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Archive for March, 2012

Record numbers of women imprisoned…..GOOD!…

Female inmates up by 50 per cent in 10 years, with biggest rise in older

By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor

A record number of women were imprisoned last year despite repeated promises
by ministers to cut the female prison population.

English and Welsh courts jailed 8,862 women last year, the highest total on
record. The number has risen by more than 50 per cent since 1998, when 5,849
were jailed, with the sharpest increases among older offenders. There are
currently 4,293 female prisoners, a fall of just 32 since a year ago.

The surge in custodial sentences suggests that more lower-level offenders
are being jailed for shorter periods. More than two-thirds of women
prisoners are serving time for non-violent offences such as shoplifting. The
vast majority are known to have mental health problems and many are drug

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Painful death of the American economic dream…

This crisis has been a long time in coming, and history suggests that the
period of upheaval will be long and painful, just as it was between 1914 and

It wasn’t really supposed to end up like this. When the Berlin Wall came
crashing down 20 years ago, the cold war ended with triumph for the west.
Instead of two superpowers, there was one. Instead of competing ideologies,
there was capitalism, and a particularly brash form of capitalism at that.

The elder George Bush said the world should learn how to do things the
American way. "We know what works," he said. "Free markets work."

The reach of the market grew longer for two decades, encompassing China and
India as well as the former Soviet Union and its satellites. Rapid growth
brought impressive poverty reduction in China and India; there are few Poles
or Czechs who hanker after the days when Moscow pulled the strings.

But it was always inevitable that, sooner or later, globalisation would run
into a crisis, and what we have seen in the past two years is just the start
of it. Don’t be fooled by the sucker’s rally of the past six months –
Americans are once again running down savings to consume goods they can’t
afford; China’s exports are booming.

The global imbalances are back. A combination of political change and
technological revolution has always produced upheaval. That was true when
the spinning jenny met the Enlightenment, and it was true when a second wave
of inventions – cinema, electric light, the automobile, aircraft – coincided
with a crumbling of the 19th century balance of power.

Digital technology and bioscience will drive the third industrial
revolution, but these changes take place at a time when the spread of the
market has vastly increased the reserve army of labour. America’s hegemony
is being threatened by the rise of China.

These, then, are combustible times. This crisis has been a long time in
coming, and history suggests that the period of upheaval will be long and
painful, just as it was between 1914 and 1945.

It didn’t take long for the first cracks in the new global order to appear.
The golden age lasted for barely half a decade – the period between the
lifting of the iron curtain and the creation of the World Trade Organisation
in 1994. Even during that half-decade there were signs of trouble, not least
the impact of the shock treatment on the Russian economy in the early 1990s.

But it was the succession of financial crises that began on the periphery of
the global economy and gradually worked their way towards the core that gave
the lie to the notion that there would be a smooth and steady transition to
market nirvana. The warnings from Mexico, Thailand and South Korea, from the
collapse of the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management and from the dotcom
bubble were ignored.

Policymakers found it easy to dismiss these flashpoints as teething
troubles. Growth was strong and inflation was low. The early 1990s to the
mid-2000s were what Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, once
described as the NICE decade – the years of noninflationary continual

Debt, of course, was the key. The loss of bargaining and spending power of
workers in the west was compensated by raging asset price booms which
allowed consumers to borrow against the rising price of their homes.

This was not just true of developed economies such as the US and Britain.
The annual transition report by the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, released today, says that large-scale capital inflows into
eastern European countries had "contributed to credit booms and foreign
currency lending. These, in turn, made the crisis deeper and complicated its

Just as in Britain and the US, the easy availability of credit meant
excessive levels of debt when the global economy turned down and demanded
concerted international action to prevent an Iceland-style banking meltdown.

Understandably, policymakers have been left bemused by the first systemic
crisis of the global age. Up until 2007 they thought their job was to tinker
with market economies; instead they face an existential challenge: where do
we go from here?

Option one is the Schumpeterian one: this is an era of creative destruction,
so we may as well grin and bear it. The problem of the financial system is
that the market has not been allowed to function properly: badly run banks
need to be allowed to fail so that good banks can thrive. The second option
is business as usual, which, predictably enough, is the one favoured by the
City and Wall Street. Given the size of their welfare cheques from the
taxpayer, big finance can hardly demur at the prospect of tougher
regulation, but it is lobbying hard against more radical change. There is
plenty of talk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and killing the
goose that lays the golden eggs.

The Conservatives are in this camp, not just because David Cameron bizarrely
thinks the crisis was caused by too much government rather than too little
but because Boris Johnson is actively lobbying on behalf of City hedge funds
and private equity firms to block tougher European regulation.

Option three is business as usual plus extras. This recognises that there
has been a systemic problem in the financial sector but sees the answer as
tighter supervision, better surveillance of the global economy from the
International Monetary Fund, changes to capital adequacy rules to ensure
that banks can’t lend as freely during booms, and new incentive structures
for financiers that will favour long-term growth of the business over
short-term speculative activity. This, no prizes for guessing, is where you
would find Gordon Brown and Barack Obama.

But there is a motley band of discontents for whom business as usual, in
whatever form, means that another crisis will erupt before too long. They
argue that the exiguous nature of current reform proposals is explained by
the institutional capture of governments by the investment banks, the
world’s most powerful lobbying groups.

King’s ideas for splitting up the banks into retail and investment arms puts
him in the option four group, as does Adair Turner’s support for financial
transaction taxes. Others would go further. A recent report by the United
Nations committee on trade and development (Unctad) urged a rethink of the
"conventional wisdom that dismantling all obstacles to cross-border private
capital flows is the best recipe for countries to advance their economic
development. Those who support a green new deal – expansionary monetary and
fiscal policies designed to boost renewable energy and support firms
developing environmental technologies – say that quantitative easing should
have been used to support sustainable, productive investment rather than to
re-inflate asset prices. If the root cause of the financial crisis was the
imbalances in the global economy prompted by the search for higher profits,
real reform will require higher real wages in the west, so that consumers
are less dependent on debt. That means a shift in the balance of power
between labour and capital; it also means a rethink of the shareholder model
of capitalism.

Finally, there are those who believe that any conventional reform is doomed
because any growth-based model is at odds with the viability of the planet.

Where is the political centre of gravity now? Somewhere between option two
and three. That represents not just a missed opportunity but a profound lack
of judgment.

The seeds of the next crisis are being sown. Right here, right now.


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Abortions soar by a quarter among 14-year-olds…

By Daniel Martin

The number of 14-year-olds having abortions has soared by almost a quarter
in two years.

Department of Health figures show that 166 girls of that age had
terminations last year compared with 135 in 2006.

For 15-year-olds, the number was up 16 per cent over seven years.

England’s teenage pregnancy figures are the worst in Western Europe and come
despite a raft of Government initiatives.

Earlier this year it was revealed that young girls on a 5.9m state
sponsored programme to cut pregnancies among poorer teenagers had failed –
and instead had ‘significantly’ increased their chances of falling pregnant.

The UK has one of the highest abortion rates in the western world with
almost 200,000 terminations a year.

The number of teenage pregnancies is also one of the highest, with 40,000
girls becoming pregnant every year.

The latest figures, released by the Department of Health following a Freedom
of Information request, show the total number of abortions carried out on
under 16s rose from 3,658 in 2001 to 4,113 last year – a rise of more than
12 per cent.

  a.. Women going through IVF told to put their feet up to boost conception
by 50%

Norman Wells, of Family and Youth Concern, said: ‘High abortion rates among
teenagers are the inevitable fruit of a society that has made an idol of
sexual pleasure.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health said extra funds had been invested
in contraceptive services and an awareness campaign was on its way.

‘However, we acknowledge that more needs to be done to reduce the number of
teenage pregnancies,’ she added.

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Celebrities get more respect than dead soldiers, says George Cross holder…

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

The Army’s youngest holder of the George Cross has clashed with the Ministry
of Defence over the "lack of respect" paid by ministers to servicemen who
have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Former Lance Corporal of Horse Christopher Finney, 25, who left the Army in
July and now works at a call centre for an insurance company, said that he
was disillusioned with military life and angry with the Government, claiming
more respect was shown to celebrities than to dead soldiers.

"What makes me furious is the demonstrable lack of respect shown by the
Government to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – the war dead. Why
is there no minister in attendance when our fallen heroes from Afghanistan
are brought home to repatriation ceremonies at Wootton Bassett?" he said in
an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

"I couldn’t believe it when I read that Gordon Brown had phoned Simon Cowell
to ask how Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle was when she had a
breakdown. He doesn’t phone any of the bereaved military families," he said.
"I thought it was absolutely disgusting, a real slap in the face for the
parents of the hundreds of soldiers killed." —

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Let's give women more and men less…..EQUALITY????


Leeds binmen in pay-cut strike

Striking binmen go back to work but row rumbles on.

Published Date:
25 October 2007
By David Marsh
SIX hundred dustbin crews and street cleaners downed tools in Leeds today in
a lightning protest over proposed pay cuts of up to 120 a week
The unofficial stoppage brought cleansing services in the city to a halt as
crews refused to move from the city’s main refuse depot at Cross Green and
yards across Leeds.


Union officials and senior management from the Council rushed to the Cross
Green depot and the workers were addressed by director Randall Brown early

The stoppage follows a pay review which has left up to 3,500 Leeds Council
workers facing pay cuts which will also hit pensions.

The workers are divided between three unions – UNISON, the General and
Municipal Workers’ Union GMB, and the Transport and General Workers’ Union,
of which UNISON is the largest.

UNISON convenor Billy Darkin said: "The Council has done a job evaluation
right across the city. All the street cleansing lads, refuse, waste
management, are going to lose money.

"The cuts vary from 3,000 a year to 6,000 a year. It is going to cost some
people their mortgages.

"We heard yesterday they were going to refuse to move from the yards until
management agreed to talk to them. It was not unexpected, though it was not

The stoppage ended after the meeting with management but may be followed by
an official ballot on strike action.

One refuse worker, who said his annual basic salary was due to plunge from
17,985 to 13,720, described the proposed deal as "diabolical."

Although under a pay protection clause any reductions will not take effect
for at least three years, the worker – who did not wish to be named – said
there was great concern among his colleagues.

He said: "People have taken out mortgages and loans on the basis of having a
basic wage of nearly 18,000.

"Cuts of this size will leave people in real trouble. I have added up my
outgoings and I couldn’t afford to pay my bills."
"This will also effect the pensions we will be entitled to when we retire."

Another worker currently earning over 16,000 said that under the new
structure his pay would fall to 11,700.

The pay review is being carried out by Councils nationwide following a court
ruling that thousands of women Council employees were underpaid for years.

Councils face bills of millions to put matters right and began reviews of
pay structures. In Leeds the bill is around 3m.

In Leeds 45 per cent of the Council’s 35,000 staff will not be affected, and
47 per cent will receive pay increase. But eight per cent – about 3,500
workers – face pay cuts.

The council says that over the next three years it will continue talks with
the unions to explore ways of avoiding pay cuts.

Letters have gone out to about 23,000 local authority staff in Leeds setting
out details of the new proposed pay and grading system.
Council bosses say the proposed structure aims to address "historic,
out-of-date" pay issues.

A further 6,000 posts have still to be evaluated.

A council spokeswoman said: "Wherever possible we have tried to minimise the
impact of these changes on staff and we do understand that it will affect
individuals differently and that it has been a very difficult process for
our employees to go through.

"That is why we have offered pay protection for those affected for three
years and worked closely with affected groups to minimise the impact of the

She said the average pay cut was 1,800.

Brian Mulvey, of UNISON’s Leeds local government branch, said: "It is our
intention that no staff should suffer pay cuts and we have a commitment from
the council to look at how jobs can be redesigned so that there are no wage

" We feel this is the best agreement we can get now. If in three years time
people are about to have their wages cut I am sure they will want to respond
with industrial action."

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WTF next….wimmin sperm donors???…

Beefeaters suspended over ‘hate campaign’ against first woman yeoman warder

The Tower of London’s first female Beefeater was allegedly subjected to a
bullying campaign by some of her male colleagues, it was revealed today.

Two Beefeaters have been suspended and a third is under investigation over
the alleged harassment of Moira Cameron.

Miss Cameron, 44, became the first female Yeoman Warder in the Tower’s
1,000-year history two years ago.

Tower authorities launched an internal investigation over the weekend of
October 24-25 in response to allegations of a number of specific instances
of harassment.

It is understood that one person has received a police caution for defacing
Miss Cameron’s entry on online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

Miss Cameron, from Argyll in Scotland, joined the Army at the age of 20 and
served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer
Class 2.

She qualified to be a Yeoman Warder in July 2007 after completing the
required minimum 22 years in the armed forces.

Miss Cameron, who has 34 male Beefeater colleagues, revealed that not
everyone was welcoming when she started work at the Tower.

She said at the time: ‘I’ve had some comments. I had one chap at the gate
one day who said he was completely and utterly against me doing the job.

‘I said to him ‘I would like to thank you for dismissing my 22 years’
service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces’.’

Her main duties are guarding the Tower – including the Crown Jewels – and
welcoming tourists.

The Tower of London said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that three Yeoman
Warders are under investigation in response to allegations of harassment.
Two have been suspended.

‘We take such allegations very seriously and our formal harassment policy
makes it clear that this is totally unacceptable.

‘We believe everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from any
form of harassment, a principle that we expect all our staff to value and

‘As soon as these allegations were brought to our attention, we immediately
instigated procedures under our harassment policy.

‘An internal investigation is already under way to establish whether these
allegations have any foundation and should conclude within two to three

‘Meanwhile, the Tower of London is a close-knit community and,
understandably, this is a difficult time for us all.’


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The French and Germans are taking the piss!!

France went on EU spending spree
France’s six-month presidency of the EU in 2008 was one of the most
expensive in history, costing about one million euros ( 907,000) daily,
officials say.

The French Court of Accounts put the total cost of the July-December 2008
presidency at 171m euros.

Usually the rotating presidency of the EU costs 70-80m euros. Only Germany
has previously spent as much on it as France, the AFP news agency reports.

The Union of the Mediterranean summit in Paris alone cost 16.6m euros.

"The scale of this summit, the irregular nature of its procedures and its
massive impact on public finances together make this summit a kind of
record," the court report said.

It noted that France spent more than 1m euros on the summit dinner for 43
heads of state and 653,703 euros on air conditioning, among other expenses.
Big temporary tents and restaurants were installed for the occasion, on 13
July 2008.

The report said France organised 489 EU events during its presidency,
including nine summits, 25 ministerial meetings and 328 seminars and

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s expenditure on the presidency overshadowed the
previous French presidencies of the EU – in 2000 (at a cost of 56.9m euros)
and 1995 (14.1m euros).

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Student cleared of raping solicitor forced to change name by deed poll…

By Daily Mail Reporter

A student cleared of raping a solicitor who claimed she was too drunk to
consent to sex has been forced to change his identity in order that he can
start afresh.

Peter Bacon, 26, said today that he still felt he had been ‘punished’
despite being acquitted.

He was charged with raping a woman following a night of heavy drinking in
February last year.

Although it took jurors just 45 minutes to return a unanimous not-guilty
verdict following a trial at Winchester Crown Court last March, he plans to
leave his home in Canterbury, Kent, to move to the other side of the world
so he can start a new life.

In an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on Radio 5 Live he told listeners
that he changed his name by deed poll before graduating from Canterbury
University in June so that his new, undisclosed name would be seen on his
degree certificate.

‘If I didn’t do it before graduating then I couldn’t do it because I
wouldn’t be able to use my degree certificate without having to explain why
I changed my name,’ he said.

He added that he missed his graduation ceremony to avoid ‘a whole load of
awkward questions’ and was disappointed with the 2:2 he gained in sociology.
‘I would have liked to have gone one higher,’ he said.

He added: ‘I’ve change my passport, I’ve changed my taxes, my national
insurance, my NHS records, everything basically.

‘I’ve done the Hotmail and Facebook. I’ve not put anyone on my Facebook yet
because I don’t really want anyone on my new Facebook to know me under my
old name, if that makes sense.

‘It is strange seeing a new name I suppose, but I’ve had a few months now to
get used to it.’

  a.. Random attack by thugs every 30 seconds as ‘stranger assaults’ soar in
binge Britain

He added: ‘I still haven’t got used to it in a social sense yet because none
of my friends ever calls me by my new name.’

During the trial it was claimed the woman was so drunk she was incapable of
giving consent to the sex and he took advantage.

But Mr Bacon told the court that the woman, in her 40s, had given him the
‘come-on’ and had consented and taken part in the encounter.

Mr Bacon said despite being acquitted, having his name connected to the
incident was ‘nightmarish.’

‘It doesn’t matter, really, what the outcome was, it’s the fact that you’ve
been connected to it,’ he added.

Asked if he felt like an innocent man, the softly-spoken graduate said:
‘Yeah, but punished all the same.

‘It just seems to be that a load of doors are closed to me because of this,
even though I’ve done nothing wrong.’

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Another feminist money grubber in the news

OTL Exclusive: Tom Cable’s Past
Two women, including his former wife and a recent girlfriend, say that
Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable has a history of violent behavior toward

In separate interviews with ESPN’s "Outside the Lines," Sandy Cable and
Marie Lutz say that Cable hit them during relationships dating back more
than 20 years.

Documenting Cable’s History

. Tom Cable’s apology letter to his first wife, Sandy. Read
. Alameda police report after Tom Cable-Marie Lutz altercation in January
2009. Read

Cable’s alleged temper has been in the news since August, when Oakland
assistant coach Randy Hanson accused Cable of breaking his jaw during an
altercation in a coaches meeting.

On Oct. 22, Napa County district attorney Gary Lieberstein said he would not
pursue charges against Cable, citing inconsistencies in Hanson’s story that
were not corroborated by the three assistants in the room at the time.

But the two women interviewed by "Outside The Lines" say that Cable, in his
first full season as the Raiders’ head coach, physically abused them at
various times during their relationships.

In 1989, Sandy Cable sought a temporary order of protection, which said, in
part, "On two occasions, one back in ’86 and the other in ’88, he hit me.
The second time in the face, however on attempts to call law enforcement, my
husband would rip the phone out of the wall."

A third woman, Cable’s second wife Glenda, said in documents related to the
couple’s 2008 divorce that "in the past he has been physically and verbally
abusive to me." Glenda and Tom Cable were married for 17 years. She declined
to speak to "Outside The Lines", but is currently receiving support payments
from Cable.

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