Thursday, December 20

Justice: Social Media

House of Lords / 19 Dec 2012 : Column WS211

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): My right honourable and learned friend the Attorney-General (Dominic Grieve) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has today launched a public consultation on his interim guidelines for prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media.

The guidelines set out the additional considerations which are relevant when prosecutors assess whether a prosecution is required in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Each case will be considered on its own facts and on its own merits, and prosecutors have the task of balancing the fundamental right of free speech and the need to prosecute serious wrongdoing. The interim guidelines make a clear distinction between communications which amount to credible threats of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment or which breach court orders on the one hand; and other communications, eg grossly offensive communications, on the other. The first group will be prosecuted robustly, whereas the second group will be prosecuted only if they cross a high threshold. A prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest if the communication is swiftly removed, blocked, not intended for a wide audience or not obviously beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in a diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.

The guidelines have been issued on an interim basis, as they are the subject of a public consultation exercise that will last for three months. The DPP will publish his final guidelines next year once he has considered the responses to the consultation. Copies of the interim guidelines have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Source: Hansard

Saturday, December 15

After Labour's previous 2008 treachery, another stab in the back for disabled people, as they are sold down the river again, this time by the Coalition.

Remploy was a founding element of the 1945 welfare state, originally designed to give jobs to soldiers injured in World War Two. 83 factories were established across the UK

However Work and Pensions ­Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is closing 36 of the remaining 54 specialist factories, making 1,500 disabled people redundant

When the cretin was confronted by workers at the House of Commons, he sneered “Is it a kindness to stick people in some factory where they are not doing any work at all? Just ­making cups of coffee?

Union chiefs fear that continuity of employment, terms and conditions, including pension payments will not be maintained, whilst Remploy workers are aware that more than 80 per cent of those who took voluntary redundancy in previous cuts in 2008 and 2011 are still unable to find work

Worker Tony Collins, said: “I love coming to work. What will happen to me? It’s difficult enough getting a job for normal people. I don’t want to live on benefits.

Phil Davies, national secretary of the GMB union said: “All this is giving people interested in bidding for these factories a free hand to do what they want. There is nothing in place to make them abide by the TUPE.”He added: “This whole process is wide open for asset strippers, because they won’t have to pick up the cost of redundancy payments.”

TUPE: When a business changes from one owner to another, existing employment contracts should be protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

As usual the Taxpayers will unbeknowingly be robbed by subsidising the sale of Remploy factories to these thieving asset strippers
Pictures show a presentation of a cheque (14th Dec) from Birmingham and Coventry NUJ, for Remploy strikers hardship fund. Photos were taken in poor visibility and pouring rain, outside the gate on the public highway, to allay Management fears of a comeback, for allowing them to be taken inside the premises

Copyright Stalingrad O’Neill
contact if you wish to reproduce photo

Tuesday, December 11

  • 'no foreign language services can be opened or closed without the written authority of the Foreign Secretary'

BBC: World Service

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria have been used in deciding which BBC World Service language services to cut or reduce; and what weighting is given to (1) the audience numbers, (2) the circumstances of the listeners, and (3) their ability to access other trustworthy sources of news. [HL3811]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The BBC World Service is managerially and editorially independent and it is for the BBC to decide how services are managed. Under the terms of the broadcasting agreement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the BBC World Service, no foreign language services can be opened or closed without the written authority of the Foreign Secretary. As part of the BBC World Service's strategy for budget reductions, in January 2011 the Foreign Secretary approved the BBC Trust's proposal to close five services: Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian, Portuguese for Africa and English for the Caribbean.

The decision to close these services and to make changes in other services (including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Russian) was based on a number of factors including the relative importance of each market, the availability of other national and regional independent or free media, audience levels and best predictions for future impact.
House of Lords / 10 Dec 2012 : Column WA189