web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News (Page 3)

Pipeline explosion witnesses describe scene where 73 died: ‘People’s skin came off’

Grief-stricken family members and witnesses to Friday’s pipeline explosion in central Mexico — which killed at least 73 people, burning many to just bones or ash, and injured at least 74 — were still reeling from the tragedy Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group AP19019518578952 Pipeline explosion witnesses describe scene where 73 died: 'People's skin came off' Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world/disasters fox news fnc/world fnc fd5737fb-92fd-5042-91e9-38563420b6e6 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The independent MPs who could hold May’s fate in their hands

In 1979, before Sinn Fein became an electoral force in Northern Ireland, Fermagh and South Tyrone was represented in the Commons by an independent Republican, Frank Maguire.  He was only an occasional attender – he ran Frank’s Bar, a pub in public house in Lisnaskea – but, that year, he made all the difference.

This infrequent Commons voter, inclined to abstentionism in the Irish Republican tradition, travelled to Westminster for a no-confidence debate in Jim Callaghan’s Government to “abstain in person”.  Callaghan lost by 311 votes to 310.

Today, as Wesminster’s rumour mill grinds out speculation about a coming general election, it is well worth casting an eye at Maguire’s successors today – the eight oddly-assorted independents who hold Theresa May’s fate in their hands in the event of tight votes, and could decide a no confidence motion one way or another.

Eight is not a large number – but big enough, it seems, to include no fewer than seven categories, five of them related to Labour.

Let’s go through them one by one in the manner that a Conservative Whip might.

  • O’Mara voted against the Government last week both on the Brexit “meaningful vote” and the no-confidence vote.  That would suggest that he will continue to vote with Labour.  Though one cannot be quite sure.
  • Hopkins voted in the same way.  But he is a committed Brexiteer. Might he be persuaded in future at least to abstain on key future votes?
  • Lloyd also voted against the Government last week both on the Brexit “meaningful vote” and the no-confidence vote.  But since his policy reason for leaving the Liberal Democrats is that he believes the referendum result should be honoured, might he too be persuaded in future at least to abstain on key future votes?
  • Field voted with the Government on the meaningful vote but against the Government on the no-confidence vote.  Can he persuaded in any future confidence vote at least to abstain?
  • Lewis voted against the Government on the meaningful vote and abstained the Government in the no-confidence vote.  That suggests that he would do the same in future no confidence votes, which would leave the combined opposition one down.
  • Woodcock also voted against the Government on the meaningful vote and abstained the Government in the no-confidence vote.  He made a speech strongly critical of Jeremy Corbyn in the latter.  Again, that suggests that he would do the same in future no confidence votes, which would leave the combined opposition two down.
  • A by-election is due in Onasanya’s constituency, since she has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and she is unlikely to turn up to future votes.  She abstained last week both on the meaningful vote and the no-confidence vote, which suggests that the combined opposition is three down.
  • During the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years, Hermon tended to vote with Labour.  She left the Ulster Unionists when they went into formal alliance with the Conservatives for the 2010 election.  However, she abhors Jeremy Corbyn.  And she is a dedicated Remainer in a province in which the Remain cause is associated less with a second referendum than the Prime Minister’s deal.  This helps to explain why she is the only independent who voted with the Government on both the meaningful vote and the no confidence motion.  That takes the combined opposition four down and puts the Government one up – if this voting pattern continues, which there is reason to think it will.

Were ConservativeHome the Tory Whips, we would, rightly or wrongly, have special hopes of Woodcock, and to a lesser extent of Field, Lewis, Hopkins and Lloyd, probably in that order.  The third may be hoping for readmittance to Labour which would complicate the picture.

 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Welfare-fraud suspects stole nearly $400G, authorities say

Suspected welfare fraud totaling nearly $400,000 prompted the arrests of 23 people last week in Tulare County, Calif., according to reports.

Westlake Legal Group 667457b4-pol99 Welfare-fraud suspects stole nearly $400G, authorities say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc e7a93875-f051-52c9-ad58-fc6bec74b8ad Dom Calicchio article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

4 border activists convicted of entering refuge, aiding illegal immigrants

Four women were found guilty in a federal court Friday of illegally entering a national wildlife refuge near the U.S.-Mexico border and leaving water and food for undocumented immigrants passing by.

Westlake Legal Group image002 4 border activists convicted of entering refuge, aiding illegal immigrants Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/entertainment/genres/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 6a902efe-cd6c-5ac7-9e94-09b60b277de9

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Steven Edginton: The BBC’s Question Time last week. Abbott was the victim of her own rudeness – not of racism. As I saw at first-hand.

Steven Edginton is the Chief Digital Strategist at Leave Means Leave.

Diane Abbott had a shocker on BBC Question Time last week – so she’s slapped the corporation with a formal complaint. The Shadow Home Secretary claims that the most plausible explanation for the way the audience reacted to her woeful performance is the colour of her skin. So she is crying racism – accusing the programme of “legitimising mistreatment, bias and abuse.” And I’m calling her out.

I was with Abbott throughout the evening in question, and I did not see or hear a single thing to support her knee-jerk allegations. What I did observe was an extremely haughty, discourteous individual who behaved as if she was superior to everybody else. Her attitude towards me personally was particularly shocking – and appears to offer an insight into the deep-seated prejudices of the current Labour leadership.

On air, on what was only Fiona Bruce’s second appearance as Question Time’s new presenter, Abbott floundered about, struggling to defend her party’s increasingly bewildering position on Brexit. That’s understandable. Off air, she was offhand to the point of rudeness, failing to extend even the most basic of courtesies to others involved in the show. It was embarrassing to watch.

From the moment Jeremy Corbyn’s old ally boarded the 16.47 train from London St Pancras to Derby, she seemed to be in a funk. I was travelling with Isabel Oakeshott, the political journalist and commentator, who has been supporting me in my career since I was 17.
The last few years have been a great journey in politics and after various short-term jobs, including at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, I am about to join the cross-party Brexit campaign group Leave Means Leave as their Chief Digital Strategist.

I first contacted Isabel three years ago when I was 16, and still at state school, asking if I could interview her for my YouTube channel, Politics UK. Soon after, she offered to mentor me, and I have since accompanied her to Question Time on four or five occasions. She is always nervous before the show, and likes my help. I enjoy going because I get to meet some of the most interesting characters in politics, who always have fascinating stories to tell.

It’s also an opportunity to find new interviewees from across the political divide for my YouTube channel. I am careful not to get in anyone’s way – almost everyone is anxious before the show– but the atmosphere among fellow panellists en route to the venue and in the Green Room is always friendly, and if there is a good moment to introduce myself to some of the politicians and researchers, I take it.

Alastair Campbell, Lord Winston, Armando Iannucci, Emily Thornberry; the Apprentice’s Claude Littner and the many others I have spoken to before and after the show have all treated me with warmth and courtesy. Six weeks after I met him in a makeshift Green Room in Putney, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor and I met at Kings Cross, where he generously gave me half an hour of his time to talk about Brexit for my YouTube channel. What a contrast with Abbott, who struggled even to muster an ill-tempered “hello.”

My opportunity to introduce myself to the Shadow Home Secretary came sooner than I anticipated last Thursday, when Isabel and I found ourselves sitting almost next to her on the train taking us to the show in Derby. As we boarded, she and Isabel exchanged basic pleasantries, before settling down to their preparations.

When Isabel stepped out of the carriage to make a telephone call, I took the chance to say hello to Abbott. “I’m Steven Edginton, I work for Isabel,” I said tentatively.

“I know you work for Isabel,” she sniffed disdainfully – and stuffed on her headphones. She clearly wanted nothing to do with me.
Doubtless she was preoccupied: certainly, she was making plenty of notes. But this went beyond being busy and distracted. Abbott was openly hostile and continued to be so for the rest of the journey. She went out of her way to ignore me, physically turning her back on me on the platform as we alighted, and avoiding all small talk.

When I asked her whether her job was stressful at the moment with all the political chaos, she scoffed back, saying: “I get paid to do it.” The only explanation I could come up with was that, based on the way I look and sound, and my association with Isabel, she mistakenly assumed I was just another privileged Tory public school boy, to whom she did not need to bother giving the time of day. It set the tone for her attitude to others throughout the evening, from her aggressive “talk to the hand” gesture at Isabel which viewers would have seen in the first few minutes of the show to her haughty demeanour to other panellist and their staff.

Abbott’s complaint to the BBC begins with claims that the audience were “whipped up” against her before the show was recorded. Based on what seems to be nothing more than hearsay from a couple of Corybnistas in the audience, she whines that during rehearsals, someone mentioned her youthful romance with Corbyn 40 years ago. Well knock me down with a feather. How very dare they!

Maybe they did; maybe they didn’t – but neither Abbott nor her researcher can possibly know, because they were not there. They were a long way from the auditorium at that point, in the Green Room, with all the other panellists. Any impropriety, by Fiona Bruce or anyone else, is vehemently denied by the very professional BBC Question Time team, which in any case cannot be expected to gag the audience.

During the show itself, Bruce was tough but polite and entirely even handed. Neither Isabel nor Rory Stewart, the Prisons Minister, escaped mockery and heckling from the audience. They smiled and sucked it up, as par for the course on that particular show.

Abbott has some fine qualities: she has dedicated half a lifetime to public service; she is brave, and has to put up with piles of abuse. She is a talented communicator, which is why she is in such demand from broadcasters. She is an old hand at Question Time, and knows what it involves. This is called being held to account by ordinary voters – and if you put yourself forward for the experience on live TV, sometimes you get a roughing up.

Those who falsely cry “racism” to cover up failure or inadequacy discredit themselves and do a terrible disservice to the cause. Abbott, of all people, should know this. Perhaps she should consider her own prejudices – and what instant class-based judgements she makes of someone like me.

Anyone can have an off day. Screwing up in the intense gladiatorial arena of a prime time television show after one of the most extraordinary weeks in British politics is quite understandable. Blaming everyone but yourself is lame, but perhaps not an unnatural reaction to feelings of public humiliation. What is unforgivable is crying racism, when there is nothing whatsoever to support such a claim.

It wouldn’t have mattered whether Diane’s skin was black, white or the colours of the rainbow: she would have been mocked for trying and failing to defend the indefensible. She knew it; the audience knew it; and they reacted with the derision that her party’s cynical, incoherent and opportunistic Brexit policy merits. If that’s racism, then I’m a jellybean.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com