Tag Archive: Prime 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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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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The Real Troubles are not in Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE DERRY 8The Saville Report, probably the longest and certainly the most expensive enquiry in the UK ever, is now out.  The ramifications are continuing, despite the Prime Minister trying to draw a line under everything.  See Bloody Sunday report published

History

On that day in 1972, 13 folks were killed, and overall, in what are called “The Troubles”, over 3,500 people were killed in Northern Ireland in the 30 years between 1968 and 1998.  (see ref.)  This is about 130 a year, or about 11 a month. ( Also, during the 30 years, >47,000 were injured!)

Bloody Philadelphia

But let’s stick with the dead for now.

I’ve been following the local 6ABC News in Philadelphia for a bit.  It’s not happy reading.  Most of the news headlines are murder related.

For Instance

Last year there was a ‘random’ shooting at a funeral.  Afterwards, Taaqi Brown was caught and charged with killing Aaron Kearney, although apparently he was after one of Kearney’s friends, ( – so that makes it alright, then?)

These are black guys, and drugs and guns come into the story a lot.  See storyline links below:

Disturbing Philadelphia

Recently, Taaqi had been let out of custody accidentally, which is pretty bad for the law enforcement agencies.  He later turned himself in.  What is horrifically disturbing though, is the interactive map from the Philadelphia Police Department.

http://citymaps.phila.gov/CrimeMap/map….from=5%2f17%2f2010&to=6%2f16%2f2010

Click on it and you’ll see all the homicides in the city for the past one month.  This is only one month, not a year or a decade….

27 people killed!

Most of these are from gunshot.  Mostly, people have been murdered outside in the street.  These are the cold statistics.

Crime Category Location Date/Time Premise Code
114 – Homicide: Knife 6100 BLOCK COTTAGE ST 6/13/2010 8:58 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 500 BLOCK E ASHMEAD ST 6/13/2010 0:23 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 6900 BLOCK N 19TH ST 6/12/2010 2:36 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S COLORADO ST & WOLF ST 6/10/2010 6:04 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N HOWARD ST & W HUNTINGDON ST 6/9/2010 17:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun CHEW AV & E WOODLAWN ST 6/6/2010 6:50 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1100 BLOCK S 6TH ST 6/5/2010 0:52 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK E SHARPNACK ST 6/4/2010 5:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
112 – Homicide: Rifle 1200 BLOCK S 21ST ST 6/3/2010 8:18 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1600 BLOCK W YORK ST 6/3/2010 3:07 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
115 – Homicide: Beating 1200 BLOCK N 4TH ST 6/2/2010 14:54 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
114 – Homicide: Knife 2600 BLOCK COLLINS ST 6/2/2010 12:49 70. Private Residence
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3000 BLOCK W DAKOTA ST 6/1/2010 8:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S 60TH ST & KINGSESSING 5/31/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 2100 BLOCK E CLEARFIELD 5/31/2010 4:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
121 – Homicide: Auto W LEHIGH AV & MASCHER ST 5/30/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK W INDIANA AV 5/30/2010 2:37 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 4800 BLOCK DEVEREAUX AV 5/29/2010 3:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 5400 BLOCK BALTIMORE AV 5/29/2010 2:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3300 BLOCK W WESTMORELAND ST 5/28/2010 4:21 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1200 BLOCK RHAWN ST 5/26/2010 13:43 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1200 BLOCK S BUCKNELL ST 5/25/2010 3:30 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/22/2010 4:01 66. Apartment House/Condominium
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/21/2010 23:21 66. Apartment House/Condominium
111 – Homicide: Handgun 900 BLOCK FILBERT ST 5/21/2010 7:29 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic N 2ND ST & W OLNEY AV 5/18/2010 20:32 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N 59TH ST & LANSDOWNE AV 5/17/2010 6:20 53. Highway (Outside Structure)

But remember, Northern Ireland, for the whole of The Troubles, averaged out at 11 murders per month…..  This is just one month in Philadelphia!

Murderous, Troubled, Philadelphia

It means ol’ Philly is 3 times as bad as Northern Ireland.

  • What can they do?
  • Has it always been like this?
  • Do they want it to change?

Q. So which makes the best holiday destination?  N. Ireland or Philadelphia?

Q. Are they very similar?

Well, both Philadelphia and N.I. have similar populations of between 1.5 and 2 million souls.   But there, I’m afraid the similarity ends.

My own internal image I have of Northern Ireland is of it’s troubled times, but in all likelihood I could walk the streets yet not feel very “brotherly” towards the place because I’d be haunted by it’s past.  But I’d most likely be “safe”.

My image of Philadelphia is of the home of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell.  It means “The City of Brotherly Love” from it’s Greek meaning. I also have a vision of a  ‘tough’ place because of Will Smith’s signature tune from the Fresh Price of Bel Air.

But my new image is that it’s not somewhere that’s safe to walk the streets, or even drive.  27 murders a month is nearly one a day.

Northern Ireland was never, ever, as bad as Philadelphia now.

War On ??

The continuing “War on Terror” looks to be a misguided distraction from these figures.  The true war should be being fought on the streets of cities like Philadelphia and in the minds of it’s inhabitants.

Because, you see, what happens is that if these same “poor kids” involved in a society like this, decide that the only way out of their mess of a life, is to join the Army in it’s war on terror, then their poor grasp of right and wrong leads to the continuing atrocities that we see in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  Things like the gunship turkey shoot below where American heroes heroically shoot unarmed civilians on the ground from afar… (We only know of this because of the great Wikileaks.  As usual, the government tried to cover it up.)

This action and the continuing slaughter on America’s own streets by Americans is inexcusable.

  • Why is America like this?
  • Why do they put up with such shit?

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Thatcher’s Recession, and Now?

How Bad was Thatcher’s Recession compared to the Current Economic Slump?

Q. Well, how would you find out, exactly?

Slump's Progress

Slump's Progress

A. Surprisingly easily.  This graph here compares historical economic slumps with the current one, on a month by month basis.  It’s taken from the “National Institute of Economic and Social Research” (NIESR) website here.  Notionally, it’s an academic institution, but on examining it’s staff and management you’ll see that it’s a collection of vested interest groups, supplying a “knowledge base”.

But There’s No Denying their Facts!

Rig IIThe current slump is in black and the fall seems to have plateaued out a bit.  It’s tracking something like the red line and the green line.  So what you see is the Green Line, which is Thatcher’s Slump, being nearly as bad as the depression in the 1930s (the red line)!

However, in Thatcher’s time, Britain was awash with North Sea oil wealth!  Coal mines were still producing horrendous quantities of fuel and North Sea Gas had been on-stream for years.

In short, the country was sound with it’s own supplies of energy, dependant on no-one.  And yet, it had the worst economic state since the great depression!

So much for Thatcher’s miracle!

The current labour government has not been blessed with such good fortune during the current slump.  Britain is now a huge energy importer and is vulnerable to the vagaries of the market in oil as we saw last year.

Where Did the Money Go in Thatcher’s Time?

Thatcher Explains All

Thatcher Explains All

The legacy of Thatcher’s time in office was leaking schools everywhere, a crumbling rail network, hived off bus services that redefined “service”, a crumbling road system, paid-for medical treatment…. an almost endless list!

  • So where did the money go?
  • Where did the strategic national energy reserves of oil, coal and gas go?
  • Where did Britain’s manufacturing industry go?
  • Well the energy was burnt to get money to pay people on the dole.
  • Britain’s manufacturing (and most of the Western world’s) went to China and would have happened anyway

That leaves the money.  Where did the money go?

A. Tax havens, that’s where.

Thatcher and all conservatives of that ilk whine on about making a country fit for the entrepreneurial spirit.  But their actions, both now and historically, for the most part, go soundly against that spirit. (I’m thinking particularly of Ashcroft here who may be entrepreneurial but whose contributions to UK PLC as opposed to Tory Ltd have been minimal…)

It’s in their name – conservative.

Their gut reaction is to hoard wealth, and if they can’t do it at home, they’ll do it abroad (like Shirley Porter).  Remember, the wealth of “The City” is not derived from the re-invested wealth of landowning Tories suddenly looking for a home for their money once local industries had gone.  It comes from abroad.  There’s no way they’d invest their own money in infrastructure or development.  Sheesh!

Their other modus operandi is to do as little as possible for the country while maintaining the status quo.  Hence, this is why all large companies and financial institutions are full of the same old people, having the same background and speaking the same language.  The banks and other institutions behind the economic collapse are headed by these people, who flit from government to the military, to law, ‘business’ and finance with impunity.  Anywhere that’ll keep them busy, keep them wealthy and keep them pulling strings.

True, many do ‘charitable’ activities and are on the controlling side of many charities.  But that’s purely dressage.  Being involved with charity does not make you a good person.  You just look good.  In a truly civilised society there should be no need whatsoever for charity.  It’s a definition of civilised, or being civil, in my book.

Worms from Woodwork

Now, with the piss-poor Labour government and their own side’s resurgence all the old tories are all coming out of the woodwork again.  The odious slimery is oozing forth like the dark stain from history that it is.  The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is one such place.

Thatcher-Cameron

Thatcher-Cameron

The CPS, created by… Thatcher!… in 1974, proclaims it’s freedom credentials from it’s lofty privileged position.  Among it’s luminaries is Thatcher’s advertiser (Saatchi) and the European gaffer of Goldmann Sachs, one of the companies internationally bailed out with public funds and one of those businesses at the forefront of the whole current economic mess!  Most of the rest seem to have had various Tory positions over the last two decades.  So much for independent think tank!  (By the way, the CPS is a pseudo-charity – a non-profit-making organisation which relies on the donations of individuals and companies to carry out its work!!)

Part of the CPS’s ‘current thinking’ is to roll back the surveillance culture that has developed under Labour.  Personally, I can’t see it happening…

The trouble is, as has just been revealed in a book supposedly derived from recently released archive material from MI5, (The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5), like all power-grabbers, Thatcher used MI5 for her own ends.  She used MI5 to discredit Red Robbo the Trades Union Leader and had tabs on Scargill.  Prime Minister Wilson even had the tabs on him and ordered tabs on others….  and so it goes. (see Book tells of MI5’s secret pastthe fact is that Margaret Thatcher demanded action from MI5 to deal with “wreckers” in British industry and yet it was herself that wrecked that same industry!.)

That’s why I see it as highly unlikely that Cameron, if the Tories get in, will roll back the shutters on our increasingly closeted and shuttered state apparatus.  He’s there purely to re-instate the old status quo….

  • To keep jobs for the boys
  • Re-exert the dominant power structures of the state and the wealthy, bolstering their unhealthy connections to their former pre-eminence
  • Say that all the new hospitals and schools which have replaced all the leaking and collapsing ones, would have happened anyway…
  • Say that the new fast rail links would have happened anyway without government sponsorship
  • Ensure that money stashed abroad by the wealthy remains unreachable by the state
  • Bring back smoking in pubs
  • Tax the poor to pay for the rich’s mistakes
  • Kill foxes ritually
  • Say that they’d have fixed the credit-crunch anyway..

All these and more will come under the banner of “freedom” and I’m quite sure that MI5 will be used to ensure they happen.  The media will naturally be roped in to lend a publicity hand to smooth the waters and ensure that the status quo has safe passage;  A media governed by;

  • a non-tax paying, non-resident Australian-American,
  • a non-resident Briton who prefers to pay French tax
  • and a brotherly twosome who threaten locals who don’t vote for “their man”.

Great?  Britain.

Thatcher’s Economic Legacy

  • Greed
  • Selfishness
  • The Channel Tunnel (economic disaster, multiple bankrupt)
  • M25, world’s biggest car park and fume cupboard
  • …er.  That’s it.

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