Tag Archive: Minister

Russian Fighter Causes Confusion Over Europe

Shock Radar Track Horror

A Russian fighter aircraft has caused a major alert over the skies of Europe as tension mounts in the so-called radar wars.

RussianVersion

Russian Radar Plot

In a statement, President Putin said that the plane was flying in international airspace looking for Turkey but got lost over the Bay of Biscay.

AirspaceViolation

NATO radar plot

NATO has replied with it’s own version in which their track definitely shows the pilot making defensive manoeuvres all over Europe.

Belgian Radar Plot

To counter this, Belgian officials say the plane stayed within international airspace which is now defined as being three and a half leagues inside geographical borders and never once touched Belgian airspace.

To date, it has been confirmed that newspaper sales have not suffered and that no news presenters have lost their jobs.

Prime Minister Cameron has pledged to ask the Daily Mail and Sun exactly what he should say next.

Beryl, of Saffron Walden (42) said,

I was checking the gutters for drips and saw a strange plane in the sky which looked at me in a funny way.  I was glad to get back inside.  You can’t be too careful in this day and age what with them radar tracks and all.

 

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The End of British Law – They’re All In It Together.

UK Legalises Retrospective Law Enforcement

UK leaders

UK leaders – No wonder they’re all smiling

No wonder they’re all smiling

In an astonishing move, HM Government has now enacted a law that allows any government (because it’s now part of case law) to sentence someone for breaking a law that didn’t exist at the time they “committed” an “offence“.

Worst of all, our dear labour Party let HM Gov do it!

Pardon?

Yes. You heard right.    (On the other hand, that’s consistent with my leaving the party some time ago.)

Just suppose that ten years ago, as part of your employment expenses, you were allowed to “flip” your expenses onto your work “home” and back again, yet a few years later this became illegal and you could be imprisoned.   I’m talking about the MP’s Expenses scandal of course, famous for its duck island, moat and second homes a mere hoppity-skip from the main home.   See MPs’ expenses: How Cabinet ministers have made tens of thousands ‘flipping’ their homes.

So what was “allowed” (as they thinly described it) is now “not allowed”.  Legality curiously disappears in this “allowing” farrago, yet some things were and are illegal yet hardly anyone was sent to the clink.  Just a few token stooges.

Workfare

So much for our privileged elite.

Not so good if you’re struggling in this artificially enforced time of economic restraint, wholly created by a roulette-based banking and investment class that shares the revolving door world with our politicians.

Because Iain Duncan Smith’s retrospective workfare legislation has just changed centuries of British law by making a law retrospective.

Now set in case law, the precedent has now been set for any law to be so applied.  You can now be penalised for something that was legal when you did it, but isn’t legal now.  That’s what it means.  Forget (for the moment) the injustice done to thousands of poor folks, fooled and misled into being stripped of their benefits.

The bigger picture is far worse and will have far reaching consequences.

This is really the ghastliest abomination from a whole series of actions where the freedom of the individual has been sequentially stripped over the past  decade or so.  No wonder they’re all smiling.  On top of this they’ve now gagged the press with whom they previously had such a nice cosy relationship.   They’ve made it so that if someone wins a libel case, they still have to pay all legal expenses!

Terrorism

Of course, terrorism (or the perception of terrorism through the western filter screen) is at the route of it.  The silent majority have let leaders do and say anything for so long that they’ve become accustomed to being scared and placid for so long that they can’t tell right from wrong anymore.   But consider this:

It’s always been illegal to trade with certain proscribed countries, organisations or individuals, (call them COI) at a given moment.  But it wasn’t always so.  At another moment, the list is different.

The precedent now makes it illegal for anyone to have traded with certain proscribed COI in the past even though they weren’t on the proscribed list years ago!  This is the bonkers conclusion to this daft legislation.  You can dream up any amount of scenarios.  All bonkers but now, apparently, all legal.

Further Reading:

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Tories Reveal Authoritarian Roots While Liberals Check Their Shoelaces

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yet again I’m forced to side with the grinning David Davis.  This doesn’t happen often and is embarrassing to admit!.

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

It’s all about the government plans to allow full-scale unauthorised real-time monitoring of every person in the UK’s internet activity!  It’s so 1984.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – (George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
.

Orwell must be turning in his grave in despair that what he predicted as a warning about what not to do, now looks like coming to fruition.

Remarkably, since wangling themselves into government, the conservative-libdem coalition government is now actually dropping a key part of their manifesto which they laboriously agreed two years ago.  This can still be found on the government website, page 11 to be exact (pdf) .  Here’s what they said:

  • The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian…. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power – FAIL
  • …reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion – FAIL
  • … introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation – FAIL
  • …end the storage of internet and email records without good reason – FAIL
  • …a British Bill of Rights that … protects and extends British liberties – FAIL

(Actually, the whole Con-Dem pledge list makes good reading to see just how far removed from it our evil diktat of quangos has become.)

So what to do – use TOR.

ID Cards

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Photo credit: andreasmarx)

Not so long ago I was haranguing the former Labour government about their plans for ID Cards, their laws over CCTV and photographing in public places, the reduction  in privacy for individuals and the removal of our civil rights over detention without trial, due cause and 3rd party notification for first 90 days and them 42 days.

I left the Labour Party because of it and have not rejoined.

Huge Vocal Resentment Against UK Government Secret Citizen Monitoring Plans.

try the Tor browser bundle

The new news (I thought it was an April Fool joke initially!) is that Email and web use is ‘to be monitored’ under new laws proposed by this nasty, nasty government.  Happily, there is now a huge and vociferous resentment against this from the general public who can see this evil act for what it is.  Top among them is David Davis!  See this link and the thousands of comments for instance; Backlash over email and web monitoring plan.

Clueless

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14

Now, the tories and their liberal stooges have been shown to be both serially evil in their pronouncements and plans, and also serially incompetent of managing almost anything.

Their pathetic management of a minor industrial dispute (the fuel shortage) which did nothing except invoke almost universal resentment of the coalition and reawaken a general awareness of their ineffectiveness comes on top of stripping the very foundations away from one of UK society’s greatest inventions of the Industrial Age, our National Health Service (NHS).

United Kingdom

Top this behavioural abomination with that of the revolving door policy between banking and politics which they continue to promote with zero penalties for failure while the population-at-large have to prop up the whole system with their taxes means only two things to me.

  1. The government must do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.
  2. They will do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.

Astute folk will see this as my prediction for government actions over the next 3 years.

Tories: Keep Friends Happy

Meanwhile, hundreds of extra Tory donors will soon be available to bankroll the “all is good” story.  They will arrive as beneficiaries of the windfall provided as the “former NHS” contracts are handed out to friends, much like Michael Ashcroft benefited from the first round of NHS privatisation during the Thatcher era.  This article on Powerbase and this one (sourced from a now defunct article in The Scotsman) show quite clearly that 1/3 of cleaning contracts went to Ashcroft’s businesses during this time, saying;

MICHAEL Ashcroft, (…) bankrolled an “independent” publicity campaign that allowed his multi-million-pound contract cleaning empire to prosper and led to a change in the law. The campaign was run from the London office of the former Conservative Scottish secretary, Michael Forsyth. A spokesman for Mr Ashcroft confirmed last night that he had contributed to the Public and Local Service Efficiency Campaign (PULSE), which was set up in 1985 to persuade the public sector to contract out services such as cleaning and catering. The campaign had been disbanded by the end of the 1980s after the Conservative government passed the 1988 Local Government Act .  Mr Ashcroft’s Hawley Services Group, a contract cleaning firm later known as ADT, flourished under the new regime, with ADT, winning a third of NHS contracts between 1983 and 1988.

For further information into the depths that the Tories will go to enable all public money to be fed straight to their business friends, see this article which pulls apart the dealings of Ashcroft, discredited Dame Shirley Porter, NIMBY Nicholas Ridley, Chris Chope (the dog turd of Christchurch) and current (dodgy expenses, remember) minister Eric Pickles.

THE PICKLES PAPERS

By Tony Grogan
First published by 1 IN 12 PUBLICATIONS 1989
21 – 23 Albion St. Bradford 1.
Copyright 1 IN 12 Publications 1989
ISBN 0 948994 04 5

Once read, apply the same logic to our dear NHS, and weep again.  The same modus operandi is being used;

  1. discredit the current, imply alternatives are better;
  2. farm out internal monies to external Tory benefactors.

It’s just more sleaze just like under Thatcher before, backed up with warlike rhetoric.  Remember, only 10 days ago we had the news of billionaire Tory donors at Cameron’s dinner table, and Cameron trying to defend the cash-for-access news that made Labour’s cash-for-questions scandal appear like a sweetshop-ish wheeze in comparison.  See 

Tory Party chairman Lord Feldman was one of the key figures in the ‘cash for access’ scandal which erupted after Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas was caught offering a private dinner with David Cameron to undercover reporters who posed as wealthy party donors.  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2123692/Tory-cash-access-row-David-Cameron-crony-pal-cash-questions.html

as well.

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Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made: Mercenary Guidelines for a Better World

Guidelines for a Better World

Sausages

Sausages

Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.  Perhaps I should re-phrase this as:

The Rules of Law and International Diplomacy are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made

It’s a strange world out there.  Two recent political events have brought two previously unlinked ideas to my mind.  The events are:

Wikileaks disclosures
Innocents Killed In Iraq

Innocents Killed In Iraq by US gunship

For the Wikileaks disclosures, I see them as a highly embarrassing thing for those involved, but an empowering thing for us mere mortals who are divorced from the diplomatic process.  Normally, all the guts of the process are hidden.

In the case of the cover-up of the turkey shoot of unarmed civilians by US helicopter crews, it is something of which we should all be aware, no matter how discomforting for us.

In truth, we need better leaders in the West, people of real morals and guts so that we do not have to see the guts of innocents sprayed on the streets ever again to realise how crap the current bunch are.

Mercenary Forces

Mercenary forces I see as a fact of current and historical life, the old colonial powers especially – indeed, the UK has its own dirty hand in this.  For nigh-on 200 years the UK has even had its own full-time mercenaries, the Gurkhas, typically used in near-suicidal conflict situations.  Also, currently, from the standpoint of an Afghan tribesman, the British Army in Afghanistan could be seen as little more than mercenaries in the employ of a puppet king, Hamid Karzai.  For the tribesman, little has changed – there’s money about but he sees none of it whosoever is in charge.

Diplomacy

Click to see Sausage Making process from the inside.

Sausage Making

In the meantime, we have diplomacy.  For the West, this is a world of essentially astute well educated  folk, usually adept in law not technology, that seek to make deals with not-so-nice folk for our own country’s benefit.

 

Because these deals are done at the guttural level, like sausage-making, it’s an unpleasant process to stumble upon – which is exactly what we’ve seen with the Wikileaks Diplomatic Cable exposures.  Naturally we are aghast that such things go on in our name.  For me, it seems to be a wholly unpleasant process in our current world and something I’d wish to eliminate.

Earth in an oil drop

Taking the current crisis in Libya;  for the previous three years the Blair/Brown Labour Government has made overtures with Libya, sold arms and even SAS training, but all with the aim of ensuring Libya kept it’s hands off the nuclear button.  Seems good-ish.  Laudable aims, jaw-jaw nor war-war and all that.

This process, now revealed, is ugly – but no more so than our current Prime Minister Cameron sucking up to some Gulf Arabs who, like Libya, run a similar kind of oligarchic, autocratic, nepotistic state, full of outlandish greed and luxury with no voice for the inhabitants!  Seems pretty bad.  ………   It is bad.  Really bad.  It’s the same process as before, and we only do it because we need their oil.   Forget about Grand Prix cars and World Cup Football – it’s all about the O. I. L.  – OIL.

So What to Do?

Use Oil?  Sell Bullets.

Most of the recent interventions of the West’s (let’s call them wars should we – after all, thousands have died?), have been into countries that maintain a nice, steady flow of oil to us rich, lazy, westerners.  We think nothing of flying the globe or motoring to the shop for a cheap item that has most probably already crossed the globe once on its way from China, so yes, it’s important we can do this, right?…

On the other hand, our presence in places like Sudan, Rwanda or Congo has been notable by our absence.  Millions have brutally died.  (a.k.a. we don’t care as you’ve no oil.)

Meanwhile our presence in places like Nigeria or Bhopal, India has been notable for our poisoning of the local inhabitants without a trace of remorse or compensation by those involved.

Not Use Oil?  Don’t Sell Bullets.

  • Self-sufficient city planned near Seoul

    A Planned Self Sufficient Korean City

    Consider our own little part of the world.  It’s a place that many people in the world aspire to live because we are essentially free and most material things in our lives can be satisfied.

  • Consider how bright and technologically advanced we consider ourselves to be.

Now consider a world where we eliminated our dependency on chicken dictatorships – a world where we used our technological prowess to eliminate the consumption of oil and our addiction to the making and selling of arms, mostly to these self-same oil rich oligarchies. It’d be a world where we, the citizenry,  didn’t have to look on aghast as all our tax money was spent on bribing simple crooks to talk to us nicely.

Surely, like Egypt & Tunisia, those sort of oligarchies would collapse if we stopped buying their oil and stopped selling them our finest weaponry?

And if they didn’t, so what? There’d be no need for us as a nation to be thrown into hypocritical situations and taking ghastly actions for which we’d later be thoroughly ashamed.  Those areas of the world could take their own destinies into their own hands.

Green Shoot Of Peace

Green Shoot Of Peace

And Diplomacy? For us, we should see more not less of the words and processes done in our name.  We are not children and sooner or later, if the diplomats have fucked it up, we’re going to find out anyway, much as we did after WW1, WW2 and anywhere else our sons and brothers get killed in someone else’s war.

  • We need a proper, ethical, foreign policy.
  • We need diplomats of guile and courage, just like now,  to promote it.
  • And really, we really, really, need to be self-sufficient for all our needs and not rely on corrupt tin-pot states that have not left the Middle Ages in outlook.  This single thing is the most important thing for us and the peaceful futures of our immediate descendants.
  • We need a bit of courage to do this – to wean ourselves off this drug-like dependency on crooks of no substance who happen to sit on stuff we just happen to need, now.  Lets use our technological nous and make the current now a thing of the past – like stone axes and bronze swords, historical curiosities.
  • Mercenaries have courage – after all, if caught they’re usually the first one’s strung up.  See Dead Mercenary Taken to Tripoli Morgue, Libia Protests 2011.   But if the mercenaries have a proper home – what then?  There’d just be the few psychos like there’s always been, because you know, most people, even young hotheads, don’t want to wind up in an early grave.

Remember;

Courage is Contagious.

Get the t-shirt!

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We Could Save £243,654,565 off the Civil Service!

Q. How?

A. Simple.

All people in the public sector (i.e. in the service of the government) to have a salary of no more than the prime minister

Gravy Train

Preamble

David Cameron is paid £142,500 by us, the taxpayer.  Tonight’s Panorama programme on the BBC reveals that thousands are paid more than the PM, notionally the most senior servant of the land.

Helpfully, the website includes a link to a 7 meg csv  spreadsheet of all salaries over £100k.  These were all obtained by public information requests, then collated.

My calculations from this spreadsheet reveal this information:

9187 = no. of persons with salary over the prime minister’s!

£1,552,802,065.00 = actual pay bill for the 9187 last year.

£1,309,147,500.00 = potential pay bill with the 9187 on the PM’s salary

£243,654,565.00 = potential money saved

In light of the current pressure on all public sector workers and following the scythe-like manner in which all union-negotiated contracts are being reneged upon by the government, I think they should be even-handed about this and put a salary ceiling of Cameron’s pay immediately on all civil servants, no matter how they are classed.  If the money comes from the taxpayer, they are servants of the state.  Period.

Then cut the existing salaries to that of the prime minister’s.

Q. Why should any public sector employee earn more than the prime minister?

Consequences

Of course, when the old excuse is rolled out about ensuring we get the best people for the job in the open market place, we now have a quick riposte!

If it’s alright for the highest position in the land, it should be alright for anyone, don’t you think?

I see some of the 9187 moving on and looking elsewhere.  But really – can the private sector swallow up that many state elite to give them the lifestyle that they’ve been used to?

Let’s give it a try and see, eh?  Let’s see how many move on and how many are willing to work for the prime minister’s salary?

Average Earnings 1990-2009

Average Earnings 1990-2009

In fact, I predict a consequence that top private sector pay will be driven down by the standard economics of supply and demand.  Too many elite applying for too few places means employers can pick and choose much as they do now.  Except it’ll be cheaper for them and thus profits will rise…

In fact, it can be argued that high public sector rewards for the elite is actually driving elite private sector pay upwards in the same way….?

Yes?  I mean, can the private sector swallow up 9187 managerial posts?

Where would the BBC governor general go?

Where would the armed forces chiefs of staff go?

etc etc.  Think about it.

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