Aug 13

Ask a rightie about public health, education and welfare and they’ll wax lyrical about the threat to their freedom. Yet ask them about the military, subsidised spying corporations and subsidised banks and all they see is paragons of virtue.

The growing cost of spooks and the needs of companies providing these services and others like prisons to grow has seen their costs rise but not the need for such services. Obstensibly this was about the need to stop people self harming with drugs and latterly to prevent small cells of lunatics committing terror acts.

Yet what threatens their freedom? An infrastructure that allows instant access to their private correspondence to some operator who for all they know is a sexual predator, paedophile or the person they cut up this morning.

Even their unproven nightmare of welfare dependency is a dependency not some insidious Booz Allen looking for new things to monitor. It costs assuming that these people would be fit for a job that was open to them. However it costs less than pushing those people into a criminal underclass. It costs less than letting banks break the law. Indeed it costs less than paying for massive growing armies of outsourced and unregulated spooks well beyond the requirements of tracking a few hundred relevant al Quada.

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Feb 12

I won’t go into the ins and outs of the disputes but the reaction to the so called football racism rows has been utterly ludicrous. The UK must look like an asylum to anyone from outside. The level of coverage and frantic polemified reaction seems illustrative of a deeper neurosis. Continue reading »

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Feb 07

A lot of what fills the papers daily is to make us feel angry and better than other people. At present UK at least has a break from sneering at the poor, old and disabled I guess. Continue reading »

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Sep 04

MI5’s head used the first public speech by a person of his ilk to deny the UK Security Forces knew about torture. On the eve of the Labour leadership election David Miliband spent hours checking that he it could not be proved he had approved torture in Egypt – he assumed a strong talking to was in the offing? Before his election as President of the United States Barack Obama also said he thought torture was wrong. Continue reading »

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Jan 15

You can get rid of the Labour Govt but attitudes take longer. As he surveys what he left behind Gordon Brown was no doubt smiling at the story of how the Police arrested 114, randomly charged 28 and all because a copper infiltrated them and organised a peaceful protest. Then despite knowing these people were innocent they still went ahead with the prosecution only for the copper who organised the group to consider doing a peaceful protest to blow the call. Continue reading »

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Oct 31

Sir John Sawers made the first public speech by the Head of MI6 this week. His message nicely underlined by the events that followed of parcel bombs – followed by ridiculous media coverage.

Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances and we have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Now there is a comment from a man whose agency is basically guilty as late as last year of sanctioning interviews where torture took place. The craven depraved David Miliband and despicable Sawers may try to hide behind obfuscation but ask anyone at random what an interview by the Egyptian Security Services involves and a few staunchly put questions is not an answer many will give bar with the heavy use of irony.

The point is MI5, MI6, Miliband, Blair and Straw are asking us to believe they were merely grossly naive and stupid. That they were incompetent. That they knew less than any well read person who is not prejudiced to believe what the Security Services say.

Sadly again the public do not care so tell the truth don’t insult me.

For those who say we realise our mistake and have changed I say you’re an idiot. Barack Obama came to power with all this false bonhomie to humanity and now Guantanamo is still business as usual. It released people who were never a  threat after years of legal limbo and torture. They still have secret prisons in Afghanistan which are not so secret but one can only guess the horrors that happen there. They still routinely drone strike Yemen which given it has under a 1000 al Queda activists, by some accounts, must be a great amount of Collateral Damage. They still maim and kill via drones in Pakistan. No one has been charged or will be with crimes against humanity. Never mind what the warlords and 3rd parties they pay off do.

Given that is our main ally and arguably the people who tell us what to do MI6 is pissing in the wind.

The fact is that authoritarian Govt is on the rise. In the West  the spineless or ego maniacs or just weak men seeking re-election of the themselves or their party fear the rhetoric of a tragic event. The hard arguments to make if they have not been ‘tough’.  Thus our freedoms are being eroded in the name of freedom. The lunatic cycle of killing, recruitment, killing, recruitment that sustains al Queda is continued as its the easiest to defend in short sentences to the populace.

Or at least the rhetoric of freedom.

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Sep 02

John Rentoul in The Independent does not try to rationalise why Blair is hated. Instead he gives a great insight into why Liberal people dislike Blair and those who act like him. A series of smears of your opponents and then a crude summary of what he thinks is what they think and why. The classic anti intellectualism that reached its nadir under Brown. I assume like Blair playing with Prescott Rentoul’s just trying to get a rise as it’s all he has left (there you see I did it myself spoke for him with a nasty explanation of why he does things).

Rentoul basically accuses people of not listening to reason whilst seemingly smearing and trying to infuriate readers. However I thought I’d answer why I have a low view of Blair.

Truth be told in the devalued world of the internet I guess I am a hater although my distaste for Blair is nothing compared to the genuine visceral hatred I have for Gordon Brown. Brown a man, but not in the John Wayne sense, whose every utterance and action is aimed at self aggrandisment and whose lack of intellect and morality are so stunning it’s beyond my credulity that he was ever allowed to ascend to the leadership. I would not even try to rationalise my distaste for Brown save to say I am grateful we are not in the Euro and now go away and not be heard of again.

However there is a point here deep in our subconscious a dislike so great that you will not listen to a word someone says needs to be addressed. It amounts to prejudice or bigotry at that point. On Blair I think I can justify my view but maybe there is something that defies argument and explanation (Another flaw in Rentoul’s argument if people’s dislike defies argument then it defies explanation! The content that spews forth is a rationalisation not an explanation but then expecting nuance from a Blairite is silly of course).

So to Blair. Why do people like me who consider themselves Liberal (even if we are not in cliques as Rentoul  smears) have such odium for the man who brought us 13 years of non Tory Govt.

  • Liar! Never really phased me. The Foreign Secretary said that the Weapons of Mass Destruction were a myth so anyone fooled was probably wanting to be lied to – after all Robin Cook would know better than anyone else as Foreign Secretary. I pretty much accept the Jack Straw view that it was baloney but we did not see much downside in the war.

    Anyone who had read the news on Iraq over the years would have known the country would have struggled to organise a Barbecue after the Gulf War and sanctions bit. If Parliament wanted the WMD fig leaf don’t blame Blair blame yourselves.The problem is that people dislike liars and politicians have opted instead for the incompetence defence – see MI5 and MI6 claiming they did not know the US tortured even though it was clear when they junked the Geneva Convention in the same bin as the post invasion plan of Iraq and was announced in the media and on Channel 4 news. More on this later.Sadly Blair does seem to want to rationalise it and after 58 excuses and rationalisations settled on how proud he was to get rid of a dictator like Saddam, said the main who kissed the souls of Gadaffi’s shoes.

  • Corruption. It’s become accepted and a part of every day Govt under Labour – I am not talking about financial graft here. Like roping in the nasty little spook Scarlett to the so called Dodgy Dossier and then promoting him it showed a preference for fawning subservience and broken men who would do their bidding over anyone else.This was repeated with Sir Ian Blair who made a victim of himself in someone else’s murder. He was then wheeled out as required to support even more ludicrous draconian nut case policies.
    It was this aspect of the wars that needled me.The military also were paid off. Their incompetence and waste in procurement brushed under the carpet. Indeed the Govt took the hit over Helicopters for Afghanistan from the clowns who’d wasted more than enough money to provide them. The laughable scenario where we bought helicopters and tried to penny pinch on the software rendering them unusable.
  • Incompetence. This became the New Labour ethos. No one lied they just knew nothing. MI5 even this year as it’s revealed Blair and Straw actively had a hand in determining the rendition and “interrogation” of British subjects denies it knew anything about it. MI5 denies it read newspapers or watched Channel 4 news. No one turned marginal intelligence into the 45 minute claim it was a lack of responsibility and ignorance. Every failure was greeted with a I do not know.Blair and Campbell preferred to waste resources on an inquiry which no one believed to prove he had produced a load of crap without lying just by being foolish!
    PFI ruinously expensive and we are paying for 30 years, thanks.
    How hard was it to ensure under no circumstances that we did not torture and beat people to death in Iraq? Especially given the preferred explanation of why we were there, to free them from torture and murder. Indeed all we do is spend masses of money buying people off, denying and pretending it did not happen.
    Most successes were stroke of the pen and delivered by legislation never by management. Minimum wage.
  • Death Toll. If I had a critique of the under rated Major Govt who laid the platform for Brown’s moronic economic management in this decade it was this why did they not clean the hospitals? Yet we had Milburn’s red alert, foundation status etc etc legislation and more legislation, PFI, NHS Direct,  etc, Yet why did C-Diff and MRSA stay a slaughter of thousands of people up to when in 2007 Alan Johnson the new Health Secretary said it was unacceptable – not sure he did much about it either! The seemingly pointless shift to Foundation Hospitals in some regions alone is said to have killed 100s. Talk to doctors and it’s the dirty secret.
  • Rhetoric Led. They understood the media hence you have one Baby ‘P’ or Bulger and everone is sacrificed to be seen to be doing something. However as noted you kill 100s in the health service and it’s not an ongoing story just a day of embarrassment.One came to wonder at the nadir under Brown if policy was someone would come up with a line of rhetoric then develop policy from that without an inkling of goals, problems to be solved or strategy (Tough on Crime being so obvious I will use it anyway!). Just pass rafts of legislation and bore interviewers you have acted.
  • Achievement Not Important. The aim of policy as the grim Asylum policies of the last few years was the generation of facts to show ‘that policy was working’. Anyone who has ever worked corporately can tell you what happens when there is a focus on numbers they move in the right direction – in the US all crime reduction miracles happen except murder as you cannot re-classify murder albeit Blair and Brown probably could.To reduce Asylum numbers and increase deportations the Home Office decided to go after and lock up families – rather ignoring the demographic reasons for immigrants! Thus the Coalition had a nice open goal of no longer detaining children.
  • Internment. Possible the most fascist and illiberal policy I can think of any Western Govt contemplating was 90 day internment. It smears the entire Labour party who seriously contemplated it. As Ministers and advisors it taints for me all the serious leadership candidates. The sad fact is no one has been held for 28 days even.There are only three reasons for wanting this on the statute books. One some sinister scenario none of us can comprehend or want to and they do not want to explain to us why they want to hold people in limbo for 90 days. Two that it was manifest incompetence and they had no idea what they wanted. Three rhetoric led they assumed a frightened population who are not strong on individual liberty would want it and decided to play the tough on crime Joker. None of these reflect on more than the fascistic bent of those coming up with the Policy.
  • Other Illiberality. Up and beyond a mere fault. CCTV does not solve or crucially prevent much crime but we can say we are doing something – people do not have number plates visible at all times sadly. ID Cards, where are your papers mein herr.

I could go on but the theme is this an obsession with perception not achievement. Of nothing being beyond the Pale if they thought they could sell it. So one could argue in a roundabout way Rentoul is right to say people resent winning elections. However that is not true. I think it was with the Tories still so unpopular they could barely scrape power in 2010 after 13 years of expensive incompetence that Labour had an amazing opportunity. The finances of the Clarke/Major years had begun to pay off the manifest incompetence and economic mismanagement of the Thatcher years. Yet what did they achieve that is lasting? That they achieved little but did it in an insulting stupid and illiberal manner I cannot see as anything to praise. The wars just add to their reputation of incompetence and led by tomorrow’s headlines.

I actually owe a great debt to Blair and Brown. Whilst I will never match the complex sophistry of self serving rationalisation nor the social intelligence of Blair I certainly have lost an inferiority I once felt of people with better grammar and Oxbridge education. That they should have bent their intelligence to polarising anti intellectualism shows what you cannot learn in education and the cloistered confines of The Law and The Labour Party.

In the end it’s the base Sun reader anti intellectualism that did peak under Brown when Alan Johnson 19 years a Postman had nothing to say on the Postal dispute and decided to mock science in the Commons. However the dye was cast.

Blair is a great Prime Minister in the way these things are measured but like Thatcher longevity is not the same as good or even competent. I’d take Major over them tomorrow and the next day.

Sadly their best policy may have been treating addicts with drugs to help the natural fall in crime. For some reason they never trumpeted this as its not one that makes for good rhetoric and would require nuance and explanation.

Contrary to Rentoul’s analysis for this liberal Iraq actually stands out in a positive sense. I believe the Straw position it was done in the national interest and that was to stay allied to the US. It was not done to sell Labour. It is a measure of the missed opportunity that a war conducted with such poverty of thought for Post Invasion Iraq did not cost them an election win in 2005.

They would have won 3 elections doing more good.

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Jun 17

Sergeant Delroy Smellie who was acquitted by a judge last month on the grounds than in 7 seconds he could not determine that a woman probably 40% of his weight and a foot or more shorter had a carton of Orange or a very unusual non specific weapon. After all it could have been an odd shaped banana or something similarly frightening.

Now even more ridiculously without having to worry or give as much room for doubt the so called Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC pronounced Establishment Figures on Excessive Expenses) has determined that Mr Smellie should not be held to the same standards of behaviour as a normal human being – patronising, racist or what? It also ignores that Sergeant Smellie did not try to disarm his alleged assailant but to wound. His blows aimed at the legs to do damage and cause pain only.

Whether this is patronising towards Mr Smellie because he is only a policeman or some ethnic background I cannot say. However he is able to use the incompetence defence so beloved of the last Govt and it’s in house bottom feeders in the MOD, MI5 and MI6. Personally I expect the same standards of eyesight and observation in Policeman of normal people. Maybe I am too demanding of the poor clearly visually challenged people who the police recruit.

38 years after Bloody Sunday the establishment will still protect those it sends out to beat the poor up. Judges are still as contemptuous of the poor as Lords Denning, Lane and Widgerey men who are as discredited as Paul Gadd.

At least they only killed one person this time. I ‘cannot wait’ to see what they [sic] come up with to cover up beating a non protestor to death because he wanted to exercise his legal right of way – Offensie hairstyle? Objected to having his right of way illegally obstructed? Supported Millwall? Fat? Middle Aged? All death penalty offences in the right circumstances clearly so which one(s) will they choose?

BTW If I assault someone tomorrow and say I was only in the same room for 5 seconds and he was holding something so I felt threatened and hit him with a metal bar do you think I’ll get off?

BTW Lee Harvey Oswald bashed off 3 shots 2 accurate in 7 seconds.

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May 18

Today a UK judge tried to convict some people who had never stood trial in Britain without them even being charged! Wow what next not allowing an 80% strike ballot to stand, oh! However he had to turn down the request to deport them to key ally Pakistan as officially sanctioned torture and murder are de rigueur there – according to that humanitarian Mrs Clinton they are not doing enough unlike Sri Lanka say? Indeed one thing the judges did prove that is undeniable is that the so called Intelligence Services reassurances on other countries human rights are utter rubbish to be ignored.

This comment from some fascistic judge who clearly believes he has the right to personally convict people – he obviously has no respect for the law! That the Police and Security Forces could not back up with evidence in court comes with context. Although they leaked an email saying a wedding was a plot even though there was no other evidence like ummmhhhh you know explosives or guns. Must have been a very dangerous terrorist outrage planned like an organised moon at a Police station.

The bungled operation that led to the arrests started after some buffoon walked up to no 10 with papers showing. Then 11 arrests no charges.  So the entire judicial system has made itself look utterly foolish. One can recall the previous ‘plot’ when they released everyone we got a story about an attack on Old Trafford cos one of the guys was a fan and had a ticket stub – I kid you not. As these people were Pakistani nationals of course the authorities could use deportation as a weapon to try to try these people without presenting evidence to a real court and jury and leak some BS to the press.

The fact is the Police, Special Branch, MI5 and MI6 have no history to suggest they should be given any benefit of the doubt. They were made to look like morons here and have 0 convictions, you bet a judge will try to paint a veneer of respectability over that.

Personally I do not think MI5 and MI6 are as incompetent as the British Govt wants them painted. Yet if they continue to act politically, covering up when mistakes are made and make no convictions that is the only logical conclusion one can support.

It will be interesting if the Conservatives can resist their temptation to follow the fascistic illiberal policies of Labour. If they had evidence they would charge these people they do not and are just making an example for nothing more than spite and expediency – like that Millwall fan the Police did not beat to death until there was a video showing it for instance.

It’s extremely unfair to put samples of evidence with explanation in the press and not use it at a trial. Anyone else did that they would be charged with Contempt of Court.

This is an interesting one as I believe it determines if we have a Tory Govt or a liberal one. Small l intentional. Will Mrs Phillip May use a control order(s)?

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Apr 05

Apparently senior officers in the army are blaming what the Indie calls the “Diana Syndrome” for a lack of support for the Afghanistan campaign.

I would argue the opposite that the focus on casualties such as reading names of the dead at PMQs, death marches through Wootton Bassett and the furore about the comments of Muslim clowns (who must work for MI5!) is obfuscation for the continuing conflict. The army should aim their fire on the 3 leading political parties who cannot justify this war bar with ludicrous platitudes like “it’s protecting us in the UK”. If the political leaders in the UK cannot explain it with an argument that makes sense to anyone informed why should we support this conflict.

Really this war is a outlet for the US and one gets the impression that even the Obama Administration would not have nailed itself to if they had the time again. A justification of the events of 9 years ago will not wash. We would not accept that off Serbians or Rwandans so please spare us. The link with Afghanistan of 9-11 is pretty spurious anyway and frankly we’d be in a better position then and now if sense and a rational assessment of what happened had taken place. Nonetheless one would be hard pushed to tell an emasculated giant not to strike out mindlessly but come boys it’s 8.5 years on. At least the Bush Administration had the good sense to gradually down grade this conflict rather than be seen to be tied to the Karzai regime.

The fact is even after their distasteful depravity in Iraq with prisoners we mostly tend to support the troops.  We do not hold them to blame for the war. We support charities that support them. We will support their families without much objection. We think their lives are being wasted.We are grateful for their sacrifice.

I would argue we support the troops far more than most. Better than the MOD with it’s wastage of the money that could have provided enough and better equipment. Better than the main political parties who cannot even make a coherent argument for this conflict. Better than MI6 with Sir John Scarlett’s ilk. Better than MI5 which does not even read US press releases saying “we are going to use torture”. Better than the national newspapers who make no coherent arguments for this conflict. Better than the armed forces’ heads who having presided over a procurement farce now and want to be politicians and blame the Govt for their follies. Better than the Karzai Govt which glories in insulting the efforts of our troops to make them rich. Better than the Afghan army of drug addled cowards.

Personally I think this conflict is pointless and as proof I ask how long would we stay protecting the streets of the UK in Afghanistan if the US pulled out?

Answers in nano seconds please anything else will not be taken seriously.

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