Monday 28 September 2020

julian Assange - faces a 'fate worse than death'


How many of you are following the Julian Assange Extradition hearnings presently taking place at The Old Bailey? Probably very few because the MSM are hardly reporting it. I doubt that many of my FB ‘friends’ or Twitter followers are either. No blame on them because there is systematic banning in place. One of the only daily reports is coming from ex-ambassador Craig Murray who states:

“My (Assange) blog has never been so systematically subject to shadow banning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50 percent of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40 percent from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3 percent from Twitter and 9 percent from Facebook. That is a fall from 90 percent to 12 percent. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister — people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.”


Please follow Craig here: 


The Trump regime want to incarcerate Julian in a Colorado high security prison which has been described by its own warden as a ‘living hell, offering a ‘fate worse than death.”

Meanwhile Noam Chomsky has been prevented from testifying on behalf of Julian. It’s great that yesterday Ai Weiwei attended the hearings and before him Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers). Respect also to John Pilger for his attendance and many others who turn up outside the court every day to offer their solidarity to a journalist they want to silence for exposing hideous war crimes.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Julian Assange - J"accuse





“It is a crime to mislead public opinion, to utilize for a deadly task this opinion which has been perverted until it becomes delirious.” 

Émile Zola


The Assange ‘trial’, “is comparable to that of Alfred Dreyfus, with our ‘free’ press betraying the man, their readers and viewers.’ We may not have our Émile Zola, but we do have ex-ambassador Craig Murray and ex journalists Jacob Ecclestone and Bernie Corbet. 

Their appeal states:


"There is a scandal and a crisis in British journalism. For the past three weeks or so a crucial extradition hearing has been taking place in the Central Criminal Court in London. You won’t know about it if you rely for your news on the established newspapers, the BBC or ITV or Channel 4. They have the resources to report it but they are not doing so.

You still wouldn’t know if you followed any of the many online news operations, which don’t have the resources to cover a major trial.

The case revolves around Julian Assange, of Wikileaks; and the government of the United States of America, which wishes to extradite this pioneering journalist and revealer of the truth and put him into a horrible prison until he dies.

Apparently there are about ten journalists regularly attending the court and taking notes, but as far as we know only one of them is publishing serious accounts of the ridiculous and disgraceful procedures. The vast majority of the public are unaware the proceedings are even taking place, let alone the distortion of justice that is happening in plain sight.

This is a case about free speech, exposure of wicked secrets, and the ability of journalists to operate in society. Yet journalists themselves are turning their backs on it. It almost seems as if they hope Assange will be taken away, removed from public view, and they will be left to plough their establishment furrow without being troubled by an outlier who showed us that some things are not as they appear.

Journalists should be covering the proceedings day by day, exposing the lengths and depths to which American and British politicians, lawyers and journalists are colluding.

The only journalist who is doing this is Craig Murray, formerly the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, whose blog probably has a small readership, and who himself is in jeopardy of prison because of his fearless exposure of establishment corruption and lying.

The Assange “trial” is comparable to that of Dreyfus, with our “free” press betraying both the word itself and their readers and viewers. The more that people round the world are able to read what is going on, the greater the pressure on our government. Our judiciary is being corrupted and our judicial system poisoned at the behest of Trump and as a result we are sliding towards fascism. Please do all you can to give “the oxygen of publicity” to this grotesque persecution of Assange.

We are both retired. Jacob was a journalist and union leader on the pre-Murdoch Times for 20 years and then the deputy general secretary of the National Union of Journalists from 1980 to 1997. Bernie was a senior journalist on the Birmingham Post, Guardian and Independent, then editor of the NUJ newspaper “Journalist”, then an organiser, negotiator and case worker for the NUJ, then general secretary of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain from 2000 to 2016.

We might be old but we can still smell injustice and we are incredulous that the present generation of journalists is ignoring this critical travesty.

Please help.

With good wishes

Jacob Ecclestone
Bernie Corbett"


Ecclestone / Corbett appeal

Craig Murray reports

Wednesday 23 September 2020



The term triage comes from the French verb, ‘to sort’. During the Napoleonic wars the French military used triage to prioritise treatment for wounded soldiers.

Yesterday I had a hospital echocardiogram test. Afterwards the friendly cardiac physiologist showed me her computer recordings. My cow valve seems to be pumping away with enthusiasm. I recommit to not eating beef ever again.

She went on to tell me what the hospital policy was for cardiac patients. It is triage. The consultant cardiologist now proritises level of treatment based on medical history, telephone consultation and necessity or otherwise for an on-site test.

I am happy with my cow and with my treatment yesterday and over recent years by the NHS. But that said, we should not be returning to a system of triage, but it is happening. Not only because of Covid-19, but from years of weakening of the NHS and the enrichment of those responsible. It’s long past time to operate a people’s triage and prioritise a fight back against them for our NHS. We need to remember Aneurin Bevan’s words, “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.”


In my last three blogs I have written about the scandal and corruption spreading its tentacles through the NHS and how companies like Serco, G4S, Capita and Deloitte are amongst the leading ‘privateers’. That is only half the story.

The Canary has now published an article on the ‘award’ of Covid-19 PPE (personal protective equipment) related contracts. If you think the NHS is still safe from the prowling monied-mafia perhaps you need to read it.


Some examples:


£43.8m contract awarded to a ‘dormant’ company, TAEG Energy, for the supply of hand sanitisers.


£252m to investment firm Ayanda Capital for face masks.


£186m to Uniserve, owned by pro-Brexit Prosperity UK.


£650,000 to Hanbury Strategy, a company founded by Vote Leave director, Paul Stephenson and friend of Dominic Cummins.


£49m to Ventures Ltd, a company with only £100 in assets.


£18.5m to employment agency, Aventis Solution, with total assets of £322, for face masks.


£93.7m to Globus (Shetland), a company who donated £400,000 to the Tory Party. 


£956,000 to Public First, headed by James Frayne and Rachel Wolf (who wrote the Tory 2019 manifesto), for “advice on Covid-19 and reorganising the health and care system”. It was previously awarded £840,000 to conduct research on public opinion regarding government policies and £116,000 to examine how the government can better learn from the Covid-19 pandemic.


£108m to Clandeboye Agencies Ltd, a nut and coffee products company and to PestFix, a rodent infestation company. PPE contracts for overalls awarded to a ‘fast fashion’ company, an online advertiser and Medpro Ltd, a private trust manager.


Read the full Canary article here. I’m afraid it goes on and on, but I will mention just one more. A company, Faculty, has been awarded over 13 contracts, worth £3m to help develop NHS labs and improvements to NHS data analytics. At a time when NHS labs are being 'awarded' to the 'privateers' and now proving worse than useless (see SERCO), I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.


We need a 'People's Triage' to sort this out.


Monday 21 September 2020

What's Left of ''Our' NHS?


KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC’ - A slogan I see in nearby house windows. Too late. It needs editing to, ‘KEEP WHAT’S LEFT OF OUR NHS PUBLIC’. Yes, it’s disappearing with a mixture of galloping privatisation and government cuts.


Minor injuries units are mostly closed. Diabetic units have been closed in some areas. 54% of sexual health units have closed. GP appointments are by phone only. Over 15 million are on waiting lists for tests and treatment.

A quarter of patients, following an urgent GP referral, wait over two months for their first cancer treatment. If your cancer referral is from a screening programme, 87% are now left waiting over two months for treatment.

38,000 heart operations have been postponed. And no, it’s not all to do with Covid-19, as the 18-week target has been missed for four years by an NHS weakened by a decade of cuts.

A hospital chief executive told Polly Toynbee of The Guardian they used to have 4 people waiting for a year for diagnostics and treatment. Now it’s 1,200. The Nuffield Trust records 48% of people who require treatment waiting beyond the 18-week limit, the worst since records began.

We are talking of patients who are in the higher risk groups at risk from Coronavirus so they face a double threat. In addition no foreign staff are arriving, and the Home Office is delaying visas for overseas doctors already here and waiting to work.

Never mind this may be a threat to many of us, but it is a life-saver for SERCO and the privatising wolves slathering at the hospital doors. As an NHS patient whose life was saved twice by ‘foreign’ surgeons and nurses I recently received this unsolicited email from a private health insurance company - “Have you ever thought to yourself if you were to get ill or injured, would you want to avoid a waiting list of 3-6 months for NHS treatment.” No, but I have thought I, hope Hell is too hot for whoever is responsible for writing this and that you get taken there in a Serco prison van.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Coronavirus is a life-saver for some



Widespread testing is crucial to controlling the spread of the coronavirus epidemic because it allows those who are infected to self-isolate while helping identify hot spots and trace those who are infected.


When you land in Rome there is a swift and well organised Covid test with the result given in 30 minutes.” Richard E Grant

Here in the UK some people have made round trips of more than four hours and even in England’s worst-hit coronavirus hotspots people reported being unable to get a test.

In Bolton, Cath Dodds, whose young daughter has a chronic lung condition and asthma, and who developed a cough and a temperature, was forced to make a 240-mile round trip for a test after three days of trying to get one locally.

In Yorkshire. Gavin Kaps, a photographer who had a cough, no sense of smell or taste, a blocked nose and fatigue, was unable to book a test anywhere. “There were literally no options,” he said, so he went direct to a testing centre. “I was asked if I had an appointment and informed that the government had said they couldn’t accept people without appointments.”

Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It’s incumbent on all of us to take a responsible approach and tell our constituents that tests are available in large numbers and the average distance travelled is 5.8 miles … And people should take this seriously and not game the system.”

What’s going on? Covid-19 is allowing for the escalting takeover of the NHS by the privateers is what’s going on.

Here in the UK testing has been sub-contracted to private companies such as Serco, G4S, Capita and Deloitte. They have won significant work on providing Covid testing, and have been awarded £1.3bn of NHS work in the last eight months .

Serco secured contracts worth £157m between February 1 and September 7, 2020, including a job mobilising 10,500 contact tracers for the NHS Test and Trace programme.

In the five years before the pandemic, share prices of these companies had underperformed and so Covid-19 has been a life-saver for them, if you will pardon the pun. Serco said it had won enough Covid-19 response work to offset “the significant negative impact of the pandemic in other parts of our business”. Readers will be relieved to know that by August, Serco had offset losses with a range of government contracts both in the UK and overseas, much of it focused on health ‘care’.

Serco are not alone in their financial ‘relief’. Capita, ‘won’ two awards worth £34m, and the security firm G4S a contract worth £9m.

It's a small matter, but Serco had to apologise after breaching data protection rules on its test-and-trace contract and was fined £1 million for failures on another government contract. The company has received larger fines in the past, notably more than £19m as part of a settlement with the Serious Fraud Office over failures in electronic tagging dating back to 2010.

This latest fine does not appear to have hampered Serco’s ability to win other government contracts. Alongside the test-and-trace contract, it secured an £800m prisoner custody contract and a £200m contract to manage immigration removal centres.

Most Covid-19 contracts have been awarded without a competitive tendering process under emergency procurement measures that were put in place in March.

The government is using the Coronavirus epidemic, to siphon billions of pounds into the pockets of friends who have no experience in the field of public health. Amongst them, a rodent infestation company pocketing a multi-million pound award to get in on the lucrative Coronavirus ‘market’.

Oh and The junior health minister, Edward Argar, is a former Serco lobbyist and Serco’s chief executive is Rupert Soames, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and brother of Tory MP, Sir Nicholas Soames.

I have personal experience of Serco’s leading role in the privatisation of the NHS. When I was a patient at St Barts Hospital in 2018, I wrote that Serco’s employees, loving, gentle and caring health workers, once worked directly for the NHS, but as Serco employees, were earning £8 per hour and hadn’t seen a pay rise for ten years.  


“I love the idea that the military is listed alongside healthcare and 'other citizen services' by SERCO. Also nice to know that the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs receive the same food services as we get in this hospital. I wonder if they have the same problem – a shortage of small spoons. In the Scrubs they may be being put to use tunnelling their escapes and probably don't ask why there is a shortage. There was no answer for me when I asked this question. Breakfast was tepid tea or coffee, cereal or porridge and toast. As I bite into the cold, spongy “toast” I could imagine Serco executives meeting to discuss how to cut back their costs to increase their profits. 'Let's start with breakfast'.”

In the intervening years things have only got worse. I look forward to the day when we put a Serco prisoner van to good use and take their CEO to prison for profiting off the suffering of the people.


Sunday 13 September 2020

Extinction Rebellion are a threat?


Extinction rebellion protesters, "so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals”, are a threat to our way of life, says UK Home Secretary, Priti pointless Patel.

According To Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report the way of life she is referring to is a world summed up in this photo and brought about by increasing the wealth of the richest 1% to the extent that they now own 44 percent of the world’s wealth.

Patel’s husband, Alex Sawyer is a marketing consultant for the US stock exchange company, NASDAQ, which recently published an article with the headline ... “The Ultra rich Have $13 Billion at this Offshore Bank (NT Butterfield): Here's Why You Should Buy”.

Offshore banks, much loved by the 1%, are often referred to as tax havens. Fortunately for 'our way of life' none of these tax havens are threatened with fire --- yet


Wednesday 2 September 2020

A Rooting Hog




        "All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death'  Macbeth

New BBC supremo, Tim Davie—annual salary £525,000—thinks TV comedy is too left-wing. He believes that it is necessary to redress bias against political leaders such as Boris Johnson and Donald Trump and for there to be greater ‘impartiality’ by the broadcaster.  As a former Conservative Party councillor candidate and deputy chairman of his local Party he is, of course, well placed to be the judge of that.


In this country, mocking the upper class has been central to satire from Chaucer to 'Spitting Image' and was used by Shakespeare to poke fun at powerful political figures. 


In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, the character Bottom emphasises the arrogance and stupidity of the ruling class. His head is transformed into that of a donkey, making him the butt of the play's biggest jokes.


Some ruling class afflictions highlighted by Shakespeare were too awful for humour and had to be dealt with, without the laughs.


In ‘Macbeth’, the King of Scotland's bloody hands symbolise the immense violence and cruelty wielded by the politically powerful.


In ‘Hamlet', a skull is used to show how all of us, good or evil, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, end up in the ground. 


If Shakespeare were alive today, he might quote his own words from ‘Richard III’ in response to Davie’s new appointment, “Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog”.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Craig Murray reports on Julian Assange

I want to devote this blog to Craig Murray. Once an Ambassador and today a political activist who is next week travelling to London from his Edinburgh home because, “The travesty that is Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resumes fully on 7 September at the Old Bailey. I shall be … going down to London to cover it again in full, for an expected three weeks. How this is going to work at the Old Bailey, I do not know. Covid restrictions presumably mean that the numbers in the public gallery will be tiny. As of now, there is no arrangement for Julian’s friends and family in place. It looks like 4am queuing is in prospect..”



Good luck Craig – and of course Julian – and please be sure to follow Craig’s reports.


As a fellow whistleblower I have a powerful affinity with his life struggles and recommend you read his memoir,‘Murder in Samarkand’. A book praised by David Leigh in The Guardian with these words, “Murray does demonstrate that the men of straw have failed to silence him, for which he deserves much praise. But he has none the less been successfully defenestrated.”