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Tuesday 15 June 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:41 UK time, Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tonight Jeremy Paxman will be cross examining the five candidates who have put themselves forward - and crucially have won enough backing from fellow MPs - to stand in the Labour leadership contest.

Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, David Miliband and Ed Miliband will all take part in the first televised hustings of the contest in front of an audience.

Our political editor Michael Crick will be live blogging throughout the event from 10.30pm on the Newsnight website. And you can click here to get more information on how you can contribute.

And Jackie Long is in Londonderry again for us where the families of those killed and injured on Bloody Sunday and the soldiers involved are studying Lord Saville's report on the events.

The outcome of the Bloody Sunday inquiry, the longest and most expensive public inquiry in UK legal history, is due to be made public later.

Jackie will be explaining exactly what the report says, getting reaction from the families, considering what the political fallout might be and asking, what next?

Do join Jeremy Paxman at 10.30pm tonight on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    when Jeremy starts his cross examination of the candidates on the Iraq war can he ask Diane to leave the room as she was always against it. The others are all culpable and have a selective memory bloody convenient...

  • Comment number 2.


    But all is not lost. Liam Fox is 'doing a Tesco' in the arena of war. In the fight against Terror, BOGOF will mean 'Bag One Get One Free'.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well.

  • Comment number 3.

    Questions for the Labour leadership contenders (from a Lib Dem voter):

    1. In the bright early years of Blair as a leader it used to be suggested that Alistair "the rabbit" Campbell was the "second most powerful person in the land". The down side of this became clear during the run up to the Iraq War where "sofa politics" seemed to outweigh collegiate cabinet responsibility.

    Is sofa politics now dead and why?

    2. The Labour leadership race has been opened up so that popular candidates like Abbott could participate. The majority of the UK public would like to see greater competition in the political arena and genuine ideas via fairer voting. Would the candidates support PR or AV Plus that would break the power of the geographically concentrated vote?

    3. Labour has positioned itself to suggest that it did nothing wrong leading up to the credit crunch. Would they therefore retain the same policies and the same economic balance with its dependency on the Square Mile?

    4. Do the candidates see the Labour initiated nuclear energy programme as a viable way to provide cleaner energy in time for the projected carbon shortfall?

    5. How will the candidates ensure greater participation for women in politics whilst retaining local independence in the grass roots?

    6. Do the candidates see the need for an independent nuclear deterrent?

    7. Should UK laws be tightened to prohibit any situation where the UK cooperates actively with torture and do our oversight mechanisms need an overhaul in the light of Binjamin Mohammed and others?

  • Comment number 4.

    Has the BBC refined its rules on coverage of the political parties with regard to the Lib Dems as a coalition partner?

    This Week still seems to be a club that enforces the rule of the larger parties and does not reflect therefore the wider realities of the political arena.

    It is quite clear to me that the reason the Lib Dem vote surged after the GE leadership debates was simply that they got fair coverage without the snide comments.

    Paxman for instance ridiculed the current Deputy Prime Minister over the possibility of his becoming Prime Minister and has made sarcastic comments about PR - that the last Comres poll showed, I believe, 78% of the public are now in favour of.

    How can a party have potentially come third in the popular vote and won the most seats and therefore had the most coverage?

  • Comment number 5.

    Londonderry (AKA Derry. Depends which religious divide your from)
    Who benefits from the search for the truth? Looking at the figures; the allocation of monies in this near £200m inquiry - or what ever its called - is an easy question to answer, and it ain't the truth. Is it:

    A. A fella with a large stamp collection.
    b. A kid with 3yrs skate boarding experience behind him.
    c.The money grabbing Lawyers.

    Baz, regarding B Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) 911, Gulf spill and the general machinations of string pulled leaders and Governments. When I look at and listen to our main stream media, I am reminded of this quote:

    "Journalism is a false picture of the world thrown upon the lighted screen into a darkened room so that the real world is not seen and the unreal world is seen...we live under secret Government, conducted by a secret process called publicity". Chesterton.

  • Comment number 6.

    On the Bloody Sunday Inquiry I can only say that I believe that most people would be happy with whatever resolution gives the most satisfaction to those devastated by the day whilst keeping the peace process on track.

    But beyond the obvious plea the truth and reconciliation side of things could do, in my humble lay view, with an exploration of the mindset of the time.

    What led some of the British hierarchy to think that simply shooting a few ring leaders was not plain murder and that it could ever do anything other than provoke violent reaction? Was that their aim?

    Decades of violence and grief hinge in many ways on quite a limited number of individuals who seem to have lacked compassion and frankly intelligence.

    It also seem to be the case that there was a long smear campaign against Daly where he was portrayed as an IRA conduit and I believe that was never the case.

    Nobody seems to have learned any lessons quickly from such tragedy.

  • Comment number 7.


    Amen to yours Kev. To rework Chesterton ('The Englishman') 'Westminster's free to drive him nuts, ignoring every whine.'

  • Comment number 8.

    #5 kevseywevsey

    "Journalism is a false picture of the world thrown upon the lighted screen"

    Whereas say far right posters who have alleged on this page that the Holocaust was made up and that there is a Jewish "hegemony" and so on are to be trusted? Hitler was a "peace lover"? There are genetic differences between the races? The third tower in 9/11 was demolished?

    I think not.

    As for the comments on Obama being a "string pulled" leader you are necessarily vague as you have nothing called "evidence" that might be cited.

    On the Bloody Sunday inquiry its clear your massive experience derived from seeing bottles thrown at the army and rubber bullets whizzing about has informed you emotional disposition but has not honed your intellect.

    Who benefits from the inquiry - well if it helps to bring peace to that troubled area then everybody benefits.

    So do you want peace?

  • Comment number 9.

    #7 barriesingleton

    Always the dig at Westminster and party politics and nothing more than a hint at what you would suggest should replace it?


    I doubt that is where you are coming from.

  • Comment number 10.

    Dear Jeremy

    I hope you can find a way of teasing out the candidates' views about the state of the Labour Party itself.

    Taken by Blair to the brink of bankruptcy, forced to rely again on the unions under Brown, still heavily in debt, facing hostile moves by the ConDems to restrict union donations - how are they going to ensure solvency?

    Peter Kenyon

  • Comment number 11.

    whoever can walk across water is the true leader. simple.

  • Comment number 12.


    Dave says we must face the awful truth of Bloody Sunday, not duck it. Apparently some soldiers LIED for personal (and perhaps group) advantage.

    But will Dave ponder - even for a nano-second - precisely where Britain has elevated LYING FOR ADVANTAGE to an art - and, a PARTY obligation?

    Another very good reason to SPOILPARTYGAMES.

  • Comment number 13.


    That tunnel is supposed to be secret until ...

    I never post against a situation without a thought-through alternative.

    This might help

  • Comment number 14.

    Am I Rocking the Boat ? I Do Hope So

    Wallop A Cod Cods wallop

    the bloody sunday enquiry what a waste of tax payers money why do you
    think I dont pay tax.

    I joined the Parachute Regt aged 15 and one month in sept 1971 I met and spoke to some of the Gentlemen involved from 1 Para, I heard nothing untoward as tragic as it was.

    Ask adams mguinnes and the ira how many childrens and womens they Slaughtered. the brave ira

    I will say no more, I will keep the powder Dry and run rings round any idiot that trys 2 take me on

  • Comment number 15.


    Nice to read and understand you d.

    I have no wish to take you on. Enquiries are to kill time not to address killing, and arrive at truth. Anyway, we proles can't handle the truth.

  • Comment number 16.

    Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

    and the RAF have been practice bombing iranian targets. Is this another unwwinable war the neocons are jacking up on?

  • Comment number 17.

    11. At 5:34pm on 15 Jun 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:

    whoever can walk across water is the true leader. simple.


    I've heard Ed Balls is a very talented ice skater!

  • Comment number 18.

    Thanks Barrie there are 2 sides 2 every coin and more than 2 sides 2 every jackanory/story

    get 200 hundred people involved in an incident/caper and you get in the possible 200 versions of events.

    ask The Plod

  • Comment number 19.

    2 nineebands a ballsup an abbotty whats the other one ?

    plotting/planning an other war/more debt/lies and more lys

    the lot of them should stick their heads up their own back passsage

    lets face it that's where they believe their sun shines

    am I being nasty? I do hope so {not nasty enough}

  • Comment number 20.

  • Comment number 21.

    gango wrote:

    "Who benefits from the inquiry - well if it helps to bring peace to that troubled area then everybody benefits.

    So do you want peace?"

    The last bits a given wouldn't you say.

    As for the former. When was the last time you was in Belfast, walked down falls road, nipped into the bookies and then went for a pint? Have you ever had the flavor of Northern Ireland's street and club life? When was the last time you watched an Orange march going passed your aunties house? Let me have a guess..never! But you pontificate about matters you know nothing about! You form your opinions from the diluted and slanted reports from the BBC and the hacks at the Guardian whilst sat in the ever present safety of your bedroom.
    Your constant reverent comments on Obama is the highest of naivety I have ever read or heard. He's a Goldman Sachs place man. He surrounds himself with Goldman Sachs stooges..and because he has to. Do you not bother to research and gather information other than from BBC webpages and the Huffpost before you make you conclusions. I had high hopes for Obama when he entered the Presidential race but on closer inspection ...oh dear, another Puppet president. And that conclusion wasn't difficult to come to...simple research buddy. simple research. I suggest you unblinker yourself and go in search of some truth.

    Anyhow Gango, keep up the good work.
    The BBC may offer you a post in the 'truth dept' one day if you play your cards right. If they ever offer you an interview and you find yourself in a room with a big couch..... well, that'll be a decision you'll have to make for yourself.

  • Comment number 22.

    5 (Microphones) are not better than 1.

    What a pointless shambles.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thought so, no proper debate on the Climate Scam allowed, but Miliband D preaching for the eco-fascist sect vote of the Corporate Nazi quasi-religion enveloping the current Labour party like a malignant tumour !

  • Comment number 24.

    After watching the five Labour leadership hopefulls, I've come to this conclusion: the Labour Party is doomed...DOOMED!

    If I had to choose -and my life depended on it: Andy Burnham, and only because he's the least twisted out of the five and he also mentioned care for the elderly and the costs.
    My old queen spent £30k on her care in just over two and a half years. And only because she had her own house and savings before she buggered off to meet her maker, whilst bingo Jane in the next room got her care for free because she was a freeloading state drainer and spent all her money in the pub and never saved..nor worked hard, she was a waster. Having the tattoed bingo addict next door in the care home really wound up my mother, knowing somehow her hard earned saving were covering the costs of this woman was an unfairness that was very palpable for her and our family. The care system should not penalise you just because you was a saver and house owner. A fairer system needs introducing. Easier said than done considering the country is bankrupt and will be skint for years.

    Just thought i'd get that of my chest.

  • Comment number 25.

    Interesting debate by the Labour candidates tonight....maybe Diane Abbott will win it, who knows. (I could even say who cares....but won't!)

    Are the 1800 people who were killed by the IRA going to get an apology from Gerry Adams? NO! What a complete waste of £200million. Why should the British have to apologise for anything when every IRA member is free?

  • Comment number 26.


    Five fractions of the same Westminster 'distillate'. Different densities and flavours, BUT MORE IN COMMON THAN EVER SEPARATES THEM.

    How comic that they stood there to be assessed, yet STILL tried to tell the 'examining board' (us) HOW they should be judged. They SOOOO did not want to say why they didn't challenge the awful Brown, or why they believed the crafty Blair. Andy's lightweight bluster, Limited Ed's 'love of country', Miliband D's Hollywoodesque: 'I'M REAL', Abbott's 'peopleness' and Balls' glazed bumblings, numbed my mind. All those protestations that we are not 'racist' (aka AWARE of aliens in our midst) but simply worried about housing and jobs, was cobblers - AND NO ONE MENTIONED THE MANGLISH. Indeed, we were told YET AGAIN the NHS could not run without 57 varieties. WHAT A JOKE! The NHS certainly does not FUNCTION as it should, WITH THEM!

    Andy B was starry eyed for 'National Care' of the old, but deplored a UK post-code-lottery. Well Andy-Lad, you set up totally funded old age, and the denizens of every post-code ACROSS EUROPE will think they have WON the lottery!

    These are the wrong kind of politician.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well.

  • Comment number 27.

    IS IT ME?

    As Cameron wrapped himself in the warming 'guilt' of our army, I could not help remembering Maggie, swaddled in the glorious victory that was enacted in the Mal-Lands of the South Atlantic.

    Cameron's tone: all too familiar from his 'Sand and Heat' speech, regarding our glorious army (same one) defending us from Terror in Afghanistan.

    And his lauding of Saint Obama - easy companion, shrewd leader, inspiring eminence, yada yada yada.

    Oh Dave - it has all gone to your photoshopped head already - hasn't it!
    You really ARE the air to Bliar. And it is all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 28.


    Soon the 'elderly-care-immigrant' peasant in the next room, will be jabbering away contentedly to the staff, that the indigene can't understand, as the latter's savings drain away!

    Respect Kev.

  • Comment number 29.


    I'm so glad you're writing again, I was worried that something untoward has happened or that you were unwell.

    Who needs 5 if one has all it takes!!!!

    As you say, pointless.

    Unfortunately, I missed Newsnight tonight but shall watch it on the iPlayer later on, well the bits with Jeremy on.

    Fumminly enough, I popped into a rug shop with most beautiful rugs imaginable and the man who in fact invited me in said that they were all made in Nepal as a form of exchange, in the sense that they very skillfully weave the rugs while they provide them with the opportunity to earn their living via fair trade.

    But the thing I really want to say is that the gentleman told me that he always enjoys watching Jeremy's programmes and Newsnight because he thinks that Paxo has a very good perspective on things.

    Some bloggers here are likely to disagree but I think that Jeremy is making a kind of Churchillian attempt to help the UK out of its current messy state of affairs, and I'm trying to help or, in fact, make my own contribution acting for the whole of the country rather than divisively for small groups causing huge trouble while greedily waiting to put their snuffs into the troff.

    That's one of the reasons why I think that the ConDem coalition may turn out to be a very good thing for the country.


  • Comment number 30.

    I can see that some of the 'renowned' NN bloggers have been having a go at the journalists earlier in the day but wonder what they would do without them and without Westminster? Who would they have to complain about and feed on them like parasites trying to pass on their sws messages?

    My hope is that both the journalists and the Great and the Good would unite against the most unwelcome and damaging parasites so that the country can start breathing again and move forward into the modern times refreshed and strong.


  • Comment number 31.

    #29 expansion

    Re: The width of Jeremy's perspectiveness

    Even by looking only at the titles of his books written in the last 20 years or so: 'Friends in High Places. Who Runs Brittain', 'The English', 'The Political Animal. An Anatomy' (notably with Churchill's face on the cover), 'On Royalty. A Very Polite Enquiry.' and 'The Victorians' that's precisely, it seems to me, he's been doing, i.e. trying to both understand and throw light on how it all works here in the UK and what impact the Brits have, have had and may have in the future on the world without resorting to narrow and prescriptive solutions of his own.


  • Comment number 32.

    comments: - i can't believe i went out *tonight* instead of blogging!!! :o

    had a good night at a live dub night, some awesome music, total mixed ethnic and subculture mix, all having a good time together. Such a good mood. :D

    [i honestly don't know if i *would* have swapped that for a night moaning live about politicians tho...!! ;) :o ]

    ok, enough moticons.

    --norhtnireland - there is indeed a context to the Londonderry Massacre, there is a reason why those people were on *civil rights* marches just like had happened across America. The majority Protestants were using their political control to hand the large part of Govt spending (better housing, schools etc) to the mainly Scottish ancestry Protestant citizens, and spending very little on the Catholic minority. There were also grave police abuses, because the police in Northern Ireland were almost entirely from Protestant backgrounds.

    the growth of the Protest movements, their desire for a power-sharing agreement more suited for the needs of the Provinces to build a safe, cooperative and trusting alliance between the various communities, which in some instances had turned violent (usually, as ever, mainly started by the stronger group), had been one of the main reasons Westminster sent *back* the troops to "restore order to the province".

    unfortunately, they *could* have done this quite easily - they only had to support the equal rights legislature demands from the minority population, and the Troubles would never really have happened. It can be seen from reports at the time that the Catholic minority were initially very supportive of the British Troops, who they believed would defend them against the Majority Dictatorship that was taking away their rights as UK citizens. I say "unfortunately" - because as history now shows, that is exactly what did *NOT* happen. Instead we had to wait long decades, with enormous suffering from both sides, military, paramilitary, and most of all *civilians*, until finally a power sharing agreement is hammered out decades later.

    this is the historical context of what happened in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday, why the marches were happening, and the possibilities that were lost at that time, and why the minority Catholic community felt it so deeply as a betrayal.

    my greatest respects for what Prime Minister Cameron said today, it was no easy task, and he performed it like a real Statesman. For once, he was actually genuine, and it showed. respect.

    i would hope therefore, and bearing in mind Sinn Fein's willingness to take part in equal inquiries as to ALL the paramilitaries activities in the Provinces, that it be recognised by the families of the murdered, these soldiers should *never* have been in the front-line facing civilians, their training had been in very different situations. This does not condone what the soldiers did, but they also were merely boys in the main part - who gave them the orders?

    there has been far too much horror in Ireland's history already, this is a chance for all parties to come clean about their involvement. To charge those soldiers is to prevent openness from all parties - this would be a shame.

    in my very humble opinion.

  • Comment number 33.

    [from the 10News] --the oil slick? Is it possible to 'suck up' the top surface of the sea (incl the oil) with modified fire planes/helicopters?

    maybe instead/also using some kind of hair as a belt? If the oil slick can be contained in some way, it will need to be removed..


    the 5 candidates... for the first few minutes, the only one that didn't want to make me vomit was diane abbot, who had clearly 'Got It', and was speaking with conviction. Soon afterwards, amusingly, the other politicians picked up on it. Of the four however, only Balls sounded genuine in ANY way, and i actually do believe he's partly 'got it'. Burnham was nothing less than scary, his allegiance to the Big Surveillance Society was open to display (perhaps because they would all have pointed out where the others were lying, so they had to be truthful...? :D ) i'd almost prefer a millibrother over him, and to be honest, apart from Tony Blair, i can't think of *anyone* i would less like as Prime Minister as either of them.

    ...jack straw maybe? George Osbourne? Redwood? George W Bush?? Ahmadinadjad???? :o

    ok, so it *could* be worse. ;)

    but really, Burnham is revealed as a surveillance Society advocate, the Millibro's pop duo latest hit "Look How Genuine We Are Trying To Be" (YUCK!!!!), Balls probably deserves a good shadow cabinet post, and Abbot, while looking into the camera too much and hamming it waaay too much, looks like the only one who *MIGHT* learn some gravitas, and have the will to put forward good measures *genuinely*.

    me, i hope Labour choose Ed Milliband, because then nuLabour will be a model of what happens to the Tories the election after that.

    ...[maybe] >=]

    lol, politics is so much FUN, isn't it?? :D

    ...this would have been fun to write during the program. ;)

  • Comment number 34.

    #31: i've only read one of paxo's books (might have been 'political animal'), but i did enjoy it a fair amount. Will definitely look out for some others though.

    ..not a very high opinion of the candidates then?? ^-^

  • Comment number 35.

    #33: actually, politics isn't really *that* much fun... i think i was still in a good mood from the night out. :)

  • Comment number 36.

    --this is probably against the rules, but i would like to recommend the bands 'Bakk Lamp Fall', and 'The Cornerstones'. The lead guitarist on the latter was excellent, crystal clear notes when needed.

    definitely recommended for a night out.

  • Comment number 37.

    #31 addendum

    I didn't mention Jeremy's 'Fish, Fishing and the Meaning of Life', published in 1994, as it's a different kind of book although equally excellent, with 4 fish on the cover and it starts like this:

    /I hope Jeremy doesn't mind me quoting the very beginning/

    "I think the happiest days of my life have been spent fishing. It was my grandfather who taught me. I was ten or eleven; he, I suppose seventy; his big frame...."; while the last chapter is on the ethics of fishing.


  • Comment number 38.

    Those who cause damage have to pay for the consequences, simple:


  • Comment number 39.



    In essence perhaps Mim a mandate for many an issue (Northern Ireland perhaps to be topical). The problem is often in finding ALL of the culprits, all those who contributed to the damage and apportioning percentage.

    Then of course we assume that the assets/funds are available with which to make recompense.

    We could have multiple ongoing £200m 12 year enquiries just to get to such a point of blame.

    God I hate the mis use of the word 'Blame' when responsibility is better suited but of course far less emotive

    And once the pointing finger has been jabbed once or twice in a particular face and someone is labelled as culpable they attract the the blame for everything and become the whipping boy for generations to come. Just watch any playground for a few minutes and you will spot him or her.

    If only it were that simple.

    One of the reasons Insurance was invented was to spread the risk and the costs amongst the guilty, the innocent and all of those with mucky mitts caught in the cross fire.

    p.s. I bought a hardback of the 'Fishing and life' book from an old bookshop in Edinburgh recently for a keen fly fishing friend. Had a good delve before passing it on.

  • Comment number 40.


    I was NOT impressed by last night's set up. Why an Open Mike on all. It merely served to allow an incomprehensible shouting over and cut in to answers too often. Was that deliberate? To what end? At the end even had Balls E and Mill D 'chatting' openly to each other as other candidates were answering questions. They'd be outside the Head's office this morning if I were in charge. No actually, I'd have given them the withering look, a loud cough and if necessary an 'excuse me', in order to embarrass them for their lack of manners.

    Interesting though how little camera on presenter/questioner.

    As far as individual candidates went. It's very difficult to judge on substance when all is focused on style. And when they all were allowed to talk over each other. I found the opening statements of all to be simply red top fodder.

    Andy B looked out of his depth but was less polished, which I perhaps a selling point. Ms Abbott was repetitive, smiley smiley and I thought disingenuous, and far too narrow focused. A local politician NOT a national unifier. David M seemed to have been through some sort of presidential presentation boot camp, to emerge statesmanlike, and devoid of any personal belief system; Little Bro was as little too responsive, trying too hard to take on board and deliver the answer his audience wanted to hear, rather than what he thought. E Balls had enough to deliver an honest if disjointed and jumpy answer. But all dwelled (perhaps it was the questions) far too much on the past, even as they challenged each other and presenter to move to the future.

  • Comment number 41.


    #29 Mim

    Nice to be missed. Just had a healthy dose of real life, work, work, a bit of work, some work....... a touch of (but not enough) sleep, family, friends and sustenance. Must be near Wimbledon. Balance about to be redressed.

    Like the Orcacdian in our midst (#32) there is LIFE outside politics, NN and Blogging.

    Now I am running away for a few days. To the hills for a day (Glenesk or Clachnaben) then to the west coast for a touch of R & R with family and sans laptop, phones and even tv. Just lochs, hills, rivers, whirlpools and raging seas, the dreaded midge and good local food. I fully anticipate the world will keep spinning until I get back and not much has changed.

    Play nicely now.

  • Comment number 42.

    Looks like the NHS is going to be ending soon......plans to charge patients £10.00 to see GP.....


  • Comment number 43.


    Have a lovely time, BYT!!!!

    Hope the weather will be to your liking, lots of sunshine during the day and plentiful and visible stars high on the firmanent at night.



  • Comment number 44.

    'Jackie will be explaining exactly what the report says, getting reaction from the families, considering what the political fallout might be and asking, what next?'

    Ah, the narrative.

    One awaits, with eager anticipation, the next documentary to issue forth... to 'explain'.

  • Comment number 45.

    #42 Hhhmmm Mistress, that will make sure one can always get an appointment at the doctors! ; )

    I wonder how many exemptions there will be? Indigenous people only to pay? Who's going to collect the money, the receptionist, or will we have to cross the palm with silver to the doc?

    My mother remembers paying to see the doc, so they never saw one, too expensive. Her sister was born with diabetis, long before insulin, my grandmother got her to live 'til age 9, a miracle really. But they were deeply in debt to the doctor, and she even had to "go on the parish" much to my grandmothers shame, for a while. And owed a fortune to the kindly butcher, who let her have credit.

    In France one pays, but depending on your financial situation you can claim it back, but they do get to see a consultant immediatly or within a couple of days.

  • Comment number 46.

    '26. At 11:58pm on 15 Jun 2010, barriesingleton

    Andy B was starry eyed for 'National Care' of the old...'

    As you have raised it, and in context of the last 13 years well at the door of tonight's heroes, I claim my O/T exemption.

    I am currently in the middle of a bun-fight with a raft of finger-pointers regarding a massive failure in the care of my Mum.

    This.. from the Care Quality Commission - - about sums it up: 'As explained on our website, CQC does not have powers to investigate your specific complaint. At present, it is only the provider of the care home who has a statutory responsibility to investigate complaints about the care home by people who are self funded.'

    I had quite a bit to offer in reply, but this about sums it up:

    'You of course will appreciate that this is as unacceptable as it is illogical. Not to mention unfair.

    The system forced my family to become 'self-funding' with Mother's care, by virtue of her having saved and owning her own home, thus exceeding the limit set for financial assistance. It cannot be right that it also meant that the social care system, and its checks and balances, also get denied us. And especially an old lady suffering from dementia. That is, clearly, insult to injury. What if she did not have family nearby both an interest in her standards of care and a willingness to be proactive in defending her rights?

    That two persons sitting side by side in the same home are treated differently based purely on methods of payment is contrary to all equality, 'isms, civil and human rights discussions I have read in recent years.

    Hence that complaints are 'investigated', and adjudicated upon, 'only' by the very entity being complained about, is plain daft. We are talking old and vulnerable people here; delay cannot and should not be countenanced, especially when it comes to protective systems. Hence the reason may be statutory policy responsibilities, but is by no means any excuse.

    Too many cooks, poorly qualified, not very competent and with no accountability. It is a timebomb as we are going to see more and more older citizens requiring more and more care with less and less money. It will not go away.

    Hence I have, am, and will involve everyone possible to not only resolve my Mother's case, but to improve a clearly unfit for purpose system that has failed and is not going to improve if the status quo is maintained as at present. That I am still alone in unravelling an over complex system staffed by too many buck-passers is already forming a gobsmacking suggestion of ineptitude, right up to senior or even policy level.'

    Any help on where I next go to get help from authority, having been sidelined by the system because my Mother has not squandered her savings, appreciated.

    Plus any political comment, from those responsible, complicit, or with a mind to put things right... also welcome.

  • Comment number 47.

    #42 And of course if we were not treating the world it would help!

    If it was just the National Health Service, instead of the International Health Service, we might just manage.

    I'm also sick to death of us taking doctors and nurses from poor countries, who NEED THEM MORE THAN US!

  • Comment number 48.


    Unlike David Cameron, I do not see you as an opportunity to draw approval to myself, but as a fellow-sufferer from the 'caring' aspect of 'democracy' in this 'civilised' state.

    As always, JunkkMale (how bloody apposite) you come over as experienced in matters-mundane, and clear headed. That will rule you out of any 'Big Conversation' between government and 'The Big Society'. (And I don't think Dave will be contacting me, if only because of the Big Lie in his election flyer that I have fingered.)

    The truth of 'care for the elderly' (storage until dead - worse than hanging) is that a) it is big business, b) it needs WISDOM and COURAGE, (not found in Westminster) to resolve, and c) it frightens, witless, the political ninny.

    Shall I write: 'one for Newsnight to investigate' (I am sure we would both contribute) or not waste my key-strokes?

    Where our (increasing) old are concerned - IT IS ALL GOING VERY BADLY.

    All the very best for a decent outcome Junkk. If you need support, contact me via the web.

  • Comment number 49.

  • Comment number 50.


    Hi Liz. Government by politicians is 'by default'. Nurture of the state and its people, comes a poor last - after parochial party-power, and hubristic global presence.

    By the time a consensus forms, that we need wisdom, integrity and altruistic selflessness in politicians, the 'posturing while Britain burns' will have done its work.

    Britain is a dysfunctional family that has adopted extra (ethnic) kids to show off to the neighbours, while manifestly unable to bring up its own to maturity. The 'parents' are alcohol USERS and slow to give up smoking, while narcissistically feeding their damaged egos and 'jumping' their kids (us) through faddy hoop after faddy hoop.

    This will end very badly. Ninny politicians are not psychologically suited to the task ahead. And Nick'll not fix it.

  • Comment number 51.


    But I WILL, singie.


    I'm having a wonderful mucking about with absurdities. It's only now that I'm beginning to comprehend the true meaning of the concept frequently used by great artists, writers, film makers, including Georges Melies, the first true cinematic greats, and comedians, like the Monty Pyton lot, for example.


  • Comment number 52.

    #47 ecolizzy

    "I'm also sick to death of us taking doctors and nurses from poor countries, who NEED THEM MORE THAN US!"

    Many may intend to earn some money and then go home.

    I assume that if there were doctors and nurses of different race from wealthier countries you are quite happy about that?

  • Comment number 53.

    #45 ecolizzy

    "Indigenous people only to pay"

    Actually not sure what you mean but you may have noticed that people of all races pay taxes and so on!

    I assumed that you knew that.

    You aren't trying to suggest that there is a difference between a Brit who is black and one who is white I am sure or you would be sliding into the BNP territory.

  • Comment number 54.

    #24 kevseywevsey

    "After watching the five Labour leadership hopefulls, I've come to this conclusion: the Labour Party is doomed...DOOMED!

    If I had to choose -and my life depended on it: Andy Burnham, and only because he's the least twisted out of the five and he also mentioned care for the elderly and the costs."

    1. I thought you were a "Griff" man as you said you thought "the Griff could be a king maker". I had always assumed that was Griffin of the BNP
    2. Previous posts of yours have lamented the "prozac liberals" and endorsed your Belfast upbringing where your friends were getting hit by rubber bullets and so on. Are you sure you have Andy Burnham right as they all spoke out against the BNP? Some were in fact descended from victims of the evil Nazis.

    Personally I don't wish the Labour Party well but they will always thrash the BNP.

  • Comment number 55.

    48. At 10:21am on 16 Jun 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    Shall I write: 'one for Newsnight to investigate' (I am sure we would both contribute) or not waste my key-strokes?

    One might hope; I would not have presumed to post at such length had I a) not felt it an area worthy of pursuing by being ongoing, serious and topical, and b) that there are fine minds here who may well act in complement.

    As a (quango?), the CQC has not covered itself in glory so far. I was first fobbed off by being told Wales (where Mum now is, though we moved her from where we are, in Herefordshire) was not in the UK, which was news to me and, I suspect, the Welsh.

    They now seem to be saying 'not me, gov' - - and passing on to the Local Government Ombudsman - , but they are saying 'not until October, and then only new cases'.

    That, dear leaders and representatives, leaves A HONKING GREAT VOID in elder care oversight by endless folk paid, perked and pensioned to do so. At least in looking after those silly enough not to have blown their savings and hence wonderfully uncovered by the system they are funding still, despite paying taxes every which way.

    I have even copied in my new MP, who I am sure will take a deep, personal interest. Unless he plans not to get old. Or has other arrangements, as I suspect do many who talk for us, but do not live like us.

    All the very best for a decent outcome Junkk. If you need support, contact me via the web.

    Appreciated. She is, now, I hope, in better hands. But a bit is now between my teeth for what has gone before. Albeit a tad selfishly. The last several years as a carer, and then a son dealing with the 'care' system, has rather appalled me as to what I face, and my sons in trying to cope.

    Hence a wee bit of pre-emptive proactivity, with some fire in the belly to boost it all.

  • Comment number 56.

    On the Labour leadership debate I tend to agree with the gripes about the mikes and also wonder why there was a studio audience where only one person as I recall spoke.

    Personally as a committed non-Labour voter I thought Burnham bombed and Abbott did quite well but is depending on her This Week persona and that may not match up with a Labour Leader persona.

    Miliband major came across as too arrogant and shows the potential to be another dislocated bunker personality like Brown and Blair.

    "Titch" Miliband did better on that score but has nailed his cross to nuclear energy that won't arrive on time and so could well be a liability.

    Ed Balls is not popular and seems to show that he knows that and I wonder if his wife is not miffed at not getting the chance for a run herself - though I don't think she would get it as she gets excited and substitutes number of words for content.

    So to me its not clear who will win but Abbott could be a real contender I assume if she has Union support.

    None of them convinced on the economy though the cut now cut later argument is one they all adhered to.

    None spoke of the potential fiasco that could have seen Labour win the most seats whilst being third in the popular vote.

    At the end of the day that is what Labour is all about.

    Political parties are like rivers that will meander their way left and right across a great plain as the ground dictates but will generally run in one direction. Labour though is more of a High St franchise where ideas and advertising are bought in but the business model is now not working and nobody has any great idea what to do next.

  • Comment number 57.

    #26 barriesingelton

    "These are the wrong kind of politician.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well. "

    They are not the BNP and Nick Griffin so from that point of view they are the right kind of politician and had submitted themselves to democratic scrutiny!

    It is all going well as, touch wood, they are not in power and the coalition is.

  • Comment number 58.

    Have just seen Obama present himself to the nation from the oval office - his first address from that iconic backdrop. It was billed as the Gulf oil spill and what was going to be done about it. Now I'd not seen the script beforehand but if you read the runes, IE, doing your research on this US administration , its easy to guess the contents of Obamas teleprompter words, you would expect it to be a green energy agenda push, and if Ladbrooks had offered odds on the contents of his speech, I'd be picking up my winnings today.

    Too many questions remained unanswered. To mention only a couple from a long list of questions: Why was FEMA kept away from this disaster, plus all other potential help offered that was in the area was refused by BP and the Goldman Sachs led Obama US administration . Why would that be? Could it be they wanted to take advantage of this oil spill. They've been desperate to get the green energy agenda opened up to the gas guzzling eight cylinder user for ages. Why did high-up BP fellas dump their shares only weeks before the spill? Many journos would like to investigate those kinda questions you would think. Surprising not as it happens. Most would have to Google FEMA to just embark on a long process of research. The BBC presents a walking on water President and that his green utterances are only a good thing. A water melons green, but cut it open and you've got red all the way through, Obama is no different.

    Over in the states, the main stream media are hemorrhaging viewers to the alternative media to independent cable TV (That's been their for years)
    talk radio and the omnipresent internet. Spend a couple of days in a New York or Houston hotel killing time and watch the garbage coming out of the tube and you'll understand why there is a big switch-off on the main stream news and punditry. Even the not-so-smart are waking up to the lies from the indirect Govt owned media over in the US. Whilst here, your average viewer/ reader of news is still blissfully asleep but will give their opinion and 'authoritative' take on American politics because they get all they need to know from watching the Daily show with Jon Stewart on C4. The brain-deadness displayed over here is staggering but there is no excuse for it because under your fingertips is the chance for enlightenment..getting more informed. Can I suggest you give it a try.

    I hear Nick Griffin is going to a garden party. That should keep Gango producing the same old material for at least another week. Its like a favourite song you have in your collection.. you can sing along with it.

    P:S Travels with kevsner. Hotel accommodation.
    Houston. £40 a night, spacious one room, smelly. Separate wash room.
    New york. £700-800ish two nights. ensuite cupboard but very clean.

    And just in case gango asks. No, I've never met David Duke on me travels.

  • Comment number 59.


    Cameron is using all the old disingenuousness we expect from the consummate Westminster product.

    He says troops will stay till they return 'with heads held high'. As any fule kno, soldiers obey orders - they will come home when told to. Timing is down to the Americans. Our lot will be pulled out before defeated - hence heads high. Shameless Dave.

    Several blatant planted questions. SOMETHING DAVE USED TO MOCK BROWN FOR. No honourable person would engage in such charades, and no honourable Speaker would leave them unchallenged. Shameless Dave.

    IPSA and the expenses mess - what a hoot. When you remember the series of incompetent agencies that governments have hired, over the years, to set up unworkable systems to inflict on US, it is good to see them hoist with their own petard! But I doubt the penny will drop in any political brain, least of all that of Shameless Dave.

    From the look of the Deputy PM, I think he has realised Nick'll never fix it.

    Oh - its all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 60.


    Yoiu are correct, gango, it's not going too badly and bound to get much better, wood and things like that!!!!


  • Comment number 61.

    #55 Very sorry to hear of all your problems JunkkMale, especially for your mum.

    My parents are in the same position when it comes to care, they have to pay for everything, after being diligent savers and looked after their own health. I'm fortunate they do not have alzheimers. I've talked to a lot of these doctors, nurses and social workers, they all speak platitudes, but none of them give you a direct answer. And as for complaining it's, a minefield. The only thing I can suggest is Social Services, but they are not interested once you have to pay, I know that. I think their caseload must be so heavy, and only getting larger, that anyone who's been careful and own a house or have savings they just let get on with it.

    Have you thought of talking to a solicitor?

    A couple of places you could complain, but one is NHS so probably not relevant.

    And I know that it's national carers week 14th to 20th June, so you could fill in this survey, not that that will help either! [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 62.


    A decade or two ago, I identified a lack of individual competence, as social beings (culturally reinforced), as our National Malaise. I developed a scheme and assembled a team (including a leading cartoonist) with a view to a TV series of cartoon philosophy/psychology. TV did not 'get it'.

    I was only able to get as far as I did, because I have a considerable grounding, and experience, in relevant fields. That is why I feel qualified to declare Westminster PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNFIT FOR PURPOSE.

    Here's an illustration: Westminster attracts a lot of individuals trained in law. Law is an area where contentions are fought over by BEST USE of available data (sometimes cleverly presented in an adversarial arena) to the advantage of a client - REGARDLESS OF THE RIGHTS AND WRONGS. That is to say: amoral at best; all too often immoral. That is party politics in a nutshell.

    NOTE TO GANGO: Hitler and BNP do not figure - express or implied - in this post.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    i see the board has picked up some mim clones who also want to turn the news board into their bebo page.

  • Comment number 65.

    Coincidences can often surprise. And as I munched lunch I was more than taken by many that brought my Mum's case from off to hot topic in one fell swoop.

    Because I was watching the 'news conference' regarding the Shannon abduction case, with a grey council of stone-faced ladies from various 'departments' fielding questions from the nation's top journos.

    And one phrase kept coming up to truly raise a shudder: 'multi-agency'.

    Just as my Mum was failed by being dropped through gaping cracks at this end of her life, so was a child just starting hers, by a bunch of folk who patently love their executive summaries more than common sense and joined up thinking.

    From experience I would have some doubts that 'meeting the threshold' of going 'into care' was necessarily in this child's 'best interests', as trotted out ad nauseam, but this exchange was spectacular in its insight as to the mindset of the state and its agencies over real life and the public it is meant to serve. Especially vulnerable ones. And more so when the system was grinding its sorry way over several years in this instance.

    And boy was it telling when the lady from BBC Look North said, basically, that no journo in the room had a clue, after all this, just what the heck these wise women were actually recommending. I almost fell out of my chair when one immediately started quoting sub-sections to prove her wrong.

    Failed at the start; failed at the end. No wonder some of us enjoying the 'talents' of such folk are not feeling so well served as we try and survive the middle.

    My quick thought from the two cases and my experience of one: when you have more than one person handling the ball, it is all to easy too drop it, and in the current system use that as an excuse as opposed to a source of contrition. 'But we though xx was reponsible..' is shameful, not a justification.

    I want clear accountability back in our public service systems now, especially at levels commanding vast pay, perks and pensions. People should not have to exist in pain for protracted periods, or die, before some exec gets prised from his or her bonus-cranking targets and box-ticking or executive summaries, and promoted sideways to avoid a stink.

    Much more vapid, distracting, expensive, pointless jaw-jaw like this, and I am on a war-war path.

  • Comment number 66.

    #55 Sorry JunkkMale my link wasn't right for the mods. It was a survey by Carersweek, sent to me to fill in, but probably a direct link.

    Have a look at this site, could they help at all.

  • Comment number 67.


    The moment my brother had his final, major stroke, he said to me: "I'm finished, get power of attorney" (not realising that even THAT doesn't 'work' as he wanted).

    He became very subdued (medication?) and then the Social Worker turned up to assess him. As my sister and I watched, she cooed over him and asked impossible questions. My brother simply said my first name.

    When finished, the social worker said to us two siblings, that my brother's one word meant: "I can't talk to you with my brother in the room." Too much Freud methinks.

    After that it got worse.

    I made no complaint. I figured: someone, back at base, had hired this weird (she really was) female, so I guessed complaining was a non-starter.

    Nick'll fix it.

  • Comment number 68.

    61. At 1:51pm on 16 Jun 2010, ecolizzy & 66.

    Ta for that. I find blogs can be very useful for useful shared info from a experienced pool. Two new links to a growing collection!

    Not going the shark route, which is perhaps the only one left, Mum having been abandoned by the state system for the sin of saving, when they seem to save based only on a means test.

    I have no real interest in anything more than putting things right and avoiding repeats (Mum is blissfully unaware), but it seems to get anywhere you need to hit DEFCOMplaint 5 to get all sorts of new departments chasing their tails, when all I seek is information and a person with some power and smarts who cares (in all senses of the word).

    Hence seeing some value in trying to attract the media, who in theory are here to reflect how politics and policy translate at personal level. But maybe they, the pols and their groupies prefer to obsess on which irrelevant dynastic PPE man-of-the-brothers brother is going to go postal if his sibling prevails.

    The stuff that's really relevant 'n all. At least in some sad, or reality-bubble wrapped quarters.

  • Comment number 69.

    Barry, if good folk do nothing... who knows what might prevail. But one must prioritise.

    For instance...

    In Newsnight tonight.... it's payback time, boys... or so says the website for a new first-person shooter game for woman called Hey Baby.

    The controversial web games allows the player to extract their vengeance on men in the street who catcall and leer by shooting and killing them.

    We hope to be speaking to the game's creator Suyin Looui who says she designed Hey Baby to spark discussion about women's experiences of public space.

    And we'll be asking if we're seeing a rise in female violent retribution in popular culture.

    Why do I see more interest in heat instead of illumination?

    Unique. Aunty... don't plan on getting old. Karma has a long memory and a playful nature.

  • Comment number 70.

    barry, junkk: sorry, but the entire system needs a complete redesign from bottom up on elderly care.

    i'm not sure yet how we get there (not been a topic of investigation for me), but to once again compare to skandi... there the elderly tend to have much better health due to Govt ensuring at least *some* degree of decent non-gender cooking skills/food quality, lots of cycle lanes (i saw an 80+ woman cycle past in a town in DK, wearing a very expensive fur coat in autumn), an emphasis upon exercise instead of status symbol transport, and a highly citizen-controlled local political system. So once they get old, they are generally more compos mentis, and many old-people's retirement villages are run as full cooperatives for and BY the elderly themselves, offering many activities to keep them active - even including, i noticed, water-skiing!!

    unfortunately, just as in education in the UK, we are decades behind these nations, and no 'easy fix' will do anything except probably exacerbate the problems - usually with a twist so the multi-nats can make a quick profit on the quiet.

    but it is a HUGE problem, and one the UK needs to start working on ASAP. How can we reach a point where people actually look FORWARD to being old and retired??

    (note on the above - we are now seeing pension funds being drained like blood-banks for Buffy's vampires. We are also seeing, despite massive unemployment, the Govt wanting to increase the retirement age for those who are wage-slaves for others making £Bns, or State employees. If you are wondering how that will improve matters - obviously it won't. Unless you are extraordinarily wealthy already.)

    the screwing is becoming more obvious week by week. And i doubt that the current bunch of millionaires in Downing St will improve matters in any fundamental way. But i also don't think a general destruction of what our Society has already built will improve matters either - the Parliamentary system is still the best way forward, imho. We just need people with good ideas, who are willing to stand up the Civil Service and Murdochracy to fight for them, and are willing to both look to other countries to see what works, and also listen to the People who are in need.

    --Net'll fix it.

  • Comment number 71.


    I hope you are taking note Junkk. All thse unknown unknowns - and I never knew!

  • Comment number 72.

    #71: we muddled along. We Brits are generally pretty good at that, i've noticed. :)

  • Comment number 73.

    --ok, if you Insist!! :P

    increase the control the OAP's have in the care home, have more care homes run and managed by the elderly themselves, employing the staff themselves instead of paying others to manage - and profit. Make them nicer, more interactive and enjoyably places to be, and younger old people will go voluntarily, and be able to organise the place between them.
    More money spent on activities, and support - for instance, educational support so the OAPs can learn the use the internet. More outdoor activities. Nicer buildings. Better trained staff they have control over.

    retiring should not mean an empty pasture waiting to die, it should be new phase of their lives that they can interact with the rest of the Society, helping, debating, giving back the benefits of their experience to the society.

    home-care is more expensive, and although certainly should be a choice for the elderly, if care homes were actually enjoyable places to age gracefully and productively then many would choose that instead.


  • Comment number 74.

    Barry - notes are being taken. It will be interesting if, in the course of all this, I am asked what I think may improve matters. I have a few notions; now, thanks to here I have a few more. But what's the betting 'the system' will decide it knows best, trot out some aspects are 'unacceptable', splash some cash around to make it seem like problems have been addressed, and carry on accepting the people issues behind them as before?

    #70, 72.73 Mindys_Housemate - some good points. Of course, staying fit and healthy (especially mentally) is optimal, for if you are looking after yourself then 'care' is not required. When it gets to the point that care is required, then either family kicks in, or once a certain point is passed, a home. Much of what you sensibly suggest is not really applicable once dementia takes hold. I can't speak to what extent that is avoidable. Much can be done with money, but only if the system is, as you say, totally revamped. But then one needs to accept as more and more age and fewer and fewer as a % generate income to support them, this does not look good.

    For now, baby, or should I say Zimmer steps. There is what 'should' be and there is what 'is'. My small current mission, perhaps the first of many, is to try and work it so that those in charge of 'should' appreciate that falling back on 'is' to stumble along, paid, perked and pensioned while others who have funded them suffer, really ain't gonna fly.

  • Comment number 75.



    I too have seen much better provision of services in the SC countries, notably Norway and DK. How DO they do it?

    There might be a clue here....

    It's crude but some pointers.

    The SC countries death rates, particularly from self abuse and suicide make interesting reading too.

  • Comment number 76.



    It's a sad reality, painful and disdainful reality is that we continue unchecked to breed more and more of the carefree easy riders, and fewer and fewer of the providers of finance/fodder for the system.

    What can be done when too many either brush the difficult discussions under the carpet, or like some on here label anyone brave enough to look at the facts and hold their heads in fear with all sorts of unpleasant names.

  • Comment number 77.

    76. At 06:59am on 17 Jun 2010, brightyangthing

    I can only offer that those who really 'care'... stick to their guns and really 'do'. And don't take no, or obfuscation, or pious, insincere claims for an answer.

    And while individual instances may be small, cumulatively if enough do contribute then the total effect may well resonate.

    One has to be realistic. Used to be the only inevitabilities were death and taxes. Now maybe there is a subset that is care costs and paying for them:( Numbers don't look good.

    My mission started pretty self-centered, but seems to be 'radiating'. Maybe most do appreciate what 'we' face as we get old, and that very few have the resources to set themselves apart from what is not proving the most coherent of systems that we will end up having to deal with, one way or the other.

    There's big stuff to address for sure. But some trying to hide behind this as some poor excuse for patent failing at operational level just won't do.

  • Comment number 78.

    Maybe the BBC flagship news programme can be issued in 'looking at' care issues... in some form or other:

  • Comment number 79.

    YOU HAVE TO PUT IN THE HOURS (re various posts)

    I genuinely apologise for my stance of being better informed than some, but the truth is I was SIMPLY PRESENT for a great many hours - over eight months - as my brother, John, endured STORAGE UNTO DEATH.

    During his final five months in the care home, I became well acquainted with the carers (almost all of whom were of my culture and language) and learned much of the unknown unknowns. Caring is a business - take a look at BUPA profit online. John's home was inspected and rated 'excellent' about this time. (My carer confidantes told me about that, too.) My guess is that 'excellent' is only a COMPARATIVE term. Nuff Sed.

    I can find no indication that Iain Duncan Smith has the first clue of the above. Government, as we have seen over the years, is about LOOKING GOOD, not applying pragmatism, on a base of reality.

    Being dead is OK, it is getting there, in the care of a 'civilisation' like this, that hurts. And the memory stays until one's own death.

  • Comment number 80.

    And memory forms history which, if we are smart, we learn from.

    You have my sympathy, respect and gratitude. Do not give up.

  • Comment number 81.

    brighty #75: yes, if the people want good Public services they have to pay for them. DK has a *very* redistributive tax system however, and astonishingly, for anyone from the UK, you can just walk into a regular tax office in any borough and have your tax checked there and then - and they will LOOK for ways to *cut* your bills, effective immediately with pretty much instant rebate.

    its worth bearing in mind that the monies taken in tax are SPENT back on the citizens - that seems to be forgotten in the UK's media recently. High but fair taxes, well organised local control, easy access and fully transparent for citizens, and transparency on how the monies are spent. Doesn't sound too bad... or difficult to achieve.

    stop the elites looking at normal citizens as farm animals with no rights apart from what they graciously allow us.


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