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offsite link ‘Reduced Service’ Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:37 | Anti-Empire

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

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A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link ?This is Sedition?: Retired U.S. Military Officers Demand Answers on Training Academy Takeover by Wo... Sat Jul 02, 2022 22:40 | Will Jones
Three retired U.S. military officers have signed a letter protesting against mandatory vaccinations, Critical Race Theory classes, progressive political activism and other ?woke actions? in West Point military academy.
The post “This is Sedition”: Retired U.S. Military Officers Demand Answers on Training Academy Takeover by Woke Activists and Vaccine Zealots appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Ideological Capture of Nature and Why it Matters Sat Jul 02, 2022 15:30 | Dr John Staddon
Duke Biology Professor John Staddon deplores the capture of Britain's pre-eminent scientific journal by social justice activists and says it is bad news for science.
The post The Ideological Capture of Nature and Why it Matters appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link ?There?s No Herd Immunity and Covid is Still Wreaking Havoc,? Says Imperial Professor of Immunology Sat Jul 02, 2022 14:00 | Will Jones
Danny Altmann, Professor of Immunology at Imperial, writes that rather than sliding into a comfortable relationship with Covid, it's "more like being trapped on a rollercoaster in a horror film". But is this true?
The post “There’s No Herd Immunity and Covid is Still Wreaking Havoc,” Says Imperial Professor of Immunology appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Did Vaccines Really Save 500,000 Lives in the UK? Sat Jul 02, 2022 08:18 | Noah Carl
A study claims the vaccines saved 500,000 lives in the UK up to 8 December 2021. But this isn't plausible. The number of excess deaths in the first year of the pandemic (before vaccines) was only 76,000.
The post Did Vaccines Really Save 500,000 Lives in the UK? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Voltaire Network
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Whitewash: Report On Broadband Is A Cover Up

category national | crime and justice | press release author Wednesday November 28, 2018 23:30author by PBP - People Before Profit Report this post to the editors

The report into the activities of the former Minister, Denis Naughton, on rural broadband is a total whitewash.

Naughton held eighteen meetings, and five dinners with representatives of Granahan McCourt. Minutes of these meetings were not kept and there were often no civil servants present. Yet the company was a bidder for the lucrative broadband contract.

But aside from Naughton’s unusual behaviour, there is an even bigger scandal looming.

Rural broadband was originally supposed to cost some hundreds of millions. But the latest estimate puts that figure at a staggering €3 billion.
20170907_broadband_report.jpg

Once again privatisation means huge costs for Irish taxpayers.

Up to 1999, the telephone network was run by a state company, Telecom Eireann. But the Fianna Fail government decided to copy Margaret Thatcher and sell it off. Ever since then, disaster has piled on disaster.

Instead of providing long term investment to install broad band, a series of private owners simply asset stripped the company, which had been re-named Eircom.

By October 2010, for example, Ireland was ranked 29 out of 30 countries, ahead only of Mexico for broadband speed. Only a fifth of the population had access on that date.

Yet this disaster presented another opportunity for private companies to further blackmail the government.

One of the first companies to bid for contracts was Enet, a small company based in Michael Noonan’s Limerick constituency but backed by Granahan McCourt.

It won an original contract to bring broadband to 94 towns but after a meeting with Fine Gael Minister, Michael Noonan, this contract was extended without any tender being issued. The extension pushed up the value of Enet and then, lo and bold, the state controlled Irish Investment Fund bought a major stake in the company for approximately €150 million.

On one hand, a state decision to extend a contract increased the price that another arm of state paid for a share in a private firm. You could not make it up!

Then, mysteriously, the Irish Investment Fund bought the remaining share of Enet for an undisclosed sum.

Meanwhile in a move that is not unknown among multi-nationals who bid for state contracts, two other consortiums pulled out of a bid to install rural broadband.

That left behind David McCourt, the founder and chairman of McGranahan McCourt, the company from which the state’s Investment Fund had bought shares in Enet.

As the last bidder, McCourt has the state over a barrel – or more precisely he looked on as the state threw itself over that barrel.

And in a final twist of fate, McCourt quietly announced that the make-up of his own consortium had changed.

The main supplier of the physical infrastructure would now be a new company, Actavo owned by none other than Denis O Brien.

Actavo used to be known as Siteserv and faced considerable criticism over how it won contracts to install Irish water meters.

But here it is again, standing at the ready to take its slice of another lucrative state contract – after many mysterious moves.

Only in Ireland, as they say!

The report can be found at: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/documents/NBP_Procurement_Process_Audit_...8.pdf

Related Link: http://www.pbp.ie/whitewash-report-on-broadband-is-a-cover-up/
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