Credit to @muzrobertson for Tweeting the picture.
Credit to @muzrobertson for Tweeting the picture.
This is actually nothing new. I read about this close relationship towards the end of last year and waited to see if Cardinal Keith O’Brien would enter the press. The Cardinal has resigned over “inappropriate behaviour” towards four individuals; we don’t know the full scale of the allegations (yet), but the weekends press will probably investigate his relationship with Jimmy Savile even further.
Hopefully, the ghost of Leveson has not frightened the press from digging deeper into the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom and her activities…
After denying he knew anything, Clegg confessed he was made aware of non-specific and indirect concerns/allegations against Lord Rennard in 2008. Danny Alexander asked Lord Rennard about the accusations of sexual harassment, but the Lord denied the claims. Another senior Liberal Democrat, Jo Swinson, has been accused of not acting and covering up the allegations. His chief of staff is also under fire.
At this stage there is no evidence to suggest the party has silenced or covered up the claims. But questions about Nick Clegg and his leadership now (and back in 2008) have resurfaced. He is currently 4/1 to leave the Cabinet and the press coverage was horrific this morning; Clegg was on the front page of nearly every paper. The negative headlines are starting to unnerve a few within the party.
Will this lead to Clegg’s downfall as Liberal Democrat leader? at this moment in time, it is difficult to tell. As I stressed, there is no evidence of any claims of a cover-up. But, his position might become unstable if people come forward and publicly contradict him.
If he can get pass the weekend, without any hiccups, Clegg will survive. Again.
It was inevitable and the markets have already priced in the rate cut months ago.
But losing the prized AAA rating is the least of our worries; debt is over £1 trillion and Sterling is in free fall. Government spending is still increasing and the Coalition are failing to insure Britain can live within her means. The downgrade will have little or no affect on interest rates due to the Bank of England being the majority holder of the national debt. This will not become an issue until the central bank has to sell its holdings back to the market.
Then the shock will hit and Sterling could possibly be destroyed.
Our deficit is not the real problem; it’s the government naively increasing debt and hoping to inflate the problem away. It has not occurred because the Eurozone has collapsed. The BoE planned to use inflation to deal with the size of the national debt, which is a clandestine partial default. Nobody expected a deflationary depression and Britain becoming the 21st Century Japan.
But it has happened.
Now the markets are telling us to stop spending . We have no choice, but to listen. The downgrade will force the hand of the Treasury to do what must be done. Parliament now has to address the economic reality; there are many pleasures that we, as a country, can no longer afford.
And we cannot simply tax the problem, either. This debt was accumulated, over a decade, without our consent; the taxpayer should not be held responsible because the government cannot control its spending. Why should we be made to suffer? This problem began in 2002, when the debt fueled boom was born. The boom turned into an economic nuclear bomb.
Now, in 2013, we are left with £1 trillion debt and a fractured financial system, partly owned by the taxpayer. A morally and financially inept health care system, expensive welfare state and a corrupt political franchise. In other words, the real downgrade occurred many years ago.
And, to make matters worse, the Director General of the BBC is only giving one interview – and that’s to the BBC. No other broadcaster is allowed to question the Pollard Report and the BBC’s inquiry into Newsnight’s pulled Jimmy Savile investgation. The BBC is keeping it all in house.
This is slightly unnerving and shows how Jimmy Savile went decades unchallenged by the authorities…
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said an investigation had begun into a police inspector from the West Yorkshire force who may have “acted on behalf” of Savile ahead of an interview by detectives from the Surrey force.
The IPCC is also asking a total of seven forces to examine their files to see if there are any concerns about the way their officers dealt with Savile and related matters.
West Yorkshire police was once a very controversial police force, to say the least, back in the late 70s and 80s. There are countless allegations level against the force.
But these recent claims linked to the Jimmy Savile case make difficult reading; it is disturbing to acknowledge any potential protection towards an individual who sexually abused countless children. It does not bare thinking about. Yet, I feel, we are still not being told the truth about Jimmy Savile and his relationship with the authorities and establishment.
The European Union’s Parliament president, Martin Schulz, is criticising the recent EU budget agreement and threatening to block it – if national governments do not agree to increase EU spending. This little federalist is demanding the countries of Europe, who are economically struggling, to continue financing Brussels. Or else.
And he doesn’t like our Prime Minister, either, for daring to question the unelected authority of the European Union.
Like others, Schulz does not think the EU should come down from its Ivory tower and join the rest of us in reality: EU officials are paid too much, work less hours and the overall European budget needs reform. But the federalists disagree; Brussels needs more money.
I don’t think the German people, who sent Martin Schulz to Strasbourg, quite like the idea of having to keep giving their Euros to farmers in France and grants to Eastern Europe. In fact, as recent polling suggests, the Germans are getting pretty fed up with funding the whole European project.
Alas once again the European Union Parliament is expressing its contempt to national governments and sovereignty.
Social Media is quite a buzz with the scandal at Mid Staffordshire hospital. The Telegraph make a rather poignant point: over a 1,000 people have died in questionable circumstances and nobody wants to ask why? It is even worse than that; nobody dares to question or attempt to hold NHS management to account.
Sadly, the Left want to blame Thatcher and the Right are pointing the figure at Andy Burnham and the Unions. Polly Toynbee would rather have us all re-watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and forget about all the faults within our health system. The BBC and Skynews rarely give mention to this scandal. Which is rather strange.
But the answer to why there has been so much silence could be rather simplistic: the investigation into Mid Staffordshire and other hospitals is still on going. Another nine hospitals are being investigated for an unusually mortality rate. The true scale of the scandal is yet to be known to us. The Department of Health is probably struggling to find answers, too.
In all, until we know the true extent and all the facts, we will have to accept the media silence until Parliament brings forward its reforms. But at some point, we are going to have to discuss the lack of care in the NHS in a mature and calm manner. And the media will need to play its part.
As I wrote last year, any taxation on fizzy drinks would be a tax on the poor. But, yet again, Doctors are demanding a tax on fizzy drinks and more draconian actions:
Doctors today demanded a 20 per cent tax on fizzy drinks and a ban on fast-food outlets near schools to tackle Britain’s obesity problem.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has drawn up an action plan in response to the UK’s current status as the fat man of Europe.
It added that councils should limit the number of fast food outlets allowed to operate near schools, colleges, leisure centres and other places where children gather.