WHERE DOES THE UK'S OVERSEAS AID GO? Prepare to be shocked

So who gets the £100,000,000  per annum for Uganda? 
It has been announced today that £100 million pounds is to be spent on urgently needed flood defences in the UK but that is exactly the amount we pay over to Uganda each year, £100 million. India cops off with £280 million. India has a space programme complete with rockets, and an Indian company owns our steel mills, and Jaguar Land Rover Cars ...

So sitting down, blood pressure pills taken? Prepare to be outraged, here is just a selection. The complete DFID list is on the spreadsheet link below.  All the figures are in £ millions.... and the best part is we don't actually know where its all spent! Merry Christmas...

Aid from the UK in £ millions...

Ethiopia (£290m)
India (£280m)
Pakistan (£267m)
Bangladesh (£200m)
Nigeria (£180m)
Afghanistan (£178m)
Tanzania (£150m)
DRC (£147m)
Sudan (£140m)
Uganda (£100m)  
Kenya (£100m) 


Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard, exterior rear and side view

UPDATE: The Uganda President has just taken delivery of two mega expensive custom built  presidential motor cars manufactured in Germany by Mercedes Benz, a new Mercedes Benz S600 Pullman Guard, the transaction valued at $1.4 million...and brokered through a Belgian security company. The UK gifted £100 million to Uganda last year.

Local journalist  SIRAJE LUBWAMA,in Kampala writes:
The debate about the profligate expenditure of the state on cars was thrust back into the public domain after Museveni unveiled a new Mercedes Benz S600 Pullman Guard during the independence golden jubilee celebrations at Kololo Independence grounds, Tuesday.
The limousine is estimated to cost between $300,000 to $1.4m. There are various estimates about what the state paid to secure Museveni the car that was individually tailored in the German city of Stuttgart, with some reports putting it at an eye-popping Shs 2bn. 
This comes after government dipped into the public purse to buy cars for each of the 385 lawmakers at Shs 103m apiece (collating a grand total of Shs 39bn). The Speaker of the House and her deputy also were furnished with sleek cars that cost Shs 860m apiece. 
Observers find it ironical that whereas the Finance ministry has in the last three financial years failed to secure funds to implement the student loan scheme and bridge the funding gap in the health and education sectors, it has managed to find money to buy cars for the government officials.

Contributor: Media Expert, Aviation, Politics & Travel Commentator, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 01733 555319) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK

Rotherham Results in Lab Hold

Sarah Champion (LAB) secures clear victory despite swing to UKIP.

Sarah Champion's victory sees Labour retain Rotherham seat vacated by Denis MacShane, who quit  after admitting fiddling his MPs'expenses.

Despite a 7.13% swing from Labour to UKIP, Sarah Champion has a majority of 5,218.

The full results of this by-election are as follows:-

Sarah Champion (Lab) 9,866  (46.25%, +1.62%)
Jane Collins (UKIP) 4,648  (21.79%, +15.87%)
Marlene Guest (BNP) 1,804  (8.46%, -1.96%)
Yvonne Ridley (Respect) 1,778  (8.34%)
Simon Wilson (Cons) 1,157  (5.42%, -11.32%)
David Wildgoose (Eng Dem) 703  (3.30%)
Simon Copley (Ind) 582  (2.73%, -3.58%)

Michael Beckett (Lib Dems) 451  (2.11%, -13.87%) LOST DEPOSIT
Ralph Dyson (TUSC) 261  (1.22%)
Paul Dickson (Ind) 51  (0.24%)
Clint Bristow (ND) 29  (0.14%)

Contributor: Media , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK


Lord Justice Leveson 

Julian Bray Media Commentator writes: "Well it could have been worse." This seems the be the general feeling from the few conversations, I've had  immediately the £5.5 million Report was published. 

A huge weighty tome and delivered very quickly, but with subtle recommendations, no legislation to control or shackle the press or media at large, and a suggestion that the Ofcom model of arms-length regulation as applied to broadcasters should be adopted.  

A shade of 'statutory underpinning' and a ratcheted up regulatory system will clearly upset some sections of the print media, and a recognition that news editors collectively command substantial power and undue influence (but sub-Editors can daily ruin careers!) 

The fallout will be in the political arena, as Lord Justice Leveson, has very clearly passed the baton back to the media industry and Parliament. The report says that legislation would not create a body to regulate press, and that there has to be a change in press regulation, but the change as such has to come from the media itself.

He recognised  the PCC had failed, and that a new body was required and that senior politicians accept politicians and press are too close. The counsel for the 'victims' addressing the media welcomes the report and the recommendations set out.

The key factor now has to be the willingness of Press Barons and Editors to sign up. However The Spectator has already placed on record that it wants nothing to do with any regulatory system, perhaps the 'subtle' approach might win them over..... the jury as the say is still out and  Cameron and Clegg had yet to wade in....

Update: having waded ( sorry Rebekka!) in, we are no further forward. Cammy with a 24 hour advance reading of the tome, has set his jaw against it. Parliament regulating the press will see the tories on the opposition back benches until hell freezes over. But Brian has got the politicians off the hook, for a few months anyway.

The 'hacked off' campaign will now 'wither and die on the vine' as it were as there is no media circus or platform for future output. A few fading careers back on track, a bit like "Eat a Celebrity, spit out a Politician in Aus" ( new TV format my copyright) Milly with his new red tie is in a right pickle because secretly he agrees with Cammy, but has to bluster for the next couple of years, just to stay in the loop.

Have to admit the media training is going well, Milly far more assertive, less nasal, and developing quite a machine gun delivery, a better line in jokes and running gags.   Cammy setting up a possible legislation drafting operation just in case also takes the heat out of the issue and neatly sidelines the whole matter.

Cleggy facing the wrong way, back to back with Cameron,  both have the duelling pistols drawn; but only Cammy has filled it with powder and shot. Labour however holds the flint and tinder, won all the seats last night, The Lib Dems lost their deposit in Rotherham, the Tory lost his bottle on late night telly. Good to See ir David Frost back on late night BBC1, which of course is where he started.

Charlotte Church played a blinder on Question Time and we might see more of her in this very grown up debating mode. Very apt, as the more it all changes, it continues to remain the same.    Its all going very well, and Brian is immediately heading for Australia for a lecture tour, but if his Worshipfullness nicks my TV programme idea, I'll.....sue or is that mediate, arbitrate, go for counselling, complain, or head for the pub?  You put it to the committee. Pint of Oakhams Bishops Finger landlord , yes, and in view of the Church of England decision earlier tres appropriate. Finally spare a though for Derek Jamieson, a veteran of Fleet Street and following his memorial service at St Brides Church had his ashes scattered along Fleet Street. Do they mean me?  Oh yes, rest well dear friend. Amen          

The Report published at: 


The Executive Summary published at:


Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK

Sailing or Stepping By? Exit George Entwhistle, with £450K, on the good ship BBC Director General. Boaden & Mitchell Update

+++ Breaking News Sunday: George gets a £450k pay off +++
Don't believe everything you  read...

Julian Bray, Media Commentator writes: Sailing By, the haunting theme tune for the BBC shipping forecast ….is so apt, is the BBC really a 'rudderless ship'? Yes, as new state of the art 21st Century cruise liners, don’t have a rudder, but sport azipods....!  

I have to declare an interest, my own BBC career was in the 60’s, 70’s and 80's.  I still freelance for the Corporation, and many other broadcast outlets, these days by ISDN, FTP and Skype all around the world..  

But in those early enterprising days, making a decent living out of something I loved, broadcasting, was not the prime motivator, (many hard working broadcast journalists in BBC Local Radio having just suffered a savage 20% cut in station funding, will tell you, in 2012, they are still well behind on wages).  

My rapidly growing City & financial PR commercial business Leadenhall  (UK PR WEEK Top 150 firm within 18 months of startup) provided the income stream.  I was sucked into the business world and quickly understood the value of Profit and Loss. I was however, later to bid with HTV (now ITV Wales), for the emerging satellite news contracts, effectively combining both disciplines news and commerce.  NOW Television News and CNS - City News Service was created.

Acres of newsprint and hours of valuable broadcast time is being devoted to the honourable demise of the BBC’s latest victim of  Sir Jimmy Savile, the hapless, but technically talented, well respected, gentle George Entwhistle.

The role of Director General is something from a bygone and equally gentle age, the age of the White Star Line in turn swallowed up by the early Cunard and the analogy to cruise ships and rudders, is a good one.

The BBC operates around the clock, and around the world, so do cruise lines. Whatever part or discipline of a cruise line company, the function can be mirrored in the vast super cruise liner now being driven towards the rocks, if you can believe the red tops…. And like the BBC new cruise ships don’t have rudders. They have bolt on electric motors and steerable fans (azipods) and bow thrusters, both for propulsion ie direction and steering, the functions are one and the same.

But enough of this, and if I see Steve Hewlett or any of the other naysayers, trotting out the same world weary worn mantras then I will throw my yellowing copy of the outsourced Radio &  Television Times at my five valve radiogram, just as soon as I have tuned into  Hilversum and unplugged the Televisor. Yes, that was the true age of the grandly sounding BBC Director General, Editor in Chief. But the although the technology has moved on, the job specification of the Director General  has stayed the same, cast in green granite.

But how do we resolve the current catalogue of disasters and create calm out of chaos, and see if crisis management can play a part, or do we shuffle off the problem, to an Inquiry and let it report back in a year or so? Hope that its all blown over….everything changes but it all remains the same…

No. Ownership of the BBC has to be regained, the pirates have boarded the ship over the last decade and have to be defeated….. amazing how the cruise line metaphors…work so well.

The solution: The job of DG isn’t fit for purpose and no one currently working at the BBC has the individual ability to perform all parts of the role. Or put another way the Cruise Director of the mega cruise ship Independence of the Seas explained his role thus: “This is a self contained floating City of  five thousand souls, constantly moving around the world, I am all over this ship 24 hours a day, like a cheap suit, there is nothing going on, apart from hotel operations and the Bridge that I do not know about, it is the only way to work it. I only ask questions when I already know the answer. I work five months non-stop seven days a week,  and then take eight weeks off, then back on again.  It works as I’ve been doing it for nine years.”

Clearly Lord Patten and his BBC Trust have yet to come to terms with the many header hydra they have created. The cruise lines in the 21st Century have all but cracked it , but as we saw with the Costa Concordia, even cruise ship can capsize or run aground.

The role of Director General has to be recast along business lines so his /her job description would read as that of a Chief Executive Officer, the editor in chief remit is out of place and clearly unworkable and needs a dedicated Editorial Compliance Director, tasked exclusively with news management and not sidetracked by speeches, meetings with the Trust and consultants and not tasked with PR and political policy activities,  to which all broadcast journalists and programme makers have direct and immediate access. It will certainly mean a clear out of senior news management, so Helen Boaden and her deputy might be sprucing up CVs, for pastures new ...

All programme editorial plans, at three stages of commissioning, will need to be signed off, thus releasing the financial resources required to complete that stage of the operation. No sign off, no budget, follow the money trail, and all else will come to light.

Nothing moves at the BBC, without an element of funding. 

News agenda breaking news productions where the lead times are just a few hours would still; go through the process buit the stages would be rolled up into one simple compliance action.  This will be a streamlined process, not involving more than say two sheets of paper.

The key being financial approval to proceed will have been examined along with the legal and news values of the story, programme or line of inquiry. The areas overlap, the story is strong so I will need extra financial resources and therefore I need the sign off from Editorial Compliance -  am I winging this or following the BBC Guidelines?   News Agenda short lead time productions such as Newsnight will also go through the same process.

But first the BBC Trust will also have to examine its own role in all this they could have after all refused to accept George Entwhistles resignation, Lord Patten admitted he had several meetings with George but claims Mr Entwhistle still wanted to jump ship. Perhaps the good Lord didn't try too hard?

Admittedly his previous role was that of Director of  Vision so some mud from that function, was still attached when the DG role was offered, and perhaps the BBC Trust should have showed a far greater level of practical induction support. Even factory floor employees go through a period of induction and not just immediately thrown to the baying pack of rival news company newshounds,  and an even greater public mauling from the corporations own well loved news rott,weillers. In future no early morning studio interviews, well until the sun is over the yard arm, would seem to be a sensible standing instruction.

Finally, move the entire news and current affairs operation back to London where it belongs and possibly move the BBC Trust  et al to the celebrated 'gun and crime capital' of the UK Salford..... where do I sign?

Finally, re-employ George Entwhistle, within the corporation, good talent coupled with experience is still  hard to find. Most senior roles in  corporations have a built in trial period, so each side can see if the offer is all that it is cracked up to be. There is no disgrace in being both honest and honourable. George has bucket loads of each...

(C) Julian Bray 2012

+++ BREAKING NEWS: The full BBC statement on Boaden/Mitchell and the rest of MacQuarrie on Newsnight +++

BBC has issued the following statement:

Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland, has reported his findings into the Newsnight broadcast on November 2 2012. 

The following actions have been announced:

1. To address the lack of clarity around the editorial chain of command, a decision has been taken to re-establish a single management to deal with all output, Savile related or otherwise.

2. Helen Boaden has decided that she is not in a position to undertake this responsibility until the Pollard review has concluded. During this period Fran Unsworth will act as Director of News. In line with this decision, Ceri Thomas will act on a temporary basis as Deputy Director in place of Stephen Mitchell.

3. To address the pressure on the Newsnight team Karen O'Connor has agreed to take on the role of Acting Editor of Newsnight.

4. Consideration is now being given to the extent to which individuals should be asked to account further for their actions and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken.

Contributor: Broadcasting, Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK


Standards and Privileges Committee - Second Report 
Mr Denis MacShane

Here you can browse the report together with the Proceedings of the Committee. 

The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 31 October 2012.


This extract gives you a flavour: 

4  Conclusion 

Cooperation with the inquiry

41.   As the Commissioner says, Mr MacShane cooperated fully during the first part of his inquiry. Once that inquiry was resumed, this cooperation ceased for nearly 3 months. He claimed that the Chair had advised him to respond to the Commissioner's letter through a lawyer, a claim which Mr MacShane has since withdrawn. Members under investigation are free to take advice, if they feel it desirable, but the House requires them to respond to the Commissioner and the Committee's inquiries. Mr MacShane has explained the pressure he was under:[41] he should still have responded to the Commissioner's letters. It was open to him to explain that he was unable to deal with the matter immediately: instead he ignored it.

42.  The House of Commons's disciplinary system depends on investigation by an independent person. It is based on the principle that Members will provided the information the Commissioner needs to consider a complaint. In this case, we consider that we have sufficient information to come to a judgement. That does not excuse Mr MacShane's failure to cooperate with the Commissioner's inquiries, which is in itself a serious breach of the Code of Conduct.

Computer Equipment

43.   We agree that Mr MacShane's claims for his computer equipment were excessive, and should have been seen as such. We do not believe that any reasonable Member would have considered it proper to have allowed interns to take laptops provided by the public purse away with them at the end of their internship. As the Commissioner found, Mr MacShane's claims for computer equipment did not meet the requirement to ensure that expenditure funded by the IEP was "wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred on Parliamentary duties."[42] As the Commissioner also found "Mr MacShane was also in breach of the rules in submitting the same invoice twice for a computer he bought in December 2007 for £498.95. I fully accept that this was a mistake on his part and agree with Mr MacShane that it is unfortunate that this was not picked up by the Fees Office at the time."[43]

Claims relating to the European Policy Institute

44.   The most serious findings relate to the expenses claims submitted to support Mr MacShane's work in Europe. The Commissioner considers that some of the activities behind those claims were permissible. The claims totalled £12,900; the Commissioner considers that although it is impossible to say what proportion of the claims were outside the rules, it may have been in the order of £7,500.[44] Over the course of the inquiry, Mr MacShane has repaid the entire £12,900 and he has apologised for his actions to the Commissioner and to us.

45.  The real mischief of Mr MacShane's actions was that the method he adopted of submitting false invoices, as the Commissioner said, bypassed the checks and controls the House had instituted in a way which enabled Mr MacShane to spend public money as he thought fit. For example, one matter which we consider to be of the utmost gravity is Mr MacShane's use of public money to support European travel.

Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK


Fwd: Update to EU exit information – commercial pilots

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