Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Week in UKIP

The last seven days made up a particularly eventful week for UKIP, as the question of just how mad had the party become was answered several times; not least when Polish prince Yanek Zylinski offered to duel Nigel Farage on Monday and it seemed like mere business as usual. After Zylinski brandished his sword – and challenged Farage to do the same – in a YouTube video decrying UKIP’s attitude towards the Polish people, UKIP responded in a way only they could: “Nigel doesn’t have a sword. And he’s trying to keep violence out of this election campaign.”

The apparent insanity of what the party now represented was unfortunately lost on Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, who on Thursday revealed he’d donated £1 million to the party’s election campaign. In case you were wondering: yes, he could have spent that money on his poorly paid workers instead. Now, Desmond’s cash will help further the careers of the likes of Tom Andrews, the 72-year-old UKIP councillor who was this weekend arrested for allegedly assaulting a peace campaigner from Hope Not Hate. Money well spent.

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Lord ‘too ill’ to face child abuse charges was still company director seven days ago

5762293826_b2e6110249_oLord Greville Janner, who yesterday escaped being charged for “some of the most serious sexual crimes imaginable” because it was deemed his alleged dementia made him too ill to stand trial, was director of West Heath Road Seasons Limited up until 10th April this year, just six days before the CPS decision not to press charges was announced. Lord Janner was also attending the House of Lords until October last year. These revelations came on the back of press reports that Janner had previously criticised the UK justice system for failing to prosecute alleged Nazi war criminal Szymon Serafinowicz because he also had dementia.

Lord Janner would have been charged with: 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988. Leicestershire police are apparently “livid” that Janner will not be prosecuted.

 

Featured image: Department for Communities and Local Government (via Flickr)

The Westminster child sex abuse scandal: How deep does the rot go?

In the True Detective season one finale, an ex-cop confesses something to his former partner: “I was aware I might have lost my mind.” After poring over years of evidence, he’s discovered – to his own disbelief – that there may be a child sex ring at the heart of the Louisiana establishment; to those reading up on the Westminster paedophile scandal, that feeling of uncertainty when faced with the enormity of the crime probably rings true. Take a step back, and it still reads like fiction. What some tin hat conspiracy theorists have been saying for years – that amongst those holding power is a dangerous cabal of child rapists and killers – is now being reported by the mainstream media as news.

Or, it is at least more so than the last time we wrote about the Westminster child abuse scandal here at Shamocracy. In the two months since, there’s been a flood of new information regarding what Exaro News has called the “biggest political scandal in Britain’s post-war history”. Readers, viewers, listeners are beginning to take notice. Whilst a shrinking band of media deniers persists with dismissing allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring as false, the number of accusations continues to grow.

Quietly, mind. Because while the Westminster child abuse scandal has made the headlines in media reports abroad, news of allegations that an organised group of VIPs – including British politicians, diplomats, musicians and TV personalities – raped and murdered vulnerable children throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s has yet to truly reach the UK public at large. (Compare it to the media coverage of, say, Jeremy Clarkson being fired from Top Gear.) Much of the press relegates the story to the sidelines, while some, including the BBC, still refer vaguely to a “VIP abuse scandal” and focus on the failures of the police rather than the abusers themselves. Though it seems like Scotland Yard and MI5 did indeed for decades cover up this systemic abuse, what’s still less reported is who was giving the orders.

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The Week in UKIP

As we edge closer to the election, the UK Independence Party shows no sign of easing up on the gaffe count. Since the last edition of The Week in UKIP (which told of one UKIP parliamentary candidate suggesting Israel kidnap Barack Obama, and a UKIP MEP trying to exacerbate climate change during Earth Hour), UKIP’s PR guy – who we’re now starting to imagine as a Winston Wolf-type figure – has surely been earning his keep trying to sort the party out.

Last Thursday, UKIP’s Oxford West and Abingdon candidate Alan Harris was blaming a ‘hack’ for the fact his Facebook account appeared to be saying things like, “why cant i say in my own bloody country black is still a colour and gay are still queers”, and, “A bacon sandwich – a piece of English heritage the fucking Muslims don’t want”, in posts between 2011 and 2013. Another parliamentary candidate, Kendrick ‘Dickie’ Bird, for Banbury, was found to have posted, “on the train sat opposite some gay prick”, in a 2013 Facebook post. Unlike Harris, Bird hasn’t claimed his Facebook was hacked, presumably more confident he won’t be penalised knowing he was just homophobic and not racist as well.

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Living with disability in coalition Britain

Back in February, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith sent a message out to subscribers of the Conservative party email, subject: ‘Benefits’. In it, Smith passionately reiterated one of this coalition government’s key aims; he wrote, “At the heart of our welfare reforms is a simple goal: to tackle the culture of welfare dependency that Labour allowed to develop. So we’re creating a system that helps people stand on their own two feet – restoring the incentive to work and ensuring that work always pays.”

This system Smith speaks of has proven to be a controversial one. There’ll be talk of economic recovery and a drop in unemployment in the run-up to next month’s general election, but one thing PM David Cameron and his Liberal deputy Nick Clegg won’t be telling you about is how the sick and disabled have fared under ConDem rule. Benefits have been sanctioned for near-comical reasons; firms under-qualified to assess whether the sick and disabled are fit for work have had their government contracts terminated early due to “significant quality failures”; and doctors have been pressured to change reports on claimants in order to meet targets.

The effects have been catastrophic – claimants have committed suicide, starved to death and died from health complications as a direct result of their benefits being sanctioned. Some of the most severely ill have even died as a result of being made to go to assessments they were physically unfit to attend. A 2011 report revealed 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of being declared ‘fit for work’ between January 2010 and January 2011. All this, even though the experts argue hardline measures actually make it harder for people to get into work. Consequently, last year, the UK became the first country to ever be investigated by the UN over disability rights violations.

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