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UK Watch Thread


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#481
wjfox

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Recession fears grow as UK economy shrinks on back of Brexit chaos
 
A 0.2% contraction between April and June is first fall in GDP in six and a half years
 
Fri 9 Aug 2019 10.44 BST
 
Fears that the UK could be heading for its first recession in a decade have been stoked by grim official figures showing that the economy contracted in the second quarter of 2019.
 
Brexit uncertainty, car plant shutdowns and the running down of stock built up before the original end of March deadline for Britain’s EU exit resulted in gross domestic product shrinking by 0.2% in the three months ending in June.
 
News from the Office for National Statistics of the first fall in GDP in six and a half years sparked immediate speculation in the City that a further bout of Brexit jitters leading up to the new 31 October departure date could lead to a second successive quarter of negative growth. A technical recession is defined by two successive quarters of negative growth.
 
 
 
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#482
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The historic shipyard Harland and Wolff, which built the RMS Titanic and other well-known ships, has ceased trading.

 

https://www.theguard...istory-shipyard


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#483
Yuli Ban

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Major power failures reported across large areas of the UK, affecting trains, airports and traffic lights

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by a major power cut across large areas of the UK, affecting homes and transport networks.
 
National Grid said it was caused by issues with two power generators but the problem was now resolved.
 
Blackouts were reported across the South East, Midlands, South West, North East and Wales.
 
Trains were delayed and cancelled across England and Wales, and traffic lights in London stopped working.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#484
caltrek

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Dick Braine elected new leader of UKIP

 

https://www.thelondo...-of-ukip/10/08/

 

Introduction:

 

(The London Economic) Richard Braine has been elected as the new leader of the UK Independence Party.

 

The odds-on favourite to replace Gerard Batten received 53 per cent of the vote.

 

He beat Freddy Vachha, who won 20 per cent of the vote, Ben Walker, on 14 per cent and ex-deputy leader Mike Hookem, on 13 per cent.

 

Speaking after his victory, Mr Braine said he wanted to establish UKIP as the “far-moderate voice of common sense” in Britain.

 

“We have got a great future and we are coming back. I am very excited and looking forward to leadership of this party, bringing the members together and delivering better results,” he said.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#485
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Mr. Johnson Takes Center Stage

 

http://transcripts.c...8/fzgps.01.html

 

Extract:

 

(CNN) ZAKARIA: In fact, only 28 percent of Britons have confidence in Trump, compared to 79 percent who had confidence in Obama. But the bigger issue is that Boris Johnson's rise to 10 Downing Street is bad for Britain, for Europe and even for the United States. 

Johnson has assured the House of Commons that Britain will be out of the European Union in fewer than 100 days. How he can manage this sweeping withdrawal without sharp dislocations to the British economy remains a mystery. But it's clear that were Brexit to happen, it would accelerate the decline of Europe as a global actor on the world stage. 

Britain has always been an organizing force in Europe. It was the British government that took the lead making the Marshall plan work in organizing the coalition that became NATO. Britain took a while to enter the European economic community but once it joined in 1973, it became perhaps the most influential member. 

What is often forgotten in all the talk of the European Union's rules and regulations is that its central project for decades was the creation of a single market, harmonizing taxes, eliminating tariffs, eliminating barriers. That vision was articulated and urged most aggressively by Britain's free market prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. 

Washington's former ambassador to the E.U. Stewart Eizenstat explains that Britain was always America's closest ally on substantive issues within Europe. He writes, "With Brexit, the United States would lose a major supporter on a range of important trade and regulatory issues whether U.K.'s more free market approach mirrored ours more closely than most E.U. member states." On U.S. sanctions regimes against Iran, Russia and other countries, on data privacy, and anti-trust matters, on counter-terrorism and on national security issues.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#486
caltrek

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This London Firm Helps the Wealthy Hide Assets - or Steal Them.  Luckily, We Have 15 Years of Their Client Communications

 

https://www.counterp...communications/

 

Introduction:

 

(Counterpunch) It is my cheerful duty to announce the acquisition of around 85 gigabytes of leaked emails, phone calls, faxes, and other documents originating from the London-based tax shelter firm Formations House, best known to the public for the assortment of often colorful scandals involving such figures as former Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych, and best known to the global kleptocracy as a cheap and discreet option by which to avoid taxes or steal them altogether. These materials, which cover fifteen years from the company’s founding in 2001, were recently obtained by Distributed Denial of Secrets, the transparency organization founded by longtime researcher, activist, and Freedom of Information Act request record-holder Emma Best to facilitate and host leaks from state and corporate actors. My own non-profit Pursuance, meanwhile, has partnered with DDOS to help oversee early access by reporters, and thereafter to implement experimental crowd-sourced research protocols by which networks of volunteers will sift through this immense field of data to better ensure that critical stories are discovered and made public over the coming months and years.

 

Formations is among the considerable number of firms that have proliferated in recent decades to provide a focused array of financial services to clients around the globe. We must hasten to add that the majority of these are not engaged in any significant wrongdoing, while the list of services includes all manner of perfectly mundane business functions such as accounting, VAT registration, and domain hosting. The most widely utilized of its more undignified practices – providing customers with a suitably handsome ersatz physical address in one of London’s most respectable and thus expensive neighborhoods – is neither criminal nor even terribly shameful, and no more fundamentally deceptive than anything else in 2019.

 

But thanks to a series of successful prosecutions as well as several years of keen journalism – most notably on the part of The Guardian’s Oliver Bullough – it’s gradually become clear that a key segment of its clientele has used Formations for a range of considerably more illicit purposes, often involving “shelf” companies – pre-made corporations built on a template, including a ready-made board of directors and other forms of what amounts to a sort of institutional camouflage by which to skirt revenue collectors and regulators. But in some cases, the scam has gone well beyond the millennia-old tendency of wealthy citizens to avoid paying their share for the very infrastructure, diplomatic apparatus, and international security arrangements that benefit them the most, or in some cases exclusively. At least one of the known convictions involving Formations involves high-stakes confidence tricks employing the classic “Spanish prisoner” advance payment hustle – by one of Formations’ own directors. At least one of his partners is still on the run.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#487
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HS2: Review to examine costs and benefits of rail project
 
The government is launching a review of high-speed rail link HS2 - with a “go or no-go" decision to be made by the end of the year, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.
 
The review will consider whether and how the project to connect London, the Midlands and northern England should proceed, looking at costs and benefits.
 
Mr Shapps refused to rule out scrapping it entirely.
 
He said it was "responsible" to see whether HS2 was "going to stack up".
 
Phase 1 of the development between London and Birmingham is due to open at the end of 2026, with the second phase to Leeds and Manchester scheduled for completion by 2032-33.
 
It is designed to carry trains capable of travelling at 250mph.
 
 
 
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#488
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Global heating: ancient plants set to reproduce in UK after 60m years
 
Thu 22 Aug 2019 10.58 BST
 
An exotic plant has produced male and female cones outdoors in Britain for what is believed to be the first time in 60m years. Botanists say the event is a sign of global heating.
 
Two cycads (Cycas revoluta), a type of primitive tree that dominated the planet 280m years ago, have produced cones on the sheltered undercliffs of Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight.
 
The species is native to Japan and usually only found indoors as an ornamental plant in Britain, but one of the garden’s plants has produced what is believed to be the first outdoor female cone on record in the UK.
 
Cycads previously lived in what is now Britain millions of years ago, with fossils of the plants found in the Jurassic strata of rock stretching from the Isle of Wight to the Dorset coast, an era when the Earth’s climate had naturally high levels of carbon dioxide.
 
 
 
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#489
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#490
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