It has been a while since we last sent a newsletter. Our apologies for that, but we have been kept busy!
We are entering a period where a lot of things are happening – and are likely to happen – in quick succession, so we wanted to provide a perspective and some context that we hope will help explain at least some of what is going on.
28 April 2014 — Youtube
A film about the City of London, the Corporation that runs it, and its role in the economic crisis. By Michael Chanan and Lee Salter. See www.secretcity-thefilm.com
IT’S ALMOST A YEAR since anti-capitalist protestors, intending to set up camp in front of the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square under the banner of Occupy LSX, were ejected from the square and parked themselves instead in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. The result was one of the starting points for this film: a highly public debate about capitalism and the Church. Continue reading this...
This is huge. You – along with thousands of other people – have helped throw a major spanner into Rupert Murdoch’s plans to take full control of Sky. Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, just announced an investigation into the takeover. 
This means that instead of getting waved through, Murdoch’s plan faces a fresh obstacle. Ofcom, the media watchdog, now has to look into Murdoch’s dodgy media empire. Spoiler alert: Rupert Murdoch probably won’t like what they say. 
Drone Wars UK is today publishing a new report detailing UK armed drone and air operations against ISIS. The report contains data on UK operations in Iraq and Syria gained through Freedom of Information requests since 2014 as well as background and a timeline of UK air operations. In addition, the report highlights continuing issues of concern about the use of armed drones reflected through the lens of UK drone operations.
Hollywood is all about fake. That is what movies are – fake depictions of a fake reality that only exist in the mind of scriptwriters, directors and a usually gullible audience. (Disclosure: I do like some movies.)
Hollywood has never been shy of plagiarizing. Every idea, tale of cinematographic trick that made a splash somewhere – and is thereby a potential money generator – will get copied again and again. Every successful make gets a remake. And another one. Continue reading this...
The Government’s legal advisers have revealed plans to lock up people who expose things like human rights abuses. They could face prison sentences of up to 14 years. Under these terrifying new laws, even journalists could face charges just because they were sent certain information. 
Monsanto Should be Held Accountable in the International Criminal Court
“The British Government has colluded with Monsanto and should be held accountable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ecocide.” Dr Rosemary Mason.
The British public and the environment are being poisoned with a deadly cocktail of 320 pesticides. Moreover, Wales has become a storage dump for Monsanto’s most toxic chemicals. These are the messages conveyed by Dr Rosemary Mason in her recent open letter to Councillor Rob Stewart, the leader of Swansea City and County Council.
UK Attorney General Jeremy Wright’s speech at the IISS on Wednesday evening, “The modern law of self-defence“, trailed by advanced PR as “setting out the legal basis for British military strikes against terror targets overseas”, gained a flurry of advance media coverage. I’m sure others far more qualified will comment in detail on the legal content of the speech. However, as it undoubtedly relates to the operation of the UK’s drone fleet, it’s important to look at what the speech reveals.
Officious – Rise of the Busybody State starts with people’s everyday encounter with busybodies in public spaces – then analyses the logic of the busybody state, explains its origins, and calls for a popular alliance defending the free realm of civil society.
“…this Government decided that people should be able to opt out from having their anonymised data used for the purposes of scientific research, which the previous Labour Government refused to do? When they extended the programme to out-patient data in 2003 and to A and E data in 2008, at no point did they give people the right to opt out. We have introduced that right”
The right Jeremy Hunt was so publicly proud of introducing, he has secretly taken away again. He was right to give it you – his election manifesto promised it would be there.
Exposed: hospital beds across England are dangerously full. And now Jeremy Hunt’s plans for our NHS mean thousands more hospital beds could be cut.  Asthma attacks, bad falls, or car accidents could put any of us in need of a hospital bed – and the idea of turning up to an overcrowded hospital in an emergency doesn’t bear thinking about.
At the first stage of what is likely to be a lengthy appeals process, the Information Commissioner has upheld the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to reveal to Drone Wars UK the number of Britain’s armed drones currently deployed.
Despite the fact that the MoD are happy to give such details about other surveillance and attack aircraft taking part in operations against ISIS, the MoD insists that the number of drones deployed nor their location can be released for reasons of operational security.