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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Quoted Content subject to creditline 'Julian Bray'

NUJ Life Member and Equity Full Member.

During career an active MCIPR, MMC & MBDS

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Saturday, 26 December 2009

Northwest Airlines flight 253 Amsterdam to Detroit Explosives Incident


Northwest Airlines flight 253 Amsterdam to Detroit Explosives Incident


Julian Bray comments: The news that U.S. Federal officials and police are interviewing a Nigerian male, who allegedly tried to “ignite" a powdery substance aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, injuring himself and two other passengers, is deeply disturbing but in itself does not suggest that he was acting in concert with others. But what the incident does suggest is that at peak traffic periods, ground security staff have to be extra vigilant even if this means taking longer to process passengers through check in and border security.


The man claimed to have strapped chemicals in powder form to his legs and used 2 syringes of liquid chemicals to ignite the leg pouches. Other reports say that the suspect simply lit firecrackers. Either way the components did not show up on airport security x-ray monitors or if they did the operator viewing the screens was not sufficiently skilled to spot any concealment.


This is a recurring problem at airports where ground services and the initial passport checks are carried out by sub-contracted staff. During busy holiday period resources are often stretched and many staff encouraged to work extended shift patterns resulting in excessive tiredness and some loss of concentration.


It seems unlikely the suspect would have travelled any distance with the ‘leg pouches’ in place, meaning he would probably have used a toilet cubicle to attach the explosive substance to his legs. The chemicals used by the suspect were probably widely available agricultural chemicals as used in Afghanistan IED incidents.


The man has however claimed he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight, over the U.S.A. but US officials are maintaining an open mind over his claims


The suspect identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who is said to be an engineering student at University College of London. Although the Delta Airlines flight was direct from Amsterdam to the USA and did not stop over in London.


He was flying from Nigeria to the United States for a religious seminar, according to his entry visa, which was issued June 16, 2008 and was valid until June 12, 2010.


US authorities on instructions from The White House have raised the threat level, a federal government source said. The threat level has remained constant at "code orange" since 2006.


The suspect had been flagged in a law enforcement-intelligence database but was not on the government's no-fly list, according to a law enforcement official.


"The subject is claiming to have extremist affiliation and that the device was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used," a newly released federal situational awareness bulletin stated.


Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said that "as the plane was getting ready to land" in Detroit "a passenger caused a disturbance" by trying to ignite what was initially reported to be firecrackers.


The man was "subdued immediately," Elliott said. Northwest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.


"There was one guy, who sat on the other side, the right side of the wing because this was on the left side of the wing, and he jumped over the other people and he took care of it," said passenger Peter Smith.


The suspect reportedly admitted to authorities that he had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder that was to cause explosion. This is of concern due to the method of mixing thought to be consistent with terror techniques.


Northwest Airlines flight 253 -- operated on a code share Delta airplane -- landed safely in Detroit at 11:53 a.m. The man, who flew from Nigeria to Amsterdam and then Detroit, was taken into custody at the Detroit airport and was interviewed by authorities there. He was then taken to an area hospital to be treated for burns.


end


_________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Eurostar Power Cars Source of Catastrophic Failure - Test Result




Eurostar Power Cars Source of Catastrophic Failure - Test Result and not our problem says Eurotunnel!
According to a Eurostar source the results of the test runs conducted on Sunday 20th December they have discovered a possible cause of the problems and also claim to have identified the type of modifications needed. 

The Eurostar source claimed that acute weather conditions in N.France caused the catastrophic failure of the power cars - 2 on each 18 carriage train. Annually Eurostar carries out a ‘winterisation’ programme of the entire fleet which they say has worked until now although regular travellers talk of repeated 'transformer failures' throughout the year.  

The Sunday test runs show that greatly improved snow screens and shields need to be installed in each of the two power cars which make up and are included in each train. Further test runs will be made on Monday and the results made known the same evening.  





The Eurostar fleet consists of 28 inter-capital Class 373 trains, built by GEC Alsthom (now Alstom) and brought into service as early as November 1994.  The Alstoms are nearing the end of their high speed life and due to be phased out; a new design ready by 2014.

Each train consists of two power cars and eighteen carriages, including six first class, 10 standard class and two buffet cars, and seats a total of 750 passengers.

The trains usually travel at speeds up to 186mph (300 km/h) –  50% faster than any domestic UK rail service. Since 1994, the Eurostar fleet has carried more than 95 million travellers and covered more than 75 million miles (120 million km).

Eurostar is an entirely separate business from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself.

Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer but you wouldn't believe it from the astonishingly arrogant news release one 'cheese eating surrender monkey' Pascal Sainson, Eurotunnel Operations Director sent out to the Worlds media, as their clients trains began to fail trapping 1000's of passengers inside the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel territory. 

Read and weep.  

Here is the EUROTUNNEL Press Release in full:

Eurotunnel rescues Eurostar


Overnight from Friday 18 to Saturday 19 December Eurotunnel staff went to the assistance of 5 Eurostar trains which had broken down in the Channel Tunnel, following technical failures. These incidents were in no way due to the Tunnel infrastructure.


Eurotunnel staff:


• Rescued 5 Eurostar trains which had lost traction (Eurotunnel locomotives and Shuttles are prepared and maintained so that they are not affected by rapid temperature changes).


• Evacuated 1,364 Eurostar passengers and brought them to the surface in Folkestone, Kent using their own trains, where they were able to continue their journey to London


• Towed 2 Eurostars to St Pancras as Eurostar did not have the means to do so themselves


Pascal Sainson, Eurotunnel Operations Director, commented: "In very difficult conditions
Eurotunnel made the decision to assist the Eurostar trains and their passengers. In order to
conduct these operations in complete safety, Eurotunnel mobilised substantial extra staff and
technical resources and also made the decision to interrupt its own services. Eurotunnel has
done everything it can to resolve the situation".


Traffic in the Channel Tunnel has been progressively returning to normal since 05:40 CET this [Sunday]morning.


In anticipation of heavy traffic this weekend Eurotunnel had already instigated its BAR Programme (Busy And Ready). In particular a fleet of snow ploughs and road clearing vehicles has been operating to clear snow from the terminal in Coquelles, France to reduce the impact of the current severe weather in northern France.


Eurotunnel is however not responsible for the condition of the motorways.


Eurotunnel has put in place an organisation to help passengers to cross the Channel even if they arrive late at the departure terminal.

_______________
CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Eurostar is the normally high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

Friday, 18 December 2009

No business like #UKsnow Business - How it all began..thanks to Schofield!


There may be #UKsnow on the roof, but there's a fire in the cellar...well the Webber Barbeque - used to roast the Christmas Turkey on Christmas Day!



We have to go back to the last deluge of snow in February 2009, I had just recently come out of hospital with an all new metal knee joint (to match the other knee implant eight months earlier; as a result I was confined to the house and ramped up my time on Twitter virtually day and night as it was impossible to sleep, the pain still resisting 8 daily Diclofenacs!  



Phillip Schofield, the TV Presenter on ITV's This Morning was busy tweeting that due to snow he might not get into the studio from his vast estate on the top of a hill. At the time, accurate immediate local snow reports were hard to come by, the Met Office would ramble on, and on, issue warnings for whole sections of the country and at times compete with the Environment Agency but still failed to give you precise, immediate, very local snow reports. 

As the objective was to get Scofield to his ITV studio in Central London, plotting a possible route,  I suggested to my happy band of followers, we all immediately report and retweet snow conditions using a kind of pre-determined shorthand namely a twitter hashtag #UKsnow followed by a FULL postcode and the depth of snow in inches, plus any other info in the remaining tweet.

Armed with this information, inputting the whole postcode into websites like "Up My Street", would give you the locality and so on. Crude but effective.  It launched about 11am and then began to climb even knocking the USA Super Bowl off the twitter leaders board, this woke up America and suddenly my humble hashtag was climbing even higher. "Whats with the snow thing in England?" They would wail...

This caught the eye of a few lurking UK software developers and various mashups began to appear @OliBray (no relation) had one but used balloons and these overlapped. @BenMarsh started a snow map, but then mass tweeted his developer crowd and (I like to think unwittingly) changed and lost the whole travel information aspect by converting part of the data into a simple snow map. Ideal for software experts and assorted computer nerds but of little use if you wanted detailed travel information.

You have to understand, the first Ben Marsh UKsnow map didn't give details of the tweets, so in effect hijacked my information hashtag for his own program.  

Given a few prods at the time by the media and by a few fellow developers, Ben then acknowledged where he got the hashtag from and has indeed made a lot of money out it  (and good luck to him) with other programs based on the #UKsnow program, he did one for Vodafone to market Holiday destinations and roaming charges for example.

As a lot of my then followers helped to get the hashtag off the ground, long before Ben opened his map website, creative copyright I would claim is still mine as originator of  a made up word is UKsnow. We also suggested the BBC use UK SNOW for detailed snow reports, which they now do.

Don't get me wrong, the NEW UKsnow map from @Benmarsh  NOW does the job very well, as he now incorporates the twitter feed but it would take very little to acknowledge that he didn't start it all off and that a lot of other people got the ball rolling before he came along... including @schofe so Ben in the style of Desert Island Discs  "UKsnow hashtag originated by Julian Bray and developed by Ben Marsh." That would satisfy the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in the UK and I'd be more than happy to grant a licence for UKsnow and SnowUK....  both of which will trigger the Ben Marsh map but hopefully the newer SnowUk will contain emergency news and practical help for those stranded by putting in the precise position, a hundred calls to the appropriate emergency service will ensure help really is on the way..

Bringing the saga up to date: OK hands up! Being an old hand at PR; if I hadn't made the claim for the IP rights, this story would have been spiked. Immediately dead and buried.

As it is, a few tweets put a cyber feather up the backside of some IT hacks, BBC corrs. such as Rory Kettleandphones together with assorted data obsessive anoracs who should know better before rushing into print and wasting acres of airtime on the IP claim.

It was after all in response to widespread press notices being sent out by Ben and his merry crew and the incorrect version of the story being given the oxygen of publicity by the Guardian Datablog but you would expect that of the Grauniad so nothing new...

I'm blissfully happy as now everyone knows that it was in effect a collaborative effort started as a twitter discussion by my happy band of followers and something that within a couple of hours had zipped to the top of twitter trending.

As a by-product it is also interesting to see how many other unrelated subjects are now routinely prefixed UK rather than British. The UK of course being a term more widely used in conversation outside of the United Kingdom, rather than inside our country.

Finally me learned friends over some fine claret advise it is possible to assert the copyright and IP claim, to the made up word not to a hashtag as such. It is up to others if they wish to challenge my assertion and if they do, it will probably be in public, thereby keeping the #UKsnow idea alive and so for many years to come. Clearly a win, win situation....  the Simon Cowell of Tweets no less... 
 __________________________
Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NEWSNIGHT PULL VIDEO AFTER CARTER RUCK GETS BUSY! VIEW IT HERE!

A law firm Carter Ruck wish that you did not view this video and had words with the BBC so the BBC withdrew this video from Newsnight...
They have yet to talk to me so here it is..


Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Saturday, 12 December 2009

My feet begin to crumble… Julian Bray recalls the early 60’s. Globetrotting with the Bata Shoe Company






Last time I saw this, it was running around a shoe factory town at East Tilbury, Essex England in the 1960's. Now preserved and resting in the Imperial War Museum Duxford Airport Cambridgeshire, England. Shoe factory workers created this ambulance during World War II from an old American Chevvy sedan. Still in use when the factory closed down in the 1970's!

Join Bata and see the World, but if the world is in political turmoil as it was in 1963-4, what do you do with an advertising and marketing man who has been hired from Glasgow, Scotland put through the Bata Overseas induction course and destined to take over Batas marketing at Gwelo in Rhodesia?


Rhodesia Leader Ian Smith had imposed a unilateral declaration of independence, the UK had countered with sanctions and Julian Bray (that’s me!) found myself, being seconded to the British Bata Shoe Company whilst my sponsors Bata Development Limited (BDL) – the international training and staff placement arm – above the then 151 Oxford Street Bata Store (now Boots the Chemist) whilst they found another country to take me.

During this time BDL had put me up at the swanky Berners Street Hotel, just off Londson's Oxford Street. For a young man, fancy free, absolute bliss and just a stones throw from Soho and all Londons top Jazz and Rock Clubs. Some 44 years ago, as veteran rocker Zoot Money (his rock’n’roll band is still touring with Alan Price) himself reminded me ..   Part of my stay would be at the UK Factory Estate.  This didn’t really prepare me for East Tilbury, first reaction: What is this! Everywhere you looked, wall to wall Bata! These days slick marketing men would call it branding. Bata in the early 60’s was light years ahead, it had been imported lock, stock and Skoda Fire Engine in the 1930’s from Czechoslovakia, the city of Zlin to be precise just before the Iron Curtain descended, leaving a little bit of Czechoslovakia in…East Tilbury …
 The Bata farm, Bata Milkman and Bata milk bottles even, Bata Fire Service – superb Skoda Fire Engine, Bata Technical College, Bata Ambulance Station (The old American pre-war Chevvy saloon car converted into an ambulance for the factory. Still in use when I was at East Tilbury, is now on permanent display at the War Museums Duxford Aerodrome Museum), Bata Club & Bar (!), Bata Shoe Shop (of course), Bata Supermarket, Bata Bakery, Thomas Bata Statue and the Bata Hotel (now called Stanford House).


My home for the next few months. My bedroom, huge square plate glass wall type window overlooking the Thames Estuary and the distant gas flare from the oil terminal. You could see over the mud flats and watch the birdlife, tankers and shipping sailing by. Amazing sunsets too.


Pirate radio had just started, “My feet begin to crumble…” wafting out of the radio - the Beatles had yet to peak. Electrical sockets and plumbing in the Bata Hotel bedroom were of a unique Zlin design as was everything else. The entire construction had been imported from Zlin, even the round butter pats at breakfast had the Bata logo stamped on them, until the machine (again Zlin built) broke down and no further parts could be imported – funny what you do remember…just as you remember the ’knocker upper’ early in the morning a distant rumble would get louder and louder, as a man with a big padded stick would bang on all the bedroom doors, no one slept in at the Bata Hotel!


The offer was simple, rather than have me attending and repeating numerous BDL retail and manufacturing training courses, (I had after all just about completed the entire catalogue of Bata International training courses for visiting overseas Batamen, rewritten many of the training manuals) they would take home to their own countries. I had by my unexpected extended stay pushed the international induction system to the full.


I was also more than ready for a change in the routine and I was therefore  to assist my hosts at the British Bata plant to launch a series of Kelvin Shoe Shops up and down the country: Ebbew Vale, Mottingham, Stoke -on- Trent, Tunstall, Birmingham, Seven Kings, Mill Hill, the list seemed to be endless.


At the same time, spend some time as an observer in the various departments at the East Tilbury factory, to get practical hands on experience of all the processes, as everyone would be in at the deep end in Africa! Where you start with a plastics plant, stamp out flip flops, buy hides and skins and work the business upwards…


Needless to say, time spent on the mighty hydraulic foot operated clicking press,a fearsome machine to stamp or ‘click’ out leather shoe components from beautifully cured and dressed skins, was short and swift as the departmental head saw his months profits being decimated by an enthusiastic but serially useless clicker, only able to get a few cut pieces out of a hide, but generate lots of useless waste material!


Same went for the graceful and somewhat hypnotic Ford car production line inspired Wellington boot line, did at least 10 minutes on that one before being honourably discharged!

However discovered the trick of using a thumb to press and fold the shaft of the boot to tuck one inside the other, been very useful ever since! Did manage to get my head around the sock production line door and the metal shop - making shoe box racks. Finally, shop fittings and furniture were graced with my visits. Bata in those days worked on the basis of being completely self-contained and produced all the shop fittings and fixtures for its then extensive network of shoe shops.


Bata Development Limited (BDL) paid for my salary, board and lodging and all out of pocket expenses. I literally signed for everything. I was later to find out that BDL re-charged me to several overseas Bata companies and at one time BDL were being paid three times over for my services. Truly a profit centre!


Mr Tusa, the factory boss, (his son is John Tusa, later to run the BBC and the Barbican) fearing that his then profitable and precision run (strictly to the original Zlin Czechoslovakian model) organisation would be plunged into financial ruin if Julian Bray was let anyway near the hallowed manufacturing process, swiftly arranged that I was introduced to a delightfully rotund ex-military gentleman a Mr Donithorne, his pride and joy being a series of dummy window displays inside the factory (i.e. no glass in the windows!) where the next seasons window themes were tried out and the windows dressed. I think his long suffering but ever cheerful number two was a gentleman by the name of Charlie Harsant, one of them however had a very large 1950’s gas guzzler of a motor car ideally suited to cramming in extra stock and display fittings. The task? The complete roll out 60 or so retail shops all over the UK in just a few months.

These dummy displays would all be put into a series of photographs and the original dressing windows by numbers kit evolved for shop mangers up and down the country. I seem to remember, the actual time allowed to dress the window was helpfully added. Few people ever cottoned on to the fact that it is far easier and quicker to dress a window from the front without glass, than it is to dress it from behind a plate glass barrier and work backwards…


As it happened British Bata had decided that many of the older Bata shop units up and down the country, many on short or near end of term full repairing leases, with interiors dating back to the early 40’s – all units, furniture and even clocks still bearing a’Made in Zlin’ label, needed a new lease of life, the units were totally stripped out, Marley floor tiles laid, walls and ceilings painted white. Stark white neon tubes ran the length of the ceiling and a Blue on white background KELVIN SHOES illuminated fascia hoisted over the entrance. Job done.


The opening programme was ambitious a new store opened every week for what seemed to be six months, in every unlikely backwater of England and Wales. All the new fittings from Shoe box racks, Chairs, furniture, sock dump bins arrived in a large removal van on the Monday. It all had to be installed ready to receive the shoe stock inventory on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday, dress the windows, interior displays, millions of balloons to be blown up. Paste up the billboards and A board pavement posters, Friday set up loudspeakers, a microphone, loud music (Oh yes!) and Saturday the Grand Opening. Being the most talkative I was give the microphone and fairground barking role enticing customers into the brand new shop.


The big deal? Free East Tilbury produced socks and or tights with every purchase! In later years that early Bata experience paid off as I was later to join both the BBC and IRN as a broadcast journalist. The original intention was to provide a cheap secondary chain of shoe shops in low income areas. The Kelvin Shoe experience unwittingly hit a chord and revenues from these twilight shops exceeded all expectations. It also left the incoming manager with a headache; as the opening week takings would act as a target for subsequent weeks, by which time we had moved on, taking the Kelvin Shoe Opening Experience Bandwagon with us.


These were great buccaneering times, Bata worldwide (some 80 countries) it has to be said was in the 1960’s, light years ahead in terms of retail marketing and shoe manufacturing, the Kelvin Shoes roll out was not only a feat of human endurance but a clear demonstration of how all departments came together to produce this unlikely success.


As a postscript BDL did find me a home with the Uganda Bata Shoe Company in Kampala, Uganda as the old East Africa Bata Shoe Co covering Kenya, Uganda and W Tanzania was to be broken up. Uganda was newly independent and the President Milton Obote (who died in exile) was later to thank me on behalf of the work Bata was doing around the country (so many similarities to the Kelvin Shoe roll out…funny that).


The delay also resulted in me finding a bride in Leigh on Sea,but later dissolved when we returned to the UK  she was to work in Kampala as secretary to the British High Commissioner Rex Hunt, he later to find fame as our man in the Falklands, on his death, my Letter published in the London Times with Rex Hunts obituary, recalled how we watched England win the 1966 World Cup in black and white, on a small 14 inch television at the British High Commission. I had persuaded Uganda Televsion to clear national TV programming for a day and loop the match, a video tape rushed by diplomatic courier along with a keg of Watneys Red Barrel ( Hmmmm) . I also suggested that the newly released Booker T's Green Onions would make an ideal UTV News Ident (!) James Bwogi, head of UTV agreed, it ran for a year or more, Poor old James was later to be brutally murdered by Idi Amin.  

We flew out to Uganda, Entebbe on an East African Airways Comet 4-c, stopping for fuel at Benghazi, and a warm bottle of Coca Cola,  until finally arriving fifteen hours later in Entebbe, Uganda. A beautiful country blissfully unaware of the gathering storm clouds that would be unleashed on that gentle land just six years later.


Today there is little evidence of Bata in the UK, but my pioneering work in Africa lives on as it does in Europe. I spent a couple of happy years in Kampala, Uganda and by fortune my contract finished just as the independence honeymoon of the former British colony started to wane and little did anyone know the brutal dictatorship of Idi Amin Dada would turn the whole region on its head, destroying everything in its wake. The Uganda Asian population would be expelled to the UK and if that wasn’t enough AIDS would ravage that already war torn country some ten years later.


I boarded the East African Railways train in Kampala for the majestic two days and night journey through the Rift Valley and countless game reserves to Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. I was on my way home, knowing even then the last physical embodiment of colonial rule was enshrined in the impeccable silver service offered on board the train. My idyllic Ugandan experience would never be repeated and those who took my place would not enjoy it either as the political storm clouds gathered.


End








__________________________
Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Six Major Dubai Companies Downgraded to Junk Status

Six Dubai companies marked down CREDIT JUNK status; move follows Dubai Government failure to honour Dubai World debt


Dubai Traders react on hearing the news....
JUNK status companies include ports operator DP World as residents of Peterborough UK unexpectedly rejoice....


 Storm clouds gather for 'junk status' Dubai World Port Operator

 
INTERNATIONAL investors are still assessing potential HUGE losses after Dubai World, a state-controlled investment company, announced two weeks ago that one of its units wanted a halt in debt repayments.

Now credit rating agency Moody's has seen enough and immediately declared JUNK status for all the six major Dubai Government related firms after Government sources declined to issue any assurances to international investors in case of default.

But in a corner of Cambridgeshire England,  the flags are out as the Dubai World wholly owned subsidiary 'retail shed' developer Gazeley Limited (recent acquired from Asda/Walmart) now immediately saddled with a JUNK status credit rating, will not be able to raise all the international long-term finance to build a massive downtown warehouse/rail terminal, over an important flood plain "Drysides" at Stanground,Cambridgeshire a high population residential district of the City of Peterborough.

The site is already being actively marketed by Gazeley, with an intensive  'softening up PR & media campaign, despite not yet having submitted a formal planning application.  Stanground resident Julian Bray said: " This massive proposed warehouse rail terminal proposal conceived by Banksters in more profitable money-grabbing times was seen by some City Councillors as a way of reserving a place for themselves in the history books. With this massive collapse they will simply be history at the next election!".  

"It is highly unlikely RBS already owned by the British taxpayer and holding most of the DP World debt, can justify further finance to the junk status Gazeley parent.

"The development has already blighted property in the area and would have introduced 24 hour noise and light pollution, 365 days of the year and substantially raised the water table in these flood prone times, as it is the Envionment Agency already has us marked down as a flood risk area. Its time we also junked Dubai owned Gazeley and its ill thought out massive shed development".     

Creditors were shocked when the Dubai government refused to stand behind Dubai World or any of its subsidiaries and honour its debts in times of trouble.

Bonds issued by Nakheel, the beleaguered real estate unit, had been trading at more than their face value as investors were willing to pay a premium for what they perceived to be a de facto state guarantee.

But withdrawal of public support has put a question mark over the creditworthiness of several other government-related businesses. "This rating action follows recent comments and statements from government officials, which cause us to believe that no meaningful government support should be assumed for any entity that is not directly part of or formally guaranteed by the government," said Philipp Lotter, at Moody's in Dubai.

The six downgraded firms are ports operator DP World, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the business developer centre Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, Emaar Properties and DIFC Investments.
 The Dubai World woes have now spread to other state-run companies. The $26bn debt restructuring of Dubai World could almost double to $46.7bn as more of the emirate's businesses might struggle to meet debt payments, Morgan Stanley said in a research report. According to the investment bank, other companies that are vulnerable include Dubai Holding, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, Borse Dubai and Dubai Sukuk Center.

Bloomberg News also reported that Nakheel, the real estate firm that has asked for a halt in its $3.5bn bond due on 14 December, made a loss of 13.4bn dirham ($3.65bn) in the first half of the year. The loss, which compares to a profit of 2.65bn dirham ($722m) in the same period last year, was attributed to write-downs of real estate values and lower sales,
Bloomberg said.
_________________________

julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581



Friday, 4 December 2009

SUCK UK! Big Clue! We should have seen the coming of the Islamic Bond


It was all so simple in 1945! 


Dubai assets 'untouchable', lawyers caution foreign bondholders



Creditors to Dubai World have been warned by lawyers that all assets behind the bonds are likely to be "untouchable" because of the complicated legal structure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Creditors to Dubai World, in effect the bondholders are collectively standing on top of skyscrapers, getting ever near to the edge just hoping to learn something positive about Dubai World's plans to restructure $26bn (£15.7bn) of debt, including $6bn in the speculative risk-taking Nakheel property subsidiary. Nakheel owns or has control of many of Dubai's most flashy projects, including the Palm Islands, Being good Dubai persons, they issued over half the debt in the form of a $3.5bn sukuk, an Islamic bond.

Few banks in the initial scamble to get a piece of the initial action bothered to consider the small print thinking that the ruling families would effectivel;y underwite all the bonds (or paper) ever issued. A no brainer, how could it with this blue-chip pedigree ever fail ??? Read on, Dear Reader.... 

It was the sukuk's looming December 14th 2009 due date that prompted last week's standstill announcement. Those upending glasses in the City of London's Bow Wine Vaults call it SUCK UK! In effect that is exactly what will, happen but not just for the UK, banks and pension funds, the world over have been sleepwalking into this. I'll explain:


Lawyers have for many years, repeatedly warned that rules which govern sukuks are way more than complex,they can be operated in many different ways and always subject to local circumstances (hang onto the word 'local').

Shaikh Muddassir Siddiqui, the respected doyen and head of Islamic finance at Denton Wilde Sapte, the London Law Firm cautioned that: ".... any default of the loan would be governed by sharia laws" then added as a mind-blowing kicker: "Each jurisdiction approaches the sharia elements of financial structures, in different ways, according to the requirements of its own law. Neither debtor nor creditor should assume that a single interpretation of the sharia principles shall be applied universally just because the structure has been determined to be sharia-compliant."

Put simply the recovery of investments may be further complicated by the UAE's foreign ownership laws. I sincerely hope everyone is still with me as it gets even better (well not for us in the West) Consider that even if Nakheel's properties are liquidated, their entitlement could be restricted because assets belonging to the ruling family cannot be seized and sold.

Of course this has to be right, the directors at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) would have known this long before Gordon Brown (current but unelected Prime Minister but formerly holder of the UK Piggybank aka The Treasury) decided to bail out the banksters, But they kept that under wraps, buyer beware.

The excellent London Daily Telegraph newspaper buttonholed one  Essam al-Tamimi, senior partner at Al Tamimi and Company, a Dubai-based law firm, who delivered this chilling warning: "The UAE courts will order everyone to pay their debt, you, me and the ruler, we are all equal under the law. But when it comes to government debt, following the issuing of the judgment... like in a lot of countries, the attachment of government assets and selling them by public auction is not allowed."

So before RBS in the UK, pays out £1.5 billion in bonus payments in the next few days, the directors might like to think how they can possibly get around these little local difficulties as the UK taxpayer though RBS holds a mountain of Dubai World paper. Slapping a writ on the funnel of the former Cunard Cruise ship the QE2 muight be an option....we live in interesting times...

A further development is that the bosses of Dubai World, no doubt with the aid of a few prods have now agreed to meet its main creditors next week. The bondholders, which are being represented by Ashurst, are also thought to include some of the world's biggest pension fund managers including Blackrock, Pioneer and Fidelity.

The twist about the implication of Sharia Law however was not raised in the initial negotiations and only became an issue when it became clear the Dubai Government would 'cherry pick' some of the investments it would bail out or take over. They would not automatically underwriting the whole basket - that seemingly being best left to RBS - but that is where we came in!   



_________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581
Not quite saying that the law is structured or loaded to suit local business and citizens but a major near on impossible headache for international bondholders.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Afghanistan – They Still Don’t Get It 30,500 Times Over!


Time they updated the equipment!

Afghanistan – They Still Don’t Get It 30,500 Times Over!



Obama to send an extra 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and yet this war cannot be won!


A sweeping statement? Maybe but have a look at the so called enemy. The whole structure of the Taliban is different, they don’t have rules of engagement, no distinctive uniforms and life is cheap. The reward is in the next world…

They also work on a tribal and village structure basis, in effect each village is sub divided and is a small self contained fully supported unit drawing on locally produced subsistence farming and dozens of local back street factories, churning out firearms, RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades) and all manner of IED’s (Improvised Roadside Devices). NO convoys, no supply problems as most of the weapons of war are sourced, created and repaired locally. Funded/ bartered in part by the drugs trade.

Remember the Russians were here before us leaving behind mountains of hardware and the manufacturing expertise has been handed down through many generations. It is not unusual to finds boys of seven years old manufacturing bullets and maintaining sophisticated weapons. A few are also on the front line. The British Government in its colonial days could never understand the concept of tribalism in Africa and repeatedly tried to install the ‘Westminster Model’ of government. In Uganda we even provided a replica House of Commons in Kampala as a parting gift on that country gaining independence. Within a few months the local politicians were all sitting on the one side as they could not understand the merits of having an opposition.

The same thinking has to be applied to Afghanistan, Corruption is a way of life and has been so for hundreds of years. Gordon Browns call to the new Afghanistan government to cut out corruption is in reality for UK consumption and simply does not take into account how the locals got into politics in the first place! Without corruption and pay offs, few would have been elected and now of course those who facilitated or greased the political route now want their favours returned again and again.

Not the Westminster Model but then what am I saying? The locals only have to look at our MP’s expenses scandal, widely reported and even Gordon Brown had to pay back some of the money…so how on earth can he preach to the new Afghanistan Government about corruption? British Commanders called for an extra 2,000 UK troops. Gordon Brown offers a sticking plaster. 500 troops. The reason? It’s back to support and equipment. It was Gordon Brown after all who cut all the defence budgets during his tenure at the Treasury.

The UK troops are highly professional, disciplined and will operate to the best of their abilities, The troops have to believe in what they are doing and why. It’s just a pity the political classes are playing fast and loose. Perhaps every politician should be required to embed and spend a month on the front line (over the Christmas recess perhaps?).

I guarantee our troops would all be out by February – well before the General Election which is increasingly looking like an event for March and possibly a hung Parliament. Which in Afghanistan terms is the worst of all possible options especially as the threat is really centered on Pakistan – but that is a whole new war waiting to happen and they have nuclear weapons as well! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dubai Financial Mess May Scupper Peterborough 'Shed' Threat

So that's a deal, You annex the UK and I'll take the Camels,
.... unless you have Silk Cut?



You really have to hand it to Walmart (ASDA's US parent company),they seemingly managed to offload the UK 'warehouse shed' developer Gazeley (currently blighting Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,UK with a threatened new industrial rail freight terminal development) to an offshoot of the crumbling financial sandcastle Dubai World (ironically largely in hoc to the British taxpayer due to the massive exposure in terms of loans by taxpayer bailed out RBS - Royal Bank of Scotland)  but not before Gazeley have been hiring expensive London spin doctors, passing themselves off or posing as Gazeley directors and employees, wining and dining Peterbrough City Council [PCC] and other publicly funded planning and regional development officials and a sprinkle of local worthies; to get their plans for a massive rail and warehouse shed terminal, MAGNAPARK enshrined on the long term county development plan.

No doubt a freedom of information request will eventually unearth the receivers of such largesse, but the Mayors Town Hall booze budget currently remains under wraps (I've tried!).  

Three years of massive industrial development hell and a lifetime of light and noise pollution for the densly residential new build areas of Stanground, Park Farm, Heritage Park and environs. 

The PCC literally riding roughshod over the wishes of local residents and Dubai World owned Gazeley apologists blatently lying through their corporate teeth in the media and on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire over the number of jobs the development is likely to create (you can hear the BBC copyright audio clip pirated on the Gazeley website)  when they had already sent a letter to PCC Planning discreetly dropping the previously announced job numbers by a cool 1,000. 

In reality of course, wiser heads will understand that few true LOCAL jobs will be created as by the nature of a rail freight distribution automated warehouse terminal, essentially as a feeder for Felixstowe docks (also owned at the moment by Dubai World)  goods come in prepacked bulk loads and are taken out by massive robots, loaded into containers or rail freight with few humans involved. For good measure the EC has also increased the size and length of the road containers forming 'Road Trains' and that is due to be enacted in January 2010. 

By the time the PCC wakes up, the development will have taken root and Stanground residents will have a new vista, the side of warehouse sheds in effect a fifty foot high metal wall to look at (six times higher than the Berlin Wall!)  where once was a VITAL flood plain called DRYSIDES and crop rotated agricultural land.

The lessons of tragic Cockermouth still have to be understood in Peterborough! Not to mention the wildlife, Herons, Swans, Hares, you name it, all lost for ever and no one at Town Hall seems to care. 



The so called Middle Level waterway on the 'Green Wheel' will attempt to take the substantial additional water run off and no doubt raise the water table which for good measure the Environment Agency has already pre-development designated a flood risk on their own website. The site is called DRY SIDES - a massive clue as to its true purpose!

Nearby Whittlesey and mushrooming residental estates now being built could possibly be under several feet of sewerage and foul water in a few years... Have a look at the Hampton development near the new Police Station, a whole area remains undeveloped due to flood risk and other contiminate problems ...they simply just do not get it...

The area beyond the proposed Magnapark site is also good for brickmaking....ahhh so we are looking at a clay soil not ideal for absorbing water? Hmm, PCC seem to have overlooked that as well. 

The Magnapark development also relies on a major bypass being built for 2,000 traffic movements a day - built and funded not by them, oh no, but they claim Gazeley will subsequently retrofit and twin the soon to be completed single bypass, designed to serve another densly packed new build residental development, effectively adding to the local disruption for a further term of several years.

Some kiddies on the disrupted nose to tail, cone littered school run, will be able to watch it all, faces  pressed to car windows, throughout the whole period of their primary school education... a exciting prospect that not even Bob the Builder can replicate..  

So what is the background to it all?  The following clips may help to fill in the gaps. TV and Radio have yet to catch up with this particular twist as its buried within the sprawling corporate structure so we will rely on you to give your councillor a nudge before its too late....I'd add in MP, but the one for Peterborough is busy sorting out his expenses when not cleaning out his private swimming pool - on expenses, "in the rules" old boy!   

http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?storycode=3115513



A subsidiary of Dubai World has bought shed developer Gazeley for more than £300m, as tipped by Property Week (06.06.08)




The investment arm of the Dubai government has bought the developer from Wal-Mart as it provides a ‘strategic fit’ with its expanding global business.






Gazeley chief executive Pat McGillycuddy will report directly to Economic Zones World, which is the branch of Dubai World buying Gazeley.

EZW was set up in January 2007 to expand Dubai World’s global reach and is an operator and developer of economic zones across the world, including the Jebel Ali Free Zone of logistics facilities next to Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.






Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said it was a milestone for the company.

 
Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb, chief executive officer of Economic Zones World, said: ‘Our capability as a developer and operator of economic zones fits naturally with Gazeley’s experience in developing distribution facilities and together we believe we can offer our customers a higher quality of service globally.’


The transaction is subject to the receipt of European regulatory approval and is expected to complete during July. EZW was advised by a team led by Deutsche Bank and including CB Richard Ellis, Linklaters, KPMG, Pinsent Masons and WSP. UBS was financial adviser to Wal-Mart.


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aoFe12bwzZ2M&pos=1






Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai World, with $59 billion of liabilities, is seeking to delay debt payments, sending contracts to protect the emirate against default surging by the most since they began trading in January.

 

The state-controlled company will ask creditors for a “standstill” agreement as it negotiates to extend maturities, including $3.52 billion of Islamic bonds due Dec. 14 from its property unit Nakheel PJSC, Dubai’s Department of Finance said in an e-mailed statement. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s cut the ratings on several state companies, saying they may consider the plan a default.



“Extending the maturity of Nakheel debt is feeding the market’s uncertainty on which debt Dubai will honor in full,” said Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst covering sovereign wealth funds at New York-based Roubini Global Economics. “They look desperate and the market is concerned that in the long term Dubai’s indebtedness is rising not falling.”



Dubai accumulated $80 billion of debt by expanding in banking, real estate and transportation before credit markets seized up last year. Contracts protecting against default rose 116 basis points to 434 basis points yesterday, the most since they began trading in January, ranking it the sixth highest-risk government borrower, according to credit-default swap prices from CMA Datavision in London. The contracts, which increase as perceptions of credit quality deteriorate, are higher than Iceland’s after climbing 131 basis points in November, the biggest monthly increase since January.



Cut to Junk



Emaar Properties PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest developer, Jebel Ali Free Zone, an operator of business parks  viz GAZELEY in the UK, DIFC Investments and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC. were all cut to below investment-grade ratings by Moody’s. DP World Ltd., the Middle East’s biggest port operator, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority were lowered to Baa2, two levels above junk.



S&P, which doesn’t rate Dubai Electricity & Water, lowered the ratings on the other five companies to BBB+ or BBB-, three levels and one level above junk, respectively. S&P and Moody’s said they may cut the ratings further.



The debt “restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria,” S&P said in a statement.


‘No Clarity’



Investor concern is growing because the emirate hasn’t disclosed how it will pay more than $9 billion of debt coming due in the next four months. Dubai said yesterday it borrowed $5 billion from Abu Dhabi government-controlled banks, half the $10 billion Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said he planned to raise by yearend.


“There is no clarity about what exactly is happening,” said Emad Mostaque, a London-based Middle East equity-fund manager for Pictet Asset Management Ltd., which oversees more than $100 billion globally. “They have to clarify if there is going to be a voluntary rollover or if there is going to be a forced rollover. If there is a forced rollover it will mean technical default. If they don’t clear this up then the whole market will want to sell.”



Dubai, the second biggest of seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, and home to the world’s tallest tower and the biggest man-made islands, suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the global credit crisis as home prices fell 50 percent from their 2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank. UBS AG predicted a further 30 percent drop in a report last week.





________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

They Just Don't Get It! Heavy Rain In The UK Shock!


Friday the 13th and I'm right in the middle of the ocean, underneath the eye of the storm (dark red) on the Independence of the Seas cruise ship,  the weather chart is showing hurricane force and its 400 miles wide. Meanwhile in the UK Cockermouth is being flooded...




They Just Don't Get It! Heavy Rain In The UK Shock!

Just how serially useless is the Environment Agency and the HarryPotteresque Minister for the Environment? Having just returned from an eventful round trip to the Canaries...The ship was really rocking "worst conditions in the Bay of Biscay for 100 years" and Captain Remo had the charts to prove it! However due respect to Royal Carribbean and the Independence of the Seas as it took 30 metre high waves in its stride and the side fin 6 metre stabilisers worked very well minimising the motion of the ocean but we still dropped Funchal Madiera to maintain the scheduled roundtrip to the Canary Islands... 

The point of all this being that the ship was bult to meet extreme weather conditions and the Captain had all the resources and training to meet such extreme conditions. But what on earth is happening at Cockermouth?

Aptly named as yet again the Environment Agency is once again exposed at the serially useless fraudulent talking shop with few active bodies on the ground to marshall resources or tough enough to demand from DEFRA and the Government of the day substantial practical and financial resources to protect our own populations. This wholly top heavy impractal and serially useless orgnisation needs a bottom to top investigation. It's no secret that the top EA management see theirt tenure as a passport to the top jobs in the water industry - a classic case of jobs for the boys (and girls) which you the taxpayer happily fund. (OK water companies sue me...)  

The reality is that unlike the USA where the National Guard can be mobilised in a moment we have to fall back on a mishmash of local, regional and voluntary sector resources. Cockermouth is now an insurance blackspot and few if any in the future will get full flood related insurance protection.

What financial and practical assistance is given by the insurance industry will have first been knocked back by the insurance company appointed so called independent loss adjusters. Few of those going through a living hell at the moment will think to appoint their own Loss Assessors to fight their corner and get a reasonable claim passed by the underwriters. Local Authorities will naturally hang back until the insurance payouts are completed or at least well advanced.

The Environment Agency has been working at full tilt, Press and PR people have been securing TV and Radio Interviews for bearded EA numpties in pristine new high viz jackets and just out of the box safety helmets. Weather bulletins promote the virtually useless Floodline Number which simply tells you the blinding obvious that your property is underwater or rather coated with raw sewage... forget about swine flu this is way more dangerous than any pandemic.    

It's no secret that I worked with the Environmanrt Agency and put in at the end of my contract a detailed multipage critique "whistle blowing" if you like and additionally sent a hard copy to EA Head Office before my files were locally wiped off the EA computer.

Money was in my time during the year 2000, being wasted on a massive scale, little on practical projects but on image building and paper-based studies that would never see the light of day, in addition to pet projects devised by staff to keep themselves busy, when their original functiion had long since gone.

 The man on the sluicegate,reed cutters, dredging and silt clearing all part of the old Nationasl Rivers Authority - all practical measures drastically cut back when the EA swallowed the NRA...

The solution: 

Cut all the silly non productive studies and pen pushers, massively pour practical resources and substantial money into flood defence, totally rethink cost saving plans whch curtailed NRA activities. 

Hire complete with crew and catering staff the largest cruise ships afloat to be used as an immediate accommodation and feeding resource and to lessen the trauma of stress which will this week start to kick in and cost the NHS an untold amount of money. Tell Gordon Brown where to stick his sticking plaster funding and put £30 million immediately ie in gthe next three days  (readily available from the CONTINGENCY FUND)  into the area together with military logistics, engineers, Hire marine designers and shipyards in Finland to turn out bailey type bridges which they will take a fraction of the time to build andf deliver.  Accommodation units - not caravans - to be sited locally.

But there again the EA knows all this and as senior political appointments only work in the short term, its more about posturing than practical life saving solutions. The rest of us should be weeping as Westminster just looks on slightly bemused...         

  


   

__________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Thursday, 5 November 2009

So what is to be done about Afghanistan?

So what is to be done about Afghanistan? Fort Hood USA shooting -12 killed, dozens injured, graphically shows the threat is now from within our own borders not distant Afghanistan & Pakistan



The problem with the UK is since the Thatcher era we have been constantly punching above our weight and when Labour came into power some twelve years ago, it was with the promise of a new revitalised UK.

Northern Ireland (with an untold amount of money thrown at it) no longer was a nagging sore, deals were done and the Irish Taliban, senior IRA personnel, were given shoe-in positions of power, when at least one of them should have been facing a trial for 18 well documented murders and the UK authorities to this very day have all the evidence – firmly under lock and key.

The involvement of an Irish Priest at one point caused at least one of the major fugitives to be released having been captured after a long and bloody search by the military.

I know this as the senior military figure in Belfast at the time (now sadly passed on) recounted the story in detail to me. It was at the end of his distinguished military career when he, Major Napier was looking forward to retirement, but was unexpectedly posted to Belfast with the Kings Own Troop Royal Horse Artillery.


Ironically, I later heard the London Met. Police (at the time, on virtual permanent secondment to Northern Ireland) view on the same series of incidents in Northern Ireland and all the strands matched up.


So given the Northern Ireland experience and the fact that Tony Blair was in the driving seat, you can see why Gordon Brown is keen to make Afghanistan work, even though the current rate of murders (you really can’t call them battlefield casualties) is exceeding the Falklands daily tally.


Ministers keep to the line that if we pull out, the Taliban will join with other terrorist groups, overrun Pakistan and use nuclear weapons against us in the UK. So the classic Westminster model thinking is (as used back in colonial times) support the functioning Government of the day, put in place basic elements of a rag tag police force and implant basic civic systems, use a combination of bribes dressed up as aid and threats (withdrawal of bribes ie aid) to exert a nominal hold over the incumbent Government.


Trouble is everyone knows that the UK is financially stretched and the populous does not have the jingoistic (politically incorrect) will to support the action in Afghanistan.


Children have grown up during the 12 years of Labour inspired multicultural rule and with information computer technology, know far more about world affairs than many politicians from a previous more sane world.


Take a walk around any major UK conurbation, find the Central Library computer room or in-town internet cafés, the collective high tech teaching of discredited and deported Mullahs are to be found streaming hate and vilification 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.


Essentially it’s Gordon Brown looking at the Autumn of his political aspirations versus the Mullahs? No contest in some ethnic and religious groupings. The days of a stiff upper lip, swagger stick and a loud “Now look here…” no longer works. ‘Johnny Foreigner’ lives in the UK, has a growing family, a taxpayer and is now a second/third generation British Citizen.


Ministers say the threat comes from a variety of ‘dark’ fanatical well financed, trained, equipped forces combining together and then our own mainland is threatened.


For this reason if you follow the logic, we fight hand to hand skirmish actions with conventional weaponry and highly restrictive rules of engagement in Afghanistan? Rather than unleashing a concerted arms length missile based attack and blanket carpet bombing of poppy fields,Taliban strongholds and used of a whole range of weapons of mass destruction NATO forces have stashed away. The whole Dr Strangelove scenario if you like, and where are all those NATO troops and associated support?


Publicly when we were ‘winning’ it looked good, and gave MPs something to talk about. The UK looked good (in Gordons’ good eye anyway) at international symposia such as the G8 or G20 and soon wonderful Copenhagen. Such actions keep the arms industry in operation and many thousands employed in areas traditionally associated with high unemployment.


On the money side conventional warfare is also cheap, the Treasury likes that, having dipped into and virtually emptied the secret off balance sheet military ‘contingency fund’ or ‘war chest’ to pay off (or bail out) the bankers, prop up the massive underfunding of the Olympics, the private sector was supposed to have filled.


The truth is that few really understanding what goes on inside the many privately funded faith schools, parents and young impressionable people also have access to superior worldwide family and wider networking avenues only open and normal to people of Asian origin. All perfectly legal and supported to the hilt, by the Human Rights Act.


It also has to be said, the traditional British family unit crumbled a few generations back. As to the UK’s world financial standing, reading The Daily Telegraph as the Taliban certainly do, “UK is ‘skint’ says M&S’s Sir Stuart Rose”. If the Taliban didn’t know it earlier they certainly do now!


So no strong public backing for the war, no extra money to fight it and a Government on the way out probably by late March. MP’s collectively tarnished as corrupt with Duckhouses and moats to clean, all out of the public purse. Whilst mounting job losses are announced daily and not just in the hundreds but thousands. Nothing like a good recession to have a bottom upwards corporate clear out, it’s not looking good.

The USA Fort Worth killings allegedly by a lone shooter US Army Medic Major Nidal Hasan, who according to a neighbour wrote in arabic "Allah" on his apartment front door underlines the crass stupidity of the Gordon Brown position on Afghanistan, the terrorist threat is now clearly well organised and from within. Let me make it clear from within the UK, USA, France, Germany in fact every country.


A weak, corrupt Afghanistan Government and subsistence level poorly paid Afghan trainee police officers drawn from the general population, with minimal vetting. Extra income and wider families covertly maintained by the opium warlords and in a country where everyone is related. That is what our troops are facing, and Gordon Brown knows it.


So what should be done. Gordon needs to save face. He’s lost his saintly spin doctor, rudderless if you like, nervous about returning highly professional motivated battle hardened but disciplined British troops en-mass to the UK, but that is what has to be done, the real threat is from within and as we are now fully within Europe, the Lisbon treaty having been ratified, take full advantage of it.


Europe can now collectively take over the Police training role and supply on a rota basis, the NATO troops required, our insular role is effectively done and dusted. We should leave Afghanistan, within weeks and if there is any training to be done, it can be carried out at arms length in neutral territory in any one of a number of European countries.


We’ll continue to supply the hardware and remote drone assisted air support but our British troops on the ground in hostile conditions? This is the battle tactic of 64 years ago, the Battle of the Somme without the mud. Just as futile and pointless.


The heartbreaking thing is that all the Ministers know it, but have to keep it going until they can collectively pass the buck or baton to a new administration. “Not our problem old boy. Fancy a pink Gin?”

END


__________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

McCanns in new TV plea for missing daughter



__________________________
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Gordon Brown dashes Tony Blairs chances as EU President!

That nail-biting master of the political podcast and self-serving media interviews Gordon (I'm looking for a job next May) Brown has thrown his lot in as Tony Blairs bagman for the EU Presidency. The EU has not filed proper accounts for many years now and hands out expenses, as we would dish out cornflakes...

Friday, 23 October 2009

Labour really did turn on 'Rivers of Blood', Blair,Straw and Blunkett said to be Implicated

Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, claims former adviser.

Labour threw open Britain's borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a "truly multicultural" country, a former Government adviser has revealed.


The story originally published in the London Evening Standard was picked up by Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor of the Daily Telegraph, he writes:


The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.


He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote". I admire Islam, it's lefties I can't stand. As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.


Critics said the revelations showed a "conspiracy" within Government to impose mass immigration for "cynical" political reasons.


Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.


Writing in the London Evening Standard, he revealed the "major shift" in immigration policy came after the publication of a policy paper from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a Downing Street think tank based in the Cabinet Office, in 2001.


He wrote a major speech for Barbara Roche, the then immigration minister, in 2000, which was largely based on drafts of the report. He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.


He wrote: "Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.


"I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that thepolicy was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."


The "deliberate policy", from late 2000 until "at least February last year", when the new points based system was introduced, was to open up the UK to mass migration, he said.


Some 2.3 million migrants have been added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out last month. On Question Time on Thursday, Mr Straw was repeatedly quizzed about whether Labour's immigration policies had left the door open for the BNP.


In his Evening Standard column, Mr Neather said that as well as bringing in hundreds of thousands more migrants to plug labour market gaps, there was also a "driving political purpose" behind immigration policy. He defended the policy, saying mass immigration has "enriched" Britain, and made London a more attractive and cosmopolitan place. But he acknowledged that "nervous" ministers made no mention of the policy at the time for fear of alienating Labour voters.


"Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.


"But ministers wouldn't talk about it. In part they probably realised the conservatism of their core voters: while ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn't necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working men's clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland."


Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: "Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite. "Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right.


"This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage."


The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said: "We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true. It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain."


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For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581
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JULIAN BRAY ++44(0)1733 345581 BROADCAST ISDN ++44(0)1733 345 020 all codecs

MOBILE: 07944 217476

AVIATION SECURITY EXPERT, AIRLINE OPERATIONS & NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES.

BROADCASTER, COLUMNIST & JOURNALIST. NUJ & FULL EQUITY MEMBER.

IMMEDIATE LIVE BROADCASTING VIA OWN ISDN COOBE, STUDIO & HIGH SPEED BROADBAND SKYPE

ISDN +44 (0) 1733 345020.

OFFICE +44 (0) 1733 345581

http://www.journalistdirectory.com/journalist/XLgEm/Julian-Bray




AVIATION & CRUISE, MARTIME INCIDENTS, SAFETY ISSUES, TRAVEL THREATS & PERILS, TERRORISM ISSUES, WORLD TRAVEL & INSURANCE COVER ISSUES, CONFLICT ZONES, LONDON RUNWAY, FEATURES & CORRESPONDENT RESEARCH PACKAGES. NATIONAL & LOCAL POLITICS, LAW & ORDER, LITIGATION SUPPORT.

"Adept at holding national and international politicians and business people to account, has a 'Marmite' but considered approach to politics and always well prepared" Iain Wilson

Julian Bray broadcasts and comments via ISDN +44 (0)1733 345020 (GLENSOUND C5 Dual Codec), VoIP and SKYPE >>> JULIAN.BRAY.UK <<< mobile 07944 217 476

BBC Contributor 10476453

LANDLINE number in the UK is +44(0) 1733 345581 Use this number to pre-brief or to book link.

TELEVSION AND RADIO LIVE INTERVIEWS AND CONTRIBUTIONS

RECENT FEEDS:

RUSSIA METROJET, GERMANWINGS, MH17 INCIDENTS and other RECENT TV NEWS & RADIO AUDIO FEEDS

LASER PENS BBC NEWS

Amelia Erhart Mystery BBC Wales

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rg0nx

Julian Bray Radio Podcasts

http://talkradio.co.uk/julian-bray

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weCHZDsnpEI

https://audioboom.com/boos/5133360-easyjet-results-with-aviation-expert-julian-bray

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/360687-military-intel-mh17-include/ September 2016

#BorisJohnson 'right for all the wrong reasons' to dismiss Heathrow, says @JULIANBRAY - bit.ly/2cunT2Z pic.twitter.com/Jw3PwFOasm

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/russian-airline-rules-out-mechanical-failure-or/6907142

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/bray-7k9268?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Frttv%2Fbray-7k9268

http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-01-16/why-modern-navigational-technology-didnt-prevent-costa-concordia-accident

https://twitter.com/VictoriaLIVE/status/661125924432146432

http://rinf.com/alt-news/tag/julian-bray/

http://www.marketplace.org/2012/01/16/business/cruise-ship-industry-impacted-disaster

http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-01-16/why-modern-navigational-technology-didnt-prevent-costa-concordia-accident

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiKsLJxc6WA

https://soundcloud.com/julian-charles-braybray

https://soundcloud.com/julian-charles-bray

https://youtu.be/yiKsLJxc6WA?t=1m12s

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/03/24/idesk-bray-intv-germanwings-descent.cnn

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/airbus-co-pilot

http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//ITN/2012/03/05/T05031202/http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist/ITN/2010/11/04/T04111005/#videoPopUpDiv

https://audioboom.com/boos/3579946-why-has-the-low-cost-airline-industry-been-thriving-morningmoney

http://talkradio.co.uk/news/airport-expansion-boris-johnson-right-all-wrong-reasons-dismiss-heathrow-1609164227

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/royalbaby/russian-passenger-jet-crashes-in-central-sinai/vp-BBmEGu9

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/10/31/russian-passenger-jet-plane-crashed.cnn

https://audioboom.com/boos/3289201-billybambrough-brings-us-the-latest-from-the-paris-air-show-morningmoney

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1510/31/cnr.22.html

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/bray-7k9268?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Frttv%2Fbray-7k9268

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/323287-su24-fighter-russia-turkey-syria/ Scroll down final VT

https://audioboom.com/boos/3918847-a-new-aviation-strategy-julianbray-oliver__clark-talk-on-the-europeancommission-s-airline-announcement

https://audioboom.com/boos/3933313-julianbray-talks-on-the-airport-expansion-delay-the-heathrow-bid-is-frankly-illegal

https://audioboom.com/boos/4241311-a-closer-look-at-the-deal-to-buy-london-cityairport-with-aerospace-specialist-julianbray


http://www.cbc.ca/i/caffeine/syndicate/?mediaId=2685621754 AIR DUBAI CRASH MARCH 2016 Television 2-way with CBC Canada via 'upmarket' SKYPE

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/plane-circled-airport-bad-weather-110053170.html AIR DUBAI CRASH 19/03/2016 Julian Bray first reaction

https://audioboom.com/boos/4368310-is-the-aerospace-sector-in-trouble-julian-bray-discusses-as-boeing-plans-to-cut-thousands-of-jobs

Julian Bray Broadcaster Radio Podcasts Selection