of sugar, compromising background checks is like handing them cocaine," says Rick Dakin, CEO of Coalfire, the nation's largest independent IT governance, risk, and compliance firm. "This is not lightweight data. These are very rich databases on how to compromise national security."


 

"We should be burning down the house over this" breach, says Dakin. "People's lives are at risk."


Some things about this incident have the entire Coalfire team's Spidey-sense tingling. Having conducted hundreds of assessments and forensic investigations, they would expect officials to reveal certain kinds of information if they had it -- upbeat things like that the data was encrypted -- and this information has been conspicuously absent from officials' statements. For example, in a notification letter obtained by Reuters, USIS stated, "Records including this data were exposed to unauthorized users during the cybersecurity intrusion. We do not yet know whether the data was actually taken."


As Dakin sees it, the fact that the agency doesn't know that could be an indication that its networking monitoring -- especially as it relates to data exfiltration -- is lacking.

Pessimal's insight:

This seems to be saying that not only has there been a large and dangerous leak, but also that computer security systems at the Department of Homeland Security are poor and inadequate.

 

If you were looking for somewhere to reallocate that costly and illegally deployed NSA resource...

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ESA Press Release - staggering numbers overturned in secrecy | ilegal

ESA Press Release - staggering numbers overturned in secrecy | ilegal | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Caught out: DWP ministers who claimed a million sickness benefit claimants had been found 'fit for work' - kept real data from public view 

 

 

DWP's internal figures reveal a much higher number of successful ESA appeals than have been made publicly available.  A DWP reply on 13 June 2014 to a Freedom of Information Act request made as part of an investigation in to DWP figures relating to the controversial Work Capability Assessment by ilegal.org.uk has revealed that of 1,287,323 ESA appeals, at least 567,634 claimants have had the original DWP decision overturned in their favour. Government's key defence of the assessments has been that around 9% of all decisions are incorrect.  The most controversial of which are those where a claimant is found fit for work.  DWP figures (for new claims) show that betweenOctober 2008 and September 2013 a total of 1,306,200 fit for work decisions have been made. It is with considerable disappointment noted that the DWP's latest publicly available statistics confirm that only 151,800 successful appeals have been recorded out of a total of 410,400 appeals (for new claimants only).  Our investigations reveal evidence of three times as many appeals being 'internally recorded' of which567,634 have been successful.  The DWP have revealed to us figures which show nearly quarter of a million internal reconsiderations have led to decisions on new ESA claims being overturned in favour of the claimant; we have added these to figures from HMCTS tribunals which provides us with a much higher figure than the DWP seems to be prepared to admit to in their publicly available figures.
Pessimal's insight:

This story is from mid June, but has hardly been reported in the UK press. You should be shocked.

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Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families

Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005 and affected families including those of Jean Charles de Menezes and Stephen Lawrence
...
Mick Creedon, the Derbyshire chief constable running an internal investigation into the Special Demonstration Squad, heavily criticised Scotland Yard
...
He said: "I cannot justify the way this information was subsequently handled. Quite simply put, unless the information could have prevented crime or disorder, it should not have been retained and certainly not for the period it has been.
...
"I can understand why this is likely to be distressing and astonishing for those families and friends who campaigned, often for years, for justice; to know that details of your deceased or innocent family member and your campaign was mentioned in reports stored - often stored for years - in special branch records. This must seem inexplicable."
...
"The practice ... undoubtedly begs the question: why report, record and retain this information if it provided no operational benefit in targeting crime or preventing disorder and if it was not disseminated outside special branch for any operational or investigative purpose?"

Pessimal's insight:

This is still a bit disingenuous, isn't it?

It's been known for a year that information on the Lawrence family was collected in order to undermine their campaign

The Guardian's turned ex-undercover police spy admitted he

 

monitored a number of "black justice" campaigns, involving relatives of mostly black men who had died in suspicious circumstances in police custody.

However, he said that his supervising officers were most interested in whatever information he could gather about the large number of groups campaigning over the death of Lawrence.

Although Francis never met the Lawrence family, who distanced themselves from political groups, he said he passed back "hearsay" about them to his superiors. He said they wanted information that could be used to undermine the campaign.


From the Guardian, Jun 23 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/23/stephen-lawrence-undercover-police-smears

The natural assumption would be that information on other campaigners for justice was collected for the same purpose, wouldn't it?

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MH17 Crash Exposes UK Arms Sales To Russia, And It's A Huge Embarrassment For Cameron

MH17 Crash Exposes UK Arms Sales To Russia, And It's A Huge Embarrassment For Cameron | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

Four different reports from various House of Commons committees have revealed that the U.K. has as many as 251 active arms sales licenses with Russia. British arms export licenses cover the type of missiles that brought down the jet, killing 298 people, mostly tourists, The Guardian noted.


At the same time, the Conservative Party has taken huge political donations from Russian interests. Mayor of London Boris Johnson — who is expected to stand as a Conservative MP in the upcoming general election — has said he may now refuse to play a game of tennis with one Russian oligarch who donated £160,000 to the party.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mh17-crash-and-uk-arms-sales-to-russia-2014-7#ixzz38K3AhDdi
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RIP DRIP? Civil society groups alert European Commission to UK’s breach of EU Law

Intended to replace the UK’s data retention law, the bill would dramatically and dangerously extend the government’s surveillance powers.


While the UK denies that the DRIP is a new instrument, despite the new elements it adds to the legislation, the UK has, nonetheless, claimed that there are additional safeguards. Consequently, even by the UK’s own analysis, this is a new instrument and therefore must go through the TRIS procedure as required by the Technical Standards Directive 98/34/EC.


The UK Government failed in its obligation to notify the European Commission of relevant impending legislation, a requirement that applies even if legislation is adopted under emergency procedure. The notification was filed on July 17, the same day it was adopted, directly violating the provisions of the Directive.


Furthermore, the UK Government’s request for emergency procedures to bypass the standstill period has neither a logical nor a legal basis. The UK was aware of the Advocate General’s opinion from December 12, 2013 that the Directive was likely to be overturned, and had known for the past 3 months that the CJEU in fact overturned the Directive. The Government's claim that there was an emergency is false, and indeed manifestly absurd.

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FX Fixing Scandal: SFO Launches Criminal Investigation

FX Fixing Scandal: SFO Launches Criminal Investigation | It's All Bad | Scoop.it
The Serious Fraud Office finally confirms the its probe into the $5tn a day market

 

Previously, IBTimes UK exclusively revealed that a whistleblower alerted regulators in the US, UK and Switzerland in 2011 to some of the world's largest trading companies and banks manipulating benchmark sterling, US dollar and Swiss franc currency rates.

 

However, it was not until 2013 that these authorities started investigating allegations of market rigging.

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Government accused of 'scraping legal barrel' in Belhaj rendition case

Government accused of 'scraping legal barrel' in Belhaj rendition case | It's All Bad | Scoop.it

The intervention comes in Mr Belhaj’s Court of Appeal case against [...] politicians and officials, including Jack Straw and former MI6 senior intelligence officer Mark Allen, relating to their alleged complicity in abduction, illegal transfer to Libya and torture and other ill-treatment.
 
The UK government has argued that Mr Belhaj’s case cannot be heard at all on the grounds that the “act of state” doctrine means that UK courts are precluded from judging the actions of foreign states in their own country.
 
Amnesty is intervening in Belhaj’s case to warn that [this] would have the effect of denying access to a legal remedy.
 
 
Amnesty International Europe Director John Dalhuisen said:

    “... scraping the legal barrel ... attempt to dodge accountability ... one of the most notorious crimes of the rendition programme ... makes a mockery of the law ... UK complicity in torture and rendition ... combing the statue books for get-out clauses ..."

 
[...]

In December the High Court held that the act of state doctrine, a rule of common law, prevented a court from judging the acts of foreign states conducted on their own territory. The court rejected, however, the UK government’s arguments that state immunity (a principle of international law by which a state is protected from being sued in the courts of other states) operated as a bar to the claim.
 
Mr Justice Simon found “with hesitation” that the case could not go ahead and expressed his concern that “what appears to be a potentially well-founded claim that the UK authorities were directly implicated in the extraordinary rendition of the claimants, will not be determined in any domestic court; and that Parliamentary oversight and criminal investigations are not adequate substitutes for access to, and a decision by, the Court.”

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