Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK: “No surgery for smokers or the obese” policy stirs debate

Source: CNN

“Two issues are the cause of a plethora of diseases and health conditions affecting people worldwide: smoking and obesity. And one local health committee in the UK has announced a controversial policy ‘to support patients whose health is at risk from smoking or being very overweight.’ For an indefinite amount of time, it plans to ban access to routine, or non-urgent, surgery under the National Health Service until patients ‘improve their health,’ the policy states, claiming that ‘exceptional clinical circumstances (will) be taken into account on a case-by-case basis.'” [editor’s note: Does that mean that the people in question won’t be, for an indefinite period of time, exempt from paying the taxes that support the NHS? Yeah, I didn’t think so – TLK] (10/31/17)


UK: May to crack down as sex harassment allegations grow

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Theresa May has insisted that she is determined to take tough action to protect Westminster staff against sexual harassment as MPs in both major parties predicted more sleaze allegations would emerge in the coming days. The prime minister wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, calling on him establish an independent mediation service for staff wanting to raise concerns about MPs’ behaviour and to enforce a grievance procedure which is currently voluntary.” (10/30/17)


The conservative plan to hike taxes without you noticing

Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“Jean-Baptiste Colbert, a seventeenth-century French finance minister, once said ‘the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.’ He might have been describing rumoured Tory plans to raise the income tax burden for millions by stealth in November’s Budget. One might think that, with the overall tax burden at its highest level in three decades, the government would be focusing on spending incontinence. Instead, documents photographed on Downing Street suggest the Tories plan to raise your income tax without you noticing.” (10/24/17)


Brexit: May, Juncker aides in Twitter spat over dinner leaks

Source: Reuters

“The European Commission said on Monday it was the victim of a smear intended to disrupt Brexit negotiations after a newspaper report that its president Jean-Claude Juncker disparaged Theresa May’s ‘despondent’ demeanor over a dinner last week. It was the second time in six months that a correspondent for Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who is respected for his access to Juncker’s entourage, has published an account of the EU chief executive’s reactions after a dinner meeting with the British prime minister on Britain’s EU withdrawal. Sunday’s story, which painted an unflattering picture of a British leader worn down by party in-fighting and ‘pleading’ for help from the EU, sparked a Twitter spat between aides past and present to May and Juncker.” (10/23/17)


UK: Hammond rejects call to fund plans for “no deal” Brexit

Source: Reuters

“British finance minister Philip Hammond rejected calls on Wednesday to start spending on plans for a ‘no deal’ Brexit as a way to put pressure on the rest of the European Union. Negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU and their future relationship have made slow progress before a March 2019 deadline. That has drawn calls from some British lawmakers to walk away from the talks and start preparing for a clean break with the bloc.” (10/11/17)


No one can save the Tories

Source: spiked
by Tom Slater

“Everywhere you look you see a party bereft of vision. In her conference speech, May joined the chorus of Tories saying the party needed to remake the case for the free market, in response to the Corbyn surge. In the next breath, she announced plans for energy price caps. For all the talk of neoliberalism reigning since Thatcher, few in the supposed party of capitalism, let alone the country at large, truly believe in it. Then there’s the Tory Brexit paradox. Yes, it is today the more consistently Eurosceptic party. But the Brexit revolt expressed a democratic, populist fervour that was far more profound than most Tory MPs’ narrow economic gripes with Brussels. … The last few weeks of broadsheet tittle-tattle and political melodrama has only confirmed that the Tory Party has no idea what it stands for or who it represents.” (10/09/17)


Britain, EU clash over who takes next Brexit step

Source: Jamaica Observer

“The EU and Britain clashed Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said the ball was in the EU’s court as Brexit negotiations entered a critical fifth round. Officials from both sides are meeting in Brussels, but chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and British counterpart David Davis are not attending the start, underscoring low expectations for the talks. This round of divorce discussions is the last before European leaders meet at a summit on October 19 to decide whether there is ‘sufficient progress’ to move on to the trade talks that Britain desperately wants. The European Commission roundly rejected May’s assertion that it was up to Brussels to take the initiative to advance the stalled talks, amid fears that her domestic political woes were threatening the negotiations.” (10/09/17)


Monarch Airlines collapses, leaving 110,000 passengers without flights

Source: MarketWatch

“British budget carrier Monarch Airlines has declared bankruptcy and halted operations, leaving up to 110,000 passengers stranded abroad after all flights and vacations were canceled. … The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority has launched a program to bring stranded travelers home on new flights. This covers those overseas now and due to fly back before Oct. 15, an estimated 110,000 people.” (10/02/17)


From Brexit to Catalonia: The silencing of citizens’ voices

Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“It was seamless, and unremarked upon: the shift on the BBC News At Ten last night from alarming images of the Spanish national police trying to stop an independence referendum from taking place in Catalonia to images of a ‘STOP BREXIT’ march in Manchester, England ahead of the Tory Party conference this week. They looked different, and of course they were different. In the former, there was brute state force, the visiting of riot-police violence on non-rioters, including pensioners: citizens who were merely exercising their right to vote. And in the latter, the usual army of the angry middle classes traipsed through the streets, faces painted in the colours of the EU flag, doing what every citizen has a right to do: protest against something. But there was a commonality, and the Manchester placards revealed it. ‘Stop Brexit,’ ‘Exit Brexit,’ they said. Or they depicted Brexit as a pile of shit that should be wiped away, erased, forgotten. In both Manchester and Catalonia, in different ways, the same cry went up: crush popular sentiment.” (10/02/17)


UK: Trains to London Waterloo delayed after passengers flee onto tracks when man “recites Bible passages on homosexuality” outside Wimbledon station

Source: Surrey Comet [UK]

“A man ‘reciting verses from the Bible’ caused [sic] passengers to force their way off a train onto the tracks this morning, causing delays of up to an hour. The South Western Railway line into Waterloo is affected by the incident, which happened just outside Wimbledon station on the 7.40am service from Shepperton. … A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: ‘We were called at 8.31am to a disturbance on board a train just outside Wimbledon station. Passengers had evacuated themselves off the train onto the tracks. We are currently investigating but there have been no arrests and there are no reported injuries.'” (10/02/17)