Construction Industry’s McCarthy Gets Off With Small Fine

Remember this- black lists of left wing activists are traded in order to victimise them– well…

Some of Britain’s leading construction firms subscribed to a secret blacklist of workers which prevented them from getting jobs, a court has heard. More than 40 firms used the database of 3,213 workers – which included details of trade union activity – to vet workers, Knutsford Crown Court heard. Ian Kerr, 66, of Avoncroft Road, Stoke Heath, Worcestershire, has been fined £5,000 for administering the list.

Keer has form as a latter day McCarthy-

Kerr has spent many years compiling databases on workers. He did not wish to comment on a report in the Guardian 15 years ago which said he had been working for the Economic League, a controversial vetting agency which accumulated files on thousands of people it considered subversive between 1919 and 1993.

I said at the time- Will the numerous companies listed… who used his expensive blacklist services be prosecuted?- I am trying to act surprised that not only have none of them have been prosecuted but the single man brought to trial gets a small fine.

Kerr ran the blacklist for up to 15 years. The court heard that accounts showed it was paid £478,000 between 2004 and March 2009.

Still investigations are ongoing, as they say (will the police be helping the ICO?)…

After the hearing, ICO investigator Dave Clancy said the inquiry would continue to see if the companies involved had broken the law. “We are looking to see if the requirements of the Data Protection Act have been complied with. We will take action in due course,” said Mr Clancy.

George Guy, regional secretary for the construction workers’ union Ucatt, said he was disappointed by the result of the hearing. He said: “The people who provided this information and received it have got off scot free. Some of our members were out of work for years because of this list. They were forced to live in poverty, unable to provide for their families and they had no idea why. We will continue this fight until the companies involved are brought before the courts.”

(ht2 Jim Jay)

Rape Doctrine

flyer front

Click image for more @HarpyMarx

One might reflect that the crisis of capitalism is allowing those who abhor the public good but worship private profit to reveal their true selves and agendas. Of course there is the gender bias too, so we now find Rape Crisis Centres are under threat not just in North Wales but nationwide. Who does this favour? Well, neoliberals and rapists. Who does this hurt? All who object to rape and those who have experienced it, you might think that would pretty well much cover everyone, but clearly there is a sizeable number of people  (rich and/or men mostly) who are not that concerned with the prevalence of rape in our society. Boris Johnson the Conservative Mayor (really well done there London) gets a quarter of a million pounds a year to write a rubbish weekly column, an amount he referred to as chicken feed. In a just society that money would be taken immediately from him and given to Rape Crisis much as the bonuses paid to financiers should be seized and used to support those made unemployed by City irresponsibility.

Update: This story Capital D mentions also points out the conservative attempts to normalise rape, the Telegraph took an academic paper work in progress titled “Promiscuous men more likely to rape” and totally misrepresented it capping it with the headline “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists”, more @Bad Science. Clearly this is no mere lazy journalism, there is an agenda at work here, a counter movement by misogynists and given the prevalence in society, statistically some rapists (and the British Psychological Society don’t exactly cover themselves in glory either, try and act surprised). The research by the Women’s Resource Centre is very disturbing-

Key findings from this research include:

  • The combined annual income for Rape Crisis centres in 2006-07 was just over £3.5m. The government spent more than twice this amount on advertising and public relations each week in 2004-05.
  • The average annual income for Rape Crisis centres was £81,598, only marginally more than the cost, to the state, of one rape.
  • 69% of centres identified that they were unsustainable in the future.
  • 79% of grants they received were for one year or less.
  • Only 21% of services provided by Rape Crisis are fully funded.
  • The total number of average days spent on waiting lists equals 1,929 days – or 5.3 years.
  • Rape Crisis is a crucial support service for women with historic experiences of sexual violence (such as childhood sexual abuse), with over three-quarters of service users having experiences of sexual violence that occurred in the past.

War is Cancer

It spreads.

(CBS/ AP) Soldiers from a Colorado unit accused in nearly a dozen slayings since returning home – including a couple gunned down as they put up a garage sale sign – could be showing a hostility fueled by intense combat in Iraq, where the troops suffered heavy losses and told of witnessing war crimes, the military said Wednesday.

Well, Duh.

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Viva Palestina Make It Through to Gaza

Adam Horowitz @ Mondoweiss

Viva Palestina, a convoy of US human rights activists has entered Gaza with truckloads of humanitarian aid. The delegation has over 200 people, and is a follow up trip to one led by British MP George Galloway last March. This delegation includes Vietnam vet Ron Kovic, New York City Council member Charles Barron and Cynthia McKinney.

Details are still unclear on how much aid got in. Although Viva Palestina’s website reports that they had over “over one million dollars worth of aide” to bring in, Egypt may not have allowed all of it to enter. As has happened on other delegations to Gaza, Egypt created serious obstacles for the convoy as it attempted to enter Gaza, but they got through.

Viva Palestina US has pics.

Update: (thanks Erwicga) The bad news, Egypt holds up its end of the siege-

The Egyptian Authorities stopped trucks of the Viva Palestina aid convoy from entering the Gaza Strip and allowed the crew 24 hours access. The Palestinian Information Center reported that the crew will be allowed into the Gaza Strip for only 24 hours and the aid supplies will stay at the Egyptian side of the borders.