A Wealth Tax Is Surely Needed Now?

With have the Coronavirus pandemic ripping through our economy and further increasing inequality across so many areas of society. Youth unemployment, food banks, child poverty etc. have all risen dramatically from already shameful levels.

While all this is happening we have ongoing climate change, deforestation, oceans being plundered and polluted and and wildlife being decimated with the world’s wealthiest 1% producing double the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, according to the UN.

Surely the time has come to impose at least a one off wealth tax which would help deal with poverty and climate change at the same time?

So many corporations and wealthy individuals have increasing their wealth dramatically since the pandemic from already sickening levels. The dollar billionaires of the world have increased their wealth from around 8 to 13 trillion since the pandemic began. Yet there has been no rise in tax, on the contrary, the poor will pay disproportionally more tax as tax thresholds have been frozen. Not even the Labour opposition will currently support or entertain the prospect of any tax rises.

World’s wealthiest ‘at heart of climate problem https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56723560

“NHS” Test and Trace – no wonder nurses are being “rewarded” with 1% pay rise

10-Mar-2020

At a projected cost of over £37 billion for 2 years for a system that has failed and continues to fail on every measure no wonder the nurses are being offered a 1% pay rise. Remarkably, this just exceeds the infamous £350 million a week cited by the Brexit campaign.

To summarise, the system so far comprises of 400 contracts, 70% of which have not been put out to tender, signed with 217 different suppliers. Currently employing 2,500 consultants on average of £1,100 a day. (Does this merit it being called “NHS” Test and Trace?)

A public accounts committee has been damning in it’s report on the system. Read more at the BBC news site: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56340831

Some of the companies involved:

Deloitte – Anglo-American multinational
Amazon – American multinational
Sodexo – French food services and facilities management company
DHL – German international courier
Kuehne Nagel – German international courier
Randox – Ireland

Note: Why public money is wasted on these reports, designed to bring government to account, is a mystery because this government seems to just contradict anything that criticises them, ignores any recommendations and carries on regardless.

What Boris Johnson been saying…

On Northern Ireland

November 2019

“There will be no border down the Irish Sea – over my dead body.”

“There will not be tariffs or checks on goods coming from GB to NI…and…there will not be checks… on goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.”

On Coronavirus

3rd February 2020
“…we are starting to hear some bizarre autarkic rhetoric, when barriers are going up, and when there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage, then at that moment humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange, some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion, of the right of the populations of the earth to buy and sell freely among each other.”

3rd March 2020
“I was at a hospital the other night where I think a few there were actually coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you’ll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands.”

19th Mar 2020
“BRITAIN can send coronavirus ‘packing’ in just 12 weeks if we all follow strict new rules”

20th May 2020
“England will have a ‘world-beating’ tracing system from June 1st”

10th July 2020
“It’s very important that people should be going back to work if they can now.”

“I think everybody has sort of taken the ‘stay at home if you can’ advice – I think we should now say, well, ‘go back to work if you can’.

21st September 2020
“We are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so.”

13th August 2020
“And let’s be in no doubt about it, the exam results that we’ve got today are robust, they’re good, they’re dependable for employers, but already I think that there’s a record number of candidates, of students, who are able to get their first choice course at the university of their choice”

On Donald Trump

“Actually he has many, many good qualities.”

“If Trump can fix North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal then I don’t see why he’s any less of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama” Washington 2018

On Climate Change

“I promise we will offset those emissions by planting a shrubbery or whatever it is necessary to do.”

On Africa

“The continent may be a blot but it is not a blot upon our conscience. The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more.”

Does Lucy Fraser QC want to break the law?

The electorate approved the Brexit withdrawal agreement that Boris Johnson signed off in the December election, having been told it was not only “great”, “fantastic” and “wonderful” but done, dusted and oven-ready.

Johnson now threatens to unilaterally change this agreement thereby breaking international law. The implications of this would be far reaching and long lasting, Is Lucy Fraser (ex-practising barrister) really prepared to back the government, as she always seems to, or is this perhaps a step too far, even for her? I think we already know the answer.

For a possible explanation of why the government might want to change the agreement see https://burwellvillage.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/brexit-impossible-to-deliver/

Permitted Development – Slums of the future

A delayed report criticising the Permitted Development scheme (published on same day as the much-delayed report into alleged Russian interference into UK democracy was published) has been ignored by government. On the same day government pledges to expand the scheme and further loosen planning regulations so that property developers can continue to profit from building the slums of the future and from the misery of those being forced to live in these developments.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53650657

List of corruption PPE from officials records

£252m of public money given to AYANDA CAPITAL (a private equity firm with no track record of producing personal protective equipment) registered in Mauritius for tax dodging and co-owned by Andrew Mills, adviser to the government and staunch Brexiteer. 50 million masks were unsuitable for NHS use.

£186m of public money given to UNISERVE LTD of Essex, the UK’s largest
privately owned logistics and global trade management company, to supply PPE that never appeared.

£116m of public money given to P14 MEDICAL LTD of Liverpool, which had
liabilities exceeding assets by £485,000 in December 2019 with just £145 in
cash and at the bank, for PPE that never appeared.

£108m of public money given to PEST FIX, with 16 employees and net assets of £19,000, for PPE that never appeared.

£14.2m and a subsequent £93.2m of public money given to CLANDEBOYE AGENCIES Ltd, a confectionery wholesaler in Co Antrim, for PPE that never appeared.

£40m of public money given to MEDICINE BOX LTD of Sutton-in-Ashfield,
despite having assets of just £6,000 in March, for PPE that never appeared.

£32m and a subsequent £16m of public money given to INITIA VENTURES LTD, filed for dormancy in January this year, for PPE that never appeared.

£28m of public money given to MONARCH ACOUSTICS LTD of Nottingham, makers of shop and office furniture, for PPE that never appeared.

£25m of public money given to LUXE LIFESTYLE LTD, to supply garments for biological or chemical protection to the NHS. According to Companies House, the business was incorporated by fashion designer Karen Brost in November 2018. It appears to have no employees, no assets and no turnover.

£18.4m of public money given to AVENTIS SOLUTIONS LTD of Wilmslow, with just £322 in assets, for PPE that never appeared.

£10m of public money given to MEDCO SOLUTIONS LTD, incorporated on 26 March (three days after lockdown) with a share capital of just £2, for PPE that never appeared.

£1.1m of public money given to Bristol shoemaker Toffeln Ltd, had seemingly never supplied any PPE whatsoever in the past, for PPE that never appeared.

£825,000 of pubic money given to MGP ADVISORY, described as a venture and development capital business that was in danger of being struck off the
companies register for failing to file accounts, for no one knows what…

All from officials records. This is just PPE.

Links :

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/06/fifty-million-face-masks-bought-government-cannot-be-used-nhs

https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/supplying-ppe-the-new-klondike/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/15/coronavirus-contracts-government-transparency-pandemic

Trade Explained

With so much nonsense written about Brexit and Trade etc. perhaps this organisation helps to clarify some of the issues?

https://www.explaintrade.com/blogs/2019/5/20/brexit-interviewer-guide

Sea Level Rise

With sea level rise accelerating, especially over recent decades, some projections say global temperature rise could hit 1.5C by 2030

This tool shows how Burwell would be affected by such a rise:

https://choices.climatecentral.org/#14/52.2724/0.3252?compare=temperatures&carbon-end-yr=2100&scenario-a=warming-3&scenario-b=warming-1.5

UK Debt Interest Payments

Does this help put the cost of EU membership in perspective?
EU Membership for UK costs around 6.6 Billion a year (See https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/)
UK is paying 68 Billion on debt interest payments.

Brexit – Impossible To Deliver?

Over 3 years have passed since the referendum and the truth of Brexit is still to be revealed. The Irish border problem effectively means that Brexit, at least as interpreted by the current government and 99% of Leave voters, is unable to be delivered. In fact, the referendum should never have taken place because to deliver Brexit and leave the EU would contradict the Good Friday agreement, one of the few positive accomplishments made by politicians in the last 40 years. The world has changed, how can we expect to rewind the clock 40 odd years?

It seems that the issue of the Irish border has not been properly covered or explained prior to, or since, the referendum.

We are nearly at a point where we leave the EU without a deal, where we would shamefully wash our hands of the Irish problem and hand it to the EU. The level of ignorance on the issue is astonishing. The public and the politicians are now so quick to blame the EU for the situation and for not being flexible but  shouldn’t we have respect for the EU’s concern over the Irish border and their determination to protect the Good Friday agreement and the peace process and shame Johnson, Gove, Lucy Frazer and the rest for not doing the same?

Surely the only way forward is to tell the truth and apologise to the British public for holding a referendum on EU membership when it is evidently not possible to leave while Ireland is in the EU and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.  Isn’t it astonishing how nearly ALL politicians have chosen either to lie or ignore this fundamental issue and continue to display complete ignorance on it?

Instead, we have a government trying to pin the blame for the current situation on the EU, our neighbours and closest friends, and in the process create more division in the UK and hatred of the EU.

The Tory government and MPs need do to the honourable thing, apologise for holding a referendum, beg for forgiveness from the leave voters and if you did support the referendum perhaps consider standing down for making a massive political blunder.

After 3 years working on leaving the EU nobody has demonstrated a viable solution. Doesn’t the evidence speak for itself?

Update: … now 4 years and still it goes on.

Update Jan 2021…So “the deal” is done.

So is this really Brexit?

  • Northern Ireland and Gibraltar basically stay in the EU
  • We have a new border in the Irish Sea to maintain
  • We paid 8.2bn in 2020 to the EU, in 2021 after Brexit we expect to pay 7.1bn
  • HMRC expects the cost to business for all the extra red tape created by Brexit to cost 15bn
  • The EU decides what access our financial services get
  • No tariffs on goods, most of which are coming from the EU to the UK
  • Potential breakup of the United Kingdom
  • Fishing…the fishing industry doesn’t seem very happy
  • If we change any regulations the EU have to power to penalise UK

Seems like the EU have taken our cake and are eating it. Can’t say I blame them.

Update Feb 2021

Police monitoring ‘growing unionist discontent’

What will happen when Covid restrictions are eased?

Update Mar 2021

Brexit: loyalist paramilitary groups renounce Good Friday agreement