All posts by Tony Gosling

Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist. Over the last 20 years he has been exposing the secret power of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and élite Bilderberg Conferences where the dark forces of corporations, media, banks and royalty conspire to accumulate wealth and power through extortion and war. Tony has spent much of his life too advocating solutions which heal the wealth divide, such as free housing for all and a press which reflects the concerns of ordinary people rather than attempting to lead opinion, sensationalise or dumb-down. Tony tweets at @TonyGosling. Tune in to his Friday politics show at BCfm.

My Home Is A Shed: Cornwall author, songwriter and housing campaigner Catrina Davies

Cornwall’s housing crisis laid bare by woman who lives in a shed

Catrina Davies lives an alternative lifestyle because she feels there’s no alternative – By Jacqui Merrington 07 JUL 2019

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/cornwalls-housing-crisis-laid-bare-3065726

Catrina Davies has spent the past six years living in a shed in west Cornwall.
Desperate to return to the place where she grew up but unable to afford a place of her own, she moved into an old shed that was once her dad’s office.
The ramshackle corrugated iron building was full of holes, rats and spiders, but she moved in, just to be back home. She thought it was a temporary solution.
Six years later she’s still there, not because she is desperate for an ‘alternative’ lifestyle – more that she feels there is no alternative. The housing crisis has left her with nothing but a shed for a home.
Catrina, 40, said: “I was living in a shared house in Bristol and I kind of ran away back to the shed which used to be my dad’s office in the 90s. I camped in it. It was supposed to be temporary but then I realised there was very little option for me.
“I really wanted to be here because it feels like home. I am lucky because I had access to this shed.”
An author and musician, Catrina works cleaning and gardening for people around west Cornwall, earning enough money to live, make music and write from her tiny corrugated home, surrounded by books.
She feels that while the housing crisis is a global problem, caused by capitalism and consumerism, it’s a particular issue in Cornwall where second homes price local people out of the market.
“Cornwall is very interesting because it has got this dual economy, this veneer of wealth and yet the actual economy of Cornwall is very deprived.
“For a lot of people growing up here it is hard to leave because you do fall in love with the landscape.
“Thirty years ago you could buy a small flat in Cornwall for £20,000 but now it would cost £200,000 and wages have not changed very much at all. I’m paid a bit more but nowhere near enough.
“It is beginning to polarise people because the life you can expect to live is very different depending on whether you bought a house 20 years ago or you didn’t.”
Over three quarters of neighbourhoods in Cornwall are more deprived than the national average, according to recent statistics. The county is actually among the 50 poorest regions in the whole of Europe.
Catrina says housing has become a commodity – hence the rise in second home ownership in Cornwall – and she believes the same drive to own homes and second homes is contributing to the global crisis around climate change too.
She has just written a book, Homesick: Why I Live In A Shed, which explores her own journey to Cornwall, her struggle to make it as a musician and writer and the alternative lifestyle she’s created here.
In it, she sets her own story within the context of all those struggling to afford a home – local families living in tents every summer to rent out their homes to tourists to help them pay the mortgage or teachers leaving Cornwall because they can’t afford a home.
“I wanted to write something that is not about a utilitarian view of the housing crisis – of people in boxes – but that explored the human side of housing, which is about a relationship with a place and the things that housing offer that is not practical, but emotional. It is about having shelter and autonomy and security.”
While the shed gives Catrina somewhere to live in the place she calls home, it’s a precarious lifestyle and the uncertainty over her future in her tiny space has been a “huge source of anxiety” for her.
She has applied for a lawful development certificate from Cornwall Council to enable her to continue living there in the future.
“Mustering up the courage to do this application took years,” she said. “When I realised the book was going to be published it dawned on me that I was going to be drawing attention to myself and I had to get that application in. I hope very much that it will be OK.”

Environmental Justice or Eugenics? Prince Charles Says We Must Reduce World Population By Three Quarters

Prince Charles warns that we will need ‘four planets like earth to survive’ as we just ‘take and take’ and urges companies to focus on the ‘green recovery’ following coronavirus

He stated that at current rate we would need ‘four planets like earth to survive’ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8757107/Prince-Charles-warns-need-four-planets-like-earth-survive.html

However: We produce enough food to feed 10 billion people. So why does hunger still exist?

Jeremy Erdman – Feb 2, 2018 · 4 min read

https://medium.com/@jeremyerdman/we-produce-enough-food-to-feed-10-billion-people-so-why-does-hunger-still-exist-8086d2657539

Today, 795 million people are hungry. Another 2 billion are expected to join them by 2050.

However, global food production is incredibly efficient. The world’s farmers produce enough food to feed 1.5x the global population. That’s enough to feed 10 billion (we are at 7.6 billion currently).
Despite this excess, hunger still exists.

How is that possible?

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Our inability to feed the entirety of the world’s population is mostly due to food waste. Globally, 30–40% of all food is wasted.
In less developed countries, this waste is due to lack of infrastructure and knowledge to keep food fresh. For example, India loses 30–40% of its produce because retail and wholesalers lack cold storage.

In more developed countries, the lower relative cost of food reduces the incentive to waste. And as portion size grows, more and more food gets thrown out and wasted.

Our food distribution system is inefficient. But this inefficiency won’t drive 2 billion more people into hunger by 2050.
Climate change will.

Change in potential average yields for corn, potatoes, rice, and wheat in 2050

Climate change will reshape the world’s agricultural landscape. Colder climates will become more favorable to agriculture, but many current agriculture powerhouses will see significant declines in yield.

The most notably likely to be impacted:

  • The US’s Midwest region will see at least a 20% decline in corn production.
  • Brazil will see a 16% drop in corn production.
  • Indonesia will see a 20% drop in corn production

To safeguard against these changes, farmers will need to both modernise agricultural methods and diversify their fields.
In terms of outcomes, modernising methods falls into the same bucket as updating food infrastructure. Both require investment and knowledge to improve yield and food availability.

But diversifying fields? That incorporates more crops and methods into agricultural processes. And, ultimately, it can reinvent agriculture itself.

Diversifying and Decentralizing Agriculture

Diversifying our crops is paramount to our health. According to the UN, 75% of crop biodiversity has disappeared since the 1900s. Agricultural biodiversity contributes to more nutritious diets and builds more resilient and sustainable farming systems.
However, another necessary component to building resilient and sustainable farming systems is to reduce risk. Climate change-induced impacts will rock many agricultural hubs. To minimize these impacts on food availability, we need to decentralize its production.
And urban agriculture is a great place to start.

Urban agriculture incorporates producing healthy food into an environment long detached from its food production.
Let’s use City Fruit, a nonprofit in Seattle, as an example.

Seattle has an abundance of fruit trees throughout its neighborhoods and parks. Every year, much of this fruit falls, rots, and wastes. City Fruit saw a need and began diverting this fruit to communities lacking healthy food access.

In just a few years, City Fruit began harvesting over 55,000 pounds of fruit. This amount of fruit not just feeds thousands, but nourishes them as well. It makes use of local resources, and as a result, improves community resiliency.

To end hunger, we need to replicate these types of stories across the globe. We need to identify communities’ abundant local resources, strengthen them, and utilize them to improve food access to those who need it most.

Yes, it will be challenging.

And yes, it will require innovation.

But I’m excited to see what the world creates.

Gender Identity Politics: Land Justice Network Trans Activists Ban People Who Don’t Share Their Views

Radical Intransigence

Gender Identity Politics: Trans Activists Exclude Land Justice Network Campaigners Who Don’t Share Their Views
https://thelandmagazine.org.uk/articles/radical-intransigence-0
download
as pdf

Mike Hannis finds a much-needed debate being shut down.

Last summer we published a short report on the Land Camp organised by the Land Justice Network (Issue 25, p51). We took a humorous angle, but were clearly supportive of LJN, their anti-grousemoor campaign, and the broader objectives of the camp. Raising awareness of how inequitable ownership patterns make unsustainable land uses more likely is after all what The Land is all about.

It may seem odd to go back to that event now, but a separate story emerged from it which also needs to be covered. For many, this story and its ramifications entirely overshadowed the intended message of the camp. This was particularly true for one person present – a woman whose activist credentials might be said to be second to none, yet who was told in no uncertain terms that she was not welcome.

So why would young activists shun a woman who has been fighting hard for causes they espouse since before many of them were born? Answering this question requires some background. The twisting tale starts thirty years ago.

FIGHTING BURGER POWER

As a result of handing out campaign leaflets outside McDonalds, in 1990 a young woman called Helen Steel was one of five members of London Greenpeace sued for libel by the burger giant. Three apologised, but Steel and her eventual co-defendant Dave Morris chose to fight in court. The resulting ‘McLibel’ case remains the longest in English legal history, as well as perhaps its most extreme ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle.

The initial High Court trial alone involved 40,000 pages of evidence and 130 witnesses. Denied legal aid, Steel and Morris represented themselves, receiving occasional free legal assistance along the way from (among many others) Keir Starmer. McDonalds’ legal bills were estimated at over £10 million. In 1997, a High Court judge found that Steel and Morris had indeed libelled McDonald’s, and ordered them to pay the corporation £60,000. However in a PR disaster for McDonald’s, he also found that several of the claims in the leaflet were true, not least those about misleading advertising and the exploitation of children. In 1999 the Court of Appeal reduced this award to £40,000, finding that several further claims (about workers’ pay and conditions, and likely health effects of eating McDonald’s burgers) were also true.

Steel and Morris then appealed to the House of Lords, arguing that they had been unfairly denied legal aid. The Lords refused to accept the case, so they moved on to Europe. In 2005 the European Court of Human Rights finally ordered the UK government to pay Steel and Morris £57,000 in compensation, ruling that the original case had breached Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. English law, said the Court, had failed to protect the public right to criticise the activities of corporations.

TOO CLOSE TO HOME

Ironically, Steel had no part in writing the original leaflet. There was little discussion in court of who had done so, as the alleged libel consisted in its distribution. It had apparently been co-written by several members of London Greenpeace.

Many years later in 2011, it finally emerged that one of the authors of the notorious leaflet had been an undercover policeman, whose real name was Bob Lambert. Lambert was in fact one of two Special Branch spies in London Greenpeace during that period. Though married throughout with two children, he had in 1985 already fathered a child with another female activist while undercover before orchestrating the breakdown of their relationship as an exit strategy at the end of his deployment.

The other police infiltrator, John Dines, began a deceptive intimate relationship with Steel shortly before McDonalds served their libel writs. The relationship lasted almost two years and they rented a flat together, meaning Dines was able to access confidential legal advice Steel was receiving. Concerned after his abrupt departure she spent years trying to trace him, finding inconsistencies and discovering that he had been using the identity of a dead child, but confirming the full shocking truth only in 2010 (and securing official confirmation only in 2016). Alongside seven other women also tricked into relationships with undercover police officers, she then took the Metropolitan Police to court, in another marathon unfunded case. In November 2015 the women won an unprecedented public apology from the police, acknowledging responsibility for serious violations of the women’s human rights.

Steel remains a key figure in ongoing campaigns seeking justice for women similarly deceived, and broader disclosure of the names and activities of the many police officers known to have infiltrated leftwing, anti-war, environmentalist and animal rights groups since 1968. Much of this activity centres on battling for transparency and fairness in the conduct of the Public Enquiry into Undercover Policing, which was grudgingly set up by Theresa May in 2015 but is not expecting to hold its first evidence hearing until summer 2020.

EQUAL RIGHTS

Steel is also involved in a number of other campaigns, one of which is the Land Justice Network. She was a founder member of the LJN action group, and also part of the wider LJN network after attending the founding ‘Land for What?’ conference in November 2016. Another focuses on the potential erosion of women’s sex-based rights by proposed changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, and relatedly, protection of the right to express opinions on this issue. Curiously, it was her involvement in this latter campaign that some considered incompatible with her presence at the Land Camp.

The 2010 Equality Act (EA) lists nine ‘protected characteristics’ on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate against people, or to harass or victimise them. One is sex: men and women must be treated as social equals. Importantly though, being treated as equals does not always mean being treated identically. The Act contains a number of exemptions and exceptions – contexts in which discrimination on grounds of sex is legitimate, usually because it is in fact required in order to ensure that one sex (usually women) are not unfairly disadvantaged or endangered.

Many instances of such legally permissible discrimination involve reserving certain spaces, services and roles only for women. This allows for instance the continued existence of women’s prisons, refuges, and toilets, and the exclusion of men from competing in women’s sport. It also ensures that certain jobs are reserved for women, and that political parties can run all-women candidate shortlists in order to address existing imbalances.

‘Man’ and ‘woman’ are understood in the Act as categories to which people belong on the basis of sex – that is, according to whether their physical bodies are male or female. So far, so apparently simple … but this is where the complexity begins.

SELF-IDENTIFICATION

‘Gender reassignment’ is also a protected characteristic under the EA, meaning that it is illegal to discriminate against a person because they are undergoing (or even ‘proposing to undergo’) a process of gender reassignment. This does not mean that, for instance, a man in the process of becoming a trans woman must be treated for the purposes of the Act as a woman. He remains legally a man, but one with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

If however such a person obtains a Gender Reassignment Certificate (GRC) under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA), then they do legally become their newly ‘acquired gender’. Confusingly, their GRC entitles them to a new birth certificate, on which they are shown as a new sex – in this case, female. (Birth certificates record sex, not gender.) This change is officially termed a ‘legal fiction’, because medically speaking it is not possible to actually change the sex of a human body, even with surgery and hormones. Contrary to widespread assumption, most trans people do not elect to undergo surgery, and this is not required to obtain a GRC.

A trans woman with a GRC and a new birth certificate may therefore become entitled to most of the legal protections afforded to biological women by the EA, including access to many (though not all) spaces and occupations reserved for women. For this and other reasons, a GRC becomes a desirable thing to have as a trans person. But trans rights campaigners say the process of getting a GRC is too onerous, because it requires a long wait and a specific medical diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’. In their view a person describing themselves as having been ‘born in the wrong body’ should be believed, rather than being told they are suffering from a psychological disorder. They therefore argue that applying for a GRC should just involve a simple process of ‘self-ID’, through which the applicant formally identifies as their new gender and thereby enshrines this as their new status for all legal and official purposes.

Following determined lobbying, the Government was in 2018 persuaded to open a consultation on reform of the GRA, including the possibility of moving to a system of self-ID. This was highly controversial, and matters escalated rapidly into acrimonious disagreement between trans rights campaigners and those who argued that self-ID effectively meant redefining the word woman, and would create or exacerbate threats to women’s rights to single sex services, facilities and roles.

This latter group – which includes Helen Steel – seek to preserve as far as possible the principle that the test for admission to reserved roles or spaces should be a person’s physical sex, not their ‘gender identity’. They argue that under a self-ID system there would be no defined criteria to determine whether a person is a woman, and hence no effective way of preserving women-only spaces (including prisons and refuges), with serious consequences for safety and privacy in such spaces. Concerns also arise regarding political and workplace representation for women, and fairness and safety in women’s sport.

INNATE GENDER?

Due in part to current political turmoil, self-ID appears to have been kicked into the long grass for now. But the highly-charged debate sparked by the GRA consultation continues.At one level the disagreement centres on whether there can be such a thing as an innate gender identity that human beings are born with, independent of both physiology and social conditioning. If there can, then it could make sense to speak of a person’s ‘true’ gender identity not matching their ‘gender assigned at birth’. A person could literally be a woman trapped in a male body, or vice versa. It would then be plausible to claim that since only I have access to my inner reality, only I can say what my true gender identity is, and that I should therefore be able to ‘self-identify’ as whatever gender I consider myself to be.

This claim that gender is innate has led to the phrase “trans women are women” being held up as an article of faith, denial of which supposedly reveals one to be ‘phobic’ about trans people, or to ‘deny their right to exist’. It is not enough to accept trans women’s right to live and self-describe as women. In order not to be accused of transphobia, everyone must sign up to the idea that trans women literally are women, and that being a woman (or a man) is a matter of gender identity, not a matter of biology. Campaigners publicly questioning this idea (some of whom adopted the dictionary definition ‘woman = adult human female’ as a slogan) are accused of bigotry.

The ‘gender-critical’ position taken by (often older) feminists like Steel is that far from being innate, ‘gender’ is no more – and no less – than a set of pernicious social constructs dictating how female and male people ‘should’ behave, which serve to impose a hierarchy of male domination and female submission. To accurately describe a person as a woman (or a man) is to identify them by sex, not by gender. Nobody has an innate gender identity, because gender is something imposed on them by society after birth. Sex on the other hand is a matter of biology, and it is not possible to change the biological maleness or femaleness of a human body.

Gender-critical (GC) feminists argue that women are structurally and personally oppressed by men, and by male-centred structures of power, not because of their felt ‘gender identity’, but because of their sex – because of physical facts about their (child-bearing and statistically smaller) female bodies. It is a person’s sex that determines which set of socially-determined gender roles gets imposed on them.

On this view, the idea that gender is innate and independent of sex reinforces sexist stereotypes of how men and women should behave, rather than challenging them. For instance, well-meaning and supposedly emancipatory activities encouraging children to locate their own gender identity somewhere along a ‘Barbie to GI Joe’ spectrum are in fact likely to strengthen the damaging idea that ‘real women’ are like Barbie and ‘real men’ are like GI Joe.

GC thinkers argue that the idea of innate gender is particularly bad for ‘gender-nonconforming’ people, of all kinds and all ages, who should be allowed to live (and love) however they please, rejecting gender roles imposed on them. This includes not being pressured or encouraged to change their bodies to align with their so-called gender identities. It also includes not being accused of bigotry for preferring partners of a specific sex (as opposed to gender). One key group of gender-nonconforming people is of course same-sex-attracted people, and significant controversies have arisen over recent reorientations of some gay and lesbian rights organisations and events to focus on trans issues.

Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic in the EA – it’s illegal to discriminate against someone for being gay or lesbian, just as it is to discriminate against them for being female, or indeed for being in the process of gender reassignment. But ‘gender identity’ is not a protected characteristic. Some trans rights activists argue that it should be, and organisations including Stonewall have lobbied for the EA to be revised along these lines. Stonewall lost this fight, but nonetheless tell organisations seeking their advice that “going above and beyond the law, the most inclusive services consider gender identity to be a protected characteristic.”

NO DEBATE

Aggravated by the immediacy and virulence of social media, the situation has become extremely volatile. Activists and campaigners who have in some cases been allies for decades find themselves on opposing sides of this highly polarised ‘debate’.

Unfortunately though, actual debate on the issue is rare. A strongly-policed orthodoxy has arisen under which GC arguments are portrayed as ‘transphobic’, and any expression of them as ‘hate speech’. Trans rights activists denounce GC writers as ‘bigots’, and refuse to discuss the issues they raise. Even iconic feminists such as Linda Bellos and Germaine Greer are denounced and ‘de-platformed’.

Meetings of women to discuss potential erosion of their legal rights have been aggressively picketed. Public figures have been intimidated into keeping silent on the issue. Co-ordinated campaigns are mounted to remove people expressing GC views (usually women and often lesbians) from their jobs, especially in universities but also in businesses, charities, and NGOs. Several likely test cases are working their way through the legal system. Within ‘progressive’ political parties, widespread dissent over equalities policies and over who should be eligible for posts representing women is suppressed, remaining largely unseen from the outside.

There has also been tension and division at the more radical end of the activist community. An early example in the US was the implosion of the previously flourishing Deep Green Resistance movement (see The Land 15, p54 and 16, p52) over an argument about whether a trans woman should be allowed into a women-only space. Veteran radical author Derrick Jensen, a founder of DGR, is still vilified and now struggles to get his work published.

In the UK, similar rifts emerged after an incident at the London Anarchist Bookfair in 2017, when Helen Steel sought to defend the right of two other women to distribute leaflets critical of the proposed GRA reforms. In the words of the event organisers:

“For expressing this view, she was mobbed by a crowd of people some of whom, had we not stepped in, appeared bent on physically attacking her. We and other stall holders stepped in to prevent this from happening.”

To the disappointment of many, the ensuing controversy led to the cancellation of the 2018 London Bookfair. It also led to a much higher profile on the issue for Steel, who began speaking out more publicly on GRA reform and associated issues. In so doing she has attracted constant attention from trans rights activists, who have even attempted to ‘de-platform’ her from events where she was booked to speak about her experiences of abusive undercover policing.

In the absence of a London event, a large 2018 Anarchist Bookfair was held in Manchester. This time, in Steel’s own words, she was

“physically carried out while trying to persuade them that it was incompatible with anarchist principles to exclude women from participating in discussions about what the word woman means and whether males should be allowed into women-only spaces.”

ON THE MOOR – AND AFTER

This then is the background to what happened at the Land Camp in May 2019. Despite her having been at the camp from the beginning, organisers told Steel only during a protest walk across the moors that they wanted her to leave immediately, as her presence posed “a risk to the safety of trans people”. She challenged this assertion, stating:

“I have now been physically threatened and assaulted by trans activists several times, and yet I have not hit back or threatened anyone – if anyone’s safety is at risk, it’s mine.”

However, some of the organisers told her that she was no longer welcome, and that they were not willing to discuss this further. In a subsequent interview she observed that

“I hadn’t even said anything relating to trans issues at the point I was told to leave, but when I pointed this out I was told that they had made a prior decision that I wasn’t welcome at the camp because of things I had posted on social media.”

What then ensued on social media and elsewhere was by now all too familiar. The small UK land activist community was suddenly riven by bitter disputes about transgender politics. An open letter supporting Steel was swiftly issued. Alongside over 400 other people, three editors of The Land signed this statement, and continue to endorse it. Here is an extract:

“This was the third time that Helen has been threatened or evicted from political events in this way and others have received similar treatment. The idea that questioning gender identity theory amounts to bigotry and ‘hatred’ of trans people is justifying the exclusion of people from the movement. The effect of this is that many are afraid to express an opinion on the issue or even to ask any questions about it, and the end result is that most do not understand different perspectives on the issue. Progressive movements are supposed to work on the basis of mass participation; it is only through the honest exchange of views and varied life experiences that we are able to understand the implications of power dynamics, policies and laws and able to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. It is out of order to single out one individual to be excommunicated, hounded, physically assaulted and humiliated for views which many other progressive people in our radical networks share.”

Organisers of the camp appeared unrepentant. A short statement headed ‘Landcamp safer spaces failure’ was eventually posted on the LJN website saying:

“Landcamp organisers are an autonomous working group that do not speak for the wider Land Justice Network as a whole or any other working group. Landcamp organisers acknowledge that our safer spaces policy was not clear enough in process or content to be fit for purpose. We regret the confusion and agitation caused to all as a result of this. Landcamp organisers look forward to feeding into a wider Land Justice Network safer spaces process which we hope will make clear that people involved in actively campaigning against trans rights will not be welcome at our future events.”

LIKE PIE?

Far from accepting the possibility that any mistake might have been made, this statement clearly implies that the only ‘failure’ was to have allowed Steel onto the protest site in the first place. This perfectly illustrates the difficulty of attempting to debate these issues with those determined to shut down all dissenting opinion. Efforts to elicit further public comment for this article, from LJN or from key individuals involved, were unsuccessful.

As in other contexts where this issue is dividing people, open debate is certainly needed, because the present situation is not only polarised but also confused. It is for instance sometimes claimed that anyone expressing a gender critical perspective is buying into a narrative promoted by rightwing and religious interest groups who believe in upholding rigid traditional gender roles, and see transgender people as a threat to these. Such conservative interest groups certainly exist, and are indeed often prejudiced against transgender people (among others). But gender critical feminists, most of whom are solidly on the left, do not want to uphold traditional gender roles – broadly speaking, they want precisely the opposite. They are not prejudiced against transgender people, and do not seek to ‘deny their existence’.

A simplistic meme often mobilised in these discussions claims that “more rights for one group doesn’t mean less for someone else – it’s not like pie”. This sounds good, but is often entirely mistaken. In real life there are many instances in which giving additional rights and entitlements to one group does entail reducing those previously given to another. The debate currently being shut down focuses on the extent to which this applies in cases like women’s sport, women’s political representation, and protected single-sex spaces. It seems clear that the pie is finite: posts, medals or spaces taken by male-bodied trans women tend to be taken from biological women. This raises legitimate concerns which deserve to be properly heard, not suppressed.

WOMEN AND LAND

Finally it’s worth remembering that land politics is an area in which inequality between men and women is extremely prevalent. Worldwide, women do the bulk of land-based work, but own less than 20 percent of privately-owned land – and as the world’s remaining commons pass into private ownership, the hands they pass into are disproportionately male.

In many countries laws and customs on inheritance of land still discriminate against women. Such discrimination can often be a matter of life and death, and affects many of the world’s most disadvantaged people. But a version of it operates even within the British aristocracy, which as we now know still owns over a third of England. Aristocratic titles and land estates traditionally follow the rule of primogeniture and pass from father to oldest son, preserving the power and prestige of dominant males. Helen Steel points out that although the principle of the Gender Recognition Act is that a person with a GRC legally becomes their aquired gender ‘for all purposes’, a specific exclusion was inserted to prevent older female offspring who obtain a GRC (making them legally male) from inheriting an aristocratic title and estate ahead of a younger brother. An Explanatory Note makes clear that

“The descent of any peerage or dignity or title of honour will take place as if a person recognised in the acquired gender were still of the birth gender. The same rule applies to any property that passes with it.”

This curious exclusion, says Steel, shows once more how current changes in the legal framework around sex and gender tend at every turn to preserve and extend male privilege while eroding women’s rights.

Women all over the world are discriminated against not because of their gender identity, but because of their sex. Excluding those who recognise this makes it less likely that this important dimension of global (and local) land politics will be properly considered.

Friends Families and Travellers Investigation: Police Don’t Want More Powers To Evict Traveller Encampments

Even the police don’t want more powers to evict Traveller camps – investigation reveals

https://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/news/2020/09/even-police-dont-want-more-powers-evict-traveller-camps-investigation-reveals

Police do not want more powers to evict unauthorised Traveller camps and instead want more legal sites built – an investigation by the charity Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) has revealed.

The national charity submitted freedom of information requests to all Police Forces and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales, as well as the National Police Chief Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to get their submissions to the Government’s 2019 consultation ‘Strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments’.

In the consultation the Government threatened to:

  • Make trespass a crime – resulting in prison, a fine or your vehicle being taken from you.
  • Make it a crime for you to stop alongside or on the road – they will be able to move you along.
  • Make it so police can act when there is two vehicles, instead of six. A car, a trailer and a van would count as three vehicles. A horse drawn wagon would also count as a vehicle, say lawyers.
  • Make it so police can force you to go to a transit site in another county.
  • Make it so you are banned from an area for one year instead of three months.

The FFT research shows that only one out of five bodies who responded with their submissions supported the Government proposals to criminalise unauthorised encampments and nearly all of police bodies called for more site provision. Less than one in five agreed with the Home Office proposals to give police power to seize vehicles of those on unauthorised encampments.

“The findings clearly demonstrate that only a small percentage of police respondents are in favour of criminalising trespass or strengthening of existing powers, stressing that this will be ineffective unless there is increased site provision,” say Friends Families and Travellers.

The full FFT report on their investigation can be seen here.

The consultation closed in March 2020 and the Government is expected to release their own results on the consultation later this autumn.

POLICE REPEAT CALLS FOR MORE SITES, REJECTING HOME OFFICE PROPOSALS TO CRIMINALISE TRESPASS

Key findings

  • Only 21.7% of police respondents agreed with the Home Office proposals to criminalise unauthorised encampments
  • 93.7% of police bodies called for site provision as the solution to unauthorised encampments.
  • Only 37.5% of police respondents agreed with the Home Office proposals to grant powers to direct families across local authority lines.
  • Only 18.7% of police respondents agreed with Home Office proposals to give police power to seize vehicles of those on unauthorised encampments.
  • Only 37.5% of police respondents agreed with the Home Office proposals to lower the number of vehicles needing to be involved in an unauthorised encampment before police powers can be exercised from 6 to 2 vehicles.
  • Only 43.7% of police respondents agreed with the Home Office proposals to increase the period of time in which those on encampments would be unable to return from 3 months to
    12 months.

There is no point in bringing in more laws which tell Travellers where they can’t go when you aren’t telling them where they can go
Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“The hostile approach taken by this Government towards Gypsies and Travellers must stop. We have seen huge opposition to these proposals, opposition not only from the police but from across society in recognition of the implications for human rights and civil liberties. The Government have failed Gypsy and Traveller communities – there is no point in bringing in more laws which tell Travellers where they can’t go when you aren’t telling them where they can go.”

In their response to the consultation, the National Police Chiefs Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said, “We believe that criminalising unauthorised encampments is not acceptable. Complete criminalisation of trespass would likely lead to legal action in terms of incompatibility with regard to the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010, most likely on the grounds of how could such an increase in powers be proportionate and reasonable when there are insufficient pitches and stopping places?”

The Travellers’ Times understands that Lawyers for Gypsies and Travellers are set to challenge in the High Court any new laws strengthening police powers to evict camps.

A Government spokesperson said:

“While the vast majority of traveller communities reside in authorised encampments, there have been long-standing concerns about the disproportionate impact of some unauthorised sites which cause significant distress to local communities.

“That is why the Home Office carried out a consultation seeking views on strengthening police powers to tackle these unauthorised encampments. A response will be made in due course.”

 

POLICE REPEAT CALLS FOR MORE SITES, REJECTING HOME OFFICE PROPOSALS TO CRIMINALISE TRESPASS

September 9, 2020 – Today, Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) release the findings of an illuminating report which indicates only a small percentage of police bodies are in favour of the Home Office proposals to criminalise unauthorised encampments. The research found an overwhelming 93% of police bodies who submitted to the consultation and shared their response with FFT called for better site provision for Gypsies and Travellers as a solution to unauthorised encampments.

FFT submitted freedom of information (FOI) requests to all Police Forces and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales, as well as the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) to view the responses of police bodies to the Government’s 2019 consultation ‘Strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments’.

From the responses shared with FFT, only 21.7% of police bodies agreed with the Home Office proposals to criminalise unauthorised encampments; 93.7% of police bodies called for site provision as the solution to unauthorised encampments; and only 18.7% of respondents agreed with the Home Office proposals to give police power to seize vehicles of those on unauthorised encampments.

The findings clearly demonstrate that only a small percentage of police respondents are in favour of criminalising trespass or strengthening of existing powers, stressing that this will be ineffective unless there is increased site provision. The consultation closed in March 2020 and the Government is expected to release their own results on the consultation later this autumn.

Following the release of the report, Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“The hostile approach taken by this Government towards Gypsies and Travellers must stop. We have seen huge opposition to these proposals, opposition not only from the police but from across society in recognition of the implications for human rights and civil liberties. The Government have failed Gypsy and Traveller communities – there is no point in bringing in more laws which tell Travellers where they can’t go when you aren’t telling them where they can go.”

Speaking about the personal impacts of the proposed powers, Martha Ostick shared:

“You never feel like you can get settled when you live on the road, it’s impossible to feel grounded and that impacts every part of your life, you are in the hands of the authorities and it doesn’t feel safe. This new legislation makes you feel like you’re not included in society, that you’re a criminal. We don’t need more police powers, we need negotiated stopping so you can plan your year, get work, get to school, be part of the same society as everyone else.”

Voicing concerns over additional police powers without more sites, Chloe said:

“I think the Government should be listening more to the police, the ones that do want to help the Traveller community. They are out there every day, and they see exactly what’s going on – the impacts police powers have on families. The police don’t need more powers. More powers will make life much harder for people who are homeless. If the government authorised more sites it would be a better solution to the problems. Gypsies and Travellers haven’t got any say now, if the police got more powers, if feels like there will be no hope.”

Speaking about the research findings, a spokesperson for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Police Association (GRTPA) said:

“The GRTPA are absolutely opposed to the Government recommendations to criminalise trespass and the stronger police powers that have been drafted. This proposed legislation criminalises a traditional way of life for our community and will only seek to marginalise Gypsies and Travellers further. We believe the solution is, and has always been adequate site provision across the country, inclusive of transit sites and negotiated stopping. Gypsies and Travellers are recognised ethnic groups and our nomadic way of life is part of our culture, therefore the legislation would be in conflict with Human Rights and Equality legislation and would only further antagonise the awful bias and discrimination we suffer daily.”

Notes for Editor

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works on behalf of all Gypsies, Roma and Travellers regardless of ethnicity, culture or background.

Media Contact

Sami McLaren, Communications Officer

Tel: 07436 228910 Email: sami@gypsy-traveller.org

Relevant Resources

‘Police renew calls for more Gypsy and Traveller sites in opposition to the criminalisation of unauthorised encampments’. View report.

Svalbard: Bayer-Monsanto & Syngenta planning farming monopoly in a global crisis?

A virtually inaccessible seed vault controlled by the world’s foremost advocates of eugenics & population reduction is remarkable. Could Gates’ #SvalbardSeedVault be a mechanism for Bayer-Monsanto & Syngenta to grab a farming monopoly in a global crisis?

03 March 2020 Author: F. William Engdahl

Svalbard: Bayer-Monsanto & Syngenta plan farming monopoly in a global crisis?
What’s Going On With the Arctic ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault?

https://journal-neo.org/2020/03/03/what-s-going-on-with-the-arctic-doomsday-seed-vault/

Against the backdrop of the spreading fear about a global coronavirus pandemic, an event has slipped largely under the radar at a spot so removed from the rest of the world that most are unaware of its existence. The Svalbard ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault on Spitsbergen Island north of the Arctic Circle just received an additional major shipment of plant variety seeds for its special storage. What makes this entire seed bank enterprise suspicious at the very least is the list of financial sponsors behind the global project.

On February 25 more than 60,000 new seed varieties were placed in the Svalbard vault, the largest deposit of seeds since it opened. This brings the total of seed types to over one million since the vault was first opened for deposits in early 2008.

The latest seed deposits include onions from Brazil, guar beans from central Asia, corn seeds sacred to the Cherokee nation and wildflowers from a meadow at Prince Charles’s home in the UK (sic). The Svalbard vault is on the island that is legally part of Norway since a 1925 treaty. The Norwegian government put up much of the money for the construction of the facility whose backers declared it was able to withstand a nuclear bomb blast. The only problem was planners did not make the structure, built into a mountain side, waterproof and the entrance flooded amid heavy rains in 2016, necessitating a major £20 million of repairs and upgrade which were just completed, some four years later. Notably, as Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg pointed out during the recent seed-greeting ceremony, the year 2020 is slated as the year by which countries should have safeguarded genetic diversity of crops to meet the UN goal of ‘eliminating hunger by 2030.’ The year 2030 is when the UN IPCC predicts catastrophic climate change barring a radical action from the world, as well as the key benchmark year for the UN’s Malthusian Agenda 203 0.

The publicly-stated argument for the major seed bank project is supposedly as a safe backup for the numerous national seed bank collections in event they are destroyed in war as in Syria or Iraq, or by natural disaster or other calamity. The Svalbard vault has been called the ‘Noah’s ark of seeds,’ there should a ‘global catastrophe’ occur, to allow a theoretical restart to world agriculture. OK. Interesting. Who would decide how to distribute those seeds in event of such a catastrophe is not addressed.

What is notable is the list of those backing this highly unusual public-private partnership.

Crop Trust?

The seed bank and acquisition of the seeds is managed by an entity known as the Crop Trust, officially known as the Global Crop Diversity Trust, now based in Bonn, Germany. On its website Crop Trust makes the modest claim that their ‘sole mission is to ensure humanity conserves and makes available the world’s crop diversity for future food security.’

It has an impressive list of financial sponsors which it calls the Donors’ Council. Among the most eye-catching they name Bayer Crop Science, which now incorporates Monsanto; DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred; Syngenta AG, now owned by ChemChina. These are the world’s largest purveyors of GMO patented seeds and the paired agrichemicals such as Roundup with glyphosate. China’s now state-owned Syngenta is the world’s largest supplier of crop chemicals.

In addition, Crop Trust Donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the major donor to initiate the Trust in 2004 with the FAO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and CGIAR, acting through Bioversity International.

Gates Foundation is joined at Crop Trust by the Rockefeller Foundation, the ones who first financed the creation of GMO biotechnology beginning in the 1970’s at their International Rice Research Institute, where they spent millions trying to develop the colossal failure called Vitamin A-enhanced Golden Rice. CGIAR, set up in 1972 by the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation to spread their Green Revolution agribusiness model, controls most of the private seed banks from the Philippines to Syria to Kenya. In all, these present seed banks hold more than six and a half million seed varieties, almost two million of which are ‘distinct.’ Svalbard’s Doomsday Vault has a capacity to house four and a half million different seeds.

At the time the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault opened in 2008 the chairman of the Crop Trust was Canadian Margaret Catley-Carlson. Catley-Carlson was also president until 1999 of the New York-based Population Council, John D. Rockefeller III’s population reduction organization, set up in 1952 to advance the Rockefeller family’s eugenics program under the cover of promoting ‘family planning,’ birth control devices, sterilization and ‘population control’ in developing countries. Catley-Carlson also sat on the board of the Syngenta Foundation.

De-Population Council

Being President of the Rockefeller-founded Population Council is no minor deal. In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus, a sickness arising from such things as stepping on a rusty nail. The vaccine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are presumably equally as liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curious anomaly, Comit’ Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization, became suspicious and had vaccine samples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vaccine being spread by the WHO’ only to women of child-bearing age’ contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.

It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller’s Population Council, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved in a 20-year-long project begun in 1972 to develop the concealed abortion vaccine with a tetanus carrier for WHO. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault, donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine.

Is it just coincidence that the same Gates Foundation is backing the organization responsible for maintaining the Svalbard ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault at the same time Gates is emerging as a major authority on the danger of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic? In an article he wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine, Gates stated that the designated COVID19, ‘has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.’

A virtually inaccessible seed vault under the control of some of the world’s foremost advocates of eugenics and population reduction is definitely remarkable. With more than a million of the irreplaceable seed heritage of the world locked inside the Svalbard Seed Vault, could this be a way for GMO agribusiness giants like Bayer-Monsanto or Syngenta to illegally gain access to those seeds in a time of global crisis? It sounds very far-fetched, yet there are far-fetched goings on in our world. We could say, ‘He who controls the world’s crop seeds, controls the world.’

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ‘New Eastern Outlook.

New £10,000 fines for organisers of illegal raves from Friday under cover of ‘coronavirus’

Coronavirus: New £10,000 fines for organisers of illegal raves from Friday

Police in England will be able to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people such as raves up to £10,000 from Friday, ministers say.Those who attend gatherings and those who do not wear face coverings where it is mandatory can be given a £100 fine, doubling on each offence up to £3,200.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-organisers-of-illegal-raves-to-face-a-10-000-fine-from-next-friday-12054434

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can set their own enforcement rules.

The government first unveiled plans for tougher penalties for those breaking coronavirus rules earlier this month.

Details of the stricter rules come after extra restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19 were introduced in north-west England.

Police say they have dispersed hundreds of illegal gatherings since coronavirus restrictions came into place.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “These gatherings are dangerous and those who organise them show a blatant disregard for the safety of others.”

She added: “We will continue to crack down on the small minority who think they are above the law.”

Rave culture in the UK has given us superstar artists and DJs like The Prodigy and Carl Cox

Police in Birmingham said they attended more than 70 unlicensed street and house parties on Saturday night, while police in Huddersfield broke up an illegal rave involving about 300 people.

In London, the Metropolitan Police has responded to more than 1,000 unlicensed events since the end of June, the Home Office said.

The tougher rules have been welcomed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Commander Ade Adelekan, NPCC lead for unlicensed music events, said those who organised such gatherings “irresponsibly put people’s health and safety at risk”.

He added: “To the organisers of this sort of activity, I strongly advise that you seriously consider the risks you’re creating for everyone in attendance and the wider community. There is a risk of prosecution for those who organise these events and equipment will be seized.”

The tougher penalties will also see those who flout rules around face coverings issued a larger fine – starting at £100 and doubling up to £3,200 for each repeat offence.

In England, face coverings are mandatory in many indoor settings, including public transport, shops and museums, with some exemptions for children or on medical grounds.

It comes after a further 18 deaths were recorded in the UK on Saturday, bringing the total number of people to have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus to 41,423.

As of 21 August, the UK recorded 21.2 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the last fortnight, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, warned on Saturday that coronavirus would be present “forever in some form or another”.

His comments differ from those of the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said he hoped the pandemic would be over within two years.

But Hector Drummond published Christopher Bowen’s graphs showing they are both wrong. The Covid-19 virus has virtually disappeared and any ‘increase in cases’ most

Authorities have also deliberately fostered a massive increase in unnecessary deaths by suppressing clear evidence that the cheap anti-malarial drug Chloroquine is an effective cure both for SARS and Covid-19.

Bill Gates’ and the mass media’s pandemic hysteria has had authoritarian consequences, leading to cancellation of elections and stripping of civil liberties all over the world.

The number of elderly people claiming pensions has also been vastly reduced in what could be a cynical plan to reduce pension fund liabilities causing many to describe it as a satanic ‘psychological operation’.

Up To Two Years In Prison For Vehicle Dwellers? Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees’ Bid to Ethnically Cleanse St Werburgh’s

Up To Two Years In Prison For Vehicle Dwellers? Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees’ in Bid to Ethnically Cleanse St Werburgh’s

Bristol’s Labour Mayor Marvin Rees has employed an expensive London barrister, one of the UK’s top public law and injunction lawyers, in a bid to ban travellers from the central Bristol parish of St Werburgh’s. This means scores of individuals who have managed to get an affordable vehicle or caravan roof over their heads may now be criminalised for living in this part of the city.

Though businesses and a small number of residents have been complaining on and off for a decade or so about vehicle dwellers in the area, in February 2020 articles written by the Bristol Post chief reporter Conor Gogarty appeared in the local paper and the national Daily Mirror accusing, with only circumstantial photographic evidence, van-dwellers collectively of a host of crimes including drug use, graffiti, defecating in the street, crimes which are, in fact endemic right across the poorer quarters of the city. Not mentioned by Mr Gogarty in his articles is Bristol mayor Marvin Rees’ closure of the city’s public toilets and refusal of Marvin Rees’ administration to provide even simple sanitary or rubbish facilities for van-dwellers in the form of portaloos or communal bins.

If the plaintiffs, Bristol City Council Legal Services Department represented by Mr Daniel Stilitz QC, are successful, it will mean signs going up on lampposts in the parish injuncting all van and caravan dwellers out of the area. Anyone discovered by Bristol City Council security, civil enforcement officers or police to be sleeping in a vehicle or caravan in St Werburgh’s will be liable to be summonsed for contempt of court, facing a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

This quarter of the city is presently undergoing gentrification and some travellers believe that the council’s move may be driven by property speculators who believe new flats will not sell for top prices if the area is seen to be ‘teeming with travellers’. But Bristol is one of the most important traveller cities in the UK with many working on the South West annual festival circuit and spending the winter in the city. The 2020 pandemic however has decimated cultural and creative industries and meant many travellers are spending summer in the city for the first time in decades raising the question that Marvin Rees and the city establishment see this one-off pandemic-induced traveller overload as a rare ‘opportunity’ to target itinerants.

Indeed travellers have been staying in Bristol for centuries and as such are a protected ethnic group under European, British and Bristol City Council’s own human rights legislation/ethical standards.

Many have pointed out that whereas the previous independent mayor George Ferguson took a more tolerant view, trying to balance the needs of van-dwellers with the concerns of local residents wherever possible in the city, the present unelected Labour mayor Marvin Rees, who, due to SARS-CoV-2, did not stand for re-election as he was due to do in May 2020, has been working much more closely with local businesses, firmly taking their side in the long-running dispute.

In an apparently contradictory twist mayor Rees is this week also calling for compassion toward minorities in his ‘City of Sanctuary’, updated in 2020 to a ‘City of Hope’ asking Bristol residents to take vulnerable homeless people into their own homes. On 11 August he was quoted by the BBC: “We have a great opportunity to make sure that no-one has to return to the streets following the Covid-19 crisis, and that includes people seeking asylum in our city.”

In a previous case two years ago in June 2018 Mr Rees successfully injuncted scores of van-dwellers in the Easton area of Bristol out of Greenbank Road next to Greenbank cemetery, with the mayor who also lives adjacent to the cemetery presumably being one of those calling for the travellers to be removed from just one road rather than a whole parish. Many are now wondering, if Marvin Rees obtains this injunction, from Greenbank displacing travellers to St Werburgh’s to….? Where will the scores of van-dwellers be ‘herded’ to next?

Or will Marvin Rees decide that with large council-owned sites around the city centre fenced off and empty, he may now have a duty to open them up for travellers.

The case is due to conclude at Bristol’s Civil Justice Centre in November.

Related article ->

Was Easton-born Bristol Post editor Mike Norton sacked because he called out Bristol mayor Marvin Rees’ for bullying journalist Adam Postans?

Bristol Post editor slams mayor’s ‘petty and childish’ ridicule of local democracy reporter – ‘That the people who run our city would behave in this way towards another human being, in plain sight, is reprehensible. It is an abuse of the public platform which their roles bestow upon them. And that’s the point here. Adam is not just a journalist. He represents the public, who pay his wages – and the wages of the people mocking him. When Mr Rees and his cronies ridiculed Adam, they were ridiculing all of us and our right to scrutinise council business. Adam, who has been a qualified journalist for 24 years, was the only reporter at the meeting. These people would clearly prefer his seat to remain unoccupied. They want to control the narrative of how the council’s business is reported, laced with their own nuances and no mentions of overspends or attribution.

Reach PLC controls Express, Mirror and Bristol Post, editor for 15 years Mike Norton has ‘left’ The Post – Bristol Post newspaper job cuts ‘a threat to democracy’ – The National Union of Journalists has warned about the “threat to democracy” over the planned cuts. Redundancies at two local newspapers pose “a grave threat” to Bristol’s democracy, a union has warned. All nine news reporters at the Bristol Post are at risk along with all staff at the Western Daily Press. “Fewer journalists means fewer people to question those in power,” a spokesperson for the National Union of Journalists said. The owner of the two titles, Reach, said it was “proud” of its Bristol papers and the “vital role” they play. “Reach continues to consult with colleagues and trade unions over the proposed changes which are subject to a minimum-45 day statutory consultation period,” the statement added. “The pandemic has seen significant declines in local advertising, so these changes are required and are about us operating more efficiently to protect local journalism and our news brands for the long-term.” Reach, which was created in March 2018 when Trinity Mirror bought the Daily Express and other titles, saw a 13% drop in revenue last year amid a continued decline in print newspaper sales. ‘Grave threat’: The firm, which also runs the Bristol Live website, announced the cuts earlier in July. In a meeting with staff on Wednesday, bosses told employees that 22 of 58 at-risk posts would be going across titles in the South West. Nationally, Reach is cutting 550 jobs. It comes after the editor of the Post, Mike Norton, left his job after 15 years in the role. 

Unrelated article ->

Rockefeller Foundation ‘Lock Step’ Paper Published in 2010 Predicted How a Pandemic Could be Used as an Excuse to Establish Global Authoritarian Power – Need to Know’ news site – Lockstep. China. Depopulation and Covid 19 – The report in question has the bland title, “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development.” It was published in May 2010 in cooperation with the Global Business Network of futurologist Peter Schwartz

Charmy Down nr. Bath: anti-lockdown rave at disused airfield ‘was too big to stop’

Thousands attend illegal rave at RAF Charmy Down near Bath
19 July 2020
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-53462514

Police say they did not have the manpower to stop an illegal rave near Bath which attracted more than 3,000 partygoers through the night.

The event, at the former RAF Charmy Down airfield about three miles from the city, began late on Saturday.

Week 26 graphs from Christopher Bowyer

People living as far away as Bristol complained they had been kept awake.

Avon and Somerset Police said despite officers arriving at the scene within minutes of being alerted there were already “many people at the site”.

Ch Supt Ian Wylie said the force was aware a major gathering was likely this weekend, but it was unable to pinpoint where it might take place.

Once officers were called to the former RAF station, he said, it was too late.

‘No standing army’

“We got the call just after 23:00 (BST) and we were there within 10 minutes but all the stages were set up and all the music was already going with many, many people at the site,” he said.

“It became impossible for us to do anything… because of the safety of those partygoers, many of whom were drunk, many of whom were on drugs, and the safety of the officers attending.”

He said it was not possible to gather enough officers to disperse such a large number of people at that time of night.

“We don’t have a standing army waiting to deal with these issues,” he added.

In an earlier statement, Avon and Somerset Police said despite closing off approach routes, officers were still turning vehicles away on Sunday morning.

Ch Supt Wylie said the music was stopped just after 13:00 on Sunday and the site was eventually cleared three hours later.

Local resident Dulcie Walpole said as well as the noise issue, the arrival of huge numbers of cars had also caused disruption.

“We had appointments to go to this morning and we couldn’t actually get out of the lane, there were cars parked all the way down and it’s all blocked off,” she said.

“All of our neighbours have called the police and complained and it doesn’t seem to have done anything.”

Tanya Rich, who lives in Weston in Bath, said the music from the rave, held close to the A46, woke her up at 05:00.

“I heard this thumping sound. I thought someone had their car stereo on loud and it would stop, but it kept going,” she said.

“I went on my local Facebook group and everyone was talking about it and complaining.

“People have been saying they can hear it as far away as Longwell Green, even Kingswood.

“It’s so loud. You couldn’t have a window open.”

Ch Supt Wylie said an investigation would take place into how the rave was organised.

“This is just, frankly, selfish actions of individuals who seemed determined to ignore the Covid-19 legislation, and all of the health advice that has been widely publicised,” he said.

“They have caused significant disruption to the people of Bath and the local area.”

US Supreme Court rules half of Oklahoma is Native American land

US Supreme Court rules half of Oklahoma is Native American land – 10 July 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53358330

A representative of the Choctaw nation – one of the Five Tribes of Oklahoma central to the court ruling, who have welcomed the ruling
The US Supreme Court has ruled about half of Oklahoma belongs to Native Americans, in a landmark case that also quashed a child rape conviction.
The justices decided 5-4 that an eastern chunk of the state, including its second-biggest city, Tulsa, should be recognised as part of a reservation.
Jimcy McGirt, who was convicted in 1997 of raping a girl, brought the case.  He cited the historical claim of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to the land where the assault occurred.

How did other tribal leaders react?
In a joint statement, the Five Tribes of Oklahoma – Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole and Muscogee Nation – welcomed the ruling.
They pledged to work with federal and state authorities to agree shared jurisdiction over the land.
“The Nations and the state are committed to implementing a framework of shared jurisdiction that will preserve sovereign interests and rights to self-government while affirming jurisdictional understandings, procedures, laws and regulations that support public safety, our economy and private property rights,” the statement said.

What does the ruling mean?
Thursday’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma is seen as one of the most far-reaching cases for Native Americans before the highest US court in decades.
The ruling means some tribe members found guilty in state courts for offences committed on the land at issue can now challenge their convictions.
Only federal prosecutors will have the power to criminally prosecute Native Americans accused of crimes in the area.
Tribe members who live within the boundaries may also be exempt from state taxes, according to Reuters news agency.
Some 1.8 million people – of whom about 15% are Native American – live on the land, which spans three million acres.

What did the justices say?
Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by US President Donald Trump, sided with the court’s four liberals and also wrote the opinion.
He referred to the Trail of Tears, the forcible 19th Century relocation of Native Americans, including the Creek Nation, to Oklahoma.
The US government said at the time that the new land would belong to the tribes in perpetuity.
Justice Gorsuch wrote: “Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law.
“Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.”

What about the rape case?
The ruling overturned McGirt’s prison sentence. He could still, however, be tried in federal court.
McGirt, now 71, was convicted in 1997 in Wagoner County of raping a four-year-old girl.
He did not dispute his guilt before the Supreme Court, but argued that only federal authorities should have been entitled to prosecute him.
McGirt is a member of the Seminole Nation.
His lawyer, Ian Heath Gershengorn, told CNBC: “The Supreme Court reaffirmed today that when the United States makes promises, the courts will keep those promises.”

How might Oklahoma’s criminal justice system be affected?
In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the decision would destabilise the state’s courts.
He wrote: “The State’s ability to prosecute serious crimes will be hobbled and decades of past convictions could well be thrown out.
“The decision today creates significant uncertainty for the State’s continuing authority over any area that touches Indian affairs, ranging from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law.”
An analysis by The Atlantic magazine of Oklahoma Department of Corrections records found that 1,887 Native Americans were in prison as of the end of last year for offences committed within the boundaries of the tribal territory.
But fewer than one in 10 of those cases would qualify for a new federal trial, according to the research.
Jonodev Chaudhuri, a former chief justice of the Muscogee Nation’s Supreme Court, dismissed talk of legal mayhem.
He told the Tulsa World newspaper: “All the sky-is-falling narratives were dubious at best.
“This would only apply to a small subset of Native Americans committing crimes within the boundaries.”

Are we witnessing the death throes of the British monarchy?

It started thirty six years after the bloodthirsty Knights Templar warrior-bankers were disgraced and dissolved, a new order of 26 ‘knights’ were initiated in 1348 that have dominated the British crown ever since. The Order of the Garter consists of two conjoined cells, each of thirteen knights that advise and ‘protect’ the monarch and heir apparent.

Because of their obsessive secrecy and lack of transparency over the centuries those appointed to these knights have become the very antithesis of Medieval chivalry, a lethal mixture of yes-men, and devious chancers who would sell their own mother to get a seat, and a cut of the rent, at the top table.

Nothing could illustrate more clearly the British monarchy’s distain for their poor subjects than Henry VIII’s asset seizure and eviction in the 1530s of around ten thousand monks from Britain’s monasteries.

Since the days of Alfred the Great these holy orders had been providing a backbone of education and healthcare to the nation, but to Henry they represented a kind of Vatican fifth column, daring to question the wisdom of his break from Rome to form his independent Church of England.

In 1638, with special pleadings from Archbishop Laud, Charles I addressed the privatisation of land, enclosure, by fining rich merchants and parliamentarians who had evicted villagers from collectively managed open fields. Only ‘freemen’ owning land worth over 40 shillings a year could vote so the merchants had effectively been voting themselves growing land the poor needed to feed themselves.

Charles I, perhaps bravely, perhaps foolishly, tried to buck the trend of the creeping privatisation of land, but the merchants secretly organised against him, launched the English Civil War and he lost his head in 1649. The merchant classes were now firmly in power and ready to bring their new-fangled capitalism to the world.

From: Prince Charles strikes another blow for the British republic

Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.

Tony tweets at @TonyGosling. Tune in to his Friday politics show at BCfm. 23 May, 2014 Get short URL

​Prince Charles strikes another blow for the British republic
There is an air of unreality to Prince Charles’ spin-squad attempting this week to prove that the future British Head of State’s comparison of Putin to Hitler, while surrounded by journalists on a royal tour, was said in a ‘private conversation’.

It is not just that his views show how out of touch he and his PR team are with the nation and the real world, but Charles’ flippant remarks draw unwelcome attention to his own and his family’s close connections to Nazis, and related war-mongering.

His father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was educated for a time in Nazi Germany and his four sisters married black-uniformed SS officers (three of them, Sophie, Cecile and Margarita, joining the Nazi party). Philip admitted to then having ‘inhibitions about the Jews’ to an American academic and feeling ‘jealousy of their success.’ Charles’ great uncle, the abdicated ex-King Edward VIII, was such a swastika-waver that MI6 had to banish him to Bermuda for the duration of World War Two, thwarting his and his Nazi wife Mrs Simpson’s attempts to join Hitler by crossing into occupied Europe.

Charles himself has come quite close to publicly endorsing Hitler’s slippery chief Architect and Armaments Minister Albert Speer by hiring Speer’s greatest devotee, Léon Krier, as his own chief architect for his Duchy of Cornwall’s extensive building projects. Writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades in his 1994 documentary, ‘Jerry Building’ nails Krier as the ‘Speer-carrier’ and ‘Keeper of the Toxic Flame’, pointing out that every one of Speer’s creations, which include the Nuremberg rally stadium, is inseparable from the inhuman experimentation and forced concentration camp labor used to construct them.

Charles’ great grandfather George V was one of the three ‘great’ architects of World War One, the so-called ‘Cousins’ War’, four years of mindless slaughter that began exactly a century ago. With two more Saxe-Coburg Gotha cousins, George’s hapless subjects slugged it out in trench warfare with Germany’s Wilhelm II and Russia’s Nicholas II’s unfortunates leaving, by 1918, a total of some ten million dead for no discernible purpose.

When in 1917 ill-mannered soldiers began pointing out that German Gotha bombers from another branch of the King’s family business were killing them, George V blithely announced that his surname was changing from ‘Saxe-Coburg Gotha’ to the more English-sounding ‘Windsor’.

Even masterpieces like Richard Attenborough’s 1969 feature film ‘Oh! What A Lovely War’, the BBC’s controversial 1986 drama ‘The Monocled Mutineer’ and the poetry of Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy, Worcester army padre known affectionately as ‘Woodbine Willie’, do not quite reflect the futility of the war and the bitterness it stirred up amongst ordinary people.

Today, despite standing against the Nazis in World War Two, Her Majesty’s government and armed forces, who all swear allegiance to the Queen, are backing most of the dictators and despots around the world. From President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka with the blood of 40,000 innocent Tamil civilians on his hands, to King Abdullah’s brutal Saudi regime which still practices public beheadings. Charles’ tongue always speaks for the world leaders Amnesty International tells us are the bad guys, but he is looking to make money with them, whether through real estate or arms.

The meddling ‘black spider’ prince

Whether Charles’ meddling in politics today is for good or ill in Britain we can only guess because he spends hundreds of thousands of pounds, even more than he spends on PR, on confidentiality lawyers to stop the British public finding out. Not only has he been shown to be secretly vetoing legislation passed by parliament which he doesn’t like but sending regular hand-written ‘black spider’ directives to Secretaries of State.

Charles’ lawyers have fought a four year battle against Guardian journalist Rob Evans to keep these communications secret, arguing that as a private citizen he is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act. So far he has succeeded in keeping these directives, which professor of constitutional law at Manchester University Rodney Brazier modestly described as a ‘constitutional innovation’, secret.

How the nation is to deal with Charles’ secret stretching of what is expressly a non-political office, in a way that his mother Queen Elizabeth rarely appears to have done, hangs in the air like a constitutional bad smell. If his mother’s rare missive to the Labour Home Secretary demanding the arrest of radical Muslim cleric Abu-Hamza are anything to go by Charles’ letters would be revealing indeed.

Don’t mention Diana

Visitors to Charles’ country estate, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, are disappointed to find all traces of Princess Diana are notable by their absence, even from the gift shop where she would no doubt turn a handsome profit. Despite William and Harry doing much of their growing up here their mother’s name, image and memory has been entirely expunged.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales gives a speech as he visits Stevenson Campus Air Hanger on May 21, 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada.(AFP Photo / Chris Jackson)

This is a pity since Diana and the boys spent many of their happiest times in and around the market town of Tetbury, nestling as it does in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. On Sunday mornings in the late 1980s and early 1990s Diana could be spotted with young Princes William and Harry slipping into the back rows of St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalen Church after the service had begun to avoid attention, looking for all the world like just any other young mum with her boys. After church they’d cycle back down country lanes back to Highgrove, a couple of miles south of the town.

Locals say the threesome made a sport of evading royal protection squad police officers who were supposed to be following them at all times but whom the princess saw as ‘claustrophobic’, putting up a barrier between them and passers-by. Diana insisted on bringing the boys up ‘to see themselves as the same as everyone else.’ Teaching them to talk in a down-to-earth, relaxed way with the public.

But after the adultery with Camilla and subsequent divorce, Diana was now a ‘problem’ for Charles and the Queen. According to Australian investigative journalist John Morgan they set up what they called the ‘Way Ahead Group’ (WAG) to manage the three fold ‘Diana problem’.

Firstly her anti-land mines campaign was threatening arms company profits both in France and Britain, then she was using the British press to successfully assert herself as a national figure and finally WAG meetings became more urgent because Diana was about to announce her engagement to Dodi Al Fayed, meaning William and Harry might be about to get a Muslim stepfather.

In Morgan’s 2012 book ‘Paris-London Connection, The Assassination of Princess Diana’, John Morgan says evidence revealed in the two police enquiries and inquest suggested the Queen and Prince Charles tipped the wink to Britain’s Foreign Intelligence Service MI6, that if Diana were to have an ‘accident’ nobody at the palace would mind.

Keith Allen’s 2011 documentary ‘Unlawful Killing’ which examines the decade late Diana inquest, proves beyond doubt that her death was no accident. But the film has not been shown on TV and been suppressed online and in the cinemas by the deep-pocketed royal lawyers. It may never now be shown in Britain.

Charles is descended from the other Vlad, from Transylvania

Charles is of course responsible for none of his royal predecessors’ turbulent history but like anyone else he can and should choose his own way. The path of secrecy and the PR wall he has attempted to construct around himself simply will not wash in today’s connected world, serving only to alienate him from most of his 65 million subjects.

However the Putin Nazi lie has gained unhappy momentum because Britain’s three party leaders have shown contempt both for the constitution and public by backing the prince against the facts and the national interest.

What they have shown by weighing in to support Charles’ slur against Russia is that Britain’s ruling elite, including the arms manufacturers, can be dictators deciding in private meetings amongst themselves what foreign policy to pursue. Even in election week our so-called top politicians don’t have the backbone to stand up to the establishment, however brazen the lies.

Outside his charmed circle, Charles’ ungracious remarks will persuade very few here in Britain. They demonstrate both a perverse underplaying of the 25 million Soviet dead of World War Two and a further move toward nuclear war today in Europe. The party leaders have also refused to recognize Charles’ own government and armed forces’ backing for the post-coup Ukrainian government, key ‘Right Sector’ elements of which proudly sport pictures of Nazis such as war criminal Stepan Bandera on their Kiev walls.

Charles does not understand, as his mother appears to have done, that he cannot have it both ways as Head of State and as a politician. Charles’ devil-may-care remarks have invited disdain for him at home and for Britain abroad. Ironically, for the man who is proud of his Transylvanian ‘Dracula’ ancestry, being descended from the fifteenth century despot Vlad the Impaler, they represent one more nail in the coffin of the British monarchy.