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Archive for November 13, 2010

A MESSAGE FROM THE HEADMASTER – of the New Coalition Academy

A MESSAGE FROM THE HEADMASTER
This delightful informal picture of the Headmaster and Sam was taken by his old friend Andy Parsons, who has now been taken on as Head of Photography – a new post and very important at this time of cutbacks, when it is essential that we keep the school and the Headmaster in the public eye.

The Governors have agreed to pay Mr Parsons an honorarium of £100,000 a year out of school funds. Special signed and numbered prints of Mr Parson’s touching study are available from the school shop and would make an ideal Christmas present. £75.99 for one print (unframed).

Private Eye : Formerly Brown’s Comprehensive

 

 

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Categories: Cartoons

VODAFONE – DON’T PAY AS YOU GO

This comes after the news that George Osborne has let Vodafone off £6billion, only to then persue the Unemployed, those on Benefits and the Disabled for the money….

VODAFONE – DON’T PAY AS YOU GO
Wrong numbers: Protests against phone giant’s tax deal

HM Revenue & Customs spent nearly a decade arguing in court over the way Vodafone funnels its gargantuan income into a tax-free Luxembourg subsidiary – and heard the court of appeal reject Vodafone’s argument that British anti-tax avoidance laws were neutered by European law. So why did they then cave in?

HMRC accepted a mere fraction of what it was due. The “deal” followed discussions earlier this year between HMRC boss Dave Hartnett, Vodafone finance director Andy Halford (a member of George Osborne’s “business forum for competitiveness and tax”) and David Cruickshank, a tax avoidance guru from Deloitte, brought in bizarrely by Hartnett to act for Vodafone.Following the talks HMRC officials (but not those who had investigated the case or knew anything about it) were told to go away and reverse-engineer a deal with Vodafone tax boss (and ex-HMRC director) John Connors that came up with a bill of £800m. That was the figure Halford and Cruickshank wanted to pay: it bore no relation to the legal position.

Extra time to pay
Alas, the best the officials could come up with (by granting Vodafone all sorts of tax reliefs it wasn’t lawfully due) was £1.25bn. As Halford had wanted to pay just £800m, it was agreed Vodafone could have “time to pay”, the £450m balance being spread over four years.

The total was still far below the tax and interest HMRC could have charged, for which Vodafone plc’s own accounts show it had put aside £2.1bn as early as 31 March 2006 (when, it is thought, this was still not the full extent of the dodge). Four and a half years later, with Vodafone Investments Luxembourg sarl (VIL) accounts showing billions more poured into Luxembourg and interest accruing at rates up to 6.75 percent a year since 2001, the total due ran into several billions and HMRC’s counsel considered there was a strong chance of recovering the lot.

They and the department’s other specialists in the relevant tax law were not consulted, however, on a deal that also included an agreement not to tax Vodafone on future income diverted to Luxembourg (worth a further who knows how many billions to the company) which the Eye understands even HMRC internally recognises as unlawful.

Against their own guidance notes
Vodafone also told the Eye that HMRC “concurred” with it that a 2007 European Court decision (involving Cadbury) meant that “we clearly had no future liability”. Yet HMRC’s own official guidance notes in response to that case, based on expert legal advice, show that where income is diverted to a tax haven in precisely the way Vodafone did it, “no application [that the profits won’t be taxed] is likely to be granted”.

Several other tax avoidance schemes set up by Vodafone were also nodded through. Invited to contest this analysis, which suggests up to £6bn in tax could be going missing, HMRC declined.

Vodafone-style sweetheart deals are set to proliferate as Hartnett promotes an “alternative dispute resolution” system that keeps tax avoidance cases out of the courts and away from public view. Immune to scrutiny, the taxation of the largest corporate tax avoiders becomes a private matter to be decided among friendly mandarins, beancounters and captains of industry. All this makes lucrative work for the likes of Deloitte’s Cruickshank, who has negotiated with Hartnett for a number of tax avoiders including Diageo, Lloyds, Hanson and AstraZeneca. But it’s a different story for the public who are left protesting impotently at the billions lost – if they can ever find out about them.

PS: Vodafone is still squirrelling money away in Luxembourg. Accounts just published in the Grand Duchy show a further €1.2bn was stuffed into VIL in 2009/10.

Monte Carlo and bust
Dave Hartnett’s friendly dealings with Britain’s top tax avoiders don’t come cheap. Recently released details of his expenses claims show that on 28 September last year he jetted off to Monaco (fares £725) for a “speaking engagement” for which he was required to stay overnight (hotel £231).

The Eye asked what essential government business had to be conducted in Monaco by a cash-strapped HMRC while Britain was in the depths of an economic crisis. An interview on “the future of tax” at KPMG’s “partners’ conference”, an annual junket for the firm’s top £1m-a-year beancounters. Dinner at the Monte Carlo Bay hotel in which they were all slumming it came courtesy of KPMG.

Meanwhile back at the HMRC office, tax inspectors were fighting KPMG-designed tax avoidance schemes… including one in which an offshore trust moved repeatedly round the world to dodge capital gains tax, until the court of appeal killed it by ruling that for tax purposes it had never left KPMG’s Bristol office!

Find article : Here

 

Categories: News of the moment

China Fired Missile Seen In Southern California

November 13, 2010 1 comment

Keep an eye out for weather balloons…

Another thing to bear in mind is :

“The FAA ran radar replays of a large area west of Los Angeles based on media reports of the location of a possible missile launch around 5pm Monday. The radar replayed did not reveal any fast moving unidentified targets in that area. The FAA also did not receive reports of any unusual sightings from pilots who were flying in the area Monday afternoon. Finally the FAA did not approve any commercial space launches around the area Monday.”  CBS Los Angeles

Wayne Madsen Report
November 12, 2010

Pentagon and its embedded media covering up Chinese show of force off LA

China flexed its military muscle Monday evening in the skies west of Los Angeles when a Chinese Navy Jin class ballistic missile nuclear submarine, deployed secretly from its underground home base on the south coast of Hainan island, launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from international waters off the southern California coast. WMR’s intelligence sources in Asia, including Japan, say the belief by the military commands in Asia and the intelligence services is that the Chinese decided to demonstrate to the United States its capabilities on the eve of the G-20 Summit in Seoul and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Tokyo, where President Obama is scheduled to attend during his ten-day trip to Asia.

The reported Chinese missile test off Los Angeles came as a double blow to Obama. The day after the missile firing, China’s leading credit rating agency, Dagong Global Credit Rating, downgraded sovereign debt rating of the United States to A-plus from AA. The missile demonstration coupled with the downgrading of the United States financial grade represents a military and financial show of force by Beijing to Washington.

The Pentagon spin machine, backed by the media reporters who regularly cover the Defense Department, as well as officials of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and the U.S. Northern Command, is now spinning various conspiracy theories, including describing the missile plume videotaped by KCBS news helicopter cameraman Gil Leyvas at around 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, during the height of evening rush hour, as the condensation trail from a jet aircraft. Other Pentagon-inspired cover stories are that the missile was actually an amateur rocket or an optical illusion.

Wayne Madsen: China Fired Missile Seen In Southern California  chinesemissile

Experts agree that this was a ballistic missile being fired off of Los Angeles.

Pentagon insists it was a jet aircraft or model rocket.

See video at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EBcjQKwAHc

More of this article at : http://www.prisonplanet.com/wayne-madsen-china-fired-missile-seen-in-southern-california.html

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Also…..

What Sky News had to say … 12:30pm UK, Wednesday November 10, 2010

Adam Arnold and Steph Oliver, Sky News Online

Experts believe the mystery missile fired off the Californian coast may have been an optical illusion.

The unknown missile, which was caught on camera by a news helicopter on Monday has baffled many people in America.

But US-based security analyst, Jim Pike, thinks he has solved the mystery.

He told CBS News the object could not be a rocket because it appears to alter its course and concluded it must be an optical illusion.

Mr Pike said he believes the video shows an aeroplane heading towards the camera with the plane’s contrail illuminated by the setting sun.

The launch took place around 5pm local time on Monday and the location was described as west of Los Angeles, north of Catalina Island and about 35 miles out to sea.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said all indications are that the defence department was not involved and the missile’s trail might have been created by an object flown by a private company.

More : Here

Categories: News of the moment

Martin Rowson on the protests against student fees

13.11.10: Martin Rowson on the protests against student fees


Categories: Cartoons

David Cameron briefs his deputy on his return from his world travels

November 13, 2010 1 comment

Chris Riddell 14 November 2010

Categories: Cartoons

Trial hopes to cut road pollution

Sorry, this is another inexcusably short confusing piece from the Indiscriminate.

I doesn’t give any info, a no news article.  I’m including it as an example of some of the vacuous reporting we suffer these days.  On another note, when reading this article I thought…’Don’t we already have something that does this ??’

It’s called RAIN…and we have plenty of it in many parts of this country..!!

Trial hopes to cut road pollution

By Emily Beament

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The first UK trial using dust suppressants on roads to cut pollution caused by vehicles has been launched.

Two sites on major roads in central London will be sprayed with a chemical solution that sticks to polluting particles produced by engine emissions, tyres and brakes and prevents them circulating in the air. Particles are linked to health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and cancer.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/trial-hopes-to-cut-road-pollution-2132840.html

 

Categories: News of the moment

Quarter of cancers discovered late

If you go down to A & E today, beware of a big surprise…..

Quarter of cancers discovered late

By Raf Sanchez, Press Association

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Nearly a quarter of cancer diagnoses in England are made when patients arrive at hospital in an emergency, a study has found.

Research by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) found that 23 per cent of cancer cases were detected only as patients underwent emergency treatment.

The figures were even starker for sufferers of acute leukaemia and brain cancer, where well over half of cases were discovered at a critical stage.

Pensioners and those under 25 were most likely to be diagnosed with cancer during emergency procedures, while poor people were more likely to suffer from late detection than the rich.

The study found that people whose cancer was detected at an emergency stage were significantly more likely to be die within a year than those whose illness was discovered earlier.

More of this article at : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/quarter-of-cancers-discovered-late-2133108.html

Categories: News of the moment
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