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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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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sexism in Sport - Not on our Manor ...but indoors?.



Now that the lid has been blown off the whole telly sport sexism issue, it remains to be seen if the ripples from all this will enter into other areas of daily life. Unhappily a lengthy report has reached us suggesting that February is the prime time not for sexism alone but Domestic Violence.


The Christmas credit card bills are thudding on the mat along with rocketing utilities, food and transport costs. The children want new shoes, clothes , toys, computers. the list is endless. What we are asking is that if you see any outwards signs, that something isn't quite right (and without putting yourself in harms way) see if you can offer support or advice. Children attending school.Do your friends look pale, drawn, a few bruises maybe?

Trust me the childrens charity NSPCC have mountains of case files on domestic violence and acts of child cruelty that make hardened case workers weep. It could well be the worst cases are shielded behind the font doors of posh houses, well manicured gardens and a smart new car in the driveway.

Domestic Violence (and in many cases it is a form of illness or conditioning) is no respector of class, status, creed or religion. It is sadly rapidly increasing. For children wanting to talk discreetly to a trained counsellor the number is Childline 0800 1111 write it down on a few slips of paper and if you see anyone who could use the support give them the number or log on to the website and message boards.

In urgent cases call Police, or discreetly inform Crimestoppers, you won't be wasting time, it is exactly what they are there for. Simply all such calls are important. Do the right thing, don't ignore it. Please.

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Peterborough Broadway Theatre Operator unmasked as jailed fraudster

Paul Coxwell aka Paul Paker, convicted fraudster jailed in 2009
Jailed producer Paul Coxwell unmasked following an investigation by The Stage
Paul Coxwell, the young producer who was jailed for a multiple £500,000 VAT fraud claim in 2009, has re-entered the theatre industry, working under the name of Paul Parker.
Fraudster Paul Coxwell aka Paul Parker although disqulified from being a company director until 2013 is named as chief executive of StageLive in a press release for the company, the new venue operator behind the Broadway Theatre in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
The Broadway Theatre closed two years ago following a fire but insurance companies at that time failed to pay out as the cause of the fire was uncertain. Many theatrical agents were left out of pocket and artists including comedian Jimmy Carr remained unpaid following the fire as the venues operating company folded but the Theatre owned by one time nightclub and public house owner a Mr Rinaldo Fasulu was shielded or exempted from any debt liability. Many thousands of theatregoers also lost their money.
Paul Coxwell or Paul Parker is also described as chief executive of IQ Global Partners on that company’s website, http://www.iqglobal.co.uk/. Although Paul Coxwell aka Paul Parker is currently disqualified from holding any company directorships until 2013. IQ is said to be the parent company of StageLive, which was 'spun off' earlier this year. Both companies have yet to file any audited accounts and Parker/Coxwell is a major shareholder in both organisations (under the name of Coxwell for IQ and Parker for StageLive) and is listed as company secretary - under the name Coxwell - for IQ Global Partners.
However, the registered addresses given for the two names (Coxwell and Parker) are different. Following an investigation, The Stage Newspaper discovered that Coxwell and Parker are the same person. After The Stage approached Parker earlier this week - and a number of other industry figures who had been unaware that he was operating under a new name - he issued a statement confirming that he was, indeed, Paul Coxwell, but saying he is working as a consultant rather than as chief executive of StageLive.
The statement read: “I am pleased to announce that I have renewed by [sic] involvement in theatre, as a consultant with StageLive Group. I recognise that my previous difficult and adverse actions let a lot of people down, and I hope that having served my penalty I can, once again, look to be involved in an industry I am deeply passionate about.
I am hugely encouraged by the support that colleagues, past and present, have shown and I look forward to continuing to renew these relationships.
“Due to previous adverse media information, and so as to support my rehabilitation, I elected to formally alter my name to Paul Parker. Whilst I will continue to be known under my newly adopted legal name, for the avoidance of confusion I feel it is important to be open and honest of this change.
“Having spent the past two years as a retail strategy consultant with leading international brands, I am embracing the new opportunities and challenges the entertainment business presents. Working with StageLive on its re-launch of the Broadway Theatre is an exhilarating and demanding prospect and compliments [sic] the other clients I continue to work with.
The consultancy relationship with StageLive is not a directorship in any way, due to current personal restrictions, but rather sees me provide strategic advice to its board of directors to support their day-to-day management of the business and help inform their decision making process.
As part of his sentencing in 2009, Coxwell was disqualified from serving as a company director until January 2013. He is not listed as a company director of either company. But under the terms of his disqualification, according to the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 “he shall not be a director of a company, act as receiver of a company’s property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company unless (in each case) he has the leave of the court”.
On documents filed with Companies House, he is listed - under the name Paul Coxwell - as wishing to “form” IQ Global Partners, and - under the name of Paul Parker - as wishing to “form” StageLive Group Ltd. Meanwhile, on IQ Global Partners’ website, Parker is described as “the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of iQ, leading all aspects of the company’s strategic planning, development, and commercial operations.”
On the same biography entry, he is also described as “an Olivier-nominated and 2-time Tony award-winning theatre producer with credits in London’s West End and on Broadway.”
In press material promoting the reopening of the Broadway Theatre, he is also listed as chief executive of the StageLive Group.
In 2009, Coxwell was jailed for nine months at Kingston Crown Court after pleading guilty to making false VAT claims amounting to more than £500,000. According to the court judgment, he did this using “bogus” or “inflated” tax figures. Of the shows on which he was named as a producer before going to jail, Personals - a touring show starring Gary Wilmot - was cancelled two weeks before it was due to begin, leaving members of the creative and technical team owed thousands of pounds.
His subsequent production, the West End show Underneath the Lintel, on which he was a co-producer, saw him dropped from the production by his fellow producers after he “failed to fulfil his financial obligations”. At the time of his arrest in 2007, Coxwell had been working on a stage version of Some Like it Hot, although the project never came to fruition.

Courtesy The Stage Newspaper additional reporting Julian Bray


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5

EU IMPOSE LOWER FLIGHT SAFETY STANDARDS ON UK!





Fatigue is a real and present danger to air safety. Between 15 and 20% of accidents are down to fatigue and the risk of an accident increases the longer a pilot has been at the controls according to research undertaken by the US Federal Aviation Administration.


Air passengers in the UK enjoy the best flight safety in the world. Much of this is down to the UK's scientifically based Flight Time Regulations (known as CAP371) developed over a number of years through partnership between pilots, airlines and scientists and under the guidance of the UK's Civil Aviation Authority. Many other countries use CAP371 as the basis for their own fatigue rules.


The last British Government declared that it would insist on the retention of British safety standards until science said otherwise. But now the EU, through its European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is seeking to bring in EU-wide rules that will force Britain to drop its standards without any scientific basis. Indeed evidence placed before EASA has been ignored.


As an example current UK rules limit the maximum hours a pilot can operate to 10 hours 15 minutes (reporting for duty at 05:45 and operating two flights) but EASA plans to increase that to 13 hours 55 minutes. As shown in a recent YouGov poll these rules will cause surprise amongst the public with only 3% of Britons believing pilots should be on duty for more than 12 hours.


'British passengers, who have enjoyed the safest flying in the world, are now to be put at risk. It is as stark as that,' said Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA).


'At the same time as Europe is doing this the United States Government, concerned about growing pilot fatigue in the wake of the Colgan disaster in Buffalo, is going in the opposite direction and tightening hours rather than relaxing them.'Today (Friday 28 January) BALPA is launching a campaign to get the EU to stop.


The pilots' call - 'Wake up. Pilot fatigue risks lives' - will run throughout the whole of the 18 months that the EU has set aside to get the rules adopted.The campaign will include:- A major submission to EASA with a point by point critique of its 244 page draft rules- Submissions to our own CAA and Department for Transport on EASA's proposals and seeking the UK Government's support in getting EASA to think again:


-A major lobby of the Houses of Parliament (Feb 2) to bring home to Westminster politicians the risks of letting the EU proceed in this way.


- Participating in studies being conducted by UCL and Leicester University into stress and fatigue amongst pilots. These are due to report in February and April


- Working with other pilot associations to raise the concerns of Europe's 130,000 commercial pilots with the Commission and European Parliament.'Pilot fatigue is a growing problem, as more and more demands are made of pilots,' said Jim McAuslan.'What worries us the most is that in the proposals ignore years of scientific and medical evidence - most of it drawn up in Britain.


'These EU proposals, if they are not amended, risk the lives of passengers and crew.


Data: The poll was conducted by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 24th January 2011.



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

EGYPT SHUTS DOWN INTERNET!

Who needs the internet?

In an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

Egypt Protest Cairo - Sky News from duncan sharp on Vimeo.








At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys employees observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet's global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers. Virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide.


This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government's actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map.


What happens when you disconnect a modern economy and 80,000,000 people from the Internet?



What will happen tomorrow, on the streets and in the credit markets?



This has never happened before, and the unknowns are piling up. We will continue to dig into the event, and will update this story as we learn more.



As Friday dawns in Cairo under this unprecedented communications blackout, keep the Egyptian people in your thoughts.


Update (3:06 UTC)


One of the very few exceptions to this block has been Noor Group (AS20928), which still has 83 out of 83 live routes to its Egyptian customers, with inbound transit from Telecom Italia as usual. Why was Noor Group apparently unaffected by the countrywide takedown order? Unknown at this point, but we observe that the Egyptian Stock Exchange (http://www.egyptse.com/) is still alive at a Noor address.


Its DNS A records indicate that it's normally reachable at 4 different IP addresses, only one of which belongs to Noor. Internet transit path diversity is a sign of good planning by the Stock Exchange IT staff, and it appears to have paid off in this case. Did the Egyptian government leave Noor standing so that the markets could open next week?







Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Offside Rule - the Laws of Football

'Bungle' could now be renamed Andy Gray




As prize doughnut, sexist numpy Andy Gray says farewell to a £1.7 million per annum contract with SkySparts (SIC) and twenty years of glottle stopped prattle (and nae sub-titles) here is the much talked about, but seldom seen Offside Rule in full. Its a shame Gray was born in Glasgow, his behaviour is more associated with the back end of Edinburgh. Its appropriate th\at Gray was sacked on Burns Night. Robbie Burns made all sorts of sexist remarks but they were done with panache ..... ( it's a cake, Andy!)



11. Offside. The offside rule is designed to stop players hanging around the goal of their opponents, waiting for a long ball to come to them. A player is given offside if the ball is passed to him while he is nearer to the goal than the ball and the second-last defender.



Note that players are allowed to sit on the goal line if they want, but the ball cannot come to them without offside being called by the referee. An ‘offside trap’ is when defenders deliberately move up the field to leave a forward player In a position where he cannot take the ball without being called offside.



It is not an offside offence if the ball comes to a player from a throw-in, a goal kick or a corner kick.



Contributor: Media, Sports, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

BBC WORLD SERVICE 650 JOBS TO GO...

The BBC has confirmed reports that the World Service will face major budget cuts, with five language services to close.It's suggested more than a quarter of the service's workforce - around 650 jobs - will be lost as part of the changes. The National Union of Journalists have called for a protest outside BBC World Service HQ, .Bush House at 1pm on Wednesday 26th January.



The services in Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa and Serbian will close, as well as the English for the Caribbean regional service.The station is having a major restructure to meet a 16 percent savings target announced last year by the Foreign Office.


BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks said: "These closures are not a reflection on the performance of individual services or programmes. They are all extremely important to their audiences and to the BBC. It is simply that there is a need to make savings due to the scale of the cuts to the World Service's Grant-in-Aid funding from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and we need to focus our efforts in the languages where there is the greatest need and where we have the strongest impact."


The BBC is expected to provide more information about how the changes will affect the World Service tomorrow (Wednesday). Information leaked out to the media this afternoon, prompting confirmation of the language service closures ahead of a planned announcement tomorrow.



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Monday, 24 January 2011

OFF KEYS



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Worldly Experience of the "actual" Cabinet



The Worldly Experience of the "actual" Cabinet

By popular demand, or more accurately, after a few comments in the previous post, here is the worldly experience of the actual Cabinet before being politicians (update: by that I mean before they got into politics properly, unless, as in some cases, thy've done nothing else).Note: I have not included the gaps for people like Francis Maude who left Parliament and then came back.

David Cameron - SpAd then Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications (7 years)
Nick Clegg - Foreign Correspondent, lobbyist
William Hague - Management consultant McKinsey & Company
George Osborne - CCHQ Wonk/SpAd
Danny Alexander - Press officer (politics) and then Head of Communications for the Cairngorms National Park.
Ken Clarke - Barrister QC
Theresa May - Bank of England, financial consultant
Liam Fox - GP, Civilian Army Medical Officer and Divisional Surgeon with St John Ambulance
Vince Cable - Economics lecturer, Chief Economist, Royal Dutch Shell
Iain Duncan-Smith - British Army Officer, Scots Guard
Chris Huhne - Economic journalist, City entrepreneur, MD of Fitch IBCA
Andrew Lansley - Civil Servant
Michael Gove - Journalist
Eric Pickles - Apparently a career politico.
Philip Hammond - Director of Speywood Medical Limited, Castlemead Ltd, Castelmead Home. Consulltant World Bank.
Caroline Spelman - National Union Farmers, lobbyist
Andrew Mitchell - UN Peacekeeper, British Army Royal Tank Regiment, Investment Bank Lazard, Senior Strategy Advisor for Accenture
Jeremy Hunt - English language teacher in Japan, IT PR company, Profile PR
Owen Paterson - Sales Director and Managing Director of British Leather Company, Director of Parsons and Sons (leather company)
Michael Moore - Accountant
Cheryl Gillan - Marketing consultant, Ernst & Young, marketing director with Kidsons Impey
Baroness Warsi - Lawyer
Lord Strathclyde - Hereditary Peer
George Young - Economic adviser to Post Office Corporation
Francis Maude - Criminal lawyer
Dominic Grieve QC - Barrister
Patrick McLoughlin - farmer, coal minerQuite a difference there I'd say. It would be difficult to call them "a bunch of weirdos who’ve never had a proper job in their lives" anyway - well maybe not the weirdo bit!


Source: http://dizzythinks.net/ Wikipedia






Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Coulson and Phone Hacking, the lawyers are way offbeam



The sad truth is that politicians, showbiz people and the rest of us mortals, are very casual when it comes to anything technical, too busy to read instruction books and way too precious to reset passwords so many current digital phones operate on the factory default passcode of 9999 or 0000. The basic digital hack is simple and most schoolchildren can show you how.

Using two digital cellphones, the first dials up the target number ensuring the line is busy, the second phones the same line ensuring it diverts to voicemail, default codes are quickly entered either manually or by a pre recorded high speed transmitter (source e-bay). The voicemail messages are replayed possibly recorded or simply repeated a couple of times but not deleted. Not really rocket science but the lawyers currently trying to get to the bottom of phone hacking and set up class actions (group litigation orders) are simply are on the wrong track (or hack) but some TV stations will give the lawyers on-air publicity and in turn attract more no win, no fee clients!


What Harriet Harman speaking on SKY NEWS (on Sunday 23rd January) fails to understand is simply the departing Coulson (this could be the new longest dying swan exit in history) is probably 'technically' right when he says he knew nothing about phone hacking. He correctly and fully understood (with the 'night lawyer' welded to his left elbow) that if he didn't ask for the detail, then when, and if, it came to a Court battle, under Oath, he could only truthfully tell what he knew or had experienced.
A bit like Nelsons blind eye, as an editor he would only see the finished story, handed down after several layers of manipulation and then usually re-written by sub-editors and a sensational head or strapline added (probably losing the original point of the story in the process).

The physical telephone, ansaphone or recordacall 'hack' in the 70 and 80's, was all twisted pair copper wire, digital was still a short way off. The dirty work was completed by freelance journalists or stringers, private detectives, moonlighting BT engineers, anyone with a BT Engineers handset (which could be purchased from Exchange & Mart), local news agencies and whenever possible a copy list of BT engineers confidential service pulse and/or tone dialling access codes.
If the hacker has access to the landline, for example might be attending the targets home for an interview, asking permission to use the phone to call the office. Star / gate codes could also be set up from any handset and indeed calls from the target phone diverted to dummy re-diallers and then relayed to an answer machine/recorder, on another remote number altogether, probably an overseas number.

But the real prize was the introduction of early cheap cordless domestic phones imported from Japan. Early models offered few channels and no security. Almost guaranteed to be duplicated on another set nearby, it was then a simple matter for those so minded, to just turn off their own base station, but leave the battery powered handset switched on.

Sitting in a nearby pub or a car outside a target house, a simple matter of trying all the handsets in turn until one of them picked up on a conversation, attach the sucker induction telephone coil and record the content onto a tape recorder or even dial out a number and the target host base station would intercept and relay all messages to the the distant dialled number.

There were many other methods used by some people at the time. The FM radio spectrum in those days also carried police car transmissions at the top end of the spectrum, along with air traffic control, every newsroom had an FM radio. But it was not unlawful to listen in to these FM transmissions, but clearly illegal to act upon the information.

It was not only phone hacks that provided the detail, an electronics firm at the time, Lorraine Electronics, would advertise in Private Eye and they sold all manner of cheap electronic FM transmitter bugs, all set in an acrylic cast so no one could duplicate the circuit and it didn't look like a radio bug either.

Dropped in a gift package for a birthday and a tag begging the recipent not to open it before his/her birthday a few days hence would ensure the bug remained active inside the target house in most cases and then was thrown out with the packaging later.
Moonlighting telephone or hobbyist engineers would identify twisted pairs of wire telephone lines, voice activated tape machines, sealed inside a shallow buried biscuit tin would be attached to the exposed wires by crocodile clips.

The view was widely taken that once the material was in the public domain then a public interest defence would be sufficient, clearly much of the sensational content in the 'red tops' was originated, possibly, this way.
The lawyers today have the problem that if the work was undertaken, at arms length, and as explained above, possibly overseas, for legal purposes, the chain of events or link is broken. Happily working in radio we didn't need to use such devices, but simply repeated what was already in the public domain and printed/published the day before we even had access to it......


Contributor: Media Commentator, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Back to Basics for Coalition Communications Spinmeister

Being a democratic country its only fair that we all have a view on who is to be the next CCS (Coalition Communications Spinmeister - do keep up!) Media hacks are punting the names of Gito Hari (son of Mata... OK please yourself) and a few others but to my mind, it's back to basics for the PM who media people seem to have forgotten that David Cameron was (gasp) an accomplished spinner for Carlton Television; before that was ruthlessly dismantled or swallowed up, depending on your location or point of view, much to the chagrin of many.

So given that David Cameron fully knows the media game why go for a loose cannon? Not being rude but this is the only way to describe an unreconstructed red top Editor.

Simply over the years I've hired Editors, journalists, broadcasters even. But in every case a period of induction and a programmed change of attitude towards the opinion formers has had to be engineered. Simply knowing the media isn't enough, frequently PR type stories and situations have to be sold in, not for money, but perhaps a trade of information or access.

Too many media converts seem to think the old ways still operate, but there is a new breed of media savvy troops out there - the great British Public! Everyone has access to a computer, digital camera or cameraphone. So already hack to hack skills are not so important but people skills are. No doubt the manderins will take heed and I'll close now as the CV has to be in the hands of the runner from Number 10 ....


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Coulson RESIGNS....and ships out from Number 10 Downing Street

Ring, Ring, Busy line........Andy Coulson hangs up......and ships out...


Andy Coulson, former News of the World Editor, Director of Communications, close strategic aide to UK Coalition Prime Minister David Cameron in a short personal statement issued from Number 10 Downing Street, London W1 has resigned his post, having first cleared his desk as we suggested earlier and left by an Addison Lee blacked out people mover from the back door...

"I can today confirm that I've resigned as Downing Street
director of communications. It's been a privilege and an honour to work for
David Cameron for three-and-a-half years. I'm extremely proud of the part I've
played in helping him reach No 10 and during the coalition's first nine
months."

"Nothing is more important than the Government's task of getting this
country back on its feet.Unfortunately, continued coverage of events connected
to my old job at the News of the World has made it difficult for me to give the
110% needed in this role.

"I stand by what I've said about those events but when
the spokesman needs a spokesman, it's time to move on.

"I'll leave within the next few weeks [apparently not so, gone in 60 minutes...] and will do so wishing the Prime Minister, his family, and his brilliant and dedicated team the very best for what I'm sure will be a long and successful future in Government."



Coulson has all along denied it, but has been repeatedly linked with illegal phone hacking activities which resulted in journalists being jailed and a raft of Civil actions are before the Courts.

Coulson resigned from the NoW although maintaining that he didn't know about the illegal phone hacking activities... he has however recently been re-interviewed by Police ....



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Alan Johnsons Affair with Civil Servant 'outed' by Balls aide ' sources claim;meanwhile Mrs Johnson makes Merry with Hubbys former Bodyguard!

GB: Aye Piers Laddie, how come you couldna fix me up wi' yon
big bigotted lassie ? Larry Kings daughter was she? PM: No chance Gordon, the Daily Mail (so it must be right) says Alan Johnsons wife was doing the horizontal boogie with his former bodyguard. GB Oh! I'm away tae the manse for another few weeks, all too exciting for me ...

Alan Johnson MP suddenly quit (20 January 2011) as the UK Shadow Chancellor, 'for personal reasons' later disclosed as Johnsons second marriage breaking down, due to a widely leaked extramarital affair Mr Johnson has been conducting with a civil servant, it's being claimed ( later confirmed by Mrs J ) tonight. Meanwhile in a front page splash, the Daily Mail is tonight suggesting that Mrs Johnson is having an affair with the MPs' former Police Protection Officer Paul Rice (Bodyguard) !

Ed Balls (Gordon Browns right hand man) rapidly moved in to fill the vacancy on the Opposition front benches. The Caolition Duckhouse UK News Blog exclusively revealed earlier today that a certain Sunday Newspaper has been compiling a dossier on the twice married former Trade Unionist and Postman.

Around the Westminster village Alan Johnson's suspected affair with a civil servant was widely rumoured, it was given as the reason that he had not run for the leadership.

The story was kept out of the papers - until the The Blogger Guido Fawkes picked up on our story and as they say the rest is history:

http://orderorder.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/alex-belardinelli.png

This evening Guido sources are pointing the finger at Alex
Belardinelli, Ed Ball's SpAd (Special Advisor) as the person who has been
making inquiries into Alan Johnson's private life.


Shadow Cabinet sources say they believe the Sunday Times has the story
and Ed Miliband himself believes that Ed Ball's people have had a hand in the
story getting out.


Balls chose his moment well, a spate of gaffes by Alan Johnson have
left him politically weakened. Yet still Miliband rewarded him with the
prize he craved...


Earlier on the Duckhouse we reported: Johnson cites 'personal private reasons to do with my family....' and has refused to be drawn further on the subject.

Evette Cooper (aka Mrs Balls) moving to take over the Home Offfice shadow role, but this seems to be a temporary shoe-in (or an act of panic by Ed Miliband). Either way the shock resignation bodes ill for the local Government Elections in May ...

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

SHADOW CHANCELLOR ALAN JOHNSON QUITS FOR PERSONAL REASONS BALLS TAKES OVER..



Alan Johnson MP has suddenly quit (20 January 2011) as the UK Shadow Chancellor,'for personal reasons' and Ed Balls has rapidly moved in to fill the vacancy on the Opposition front benches.
Rumour has it that a certain Sunday Newspaper has been compiling a dossier on the twice married former Trade Unionist and Postman.
Johnson cites 'personal private reasons to do with my family....' and has refused to be drawn further on the subject.
Evette Cooper (or Mrs Balls) is moving to take over the Home Offfice shadow role, but this seems to be a temporary shoe in or an act of panic by Ed Miliband.
Either way the shock resignation bodes ill for the local Government Elections in May ...


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

#TUNISIA GRIMALDI FERRIES CONFIRMED RUNNING FULL SERVICE OUT OF TUNIS 2 ITALY pay at port by CC TEL 0039081496444 http://tinyurl.com/pknlxn

I have just had it confirmed that a full ferry service is being operated by Grimaldi Lines (takes 2,000 passengers at a time) is now in operation out of Tunis and stranded holidaymakers can pay by credit card in the port for a passage to Italy or Palermo, Sicily where onward flights or rail can be accessed.

As on Twitter

GRIMALDI FERRIES CONFIRMED RUNNING FULL SERVICE OUT OF TUNIS 2 ITALY pay at port by CC TEL 0039081496444



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

'BABY DOC' CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION IN HAITI

Courtesy CNN http://on.cnn.com/eciOSW

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Extraordinary drama unfolded Tuesday in Port-au-Prince as corruption charges were filed against former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, government sources told CNN.


It was not immediately clear what the charges were. [ They were later confirmed as Corruption charges ] A judge will have 30 days to investigate and decide whether the accusations merit moving forward with a case against Duvalier. Earlier in the day, the former leader was taken into custody at his hotel and transported to a downtown courthouse for a hearing. After hours of questioning, Duvalier was allowed to return to his hotel.

A flurry of intense legal activity preceded Duvalier's emergence from the Karibe Hotel, where he had been since his mysterious return to Haiti on Sunday. His hands free of handcuffs, he made his way down three flights of stairs and waved to a small crowd of supporters before heavily armed police escorted him away in a waiting white van. Outside the hotel in the swanky suburb of Petionville, throngs of journalists had waited for Duvalier's appearance amid speculation that the former despot would be arrested. Several hundred people lined the downhill road from Petionville to downtown Port-au-Prince to show support. Some held photos of Duvalier when he was in his prime and banners.

Duvalier shocked the world by returning to his homeland Sunday night after some 25 years of exile in France. He is accused of pillaging the country, siphoning money from Haiti's treasury into his family's pockets during his rule, which ended with a popular rebellion in 1986.
Human rights groups have sounded a call for justice for atrocities committed during his 15 years of rule.

Under Duvalier's presidency, thousands were killed and tortured, and hundreds of thousands of Haitians fled into exile, according to Human Rights Watch.
Michele Montas, a Haitian journalist who has fought for democracy and is a former spokeswoman for the United Nations secretary-general, said Monday night that she plans to file a criminal complaint against Duvalier.

"We have enough proof. There are enough people who can testify. And what I will do is go to a public prosecutor, and there is a public prosecutor that could actually accommodate our complaints," she said on CNN's "Parker Spitzer."

The United Nations said Tuesday that Duvalier's presence in Haiti had taken the global body by surprise and it "clearly raises issues of impunity and accountability." Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said a range of human rights abuses and corruption issues surround Duvalier.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters Tuesday she hoped for a peaceful resolution to the tensions in Haiti. "I think that it is clearly a tense and fragile time in Haiti, given the unresolved issues around the election, given the cholera epidemic, and it's certainly in the interests of the people of Haiti for there to be peaceful and cooperative efforts to resolve the outstanding issues related to the elections," she said.

It's still unclear why Duvalier decided to go back to Haiti, and speculation is mounting over what he hopes to accomplish. His presence certainly added to a bubbling cauldron of political turmoil sparked by a presidential election mired in controversy. "Obviously this is an important and crucial time for the people of Haiti," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
"Any political leader or any former political leader should focus not only on him or herself, but on making progress towards a set of important elections," Gibbs said, adding that such people should dedicate "their time and their energy toward the reconstruction of the country."

Journalist Amy Wilentz, author of "The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier," said the "Baby Doc" media circus was taking the focus off Haiti's leadership crisis. "It's a giant sideshow to the electoral debate," she said.

Preliminary results of the November 28 election placed former first lady Mirlande Manigat in a runoff with Jude Celestin, the candidate backed by Haiti's unpopular President Rene Preval. However, international monitors charged fraud and a subsequent election review put Celestin in third place. Observers suggested he be eliminated from contention.

Preval's government has not officially commented on Duvalier's return, though some Haitians, craving a father figure to lead the nation out of crisis, have commented favorably on the old days of Duvalier.

Back then, the streets were safe, said Port-au-Prince resident Jean Etienne. People could walk outside at night and food was cheap, he said.

But Garry Pierre-Pierre, editor of the New York-based Haitian Times, blamed the father-son Duvalier dynasty for a nation struggling to regain footing. He said the scars still run deep from an era when no one trusted each other. Pierre-Pierre said he hopes justice will finally prevail.
"If there is a bright sport," he said, "finally we have to face that decision that we have never faced straight up. We've been in denial about what happened during the 29-year reign of dictatorship of the Duvaliers."


Duvalier was supposed to have held a news conference Monday but it was canceled and he remained huddled inside the Karibe until he was taken away Tuesday.
Henry Robert Sterlin, a Duvalier associate, told reporters that Duvalier returned because he was moved by the anniversary of last year's tragic earthquake and because he missed his native land.


"He's deeply hurt in his soul after the earthquake," Sterlin said. "He wanted to come back to see how is the actual Haitian situation -- of the people and of the country."
Sterlin said he did not know how long the former leader had planned to stay.
The Duvalier family ruled Haiti for three decades, starting in 1957 when Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier was elected president. He later declared himself president for life. When he died in 1971, he was succeeded by his son, then only 19.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

1960's London Bus Fleet comes home from Nova Scotia

Welcome home!



The ACL shipping line recently transported a convoy of eleven 1960's London Transport double-decker buses from the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool, England, on board its RoRo/Containership “Atlantic Cartier”.


The fleet of former London Transport buses made one of their longest scheduled trips ever: the classic AEC Routemaster and Regent double-deckers returned to the UK after operating at Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, for cruise line passenger tours, since the early 1960s.


On the 11th of May the buses were quickly discharged in Liverpool via the vessel’s 420-metric tonne capacity stern ramp; they were then stored at the Port of Liverpool prior to being transported to Essex where they will be used by the Essex and Ongar Heritage Bus Fleet.


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

TUNISIA TOURIST EVACUATION LATEST SUNDAY 16TH JANUARY

Madeira set to gain from Tunisia winter sun exodus


Thousands of fatigued Britons are spending their first few days back in the UK after returning from the warlike conditions of Tunisia where gun fights have broken out between the Army and street gangs. Tunisia is located just 200 miles from Sicily, Italy. Many of these long term holidaymakers are short of funds and ready cash, they were enjoying extended low cost winter sun breaks in the north African country, before being flown home by their tour operators over the weekend on Foreign Office advice for UK nationals to leave the country.

On Saturday, Thomson and First Choice evacuated 1,437 passengers on seven flights to airports around the country - and Thomas Cook repatriated some 1,800 passengers .

Further evacuation flights scheduled for later this week have been cancelled and some 800 independent travellers remain stranded in Tunisia, some are short of cash as credit card ATMs are not working and Banks either looted or closed.
The position of ferry companies servicing the port of Tunis is also uncertain and local marine agents Genmar who act for the Italian Grimaldi Group (00216 71 469070) are unable to confirm if foot passenger space is available on ferries to Italy or even if the scheduled services will operate. The postion is expected to be come clearer on Monday morning, as the ferry company reviews operations in and out of Tunisia.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK has advised UK citizens against all but essential travel to Tunisia. This was following a complete breakdown of law and order, although the military have regained control in most areas and evening/overnight curfews are in place.

Violent demonstrations, widespread looting and guns being let off have erupted in multiple locations across the country, including Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Nabul, Hammamet, Douze, Kasserine, Requeb and Thia, among other areas.

The deposed President of Tunisia and his family fled to Saudi Arabia, all residences and businesses connected to the former president have been looted or destroyed. Tellingly the Army didn't stop the demonstrators.
Airports are under military control, flights in and out are suspended from time to time and armed guards are preventing either entry or exit from the airports in the country.
The extremely volatile situation means those travelling within Tunisia will risk being caught up in street fighting and demonstrations. Female holidaymakers are strongly advised to fully cover up and always be accompanied by male members of thier party for protection. Western females are at the best of times always vulnerable to unwelcome attention. There are continuing police roadblocks at major intersections.
Travellers and holidaymakers are strongly advised not to attempt to cross the border into Algeria, if travelling independently. Strong caution is advised to those intending to travel to the southeastern Algerian provinces of Tamanrasset, Djanet and Illizi and recommended that visitors consider the advice of a reputable tour company or an approved local guide.

Friends and family members outside of Tunisia who are in contact with people currently within Tunisia should try to establish contact using mobile phones, skype or the internet and pass on this information as news channels within the country are heavily censored, most people are getting their information from the internet, facebook and twitter.

Travellers are also advised to register with their Embassy (Irish nationals to register with the Spanish Embassy) and seek local advice. The British Embassy has issued an emergency information line (from UK) 00216 71 108 700. But the strong advice is leave the country as soon as possible, and be prepared to dump luggage if so advised. Embassy sources suggest that approximately 1,000 expats living across Tunisia.
The Foreign Office said that so far 200 plus independent travellers in the country had registered on its website to let the British authorities know where they were. Sources suggest that in many areas internet and broadband services have either been closed down or there is sporadic local and international service.
Evacuated holidaymakers sais that banks and all the big shops had been looted or ransacked, '"like a little war zone and the military is all over the place." Over the last four days more than 1,000 prisoners have escaped from Mahdia jail and 42 inmates were killed in a prison fire in Monastir. On Saturday, the nation swore in a new interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, with former President Ben Ali fleeing to Saudi Arabia, his former hairdresser wife having already left the country. Full presidential elections are however promised within 60 days.


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

TUNISIA NOW A 'NO GO' AREA

Tunis Airport now under military control

BRITISH EMBASSY EMERGENCY INFORMATION
LINE IN TUNISIA (from UK) 00216 71 108 700

TRAVELLERS ADVISED LEAVE TUNISIA NOW!


Travel expert Julian Bray comments: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK has now finally advised UK citizens against all but essential travel to Tunisia. There is a complete breakdown in law and order.
Violent demonstrations, looting and gun fights have erupted in multiple locations across the country, including Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Nabul, Hammamet, Douze, Kasserine, Requeb and Thia, among other areas.

The President of Tunisia and his family have now fled to Saudi Arabia and the Army has taken control of the airport. All flights in and out have been suspended, this situation may change. Overnight curfews are in place, with people being arrested by armed, baton wielding police if the curfew is broken.

The extremely volatile situation means those travelling within Tunisia will risk being caught up in street fighting and demonstrations.

Female holidaymakers are strongly advised to fully cover up and always be accompanied by male members of your party for protection. Western females are vulnerable to unwelcome attention.

Travellers and holidaymakers should additionally be aware of additional threats from terrorism in Tunisia.


Following police action against an armed terrorist group in 2007, the Tunisian authorities announced that 12 of the group had been killed and a further 15 arrested. It is believed the group were planning attacks against western interests, including embassies.
There are continuing police roadblocks at major intersections.

Travellers are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance with regard to personal security whilst in Tunisia.

Travellers and holidaymakers are also strongly advised not to attempt to cross the border into Algeria if travelling independently. Strong caution is advised to those intending to travel to the southeastern Algerian provinces of Tamanrasset, Djanet and Illizi and recommended that visitors take the advice of a reputable tour company or an approved local guide.

Friends and family members outside of Tunisia who are in contact with people currently within Tunisia should try to establish contact using mobile phones, skype or the internet and pass on this information. Travellers are also advised to register with their Embassy and seek local advice. But the strong advice is leave the country as soon as possible, with or without your luggage. END
STATEMENT ISSUED BY THOMSON -tui
Political Situation - Tunisia 1200 SATURDAY JAN15th Update
Thomson and First Choice are confident that they have everything in place to bring the vast majority of customers back safely within the next 24 hours, and greet them when they return to the UK.
In circumstances such as this, Thomson and First Choice always trust and honour the advice it is given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Given the latest advice from the FCO; the following measures have been put in place:
Repatriation flights from Tunisia
Thomson Airways is operating the following flights today, Saturday 15 January 2011 in order to repatriate customers from Tunisia to the UK. The estimated departure times from Monastir and arrival times in the UK are detailed below:
TOM 959 - Depart Monastir 1230 - Arrive Glasgow 1510
TOM 937 - Depart Monastir 1150 - Arrive Birmingham 1420
TOM 965 - Depart Monastir 10 40 - Arrive Manchester 1305
TOM 918 - Depart Monastir 11 50 - Arrive Manchester 1420
TOM 902 - Depart Monastir 1100 - Arrive Gatwick 1310
TOM 943 - Depart Monastir 1805 - Arrive Manchester 2030
TOM 924 - Depart Monastir 2010 - Arrive East Midlands 2220
Please note, all departure and arrival schedules are given in local time.
Transfers to Monastir airport are being organised by our resort team for customers who are travelling on a package holidays. All customers travelling on a Thomson Airways flight-only booking are advised to make their own way to Monastir airport as soon as possible on Saturday.
Under no circumstances should customers currently in Tunisia break the curfew that the Government has put in place to go to the airport. All Thomson Airways flights will depart outside of the curfew hours.
Customers on the above flights may be required to fly back to the UK to an alternative airport to their departure. In these circumstances, we will provide transportation to their original airport of departure at no cost to the customer.
UK flight cancellations to Tunisia
All Thomson Airways flights to Tunisia which were scheduled to depart from the UK on Sunday 16 January and Wednesday 19 January 2011 will be cancelled.
A dedicated helpline for customers due to travel on these dates has been set up and customers will be offered alternative travel options to consider. The helpline number is 0800 009 3834 and the opening times are Saturday 15 January 0900-1800 and Sunday 16 January 1000-1700.
The flight cancellations are as follows:
Sunday 16 January departures:
TOM366 - Glasgow to Monastir - departing at 0600 - CANCELLED
TOM682 - Manchester to Monastir - departing at 1555 - CANCELLED
TOM538 - East Midlands to Monastir - departing at 0630 - CANCELLED
TOM522 - London Gatwick to Monastir - departing at 1555 - CANCELLED
Wednesday 19 January departures:
TOM438 - Manchester to Monastir - departing at 0630 - CANCELLED
TOM580 - London Gatwick to Monastir - departing at 0700 - CANCELLED
TOM474 - Birmingham to Monastir - departing at 1555 - CANCELLED
Customers due to travel to Tunisia beyond Wednesday 19 January 2011 are advised to continue to check this website for latest information. At present, no decision has been taken to cancel these flights and therefore normal booking conditions apply.
Other changes to the flying programme Saturday 15 January 2011

Unfortunately as a result of the steps required to bring our customers back to the UK from Tunisia, there will inevitably be some disruption to the Thomson Airways flying programme to other destinations, as well as inbound flights back into the UK. Changes to our flying schedule given below and customers due to travel on these flights are recommended to check in two hours prior to the revised times as shown below:
TOM4612 - London Gatwick to Geneva - previously 0900 - now 1410
TOM4613 - Geneva to London Gatwick - previously 1200 - now 1655
TOM2634 - Manchester to Geneva - previously 0655 - now 1450
TOM2635 - Geneva to Manchester - previously 1020 - now 1755
TOM1624 - Glasgow to Geneva - previously 0720 - now 1610
TOM1625 - Geneva to Glasgow - previously 1055 - now 1930
TOM7608 - Birmingham to Salzburg - previously 0835 - now 1520
TOM7609 - Salzburg to Birmingham - previously 1155 - now 1830
TOM2676 - Manchester to Las Palmas - previously departing 1355 - now 1945
TOM4648 - London Gatwick to Tenerife South - previously 1510 - now 1945
TOM2690 - Manchester to Tenerife South - previously 1420 - now 2130
TOM2620 - Manchester to Alicante - previously 0605 - now 2125
TOM7674 - East Midlands to Las Palmas - previously 1525 - now 0700 on 16 January
TOM1600 - Glasgow to Las Palmas - previously 1440 - now 0800 on 16 January
TOM2677 - Las Palmas to Manchester previously 1925 - now 0310 on 16 January
TOM4649 - Tenerife South to London Gatwick previously 2030 - now 0105 on 16 January
TOM7605 - Alicante to Birmingham previously 2000 - now 0055 on 16 January
TOM2691 - Tenerife South to Manchester previously 1950 - now 0350 on 16 January
TOM2621 - Alicante to Manchester previously 1100 - now 0040 on 16 January
TOM7675 - Las Palmas to East Midlands previously 2050 - now 1220 on 16 January
TOM1601 - Las Palmas to Glasgow previously 2025 - now 1340 on 16 January
TOM7604 - Birmingham to Alicante - previously 1525 - this will now depart from East Midlands airport at 2010.
Please check in at Birmingham airport two hours prior to departure. Customers will then be coached to East Midlands.
All other customers who are due to fly on a Thomson Airways flight should travel to their airport as normal. Customers who need further information can contact our customer delay line on 02476 282501 or alternatively text 82345. SMS to 82345 costs 50p plus your network rate.

Contributor: Media, Aviation & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray
SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581
Mobile: 07944 217476
ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio)
G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The cruise ship now leaving the Port of Cambridge


Lifeboats from RMS Titanic recovered by SS Carpathia, lifeboats had the RMS Titanic nameplates removed before they were deployed to other White Star Line liners

Watching the unfolding problems of Biblical proportions caused by flash flooding in Queensland, Australia makes you wonder what would happen here, particularly as this government seems to be unable to even pass simple legislation to control gigantic cash payments to unworthy bankers, writes Julian Bray.

A recent report suggests that the City of Cambridge might well in years to come, be a Port on the coastline for a vastly reduced UK landmass. The UK Environment Agency has been banging on about flood prevention for well over a decade and even eight years ago admitted that in some areas nature would take its course and that much of coastal UK in years to come will be flooded and at least 14 feet under water from present day levels.

So where does this leave us? The obvious answer is only invest in property and businesses located on high ground and take any reassurances from politicians on flood prevention with a very large pinch of salt. The benchmark or tipping point will be when insurance companies collectively decide they have had enough and no longer include any form of flood, landslide, slip and heave cover in future policies. Five years should do it.

At the moment there is a 'nod and wink' situation with the Insurance Industry but as the Coalition Government continues to beat itself up and some not so honourable MP's feel HMP Wandsworth cell doors clank shut behind them, don't expect too much by way of a political solution.

Ironically, the recession has hit construction hard and the number of new building starts has dropped sharply. This in turn has helped preserve flood plains being concreted over, water meadows retained and helped arrest the ingress of water. Against this you have the money-grabbing revenue free-wheeling generation activities of the privatised foreign owned water companies. If ever an industry was ripe for state control , the water companies are right up there in the forefront.
Shoddy investment and an ever increasing number of burst pipes. The only public owned water company is the one in Ireland, recent news stories on standpipes and water bowsers paint the picture, as the chairman resigns his £250,0000 post it emerges the departing chairman in the 80's had his hands in a Church piggy-bank, placed on trial, convicted, but not physically jailed.

I ran the PR operation for Anglian Region Environment Agency, a decade ago, one of the MP's expenses MPs awaiting trial over allegations of stealing (or trousering) public money by way of expenses claims Ellliott 'Bunter' Morley was ministerially directing the UKs' environmental traffic then. By all accounts he was pretty lardy useless and that was the view of staff working within the Agency. Matters are not much better today, with bankers looting the national coffers and the prime aim of this current coalition being to stay in power longer than 12 months.

Looking on the bright side, well there isn't one, but you can expect house and property prices to continue to tumble over the next decade....but to finish on a parting note. I found out today that magician Terry Seabrooke had died (we Magicians call it a broken wand - a magic wand is ritually broken on the death of a magician) so the fitting ending Terry would say: "Come up on stage and join me, just there, over the trapdoor and directly underneath the bag of cement on a rope."



Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Virgin to withold payment of Heathrow landing and parking fees

More tales of woe for Heathrow as Virgin has decided to withold payment of landing dues and aircraft parking during the recent snow shambles. The airline is seeking to hold onto the payment until the results of an inquiry into the recent snow 'horlicks' are released next month.

If you thought airport parking was expensive then just imagine how much Virgin pay to park an aircraft! Clearly Heathrow is currentrly strapped for cash, as we have mentioned earlier the Spanish owner is not too awash with cash either as they are closely connected with the construction industry in Spain! Simply nothing is being built in Spain so the Spaniards were relying on the revenues from Heathrow.

So what can go wrong? When holiday airline Court Line went bust many decades ago the owners of Luton Airport siezed the landed planes and drove large push-back tugs up to the nose wheel ands chained the tugs to the wheel mechanism.

A writ was nailed to the mast - no that is for ships - but simply the legal seizure authority notice was taped to the hull. A short while later the planes having been bailed out by the owner (the planes were leased) and flown straight back to Death Valley, some were sold and flew again , others stripped down for parts and a few just left to fae away.

So what will happen next? Just watch this space....we are also dying to find out !

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

video

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Tucson Shooting - Arizona files Court Documents

Office of the United States Attorney, Dennis K. Burke District of Arizona

MEDIA ADVISORY
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Public Affairs MANNY TARANGO Telephone: (602) 514-7456 Cell: (602) 799-8322

Federal Complaint Filed Against Jared Lee Loughner

The United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, Dennis K. Burke, announced today that his office filed a federal complaint against Jared Lee Loughner. The complaint was signed by Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns in Phoenix. Loughner is suspected of shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll, Giffords' staff member Gabriel Zimmerman and approximately 16 others Saturday in Tucson. The federal complaint alleges five counts against Loughner:

COUNT 1 On or about January 8, 2011, at or near Tucson, in the District of Arizona, the defendant, JARED LEE LOUGHNER, did attempt to kill Gabrielle Giffords, a Member of Congress; in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 351(c).

COUNT 2 On or about January 8, 2011, at or near Tucson, in the District of Arizona, the defendant, JARED LEE LOUGHNER, did unlawfully kill Gabriel Zimmerman, an employee of the United States who was engaged in performance of official duties and who was assisting Member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords while she was engaged in performance of official duties; in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 1111.

COUNT 3 On or about January 8, 2011, at or near Tucson, in the District of Arizona, the defendant, JARED LEE LOUGHNER, did unlawfully kill John M. Roll, a United States District Court Judge for the District of Arizona, an employee of the United States who was engaged in performance of official duties; in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 1111.

COUNT 4 On or about January 8, 2011, at or near Tucson, in the District of Arizona, the defendant, JARED LEE LOUGHNER, did, with intent to kill, attempt to kill Pamela Simon, an employee of the United States who was engaged in performance of official duties and who was assisting Member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords while she was engaged in performance of official duties; in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 1113.

COUNT 5 On or about January 8, 2011, at or near Tucson, in the District of Arizona, the defendant, JARED LEE LOUGHNER, did, with intent to kill, attempt to kill Ron Barber, an employee of the United States who was engaged in performance of official duties and who was assisting Member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords while she was engaged in performance of official duties; in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 1113.

Defendant Loughner will make an initial appearance on the complaint at 3 p.m. Monday January 10, 2011 in front of Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson at the Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse in Phoenix in courtroom 302.

He is entitled to a preliminary hearing and detention hearing.

The court will set a date for both hearings. Loughner remains in federal custody. The Rules of Criminal Procedure require that a grand jury review the evidence and issue an indictment within 30 days of the defendant's initial appearance.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona is in the process of drafting an indictment against Loughner for presentation to the grand jury.

RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-003( Loughner) ### For more information on the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/az/

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Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5

TUCSON SHOOTING - AMERICA CIRCLES WAGONS



The legal documents in the tragic Tuscon shootings have been released.




Federal charges of Murder will be tried first (Federal employees were shot) with the State of Arizona filing additional Murder charges later. All will carry the death penalty. Very impressed with the speed and depth of knowledge being shown by Megan Kelly (former attorney) on Fox News (SKY 509).

This shooting will have a long term effect on US Domestic politics and an adverse effect on inbound tourism, as all visitors now effectively go through a visa process and additionally the whole gun ownership question will be debated over and over just at the height of the 2011 Holiday (Vacation) booking period in the UK and Europe. END

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Total refunds possible on Diamond Holidays collapse says Travel Expert Julian Bray


We're not going on a Coaching Holiday......Diamond Holidays in Administration

Travel writer and broadcaster Julian Bray is concerned at the lack of urgency concerning the release of information to holidaymakers who are financially out of pocket caused by the collapse into administration of the Swansea, Wales based coach and holiday firm Diamond Holidays.

The Swansea based coach operator Diamond Holidays has gone bust and appointed administrators and as usual lots of duff advice is being handed out to holidaymakers who now are left with seemingly worthless travel documents (writes Julian Bray Travel Expert).
The two failed companies D. Coaches Limited (trading as Diamond Holidays) and Brian Isaac Coaches Limited – are both now in administration.
The administrators will try and sell the business and they have invited those interested in making bids for the failed business to call 0113 289 4825. Roger Hale and Rob Lewis of Price Waterhouse Coopers have been appointed joint administrators as from 7 January 2011.

Information at this stage is sparse but what is certain is that as all sub-contractors and hoteliers are being treated as unsecured creditors by the administrators and therefore unlikely to have been put in funds and now have to individually prove their claims against the failed company. So obviously no day trips or short breaks will ever be operated despite the encouraging noises from the administrators PWC.

Those holding future travel documents are being asked to call 01792 791 981, details will be taken and possibly a future token payout may be made but it looks doubtful. But whatever happens intending holidaymakers -who rank as unsecured creditors - should not part with orginal documents which should be filed in date order, only send photocopies if demanded.
The one saving grace is that if any part of an invoice issued by Diamond Holidays has been paid by credit card or Visa card, a legal claim can be quickly made against the credit card firm directly under the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act, if the card payment exceeds £100, although the overall invoice price paid may well be much greater and some of th total may have been paid by cash or cheque. The entire total cost including the cash/cheque elemen can be claimed.

The administrators PWC (who will always take out their substantial fees before making any payouts to unsecured creditors!) say the failed companies apparently are financially bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust – Total Payment Protection Policy in respect of coach holidays sold by the companies prior to 31 December 2010.
The provider of this insurance cover will at some time in the future be writing to all customers who have paid for outstanding coach holidays to provide they say 'guidance on submitting their claims'. This is however a long and difficult process and could take a year or more to complete, so first port of call could well be a claim against your credit card company.

Intending holidaymakers who paid over £100 of the total Diamond Holiday invoice by personal credit card will be able to claim the entire holiday invoice against the Credit Card Company, if they paid at least £100 by credit card under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. In any case the insurance agents will probably direct credit card payers towards Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and then close down any claim.
General Creditors (non Customer, inc hoteliers, sub contractors and general suppliers)
Any amounts owed by the Companies will rank as an unsecured creditor claim against the Company and are being directed towards the administrators helpline on 0113 289 4825. Payout is any will be a long and contracted process.


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' Radio and TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Milliband 45 minute death sequence from BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine prog






Click the link only a few days left to hear the broadcast of a thousand cuts, as Ed Milliband is taken apart by the great British Public on the Jeremy Vine show. USA eat your heart out, this is real politics - and the longest waspish self inflicted political death scene in history.


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

ITV NEWS BARRED FROM JOANNA PRESS CONFERENCE



STOP PRESS: We hear that Avon Police have now reconsidered the outright ban and have invited ITN/ITVnews crews to attend future Press Conferences.


At Wednesday's press conference by Avon and Somerset police, a TV crew from ITN was told it was not welcome.

Channel 4 News Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson blogs on a
"peculiar" situation:


Extraordinary goings-on in Bristol where a British police
force decided to exclude a team from ITV News on the basis that they did not like their last report. Clearly, if we are moving along the road to a place where the police decide they will only take questions from "trusted" reporters - then we are heading for a very bad place indeed.


ITV News is part of ITN which produces Channel 4 News
among other programmes. So, interest duly declared - what happened?


It seems Avon and Somerset police have objected to an item
on ITV News at Ten last night by Geraint Vincent. In that report a former murder squad detective was taken to where the body was found. He made some criticisms of the police investigation. He suggested pieces of litter possibly covered with DNA had not been picked up - although they could have been dropped after the event ten days ago.


But this morning, ITV roll up to the presser in Bristol, only to be denied entry.

The police explained this very rare action in the following way: "We have made a complaint to Ofcom in respect of the unfair, naïve and irresponsible reporting on the ITN ten o'clock news yesterday evening."As we are still awaiting a response to our complaint it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time. "A live murder investigation has been under way now for just twelve days and the media have played an important role in helping us to appeal for witnesses. While we appreciate the support we have received so far from most of the media we must step in if we feel coverage will hamper the investigation. Our primary aim will always be to secure justice for Joanna."

I make no judgement at all about last night's report. But surely nor should the police. Their business is to solve a terrible murder and it's hard to see how diverting energy into the distraction of media censorship will further that paramount aim. I followed the Raoul Moat business last year and Northumbria police complained long and hard about some aspects of the reporting of that case.

But they never, ever, contemplated anything like this. So is there something peculiar about Avon and Somerset police force? Well the evidence suggests there might be.

Back in 2007 the same force held a briefing for the media which revealed that the police would be exhuming the bodies of former residents at the Parkfields care home who were suspected of having been poisoned by the home's owners.

Freelance journalist Simon Trump found himself uninvited to this event. He'd been covering the story closely for some time. When Trump, a former national newspaper journalist of 12 years who worked for the Sunday Times and Today, contacted them he was told he was not invited.

A press officer told him that only journalists who the police have a special working relationship with and could trust were invited. So it seems we have a police force here that does believe in censoring any media outlets with whose coverage it disagrees or with whom it feels it does not have a working relationship.

Other forces will be watching closely. Because the police of course have one major thing in common with the media - given a proverbial inch, they will happily take a country mile. If other chief constables see that Bristol and Avon can get away with this - rest assured they will all be at it.





Julian Bray comments: I have to declare an interest. ITN and other front line news organisations from time to time invite me to contribute as a media and travel specialist to their news bulletins, I lawfully hold a police recognised Press identity card and I also chair an award winning neighbourhood watch organisation in Cambridgeshire. If Police are denying access to bona fide news organisations on the ground they do not like the tone or quality of reporting then, the problem isn't with the news organisation but the Police.




In Cambridgeshire, we have a close working relationship with police and the new Chief Constable is well able to robustly correct any stray or biased news reporting and that is how it should be. During the Lord Lucan investigation several decades ago where Lucan was thought to have murdered a nanny, I was placed in exactly the same position as a BBC radio news reporter when Chelsea London police asked the assembled journalists for ideas.



With my tape recorder running I asked the senior policeman in charge [Roy Ransom?] "You called the news conference but refuse to give us any information. I don't think you know anything at all new and are simply on a fishing expedition?" With that, Police called an abrupt halt to the conference and immediately cleared the police station..... they never did find Lord Lucan.....


Julian Bray has added this extra comment: As recorded above Avon Police have now reconsidered their ban on the ITN /ITVnews crews and have invited them to attend future press conferences. The right decision, for which Police have to be given due credit. It would also be a good idea if the Chief Constable was to present the wider aspects of this case to the media as it relates to policing and not leave it all to the operational team whosed media presentational skills are still in development as it were....




Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.
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