The Church of England, an institution whose origins date back to the sixth century A.D., has far more modern views about the rights of women than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, experts said today.

“In recognizing that women are the equals of men, the Church of England has embraced a position that is centuries ahead of Scalia’s,” Davis Logsdon, a professor of religion at the University of Minnesota, said. “This is a remarkable achievement, given that Scalia was born in 1936 and the Church began in the late five hundreds.”

But Dr. Carol Foyler, a history professor at the University of Sussex, took issue with that assessment. “I date the beginning of the Church of England to 1534, when it was officially established under Henry VIII,” she said. “But regardless of whether the Church is fourteen centuries old or five centuries old, it’s unquestionably more modern than Scalia.”

As for Justice Scalia, he seemed to dismiss the controversy, issuing a terse official statement Monday afternoon. “I do not keep up with the goings on of every newfangled institution,” he said.

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Up To 20 ‘Establishment’ Paedophiles? Really?



From the Daily Mail:

“Failure to report suspected child sex abuse could become a criminal offence, Theresa May revealed yesterday. The Home Secretary’s announcement came as, bowing to growing pressure, she agreed to a sweeping inquiry into allegations of paedophilia in Establishment circles… Mrs May also announced that a separate inquiry, led by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless, will review an investigation conducted last year into the Home Office’s handling of historical child abuse allegations. It has been prompted by claims of a cover-up after it emerged that 114 files had been lost by Home Office officials.”

The paper adds:

“There is evidence that at least 20 prominent paedophiles – including former MPs and ministers – abused children for decades, a former child protection manager told BBC Newsnight last night. The claim came from Peter McKelvie, the whistleblower whose claims prompted Operation Fernbridge, the Scotland Yard investigation into allegations of a paedophile network with links to Downing Street.”

Meanwhile, the most senior civil servant at the Home Office, permanent secretary Mark Sedwill, is to appear before MPs on the Home Affairs select committee later today to answer questions about the department’s handling of historic child abuse claims.


Forget Iraq for a moment, how’s the Afghan war going? The Sun reveals:

“British troops are being pulled out of the Afghan badlands two months early. The vast majority of the 5,000-strong fighting force in Helmand will have been airlifted out by the end of October. But the agreed deadline for combat operations to end is not until December 31… The pullout leaves a skeleton force at Camp Bastion, big enough to defend itself but unable to take the fight to the Taliban. The MoD says it is possible because they are ahead of the plan and local forces are able to take on their own security. A senior source said: ‘We’re getting out early because we believe we can.’ But ex-Chief of Defence Staff Lord Richards told The Sun: ‘I am very disappointed. This is not what we committed ourselves to.’”

He may be disappointed, but the British public – which gave up on this pointless, self-defeating conflict a while ago – will be delighted.


Forget that now-notorious ‘blank sheet of paper’, the Labour leader unveils another – yes, another – policy today in a speech to the Sutton Trust charity. From the Telegraph:

“Top universities will be encouraged to offer vocational degrees alongside academic courses under a Labour government, Ed Miliband will announce today. The Labour leader will outline plans to urge universities, including the Russell Group of colleges, to offer technical degrees for people still in employment. The degree–level qualifications, based on certificates common in Germany, would be partly designed and run by employers. Courses would focus on industries such as construction and engineering. Mr Miliband will say that the qualifications will be the “priority” for Labour’s higher education policy. Even the most traditional colleges will be encouraged to offer them.”


Watch this video of a cat using some sort of magic to get through a window.


From the BBC:

“The Bank of England should not make any ‘hasty decisions’ on raising interest rates, warns the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). In its quarterly survey it says an early rate rise “may mean more limited growth ambitions” among companies. The survey of 7,000 businesses showed that the growth rate had slowed in some industries between April and June.”


George Osborne is on a trip to India and he really knows how to impress his hosts – from the Telegraph:

“A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian civil rights leader, will be erected opposite the Houses of Parliament, Cabinet ministers have announced. Gandhi, who studied in London, will join Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln when a new statue is unveiled in Parliament Square early next year. The new statue was announced by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, George Osborne, the Chancellor, and Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, on a visit to India. It will be in place in time for the centenary of Gandhi’s return to India to begin the non-violent struggle for self rule, as well as the seventieth anniversary of his death in 2018 and the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2019… Mr Osborne said: ‘As the father of the largest democracy in the world, it’s time for Gandhi to take his place in front of the mother of Parliaments.’”

How times change. Remember when the then Tory prime minister Winston Churchill referred to the Mahatma as a “half-naked fakir”?

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Dennis Skinner is no model, yet he has a lesson for Labour

Despite their popularity, individualist politicians are not the answer. But they do show that the party must be clear what it stands for
Satoshi Kambayashi illustration for Polly Toynbee piece on Westminster and politicians

‘The humiliating process of begging for votes seems to invite a kicking. Look how soon the disillusion sets in after a revolution.’ Illustration: Satoshi Kambayashi

A Twitter storm of indignation greeted news that Dennis Skinner has been voted off Labour’s national executive committee by his fellow MPs. How could they oust an original, a working-class hero, in a world of bland, robotic politicians? “The Labour party has never been further from its roots”, “Too scared of upsetting wealthy middle England”, they tweeted. Good grief, even Tory culture minister Ed Vaizey tweeted: “It beggars belief that a party would not have a man such as this on their executive”.

The 82-year-old jokester’s shout-outs when Black Rod enters are part of that insane ritual – not exactly Wildean wit, but anything remotely joke-shaped cracks up the Commons. Occasionally he’s deadly: “Tell her to pay her taxes!” to the Queen, and “It tolls for thee, Maggie!”, which it did. David Cameron doesn’t like it up him when Skinner blasts him with both working-class barrels, as at PMQs this week: “As a member of the Bullingdon Club, is he proud to be surrounded by this [NHS] wreckage?”

Age bestows benevolence, but some with 1980s memories don’t forgive him, Tony Benn and others for rendering Labour unelectable in the “no enemies on the left” days, blocking attempts to stop Militant’s invasion. Roy Hattersley calls him “an entirely destructive force”. But others say a mellowed Skinner often helped Blair and Brown out of difficulties. That is ancient history. Now, for those without rancorous memories, the man is a totem remnant of imaginary days when politics were better, MPs more authentic. Was there a plot to oust him? It’s hotly denied, but it looks to the world like yet another case of Westminster not getting it.

People like MPs who look and sound more like the population and who speak their mind, detesting whips and party obedience. Online comments and radio phone-ins call for referendums on everything, for independent MPs and for colourful characters like, say, Nigel Farage. But they never say how democracy is served by electing individuals without party to define what they stand for.

Our ICM poll shows 56% of people angry at broken promises, but at least a manifesto shapes the parameters of a party’s intent. A bunch of random individuals would mean less not more democracy. This spirit of individualism makes democracy impossible when every voter, with no party allegiance, expects to get exactly what they want, as if they were shopping.

With fewer than 1% belonging to a party, understanding why we need them is fading, as ICM found 44% complaining that MPs all “look and sound the same”. The Guardian revealed that half of Labour’s candidates in winnable seats arrived via Westminster jobs as special advisers or researchers. Labour is warned not to repeat 2010′s disgraceful parachuting of favourite sons and daughters just before the election.

But the great majority of selections are done by the local party – one member, one vote – often selecting someone with Westminster experience. Liverpool MP Andy Burnham says most MPs should come from the area they represent, as he does. The implication of all this is that southern carpetbaggers never look right in northern seats. But old hands remember the bad old days when unions and the local General Management Committee fixed it, often for dead-wood favourites.

Standing as a candidate needs to be made easier. They have to spend six weeks learning the patch, buttering up Labour members, sending out leaflets, every penny paid from their own purse. Anyone with no backer can only stand in a local seat, when paying fares and hotel bills is prohibitive. It may take three or four shots for even a very good candidate to get selected – and then they have to juggle day jobs with campaigning. Politics is not life on easy street. Before, Barbara Castle visited Blackburn once a month; Hugh Dalton went to his seat every six months. Now, MPs work in their constituencies every weekend, family life a struggle.

Social progress has changed the nature of MPs – now half the population goes to university. Skinner, John Prescott and Alan Johnson – workers who came up through the unions, all clever men – would certainly go to university these days. They would have joined the Labour club and sought work campaigning for Labour afterwards, just as full of conviction. To be a (low-paid) spad or researcher is not a dishonourable sign of cynical careerism. Maybe they should work elsewhere first, but all those barristers and financiers on the Tory side are no nearer the “real world”.

Politics was always a profession. Most MPs I meet, even those I disagree with profoundly, came into the Commons intending to make the country a better place, in the face of public contempt. But praising the practice of politics incites abuse for belonging to the same “Westminster elite”. It’s a curious near-universal phenomenon that democracy is worshipped but its practitioners reviled. The humiliating process of begging for votes seems to invite a kicking. Look how soon the disillusion sets in after a revolution.

Labour agonises about ways to reconnect, selecting more women, ethnic minorities and locals – all essential. But in the end you only connect with voters by planting a flag in the ground that draws people to rally round. Who you are fades beside what you stand for. Identity politics fills the vacuum where ideas, ideals and excitement should be. Labour is going through one of its periodic wobbles, torn between the great, bold ideas wanted by Jon Cruddas and a paralysing caution as they watch good policy turned into Red Ed-scare by the Tory press.

Remember Neil Kinnock’s passionate speeches? He lost. But each week it becomes clearer that relying on voters to loathe the Tories a little more than they are indifferent to Labour is not an option. The photo of Miliband with the Sun was so excruciating because it was craven and phoney – but it was, many say, a spine-stiffening jolt to remind them that without principle there’s no hope. Skinner is no model, but more Labour MPs need to find their own authentic voices.

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PAEDOS IN WESTMINSTER: ‘I’m Ready To Name Names’



“There must be a full inquiry” into claims of a Westminster paedophile ring, the former Tory children’s minister Tim Loughton declares today. Writing in the Daily Mail, Loughton says he is ready to ‘name names’ if an inquiry doesn’t happen:

“How long it will take before the Government is dragged, kicking and screaming, to agree to an inquiry, I don’t know… There will be those who will want to know why I and my colleagues do not use Parliamentary privilege to name and shame suspected paedophiles in the Commons. I call it the nuclear option, and it might come to that.”

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports, on its front page:

“A senior Tory politician said to be part of a child sex ring was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography videos but got off scot-free, police have been told… He passed the material on to his superiors, but the MP was never arrested or charged. And, like a dossier of evidence compiled by the late Geoffrey Dickens MP, the videotapes and paperwork relating to the seizure have since gone missing. The latest disclosure will increase accusations of a cover-up, as no action was taken against the MP at the time the videos were seized. The same MP is understood to have been named in the Dickens dossier, which was handed to the then Home Secretary Lord Brittan but has since been lost or destroyed.”



From the Guardian’s splash:

“Labour is to raise the prospect of further parts of the rail network being taken back into public ownership when it announces plans to subject franchises to a competitive bid between the state and private sector as they come up for renewal. But Ed Miliband will anger rail unions and some Labour MPs in the announcement next week by ruling out proposals that all expired franchises under a Labour government be returned automatically to the public sector – which would amount to a form of staggered renationalisation. Senior shadow cabinet figures have agreed that a pragmatic choice between the state and private sector based on price, reliability and quality of service will provide a solution that allays commuter frustration, provides a fair deal for the taxpayer and does not amount to a return to British Rail.”

It’s classic Labour under Miliband – a radical move but not as radical as it could be. The Labour leader wants to be all things to all people…


Shadow chancellor Ed Balls may have said this week that it would be “silly” for Labour to match the Tories’ pledge to hold an in–out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU but not all of his shadow cabinet colleagues think Labour is in the right place on this issue. From the Telegraph front page:

“Voters do not have ‘confidence’ that Labour has a ‘clear position’ on the issues of Europe and immigration, which will prove a ‘big hurdle’, Andy Burnham has said. The shadow health secretary suggested that Ed Miliband and his senior team need to ‘give people in the party a simple sense of confidence’ that Labour has strong immigration policies. His comments, made last month, come amid growing criticism of Mr Miliband’s leadership style.”

Meanwhile, loyal Milibandite Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, will say in a speech today that there will be a leadership contest next May… but it won’t be in the Labour Party.

“There WILL be a Leadership election after the general election,” he will tell Unison. “But you’ll only get to vote if you are a Tory or a Lib Dem. When we unceremoniously boot them out of office after just one term, the Tories and Lib Dems will dump their failed leaders and look for new ones.”

Khan, who ran Miliband’s leadership campaign in 2010, will call the Labour leader “a winner” in his speech.


Watch this week’s #mehdisminute video, my semi-serious take on the week’s big political stories, which sees me go up against the ‘dead hand’ of Miliband.


Chuka Umunna is taking a battering in the (Tory) papers for a simple mispronounciation – from the Express:

“Smoothie would-be Labour leader Chuka Umunna enlivened a dull radio interview – and turned himself into a laughing stock – with his comic failure to pronounce the word Worcester this week. Talking on the local BBC station about regional funding the shadow business secretary referred to ‘Hereford and Wichita’ – leaving listeners baffled as to why he was confusing the city with a place in Kansas 4,000 miles away.”


A Tory donor has forked out £160,000 for a game of tennis with Tory leadership rivals David Cameron and Boris Johnson. The Sun has the details:

“The match, auctioned at a summer fundraiser, will see the PM and London Mayor play doubles with the mystery donor. Mr Cameron seized the chance to tease an absent BoJo when he introduced the lot. He said: ‘Boris bends the rules, makes dodgy line calls and is renowned for his ability to psyche out opponents.’ Referring to their regular run-ins he added: ‘I’m really glad I’m on his side in this game.’”

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By: Mehdi Hasan
Say it ain’t so! From the Mail splash:

“A dossier detailing explosive claims of sex abuse by paedophiles within Westminster has gone missing. Given to Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983, the files allegedly exposed a vile network at Parliament and Whitehall. But there is no record of any subsequent criminal inquiry and the Home Office yesterday admitted the dossier is either lost or destroyed. Lord Brittan, 74, is now facing questions over his handling of the document and inconsistencies in his account of what he did with it. The Tory peer told journalists last year he had no recollection of being given the dossier. But in a statement yesterday morning, he changed his mind. He confirmed he was handed a ‘substantial bundle of papers’ by MP Geoffrey Dickens in November 1983 and passed them to his officials for further investigation.”

If true, it’ll be a rare case of a front-page Mail political story truly meriting the use of the word ‘explosive’.


If you were Jon Cruddas, you’d be a bit paranoid by now. Right? First the Sunday Times splash on his ‘dead hand’ remarks, secretly recorded at the supposedly ‘semi-private’ Compass meeting. Now, some new remarks from Labour’s policy chief, made at a Fabian Society event and, yes, secretly recorded, which could further undermine Labour leader Ed Miliband – the Telegraph has the details, on its front page:

“In a leaked recording passed to The Telegraph, Jon Cruddas, the Labour leader’s policy adviser, said ‘a lot of things haven’t really been reconciled’ and also warned that Mr Miliband was being ‘gamed out’ on a weekly basis.

The recording, said to have been made at last week’s Fabian conference is the second such warning to have been privately sounded by Mr Cruddas in recent weeks. Last month, he criticised ‘the dead hand’ of the Labour leader’s office on policy development… In the new recording passed to the Telegraph, Mr Cruddas said that Mr Miliband was battling to unite ‘different camps’ within the party, and struggling to manage the news cycle. ‘He’s actually trying to unpack it, he’s trying to unpack it,’ said Mr Cruddas. ‘But he just gets gamed out every day, every week because of the news cycle, the media, levels of intrusion, the party management side.’”

Cruddas can avoid further such ‘scandals’ by doing one of two things: (i) by avoiding giving talks at friendly thinktanks or (ii) by shutting his mouth. Either way, he needs to accept that there is (almost) always a tape recorder running.

Meanwhile, Miliband himself will hope tape recorders are covering his ‘big’ speech on the economy and infrastructure in London today – the BBC reports:

“Mr Miliband will say his vision for the country will not be achieved by ‘big spending by government, but with reform – reform of the way governments work and reform of the way markets work’. He will reiterate his call for more competition in the banking and energy markets, insisting Labour is ‘pro-competition’, but will overhaul markets that are not working so they are ‘better for the customer and better for businesses’.”


Is it my imagination or is Tony Blair in the headlines almost every other day? And almost every time for something bad and/or embarrassing? From the Guardian front page:

“Tony Blair has agreed to advise the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who came to power in a military coup last year, as part of a programme funded by the United Arab Emirates that has promised to deliver huge “business opportunities” to those involved, the Guardian has learned.”

Sisi, lest we forget, has the blood of thousands of peaceful protesters on his hands. His regime has also locked up tens of thousands of others, sentenced hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood activists to death and imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists. Blair doesn’t seem to care.

“The former prime minister, now Middle East peace envoy, who supported the coup against Egypt’s elected president Mohamed Morsi, is to give Sisi advice on ‘economic reform’ in collaboration with a UAE-financed taskforce in Cairo – a decision criticised by one former ally.”

The Guardian quotes a former political associate of the ex-PM’s:

“Tony Blair has become Sisi’s éminence grise and is working on the economic plan that the UAE is paying for. For him, it combines both an existential battle against Islamism and mouth-watering business opportunities in return for the kind of persuasive advocacy he provided George Bush over Iraq.”


Watch this funny video of a groom and his friends surprising the bride with an *epic* dance routine.


Nicolas Sarkozy isn’t happy and he’s blaming the left – from the Times:

“Nicolas Sarkozy last night accused leftwing judges of mounting a politically motivated crusade against him after the former French president was placed under formal investigation on charges of trying to gain information on inquiries into his campaign financing. Appearing on television, Mr Sarkozy broke two years of media silence following his election defeat in 2012 to stage a spirited counter-attack against a case that has jeopardised his hopes of a political comeback.”

Meanwhile, the Independent reports that Sarko’s son has come out fighting on his dad’s behalf on – where else? – Twitter:

“Louis Sarkozy, the youngest son of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, has claimed the corruption investigation against his father is part of a plan to sabotage his political comeback and keep France ‘in the sh*t’. In a series of tweets, the 17-year old expressed his outrage and defended his father, who was arrested for alleged influence peddling on Tuesday, suggesting the investigation is part of a ‘relentless’ plan ‘to ensure that he doesn’t return to politics’.”

Daddy must be so proud…


From the Guardian:

“Dennis Skinner, the scourge of Tory prime ministers from Ted Heath to David Cameron who was dubbed the ‘Beast of Bolsover’, has been voted off Labour’s governing national executive committee, prompting an outcry from across the party. Hours after the veteran MP for Bolsover had taunted the prime minister as a member of the Bullingdon Club responsible for wrecking the NHS, the party announced he had been unseated… The Labour party denied reports that Skinner had been unseated after irritating Miliband’s office. A spokesperson said: ‘There is absolutely no irritation from Ed or anyone in his office at Dennis. This was purely a matter for the parliamentary Labour party.’”

Either way, it’s the end of an era…


“Loving your country means wanting the best for it – and for Scotland that is staying in the UK.” – from a speech David Cameron plans to give in Scotland today, in which he will call on the “silent majority” who want Scotland to stay in the UK to speak out against the Nationalists.

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Acquiescing to Big Biotech: Relentless Drive to Force GMO Crops into Britain

Global Research

A report just published by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee on food security in Britain supports Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s plan to push ahead with growing genetically modified (GM) crops in England. However, it doesnt mention which crops would actually be grown [1].

The Committee says that the Government should do more to inform the public about “potentially beneficial impacts” of GM crops under development, but, according to Genewatch UK, the report fails to inform the public that the commercial GM crops that would actually be grown commercially are tolerant to companies’ own-brand weedkillers, such as Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready crops.

The potentially beneficial impacts of GM crops just dont stack up. For instance, non-GM farming in Europe has outperformed GM farming in the USA [2] and poisonous pesticides, destructive fertilisers and patented GE seeds cant even match 1890 or even 1760 AD yields in India [3].

Director of GeneWatch UK, Dr Helen Wallace, says:

“RoundUp Ready GM crops are the crops which could be grown in England perhaps as early as next year. Blanket spraying of these crops with weedkiller would lead to massive loss of habitat for birds and butterflies and a plague of superweeds for farmers. The costs of segregating GM and non-GM would push up food prices for everyone, and non-GM farmers would lose out financially if their conventional or organic crops become contaminated”.

Monsanto’s or Syngenta’s RoundUp Ready GM maize (NK603 and GA21), which are blanket sprayed with the weedkiller glyphosate (brand name RoundUp), are in the commercial pipeline for EU cultivation approvals. Again, some of the potentially beneficial impacts of RoundUp Ready GM crops include the growth of herbicide-tolerant superweeds and the loss of habitat for birds and butterflies: leading, for example, to a crash in the population of the Monarch butterfly in the United States [4,5]. Aside from the environmental dangers, there are very strong links between glyphosate and a very wide range of serious human ailments and diseases [6].

In the UK, there are no national measures for co-existence of GM and non-GM crops and for liability for the costs of contamination incidents, which can cost conventional and organic farmers many millions of pounds in lost markets for their products [7]. Contamination seems of little concern to the global biotech sector, though. It has already recklessly contaminated the environment with its poison [8] and, as far as GMOs are concerned, it is more a case of the more contamination, the better [9].

The EU opt out proposal adopted by EU ministers in June, which will now go to the European Parliament, could speed up GM crop approvals in England by loosening Europe-wide regulations that are currently in place. Countries opposed to growing would opt out by imposing regional bans on the cultivation of specific crops. Scotland and Wales will opt out from growing GM crops, but the Government wants England to press ahead. This opt out proposal is regarded as constituting little more than part of a Monsanto-friendly [10] strategy, which is being facilitated by Minister Owen Paterson, who has worked closely with the GMO industry on UK policy, including on a PR strategy which seeks to avoid discussion of RoundUp Ready crops and the multinational companies that sell them [11]. Paterson appears little more than a misinformed puppet of the GMO sector [12] and seems content to be a part of that sectors multi-pronged political subterfuge to force GMO onto the British public [13]. Such a pity that Paterson and others are content to climb into bed with a company that has such a long history of duplicity and criminality [14].

One positive aspect of the Committee’s report is the recommendation that Government reduces dependence on imported soybean for animal feed, warning that increased demand for protein from emerging economies threatens current supply lines. Much of this imported soya is GM. The Committee also recommends that the UK takes steps to become more self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables, supermarkets shorten their supply chains to support more local food; and better long-term weather prediction for farmers is developed.

In response to this, Helen Wallace states:

“It is a pity that these valuable recommendations on food security are likely to be drowned out by this Committee’s misleading claims on GM crops. Reducing dependency on imported GM soya, used to feed animals in Britain, would be a big step forward in making our food supply more sustainable and secure.”

Food security and sustainability are nice sounding terms. However, acquiescing to big US biotech concerns does not guarantee either. It’s not meant to. Quite the opposite in fact [15,16].


[1] House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Food security. Second Report of Session 2014-15.

[2] Heinemann et al. (2013) Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. Published online: 14 Jun 2013.


[4] For superweeds see: Benbrook CM (2012) Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years. Environmental Sciences Europe 24(1):24. ; BBC report 19th September 2012: ; GM crops: Farmer to Farmer: ; Greenpeace “Growing Doubt” video, October 2012: ; more videos of superweeds on:

[5] For Monarch butterflies see: ; Pleasants JM, Oberhauser KS (2013) Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicide use: effect on the monarch butterfly population. Insect Conservation and Diversity 6(2):135-144.


[7] GM Contamination Register:




[11] GeneWatch UK PR: UK Government and GM industry collusion exposed. Tuesday 6th May 2014.[cid]=492860&als[itemid]=574495






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Communities Protest That UK’s Equatorial Palm Oil Are Poised to Seize Land in Liberia



The UK-listed company, Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), which is threatening to seize land owned by Liberians in defiance of commitments by Liberia’s President, will today receive a visit from affected communities. Members of the Jogbahn Clan, together with representatives from Liberian and international NGOs, will deliver a petition with over 90,000 signatures, reminding EPO that it does not have community consent to expand onto their lands, and that doing so could escalate violence. [1] EPO’s past operations in Liberia have triggered allegations of conflict and human rights abuses. The company has maintained that any expansion is legal. [2]

“EPO’s recent expansion efforts are a brazen example of a company defying international law, government orders and the rights of communities,” said Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor, campaigner at the Sustainable Development Institute. “EPO has no claim to this land, it is owned by the communities who live on it.” [3]

Residents from the Jogbahn Clan in Liberia’s Grand Bassa County say that EPO has begun demarcating blocks of land in preparation for clearing, and have accused its security officers of threatening community members. These actions defy the March commitment by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that EPO could not expand onto the lands of the Joghban Clan without their permission. [4] The right of Liberian communities such as the Joghban Clan to give or withhold consent to projects that could have an impact on their land and resources is also provided under international human rights law, as well as the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) of which EPO is a member. [5] The Joghban people have refused to give such consent.

EPO has a very poor track record in Grand Bassa County. In September of last year, officers from the EPO security team and the Liberian Police reportedly worked together to assault and beat Joghban community members who were peacefully protesting the company’s operations. Those arrested were soon released after it was determined by the government’s Grand Bassa attorney that there was no justification for continued detention. No government investigation report regarding this incident has been made public. [6]

EPO denied any involvement in the violence, saying that it had been “falsely accused”, and does not “condone or encourage such described behaviour,” and “never instructed or directed any of its staff or PSU officers to intimidate Jogbahn community members in September or at any time.” However, EPO admitted to Global Witness that it provided logistical support to the Liberian police who are accused of intimidating villagers on the plantation. The company further stated that it “respect[s] the Liberian community rights and land, and ha[s] followed the law and procedures laid out”, had taken “strict steps” to ensure that it only plants oil palm on its concession land and legally-acquired community land, and  is “a responsible company and committed to sustainable oil palm development.” [7]

EPO’s concessions in Liberia total 8,900 km2 of land, which the company believes gives it the legal right to use the land to develop a palm oil concession.  The company is listed on the London-based AIM stock market, and is now majority owned by Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK). Major brands including Kellogg’s, Kraft, Nestle, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills have been reported as direct or indirect consumers of KLK palm oil. [8]

“We demand that EPO stops inciting conflict by preparing to clear our land,” commented Jogbahn Elder Joseph Chio Johnson, “EPO must stop threatening our people and accept that our no means no.”

Notes to editor

  1. Sustainable Development Institute and Friends of the Earth International, Tell Equatorial Palm Oil NO means NO!, Rainforest Rescue, Wir stoppen die Walddiebe!, Friends of the Earth US, Stop an abusive palm oil company from grabbing Liberian land, Milieudefensie, Laat Equatorial Palm Oil weten dat NEE echt NEE betekent!
  2. Equatorial Palm Oil, Letter to Global Witness, 17 December 2013.  EPO’s full response can be found on Global Witness’ website at:
  3. Customary land rights are protected under a range of international human rights laws applicable to Liberia, including the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights (1981), the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (1966), the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (1966), the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1965), as well as principles of customary international law expressed in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).
  4. Sustainable Development Institute, SDI welcomes President Sirleaf’s commitment to protecting Joghban clan’s land from further encroachment by British palm oil company Equatorial Palm Oil, 6 March 2014; Global Witness,NGOs welcome Liberian President’s commitment to stop British palm oil company “taking” community land, 10 March 2014.
  5. Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a key principle of Liberia’s Community Rights Law with respect to Forest Lands (2009), which provides communities with a right to give or withhold their consent to activities planned on community land or which may impact on that land and the community. Article 7 of the Liberian Constitution provides for the maximum feasible participation by citizens of Liberia, in the management of Liberia’s natural resources. FPIC is also an established legal principle supported by numerous regional and international legal instruments to which Liberia is legally bound, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). The decision of the African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights in the case of Endorois Welfare Council v. Kenya (276/2003) e.g. at para 209, including with regard to right to property (Art. 14 ACHPR), as well we the right to development (Art. 22 ACHPR). See also ACHPR Resolution 224 on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Natural Resources Governance, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as numerous other provisions and jurisprudence elaborated under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  6. Sustainable Development Institute, SDI calls on Equatorial Palm Oil to immediately cease land survey in Grand Bassa District #4, 25 September 2013. Sustainable Development Institute, Global Witness, FoE EWNI, FERN, Save My Future Foundation, UK’s Equatorial Palm Oil accused of human rights abuses in Liberia, 20 December 2013.
  7. Equatorial Palm Oil, Letter to Global Witness, 17 December 2013.  EPO’s full response can be found on Global Witness’ website at: Meeting between Global Witness and EPO in London on 14 November, 2013. EPO, “Letter to Global Witness,” 17 December 2013.
  8. Rainforest Action Network, Conflict Palm Oil in Practice: Exposing KLK’s role in rainforest destruction, land grabbing and child labour, 2 April 2014.

Posted in UK0 Comments

Jews DO Control the Media


Jews do control the media, Hollywood, U.S. foreign policy and the government, in a program akin to the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” and Jews are a distinct people and have a right to set the world’s agenda on moral issues, a new article in the Jewish newspaper The Times of Israel has announced.

The article, titled “Jews DO control the media” was written by New York-based Jewish Supremacist Elad Nehorai, who guest writes on that paper and the Huffington Post.

In it, Nehorai admonishes his fellow Jews for being coy about their power over the media, Hollywood and the U.S. government, in this way:

“We Jews are a funny breed. We love to brag about every Jewish actor. Sometimes we even pretend an actor is Jewish just because we like him enough that we think he deserves to be on our team. We brag about Jewish authors, Jewish politicians, Jewish directors. Every time someone mentions any movie or book or piece of art, we inevitably say something like, “Did you know that he was Jewish?” That’s just how we roll.

We’re a driven group, and not just in regards to the art world. We have, for example, AIPAC, which was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do.

But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!”

Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everybody else!

Does anyone else (who’s not a bigot) see the irony of this?

Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene.

Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews?

But that’s not all. We also control the ads that go on those TV shows.

And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions.

A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom 50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.

Now, I know what everyone will say. That everyone tries to lobby. Every minority group and every majority group. That every group has some successful actors and directors. But that’s a far call from saying that we run Hollywood and Madison Avenue. That the Mel Gibsons of the world are right in saying we’re deliberately using our power to take over the world. That we’ve got some crazy conspiracy going down.

Okay. Fine. So some of that is kooky talk.

But let’s look at it a bit deeper.

Maybe it’s true: everyone lobbies. Maybe it’s true there are actors of every ethnicity out there. But come on. We’re the ones who are bragging about this stuff all the time. Can’t we admit that we’re incredibly successful? Can’t we say it to the world?

I’ll give my theory for why Jews don’t want to talk about their control of the media.

First of all, as much as Jews like to admit that so many of them are successful, and that so many of them have accomplished so much, they hate to admit that it has to do with they’re being Jewish. Maybe they’ll admit that it has something to do with the Jewish experience. But how many Jews will admit that there is something inherently a part of every single one of them that helps them to accomplish amazing things?

The ADL chairman, Abe Foxman, was interviewed in a great article about the subject and he said that he “would prefer people say that many executives in the industry ‘happen to be Jewish.’” This just about sums up the party line.

The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world.

We’re talking about a group of people that just got put in death camps, endured pogroms, their whole families decimated. And then they came to America, the one place that ever really let them have as much power as they wanted, and suddenly they’re taking over.

Please don’t tell me that any other group in the world has ever done that. Only the Jews. And we’ve done it before. That’s why the Jews were enslaved in Egypt. We were too successful. Go look at the Torah — it’s right there. And we did it in Germany too.

This ability to succeed, this inner drive, comes not from the years of education or any other sort of conditional factors, but because of the inner spark within each Jew.

Now, the reason groups like the ADL and AIPAC hate admitting this is because, first of all, they are secular organizations. Their whole agenda is to prove that every Jew is the same as every other person in the world. I cannot imagine a more outlandish agenda. No, we’re different. We’re special.

Of course, people hate when anyone says this. They assume that if you’re saying that Jews are special, it somehow implies that they’re better.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what the word “better” even means. What I do know is that being special simply means a person has a responsibility to do good.

I think that’s the real reason most Jews are so afraid to admit that there’s something inherently powerful and good about them. Not because they’re afraid of being special. But because they’re afraid of being responsible. It means that they’re suddenly culpable when they create dirty TV shows that sully the spiritual atmosphere of the world. It means that things can’t just be created for the sake of amusement or fun or even “art.”

Suddenly, we can’t screw up the world.

The interesting thing is that Jews have done so much for the world in so many other ways. They’ve moved forward civil rights; they’ve helped save lives in Darfur, Haiti and just about everywhere else.

But that’s not enough. Fixing the world physically is only half the battle.

Our larger battle, the harder battle, is elevating the world spiritually. And this is what the people that fight with every inch of their soul to prove that Jews are just the same as everyone else are afraid of. It means that we can no longer just “express ourselves.” We’ll have to start thinking about the things we create and the way we act. It means we’ll have to start working together. It means we’ll have to hold one other, and ourselves, to a higher standard.

The time has come, though. We no longer have to change our names. We no longer have to blend in like chameleons. We own a whole freaking country.

Instead, we can be proud of who we are, and simultaneously aware of our huge responsibility — and opportunity.”

Posted in UK, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Blair Should Be Lecturing on Iraq from Dock at International Criminal Court


It has been heartening to witness the backlash against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over his attempt to deny any responsibility for the chaos and carnage that has engulfed northern and eastern Iraq in recent days.

by John Wight

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

While thousands of ISIS Sunni extremists are engaged in a determined attempt to reach Baghdad, leaving a trail of carnage in the process, Tony Blair remains resolute in claiming that there is no connection between this and the hell in which Iraq has been plunged, even more than a decade since the 2003 onset of the war which he and former US President George W Bush unleashed. As someone averred among the avalanche of Tweets sent excoriating the former prime minister over his recent denials, this is about as serious as claiming there is no connection between him having sex with his wife and the existence of his children.

Blair cuts an increasingly isolated figure, which for a man obsessed with establishing a legacy in the Churchillian mode, not even the tens of millions of pounds he’s amassed since leaving Downing Street in 2007 can ever hope to compensate. Former friends and political allies have deserted him now; and in response to his latest public appearance, more than a few have taken the opportunity to stick the boot in. Perhaps the sentiments of London Mayor Boris Johnson came closest to describing the extent to which Blair is now considered a political pariah in Britain, when he described him as “mad.”

When it comes to the region, it is time for the West – in particular, the US and the UK – to abandon their nonsensical policy of supporting the opposition in Syria and instead acknowledge that the government of Bashar al-Assad is playing a key role in stemming the flood of Sunni extremism and has been over the last three years. In fact, without the resilience of the Syrian Arab Army the region would have been plunged into even more chaos and destruction than it is at present. For three years, the Syrian government, the Syrian people, army and allies have stood against this de facto Islamic Khmer Rouge in Syria otherwise known as ISIS (ISIL), an organization and ideology so beyond the pale that its defeat and destruction is absolutely vital.


Yet, as recently as the beginning of May, the British government announced its decision to resume the provision of “non-lethal” aid to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the form of laptops, communications equipment, vehicles and medical supplies. Surely this has to count as an act of insanity on the part of Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who pushed for this resumption of aid to the “moderate”Syrian opposition?

Firstly, the FSA – as a significant factor in the Syrian conflict – no longer exists. Secondly, how does atrocities committed by the FSA in Syria (most infamously the filming of the cutting open of a dead Syrian soldier and removal of his internal organs by an FSA commander in 2013, which was then posted online) qualify them as moderate in any meaningful sense? Thirdly, how would it profit the Syrian people and, with the spreading of the crisis to Iraq, the region as a whole if the current Syrian government is toppled?

It doesn’t take a genius of strategic thinking to work out that if there ever was a moderate opposition in Syria there no longer is, and that the only effective forces in the region currently able to take on these medieval extremists are the Syrian Arab Army, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. Without them the entire Arab world would be dragged into hell without a way out, which is why the West must as a matter of urgency reorient its policy accordingly.

Another factor in this growing crisis, exposing the West’s abiding hypocrisy and venality, is the role of the Saudis as a major source of funding and support for Sunni extremism. It remains more than a coincidence that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the atrocity of 9/11 were Saudi citizens, and since then this vile clan has used Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth to spread instability in Syria, Egypt, and now Iraq in service to an anti-Iranian agenda and a perverse rendering of Islam known as Wahhabism.

Saudi Arabia consistently ranks low on every international index on human rights. Indeed, so egregious is the problem that 52 members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, along with NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, sent a letter to President Obama prior to his visit to Saudi Arabia in late March/early April this year, urging him to press King Abdullah on the issue.

To be frank, Saudi Arabia is a hellhole of intolerance, state-sponsored religious extremism, injustice, the oppression of minorities and women, and corruption. Yet despite this, the West continues to foster close economic and political ties with the country. The most embarrassing evidence of the nature of this relationship came in February when Prince Charles visited the Kingdom during a tour of the Gulf in February and behaved like an idiot, performing a sword dance while dressed in traditional robes and headdress for the delectation of his hosts.


The day after his visit to Riyadh, Britain’s biggest arms firm, BAE, announced a deal to supply the Saudis with 72 Typhoon fighter jets, worth some £4.5 billion ($8 billion). Despite denials issued by the Prince’s office that there was any connection between his visit and the subsequent arms deal, the fact that this was the 10th state visit to the Kingdom by the heir to the throne leaves no doubt as to the close ties that exist between the UK and a clan of Arab potentates who rule their state like a mafia crime family.

Other Gulf states such as Qatar also have blood on their hands when it comes to funding the sectarian bloodletting that has swept Syria and now Iraq, while at the same time enjoying a close economic and political relationship with the West. It reminds us that to the political classes in the US and throughout Western Europe the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Syria and Iraq take second place to economic self-interest.

This is why being lectured to about democracy and human rights by a US president or British prime minister is like being told to sit up straight by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Finally, returning to Tony Blair, it is not so much that we mind him defending his role in Iraq. It is that he should by now be doing it from the dock at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Posted in Iraq, UK, USA0 Comments

Bush & Blair: Blackmailed pedophiles or just war criminals?


By Kevin Barrett


Today, after more than a million dead and several millions exiled, as the “too extreme for al-Qaeda” ISIL is grabbing more and more of Iraq, the question once again arises:

Why did George Bush and Tony Blair drag us into the Iraq quagmire?

They told us it was about Saddam’s WMD. But that was a preposterous lie. Bush even camped it up about looking for WMD under his desk. He thought it was fabulously hilarious that anyone had ever believed in Iraqi WMD.
YouTube – Veterans Today -

So what was the real reason for the Iraq war?

Some say oil. But that seems dubious, since big oil lobbied hard against the Iraq invasion, fearing it would destabilize their business.

Others say Israel. That makes more sense; the Zionist lobby was the main force pushing for war in Iraq. But how can a sh*tty little country like Israel force a superpower to do its bidding?

One way is by blackmailing politicians. And in Bush and Blair, they had plenty of opportunity.

As Sherman Skolnick reported years ago in Bush Bisexuality Asserted In Scorching New Book:

“It relates to George W. Bush’s homosexual relationship, since about puberty, with Victor Ashe, long-time Mayor of Knoxvillle. When some in Congress began inquiries in the fall of 2003, Ashe in December, 2003, gave up being Knoxville Mayor and was appointed by George W. Bush, the occupant and resident of the White House, as the U.S. Ambassador to Poland.”

Another story about Bush Jr. is that his dad invaded Panama because Noriega was trying to blackmail the Bush family into giving him a bigger cut of the CIA’s cocaine profits. Apparently Noriega was in possession of photos of W.  taken at a Caribbean brothel that caters to pedophiles. This is not just a rumor; I have heard it verified by a well-placed intelligence community source.

And let’s not forget Jeff Gannon. During Bush Jr.’s presidency, the fake journalist and homosexual prostitute Gannon regularly spent nights at the White House, apparently entertaining the President.

But Gannon wasn’t W’s only gay entertainment.

Wayne Madsen Reports revealed on Nov. 18, 2005:

There is good reason for the embarrassment of the Pentagon in the (Abu Ghraib) affair. The orders to take the sexually-oriented photos and videos, some of which involve teenage Iraqi boys and girls and sodomization by their guards, came directly from a pedophile and closeted male homosexual ring operating in the White House, according to the intelligence sources. Copies of the tapes and photos were sent directly to the White House for the entertainment of senior members of the Bush White House, including officials in the Vice President’s office and the Executive Office of the President.

None of this is surprising to anyone who follows the seamy underbelly of American politics. The Bush family is notorious for its sexual degeneracy. For example, George H.W. Bush attended parties serviced by child prostitutes, according to sworn testimony from the children themselves. For details read The Franklin Scandaland The Franklin Cover-Up and check out the video Conspiracy of Silence.

And the Mossad is very good at getting hold of blackmail material. During J. Edgar Hoover’s tenure at the FBI, Hoover had pornographic blackmail photos of just about everybody who mattered – which made Hoover the USA’s unelected dictator. But the real ruler, the éminence grise behind Hoover, was Mossadnik crime kingpin Meyer Lansky. It seems likely that Lansky’s heirs in Tel Aviv have an extensive collection of child pornography featuring “adult actor” George W. Bush.

And as for Tony Blair, he too appears to be a blackmailed pedophile.

Despite the strict libel laws in the UK, a British researcher has reported some, shall we say, “ugly rumours”:

‘In the autumn of 1983, a young well-dressed man presented himself to Bow St Magistrates’ Court on a morals charge. He was given a conditional discharge and bound over to keep the peace. The young man gave his name as Charles Lynton. He is now among the highest in the land.’

Blair’s middle names are Charles and Lynton. I have asked for the records of the period (the Court no longer exists) but failed to trace any mention there of the ‘case’ – if indeed it ever existed. Although I found the general attitude of information suppliers to be obstructive, there wasn’t any strong feeling of hiding stuff; frankly, I’d be amazed anyway if something incriminating about Tony Blair hadn’t been removed by now. Another source wrote to us as follows:

‘He was caught importuning in a Westminster toilet. It was all covered up.’

Two things are, however, relevant. Gossip did abound about Blair’s sexuality during his time in the rock band Ugly Rumours at Oxford. And while nobody has ever stood them up, it is widely accepted that Derry Irvine (Blair’s boss in Chambers) regularly referred to him as “the star closest to Uranus”.

While the Bush White House was jerking off to live feeds of Abu Ghrayb torture, Tony Blair’s government was cavorting with child prostitutes:

“In 1999 an international investigation into child porn by Britain’s National Criminal Intelligence Service codenamed Operation Ore, resulted in 7,250 suspects being identified in the United Kingdom alone. Some 1850 people were criminally charged in the case and there were 1451 convictions. Almost 500 people were interviewed “under caution” by police, meaning they were suspects. Some 900 individuals remain under investigation.  In early 2003, British police began to close in on some top suspects in the Operation Ore investigation, including senior members of Blair’s government, allegedly Chris Smith, Peter Mandelson and Gay Gordon.”









Jimmy Saville Geoge Galaway

Tony Blair with his good friend, serial child molester Jimmy Saville. The sheep are scared.

Tony Blair with his good friend, serial child molester Jimmy Saville. The sheep are scared.

Perhaps Blair never grew out of his fondness for liasons in public toilets – even while serving as Prime Minister. Blair’s government was embarrassed when an investigation found traces of cocaine in Parliament’s public toilets, while other investigations showed that Blair’s crowd was neck-deep in satanic ritual child abuse.

In early 2003, the Operation Ore investigation was about to reveal Blair and his cronies as serial child abusers.  Then Blair issued a gag order imposing a 100 year blackout on all discussion of the subject. Articles with titles like “Tony Blair Caught Protecting Elite Pedophile Ring” got yanked from circulation.

What were Bush and Blair doing when they locked themselves behind closed doors to supposedly plot the Iraq war? Investigative journalist Bob Kearley says that “a lot of squaddies I’ve met think there’s something weird going on between Bush and Blair. If you’re then told that the executive responsible for the conduct of the war is staffed by child-molesters … well, then Saddam suddenly looks like the sort of bloke with whom you can share a few tins [beer].”

If you don’t think there was anything going on between Bush and Blair, scroll back to the top of this article and look at that Bush-Blair photo again. If it doesn’t set off your gay-dar, nothing will.

And if all of this sexual blackmail isn’t bad enough, it turns out that the Zionists had an even nastier card up their sleeves: 20 nuclear weapons planted in American cities, ready to go off in a fake “al-Qaeda” attack if Bush refused orders to invade Iraq. Gordon Duff revealed some of the sordid details about this nuclear blackmail on my radio show last Friday.

So it seems that 9/11 was the warning shot of a coup d’état designed to force the US to fight Israel’s Clean Break wars and destroy its enemies – the famous “seven countries in five years” mentioned by Gen. Wesley Clark. And blackmail, both sexual and nuclear, may have played a role.

Posted in UK, USA1 Comment


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