Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Absolutely Faboulous: for everyone but the Gurkhas

So Saint Joanna got her apology.

After charities told some unwanted home truths which were followed up by Sue Reid in the Daily Mail, politicians decided to actually have a look at what was happening to pre 1997 Gurkhas coming to this country following the ruling last summer.

It's a pity that they didn't bother to listen to anyone who actually knew what they were talking about when they voted in the House of Commons, but then they're MPs and quick, easy headlines are so much more important to them than voting with knowledge, even if that's unpopular with the voters who only have media headlines to go by.

At the press conference yesterday Sue Reid, the journalist who decided to find out what actually was going on with those men who served with the British Army by speaking to charities funding Joanna's Gurkhas and by going to Nepal where she almost had a serious accident involving a steep staircase, was ignored. She knew too much. She'd found out what was happening and who was making money.

Mr Gurung was excited. He envisaged a happy retirement in England, with free housing from a local council and a decent state pension.
Today those dreams are shattered. Penniless, he has spent months stranded in a mildewed attic room above an empty shop in Aldershot, Hampshire.
He speaks no English, so his chances of work are next to nil. He can barely read or write in Nepalese. Yet he took out an unaffordable loan and sold everything (his family house, farmland, cows and goats) to raise the money to get here. Now deep in debt, he could not afford a flight home even if he wanted to.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, his wife Laxmi, 56, son Sunil, 26, and daughter Phul, 16, face an equally uncertain future. They have no money to fly to Britain or to pay for the three UK visas they need to settle here.

This, Press Gazette, was the story of the year. But it was too inconvenient for people to sit up and take note. Shame on you for living your life by what is easy to explain to the masses, rather than what is right.

The woman had awkward questions to ask based on fact. She knew too much. She knew beyond old men with heroic decorations. She knew that charities would be left with a bill of tens, if not hundreds of thousands and that the press would not highlight this fact and the public, feeling they had done their bit by supporting their residency, had done enough. She knew that this is only the beginning.

She knew the truth of families separated and in unimaginable debt because of lies told to them by organisations making money from their ignorance.
n a further conundrum, this investigation has discovered that the old soldiers' 'trades union', the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation (GAESO) in Nepal, is charging each veteran £500 in cash for UK visa advice while weaving rosy tales about life here, which is ramping up the numbers setting off.
At GAESO's Nepal offices, solicitors from a top firm of London human rights lawyers, Howe & Co, also receive a legal aid fee of up to £500 from the British Government for each old soldier and each family member they help fill in a UK visa application.
It is proving a gold mine for all concerned - apart from the Gurkhas themselves. For the old soldiers have been betrayed a second time.

I'm no fan of any particular government department but there's an office in Nepal which offers free advice to any ex Gurkha now eligible to reside in this country. And they don't charge poor men who sell up their farms £500 to get through the door with the promise of a live of milk and honey when they arrive in the UK. But we all know what Gordon Brown thinks of the MoD.

Joanna Lumley had an opportunity to speak out and tell Gurkhas that they needn't burden themselves with extra debt by going through the Pokhara office of GAESO, the Gurkha ex-Service organisation.

I don't think she understood that when they arrived here that they'd face the struggles they do. But to maintain silence on such a vital issue when there are charities who fund all soldiers and ex-soldiers who need money and can't afford to bail out Joanna's unintended consequences then she has a duty.

Kevan Jones, I know there's an election coming up but you were on the right lines when you spoke of your frustration because you spoke for so many who were ignored and so many who couldn't speak out. It's not about immigration rules it's about the realisty of life in Britain. Gordon Brown: nothing you do surprises me anymore. Your ignorance is a beacon for other foolish folk who wish to obtain high office.

So what's better for an ex-Gurkha? To live on a decent wage in Nepal and be the hub of a community or for an elderly man to be separated from his family based on false hopes and debts which can never be repaid over an issue which can never be spoken about because of the ignorance of a woman who meant well but didn't listen and MPs who were more interested in themselves than those who served this country.

If I were an ex-Gurkha, I would stay in Nepal. But mostly I'd want to get the right information and thanks to yesterday and the refusal of Ms Lumley to use her power to encourage the resettlement office and MPs to stick to their convictions no matter what the masses might think, that justice will not be corrected.

Gurkha Justice now leaves ashes in the mouths of those who speak it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So, the News of the World are backing the Tories in the General Election, are they? I'm sure that'll make a huge amount of difference.

To the Tories.

It'll make fuck all difference to the country because most of our decisions aren't made in Westminster.

Five more years of pointlessly tinkering around the edges, a Prime Minister who doesn't understand the difference between Mark to Market and Mark to Model (but then the EU want to run the economy so why would he need to) and hours of airtime devoted to some pretty dull bastards taking part in the verbal equivalent of slapping their cocks on the table and seeing whose is the biggest.


How journalism works part...oh, a million.

Black Dog in the Mail on Sunday ran a piece today which is another snippet of how jouralism works.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who is trying to oust Speaker John Bercow in Buckingham, recalls a drunken night with a Latvian beauty called Liga in his memoirs.
‘I met her in a pub and accepted her invitation home for a drink. She was sleek and seductive and I will not splutter that after the first bottle I would necessarily have behaved like Sir Galahad.’
Farage is lucky his second wife, Kirsten, is so understanding.

What the Mail on Sunday fail to add, rather like the eminently punchable Camilla Long, she of the 'cancer is hilarious' remark, is that he actually denied having an affair with her and explained his reasons why.

Nick Clegg might boast about having slept with 30 people (wow, you go for it, lad) and now we have the possibility of imagining Cameron giving horse faced wifey one now she's announced she's knocked up (what convenient timing, why even bother announcing the manifesto?) but some of them actually admit that they can't do it at certain times, and it's all the more amusing.

From the book (which I am reading and then hurling through the window of an office in East London)
She claimed that I was a beast in bed and 'we must have had sex about seven times'. Given the amount that I had drunk on the night in question the former statement was probably accurate - or would have been had I even got to a bed. The second was a physical impossibility...

There are, however, various merits to excess. On that night it saved me. I fell asleep on her sofa where, by her no doubt truthful account, I 'snored like a horse'.

But of course, as any nineteenth-century maiden could have told me, protestations of innocence will avail you nothing if you have spent the night with another. The alter or the scandals sheets await you. Liga wasn't screwed. I was.

But then one shouldn't expect accuracy from the Mail on Sunday. The story before that one, which Black Dog hasn't mentioned, is all about their double page spread, for which the tales are said in UKIP circles to have come from Richard North, one of the authors of EU Referendum.

Farage's response to those? 'I only wish they were all true'. Still, if you want your Tory chums to get in despite not really having a clue what their policies are, who are editors to let the truth get in the way of a good story?

I don't know what North is like at drinking but I tend not to listen to the words of disgruntled ex employees. Which is why, of course, the junius and other assorted blogs by fools like Gary Cartwright (who, despite being married, groped my friend and ignored her objections) and Greg Lance-Watkins and his 27 blogs of bullshit.

Go buy the book, it's very interesting. And this coming from someone who tends to find biographies only useful for propping doors open with.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Interviewer of the Year?

At the Press Gazette Awards last night a woman who wrote the worst piece of journalism I've ever read won the award for Interviewer of the Year.

The utterly ghastly Camilla Long, who would like Gordon Brown to fuck her as well as the economy of this country, must surely have been sleeping with the judges to be awarded such a prize?

For this is a woman who thinks that mocking someone for having cancer is funny.
I read that interview and immediately recommended that a transcript of the interview should be requested.

I will not be buying the Sunday Times and I will certainly be recommending to those in my line of work that anyone with any serious illness or injury is not interviewed by that now trashed rag.

As England Expects explained rather more eloquently and honestly than Long-Shot,

I will tell you what is odious. The fact that on Friday, just after Farage had delivered a barnstormer of a speech at the Milton Keynes conference I recieved a phone call. It was Camilla Long,
"Look Gawain", she said, "I am really sorry to ask you this but the editors have told me to",
"What's that?" I said,
"They want me to ask which one of his balls was removed after his cancer".
You want odious? I would suggest even asking that question is pretty bloody impertinent and cheap, and I told her so, but she persisted. So I agreed to ask, but told her not to expect a particularly forthcoming answer.

When I asked Farage, he was, unusually for him somewhat put out, but after saying that he though it a cheap shot he then he recovered his normal poise,
"Tell her if she is so bloody interested that she can come over and check herself".
So I called her back and told her, both that he felt is tawdry, but if she must then that is his coment.

Or as she puts it..
...two days later when I call his press officer to confirm which testicle he had removed. Farage has just given his party conference speech and is in high spirits. “Tell her to come and find out, ha-ha-ha!” he shouts over the din.

A woman would never be asked which breast was removed after breast cancer and no other politician would be asked such an invasive and utterly unnecessary question. No member of the public would be expected to answer but because Camilla Long is rammed in the sweaty crevice of the establishment and only has a vague grasp, if any, on the concept of civil liberties and democracy she thinks this is okay to ask a UKIP politician.

The Press Awards have been tarnished by her nomination, let alone her undeserved victory.

Surely rule 1 of reviewing a book is that one reviews the book? I perhaps can guess at what happened here, though. There's a very good chance that the woman cannot read for she certainly cannot write.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fighting for democracy?

Aside from the dragging out of the spouses, we can tell it's coming up to an election time because the military are once again being dragged into a battle ground they can't properly engage in.

We've seen the Tories bringing up the subject of equipment whilst our PM Brown and the Defence Secretary, given the job because he was the last one left in that June fiasco last year, flying out to Afghanistan to meet soldiers who they've shafted in one way or another over the past few years. It was the same time as the inquest into the death of Cpl Sarah Bryant revealed what we had all known for years: that the Labour Government had not considered the needs of the Armed Forces sufficiently before they signed them up for two conflicts.

How Brown and Ainsworth could really think that we'd see their stunts as anything other than that is saddening, but not quite so demoralising as the realisation that there are people in this country who, in their millions, will look at the past 13 years and think that this shower have been doing a good job.

But whilst the government have gagged the officers and used the troops for their own gain we've heard very little about the injuries in the press recently. Those who are in the know on these issues read about those deaths and realise that for every Killed in Action there will be casualties.

It's no wonder that with the looming election and with the Armed Forces Minister defending a slim majority of 97 that there's a wish to keep the casualty figures away from the papers. A quick glance at the casualty stats from the MoD's own website (which doesn't include a breakdown by types of injury and, in my experience, Freedom of Information Act Requests on these topics get mysteriously lost when civil servants read them) shows some tear jerking figures.

The summer of 2009 will be etched in the memory of many as we heard of the loss of so many young men and, as these men were flown home and buried with their deserved full military honours, the wards at Selly Oak and Headley Court were packed to bursting with wounded and limbless men. In total there were 158 serious and very seriously injured soldiers in 2009; an average of 13 per month.

In the first two months of this year we have seen 24 serious casualties: 17 very seriously injured and 7 seriously injured. Thats an average of 12 without counting those who were injured from the rifles battlegroup recently. That's almost the same and yet nothing.

I wonder why these figures haven't hit the headlines? I wonder why Bob Ainsworth and Bill Rammell haven't been talking about assistance for these men and their families? Those whose lives are changed forever rather than those who are squabbling, policy-less, to grip onto second homes and lavish expenses at our expense.

But don't hold your breath to hear the stories of those who have suffered and turned their lives around. For the MoD control what they can and can't say to the national press. And that means Bob Ainsworth and Bill Rammell. And do you think they want you reminded of these injured soldiers when they're trying to win your vote?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Britblog roundup 263

The Britblog Roundup is here, this week hosted by the ever excellent Redemption Blues.

This week the post I critiqued was nominated so for those of you reading about the so called 'naming and shaming' of UKIP members who don't believe in ACTA or the position of the European Union in dictating laws here is my post on the subject.

I worked there, I suspect I know more than some people being used by the ever nasty greenies.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Speaking with one voice?

Did anyone listen to London MEP Charles Tannock, bravely defending the national sovereignty of this country on the Today programme yesterday?

If you didn't I can summarise for you by saying that when talking about the first appearance of the highest paid woman in world politics he 'wished her the best of British' as we all had to speak in one voice.

Addressing the Parliament for the first time in the 100 days since she's been appointed the job of EU Foreign Minister, she spoke about the need to, well, remove any concept of nation states within the European Union.

She's the highest paid female politician in the world. I like the way she earns that money with her little school ground impression at the end of the speech.

Later on in the day, UKIP MEP William Dartmouth was escorted from the chamber during a debate on EU Arctic Policy yesterday when he said

"But an EU Arctic policy is perhaps not so bizarre as the appointment of the supremely unqualified Baroness Ashton, the Sarah Palin of the ex-student left.

Chair of the 'debate' was Lib Dem MEP Diana Wallis, no fan of democracy or debate.. I don't wish to be rude, but maybe ugly women stick up for each other?

This is now a situation where an organisation which costs you £45 million a day can remove elected MEPs because they don't like what they say. I don't like what most MEPs say and, given that the Liberal Democrats came fourth in the European Elections last year, it would appear that most people in the country do not like what Liberal Democrats say.

If you think that elected politicians should be allowed to speak their, and those of their supporters, beliefs, perhaps you should write to Diana and let her know what you think.

Pirates A-hoy!

It would appear that the Pirate Party UK are planning on standing in the General Election and hoping to take votes from UKIP.

I say this for I read this morning that they've been using their complete failure to understand European legilsation and the pretend Parliament to try to 'name and shame' UKIP MEPs who voted against a resolution in Strasbourg.

Opposition to the secret ACTA treaty is spreading like wildfire. Today the members of the European Parliament had their say, as on a resolution against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, arguing that it flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online. MEPs will go to the Court of Justice if the EU does not reject the leaked proposals which include draconian powers to censor the internet and disconnect net connections.

UKIP have been against ACTA for quite a while now, without the help of the Pirate Party who are happily aligned with the Greens in the European Parliament. It's a Polly conundrum here: Do they just not understand the difference between different tools in the European Parliament and that resolutions have no power or are they just being mendacious? Do they also not understand that UKIP, by virtue of wanting democratic decisions to be made in democratic parliaments, do not accept the authority of EU legislation?

The fact that they're sitting with the Greens means that they must be full of shit to a certain degree. But perhaps they just haven't got to grips with how the system works? Either way, I am here to set the record straight so the Pirate Party UK can apologise...
UKIP's members of the EU's consultative assembly will certainly vote against ACTA.

We have some difficulty in endorsing the resolution and written declaration, which you mention, owing to their implied recognition of ACTA as a valid agreement, concluded by legitimate authorities.

UKIP does not recognise ACTA as valid, because the EU is not a legitimate authority, and, as I have said, we shall certainly oppose it.

So there you are, Pirates. If you want a lesson in how it works I'm sure I could oblige and would be much more helpful than Caroline bloody Lucas and the assorted collection of those who knit their own knickers and want us all to live in caves.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

3000 Euro for a damp rag

The President of the Parliament and the ridiculous Herman Van Rompuy have done a wonderful job demonstrating exactly why anyone who wants an independent country and civil liberties should vote for the UK to leave the EU. Fining an elected member of a Parliament because they don't like what they say is the sign of a dictatorship. As my representative in that region, Farage spoke what I think to a man I cannot vote for and want to fuck off. Most people in the European Parliament make little sense and yet I'm stuck with the fuckers interfering in my life.

Their open displays of hatred towards the views and opinions of the peoples of Europe is evident in their every day actions and speeches: if only our media would look at how we're governered and let us look at some of it. It's only on rare occasions like this that we get a glimpse of what it's really like.

Of course we have this Treaty because only Ireland was given the chance to vote and when they voted incorrectly they were asked again and lied to and bullied. So we have this Treaty which costs us not just money but freedom. And when we now criticise it, the result is punishment.

Did you hear the papers calling for the suspension and fining of Vince Cable when he compared Gordon Brown to Mr Bean? Quite the contrary; he received cheers and praise for being so 'witty'. I don't disagree with comparing Gordon Brown with a mentally retarded social outcast, I only wish the man would stick with driving around in a mini and trying to get his television aerial to work by taking his clothes off and sitting in a cardboard box rather than raping this country.

One of the people who called for punishment for freedom of speech is Martin Schultz who gets to decide on laws in this country even though he's German. He thinks that people who oppose the EU are fascist. Danny Cohn-Bendit said people who wanted a referendum on Lisbon were mentally ill.

But that it allowed, because they are just calling you and me that. And who are we to them? They don't give a fuck about us: we are just a group to ignore until election time when they pray on our ignorance and our obsession with the social lives of strangers.

As the ghastly Margot Wallstrom said, Ireland had to be ignored because 'European Leaders have invested a lot of capital in this Treaty'. It was, like RBS, clearly too big to fail.

It's too big to continue, if you value your freedom and your pay packet. Take note of such hypocrisy and remember it when you vote.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Freed before Charles and Camilla turn up

I'm delighted to hear that the two Brits, Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, who were locked up in Hungary because of the European Arrest Warrant, have been freed finally.

The Telegraph covers it, fails to mention that only UKIP didn't support it in the European Parliament, and also that one of the fathers thanked UKIP MEP William Dartmouth for his efforts in trying to release his son.

Because, you see, that would really be an inconvenient truth: a ghastly law which the consensus parties voted for and you can't do anything about unless we leave the EU.

Now, what about Andrew Symeou? He's still locked up in a Greek jail on the signature of a magistrate in Greece.

Prison for smokers

Last week Nick Hogan was sent to prison for failing to pay the fines he was given for allowing people to smoke in his pub.

A former pub landlord yesterday became the first person to be jailed in connection with the smoking ban.
Nick Hogan, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay a fine imposed for flouting the legislation.
Two years ago Hogan, who ran two pubs in Bolton, became the first landlord convicted of breaking the law for allowing his customers to routinely light up in his bars.

Six months in prison for this:
At the hearing, in January 2008, magistrates were told Hogan held a 'mass light-up' in his two pubs, the Swan Hotel and Barristers' Bar, in Bolton, on the day the smoking ban came into force in July 2007.
He was visited by inspectors from the local authority, who found letters taped to pub tables advising customers they had the 'freedom to choose whether or not to smoke'.
They also saw regulars smoking on five separate occasions.

That's a considerable fraction of a prison sentence of those two 'devil children' for allowing people to smoke legal cigarettes in the building which he owned. Readers, we live in revolting times.

Would anyone like to see the video of Nick Hogan having a smoke indoors?