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Wales on line, lazy reporting.

I have commented many many times on how reporters, eager to slope off early on a Friday or just plain lazy will take statements at face value and not bother doing any work other than a quick copy and paste.

Walesonline is guilty of this, taking Mr Shenker's lies, half truths and spun facts and putting them out as so called news.

A quick Google search on Alcohol Concern the new age prohibitionist group Mr Shenker runs, finds that they are among the top for reporting the dubious facts from this fake charity/quango that is almost totally funded by taxpayer cash.

First up this little gem where the unelected quango Alcohol Concern Cymru are saying that health should play a part in allowing drink licenses. Strange I don't remember voting for them to have a say on the political stage?

“We would also urge that the Licensing Act be amended to make public health one of the key considerations when deciding whether to grant new licenses or extend existing ones.

If these new age prohibitionists got their way, there would be no pubs left in Wales.

Next up a non story over a pub sign and so taxpayer funded non job who thinks he knows better than us called Andrew Misell, a so called policy manager at fake charity Alcohol Concern, said he believed pubs needed to think about the sort of messages they were sending out and should make it clear to customers that they were welcome to have a soft drink.

Andrew do fuck off old chap, no one voted for you and I dislike you using my tax money to dictate my lifestyle choices.

Then a debate on should there be a hike in booze prices. Guess which way the prohibitionists going?

And we have our very first lie reported and missed totally by the press when they report Alcohol Concern figures state that alcohol is 75% more affordable today than it was in 1980. Wrong, even HM Govt has pointed out that it is more expensive in real terms not less.

In the real world, not the taxpayer funded public sector or fake charity industry that Don works in; alcohol is (on average) more expensive than it used to be -see here(link). According to the Office of National Statistics:

Between 1980 and 2008, the price of alcohol increased by 283.3%. After considering inflation (at 21.3%), alcohol prices increased by 19.3% over the period.

Plus the argument of units comes up again, despite them being discredited and meaningless, fag packet stats with no basis in science.

I shall quote The Times which said the recommended weekly drinking limits of 21 units of alcohol for men and 14 for women, first introduced in 1987 and still in use today, had no firm scientific basis whatsoever. http://www.timesonline.co.uk

Finally some lazy hack ran a non story on how a supermarket wanted to sell legal goods and shock horror, people might actually want to buy a few cans. The old anti-social boozing fear scare story.

Maybe Wales On Line might care to do a story on how an unelected quango is attempting to dictate policy to elected politicians, how it is the new face of the old religious prohibitionist movement and how it gets almost all its cash from your money via central government.

Then again that might require some work, so instead Wales on Line will keep copying and pasting the lies press releases from Alcohol Concern.

Update, I missed this rather nasty bit where Andrew Misell from the quango Alcohol Concern explained how the demon booze is playing havoc with our looks, gives us cancer and other assorted bollocks.

For more on Alcohol Conern, see the Don Shenker site.

New Labour admit their pet war was a mistake

Ed Balls says the war in Iraq was a mistake and an error.

No getting the wrong brand of crisps is an error, hardly the same as starting a war now is it.

Jacqui Jackboot Smith, she just don't get it.

Nope, not her fault so she claims. In fact she has been opening her rather large maw and rather than doing the sensible thing and shoving a kebab in it, has instead been complaining that she had been hard done by after being caught up in the expenses scandal.
Well fuck me, actually Jackboot don't as your ugly.

The woman really has no fucking shame what so ever, if she lived on some sink estate you could almost here the words "It's me rights innit." as she helps herself to some of Mr Patels corner shop fags and gets nicked by the police.

Jackboot admitted it was wrong of her to claim her broadband and televison package with taxpayer's money but said she though she didn't deserve to be called a thief.

Er, why not? Seriously if you take something that belongs to someone else, it is theft.

But no, she carries on moaning that she didn't deserve the attention she got during the scandal and that this eventually led to her resigning from the cabinet.

Did-not-fucking-deserve, oh come on. We have a story of dubious claims from the woman who was at the time the Home Sec. What did she think the media was going to do leave her be?

Then there were the porn films hubby watched and she claimed on expense, oh and that little scam involving living in the sisters bedroom and blagging a £100 grand plus in expenses. Her claiming that her main residence was a spare room in her sister's house, seems rather suspect.

Oh and get this, she seems to think that she deserves another slice of the taxpayer funded pie, an Jackboot who was one of the Blair's babes* in the 1997 election campaign, said she did not rule out running as a Labour party MP again.

Still the voters told her where to go. Then we have her porn films. Her apology to The Commons.

But wait, is this the same Jackboot who said when she thought she could play the sympathy card that she is a disgrace and doesn't deserve a peerage?

Previously send her some shit, Frankie Boyle on Jacqui SmithJackboot to be be suedThis comes just a short while after Anthony Weaver dropped his case due to lack of funds.

I said that she was in need of a boot in the chuff. Some previous on Jackboot, who has also been accused of looking the other way with regards torture of UK nationals.

A Mr Weaver was also seeking to take this evil woman to court for her crimes. All the while Jackboot kept on lurching from crisis to crisis, getting ever more authoritarian and planning a stasi police force for the UK.

And she has one fan at least: A woman in love with Jacqui Smith. Yet more DNA nonsense. Also on the kebab munching hoon, roll up for your kebab cards.

Ah, go on here are some more on this bovine faced, slack jawed, sagging uddered, inbred, dim witted authoritarian dickhead: another day another Jackboot... ID cards on high street, Jackboot backs cyclops, Smith humiliated by Europe. Taxi for Jacqui! an Jacqui the minister for being a cunt an here and here plus also working on the marriage anmocked in the USA an jacqui smith is a cunt as well as jacqui smith is a cunt and J Smith is a cunt also Jacqui Smith pays cleaner peanuts, Damian Greenhere be dragons, bathplug petition and go on give jacqui smith a kick in the cunt, Jacqui's the 2nd-biggist-cunt-in-world.

*Oh yes that Babe reference, well naturally she would be this sort of Babe.

Now come on, stop taking the piss.

It would appear that one Tony Hayward, who is the Chief Executive of BP came up with a classic clanger* and made himself look a complete cock as well.

"The leak in the Gulf of Mexico is relatively tiny compared with the size of the ocean."

Well for an intelligent chap, he has spouted some utter shit, I damn near spilt my coffee when I read that one.

Well yes the ocean is rather on the large size Tone, but so is that large black slick pouring out across it. I am sure that the oil laden seabirds are none to fucking impressed with not being able to fly but instead find themselves dying covered in the BP's finest black stuff.

I am sure that the gas leak at Bhopal was relatively tiny compared with the size of the atmosphere, but lots of dead Indian folk were none to fucking pleased at being gassed I would imagine.

Another corporate excuse that has backfired methinks.
*Now for some proper clangers.

Alan Yentob taxpayer funded parasite.

In today's Telegraph they cover waste at the Communist BBC, including Alan Yentob, a fully taxpayer funded BBC apparatchik who would not be out of place with our MP's in that he brings for excuses for his troughing.

Apparently having you and me pay for his Club Class transatlantic air travel is "essential" to his job.

Last month the BBC's creative director Alan Yentob, who gets £183,000 and a six-figure pension from the BBC, claimed he would not be able to work properly without flying business class at licence feepayers' expense. 
He justified a £3,381 return trip to New York in business class by saying that without it, he "wouldn't have been capable of doing the job". 
Who knows maybe next he will employ his wife, claim all his utility bills off the taxpayer, get his kitchen done at your expense and maybe change his name to Paul Flynn MP.

Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

It would seem that the MP's are not amused have having to prove they are not lying grasping bastards out to fleece the public.
Whingeing MPs are trying to force out the head of Parliament’s new expenses watchdog - after claiming they are being ‘treated like benefit claimants’.
MPs returning to Westminster this week have reacted furiously to a tough new expenses regime which requires them to provide receipts to back up their claims.

Oh dear, the poor darlings just don't get how it works in the real world and hate the rules having to apply to them.

MPs are also furious that, for the first time, that they are being asked for detailed documentation to back their claims, such as proof that their family is living with them.

Much like the rest of us have to prove the facts when we have to say claim state benefits or expenses off an employer.

Best comment was according to The Mail one MP complaining: ‘We are being treated like benefit claimants. Why don't they just put up a metal grille?’

Okay, I am on for that, treat them exactly the fucking same way benefit claimants are down the local job centre.

At least the poor bastards signing on down at the DSS are in the main, not their through their own fault; have not claimed porn films, duck islands, 2nd homes, furniture, had their kitchen done up and even sorted out a nice bed for themselves like my very own MP Paul Flynn did.

Unlike the poor sods signing, the MP's claim all their utilities back. Yes no electric or gas bills for them, you pay for all that.

No council tax, TV license or having to fork out on home insurance.

Let the fuckers whine, if I were in charge I would use proceeds of crime legislation to claw back our cash against every fucking one of the cunts.

Pakistan bans Facebook over Draw Muhammad Day

Pakistan decides its time to have a sulk...

Draw Mohammed.


Jawa Report Everyone Draw Mohammed Day 05/20/2010 Fatwas

Go on, you know you want to....

HIPS(Home information packs) - Another Labour scum tax to be axed.

Slowly the new government remove the worst of the excesses of the scum sucking champagne socialist pigs taxes.

Labour planned to use home information packs to push up council tax bills, the Tories revealed yesterday.
Gordon Brown's ministers meant to collect details from the packs and add them to the state database used for calculating the tax, previously secret documents reveal.
The disclosure of the link came as the Government prepared moves likely to spell the end of Hips.
The packs were introduced in 2007 in the name of helping homebuyers.
However, most of the information they were supposed to contain, such as the structural quality of the house, was stripped out in the arguments that surrounded their launch.
Now the most useful facts describe the energy rating of a home, and many sellers resent having to pay about £300 for an inspection and pack.
Papers released by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles show ministers intended to use the information to complete a database on 22million homes held by the Valuation Office Agency.
It updates the council tax banding of properties and has been preparing for a revaluation of homes in England that would generate bigger council tax bills for anyone whose home has risen in value over the past 20 years.
The unpublished paper prepared by the VOA was headed: 'Council tax revaluation - procurement of domestic dwelling data.'

First ID cards, now the stealth taxes, lets hope that the quango's and fake charities feel the axe next.

What no ZIL-41047 taking the elite to their offices?

Well it is a change to see politicians not blagging a state car to take them to the office in the morning, this is one thing that would never have happened under the scum sucking champagne socialist New Labour pigs.

Like say Piers Fletcher-Dervish aka Ed Balls who likes the trappings of power, or soon to be peer Lord Prescunt, sorry Prescott of Pies and Vomiting who turns up at a working mens club in a car from the state pool.

New Labour 13 years of showing that all animals are equal, just that some are more equal than others.

Obey the Suit

The best advert ever.

No apology from New Labour scum for fucking the economy.

Whats the odds the fuckers will try to blame everyone else except themselves?
Families are being crippled by the highest cost of living for nearly two decades, disturbing figures showed yesterday.

The retail prices index measure of inflation soared from 4.4 per cent in March to 5.3 per cent in April, the highest level since 1991, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In a cruel blow, it means that Britain's workers have been stung by the worst 'pay cut' since records began.
The gap between the average pay rise - a measly 1.9 per cent - and inflation - a massive 5.3 per cent - has never been bigger, according to the ONS.

For millions of workers in the private sector, the situation is even bleaker because their salaries have been frozen since the recession began.

Thanks Labour, millions out of work, record debts, inflation, more cuts to be made. Thanks a fucking bunch you utter fucking cunts. 

The New Labour snooper state is not yet dead.

As Big Brother Watch points out its also making money at least for those doing the spying that is...

Well, at least the operators are honest about it on the Isle of Wight. The council’s scrutiny committee was told.
THE new generation of CCTV technology could be both a money-saver and money-maker for the Isle of Wight Council... 
We are looking at increasing revenue generation and that will enable us to increase staffing
Oh good! If the system makes more money, then there can be even more watching!
As I say, they're disarmingly blunt about it on the Isle - but the longstanding fears many of us have about CCTV as revenue raiser rather than crime deterrent or detector gain more and more credence every day.
And I also note this:
Black-screen stealth software automatically hones in on people acting suspiciously, cutting the number of staff needed in the council’s new CCTV control room. 

The madness created by New Labour's petty rules culture.

It is going to be a long hard job to remove the petty rules and attitude of we work for them, that our so called services have developed under Labour's time in office.
A 95-year-old widow has been threatened with legal action - for putting an empty butter tub in the wrong recycling rubbish bag.
The grandmother was warned she faces prosecution after putting the plastic container in a green bag instead of a black one.

Her family said they were horrified at the warning, which they say could have triggered a heart attack.
Karen Walters, 42, said her grandmother was too embarrassed to be identified after the incident.

‘It is scary and ridiculous - she is a really law-abiding citizen,’ she said.
‘If she had seen the warning, she would have had a heart attack. But luckily her son spotted it before she saw it.

‘It’s the fact that a 95-year-old was threatened with prosecution. ‘She was horrified when she was told about it.’

The official notice was stuck to the green bin bag at the pensioner's home in West Cross, Swansea.

The woman had washed 15 tins and put them out for collection – but mistakenly added the empty butter tub.
The recycling team bin men refused to collect the green recycling rubbish bag after spotting it.

It stuck the notice advising householders why the rubbish was not collected, which includes a line saying that mixing up recycling can lead to prosecution.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: ‘We would like to apologise to the lady and her family for any distress caused by the notice placed on her recycling bag.

New Labour's human rights act, needs to be repealed.

The New Labour filth may be kicked out power but their human rights act is still causing problems.
Two Pakistani men branded a threat to national security by a judge, today won the right to stay in the country.
Al-Qaeda operative Abid Naseer, 24, and Ahmad Faraz Khan, 26, should not be deported back to their homeland because of the risk to their safety, the same immigration judge ruled.

The pair were arrested last year in counter-terrorism raids but never charged. This morning they were told they had won their appeal against deportation at a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

Maybe some scum sucking pig of a Labour MP would be happy to put them up at their expense? After all they caused the problem by voting to give us the human rights act.

Labour scum think the national debt is a joke.

Just when you think that these scum sucking pig could not sink any lower and more evil and vile than they already are, they prove you wrong:

Labour delivered a final two-fingered salute to Britain by boasting 'there's no money left' on leaving office, it emerged yesterday as it became clear that the true size of the national debt is more than £2trillion.
The new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liberal Democrat David Laws, revealed that he arrived at his office to discover a handover note from his Labour predecessor Liam Byrne.
It read: 'Dear Chief Secretary, I'm afraid to tell you there is no money. Kind regards and good luck!'
So in just 13 years these cunts raid our pensions, base the entire economy on the fantasy economics of ever rising house prices, encourage a debt boom on dubious credit all the while doing nothing except blow money on tree hugging consultants.

Now the piss up is over, they lack the moral fiber to realise that spending other peoples money is a serious matter and laugh at us all for their mistakes.

Mr Byrne insisted: 'My letter was a joke, from one Chief Secretary to another. I do hope David Laws's sense of humour wasn't another casualty of the coalition deal.'
But a furious Mr Laws hit back, saying it was 'all too true' that Labour had left finances in an 'utterly ruinous state'.
Experts are warning that 25 per cent spending cuts in most government departments are now necessary - the biggest seen for 65 years. Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to unveil the first tranche, worth £6billion, next week.
I do hope that Liam Byrne dies slowly an painfully from cock cancer the utter evil cunt that he is, along with every fucking other labour politician each and every one of which was complicit in the scorched earth, spend all our money policies of New Labour.


Labours legacy of non job pretend police.

Public safety is at risk because the number of civilian police staff has nearly doubled over the last decade, it was claimed last night.
The growth in police community support officers (PCSOs) and other civilian staff has outstripped the rise in fully sworn officers, according to a report by the Police Federation.

It showed the average ratio of police officers to staff was 1.4 to 1 last year - compared to 2.3 to 1 in 2000.

One force, Surrey, has more civilian staff - taking statements, interviewing people and gathering data - than warranted officers. The same force has the worst detection rate in the country, says the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers.

It claimed politicians had put ' short-term cost savings ahead of public safety'. The federation demanded a reversal of the trend which, it said, could threaten the ability of the police to 'deal with unexpected and unplanned circumstances'.

With budget cuts pending, it is feared that the 'thin blue line' could be further eroded.

Nationally there has been a 16 per cent increase in police officers but an 80 per cent rise in police staff (49 per cent excluding PCSOs).

Paul McKeever, chairman of the federation, said: 'I find it alarming that there is no tangible evidence that even suggests, let alone proves, the value brought by "civilianising" increasing numbers of police posts.

'The public want more police officers on the beat. Instead we have increasing numbers of unaccountable, unidentifiable police staff who do not have the flexibility or resilience to give what is needed as an emergency service.'

He said that, if unchecked, the changes 'will destroy the police service in England and Wales'.

Speaking on the eve of the federation's annual conference in Bournemouth, Mr McKeever urged the new Home Secretary, Theresa May, 'to implement a full independent review and to have the courage to ask the public what they actually want and expect from their police service'.

New Labour, spent 13 years creating non jobs in the police, expanding the paperwork, turned millions into criminals with countless laws and treated us all as suspects as well as denying the true crime figures. 

Time to scrap the worthless PCSO's and send them back to the community centers to lick windows.

Lord Prescunt of Bulimia and Pies.

So now that Gordon has left, he has decided to hand out a peerage to the shaven vomiting voter puncher John Prescott, well at least now he has a peerage he can play croquet without feeling guilty about it.

Oh the irony of it, Prescunt, the shambling class warrior and former cruise ship waiter a craven coward who quite litrally jumped onboard to avoid national service.

A fat champagne socialist piggy who has grasped in his trotters every bauble and trinket political power could offer, all the while pointing his fat fingers at every one else's greed and laughingly claims to represent the working man.

Playing the common man card whilst having his wife driven 250 yards to keep her hair safe. Prescott shows the classic example of the labour elite, a sexist point the finger at other parties scum sucking pig of the worst type.

A man as fake in all he says and does as the mock Tudor beams he charged the taxpayer to have fitted to his constituency home, he will fit in so so well in the Lords.

Hat tip to GOT for the pic.

RIP Ronnie Don't talk to strangers [live in Japan '85]

A shame, I grew up listening to his music.

Alistair Campbell, a nomination...

Just because it needed a crosspost from here

Alistair Campbell is a smug cunt.
Nominated by Fidothedog

Tony Woodley the useful idiot of murderous dictator Castro.

So this is how the £122K a year champagne socialist acts, supporting an aged mass killer.
The boss of the trade union behind the British Airways strike was 'unavailable' for talks because he was in Cuba celebrating the revolution, it was claimed yesterday.

Tony Woodley jetted to the communist island to join millions partying for the 51st anniversary of Fidel Castro sweeping to power.

The 62-year-old joint chief of Unite even took to a podium to give a rousing speech to cheering crowds in central Havana.

Meanwhile, BA bosses were unable to continue negotiations to avert the devastating strike action affecting millions of passengers, sources claimed.

Still he is not alone in his misguided views so typical of the chattering champagne socialist classes. They tend to overlook the human rights issues on thats gulag nation, rather they look at the ideology and pretend/deny that the nastier aspects are not even happening.

Like the protests taking place.
This week the Damos de Blanco (Ladies in white) descended on the streets of Cuba. They are a group of Cuban women relatives of men who were arrested in a major crack down by Fidel’s authorities in March 2003. Many of the men arrested then for opposing Castro’s government, are still in jail. One high profile individual, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, died last month, following a long hunger strike. His mother was amongst the women on the march.
Read the rest here.

Then we have this gem EDM 982(below), a fawning cock in mouth piece of historical whitewashing by uber hoon and now thankfully a former MP, Andrew Dismore. A rather strange looking MP who looks like he should be wearing an ankle tag and have an order keeping him away from local schools.
EDM 982 - link to the EDM page
That this House commends the achievements of Fidel Castro in securing first-class free healthcare and education provision for the people of Cuba despite the 44 year illegal US embargo of the Cuban economy; notes the great strides Cuba has taken during this period in many fields such as biotechnology and sport in both of which Cuba is a world leader; acknowledges the esteem in which Castro is held by the people and leaders of Africa, Asia and Latin America for leading the calls for emancipation of the world's poorest people from slavery, hunger and the denial of human rights such as the right to life, the right to shelter, the right to healthcare and basic medicines and the right to education; welcomes the EU statement that constructive engagement with Cuba at this time is the most responsible course of action; and calls upon the Government to respect Cuba's right to self-determination and resist the aggressive forces within the US Administration who are openly planning their own illegal transition in Cuba.

Yet despite my mailing him, this former MP never replied or raised the matter of Mr Normando Hernández González. Another man who has fallen fowl of the sun baked tropical gulag of Cuba.
See also http://www.newstatesman.com/200711080021 Plus: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=6917 Also: http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/912/prmID/174
A jailed Cuban journalist whose health is rapidly deteriorating in the face of prison-contracted diseases has been chosen as one of four writers to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer on 15 November. The special day, held on the same date each year, is organised by PEN, the writers' organisation that backs persecuted authors around the world.

Normando Hernández González was imprisoned in 2003 for reports and broadcasts on the internet and Radio Martí that were said by the government to endanger security. Hernández was found guilty of spying and threatening national security, crimes that carry a 25-year jail term. He was one of 75 journalists arrested in the Cuban government crackdown on the press in 2003 and, according to PEN, remains one of 59 still held by the regime.

He was thrown a glimmer of hope a few months ago when the government of Costa Rica effectively granted him asylum in absentia, launching a plea for his release after reports of a downward turn in his condition.

The move came about after Hernández's mother, Bianca González, appealed to Costa Rican legislators to intervene.

José Manuel Echandi, a former Defender of the Citizens in Costa Rica, answered the call and accused Cuba of torture in blocking the journalist's release.

The Cuban journalist's illness has been partly brought about by a hunger strike he began six months ago, but he has also contracted tuberculosis in prison. Hernández has spent most of the past 12 months in a maximum security prison, but was recently moved to a hospital for treatment.

At Echandi's request, Costa Rica asked Cuba to free Hernández and allow him to be transferred across the Caribbean Sea for health care attention in that country. When they received no response, Echandi wrote to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, to seek help to speed his release.

Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders is also backing the request that Hernández should be transported to Costa Rica.

"Humanitarian concerns are clearly paramount as regards all prisoners of conscience," the organisation said.

Cuba has more journalists locked up than any other country in the world, apart from China. Those still held since March 2003 are serving sentences ranging from 14 to 27 years.

According to Reporters Without Borders, three journalists held in Cuba were arrested after Fidel Castro's brother Raú took over the running of the country last year.

Another aspect of Cuba that Tone won't be bragging about at Unite meetings when we see the real face of the socialist gulag that is Fidel's Cuba.
Famed Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez said Friday she and another blogger were punched and thrown violently into a car by presumed state security agents as they walked to participate in a peaceful march in downtown Havana.
No blood, but black and blues, punches, pulled hairs, blows to the head, kidneys, knee and chest,'' Sánchez told El Nuevo Herald shortly after she and Orlando Luis Pardo were freed. ``In sum, professional violence.''
`I, being a person of verbal pacifism, am shaken by this violence, because violence silences anyone,'' the blogger declared in a telephone interview....
Maybe Tone could spare a thought for Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet who will spend the day locked in a fetid cell in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, where he is serving a 25-year prison sentence for speaking out against Fidel Castro's dictatorship.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, has written that the conditions of Biscet's incarceration are like something out of Victor Hugo: "windowless and suffocating, with wretched sanitary conditions. The stench seeping from the pit in the ground that serves as a toilet is intensified by being compressed into an unventilated cell only as wide as a broom closet. . . . Biscet reportedly suffers from osteoarthritis, ulcers, and hypertension. His teeth, those that haven't fallen out, are rotted and infected."

A prolife Christian physician, Biscet first ran afoul of the Castro regime in the 1990s, when he investigated Cuban abortion techniques - Cuba has by far the highest abortion rates in the Western Hemisphere - and revealed that numerous infants had been killed after being delivered alive. In 1997, he began the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, which seeks "to establish in Cuba a state based on the rule of law" and "sustained upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." In 1999, he was given a three-year sentence for "disrespecting patriotic symbols." To protest the regime's repression, he had hung a Cuban flag upside down.

For decades, various American journalists and celebrities have rhapsodized about Castro's supposed island paradise, resolutely ignoring the mountains of evidence that it is in reality a tropical dungeon. Intent on seeing Castro as a revolutionary hero and Cuba as Shangri-la, they avert their gaze from the island's genuine heroes - the prisoners of conscience like Biscet, who pay a fearful price for their insistence on telling the truth.

The US detention center in Guantanamo Bay is sometimes spoken of as if it were a Caribbean concentration camp, but the only facilities that deserve such a label are hellholes like Combinado del Este, in which Biscet and so many other Cuban dissidents have been brutally abused - or worse. Over the years, life in Castro's gulag has been well-chronicled. The classic narrative is Armando Valladares's "Against All Hope," a stark and searing memoir of the author's 22 years in Cuba's horrific prisons.

The newest account of life as a Cuban political prisoner is "Fighting Castro: A Love Story," Kay Abella's affecting and inspiring saga of one Cuban couple's love for each other and for their homeland, and the cruelties, large and petty, inflicted on those who challenge the regime.

For Lino Fernandez, a young physician who pays for his democratic resistance with 17 years behind bars, those cruelties are sadistic and often bloody. Abella describes, for example, what it was like to experience a requisa - a search by armed prison guards - in the notorious round fortress on Isla de Pinos:

"A screaming mass of soldiers swarming over the circular, stabbing with bayonets, crushing limbs with truncheons and rubber-wrapped chains. The panic of no place to hide, knowing you'll be beaten harder for trying to protect yourself, stomped on for clinging to a pillar or rail, thrown down the stairs for daring to hesitate. . . . The indignity of men whining, begging, whimpering before a skull is cracked, a shoulder yanked from its socket, genitals smashed with the gun butt."

For the families of political prisoners, the cruelties come in other forms, such as the humiliating strip-searches on the rare occasions when a prison visit is permitted. And there is economic privation: Oscar Biscet's wife, Elsa Morejon, is a trained nurse, but she has been barred from holding a professional job in Cuba since 1998.

The conscience and courage of these dissidents are nothing short of extraordinary. "During these years here in prison," Biscet wrote to Elsa in a letter smuggled out of prison earlier this year, "I have seen shameful things that I am unable to describe to you in words because of their perversity and their attack on . . . civilized society. Despite this difficult situation I am not intimidated nor do I take any step backwards in my mind. . . . I will carry out this unjust sentence until the most high God puts an end to it."

Lastly I would like to offer a ray of hope small that it is to the body politic here in the UK, that both Andrew Dismore and fellow MP Paul Holmes are now ex MP's.

Mr Holmes as he is now famously said of the dictatorship:
"It is true Cuba has political prisoners and no free elections, but it has very good dentistry"
Well that's jolly nice, I am sure when having had their teeth smashed in some political prisoner can smile knowing the state will provide him dental work.

For more on the real struggle in Cuba see this site which has a list of political prisoners, which I have taken the liberty of copying below.

I wonder if anyone in Unite would care to actually help some other workers who are suffering in the gulags of Cuba?
'Barrera, Jorge'   Abreu, Carlos