Welcome to Bennett's World: a collection of articles and references covering a wide variety of topics in which I am involved. I am a very political person but I have no allegiance to any political party. Follow me on twitter @colinhove

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Disgraceful Behaviour by the EU Commission

Reader will be interested in the statement from Wikileaks below:

"Nov 27th 2012, 13:00
European Commission enabling blockade of WikiLeaks by US hard-right Lieberman/King, contrary to European Parliament's wishes

European Commission documents released today by WikiLeaks show that hard-right U.S. politicians were directly behind the extrajudicial banking blockade against WikiLeaks. In the heavily redacted documents, MasterCard Europe admits that Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King both "had conversations" with MasterCard in the United States. Lieberman, the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, boasted of instigating Amazon's cutting of service to WikiLeaks - an action condemned by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on 7 December 2011."

Here's the hyperlink to the article:


Here is the link for the Cuba Solidarity Campaign because they know all about US-inspired blockades:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The attack on greens (open spaces, not the colour or the party)

 Dear gentle readers,
Some of you will know that I am a very keen supporter of the Open Spaces Society. Today I received a very important letter from Kate Ashbrook, their General Secretary. It is so compelling that I include it here in full. Please do read it and act on Kate's requests.



The attack on greens—we are fighting back

The attack on town and village greens, which we have expected for the last couple of years, is now upon us.
Clause 13 of the government's Growth and Infrastructure Bill, currently before the House of Commons, will stop local people from applying to register land as a green once it has been marked down for development—even if this has not been publicised. In other words, our ability to save the spaces we love and enjoy is blocked before we even know the land is threatened.

The government says that this will stop so-called 'vexatious' applications which, it claims, are being made purely to thwart development at an alleged cost of millions of pounds to taxpayers, landowners and local investors. In fact there are few such applications (and ministers parrot the same handful of examples over and over again). In our view this is a minor problem: it should be resolved by amending the process, not by changing the law— for instance by enabling the registration authority to dismiss applications which do not fulfil strict criteria. This suggestion was supported by the majority of those who responded to the consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last year. The government has ignored this practical solution, preferring—to the delight of developers—to kill off hundreds of genuine claims as well as the handful of speculative

This attack cuts to the heart of our cause and we have thrown ourselves into the campaign against it: we are drafting amendments to the bill for friendly MPs and peers to move and we are preparing and circulating hundreds of briefings as we lobby them and ministers in an all-out effort to delete or alter these damaging provisions.

Many of you have already lobbied your MPs to good effect: as a result greens and the OSS featured prominently in the second-reading debate and in the bill committee's deliberations. We have already won national and local publicity—but we need to generate more. This is only the overture to the battle ahead.
All this comes as a massive, and unwelcome, additional workload for our small society, which is already intensely busy. We need your continuing help and support.

•   write or send an email to your MP, expressing your concern about the threat to greens, and asking him or her to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, and to speak against clause 13 at every opportunity,
•   apply now to register as a green any land in your locality which local people have enjoyed for 20 years for informal recreation, without being stopped or given permission. By the time the bill is law it may be too late,
•   give to the 'We Fight Back' appeal to enable us to continue this vital campaign to save our greens.
Thank you for all you are doing to help us.

Yours sincerely;
Kate Ashbrook
General Secretary

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ADBN Conference Held in Lund, Sweden 6-10 November 2012

I was fortunate enough to attend, in my own capacity, this ADBN Conference. These conferences are held every second year. I shall be writing a full account of these days later. In the meantime, I merely say I enjoyed myself (surprise! surprise!) and I give you the hyperlink to my Flickr photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hova/sets/72157632026273568/.

Sense Members' Day, Wokehurst Park, 20-21 October 2012

Every year, Sense holds a Members' Day and this year it was held at Wokehurst Park, an attractive hotel and conference centre near Reading. I was fortunate enough to attend, as I have done every year recently, and it was widely agreed that it was a success. Perhaps I shall write more about this in the future but in the meantime, here is the hyperlink to the Sense website: http://sense.org.uk/.

I took quite a few photos of the day (and night) and here is the hyperlink to the relevant photo album on my Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hova/sets/72157632026082292/.

Welcome News From the European Parliment

Today in the south of England it is dreary and raining heavily but I found some very welcome news in my Inbox this morning. Like many of you, I am following closely the Wikileaks saga. Without further ado, I give you this bulletin from Blogtrottr, which is a kind of clearing house which gives me info from blogs concerning subjects in which I (and you?!) am interested.

2012-11-20 European Parliament votes to protect WikiLeaks

Nov 20th 2012, 19:54

In a landmark decision today the European Parliament initiated the drafting of legislation that would stop the arbitrary banking blockades against WikiLeaks and other organizations facing economic censorship. This is an important signal from the European lawmakers. It is a recognition of the seriousness of the precedents set in December 2010, still in force, when Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America launched a unilateral, extrajudicial banking blockade against donations to WikiLeaks.

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this feed at http://blogtrottr.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alf Morris' Memorial Service

On 13 November 2012 I attended the Memorial Service at St Margaret's Church, Westminster for Alf Morris. Alf, formerly Alf Morris MP and latterly Lord Morris of Manchester, led a worthwhile and constructive life.

He is perhaps best known for introducing into Parliament in 1970 the Chronically Ill and Disabled Persons Act. Here is the text of the 'programme' of the day and also the text of a tribute by his son Bill.