Monday, 28 May 2012
NEWS SNIPPETS MONDAY 28TH MAY 2012
Daily Mail - We won't shut the door on migrants fleeing eurozone, says Clegg as he hits out at 'apocalyptic' warnings
Nick Clegg yesterday denied that Britain is planning to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ to prevent an influx of foreign workers from crisis-hit eurozone nations.
The Deputy Prime Minister hit out at ‘apocalyptic’ warnings that Britain could be hit by a wave of immigrants from Greece and other struggling countries if the euro crisis deepens.
His intervention came after Theresa May disclosed contingency planning was under way to deal with a potential influx of would-be immigrants.
Reports said the Home Secretary was considering using emergency powers to bypass European single market rules and effectively seal the border.
There are fears that Greece in particular could leave the euro and go bankrupt, causing millions of Greeks to lose their jobs and look for work abroad.
But Mr Clegg claimed yesterday she had only been talking about ‘keeping an eye on migration patterns’.
‘I really do think some of the breathless talk in the media about “Do we pull up the drawbridge to stop hordes of people migrating across Europe?” is both far-fetched, somewhat apocalyptic in tone and deeply unhelpful,’ he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
‘We are not there yet,’ he added.
Mr Clegg warned last week that allowing Greece to leave the euro could unleash ‘unpredictable, irrevocable damage’ to the entire European economy. See Article
Daily Mail - Sinister truth about Google spies: Web giant deliberately stole information but executives 'covered it up' for years
Google is facing an inquiry into claims that it deliberately harvested information from millions of UK home computers.
The Information Commissioner data protection watchdog is expected to examine the work of the internet giant’s Street View cars.
They downloaded emails, text messages, photographs and documents from wi-fi networks as they photographed virtually every British road.
It is two years since Google first admitted stealing fragments of personal data, but claimed it was a ‘mistake’.
Now the full scale of its activities has emerged amid accusations of a cover-up after US regulators found a senior manager was warned as early as 2007 that the information was being captured as its cars trawled the country but did nothing.
Around one in four home networks in the UK is thought to be unsecured – lacking password protection – allowing personal data to be collected. Technology websites and bloggers have suggested that Google harvested the information simply because it was able to do so and would later work out a way to use it to make money.
The slow reaction of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to deal with the data theft is in direct contrast to the vigorous efforts of watchdogs in Germany, France and even the Czech Republic.
The fact that the Government was at the same time courting executives at Google opens up uncomfortable questions about its relationship with the company. See Article
Daily Mail - How the Mail revealed the Conservative Party's closeness to the internet giant
Government ministers have met executives from Google an average of once a month since the General Election.
Official figures revealed by the Daily Mail this month showed that David Cameron had met the American company’s representatives three times, Chancellor George Osborne four times – and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey had racked up seven meetings.
The total of 23 such ministerial meetings since June 2010 is clear evidence that Google has the Government’s ear. But the closeness goes further still. See Article
Daily Mail - Police block hundreds of protesters during demo at site growing experimental GM wheat crop
Police turned away hundreds of protesters yesterday at the site of a genetically modified crop experiment.
Officers prevented the activists from entering the field of chemically altered wheat, which they had planned to pull out of the ground.
Two men were arrested during the demonstration, which had been arranged to ‘decontaminate’ land being used by scientists trying to produce GM wheat that deters pests. The trial’s opponents claim the crops could contaminate the surrounding environment, as the experiment is being carried out in the open air.
St Albans City and District Council applied to the Home Office for greater police powers in anticipation of the protest, and an order banning activists from Rothamsted Research’s site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was issued on Friday.
Those operating under the name ‘Take The Flour Back’ said 400 members sat in front of officers guarding the wheat field and sang protest songs for half an hour before gathering in nearby Rothamsted Park. See Article
Daily Mail - Cameron is being blown away by Murdoch links, says David Mellor as Clegg's cosy ties with mogul's fixer emerge
David Cameron’s credibility has been ‘blown away’ by his Government’s cosy relationship with Rupert Murdoch, a former Tory Cabinet minister warned yesterday.
David Mellor said the Prime Minister had shown poor judgment in appointing Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to preside over Mr Murdoch’s controversial £8billion bid for BSkyB.
He warned it was inevitable that Mr Hunt would have to resign. See Article
Daily Mail - Blair facing Leveson quiz today over claims he did commercial favours for political support
Tony Blair will be grilled today over whether he did commercial favours for Rupert Murdoch in return for political support from his newspapers.
The former prime minister is due to face a full day of interrogation at the Leveson Inquiry over his courting of the billionaire media mogul.
Questioning is expected to focus on claims that he ‘cut a deal’ with Mr Murdoch in return for support from the Sun newspaper at the 1997 election.
He is also likely to be asked about his decision to act as godfather to Mr Murdoch’s daughter Grace.
In 1995 Mr Blair flew to Hayman Island, in Australia, to speak at a News Corporation conference.
The decision was widely seen as an attempt to curry favour with the media mogul, whose newspapers had given Labour years of hostile coverage.
By the time of the 1997 election the Sun, which had subjected Neil Kinnock to brutal coverage at the previous election, had switched to become an enthusiastic cheerleader for New Labour.
As part of the courtship, Mr Blair wrote an article for the Sun in 1997 entitled ‘Why I love the pound’, despite later pressing for Britain to join the euro. See Article
Daily Express - EU FORCE NEW RISE IN PRICE OF PETROL
ANGER erupted last night over a new “green” fuel drive by the European Union that could slap 4p a litre on petrol and diesel.
Hard-pressed motorists would pay the price of a draconian new quota on the amount of fuel from environmentally friendly sources to be sold in the UK.
Under a Brussels directive, one in every 10 litres of fuel sold would be made up of sustainable alternative biofuels rather than fossil fuel by the end of the decade.
It is feared that this will have a significant impact on petrol and diesel costs when world oil prices are already rising relentlessly.
Critics last night urged David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne to stand up to Brussels.
Peter Carroll, of the FairFuel UK campaign, said: “Many of our supporters have the environment at heart but the priority has to be to keep the cost of petrol down because that is what the economy needs.”
Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is just another example of how Brussels is out of touch with the priorities of ordinary taxpayers.” See Article
Daily Express - TORY CHIEF WARSI URGED TO QUIT
SENIOR Tory Baroness Warsi was urged to resign last night following allegations over her expenses.
The party co-chairman is accused of claiming House of Lords allowance of £165.50 a night for free accommodation.
Lady Warsi, 41, insists she made “appropriate payment” for nights at a house in Acton, west London, occupied by Tory official Naweed Khan.
But yesterday the property’s owner denied receiving income from either.
Dr Wafik Moustafa said: “She had her own key so I didn’t have a check on when she comes, when she goes, because that was her place in London.
“Rent has never been discussed and I’ve never received money or asked for money from Baroness Warsi.”
The Tory peer, now a Cabinet Office minister, claimed over £12,000 in overnight subsistence in 2008 in her first six months in the Lords.
An ex-chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alistair Graham, said she should stand down during an investigation, and added: “But, of course, that is a matter for the Prime Minister.” See Article
Daily Express - JOBLESS TO WORK 30 HOURS A WEEK OR LOSE BENEFITS
THOUSANDS of jobless benefits claimants will be forced to do unpaid community work in a new blitz on the workshy, ministers are to announce.
Whitehall sources revealed that a programme aimed at giving long-term unemployed a spell of compulsory work is to be “significantly extended”.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling is behind the scheme to strip the Jobseeker’s Allowance from those who refuse to work for 30 hours a week.
One Whitehall source said: “It may not be a solution for everyone, but Job Centre Plus staff should be able to make an assessment about which claimants would benefit.
“This is part of a broad welfare-to-work agenda to cut benefits dependency and make work pay.”
Jobseekers on the scheme would carry out tasks such as trimming hedgerows and painting schools.
Those thought to be abusing the system by taking benefits while making no real effort to find jobs will be targeted and their attendance will be closely monitored. See Article
Infowars.com - Drudge Runs Poll on Bilderberg 2012
Worldwide Bilderberg recognition is gaining steam as Drudge Report runs a poll questioning people’s feelings on the subject. See Article and results
Watts Up With That? -I Blame The Australian Carbon Tax for Price Increases
You likely didn’t realize that the First Rule for the Carbon Tax Club is … nobody talks about the Carbon Tax Club.
And not only that … it could cost the poor Aussies big bucks if they say what I just said about the Carbon Tax Club.
Gotta love totalitarianism in the service of national eco-themed suicide …
From Miranda Devine’s blog at the Australian Telegraph (emphasis mine):
THE whitewash begins. Now that the carbon tax has passed through federal parliament, the government’s clean-up brigade is getting into the swing by trying to erase any dissent against the jobs-destroying legislation.
On cue comes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which this week issued warnings to businesses that they will face whopping fines of up to $1.1m if they blame the carbon tax for price rises.
It says it has been “directed by the Australian government to undertake a compliance and enforcement role in relation to claims made about the impact of a carbon price.”
Businesses are not even allowed to throw special carbon tax sales promotions before the tax arrives on July 1.
“Beat the Carbon Tax – Buy Now” or “Buy now before the carbon tax bites” are sales pitches that are verboten. Or at least, as the ACCC puts it, “you should be very cautious about making these types of claims”.
There will be 23 carbon cops roaming the streets doing snap audits of businesses that “choose to link your price increases to a carbon price”.
Instead, the ACCC suggests you tell customers you’ve raised prices because “the overall cost of running (your) business has increased”.
So if some Australian business prints up this post, and tapes it to his window … he can be fined up to one megabuck. A million dollar crime.
Eco-terrorism at its finest, where Australia now has criminalized free speech … carbon. A word to conjure with, the name that cannot be spoken. See Article
The Telegraph - The Coalition could break up before May 2015, says Vince Cable
The Coalition is likely to break up before the next general election in May 2015 so both parties can create separate identities, Vince Cable said last night.
The Business Secretary suggested that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will go their separate ways at some point before the election. This would give both sides time and space to draw up their own manifestos.
However the comments raise the prospect of the Lib Dems abandoning Government after four years, possibly after the party's conference in September 2014, leaving a paralysed Tory administration locked in place.
The Fixed Term Parliament Act which passed into law in September 2011 says that elections are held every five years. This would mean that the next election is scheduled to be held in May 2015.
However Mr Cable said that it was likely the Coalition partners would go their separate ways before then. See Article
The Telegraph - Irate Greeks vilify IMF chief on Facebook after she brands them tax dodgers
Christine Lagarde has been forced to express her sympathy for the Greek people after receiving 10,000 messages on Facebook, many of them obscene.
The head of the International Monetary Fund has been forced to express her sympathy for the Greek people after politicians and irate locals vilified her for saying the country was a nation of tax dodgers.
After being bombarded on her Facebook page with 10,000 messages, many of them obscene, Christine Lagarde took to the social networking site to say she was “very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing”.
Despite the emergence this afternoon of a new Facebook page titled “Greeks are against Lagarde”, she reiterated that everyone should pay their taxes.
Greek politicians were similarly engraged, with socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos claiming she had “insulted the Greek people”.
The backlash came as Greece’s former prime minister warned the country could run out of the money by the end of June if bailout funds are withdrawn after next month’s election. See Article
the Guardian - Irish dodge debts through UK 'bankruptcy tourism'
Bankrupt clients from Ireland have used a Leicester solicitor and UK courts to wipe out more than €1bn debts taken out in the republic. A solicitor in Leicester has helped Irish clients escape more than €1bn (£798m) of debt by taking advantage of a booming trade in "bankruptcy tourism".
Data seen by the Guardian reveal Steve Thatcher, who runs the new advisory service www.irishbankruptcyuk.com boasts at least 55 clients in the process of clearing some €1.2bn by using UK courts to wipe out loans taken out in the republic. One property speculator wrote off €150m during a 35-second court appearance.
While bankrupts in the UK face only one year in financial purdah, in Ireland it is 12 years – despite promises of reform from the Dublin government.
Such is the stigma still associated with bankruptcy in Ireland that "Michael" and "Mary" are unwilling to give their real names after they used the UK courts to write off nearly €320,000 of negative equity and other debts. They fear that in Ireland they could be blacklisted from jobs if potential employers knew they were bankrupts. See Article