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What have the British government and the Eurocrats achieved in the 2nd half of 2006?

December 2006
Five Labour Ministers & the Chief Whip have hit on a good way to raise their popularity level in their constituencies. They are all campaigning against NHS closures imposed on their districts by our corrupt & incompetent government.

Fines connected with ID cards will go to the government's coffers for general spending, not toward running the ID card scheme – indicating that they are just another Labour party Stealth Tax. The fines include £1,000 for failing to surrender a dead relative's card within an arbitrary period and the same fine for failing to supply 'all current addresses', which is aimed at students living away from home.
   Other scams include a £30 fee for a new card for married women who take their husband's name, which is expected to generate £9 million per year, and the same fee for a replacement driving licence to replace one lost or stolen, which is expected to yield £30 million per year.

The government is wasting £800 million of taxpayers' cash on PC non-jobs in the public sector, e.g. Cardboard Citizens Managing Director, Head of Achievement & Inclusion, and Programme Manager for National Supporting People Value Improvement Programme. The average starting salary is 45% greater than the average private sector wage, and most of the non-jobs come with a taxpayer-funded, final-salary pension scheme.

Labour is bad for your wealth – it's official! The Office for National Statistics has found that the average family has paid £120,000 to the Treasury since 1997. Which amounts to working just for the benefit of the Treasury for 4 of the last 9 years. The average UK worker was paying £9,907 in tax in 1997. The figure is now £13,765 thanks to Gordon Brown's taxation policies.

The National Audit Office has found that the DfES has been cheating. The Dept. has no way of telling if it is meeting its targets for literacy & numeracy; it has no idea how well or badly universities are doing; and it is lying about the results of its national tests by fiddling the data.

The government spent £12 million on private mail firms in the last year instead of using the Royal Mail and also directed benefit payments away from post offices – and then had the gall to weep crocodile tears over closing 2,500 post offices in addition to the 4,000 which have already been closed during the New Labour period. And 97% of the closures will be in constituencies held by other parties.

Under the profligate Labour party, Whitehall is wasting £660 million on overpriced stationery and £2.8 BILLION on private consultants.

In addition to closing 4,000 post offices over the last 9 years, the present Labour administration has closed 516 police stations. Many of the rest are open only part-time. Which is why Mr. Stephen Langford was murdered outside Henley police station this month while the staff inside the 'closed to the public' building remained blissfully unaware of what was happening on their doorstep.

70% of Dept. of Health cuts in maternity services will be in Conservative or Liberal constituencies.

The 103 NHS Trusts in England are on course for a combined deficit of £1.6 billion at the end of this financial year. 13 Trusts are hopelessly in deficit – to the extent of being bankrupt in commercial terms. Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt has said she will resign if the NHS in England doesn't break even financially by the end of March 2007. We'll see!

The pre-budget report : Air Passenger Duty doubled – £10 for shorthaul flights, £80 for longhaul flights;
 • fuel duty up 1.25 p/litre;
 • an increase of £1 billion in taxes on companies (which will land on customers);
 • £600 million to be wasted on Iraq & Afghanistan;
 • the state will claim 39.1% of the national wealth to blow on the Labour party's tax, spend & waste policies;
 • the tax relief on Pension Term Assurance to be abolished for new policies and more than 80% of any pension fund (Alternatively Secured Pension) bequeathed to children to be grabbed by the Treasury;
 • a Planning Gain Supplement within 3 years – a new stealth tax on land sold by home owners to developers;
 • TEN earlier spending promises reannounced to plump things out; total silence on the NHS's budget deficits – with typical dishonesty, Brown announced £36 million of spending on schools but failed to mention that 80% of the cash was in the March budget.
   What was buried : The Department of Education's report showing that standards in primary schools are slumping as a consequence of Labour policies.

Tony Blair thinks closing 25% of Accident & Emergency units will 'bring care closer to the people'. 100% of doctors, patients and NHS staff think Blair's off his head.

As a result of Labour's failure to build any prisons, 'life' sentences for murder, etc., have halved in length while Blair has been PM. Judges handing out softer sentences, parole boards recommending early release and the Labour party's enthusiasm for putting the human rights of criminals before those of the community all contributed.

Leader of the Commons Jack Straw is trying to hand a further £35,000 of taxpayers' cash John Prescott when the overpaid and underworked deputy prime minister is finally dumped out of office. Prescott is not eligible to receive the cash under the present rules, so Straw is trying to change them.

Blair's 'legacy', and jobs in the Labour heartland of the North East, are behind the prime monster's enthusiasm for a successor to the Trident missile system and a new generation of missile-carrying submarines. Meanwhile, most government business has been suspended while the Labour party concentrates on trying to make Tony Blair look good and polishing up his 'legacy' before he quits.

The Big Lottery Fund's board is strangely top-heavy with Labour donors & supporters. But donors & supporters of other political parties are absent. But as Culture Sec. Tessa Jowell was handing out these highly paid quango jobs, no one is too surprised. Packing the board like this is seen as an essential step in the Labour party's plans to divert even more lottery cash from good causes to areas which should be supported by conventional taxation.
   Jowell has also handed (in November) the chairmanship of Sport England, another lottery cash distributor, to Labour donor Derek Mapp, a pal of deputy prime minister Prescott. Labour consultant Ed Richards copped for the chief executive's job at Ofcom (in October) courtesy of Jowell's generosity, and she helped her predessor in her job, former Labour MP Chris Smith, to become the chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority.
   So much back-scratching clearly invites the same for Jowell when she is evicted from office.

New gaols New Labour style! Chancellor Gordon Brown agrees with Home Secretary John Reid that the country needs more prisons. It's his job to find the money, but he's not going to do it. So Reid has now come up with the brilliant idea of letting the public pay for cells and then lease them to the Home Office.

November 2006
Labour has devoted all its energies at the Scottish conference to Nats-bashing. Which kind of suggests it doesn't have anything to offer the people of Scotland and it's making a lot of noise as a distraction.

Tony Blair has decided not to apologize for starting the slave trade but he will apologize for his part in the on-going failure of the English rugby union team.

The National Debt is now £1,340 billion, which is 103.5% of the GDP. In other words, under Gordon Brown, the nation's debt exceeds its wealth. The calculation includes public sector pension liabilities, the hidden costs of New Labour's Private Finance Initiative schemes and the debts of Network Rail, which are all the responsibility of the taxpayer. With typical dishonesty, G. Broon drops these inconvenient facts out of his spin on the economic picture.

Praticia Hewitt"People living in Tory areas are healthier and they deserve less money from the NHS."
   Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt, 2006/11/21.

Blair's latest initiative – £4million to be spent on super-nannies to tell parents how to bring up their kids the New Labour way.

Jobless John Prescott costs the taxpayer £26million per year for his offices, staff, website, and perks & junkets.

The 2012 Olympics was supposed to cost £2.4 billion, but the cost is already up to £3.3B. Some £400 million of the £900M increase is to be spent on consultants, who have the job of seeing that the project stays on budget, Culture Sec. Tessa Jowell has admitted. The original cost was kept cynically low & unrealistic by excluding VAT on construction and the cost of buying building land. The budget contains many unknowns, Jowell has admitted, including the cost of security. The projected cost of the games is already £8 billion with £10 billions seen as likely.

Gaoled criminals are allowed to top up their earnings at the taxpayer's expense under Gordon Brown's tax credit system if they have low-paid day-release jobs.

By deliberately delaying publication of NHS accounts, the government is covering up a Black Hole of £156 billion in the pension scheme. The accounts are 5 months overdue now – they should have been published in June – and they are unlikely to appear before next year.
   Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt is also covering up the size of the deficit in the NHS's accounts. She says it's half a billion pounds when the true figure is closer to £1.5 billion.

Administration costs of £91 apply to every £80 fixed penalty ticket. The government expects 150,000 to be handed out this financial year, which means that the net loss to the taxpayer will be £1,650,000. And as only half of the criminals will pay up, the scheme's total deficit for 2006/07 will be £7.65 million.

Only 20% of wide-ranging cuts in NHS maternity services are in Labour-held constituencies, the Royal College of Midwives has found. Which is further proof that Labour is deliberately targetting cuts on areas held by political opponents.

Bev Hughes, New Labour's Minister for Messing Children About, would like parents to be forced to attend classes to make them competent at reading to their offspring and teaching them nursery rhymes. Bev's previous job, from which fired for incompetence, was Immigration Minister.

The Home Office, prop. John Reid, has chickened out of standing up to imprisoned drug addicts, who claim not being allowed to take drugs in gaol amounts to torture. Reid's answer was to pay them a total of £700,000 compensation (over £1 million with legal fees) for 'abusing' their human rights.

123 English constituencies have benefitted from new hospital schemes. 70% of them are in Labour-held constituencies.

Having attracted his headline, Home Sec. John Reid has given up on his plan to put 500 criminals in a redundant army barracks instead of in gaol. They're probably getting care in the community instead.

The fix is in on cash for honours. Blair is getting the Chirac treatment. The French president is immune from prosecution for corruption and larceny while he holds his job and there will be no police action on corruption here until Blair is out of Downing Street.

Which should we believe, Prescott or the evidence? He says he didn't discuss casinos while junketing with casino mogul Philip Anschutz. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that casinos were discussed. And 3 weeks later, Prescott's department waved through a planning application for the Greenwich redevelopment plan.

Gorgon Brown & John Prescott are to be questioned by the police. Not to mention Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt, Jack Straw, John Reid, David Milliband, Ruth Kelly & Alan Johnson. Alan Milburn has already had his grilling. It is inconceivable that they had no idea what was going on when Tony Blair was authorizing honours in exchange for donations and loans to the Labour party, and they will have to face a grilling.
   Meanwhile, the government's chief lawyer, Blair crony and Attorney General the Lord Goldsmith, is still not 'stepping aside' from making decisions on whether it is in the public interest to prosecute members of the government for sleaze and corruption.

October 2006
New Labour's Sex Offender Register doesn't allow sex criminals to describe themselves as homeless or of no fixed abode. But the ruled DO allow them to offer 'addresses' such as: "The third park bench on the left", or "Somewhere in the woods". The Home Office has no idea how many of the 30,000 customers on the register have this sort of address and are uncontactable.

The government has wasted £18 million on the police non-emergency, 101 crime telephone hotline. It was in the 2005 election manifesto, so New Labour went ahead with it. Now, Home. Sec. John Reid is having to junk the idea before it wastes any more taxpayers' cash.

Tony Blair would like everyone's DNa in a national databank. But he is offering nothing in the way of protection from misuse for the data. He has also said nothing about where he proposes to put the criminals, who will be convicted of previously unsolved crimes as a result of the newly available information.

The Chancellor's Stealth Tax smoke screen! The Labour party has been an enthusiastic supporter of the notion that school sports are elitist and should be dropped in favour of a culture of 'prizes for all'. Having gone along with this twisted philosophy for years and years, Gordon Brown has picked a fight with the trendy socialists in the name of 'getting the nation fighting fit for the 2012 Olympics'.
   He says his aim is to combat the youth obesity plague via sports, but his real target is 'junk' foods. After all the pious noises have died away, he will get down to the real business of slapping a new Obesity Stealth Tax on them.

New Stealth Tax Warning! Foreign Sec. Mrs. M. Bucket would like to see a Global Warming Stealth Tax added to all airline tickets. The tax would add £10 to trips to Europe and rise to £50 for trips to the United States. Mrs. Bucket says that if the tax is not in place by 2008, Britain will be thrown into climate chaos. But she has had nothing to say on how her Stealth Tax will prevent it.

The Ministry of Defence has banned ITN from reporting from combat zones in Iraq & Afghanistan. Apparently, ITN has been running the truth instead of Labour party spin. Downing Street was particularly upset by ITN's reports on the poor treatment and care given to injured troops.

The postal voting system is designed to encourage fraud, a Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner has found. Labour pushed postal voting on demand without proper scrutiny of applications and management of the system to inflate the embarrasingly low turn-out at council elections. But they made the forms too complicated for people who have English as a second language, and made it easy for fraudsters to apply for postal votes for real people without their consent and also for non-existent people.

New hospitals are more likely to be build in Labour constituencies and when hospital services are moved, they are most likely to be shifted from a Tory constituency to a neighbouring Labour constituency. As far as hospital cuts and closures are concerned, 37% of Liberal constituencies and 34% of Tory constituencies are affected by them, but just 14% of Labour constituencies are affected.

Due to New Labour's justice system failures, criminals given community sentences instead of gaol sentences commit 75,000 additional offences per year and criminals on probation commit 120,000 additional offences per year.

The incompetence of the Rural Payments Agency, current CEO Johnstone McNeill (but not for long), has resulted in the government's failure to pay £1 billion of EU subsidies on time to farmers. Worse, the RPA has run up a bill for £22 million for bridging loans. The taxpayer will have to find a further £131 million for botched payments which will not receive EU approval.

Gordon Brown issues worthless promise to cut red tape. He has been doing the same speech for the last 9 years but nothing has ever happened. His contribution to altering the amount red tape has been to double the red tape on taxes since 1997.
   A spokesman for The Organization of Tired Taxpayers said: "False promises aren't news, Gordon. Come back when you've actually slain some red tape."

New Labour ignores 4-million-signature petition. Having closed 4,000 post offices since 1997, Tony Blair will ignore a plea to preserve the post office network and continue with his plan to close 4,000 more by 2010. A spokesman from the Downing Street press office said: "It is New Labour policy to tax and waste the money rather than spend it on something useful like post offices."

New Labour has made Britain the No. 1! Unfortunately, it's the No. 1 target for Al Qaida.

New Labour promised to put competitive sports at the head of the school curriculum. Result – 60% of 15 and 16 year olds don't do competitive sport.

Another Home Office shambles – the police have no idea where to find two terror suspects, an Iraqi and a Pakistani, both of whom are subject to control orders. Worse, the police can't put up wanted posters as there is a ban on revealing their identities.

The government is planning to close thousands of small post offices. Over 25% of the national network of post offices has gone since 1997, and thousands more will close when Labour abolishes the Post Office Card Account in 2010.

A new generation, high-tech, speed-camera system for motorways has a fatal flaw. The systems contain a computer, which can average a motorist's speed over two points anything up to 6.2 miles apart. But their Home Office certification lets them cover only one motorway lane at a time. Which will let speeding drivers indulge in lane-hopping to avoid a fine and points on their licence (assuming they have one).

There is a £45 million Black Hole in the government's plans to de-junk school food. Ruth Kelly, then Education Sec., promised that much in lottery money without consulting the Lottery Fund, which has other plans for the cash.

'Dignity in Care' is New Labour's latest headline-chasing initiative. But thanks to G. Brown's meanness, there's no extra money to get anything done and no relief for the elderly from Brown's relentless means-testing.

Half the service for the same charge – this is the deal that New Labour would like councils to deliver for refuse collection. The government would like councils to sneak in fortnightly refuse collections over the winter, when the cold weather will retard decomposition and evil smells, and get the system in place before next summer, when householders will be told that it is impossible to wind the clock back to weekly collections.

After 9 years of broken New Labour promises to abolish them, mixed wards are still a fact of life in 60% of NHS hospitals.

Corrupt New Labour has taken complete control of Ofcom, the regulator for TV and telecoms, by getting the Chairman, the Labour peer and party donor Lord Currie, to appoint New Labour crony Ed Richards to the job of chief executive officer. Mr. Richards has a track record as a New Labour stooge, he has been an advisor to both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, and his job will be to bully the BBC and other broadcasters into pushing the Labour party line.

John Prescott falsely claimed regeneration of Britain's canals as a New Labour success. But the navigable canal network has shrunk by 10% over the last 10 years. Worse, DEFRA has cut the British Waterways budget by £9.1 million (15%) this year and it will impose cuts of £60 million over the next 5 years.

September 2006
Keeping British troops in Iraq costs £1 billion per year.

Department for Transport fiddled statistics! Despite what the DfT says, speeding drivers are to blame for just 5% of road accidents, the main cause of which is drivers and/or pedestrians not looking where they are going. The current campaign to put a speed camera on every street corner is based on fraudulent statistics created by the DfT to boost the case for this nice little earner. According to the 'plumped up' DfT figures, 15% of all accidents, and 26% of all fatal accidents, are caused by speeding.

The disposable income of the average family is DOWN for the 3rd year running. This is because taxes are UP – both direct taxes through the Chancellor's failure to raise tax thresholds adequately and indirect taxes including Council Tax.

The Home Office has stopped looking for over 1,000 foreign criminals, who were released from gaol without being considered for deportation. John Reid vowed, shortly after taking over the job of Home Sec., to move heaven & earth to track down these undesirables. He has now disbanded the team which was looking for them.

In order to cover up the true casualty rates in Blair's foreign wars, the Ministry of Defence is refusing to pass on contact details for wounded British soldiers to charities which offer help to injured service personnel. The MoD pleads data protection rules but it could ask the soldiers if they want their details passed on – but the MoD won't do this.

Anyone with £5,000 to donate to the Labour party can bend the ear of a Minister at this month's party conference.

Gordon Brown is deliberately concealing the effect of PFI projects on the national debt. He is keeping the liabilities associated with health schemes out of the figures drawn up by the Office of National Statistics in an attempt to patch up his shredded reputation for fiscal prudence. His dishonesty adds further weight to the argument that compiling official statistics should be taken out of the hands of New Labour's spin doctors.

The government has wasted a million pounds on a bogus 'public consultation' last year. The "Your Health, Your Care" scam involved asking people leading questions framed to get specific answers, and limiting the scope of the questions, to ensure that Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt got the answers she wanted. Worse, some of the pledges in the subsequent White Paper have been rendered worthless by New Labour's hospital closure plans.

New Labour is keen to close 60 hospitals to save money, but not if they are in a marginal Labour constituency. Health Sec. Praticia Hewitt, and a committee of Labour party officers, are in charge of selecting hospitals for the chop in Tory and Liberal constituencies, a leaked email has revealed. Downing Street, of course, has denied having this hidden agenda to the hospital closure plans.

Police forces in England and Wales have wasted £10 million on planning for the mergers, which then Home Sec. Charles Clarke ordered in 2005 and current Home Sec. John Reid abandoned in 2006.

As New Labour goes into meltdown in its efforts to rid itself of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown shows about as much leadership as a bowl of mashed potato. Following standard New Labour tactics, he lets his stooges mouth off while he hides in his bunker.

In 2005, New Labour funked raising the public sector retirement age from 60 to 65 in fear of what the trade unions might do. There was also no move to make public sector pensions contributory, even though wage levels exceed the private sector in many areas.
In 2006, the total liability for public sector pensions, excluding the NHS, rose by £51 billion. The NHS is likely to add another £20 billion to this rise.
The total annual bill for public sector pensions for the civil service, the armed forces, teachers, the judiciary, the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Department of International Development's overseas staff is £327 billion. Add on another £150 billion for the NHS.

New Labour is wasting £2.2 billion per year on consultants, many of them working on schemes which are abandoned once they have drawn the required headlines.

August 2006
New Labour kicked out all the press officers after 1997 and installed 3,200 party spokesmen in Whitehall and the offices of quangos & government agencies. There were 300 press officers in 1997. They distributed information and they were career civil servants, whose job was to explain government policy, not spin it.
   In 2006, the government spin merchants cost the taxpayer £322 million per year compared to the £111 million cost of press officers in 1997.

Home Sec. John Reid has told magistrates to tag criminal suspects, instead of remanding them in custody, due to New Labour's failure to build enough gaols to house a swelling army of criminals.

John Prescott has been lending his official, taxpayer-paid-for flat at Admiralty House to his son Jonathan for business meetings. His other son, David, a lobbyist, was given an unrestricted Commons pass while Tony Blair was on holiday and Prescott senior was 'in charge'. Under the rules of Parliament, lobbyists are banned from having these unrestricted passes.

New Labour buries more bad news! On the day the GCSE results were published, the Department of Education website sneaked out the news that 40% of primary school pupils leave unable to read, write or do maths. The government is failing to reach numberacy and literacy targets which should have been achieved in 2002 and the performance for 7-year-olds is down across the board in 2006.
   Update The results for testing 7-year-olds are normally published 2 days before the GCSE results. The DfES is under official investigation for deliberately holding them back in 2006 to bury them.

Home Office preventing deportation of illegals. The main reason why failed asylum seekers and other illegal immigrants are being allowed to stay in Britain is that the Home Office is losing their passports and having to call off the deportation at the last minute. Each such blunder costs the taxpayer around £23,000 in wasted round-up, detention and administration costs.

The government is paying the jobseeker's allowance to prisoners in gaol! Thousands of pounds of taxpayers' cash have been wasted. The Home Office blames the shambles on a data-sharing problem. Actually, it's just more New Labour incompetence.

New Labour's amnesty has taken 90,000 knives out of circulation but it has had no discernable impact on crime involving blades.

Tony Blair's 'flagship' city academies are supposed to be independent schools funded by the private sector. But New Labour let likely donors know that they would be in line for a peerage if they put up enough cash, and Scotland Yard's criminal investigation into cash for honours has put Blair's target of 200 academies by 2010 in jeopardy. So the Department of Education & Skills is now telling local authorities that unless they put forward plans for new academies, they won't get any cash to rebuild crumbling schools under the BSF scheme.

The Home Office is ignoring tip-offs about illegal immigrants to meet New Labour's targets. Managers have been told they have no hope of promotion unless they meet the government's arbitrary deportation targets for failed asylum seekers. So they are turning a blind eye to other types of illegals.

The extra billions poured into the NHS have been largely wasted, Civitas, the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, has found. Spending has gone up by one-third in real terms since 2000 but productivity has actually gone down. "Service improvement has resembled a country stroll whereas expenditure has increased at a sprint."
   High profile targets have been met via fiddles such as keeping patients aboard ambulances to delay the start of the clock in an A&E department, and having a waiting list for going on a target-related waiting list. When New Labour's arbitrary targets are not involved, improvements have been slight.

New Labour plans to waste £350,000 of taxpayers' cash on trying to save the constitutency of Gordon Brown's buddy Ed Balls. The Labour party has enjoyed an unfair advantage over the Tories in England for many years. Their smaller constituencies allow them to gain seats in Parliament with fewer votes than those required to win a Conservative constituency. The Electoral Commission has allowed this situation to endure but it has finally been forced to tackle the more blatant abuses. But Balls, Brown's speechwriter ["Is it a load of Brown or is it a load of Balls?"], is getting special treatment at the taxpayer's expense.

"It's not racist to impose limits on immigration," was a Tory slogan at the last general election. A year later, New Labour Home Sec. John Reid has embraced the concept to make himself look good. But although he's talking tough about immigration right now, he is expected to revert to his normal, floppy self when he actually has to construct a plan.

The government is making a bog of allocating NHS funds. Research by Cambridge Medical School has shown that most inner-city Primary Care Trusts have a cash surplus while most PCTs in rural areas are in debt because they receive £205 per capital less on average. The crisis has arisen because the government persistently fails to take into account the extra costs of travel in rural areas, the dispensing costs of GPs where there is no suitable pharmacy, etc.

New Labour has perpetrated a swindle over pensions which is more monstrous than Robert Maxwell's.
  • Over 120,000 workers received assurances from the government that their pensions were safe. But they lost their pensions.
  • The Parliamentary Ombudsman found the Treasury (prop. G. Brown) and the Department of Work & Pensions guilty of maladministration and issuing inaccurate, incomplete, unclear and incoherent information about the security of pension schemes. New Labour rejected her findings.
  • Robert Maxwell looted £400 million from the pension fund of Mirror Group Newspapers. Gordon Brown, a.k.a. The Man Who Stole Your Pension, has been stealing £5 billion per year since 1997.

New Labour made such a bog of changing the agricultural subsidy system that DEFRA is having to cut its budget by £200 million over the next six months. Flood defences, countryside conservation & protection, improvements to canals and similar projects will suffer catastrophic cash shortages.
   The change of system added delays of up to 7 months in making payments to farmers and reduced many to the brink of bankruptcy. Dame Barbara Young, the chief executive of DEFRA, insists that no one is to blame.
   The cuts mean that the wheels will come off the Countryside Agency when it opens for business in October. Margaret Becket, who used to head DEFRA before being shunted to the FO, is having fingers pointed at her as the person who let the mess happen.

Yawing gap, very tiny plug! Europe minister Jeff "Buff" Hoon wants praise for the EU included in the national curriculum for Britain's schools. New Labour would like to see anything positive about Britain removed. Hoon would like to fill the gap with propaganda on how the European Union benefits the British people.
   p.s. Promoting partisan political view of the sort that Hoon would like distributed is illegal, breaching Sections 406 & 407 of the Education Act (1996), Christopher Booker has pointed out.

July 2006
Tony Blair promised that his government wouldn't spend National Lottery cash on essential services which should be funded out of general taxation. Since 1998, New Labour has stolen £3.2 million of lottery cash to spend on schools, hospitals, wind farms and other energy projects, training, etc.

A machine capable of detecting 100% of stowaways in lorries arriving at Ostend bound for England is standing idle because the Home Office won't pay an outstanding invoice amounting to £40,000. The machine needs an upgrade but the supplier is refusing to do the work until New Labour coughs up what's owing.

"Yo, Blair", our apology for a prime minister, has given up on Britain and he's all out for number one. This is the conclusion drawn from his slavish subservience to President Bush. Apparently, Blair hopes to make his fortune, after his ejection from the British political scene, by going to work for the major American corporations which have thrived under the Bush administration. So that's why he's toadying up to Bush and going along with all of his warmongering schemes.

In January 2005, Lord Falconer, sometime flatmate of Tony Blair and former ringmaster of the Millennium Dome, described the Freedom of Information Act as a giant step forward in opening up the workings of government. But letting people know what is going on has proved hugely embarrassing to New Labour, exposing corruption and dirty deals by the truckload. So his lordship is now trying to take a giant step backwards.
   His plan is to change the rules to make it easier for the government to refuse to release information on cost grounds. The cost of assembling the information will, of course, be inflated artificially and grossly.

New Labour has turned Britain into country with the highest crime rate in the EU barring Sweden, and the softest justice system in the world. The crime rate is 10,608 crimes per 100,000 people, only one-quarter of all crimes are solved, and just 13 people go to prison per 1,000 crimes (compared to 38 in 1950). The imprisonment rate is 166 per 1,000 crimes in the USA. Those not detained at Her Majesty's pleasure get conditional cautions, community punishments and fines (which most of them don't pay).

The former Millennium Dome is the front-runner in the race to open Britain's first super-casino. The Casino Advisory Panel awarded the Philip Anschutz organization's application 67 points in the latest evaluation round. Glasgow got 66 points and Blackpool 65 points.
   But if Greenwich does get the casino, the plan will become bogged down for several years in legal challenges brought by the losers in the casino lottery. They will cite John Prescott's undeclared jollies with Mr. Anschutz in the United States, and the behind-the-scenes assistance which Prescott has provided to the Anschutz organization.
   They will be assisted by the revelation by the Culture Vulture Sec., Tessa Jowell, that she has been discussing the government's casino plans with John Prescott for the last couple of years. He says he has no involvement in the casino programme. Pick out the liar.

Home Sec. John Reid promises secure borders – but not till 2014. Until then, people can come to Britain, and go, at will and the Home Office will be none the wiser.

An avalanche of paper! The government published 98 documents, many on controversial subjects, three days before Parliament ran for the hills and 77 days of summer hols. The deluge is calculated to prevent proper scrutiny by Parliament, and an adjunct to New Labour's policy of releasing bad news when there is a disaster claiming the attention of the news media.

The price of a standard passport went up from £42 to £51 in December 2005. The price will be going up again on October 5th to £66, an annual inflation rate of 62%. This stealth tax is intended to pay for elements of New Labour's identity card scheme – which looks like being scrapped, so the cash will just pass into the Treasury's coffers as extra tax income.
   Anyone wanting the Jumbo passport with extra pages for visas will have to pay £77 in October. The rates for fast-processing and same-day collection will also be going up with a rush.

The government has reclassified domestic gardens as brownfield sites to fiddle its way to a target to build 60% of new housing on brownfield sites. 15% of all new houses nationally are built on 'grabbed gardens', but the figure is 40-70% in the South-East.

Massive rise in crime as Home Office tries to restructure. Home Secretary John Reid is tackling failure at the Home Office via a 'purge' of 15 bosses. In other words, he plans to shunt them into other jobs. Meanwhile, street robberies are up 22% in the last year and cannabis-related offences are up 36% since New Labour decided to downgrade its seriousness as a drug. The government is trying to shift the blame onto Sir Ian Blair, the head of the Metropolitan Police, and also onto the people who parade around the streets showing off expensive consumer goods, like mobile phones and music players.
   As well as failing to tackle crime, the Home Office has also failed to evict 450,000 failed asylum-seekers.

To make the Home Information (Seller's) Pack scheme work, the government needs to have 7,400 specially trained housing inspectors ready to start work in June 2007. The score of trained inspectors was 232 in June 2006. The training costs candidates £8,000 and it can take up to 2 years to complete.
   Update Gordon Brown is so worried about the scheme destabilizing the housing market in 2007, when he hopes to take over as prime minister, that the Home Condition Report has been made non-compulsory; which reduces the cost of the HIP from £1,000 to around £300. Further concessions are expected as Brown gets more and more uneasy.

New Labour, the world's most corrupt ruling party, is planning to spend £100 million of British taxpayers' money on stopping corruption in leaders of developing countries. The fund will be used to help the media, trade unions and the developing country's parliament to hold the leadership to account – something which no longer happens in Britain.
   "It's like going to Robert Maxwell for advice on running a company pension fund," a bemused expert commented. "Or asking Gordon Brown to set up a tax credit system that works."

Gordon Brown's 'flagship' tax credit scheme is costing the taxpayer £3.3 billion/year in wrongful payments. £2 billion is overpaid due to mistakes made by officials using Brown's over-complicated method for calculating tax credits and £1.3 billion is lost to fraudsters, much of it because Revenue & Customs officers were told not to challenge obviously dodgy claims to boost the uptake of the scheme for New Labour propaganda purposes.
   The government was supposed to release these embarrassing figures at least 4 months ago. It chose to sneak them out this month in an attempt to bury them under its latest energy requirements review.

It has now emerged that 4 Labour donors, whose nominations for peerages were rejected, were told to remove all references to loans made to the Labour party from their application forms.

On the scrapheap already or heading there – Mergers of police forces in England & Wales; ID cards; Home Information Packs (John Prescott's bright idea) . . . Tony Blair; John Prescott . . .

Tony Blair's failure to let the chairman of the Commons Standards Committee inquire into John Prescott's conduct shows that Blair either doesn't care how sleazy his party becomes or he's scared about what else might come out.

The Home Office is braced for failure and preparing a quiet corner, into which New Labour's ID card scheme can be shunted when it has wasted enough taxpayers' cash. The £15 billion scheme is due to come into effect in 2008, but that can happen only in a severely watered-down form, and it can't come into full operation before 2026 at the present rate of progress.

The government is refusing to hold an official inquiry into the July 7th 2005 terrorist bombings in case someone asks why relatives of the dead, and the survivors, have had such niggardly and inadequate compensation payments and payments for essential medical services.

New Labour has been rallying around John Prescott, who has been enjoying the hospitality of Philip Anschutz, the American billionaire who bought the billion-pound Millennium Dome for next to nothing. Prescott's officials have been twisting arms at the Dept of Culture, etc. to get a super-casino for Mr. Anschutz but the man himself is denying all knowledge of what they've been doing on his behalf and trying to crack on the Mr. Aschutz invited him to his ranch for old Prescott's sparkling conversation rather than under-the-counter talks about his casino bid.

The Home Office has lost 23 lifers, who were released on licence – 13 of them disappeared last year. 21 out of the 23 are convicted murderers, and one of them has been 'unlawfully at large' for 10 years.

Lord Irvine ordered a new computer system for magistrates' courts in 1998. The function of the Libra system was to track fine dodgers at a cost of £156 million. The cost had risen to £390 million by 2003, and the system won't be working until 2008 at the earliest. The cost will have risen to half a billion pounds by then. The Libra project is Number One in the list of the worst New Labour PFI computer projects of all time.

Trade & Industry Sec. Alistair Darling, the man who gave us Stealth Railway Congestion Charging in secret deals last year, wants a compulsory wind turbine costing at least £3,000 mounted on every house. And, no doubt, the country will also be saddled with:
 •  Turbine Police, who will rush round handing out penalty notices to turbineless homes, or homes with non-functional turbines;
 •  Turbine Inspectors, who will charge a fancy price for inspecting the turbines every 2-3 years; and
 •  a bloated Department of Turbine Affairs at Mr. Darling's ministry to administer everything.

Home Sec. John Reid is blocking the release of embarrassing information about New Labour's failures. He has ordered a 'pause' in the publication of government-funded studies on crime, immigration and prisons until New Labour's spin doctors have had a chance to find some comforting half-truths in the reports.
   Reid, of course, took over his post with a typically hypocritical New Labour pledge to respect the public right to this information.

Meanwhile, in Europe . . .
where employees of the European Commission's 27 ministries can be sacked only for breaching the code of conduct. If they can't do their job, they are transferred until they end up somewhere where even gross incompetence doesn't matter.

December 2006
Cod quotas off Scotland will be cut by 20% and it's a 14% cut for the North Sea. The EU will aslo be cutting permitted sailing days for fishing boats by 10%

The European Commission engineered the closure of a Lancashire cheesemaker in October on the basis of fabricated evidence, Lord Willoughby de Broke told the House of Lords. The EC's Food & Veterinary Office issued a banning order on Bowland Dairies' products through its own stupidity and a failure to understand the content of a single document. The FVO then drove the company out of business while the British government stood idly by.

The European Commission would like to cut cod quotas by 25%, and to cut the quotas for plaice, sole & hake by lesser amounts.

November 2006
The European Commission is planning to fine Britain £64 million because this useless Labour government has made a total bog of distributing agricultural subsidies to farmers. Which is typical of the EC – fails to apply a penalty to the real criminals and demands even more cash from the poor old British taxpayer.

The EU has approved 'product placement' (a.k.a. stealth advertising) for films & TV programmes. As a result, the cameras will dwell lovingly on product labels in all programmes from the news, soaps and dramas through to documentaries in the interests of making a few bob on the sly.

Good News for once! The French-led bid to impose a maximum 48 hour working week across Europe collapsed when the Germans supported Britain's right to hang on to our opt-out.
   The Germans realized that they would not have been able to stage their World Cup during the summer with the 48-hour limit; and the same would have applied to staging the 2012 Olympics. Which is probably why the French, who lost to Britain in the final of the bidding process, were so keen to sabotage things.

Brussels bureaucrats aim to destroy British barometer industry. The European Commission is trying to ban the industrial use of mercury in the name of saving the planet, even though their bad proposed law will achieve exactly the opposite – uncontrolled dumping of mercury-containing barometers if there is no barometer industry to recycle them.

October 2006
Peter Mandelson has instigated price rises for all strawberry products including jam. Mandelson is protecting Polish farmers from cheaper imports from China.

Common Maritime Space is the latest EU Big Deal. The idea is that all member nations pass complete control of their territorial waters to Brussels, replace the national flag on ships registered in their country with an EU flag and abolish their coastguards in favour of an EU coastguard service.

Motorists will have to drive with their headlights on during the day, under the threat of a €100 fine, if the EU gets its way. This would increase fuel consumption by 3% and also increase vehicle emissions.

September 2006
Bungling by the usual-suspect administrators has left the EU's Galileo satelite navigation system, which is intended to be rival to the American GPS system, some £268 million over-budget and it won't be in service for 4 more years at the very soonest.

The Germans are planning to redraw Europe's boundaries. It has always been an ambition of the Eurocrats to re-form their empire as a series of regions, which have little to do with traditional national boundaries. When they become the holders of the EU presidency next year, the Germans are going to get on with that process. The EU plans to lump together 'spacial information' on a number of disparate territories to form new regions.
   Kent, Sussex and the Calais area of France will form the Trans-Manche region. Western Britain, Ireland and the Atlantic coasts of France & Spain will become the Atlantic region. The rest of Britain will be added to the coastal districts of Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden & Norway to form the North Sea region, Ireland & Wales will become another region, and Scotland, its northern islands, Iceland and the northern parts of Sweden & Norway will be lumped together as the North Atlantic region.

August 2006
The European Union is wasting £17 million per year of taxpayer's money on unnecessary interpreters. It goes on the wages of interpreters, who turn up for meetings only to find that they are not needed. Most of the waste is down to MEPs, who book an interpreter then don't bother turning up tot he meeting. The French insisting on holding meetings in Strasbourg as well as Brussels wastes a further big chunk of the money on unnecessary travelling costs.
   Translation to and from the EU's 20 official languages costs £450 million per year. The United Nations manages to scrape along with just 6 official languages.

The Royal Mail's Pricing in Proportion price rises are a response to an EC directive aimed at harmonizing the rules for all EU postal regions. But the Royal Mail isn't admitting this to its customers. The Royal Mail has adopted the system which is used in other major EU countries rather than coming up with something original.

The EU would like to introduce positive profiling for airline passengers. Regular travellers, and those who volunteer to be vetted ahead of time, would just stroll onto airliners – and then kick their heels in their seat for hours while the rest of the human cargo is processed for bombs. How identity theft fits into the equation has not been revealed.
   Moslems, who are likely to get negative scores in any profiling expercise, are not impressed.

July 2006
New EU Recycling Tax The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment directive will add £10-15 to the cost of the average television or washing machine, and it will apply to everything from watches and battery-operated toys upwards.

Mandelson shamed into action. Following reports that he had banned imports of New Zealand butter, the EU trade commissioner and disgraced former New Labour MP Peter Mandelson got into a punch-up with the EU's Agriculture Directorate over apportioning blame.
   What happened was that a German firm objected to the British having a monopoly on issuing import licences for New Zealand butter. The Germans were clearly unaware that this was something which the British were obliged to force down the EU's throat when the Franco-German axis was trying to prevent Commonwealth countries from selling their dairy products to traditional British markets.
   The German firm wants to import butter direct from New Zealand and it lodged a complaint, which should have been handled by the Trade Commissioner's department. Instead, it was handled by the Agriculture Directorate, which slapped an illegal ban on imports of Anchor butter from New Zealand until the EU had decided what to do about the complaint.
   Knowing that most people would believe him to be responsible for the ban (based on his past history), Mandelson felt obliged to leap into action to get the ban lifted as soon as possible to prevent further damage to his already tattered reputation.

The European Commission is eager to hijack the European Song Contest next year to add it to a TV 'celebration' of the EU's 50th anniversary. There is widespread opposition in the member countries, particularly in the newer ones, because the idea reminds them too much of past compulsory 'celebrations' when they were under Communist regimes as part of the Soviet empire.

Airlines in the EU will be forced to publish the FULL cost of flights. The travel commissioner would like to put a stop to advertising, particularly on websites, which offers flights for ridiculous prices (such as €1) and straps on a shedload of hidden charges after the customer has booked the ticket.
    The price quoted on websites will have to include taxes, charges, and booking & credit card fees. The plan is also intended to force the likes of BA to come clean about rip-off fuel surcharges, and to force airlines to charge customers the same price irrespective of the country in which they buy a ticket.
   The bad news is that the airlines and countries operating national airlines, e.g. France, are against the plan and nothing can happen before 2007.

Following an intervention by Peter Mandelson EU trade commissioner and disgraced former Labour MP, the European Commission has emasculated a plan to cut the cost of mobile phone calls made in other EU countries. Such calls cost the phone companies 30p/minute but they charge up to £1.50/minute – for both making and receiving calls – to inflate their profits.
   Vivian Reding, the EU media commissioner (of Luxembourg), had proposed scrapping the extra charge for receiving a call while abroad and a cap on network charges to bring the cost of a call below 50p/minute. But the phone companies lobbied Mandelson and got him to intervene on behalf of their profits.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Edith Cresson, the former French prime minister and EU science & research commissioner, who gave highly paid EU jobs to her pals, including her dentist, hasn't done anything serious enough to merit financian punishment. So she can keep her pension of €3,600 per month.

Finland, current holder of the EU presidency, is wasting taxpayers' cash by publishing a weekly account of its doings in Latin!


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