Monday, 18 July 2011

More arrests and resignations ... as 'leaders' continue to be exposed

As the scandal continues to escalate, and 'terriers' such as Tom Watson and Chris Bryant gain the upper hand in exposing the truth and bringing those involved to justice, the 'leaders' in this murky 'underworld' are clearly starting to panic (as they are no longer in control).

Over the course of the weekend, Rebekah Brooks (CEO News International) resigned (despite Rupert Murdoch flying in to look after her) and has been arrested on charges of corruption and phone hacking.

Likewise, Sir Mark Stephenson, the top police officer in the country has now resigned because of the hiring of Neil Wallis (Andy Coulson's deputy editor at the News of the World) as a communications adviser to the Metropolitan Police at a time when phone hacking allegations were being reviewed. Following his arrival, the police downplayed claims of phone hacking and refused to reopen the case (e.g. despite the evidence they had clearly saying the opposite)! Wallis, like Andy Coulson himself, has now been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.

Some are speculating that the arrest of Rebekah Brooks this Sunday was deliberately brought forward to stop any further (and more damaging) revelations being made public (e.g. about the relationships/collusion between the media, police and politicians), as Brooks is due to face tough questions from a cross-party Committee of MP's on Tuesday.

This is not something that Cameron, the Murdoch's or the police officers likely to be implicated want to see, but the net is closing in on all of them.

James and Rupert Murdoch have been summoned to attend the Committee of MP's and their future roles in BSkyB and News Corporation are now also being questioned (by fellow directors and shareholders) ... and with Brooks no longer acting as a 'firebreak' they both look increasingly at risk!

More resignations are likely from the Metropolitan Police too (e.g. John Yates) and David Cameron also looks increasingly vulnerable too ... as he, unlike Sir Mark Stephenson, has steadfastly refused to take responsibility or apologise for his poor judgement in bringing Coulson into Number 10 (despite all the warnings he received). 

Cameron is desperately trying to steer the scandal away from him and towards the issues associated with the media and police, to distract attention away from the relationship between himself and News International ... but the evidence is growing by the day. Cameron's diary shows he met News International executives on a regular basis (c.f. executives from all other media groups - including the BBC) and in his resignation speech the Metropolitan Police Commissioner alluded to the difficulties in raising issues with regard to News of the World with the Prime Minister when Andy Coulson was in the position he was!

Cameron has consistently failed to explain in detail the precise circumstances in which he took on Coulson, as well as any discussions held around the time of his subsequent resignation. Cameron, like the Murdoch's, has no 'firebreak' either and he has stated the decision to recruit Coulson was 'his and his alone' ... hence his position is starting to look increasingly vulnerable too.

Will Cameron survive ... IMHO it's too early to say at the moment ... but we do know this scandal is not going to go away and has got a long way to go ... and those who have abused their power/trust are struggling to keep a lid on it!

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: “It is striking that Sir Paul has taken responsibility and answered questions about the appointment of the deputy editor of the News of the World whereas the Prime Minister still refuses to recognise his misjudgment and answer questions on the appointment of the editor of the News of the World at the time of the initial phone hacking investigation. People will wonder at why different rules apply for the Prime Minister and the Met, especially when as Sir Paul said himself, unlike Andy Coulson, Neil Wallis had not been forced to resign from the News of the World.”

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Politicians round on Murdoch ... and force him to drop his BSkyB bid

Cameron clings on ... by announcing more details of the judicial inquiry being planned into the scandals involving the media and police ... and by deciding to support a 'cross-party' coalition debate (though did not himself attend!) ... responding to the scandals embroiling News Corporation and pressurising News Corporation to withdraw his bid for BSkyB - which Murdoch has now done!*  

To save his own skin Cameron has had to jettison his ties to Murdoch and finally 'let Coulson go', saying ... 'if he lied to not only to himself, but select committees and judges, then he should be prosecuted'. Cameron will I hope that attention gradually moves away from the questioning of his judgement on hiring Coulson, but is probably quietly worried about what Coulson himself might say now (e.g. Coulson on being arrested commented he "has a lot he would like to say, but currently can't").

'People power', building up as a result of growing concern about the misuse of power and the growing influence of the internet (e.g. social networks), is starting to force politicians to listen, and forcing corporations to think carefully about any negative impact on their brands (which is why they were quick to withdraw their advertising from News of the World).

Cameron has reduced the proposed inquiries down to one, and some see this as a clever way of taking some of the 'heat' away from the regulation/ownership of the press and away from how politicians work together/conspire with the Media ... however a number of groups, including the 'Hacked-Off' campaign and the family of Milly Dowler, are putting pressure on the Government to ensure the inquiry is both wide-ranging and thorough (e.g. it covers the behaviour of Politicians and Government in relation to the media). After talking to all party leaders, they said that they are reassured that voice of the People is starting to be heard ... and that they will continue to challenge the actions of groups such as the Press, Police and Politicians.

Let's see ... this has a long way to go ... 

* Is Rupert Murdoch trying to save News Corporation and/or his son James, currently Chairman of News International and Non-Executive Chairman of BSkyB ... as people are starting to ask if News Corporation is 'fit and proper' to own the existing 39% of BSkyB it currently owns too! ... and US senators are also starting to ask for enquiries into the practices of News Corporation in the US!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

More self interest and greed ... from the Public this time!

As the scandals surrounding the News of the World continue to grow, and the nation's anger at the lack of adherence to any moral/ethical standards and codes becomes visible to all, the nation may have just inadvertently shown Cameron et al that they might be able to 'get off the hook' ... 

So how have they done this ... well by rushing out to buy 5 million copies of its final edition for a start! 

Rather than boycotting the paper, their own personal self-interest and greed has stepped to the fore ... with printing presses having to work overtime to print double the normal number of newspapers ... 

Greedy people are hoping to 'cash in on it' as it becomes a collectors item in the future ... and Cameron et al will be pleased to see this as it gives him a 'rock' to hide behind (i.e. everyone else is acting in their own self-interest)! 

Murdoch will also take heart from this greed and the lack of a boycott ... and take comfort from the fact that the vast majority of advertisers have only sought to switch their advertising to one of his other papers.

If people really want to show their anger then they needed to boycott all News International Papers (e.g. Sun, The Times and Sunday Times) for good, and boycott the advertisers who fund his papers! 

Unfortunately, in the circles of power, 'Money Talks' and it is only by the public boycotting them that the message will be listened to, and those currently in power (and misusing power) stopped from doing so.

This is where Cameron and Murdoch are watching closely now ... as unfortunately within the UK, whether in business or politics, it is still money that talks! 

And to all those rushing out to buy the last edition of "News of the World" ... all moral, decent and honorable people should be saying ... "shame on you - as you have shown yourselves to be living in the same sewer as the people you look to condemn" and "by going out and buying it you are probably allowing the morally corrupt to 'get off the hook' and carry on doing it again"!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Cameron - representing the People ... or doing Murdoch's bidding?

Despite coming out 'fighting' ... Cameron is struggling to shrug off his close ties/relationship with the scandals associated Coulson, the Murdoch Empire and phone hacking at the 'News of the World' ... 

His decision, despite concerns/advice raised by many people, to employ Coulson at the heart of Government creates serious question marks around his personal judgement ... and it looks like it could be sufficient to see him fall (and he knows it) ...! 

Coulson, the News of the World Editor during the scandals, was yesterday arrested by police ... and Cameron is being deliberately vague about detailed questions/checks he made prior to employing him ... and/or any specific concerns/advice he received from others. He is instead preferring to deflect questions away by saying "he had decided to give Coulson a 'second chance', that it was his decision, and his decision alone ... and that people will judge him on his decisions"! 

Given his concern about the situation ... he is clearly sheltering others from the decision to employ Coulson, to avoid other colleagues also being brought into the fray (n.b. George Osborne has been implicated too) and to avoid the crisis engulfing the whole Government and his entire Party. Unlike Rebekah Brooks, he is clearly prepared to fall on his sword ... but is waiting to see how the whole scandal develops!

Well it does not look good for him at the moment ... as it becomes clear that Cameron, in a speech only 10 days ago, was clearly doing Murdoch's bidding! With Murdoch's ruthless desire to takeover BSkyB at risk of being blocked by Ofcom*, Cameron decided to go on the offensive with a public and unexpected attack on Ofcom ... making clear his desire to get rid of the quango (i.e. he threatened them)

Cameron has been helping Murdoch in his takeover bid prior to doing this too. For instance Cameron took the opportunity to place a well-known ally/backer of Murdoch (Jeremy Hunt) in charge of deciding whether or not to refer Murdoch's proposed takeover to the Competition Commission (taking the decision away from the Business Secretary, who normally takes such decisions) ... and not surprisingly, after many 'discussions/ assurances' from Murdoch, Hunt said he was 'minded to pass the bid'! 

However, given recent events it's clear that there is 'politically' no way that Cameron/Hunt will get away with this right now (or at least anytime soon), so they have decided to park it in the long grass (on the grounds of having to go through 100,000's submissions they have received about the takeover)!

* Ofcom can block the takeover if they believe News International is not a 'fit and proper' organisation* to own a UK broadcaster ... and with News International now accused of deleting millions of emails, rather than co-operating fully with the Police (as they have repeated stated in public), they clearly fail this 'test'. 

** News International executives could also be facing charges of corruption in the US too, where such offences are dealt with extremely seriously (e.g. executives, whether they were knowing or not, can be completely stripped of all their assets). The Murdoch's are really panicking now ... hence Rupert Murdoch's decision to come over to the UK to try to 'take control' ... and to see who else they need to bribe/threaten!

Friday, 8 July 2011

People: Do politicians represent them, police protect them and the press inform them ...?

This morning David Cameron has tried to come out fighting ... but 'boxed in' ... he has had to resort to using a little bit of honesty. Firstly he provided details on the two public inquiries being planned. 

The first, led by a judge, will get to the bottom of the specific revelations and allegations seen ... e.g. the illegal and utterly unacceptable practices taking place (e.g. phone hacking and illegal payments to corrupt police officers) ... to find out what happened ... and how it was allowed to happen.  This will include finding out why the first police investigation failed so abysmally ... what exactly was going on at the News of the World and what was going on at other newspapers, with this inquiry starting as soon as all police/criminal investigations are complete.

The second inquiry involves action associated with learning the wider lessons for the future of the press, conducted by a credible panel of figures drawn from a range of different backgrounds and who command the full support, respect and above all confidence of the public. They should be truly independent, without any motive but to seek the truth and clean up the press. In doing so they will look at the culture, the practices and the ethics of the British press, and in particular they should look at how our newspapers are regulated and make recommendations for the future (NB Cameron made clear self regulation and the Press Complaints Commission had failed).

He tried to limit the damage of his close personal relationships with Coulson and Brooks, but his final comments were the most damaging/telling of all ...

"But there is, as I said at the outset, a third question that this scandal asks of us, and it is not an easy one for me to answer. Because as we’re considering the devastating revelations of the past few days, it is no good just pointing the finger at this individual journalist, or that individual newspaper.

It’s no good, actually, just criticising the police. The truth is, we have all been in this together – the press, politicians and leaders of all parties – and yes, that includes me. We have not gripped this issue. 

During the last government, a police investigation was undertaken, it was inadequate and not enough was done. There were reports from the Information Commissioner and they went unheeded. There were Select Committee reports on phone hacking and there was no follow-up. Throughout all this, all the warnings, all the concern, the government at the time did nothing. And frankly, neither did the Opposition.

To be fair, it is difficult for politicians to call for more regulation of the media, because if we do so, we’re accused of wanting to stifle a free press or even free speech. But the deeper truth is this: there is a less noble reason. Because party leaders were so keen to win the support of newspapers we turned a blind eye to the need to sort this issue, get on top of the bad practices, to change the way our newspapers are regulated.

It’s a bit like MPs’ expenses. The people in power knew things weren’t right. But they didn’t do enough quickly enough – until the full mess of the situation was revealed.

Now, when the scandal hits and the truth is plain for everyone to see there are two choices. You can down-play it and deny the problem is deep – or you can accept the seriousness of the situation and deal with it. I want to deal with it.

These inquiries give us a chance for a fresh start and I want us to take it. Look, it’s healthy that politicians and journalists speak to each other; know each other. Democracy is government by explanation and we need the media to explain what we’re trying to do. But this is a wake-up call.

Over the decades, on the watch of both Labour leaders and Conservative leaders, politicians and the press have spent time courting support, not confronting the problems.

Well: it’s on my watch that the music has stopped. And I’m saying, loud and clear – things have got to change. The relationship needs to be different in the future. 

I’m not going to pretend that there’s some nirvana of two separate worlds, relating to each other on the basis of total transparency and ethical perfection. That's not real life.

But we can do a hell of a lot better than we’ve done so far. Because as this scandal shows, while it’s vital that a free press can tell truth to power it is equally important that those in power can tell truth to the press.

For people watching this scandal unfold, there is something disturbing about what they see. Just think of who they put their trust in. The police to protect them. The politicians to represent them. The press to inform them.

All of them have let them down.

So when the inquiries are over, the questions have been asked, and the truth found out I want a police that has proved itself beyond reproach, a political system that people feel is on their side and a press that is yes, free and rigorous; that investigates and entertains; that holds those in power to account and occasionally – yes, even regularly – drives them mad.

But, in the end, is a free press that is also clean and trustworthy. That is what people want. That is what I want. And I will not rest until we get it".

Indeed so ... but it's the collusion, corruption, and the blatant abuse/misuse of Power that is now clear for all to see ... not just with the Politicians, Media and Police ... but with the banks, corporate leaders, landowners and the whole judiciary too. e.g. if you started photocopying bank notes (and lending it out at interest) you'd be locked up ... yet this is what banks legally do everyday!

Such blatant abuses of Power are not going to go away ... not until more people wake up and smell the coffee ... and do something about it that is!

Aristotle famously said:

"Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers"

"In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme"

"The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice"

"No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye"

Thursday, 7 July 2011

"News of the World" chopped ... but will this 'sacrificial lamb' succeed?

Well that was quick ... James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and chairman of News International, has just announced that the last publication of the "News of the World" will take place on Sunday

With pressure mounting on the Murdoch empire (e.g. key advertisers pulling out in their droves) and Government, they have clearly concluded that all the 'spin in the world' will not get them out of this hole ... hence the news that the "News of the World" is to become a 'sacrificial lamb'.

IMHO this decision is nothing whatsoever to do with ensuring a level of ethical standards in the media ... but a cold/hard business decision to try to stop the BSkyB bid from collapsing (which is something Murdoch really wants)!

Hence Murdoch's decision should not change anything ... and those in Power (Government, Media, Police), and abusing their power, need to be flushed out and locked up (wherever and whenever corruption, collusion and criminality can be proven). 

The investigations should press ahead quickly, urged on by (i.e. not deflected by) Murdoch's decision today ... News Corporation are clearly not 'fit and proper' to take over the UK broadcaster BSkyB. The House of Commons needs to keep its resolve, and strike while the iron's hot ... it must not be deflected by Murdoch's 'little game'  ... and it should impose tighter regulations on the media too (as self regulation has clearly not worked)!

However, watch the Politicians (e.g. Cameron, Hunt et al) try to turn things subtly around now ... now that the necessary 'sacrificial lamb' has been put on the table! 

How predictable they are ... how they collude together in order to maintain their positions of power ... and how gullible they think people are! 

Let's see if they're right ... and if their cunning plan works ...

Collusion and corruption - between the Media, Police and Government ...

If anyone's in any doubt about the level of 'corruption', 'collusion' and 'misuse of power' in this country (e.g. bankers, politicians, media etc) ... then they need look no further than the 'circus' currently engulfing the media right now ...

Information, known by the Police for years, but 'quietly'/'corruptly' ignored, has now been raised that the 'News of World' has not only been illegally hacking phones of celebrities/politicians, but it has been paying corrupt Police Officers £10,000's for telephone numbers of crime victims (e.g. Milly Dowler), terrorist victims/survivors (e.g. 7/7) and war victims/relatives (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq) too ... and then, just as shockingly, deleting messages/evidence so more messages could be left (so they could also hack new messages too).

Once the scandal broke there's been uproar ... and the media (News of the World and the rest of Rupert Murdoch's Empire), Police and Government are reeling trying to work out what to do ... and, unusually, they currently do not appear to have an answer! 

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has himself close links with current events, given his previous appointment of ex 'News of the World' editor Andy Coulson as his Director of Communications (who now appears to have been complicit in such activities) and also given his close personal friendship with Rebekah Brooks (currently News International CEO and former editor of the News of the World) too.

Mr Cameron has been predictably careful with his words ... confirming only that there will be an inquiry once the police 'inquiries' have concluded. But others are pressing the Government further over this whole murky affair, urging for both a public and judicial review into the handling off this affair, to avoid any risk of the police 'investigating themselves', and to avoid any risk of any 'cover-up'. People, such as Chris Bryant MP, are also demanding a very careful selection of who leads any such review, given the vast number of police and judiciary involved in secretive groups (e.g. the masons) ... [which in itself uncovers yet more about the corrupt world we live in!] 

Given the illegal/unethical practices going on within the News of the World/News International, many (including OfCom) are once again challenging the Government over the proposed takeover of BSkyB by Rupert Murdoch's (owner of News Corporation, News International and News of the World). 

Rupert Murdoch controls a great deal of the media already, yet Jeremy Hunt, despite strong representations (over 100,000), still appears to be resisting referring the takeover to the Competition Commission. However OfCom are themselves could consider, particularly given recent events, blocking the takeover on grounds that News Corporation does not appear to be a "fit and proper" owner of a UK broadcaster.

Ministers are loathed to challenge Murdoch, due to the power he already wields (or more specifically the misuse of power he wields!), but a number of Politicians are now saying enough is enough ... and Politicians must stop colluding with the media and put a stop to this murky/corrupt practice. Chris Bryant told the House of Commons that the 'whole political system has failed'! 

I agree ... but do you think this will happen?  ... IMHO the spin doctors (NB David Cameron was an ex-PR man himself!) will find ways to 'buy time' ... time to see how things develop and time to see how they can 'spin their way out of this' ... in order to clear their name ... and to give their 'friend' Murdoch what wants!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Hoping for growth - from corrupt service industries?

As manufacturing starts to wain, and retail sales and consumer confidence continue to fall, are we going to see politicians once again try to highlight (and rely upon!) 'potential growth' arising from the UK's 'expertise' in the service sector?

Well if they do, they won't refer to the hard-pressed and hard-working retail sector ... but the corrupt practices of groups such as insurance companies and 'no-win no-fee' ambulance chasing lawyers ... who, by actively conniving together (e.g. insurance companies referring people to pushy ambulance chasers!), have forced up already sky high premiums by nearly 40% this year ... 

The lawyers pocket £1000's in fees, and the insurance companies charge all costs back to the motorist.  On top of this, the practice of insurance companies referring accidents to accident lawyers* is also making them 4x more profit than from providing insurance premiums - a shocking revelation. In effect insurance companies are now more keen to be a claims management company than an insurance company - to the detriment of all motorists.

Many people are now charged far more for car insurance than their energy** (value = keeping warm, cooking and washing etc) ... with the average insurance bill set to exceed £1000 by 2012. Insurance premiums are colossal - yet they add no value. Insurance companies call it 'piece of mind', but get Government to enshrine its purchase in law to force you buy it!

Insurance companies and no win-no fee lawyers are parasities - who leech off hard-working people and who destroy real value/wealth creation in this country! So why do politicians allow such scams to continue ... well because they are lobbied heavily by insurance companies ... and because many politicians are lawyers themselves!

Combining these parasitic organisms with the corrupt practice of banks will cause this nation to implode (i.e. collapse) ... not 'grow' ... and if politicians think we can solve the country's problems by exporting these 'services' abroad they are even more deluded ... 

The leeches in our society know no bound ... and need to be driven out ... just like a plague of locusts/rats ... 

* Even Jack Straw, a Barrister and ex Justice Minister himself, has said this practice is a racket and must stop!

** Despite energy prices also shooting up, and energy companies being referred to the competition commission!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Legalized counterfeiting ... followed by legalized theft!

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have gone on strike today out of frustration ... over theft (in broad daylight) of their future livelihoods!

The Government have already forced staff, without consultation, to pay 3% more into their pension, and they are now looking to pay them much less in retirement* and make them work a lot longer for it too. 

The Government says pension schemes are still unaffordable, but current public pension schemes in the UK are nowhere near the levels of places such as Germany ... whose economy is doing very well indeed! Many of the pension schemes are not in deficit either ... and have arrangements already in place for contributions to rise in line with any shortfall anyway! 

It is clear that public sector workers are being forced to pay more, not because of any pension scheme deficit, but because the Government wants to raid pensions again and take money off hard-working public sector workers in order to pay for the cost of bailing out the banks (and going by the public response ... e.g. on Question Time ... the public are becoming increasingly aware of the scam).

To try to get away with their scam, the Government are trying (but failing) to pitch private sector against public sector ... Following legalized raids by the Government on the pensions of poorly-paid private sector workers, they are arguing that public sector workers should get minimal pensions too ... i.e. rather than putting an initial wrong right ... they want public sector workers to be equally badly treated ... as the rich continue to get lucrative pension deals, with tax loopholes/havens and enjoy £37bn in tax relief on their lucrative pensions! 

It is incredulous (and immoral) that the laws of this country allow legalized theft ... where a politician can impose such measures without a mandate and without consultation ... and allow legalized counterfeiting by bankers** (creating money out of thin air, and charge it out at interest) ... and have politicians force hard-working people to pay for their hefty bonuses (for gambling, rather than lending money to small businesses keen to create real value/wealth) and then the cost of bailing them out (when their gambles fail).

The law is clearly in place to protect bankers and the wealthy ... to keep them wealthy ... and to ensure they can continue to increase their wealth ... at the expense of everyone else. And where this does not happen ... the Politicians are lobbied/forced by them to change the law so they do! 

The idea that the rule of law applies equally to everyone, in order to safeguard democracy, is clearly a scam too ... but people are starting to realise this ... and the impact of this ... 

For instance ask yourself the followinq ...

1.  If you printed money in your garden shed ... you'd be locked up ... and
2. If you stole money from people ... you'd be locked up too. 

So why are bankers and politicians getting away with these things every minute ... of every single day!

Given this how much longer will people allow them to get away with this ... judging by the growing number of hard-working people starting to make their voice heard ... not much longer!

And let's see how quickly the Government change the law ... to stop the most basic form of democracy ... the right to withdraw ones labour *** 

The Government have also already, without consultation, changed their pension schemes so any future increases are in line with the lower rate of inflation too (CPI instead of RPI), and they are now looking to change them to career average schemes too.

** Purely because the law of counterfeit doesn't apply when money "resides" as figures on a computer screen, and no longer relies upon a printing press!

*** The Government have already threatened this, and the Labour party, whose leader Ed Miliband recently told his party that they needed to once again represent hard-working people, have failed at the first hurdle! (which is not surprising really, given it was Gordon Brown's early £100bn raid on pension schemes that started their demise).

BMA rejects health reforms - for the second time!

David Cameron and Nick Clegg were quick to call their 'listening exercise' a 'success', and point out how much the NHS reform bill is being changed ... however, doctors and the BMA have been just as quick to reject it! 

In its annual conference this week the BMA overwhelmingly rejected plans to reform health and social care in England, saying the government could not be trusted.

Hamish Meldrum, head of the BMA, who recently referred to the Government's 'slash and burn' approach to NHS reform, was also quick to point out one particular area of concern ... potential conflicts of interests resulting from proposed payments to GP's (known as the 'quality premium'). 

He said the "Government's plan to reward GP's for 'doing well' in commissioning, in arranging services for their patients, will damage the trust patients have if GP's are seen to be paid for just organizing their services, or maybe, in patients minds, being paid for restricting access to services because of the financial problems" ... and went on to say "it is unnecessary and potentially damaging to pay doctors in this way".

His comments follow on from a recent debate at an annual conference of GP's, where a Bedfordshire GP said that "payment by results" was a "hideous undercurrent" in health secretary Andrew Lansley's health bill, describing it as a system that "threatens patient trust". He went on to say that if the government's plans are implemented in their current form, delicate decisions will be "corrupted by financial decisions" and would "result in no trust whatsoever between patients and doctors."

During a speech at the event, Dr Iona Heath, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), also said that GPs need to "badly put our house in order to acknowledge the extent of conflicts of interest pervading the context within which we work".

"We need to make it clear that there is a limit to which we will respond to ethically dubious financial incentives. Only then can we begin to provide the urgently necessary critique of the pervasiveness of financial conflicts of interests within policy making in the NHS."

Indeed so ... and well said! It is heartwarming to see there are still trustworthy honorable GP's (and doctors) prepared to expose the clear conflicts of interests and making equally clear their unacceptability (on ethical grounds) ... let's see if the Government are going to try 'listen' ... second time around !