David Kirkpatrick

July 12, 2010

Libel reform may be coming to the UK (at long last)

News from the inbox:

On Friday, Justice Minister Lord McNally said the Government has listened to the 52,000 supporters of the Libel Reform Campaign and has made a “firm commitment to action” to protect freedom of speech and the public interest with a bill to be published in the New Year. The Bill will be the first attempt from a Government in more than a century to undertake fundamental reform of our libel laws.

The announcement was made during the second reading debate of Lord Lester’s Private Members Defamation Bill. You can watch the debate as it happened here: www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6412 and there is a round up of coverage and reaction to the news here: www.libelreform.org/news/465-9th-july-2010-government-announces-libel-reform-bill

Here’s a link to the libel reform group‘s website.

July 1, 2009

Europe prepped to put Iran on island

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:32 pm

A diplomatic island, that is.

From the link:

Iran courted new levels of post-election isolation from the European Union on Wednesday as European diplomats pondered whether to withdraw the ambassadors of all 27 member nations in a dispute over the detention of the British Embassy’s local personnel.

European diplomats said that no formal decision to order their envoys home had been taken but that the measure was an option under consideration as the European Union — Iran’s biggest trading partner — tries to work out how to defuse the dispute in a way that would shield other embassies in Tehran from similar action.

March 9, 2009

Nanny state in action — UK-style

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:33 pm

From the Cato Institute, civil liberties in the UK are withering along with economic prospects.

From the link:

Warning to tourists – it is now illegal to take a photo of a London bobby (policeman). The time-honored tradition of tourists having their pictures taken with London cops is being dealt a silly death blow by those who control the British nanny-state. The British are not only losing their economic prosperity, but their civil liberties as well.

Also from the link:

Civil libertarians on both the left and right are increasingly concerned that Britain is drifting toward becoming a police state. The government has been trying to obtain the right to detain anyone up to 42 days without bringing charges, which would severely undermine the centuries’ old right of habeas corpus. Police monitoring cameras in London are more pervasive than in any other city in the world. Public demonstrations near Parliament and other government buildings are restricted more and more. British libel laws are much more restrictive than those in the United States and have effectively make it increasingly difficult to charge public officials with wrongdoing.

October 13, 2008

A financial report from London

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:18 am

The release from a bit ago:

Treasury statement on financial support to the banking industry

London, 13 October/GNN/ —

HM TREASURY News Release (105/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 13
October 2008
With continuing exceptional instability in the global financial markets, the
Government is today taking decisive action, by implementing the comprehensive
set of measures it announced on 8 October, to make commercial investments in
UK banks and building societies to help stabilise their position and support
the long term strength of the economy.

The overall aim of these measures is to support stability in the financial
system; to protect ordinary savers, depositors, businesses and borrowers; and
to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer. In summary, the measures intend to:
* provide sufficient liquidity in the short term;
* make available new tier 1 capital to UK banks and building societies to
strengthen their resources permitting them to restructure their finances, while
maintaining their support for the real economy, through the recapitalisation
scheme which has been made available to eligible institutions; and
* ensure that the banking system has the funds necessary to maintain lending
in the medium term through the credit guarantee scheme available to eligible
institutions in relation to new short and medium term debt issuance.

The authorities have continued their detailed discussions with the
institutions who confirmed their participation in the recapitalisation
scheme last week. These institutions committed in aggregate to increase their
total tier 1 capital, either through their own actions or, where requested,
through support from the Government’s recapitalisation scheme in the form
of preference and ordinary share capital.

The Government is making capital investments to RBS, and upon successful
merger, HBOS and Lloyds TSB, totaling £37 billion.

Following the completion of these capital investments, each of the above
institutions will have a Tier 1 capital ratio in excess of 9%, well above
international minimum standards and at a level that should put them on a
strong footing for the future.

All participating institutions are eligible to take advantage of the
Government’s credit guarantee scheme. The Debt Management Office is today
announcing the general arrangements for operating the scheme. Further
details relating to fees, the period under which guarantees will be issued
and the application process can be found in the Market Notice which is being
published by DMO at: http://www.dmo.gov.uk/

As part of its investment, the Government has agreed with the banks supported
by the recapitalisation scheme a range of commitments covering:
* maintaining, over the next three years, the availability and active marketing
of competitively-priced lending to homeowners and to small businesses at
2007 levels;
* support for schemes to help people struggling with mortgage payments to
stay in their homes, and to support the expansion of financial capability
* remuneration of senior executives – both for 2008 (when the Government
expects no cash bonuses to be paid to board members) and for remuneration
policy going forward (where incentive schemes will be reviewed and linked
to long-term value creation, taking account of risk; and restricting the
potential for “rewards for failure”);
* the right for the Government to agree with boards the appointment of new
independent non-executive directors; and
* dividend policy.

The recapitalisations are designed to enable participating banks to achieve
prudent but efficient capital structures. The Government intends to create a
new arms length body to manage the Government’s shareholdings in recapitalised
institutions on a professional and wholly commercial basis, and seek to
effectively realise value to the taxpayer. Transparent arrangements will
be put in place to ensure that any role for the Government in relation to
investment decision-making is clearly defined.
The Government is not a permanent investor in UK banks. Its intention,
over time, is to dispose of all the investments it is making as part of
this scheme in an orderly way. To reflect the implementation of the scheme,
the government will tomorrow announce a revised debt remit for the Debt
Management Office. Further information is available at: www.dmo.gov.uk

The measures the Government is announcing today support stability in the wider
financial system, and protect the interest of taxpayers, depositors and savers.

The Government has informed the European Commission of the schemes. The
Government stands ready to provide support through the schemes to all eligible
institutions, on the basis of the conditions set out in its announcement
last week.

The Government is continuing to collaborate internationally to stabilise and
strengthen the global financial system, following the meetings of G7 and
G20 Finance Ministers and the IMF on Friday and Saturday. Other countries
have announced measures to stabilise their own financial systems.

In parallel with other central banks, the Bank of England is today announcing
expanded swap lines with the US Federal Reserve and that the Bank will supply
dollar liquidity to the banking system against collateral at a pre-set price
with no fixed limit on the amount. The Bank will continue to take all actions
necessary to ensure that the banking system has access to sufficient liquidity.

With the first successful implementation of the schemes announced last week
now completed, the Government has taken decisive and extraordinary action
to support the banking system during this period of exceptional financial
turbulence, and to strengthen the system for the future as markets stabilise.

Notes to Editors
1. This press notice is not an offer for sale of the securities to be
issued pursuant to the recapitalisation in the United States or any other
jurisdiction. The securities to be issued pursuant to the recapitalisation
have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended
(the “Securities Act”) and may not be offered or sold in the United States
absent registration or an exemption from the registration requirements of the
Securities Act. There is no intention to register any part of the securities
to be issued pursuant to the recapitalisation in the United States or to
conduct a public offering of securities in the United States.

This Press Release and other Treasury publications are available on the
HM Treasury website hm-treasury.gov.uk For the latest information from HM
Treasury you can subscribe to our RSS feeds or email service.

Source: HM Treasury

June 27, 2008

Nanny state in action — UK style

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:31 am

Really there’s so much to choose from when writing about nanny statism in the United Kingdom, but this story is pretty special. Insane government overreach? Check. Outlandish fines? Check. Mind-numbingly vapid and inane target for the regulation? Check.

From the article:

The citizens of Whitehaven try, really they do. They separate out their cans, their paper, their cardboard and their glass, and they recycle them all. They compost. They jump up and down on their trash to cram it into their government-issued garbage cans, and they put the trash out for collection at exactly 7 a.m., twice a month.

But when Gareth Corkhill, a bus driver, was fined $215 — and given a further $225 fine and a criminal record when he failed to pay — for leaving his garbage can lid slightly ajar this spring, Whitehaven’s residents banded together in dismay. They raised the money to pay the fine, and they began to complain.


February 15, 2008

Go to hell in the UK

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:45 pm

This website is great. It lists entrances to hell around the UK. Click on a few of the listings. Funny, funny stuff. Sites like these remind me of the wild and woolly olden days of internet yore — like B2K (before the year two thousand.)

(Hat tip: the Corner)