European News


BBC Plan to Counter ‘Christian Bias’ Could Include Broadcasting Muslim Call to Prayer

15th Nov 2016

The BBC is determined to press ahead with plans to increase its coverage of more religions, and could even broadcast the Muslim call to Friday prayers, thanks to concerns from within the corporation that its religious broadcasting is too biased towards Christianity.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead, director-general of the corporation, will invite religious leaders to take part in discussions on increasing multi-faith coverage, following the publication of a BBC report which claimed that there was currently a disproportionate amount of Christian coverage, compared with other faiths.

Lord Hall is also set to appoint a senior executive to the board of governors with a remit to draw up new programme ideas to complement the corporation’s current Christian output, The Times has reported. A BBC insider said that Lord Hall was determined to do more to more represent others.

“Faith is remarkably important. The BBC can and must do more to ensure that the important role faith plays is recognised and reflected in our programming,” a source said.

For years the BBC has come under fire for being biased against Christians and towards members of other faiths, Islam in particular.

A 2012 report by the New Culture Forum entitled ‘A Question of Attitude – the BBC and Bias Beyond News’ found that, while Christians were portrayed as laughable at best, violent extremists at worst by BBC programme-makers, the corporation went out of its way to paint Muslims, including Muslim extremists, in a moderate light.

In one example cited, a BBC drama depicted a peaceable Muslim being beheaded at the hands of Christian extremists.

The report noted: “It sometimes feels as if someone in the BBC has sent round a memo instructing programme makers to compensate for the negative publicity that inevitably attends the exposure of terrorist plots to murder large numbers of people by force-feeding the public whitewashed or positive images of Islam.

“Though no doubt well-meant, and carried out in the furtherance of community cohesion, this approach does not help moderate Muslims who have to contend with extremists, and risks nurturing suspicions of institutional bias.”

Religious leaders expected to be invited to the BBC’s discussions include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

Harun Khan, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), is also expected to attend as are Hindu and Sikh leaders.

Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB has suggested that the BBC could televise Friday prayers from a mosque, cover Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan, or show children attending Koranic lessons.

The move comes months after Aaqil Ahmed, former head of religion and ethics at the BBC, told a Commons committee that he had prepared a report for Lord Hall on the BBC’s religious output across TV and radio, which he claimed was biased toward Christianity.

“Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths,” he said.

In response, Christian group A Voice for Justice launched a petition calling for Aaqil Amhed “to be removed from office on the grounds of Islamic bias and clear disrespect for Christian belief.”

The petition text reasoned: “He has regularly commissioned documentaries displaying clear pro-Islamic bias, while calling into question fundamental tenets and teachings of Christianity, in such a way as to trivialise and undermine Christian faith.

“The UK is a Christian country […] our society [is] based upon Christian values.

“It is entirely right therefore that Christianity be given more airtime than the beliefs of minority groups, and that it should be treated with respect. In particular, Islam should not be singled out for special interest and presented as impliedly superior to Christianity.

“We therefore call on Lord Hall as Director General of the BBC to reject this misguided and overtly anti-Christian proposal, and for Aaqil Ahmed’s immediate removal from office.”

The petition has been signed by more than 13,000 people to date.

 

source; http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/11/14/bbc-plan-counter-christian-broadcast-muslim-prayer/

Sweden opens first atheist cemetery to cater to growing non-religious population

true-evolution

22nd Oct 2016

A graveyard free of any religious symbols has been opened in Sweden to cater to the country’s growing number of atheists.

Josef Erdem, a teacher from Borlänge in central Sweden, first proposed the idea because he wanted people to “decide for themselves what their graves should look like”.

He said he had grown up in Kurdistan and as a result his worldview had been shaped by having friends from all walks of life.

He sent in the formal application for the ground after negotiating with local representatives of the Church of Sweden.

The church will maintain the graveyard but that will be the extent of their involvement with the cemetery.

Mr Erdem told The Local: “People can decide for themselves what their graves should look like, but the cemetery will be free of all religious and nationalist symbols.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this, many of them religious, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

“In fact the reaction has been positive from religious and non-religious people alike across the country.”

He stressed that people of faith were welcome to be buried there as well so long as they accepted that they could not have the marks of their religion on their headstone.

The cemetery, which is close to the local church, is currently empty but several locals have expressed an interest in being buried there.

Local teacher Gunnar Lindgren told broadcaster SVT: “I don’t want a burial place with a stone that needs to be cared for. I also don’t want a church burial because I’m not a believer so this suits me”.

Sweden has the second-highest number of non-religious people as a percentage of its population of any country in the world, according to a 2015 survey by Gallup International and the WI Network of Market Research.

The study found that 76 percent of Swedish respondents said they were either “not religious” or a “convinced atheists”.

The only country to score higher was Communist-controlled China, where religion is officially frowned upon.

 

 

source:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-atheist-cemetery-opens-religion-church-of-sweden-a7371006.html

France bans the use of plastic crockery and cutlery to aid battle against climate change

suspicious

21st Sept 2016

Plastic crockery and cutlery is to be banned in France unless it is made from biologically sourced materials.

The law comes into force in 2020. It is part of a French environmental initiative called the Energy Transition for Green Growth, part of a package aimed at tackling climate change.

But, the Independent reported, the move faces a challenge from Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organisation representing European packaging manufacturers.

“We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law,” said Eamonn Bates, secretary general of Pack2go Europe.

He said there was no proof that biologically sourced material was any more environmentally beneficial.

Mr Bates said the ban could make the litter problem worse because consumers would believe that packaging left in the countryside would be biodegradable.

The move against disposable cutlery and crockery is part of a growing trend to outlaw the use of plastic in several parts of the world.

Karnataka in India has banned the use of plastic across the entire state. San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags in 2007 and plastic water bottles on public properties in 2014. In Britain customers must pay 5p for each plastic bag.

 

 

source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/17/france-bans-the-use-of-plastic-crockery-and-cutlery-to-aid-battl/

Russian public doesn’t trust monitors to make elections fair

hunger games china
17th Sept 2016
Less than half of all Russians think that the presence of monitors can make elections more honest and transparent, with a third of respondents holding that external monitoring has no effect at all.

According to the latest research made by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center (VTSIOM) only 43 percent of Russians think that the presence of observers at elections make them fairer, down from 49 percent in 2011. Thirty-four percent of those polled said that monitors’ participation in elections process had no effect whatsoever on its fairness, also down from 36 percent five years ago.

The share of those who said that in their opinion monitors were actually making elections less fair increased from 5 percent in 2011 to 8 percent. Some 15 percent of respondents said they could not give a direct answer to the question, also up from 10 percent five years back.

When researchers asked Russians what, in their opinion, the main motivation was of those who work as elections monitors, 30 percent said it was just a way to earn money, but 19 percent said they were driven by their pursuit of justice and fairness. Six percent answered that this was a way to exercise ‘an active civil position’, 3 percent hold that people who perform these functions are forced to do so, while a further 3 percent referred to unidentified “own interests.” One percent of poll participants said that observers were just killing their spare time, another 1 percent named various “other reasons”. A sizable 41 percent answered that they had no idea why people were working as elections monitors.

Of those polled, 6 percent said that they had previously worked as elections monitors and 94 percent have never performed such a function. At the same time, 18 percent said they were ready to become monitors in some polls in the future, 8 percent also agreed to participate, but only on condition that their work was supported by the state and the community. Some 70 percent answered that they would turn down such proposal.

Russia is holding parliamentary elections on Sunday, as well as a set of regional polls in which citizens would elect several regional and municipal heads and legislatures.

The head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC), Ella Pamfilova, has previously urged all political parties to send their representatives to monitor the polls in order to prevent any violations. In the same statement she warned civil servants about criminal responsibility for meddling with the voting process.

In July, representatives of the CEC told reporters that they had signed bilateral agreements with 27 nations, allowing their representatives to conduct monitoring at the forthcoming polls. They also said that albeit the United States was not among these countries, but invitations could be extended to US citizens on a personal basis.

Separate invitations have been extended to representatives of several major international blocs, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

At the same time, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has been denied access to the State Duma elections because of the ongoing infringement of the rights of the Russian delegation in this group.

 

source: https://www.rt.com/politics/359191-public-in-russia-does-not/

Bayer to acquire Monsanto for $66B

MonsantoProtest

14th Sept 2016

By accepting Bayer’s offer, the largest cash acquisition proposal on record, Monsanto is set to give the German company a shot at grabbing the top spot in the fast-consolidating farm supplies industry, combining its crop science business with Monsanto’s strength in seeds.

Germany-based health and agricultural giant Bayer reached a deal to acquire seed and pesticide firm Monsanto for $66 billion in yet another jolt to a global agricultural sector that has been rocked by sluggish crop prices.

Bayer said Wednesday that it agreed to pay $128 per share in cash for St. Louis-based Monsanto after months of acquisition talks in which the pursuer sweetened its bid on multiple occasions.

Following a flurry of major deals in the ag sector, such as the tie-up of ag giants Dow Chemical and DuPont, regulatory scrutiny from the Obama administration and other governments could prove to be an obstacle for the Bayer-Monsanto accord.

But Bayer agreed to pay $2 billion if the deal collapses under anti-trust pressure, in what investors call a breakup fee. Bayer, which is financing the deal with a combination of its cash reserves and new debt, described the fee as reflective of “its confidence that it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.”

Monsanto shares (MON) rose 0.8% in pre-market trading to $106.90, falling well short of the deal price, possibly reflecting skepticism that the deal will be finalized.

The companies said they expect the deal to be finalized by the end of 2017.

“This represents a major step forward for our crop science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven life science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, who called the deal “a testament to everything we’ve achieved” and said it would create an “innovation engine.”

In 2015, the companies had combined revenue of 23 billion euros. They said they expect to save $1.5 billion in “synergies” within three years — a corporate term that typically includes cost costs and combined purchasing power.

The combined company’s seeds division and North American headquarters will be based in St. Louis. Its pesticide and crop science division will be based in Monheim, Germany. The company said it will also have “an important presence” in Durham, N.C., a digital farming business headquartered in San Francisco and many other operations.

Bayer said it’s too early to say whether job cuts will occur.

“Based on our preliminary analysis, and given the complementarity of the portfolios and geographic focus of both companies, we expect to maintain major sites in the U.S., as well as in Germany,” Bayer said.

 

 

source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/09/14/bayer-monsanto-acquisition/90346412/

U-turn over spit hood pilot after City Hall fears

spithood

8th Sept 2016

A plan to pilot the use of spit hoods by the Met Police has been abandoned after London’s mayor voiced concerns.

The mesh fabric hoods are placed over the heads of suspects to protect police officers from being spat at or bitten.

The restraining device was to be trialled at 32 custody suites across the capital from October.

Mayor Sadiq Khan responded after human rights groups including Liberty, Amnesty and Inquest said the hoods belonged in “horror stories”.

A City Hall spokesman told the BBC the mayor asked the Met to pause the pilot scheme to give him an opportunity to look at the detail and to consult with the wider public as well as the police themselves.

‘Spitting a real problem’

In a statement, the Met said: “The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) does not currently use spit guards, although their national use and development has been closely monitored for a number of years.

“There are now a number of forces where spit guards are used both operationally in response to incidents and in custody.

“The MPS has a duty of care to its officers and staff – the issue of spitting and biting is a real problem, particularly in a custody environment, and is a significant health risk.

“Over a number of years, the MPS has been looking at potential ways of minimising the threat this issue poses to officers and staff.

“One of the options that has been considered has been spit guards in custody suites.”

Earlier Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty, called the use of spit hoods “primitive, cruel and degrading ” adding their use would inspire “fear and anguish”.

“Police have the power to use force against citizens when they have to – using handcuffs, arm restraints, leg restraints, pepper spray, batons,” she said.

“The suggestion that officers need to be able to cover people’s faces and heads is as far-fetched as it is frightening.

“Spit hoods belong in horror stories, not on the streets of a civilised society – we urge the Met Police to think again.”

Image caption The spit hoods would be used in police custody suites

The Police Federation has called for the use of spit hoods to protect officers.

British Transport Police has used a hood 151 times since introducing them in June 2014.

The force is being investigated by the police watchdog over an incident where officers put a spit hood on a man at London Bridge in July.

Shamik Dutta, the solicitor representing the man who had the hood put on his head, said: “The application of a spit hood can be deeply distressing and humiliating, causing panic in the detained person.

“By obscuring someone’s face, the use of a spit hood can prevent witnesses, including police officers, from quickly identifying whether a person is suffering breathing difficulties, is choking or has suffered some other serious facial or head injury requiring immediate medical attention to avoid life-threatening consequences.”

‘Hand across mouth?’

Lord Adebowale, former chair of the commission on the Met Police’s response to mental health, said: “There is an awful trend of these devices being misused and being used in a way which tends to impact minority ethnic groups, those with mental health challenges, those with learning difficulties.”

He added he was concerned they could be used “in situations where the police may not be trained to deal with it”, leading to individuals being “forced into positions where breathing can be restrained”.

He also said it was a question of human dignity.

But former senior Met officer Hamish Brown, said: “What’s the other option? Putting a hand across someone’s mouth or a handkerchief in their mouth?

“It is pretty awful to have this, but unfortunately it’s the way society has gone. It is for the police to be sensible and use their discretion.”

A Met spokeswoman said officers would be trained to ensure use was proportionate, but added they were necessary “to meet the duty of care owed to officers when a detainee spits at or attempts to bite them”.

 

source:http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37292125

UK police will soon start bagging people’s heads during arrests

liberty and police

8th Sept 2016

Metropolitan Police officers will soon be able to use specially designed bags, known as spit hoods, to cover suspects’ heads during arrests and in police stations.

The mesh bags are used to restrain suspects and protect the police from those who might try to bite or spit at them. The Met insists the hoods prevents exposure to diseases and serious infection.

In a pilot scheme starting in October, 32 custody units will receive material and training on how to use the “spit guards.” Their application on any suspect will be recorded under “use of force.”

Spit hoods are not to be used on the streets initially, so as not to incense the public, but detail on their use after the pilot scheme expires has not been provided.

The measure has been controversial with human rights groups, which have deemed the use of spit hoods “an alarming development” and as “cruel and degrading.”

The device may breach suspects’ rights, with some police chiefs suggesting the hoods resemble the trappings adopted at Guantanamo Bay. Even the Met was once opposed to them.

“A spit hood is a primitive, cruel and degrading tool that inspires fear and anguish,” said Liberty director Martha Spurrier.

“We have seen many cases where the police use them unnecessarily and without justification, including on children and disabled people.

“Police have the power to use force against citizens when they have to – using handcuffs, arm restraints, leg restraints, pepper spray, batons. The suggestion that officers need to be able to cover people’s faces and heads is as far-fetched as it is frightening. Spit hoods belong in horror stories, not on the streets of a civilized society. We urge the Met police to think again.”

Deborah Coles from legal charity Inquest echoed the sentiment.

“This is an alarming development with seemingly no debate or consultation and will do nothing to assist police and community relations,” she said.

“The use of a hood as a piece of police equipment is frightening and raises real concerns about its potential for misuse against the most vulnerable and discriminated against sections of society.”

The Police Federation, however, thinks the measure is necessary to protect its rank-and-file officers.

The police union’s health and safety representative, Che Donald, said: “I’d rather take a punch to the face than be spat at.”

He told the Guardian newspaper: “We do not deal with the most savory people. Hepatitis is prevalent within the drug abuse community. I don’t see it as a use of force, it is a health and safety issue.”

The risk of the hoods to arrestees, however, has been described as high by police monitoring groups.

“Every new piece of kit is always justified on the grounds of officer safety,” Kevin Blowe from the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) told RT.

“Yet again, there is no regard to the long history of violently misusing equipment against people with mental health issues and those who are routinely targeted by the police, particularly young people from minority communities.

“This is how very vulnerable people have died in police custody in the past. It happened with the introduction of CS spray, positional restraint techniques and Tasers. Our concern is that it’s only a matter of time before spit hoods are a contributor to another grieving family’s search for answers about the death of a loved one.”

Human rights charity Amnesty International said in a statement: “Spit hoods can restrict breathing, create disorientation and can be dangerous and extremely distressing. Serious questions must be asked as to whether these restraints which have been criticized for breaching human rights guidelines should actually have a role in modern British policing.

“It beggars belief that the Met police would choose to introduce these restraints in their toolkit, particularly given that so many other major British police forces have chosen to outlaw them.”

Until recently only smaller forces and the British Transport Police (BTP) used spit hoods.

 

 

source;https://www.rt.com/uk/358397-police-spit-guard-bags/

Rutgers: to avoid microaggressions, only speak when ‘necessary’

language

1st sept 2016

Students in at least one Rutgers University residence hall are being encouraged to use only language that is “helpful” and “necessary” to avoid committing microaggressions.

The display, photos of which were obtained by Campus Reform, is titled “Language Matters: Think,” and was placed in the College Avenue Apartments by a resident assistant, according to a current resident of the building who does not wish to be identified.

Victims of microaggressions are “more at risk for illness & decreased immune system.”

Erected as part of the university’s “Language Matters” campaign, the bulletin board instructs students to ask themselves whether their choice of words is “true,” “helpful,” “inspiring,” “necessary,” and “kind” before speaking out, and also includes a list of potentially-offensive terms, such as “retarded” and “illegal aliens.”

The board warns students that failing to follow these guidelines could lead them to commit a microaggression, which include “microassaults,” “microinsults,” and “microinvalidations.”

Also included on the bulletin board is a flyer from the “Language Matters” campaign, an initiative launched by the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities some time during the 2015 fall semester.

The flyer, which was adapted from the University of Maryland’s “Inclusive Language Campaign,” lists various terms that some people might find offensive, presenting scenarios such as saying “he looks like a terrorist” to someone who is “a United States veteran;” using the phrase “that’s so ghetto” around someone who “grew up in poverty;” and commenting that an “exam just raped me” in the presence of “a survivor of sexual assault.”

The “Language Matters” website includes a presentation similar in nature to the flyer, outlining the “big impact” of “little things” and providing examples of the three types of microaggressions.

A microassault may include “avoiding someone,” for instance, while an example of a microinsult is telling someone they are strong for a girl. A microinvalidation, meanwhile, could involve asking an Asian or Latino person where they are from.

Simply avoiding offensive language, however, is not enough according to Rutgers, which claims that microaggressions can also be “nonverbal” and “environmental,” but fails to elaborate further.

the giver precision of language

Rutgers also has a Bias Prevention Education Team that handles reports of microaggressions and other “bias incidents,” which experienced a surge of reports after alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos visited campus last semester, the anonymous student claimed. Liberal students memorably protested the event by covering themselves in fake blood, but still complained vehemently that the university had tolerated what they deemed “hate speech.”

Rutgers president Robert Bachi defended Yiannopoulos’ right to speak on campus despite expressing views that may be considered offensive, but the “Language Matters” campaign contradicts that message through 60- to 90-minute workshops examining how “negatively charged words…create a damaging environment for all of society,” during which presenters seek “to demonstrate how microagressions hinder our ability to have a diverse and inclusive society/community.”

The bulletin board in the College Avenue Apartments building admits that so-called microaggressions are often unintentional, but preemptively rejects the notion that promoting inclusive language is “making a big deal out of nothing.”

micro agressions

According to the display, even though microaggressions are “not the same thing as hate crimes or overt bigotry,” they still affect victims “physically, emotionally, [and] behaviorally,” placing them “more at risk for illness & decreased immune system.”

Representatives for Rutgers are currently looking into the matter for Campus Reform, and have promised to provide additional details about the “Language Matters” bulletin board. This article will be updated once that information is received.
source: http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8081

Germans encouraged to stockpile food

storefood

23rd Aug 2016

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.

The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.

People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.

The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.

However, the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,” the paper cited the report as saying.

It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.

A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.

Germany’s Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.

 

 

source: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/europe/2016/08/23/germans-encouraged-to-stockpile-food.html?

Taxpayer will fund Tony Blair’s legal costs as Iraq War families look to sue

stupid shit

20th Aug 2016

axpayers will be obliged to pay all Tony Blair’s legal bills if he is sued by the families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

The former prime minister is covered for all court costs – including possible multi-million pound damages – related to allegations that he abused his power to take the country to war.

Families of dead soldiers planning to sue Mr Blair have launched a public appeal to get their legal case off the ground, and in less than 24 hours, raised more than £50,000  enough for lawyers to start work on the case.

They said they were ‘sickened to their stomachs’ to discover that while they had to rely on public generosity to bring the action, Mr Blair was indemnified under Cabinet Office rules – meaning the action won’t have to cost him a penny.

Mr Blair faces being sued for misfeasance in public office in the wake of the publication of the Chilcot report, which came as close as it could to suggesting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was illegal.

The Cabinet Manual, which is the rule book for the operation of Government, states that ministers and former ministers “are indemnified by the Crown for any actions taken against them for things done or  decisions made in the course of their  ministerial duties”.

It goes on: “The indemnity will cover the cost of defending the proceedings, as well as any costs or damages awarded against the minister.”

Blair: I accept full responsibility without exception and without excuse for taking Britain to war Play! 02:10

Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew Bacon, a major in the Intelligence Corps, was killed in a roadside bomb in 2005, said: “It is sickening he is indemnified. You feel this in the pit of your stomach. We will just have to swallow it – as difficult as it is to swallow.”

Reg Keys, whose son Lance Corporal Tom Keys was one of six Royal Military Police slaughtered by a mob at Majar al-Kabir in 2003, said: “It is very very disappointing if Tony Blair is indemnified against any financial punishment. It is nauseous to think he will have the taxpayer fund him while we are trying to raise funds to sue him.”

The Iraq War Families Campaign Group launched a fund-raising drive on Tuesday in an attempt to “bring to justice to those responsible for the war and the deaths of our loved ones”.

The appeal followed the conclusion of the Chilcot Inquiry, which sharply criticised the decision-making behind the war and said it had been poorly-planned and ended in failure.

About 30 families of dead soldiers are understood to be backing the legal action and will use the funding to pay for a legal team from the law firm McCue & Partners for a “full and forensic” analysis of the 2.6 million-word Chilcot report.

Within a day of launching, the appeal on the CrowdJustice website had reached its target of £50,000.

The lawyers estimated they need £150,000 to get to the point of bringing proceedings against Mr Blair, given the huge costs of launching a complex High Court legal action.

The fundraising website states: “Those responsible should be held to account. Now it is down to us, the Families, to ensure that justice is done. Not only for the sake of our children, siblings, parents and spouses, whose lives we can never get back, but to deter our state officials from ever again abusing their positions with such tragic and far-reaching consequences.”

The families have resorted to bringing their own case because the International Criminal Court has ruled out bringing proceedings against Mr Blair while the Crown Prosecution Service has twice rejected calls for him to face criminal prosecution in the UK.

The taxpayer has already paid the costs of  ex-ministers and officials, thought to include Mr Blair, for legal advice ahead of publication of Chilcot earlier this month. The prospect of Mr Blair’s defence being paid for will appal his detractors.

He is reckoned to have earned tens of millions of pounds since leaving Downing Street in 2007 through a consultancy and investment business often operating in countries where he established contacts as prime minister.

Mr Blair has insisted he acted in good faith based on the intelligence available to him in the run up to the war. He has denied making a huge fortune and insists he is worth no more than £10 million. He said the Chilcot Report showed there was no secret plan to invade Iraq and parliament had not been misled in the run up to the invasion.

 

source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/19/iraq-war-families-seek-crowdfunding-to-sue-tony-blair/