medConfidential Bulletin, 17th May 2021

17 May 2021 — MedConfidential

Let us tell you about the massive new GP data grab the Government would rather you didn’t hear about…

The countdown has already begun. The Government’s plan is to copy your entire GP medical history – including all the most sensitive parts – and make it available for third parties to apply for and buy access. Even though Matt Hancock Directed it to happen he’s not going to tell anyone about it. Neither will Boris.

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LETTER FROM LONDON: The Troubling Sentencing of Craig Murray

13 May 2021 — Consortium News

The defence counsel has reasonably criticized the decision to impose a prison sentence, writes Alexander Mercouris.

By Alexander Mercouris

in London
Special to Consortium News

The troubling conviction of former British diplomat Craig Murray for contempt of court in connection with his coverage of the prosecution of the prominent Scottish nationalist politician Alex Salmond on sexual assault charges has now produced an equally troubling sentence by a tribunal of the Scottish High Court of eight months in prison for Murray.

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UK Crony Capitalism: It never stops

13 May 2021 — Good Law Project

Good Law Project has uncovered remarkable evidence that a Tory Minister brought a former Chair of the Tory Party, a man who now runs a lobbying firm, into the heart of Government to work on the massive multi-billion PPE procurement process. Having got his feet under the table that former Chair lobbied to win PPE contracts for at least one, and possibly a number, of clients of his lobbying firm.

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Craig Murray Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison

11 May 2021 — Consortium News

Craig Murray, the former British diplomat, has been sentenced to 8 months in prison for contempt of court during the 2020 trial of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

Craig Murray. (Vodex/Flickr)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Craig Murray, an ex-British ambassador and blogger, has been sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty in March of contempt of court during the 2020 trial of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.  He was given three weeks to turn himself into police, pending his appeal. Judge Lady Dorrian issued the sentence, she said, despite Murray’s health issues.

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Craig Murray: Appeal For Defence Funds

11 May 2021 — Craig Murray

[‘If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own…. For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.’ — James Baldwin

‘First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.’ — Pastor Martin Niemoller. WB]

Update 11 May

UPDATE I today received a prison sentence of eight months for my reporting of the defence case in the Alex Salmond trial. I have a three week stay while we apply to this same court for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. My appeal will be based on the simple fact that I did not identify anybody. It will also be based on the right to report the defence case being denied by an extraordinary, impossibly strict application of “jigsaw identification”, and on fair process not having been observed.

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Media Reform Coalition Our Upcoming Events

11 May 2021 — Media Reform Coalition

We are running two events this week – have you got your ticket yet?

These events are part of the MRC’s The BBC and Beyond: Reimagining Public Media campaign, trying to reimagine what public media can be in the digital age. Later this year we will be creating a “Manifesto for a People’s Media”, with ideas for re-envisaging the BBC, Channel 4, and democratically-run independent media. If you have any ideas to contribute to our Manifesto, please tell us on the BBC and Beyond website!

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Residents adopt council land to stop it using toxic glyphosate weedkiller

21 April 2021 — GMWatch

“We don’t want this toxic weedkiller sprayed in our community” – Guerrilla Gardeners

In Midlothian, Scotland, residents who are concerned about the use of toxic weedkiller in their community have come together to adopt public land and stop council workers spraying it, according to a report in Midlothian View.

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Statewatch News 7 May 2021

7 May 2021 — Statewatch News

(Issue 09/21, also available as a PDF)

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EU: Detention at the borders to increase “voluntary” removals

As part of its ongoing drive to increase the removal of migrants from EU territory, the European Commission unveiled a new strategy on “voluntary” return and reintegration at the end of April.  The document states the use of detention “can increase the uptake of voluntary returns at early stages of the return process.” In particular, the proposed introduction of “border return procedures” – which could introduce mandatory detention of up to 10 months – is seen as key.

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UK Crony Capitalism: Misleading Parliament

7 May 2021 — Good Law Project

On 22 February, in the aftermath of the High Court finding that Matt Hancock had broken the law by failing to publish PPE contracts, Boris Johnson told Parliament this:

“the contracts are there on the record for everybody to see” and “all the details are on the record”

You can see both references in Hansard here.

But what he told Parliament was just not true. A large number of contracts – and details of those contracts – were neither “there for everybody to see” or “on the record”. Unlawfully their publication had been delayed.

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