Friday, July 29, 2016

Declan complains to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about Newham Council and its handling of his complaint against Active Newham for unfair treatment

Under construction

Related blog post 5 July 2016: Will a Newham councillor take up Declan's complaint against Active Newham for unfair treatment?

TO BE CONTINUED - Declan is still waiting for the manager of Newham Council's Corporate Complaints to confirm that he is through with the Council's complaints procedure and that he can now go to the Local Government Ombudsman citing unfair treatment. ...

And we're back to non-access to our website (so much for the $1,000 per year SiteGround is paid to host our website):

1st: 26 July 2016, 9.34pm
2nd: 27 July 2016, 12.10pm
3rd: 27 July 2016, 5.55pm
4th: 28 July 2016, 11.44pm
5th: 29 July 2006, 12.29pm

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Related blog post 20 July 2016: Following my previous Newham Council blog post, this N4CM blog has been decimated (WITH UPDATE)

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Paragraph 11 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations re the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which dismissed his complaint against the secret services in less than three weeks

11. The IPT was created in October 2000 by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and given the power to investigate any complaints against GCHQ, MI5 or MI6, as well as complaints about surveillance operations mounted by the police or any other public bodies. On 5 March 2014 the Guardian reported that the tribunal, which claims to be completely independent of the UK Government, is secretly operating from a base within the Home Office, by which it is funded. The newspaper found that the IPT had investigated about 1,500 complaints, and upheld only 10; five of these concerned members of one family who had all lodged complaints about surveillance by their local council. No complaint against any of the intelligence agencies had ever been upheld. The discovery that the IPT is lodged within a Whitehall department fuelled criticisms of the tribunal that had been levelled by rights groups, lawyers and complainants. The IPT's critics complain that the secrecy is excessive and that its procedures are stacked so heavily in favour of the government and against complainants that it is fundamentally unfair. According to the Guardian, some senior lawyers have described the IPT as "Kafkaesque", while one eminent barrister has dismissed it as "a kangaroo court". The newspaper also reports that as a consequence of the secrecy surrounding the tribunal and the perception that it is unfair, many would-be complainants spurn it.

Joseph McCabe (1867-1955), a former Franciscan monk who became one of the best-known champions and a prolific popularizer of freethought and rationalism in the first half of the 20th century had this to say:

"The criticism of religion seems to be an unpopular job. I am, as more zealous and self-sacrificing purveyors of skepticism will assure you, really a timid and innocuous person, yet I have had my life threatened in Sydney and have been protected by friendly guns in Denver. I have heard ladies of Minneapolis regret that none had the courage to shoot me, and British Spiritualist clergymen have deplored in their journal 'Light,' that I have never yet had the horsewhipping which I have merited. Friends have rushed before me in the streets of London to protect me, they imagined, from a vitriol-thrower, and sailors have been bribed by clergymen of the southern seas to put my luggage ashore a thousand miles away from my destination. I have been forced by the pressure of the Catholic Church on a London publisher to tear up a literary contract worth at least twenty thousand dollars, and have had my books shamelessly misrepresented in the press and expelled, under menaces, from booksellers' shops. Insults, injuries, intrigues, lies, libels, vituperations, depreciations ..."

What's changed?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Declan waits for Newham Council to confirm that he is through with their complaints procedure and that he can now go to the Local Government Ombudsman citing unfair treatment

Related blog post 25 July 2016: Complaint to Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales: Newham Council stonewalls Declan despite our local councillor's support for his complaint against Active Newham for unfair treatment

Thank you for taking my call and confirming that I may not be informed of Active Newham's next befriending training session, or asked for personal information to facilitate a befriending match up, because the session will be "bespoke to the person who needs befriending".

For almost two months Declan has received one excuse after another as to why he has not been informed of Active Newham's next befriending training session, but the above yesterday from the manager of Newham Council's Corporate Complaints is without doubt the most nonsensical. It may also be Newham Council's final word on the matter. I have found this in one of Active Newham's newsletters: "After attending the Newham's Volunteers befriending Induction and training, Sajid was introduced to an older person - Mr Porter, based on the information he provided at the session." Now that makes sense! And this is the first Declan has heard of a befriending Induction, which renders the Council incredulous from the start.

Declan has been waiting since yesterday afternoon for this manager to confirm that he is through with Newham Council's complaints procedure and that he can now go to the Local Government Ombudsman citing unfair treatment. So much for his complaint yesterday morning to Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, which he was hoping would bring this saga to an amicable conclusion (see my previous blog post). It would seem that this was wishful thinking on Declan's part as someone who is part-time employed as the managing director of Network for Church Monitoring, notwithstanding that N4CM boasts a long list of distinguished Honorary Associates that includes two Nobel laureates.

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