September 20, 2010
News of the World
The H1N1 vaccine will be mixed into the regular flu jab for OAPs, pregnant women and others at high risk.
While millions refused to take the jab during last winter’s pandemic, this time they will have no choice if they want to be protected against normal flu.
The Government was left with more than 30million swine flu vaccines after the pandemic fizzled out in 2010.
Some types of swine flu vaccinations are suspected of being linked to an increase in the rare condition narcolepsy, which causes sufferers to suddenly fall asleep at random times.
In Finland, one brand – Pandemrix, produced by GlaxoSmithKline – was banned, and officials in Sweden have started a Europe-wide investigation into it.
An NHS spokesman said that while the pandemic of the H1N1 swine flu virus was over, the disease was still a threat.
The Department of Health said the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority, which monitors vaccines, had given the H1N1 jab the all-clear after fears in Europe over the narcolepsy outbreak.
She added: “By March this year, that particular H1N1 vaccine had been given out 5.5million times and there have been no reported cases of narcolepsy in Britain.”
September 20, 2010
By Claudine Beaumont
The proposal was presented at the Internet Governance Forum in Lithuania last week, and outlined 12 “principles of internet governance”, including a commitment from countries to sustain the technological foundations that underpin the web’s infrastructure.
The draft law has been likened to the Space Treaty, signed in 1967, which stated that space exploration should be carried out for the benefit of all nations, and guaranteed “free access to all areas of celestial bodies”.
Under the proposed terms of the law, there would be cross-border co-operation between countries to identify and address security vulnerability and protect the network from possible cyber attacks or cyber terrorism.
It would also uphold rights to freedom of expression and association, and the principle of net neutrality, in which all internet traffic is treated equally across the network.
“The fundamental functions and the core principles of the internet must be preserved in all layers of the internet architecture with a view to guaranteeing the interoperability of networks in terms of infrastructures, services and contents,” reads the proposal.
“The end-to-end principle should be protected globally.”
The proposal was drawn up by the Council of Europe, an organisation, based in Strasbourg, with 47 member states that aims to promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe.
Senior figures within the internet industry have become increasingly concerned about the potential for government interference in the running of the web.
William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute, told technology blog Thinq that the recent Digital Economy Bill, in which the government sought to regulate and manage the internet unilaterally, was a good example of this.
“Everyone’s worried about national governments asserting regulatory authority over the internet,” he said.
September 20, 2010
BY STEPHANE MASSINON, CALGARY HERALD
Posting critical comments about Calgary officers on a personal website goes beyond free speech, the police chief says.
John Kelly, 53, is accused of interfering with an active homicide investigation and was charged with four counts of libel and obstruction of justice after he allegedly posed as a paralegal and approached the mother of a 2003 homicide victim saying he could help her sue police.
Calgary RCMP started their investigation after being contacted about the case by Calgary’s chief of police.
“In my 29 years, I’ve never heard of an individual being charged under the Criminal Code for libel charges, defamation of character,” said RCMP Supt. Randy McGinnis.
While libel itself is not rare, it is usually handled in civil court, not criminal.
Police Chief Rick Hanson said the rarity of the criminal libel charge speaks to the seriousness of the allegations.
“There are occasions when free speech does cross over and can cross over to where it’s criminal in nature, and that’s where the investigation has to take a look,” Hanson told reporters Friday.
“There’s a world of difference between the civil world and the criminal world. The RCMP and the Crown clearly felt in reviewing the facts that criminal charges were warranted.”
The lengthy ordeal and investigation took a toll on many officers who were named on the website, said Hanson.
“If you’re in policing, it’s not unusual to be the subject of criticism, that’s just the way it is. That’s something that a police officer gets used to. Most officers have a pretty thick skin,” the chief said.
“But when things transition over to where certain actions can be perceived as being criminal and there’s an investigation that leads to charges like that, that’s an entirely different thing than just being criticized.”
The website in question is still running. RCMP have no jurisdiction and can only ask the New Yorkbased Internet provider to take it down.
What makes Kelly’s site libellous, said McGinnis, are the false allegations made against two city homicide investigators.
Calgary police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said there are many websites and blogs that are critical of police and he said police don’t have a problem with people expressing their views online.
Brookwell said this website was different because it interfered with an active police investigation.
At his first court appearance Friday, Kelly’s wife said her husband would decline comment to media.
Kelly was released on several conditions, including not having contact with numerous police officers and not adding to his website.
September 20, 2010
The Raw Story
By Ron Brynaert
The Bush administration spent years feuding with The New York Times but the Grey Lady hardly ever backed down.
Most would agree that the media’s honeymoon with the Obama administration appears to be over, but the relationship isn’t as contentious as under Bush.
Perhaps one reason why President Obama seems to get more satisfaction is that he never referred to any Times reporters as “major league assholes.”
“The White House is pushing back hard against a New York Times report that the president’s political team is considering a national ad campaign that would cast the GOP as taken over by tea party extremists,” Mike Allen and Andy Barr report for Politico.
One unnamed White House official claims the story was “100 percent inaccurate,” but “Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet counters that the ‘piece is accurate.’”
As Politico notes, the Times article’s headline was changed to “Obama Aides Weigh Bid to Tie the GOP to the Tea Party.”
However, Allen and Barr add, “Those changes were not enough to satisfy the White House, according to sources.”
Over the last year, the New York Times has become increasingly more critical of Obama, calling him out for breaking campaign promises and criticizing his administration’s handling of crises ranging from the BP oil spill to controversial war on terror arrests.
Last year, the Obama administration appeared to take a back-handed swipe at the Times for its Israeli, Palestinian coverage, according to the American Thinker.
ut for some conservatives, the Times isn’t as tough on Obama as it should be.
Say Anything criticized the paper for giving Obama a pass on allegedly “bowing” to foreign leaders. The blog mentions that former President Clinton once drew heat, but ignores the factthat President George W. Bush and many other presidents did, too.
September 20, 2010
By Brad Bumsted and Mike Wereschagin
Taxpayer-funded bulletins listed meetings of Tea Partiers, Quakers and Pittsburgh anti-war activists as potential security threats.
A year’s worth of bulletins released Friday by the governor’s office shows the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response warned state Homeland Security officials about events as far away as the Sinai and as easy to predict as looking at a calendar.
The reports ignited controversy earlier this week when opponents of Marcellus gas drilling learned that gas companies had received the “Pennsylvania Intelligence Bulletin” listing their planned participation in public hearings as part of a warning about potential terrorist threats to public infrastructure.
Gov. Ed Rendell denounced the reports on Tuesday and said he won’t renew the institute’s $103,000 contract when it expires in October. State senators plan a hearing to investigate. At least one activist plans to file a civil rights lawsuit.
A November report said two Tea Party rallies against illegal immigration might attract “white nationalists.”
“I think it is one of the more bizarre things I’ve ever heard,” said Karen Kiefer, a Tea Party activist from Scottdale. “A lot of people say they never feel safer than at a Tea Party rally. They got $103,000 in taxpayers’ money to compile these bogus lists? That is absolutely shocking.”
The co-director of the institute yesterday defended the bulletins and took issue with Rendell’s criticism of its work, saying the governor is “regrettably, misinformed. … We provide information on potential issues that may require enhanced security responses in the protection of clients’ obligations to public safety and protection of their assets.”
The co-director, Michael Perelman, a former York city police officer, said in a brief telephone interview: “The indications that the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response tracked gay groups is inaccurate and offensive.”
Rendell had no response to Perelman’s comments, press secretary Gary Tuma said.
Rendell on Tuesday said the information the institute gave the state “has no value. … It may have some value to other people, but it had no value to us.”
The reports were supposed to help state Homeland Security officials protect critical public infrastructure, a post-9/11 federal mandate. Most reports, however, are dedicated to possible terrorist action in places such as Ireland, Afghanistan, Turkey and Chile. It notes Pennsylvania colleges that have study-abroad programs in those countries.
One report, in August, listed “newly identified corporate targets of pro-life boycotts.” The institute said the boycott list, which included the YMCA and Johnson & Johnson, represented a “low-to-moderate” threat because it could be used by “more militant anti-abortion elements and lone wolves.”
The most recent report, issued Monday, listed the dates of upcoming Jewish holidays and noted they would result in “very high attendance at Jewish houses of worship and public gatherings in Pennsylvania.”
A November bulletin noted an approaching anti-war protest in Philadelphia by the Brandywine Peace Community and the American Friends Service Community, a Quaker organization. The protesters planned to wear placards saying, “Dear President: Do Not Send More Troops to Afghanistan. War is Not the Answer,” the terror institute wrote.
Another report alleged links between G-20 protesters and an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh. Protests of the September 2009 G-20 world summit resulted in 193 arrests.
Several reports issued this month warn that opponents of Arizona’s immigration law planned to protest at the Pirates game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and that an animal rights group will protest the Lulu Shrine Rodeo in Plymouth Meeting. It quotes “activist material” that calls the rodeo “the worst of the worst.”
“We’re an open organization,” said Kenneth Miller, an organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World, which had planned the Diamondbacks protest. “It’s terrible that our government officials view our protest as a security threat. That’s sick.”
The institute’s monitoring of drilling opponents led to the following headline in one bulletin: “Would-be protesters to become ‘Citizen Journalists.’ ” The report attributed the information to a website run by the natural gas company Chesapeake Energy.
Luzerne County Republican Sen. Lisa Baker announced a Senate committee she chairs will conduct a hearing, saying citizens are “angry about what appears to be a serious abuse of government power.”
The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee’s hearing is set for Sept. 27, Baker said.
“People were targeted for no reason, other than they were exercising their fundamental rights of free speech and assembly,” Baker said.
In his statement, Perelman said the institute identified “threats to critical infrastructure and to people.”
The institute “operates within the scope of the law in fulfilling the contractual obligations of its clients,” he said.
September 20, 2010
By Alex Newman
The Federal Reserve has been a nightmare for the American people. It inflates the money supply, thereby devaluing already-existing money and placing a massive hidden tax on the people via rising prices. It also uses its monopoly power to cause interest rates to go up or down, usurping the rightful place of the market and causing massive malinvestment and generally an improper and unproductive allocation of resources.
The Fed also causes the boom-and-bust cycle through its manipulations of the currency and credit supply. It serves as the government’s partner in perpetually expanding the “welfare-warfare state,” allowing the state to spend far more than it could ever hope to reasonably raise through direct taxation. And of course, the fact that all Federal Reserve notes enter the economy as debt with interest attached (but never created) has led to a situation where it is literally mathematically impossible to pay off the debt. In sum, the consequences of such a system have been disastrous for average Americans – hence the growing calls to audit and even end the Fed.
But now, imagine such a system at the global level. And it isn’t just a mental exercise; the global central bank is already emerging. As bad as the Fed has been for America – and indeed the world – a similar system at the international level would be far worse. Disaster might even be an understatement.
International Liquidity and Inflation
One of the most serious threats posed by a global central bank and world fiat currency is the fact that it would allow the emerging planetary regime to print its own money and finance its activities independently. That means wealth could be secretly siphoned away from all of humanity to pay for armies, tax collectors, courts, bureaucracies, law enforcement, wealth redistribution, propaganda, and much more. With no limits. But to advocates of such a system, that is one of its primary benefits.
“A super-sovereign reserve currency not only eliminates the inherent risks of credit-based sovereign currency, but also makes it possible to manage global liquidity. A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by a global institution could be used to both create and control the global liquidity,” wrote Chinese central-bank boss Zhou Xiaochuan in his public paper calling for a world currency. “The centralized management of its member countries’ reserves by the Fund will be an effective measure to promote a greater role of the SDR [Special Drawing Rights, the International Monetary Fund’s first effort at a world currency] as a reserve currency.” Of course, communists have always supported control of “liquidity” (Karl Marx was a strong advocate of central banks with a monopoly on currency and credit). But to people who care about freedom and prosperity, the communists’ support should be a huge red flag.
The United Nations has also backed global currency proposals for the same reason. In a report earlier this year calling for the end of the dollar’s status as a reserve currency and a new monetary regime controlled by the International Monetary Fund, the UN’s World Economic and Social Survey for 2010 points out that, “Such emissions of international liquidity could also underpin the financing of investment in long-term sustainable development.” The term “sustainable development” – especially when used by the UN – is often used to refer to stronger central planning, population reduction, more land in government hands, and other ideas repugnant to average Americans and the U.S. Constitution. Other schemes for “international liquidity” could be even worse.
Hiding behind the passive voice, a separate report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development adds in the concept of wealth redistribution: “It has been suggested that in order for the SDR to become the main form of international liquidity and means of reserve holding, new SDR allocations should be made according to the needs of countries.” It then promotes worldwide central planning to “stabilize global output growth” by issuing more SDRs or retiring them as the emerging global government deems necessary. As it stands, wealth redistribution around the world is bad enough. Surrendering that power to a global institution would be a nightmare.
In its report published earlier this year, the IMF also recently came out in favor of allowing it to print its own money to provide “international liquidity.” “A global currency, bancor, issued by a global central bank would be designed as a stable store of value that is not tied exclusively to the conditions of any particular economy,” the paper says. “The global central bank could serve as a lender of last resort, providing needed systemic liquidity in the event of adverse shocks and more automatically than at present.” In laymen’s terms, the IMF, with its power to “emit liquidity” out of thin air, would be empowered to “bail out” companies, governments, and whomever it wished. If you thought the Fed handing out trillions of dollars to the big banks and other insiders was bad, just wait until a global central bank exercises that power.
Allowing the emerging global government to supply its own money would free it from the constraints of having to raise money through national contributions or direct international taxation. But of course, printing all of this new “liquidity” and financing all of its ambitious projects would be inflationary by definition. And this inevitably would represent a massive problem.
Even John Maynard Keynes, the original proponent of the world currency called “bancor,” understood the concept well. In 1919, he wrote in his book The Economic Consequences of the Peace, “By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”
September 20, 2010
Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Jennifer Robbinson
Neither a boost in private-sector hiring nor a shrinking labor force could rescue Nevada from yet another unemployment record in August.
The construction sector, restaurants and professional firms all added jobs in the month, but declines in Census jobs and other public-sector cuts offset that hiring to push statewide unemployment to an all-time high of 14.4 percent, the state Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation said this morning. That’s up from 14.3 percent in July and 12.5 percent in August 2009.
Thanks to seasonal hiring among resorts and other employers, joblessness in Clark County edged down to 14.7 percent, from a record 14.8 percent in August. Unemployment in Las Vegas came in at 13 percent in the same month a year ago.
Nevada has claimed the highest jobless rate in the nation since it bumped Michigan out of the top spot in May. Nationally, unemployment was 9.6 percent in August.
The boost in joblessness across the Silver State came as more than 10,000 workers left the workforce, either because they’ve given up on finding jobs or because they think they’ll have better luck finding work in other states. Nearly 200,000 Nevadans, including 142,000 Las Vegans, lacked work and were looking in August. Factor in discouraged workers who’ve quit looking and underemployed part-timers who’d rather work full time, and the state’s jobless rate surges past 20 percent, economists say.
The officials who compile Nevada’s jobless data point out that the downward spiral of the state’s labor market has eased substantially over a year ago: Employment statewide is down 1.8 percent from August 2009, a significantly smaller decline than the 10.6 percent falloff the state experienced from 2008 to 2009. Still, they said, a weak economic outlook will likely hamper any major improvements in the Nevada job market for the foreseeable future.
Nevada’s private employers added 2,300 jobs in the month, including 700 construction positions, 700 jobs in food and beverage services and accommodation, and 500 posts in professional and business services, which includes law firms, architecture studios and accounting businesses. But the public sector offset those gains by slashing 3,000 positions, including 1,900 Census jobs.
The employment department also emphasized the especially hard times younger workers are experiencing in the downturn. The jobless rate among workers 24 and under is nearly twice as high as overall unemployment.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the employment department, attributed the difference to higher turnover as younger workers seek better opportunities and tough competition from a flood of experienced workers entering the job market.
“Older workers are entering the labor force due to recessionary factors, as well as the fact that their numbers have increased,” Anderson said.” The ‘graying’ of the Baby Boom generation accounts for a growing population of workers age 65 and older. The recession has devastated household wealth in Nevada, including the retirement accounts of older workers, pushing many of them back into the labor force or making them work longer than expected. Many of these workers are competing for jobs traditionally filled by younger workers.”
Employers find older workers attractive for their extensive experience, their work ethic and their strong degree of loyalty, Anderson said.
Because of shifts in Nevada’s population distribution and expectations for future job growth, older workers should continue to crowd out younger workers for some time, he said.
September 20, 2010
The NewYork Times
By Jakie Calmes
President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.
White House and Congressional Democratic strategists are trying to energize dispirited Democratic voters over the coming six weeks, in hopes of limiting the party’s losses and keeping control of the House and Senate. The strategists see openings to exploit after a string of Tea Party successes split Republicans in a number of states, culminating last week with developments that scrambled Senate races in Delaware and Alaska.
“We need to get out the message that it’s now really dangerous to re-empower the Republican Party,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with White House advisers but requested anonymity to discuss private strategy talks.
Democrats are divided. The party’s House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama’s popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats. Endangered Congressional candidates want any available money to go to their localized campaigns.
Late Sunday night, White House advisers denied that a national ad campaign was being planned. “There’s been no discussion of such a thing at the White House” or the Democratic National Committee, said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser.
Proponents say a national ad campaign, most likely on cable television, would complement those individual campaigns and give Democrats a chance to redefine the stakes. The Democratic strategist said voters did not now see much threat to them from a Republican takeover of Congress, even though some Tea Party-backed candidates and other Republicans have taken positions that many voters consider extreme, like shutting down the government to get their way, privatizing Social Security and Medicare and ending unemployment insurance.
So far, Mr. Obama has largely limited his campaigning to fundraisers and small events. That will change soon as he plays a bigger role to rally the flagging faithful, officials said.
To mobilize younger voters who supported him in 2008, Mr. Obama will hold four big campaign-style rallies, the first Sept. 28 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with satellite transmission to campuses in other states. The later rallies will be in Ohio, Philadelphia and Las Vegas. He also will send e-mail and record robocalls to spur voters, and conduct a national “town hall” Webcast in October.
“These events are about activating the Obama grass roots to help organizationally in terms of volunteers” for get-out-the-vote efforts, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “We’re not going to get all the 2008 Obama voters out. We may not get most of them. But in close races, it can be decisive.”
Mr. Obama will also step up his efforts to draw contrasts between the parties, in particular by pounding away on his call for extending the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, except for “millionaires and billionaires.” Republicans want the tax cuts extended for people of all income levels, not just incomes below $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families, as the president has proposed.
Republican strategists remain confident of the party’s prospects for big gains in November, even as they acknowledge that they are unlikely to win the Senate race in Delaware after the victory in the Republican primary there of Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party-backed candidate with a long record of controversial statements, over Representative Michael N. Castle, a moderate and popular former two-term governor.
Also last week, Alaska’s Senate race was upended when Senator Lisa Murkowski, who lost the Republican nomination to a Tea Party adherent, Joe Miller, mounted a write-in candidacy against him, saying, “Alaska is not fair game for outside extremists.”
“While we may have a handful of nominees out of the mainstream, the American people have come to the conclusion this administration and this Congress are out of the mainstream,” said John Weaver, a Republican consultant.
In 1994, Democrats were in power and similarly took hope when Republican primaries yielded candidates deemed too far right for the general election. Yet the wave against Democrats that year was strong enough to carry those newcomers into office and put Republicans in control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
Except for Ms. O’Donnell in Delaware, Republican nominees that Democrats like to showcase as extremists — including in Senate races in Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky and even blue-state Connecticut — are even with their Democratic rivals in polls or ahead.
And even as the White House maps the final campaign push, advisers are distracted by the expected exit of the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to run for mayor of Chicago. Mr. Emanuel, who as a member of Congress helped engineer the Democratic takeover of the House in 2006, is among his party’s foremost strategists when it comes to Congressional elections.
Peter M. Rouse, one of Mr. Obama’s closest advisers, has assumed additional responsibilities. But Mr. Rouse, who is intensely private, does not want the high-profile job of chief of staff; instead he is helping Mr. Obama vet names. Leading candidates are said to be Thomas E. Donilon, the deputy national security adviser, and Robert Bauer, the White House counsel.
On top of the personnel distractions at the White House, the strategy discussions with Congressional Democrats come after 21 months of legislative and political battles that have strained relations between the two camps.
Democrats on Capitol Hill say that Obama aides, including Mr. Axelrod, and Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, do not consult with them enough and are more concerned with positioning Mr. Obama for his 2012 reelection race than with re-electing Democrats now.
At the Democratic National Committee, aides already have started work on a database to link the most controversial statements of the Tea Party-backed candidates to possible Republican presidential aspirants.
The database will point out, for example, that Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are supporting the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, who once said that victims of rape should make “what was really a lemon situation into lemonade,” and Ms. O’Donnell, who has said that having women in the service academies “cripples the readiness of our defense.”
The tactic of linking potential Republican rivals to such statements was already in evidence last week. After Ms. O’Donnell’s victory, a party spokesman told reporters, “The fact that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would put their name behind a candidate that believes women who serve our country ‘cripple the readiness of our defense’ make them unfit to be commander-in-chief.”
September 20, 2010
By Robin Night
The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.
The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.
If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.
“The next step could be to use (real-time) information as the basis for centralizing the calculation and deduction of tax,” HMRC said in a July discussion paper.
HMRC described the plan as “radical” as it would be a huge change from the current system that has been largely unchanged for 66 years.
Even though the centralized deductions proposal would provide much-needed oversight, there are some major concerns, George Bull, head of Tax at Baker Tilly, told CNBC.com.
“If HMRC has direct access to employees’ bank accounts and makes a mistake, people are going to feel very exposed and vulnerable,” Bull said.
And the chance of widespread mistakes could be high, according to Bull. HMRC does not have a good track record of handling large computer systems and has suffered high-profile errors with data, he said.
The system would be massive in terms of data management, larger than a recent attempt to centralize the National Health Service’s data, which was later scrapped, Bull said.
If there’s a mistake and the HMRC collects too much money, the difficulty of getting it back could be high with repayments of tax taking weeks or months, he said.
“There has to be some very clear understanding of how quickly repayments were made if there was a mistake,” Bull said.
HMRC estimated the potential savings to employers from the introduction of the concept would be about £500 million ($780 million).
But the cost of implementing the new system would be “phenomenal,” Bull pointed out.
“It’s very clear that the system does need to be modernized… It’s outdated, it’s outmoded,” Emma Boon, campaigner manager at the Tax Payers’ Alliance, told CNBC.com.
Boon said that the Tax Payers’ Alliance was in favor of simplifying tax collection, but stressed that a new complex computer system would add infrastructure and administration costs at a time when the government is trying to reduce spending.
There is a further concern, according to Bull. The centralized storage of so much data poises a security risk as the system may be open to cyber crime.
As well as security issues, there’s a huge issue of transparency, according to Boon.
Boon also questioned HMCR’s ability to handle to the role effectively.
The Institute of Directors (IoD), a UK organization created to promote the business agenda of directors and entreprenuers, said in a press release it had major concerns about the proposal to allow employees’ pay to be paid directly to HMRC.
The IoD said the shift to a real-time, centralized system could be positive as long as the burden on employers was not increased. But it added that the idea of wages being processed by HMRC was “completely unacceptable.”
“This document contains a lot of good ideas. But the idea that HMRC should be trusted with the gross pay of employees is not one of them,” Richard Baron, Head of Taxation at the IoD, said in the release.
A spokesperson for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was not immediately available for comment.
September 20, 2010
By Greg Bluestien
Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday he sees parallels between today’s tea party and his own campaign for the White House in 1976. But he doesn’t think the movement will be much of a factor beyond this fall’s elections.
The Georgia Democrat told The Associated Press he rode a wave of voter discontent to the presidency on the heels of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that felled President Richard Nixon, much like tea partyconservatives are now earning support by voicing anger at the nation’s economic woes.
“I was a candidate that was in some ways like the tea party candidate,” Carter said in an interview. “I was a complete outsider. I capitalized legitimately on the dissatisfaction that was permeating our society.”
“I think they’re going to be quite a major factor in November,” he said. “I think there’s already a process of absorbing them into the Republican Party. I think they will be much less of a factor in 2012 and in future years.”
The comments came the same day the former president’s new book, “White House Diary,” was released.
In the book, Carter said he pursued an overly aggressive agenda as president that may have confused voters and alienated lawmakers. But he said the tipping points that cost him the 1980 election were the Iran hostage crisis and the primary challenge by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
“Had we not had the hostage crisis, I would have won,” he said in the interview of his defeat to Republican Ronald Reagan, adding: “Had I not had Kennedy as my opponent, who sapped away a portion of the Democratic wing, I would have been re-elected.”
Carter said in the book that he is proud of his accomplishments during his presidency, but that pushing controversial decisions such as the end of U.S. control of the Panama Canal and working to normalize relations with Communist China cost him political support.
“I overburdened Congress with an array of controversial and politically costly requests. Looking back, I am struck by how many unpopular objectives we pursued,” he said, adding: “We were able to achieve a remarkable amount of what we set out to do, but ultimately the political cost—of my administration and for members of Congress—was very high.”
Carter, 85, compiled the book from thoughts and observations he dictated several times a day in tapes turned over to his secretary. Thirty years later, he condensed and annotated the diary with recent reflections. The book was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The former president said in the interview that he neglected his role as the party’s leader, opening a vacuum that cost some of his chief legislative supporters their jobs. He said there were 20 senators up for re-election in 1978 who voted for the Panama treaty—and only seven came back to the Senate the next year.
“One of the things I could have done better is I could have been a better leader of the Democratic Party. I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said.
Carter said he decided to publish the diary because it “may be my last chance to offer an assessment of my time in the White House,” he wrote.