Woods missed the cut on his return from back surgery in the Quicken Loans National last month and holing from six feet on the last means he has yet to make early exits from consecutive events in his professional career. The 38-year-old’s last round in a major championship without a birdie had come on the opening day of the 2010 US Open. A round of 77 left Woods 14 shots adrift of halfway leader McIlroy, who carded a second consecutive 66 to finish 12 under par, matching Woods’ halfway total of 132 in 2006. American Dustin Johnson shot a flawless 65 to lie four behind McIlroy, whose Ryder Cup team-mates Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari, South African major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen and American pair Rickie Fowler and Ryan Moore were two shots further back on six under. McIlroy had made an unfortunate habit of following good rounds on Thursday with bad ones of Friday in 2014, the latest example being scores of 64 and 78 in the Scottish Open last week. A similar sequence at the Memorial at Muirfield Village even had tournament host Jack Nicklaus asking ‘How the Hell can you shoot 63 and then 78?’. In total he was 50 under par in the first round and nine over par in the second until carding seven birdies and just one bogey on Friday to boost his chances of becoming just the third player in the modern era – after Woods and Jack Nicklaus – to win three majors by the age of 25. “Hopefully I put that to bed today,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t have that in my head at all. Going out there I just wanted to play another solid round of golf, stick to my game plan, stick to doing what I do well and I went out there and executed the game plan the way I wanted to.” It is the first time McIlroy has led at halfway in a major since the 2011 US Open, which he went on to win by eight shots after rewriting the record books at Congressional. He also won the 2012 US PGA Championship by the same margin. “I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s just like I have an inner peace on the golf course,” he said of his front-running abilities. “I’m very comfortable in this position. I wish I could get into it more often. If I’m able to do it a few times a year, that’s nice. “I think it’s a combination of confidence and being mentally strong, mentally aware of everything.” McIlroy led after an opening 63 at St Andrews in 2010 before a second round of 80 in atrocious conditions and might have feared the worst when he bogeyed the first, but with the wind dropping he regained the lead with a two-putt birdie on the fifth and moved two ahead with another birdie on the sixth. Even the distraction of a pheasant wandering across the eighth green as he lined up another birdie putt failed to prevent McIlroy from picking up another shot, while he carded four more birdies on the back nine, aided by a drive of almost 400 yards on the 17th. In contrast, Woods pulled his opening drive so badly that it ended in thick rough to the left of the fairway on the adjacent 18th, from where he missed the green with his approach and ended up taking a double bogey. He also found rough on the second to bogey and a run of 14 straight pars was then followed by a wild drive out of bounds on the 17th. A triple-bogey seven suddenly dropped him outside the cut line and it took typical determination to birdie the last and make the weekend. “I was trying to be bolder, more aggressive,” Woods said. “I figured today was a chance where I could go out and be aggressive but I just didn’t drive the ball well.” Woods was left hoping he could produce something similar to Paul Lawrie’s comeback from 10 off the lead with just a round to play at Carnoustie in 1999 – and at least might have the same weather to do so. A “disruptive” forecast for a significant risk of thunderstorms has forced the R&A to use a two-tee start for the first time in championship history, with play due to start at 9am off the first and 10th tee in groups of three. Rory McIlroy exorcised his Friday demons in style as Tiger Woods almost paid the ultimate price for abandoning the tactics which previously brought him victory at Royal Liverpool in the second round of the 143rd Open Championship. Press Association Woods famously used his driver just once in 72 holes on his way to a third Open title in 2006 and was similarly circumspect in an opening 69 on Thursday. However, wayward drives on the first two holes and an even worse one out of bounds on the 17th meant the 14-time major winner had to birdie the 18th – his only birdie of the day – just to make the halfway cut on two over par.
Learn more about Geocaching Block Party.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Presents: 2012 Geocaching Block PartyAugust 31, 2012In “Community”Geocaching Year in ReviewJanuary 4, 2013In “Française”2012 Geocaching Block Party Invitation – Geocaching.com PresentsJuly 19, 2012In “Community” Get ready: Geocaching Block Party 2015 is right around the corner. Over the next few weeks, we’ll give you a small taste of the awesomeness you can expect when you’re here in Seattle, Washington. And never fear! You still have time to log your Will Attend.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury./ AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFBritain’s troubled former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury said Thursday he will return to the ring in April and is looking forward to “three big fights” in 2018.The 29-year-old has not fought since his shock defeat of Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in November 2015.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Japan eye record gold haul at Tokyo 2020 BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary MOST READ He was at ringside last month when his cousin Hughie Fury came up short in his bid to take the WBO heavyweight title from champion Joseph Parker in Manchester. View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Fury had his licence suspended last October when he admitted he was using cocaine and struggling with depression, and last week said he would not apply for a new one.But he wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he would “be ready to fight in April 2018 in a great fight”.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe added he would then take part “in the summer in a mega fight” and return again at the “back end” of the year.Fury, who twice postponed rematches with Klitschko, had hoped to return to the ring earlier this year but that plan was scuppered when his UK Anti-Doping hearing was adjourned in May.
Sponsor Advertisement One has to wonder if JPMorgan and the other big traders are ever going to get out of this silver corner that they appear to have painted themselves into.The gold price wandered around in a ten dollar price range right up until the London open…and then traded just about flat right until the 8:30 a.m. Eastern time job numbers were announced. From that point, gold’s brief rally was capped at precisely 9:30 a.m…and the subsequent sell-off ended at precisely 10:30 a.m. Eastern.The smallish rally that began after that, wasn’t allowed to get too far…and gold closed at $1,616.60 spot…down $4.80 on the day. Volume, net of roll-overs out of the February contract, were in the neighbourhood of 135,000 contracts.This is the New York Spot Gold [Bid] price chart…which is the only action that matters.Silver traded in a twenty cent price range all through Far East and most of the London trading day and, like gold, the real price activity occurred in New York. At 9:30 a.m…long after the jobs numbers had been released…and thirty minutes after gold had headed south…a not-for-profit seller showed up in the silver market as well. By 10:20 a.m. Eastern time, they had the silver price down about 80 cents.The subsequent rally regained seventy cents of that loss by 11:25 a.m…but then silver got sold off once again. This lasted until about 3:30 p.m…and then traded quietly sideways for the rest of electronic trading in New York. There were obviously no free-market forces at work in the New York silver market on Friday…nor gold, for that matter.Silver closed at $28.75 spot…down 62 cents on the day. Net volume was around 36,000 contracts.Once again I’m only providing the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart…as it’s the only price action that’s relevant.The dollar index traded sideways up until about 7:30 a.m. Eastern time…and then rose about 30 basis points by about 9:50 a.m. From there it traded sideways until the markets closed at 5:15 p.m. in New York.The gold stocks pretty much followed the gold price during the entire New York trading session…and the HUI finished down 0.95% on the day…but up 3.8% on the week.The silver stocks didn’t do particularly well as a group, either…but considering the big hit that the price took yesterday, the damage certainly could have been worse. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index only closed down 1.16%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 10 gold, along with 82 silver contracts, were posted for delivery on Tuesday. All this week in silver it’s been Jefferies as a short/issuer…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan as the long/stoppers. Friday’s report was no different…and the link to that action is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.But the U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday. They sold a whopping 30,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 175,000 silver eagles. In the first four business days of 2012, the mint has sold 74,500 ounces of gold eagles…3,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 3,547,000 silver eagles.It was another big day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They received 1,180,316 ounces of silver…and only shipped a tiny 3,141 ounces out the door. As of the close of business hours on Thursday, these five Comex warehouses held 122,302,690 ounce of silver. The link to Thursday’s activity is here.I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback by yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report for silver, as it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Not even close. There was no big increase in tech fund shorting on last week’s monster price drop…and no corresponding increase in the Commercial net long position. What it showed was that Commercial net short position actually increased by about 1,800 contracts because more short positions were added…and the tech funds went long by about 2,400 contracts.The COT report in gold showed that the Commercial traders decreased their net short position by about 2,000 contracts…the technical funds showed virtually no change…and the Nonreportable [small] trader were the ones that went short the 2,000 contracts.But on sober second thought, I suppose it’s possible that the big declines that were experienced in both gold and silver on December 27, 28 and 29 were all negated by the gains on the 30th…and the big gain on January 3rd. True, there was pretty big gross volume on those days, but how much net volume was involved once all the b.s. high-frequency trading volume is removed? Maybe not very much in the middle of holiday-shortened week. If that’s the case, then the big spike down…then up…in silver and gold, was done under very illiquid market conditions…and there may have been little net change in the COT report under those circumstances.I had no opportunity to talk to Ted Butler yesterday, so I must admit that I wasn’t able to pick his brain about what he saw in the Disaggregated COT Report, which is different from the legacy report that I always use. He can see a lot more under-the-hood detail from this report…and there are no other commentators [at least that I’m aware of] that use it, or even understand it. As I said in last Saturday’s column…I’ll wait to see what he has to say later today…and then steal what I can for my Tuesday column.Well, if the COT report was a surprise in silver, then the January Bank Participation Report in silver was a shock. Both Ted and I were expecting big improvements in the U.S. banks short position in both silver and gold. With the big price declines in December, we should have expected nothing else.That turned out to be the case in gold, but not in silver…not by a long shot.For many years, there have been only two U.S. banks with short positions in silver that have really mattered. They are HSBC USA…and JPMorgan…with JPMorgan holding at least 90% of that total short position all by itself.In the January report, these two U.S. banks were net short 15,757 Comex silver futures contracts. In the December report they were net short 15,662 futures contracts. Their net short position since the prior report actually increased 95 contracts! During the month of December the price of silver was engineered lower by five bucks…and a 95 short contract increase in their net short position on the Comex was the best that JPM and HSBC could do? Wow!Yesterday’s COT Report and BPR Report all came from the same set of data at the Tuesday cut-off…so we can compare the data directly from one report to the other. To put the JPM/HSBC Comex silver short position in context, when you remove the Non-Commercial spread trades [long one month, short another] from the total Comex silver open interest, the total open interest in silver drops down to 87,889 contracts. Divide that number into the JPM/HSBC net short position and you find that these two banks are short 17.9% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. If you remove the spread trades from the Commercial category [which aren’t reported in the COT Report]…these two banks would show that they would be short north of 20% of the Comex silver market.And those are just two of the ‘big 8’ short holders in the Comex silver futures market. If you add in the other six, then these eight large traders are short 34.9% of the Comex silver futures market…and as you can see, well over half of that 34.9% short position is held by JPM/HSBC.That’s concentration!Now that the U.S. bullion banks short position has been bisected and dissected…here is what the 14 non-U.S. banks did in Comex silver futures contracts since the December report. They moved from a net short position of 1,204 contracts in the December report, to a net long position of 1,259 contracts in the January report…a swing of 2,463 contracts to the long side.The ‘8 or less’ traders, led by JPMorgan, have a short-side corner on the Comex futures market in silver…and JPMorgan appears to be trapped on the short side with what remains of its once gargantuan 40,000+ contract short position. One has to wonder how many other of the ‘big 8’ short holders are in the same boat.In gold, it was very straightforward. The January Bank Participation Report showed that 4 U.S. bullion banks were net short 79,926 Comex gold futures contracts…a decrease of 21,093 contracts since the December report. The 20 non-U.S. banks that hold Comex futures contracts in gold are also net short the market. In their case it’s 31,102 contracts…which is an 8,439 contract improvement since the December BPR. Based on the price action during December, there are no surprises here.The short position in gold, although bad enough in its own right, is not even on the same planet as silver. In gold the ‘8 or less’ commercial traders are short 105.2% of the total Commercial net short position. In silver, these same ‘8 or less’ traders are short 234.8% of the Commercial net short position. The 2 U.S. bullion banks mentioned in the BPR…JPMorgan and HSBC…hold 99.0% of the Commercial net short position all by themselves! That’s concentration!This is what the CFTC can see as well…but won’t raise a finger to stop it. And the silver companies that you own shares in won’t say a word, either.Here’s a real scary chart that Australian reader Wesley Legrand sent my way yesterday. It tells you all you need to know about what would happen if any or all of the PIIGS defaulted on their debt…or even a portion of it. I suggest you use the ‘click to enlarge’ feature…and study this chart carefully.(Click on image to enlarge)I have a fair number of stories today, of which quite a few are ones that I’ve been saving all week for this Saturday column. I hope you can find the time over the weekend to read them all.Even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth. – GhandiToday’s ‘blast from the past’ comes from 1972…and in case you can’t do the math, that’s now 40 long years ago. Everyone knows this rock classic, so turn up your speakers…and then click here. Note the outfits.With gold down about five bucks…and silver down two percent, there was a small decline in gold’s preliminary open interest number…and no change in silver’s preliminary o.i. number. It makes you wonder just how much true volume there is actually being traded in these metals, as it appears that these rises and falls in price as of late, have made very little difference in the open interest numbers. This is something that Ted Butler has been going on about for many months now.There was nothing to be read into the final open interest numbers for Thursday’s trading day, either.Not much has changed since gold and silver prices hit rock bottom at the London silver fix at 7:00 a.m. Eastern time last Thursday. Despite the surprise in the COT report…and even bigger silver surprise in the Bank Participation Report, it appears that nothing has been resolved in JPMorgan’s short position in silver over the last month…even though the price declined a bit over five bucks during that period.One has to wonder if JPMorgan and the other big traders are ever going to get out of this silver corner that they appear to have painted themselves into. As Ted Butler said a couple of weeks back, they might be able to beat gold down a bit more…and then bash silver at the same time. But if a five buck decline didn’t do the trick in December…what silver price would at this stage of the game? Just asking.I have no idea what to expect during next week’s trading session…but nothing would surprise me. I look forward to the Sunday evening open in New York with great interest.I hate to keep beating this story to death, but there’s still time to either re-adjust your portfolio, or get fully invested in the continuing major up-leg of this bull market in both silver and gold…and I respectfully suggest that you take a trial subscription to either Casey Research’s International Speculator [junior gold and silver exploration companies], or BIG GOLD [large producers], with all our best [and current] recommendations…as well as the archives. A subscription to the International Speculator also includes a free subscription to BIG GOLD as well. And don’t forget that our 90-day guarantee of satisfaction is in effect for both publications.That’s it for the day…and the week. See you on Tuesday. Columbus Gold Closes Transaction to Acquire Paul Isnard, 1.9 Million Inferred Oz. Gold Project; Plans Drilling On June 30, 2011, Vancouver, Canada based, Columbus Gold (CGT: TSX-V) announced that it had closed its previously-announced transaction with Auplata SA, gaining the exclusive right to obtain up to a 100% interest in the Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana, which includes the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million Inferred gold resource in the Montagne d’Or gold deposit. Columbus Gold now has fully satisfied the share issuances required to earn into the project, and can earn its initial 51% interest in the project by incurring $7 million in exploration expenditures, which it expects to complete by early 2012. Upon Columbus Gold earning a 51% interest in the project, it will have an option to increase its interest to 100% (subject to an underlying royalty) by completing a bankable feasibility study. Drilling is planned to commence in August 2011.For additional information, please see Columbus Gold news release dated June 30, 2011, or contact the company at:Investor Relations 604-634-0970 or 1-888-818-1364 [email protected]
A “perfect storm” has hit the gold market…Longtime readers know Casey Research founder Doug Casey has been warning of another major financial disaster for years. According to Doug, the financial hurricane that made landfall in 2008 never left. It’s been hovering above us, gaining strength.Doug now thinks we’re exiting the eye of the storm. When the trailing edge hits, it will trigger a crisis “much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.”He’s encouraged anyone listening to buy gold, the ultimate safe haven asset. If you took Doug’s advice, you’re likely sitting on big gains.The price of gold has surged 27% this year. It’s beat global stocks 6-to-1. Gold hasn’t done this well in years.Today, we’ll explain what’s driving gold prices. As you’ll see, folks are piling into gold at the fastest pace ever. And there’s no reason to think this buying mania will end anytime soon.• Gold is having a historic year… Over the first six months of this year, the price of gold surged 25%. According to the World Gold Council, gold had its best start to a new year since 1980.Record “investment demand” caused gold to take off.If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you might find the phrase “investment demand” odd. After all, we don’t consider gold an investment. We think of it as real money.For centuries, gold has preserved wealth because it’s unlike any other asset. It’s durable, easy to transport, and easily divisible. Unlike paper currencies, it’s survived every financial crisis in history. It’s the most reliable store of value on the planet.When the World Gold Council says “investment demand,” it’s talking about gold coins, gold bars, and gold ETFs… basically anything but jewelry.Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you call gold an investment or real money. The point is that folks are buying gold at the fastest pace ever.• Investors bought 1,064 tons’ worth of gold during the first half of this year…That shatters the previous all-time record.Investors bought 16% more gold during the first six months of this year than they did in the first half of 2009…when we were still in the midst of a global financial crisis.Investors are buying any gold they can get their hands on…MarketWatch reported last week:Demand comes from a “broad spectrum of investors accessing gold via a range of products with gold-backed ETFs and bars and coins performing particularly strongly.”As you probably know, gold ETFs like the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) track the price of gold. They trade like stocks, making them a convenient way to “own” gold.However, it’s important to keep in mind that gold ETFs are “paper gold”—they’re no substitute for a gold coin you can hold in your hand.That said, gold ETFs are incredibly popular. They can say a lot about investor sentiment toward gold.Right now, investors can’t get enough of these funds. According to the World Gold Council, inflows into gold-backed ETFs hit 579.2 metric tons during the first half of the year. That, too, is a new all-time high.• “Mom-and-pop” investors aren’t the only ones buying gold… Legendary investors George Soros, Carl Icahn, Stan Druckenmiller, Bill Gross, and David Einhorn have all recently placed huge bets on gold.These are some of the best investors to ever walk the Earth. None of these men got to where they’re at by investing like everyone else. They made billions of dollars by being contrarians. Yet, they’re all doing the same thing right now: buying gold.Just as important, they’re buying gold for the same reasons we own gold. It’s the ultimate safe haven asset.This tells us something is very wrong with the global economy or financial system.• The World Gold Council says a “perfect storm” has pushed investors into gold… MarketWatch reported on Thursday:“The global picture for gold is dominated by considerable and continued investment demand driven by the West as investors rebalance their investment in response to the ever-expanding pool of negative yielding government bonds and heightened political and economic uncertainty,” said Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the WGC, in a statement.Regular readers won’t find this surprising. All year, we’ve been pointing out dangers in the economy and financial system.We said most stocks and bonds are incredibly risky. We’ve explained that global debt is spiraling out of control. And we’ve shown you countless examples of how the global economy is stalling.• Governments are desperately trying to prevent another major financial crisis… Since 2008, central banks have cut interest rates more than 650 times. And they’ve “printed” more than $12 trillion.Central bankers thought flooding the global economy with easy money would make it grow. It hasn’t worked. The U.S., Europe, and Japan are all growing at their slowest rates in decades.• Governments are trying to “stimulate” the economy with even more extreme policies…Negative rates are the latest government “stimulus” measure.This radical policy basically flips your bank account upside down. Instead of earning interest on your money in the bank, you pay the bank money. The idea is that people will spend more money if they’re “taxed” to save money.It’s a completely idiotic idea. Yet, as the World Gold Council noted, negative rates are spreading like a plague.According to Business Insider, more than $13 trillion worth of government bonds now have negative rates. Keep in mind, negative rates were practically unheard of two years ago.• The average investor is starting to realize easy money doesn’t work… Just look at what’s happening in Europe.Two months ago, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” shook the global financial system.It knocked more than $3 trillion from the stock market in two days.Policymakers immediately sprang into action.Within hours, the Bank of England (BoE) pledged to pump £250 billion ($322 billion) into Europe’s financial system. And two weeks ago, the BoE announced its biggest stimulus package since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.It dropped its key interest rate just above zero. And it launched a new £70 ($90) billion “money-printing” scheme. It hopes its “sledgehammer stimulus” program will help England avoid a recession.We wouldn’t bet on it. As we often point out, easy money policies don’t actually help the economy. At best, they buy the government time… but this comes at a price.• Easy-money policies destroy the value of paper currencies… The euro has lost 18% of its value since the European Central Bank (ECB) introduced negative rates in 2014.And the British pound plummeted after the BoE announced its new stimulus plan. It’s now down 13% since the start of the year. On Friday, it hit a 31-year low.People in Europe are taking shelter in gold. According to the World Gold Council, Europe was the biggest source of gold investment demand over the first six months of this year.• Doug Casey thinks paper currencies will fall one by one in the coming years… Doug explains:A panic into gold. You’ve heard this story many times before here. But it’s truer than ever as we approach a genuine crisis. There are no stable paper currencies anywhere in the world. The dollar has been strong only because it’s liquid. Liquidity is good, but here, we’re talking about liquid like nitroglycerin.While gold is already up big this year, Doug thinks it’s headed much higher in the coming years:Hedge funds will start buying gold in size. As will central banks, who don’t want to hold each other’s paper. As will individual investors. Right now, few people even think about gold, much less understand it. How to profit? Buy gold. I expect we’ll see it well over $5,000 this cycle.Right now, gold trades for around $1,340, meaning Doug thinks gold could easily triple in the coming years.• If you do one thing to protect yourself from the coming crisis, own physical gold… We also encourage you to watch this important presentation.As you’ll see, the crisis Doug’s been warning about has already begun. It could eventually take out every major paper currency, including the U.S. dollar.The good news is that you can still protect yourself. If you act soon, you could even turn this coming crisis into an opportunity to make BIG gains. Watch this free video to learn how.Chart of the DayThe U.S. economy is growing at its slowest pace in decades.Today’s chart shows the average annualized growth rate of the past 11 U.S. economic recoveries. As you can see, the U.S. economy has grown just 2.1% per year since 2009. That makes the current “recovery” by far the slowest since World War II.Last quarter, the economy grew at an annualized rate of only 1.2%. That’s not even close to the average annualized growth rate (4.7%) of the last 10 recoveries.We’ve been saying for months that the U.S. is in big trouble. We’re now starting to see this in the headline gross domestic product (GDP) number, which lags other indicators we follow. This tells us a major crisis could be around the corner.We encourage you to protect yourself before it’s too late. Step No. 1 is to own physical gold. We recommend most investors put 10% to 15% of their wealth in gold. For other ways to safeguard your wealth, watch this short video.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaAugust 15, 2016We want to hear from you.If you have a question or comment, please send it to [email protected] We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.
A former Liberal Democrat minister has welcomed the UN’s decision to carry out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights in the UK.Disability News Service (DNS) first revealed the existence of the inquiry last August and it was finally confirmed officially by Justin Tomlinson, the minister for disabled people, earlier this month.Now Norman Lamb, who served as care minister for nearly three years under the coalition and is now one of his party’s eight remaining MPs, has told DNS that he welcomes the decision of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) to launch the high-level inquiry.Speaking after his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth, he said: “It’s a good thing to examine whether the rights of people are being in effect violated.“This whole area does not get sufficient attention and the best way of putting a spotlight onto what is happening is by inquiries of this sort, highlighting what is going on.”The inquiry was triggered by the grassroots campaigning organisation Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which had grown increasingly concerned by the disproportionate impact of the coalition’s cuts on disabled people.Over the last two-and-a-half years, DPAC has been submitting evidence to CRPD about “vicious and punitive attacks on disabled people’s independent living as well as the cuts which have seen so many placed in inhuman circumstances and has led to unnecessary deaths”.Among the areas where DPAC says the UK government has breached the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are through its decision to close the Independent Living Fund, the damage caused by the work capability assessment, the impact of benefit sanctions, the introduction of the bedroom tax, and cuts to social care.Lamb delivered a widely-praised speech to his party’s annual conference in Bournemouth this week on the need for more resources for social care (and the NHS) and for equality for those with mental health conditions.He told DNS that it was “hard to judge” whether the UN would have been investigating even graver violations of the disability convention if his party had not been in the coalition, but he said: “I absolutely know that the situation would have been much, much worse had it not been for us in there, and particularly in the area of welfare.“I think everyone can see, if you look at the situation now [since May’s general election]… what the Tories are like without us. That indicates the battles that we fought throughout the coalition.“It is pretty difficult with 57 MPs and we didn’t get any credit for it at the general election, but I think that many of the steps taken [by the Conservatives] since then demonstrate why our role was so important.“I am very, very clear that we hold our heads absolutely high for the actions we took both in ameliorating what would otherwise have happened, but also in doing some very positive things ourselves.”