Russell Brand Interviews Labour Party Leader: Vintage Video


Russell Brand

Last month, prior to the British Election, Russell Brand interviewed Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Labour Party in Britain.

The two discussed politics and issues, many of which are similar to issues facing Western countries.

Miliband mentions “zero-hour contracts.” What are “zero-hour contracts?”

According to http://www.gov.uk,

“Zero-hour contracts are also known as casual contracts. Zero hour contracts are usually for ‘piece work’ or ‘on call’ work, eg interpreters.

“This means:

-they are on call to work when you need them
-you don’t have to give them work
-they don’t have to do work when asked

“Zero hour workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and the National Minimum Wage in the same way as regular workers.

“You are still responsible for health and safety of staff on zero hour contracts.

Cameron Nominated ‘Revolving Door’ Ex-Lobbyist As EU Commissioner

Is Britain preparing for a “Brexit” (British exit from the E.U.) ?

British Prime Minister David Cameron nominated Jonathan Hopkin Hill last year to the post of EU commissioner.  The nomination of Hill, a revolving door ex-lobbyist, was bad news for Jean-Claude Juncker’s commitment to lobby transparency, according to corporateeurope.org.

Juncker is the 12th and current President of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, writes Wikipedia.  He is also the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

Much of the media commentary so far about Jonathan Hopkin Hill’s (link is external) nomination as the UK commissioner for the Juncker commission has focused on the possibility of a British exit from the E.U., or “Brexit.”

A British exit from the EU could happen pending a potential in-out referendum in 2017, writes cororateeurope.org.

A surprising number of political pundits have welcomed his lobbyist background as proof of his ability to strike backroom deals. It may be that this is why David Cameron – UK prime minister – has nominated him.

Hill’s background as the “most senior former lobbyist in government” is not in doubt; he has been through the revolving doors of UK politics to the lobby industry and back again on numerous occasions.

In the 1980s, he went from ministerial special adviser to Lowe Bell Communications; in the 1990s, he went from No. 10 Downing Street Policy Unit to Bell Pottinger Communications (link is external).  Most recently, he moved from Quiller Consultants (which he co-founded in 1998) to ministerial office and, until recently, leader of the House of Lords, the UK’s un-elected upper chamber.

(Updated article)

http://corporateeurope.org/revolving-doors/2014/07/uk-prime-minister-david-cameron-nominates-revolving-door-ex-lobbyist-eu

Did Tories ‘Play Dirty’ With Media Tricks?

Recently, BBC journalists and executives told a Labour Party adviser that the BBC was threatened by Conservative (Tory) Leaders about “what would happen” if they didn’t fall into line over the election coverage.

The BBC gets funding from the government and other sources, something like PBS in the United States.

In related news, the British newspaper The Independent wrote that media owner Rupert Murdoch berated journalists at his papers for not doing enough to “stop the (left-of-center) Labour Party from winning the election.”

Liam Byrne

Murdoch “warned them that the future of the company depended on stopping Labour from getting elected,” writes The Independent.

Murdoch’s news outlets – including Fox News in the U.S. – tend to lean right-wing or have a conservative outlook.

After Mr. Murdoch paid a visit to his company’s The Sun newspaper, they devoted a two-page spread to the election – with the left-hand page containing a 10-point “pledge” to voters written by David Cameron.

Britain’s The Mirror published an article by Lucy Powell that gives examples of the Tory assault on the British media.

“The first was when John Major gave a speech on ‘The chaos of Labour with SNP pulling the strings,'” writes Powell.

“This marked the fourth day in a row of the BBC leading with that story even though Ed had already ruled out a deal with the SNP,” she writes.

“I could understand the Tory press parroting the Central Office line but I couldn’t understand why the BBC was pushing the story so hard,” she went on.  Was the BBC pushing the story because of implied threats from the government?

The Mirror article claims that scaring voters about the SNP was clearly designed as a “squeeze” message for UKIP and Lib Dem voters to encourage them to vote for the conservative Tories because they didn’t want a Labour government.

The second moment came The Tories took out huge wraparound (front page and back page) adverts in the weekly free papers in each seat.

The attack ads featured a famous note from a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury that implied that a Labour government would run the country to ruin by not controlling the budget.

Ads put out on Facebook, including some allowing users to hand over their email addresses, are costing the Tory party a “whopping £100,000 a month,” according to The Guardian.  That would mean one in every £17 pounds the Tories spent on the last general election campaign goes towards drumming up support on Facebook.

The budget is “a long-term issue dating back to the crash, which the Tories succeeded very early in blaming on Labour’s economic policies, despite the fact they were signed up to them themselves,”  writes Powell in The Mirror.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lucy-powell-how-tried-reassure-5699489

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/09/liam-byrne-apology-letter-there-is-no-money-labour-general-election

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/06/tories-pumping-facebook-advertising-email-ukip

British Election Tomorrow, May 7th


CNN

Parliamentary elections in the U.K. will be held tomorrow, May 7th.

Below are the names of the different parties and leaders. The most likely candidate for Prime Minister would be David Cameron of the Conservative Party or Ed Miliband of Labour.

The Telegraph has The Conservatives and Labour polling neck-and-neck at 35%.

Leader, Party
David Cameron – Conservative Party (Tories)
Ed Miliband – Labour Party
Nick Clegg – Liberal Democrats
Peter Robinson – Democratic Unionist Party
Nicola Sturgeon – Scottish National Party
Leanne Wood – Plaid Cymru
Margaret Ritchie – Social Democratic and Labour Party
Natalie Bennett – Green Party of England and Wales
Nigel Farage – U.K. Independence Party (UKIP)
David Ford – Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

There may be a “hung Parliament,” where no party has an absolute majority. In that case, a bigger party such as Labour or The Conservatives will have to join together with a smaller party (and form a “coalition”) in order to govern.

CNN takes a look at some of the highlights of this year’s election.

‘Grandad Hooligans’ Terrorizing British Soccer

Soccer (football) club chairmen in Britain are warning of a new threat of football hooliganism from retired grandfathers.

Dave Doggett, boss of the soccer team Cambridge United, says a hardcore of around 10 men in their 50s and 60s are trying to relive the 1980s by arranging fights with rivals on match days.

“Club chiefs say ageing thugs who took part in violence during the 1970s and 80s are returning to the terraces,” according to the Daily Mirror.

Mr. Doggett warns the violence has increased recently as the men return to the club in their retirements after being distracted by years of having a career and raising families.

Doggett says there is a danger that they will spread violence as they try to encourage younger men to join their “gangs,” states The Telegraph.

Writing in his club’s latest program, Mr Doggett says: “Unfortunately football clubs still attract an undesirable element of society that appear determined to ruin the enjoyment of real supporters of football clubs.

“Our promotion to the Football League appears to have encouraged our ‘risk’ from the 1980s to come out of retirement.

“Many of them are grandparents trying to encourage the next generation to join their ‘gangs’.

“It sounds pathetic but unfortunately it is reality.”

Doggett states they are working closely with police on the matter.

More:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/grandad-football-hooligans-coming-out-5493256

What is ‘Turing’s Law’ in Britain?

The many faces of Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch played the part of Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game recently.  Turing cracked the German “Enigma” code and is considered a hero of World War II.

According to The Independent, last February, the real-life family of Alan Turing visited Downing Street to demand that the British government pardon 49,000 men who – like Turing – were prosecuted for being homosexual.

In England, homosexuality was illegal until it was decriminalized in 1967, states the BBC.

The Independent states that Turing’s great-nephew, Nevil Hunt, great-niece, Rachel Barnes, and her son, Thomas, handed over the petition – which had almost half-a-million signatures – and demanded a new law on the matter be approved.

Ms. Barnes, 52, from Taunton, said: “I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency Law is given a pardon. It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime.”

Turing, the cryptanalyst and mathematician, was convicted in 1952 for “gross indecency” with a 19-year-old man.

As part of his sentence, he was chemically castrated and he died in 1954 after apparently committing suicide.

He was exonerated in 2013, but his family and petitioners want the government to pardon all the men convicted under the outdated law.

“Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror,” said the editor of Attitude Magizine, Matthew Todd.

How does the British government feel about it?

A law on the topic has not yet been enacted, but that would probably change after the British Parliamentary Elections coming up on May 7th.

In March, the Leader of the Labor Party, Ed Miliband, said that a future Labour government would pave the way for posthumous pardons for gay men convicted under historical ‘gross indecency’ laws, according to the BBC.  It would allow the families of those men convicted to apply to have their records expunged.

Legislation would be known as “Turing’s Law” in memory of Alan Turing, said Miliband.

Miliband’s decision may have also had an effect on The Conservative (Tory) Party.  Recently, during April, The Conservatives pledged to introduce a new law helping to “lift the blight of outdated convictions” from other people found guilty of similar offenses, states The Telegraph.

“Thousands of British men still suffer from similar historic charges, even though they would be completely innocent of any crime today,” the Tory manifesto read.

The manifesto reads: “Many others are dead and cannot correct this injustice themselves through the legal process we have introduced while in government. So we will introduce a new law that will pardon those people, and right these wrong.”

(Updated article)

More here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-31707197

British Labour Leader Cries At Gay Film

In a effort to show his human side to the electorate ahead of next month’s election for British Parliament, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband has revealed he recently shed a tear.

The Labour Leader’s sob was over Pride, a film about the gay community helping striking miners, which saw him shedding a tear on his wife’s shoulder.

When asked if he had ever cried over a film, “Red Ed” said: “Have you seen Pride? It’s about the lesbian and gay communities in London and they go and help the miners in Wales.

“Justine and I watched it recently. I blubbed.”

In the same Absolute Radio interview, Miliband also said being called a geek was “a compliment”.

British Election 2015: Is The SNP A ‘Dark Horse’ That Could Change The Election?

Sources state that the Scottish National Party (SNP) could change the outcome of the election in the U.K., depending on whether a coalition is formed between the SNP and one of the larger parties, like The Labour Party or The Conservative Party.

Piers Morgan, writing for The Daily Mail:

“…(N)either of the two main parties has a hope in hell of winning an overall majority at the general election.”

So one of the bigger parties will need to form a “coalition” with a smaller party to form a working majority to rule the country.  The SNP is supposedly the most powerful small party.

The problem is that the SNP wants independence for Scotland.  So a party that forms a coalition with the SNP will be working with a party that wants to break away from the U.K.

“So they will have to take a begging bowl to one of the smaller parties to do a deal that allows them to form a ‘coalition’ government. The biggest ‘smaller’ party will almost certainly be the SNP, who should end up with 40-50 seats in Parliament, having pretty much wiped out the socialist Labour party in that country, which used to be considered its heartland,” writes Piers Morgan.

The Labour Party’s leader, Ed Miliband, has accused David Cameron (Conservative) of “demeaning his office” and putting the UK’s future at risk as a fight over the SNP’s future role intensifies, according to the BBC.

Miliband said Mr. Cameron, who has warned of the dangers of a Labour-SNP coalition, should be “taking on the nationalists” not “talking them up,” states the BBC.  He suggested other Conservatives were “ashamed” of their election strategy.

However, Labour has said the Conservatives were “talking up” the threat of the SNP for their own political interests.

But former Prime Minister Sir John Major said the SNP could “blackmail” a future Labour government.

The Conservatives have continued their warnings about the SNP’s likely influence on a minority Labour government in the event of a hung Parliament, with the former Conservative leader claiming it would be a “recipe for mayhem”.

The SNP has said it does not want to form a coalition with the Conservatives, but is interested in one with Labour.

Conservative David Cameron has stated that a Conservative government would honor Scottish devolution (granting Scotland more autonomy), but he wants to “ensure the rest of the UK will not ‘lose out.'”

Below is a BBC interview with the head of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon.


BBC News

(Updated post)

More:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3047165/PIERS-MORGAN-Meet-dangerous-wee-woman-world-ve-never-heard-of.html#ixzz3Xyk6AHIL

Unregistered Taxi Driver Sexually Assaulted Woman And Demanded £50 Fare To Take Her Home

Mohamed Iqbal was jailed at Guildford Crown Court (Picture: PA Real Life Features)

A university student is warning others against using unregistered taxis in England after she fell victim to a predatory cab driver who sexually assaulted her.

Lily Wright, 22, from Birmingham has waived her right to anonymity to share her terrifying experience and to urge others not to take unlicensed cabs.

Lily and her friend Jamielee Smalldon, 21, had flagged down a taxi, driven by Mohammed Iqbal – a father of three – following a night out in Birmingham.

After dropping Jamielee at her house, Iqbal drove Lily to a secluded wooded area and sexually assaulted her, according to the U.K Daily Mail.

He then drove her home – after he ordered her to pay him £50 for the return fare.  “It was disgusting and I was convinced he was going to kill me.”  “After what he’d just done to me, I couldn’t believe he had the nerve to charge me,” she said, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Iqbal first pleaded not guilty to two separate sex attacks – one on Lily, and another on a second woman at another time.  He later changed his plea to guilty.

“The next day police revealed the court had presented the evidence, and my attacker had changed his plea to guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnap,” said Wright.

“I believe women should trust taxi drivers, and take a taxi rather than walking home alone at night,” says Wright.  “But they should book a registered taxi rather than waving one down in the street,” she said.  “You’re putting your safety in their hands. And I learnt my lesson the hard way.”

http://www.tkgnews.com/unlicensed-cab-driver-sexually-assaulted-student-before-demanding-50-to-take-her-home/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2971865/Student-reveals-taxi-driver-took-isolated-woodland-sexually-assaulted-demanded-50-fare-home.html#ixzz3T0N6gDty

50 To 60 British Muslim Women Have Joined ISIS


BBC

The BBC looks at what life is probably like for 3 British girls who are thought to have gone to join Islamic State in Syria. Many probably have no idea about what life is really like with the Islamic State group.