Archive for April, 2016

@OwenJones84 @jeremycorbyn I think @yanisvaroufakis is wrong about EU.

April 16, 2016

I watched this video clip of Yanis talking to Owen Jones and was initially impressed until I came to think about his premises.

I then wrote this as response on Facebook..

I do like Yanis Varoufakis. and I think he is a very intelligent man with a lot of political insight but I think he’s wrong to believe we can control the EU and to propose that disintegration of the EU will foster right wing parties.

I think he has started from the (Spanish Civil War) position of equating fascism with Nationalism and Socialism with Internationalism and it’s not relevant in this situation.

Money and Bureaucracy are above these two opposing political realities.

Bureaucracy and Money see the left and right issues as an irrelevancy in the first case and a useful tool in the second.
A bureaucracy is about rules, it doesn’t care about who makes the rules, or why., It only cares about enforcing them.

Money doesn’t care about who does what to whom, or who effects it.

Money cares only about how it can make a profit from the conflicts.
We must have Brexit.

We must see the EU fail.

Better a few bloody noses than enslavements of Continents.



@afneil Time to lay the lie that Tax affairs are “a Private Matter” for criminals, terrorists and VIP’s

April 5, 2016

I wrote this as an email to the Daily Mirror but I’m posting it on my Blog, so it’s on record.

published version at foot of page

At a time when World leader’s are busy passing laws such as Theresa May’s Snoopers’ Charter, how can anyone claim that tax affairs are “a private matter”.
You (Daily Mirror) quote Labour MP Jess Phillips as repeating this mantra as only applying to ordinary people.
She’s wrong,
The tax affairs of ordinary people are known to HMRC and whoever hands over their PAYE deductions.
Only the rich and powerful can afford those, who manage tax avoidance, and it is they who spout this lie as an unassailable right.
Tax affairs are not a “Private Matter”, especially when it has been shown that the same arrangements are used by criminals and, I would suspect, the terrorist organisations, whom the Snoopers’ Charter is alleged to be trying to uncover.
It’s time that World Leader’s tidied up these rogue States, who seem to be concentrated in the Caribbean.
It was interesting, as one Anon tweeted, that no USA citizens were named, especially as the company had the logo of USaid at the bottom of the leaked document and this area is within the US sphere of influence.
I don’t expect anyone will end up in prison as a consequence of this exposure (although I suppose Chilcott can be imposed on to manage another inquiry, which will never report back).
All we can do is to continue denounce the lie that tax affairs are “a Private Matter”
Published as:
We pay the price for tax avoiders
At a time when world leaders are passing laws such as Theresa May’s
Snooper’s Charter, how can anyone claim that tax affairs are “a private
matter”, as Cameron did when questioned about his father’s alleged tax
The tax affairs of ordinary people are known to HMRC and only the rich
and powerful can afford to use these tax-avoidance schemes.
|t’s time world leaders tidied up these tax havens, which seem to be
concentrated in the Caribbean.
I don’t expect anyone will end up in prison as a consequence of this –
exposure. All we can do is continue to denounce the lie that tax affairs
are “a private matter”.

My MP’s response to letter about BBC future @38degreesMCR

April 3, 2016

Letter from my MP about attack on BBC.

As you know, I did write to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport recently about the outcome of the Government’s consultation on BBC Charter Review and I now enclose, for your information, a copy of the reply that I have received. –

The BBC is one of our most treasured institutions and the cornerstone of our creative industries. I therefore believe that its investment and scope must be maintained so that the BBC remains a great universal broadcaster that continues to inform, educate and entertain.

As you are aware, the Government’s consultation shows that a massive majority of the public agree that the BBC is serving viewers and listeners well and do not want to see a reduction in its scope or remit. The majority of respondents also believe that the BBC’s content is of a high quality and is

distinctive from other broadcasters, which is a view shared by the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

However, I am concerned that the Government wants to cut down the size of the BBC and I believe this ideological approach not only undermines the independence of the BBC, but ignores the results of the consultation. The Government has already confirmed the BBC will take on the cost of free TV

licences for over-75s. Other proposals being considered include narrowing the BBC’s remit to stop it from making some of its most popular shows. I believe the Government’s actions are an assault on the principle of public service broadcasting.

As you may know, the Clementi Review into Governance and Regulation of the BBC has  recommended replacing the BBC Trust with a unitary Board with a majority of non-executive directors, half of whom would be appointed by the Government. However, recent reports suggest that the Government plans to directly appoint most members of the new body.

I believe the BBC does need reform and I accept changes are needed to how it is governed. However, both the Clementi report and the public consultation make clear that the independence of the BBC must be at the heart of its future. I therefore believe that the new unitary board must be underpinned by independent appointment processes, including for its Chair. It is clear that the

independence of the BBC is at real risk under the current Government. I am also concerned that the Government wants to exert more political influence by shortening the Charter period. This must be fought all the way.

The Government says it will take the consultation responses into account and bring fon/vard proposals for BBC Charter Review in a White Paper this spring.

However, I am concerned by reports that this could be delayed. I believe it would be unacceptable to create more uncertainty over the future of the BBC. I am therefore pleased that my Shadow Frontbench colleagues are pressing the Government to get on with publishing its White Paper and have committed to oppose any attempts by the Government to dismantle or downgrade the


Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views. It is clear that the public oven/vhelmingly support the BBC and I can assure you that I will continue to do all I can to defend the independence of the BBC and to save our outstanding national broadcaster.

Accompanying letter from Vaizey.

Dear Yvonne,

Thank you for your correspondence on behalf of a number of your constituents about the

future of the BBC. I am replying as the Minister responsible for this policy area. I am sorry

that the Department has no record of ever having received your original letter of 6 January.

I believe that the BBC is a great national institution, which makes a valuable contribution

to many people’s lives as the nation’s broadcaster. It is a maker of high quality content,

reaching 97 per cent of the population on a weekly basis and many millions more

overseas through the provision of its international services.

The BBC Charter Review is the process through which the Government can consider all

aspects of the BBC. For example, decisions about BBC funding, including the funding

model and the level of the licence fee, pending considerations of scale and scope, will be

taken through the open and consultative process of Charter Review. This gives the

opportunity to review the BBC’s service and the overarching public purposes it is required

to deliver. It is right, given the wide-reaching changes to media over the last ten years,

that we should ask some forthright questions about how the BBC operates and how it is

funded. Over the next year we will take the views of the industry and the public on what

the BBC should and should not do.

The Government’s BBC Charter Review Public Consultation closed on 8 October. The

consultation set out 19 different questions. Over 190,000 people responded to the

consultation which is the second largest response to any Government consultation.

The Government takes the responses extremely seriously and, as you are aware,

published a summary of the consultation responses on the 1 March. The results from the

consultation, along with other evidence commissioned by the Department, will be used to

inform the Government’s policies for the BBC which will be published in a White Paper.

Your constituents may be interested to know that the BBC Trust also ran a series of

public engagement seminars across the country in the autumn.

Further details, including how to view the seminars online, are available here:

l hope that this is helpful.

Ed Vaizey MP

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy

Department for Culture, Media & Sport