03Jan/17

Daily Mail ‘Foreign Aid Cashpoint’ Front Page Fact Checked.

 

 

We woke up this morning to another Daily Fail, anti Foreign Aid headline:

 

OUTRAGE!

 

Where to start with this one? Okay, this is the actual scheme:

“Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was launched in July 2008 with an immediate objective of consumption smoothening and cushioning the negative effects of slow economic growth, the food crisis and inflation on the poor, particularly women, through the provision of cash transfers of Rs. 1,000/month to eligible families. Its long term objectives include supporting the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to eradicate extreme and chronic poverty, to empower of women and to achieve universal primary education. The monthly installment was enhanced to Rs. 1200/- per month w.e.f 1st July, 2013 by the present government and has now been fixed at Rs. 1500/-per month w.e.f 1st July, 2014.”

How very dare they?

This project was initiated for poverty alleviation and women empowerment among the socially and economically marginalized sections of Pakistan. Due to the international financial, fuel and food crisis, Pakistan witnessed escalating inflation over the past few years. In addition, Pakistan’s economic problems were exacerbated due to the global war on terror and consecutive natural disasters in 2010 and 2011. This has created a domino effect on Pakistani production sector and population’s ability to sustain. The number of people living below the poverty line is significant and more vulnerable households are at the risk of falling below the poverty line.

Women are specifically adversely affected by chronic poverty as six out of ten of the world’s poorest people are women who must, as the primary family caretakers and producers of food, shoulder the burden of tilling land, grinding grain, carrying water and cooking.

And what does this aid do?

  • It identifies 7.7 million households who are living below poverty cut-off score of 16.17
  • It creates a large and reliable national registry of the socio-economic status of around 27 million households across Pakistan
  • It uses GPS to map the data of the entire country for informed decision making (for example, to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies)
  • It validates the targeting process through third party evaluation

 

BISP beneficiaries to be trained in industrial skills

 

Women and children recieving aid.

  • The cards give the poorest families in Pakistan; people who live on under £1 a day, £10 a month to enable them a very basic standard of living.
  • UK backing for the Pakistan government’s BISP led to cash support for more than 235,000 families across the country in 2012, which could potentially increase to 441,000 families by 2020.
  • DfID insisted that independent reports had praised the use of cash transfer schemes, there was a “zero-tolerance” approach to fraud and a shift to biometric payments would make the BISP more secure.
  • The Department for International Development (DfID) said the programme was helping the poorest families in Pakistan and was an efficient and effective way to make sure they had the support they need.

http://www.bisp.gov.pk/Others/achievementsenglish.jpg

Putting the fact that this scheme, which has been running for over 8 years, is helping the poorest and most vulnerable aside, these are the key points with regard to the UK contributions:

  • The cards give the poorest families £10 a month, and the uk contribution to the scheme is around 5%
  • Cash transfers worldwide equate to 2% of the UK’s overall foreign aid budget. They are used through existing schemes such as this one to reach people in need directly with lower overheads and less risk of fraud.
  • The UN set a target figure of 0.7% of GDP for foreign aid. The UK increased its budget to stay in line with this. Sweden contributes double its GDP annually.
  • Total UK spend over 8 years for the BISP scheme will be £300 million. – no idea where the Mail gets the £1 Billion figure from, seems to only relate to the increase in the Foreign Aid Budget.

But according to the Daily Mail, it is ALL British Taxpayers monies, it just funds scroungers, and Muslims at that, how very dare the scheme try and lift families from absolute poverty? How dare it save lives? And the Pakistani Govt is aware of the fraud allegations and trying methods to combat it.
Still, it was handy hate clickbait for the Mail whose 2017 mission seems to be to try and end all foreign aid. #NeverBuyTheMail

 

19Dec/16

Katey Hopkins tried to sneak this apology out at 2am, so we posted it.

Perennial annoyance and fascist demagogue Hatey Hopkins has found herself in hot water over a Daily Mail article she wrote. The courts ruled against her and the Daily Heil and ordered them to pay ‘Substantial Damages’. They tried to release the apology at 2am to hide it. Be a really shame if it got shared about more.

The Article:

The salient part:

 

17Dec/16

Britain First founder’s pro-Trump dabbling

When discussing the election of Donald J Trump as President-elect of the United States, a lot has been made of the “fake news” phenomenon. OneBuzzFeed story in particular, featuring a cottage industry of pro-Trump websites in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia — coincidentally, the same country Melania Trump was born in — was cited by Barack Obama.

In this era of hyped-up McCarthyist accusations, it’s important to realise that the issue here does not just relate to America’s former adversaries. The Patriot News Agency — which arose in July this year, soon after it became obvious Trump would win the Republican nomination — is one such example. Whilst the New York Times notes that many foreign conservative outlets (such as the aforementioned Macedonian sites) have been set up to cash in on the Trump phenomenon, Patriot News had another objective: To get Donald J. Trump to be the next President of the United States.

The organisation is headed by Jim Dowson, described by The Times as an “inveterate agitator” and “the invisible man of Britain’s far right”. Dowson, an anti-abortion activist in Northern Ireland who helped set up the far-right Britain First political organisation. Britain First is such a far-right organisation that following the assassination of Labour MP Jo Cox, some in Parliament have called for the group’s proscription under the Terrorism Act 2000. Dowson himself advocated Britain’s exit from the EU and has expressed admiration for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, speaking at a conference for far-right political leaders in Russia heralding Putin’s defence of traditional western values. This is presumably due to Russia’s stance on gay rights — Dowson set up his own organisation (the Parent Truth Campaign) opposing sex education and gay rights in 2001.

Dowson made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning,” in the same way that Dowson “made deft use of social media … to promote [his] work and convey an impression of mass following”, according to the New York Times

People familiar with Britain First will know that it is mostly known for its spread of repackaged vital memes online using blatantly misleading statistics or using the issue of animal welfare to its own advantage. Many people forwarding these memes are unaware of the origins of these posts, and thus misinformation and disinformation are spread abound. It’s no surprise that Jim Dowson decided he’d try his hand at trumpeting Trump in the US: after all, most people who read the fabricated stories on Facebook — such as the widely-circulated hoax meme that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump — actually believed them.

The fact that a pro-Trump Britain First activist has managed to create a viral conservative news website should be a wake-up call to liberals in the United States. The seeds of “post-truth” politics already existed beforehand, but the voices promoting them were dismissed as marginal, ringe and insignificant. It is imperative that activists within the United States stop squabbling among themselves and think of a populist counter-message to this extreme xenophobic nationalism which seems to be permeating online at the moment. Politics as usual is over, period.

Reblogged from:

Joshua Hopper

16Dec/16

Britain First extremist filmed joining hate-filled vigilante group hunting down asylum seekers in Bulgaria

An anti-Muslim extremist has been filmed joining a hate-filled group hunting down asylum seekers in Bulgaria, the Daily Mirror wrote on 24 October.

Far-right Jim Dowson donned camouflage gear to join the heavily-armed Shipka Bulgarian National Movement stalking migrants who cross the Turkish border.

Dowson, founder of the Britain First group, has made a series of videos begging supporters to send donations to help arm the ragtag militia.
The Scottish Daily Record reports Dowson claims the Turkey-Bulgaria border is the key strategic point to be defended from refugee “invaders” who he claims are seeking to take over the world.

He has also appeared on Russian TV, backing the sinister anti-Islam Knights Templar International group and whipping up support for far-right groups in Hungary and other eastern states.

Dowson, from Airdrie, boasts of donating bulletproof vests, night vision goggles, drones and other supplies to the thugs and asks US supporters to sign up or send money.

The Daily Record uncovered footage showing Dowson hunting down asylum seekers alongside masked and heavily armed Bulgarian skinheads.

In the sickening footage, Dowson whispers to the camera: “We are on the Bulgarian Turkish border on patrol and looking for illegals. The dedication these guys have got is very impressive.

“The borders of Europe are being protected more by these men than our governments.

“Today, the Knights Templar International brought along vests and ballistics and drones and night vision, stuff that these guys desperately need.

“A big thank you to supporters in America and the Philippines and other countries who have contributed to this.

“These are men and women, mainly ex-forces, doing it in their own free time, facing all sorts of risks and dangers.

“These are good people and they’re very very deserving of your support.”

On another video, Dowson tells the Bulgarian thugs: “When my grandfather was alive, this land was ruled by Ottomans, by the Muslims.

“Now they’re coming back. Remember the forces of Islam once got as far as Vienna.

Dowson claimed the group are engaged in a “fight of Christ”

“Now they are as far as John O’Groats in Scotland and more and more are coming in.

“This is not political, this is a fight between good and evil, black and white, a fight of the cross, a fight of Christ.

“If you can, please come train with these people, help them. If you’re too old or can’t leave your job, send them some money.

“Get them organised, help them, supply them, meet their needs because they’re guarding your border, my border, the whole of the free western world’s border, even America’s border. The fight is here.”

Dowson formed racist political group Britain First and was closely associated with mosque invasions across the UK where thugs forced their way into the places of worship and confronted imams.

He has also been a key fundraiser for other groups like the BNP.

Earlier this year, Dowson and former BNP supremo Nick Griffin travelled to St Petersburg in Russia for a rally of far-right groups.

Dowson also appeared at the Knights Templar International Hungarian Border Mission as a delegate and staged meetings with banned Hungarian neo-Nazi group Magyar Önvédelmi Mozgalom.

A spokesman for anti-racist group Say No To Hate said: “Dowson and Griffin are clearly up to something.

“They are spending a lot of time in eastern Europe, presenting themselves as viable voices.

“They are simply churning out the same messages of intolerance that they did back in the UK.

“Dowson is appealing to Americans for donations to supply a militia group in Bulgaria, which seems quite alarming.

“They are running around the woods at the Turkish border with rifles, determined to round up refugees. It’s a dreadful proposition. I would urge anyone in the UK or further afield to have nothing to do with them.”

Dowson was recently named in a dossier leaked to the Record detailing the most dangerous extremists.

Dowson is active in Loyalist circles and helped launch the Protestant Coalition, who have links to Britain First. He is also an ex-Calvinist minister and anti-abortionist and set up a BNP call centre in Northern Ireland.

The Daily Record contacted Dowson to ask him about the videos and his support for the Shipka Bulgarian Movement.

He said: “The only time I have ever spoken to the Record you have done nothing but a hatchet job so you’re going to write whatever you’re going to write. You don’t really need a comment from me.”

When our reporter stressed that Dowson had been approached to give him an opportunity to comment, he replied: “Aye right. Okay. Nae bother. Listen, have a nice day my friend.”

The Shipka Bulgarian National Movement claim to be “at war” with Muslim immigrants coming into the country from Turkey.

Original article from the Daily Record and Daily Mirror

Sourced from our KTI Article.

Newspaper articles removed from Mirror, Record, Express, Mail due to threats of legal action by Jim Dowson. Reposted here to keep it in the public realm.

15Dec/16

Can We Afford the NHS?

During my Sunday morning twitter read (I’m not one for going to get the Sunday papers), this tweet from Harry Smith caught my eye:

Can we afford the NHS? The growing costs and underfunding issues are cause for consternation both in the media and politically. The lack of funding for mental health services and care for the elderly, along with stories about waiting lists and patients being left in corridors due to a lack of beds are broadcast daily. These stories are often produced to suit a particular agenda such as immigration debate and health tourism, austerity measures, or doctors’ contracts.

There doesn’t seem to be a market for comparing the taxes of the super rich with the cost of the NHS. Surely in a world where the media attributes and compares costs on a daily basis, this should have been covered in a plethora of articles.

Finding unbiased resources on wealth and income is relatively straightforward. According to the office for national statistics, in 2014 the top 10% in Britain held 45% of the country’s wealth. A 2016 Credit Suisse report found this figure had slightly increased to 46%, with the top 1% now owning 24% of household wealth.


Source – ONS

This was interesting reading, but it didn’t provide the detailed figures I was looking for. The IFS however, was a mine field of figures and stats, albeit many of them not very user friendly without a statistician on hand.


Source – Institute for Fiscal Studies

That income tax for the top 0.1% doesn’t seem quite right though. Based on our income tax system, someone earning £780,000 should pay £337,000 without any tax breaks. That’s an average of £62,000 per person, or £2.6 billion pounds that is being avoided by the 0.1% in income tax alone, not including offshore havens, corporation tax fiddles or any of the schemes and scams that are used.
What can £2.6 billion pay for in the NHS?

5 new flagship hospitals.

16,000 doctors and 36,000 nurses.

486,000 hip replacements.

I think Harry may be on to something with his tweet. I for one would like to see far more comparisons like this in the media. Next time you read an article about how the NHS is struggling with the cost of health tourism, or junior doctors’ contracts, please spare a thought for the 0.1%.

15Dec/16

Brexit and the Budget – A Bookkeeping Shambles?

Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced government borrowing is predicted to increase by £110 billion over the next 4 years, largely due to the looming repercussions of Brexit. As well as the direct costs leaving the EU brings, a large proportion is predicted due to a drop in migration and reduced productivity. (Source: Office for Budget Responsibility)

The government will need to borrow more money as migration reduces, because despite the current popular anti-immigration sentiment being peddled by many media channels and politicians, migration is good for the economy, for productivity and for employment.

Although the government has now abandoned hope for Osborne’s unachievable plan for zero deficit by 2020, the austerity blueprint remains. Whilst several high profile plans have experienced U-turns or been diluted by the House of Lords, austerity measures will take £30 a week from around 300,000 sick and disabled people in receipt of ESA, in a bid to cut £455 million from the welfare bill. This will take effect from April 2017.

Nobody really knows yet the full effects Brexit will have on our economy. All forecasts predict financial downturns, but it remains to be seen just how deep and long this will be. This was the first Hammond/May budget announcement, and for many it will feel about as helpful to them as the other Hammond/May partnership showing them how a Lamborghini handles round the track. Unfortunately for the average household and the government, forecasts suggest the books are going to get even harder to balance.

15Dec/16

Britain First – A Great British Con?

Britain First have had great success on social media, with their Facebook page having gained almost 1.5 million likes in the past few years. Founded by ex BNP chief fundraiser Jim Dowson in 2011, the group started as another of his get-rich-quick schemes. In 2012 they collected money on the streets under the guise of helping ex armed forces, in a true Del and Rodney style complete with folding table that got packed up in seconds if someone called the rozzers.

This video was recorded by an ex soldier who tracked them down.

In 2014 Britain First registered as an official political party, with Paul Golding as leader. Also in 2014 Golding along with his father and his deputy Jayda Fransen, opened a limited company – Britain First Merchandise Ltd. The company initially used Jim Dowson’s patriot store to sell their products, heavily promoting the link on their now popular Facebook page. These days the online shop is directly accessed from the official party website. Party accounts are registered annually with the Electoral Commission and are available to the public. On checking the available 2014 and 2015 accounts, we noted that there was no revenue declared from any commercial or miscellaneous activities. Obviously we were aware the party promoted and sold their merchandise, so we queried this omission of declared funds with the Electoral Commission. The response was sadly unhelpful. Britain First have confirmed to them the Ltd company and the political party are two separate entities and the proceeds from each activity are completely separate.

BUT THEY USE THE SAME WEBSITE! THEY PROMOTE THE GOODS THROUGH THEIR PARTY PAGE!! THEY EMAIL PARTY SUPPORTERS TO ASK THEM TO PURCHASE GOODS!!!

Imagine the same thing happening with the Conservatives or Labour. Surely this can’t be legal, we asked? The EC were once again unhelpful and suggested we contact the police ourselves if we believed fraud had been committed.

Of course, we then reported this to the police action fraud department, along with evidence of Mr Golding and Ms Fransen emailing supporters of the party for donations to fund their own criminal legal proceedings and fines. In what was beginning to feel like a ping pong match, after 5 minutes on hold whilst they took some advice, we were told it was a matter for the Electoral Commission.

We will continue in our quest to find some official department that can take action, and report any progress.

15Dec/16

What else don’t we know about the Murdoch Empire?

Newscorp international. The far reaching Murdoch Empire, owning vast swathes of the English speaking media.
Sky. 21st Century Fox. Telstra. The Sun. The Australian Telegraph. The Times. Sunday Times. Press Association. New York Times. Dow Jones & Company. Wall Street Journal. The Australian. HarperCollins.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of companies and publications owned by Rupert Murdoch, it purely illustrates the power he holds over the political and social narrative stretching over three continents. You don’t hear that much about Murdoch in the media because he IS the media.
I could talk about phone hacking, I could talk about “king making”, I could talk about controlling governments by controlling the electorate. All very worthwhile topics regarding Murdoch, but there is one particular subject I want to cover here today.
Murdoch’s heavy involvement in Genie Oil and Gas. A subsidiary of IDT energy, spun off in 2011. Afek Oil and Gas is an Israeli subsidiary of Genie. Rupert Murdoch holds shares in Genie, as well as sitting on their Strategic Advisory Board, alongside a stellar cast:
Michael Steinhardt (SAB Chairman) – Noted Wall Street investor and Principal Manager, Steinhardt Management LLC.
Richard Cheney – 46th Vice President of the United States.
Marry Landrieu – United States Senator from Louisiana from 1996 to 2014. Senator Landrieu served as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In her capacity as chair, she sponsored and passed the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill.
Rupert Murdoch – Founder and Executive Chairman of News Corporation, one of the world’s largest diversified media companies. News Corporation’s holdings include significant media assets on six continents.
Bill Richardson – Governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. Mr. Richardson served as Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration (1998-2001).
Jacob Rothschild, OM, GBE – Chairman of the J. Rothschild group of companies and of RIT Capital Partners plc. Chairman of Five Arrows Limited. Lord Rothschold is a noted philanthropist and Chairman of the Rothschild Foundation.
Dr. Lawrence Summers – Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. Dr. Summers served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton and as Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama.
R. James Woolsey – Director of Central Intelligence from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Woolsey is co-founder of the United States Energy Security Council.
This board reads like a who’s who of Washington, and there’s a good reason for that. Genie Oil was a company set up for the purpose of extracting oil from Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights is a 700 square mile stretch of land on the Syrian / Israeli border. Formally recognised by the UN as Syrian land, the Israeli government seized Golan during the 6 day war of 1967. Israel began constructing settlements in the 1970s and extended Isreali law across the area in 1981. Isreal’s occupation is internationally recognised as illegal.
Back to Genie. Their subsidiary Afek was awarded exploratory drilling rights in Golan in February 2013 by the Israeli government. In October 2015 the company announced a significant find, with WorldOil reporting a 350m oil depth, which is up to 10 times the average oil field.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has even asked President Obama to formally recognise Golan as a part of Israel, citing the Syrian war as justification.
In November 2015, at the first meeting between Netanyahu and Obama in over a year, the Israeli leader allegedly said as Syria was no longer a fully functioning state, this allowed “for different thinking”.
An article from October 2015 in The Jewish Press stated:
Syrian rebels, the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Assad regime, and today that means Russia, now have another reason to capture the Golan Heights – oil.
If Genie manage to extract this oil it would leave Israel independent of its Arab neighbours for fuel for decades, as well as providing a friendly source for the USA. The political ramifications of oil in the Golan are complex and far reaching.
Murdoch is no stranger to using his media control to manipulate voters. He helped Thatcher in the 80s, Blair to power in 1997 and Bush in 2000. He uses his power to influence public opinion. His outlets were all in staunch support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The war in Syria has been incredibly complicated by the actions of other nation states each supporting their favoured factions. As can be seen from the Jewish Press article, the belief that Russia is supporting Assad for its own gains is a theory considered by Israeli media. From Murdoch’s point of view, continued instability in the region is necessary for business. Genie need Golan Heights to be internationally acknowledged as part of Israel prior to extracting billions of barrels of oil from it. A master of manipulation, a well publicised control freak, and quite likely a narcissist; is Murdoch once again using his control of public opinion and of government heads to suit his own agenda?

28Oct/16

Jim Dowson exposed as an extremist by the Daily Record

A SCOTS anti-Muslim extremist is spearheading a hate-filled military group who hunt down asylum seekers in Bulgaria.

Ultra-right winger Jim Dowson donned camouflage fatigues to join the heavily armed Shipka Bulgarian National Movement stalking migrants who cross the Turkish border.

Dowson, a fanatical anti-abortion campaigner and founder of the Britain First group, has made a series of videos begging donors in Europe and America to send funds to arm the ragtag militia.

Read the full article here.