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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 18/01/2011 : 07:03
Chilcot enquiry starts to heat up again. The panel have been reading masses of documents and comparing them with witness testimony. We shall see the results in the questions that are asked of witnesses to be re-examined. The wriggle-room is being cut down. Lord Goldsmith has admitted that Blair's interpretation and treatment of his advice caused him problems. Why didn't he say so at the time?

News of the World phone-tapping enquiry is on again. The whole of the evidence held by the police is being examined as a result of the private actions against the NOW reaching the courts.

Against the advice of the doctors, nurses and unions the ConDem government is pressing on with NHS reorganisation. The general opinion is that whilst adjustments are needed, this is too far too fast and despite a real terms increase in funding is producing a cut-back at grass roots of about 20%. This is a huge gamble and in my opinion no way to run such a vital enterprise. 

Over the next twelve months as the reality of the public service cuts works its way down to the grass roots the focus (apart from the cuts themselves) is going to be the consequences.  Rising unemployment, erosion of both incomes and buying power due to inflation of the price of essentials and the contnuing supine attitude of the government towards inflated wages and bonuses at higher management levels. The gap between rich and poor is not only increasing but the rate of increase is accelerating.

All this leaves aside an external shock. Oil is $100 a barrel. Speculation on the markets is artificially forcing up the price of the world's basic foods. The man at the UN who advises on these matters has publically described it as 'silent mass murder'.  Chilling, but I fear accurate. The markets are neither infallible or compassionate.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 19/01/2011 : 19:16
Stanley, is the Chilicot enquiry looking at Blair/Iraq etc?  (Tongue in cheek) maybe they should call the ex Prime Minister of Canada as a witness, after all he said "show me the proof and we will go" but with no proof he pissed off Bush and did not send Canadians to Iraq for Bush 2.

He took the critics on and now looks like a national hero..he insisted that since it was not a UN or NATO mission the Canadians would not participate.  He used the same measuring stick in regard to Afghanistan and since it is a NATO operation Canadians are there.


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/01/2011 : 05:46
Quite right Herb. Problem was that Blair was not interested in the quality of the proof. Only finding sound-bites to reinforce what he had already decided. Problem was that our political system allowed him to get away with it.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/01/2011 : 05:35
Blair in the box today. He is up against very clever people who have seen the evidence and sussed him out. Question is will they go for his throat or conform to the unwritten code of not rocking the boat. I never trusted the man and want to see him brought to account but it isn't going to happen. We shall have to wait for the historians to give their verdict.

I see that the Nimrod surveillance aircraft are to be axed with no viable replacement. Madness if we want any semblance of a joined-up defence and security force. Reinforces the devastating verdict on the MOD mis-management of funding.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 05:48
Blair put on his usual polished performance yesterday and that's all it was, a performance. I could be wrong but I get the feeling the Chilcot Report, when it eventually appears, is not going to be a whitewash.

I listen to the arguments inside the upper echelons of our armed forces as to whether the Army grasped its 'Falkland's Moment' in Afghanistan. The US top brass has weighed in questioning the UK forces commitment in Helmand.  Leaving aside the obvious fact that should these differences have any substance, discussion should have been kept quiet for the sake of the poor buggers at the sharp end, it's not looking good. When the top brass start to squabble there is something very wrong in policy and the management of troops on the ground. The sooner they are out the better.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 07:48
Who are the US to question anyones commitment, what are they committed to? $$$$$$!


HERB


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 08:28
I also saw the report by the US General from Afghanistan, I heard him also say they are building on the success of 40 Commando in Sangin.
Their commitment has never be challenged, tactics maybe but commitment never.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Phil
Regular Member


104 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 13:13
Looks like some serious crap appears to be heading in the direction of DC with the resignation of his media advisor/spin doctor Coulson over the phone hacking scandal. News International have been settling out of court to prevent cases being heard but it looks like they are pulling the plug on that now, so much more to come out in the next few weeks. And there will be questions asked about the judgement of Cameron and Osbourne in seeking to protect Coulson and persude him to stay on in his his very well paid high profile position even though this has become increasingly untenable in the last few days. Makes you wonder just how good their judgement is on the myriad of cuts and changes that we are seeing daily, given that they could be so wrong on the simple appointment of someone to spin their policies to the British public. Surely given all the pronouncments made by Cameron about the cleaning up of politics you would have thought that he would have been able to appoint someone who was squeaky clean, a blind man with a stick could have seen this one coming.

Funny though that all the tabloids have been very quiet  on this subject, makes me wonder just how widespread the hacking was.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 13:24
Funny though that all the tabloids have been very quiet  on this subject, makes me wonder just how widespread the hacking was.

Very widespread I would of thought, it being so easy to hack a phone !!!
I have never seen Coulson accused of Spin, that was Campbells domain. As for judgement on why he was hired I thought that pretty good, when you want to understand the masses and communicate to them you need an expert and Coulson was that Expert. Look at the sales figures for NoW and the Sun that is how to communicate and again Coulson was that expert.

Edited by - frankwilk on 22/01/2011 1:25:04 PM



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 23/01/2011 : 04:29
Frank, maybe I have to disagree with you, first of all I would never doubt the commitment of the troops on the ground, but I do question the commitment of the USA at government level.


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/01/2011 : 05:58
Good assessment of Coulson on 'profile' on R4 at 10:45 this morning.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 23/01/2011 : 08:13
" I would never doubt the commitment of the troops on the ground"

Herb I wouldn't doubt the Commitment of any Nations Troops in Afghanistan. I was commenting on 40 Commando RM
 The Commitment in Sangin was Awesome



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/01/2011 : 06:50
Frank, on another topic you said you couldn't think of any successful nationalised industries. Try NHS, CEGB and the National Grid, NCB, British Rail, British Steel. All fit for purpose at the time and successful operations. Compare their privatised equivalents and argue for privatisation from that base. Don't forget the municipalised undertakings like gas and electricity, public transport and water supply and sewage disposal. Waste disposal and street cleaning. Road-building and civic construction. Who do you think built the dams and pipelines? These were all publicly owned assets built using our money, snapped up for a song under privatisation and now we suffer the consequences of price rises beyond inflation levels. Who can tell where the same essential services would be now under public ownership and modern technology? One thing is certain, the cream wouldn't be skimmed off the top by rapacious shareholders, very often outside the UK.

No, with all their faults, publicly owned services had a lot going for them. This was Harold MacMillan's thesis in the Middle Way of 1936 and is as true today as it was then. We have allowed control of the Commanding Heights of the Economy to slip away into private hands and now pay the price.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 24/01/2011 : 07:36
Sorry Stanley I have just picked myself up off the floor from laughing at your list of successful operations. Operations yes, but at what cost to the Tax Payer???? One of the reason they couldn't be successful was because of Goverment patronage. My question was also how would they have faired today ??? things have moved on so much in the last 30 years or so. Would the Goverment of any political colour have been able to close Ravenscraig for an example !! No they wouldn't so we would still be producing Steel at a very inflated price. 
"Compare their privatised equivalents and argue for privatisation from that base"
They are amongst the most successful companies in the World operating on a cost basis that Goverments can only dream of. They have managed to survive and compete in a World of Globalisation.They are truly Commercial Enterprise's and not Social Enterprise's which they would have continued to be under State Control.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 24/01/2011 : 14:47
Frank, all I can really pronounce on is railways, but I suspect the same also applies in the other formally nationalised industries. The railways would certainly be operated more efficiently, fares would be cheaper and safer under BR.  As with the NHS, the industry got very little Government patronage, more often interference.


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