Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of State’

Next Week’s Episodes on the Radio 4 Series on the History of British Socialism

February 25, 2018

The BBC Radio 4 series, British Socialism: The Grand Tour, continues on its usual timeslot of 1.40 pm on weekdays next week, beginning with a programme on Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Here’s the programmes due to be transmitted, with the brief descriptions of them from the Radio Times.

Monday
Sidney and Beatrice Webb and the Fabian Society

Michael Ward, Dianne Hayter and Steven Fielding join Anne McElvoy to explain how Beatrice and Sidney Webb contributed to the development of the modern welfare state.

Tuesday
Ernest Bevin vs. Stafford Cripps

McElvoy traces the battle between rival traditions of British socialism amid the crises of the 1930s.

Wednesday
1945

Anne McElvoy examines how Ellen Wilkinson went from the Communist Party to the Jarrow March, and to a seat in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education.

Thursday
Socialist Feminism and 1968

Anne McElvoy explores how the women’s liberation movement and the politics of 1968 changed the language of socialism in Britain. With contributions from Sally Alexander of Goldsmiths, University of London; Barbara Taylor of Queen Mary, University of London; and Jon Lawrence of the University of Exeter.

Friday
Tony Benn

Amid the crises of 1970s, competing strands of British socialism struggled for dominance. There were the statist technocrats, who looked back to Labour’s 1945 victory and the building of the Welfare State; the post-1968 generation who had revived the tradition of a socialism focused more on radical self-realization. Meanwhile, the shop stewards forged a new approach to trade unionism. So when Tony Benn moved from a mild, modernising emphasis on the possibilities of technology, and started marching alongside workers who had occupied their factories, it was a significant turn. Present by Anne McElvoy.

And there’s an omnibus edition of that week’s programmes on the same channel at 9.00 pm in the evening that same day.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton Warns Trump Not to Recognise Palestinian State

November 22, 2016

In this clip from Secular Talk, host Kyle Kulinski talks about recent comments by John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the UN, and a potential candidate for secretary of state in Trump’s new administration. Bolton declared that Trump should not do anything to harm Israel, such as endorsing UN proposals for a Palestinians state, as he is rumoured to be considering at the UN.

Kulinski makes the point that there is absolutely no chance of that happening, as Barack Obama has just given Israel $38 billion of military aid, most of which will go to expanding the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. He states that while Obama has condemned some Israeli maltreatment of the Palestinians, this is actually simply par for the course for American policy towards Israel. This consists of tutting and making some noising of disapproval, and then turning a blind eye to further atrocities.

Kulinski states he would respect Obama, if in his final days in office Obama did decide to recognise a Palestinian state, and back up his decision by refusing to give further aid to Israel until this was done. He states that this important, as people have now got to the point of scoffing at Israel retreating to the pre-1967 borders. They raise the issue of the many Israeli settlements left outside those borders. Are they to be abandoned? Kulinski states clearly ‘Yes’, because they’re there illegal. Those scoffing at their abandonment are scoffing at the enforcement of international law. He goes further and states that Obama should threaten not just to stop aid, but to impose sanctions on Israel if it does not comply, because the Israelis always play the victim. They are constantly acting surprised by outbreaks of Palestinian terrorism after stealing the Palestinians’ land. Kulinski states that recognising a Palestinian state would stop a lot of terrorism, as it is a huge source of Muslim resentment.

Vox Political: Tories Break Promise over Fracking near Drinking Water

February 13, 2015

Tory Lies Drawing

Mike over at Vox Political also posted this piece, reporting Cameron’s broken promise about not allowing fracking near sources of drinking water. The article cites a piece by Friends of the Earth, who have received a leaked letter revealing that, despite having made pledges to safeguard water supplies, Cameron fully intends to ignore his promise and go ahead regardless. The article begins

“We know you don’t want fracking, but we’re not listening. And we know we pledged to stop fracking near drinking water, but we didn’t mean it.” Those are the messages from this Government, according to Friends of the Earth.

The article states: “A few weeks ago we learned – in a leaked letter – that the Government will help fracking companies no matter what. And it appears to be good to its word.

“Last week it ignored increasing public pressure to ban fracking in England. But it did pledge to prohibit fracking near drinking water sources – due to concerns about contamination.

“Roll on just one week and the Government is now fiddling with the law to make this pledge meaningless.

“MPs will now have to vote on whether to accept this u-turn. If they don’t block the changes, then fracking could take place in the areas that provide around one third of our drinking water. This would seriously risk contaminating the drinking water supply.”

Mike’s piece states that this follows the government supporting a series of motions to regulate fracking. Apparently this follows a counter-proposal, launched in the House of Lords Monday night by the Lib Dems’ Baroness Kramer. This new proposal significantly waters down Labour’s proposed measures, and allows the secretary of state to define what constitutes a ‘protected area’.

So basically, the Coalition have decided that the interests of the fracking industry outweigh environmental concerns, including the public’s right to have safe, clean water coming out of their taps. If the Secretary of State doesn’t think somewhere should be a protected area, even if it contains a reservoir and an environment bursting with biodiversity, with rare species a-plenty, then it won’t be a protected area.

And possibly just as scandalous is the fact that the news of this U-turn was only reported on the website, DeSmog UK.

As Mike says, this isn’t what the average Tory voter wanted, when they asked their MPs to place limits on fracking. But it is very clearly what the Tories and Lib Dems want.

Once again, in the Tories’ eyes, the interests of big business beats the small guy any day.

Mike’s article is over at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/02/11/fracking-threat-to-drinking-water-from-underhanded-coalition/.