Thursday 25 August 2011


Who's the odd one out?
a) Henry Kissinger
b) Arnold Schwarzenegger
c) Boris Johnson
d) Leonard Cohen
e) Joni Mitchell
f) Neil Young


Boris Johnson - he is the only one who could stand for election as President of the USA. He was born there - all the others were born outside of the the USA. Johnson left the USA when he was 5.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Telling the truth?

A member of the Co-alition Cabinet has met an executive from Mr Murdoch's News International empire, on average, once every three days since the Co-alition Government was formed 14 months ago. 20 Cabinet Ministers have met Murdoch executives 130 times in the last 14 months!

David Cameron, Prime Minister, was at at least 32 of the meetings, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was at 17, and Liam Fox, Defence Secretary, was at 17.

Mr Osborne's meetings included a dinner in New York with Mr Murdoch on 17th December 2010 - two weeks before the media's regulator was due to rule on Mr Murdoch's bid for full ownership of BSkyB. Mr Osborne seems very friendly with the Murdoch family. Besides the dinner in New York, he met Murdoch again in May 2011 and met Murdoch's son, James (Chair of News International) and Rebekah Brooks (News International's former Chief Executive) on three other occasions. Mr Osborne also met Mr Murdoch's daughter, Elizabeth, at a social gathering in June 2011.

The first media meetings by Jeremy Hunt (Culture Secretary) and Michael Gove (Education Secretary), after their appointment to the Cabinet in 2010, were also with Rupert Murdoch (were they reporting in?).

Murdoch Executives also met 4 times with Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister) and twice with Vince Cable (Business Secretary).

In all, Michael Gove (Education Secretary) has met Rupert Murdoch 7 times on the last 14 months and he has met Rebekah Brooks 8 times. Mr Gove met with Rupert Murdoch twice in June 2011.

"How is the Government run? Governments tell lies to journalists and then Ministers believe what they read" - Karl Kraus (1909).

PS Andy Coulson worked for David Cameron as Director of Communications until he resigned. He was arrested in July 2011. He had left News International in 2007 but is believed to have had "work benefits", such as private healthcare and company car, paid for for three years after he left the firm. He has also had his legally fees, to date, paid by News International. These are believed to have run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Tory Party officials were giving categorical assurances, until recently, that Mr Coulson's only form of income was from the Tory Party during the years he worked for it.

It is unusual for a second paymaster, i.e. the Tory Party, not to know about the first paymaster because of tax considerations. Tom Watson, Labour MP, has written to the Electoral Commission enquiring about possible breaches of party 'sponsorship' rules.

'Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice'.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Just an Ordinary Bloke!

When David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 he claimed he wanted to make Britain "One Nation" and even talked about decreasing the gap between rich and poor. Well, the gap between the rich and poor in 2011 is greater than at any time since the 1930's. So what is Mr Cameron's background? (Don't forget Mr Cameron's claims "what matters most to a child's life chances is not the wealth of their upbringing but the warmth of their parenting").

His father and grandfather were both millionaire stockbrokers (his grandmother was a millionaire Polish banker). He is descended from King William IV.

As a boy he attended Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire (which counts Prince Andrew and Prince Edward among its former pupils).

At 11 years old he travelled to the USA by Concord with four classmates to celebrate the birthday of a classmate, Peter Getty, the grandson of American oil billionaire John Paul Getty. A former tutor of Mr Cameron, Mr R Llewellyn, recalls that Cameron and his friends tucked into caviar, salmon and beef bordelaise. Cameron (age 11) cheerfully raised a glass of Dom Perignon '69, toasting 'Good health, sir'.

At 13 he went to Eton. (There are 28,000 schools in Britain, yet 19 of Britain's Prime Ministers have been to Eton). In fact, 60% of current Tory MP's went to private school. 23 of the current 29 members of the Government are millionaires, and only 3 of the 29 Ministers in the current Cabinet went to state schools. (7% of Britain's population go to private school). 20 of the current Conservative Party MP's went to Eton.

After leaving school, but before going to university, Mr Cameron worked as a Parliamentary researcher for his godfather, the Tory MP, Tim Rathbone. A few months later he went to work for a multi-national corporation in Hong Kong after his father pulled a few strings.

Mr Cameron attended Oxford University. In the last 70 years, 11 of Britain's 13 Prime Ministers went to Oxford or Cambridge University (Oxbridge). In fact the only two Prime Ministers since 1941 who didn't go to Oxbridge were John Major and Jim Callaghan. This is despite the fact that only 0.2% of the British population go to Oxbridge.

At Oxford Mr Cameron was also a member of the toffs' drinking society, the Bullingdon Club. His Bullingdon Club mates at Oxford University included Boris Johnson (current Mayor of London) and George Osborne (current Chancellor of the Exchequer).

Straight from Oxford University Mr Cameron got a job at Conservative Party Central Office. Annabel Astor, the mother of his millionaire fiancée, Samantha Sheffield, suggested to her friend Michael Green (Chairman of Carlton Television) that he should hire Mr Cameron. So Mr Cameron went to work for Carlton Television. So Mr Cameron's C.V. reads - private prep school, Eton, Oxford University, Conservative Party Central Office, Carlton TV and Conservative MP.

Mr Cameron married Samantha Sheffield, the daughter of a Duke who is the third largest landholder in Scotland. She is a director of one luxury goods business and owner of another and also happens to be a descendent of King Charles ll! Mr Cameron, with no sense of irony, describes his wife's upbringing as 'highly unconventional' because she was a 'day girl' i.e. she attended private school on a daily basis and didn't go to boarding school! The height of unconventionality!

Family Home
Mr Cameron owns a £2 million home in Notting Hill and a £5 million home in Oxfordshire. He lives near Chipping Norton where he regularly socialises with his friends and neighbours James Murdoch (son of Rupert Murdoch), Rebekah Brooks (former Chief Executive of News International) and Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear). They not only drink together but ride horses together as well.

When his "messy" daughter once emerged at a social gathering in his £2 million Notting Hill house, Mr Cameron was reported as saying "you look like you've just fallen out of a council flat".

Mr Cameron castigated people who stole good during the recent riots saying that they should learn to "save up" and buy goods. Perhaps he can tell us how much saving he did to pay for going on Concorde?

So you can be sure that Mr Cameron understands your everyday concerns through his life experiences. Because, after all, he's just an 'ordinary bloke'.

(With thanks to Owen Jones for some of the material).

Saturday 20 August 2011

Sunday 14 August 2011

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Bertolt Brecht, the German dramatist and poet, famously expounded that there were many ways to kill someone, but only some were illegal (i.e. not giving someone medicines who was dying from the lack of them, not feeding someone when food was being wasted, denying them water when there was fresh water in abundance). Bertolt would have recognised corrupt British MPS who looted money from taxpayers to keep them in the lifestyle to which that have become accustomed (new duck houses, moat cleaning, 'flipping' their mortgages on their second homes etc) who now condemn others for looting. MP's who stole money to pay for second, third and fourth homes want to evict council tenants from their only home for the misdemeanour of one of its inhabitants. MP's who gladly looted billions of pounds from the British public to give to immoral and greedy banks so that they can pay themselves huge bonuses whilst ordinary British workers are faced with wage freezes, pension worries and job insecurity.

Never, in the post-second world war period, has it been so obvious that Britain's banks exist to re-allocate money from British workers to Britain's rich. And many MP's seem to think that it is their job to help in this process, by deciding which banks are allowed to legally loot. We leave the last words to the immortal Woody Guthrie "some people rob you with a gun and some people rob you with a fountain pen".

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Murdoch and the Tories - no connection?

Over the last 15 months a Cabinet member has met an executive from Rupert Murdoch's international empire every 3 days. In fact 20 Cabinet Ministers have met Murdoch executives 130 times in that period. David Cameron was at 30 of the meetings, George Osborne and Liam Fox were both at 17. Mr Osborne's meetings include a dinner in New York with Mr Murdoch on 17th December 2010, two weeks before the media regulator was due to rule on Mr Murdoch's bid for full ownership of BSkyB. Mr Osborne seems particularly friendly with Mr Murdoch's son James and Rebekah Brooks. He's met both on 3 other occasions in the last 12 months.

Both Jeremy Hunt (Culture Secretary) and Michael Gove (Education Secretary) made sure that their first meetings after their appointment to the Cabinet in 2010 were with Rupert Murdoch.

In addition, Nick Clegg has met Murdoch executives four times in the last 14 months. In all, Michael Gove has met Rupert Murdoch 7 times and Rebekah Brooks 8 times in the same period. Sandy Shaw's 'puppet on a string' comes to mind. Or, perhaps, 'only a pawn in their game'. Either way don't forget the golden rule 'he who has the gold rules'. Or at least they want us to think they do. However much they believe in George Bush's maxim 'you can fool some of the people most of the time - that's the people I'm concentrating on', the reallity is that 'an ounce of experience is worth a ton of theory' and in the last 15 months many lessons have been learnt by ordinary working people about the nature of the economic system. 'I believe everything I read in the press apart from those things of which I have had personal experience'. No amount of propaganda can cover up how the Tories combine with the right wing press to rob us. We won't forget.