bbc immigrants

The Sovereign Economy.

Short read about a concept to reverse current economic policy.


New UK Passport.

Here it is! Is that Latin?UK Passport New 1


The War on Weddings.

This is by no means an exhaustively researched or fact checked list. It was compiled from internet sources and is presented to remind people that our governments are largely responsible for much of the hate, blowback and fall out that emanates from the Middle East. Our taxes are paying for it. We are voting for it. A Murdoch owned paper ‘The New York Post’ reporting a wedding party drone attack in the Yemen was headlined: “Bride and Boom!”


This is an article from ‘Tomdispatch’ dated 20 Dec 2013:


There is a website that tracks airstrikes:


December 29, 2001.

Paktia Province, Afghanistan (more than 100 revelers die in a village in Eastern Afghanistan after an attack by B-52 and B-1B bombers).


May 17, 2002.

Khost Province, Afghanistan (at least ten Afghans in a wedding celebration die when US helicopters and planes attack a village).


July 1, 2002.

Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan (at least thirty, and possibly forty, celebrants die when attacked by a B-52 bomber and an AC-130 helicopter).


19 May, 2004.

The Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre[1][2] refers to the American shooting and bombing of a wedding party in Mukaradeeb, a small village in Iraq near the border with Syria, on. 42 civilians were killed.


July 6, 2008.

The Deh Bala wedding party airstrike was an attack by United States military forces in which 47 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, were killed.


November 3, 2008.

The Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike refers to the killing of 63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents by a United States military airstrike.


July 6, 2008.

Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan (at least forty-seven dead, thirty-nine of them women and children, including the bride, among a party escorting that bride to the groom’s house—from a missile attack by jet aircraft).


August 2008.

Laghman Province, Afghanistan (sixteen killed, including twelve members of the family hosting the wedding, in an attack by “American bombers”).


December 17, 2009.

Tomahawk cruise missile fired from a naval vessel ploughed into the village of al-Majala. 55 dead. 14 apparent terrorists, 14 women, 21 children.


June 8, 2012.

Logar Province, Afghanistan (eighteen killed, half of them children, when Taliban fighters take shelter amid a wedding party. This was perhaps the only case among the eight wedding incidents in which the United States offered an apology).


December 12, 2013.

Jishm, Yemen. Wedding procession. 12 dead. U.S. drone.


December 12, 2014.

Yemen. Wedding procession. The report concluded that the attack killed 12 men, between the ages of 20 and 65, and wounded 15 others.


29 September 2015.

Yemen. 131 dead after suspected Saudi air force strike. U.S. supplied approx. $90 billion worth arms sales to Saudi between 2010 and 2014.


19 July 2016.

Not a wedding party, but a large group of Syrians gathered in Manbij, Syria, trying to shelter from U.S. airstrike. 117 dead. 20 women. 35 children.



Do Not Buy The Sun

Someone has made it terribly easy to let people know that The Sun is a mendacious rag that should never be bought by anyone.

Do Not Buy The Sun

Disability Assessments Report.

This is privatisation. It’s ugly.

Here are a few extracts from the recent Public Accounts Committee report on the performance of the contracted out companies who perform disability assessments.


Contracted out health and disability assessments.


Given this lack of transparency, claimants do not have a clear expectation of the service they can expect from the Department and its contractors. MIND, Citizens Advice and the Disability Benefits Consortium reported that delays and problems with the assessment process still create anxiety for claimants.
Claimants are still not receiving an acceptable level of service from contractors, with particular concerns for claimants with fluctuating and mental health conditions. While the average time it takes PIP contractors to return assessments to the Department is now an acceptable four weeks, ESA assessments still take an average 23 weeks. MIND, Citizens Advice and the Disability Benefits Consortium considered that, despite claims being processed more quickly, the claimant experience is often poor.
Too many assessments do not meet the standard required. The Department and contractors acknowledge that past performance has been unacceptable and noted their commitment to improving the quality of assessments. A significant proportion of the assessment reports sampled by contractors (ranging from 7% to 20%) do not meet the contractual standard required.
The unit cost of assessments has increased, but there has been no noticeable benefit for claimants or taxpayers. The Department expects to pay more to contractors as the volume of assessments increases—the cost of contracts is expected to more than double to £579 million in 2016–17. However, the cost per ESA assessment has also increased with a significant rise in cost per assessment from £115 to £190 under the recent contract.
 Capita admitted that it had not got the PIP contract right and that critical assumptions had to be revisited. MAXIMUS confirmed that it would not meet the one million ESA assessment volume target in the first year of its contract.
We are concerned by the National Audit Office’s finding that the Department could not show it had challenged assumptions about staff attrition rates during training despite holding evidence that assumptions were optimistic.
Atos paid to exit the first ESA contract early. The current ESA contractor expects to make a loss on the contract in the first year and one experienced bidder withdrew from the recent procurement process for the ESA contract. Neither Atos nor Capita would comment on whether they would consider re-bidding for PIP contracts.

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