Thursday, 13 July 2006

Tessa, Tony, Gamblers and Criminals

On 31 October 2006, BBC News 24 reported The Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, as having said this:

"We are creating a regime which for the first time will make it possible for online gambling sites to be registered in the UK… We do hope it will become a hallmark of quality for those companies that do register in the UK".
News 24 also reported Shadow Culture Secretary, Hugo Swire, as having opined thus.

"Warm words will not help those thousands of families that are blighted by gambling addiction. It is time that the UK took a lead in promoting a socially responsible approach to gambling, rather than simply eyeing up a nice windfall for the Treasury."
Tessa Jowell is the Culture Secretary who gave the green light for US-style, US-run Supercasinos to be introduced into Britain. About 300,000 Britons a year visit Las Vegas. About the same number of 'adult problem gamblers' are addicted to gambling in Britain. Before the supercasino becomes available we know that 6.5 per cent of the 'problems' of 'adult problem gamblers' are related to casino gambling.

In the on-line journal, Medical News Today, the following article, first published on 5 November 2004, can be seen:

"Gambling is bad for your health and the truly addicted can suffer depression, insomnia, intestinal disorders, migraine and other stress related problems, according to a new study.

For the one per cent of gamblers who are hooked on their vice, this is a significant public health problem that can even lead to suicide.

Among slot machine obsessed adolescents, the rate of problem gambling rises to two per cent, according to Mark Griffiths, a professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK.

He says the imminent changes to gambling legislation in the UK should be accompanied by a realisation amongst health professionals that Britain's 300,000 problem gamblers have health issues that need to be taken seriously.

'At the moment gambling services are inadequate. The government suggests that £3 million be put aside per year in terms of treatment, prevention and research, but that's only £10 per problem gambler per year,' he told BBC Radio Four...

Writing in the British Medical Journal he warns that Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all experienced a surge in problem gambling with increased accessibility."
In another BBC interview on 31 October 2006, Tessa Jowell denied that gambling was 'inherently dangerous or wrong.' Which would be true, I suppose. It's the government-encouraged wallet-stuffer, sucking the juice out of those who can be induced to lose control over their gambling habit, who is the danger here.

As for the fact that our politicians are prepared to legislate, on behalf of their fat-cat pals in the gaming community, to create even more 'problem gamblers,' well, THEY are at war with us, after all.

The day, before Jowell said that gambling was neither dangerous or wrong, the BBC reported thus:

"The British tax lawyer David Mills is to stand trial charged with corruption alongside ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, a Milan judge has ruled.

The judge said enough evidence existed for a trial to go ahead over a £325,000 payment to Mr Mills, allegedly paid in exchange for favourable court evidence. Mr Mills and Mr Berlusconi were already facing trial next month on tax evasion and embezzlement charges in Italy.

Mr Mills, separated husband of minister Tessa Jowell, denies all the charges… Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Ms Jowell would not be 'destabilised' by the judge's decision.

The prime minister's official spokesman refused to be drawn on the case, saying Mr Mills was a 'private individual'."

Silvio Berlusconi took Italy into the Iraq war alongside his best international pal, Tony Blair.

This is them sharing a tender moment.

Silvio, Tony and Cherie spent their summer holidays together at Silvio's Sardinian villa in 2004.

Here is a happy snap taken of them at the time.

And this is David Mills' wife and Tony Blair's Secretary of State for Culture inviting the unwary to join her for a quick flutter in the supercasino.

Annually, the Blair government draws over £1.5 billion in taxes from gambling. This figure will increase considerably when the supercasino arrives.

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