Who messed up the Software ???

Sun Shine or Brown Out? Out? Out?

Sun Shine or Brown Out Out? OUT?

It’s well known that the financial standing of the British Parliamentary Labour Party is not good. In fact, if the UNITE trade union decided to withdraw their financial support tomorrow, Labour as we know it would implode.

The decision of the Sun (at the behest of its owner) to back the Tories, is if you will forgive the pun “a bolt from the Blue.” Timing was perfect, delivered immediately after the make or break Tuesday Brown Speech and the conference hall then quickly cleared of so called media commentators.

In itself, suggesting game over for Brown and the Labour Party.

The suggested combined date of May 6th for both Local Government and the General Election can be put down to money or the lack of it. Simply Labour does not have the cleared funds to mount two campaigns in any one financial year. Current debt interest alone is around several millions.

Wednesday sees a morning speech from Andy Burnham, Health Secretary and a debate on Citizenship. Looking at the monitors, the Brighton conference hall at 9:30 am has an assembled audience of just a couple of hundred and hopefully the lady with her knitting will make an appearance.

You have to feel sorry for todays’ speakers, the hall will remain virtually empty and rather than return home fired up to fight the upcoming election, many heated debates will be going on around kitchen tables over the next few weeks as to the merits of the whole family supporting the parliamentary ambitions of one of their family members, and the direct and indirect financial costs involved in such an adventure.

At each stage of the selection process, candidates are expected to fork out for media training and several other educational tools to prepare them for their future career in parliament. And of course, the hapless candidate has to pay for the services offered with little or no opportunity to refuse. That is on top of the £500 non refundable entry fee.

At the end of the day can Labour shoe-in the hopefuls into Labour held seats? Well not now. So on a personal financial basis, is it really worth the cost and the disruption to family life for the opportunity of standing next to the Monster Raving Loony candidate? But there again the Labour hopeful will be in good company, as both will probably have lost their deposits!

For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

One Nervous Step at a Time, the Brown Exit Strategy

One nervous step at a time, the Brown exit strategy..

Julian Bray comments:

The truth is out there and Gordon wants you to know that he has both the truth and the answers to all our problems. The problem being that apart from the party activists no one is listening anymore and whoever gets in after the general election, it is not a place any right thinking politician would wish to be.

One collection of truths facing Gordon is that whatever happens he will need to make really savage cuts in all of Labours pet projects. He knows that his ministerial talent is already spread so thinly that none of them however he shuffles the pack will be able to sell the new lean and mean labour future to an unemployed debt ridden electorate. No so much a manifesto but more a manifest of projects to be dumped, cut, culled and glossed over.

Then there is the local difficulty of anti-social behaviour, the tragic events which unfolded in Leicestershire only serve to underline what we all know to be the case anyway. Norfolk in my experience is ten times worse that Leicestershire, I am happy to give anyone who cares to listen chapter and verse. Clearly Normal for Norfolk. Nice to visit, just don’t try to live or work there…

Police have little or no interest in community police matters, when they have untrained PCSO’s to fall back on. Plastic police with limited powers; following up ASBO’s or dispersal orders is just too complicated and needs a trained police constable at the very least. . Just ask my Asian Ugandan born newsagent.

The truth is that MP’s of all parties, due to the cosseted insular lifestyle they have created within the Palace of Westminster simply don’t talk to real people anymore. There are however a handful of hard working exceptions, who due to the failures of others will probably lose their seats anyway. Some have simply given up and will opt for the generous payouts all former MP’s get on leaving office. Some very soon indeed.

If they do care about community matters then both police and MP’s cherry pick what is appropriate for their own agenda. We’ve had twelve years of this administration, how come it is only now they are owning up to mistakes and how matters will be better in the future? A future which has to pay out in monetary terms for the mistakes of the past, with an ever ageing population and fewer in a position to worik and pay taxes.. Finally, How can Ed Balls justify when annoucing multi billion pound educational cut backs,a multi million pound refit of his ministerial offices and even the installation of a ---wait for it --- MASSAGE room!
For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Mind Blowing Substances for Gordon Brown?

Mind Blowing Substances for Gordon Brown?

It just won’t go away and to be fair I raised the issue of Gordons’ medical and mental state on Twitter some months ago. Is Gordon Brown popping 'uppers' and 'downers'? Just how ill is he? The questions won’t go away and the Prime Ministers’ legendary rants and temper tantrums are well documented, a possible pointer to his current mental state.

Even the placid Andrew Marr raised the topic not once but twice on his Sunday morning TV show. A point later picked up by Adam Boulton on SkyTV. Both curtain raisers for the seaside Labour Party conference.

The indicators that Gordon is on a knife-edge can be gauged by his out of control severe nail biting ritual. It was a photographic close up of his fingers during the delivery of a budget speech a few years back that first put me onto this and a chance remark by a medical friend. The reality is that Gordon takes mega bites out of his nails during times of stress so much so that he has been caught having a nibble, live on TV.

The extended un-ending coverage on the terrestrial TV red button service has caught many a politician napping! The G20 in London was particularly fruitful, if you can call it that. It all hinges now on Gordon Browns’ Tuesday speech to the party faithful all down at the seaside.

It’s sods law that whilst they are cooped up inside the conference hall, we outside the hall are enjoying a period of high atmospheric pressure and balmy sunshine. Many will be tempted to skip the usually self centred monologues and union polemics and head for the beach, armed with a bottle of wine, passing a number of empty exhibition stand spaces along the way. Not so easy to play hookey, if you are on the top table.

Ministers doing the rounds of TV and Radio Studios have had difficulty in disguising they are virtually giving up the ghost, but no longer have any problem discreetly distancing themselves from the current leadership. Even if they can’t bring themselves to mention Gordon by name.

How will it all pan out? How, long is a piece of string? Expect a barnstorming lecturn performance from Gordon on Tuesday, it may well be his last, overlong applause and the campaign to oust him to rachet up a few notches and the long knives being sharpened ready for the carnage ahead.

It really is a case of keeping your friends close and your enemy closer still. Trouble is his so-called ‘friends’ have already deserted him and are far too busy saving their own skins, racking up whatever expenses can be lawfully reclaimed!

For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Tony Balls Mega Bushfire Sale at ITV starts Friday..Maybe

Tony Balls Mega Bushfire Sale at ITVplc starts Friday..Maybe

Tony Ball, neatly trousered a massive multi-million pound payoff when he left Sky in 2003, on the condition he did not work in broadcasting for two whole years. So has Mr Ball got through the cash already or is there another reason for not immediately taking on the ITV plc house of fun as their much needed CEO and weilder of the big knife? That was the question I posed on September 11th and Mr Ball is still 'playing hard to get' according to leaks negotiating a £30 million five year package plus perks for his services. Clearly a task for the late Ali Bongo who passed away recently (and laid in a basket weave coffin prompting one magician to comment: " Trust Ali to have the last laugh cremated in a sword basket!")

But back to our tale, Mr Ball still holding out for a mega pay in rather than out! It would of course be the ultimate slap in the face for his old employer Sky TV as they hold some 17 percent of ITVplc shares - rather they are stuck with them as they were purchased in the ITV plc good times at a price far higher than the 45p they are currently resting at! As to meeting targets duering this on-going recession Ball will need to have an all out war on spanish practices in his sprawing regional empire, unless he knows where this is happening it'll take him a couple of years to winkle it all out. As that is not an option, expect wholesale slaughter of sacred cows, container loads of P45's and those who survive put on short term but potentially lucrative contracts.

With all thaton the ITVplc plate, that is probably why the good news about product placement finally being allowed was greeted with little enthusiasm by the City. They have clearly already discounted the extra revenue this will bring against the need to invest in more quality programming without out the aid of reality shows, bankrupt chefs and withered estate agents.

So what is Tony Balls real purpose at ITV plc? The clue is in the coterie of shareholders supporting his campaign and application for the job. They include the highly creative "telly professionals" Legal and General and broadcasting stalwarts Fidelity???? Precisely, both these worthies see piles of cash locked into a declining business and seemingly Mr Ball has the magic key to set those locked up funds free. If only to bolster the balance sheet of shareholders by an early exit strategy. One can only speculate but expect an almighty fire sale and a wholsale shedding of senior personnel and a much pruned payroll. First to go will be the production arm ITV studios and as much of the redundant or underused studio space around the country.

A legacy estate from happier times when ITV was a series of self-contained television stations strongly identified with the regions: Yorshire, Tyne Tees, Grampian, London Weekend, Thames and so on. Expect Mr Ball to rapidly replace senior management with something approaching the Sky model.

Fully robotic studio operations. Young eager (cheap)industry newcomers and graduates straight out of media studies courses. The regional news operation already on the sick list will vanish as deals are done directly with other news suppliers, podcasters and bright freelances with digital transmission equipment.

Expect wholesale opposition from the Unions but Tony Ball can turn around and point to decimated advertising cash inflows.Unions will have to cut a deal and talent likewise will see the gravy train that was old style ITV has not only left town but looks increasing like the National Express East Coast model - destined to hit the buffers in eighteen months...I hope not, but perhaps Mr Ball we can have The Bill back at its normal early evening time together with the old cast - on reduced fees naturally?

Brillant 'Matt' Cartoon Courtesy The Daily Telegraph

For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581


GORDON BROWN TELLS AMAZING PORKIES! And its all captured on video at his news conference.

Well done my champion tweeting bloggers Wicksie and Guido for picking this up. If the Conservatives add this You-Tube gem, to their mountain of leaked Treasury documents (expect the Treasury and all other Govt departmental photocopiers to be working overtime, very silly move to tell Civil Servants they are to be axed and their pensions chopped)the manifesto is already complete.

Anything that's not nailed down or stuffed under the bed at Number 10 will now be leaked. If Eric Pickles at Tory Head Office can get his computer working and ramps uphis tweetability, I'll send the jovial candidatemeister a copy... It'll be interesting to see which TV breakfast programme runs with it. Can't see the BBC doing it and to find out why, I won't spoil the moment just PLEASE watch the video!

Then when you've picked you jaw up from the ground. Send a note to Gordon and tell him the game is up and time to go or as they say in twitterland: #GoBro NOW!

For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

Brian Barron BBC War Correspondent Dies..

Brian Barron BBC War Correspondent Dies..

Brian Barron,69, who died yesterday, having lost a battle with cancer, was a BBC Newsman through and through. A foreign and war correspondent for some 40 years, during which time he reported conflicts in Vietnam and Cambodia, the fall of Idi Amin Dada, the Ugandan Despot, the Middle East War in Syria, the civil war in Rhodesia and the overthrow of Emperor Bokassa, as well as the Falklands conflict, the Gulf War in 1991, the Northern Ireland "Troubles" and the invasion of Iraq.

I particularly remember Brian Barron from the 1970's. As I was at the time a BBC freelance Broadcast Journalist (as we were known at the time), Barron was ever generous with contacts and local knowledge. When the IRA came on the telephone to a BBC Newsroom in london and I happened to pick up the 'phone, the Irish voice gave an agreed chilling 'secret' codeword. A quick call to Brian Barron and in the space of two minutes, he gave a complete and concise background brief also offered a couple of names as to who might be behind the latest London bombing.

A consumate professional, Barron was a member of a generation of BBC War correspondents who made their names before soundbite reporting and satellite technology. He began his career on radio and built his reputation with his gift for using words to paint a scene with enviable immediacy and economy: the North West Frontier comes to life in "a dingy, smoke-filled eatery in Peshawar – a place awash with stomach bugs, assassins, spooks and Afghan rug sellers".

For Publication CREDITLINE: Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ
julianbray@aol.com Tel: 0044 (0)1733 345581

On or off the Ball? ITV plc at the Crossroads? ITV keeps the TV world guessing…

On or off the Ball? ITV PLC at the Crossroads? ITV keeps the TV world guessing…if it can stay awake!

Now product placement - after years of mega expensive lobby activity - has been cleared for inclusion in commercial productions ie Sky/ITV, but not the BBC. You would expect the shares to skyrocket but they went the other way! It seems the City has already discounted any gain as it underlines theneedfornew productions to exploit the product placement advantage.

Tony Ball, trousered a cool £10 million (US$ 16 million) when he left Sky in 2003, on the condition he did not work in broadcasting for two whole years. So has Mr Ball got through the cash already or is there another reason for not immediately taking on the ITV plc house of fun as their much needed CEO and wseilder of the big knife? AS to meet targets duering this on-going recession Ball will need to have an all out war on spanish practices in his sprawing regional empire, unless he knows where this is happening it'll take him a couple of years to winkle it all out. So that is probably why the good news about product placement finally being allowed was greeted with little enthusiasm by the City. They have clearly already discounted the extra revenue this will bring against the need to invest in more quality programming without out the aid of reality shows, bankrupt chefs and withered estate agents.

Anyway who in their right mind would wish to take on the job this side of the General Election? Well I did for one and told the headhunters so! They were all very polite and told me that I was in fact way too late to join the short, short list, as the appointment was all but done and dusted and due to be announced in hours if not days. Well that fell through, like HMV's Simon Fox, I too was taken into membership of the secretive Magic Circle some years back, but was at one time on the board of an ITV subsidiary NTN Now Television News Limited, so actually had some practical experience of the one eyed monster and serial time waster.

Simon must have known about the upcoming Beatles digital remaster bonanza, a bit like a Harry Potter publishing event for record stores. So why leave HMV at such a crucial and personally lucrative time? Clearly the Beatles deal was still under wraps at EMI when Mr Fox originally lobbed his proverbial hat in the ITV ring! Unsportingly you might say it would also raise his personal profile and value to HMV, so we won’t say that.

The path to Tony Balls particular appointment or job offer has not been smooth and some cynics will say the headhunters have really earned their money, probably even more so as they will have probably banked an advance before starting the search with another tranche due if the appointee survives the madhouse which is ITVplc for a few months.

So I really can’t feel too sorry for them and they could have had me without too much of a search. Some people just like hassle and stress in their lives. It’s not true that I was lying in their office lobby, blocking the lift entrance so they had to step over me to get in. (that was Henry Kelly - or someone very like him).
Some may say that Tony Ball, is in fact just plain wrong, but has the ear of a few of the bigger shareholders, but then what do they know about the running a TV empire albeit somewhat reduced in size and stature and scheduled to shrink even more in the next couple of years?

It could be that having Tony Ball on board will create a closer tie with BSB Sky, that is if Eamonn Holmes anchoring SKY TV’s early morning hard news Sunrise then taking a fast cab from once side of London to the other and a change of shirt to front ITV’s frothy This Morning along with Mrs Holmes, already means the two monoliths are already enjoying a closer than usual relationship?

But how do you agree a performance related incentive package when the next decade in TV land is not just looking bleak but mightily fragmented with an unknown quantity of new media platforms and delivery systems being developed as I write?
Not everyone at ITV towers is said to be in favour of the new appointment and in some areas open warfare has already broken out. A few ITV executives, possibly unwisely, actively spinning against the appointment; in any case Ball will be mandated to put many of them out to grass, making way for a new intake. So no love lost.

Executive chairman Michael Grade in his own way might have led ITV down a few blind alleys but ramped up its external image and standing. Few other businesses have had to cope with a stream of interfering regulators and all comers who think they know how to save ITV. I did, I mean I do, really do know how to save ITV; but the headhunters clearly know better so this is another opportunity they have missed. It might still make a cracking new TV series though –and a profitable one at that!
Michael Grade has always maintained ITV is a fundamentally strong business and the core values will be revealed when recession clears and regulators loosen the advertising rules. Trouble is this particular recession is not going away for a good few years despite what politicians and bankers would have you believe. Trust me on this.

As if the ITV appointment saga could not get more convoluted, a closer inspection reveals that the incumbent Head of the Nominations Committee is none other than the banker and actuary (Actuaries only believe in death, not life so I am told – death being absolute .) with the seriously suspect haircut, Sir James Crosby. The very same, the former head of, wait for it…..HBOS no less! HBOS crashed but at the last moment didn’t burn, thanks to you and me, the British taxpayer.

Still Sir Terance Wogan, a qualified banker (yes seriously, unlike the people running our banks) no less, is hanging up his earphones (cans in the trade) and could well be in the running if the selection process goes beyond Christmas. Just imagine, within days our Tel will have the ITV Board overhauled and filled with TOG’s (Terrys Old Gits) never short of an idea or two, wall to wall Eurovision song contests. Oh wait a minute they already have that and couldn’t think of a name so they called it Project X, factor in the numbers later…Xfactor? No such a silly name. Who was that A&R man who worked at EMI? Simon Cowell? Nah, that would never work either…back to the drawing board.

Other candidates? Well there is Julian Bray and he did call the Ugandan despot Idi Amin “Crazy” and that was to his face at a diplomatic reception. ITV in comparison? Piece of cake. What was he doing in Uganda anyway? End of Part One. Roll VT.

Recession may be over for the Banksters but not for us!

Recession may be over for the Banksters but not for the rest of us!

Please don't be fooled, Britain on the way out of Recession is just the economists rosy view of our future. It is not reality!

For people waiting in line at the Job Centre, in shrinking manufacturing or service industries Recession is still firmly governing our lives and is a continuing factor to consider until well after the Olympics and perhaps a few years beyond.

Consider the current position. We in the UK are faced with a General Election and a probable change of government. Whoever get in, will still facethe same financial hurdles. Gordon Brown will in any event face a new leadership challenge shortly after the Labour Party Conference, and retire or take up a role outside of politics. In any event, politicians are resigned to having to pay for long term public sector projects with ever decreasing incoming tax revenues to fund them. Unemployed people don't pay much tax, don't consume services and really have no resources to buy manufactured products.

So rather than stockpile the products, bank up the services - you cut them, retrench, downsize. Do without. Unless you are a Bankster!

News that General Motors has virtually offloaded its' European operations to a Canadian led consortia is very good news for Germany, who are fronting a multi million euro funding package to facilitate the deal. German politicians and GM operations under the Opel brand but really bad news for the UK and anything badged Vauxhall, where our UK political clout and offers of financial assistance to the loss-making firm has seen to be lacking and ministers virtually invisible. No wonder Germany really IS coming out of recession.

What has not changed is the fact that we are involved in an all out war in Afghanistan, shouldering a mind boggling amount of long term debt and a Banking system bailed out by the taxpayer, now hell bent on building up capital but still curiously spreading largesse, at major sporting events as if nothing has happened! Spot the avalanche of publicly-owned but discredited RBS banners at every F-1 motor racing circuit! We don't even get to see the corporate hospitality areas associated with each event.

Rebuilding capital? This means keeping most of the 'fiscal easing' designed to make loans easier for cash strapped business but in reality turning customers upside down and shaking them until all the loose change has not only dropped out of their pockets and handbags but also ensuring that any lending is covered by an asset ie your mortgaged house, factory, product or anything of merchantable value which can be seized and sold in the event of default.

Banks and Building Societies these days are little more than marketing bodies and care little for building long term intimate private or business relationships, however its dressed up.

The computer, credit agencies and bank head office make the decisions, local skill and knowledge counts for very little and indeed local staff have in many ways been decimated, branches cut and phone/online and other forms of remote banking offered as an alternative.

It's no way to run a banking industry but who can tell them? Having been bailed out, propped up, many commentators (including this one) consider that the banksters are now rapidly going back to their bad old ways in terms of the back art known as investment banking. Ultra high risk gambles with high gambling related rewards, there is not an ounce of true investment in these deals.

The deals only work provided that all the players maintain the game and abide by the unwritten rules. If just one goes bust, then the whole house of sand collapses as it did. Banks now realise that unlike normal business they will be rewarded for really crass commercial decisions, simply because they are too big say the politicians.

Just remember that long serving broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan who has announced his retirement from the breakfast show on BBC Radio Two is a qualified banker, having passed all his exams way back in his youth and that none of the current chairmen of our major bailed out banks have ever bothered to gain any formal banking qualifications!

Politicians from all the major parties are now being forced to admit that spending cuts in the public sector will be made but they will covertly ring fence some pet projects by dipping into the so-called 'contingency fund ' which is also propping up the war in Afghanistan.

But where does business go from here?:

Radical times require radical solutions:

Ultra high risk and plain nasty:

Consider a pre-pack liquidation for your business. Effectively certain chartered accountants and insolvency practitioners will immediately sell the viable parts of the business back to you minus any debt liability.

Creditors can literally go to hell and carry any loss; your business under a new limited liability firm identity might have to find a new set of suppliers and so on. Rebuild goodwill with business associates and repair damage with parts of the re-hired workforce on new revised employment contracts. It also gets the new firm out of any continuing employer liability to the existing workforce, and no redundancy to consider.

High risk not so nasty

CVA: Company Voluntary Arrangement. Creditors are balloted to accept a less amount for their invoices in return for letting the company trade on. This however needs a substantial majority of creditors to agree to make it work.

Focus Retail Warehouses recently came through this process and managed to return many onerous retail warehouse leases to the landlords with little or no penalty.

High risk

Renegotiate your banking arrangements but you will be expected to put your house on the line

Medium risk

Re-organise the business, hire a good well experienced interim director or manager to assist in the restructure and work within your available capital.

Low risk

Factor all your invoices. Rationalise your product and service lines, Cut back on humans and replace with computers or outsourced front line/ call centre staff. Consider licensing all or part of manufactured products or moving production to low cost areas such as china or the Far East. Consider a merger with you main competitor or reverse the options and make a bid to benefit from economies of scale.

In reality, dramatically cull the payroll close down duplicate head office and parallel functions, manufacturing or service facility and merge, rationalise what remains. Outsource where ever possible.

Not all of these ideas will suit your business or circumstances but hopefully will get you thinking about a new direction and purpose for your enterprise. You'll make a few new friends but be prepared to lose a whole lot more.

No one likes change and the only way the future for commerce in this country is to embrace wholesale change on a level never before imagined. The bold and brash will survive, the weak as always will perish. It is as simple as that. But as for the recession being behind us? The phrase " I'm a politician, trust me" is simply not in my lexicon!

(c) Julian Bray MCIPR NUJ 2009

“It’s well beyond the Afghanistan ‘Tipping Point’ Mr Brown,” says political commentator Julian Bray, “How long will the unfair carnage go on?”

“It’s well beyond the Afghanistan ‘Tipping Point’ Mr Brown,” says political commentator Julian Bray, “How long will the unfair carnage go on?”

Julian Bray writes:

It really is time to pull out of Afghanistan, but not if you believe our Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown is saying that to pull out of Afghanistan without training up the local police will just let the country play host to worldwide terrorism and we will then face the backlash on the streets of the UK.

What Brown fails to mention is that serious terrorist groups have already moved their top operations and finance channels to other countries such as Somalia and any other country where corruption is a way of life. Our so called NATO allies have frequently reminded Brown they consider Afghanistan to be a peace keeping operation.

The British maintain the ground rules have changed and it is now a full blown War. Trouble is our so called allies are sticking to the original operations rules of engagement and not entering into the idea of a full scale war and as a result not willing to take on some of the duties and daily firefights the British under resourced and ill equipped are daily facing.

Yes it is true some of our allies are tucked up in bed each night and only patrol during office hours. Few if any of our NATO partners engage in face to face fighting and other aspects of all out warfare.

As to the idea that we are stopping the terrorists hitting the UK streets - pure rubbish. Just cast your mind back to what the IRA did in London and other mainland cities with scant resources, bucket of SEMTEX & some cheap watches. They even popped a home made rocket into the back garden of Number10! Sleepers, terrorist cells and other aspects of insurgency already exist and are well established over several generations in mainland UK.

If the troops do return to the UK. Gordon Brown will wrestle with his personal demons and dramatically see all this as a failure. Which of course it is, but then he would earn substantial brownie points from the third of the surveyed population who are currently undecided about Afghanistan (oh did I really say that?) He does after all have the ability to ‘walk on water’ - well in his one eye anyway.

The best Brown can now do is to be that "big man" do an abrupt about turn - he could say it was being done in light of new intelligence - bring all the troops home, deploy them all around the UK and substantially beef up the terrorist, police and immigration control operation within this island.

No visas for students over 19 years of age and a bond of £5,000 to be lodged with the UK government, forfeited if any of the Student Visa restrictions are broken or removal from the UK is ordered. Close down all so called language schools unless they are subjected to Department of Education independent audits and classes, lectures take place on a recognised campus.

Be assured that any police we do train for operations in Afghanistan, are all blood related in some way to the growers of opium yielding poppies. A stoned, drugged up Afghanistan police force is hardly the basis for an ongoing imposed democracy and a stable justice system. But that in effect is what we are getting for our so called investment in Afghanistan.

By all means let us hear the results of the presidential elections and then give notice we are withdrawing within three months - just twelve weeks.

It will create a vacuum and we only cover a small part of the country anyway, but something akin to a local version of democracy will rapidly fill the void, as it will anyway over time if we are still sending our troops to be blown up, two by two, as seems to be happening day after day as the pictures from the village of Wooton Bassett show.

Maybe Brown should be mandated to attend each and every coffin return, along with his lacklustre Cabinet of dubious talents and the seriously ‘out to lunch’ Defence Secretary. Clearly a man well out of his depth, and not coping well with high office. If not. the USA idea of air strikes and bombing runs, not unprotected soldiers lives will be the order of the day.

The ‘tipping point’ was passed the day the first coffin returned to the UK and the good citizens of Wooton Bassett realised Gordon Brown’s Government would not wish to draw attention to it by putting on a formal homecoming so the village did and have been doing so almost on a daily basis ever since.

Julian Bray NUJ MCIPR
01733 345581

Brays Duckhouse Blog

UK Defence Aide Quits Over Mounting Military Losses in Afghanistan

UK Defence Aide Quits Over Mounting Military Losses in Afghanistan

UK Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth is tonight without a parliamentary aide former Army Major Eric Joyce has resigned over Afghanistan, in the most public and damaging way possible.

In a letter to Gordon Brown, Major Eric Joyce called on the Prime Minister to make it clear to the British people that the Afghanistan campaign was 'time limited'.
Major Eric Joyce claimed the public would not accept for 'much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets'.

Mr Joyce, parliamentary private secretary to Mr Ainsworth, was critical of Government policy in Afghanistan and called for a reduction in the British commitment.

He said Labour would not win the next General Election until it got a 'grip' on defence and demanded an exit strategy from Afghanistan during the next Parliament.

He revealed that he had told his boss Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth a number of weeks ago that he intended to resign and now was the 'least disruptive' time to go.

'I do not think the British people will support the physical risk to our servicemen and women unless they can be given confidence that Afghanistan's government has been properly elected and has a clear intent to deal with the corruption there which has continued unabated in recent years.'

He added: 'We also need to make it clear that our commitment in Afghanistan is high but time-limited.
'It should be possible now to say that we will move off our present war-footing and reduce our forces there substantially during our next term in government.'



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https://www.rt.com/op-edge/323287-su24-fighter-russia-turkey-syria/ Scroll down final VT




http://www.cbc.ca/i/caffeine/syndicate/?mediaId=2685621754 AIR DUBAI CRASH MARCH 2016 Television 2-way with CBC Canada via 'upmarket' SKYPE

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/plane-circled-airport-bad-weather-110053170.html AIR DUBAI CRASH 19/03/2016 Julian Bray first reaction


Julian Bray Broadcaster Radio Podcasts Selection


CargoLogic Air load one of their mega all cargo aircraft. In addition to purpose built frighters, many end of first lease, state-of-the-art wide-bodied passenger aircraft are currently being snapped up and rapidly re-purposed for all cargo operation. As the 21st Century trend is away from airport hub/spoke operation - apparently Heathrow [LHR] is yet to get the memo… -and towards single aisle narrow bodied passenger/cargo hold aircraft, working point to point schedules continues apace ...

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Illustrated Convention Lectures & Workshops, Keynotes, Broadcast Briefings, Media Presentational Training, Aviation Security and Operations Incident Management Consultancy


(ISDN BROADCAST LINK ++44(0)1733 345 020) all codecs G.722 & ATX Developed for use in ISDN remote broadcasting, G.722 is the original wideband speech codec to be standardized by the ITU-T. By sampling the speech signal at 16 kHz, G.722 more than doubles the encoded speech information, providing richer sound and better clarity than narrowband speech codecs. ( (ISDN2 BT BOX INSTALLED AT HOME: LIVE LINKS AVAILABLE AROUND THE CLOCK )

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Contact numbers 01733 345581 OR Trusty Nokia Mobile: 07944 217 476 OFFICE: 01733 345581 and answerphone email: julianbray@aol.com

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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, cybercrime and DoS issues, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk.

He operated 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. (PR WEEK TOP 150) Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and featured in launch edition of the PRWeek Black Book. Investigative Journalist and Broadcaster.

After-dinner speaker and presenter. NUJ LIFE MEMBER & FULL EQUITY MEMBER.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down. Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment @julianbray.

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement. Quoted Content subject to creditline 'Julian Bray' . During career an active MCIPR, MMC & MBDS.

Main UK telephone and prime contact number 01733 345581.

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Download the new CAA DRONECODE HERE : http://dronesafe.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Dronecode.pdf




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The Small Print...


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