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Sunday, 28 February 2010

"in crucial respects the IPCC's 2007 report was no more than reckless propaganda, designed to panic the world's politicians ..."

The excelent Christopher Booker in The Telegraph has another piece of realism about Man Made Climate Change. Do read the whole article but here are a few extracts:
"The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC's last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other "extreme weather events" were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The "science is settled", the "consensus" is intact.

But this completely misses the point. Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.

All these alarms were given special prominence in the IPCC's 2007 report and each of them has now been shown to be based, not on hard evidence, but on scare stories, derived not from proper scientists but from environmental activists. Those glaciers are not vanishing; the damage to the rainforest is not from climate change but logging and agriculture; African crop yields are more likely to increase than diminish; the modest rise in sea levels is slowing not accelerating; hurricane activity is lower than it was 60 years ago; droughts were more frequent in the past; there has been no increase in floods or heatwaves.

Furthermore, it has also emerged in almost every case that the decision to include these scare stories rather than hard scientific evidence was deliberate. As several IPCC scientists have pointed out about the scare over Himalayan glaciers, for instance, those responsible for including it were well aware that proper science said something quite different. But it was inserted nevertheless – because that was the story wanted by those in charge.

...

In other words, in crucial respects the IPCC's 2007 report was no more than reckless propaganda, designed to panic the world's politicians into agreeing at Copenhagen in 2009 that we should all pay by far the largest single bill ever presented to the human race, amounting to tens of trillions of dollars. And as we know, faced with the prospect of this financial and economic abyss, December's Copenhagen conference ended in shambles, with virtually nothing agreed.

...

Almost as revealing as the leaked documents themselves, however, was the recent interview given to the BBC by the CRU's suspended director, Dr Phil Jones, who has played a central role in the global warming scare for 20 years, not least as custodian of the most prestigious of the four global temperature records relied on by the IPCC. In his interview Jones seemed to be chucking overboard one key prop of warmest faith after another, as he admitted that the world might have been hotter during the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years ago than it is today, that before any rise in CO2 levels temperatures rose faster between 1860 and 1880 than they have done in the past 30 years, and that in the past decade their trend has been falling rather than rising. "
And yet still I meet people who 'believe' that Global Warming is settled science and that I am at best a sceptic at worst an evil denier.

Gordon Brown the worst economic record of any Prime Minister since 1953

"Here's the complete Prime Ministerial record up to end-2009 (per capita GDP at basic prices; ONS data and BOM calcs):

Churchill (1953-55) +7%
Eden (1955-57) +2%
Macmillan (1957-63) +15%
Douglas-Home (1963-64) +4%
Wilson (1964-1970 and 1974-1976) +15%
Callaghan (1976-1979) +7%
Thatcher (1979-1990) +26%
Major (1990-97) +13%
Blair (1997-2007) +27% (yes, on this measure, he beat Thatcher)
Brown (2007-2009) -5%"


More of this at Burning Our Money.

Muslim 'entryism' in the Labour party?

The Telegraph reveal that
"A Labour minister says his party has been infiltrated by a fundamentalist Muslim group that wants to create an “Islamic social and political order” in Britain.

The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) — which believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state — has placed sympathisers in elected office and claims, correctly, to be able to achieve “mass mobilisation” of voters.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Environment Minister, said the IFE had become, in effect, a secret party within Labour and other political parties.

“They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it’s at local government level or national level,” he said.

“They are completely at odds with Labour’s programme, with our support for secularism.”

Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said the IFE had infiltrated and “corrupted” his party in east London in the same way that the far-Left Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. Leaked Labour lists show a 110 per cent rise in party membership in one constituency in two years. "

More to come in another Channel 4 Dispatches programme. Read the whole piece and note the links to GEorge Galloway.... More to follow.

"Mr Brown is ‘routinely rude’"

The Mail has more revelations about Gordon Brown's behaviur; have a read and make up your own mind.

The BBC are truly obsessed

The BBC are simply obsessed, everything has to come back to Climate Change. Apparently:
"A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists say.

Whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, much of this carbon can be released.

US scientists revealed their estimate of carbon released by whaling at a major ocean sciences meeting in the US. "
Further down comes the admission that:
"Dr Pershing stressed that this was still a relatively tiny amount when compared to the billions of tonnes produced by human activity every year. "


Another dodgy science story used to beef up the diminishing credibility of the Global Warming narrative. Job done BBC...





Thanks to Mr Eugenides for the spot.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Shh the British don't need to know all the facts about who's talking to who in the Middle Esat

The BBC report that
"The head of the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has made a rare public appearance in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Sheikh Nasrallah attended a dinner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both Syria and Iran provide the group with financial and military support. "
'If you can judge a man by his friends...'

The BBC have to remind everyone of the scum that they are dealing with; sorry this is the BBC so the scum are not who a sensible person might expect:
"Hezbollah fought a 33-day war with Israel in 2006 during which more than 1,200 Lebanese people, mostly civilians, were killed. Some 160 Israeli people, most of whom were soldiers, also died. "
The same old figures time and time again, no explanation of the definitions of civilians on the Hamas/Palestinian side or the Hamas tactic of using civilian human shields.

The BBC do report that:
"Before Thursday's dinner, Sheikh Nasrallah and President Ahmadinejad discussed "the latest developments in the region, and Zionist threats against Lebanon and Syria", Hezbollah's al-Manar television reported.

"If the Zionist regime decides to repeat its past mistakes, the region will finish it off," al-Manar quoted the Iranian leader as saying.

After bilateral talks on Thursday, President Assad said Syria and Iran were working together to confront "Israeli terrorism".

Both leaders dismissed US calls for Syria to distance itself from Iran, emphasising their "deep and brotherly" ties. "
But there is something lacking from that piece of coverage, something that can be found in The Washington Post:
"The presidents of Iran and Syria on Thursday ridiculed U.S. policy in the region and pledged to create a Middle East "without Zionists," combining a slap at recent U.S. overtures and a threat to Israel with an endorsement of one of the region's defining alliances.

...

Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust denier, spoke of Israel's eventual "demise and annihilation" and said the countries of the region could create a future "without Zionists and without colonialists.""

There you have a prime example of the BBC casting aspersions on Israel and ignoring what the people representing countries or organisations, two of which are on record as desiring the total destruction of Israel, are saying when they call for the Middle East to be in effect 'judenfrei'.

The non-handshake

I am not a massive football geek but was interested to note that Wayne Bridge chose not to shake hands with John Terry in the pre-match fairplay handshakes. Now back to the job of repairing my sick laptop - hence the infrequesnt blogging over the last day and probably the coming weekend!

Create the quotable headline then add the caveats later - and much drawing of 1984 parallels

The BBC were leading their news bulletins yesterday with the news that GDP in the last quarter of 2009 increased by 0.3% which was much more than the previous estimate of 0.1%. Good news, rejoice, rejoice was the message from the Labour/BBC alliance. Later on the BBC did manage to put up this analysis which did admit that
"However, the size of the overall contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) during the recession increased, from a 6% fall to a 6.25% drop.

Prior to the October to December period, the economy had contracted for six consecutive quarters - the longest period since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955. "

However what the BBC have managed not to report is that the increased size in the total drop in GDP in 2009 was due to the GDP figure for the 3rd quarter of 2009 being reduced further than was originally reported. So the 2009 contraction was 5% and the peak to trough drop was now 6.2%.

So an unbiased headline for this story would be that the UK GDP increased slightly quicker in Q4 2009 from a worse position than had previously been reported and that GDP in Q4 2009 was less than had previously been reported. However as this is the BBC an unbiased headline was never going to be that likely.


Once again the BBC reporting of a Labour 'good news' story is more than slighly reminiscent of a passage from George Orwell's "1984":
"times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify current issue

...

The Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today's issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston's job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones."

Actually make that two passages as the more famous chocolate ration is in the same chapter:
"times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

...

As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a 'categorical pledge' were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.

... much later ...

It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it."



1984 one of the greatest books I have read and one that time after time sums up the activities of this Labour government. I know it has become trite to quote 1984 when discussing the Blair, Brown, Straw, Campbell, Mandleson cabal but it is just so perfect. Here's another quotation:
"But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head.

For example, the Ministry of Plenty's forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at one-hundred-and-forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than one-hundred-and-forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all."

Friday, 26 February 2010

Sneaky BBC, very sneaky

BBC poll tracker was recently moved down the politics news home page but with the latest opinion poll showing the Conservative lead down the BBC had to find some excuse to bring it up the page. So they have added it as a related item to the story " Tory focus on 'change' for polls - The Conservatives will fight the coming general election under the slogan "vote for change", the party reveals. "

I bet someone at the BBC thought they were being so clever...

Lily Allen at the Brits


Lily Allen - "The Fear" from the 2010 Brits

Boob war (update)

Further to this piece from last week I have to report that the blogosphere's boob wars have grown in intensity as The Camp of the Saints announces that "It’s D-Day baby and I’m General Patton and William Tecumseh Sherman on serious steroids…." and brings out some serious double-barrelled weaponry. Cynthia Myers seems to have upped the stakes once more, I await reprisals from elsewhere...

That's convenient, 20 years not 15

The news that the Government have decided not to reduce the period for publishing secret government papers from the current 30 years to 15 years as proposed by the government review but instead have opted for 20 years, does not surprise me. It is now 13 years since Labour's 1997 election victory and Labour would rather release information relating to the last years of the last Conservative government than anything surrounding their early years in power.

The BBC reports that "the new 20-year rule will be phased in over 10 years by doubling the amount of old records released each year". So I assume that in 2011 we will have released 1981 & 1982, in 2012 - 1983 & 1984 etc. which means that 1997 papers will not be released until 2017. How convenient...

Nigel Farage speaks his mind about President Van Rompuy and Martin Schultz seems to dislike 'free speech'


'President Farage' - has a nice ring, does it not.

I find Van Rompuy's smirk a bit concerning and Martin Schultz's body language somewhat threatening.

Gary Gibbon knows the dates for the run-up to the general election

Channel 4's Gary Gibbon thinks he knows the important dates for the run-up to a 6 May general election. I have just one thing to say...
Well it is Friday

The lineup of The Forces of Hell

The Wall Street Journal has a lovely piece by Iain Martin about the men who make up the The Forces of Hell who despite sounding
"like a band, a particularly rubbish 1970s heavy metal outfit from Birmingham who played support on tours with Saxon, Black Sabbath or Spinal Tap. But (actually) The Forces of Hell (TFOH) are actually what the Chancellor says Number 10 unleashed against him when he dared to point out the truth about the global recession."
An excellent piece of humour with more than a kernel of truth.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

If Gordon Brown does call an election for sooner than 6 May what pretext would be believable?

There is much speculation that Gordon Brown is about to call a general election for sooner than 6 May. I am prepared to believe that Gordon Brown is preparing to call a general election but what I can't foresee is what reason Gordon Brown will give for calling the election for before 6 May.

I suppose that it doesn't really matter as whatever the reason given the BBC will not question it, preferring to concentrate on ensuring Labour's reelection.

It's time to post this again

Last Friday I blogged in the expectation of Gordon Brown calling an early election that:
"So it looks as though Gordon Brown, maybe advised by the vile duo of Mandelson and Campbell, has weighed up his fear of fighting an early election (indeed any election) with the knowledge that in two months time the true extent of the economic crisis that his policies have wrought upon the country will become too clear to too many for him to win a May election. Thus I am afraid we have to look forward to a month or so of lies and spin from the Labour party, and its willing allies in the BBC, in what will be the most vicious and spiteful election campaign ever in the UK. It is not going to be a pretty campaign; the Labour party is a wounded beast that will spit venom, spread smears, lie and in certain cases cheat their way to the election date."
It looks as though last week's piece is relevant once more; I wonder if I will have to post something like this again come Monday:
"It looks as though the Great Bottler has bottled it again... Poor Gordon, he thought about an early election but in the end his true bottling nature won out and he's put off making a decision. With decisiveness like this it's a wonder he can even get dressed in the morning."


Maybe the extra wrinkle this time is the Alistair Darling factor, maybe Gordon Brown feels that he cannot be trusted to say what Gordon Brown wants him to say in any Budget presentation. Maybe the revised economic figures for 2009 Q4 are even worse than we thought, maybe +0.1% up becomes not 0% but -0.2%. What if Gordon Brown really is that scared of the Chilcot Inquiry that he cabbot face it. What if there are more revelations due over the weekend about bullying.

Allegations of a new Labour smear campaign

The Telegraph reports that:
"Alistair Darling is unlikely to be the only one to have the “forces of Hell” unleashed against him by No 10 Downing Street. Mandrake hears that Samantha Cameron is to be the new target of a Labour smear campaign.

“Briefing against her has already begun,” discloses my man in Gordon Brown’s bunker.

Astonishingly, Labour officials claim that David Cameron’s wife, who transformed the fortunes of the Mayfair stationer Smythson while raising three children, is “lazy”.

The plan is to compare Mrs Cameron, 38, unflatteringly with Sarah Brown, 46.

“Much will be made of Sarah’s charity work and journalists will be encouraged to make comparisons with the amount of work that Mrs Cameron does for charity,” says my mole.

Mrs Brown, who gave up her job as a public relations executive when she was expecting her first child, has taken an increasingly prominent political role since the Prime Minister’s standing plunged in the opinion polls.

This week, she appeared on GMTV to defend her “hero” against allegations of bullying."
I hope this is not true but if it is then it shows the lengths that some elements at or near the top of the Labour government are prepared to go to in order to keep hold of power. This general election campaign is going to be the dirtiest in British history and Guido Fawkes thinks the announcement may come any day now...

BBC 5Live's Peter Allen upsets Ed Balls and Ed balls's doesn't like it


Thanks to Liberal Vision for the recording. You can find links on that website to the full audio.


Ed Balls really is a truly unpleasant man and he really doesn't like criticism. "You cannot justify that statement", "You're being very political", "I think you, as a presenter, have got a bit more responsibility than...", "Of course it's not bust Peter and the idea that you would talk our country down in that way on national radio really surprises me... I'm very surprised.. complete and utter nonsense", "rather than say to me highly polemic things which I don't think you can substantiate for a minute".

Well done Peter Allen for standing your ground, maybe some other BBC presenters could learn a lesson from your balls.

£200,000 to raise a child

The Telegraph report that:
"The cost of raising a child has passed £200,000 for the first time... The figure equates to £800 a month and is a shocking reminder to parents of the financial burden of providing for a child until the age of 21.

The costs have increased 4 per cent to £201,000 since last year and are 43 per cent higher than in 2003 when the annual survey was first carried out by insurer LV=."
£200,000 is an incredible amount per child just an average; it does make me wonder how much certain friends will end up spending once private schools, university educations, ski trips, school trips, cars tec. etc. are factored in. It could be a very scary figure but not one that affects me directly I am glad to report.

Tasteless joke of the day

Two Middle East mothers are sitting in a cafe chatting over a plate of tabouli and a pint of goat's milk.

The older of the two pulls a bag out of her purse and starts flipping through photos. They start reminiscing. 'This is my oldest son Mohammed. He would have been 24 years old now.' 'Yes, I remember him as a baby' says the other mother cheerfully. 'He's a martyr now though' mum confides. 'Oh, so sad dear' says the other.

And this is my second son Kalid. He would have been 21.' 'Oh, I remember him,' says the other happily, 'he had such curly hair when he was born'. 'He's a martyr too' says mum quietly.
'Oh, gracious me ...' Says the other. '

And this is my third son. My baby. My beautiful Ahmed. He would have been 18, she whispers.
'Yes' says the friend enthusiastically, 'I remember when he first started school with my Achmet'.
'He's a martyr also,' says mum, with tears in her eyes.

After a pause and a deep sigh, the second Muslim mother looks wistfully at the photographs and says...

'They blow up so fast, don't they...'


Thanks to Muffled Vociferation for the spot.

Where global warming science should be today following Dr Phil Jones' revelations


That's Fox News's Glenn Beck with some actual reporting of Dr Phil Jones's BBC interview, reporting that has been sadly lacking from the BBC itself.

Dr Jones' recent online interview with the BBC's Roger Harrabin (the unscientifically trained environment analyst has not been headline news in the Main Stream Media and the BBC have been happy to put the full interview up and not analyse the incredible admissions within it, in an apparent hope that it will fade away and they can go back to proselytising on behalf of the 'warmists'. Do read the whole interview it's fantastic as you find Dr Jones happy to claim that a 0.12C per decade increase in temperature is "quite close to the significance level" but that a 0.12% decrease in temperature is just "not statistically significant"; hmmm that seems reasonable. Here's the full Q&A on that for you to read:
"B - Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

C - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant. "


The other extract that needs to be quoted every time a government minister or 'warmist' claims that the debate on climate change is settled is this one:
"N - When scientists say "the debate on climate change is over", what exactly do they mean - and what don't they mean?

It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well. "


For more information on 'Climate Change' take a look at Watts Up With That, Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit and Bishop Hill.

A Falklands wrinkle - EU related

Katabasis has an interesting wrinkle on the latest Argentinian sabre rattling over the Falklands.
"EU law, as ensrhined in the Lisbon Treaty amendments. Of interest in particular is Article 42, Section 7 of the Lisbon amended Maastricht treaty. It states:


"If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power".



And the note in the document accompanying this - in case you weren't already clear on what it meant - states: "Mutual assistance clause for ALL member states in case of an armed aggression."

Having read carefully through all of the consolidated treaties, (Part 2 (Part 1 is here) of my analysis is still in progress - the amendments to the Rome/Amsterdam treaty are far more numerous to those to Maastricht, its going to be a monster piece), what is striking about these sections is the clarity of the language. There are so many places in the treaties where matters are left - I believe intentionally - vague, so as to be amenable to whatever sort of spin the EU wishes to put on them at the time, it is noticable when the treaty suddenly expresses things in crystal clear clarity.

If you read all of the complementary sections (articles 34 up to 42 regarding security issues, and for extra clarity, Articles 24 onwards regarding foreign policy) you will see just how specific the clauses are. When I initially read them (as you can see from my reaction in my earlier analysis), it was from the point of view of the U.K. having to do all of the heavy lifting with regards to a conflict with which - prior to the rise of the EU's power - it would have had no interest in pursuing. Now the tables are turned.

My major point here is that if Argentina attacks, this single issue will call the EU's bluff - and at a potentially far more significant level than current concerns over the status of the Euro.

So who is going to tell the Irish or the French that in signing Lisbon, they might now be shortly committed to sending troops to South America to defend British territory? "
Interesting...

Argentina's other border disputes

Whilst Argentina runs to the United Nations so as to further its claim on the British Islands - The Falklands, I note that they have been less keen to resolve several border issues that they have with Chile. Maybe the Argentinians should set their own house in order regarding the Southern Patagonian ice fields and the Antarctic territory that they and Chile claim before they stake their claim to The Falklands.

What a generous country the UK is

The Mail reports that:
"Standing proudly with her arm draped over her 36in television, this is the Somali woman who must be given a council house even though she has no right to live in Britain.

Nimco Hassan Ibrahim - who lives with her four children on benefit handouts - was granted the right to the home by EU judges yesterday because she was once married to a Danish citizen who briefly worked in this country.

The landmark judgment means the 34-year-old migrant and her children will soon be packing up their impressive collection of furniture and electrical equipment when they are given a new house.

Although Miss Ibrahim claims her income support payments were suspended during the legal action, she has somehow bought a Playstation 3 games console, computer and a high-quality speaker system.

Equally impressive is the enormous sofa from which she watches TV each night. Lying on the floor in her lounge are some of the latest film releases - including a pirate DVD copy of the sci-fi movie Avatar.

And although she lives in a temporary accommodation in Harrow, Middlesex - funded by the local council - she has managed to install a high-speed internet connection.

Speaking to the Daily Mail last night, Mrs Ibrahim said: 'I deserve to be given a proper house. This one is too small for all of us."
Doesn't it make you proud to be British that a migrant can be housed and equipped with the latest technology. What a rich and benificent country we live in. How fortunate that we have been unaffected by the global depression. I despair, I really do...

Robin Lustig wants your opinions...

The BBC World Tonight's Robin Lustig wants your opinions on a matter that concererns him, here's his request:

----- Original Message -----
From: "World Tonight"
To:
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010
Subject: Robin Lustig's Newsletter


If you'd like to respond to this newsletter, please email the World Tonight
team at world.tonight@bbc.co.uk or you can leave a comment on the blog at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldtonight


Newsletter No. 224 19 February 2010



Dear World Tonighter

Suppose I know that you're planning to launch an attack on my family and my
home. (The reason I know is that you've said so, many times. And you've
already attacked us in the past.) What am I entitled to do to stop you?

I can put stronger locks on the doors. I can buy a gun and bullets, or a
baseball bat, and prepare to repulse you by force if you burst through my
front door.

But am I entitled to shoot you anyway, just to make sure you can't do any
more harm?

I suspect you're tempted to answer No. Which would mean, to couch it in
lawyer-speak, that you do not subscribe to the doctrine of "pre-emptive
self-defence."

So let's consider another scenario. It's early 2003. The US and its allies
are about to invade Iraq. I tell you that I am in the remarkable position of
being able, without any room for doubt, to arrange for the assassination of
Saddam Hussein. Thousands of lives could be saved. Would you approve?

You can see where this is going, can't you? Suppose the Hamas military
commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was buying long-range missiles from Iran on his
ill-fated trip to Dubai last month. Suppose it was the Israelis who killed
him, on the grounds that if he did get his hands on the missiles, Hamas
would use them to kill Israeli civilians. Would his murder be a case of
pre-emptive self-defence? Or a flagrant breach of both international law and
basic morality?

Of course, there's nothing new about assassinations. Brutus bumped off
Julius Caesar in 44 BC and arguably ushered in the Romans' golden age. More
recently, in 1944 AD, a group of German officers tried to kill Adolf Hitler:
would you have approved if they had succeeded?

For the past few years - and with much greater frequency under President
Obama than under President Bush - unmanned US drones have been killing
alleged Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives, with a lot less fuss than there has
been over the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. (They've also been
killing large numbers of totally innocent Pakistanis -- by one estimate, 687
civilians compared to 14 al-Qaeda operatives over a three-year period, in
other words a ratio of nearly 50 civilians killed for every al-Qaeda
operative killed.)

In 1986, US warplanes bombed Tripoli, in what looked to many people like an
attempt to kill Colonel Gaddafi.

In 1988, a team of Israeli commandos murdered Yasser Arafat's Number 2, Abu
Jihad, in Tunis.

In 2001, a Palestinian hit squad murdered the Israeli government minister
Rehavam Ze'evi in a Jerusalem hotel.

Last month, the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, was
reported killed in a US drone attack.

I choose the examples almost at random. Go through them one by one, and then
tell me: Do you approve of some of the killings? All of them? Or none of
them?

If you want to know what the legal position is, well, it's complicated. But
as I understand it (and remember, I'm no lawyer), there may, in some
circumstances, be occasions when an assassination, in time of war, may be
regarded as lawful.

But there are three conditions: first, that the use of force is necessary;
second, that it complies with the principle of proportionality; and third,
that it minimises the risk of civilian casualties.

Apply those tests to the killing of Mahmoud al-Mahbouh in his Dubai hotel
room. Apply them to the use of unmanned drones in Pakistan.

Then let me know what conclusion you come to.

Have a good weekend.
Robin

We're on the air at 10pm, weekdays, on BBC Radio 4, 92-95FM and 198LW, and
on the web at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qtl3
To unsubscribe from this newsletter visit:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/the-world-tonight/newsletter/leave/"


Do let him have your thoughts... and/or let me have them...

The word on the streets of Londonistan


Daud Abdullah, Deputy Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain and frintsman for the Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO), media watch dog and lobby group. Dr Abdullah also signed the Istanbul Declaration, a pro-Hamas document that called on Muslims to attack the British Navy if it tried to prevent arms being smuggled into Gaza.



Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick; the anti-Semitic and homophobic Muslim preacher, listen to him denounce the “filth” of Jews (Yahood) and kaffirs (about 3.50 minutes into the video)
Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick is also on record as preaching:

* AIDS is caused by the “filthy practices” of homosexuals
* Homosexuals are dropping dead from AIDS and “they want to take us all down with them”
* The Islamic position on homosexuality is “death”
* Homosexuals are “sick” and “not natural”
* “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals] and it’s not enough to call names” (this last point comes close to an implied threat of violence).


That's just video from the latest two reports at Harry's Place, do keep up to date with Harry's Place's reports they are usually of great interest.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Not the whole story on the BBC re the death of a prisoner in Cuba

The BBC's love affair with Cuba and especially Fidel Castro has been well documented so I was interested to read this short piece of "Breaking News:
"Cuba's leader Raul Castro "laments" the death of a detained activist who had been on hunger strike for nearly three months, its foreign ministry says.

It marks a rare expression by the country's leadership, often rebuked over its human rights record.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in hospital in Havana on Tuesday, 85 days after he began refusing food, sparking criticism of Havana from the US and EU countries.

The 42-year-old was arrested in 2003 in an crackdown on opposition activists.

But the Cuban president said neither Mr Tamayo nor anyone else on the island had been tortured. "


Let's see what another left wing media organisation The Guardian has printed some hours earlier than the BBC mini piece:
"A Cuban political prisoner died yesterday after an 85-day hunger strike over alleged beatings and degrading jail conditions.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, 42, one of Amnesty International's "prisoners of conscience", was so emaciated he was almost unrecognisable when he died at a prison hospital in Havana.

Jailed in 2003 during a political crackdown, he is the first dissident to starve himself to death in almost four decades.

"They have assassinated Orlando Zapata Tamayo. The death of my son has been a premediated murder," his mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, told the Miami-based El Nuevo Herald in a telephone interview. "They managed to do what they wanted. They ended the life of a fighter for human rights."

There was no immediate response from the Castro government. Authorities have depicted political prisoners as US-funded mercenaries who plotted "counter-revolutionary" acts against the communist regime.

Zapata, a former plumber and member of the Alternative Republican Movement National Civic Resistance Committee, was one of 75 activists arrested during the "black spring" of 2003. He was sentenced to three years for contempt, public disorder and "disobedience" but that was increased to 36 years after he was convicted of acts of defiance in prison.

He stopped eating solid foods on December 3 to protest against what he said were repeated beatings by guards and other abuses at Kilo 7 prison in the eastern province of Camagüey. His back was "tattooed with blows" from beatings, according to his mother.

Two weeks ago she reported he was "skin and bones, his stomach is just a hole" and that bedsores covered his legs. He was so gaunt nurses were unable to get intravenous lines for fluids into his arms and used veins on his neck instead.

Zapata was moved to a hospital at Havana's Combinado del Este prison, but authorities did not try to force feed him, said Elizardo Sanchez of the independent Cuban Human Rights Commission. "His death shows the totalitarian arrogance that is not measuring the human impact of its acts," he told Reuters.

"It's a great tragedy for his family, for the human rights movement in Cuba and for the Cuban government, because there will be protests in Cuba and abroad." The commission, which is illegal but tolerated by the authorities, estimated there were around 200 people in jail for political beliefs.

Relatives were transporting Zapata's remains to his hometown in Holguin province, said Vladimiro Roca, a leading dissident.

Once one of the lesser known political prisoners, earlier this month his case reportedly triggered street protests – a rarity in the tightly-controlled island – which led to dozens being detained.

The last activist to starve himself to death was the student leader and poet, Pedro Luis Boitel, who died in prison in 1972.

Bill Nelson, a US senator from Florida, said in a statement that Zapata's death was "a sad reminder of the tragic cost of oppression and a dictatorship that devalues human life"."
A slight difference in reporting outlook? Whilst the BBC slavishly follows the Cuban regime's line that Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death was 'lamented' by the Cuban regime and reports as straight fact that "the Cuban president said neither Mr Tamayo nor anyone else on the island had been tortured.", The Guardian gives the important background.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo was one of Amnesty International's "prisoners of conscience", how can that be? The BBC are always explaining how Cuba is some sort of socialist paradise.

"Zapata, a former plumber and member of the Alternative Republican Movement National Civic Resistance Committee, was one of 75 activists arrested during the "black spring" of 2003. He was sentenced to three years for contempt, public disorder and "disobedience" but that was increased to 36 years after he was convicted of acts of defiance in prison."
No mention of this 12 times increase in prison sentence; why?

When Orlando Zapata Tamayo claims that he experienced "repeated beatings by guards and other abuses at Kilo 7 prison in the eastern province of Camagüey. His back was "tattooed with blows" from beatings, according to his mother." the BBC say not a word. But if an ex-prisoner at Guantanamo Bay (500 miles away) claims he was mistreated it is headline news on the BBC; why?

"Once one of the lesser known political prisoners, earlier this month his case reportedly triggered street protests – a rarity in the tightly-controlled island – which led to dozens being detained."
"Tightly controlled island"? And yet the BBC don't seem to want to report the lack of freedom in Cuba; why?

Sir Gus O'Donnell speaks

So whilst Sir Gus O'Donnell did not warn Gordon Brown over bullying but did feel he had to talk to him about his behaviour towards staff. Nick Robinson grows a pair; I am staggered.

An invitation for Keith Olbermann from the Dallas Tea Party campaign


Keith Olbermann's holier than thou act annoys millions of Americans but I think he has been well and truly caught out in this video.

Visit Dallas Tea Party for more information about the first anniversary of the Tea Party movement. This left-wing habit of insinuating that anyone who opposes Barack Obama is a racist must be attacked each and every time.


Thanks to Theo Spark

A future fair for all

To add to Mutley the Dog's A future fair for all blog, there is now also this website. God speed to you both.



Thanks to Dizzy Thinks for the second spot.

Gordon Brown's attempt to evade any blame for the briefings against Alistair Darling

Gordon Browm appears to be trying to suggest that any briefings against Alistair Darling were not done by him, on his instructions or with his knowledge. Let's assume for the moment that Gordon Brown is telling the truth and that all three of these statements are true. Then maybe Gordon Brown could answer the following questions that seem to naturally arise:

1. When the unauthorised briefings against your Chancellor of the Exchequer were revealed what investigations did you launch to find out the source(s) of the briefings?

2. What did these investigations discover and as these were unauthorised briefings against a valued colleague what disciplinary action against the instigators of such briefings has been taken as a result?

3. If you did not launch an investigation into the unauthorised briefings then why didn't you?

4. If you did launch an investigation and no action was taken as a result of what was discovered, why was no action taken?


Of course the above assumes that Gordon Brown has been telling the truth about having no knowledge of the briefings against Alistair Darling. There's a whole separate set of questions that need to be asked and answered if he has not been totally straight with us.

The Damian Green arrest story resurfaces

Sky News are reporting that:
"Regular readers of Boulton and Co will recall that I have twice before (November 24 and January 21) written about evidence given by Martin and the Clerk of the House, Malcolm Jack, to a committee of MPs investigating the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green and the police raid on his Commons office.

Both told the committee, chaired by Sir Menzies Campbell, that they learned of the raid from Sky News "that afternoon", Jack claiming it was at 2.20pm. In fact, it was not until about 7.30pm that I revealed the arrest on Sky News, as Damian Green told the committee in a letter to Sir Menzies.

Was there, therefore, a cock-up, cover-up or conspiracy involving the Speaker and the Clerk and an attempt to pin the blame for the fiasco on the Sergeant at Arms, Jill Pay?

That's what Sir Menzies and his committee are wondering, obviously, because - in a new twist to this gripping drama - they have summoned Malcolm Jack to appear before the committee for a second time, on Wednesday 24 February, at 4.35pm in the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House.

...

I'm mot sure the second appearance of Dr Jack before Sir Menzies and his committee will be a bundle of laughs..."
There are many news stories that will come to define the way that this Labour government have debased democracy, free speech and the rule of law; the arrest of Damian Green will be one of the clearest examples.



Thanks to Mrs Rigsby for the spot.

Googling results - BBC Poll Tracker special

I see that if you Google BBC poll tracker then the first three results are entries from the BBC and the next two are from this blog; ahead of more BBC pages.

Excellent, if as a result I can educate some people as to the bias shown by the way the BBC's Poll Tracker is updated and get them to look at other examples of BBC bias then I will feel a happy NotaSheep.

The BBC are out of control

The BBC's pro-Labour bias, always apparent but now even more so, seems to be about to take on a whole new aspect. The Guardian reveals in quite a long article that:
"The Now Show, the vehicle for comedians Punt and Dennis, will be renamed The Vote Now Show, for the duration of the election campaign and broadcast every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday."
I thought political satire was banned during general election campaigns, I seem to remember Spitting Image being taken off the air in the run up to a General Election in the 1980s.

This is just another attempt to affect the general election result and David Cameron just ignores the problem; why?



Thanks to Biased BBC for the spot.

PMQs 24.02.10

What can David Cameron do at PMQs? If he asks about policy matters then Gordon Brown has a 'Brownie' or two to hand and some false allegations about Tory policy. If he asks about anything else then Gordon Brown accuses him of not wanting to discuss policy; preferring to discuss personality rather than politics - a harder line to hold after his Piers Morgan interview. If David Cameron asks about something non-party political like Afghanistan then he thinks he looks statesmanlike but it lets Gordon Brown off the hook. If he asks about climate change then he annoys many supporters and some backbenchers.

Who would be in David Cameron's shoes?

Just for fun...

Following Gerry Adams's appearance on Channel 4 presenting the episode about Jesus Christ in an episode of their series "The Bible: A History", Shane Greer is running a competition to see "if Gerry were to turn his attentions to developing a TV career, what kind of shows could we expect to see him host?".

Shane Greer suggests: 1) The Crystal Maze: during which Gerry will force players into various rooms telling them that they’ve “got three minutes to get out!”, 2) What Not to Wear (when engaging in paramilitary activity), 3) Changing Rooms (with Semtex)


So far his commentators have come up with several further ideas, including: "Arms Cache in the Attic", "(Arndale)Supermarket Sweep (up)" and "A Place In The Country (To bury an arms dump)". Go and suggest your own...

Any more unbiased character references?

So we've had Peter Mandelson and Sarah Brown; who next? The Ranting Penguin has the answer:
"James Fraser Brown (aged 4) has toddled to his father's defence, furious that daddy has been accused of being a bully.

"I know I said I'd never stoop so low as to use my position as the Prime Mentalist's sick child to gain a platform in the media, " said James, "but I think that these completley baseless allegations against my dad are just too sick-making to ignore. And no, Uncle Peter has not been coaching me to say this, honest he hasn't!"

He then ran from the room waving a brand new radio-controlled model of Thomas the Tank Engine, and shouting "Thank you, Uncle Peter!""

The Corus steel plant closure and a 'global warming' scam

I have blogged about the scandal that is the closure of the Corus steelworks in Redcar before and how it is not a global economic downturn story but a result of global warming policy story. James Delingpole in The Telegraph does the story full justice as he first records the letter written by UKIP's Nigel Farage after he was dropped from the BBC Question Time panel for the Middlesborough visit:
"Sir

Corus’ steelworks at Redcar, near Middlesbrough, “Teesside Cast Products”, is to be closed (”mothballed” is the euphemism). It is Britain’s last great steelworks and an essential national resource. Without it, we are at the world’s mercy.

Corus is owned by Tata Steel of India. Recently, Tata received “EU-carbon-credits” worth up to £1bn, ostensibly so that steel-production at Redcar would not be crippled by the EU’s “carbon-emissions-trading-scheme”. By closing the plant at Redcar – and not making any “carbon-emissions” – Tata walks off with £1bn of taxpayers’ money, which it will invest in its steel-factories in India, where there is no “carbon-emissions-trading-scheme”.

There’s more. The EU’s “emissions-trading-scheme” (ETS) is modelled on instructions from the “International Panel on Climate-Change” (IPCC) of the United Nations Organisation. The Chairman of the IPCC is one Dr Rajendra K.Pachauri, a former railway-engineer, who obtained this post by virtue of his being Chairman of the “Tata Energy-Research Institute” – set up by Tata Steel.

UKIP’s leader in the EU’s “parliament”, Nigel Farage, revealed these data in a speech at Strasbourg, on 10th February, and was due to appear in the BBC’s “Question-Time” programme, from Middlesbrough, on 18th February, where the closure of the Redcar-plant was inevitably discussed. Almost at the last minute, his invitation to join the “Question-Time” panel was cancelled, without explanation."


James Delingpole also quotes Christopher Booker's expose of the Labour government's latest dealings on CO2 trading:
"Thus we pay billions of dollars to the Asian countries for the right to continue emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases here in the West, including the £60 million contributed by British taxpayers to keep our civil servants warm. As a result we enrich a small number of people in China and India, including Maurice Strong, who now lives in exile in Beijing, having been caught out in 2005 for illicitly receiving $1 million from Saddam Hussein in the “Oil for Food” scandal. He played a key part in setting up China’s carbon exchange, to buy and sell the CDM credits administered by the UNFCCC – of which Strong himself was the chief architect.

The net result of all this trading and jiggery-pokery is that, after billions of pounds and dollars have changed hands, with a hefty commission for those bankers and other carbon traders along the way, there is no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions whatever. But at least our political class can continue to work in warm offices and fly righteously round the world on our behalf – while the rest of us foot the bill."


James Delingpole is angry, I am angry but is there anything that we can do? I am not sure there is, David Cameron seems to have swallowed the 'warmist' agenda, hook line and sinker, so I see no hope there. UKIP seem to be more realistic but they could not win more than a couple of seats and voting UKIP may allow Labour another go at wrecking the UK. What to do? What to do?

Is this man the Number 10 'Deep Throat'?

The Telegraph report that:
"Jeremy Heywood, the senior civil servant in Gordon Brown’s office, dined with Andrew Rawnsley, the author whose book sparked the bullying allegations against the Prime Minister, it can be disclosed.

Mr Heywood, the permanent secretary in 10 Downing Street, had dinner with the political writer in September.

The dinner emerged after Mr Brown’s allies questioned the source of Mr Rawnsley’s claim that Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, privately warned Mr Brown about his treatment of staff.

Sir Gus is also facing questions about his contacts with Mr Rawnsley. The Observer journalist has said he based his claim on information from “senior serving civil servants” but refused to identify them by name.

Mr Heywood declared a dinner with Mr Rawnsley under civil service rules on hospitality received by senior officials.

The event, dated as 17th September 2009, is listed in Mr Heywood’s declaration of expenses and hospitality for the third quarter of last year. "
Interesting, very interesting.

A fact completely unconnected with why Labour allowed immigration to increase so much

"Research into voting patterns was conducted for The Electoral Commission in May 2005, just after the last election. The “Black and Minority Ethnic Survey”, conducted by MORI, asked which party respondents had voted for in 2005. Of Caribbean and African voters, 80% had voted Labour, 2-3% Conservative and 5- 11% Liberal Democrat. Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshis voted 56%, 50% and 41% for Labour. The equivalent figures for the Conservatives were 11%, 11% and 9% while Liberal Democrats came in at 14%, 25% and 16%. Mixed and other categories were similar to the Asians."


Thanks to Migration Watch for bringing those figures to my attention.


Somehow I think that Stephen Glover is rather less willing to give the Labour government the benefit of the doubt:
"Using immigration to turn Britain into a nation of Labour voters is so shameful I can hardly believe it

...

Migrants, and to a slightly lesser extent their descendants, are much more likely to vote Labour than for any other party. It seems that one shameful motivation behind New Labour’s open-door immigration policy was to alter the social composition of this country so as to improve the chances of the party being reelected.

...

Remember that in large parts of England Labour has long been losing ground. In 2005, the Tories actually won more votes in England than Labour. As the party’s traditional bases in Scotland and Wales begin to weaken, so it needs more people in England who will naturally vote for it. As they don’t exist, they must be found.

Even as I write these words I can scarcely believe them. That a political party should have put its narrow, selfish interests above those of the country on so enormously important a matter is deeply shocking. To me it is a thousand times more shocking than all the MPs’ expenses fiddles about which we have learned recently."


You can read more about this matter here, here, here and at other places under this search.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Has John Bercow's got the begging bowl out and is it legitimate?

Anna Raccoon has an excellent scoop:
"Before the General Election has even kicked off, Buckingham Candidate John Bercow stands accused this afternoon of misusing the Office of Speaker in order to further his electoral cause.

In an election contest that is becoming increasingly tight, Bercow has put together a group of supporters called The Friends of Speaker Bercow. Nothing wrong with that: but the approach they’re using is, to say the least, dubious.

Letters requesting monetary support have been sent out to wealthy potential patrons….with a hard sell follow-up by phone. I have seen and been given a copy of this letter.

“His people are doing very hard-sell telephone follow-ups to the letter,” one recipient told me, “and they’re stressing that the request comes with the knowledge and approval of the Speaker’s Office”.

This was confirmed by a senior local Tory Party member, who felt that asking for ‘political’ funds (while playing up the Speaker’s Office angle) represented double standards."

Do read the whole article and let's see if it gets picked up by the Main Stream Media; somehow I doubt it as the BBC for one couldn't bear to see Nigel Farage beat a CINO (Conservative In Name Only) like Bercow.

Now that's a weird comment

Commenter Random posted the following in reply to piece about Max Clifford possibly joining the 'Gordon Brown is a bully' debate.

"Given that she has now admitted that the complaints about bullying in Downing Street did not relate to Gordon Brown - and, indeed, that at least two of the four pre-date him taking over from Blair - I wonder what it is she intends to prove. This is a shambles - the Tory smear machine used to be world-class, but these days it just takes a couple of enterprising bloggers to pull its efforts apart.

Even the BBC's loyalty to Cameron is looking a bit shakey - it only took it a day and a half to admit the links between the NBH and the Tories, and the questions about the NBH's "charity" credentials. And the right-wing press isn't buying it either. If the Tories are losing control of the media, somehow even the BBC, then might they actually manage to lose the election?"


I will take issue on a few points:

"the Tory smear machine used to be world-class" - when did the Tories ever have a world-class smear machine? Never in my recollection.

"the BBC's loyalty to Cameron is looking a bit shakey" - Anyone who thinks that the BBC is loyal to the Conservatives has a very dodgy world-view, somewhat at odds with reality.

Conflicker.B Infection Alert

If you receive an email along the following lines just delete it, it is an attempt to infect your computer:

"Subject: Conflicker.B Infection Alert
Message:

Dear Microsoft Customer,

Starting 18/10/2009 the ‘Conficker’ worm began infecting Microsoft customers unusually rapidly. Microsoft has been advised by your Internet provider that your network is infected.

To counteract further spread we advise removing the infection using an antispyware program. We are supplying all effected Windows Users with a free system scan in order to clean any files infected by the virus.

Please install attached file to start the scan. The process takes under a minute and will prevent your files from being compromised. We appreciate your prompt cooperation.

Regards,
Microsoft Windows Agent #2 (Hollis)
Microsoft Windows Computer Safety Division"

Microsoft do not issue such warnings or links to software, please delete the email and do pass this warning on.

http://afuturefairforall.blogspot.com/

MutleyTheDog has a new blog registered; could be one to keep an eye on...

How the BBC treat Conservative party policy announcements



Magnificent work by "Stoatman"; satire of the highest order.

The 'Gordon Brown is a bully' story might just be about to get VERY interesting

I thought that Peter Mandelson and the Labour Party by skilfully using the tame BBC had won the battle over Christine Pratt's allegations but now I read that:
"Publicist Max Clifford is to represent the anti-bullying charity boss who said Downing Street staff contacted her organisation's helpline.

Mr Clifford told the BBC that Christine Pratt, chief executive of the National Bullying Helpline, had told him she had e-mail evidence to back up her claims. "

Mandelson v Clifford - this could be a seriously heavyweight bout and I am not sure who the winner will be. The only fly in the ointment may be that the BBC quote Max Clifford as saying that 'he was a "very big fan" of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.'

"The Labour party has been warned by the Electoral Commission over its handling of postal vote applications "

The Guardian reports that:
"The Labour party has been warned by the Electoral Commission over its handling of postal vote applications after it investigated alleged irregularities in last year's Glasgow North East byelection.

The commission said an unusually high number of last minute postal vote applications were made in Glasgow North East, with 1,800 forms submitted less than three days before the registration deadline – more than a quarter of the total number received.

A spot check of 300 of those forms by the returning officer's staff found that in at least 100 cases these applications had been dated more than a week and in some cases over a month earlier.

Nearly half of the last-minute registrations came from Labour supporters, sparking allegations from the Scottish National party – first reported by The Guardian – that Labour had been deliberately hoarding postal votes to help its campaign.

In the event, Labour won by a landslide 8,111 votes, securing a 60% share of the vote and demolishing SNP hopes of a second victory in Labour's Glasgow heartland.

The commission said Labour "did not comply" with a code of conduct that requires political parties to hand in every postal vote application within two days of receiving them, and had been asked to honour those rules in future."

As I have said time and time again, some Labour party campaigners will be using the postal vote system to maximise the Labour vote; a very close eye will need to be kept on some Labour seats or the Florida 'hanging chads' will be as nothing...

PIGS become PIIGS, will this affect STUPID?

Italy has joined the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece & Spain) in the list of EU countries that the Markets think most at risk of defaulting on their sovereign debt. The STUPID countries (Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy and Dubai) are the countries not just including the EU. It has just struck me that the original I in PIGS was Ireland but the original I in STUPID was Italy. Either way I suppose it is PIIGS & STUPIID; not so memorable but oh so much scarier...

Gordon Brown's temper tantrums as envisaged by Taiwanese television


Gordon Brown in CGI looks a lot slimmer and less sulky than he does in real life.

I have said before that the way to destroy Gordon Brown is make him a figure of fun. Just as Alastair Campbell invented the John Major tucks his shirt into his underpants story, so Conservative Central Office need to have a team dedicated to turning Gordon Brown into a laughing stock. In fact this could be even more effective against Brown than against most politicians as whilst most politicians have a sense of humour about their failing, I dont't believe Gordon Brown has.



Thanks to Dizzy Thinks for the spot.

Is the US in technical default

Zero Hedge has an interesting article:
"A new proposal by House Republicans, lead by Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), is seeking to address changes to Fannie and Freddie accounting, along the lines of what has been previously proposed by Zero Hedge, and to not only include the GSE's losses as part of the Federal budget, but to also count the debt from the two mortgage zombies toward the nation's total statutory debt limit. As we stated previously, it is only semantics at this point which distinguish the GSE obligations from other Treasury obligations. Yet it is not just us, but the administration's very own Peter Orzsag who was pushing for consolidated GSE accounting two years ago. Yet with GSE debt most recently at $6.3 trillion, or about half of the existing Treasury debt, this would mean total US debt would not only explode by 50% overnight, but the recently increased debt ceiling would be immediately breached and America would find itself in technical default (where it really is right now for all technical purposes). "

As I have said before, it is tough to tell which economy is more screwed: the US, EU or UK. Maybe we will all go phut together.

The masters of spin have done it again

The Labour spinmeisters have done it again. The majority of evidence is that Gordon Brown is a bully but somehow after less than 48 hours of this round of stories the BBC feel able to report with a straight face that "Brown 'very upset' by bully claims, says Ed Balls". Apparently
"Gordon Brown has been "very upset" by allegations about his behaviour towards staff, his ally Ed Balls told the BBC.

The schools secretary said there was "no truth" in claims that the cabinet secretary was so concerned he had to have a private word with the PM.

"I don't think it damages him, it hurts him personally," Mr Balls said. "

Having watched the way the Labour/BBC spin machine dealt with the damaging claims of Andrew Rawnsley and then Christine Pratt it seems to me that the Labour spin and smear machine is in tip-top working order and that the coming general election campaign will run at an intensity that the UK has never experienced before. I fear that the Conservative team are not up to the task of fighting this Labour/BBC nexus and that consequently the result of the general election will be another Labour government with all that that entails for the economy and social stability of the United Kingdom.

One way to make your point


"Don't brink laptops and work on them in class, have I made myself clear?"

An Oxford University professor, allegedly, using liquid nitrogen on a laptop.


Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The BBC happy to spread slurs about Jews

According to Double Tapper
"On Sunday BBC Radio 4’s PM program interviewed Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon’s Spies, a book about the Mossad.


In explaining the Mossad’s operating methods outside Israel, Thomas told PM host Eddie Mair, “They have a whole backup system called ‘asylum.’ These are people, local residents, Jewish people, who help the Mossad. It is estimated to be in the world about half a million; some people say a million; I tend to say it’s about half a million, all of them Mossad people.”


The BBC press office in London said, “This interview was part of a wider piece about the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh which involved contributions from a number of people including Gordon Thomas, an author of a book about [the] Mossad.


So let me get this straight. Roughly 10% of the Jews in the world work for the Mossad and assist in assassinations. This is from the same Gordon Thomas that wrote that the Mossad was responsible for Princess Dianna's death."


Can you imagine the BBC allowing anyone air time to allege that all Muslims supported the Iranian secret service or Hamas? Not a chance as they would not want to 'provoke an anti-Islam backlash' but they seem happy to allow air time to someone to claim that most Jews are active supporters of the hated Mossad thus risking provoking an anti-Semitic backlash.

Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama


No Sheeples Here reports that Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama but didn't want too much publicity as he didn't want to upset his Chinese financiers. Thus this report:
"There was no customary welcome fanfare for this dignitary and the President made no public comments, only issuing a brief statement through his spokesman. The White House banned reporters and TV cameras, distributing a single photo of the two leaders.

However, the White House efforts to keep the meeting on the “down low” weren’t entirely successful. Cameras were able to capture the moment the Dalai Lama was shown the way out through the back door where garbage was piled up outside."
and even more damningly the photo at the top of this post of the Dalai Lama having to leave the White House via a back or side entrance and walk past some trash; that Barack Obama he's got real class hasn't he?

Now you see it, now you don't

LFAT has a fantastic spot that Number 10's spite is in full flow ans they remove the National Bullying Helpline from BIS's website - more specifically their list of 'useful organisations'. Hell hath no fury like a PM accused of bullying; what pathetic people.

Today Malmo, tomorrow Manchester?

The Telegraph report that:
"Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

Sweden's reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.

...

In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.

"Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps," she said. "It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won't invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more." "

About five years ago I started warning Jewish friends and colleagues that our time as welcome citizens of the UK would not last for ever and that we should all start planning our exit strategies; I gave it 10 years before we would need to take action, nothing that I see around me leads me to believe that I was wrong then. And with the economy in free-fall, civil unrest will increase and the usual scapegoats will be attacked - blame the bankers had unfortunate connotations for Jews in Europe in the 1930s and will again in the 2010s.

“dark forces” inside the BBC and further afield were subjecting Israel to a wholly biased, discriminatory and distorted campaign of vilification.

I have mentioned Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, before. Then it was in connection with his speech to the UNHRC, but today I read that
"A rare voice of sanity in the British establishment, Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, has mounted another devastating defence of Israel. In a speech at the annual dinner (which I attended) of the UK’s Zionist Federation in London last night, Kemp even revealed that prior to his deployment in Afghanistan a four hour briefing by a top Israeli general had been instrumental in formulating British tactics and strategy on how to deal with Taliban suicide bombers.

...

Kemp’s counter-orthodoxy views on Israel rose to global prominence in October last year when, against the background of the Goldstone Report, he appeared before the UN Human Rights Council to say of Operation Cast Lead: “..Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.”

In the course of his speech last night, Kemp reiterated the substance of those remarks, adding that “dark forces” inside the BBC and further afield were subjecting Israel to a wholly biased, discriminatory and distorted campaign of vilification.

Speaking from personal experience, he contrasted the media response to the immense difficulties faced by British and American troops in facing down terrorists with the response to Israeli troops facing the same problems:

“When we go into battle we do not get the same knee-jerk, almost Pavlovian response from many, many elements of the international media and international groups, humanitarian groups and other international groups such as the United Nations which should know better,” he told the 400 strong audience."


To the BBC's credit they are reporting this story however I can not find a link to this story on either the UK news page which is the section it appears under or the Middle East news page. I have noticed the BBC do this before; report a story that they feel they cannot ignore but have no noticeable links to it.

The seventy-second weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

My first video award and it goes to Peter Kay for only just realising at the Brits last week that Liam Gallagher is "a knobhead", I think most of us realised that years ago...




Liam Gallagher a knobhead; "no shit Sherlock"

Jack Straw met with anti-Brown plotters

I am so shocked at The Mail story that
"Jack Straw was forced yesterday to admit having met MPs plotting to oust Gordon Brown amid damaging claims that he told colleagues the Prime Minister 'had to go'.

The Justice Secretary, who ran Mr Brown's leadership campaign in 2007, was accused of giving up on him by the middle of 2008 and of sounding out MPs about his own chances of seizing the top job.

According to Andrew Rawnsley's book, the veteran Cabinet minister held a series of talks with rebels planning a putsch against Mr Brown.

In a statement, 63-year- old Mr Straw said he was surprised that the claims had not been put to him in advance, given their seriousness, but admitted holding meetings with colleagues trying to force Mr Brown out."
Claims that Jack Straw has been devious and plotting; I am shocked. However I was also amused that Jack Straw claimed that
"In this period, unsurprisingly, a number of people came to me to talk about their concerns for the party... Some of these people wished to see a change of leadership. They have not made a secret of this, then or now. But it is untrue that I was " plotting to oust Gordon Brown" as The Observer has alleged.

So Jack Straw met Charles Clarke and Frank Field but wasn't canvassing for votes; well it's a possibility I suppose. However Andrew Rawnsley claims that
"over lunch with Charles Clarke, a long-standing critic of the Prime Minister, Mr Straw is alleged to have declared that Mr Brown 'had to go' and promised that 'something will be done'.

The Justice Secretary also gave a strong indication to former welfare minister Frank Field, another thorn in Mr Brown's side, that the Cabinet was preparing a coup.

The book adds that, in one private meeting, Mr Straw spent much of the time 'trying to find out whether Field would back him for the top job'."
Who to believe; Jack Straw or Andrew Rawnsley?

Attack, attack, attack

The BBC are doing their best to move the 'Gordon Brown is a bully' story along this morning with the 08:10 BBC Radio 4 Today interview trying to turn the story into a negative one about the National Bullying Helpline. Take a listen to the interviews, and it was interviews because Anne Snelgrove seemed to have refused to appear with Christine Pratt and aren't the BBC doing well at muddying the waters and attacking Christine Pratt for breaching confidentiality. "Commercial gain" is one of the new angles and "angling for business" was the line of attack.

Why do I sense the malign influence of Peter Mandelson at work here? Throwing mud to obscure the original story and seeing what dirt sticks to the people who dare to attack the 'Dear Leader'.

Nick Robinson who summed up the matter went a little off-message though, I'll post his exact words when Listen Again is a available and I have some free time; it's going to be a long work day today...

Moving the story along

The contrast between how the BBC report a story detrimental to Gordon Brown and one detrimental to a leading Conservative is starkly illustrated this morning. Whereas evil Tory stories are reported from the point of view of the accusers and kept running for days, the 'Gordon Brown is a bully' story was very quickly turned into a 'Labour goes on the offensive' story, and this morning's BBC Radio 4 07:30 news bulletin contained the unanswered challenge from Gordon Brown's PPS,Anne Snelgrove, asking why Christine Pratt had gone public now. Anyone who has followed this story will know that Christine Pratt explained why yesterday; Christine Pratt decided she had to come forward because 'Mandelson' had been so categorical in stating that no bullying had taken place in Number 10.

Of course this was a Sunday afternoon/evening news story and so for many (maybe most) people the first they will have heard of this story are the Labour party responses and that's just the way the Labour government and the BBC want it.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

So who is the liar (update)

This morning I blogged:
"Andrew Rawnsley claims that staff at Number 10 were intimidated by outbursts from Gordon Brown. From today's Observer -

"..Sir Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, became so alarmed by the prime minister’s behaviour that he launched his own investigations when he received reports of Brown’s bullying of staff. O’Donnell then gave the prime minister a stern “pep talk” and ordered him to change his behaviour. “This is no way to get things done,” he told Brown. The revelation that the prime minister’s behaviour was so extreme that it triggered a warning from Whitehall’s most powerful official will shock the political world and is bound to lead to claims from his opponents that he is not fit for another five years in office as a general election draws near."



The PM's spokesman said the claim in a book by the Observer's chief political commentator Andrew Rawnsley were "without foundation" and "malicious".

Labour MP Stephen Pound confirms that Gus O'Donnell warned Gordon Brown about his behaviour.


Not all of these people can be telling the truth, at least one must be lying; but who?"


Tonight I heard on BBC 5Live and you can read on the website that Christine Pratt of the National Bullying Helpline has reported that several people in Gordon Brown's office have contacted their anti-bullying charity. Christine Pratt decided she had to come forward because 'Mandelson' had been so certain that no bullying had taken place.

So once again I say not all of these people can be telling the truth, at least one must be lying; but which?


Dizzy Thinks has some fascinating Hansard sourced information.

Was this the greatest Super Group?


The Travelling Wilburys - "Handle With Care"

That's George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne & Tom Petty; has there ever been a greater selection of serious musical talent in one group?.


Not the best quality video, this is better but not embeddable.


I really liked The Travelling Wilburys, it's odd that they are not more widely known.

Manchester declared a Police State

Red Rag alerts us to the news that on Friday
"in what they described as a twenty four hour crackdown on weapons and drink fuelled violence, Greater Manchester Police have set up checkpoints throughout the city forcing people through airport style metal detectors.

They must not be allowed to get away with this or twenty four hours will turn into permanent checkpoints. They make no claim of any terrorist threat or of any specific concerns at all, this is just a normal day in the city. Who would have believed that just thirteen years of Labour Government would have delivered a police state in one of our biggest cities? The police checkpoints have arrived even before the compulsory ID cards!"
If you vote Labour then what else can you expect but authoritarian police and the supression of freedom.

"I Helped Disappear People. My Orders Came From Gerry Adams."

Those are the words of Dolours Price, the first woman to become a member of the Provisional IRA, the leader of the unit that bombed London in March 1973 and the hunger-striker who endured months of force-feeding in British prisons before eventually being released on grounds of ill-health. The words are from an interview with The Irish News in which she makes several claims but the one that stands out for me is her claim that Gerry Adams was her Officer Commanding from whom she took orders in person.

Gerry Adams denies the allegations, but then he would.

Not a whisper of coverage on the BBC to whom allegiance to the sainted Gerry is of great importance.

Three months to live?

The Telegraph reports the unsurprising news that
"The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is living with his family in a luxury villa in Libya six months after he was released from jail on compassionate grounds because he had less than three months to live."
Apparently :
"Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, no longer receives hospital treatment after ending the course of chemotherapy that he had been given after returning to his homeland last August. "
The Telegraph also remind us that:
"The Sunday Telegraph revealed last September that the Libyan government had paid for the medical evidence which helped Megrahi, 57, to be released. The Libyans had encouraged doctors to say he had only three months to live.

The life expectancy of Megrahi was crucial because, under Scottish rules, prisoners can be freed on compassionate grounds only if they are considered to have this amount of time, or less, to live.

Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary, ruled last August that Megrahi should be freed. Megrahi's release came after Libyan leaders warned that lucrative oil and trade deals with Britain would be cancelled if the bomber died in jail.

One leading prostate cancer specialist cast serious doubt yesterday on the wisdom of predicting that Megrahi had only three months to live – when a patient still had to undergo chemotherapy. Dr Chris Parker said it was extremely difficult to give an accurate prognosis for individual patients. "Studies show experts are very poor at trying to predict how long an individual patient will live for," he warned. "
Of course "
Prof Sikora, one of the examining doctors who was paid a consultancy fee last July to examine Megrahi, told The Sunday Telegraph this weekend: "My information from Tripoli is that it's not going to be long [before Megrahi dies].

"They stopped any active treatment in December and he has just been going downhill very slowly at home. He is on high doses of morphine [a painkiller] and it's any day now."


Meanwhile on the BBC not a word about Al Megrahi's inconvenient improvement in health.

Sunday news catchup

1. Two articles in The Mail on "the envy of the world" the NHS. The first records how:
"Sick children at a leading hospital were forced to wash in buckets for almost a month after bosses failed to fix the hot water supply.

More than 100 youngsters, some of them seriously ill, were left without hot running water.

Parents were forced to carry hot water in buckets from a single working tap in a sluice room so their children could wash. Youngsters suffering from brain tumours and cystic fibrosis were among those affected."
The second reports how a journalist spent a year undercover in the NHS and what they discovered, here's one:
"In the year I spent visiting hospitals, I met only one person who was doing what a good manager in the NHS should be doing - questioning activity and redesigning processes to get the best care and the most efficient use of taxpayers' money.

Even finance directors didn't see that as their role. I asked one what he was doing to save money and increase efficiency. He looked at me as if I were mad. He had no time for that. His time was spent reacting to the 'hell of a lot of indicators' pouring out of Whitehall.

He told me he was working out the implications 'of a whole new agenda about the way funds flow around the system'. This meant he had little time to look at the finances of his own hospital, let alone work out how to save money.

In fact, what went on in his own hospital was a bit of a mystery to him. He admitted this meant he spent most of his time fire-fighting - rushing from one crisis to another. He was ten minutes late for our interview because his budget deficit had shot up that month. Was it a one-off or a trend? He had no idea."



2. The BBC manage to report the imminent closure of the Corus Teesside Cast Products factory, putting 1,700 people out of work, without mentioning carbon offsetting or Tata moving production to a plant in India. Instead the Labour party supporting broadcaster reports the twice disgraced Peter Mandelson's claim that "The steel industry overall has suffered an unprecedented fall in demand in the global recession."


3. The Times report on the ongoing scandal that is the Labour ruined English education system. Here are some extracts:
"A report out on Friday points out that a fifth of firms and a quarter of employers in the state sector are still hiring — despite the recession. Except they are taking on migrant workers — not our home-grown “discouraged” variety.

...

The managing director of a medium-sized IT company explained why. High-flyers — Oxford and Cambridge graduates — are still as good as any in the world. His problems come when he tries to recruit middle management. Last year he interviewed 52 graduates — all educated in state schools. On paper they looked “brilliant students”. Each had three As at A-level and a 2:1 degree. He shook his head. “There’s a big difference between people passing exams and being ready for work.”

This was obvious even before the interview began. Of the 52 applicants, half arrived late. Only three of the 52 walked up to the managing director, looked him in the eye, shook his hand and said, “Good morning.” The rest “just ambled in”. When he asked them to solve a problem, only 12 had come equipped with a notebook and pencil.

The three who had greeted him proved the strongest candidates and he hired them. Within a year they were out because of their “lackadaisical” attitude. They did not turn up on time; for the first six months a manager had to check all their emails for spelling and grammar; they did not know how to learn. It was the first time they had ever been asked to learn on their own. Their ability to “engage in business” was “incredibly” disappointing and “at 5.30 on the dot they left the office”.

This year the managing director has joined the 20% of companies recruiting overseas. “We are an English company but we have no English staff. It’s just too much trouble,” he said."

I've experienced this myself, candidates with excellent GCSE results but no real ability in English or Mathematics.


4. Burning Our Money on some more similarities between Gordon Brown and Stalin.


5. The Mail reports the good news that: "Scientists create low-fat water-based chocolate that tastes as good as a normal bar".