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Iran, Britain, And The Scandal Of The Tank Deal

In the late 1970s, the British Government sold a number of tanks to Iran, at the cost of £400,000,000. The former Shah of Iran paid in advance, and awaited delivery of the tanks. But then he was overthrown by the ayatollahs, and Britain decided not to send the tanks after all. To rub salt in the wound, they sold the tanks to Iraq instead, getting paid twice for the same weapons.

The question of Britain returning the money to Iran has often been raised, but consistently ignored by every British government since 1979.

In 2016, a woman named Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran, and accused of spying for the Bitish government. She was there visiting her parents, taking along her baby daughter for them to see for the first time. Despite her being a writer, married to a British man, and holding dual nationality, the Iranian court convicted her, and sentenced her to five years in prison. Since then, a vigorous campaign has been going on to try to get her released.

In March this year, her sentence finished. She was then re-arrested on charges of ‘Spreading propaganda’. Today, she was sentenced to a further year in prison.

This is all a game of course. Nazanin was arrested as little more that a ‘hostage’, in the hope of securing payment of that old £400 million debt. The British government could have easily secured her release in 2016, by acknowledging the debt to Iran, and arranging to pay it. But they chose not to. Last month, they coud have stopped her being arrested again, simply by paying the outstanding debt from 1979. They chose not to.

Government ministers think it is acceptable for this young woman to spend six years in prison in a foreign country, and for her baby daughter to grow up without seeing her mother, just to save them the embarrassment of admitting the debt, and actually paying it.

Shame on them.

Shedding No Tears

The media in the UK is completely overwhelmed by the unsurprising news that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99.

For me, that is nothing to cry about. Since 1945, the man lived a life of privilege. He never had to do a real day’s work after the end of WW2. He spent his time driving Carriages, shooting pheasants and other birds and animals, and walking around next to the Queen.

If he got so much as a toothache, he would be hurried onto an exclusive private hospital, and given the best medical care available in Britain.

He travelled the world on a Royal Yacht, exclusive aircraft, helicopters, and even a Royal Train. He could own and drive any car he desired, and choose to live in any of the numerous Royal residences around the country.

His life was one of comfort. Probably part of the reason he lived to such a grand old age.

The Prince was never shy to court controversy, often outspoken, and occasionally racist too. Unlike politicians or celebrities, that didn’t cost him his ‘career’ though.

A 99 year-old man died today, as no doubt did many other 99 year-old people.

As far as I am concerned, he deserves no more respect than any of those others.

Royal Tantrums

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you cannot have missed the constant news coverage of the split between Prince Harry and his wife, and the British Royal Family.

The Prince has gone to live in America, and made allegations against the British media for racism and harrassment, and his wife has talked about bad treatment at the hands of the other Royals.

Now they are to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, threatening to ‘tell all’. This follows a much-publicised interview between the Prince and James Corden, shown here as ‘News’ on every channel. It has been reported that over 200 TV networks will be showing the Oprah Winfrey interview around the world, making a small fortune for CBS, and a similar cash pile for Ms Winfrey, no doubt.

The scramble for early snippets to report is unseemely indeed. And it is strange that the TV companies in America, and many Americans, seem far more interested in the comings and goings of our Royal Family than we do.

Oprah has told reporters that the Prince and his wife are receiving no fee, and there is no donation being given to any nominated charity either.

Looks like they missed a trick there. (If that’s true of course)

In Britain, Royal press people are already preparing to counter any allegations by leaking reports of Meghan’s ‘bullying’ of staff employed by the Royal household.

It seems to be coming down to taking sides. Who do we believe? Who said and did the worst things? Is this interview going to open up a can of worms at long last?

For my part, I couldn’t care less. One bunch of over-privileged wealthy royals sniping against another bunch is of no interest to me whatsoever.

People here and in America are still dying from Covid-19. That’s what should be on the news.

Health care workers including nurses are being offered a derisory 1% pay rise, after all their tireless efforts during the pandemic. That should be on the news.

Or perhaps the news that all of the British Royal Family are going to pack their cases, and go to live in California near Harry.

I would watch that report.

Covid News: Who Can We Believe?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to make any sense of conflicting reports about the current health crisis.

Take this exchange, found today on Twitter.

@bbc5live
· Jan 1

“It was minimally affecting children in the first wave… we now have a whole ward of children here.”

Laura Duffel, a matron in a London Hospital, tells Adrian Chiles about the Covid situation in hospitals.

Radio @BBCSounds.

@CheungRonny

I’ve been the on call consultant in a london children’s hospital this week – this is simply not true, and irresponsible in the extreme – frightens parents, fuels covid-deniers. Covid is rife in hospitals, but not among children. We have enough to deal with without this garbage.

Twitter reply, January the third.

Arise, Sir Tax Avoider

Lewis Hamilton is an incredibly successful F1 racing car driver. His skill has made him world famous, as well as very, very rich.

Much is made of his humble background, and how he overcame that to be able to set an example to other young black people in Britain and elsewhere.

Today, he has been made a Knight of the Realm, in the New Year Honours List.

Sir Lewis Hamilton.

He has indeed set a great example with his driving, his respectful demeanour, and his entrepreneurial business sense.

But he has also set another example, that of how to become even richer by not paying the correct amount of income tax on his earnings.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lewis-hamilton-tax-dodging-paradise-papers-f1-champion-latest-claims-a8041061.html

And he doesn’t even live in Britain any longer.

He has learned well from so many other rich Tories and tax-avoiding businessmen, pop stars, and other celebrities.

And like so many of those, he has been duly rewarded with his knighthood.

Compare that to Captain Tom.

Second Wave: Or Still The First?

Covid-19 is still making the news. A huge percentage of the British population is enduring a second lockdown, and President Trump has gone into hospital for treatment.

They are now talking up the ‘second wave’. Is it any wonder, when the bars and pubs opened here, and we were treated to videos of groups of (mainly young) people enjoying parties and fun-filled gatherings? Or when Mr Trump thought it was okay to have a presentation in the Rose Garden with nobody wearing masks, and all of the cuddling or chatting close together. Or when the schools were forced back, resulting in large numbers of infections almost immediately.

Then we have the various conspiracy theorists who claim it doesn’t exist, or if it does, it is not that serious. Yes, more people still die from cancer, heart attacks, and even road fatalaties all over the world. But is this a reason to blatantly ignore the advice of medical professionals, or to overturn the hard work of so many medical staff since January?

I doubt this is a second wave, as the first wave never went away. We now have the winter flu season to deal with, when so many people will have the symptoms associated with Covid-19. That will mean more demand for testing, and possibly more deaths being counted as Coronavirus related.

So please stay safe. Carry on abiding by the commonsense rules not to spread the virus, or contract it. And above all, don’t believe it isn’t real.

(This post was created using the new block Editor. I was unable to work out how to insert any images, but wil use this blog to try to learn how to use this pesky, hateful thing!)

UPDATE: Royal News Blackout

beetleypete

Following my posts on here and on my other blog https://redflagflying.wordpress.com/ yesterday, Fraggle did some digging in the You Tube comments, and discovered that the video was filmed in 2018. Before posting yesterday, I watched numerous clips on Twitter, including one with a date/timer running on the screen. I didn’t use that one, as it was so shaky.

So it would seem likely that the date I saw was ‘inserted’, and the demonstration mentioned happened two years ago when Prince Andrew was initially implicated in the Epstein scandal.

Thanks to Fraggle for discovering this, and I wanted everyone to know.
This will be reblogged on my other blog too.

Of course, that changes nothing about Andrew’s refusal to testify, or to accept extradition to America. Or his well-documented friendship with Epstein and his visits to parties at Epstein’s house where young girls were flown in for the use of guests.

View original post 13 more words

Royal News Blackout

*** UPDATE ***

Please see Fraggle’s comment below. This clip is supposedly from 2018 according to comment by those who posted it, and not yesterday.

Unless you have seen it featured on Twitter, you will be unaware of a loud protest by a fair-sized crowd outside Buckingham Palace in London today.

This is a protest against Prince Andrew’s involvement in the trafficking of underage girls for sex, part of the Epstein scandal in America. The Prince has also declined to appear in court in America, where he might face charges of sex with underage girls at the Epstein mansion.

Not that Andrew is in the palace. The Queen isn’t there either, and has decided ‘not to return for some time’. I doubt anyone is in there, except the poorly-paid staff, and royal lackeys who keep the whole thing going at the taxpayer’s expense.

That in itself is disturbing enough, the fact that Royal privilege means he is exempt from being extradited to America to give evidence. He cannot be arrested by US Federal agents in Britain on an international warrant, for the same reason. This is an even bigger deal than Diplomatic Privilege, which can be revoked.

Of greater concern to me, is today’s event has NOT been mentioned on any news broadcast, by any of the various news channels operating in the UK.

The people working for those companies, and they call themselves ‘journalists and reporters’, should hang their heads in shame.

Much is written about Fake News these days, but this is the reality of Real News going unreported, on the instructions of the rich and privileged who run everything in this country, even the information supply.

Now not only can we no longer believe what we are told is the news, we are deemed unfit to be told what is happening in front of our own eyes.

Has It Come To This?

For all of my life, America has considered itself to be the Cradle of Democracy. The Land of The Free, where free speech is ingrained in the Constitution, and even the right to own and carry lethal weapons is supported by ancient rights.

Over the years, harsh treatment of Civil Rights protestors made the news, as did the violent reaction to Vietnam War protestors at times.

But the recent actions of the authorities in Portland has seen a worrying turn of events. Federal officers wearing Army uniforms and carrying Army equipment have arrived in the city to break up protests there. This is against the wishes of the city’s mayor, who did not ask for assistance.

These ‘Feds’ are using unmarked vehicles, wearing no identity tags or serial numbers. They are dragging protestors off the street and taking them away in those same unmarked vehicles. They are not reading them their rights and arresting them, and in many cases they are beating them hard with clubs, or using pepper spray on them.

I am not an American, and I do not know everything there is to know about the actions of the demonstrators.

But this cannot be right. Not anywhere, and certainly not in ‘The Cradle of Democracy’. Those agents involved are little more than ‘Trump’s Stormtroopers’, and if this was happening in Britain, France, or a hundred other countries, the rest of the world would be calling for sanctions to make it stop.