Safer than what, from what, with who, for who and from who?
Apr 14, 2012
Why Britain is Not a Democracy Posted February 12th 2024
Democracy is viewed by many people as a positive political system. Many also believe that Britain upholds our democracy. But what exactly is democracy? And is Britain really up to the high standards that democracy demands?
Democracy is most commonly seen as a government in which the people have the supreme power. This is usually applied through their elected agents, otherwise known as MPs, under a free electoral system. But this definition is vague and questionable, despite being highly praised with positive connotations. Indeed, it has been speculated that democracy is not bound to any one definition. This was pointed out by George Orwell, who was quoted as saying, “The defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.”
It can even be argued that ‘democracy’ is just used in place of ‘free’ when describing a country’s status; countries which aren’t free are ‘undemocratic’, although ‘undemocratic’ is vague in itself as something which is undemocratic could simply be another political system. The question of whether these ‘undemocratic’ countries have a fair political system never comes into play. After all, how could it possibly be fair when it’s not democratic?
This stems from the idea that democracy is having a vote, not whether your vote makes a difference. In other words, an elected dictatorship. Walter Winchell agreed with this, saying, “too many people expect wonders from democracy, when the most wonderful thing of all is just having it”. If holding elections were what constituted a working democracy, then Britain would be just that. But this can be compared to China’s political system in which there are eight parties (other than the CPC) that you can vote for but, essentially, they all stand for the same points.
But if democracy is more about the freedom of the people and whether their vote matters at all in the long-run, then it can be argued that the UK is falling below the democratic standards with almost four in ten voters choosing to abstain as they feel they don’t have a say.
Democracies, in theory at least, should have parties which represent groups of people who stand for different ideas. At the moment, there exists only the three main parties; the Labour party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. If you were to vote for any of the smaller, more obscure parties, it’s highly likely that nothing will come of your vote.
We will forget for a moment what each of the leaders of these three parties say what they stand for and instead look at what they have actually stood for. The Liberal Democrats, during the 2010 elections, promised that they would scrap University fees across Britain. In fact, that was one of their biggest points on their manifesto. But they didn’t do that. They did the opposite and agreed with the Conservative policy of raising tuition fees. Another example would be the Conservative cuts to public spending. This is an expected Conservative move (they have done so on numerous occasions during past recessions, including the Wall Street Crash) but Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, stated, “We cannot make any commitments now that the next labour government will reverse rises or spending cuts.” Ed Miliband, leader for the Labour Party, agreed, saying the Labour government would continue to make cuts. Elections which lack any competing agenda are pointless.
Leading on from this is one of the biggest moves from the coalition government when they first came into power in 2010. They set up the Your Freedom website in the hopes that people would vote on controversial topics and hear what they wanted directly, rather than through their elected agents. But this proved to be useless as the public decided they wanted a review of the smoking ban and were ignored entirely. The Coalition stated they “had no plans” to review it.
If there is no real difference between the ideologies of the main political parties, no difference as to what party you vote for, can Britain really call itself a democracy?
Investigation launched after video shows police officer hitting boy with baton
South Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses or anyone with video footage of the post-match disorder to get in touch.
Monday 10 February 2020 15:01, UK
An investigation has been launched after a video has emerged which appears to show a police officer hitting a teenager on the head with a baton.
It followed Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby in the Championship between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday.
Officers were responding to disorder outside the Barnsley Transport Interchange, South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent and match commander Sarah Poolman said.
“A full investigation, including extended video footage, will take place to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident, including the actions that led to a 16-year-old boy sustaining a head injury from an officer’s baton and an officer being assaulted, sustaining injuries to his stomach and head,” she said.
“The 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital by ambulance. The police officer also attended hospital. Both of their injuries are not life-threatening.”
A 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency service worker and was later released under investigation, she added.
Police are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with video footage of the post-match disorder to get in touch.
They can contact police on 101 quoting incident 232 of 8 February 2020.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 2005, Volume 20, Number 1 56Police Personality: What Is It and Why Are They Like That? Aviva Twersky-Glasner City University of New York Debate has swirled around the issue of the term “Police Personality.” Posted January 30th 2020
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 2005, Volume 20, Number 1 56Police Personality: What Is It and Why Are They Like That? Aviva Twersky-Glasner City University of New York Debate has swirled around the issue of the term “Police Personality.” The debate over this has been mainly over the issues of definition and development; i.e., what is a police personality and how does it form? Is it a predispositional model of personality or is it created by the nature of the work itself (an occupational-socialization model)? Perhaps the issue is not as simply dichotomous as that; perhaps it is a combination of both predis-position and experiences that forms this elusive personality. This paper will review the relevant literature pertaining to police personality, both predispositional notions and job created notions, as well as the literature on personality theories in a broader perspective.PERSONALITY THEORIES IN GENERAL RIOR RESEARCH has found major deficiencies in the efforts to identify a police personality. The first deficiency deals with the ten-dency to treat each negative aspect of the police personality as a separate entity, rather than as a multidimensional phe-nomenon. The second deficiency is that very little prior research has focused on the making or the formation of the police personality, or to distinguish the phases of development. The third deficiency is that past research has failed to link measurable personality traits to discern-able behavior as measured by perform-ance evaluations (Gould, 2000). Underscoring each of these deficiencies is the premise that personality is devel-oped on a continuum, indeed it is a dy-namic process. Thus, the development of a police personality model depends as much on the theoretical framework of the personality theory as on the recognition of the extraordinary job experiences unique to policing. It is useful to discuss the classical theo-ries of personality and how they relate to the construct of police personality. Kelly (1955), theorizing from the van-tage point of personality as a personal construct model, discussed personality constructs and the development of per-sonality. He said: ”[Personality is] our abstraction of the activity of a person and our subsequent generalization of this ab-straction to all matters of his relationship to other persons, known and unknown, as well as to anything else that may seem particularly valuable.” Kelly’s view sup-ports the notion that police personality is made or shaped by the experiences of an officer, once he is on the job. Allport (1937), the humanistic trait and self theorist, discusses the development of personality as a three-pronged task for the individual: P Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 2005, Volume 20, Number 1 57•Self-objectification–“that peculiar detachment of the ma-ture person when he surveys his own pretensions in relation to his abilities, his comparison with the equipment of others, and his opinion of himself in relation to the opinion others hold of him”; •Extension of self–“going beyond self to invest energies in causes and goal-seeking that tran-scend his or her individual life”; •Unifying philosophies of life–“mature persons live their lives by some dominant guiding principals by which they place themselves in the scheme of things.” Allport further said that personality can best be understood as: •a mixture of major and minor “traits” by which a single life is known, •a personality “trait” is a biological, psychological and so-cial mixture that disposes a per-son toward specific kinds of action under specific circum-stances. (Monte, 1999). With re-spect to the development of the police personality, Allport can be said to be adhering to the pre-dispositional model-that a certain type of person becomes a police officer as opposed to the notion that job experiences shape the personality construct. Kohut’s model of the self is par-ticularly instructive in understanding the subject of police personality. He posited that normal development was a process of interaction between the growing infant and his mirroring and idealizing self-objects (Kohut & Wolff, 1978). This theory tends to favor the view that police personality is a combination of the predisposi-tional model and the experience model. The construct of “self-capacities” (Kohut, 1977) has been modified by Briere (1998) and involves the notion that successful adult functioning is partly due to the extent to which the individual is able to accomplish three tasks: 1. Maintain a sense of personal identity and self-awareness that is relatively stable across affects, situations and interactions with other people. 2. Tolerate and control strong (especially negative) affect with-out resorting to avoidance strate-gies such as dissociation, substance abuse, or external ten-sion reducing behaviors. 3. Form and maintain meaningful relationships with other people that are not disturbed by inappro-priate projections, inordinate fear of abandonment, or activities that intentionally or inadvertently challenge or subvert normal “self-other” connections. A stable sense of self and personal ide-ology is definitely an important aspect of psychological functioning, particularly for a police officer. Certainly, the ability to modulate negative affect is also im-portant for a police officer. Individuals with problems in affect regulation are prone to mood swings, dysphoria, and hyperactivity. Because they are unable to modulate negative affect sufficiently, they may respond with external behav-iors, such as substance abuse, inappro-Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 2005, Volume 20, Number 1 58priate or excessive sexual behavior and impulsivity (Briere, 1998). Clearly, not the attributes one would expect or wish to see exhibited by police officers. But, what exactly are the traits that construct a police personality? Regard-less of the process by which this person-ality has developed, there are still very unique attributes to this model that must be defined. POLICE PERSONALITY DEFINED: MYTH AND POPULAR CULTURAL DEFINITIONS The characteristics usually associated with police personalities in present times are machismo, bravery, authoritarianism, cynicism and aggression. Additional characteristics have been associated with police personalities as well: suspicious, solidaristic, conservative, alienated and thoroughly bigoted (Balch, 1977, Skol-nick, 1977). Indeed, the current notion of police personality is a far cry from the notion of three or four decades ago, that of the happy Irish cop, the friendly offi-cer walking the beat, stopping to untan-gle a child’s kite from a tree or to lecture a teen about staying out too late (Balch, p. 26). These days, most people think of police officers as idealized super cops like the Mel Gibson character in the “Le-thal Weapon” films or as the brutal, sa-distic cops like the Denzel Washington character in the film “Training Day.” Popular culture as well as the media shape our perceptions of what police of-ficers are like and how they behave. However, what is rarely recognized or, in fact, known is that police officers un-dergo strict screening procedures prior to their acceptance into the department. The screenings serve several purposes (some discussed here) mainly to assist in the hiring of the best candidates. How-ever, the most important purpose the screenings serve to the discussion of po-lice personality is, that due to the strin-gent nature of the selection process, only candidates who display particular per-sonality profiles are selected for the force. This means that in terms of the debate over the genesis of police person-ality, the pre-employment psychological screening provides a baseline personality construct from which to compare the construct of the experienced officers. Essentially, we know what they are go-ing in like and can compare that to what they become after time spent on the force. The screening procedures most ger-mane to this discussion of police person-ality, as a phenomenon, are the psychological screenings, conducted by psychologists. These screenings are comprehensive and involve the use of such sophisticated and validated person-ality assessment instruments as the: MMPI-2, California Personality Inven-tory (CPI), the Inwald Personality Inven-tory (IPI), the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) and projec-tive tests such as, The House, Tree and Person and Rorschach. In fact, the Ror-schach has only recently been added to the canon of tests used to screen officers (Weiss, 2002). Unfortunately, these assessment in-struments do not necessarily tell you what a police personality is; they can, however, tell you what a police personal-ity is not. The bulk of research in the area of assessment screenings of police candidates has been either descriptive (i.e., what types of instruments are used) or directed toward the efficacy and use of such instruments toward detecting poten-tially unfit candidates (Hogan & Kurti-nes, 1975). Ideally, to promote future research and greater develop existing re-
UK police chiefs train elite Hong Kong officers Posted January 14th 2020
Asian city’s force subject to fierce criticism over handling of protests
UK police chiefs train elite Hong Kong officers Asian city’s force subject to fierce criticism over handling of protests Trust in the Hong Kong police force has tumbled in the wake of the protests .
British police chiefs are training an elite cadre of Hong Kong officers to boost professionalism in their ranks, as the Asian financial hub’s force face fierce criticism for their handling of pro-democracy protests in the city. The University of Cambridge course has been running for two years but has acquired new significance following widespread anger at Hong Kong police tactics in managing clashes with demonstrators.
Three months after the protests began, officers are using water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds against civilians, some of whom have hurled petrol bombs and projectiles. Protesters have also been severely beaten by police, with videos of the conflict going viral on social media. Amnesty International, the human rights group, said the police’s actions amounted to “torture”.
The university was planning to send a group of academics and former chief officers to Hong Kong for a week of teaching in December but is now considering whether it is safe to make the trip. There are also questions over whether students will be released from operational duties to attend training if the protests continue.
The course is a branch of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology’s Police Executive Programme, which is open to mid-ranking officers from all over the world. However, under a 2016 agreement with the Hong Kong police training college, the university opened a programme for its officers, which involves two weeks of training in the Asian city as well as a summer school in the UK.
The first cohort from Hong Kong began training more than two years ago. During the summer school, students attend lectures by high-ranking officers such as Ian Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Mark Rowley, the former national counterterror chief, and Tom Winsor, her majesty’s chief inspector of constabulary, alongside Cambridge university criminologists. Winnie Chiu Wai-yin, former deputy commissioner of Hong Kong police, also lectured on one occasion.
The course is based on policing theory rather than practical techniques, and is rooted in the British culture of policing by consent. This includes conceptual discussions of issues such as public order and managing peaceful protest. “A core part of what we’re trying to teach is police legitimacy,” said Prof Lawrence Sherman, who chairs the programme. “What’s going on now in Hong Kong is a strong demonstration of how police risk being put in a position where they can’t remain neutral. “We look at questions like, what will make it more or less likely that the public will grant police the right to use force against them?” he said, adding that the course would focus on topics such as international best practice for police and community dialogue, and how abuses by police can be investigated.
A survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong this month found 48 per cent of people gave the force 0 out of 10, or a rating of “no trust at all”, compared with 6.5 per cent before the protests. About 100 expatriate officers, many of them British, remain in the force having joined in the early 1990s before the handover to Chinese rule in 1997. A handful of them have been singled out for criticism for their roles commanding riot police. Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has lambasted the British officers for enjoying freedom and democracy “at home” but serving Beijing’s interests in Hong Kong. But officers also feel let down by the government, with many complaining that they have been targeted in a political crisis that requires a political solution.
The protest movement began in opposition to an extradition bill that would have sent criminal suspects to mainland China for the first time. The bill has been withdrawn but the protesters’ demands have evolved into a wider call for universal suffrage, the release of arrested demonstrators and an independent inquiry into police actions.
Prof Sherman said the “tightly regulated concept for the use of force” in British policing would inform teaching discussions. “The fact that Hong Kong doesn’t have a consensus on universal suffrage is making it uniquely difficult for police there compared to our other students,” he said. The current Hong Kong cohort comprises less than 20 officers at inspector, chief inspector and superintendent level. This article has been amended since publication to remove a reference to training Hong Kong police in public order techniques
Immigration judge, 67, is cleared of attacking two hunt saboteurs Posted January 10th 2020
January 9, 2020
Naked judge is CLEARED of attacking two hunt saboteurs after tearfully telling court how the ‘class warriors’ ambushed his hunting party to intimidate ‘decent people’
- Mark Davies clashed with campaigners in a field last year in the Peak District
- Austin Jordan and William Robinson said they were confronted by Mr Davies
- Pair claimed that Mr Davies had assaulted them at the New Year’s Day hunt
Immigration judge Mark Davies, who previously posed as ‘Mr July’ for a charity calendar was cleared of assault
An immigration judge accused of attacking two hunt saboteurs wept in court after describing the men he was accused of assaulting as ‘anarchists’ and ‘class warriors’ out to ‘intimidate good decent people’.
Mark Davies, who is a first tier immigration tribunal judge and the chairman of the historic Barlow Hunt, tussled with two masked animal rights campaigners when they clashed in a field during a New Year’s Day hunt last year in the Peak District, a court heard.
Austin Jordan and William Robinson said they were confronted by Mr Davies and his wife who told them they were trespassing before they were assaulted.
It was claimed Mr Davies, who had previously been ‘Mr July’ in a calendar shoot, came at them ‘snarling with gritted teeth’ before grabbing one by the throat and tackling another into a bramble bush.
But following a two day trial Mr Davies was cleared of assaulting both men after a district judge accepted his claims he had acted in self-defence to protect himself and his wife.
After the verdicts Mr Davies slammed both Derbyshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for the ‘deplorable’ way he had been treated during the last year.
The 67 year-old and his wife Joan Williams, who is Joint Master of the Hunt and a former South Yorkshire Police Superintendent, crossed paths with members of the Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs’ Group.
The couple were observing the annual event while anti-hunt campaigners were monitoring the area to ensure no foxes were harmed.
An earlier hearing at Chesterfield magistrates’ court was told both men gave differing accounts of what happened in the field at Highlightley Farm in the Derbyshire village of Millthorpe when they came face to face with Mr Davies and his wife.
Mr Davies claimed he reacted after being attacked by Mr Jordan, suffering a bloody nose. The other man said he was grabbed by the throat before his attacker fell to the floor.
Members of the Barlow Hunt during the New Year’s Day event where Mr Davies was accused of assault
Mr Davies then ‘tackled’ Mr Robinson and they grappled with each other in a bramble bush, but he claimed he reacted fearing a further attack.
Earlier the animal rights campaigners had driven to the Gate Inn at the nearby village of Cutthorpe, where the hunt was meeting. Mr Davies initially blocked them in with a vehicle then followed them when they drove off.
The court was shown footage from two of the anti-hunt campaigners’ cameras and from Joan Williams’s camera which captured parts of the fracas.
In it Mr Davies’wife, who had a dislocated shoulder and was wearing a sling at the time, could be heard screaming four-letter obscenities at the protestors.
The two alleged victims are said to be members of the Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs (pictured)
Later she was left on the floor after confronting Mr Jordan who warned her that if she carried on he would ‘floor her’.
Mr Robinson said: ‘He got up off the ground snarling with gritted teeth and made a lunge for me.’
Defence solicitor Stephen Welford said the group of saboteurs were armed with canisters of citronella spray and a horn to distract the hounds and put them off the scent.
The court heard the Barlow Hunt, which dates back to 1878, was allowed permission to use the private land at Highlightley Farm by the owner.
What are the rules for hunting with dogs in the UK? How fox hunters try to avoid run-ins with the law
Hunting with dogs was banned in England & Wales in 2004 (Scotland in 2002) because of the profound suffering it causes to foxes and other hunted animals, such as stags and hare.
The law was not intended to stop foxes being killed, but to stop them being cruelly killed.
Exemptions were included in the law which permit dogs to be used in certain specific circumstances…
Stalking and flushing to guns: Two dogs may be used to flush a fox from cover so it can be shot for the purpose of protecting livestock, game birds or biodiversity. The dogs must be kept under close control and the fox must be shot as soon as it breaks from cover – no further chasing is allowed.
Rescue of an injured mammal: Two dogs may be used to capture a fox if the hunt believes it is injured and the hunting is undertaken to relieve its suffering.
Research and observation: Two dogs are allowed to be used for the purpose of or in connection with the observation or study of a wild mammal.
Flushing to a bird of prey: An unlimited number of dogs can be used to flush a fox from cover to a bird of prey which will catch and kill it.
Recapture of escaped wild mammal: An unlimited number of dogs can be used to capture a fox that has escaped from captivity.
Use of a dog below ground (known as terrier work): One terrier may be used below ground to flush out a fox to be shot for the purpose of protecting game birds being reared for shooting. The terrier men must carry written permission from the landowner.
Fox hunters have long tried to find ways to avoid the law. When the Hunting Act was introduced many hunts quickly took raptors out with them so they could claim to be using the bird of prey exemption.
However, few hunts claim to be using this exemption today. Equally, some hunts went out with just two hounds and claimed to be flushing to guns, but this too quickly stopped.
Today, most fox hunts say they have switched to ‘trail hunting’, where the dogs follow a pre-laid scent trail made using fox urine and does not involve a fox being chased or killed.
Mr Davies of Bradfield, Sheffield, South Yorks, denied assaulting both men by beating. The trial attracted interest from animal rights campaigners with more than 40 protestors standing outside the courthouse.
He became a part-time immigration adjudicator in 1990, and turned full-time in 2002, and has been an immigration judge since 2005.
In December 2018 he was disciplined for ‘prejudicial remarks’ he made about Iranians. A decade earlier he made headlines after his appearance as ‘Mr July’ in a naked calendar to raise money for the Pennine Hunt, alongside his wife.
He plays and collects concertinas and has toured the country playing and singing folk music. He appeared in the racy calendar naked with only his instrument protecting his modesty under the caption read: ‘Would you like a squeeze?’
His 67-year-old wife also posed in her birthday suit as Miss February using a Shetland pony to protect her modesty alongside the caption: ‘She was feeling a little horse.’
Giving evidence Mr Davies said on the day of the incident his wife had called the police once they knew hunt saboteurs were in the area.
Mr Davies, who is due to retire shortly, said he had been involved with the Barlow Hunt since 1994 and became chairman in October 2018, but he no longer rode out with them.
The court heard they had been targeted by hunt saboteurs over several years because they believed it was involved in illegal fox hunting, but he said they only ever followed ‘false trails’ laid down for them.
Mr Davies said over the years protestors had targeted their hunts and vandalised their kennels and vehicles belonging to the organisation.
He said as well as having permission from the owner to ride across his fields the hunt also had permission to remove potential trespassers.
Mr Davies said he and his wife had parked their cars and both gone to the top of the field to take down an electric fence to allow the huntsmen and their dog over the land.
He said he first became aware of four masked people dressed in black and combat gear when he heard his wife telling them to get off the land.
‘I felt intimidated. I did not know them or had any dealings with them before,’ he added.
‘They were walking towards the fence, towards me. I told them they had no right to be there. As they walked forward I stepped forward and held my arms out to prevent them trespassing further.
‘The next thing I recollect is being struck in the face by someone and falling to the ground. I now know that person was Austin Jordan.
Mr Davies denied grabbing Mr Jordan, but claimed that as he got up and came to his senses he was ‘surrounded by two…three… four people’ who were shouting at him.
He said when he realised he wasn’t going to be kicked he ‘jumped up in a state of shock’ and took the man down with ‘a rugby type tackle
‘I decided to tackle the nearest person to me, I believe that person was William Robinson. I was fearful I would be assaulted again or that my wife would be assaulted,’ he added.
He said he and Mr Robinson were in a bramble bush with him slightly on top of the other man. Asked if he was ‘snarling’ at him as had been claimed he replied ‘No!’
Asked by Mr Welford if he had called Mr Robinson as ‘bastard’ and threatened to ‘kill him he answered: ‘I certainly did not say that!’
Mr Davies said after the protestors then made their way off down the field and he and his wife were later spoken to by police.
The court was shown a picture taken after the confrontation showing him with a bloody nose and cut and swollen lip. He believed police had also taken a picture of his injuries as part of an investigation into an alleged assault against him.
But the court was told the CPS say no such photo exists and Mr Davies has lodged a formal complaint against the officer involved.
Cross examined by Ian Shaw, prosecuting, Mr Davies said: ‘We were conducting lawful trail hunting activities. These people were threatening and intimidating.
‘I made it clear they were disrupting a legal activity and were, in my opinion, committing aggravated trespass. I wished to stop them trespassing further.
‘They are violent people, they are there to intimidate. That’s why they wear masks and hoods, they intimidate good decent people.
‘They have no interest in animals whatsoever, they are anarchists, class warriors, who simply don’t like people who go hunting.
‘I have no reason to dislike them apart from their extreme views.’
Mr Shaw said: ‘Your actions were driven simply by the fact you thought these people we anarchists and problem causers, weren’t they?
‘You wanted to get them off the land using any means to do so?’
Fighting back tears Mr Davies replied: ‘I’m 67 years of age, I’m not violent, I don’t go around doing that. I’m a person of good character. These people have caused both me and my wife considerable distress.’
Asked why he had not given them an opportunity to leave the field peacefully he said: ‘It was quite clear they had no intention of doing so.’
Giving his not guilty verdicts District Judge Andrew Davison said: ‘I take into account the defendant’s good character and I have concluded that he did honestly believe he and his wife were at harm of assault from one or more of the anti hunt monitors,’ he added.
Speaking after the verdict Mr Davies said: ‘The Derbyshire Constabulary and the CPS should hold their heads down in shame, considering the evidence seen during the course of this trial which clearly showed I was brutally assaulted.
‘It’s deplorable they chose not to arrest the person who had assaulted me. Despite all the evidence five months later I was told I would be prosecuted.’
He said he was issuing formal complaints to the Chief Constable and the CPS in the East Midlands.
‘As a victim I have a right to review, but the CPS made it perfectly obvious that was not going to be the case,’ added Mr Davies.
‘I’m pleased to say I am due to retire shortly and I will do so with my good character intact.
‘The mob outside this court anarchists and thugs who have no interest in animals whatsoever.’
Election Day in Police State Britain December 12th 2019
All the ruling elite’s acceptable parties call for more police and justice. They never mention more police accountability, reform, elimination of waste, elimination of corrupt offIcers at all levels and a justice system that varies according to class, status, income and who you seek justice againts- or who seeks injustice against you, which is often the police, CPS and whole class biased judicial system.
Thus I reserve my right to vote today by not voting for Britain’s fake democracy. It can only be described as police state which has advised certain Middle Eastern dictatorships and been used as model by China. Robert Cook
Miscarriage of justice victims are cast aside in the UK. The details are shocking Posted December 12th 2019
Jon Robins The wrongly convicted are abandoned by the state. This week, the supreme court has a chance to change that
Wed 9 May 2018 10.00 BST Last modified on Wed 9 May 2018 10.02 BST
‘Not only was Sam Hallam denied compensation, he received no apology nor an acknowledgment of his innocence from the court of appeal.’ Hallam outside the supreme court yesterday. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA
It was almost six years ago that Sam Hallam emerged from the court of appeal and walked out on to a busy Strand a free man. The 24-year-old had spent seven years in prison for a gang-related murder he had always denied any involvement in.
This week, the highest court in the UK revisits an appalling miscarriage of justice. In a long-awaited test case, the supreme court will wrestle with what exactly that phrase means – and consider the responsibility of the state to make amends to the wrongly convicted.
It is a responsibility that the state has abdicated.
It is shocking, but nonetheless true, that there is less state support for the victims of miscarriages of justice than for other (guilty) prisoners. There is only one source of help specifically available to this tiny subset of prisoners: the Royal Courts of Justice’s miscarriage of justice support service run by Citizens Advice. In 2011, it reported that one third of its clients found themselves homeless after they walked out of the court of appeal. It shames us that there is no specialist psychological support available despite well-evidenced research documenting the uniquely traumatic experience of being locked away for a crime that you didn’t commit.
Four years ago the coalition government changed the scheme for compensation for the wrongly convicted. As a result, it has slowed down the trickle of payouts to a complete stop. Over the last five years there have been just five successful applications for funding, according to a report by the human rights group Justice published last month. Not a single penny was paid last year.
Standing outside the supreme court on Tuesday, Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six told the press that he and the other five innocent Irish men who spent 16 years in prison would not have received compensation under the new scheme. He’s right. “We can’t allow this young man to be treated in this way,” Hill said.
I won’t review the details of the overturning of Hallam’s convictions here, other than to observe that there was no forensic evidence linking Hallam to the killing, no CCTV footage, and there was the kind of shocking disclosure failure that we have became familiar with over recent months in connection to sexual assault cases (the police had Hallam’s mobile containing photos of him in a pub with his father earlier in the evening). Thames Valley Police, instructed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to investigate the case, spoke to 14 separate witnesses at a crowded murder scene who insisted Hallam was not there, including the intended victim of the murder.
Despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence, the Ministry of Justice rejected his claim for compensation and his case is now joined with that of Victor Nealon in this week’s test case.
Hallam remains deeply damaged by his years in prison. His father took his own life while his son was in prison because, as Hallam’s mother put it, he “couldn’t take it any more”. Not only were Hallam and Nealon denied compensation, they received no apology nor an acknowledgment of their innocence from the court of appeal. In her judgment, Lady Justice Hallett suggested that Hallam, just a teenager at the time, was the architect of his own misfortune because of his “dysfunctional lifestyle”. When Hallam’s QC, Henry Blaxland, attempted to invite the court to make a clear declaration of innocence, she cut him short. This was “not a court of compensation”, the judge chided the barrister.
Nealon left prison with just a £46 discharge grant and a train ticket having had his conviction for attempted rape quashed. He would have spent his first night of freedom on the streets but for journalists who paid for a B&B.
This is not unusual. Michael Hickey, convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Carl Bridgewater, spent 18 years in prison before his conviction was overturned. He was delivered from the cells to the Royal Courts of Justice barefoot.
“Innocence as such is not a concept known to our criminal justice system,” said Lady Hale in 2011, as the supreme court tussled with the meaning of “a miscarriage of justice”. “We distinguish between the ‘guilty’ and the ‘not guilty’. A person is only guilty if the state can prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
The coalition government did not find the lawyerly distinction helpful. So its Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, amending section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, restricts compensation to only those who can demonstrate their innocence “beyond reasonable doubt”.
So much for the presumption of innocence. The issue has a long and grubby history. In 2006 the then Labour home secretary, Charles Clarke, scrapped an ex gratia discretionary scheme under which compensation could be awarded. Professor John Spencer QC, of Cambridge University, damned the move as “monstrous”. It was part of New Labour’s “rebalancing” of the criminal justice system away from the rights of defendants and towards victims. As his boss, Tony Blair, once infamously put it: “It is perhaps the biggest miscarriage of justice in today’s system when the guilty walks away unpunished.”
This week the supreme court justices will examine whether the current scheme is incompatible with the presumption of “innocent until proved guilty” under the Human Rights Act. To ask people to prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt was “an affront to our system of law”, said Lady Helena Kennedy.
Jon Robins Read more
This week’s case is not just about compensation or reversing a mean-spirited piece of legislation. It goes to the heart of the integrity of our justice system, its reluctance to acknowledge its fallibility – and its failure to deal with the victims of miscarriages of justice fairly and humanely. Let’s hope the supreme court does the decent thing.
• Jon Robins is a freelance journalist who writes about the law and justice
War, Media Propaganda And The Police State November 24th 2019
The following essay is intended to provide a brief overview of topics addressed in a discussion graciously recorded by Julie Vivier at the offices of the Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal Canada on August 5, 2014.-JFT
Modern propaganda techniques utilized by the corporate state to enforce anti-democratic and destructive policies routinely entail the manufacture and manipulation of news events to mold public opinion and, as Edward Bernays put it, “engineer consent” toward certain ends.
Such events include not only overt political appeals, but also acts of seemingly spontaneous terrorism and militarism that traumatize the body politic into ultimately accepting false narratives as political and historical realities.
Western states’ development and utilization of propaganda closely parallels the steady decay of political enfranchisement and engagement throughout the twentieth century. Upon securing a second term in 1916, the Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson plunged the United States into the most violent and homicidal war in human history. Wilson, a former Princeton University academician groomed for public office by Wall Street bankers, assembled a group of progressive-left journalists and publicists to “sell the war” to the American people.
George Creel, Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays and Harold Lasswell all played influential roles in the newly-formed Committee on Public Information, and would go on to be major figures in political thought, public relations, and psychological warfare research.
The sales effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication. The CPI was not only able to officially censor news and information, but essentially manufacture these as well. Acting in the role of a multifaceted advertising agency, Creel’s operation “examined the different ways that information flowed to the population and flooded these channels with pro-war material.”
The Committee’s domestic organ was comprised of 19 subdivisions, each devoted to a specific type of propaganda, one of which was a Division of News that distributed over 6,000 press releases and acted as the chief avenue for war-related information. On an average week, more than 20,000 newspaper columns carried data provided through CPI propaganda. The Division of Syndicated Features enlisted the help of popular novelists, short story writers, and essayists. These mainstream American authors presented the official line in a readily accessible form reaching twelve million people every month. Similar endeavors existed for cinema, impromptu soapbox oratory (Four Minute Men), and outright advertising at home and abroad.
With the experiences and observations of these war marketers variously recounted and developed throughout the 1920s (Lippmann, Public Opinion, The Phantom Public, Bernays, Propaganda, Crystallizing Public Opinion, Creel, How We Advertised America, Lasswell, Propaganda and the World War), alongside the influence of their elite colleagues and associates, the young publicists’ optimism concerning popular democracy guided by informed opinion was sobered with the realization that public sentiment was actually far more susceptible to persuasion than had been previously understood. The proposed solutions to guarantee something akin to democracy in an increasingly confusing world lay in “objective” journalism guided by organized intelligence (Lippmann) and propaganda, or what Edward Bernays termed “public relations.”
The argument laid out in Lippmann’s Public Opinion was partly motivated by the US Senate’s rejection of membership in the League of Nations. An adviser to the Wilson administration, a central figure behind intelligence gathering that informed postwar geopolitical dynamics laid out at the Paris Peace Conference, and an early member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Lippmann increasingly viewed popular democracy as plagued by a hopelessly ill-informed public opinion incapable of comprehending the growing complexities of modern society. Only experts could be entrusted with assessing, understanding, and acting on the knowledge accorded through their respective professions and fields.
Along these lines, journalism should mimic the then-fledgling social sciences by pursuing objectivity and deferring to the compartmentalized expertise of established authority figures. News and information could similarly be analyzed, edited, and coordinated to ensure accuracy by journalists exercising similar technocratic methods. Although Lippmann does not exactly specify what body would oversee such a process of “organized intelligence,” his postwar activities and ties provides a clue.
Edward Bernays’ advocacy for public opinion management is much more practical and overt. Whereas Lippmann suggests a regimented democracy via technocratic news and information processing, Bernays stresses a privileged elite’s overt manipulation of how the populace interprets reality itself. Such manipulation necessitates contrived associations, figures and events that appear authentic and spontaneous. “Any person or organization depends ultimately on public approval,” Bernays notes,
“and is therefore faced with the problem of engineering the public’s consent to a program or goal … We reject government authoritarianism or regimentation, but we are willing to be persuaded by the written or spoken word. The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest.
Bernays demonstrates an affinity with Lippmann’s notion of elite expediency when pursuing prerogatives and decision-making the public at large cannot be entrusted to interpret. In such instances,
democratic leaders must play their part in leading the public through the engineering of consent to socially constructive goals and values. This role naturally imposes upon them the obligation to use educational processes, as well as other available techniques, to bring about as complete an understanding as possible.
Written in the early 1950s, these observations become especially apt in the latter half of the twentieth century, where the US is typically a major aggressor in foreign (and eventually domestic) affairs. Yet what does Bernays mean by, for example, “educational processes”? An indication may be found by noting his central role in the promotion of tobacco use, municipal water fluoridation, and the overthrow of the democratically-elected Arbenz regime in Guatemala.
With the advent of the national security state in 1947, secret programs emerge where the people are as a matter of course intentionally left unaware of the state’s true rationales and objectives.
Indeed, a wealth of contemporary historical examples suggest how the “engineering of consent” is wholly calculating and anti-democratic, and where the crises requiring such drastic and immediate public relations and military measures are themselves the result of the same leadership’s policies and actions. The US economic provocation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Tonkin Gulf incident precipitating US military occupation of Vietnam are obvious examples of such manufactured events.
Similar techniques are apparent in the major political assassinations of the 1960s, where to this day the public is prompted to partake in the false reality that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole culprit in the murder of President John F. Kennedy, much as Sirhan Sirhan was responsible for the death of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
In fact, in each instance overwhelming evidence points to Central Intelligence Agency involvement in orchestrating the assassinations while training and presenting Oswald and Sirhan as the would-be assassins.
The US government’s assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., probably the most influential African American public persona of the twentieth century, is not even open to debate, having been soundly proven in a court of law. Yet as with the Kennedys, it is a genuine public relations achievement that much of the American population is oblivious to the deeper dynamics of these political slayings that are routinely overlooked or inaccurately recounted in public discourse.
Along these lines, in the historical context of Operation Gladio, the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, the events of September 11, 2001, the London 7/7/2005 bombings, and lesser episodes such as the “shoe” and “underwear” bombers, the engineering of consent has reached staggering new heights where state-orchestrated terrorism is used to mold public opinion toward acceptance of militarized policing operations, the continued erosion of civil liberties, and major sustained aggression against moderate Middle Eastern nations to cartelize scarce resources and politically reconfigure an entire region of the world.
Again, the public is essentially compelled to believe that political extremism of one form or another is the cause of each event, even in light of how the sophistication and scope of the Oklahoma City and 9/11 “attacks” suggest high-level forces at work. If one is to delve beneath the public relations narrative of each event, the recent Newtown massacre and Boston Marathon bombing likewise appear to have broader agendas where the public is again purposely misled.
Conventional journalists and academics are reluctant to publicly address such phenomena for fear of being called “conspiracy theorists.” In the case of academe this has severely curtailed serious and potentially crucial inquiry into such deep events and phenomena in lieu of what are often innocuous intellectual exchanges divorced from actually existing social and political realities that cry out for serious interrogation and critique.
The achievements of modern public relations are further evident in the Warren and 9/11 Commissions themselves, both of which have spun the fantastic myths of Allan Dulles and Peter Zelikow respectively, and that today maintain footholds in public discourse and consciousness.
Indeed, the “conspiracy theory” meme, a propaganda campaign waged by the CIA beginning in the mid-1960s to counter criticism of the Warren Commission report, is perhaps as little-known as Operation Mockingbird, the CIA program where hundreds of journalists and publishers actively devoted their services to spread Agency disinformation. The overall effect of these combined operations has been an immensely successful program continues to shape the contours of American political life and mediated reality.
The present socio-political condition and suppression of popular democracy are triumphs of modern propaganda technique. So are they also manifest in the corporate state’s efforts to engineer public acquiescence toward such things as the colossal frauds of genetically modified organisms masquerading as “food,” toxic polypharmacy disguised as “medicine,” and the police state and “war on terror” seeking to preserve “national security.”
Police Propaganda In Modern TV Shows
| June 27, 2015 by Truth Seeker |
A long time ago I watched an episode of the TV series The Mentalist. There was a short dialogue between an FBI agent and a potential witness of a crime that got my attention. Here it is:
Agent Kimball Cho, FBI: I understand you were working security here last night.
You mind answering a few questions?
Witness: Agent Kimball Cho of the FBI, know that I am a
sovereign citizen of the state of Texas and do not recognize the
legitimacy of the federal government or any police authority you may
claim to possess. Nonetheless, I will answer your questions voluntarily.
Agent Kimball Cho, FBI: Great.
(season 7, episode 1)
The witness was trying to say that as a sovereign (free) human being he refuses to accept the authority of the police or in this case the FBI. How is that even possible? Allow me to explain.
The mainstream brain says that the police and its branches have the right to enforce the laws of a specific state. Therefore, they have the freedom to do many things that normal citizen cannot get away with.
Let’s say that you decide to implement the police’s methods to catch a bad guy on your own. Most people will refuse to give you answers because you are not a copper or a detective. However, when a real police officer does the same thing, it is expected of you to answer all questions. Isn’t that what all civilians do in the movies? The cops just flash the badge, and everybody starts singing.
In this world there are two main types of laws – man made and natural laws. Obviously, many of the laws that the police follows are man made. In Amsterdam, you can smoke weed whereas in other countries you are sent to jail for it. This and many other examples prove that the system is subjective. In similar situations we are talking about man made laws which are subject to questioning if you are a sovereign human being.
As a free man, you have the right to reject the authority of the police. I know that it may sound funny to you, but this is exactly what the guy in the video did.
I remember the look on the face of the FBI agent. It was basically saying, “Nice try smart head.” That attitude made the witness appear naive and stupid. You can see the scene for yourself if you want.
I know very well that if you refuse to obey, you could suffer terrible consequences. However, that does not change the fact that you have the right to reject the police’s authority as a free human being. It can go pretty bad for you, but you have the right to do so.
Many say that if we refuse to follow the man made laws, we will return to the Wild Wild West when people were shooting each other for cheating at cards. Well, the truth is that during those times, people were actually more sovereign than we are today.
Sadly, the authorities love to use and abuse their power. I’ve had similar experiences in my past.
One time I was passing through a local skating spot and heard somebody screaming. He said, “Police. Come here, NOW!
There were three people – two men and one woman. One of them showed his police identification and asked me for an ID. They weren’t wearing uniforms, though. I felt that something weird was going on. Why were detectives after me?
I gave him my ID card, and he started the usual small talk. Who are you? How old are you? Where are you going?…etc.
They asked me to empty my pockets and show them the contents of my backpack. According to the law, they didn’t have the right to do that without an explanation because I had a legal ID.
“Why do you want to pocket me? I showed you my ID.”
“Do you want me to detain you for 24 hours,” said one of the men and scared the hell out of me.
“No. You have no right to do such things. I am not a criminal,” I replied.
The detective grabbed one of my non-existing traps and squeezed me so hard that I performed a quarter squat because my knees got weak. Then he took my backpack and started going through it. It was full of old books that I was trying to sell to second-hand stores.
“What are those books for,” asked the woman.
“I am selling some old books. Those are the ones they didn’t buy”
One of the titles was Captain Nemo. She grabbed it and asked me with a very suspicious voice:
“You are telling me they didn’t buy this classic? Are you sure that’s what you are doing”, she said.
At that moment, I felt like a driver transporting Trinitrotoluene in a truck without breaks.
“I don’t know why they didn’t take it. Maybe they had too many copies already,” I replied.
They went through every single book, my pockets and even my shoes. I was 100% clean. Then, they contacted somebody, checked my name and finally let me go. I felt kinda sorry for those guys and humiliated at the same time. Three cops against a sixteen-year-old weighing 135 pounds.
Years later I learned that this location was used by cops to train their ability to question people. Skinny weaklings like me were a mark.
I can only imagine what would have happened if I had played the sovereign card. Not that I knew about similar ideas at the time. They don’t teach you stuff like that in school, at least not in mine. Ironically, I was a good student. Never been high, drugged or drunk to this very day.
The police propaganda in movies is basically endless. During the last few weeks, I watched episodes of another police TV show called Rookie Blue. As always the police officers are presented as good guys who want to help you and risk their lives every single day for you.
What I hate the most about cop movies is that normal people are portrayed as defenseless little insects that should always lean on the police. This projects the idea that we have given our right to defend ourselves to somebody else. We have outsourced it to the police.
In the particular movie, all officers and detectives are good, honest and pretty angels who can do no wrong. This makes for a great movie, but the reality is much different. First, most female officers are not as pretty as the actresses in Rookie Blue. Second, the accumulation of positive elements creates unrealistic expectations which harm both – the ordinary person and the police.
People who accept similar movies as 100% truth expect way too much of the police, which is harmful to the officers as well. They are humans like us, not batmen. Many ordinary people believe that cops are ninjas who can arrive in 3 minutes out of nowhere and protect the hell out of you. This is obviously impossible. It happens only in the movies.
One of the popular phrases in those PR films is – “I am just doing my job.” The officers rely on this idea to rationalize their actions. This simple phrase contains so much that I could potentially write 5 more pages about it.
Individuals relying on this statement to explain their actions are giving up responsibility and playing the victim card.
Just because something is a part of your job, it does not make it right. Criminals are also “just doing their job” when they get paid to do something illegal. “Just doing your job” is not really the brightest excuse.
No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Nate January 21, 2017 at 5:22 am
Might be wasted on your average reader but I’m listening. I wish you put younselfish out there a little more. Maybe podcasting or something like that. The world needs thinkers like you.
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.
Best Selling Books
Who really killed Hilda Murrell?
Michael Mansfield New evidence about the bizarre nature of her killing lends weight to her nephew’s demands for the case to be reopened
Tue 20 Mar 2012 16.27 GMT First published on Tue 20 Mar 2012 16.27 GMT
Shares 69 Comments 29
Campaigner Hilda Murrell, 78, who was murdered in March 1984, had been due to give evidence at the public inquiry into the Sizewell B nuclear reactor. Photograph: West Mercia Police Handout/PA Archive/Press Association Ima
Hilda Murrell was murdered in March 1984. Who killed her – and why – has already been the subject of books, plays and films, and the conviction of a man for her abduction and murder in 2005 failed to answer many of the questions surrounding her death.
The reasons for this enduring enquiry are exposed at length in A Thorn In Their Side, a book being launched this week to mark the 28th anniversary of her death. The author is Hilda’s nephew, Robert Green, with whom she had a close relationship and who was a commander in naval intelligence during the Falklands war. He has followed and chronicled the case meticulously.
Was this just a random, bungled burglary by a lone 16-year-old – as the police would have it – or was it an operation involving several individuals on behalf of a government agency, namely the security services?
The book cannot definitively answer this question, but it raises serious and substantial doubts about the criminal investigations to date. The accumulated concerns make an overwhelming argument for these to be reopened by an independent police force unconnected with any previous enquiries, or by an independent commission of inquiry.
“Nuclear disaster is both avoidable and inevitable. Nuclear technologies have too many inherent risks and widespread consequences to be a sensible choice for energy production.” The words are those of Rebecca Johnson, a former senior advisor to the Blix commission on weapons of mass destruction, writing about the disaster at Fukushima earlier this month. Back in 1984, this was exactly Hilda Murrell’s position.
Murrell was a respected horticulturist: a rose was named after her shortly before she was murdered at the age of 78. She was a committed environmentalist and regarded Margaret Thatcher’s nuclear power policy as utterly misguided. She began campaigning against it, accumulating high quality information about the risks from scientists and activists, and intended to provide it in person to the Sizewell B public inquiry, where she had was accreditated as a witness. She was an outstanding and outspoken independent voice. The murder occurred before she could be heard. Her nephew’s book chillingly reveals the threats, fears and surveillance she reported to others before she died.
A central theme of her research was the hazardous nature of radioactive waste and the difficulty in managing it. This still besets the nuclear industry, to the extent that the US currently has a moratorium on new reactors in some states. Murrell was also acutely aware of the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. Her critique embraced nuclear weapons as well.
At which point we pan across to Commander Rob Green. The Argentinian cruiser, the General Belgrano, was sunk in 1982 during the Falklands war by HMS Conqueror, a nuclear submarine. Green was in naval intelligence. The truth about where the Belgrano was whether it was really necessary to sink her became a very hot political potato. A great deal of speculation and information entered the public domain that undermined the government’s position. Although entirely without foundation, there must have been at least a suspicion that Green might in some way have been connected with the supposed leaks. Ultimately, the MP Tam Dalyell, who had been asking questions about the Belgrano’s sinking just before her disappearance, was driven to tell the Commons that British intelligence lay behind Murrell’s murder in their search for material they thought she may have secreted at her home.
In the official version of her murder, Murrell was the victim of a demeaning and callous assault, abduction and murder by a young adolescent, on his own, without obvious motivation. The police version of the sequence of events is bizarre. On one and the same day, Hilda – having been assaulted in her home – is forced into her own car, driven through Shrewsbury in broad daylight past the police station and a number of witnesses, to a country lane some miles away. The car crashes into a verge with the driver’s door jammed. The driver then exits via the passenger seat and takes Hilda with him, but not before she has retrieved the car keys and put them in her pocket. He assaults her again in a field, where she loses her hat and spectacles. She is then either dragged or pushed across a ploughed field over a fence into a copse where she is stabbed,although not fatally, and left to die of hypothermia. Her body was not found for two days.
While DNA from the convicted man shows he was in Hilda’s house, there are a huge number of other evidential matters that Rob Green has assembled which challenge the manner of this killing. Although many of them are not new, most have not been assembled in an intelligible format until now, and some have never been presented in court proceedings.
A few of the features which tend to undermine the idea that only one person was involved are:
(a) DNA discovered in relation to Hilda is not from the man convicted, but from at least two others;
(b) Photographs of Hilda’s body in the copse show that she was clearly visible, and confirm the striking evidence of a local landowner. Ian Scott took his dogs for a walk the day after the murder in the very area where the body was supposed to have been left. He saw nothing and has always maintained he would have done had she been there because he was carefully identifying trees for felling.
(c) The 16-year-old could not drive and the descriptions given by witnesses of the driver do not fit him;
(d) Changes at her house over the days of her disappearance.
Until an independent inquiry takes place, the reader must be the judge.
Since we published our pledge…
… focused on the escalating climate crisis, Guardian readers from more than 100 countries across the world have supported us – thank you. Many of you have told us how much you value our commitment: to be truthful, resolute and undeterred in pursuing this important journalism. We are galvanised by your generous support as it makes our work possible.
The Guardian made a choice: to keep our journalism open to all. We do not have a paywall because we believe everyone deserves access to factual information, regardless of where they live or what they can afford.
We will not stay quiet on the escalating climate crisis and we recognise it as the defining issue of our lifetimes. The Guardian will give global heating, wildlife extinction and pollution the urgent attention they demand. Our independence means we can interrogate inaction by those in power. It means Guardian reporting will always be driven by scientific facts, never by commercial or political interests.
We believe that the problems we face on the climate crisis are systemic and that fundamental societal change is needed. We will keep reporting on the efforts of individuals and communities around the world who are fearlessly taking a stand for future generations and the preservation of human life on earth. We want their stories to inspire hope. We will also report back on our own progress as an organisation, as we take important steps to address our impact on the environment.
Thank you again to everyone who supported our pledge. Every contribution from our readers, however big or small, is so valuable. Learn more about why support matters. Support The Guardian from as little as £1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian
interruption on all
- Jennifer Arcuri: ‘I’ve kept Johnson’s secrets – now he’s cast me aside like a one-night stand’
- Prince Andrew: I didn’t have sex with teenager, I was at home after pizza party
- High-stakes gamble on TV interview over Epstein backfires on Duke of York
- Donald Trump visits hospital for unscheduled two-hour medical checkup
- What is the excuse for Prince Andrew’s misogynistic nonsense served in a gilded chamber? Catherine Bennett
I thought that this particular outrage had been long since forgotten. Hopefully more will emerge. An investigation by an ‘independent police force’ sounds somewhat oxymoronic. Share Facebook Twitter Report
‘British intelligence lay behind Murrell’s murder in their search for material they thought she may have secreted at her home.’
One things for sure good old tin foil will never get out fashion in the Guardian and don’t forget that the total lack of any evidenced of a conspiracy is actual a sure sign of one at work.
The Raw Material Posted November 17th 2019
Britain is still a class ridden society with the majority of people believing they will die in the same social class as they were born, a new poll reveals.
Almost three out of five (59 per cent) people said they would end up in the same class as their parents, while under a third (28 percent) expected to move up a class.
Just five per cent believe they will drop down a level of social status during their lifetime.
What is, and what was Tony Blair? Posted November 10th 2019
If Tony Blair cannot be prosecuted for war crimes then nobody can. If a man who played a key role in waging a war that was directly responsible for the deaths of up to one million people cannot be made to face justice then there is no justice – or at least not for its poor victims in a world owned and controlled by the rich.
Blair’s deeds are now so well known it almost seems futile repeating them. However lest anyone make the mistake of associating them with the past, it is important to emphasize that people in Iraq, the entire Middle East, and the wider world continue live with the consequences of those deeds today.
The UK High Court’s decision to block the attempt by former Iraqi Army General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat to introduce proceedings against Blair for the crime of aggression by invading Iraq in 2003 brings the UK legal system into disrepute. In claiming that there was “no prospect of the case succeeding,” the three High Court judges responsible for the decision relied on the argument that that the “crime of aggression” is not one recognized in English law.
The crime of aggression was first established at the Nuremberg Trials after the Second World War, in which leading figures and officials of Hitler’s Nazi regime were prosecuted. At the time the crime of aggression was not recognized in German law, yet this did not prevent justice being served against men who were responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity ever known.
Similarly, Slobodan Milosevic, former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and former President of Serbia, was arrested and stood trial in The Hague at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He was charged with crimes against humanity and of violating the laws or customs of war. In his testimony in court, Milosevic said,
Slobodan Milosevic (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
“Our defense was a heroic defense, a heroic defense from the aggression launched by NATO.”
Milosevic, it should be pointed out, was exonerated of the charges, though in a tragic denouement to the man’s attempt to prevent the disintegration of his country, he did not live to receive it. [Was he was poisoned in his prison cell? GR editor]
Of Milosevic’s trail, author John Laughland wrote:
“Mere anarchy was loosed upon the world when the Cold War ended and the US sought to create a unipolar world system by destroying the old one. After the 1991 Iraq war, the US and Britain claimed the right to bomb Iraq to protect the Kurds and Shias, which they did for 12 years. NATO bombed the Bosnian Serbs in 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999. The ICTY, created in 1993, operates on the basis of this doctrine of interventionism, which has come to its ghastly conclusion in the bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Editorial Comment The views in the article and site link are not ncessarily the views of this website and are posted for thought and discussion. I have no idea whether what has been posted as fact is true or not, but life is certainly not black and white even though the building blocks of life are binary, and the motivators for human behaviour are basic and predictable. Robert Cook November 3rd 2019
POLICE STATE BRITAIN Posted November 3rd 2019
11 Mar 2018
Last night was hard for a lot of people. The realization that the limit has been pushed against, and the flawed reality of our society has been illuminated. What is this reality? That the British Establishment is woke on ideas like Islamification of the West and The Great Replacement but has abdicated responsibility for doing anything to answer these, the great questions of our time.
We have a writer working on a piece about the details of Martin Sellner & Brittney Pettibone’s arrest at the border and subsequent unethical detention so I won’t cover much of the same ground. Instead, I want you to understand how we have got here, to the point where Tommy Robinson is attacked -with his female media assistant- by a gang of masked up ANTIFA thugs in broad daylight.
How did Britain come to the point where two non-violent activists who preach no violence are arrested on entry to the country for fear of their words? Do we really have to make the obvious contrast to how Islamic fundamentalists are treated by the state? Do we really have to go through the rigmarole of pointing at the insanity that sees Sadiq Khan say that he has no power to stop the Al-Quds Day March in London despite the flag of Hezbollah flying on the streets of London, despite the anti-Kuffar rhetoric, despite the demands for the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews?
Sharon Vieira-Poole, from the Information Team at the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), said Khan had personally discussed the march with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
Vieira-Poole said the police have operational independence but added: “They have to operate within the law and the protesters have a right to march, as long as they do so within the law.” – Times of Israel
Indeed, so long as they do so within the law. Martin Sellner is more dangerous to our society than thousands of people marching in the streets demanding the death of Jews. The claim by the authorities was apparently that Sellner speaking could cause a riot. A riot! By whom? Surely the people who come to listen to him are not rioting. Does the British Establishment think that he is some charismatic nu-Reich propagandist, and at the word of a 29-year-old kid we’re going to dive into a post-modernist Kristallnacht?
The instruction here is about what ideas we are not allowed to hear. You are not allowed to hear that unless action is taken swiftly on immigration to the European continent and preparations made for the demographic time-bomb brewing in Sub-Saharan Africa the future of Europe as a civilization is hanging by a thread. People have to start waking up to that reality. Sellner knows this to be true and more importantly in their hearts, so do the British Power Elite. Kicking your problems down the line for the next generation to deal with is not only cowardice it is suicidal on a civilizational scale.
Nietzsche predicted this eventuality with crystal clear vision, in the aftermath of the Death of God. We replaced faith with other ways to find meaning, and this liberated the Human mind to make such incredible advancement we ascended from building the first airplane to setting foot on the moon within seventy years, which is such an astounding feat of technological progress it’s hard to fathom. Imagine how it would be today, to move within a single lifetime from an industrial and still mostly agrarian society to one that has not only developed nuclear weapons but has also deployed them in anger on our own planet. As a civilization, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in what it means to be human, and part of this shift has been to recognize that this civilization is under existential threat.
The British Establishment, the very institutions of state operation have recognized that the demographic change taking place in Europe will change our culture forever. The globalist mentality is that this is a good thing, that there are no differences between people and we can happily rub along together. This is a product of our post-God post-nihilist society which has changed from a masculine-led culture of exploration and the conflict it brings to a feminine mother-state. This is not a critique of men or women or patriarchy theory or such, in fact, the feminists have it exactly wrong about patriarchy- a patriarchal society does not exhibit the care for the weak that is fundamental to Western Liberalism and has pathologized into the cult of social justice orthodoxy. A more feminine outlook is required, to say- well, we must house and shelter immigrants in our lands because they are weaker and we colonized their nations centuries ago and we feel guilty about it. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of empathetic thinking on an interpersonal level, this is a caring fundamental aspect of our psyche, but we should be concerned when it becomes pathological because this has left our society open to abuse. The pathological mother-instinct is what leads to socialism and intersectional power dynamics, and as we have seen when we frame everything in terms of oppression we leave the door open for all manner of abusive and self-abusive behaviors as a culture.
The identitarian right is an existential threat to this ideology, that says there is something meaningful in being a European and part of Western Civilization and that Burke was in some sense correct in seeing that we are equal before God but society is not a Garden of Eden, it is not a utopia and so there is always going to be suffering and responsibility. The fundamental message of people like Sellner and Pettibone is not one of White supremacy or genocide- in fact, they are cautioning against the demographic replacement that will annihilate Europe. The effect of the cultural and existential clash between Islam and the West is expressed in phenomena like 40 years of the systematic abuse of Western children by gangs of predominantly Muslim rapists, perhaps the worst example of which has been revealed by The Mirror just today. This struggle of ideas- a theocratic and masculine system versus an individualistic and fractured secular and maternal society gives rise to alternative answers to the question of what our existence is, what purpose it has.
That answer has been found by some to be the idea that Western Civilization is good if not perfect, and that unless there is a conscious effort to preserve the society we have with all its manifest flaws we will lose everything that makes us who we are. This concept is so fundamentally dangerous to a globalist power elite that anyone proposing these ideas must be excluded. In Britain, we once banned Louis Farrakhan, but that ban was overturned more than fifteen years ago thanks to pressure from his supporters. Imagine this- that today we will allow many people to enter the United Kingdom and give speeches that demand the destruction of the state and her people, but we will arrest and detain people who come to say- our culture has value and if we’re not very careful it will be gone forever.
Look at the timeline, from the arrest of National Action members for the ideas that they espoused to the conflation of Tommy Robinson with Anjem Choudary to the false idea that Islamic extremism is matched one for one by the dreaded far right. This is a shameful exhibition of spinelessness at the highest levels of British society, not that as a collective we refuse to acknowledge that perhaps not only are Sellner and Pettibone and Robinson, not extremists, perhaps they might have a relevant point- but also that we refuse to even look at the questions they are trying to answer in the first place!
That is the true sadness of this affair, that we as a people are so afraid of uncomfortable answers about the differences between cultures that we retreat into authoritarian tyranny and craven blindness.
15 May 2019 — by Edward Saunders
30 Apr 2019 — by Edward Saunders
Most Popular Tags
- The West
- United States
- Culture War
- Identity Politics
- Political Correctness
© 2019, Republic Standard | Conservative Thought & Culture Magazine. All Right Reserved.
Kim Darroch: UK May Become ‘Police State’, MPs Warn as Police Tell Media Not to Print Leaked Cables Posted October 16th 2019
Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the leak of Ambassador Kim Darroch’s private assessments of Donald Trump and his administration, which caused a diplomatic crisis this week.
British lawmakers are warning that the country is at risk of turning into a “police state”, as police tell media outlets not to publish leaked government documents after a row that led to the resignation of the UK’s ambassador to the US.
“This is a dangerous road to go down. Once you start prosecuting the media for publishing stuff you don’t like, that is a very dangerous place to be,” Bob Seely, a Tory MP who sits on the Commons Foreign Affairs committee, told the Telegraph.
He lamented that the government was “effectively justifying state action against the media”, adding that police should go after the leaker, if they breached the Official Secrets Act, but not the media.
Norman Lamb, the former health minister who now heads the science and technology committee as a Liberal Democratic MP, said: “We can’t contemplate any slippery slope to a police state that accepts that sort of limitation on the freedom of the press to report.”
John Whittingdale, the Tory MP and former culture secretary, said: “The idea of prosecuting journalists is completely wrong.”
He added he was “horrified” that the UK ambassador’s diplomatic cables were made public, but felt that “there is no point shooting the messenger. Journalists are there to report stories whether or not they are going to be embarrassing to the people who are in them.”
A Leak Inquiry
The backlash comes after Scotland Yard launched an investigation into the leaking of confidential communications between the UK’s ambassador to the US Kim Darroch, and the Foreign Office, in which he made disparaging remarks about the Trump administration.
In charge of the leak inquiry is the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command, which probes allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said on Friday that there is “clear public interest” in catching the mole.
He also advised media owners, editors and publishers not to publish “leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them”, and instead turn them over to the police or to their owner.
Sir Alan Duncan, a Foreign Office minister, said there was no evidence to suggest that Darroch’s diplomatic cables had been hacked, so the focus was on finding the leaker within the department.
A Diplomatic Crisis
The exposure of Ambassador Kim Darroch’s confidential communications has caused a stir across the Atlantic.
Donald Trump branded Darroch “a very stupid guy” and banned him from Washington. Darroch stepped down on Wednesday, saying it was “impossible” for him to continue.
Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and the Foreign Office have both defended the disgraced envoy, saying, however, that the leaks were regrettable.
Darroch quit after a TV leadership debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, in which Johnson failed to back the ambassador and criticised the leak.
Following the debate, Johnson faced a wave of criticism with perhaps the strongest verbal attack coming from Alan Duncan.
He accused Johnson of throwing Darroch “under a bus” and going against the interests of the country, but the front-runner to become Britain’s next PM shrugged off the accusations by saying he was a “great supporter” of Kim Darroch and explaining that he didn’t support the ambassador because he didn’t want to “drag public servants’ careers into the arena in that way”.
Rise of Donald Trump is ‘obscuring lessons of the second world war’, says Sadiq Khan October 19th 2019
Toby Helm Observer political editor 9 hrs ago Trump defends tweeting sensitive photo of Iran launch siteTrial for men charged with plotting 9/11 attacks is set for 2021
© PA Sadiq Khan: ‘Alarm bells should be sounding.’
The lessons of the second world war risk being forgotten because of the rise of “extreme” rightwing leaders such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London has said.
Before events to mark the start of the conflict 80 years ago, when Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, Sadiq Khan has branded Trump as “the global poster boy for white nationalism”, whose example is being followed by too many leaders across Europe, including Johnson.
Writing in the Observer, Khan says Johnson and the Brexit party leader Nigel Farage are promoting similar far-right thinking in this country, and showing contempt for the European Union, which was established to prevent another world war after up to 85 million people died between 1939 and 1945.
“The impact can also be seen in the UK, where the outsize influence of Nigel Farage and his Brexit party has pushed the Conservative party under Boris Johnson to become ever more rightwing and intolerant,” he says.
© PA Wire/PA Images Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Referring to Johnson’s decision last week to shut down parliament for five weeks before the 31 October Brexit deadline, Khan says: “Just last week we saw the disdain Boris Johnson has for parliament and our democracy.” The London mayor’s intervention is the latest in his extraordinary feud with the US president, whose language he compared to that of a “20th-century fascist” in the run-up to Trump’s state visit to the UK in June.
Trump responded before landing in the UK on Air Force One with a vitriolic counter-tirade, accusing Khan of being a “stone-cold loser” who “by all accounts has done a terrible job as mayor of London [and] has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting president of the United States”. Trump also said the mayor should concentrate on tackling crime in London, rather than attacking the leader of the United States.
Trump has regularly questioned the value of Nato and voiced strong support for Johnson’s determination that the UK should turn its back on the EU
© ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump announces the establishment of the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Khan, who this weekend is visiting Gdansk – where some of the first shots of the war were fired – and the Polish capital, Warsaw, adds: “While I am not saying that we are reliving the 1930s or that another conflict is inevitable, alarm bells should be sounding. However, if we act now we can ensure another path is taken.”
He says Poland faces “similar threats” under the ruling rightwing Law and Justice party, which “has allowed ‘LGBTQ+ free zones’ to be declared in more than 30 towns and cities.” In a “particularly worrying development,” he says, “the Polish government – at a time when antisemitism is on the rise – recently sought to make it a criminal offence, carrying jail time, to accuse the nation of complicity in Nazi war crimes.”
Trump has regularly questioned the value of Nato and voiced strong support for Johnson’s determination that the UK should turn its back on the EU, saying he believes the new UK leader will be a “great” prime minister who will chart the country on a new course of independence and economic success.
The president had been due to attend an anniversary event in Warsaw this weekend to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the war’s outbreak, but cancelled last week, citing concerns over Hurricane Dorian, a category 4 storm that is barrelling towards Florida. Mike Pence, the vice-president, will attend in his place.
Editorial Comment Khan is a skilled slick glib communicator. Trump. like Hitler, was at most an outcome not a cause. Khan, like anyone in politics, represents vested interests. It is the vested interests and the masses they neglect while working to fool them- as with the Brexit Deal Con- that risks the rise of the Far Right.
Diversity propoganda is designed to distract and find scapegoats whilst hoping to herd that particular breed of goat ito the same pen ready for slaughter by smug comfortable politicians and cronies in the esablishment media. The all powerfull and flattered police are the shepherds.
Love our Equal Opportunity Societ August 18th 2019
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s stay at ‘billionaire’s playground’ resort in Ibiza: The royal couple stayed at Vista Alegre retreat where super-villas cost up to £120,000 a week during holiday for her 38th birthday
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s stay at ‘billionaire’s playground’ resort in Ibiza: The royal couple stayed at Vista Alegre retreat where super-villas cost up to £120,000 a week during holiday for her 38th birthday
Ross Ibbetson and James Gant For Mailonline and Sanchez Manning for The Mail on Sunday 10 hrs ago Revealed: How Epstein’s alleged madam fought those who accused herFootball fans kill three as grudge match turns deadly
© Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stayed in a billionaire’s playground on their jet-set Ibiza break, where mega villas cost up to £120,000 a week, locals revealed.
The royal eco-warriors, who took their third private jet in just eight days when they flew into the south of France on Wednesday, stayed at the gorgeous Vista Alegre gated complex of sea-facing mansions earlier this month to celebrate Meghan’s 38th birthday.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Duke and Duchess of Sussex jetted into the luxurious Ibiza resort with baby Archie on August 6 (pictured in their official engagement photo in 2017) The most expensive villas overlooking the azure waters of Ibiza’s Porroig Bay are listed at £20,000 per week, but the price of others on enquiry rises to up to £120,000 per week.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The royal eco-warriors, who took their third private jet in just eight days when they flew into the south of France on Wednesday, stayed at the gorgeous Vista Alegre gated complex of sea-facing mansions after jetting off on August 6 (pictured: poolside at the £20,000 per week Villa Moon) The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with baby Archie, jetted into the island on August 6 before being chauffeured to the fabulous resort, The Sun reported.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The gorgeous living room in the Villa Moon mansion, which costs £20,000 per week, its website says: ‘Located in a quiet residential area of the West Coast facing unobstructed sea views the property offers a grand house built over two levels with an enormous swimming pool and plenty of terrace space for maximising outdoor lifestyle’ Locals told the paper that the already stringent security was dialled up, one said: ‘The area has been built to a high specification and is a billionaires’ playground so the security staff know what they are doing.’
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The opulent living room in the £120,000 per week Sa Calma property. Amenities include, private beach access and boat mooring, infinity pool, water front gym, Jacuzzi, Sonos music, separate professional kitchen and live-in housekeepers. Former guests are reported to have included DJ David Guetta and Sir Paul McCartney A source on the island told MailOnline last week the Royals landed in Ibiza with several taxpayer-funded Met Police bodyguards for the ‘six-day trip’.
They added that five close protection officers from the Spanish security forces joined the group escorting them to their private villa.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The 860-mile private jet journey from Farnborough to Ibiza would have emitted six times more carbon than a commercial flight One of the most opulent Vista Alegre houses is the £120,000-a-week Sa Calma residence which has been rented out by DJ David Guetta and Sir Paul McCartney, The Sun reported.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s summer of fuel-burning sojourns:
End of July
Prince Harry attended Google Camp in Sicily for a ‘green summit’ where he delivered a passionate speech on the environment.
He joined a raft of celebrities, reported to include Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry and Harry Styles.
Google is understood to have covered the costs of his flights, including a helicopter and he stayed on one of the many super yachts moored off the Italian island.
According to experts, a 390ft super-yacht produces about 3.3 tons of damaging carbon dioxide each hour at sea by burning through around 200 gallons of fuel.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with baby Archie, are understood to have travelled to Ibiza by private jet where they stayed at the Vista Alegre gated complex.
They are thought to have returned via private jet after a six day trip on the island.
The couple’s journeys to and from the Spanish island would have emitted six times more carbon dioxide per person than a scheduled flight from London.
The flights there and back would have given out 12.5 tons of carbon dioxide.
The cost for the return flights would have cost up to £40,000.
The young royals then departed the UK on Wednesday on a 12-seater Cessna aircraft to Nice in the south of France.
Experts believe the cost of the flight would have been more than £20,000.
Furthermore, the jet would have emitted seven times more carbon per person than a commercial plane.
The mansion boasts a colossal double height ‘grand living room’ with massive glass sliding doors providing a view to the sea over a 54 yard infinity pool.
A master bedroom and two guest suites take up the top floor, while another four guest suites are on the ground floor. Amenities include, private beach access, boat mooring, a water-front gym, a Jacuzzi, surround sound Sonos music, two kitchens and live-in servants.
Their return flights to the Spanish island would have emitted six times more carbon dioxide per person than a scheduled flight from London and are estimated to have cost up to £40,000.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The stunning 54 yard infinity pool outside Villa Sa Calma, a price is only available on request for this stunning house and it charges £120,000 per week. Its website says: ‘Facing the Peninsula of Porroig and Formentera Island the property sits only a few minutes away from upscale beach clubs and restaurants of the adjacent beaches of Es Cubells, Es Torrent, Cala Jondal and just 15 km from the international airport.’ The jet-set couple flew into a new hypocrisy row on Friday night after it emerged they had flown to Nice on Wednesday by private jet, once again.
Dressed in a white blouse and cream sun hat, Meghan, was spotted cradling the couple’s three-month-old son Archie as she left the 12-seater Cessna aircraft.
Harry, wearing a green polo shirt, blue cap and sunglasses, was also seen leaving the Cessna Citation Sovereign, which experts said would have cost more than £20,000 to hire.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The £16,500-per-week Villa Pearl has been built on the water’s edge along the dramatically beautiful coast of Es Cubells with views towards Formentera island, just minutes from trendy beaches, beach clubs and coastal restaurants. The Royal couple’s trip to the French Riviera is estimated to have created seven times more carbon emissions per person than a commercial flight.
There are more than 20 scheduled flights from London airports to Nice each Wednesday.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Villa Moon, its web page boasts: ‘A vast living area that incorporates open plan dining and high-end kitchen as well as endless terrace space by the pool with professional kitchen for outdoor dining result in a perfect home for exterior enjoyment. All bedrooms have been tastefully decorated and have comfortable en suite bathrooms as well as balconies. Additionally there is a two car garage, an office and plenty of storage room.’ The couple’s extraordinary string of private-jet flights comes after Harry attended a ‘green summit’ organised by tech giant Google in Sicily at the end of July where he delivered an impassioned speech on saving the environment.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A view out to the pool area in the Villa Moon, amenities at the property include a sea view, exterior kitchen and dining, Sonos music, underfloor heating. He was reportedly barefoot as he gave his lecture to VIPs and power-brokers, thought to have included Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom and Harry Styles.
However, it was claimed Google paid for his flights and a helicopter to a luxury resort where he is understood to have stayed on a fuel-eating super-yacht.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The most expensive villas overlooking the azure waters of Ibiza’s Porroig Bay are listed at £20,000 per week, but the price of others on enquiry rises to up to £120,000 per week (pictured: a bedroom in the Villa Moon) According to experts, a 390ft super-yacht produces about 3.3 tons of damaging carbon dioxide each hour at sea by burning through around 200 gallons of fuel.
In an interview published in Vogue Magazine with conservationist Jane Goodall recently, Harry revealed that he and Meghan wanted a ‘maximum’ of two children because of environmental concerns.
The couple set off for their second Mediterranean holiday of the summer on Wednesday morning, travelling 20 miles from their home at Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate to Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The sumptuous dining area of the newly built villa moon. Security around the gated complex, a billionaire’s playground, is already exceptionally tight. But locals said it was dialled up further when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived As he disembarked in Nice, Harry stared towards the ground, seemingly trying to avoid being identified, according to The Sun on Sunday.
Harry, Meghan and their son were then whisked from the airport in a blacked-out Mercedes people carrier.
It is unclear whether they are still in the South of France or have returned to the UK.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The £16,500 per week Villa Firefly, the website says: ‘All bedrooms benefit from exterior access and ample comfortable en suite bathrooms while the fully equipped top of the line kitchen allows for professional catering. The inviting exterior is beautifully landscaped with natural stone walls, Mediterranean plants and palms, wooden decking around the overflowing pool as well as perfectly appointed dining and other lounging areas. A two-car garage, ample outdoor parking space and a staff apartment complete the property.’ Labour MP Teresa Pearce said she was ‘surprised’ by the couple’s jet-setting. ‘Given the position they have taken publicly about being responsible on climate change, this does seem an anomaly which they should look at,’ she said.
‘I find this quite surprising because it doesn’t fit with their public image and the way they’re so concerned about the planet and the environment.’
And Ken Wharfe, a former royal protection officer, said: ‘Frankly it’s hypocritical. Harry can’t be preaching about the catastrophic effects of climate change while jetting around the world on a private plane.’
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The swimming pool area of one of the lavish properties. In total Vista Alegre lists 15 massive houses available to rent, starting at £3,100 and rising to around £120,000 per week The Royal family have not commented on the latest trip.
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Charles, Prince of Wales, with Prince Harry and Prince William on the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia, off the coast of Venice, Italy, on May 5, 1985.4/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Peering through patio doors at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, England, on July 14, 1986.6/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
On his first day at Mrs Mynors’ School in Notting Hill, London, on Sept. 16, 1987.10/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Striking a pose with his mother during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, on June 11, 1988.11/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
With Princess Diana during their summer holiday in Palma, Spain, on Aug. 13, 1988.12/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Accompanied by Prince William on his first day at pre-preparatory Wetherby School in London, on Sept. 11, 1989. 13/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
During a sports lesson at his primary school in Richmond, England, on May 2, 1990.15/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Arriving for the Trooping the Colour parade on June 15, 1991.16/86 SLIDES© Martin Keene/EMPICS Sports Photo Agency/Press Association
The brothers, during their tour of the frigate HMCS Ottawa while on a family visit to Canada, on Oct. 23, 1991.17/86 SLIDES© Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images
The young royal during the Trooping the Colour parade with his mother and The Queen Mother, on June 13, 1992.18/86 SLIDES© Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images
At the Thorpe Park in Surrey, England, in April 1993.19/86 SLIDES© Franziska Krug/Getty Images
With his mother at the Bergen-Hohne Training Area in Germany, in July 1993.20/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Enjoying a skiing session with his father and brother in Klosters-Serneus, Switzerland, during a family vacation in February 1994.21/86 SLIDES© Bryn Colton/REX/Shutterstock
The princes and their mother attend a Christmas service at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England, on Dec. 25, 1994.22/86 SLIDES© Antony Jones/Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images
The royal family during the 50th anniversary celebration of V-J Day in London, on Aug. 19, 1995.23/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
During a skiing trip to Klosters-Serneus on Jan. 2, 1996.24/86 SLIDES© Ben Radford/Getty Images
Accompanied by Prince Charles and Prince William (far R) to the Wales versus Scotland game during the Five Nation Championship in Cardiff, Wales, on Feb. 17, 1996.25/86 SLIDES© Jeff J Mitchell/Reuters
With (L-R) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh; Prince William; Lord Earl Spencer and Prince Charles during the funeral procession for his mother at Westminster Abbey, on Sept. 6, 1997.
26/86 SLIDES© Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
With his father, posing with the Spice Girls, during their royal tour of Africa in October 1997.27/86 SLIDES© REX/Shutterstock
With his father while registering at Eton College on Sept. 2, 1998. 28/86 SLIDES© REX/Shutterstock
During a rugby game at Eton College in 1999.
29/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
During his first public game of polo, at the Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire, England, on June 2, 2001.30/86 SLIDES© Toby Melville/PA
With his teammates after a traditional Eton game in 2001.31/86 SLIDES© Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Taking a kick during a visit to West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground in London, on Sept. 12, 2002.32/86 SLIDES© Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool/Getty Images
Displaying two of his artworks at Eton College’s Drawing School, on May 12, 2003.
33/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Seen carrying wire fencing to build a fence around a children’s home in Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, on March 3, 2004.34/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Working in a garden at the Mants’ase Children’s Home in Mohale’s Hoek, on March 3, 2004.35/86 SLIDES© REX/Shutterstock
With Prince William, Tom Parker Bowles (R) and Laura Parker Bowles (2nd R) during Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2005.36/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
Talks to Commandant Major General Andrew Ritchie at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, Surrey, on May 8, 2005.37/86 SLIDES© Tim Graham/Getty Images
With fellow soldiers in the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy, on April 12, 2006. The prince (C) was commissioned Second Lieutenant Harry Wales of the Blues and Royals.38/86 SLIDES© Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images
With a little girl on the grounds of the Mants’ase children’s home, while on a return visit to Lesotho on April 24, 2006. The Prince was in the country to launch his new charity called ‘Sentebale’, which means ‘Forget me not’ in memory of his mother, Princess Diana.39/86 SLIDES© Getty Images
With then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy and Prince William at the Concert for Diana event in London on July 1, 2007. It was held to commemorate the late princess’ birthday.40/86 SLIDES© Matt Cardy/Getty Images
During a polo game in Cirencester Park, England, on June 8, 2008.41/86 SLIDES© John Stillwell POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images
With a group of Gurkha soldiers at an observation post on JTAC Hill in the Helmland province of Afghanistan, on Jan. 2, 2008.42/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
The prince pays his respects at the World Trade Center site in New York City, New York, U.S., on May 29, 2009.43/86 SLIDES© Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
With brother William during a photo call at an Air Force base in Shropshire, England, on June 18, 2009.
44/86 SLIDES© Arthur Edwards-Pool/Getty Images
During a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Jan. 30, 2010.
45/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
Joking with his elder brother while holding an African rock python during their visit to the Mokolodi Education Centre in Gaborone, Botswana, on June 15, 2010.46/86 SLIDES© David Cheskin/WPA Pool/Getty Images
With team leader Inge Solhiem, during a training session before their expedition Walking With The Wounded to the North Pole, in Spitsbergen, Norway, on March 29, 2011.47/86 SLIDES© James Devaney/FilmMagic/Getty Images
With Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, while greeting the crowd from Buckingham Palace after William’s wedding on April 29, 2011.48/86 SLIDES© Collin Reid/AP Photo
Dancing with a local girl during a visit to an NGO in Jamaica on March 6, 2012.
49/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Posing with Usain Bolt at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 6, 2012.50/86 SLIDES© JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images
Makes his early morning pre-flight checks at the British-controlled flight-line at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, where he was serving as an Apache helicopter pilot/gunner with the 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, on Dec. 12, 2012.51/86 SLIDES© Ryan Pierse-Pool/Getty Images
Onboard the HMAS Leeuwin during International Fleet Review in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 5, 2013. 52/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games
Speaks to the media about the 2014 Invictus Games, at Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park in London, on March 6.53/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson – WPA Pool /Getty Images
Playing with a child during his visit to the Phelisanong Children’s Home in Maseru, Lesotho, on Dec. 6, 2014.54/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Walking through a rainforest in Stewart Island, New Zealand, on May 10, 2015.55/86 SLIDES© Stefan Postles/Getty Images
Greets the public outside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, on April 6, 2015. Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, ended his military career with a month-long secondment to the Australian Defence Force in barracks in Sydney, Perth and Darwin.56/86 SLIDES© Becky Maynard/Team Rubicon UK via Getty Images
With volunteers from Team Rubicon UK, working at a solar farm site as a part of rebuilding efforts in Lapubesi, Nepal, in March 2016. The country was hit by a devastating earthquake in April 2015.57/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images
With singer Rihanna at the Man Aware event to promote widespread testing for HIV, in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Dec. 1, 2016.58/86 SLIDES© Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Racing with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, during a Marathon Training Day with Team Heads Together, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, on Feb. 5, 2017.59/86 SLIDES© Joseph Nair/AFP/Getty Images
Taking part in ‘iftar,’ the breaking of fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during a visit to the Jamiyah Children’s Home in Singapore, on June 4, 2017.60/86 SLIDES© Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Playing handball with children at the Fit-and-Fed summer campaign in London, on July 28, 2017.61/86 SLIDES© Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
Paying tribute to his mother on her 20th death anniversary, in Kensington Palace on Aug. 30, 2017.62/86 SLIDES© PA Images
With a group of school children during a trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Sept. 7, 2017.63/86 SLIDES© Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images Sharing his popcorn with Emily Henson, daughter of British Paralympian Dave Henson, as he attends the Sitting Volleyball Finals at Mattamy Athletic Centre during the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 28. 64/86 SLIDES© Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Meeting local resident Winnie Hodson, 99, during a follow-up visit after the Lancashire Floods in England, on Oct. 23, 2017. 65/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
With young members from GAME, a community which uses sports to create lasting social change, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Oct. 25, 2017.66/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
Visiting the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London, on Nov. 9, 2017.67/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/Getty Images During an official photo call at Sunken Gardens in Kensington Palace, to announce his engagement to Meghan Markle, on Nov. 27, 2017. 68/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/Getty Images
With Prince William and BB8 at the European premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on Dec. 12, 2017.69/86 SLIDES© Karwai Tang/Getty Images
With Meghan Markle (now his wife, the Duchess of Sussex) on a visit to Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland, on Feb. 13, 2018.70/86 SLIDES© Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images With England’s rugby union coach Eddie Jones during a training session at Twickenham Stadium, London, on Feb. 16, 2018. 71/86 SLIDES© Anwar Hussein/Getty Images With Army Air Corps pilots during a ceremony at the Museum of Army Flying in Stockbridge, England, on March 16, 2018. 72/86 SLIDES© Prince Harry (left) speaks to an athlete at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, Bath,…
Speaking to an athlete at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, during the UK team trials for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, on April 6.73/86 SLIDES© Simon Dawson/AFP/Getty Images With Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May at a Youth Forum on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, on April 16, 2018. 74/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images With Meghan Markle at a Women’s Empowerment reception hosted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, on April 19, 2018. 75/86 SLIDES© Prince Harry on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London during a star-studded concert to celebrate …
On stage at the Royal Albert Hall during a star-studded concert to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 92nd birthday, on April 21, 2018.76/86 SLIDES© Jonathan Brady – Pool/Getty Images
Greeting members of the public ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle in Windsor, on May 18, 2018.77/86 SLIDES© Chris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
With Prince William as they arrive for his wedding in Windsor.78/86 SLIDES© Jonathan Brady/Pool via Reuters
With his bride Meghan Markle during their wedding service in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, on May 19, 2018.79/86 SLIDES© Steve Parsons/Pool via Reuters Leaving Windsor Castle with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after their wedding, to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, on May 19, 2018. 80/86 SLIDES© Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the Trooping the Colour parade on June 9, 2018.81/86 SLIDES© John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images
With Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018.82/86 SLIDES© David M. Benett/Getty Images for Audi UK
With actor Eddie Redmayne (C) at the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, England, on July 1, 2018.83/86 SLIDES© Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images At the Famine Memorial in Dublin, Ireland, on July 11, 2018. 84/86 SLIDES© Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF At the launch of the Menstar coalition to promote HIV testing and treatment of men, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on July 24, 2018. 85/86 SLIDES© Dan Charity – WPA Pool/Getty Images With the cast and crew of “Hamilton,” after the gala performance in support of Sentebale, in London, on Aug. 29, 2018. 86/86 SLIDES© Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with four-year-old Mckenzie Brackley during the annual WellChild awards in London, on Sept. 4, 2018. Prince Harry has been patron of WellChild since 2007. 86/86 SLIDES
Harry and Meghan’s trip to France is estimated to have had a carbon footprint of just over three tons and their earlier trip to Ibiza is believed to have had a footprint of more than four tons. The carbon footprint of an average person in the UK is 13 tons a year.
Democracy Myth August 11th 2019
The word democracy is from the Greek, demos and krakos, people and rule, as my educated readers will know. Revolutions usually claim to be about bringing democracy to the downtrodden, as we have heard so many times to justify bombing and plundering the theocracies of the Middle East, theocracies once loved by Britain’s imperialist elite. Times change, but politics is still what Butler called ‘The art of the possible.’
So who are the people, who and how do they rule? Brexit brings the whole deceitful process into sharp focus and question. There is going to be a con in September when Britain’s MPs come back from summer recess to vote down no deal, when Corbyn tries to usurp power, trying to form a minority government in an anti democratic coup, demonstrating the growing gulf between the socially and economically privileged elite who parliament represents and the mass of lower orders they claim to represent.
The following essay explores more of these issues and complexities. Democracy is about class interest, which is why we have this nonsense of having to have a deal if we have Brexit. How is staying in the customs union, paying for it with all its rules, but no represnetation Brexit?
Britain’s idea of democracy relies on mass ignorance fear deference and docility. Its elite preach tolerance of protestors in Venezuala, Russia and Hong Kong, but come down hard on protestors in the U.K, monitoring internet, phone calls and arresting anyone who gets in the way of their version of democracy.
They even killed a man at G7, a man who was not protesting, just going home from work. Others, including women, were violently assaulted by the police, yet Britain lectures China over Hong Kong. The man killed at G7 was Ian Tomlinson. The police officer who pushed him over, causing a fatal injury, was Stephen Haywood. He got away with it. See the video on this site, Polly Station page.
Watch House of Commons Speaker John Bercow at work and ask what sort of democracy he represents. What he is doing is unconstitutional, asserting the primacy of parliament over the executive. All very interesting.
Difference in Democracy & Parliamentary Democracy
Jason Cristiano Ramon
Democracy can broadly be defined as a system in which the people govern themselves. Democracy can take a variety of different forms, including direct, parliamentary and presidential democracy. Parliamentary democracy is a distinct type of democracy in which citizens vote for representatives, and a majority of those representatives form a government or executive branch. Today, parliamentary democracy is the most common form of democracy among nations.
Direct Versus Representative
Direct democracy is one form of government that can be clearly distinguished from parliamentarism. In direct democracy citizens rule themselves directly by holding political office and exercising political rule rather than relying on representatives. Examples of direct democracy include ancient Athens, in which all adult male citizens had the right to participate in making laws and the 1871 Paris Commune, in which workers’ councils were formed through the direct participation of Commune members. In contrast, parliamentary democracy is a representative democracy. Citizens vote for professional politicians to represent them in parliament, rather than directly ruling themselves.
Separation of Powers
Presidentialism is another type of democracy. Like parliamentary democracy, presidentialism is a form of representative, rather than direct, government. Unlike parliamentary democracy, in presidentialism, executive power is separated from legislative power, and the executive is usually elected separately from the legislature. For example, in the United States, the constitution distinguishes between the powers of Congress and those of the president, and each are elected separately. In contrast, in parliamentary democracies such as the United Kingdom, the executive of the government is chosen from the majority party in parliament or by a coalition of parties. There are no separate elections for the executive.
It is often easier to pass legislation in parliamentary democracies than in presidential democracies because of the absence of a distinct executive branch. Presidential democracies like the United States often feature checks and balances, which means that the powers of different branches overlap. For instance, United States presidents do not have the power to pass legislation but they do have the power to veto legislation passed by Congress, which can only be overridden by a two-thirds majority of Congress. In contrast, in most parliamentary democracies the executive has a much easier time passing legislation, since the executive generally enjoys a majority or majority coalition in parliament.
Process and Deliberation
While some political scientists such as Juan Linz in the book “The Failure of Presidential Democracy,” argue that the relative ease of passing legislation in parliamentary democracy makes it preferable over presidential systems, scholars such as constitutional law scholar and Yale professor Bruce Ackerman argues in his book “We the People,” that presidential systems can have more informed political deliberation than parliamentary ones. Whereas passing laws is relatively straightforward in parliamentary democracies, decision makers in presidential democracies must engage in more persuasion, public debate and deliberation to enact legislation. This potentially makes a presidential democracy slower and more unwieldy, but it does have the benefit of sustaining more public deliberation and debate than parliamentary democracy requires.
‘Extreme surveillance’ becomes UK law with barely a whimper
This article is more than 2 years old
Investigatory Powers Act legalises range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services
A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most
sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law
with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12
months from inside parliament and barely any from outside.
The Investigatory Powers Act, passed on Thursday, legalises a whole range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US.
The security agencies and police began the year braced for at least some opposition, rehearsing arguments for the debate. In the end, faced with public apathy and an opposition in disarray, the government did not have to make a single substantial concession to the privacy lobby.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies.”
Snowden in 2013 revealed the scale of mass surveillance – or bulk data collection as the security agencies prefer to describe it – by the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ, which work in tandem.
But, against a backdrop of fears of Islamist attacks, the privacy lobby has failed to make much headway. Even in Germany, with East Germany’s history of mass surveillance by the Stasi and where Snowden’s revelations produced the most outcry, the Bundestag recently passed legislation giving the intelligence agencies more surveillance powers.
The US passed a modest bill last year curtailing bulk phone data collection but the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election is potentially a major reverse for privacy advocates. On the campaign trail, Trump made comments that implied he would like to use the powers of the surveillance agencies against political opponents.
The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Strasburger, one of the leading voices against the investigatory powers bill, said: “We do have to worry about a UK Donald Trump. If we do end up with one, and that is not impossible, we have created the tools for repression. If Labour had backed us up, we could have made the bill better. We have ended up with a bad bill because they were all over the place.
“The real Donald Trump has access to all the data that the British spooks are gathering and we should be worried about that.”
The Investigatory Powers Act legalises powers that the security agencies and police had been using for years without making this clear to either the public or parliament. In October, the investigatory powers tribunal, the only court that hears complaints against MI6, MI5 and GCHQ, ruled that they had been unlawfully collecting massive volumes of confidential personal data without proper oversight for 17 years.
One of the negative aspects of the legislation is that it fails to provide adequate protection for journalists’ sources, which could discourage whistleblowing.
One of the few positives in the legislation is that it sets out clearly for the first time the surveillance powers available to the intelligence services and the police. It legalises hacking by the security agencies into computers and mobile phones and allows them access to masses of stored personal data, even if the person under scrutiny is not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Privacy groups are challenging the surveillance powers in the European court of human rights and elsewhere.
Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, said: “The UK now has a surveillance law that is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy. The state has unprecedented powers to monitor and analyse UK citizens’ communications regardless of whether we are suspected of any criminal activity.”
Renate Samson, the chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “The passing of the investigatory powers bill has fundamentally changed the face of surveillance in this country. None of us online are now guaranteed the right to communicate privately and, most importantly, securely.”
Trump’s victory started speculation that, given his warm words for Vladimir Putin, he might do a deal with the Russian president to have Snowden sent back to the US where he faces a long jail sentence. Snowden has lived in Russia since leaking tens of thousands of documents to journalists in 2013.
But Bill Binney, a former member of the NSA who became a whistleblower, expressed scepticism: “I am not sure if the relationship a President Trump would have with President Putin would be bad for Snowden.
“In Russia, he would still be an asset that maybe Putin would use in bargaining with Trump. Otherwise, Snowden does have a large support network around the world plus in the US and Trump may not want to disturb that. Also, I think any move to get Snowden out of Russia and into US courts would also open up support for at least three other lawsuits against the US government’s unconstitutional surveillance.”
- This article was amended on 19 November 2016. The act has not yet received royal assent, as stated in an earlier version.
Editorial Comment : The Act is now law and about to be extended so, apparently, to help The Five Eyes monitor Whatsapp encrypted messages to protect good people from paedophiles and terrorists. I am being monitored by the police a I write this. I have been raided many times, computers and I phones confiscated and much more. That is British Democracy.
The police ask to look at our private messages once every 120 seconds
The Government is preparing to reintroduce its ‘snooper’s charter’
Police officers in the UK ask for permission to monitor use of emails, text messages and internet searches once every two minutes, a new report has disclosed.
Fewer than one in 10 requests are turned down by senior officers, although the rate of refusal varies widely.
The extent of the monitoring of private communications emerged as the Government prepares to reintroduce its “snooper’s charter” plans to give the police and security services wider powers in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
Freedom of Information requests by the campaign organisation Big Brother Watch found that forces made 733,237 requests between 2012 and 2014. A total of 679,073 requests were granted ranted internally and 54,164 were rejected.
The Metropolitan Police made by far the most requests for data, with 177,287 in three years, followed by West Midlands Police (99,444) and Police Scotland (62,075).
Who actually poisoned the Skripals? These are some of the top theories
Published time: 16 Mar, 2018 17:54 Edited time: 17 Mar, 2018 08:08 Get short URL
Police officers by where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in Salisbury, Britain, March 13, 2018. © Henry Nicholls © Reuters
Prime Minister Theresa May has pointed the finger at Moscow for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury. But who was the person that actually attacked them? These are the three top theories so far.
At this point, police have not made any arrests and they do not appear to have any concrete leads. The assailant – or assailants – have seemingly slipped away unnoticed, leaving plenty of room for theories about what actually happened on that day in Salisbury.
Was it in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase?
Some papers are speculating that the nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals was planted in Yulia’s suitcase before she left Moscow. Senior sources reportedly told the Telegraph that they are convinced the nerve agent was hidden in Yulia’s luggage, perhaps hidden in an item of clothing, cosmetics, or in a gift that was opened in Skripal’s house in Salisbury. Read more Boris Johnson: Likely ‘Putin’s decision’ to order use of nerve agent in UK
Was it sprayed on them by a mystery woman?
Another theory being explored is that the Novichok was contained in an aerosol can and sprayed in the faces of the ex-Russian spy and his daughter.
According to the Daily Mail, “former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal may have been ambushed by attackers who sprayed him with poison in the street.” CCTV footage has been shared by the media that shows a blonde woman in the area at the same time the Skripals were poisoned, but authorities have not confirmed that they are searching for the mystery woman.
It was another spy from the Russian government
The poisoning may have been a message to other Russian operatives, according to Shaun Walker from the Guardian. Walker’s theory questions whether the alleged assassination attempt was a deterrent – a warning to other operatives about the consequences of colluding with the enemy.
“The demonstrative killing of a traitor could be a warning to junior officers not to follow the same path,” Walker said in his article. “Russian officials have often made it clear that traitors will meet a sticky end one way or another.”
Another theory purports that the Novichok may have been stolen. The Soviet Union’s chemical weapons program was in such disarray following the Cold War that some toxic substances and know-how may have fallen into the hands of criminals, according to people who dealt with the chemical program at the time.
Biological and chemical weapons expert Amy Smithson spoke to Reuters about the possibility. “Could somebody have smuggled something out?” she said. “I certainly wouldn’t rule that possibility out, especially a small amount and particularly in view of how lax the security was at Russian chemical facilities in the early 1990s.”
While this theory does not point the finger at any suspects, it does open the case to a new realm of possibilities.
Tommy Robinson fans flood parliament after hurling smoke bombs and bottles at police author Zoe Drewett Thursday 11 Jul 2019 2:17 pm
Tommy Robinson, a consequence, not a cause of Britain’s new 21st century society. But for the established comfortable elite, he is a warning to us not to get upitty- Robert Cook July 12th 2019.
Tommy Robinson fans flooded parliament after hurling smoke bombs and bottles at police.
A protester is detained by police after scuffles broke out outside parliament during a demonstration following the sentencing of British far-right activist and former leader and founder of English Defence League (EDL),
Tommy Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, at the Old Bailey on July 11, 2019 in London, England. Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been sentenced to nine months in prison for contempt of court. He was found guilty of filming defendants accused of child sex offences outside Leeds Crown Court and live-streaming the footage on Facebook in May, 2018.
Dozens of angry supporters of jailed far-right activist Tommy Robinson scuffled with police outside the Old Bailey then marched on parliament after he was sentenced for contempt of court. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, 36, – who calls himself Tommy Robinson – was today jailed for contempt of court after he filmed defendants during a trial into the sexual exploitation of girls outside Leeds Crown Court last year.
Violence began to break out between the 200 banner-waving protesters waiting outside court as the news of his sentencing trickled through. Some hurled smoke bombs, others threw cans and bottles at police in riot gear, who retaliated by raising batons.
A large group then headed towards parliament, blocking roads and shouting ‘shame on you’. Angry protesters tore down EU flags as they marched, with some later seen burning the flags in front of the Houses of Parliament. Journalists filming on the College Garden were verbally abused, physically intimidated and had their equipment attacked before police officers arrived. City of London Police said four people have been arrested including a woman, 28, and two men, 60 and 50, arrested for affray and another woman, 61, arrested for a public order offence. LONDON , UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 11:
People protest outside the Old Bailey after British far-right activist and former leader and founder of English Defence League (EDL), Tommy Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to nine months in prison for contempt of court, at the Old Bailey on July 11, 2019 in London, England. Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been sentenced to nine months in prison for contempt of court. He was found guilty of filming defendants accused of child sex offences outside Leeds Crown Court and live-streaming the footage on Facebook .
Will the Euro default?
Nick Hubble June 6th 2019
Dear Reader, On 4th June, the Telegraph ran an article with a simple headline: “German Bundesbank comes clean on euro default risks after Italy’s ‘parallel currency’ decree.” So will the Euro die? The answer is, of course, yes. In my opinion, anyway. And you should listen to my opinion. Because I first wrote about Italy introducing a parallel currency a year ago in Capital & Conflict. Here’s what I said about Italy’s actions long before the mainstream media caught up: “But it’s the parallel currency that’s the key. This is essentially the first step to leaving the euro. It’s still well disguised. But that’s what it is.I’ll explain what the Italians have planned for their money in a moment.
First, realise what it’ll mean.If the Italians pull this off successfully, there’ll be no reason to keep the euro. And other nations will follow Italy.If a big chunk of the eurozone isn’t using the euro, it’s defunct.And a defunct currency is worthless. Which will make debt markets denominated in euro panic.Introducing the mini-BOTOf all the financial frauds committed by government, the mini-BOT is not a particularly pernicious one. The trouble is, it doesn’t really solve the problem. In fact, it doesn’t do much at all except forestall a reckoning.Which is why I think the real purpose of the new currency is to prepare Italy for a return to the lira. As Reuters put it, “Italy’s dual currency schemes may be long road to euro exit”.
Back to that in a moment.The so-called mini-BOT parallel currency system was also considered in Greece by upstart finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. But the European Central Bank wasn’t a fan. For the reason I just mentioned.Here’s how it works…The mini-BOT is a “fiscal currency”. A tradeable tax credit.It can be used to pay your taxes. And it can be used by the government to pay its bills from the private sector. It can’t be exchanged for euros, and there are limits to how it can be exchanged between companies and people.The intended effect is to stop the outflow of euros from government coffers, reducing borrowing needs. The increased amount of “money” would also grease the wheels of commerce.But in reality, the mini-BOT is just a new debt incurred by government – a form of borrowing that is compulsory for the government’s partners in the private sector.Here’s how it works in practice.
First the Italian government pays its bills from the private sector in freshly created mini-BOTs instead of euros. Then, in the future, the mini-BOTs can be paid to the government instead of euros when taxes are due.What’s the effect? The Italian government doesn’t have to pay in euros, it can pay in mini-BOTs it creates – effectively a tax credit.But by paying the private sector with a form of tax credit, Italy’s government is going to forgo tax revenue when those tax credits are eventually redeemed. The government will receive nothing but its arbitrary currency back instead of euros when taxes are due.When it comes down to it, the mini-BOT is a bit melodramatic in terms of the effect it’ll actually have on Italy’s finances. Right now, the government owes vast amounts of euros to private companies. Euros it doesn’t have, and can’t borrow under EU deficit rules.By “paying” bills in mini-NOTs instead of euro, the government gets to keep those euros. But when those companies have to pay taxes, they’ll just pay in mini-BOTs, depriving the Italian government of the tax revenue it’ll so desperately need in the future.The net effect of the mini-BOT is to buy time.
That’s why it’s like a debt.One plan is for the mini-BOTs to last two years before being redeemed. That’d make they’re like a two-year government bond.But the parallel currency does have one redeeming factor. Mini-BOT debt – in the form of lost future tax revenue – is not counted as official debt in government accounts. The mini-BOT allows the Italian government to borrow money in such an obscure way that it isn’t counted as debt by statistics.It’s an accounting fraud.The underlying problem Italy faces is that it cannot issue its own euros. So the government can’t print its way out of debt by devaluing the currency. If it left the euro it could though…Lega wants to leave the euro eventually, but cautiously. Five Star has abandoned the pledge for a referendum on the euro. Despite this, it is the inevitable endgame for Italy.
There you go. Written by yours truly on 14th May last year, long before the mainstream press seemed interested in the idea. It’s all part of my research into How The Euro Dies, my new book. If you’re interested in finding out more about what happens next, and why you need to be concerned about the impact on your money… You can claim a copy of my book by clicking here. Only my opinion, but it’ll be the best £5 you spend this year… And it could save you tens of thousands of pounds over the next few months. Just ask the Bundesbank. Best wishes,
Nick Hubble Capital & Conflict
|‘The human being can only be an individual in society’ Karl Marx.|
Neo Liberal economics has changed, if not destroyed stable society,
therefore it develops unstable individuals- Robert Cook
| Trump’s UK state visit: Pomp, pageantry and protests |
by Justin Parkinson of the BBC
|Trump’s UK state visit: Pomp, pageantry and protests After months of discussions and amid huge security, US President Donald Trump is arriving for his three-day state visit to the UK. Monday’s highlight will be a dinner in his honour at Buckingham Palace, which First Lady Melania Trump will also attend. Several UK politicians, including the Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders and London’s mayor, are boycotting the event. Protests are planned in many places, including London, Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham and Nottingham. But Mr Trump can be assured of a cordial welcome when he meets the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall for afternoon tea. He and his family will be staying at the US embassy because of refurbishment work at Buckingham Palace. US presidents don’t travel light. Here’s a breakdown of the people and equipment crossing the Atlantic with Mr Trump. Mr Trump has expressed views on Brexit, potential Conservative Party leaders and the Duchess of Sussex. BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale looks at five potential flashpoints. Here’s all you need to know about the visit.|
Assange arrest final step in character assassination campaign – Slavoj Zizek
Published time: 11 Apr, 2019 12:21 Edited time: 12 Apr, 2019 08:09
Published time: 11 Apr, 2019 12:21 Edited time: 12 Apr, 2019 08:09 Get short URL
Julian Assange’s arrest was not a sudden development, cultural philosopher Slavoj Zizek told RT. Instead it was well planned and the final step in a long and ugly smear campaign against the WikiLeaks founder.
After sheltering in London’s Ecuadorian embassy for six years, Assange was dragged out of the building by British police on Thursday morning. The arrest comes after Ecuador’s new pro-US president withdrew Assange’s asylum claim, and after WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson claimed that an extensive spying campaign was conducted against Assange, designed to get him out.
What did Julian Assange do?
Assange had sex with two women he met at a conference in Sweden in August 2010.
They accused the dad of rape and, though he was questioned, Assange was never charged over the claims. He’s always denied them.
But Interpol issued a Red Notice for Assange’s arrest in November 2010 and he gave himself up one week later.
The hacker then appeared before a judge in Westminster, where his supporters stumped up £240,000 for his bail.
But in June 2012, Swedish prosecutors called for him to be extradited – a measure his lawyers opposed in case he was sent to the US.
The FBI director kept infamous files on politicians’ sex lives—including a new book’s revelations of RFK’s secret meetings with Marilyn Monroe.
Ronald Kessler08.02.11 1:54 PM ET
Complex man that he was, J. Edgar Hoover left nothing to chance. The director shrewdly recognized that building what became known as the world’s greatest law enforcement agency would not necessarily keep him in office. So after Hoover became director, he began to maintain a special Official and Confidential file in his office. The “secret files,” as they became widely known, would guarantee that Hoover would remain director as long as he wished.
Defenders of Hoover— a dwindling number of older former agents who still refer to him as “Mr. Hoover”—have claimed his Official and Confidential files were not used to blackmail members of Congress or presidents. They say Hoover kept the files with sensitive information about political leaders in his suite so that young file clerks would not peruse them and spread gossip. The files were no more secret than any other bureau files, Hoover supporters say.
While the files may well have been kept in Hoover’s office to protect them from curious clerks, it was also true that far more sensitive files containing top-secret information on pending espionage cases were kept in the central files. If Hoover truly was concerned about information getting out, he should have been more worried about the highly classified information in those files.
Moreover, the Official and Confidential files were secret in the sense that Hoover never referred to them publicly, as he did the rest of the bureau’s files. He distinguished them from other bureau files by calling them “confidential,” denoting secrecy. But whether they were secret or not and where they were kept was irrelevant. What was important was how Hoover used the information from those files and from other bureau files.
“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” said William Sullivan, who became the number three official in the bureau under Hoover, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter. But we wanted you to know this. We realize you’d want to know it.’ Well, Jesus, what does that tell the senator? From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”
Lawrence J. Heim, who was in the Crime Records Division, confirmed to me that the bureau sent agents to tell members of Congress that Hoover had picked up derogatory information on them.
“He [Hoover] would send someone over on a very confidential basis,” Heim said. As an example, if the Metropolitan Police in Washington had picked up evidence of homosexuality, “he [Hoover] would have him say, ‘This activity is known by the Metropolitan Police Department and some of our informants, and it is in your best interests to know this.’ But nobody has ever claimed to have been blackmailed. You can deduce what you want from that.”
Of course, the reason no one publicly claimed to have been blackmailed is that blackmail, by definition, entails collecting embarrassing information that people do not want public. But not everyone was intimidated.
Roy L. Elson, the administrative assistant to Senator Carl T. Hayden, will never forget an encounter he had with Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, the FBI’s liaison with Congress. For twenty years, Hayden headed the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and later the Senate Appropriations Committee, which had jurisdiction over the FBI’s budget. He was one of the most powerful members of Congress. As Hayden, an Arizona Democrat, suffered hearing loss and some dementia in his later years, Elson became known as the “101st senator” because he made many of the senator’s decisions for him.
In the early 1960s, DeLoach wanted an additional appropriation for the new FBI headquarters building, which Congress approved in April 1962.
“The senator supported the building,” Elson said. “He always gave the bureau more money than they needed. This was a request for an additional appropriation. I had reservations about it. DeLoach was persistent.”
DeLoach “hinted” that he had “information that was unflattering and detrimental to my marital situation and that the senator might be disturbed,” said Elson, who was then married to his second wife. “I was certainly vulnerable that way,” Elson said. “There was more than one girl [he was seeing]. . . . The implication was there was information about my sex life. There was no doubt in my mind what he was talking about.”
Elson said to DeLoach: “Let’s talk to him [the senator] about it. I think he’s heard about everything there is to hear about me. Bring the photos if you have them.” At that point, Elson said, “He started backing off. . . . He said, ‘I’m only joking.’ Bullshit,” Elson said. “I interpreted it as attempted blackmail.”
Commenting on Elson’s allegation, DeLoach says, “It never happened.”
Reading the Official and Confidential files that survived makes it clear they could have been gathered for no other purpose than blackmail. For example, on June 13, 1958, the head of the Washington field office informed Hoover that, prior to marrying a member of Congress, the member’s wife had been “having an affair with a Negro [and] also at one time carried on an affair with a House Post Office employee.” More recently, the report said, the congressman’s wife “endeavored to have an affair with [an] Indonesian, who declined.”
In response to this tidbit, Hoover wrote back on June 25 that it was “certainly thoughtful of you to advise me of matters of current interest, and I am glad to have the benefit of this information.”
“This was a way of putting congressmen on notice that we had something on them and therefore they would be more disposed to meeting the bureau’s needs and keeping Hoover in power,” says John J. McDermott, who headed the Washington field office and eventually became deputy associate FBI director.
Hoover let presidents know that he had dirt on them as well. For example, on March 22, 1962, Hoover had lunch with President Kennedy. Hoover told him that through bugs and wiretaps, the FBI had learned that Jack was having an affair with Judith Campbell Exner, a twenty five-year-old divorcée. Hoover informed the president that Exner was also having an affair with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana. Because Hoover knew such tidbits, no president would fire him.
As President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “I would rather have him [Hoover] inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”
Many of the confidential files were destroyed after Hoover’s death. One such item that never came out previously was a teletype sent to headquarters from William Simon, who headed the Los Angeles field office, just after the August 5, 1962, death of Marilyn Monroe at her Brentwood, California home. According to DeLoach, who saw the teletype, it said that then Attorney General Robert Kennedy had borrowed Simon’s personal car to see Monroe just before her death.
Confirming this, Simon’s son Greg says, “My father said Robert Kennedy would borrow his white Lincoln convertible. That’s why we didn’t have it on many weekends.” Simon’s daughter Stephanie Branon also confirmed that her father lent his car to Kennedy and remembered that the attorney general once left his Ray-Ban sunglasses in the glove compartment.
As attorney general, Kennedy was entitled to be driven by an FBI security detail. The fact that he chose to use Simon’s personal car is consistent with William Simon’s report to headquarters that he lent his car to Kennedy for the purpose of clandestine meetings with Monroe. Whether his last meeting with her, possibly to break up with her, may have contributed to her suicide is legitimate speculation.
While there is ample evidence that Hoover used the information in his files for blackmail, there was usually no need for it. Simply the perception that he had such information was enough to keep politicians in line.
In the end, the answer to why Hoover did not go after organized crime until he was forced into it is the same reason he maintained files on members of Congress. Above all, Hoover wanted to keep his job. Many members of Congress—not to mention powerful local politicians—had ties to organized crime and might try to unseat him if he went after the Mafia. The Mafia was as powerful as the president. Moreover, as a perfectionist, Hoover did not want to risk losing a case against a powerful figure.
For the same reasons, for purposes of prosecution, Hoover would not investigate corrupt politicians. As FBI director, Hoover had an obligation to go after both Mafia figures and corrupt politicians. Yet until he was pressured into investigating organized crime, those two targets were sacrosanct.
On May 1, 1972, Helen Gandy, Hoover’s personal secretary, handed him the first in a series of exposés by ++Jack Anderson++[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/09/15/nixon-white-house-plot-to-kill-journalist-jack-anderson.html], whose column appeared in The Washington Post. Previously, Anderson had enraged Hoover by assigning a reporter to rummage through his trash at home. The resulting column revealed that on Sundays, Hoover ate a hearty breakfast of poached eggs and hotcakes. It also revealed that he brushed his teeth with Ultra Brite, washed with Palmolive, and shaved with Noxzema shaving cream. Now, in his latest column, Anderson revealed that the FBI had conducted surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s sex life.
Besides attending sex orgies, King was having an affair with a young woman in his office, says an agent who monitored wiretaps on King’s office and home phones.
“Besides his home, King had an apartment,” the former agent says. “On Tuesdays, he’d go to the apartment, ostensibly to meditate and write sermons.” In fact, King’s girlfriend would meet him there for sex.
For a man whose lifelong mantra had been “Don’t embarrass the bureau,” the continuing stream of unfavorable disclosures had to be unnerving. Yet Hoover rarely revealed his true personal feelings. Sphinx-like, he projected the same persona to his friends and family as he did to the general public. The only difference was that in person, he showed a sense of humor.
Occasionally Hoover cracked a smile or played a prank. James H. Geer, who would later head the Intelligence Division, recalled the time when a nervous new agent went to shake Hoover’s hand after graduating from training, and mistakenly introduced himself as “Mr. Hoover.”
“Very nice to meet you, Mr. Hoover,” the director responded, smiling.
Shortly before six in the afternoon of May 1, 1972, Tom Moton, Hoover’s FBI chauffeur, drove him to Associate Director Clyde Tolson’s apartment, where the two had dinner. Moton drove Hoover home at 10:15 p.m.
By 8:15 the next morning, Annie Fields, Hoover’s housekeeper, became concerned. By then, she should have heard the sound of the shower. Hoover’s toast, soft- boiled eggs, and coffee were getting cold. James Crawford, Hoover’s previous FBI chauffeur, had come over to plant some roses. Checking on him, he found Hoover’s body sprawled on the oriental rug next to his bed. He touched one of his hands; it was cold.
After examining Hoover’s nude body and consulting with his doctor, the District of Columbia medical examiner, Dr. James L. Luke, attributed the director’s death to “hypertensive cardiovascular disease.” As part of the speculation about his love life, a rumor had gone around that Hoover had an underdeveloped sex organ. That was not true, Dr. Luke tells me.
When Hoover’s will was probated, it turned out that Tolson received his estate, estimated at $560,000, including his home. It was the equivalent of $2.9 million today. Gandy received $5,000, Annie Fields $3,000, and James Crawford $2,000. The bequest to Tolson was the final word on the closeness of their relationship.
Hoover preached that even the appearance of impropriety must be avoided. He disciplined agents for losing their handcuffs. Yet after the death of the imperious FBI director, a Justice Department and FBI investigation found that over the years, Hoover had FBI employees build a front portico and a rear deck on his home at 4936 30th Place, NW, in Washington. They installed a fish pond, equipped with water pump and lights, and they constructed shelves and other conveniences for him. They painted his house, maintained his yard, replaced the sod, installed artificial turf, and planted and moved shrubbery. They built a redwood garden fence and installed a flagstone court and sidewalks.
FBI employees also reset Hoover’s clocks, retouched his wallpaper, and prepared his tax returns. Many of the gifts Hoover received from FBI employees, such as cabinets and bars, had been built by them on government time. Hoover also ordered FBI employees to write Masters of Deceit for him under his name. He pocketed part of the proceeds.
When the FBI and Justice Department finally investigated the abuses in the mid- 1970s at the direction of FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley, “a number of these agents had already retired from the bureau, and we were running all over the country interviewing them,” says Richard H. Ash, who headed the FBI task force. “The agent being interviewed would say, ‘Wait a minute.’ And he would go over to his files, pull out a log about all these things they had done, because it was eating at them that they were being used that way.”
“Hoover [and some of his aides] would be prosecuted under today’s standards. No question of it. And should have been,” Buck Revell, formerly the bureau’s associate deputy director over investigations, says. “Hoover for the money he kept from the books he supposedly wrote but didn’t write. Using government funds and resources for personal gain. And use of government employees to maintain his residence. Again, that is fraud against the government. Taking vacations and putting in vouchers for expenses. Agents have been prosecuted for that. Those things that were somewhat taken for granted back then would be prosecuted today.”
“Hoover did a good job for many years,” says John McDermott, the former Washington field office special agent in charge who became deputy associate FBI director. “He went wrong along the way. He became a martinet. In seeking to prevent embarrassment to the bureau, he equated the bureau with himself. Everyone told him how good he was. He came to believe the exorbitant praise he was receiving. Anybody who can be conned by a flatterer has a character weakness.”
Hoover ran the FBI for forty-eight years. Never again would one man so dominate the bureau.
In 1975 and 1976, the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, headed by Senator Frank Church, held hearings on FBI and CIA abuses. These included surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr., illegal wiretapping and mail openings, and surreptitious entries or “black-bag jobs.”
Prior to that, members of Congress took the position they did not want to know what the FBI and CIA were doing. The Church Committee hearings, as they became known, exposed real abuses and a lack of focus that undercut the mission of those agencies. The hearings ultimately improved both agencies and established an effective oversight mechanism.
When creating the FBI on June 29, 1908, as an unnamed investigative bureau of thirty-four special agents within the Justice Department, Congress had been leery of creating a national police force. Because of that, agents initially were not even empowered to carry weapons.
Despite limitations on its power, questions arose very quickly about the extent of the bureau’s authority and methods. Yet whenever a new threat arose, those questions would be set aside, and Congress would entrust the bureau with new powers.
Reproduced with permission from Crown Publishers.
READ THIS LIST
We Found The Guy Behind the Viral ‘Drunk Pelosi’ VideoKevin PoulsenDid Jesus Poop?Candida MossMueller Screwed Up by Staying Silent So LongDavid R. LurieTrump Pardoned Billionaire but Left His Prison Buddy BehindSam SteinInside the Pretty Sober, Extra Bro-y Cannabis World CongressAlaina Demopoulos
CHOPPED AND SCREWED
We Found The Guy Behind the Viral ‘Drunk Pelosi’ Video
The video that racked up millions of views and sparked a national conversation was uploaded by a sports blogger from the Bronx, currently on probation for domestic battery.
Kevin Poulsen06.01.19 7:59 PM ET
On May 22, a Donald Trump superfan and occasional sports blogger from the Bronx named Shawn Brooks posted a video clip of Nancy Pelosi on his personal Facebook page. The clip showed Pelosi at her most excitable, stammering during a press conference as she voiced frustration over an abortive infrastructure meeting with the president. Brooks’ commentary on the video was succinct: “Is Pelosi drunk?”
Thirteen minutes later, a Facebook official told The Daily Beast, Brooks posted a very different Pelosi video to a Facebook page called Politics WatchDog—one of a series of hyperpartisan news operations Brooks runs (with help, he claims). This clip had been altered to slow Pelosi down without lowering the pitch of her voice. The effect was to make it sound as though the Speaker of the House was slurring her words drunkenly while criticizing Donald Trump.
Fifteen minutes after that, the same doctored video appeared on a second Facebook page Brooks manages, AllNews 24/7. This clip was identical to the Politics WatchDog video on every way, except that it didn’t carry the Politics WatchDog branding that was superimposed over the earlier video. Whoever posted it had access to the director’s cut. On both pages the clip was accompanied by the exact same dispassionate, newsy prose: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on President Trump walking out infrastructure meeting: ‘It was very, very, very strange.’”
The video was an instant social media smash, surging through the internet’s well-worn ley lines of credulity and venom. It was shared more than 60,000 times on Facebook and accumulated 4 million page views from links. “Drunk as a skunk,” mused actor turned alt-right curmudgeon James Woods, whose tweet of the video scored 17,000 retweets and 55,000 likes. “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi?”, wrote Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, in a tweet linking to the AllNews 24/7 post. “Her speech pattern is bizarre.”
Brooks, a 34-year-old day laborer currently on probation after pleading guilty to domestic battery, claims that his “drunk” commentary on an unaltered Pelosi video had no connection to the now-infamous fake clip that premiered less than 15 minutes later. “I wasn’t the individual who created that Pelosi video,” he insisted in a telephone interview.
It’s conceivable that someone else actually edited the clip. But a Facebook official, confirming a Daily Beast investigation, said the video was first posted on Politics WatchDog directly from Brooks’ personal Facebook account. “I couldn’t believe it… The president’s lawyer, what the hell? If he believed that [Pelosi] was really drunk, and he shared it, that’s kind of bad. Somebody that high up.”— Shawn Brooks
Brooks acknowledged that he’s involved in the management of both Politics WatchDog and AllNews 24/7, the Facebook pages that sent the bogus video on it’s viral tear. To the outside observer, the two pages are unconnected, but after a tell-tale link on one of the pages led The Daily Beast to Brooks, he admitted that the ad revenue for both outlets goes directly into his personal PayPal account.
In the first hint at a possible motive for the Pelosi smear, Brooks volunteered that the video brought in nearly $1,000 in shared ad revenue.
That number would have been higher, he said, except that Facebook cut off any future earnings when the company’s fact-check partners ruled the clip a hoax about 36 hours after its Politics WatchDog debut. “It makes money for Facebook too,” he groused. “I’m sure that’s their motive for not taking it down.”
In a statement, Facebook disputed that, saying, “We have zero interest in making money from fake news and our policy is to not allow people to make money from content that has been rated false by a fact-checker.”
Over the course of an hour-and-a-half interview, Brooks insisted repeatedly that he wasn’t the one who posted the Pelosi clip on Politics WatchDog. He claimed he’s just one of half-a-dozen administrators who jointly control the page and its content. It was one of the others, he said, who debuted the doctored video. “It was a female admin who posted it.”
He declined to identify the “female admin” or any of his other supposed colleagues. And a Facebook official told The Daily Beast that they simply don’t exist.
Related in Tech
According to the official, there were indeed six other accounts registered alongside Brooks as page administrators, but the company determined last week that all six of them were controlled by Brooks. Facebook deleted those accounts under its real-name policy, the Facebook official said.
Politics WatchDog ran an online poll as the furor crested, asking if the page should keep the video up. (58 percent of respondents said yes.) Now, Brooks professes concern over how easily prominent figures like Rudy Giuliani were fooled by a little audio trickery. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said “I was reading an article and it said, the president’s lawyer, and I was like, what the hell? If he believed that she was really drunk, and he shared it, that’s kind of bad. Somebody that high up.”
The Daily Beast started looking for Brooks last week after noticing a donation link at the bottom of AllNews 24/7’s “about” page that had “ShawnBrooks32” plainly coded in the URL. Brooks personally outed his connection to Politics Watchdog in a May 24 tweet first noticed by Manic News. In it, Brooks responds to PolitFact’s pants-on-fire debunking of the video hoax, which singled out Politics WatchDog. “I’m one of the admins for the page,” he wrote. “I did not post the video. I deal with the inbox and emails. I notice you said you tried to reach the page but didn’t get a response. Why did you lie about reaching out?”
A review of Brooks’ personal fan page reveals him as an avowed conservative and a proud member of Trump’s razor-thin African-American support base. A couple of Brooks’ Instagram posts feature misogyny. The strongest example is a post last year featuring a photo he evidently snapped of a woman sitting next to him on the subway. “This dumb bitch sitting in front of me on the E-train continues to kick me without saying excuse me,” he wrote.
He runs other pages as well. An ardent New England Patriots fan, Brooks has a long history of online ventures around athletics, including a Facebook page called Out Kick the Sports. Brooks’ sparse LinkedIn profile lists him as an “Analyst at Sports Blogger,” a long-shuttered blog platform where Brooks once blogged under his current Twitter screen name, “SportsGurufsr.”
At first Brooks didn’t respond to emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages and a direct message over Instagram, and he blocked this reporter on Twitter. On Friday he called back, explaining that he was worried over the prospect of being publicly linked to the video fakery.
“I’m in New York City,” he said. “Very liberal. People make judgments. I just don’t want to be linked to a conservative right-winger and be potentially denied services and stuff… People are nasty. You should see some of the messages that are coming in.”
As he tells it, Brooks’ gravitated to conservatism after seeing first hand the failure of liberal policies during the Obama era. “I’ve traveled around and seen too many things, and I don’t like the way things have been run,” he said. A key personal turning point came years ago when he was working in a warehouse in Queens doing “forklift work, loading, unloading, labeling,” he said “Basic stuff.” He’d started the job off-the-books, but eventually became an official hire. Then the managers began supplementing their workforce with undocumented immigrants willing to do the same work for less, he claimed.“He’s deeply into politics… He has this thing with being a secret agent and working for the government.”— Brooks’ former girlfriend
“I was working there four or five years and I was being paid pretty well,” he said. “And then they “starting bringing these guys in vans through the side door. This was going on for months. Then all of a sudden they told me, ‘We can’t pay you anymore.”
Since then he’s struggled to find steady employment, taking temporary jobs in light construction or janitorial work. In 2017 he uprooted from his apartment in the Bronx and relocated to Greenville, North Carolina where he found work cleaning hotel rooms. When that didn’t work out, he headed west to California and turned up on the doorstep of an ex-girlfriend. He crashed at her Riverside apartment for about a month, the woman told The Daily Beast. “We got into arguments and fights all the time,” she said. “He has a lot of issues going on. He has a lot of anger issues.”
That October one of those fights ended with Brooks being arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 20 hours community service and three years of probation, and ordered to enroll in a 52-week domestic violence program. His ex-girlfriend took out a restraining order, and she said she hasn’t seen or heard from him since.
The woman, who asked not be named in this story, said she never had much interest in Brooks’ Facebook activities, but knew he was passionate about politics. “He’s deeply into politics,” she said. “That drew me into him more because he’s smart on politics.” His other obsession, she added, was spycraft. “He has this thing with being a secret agent and working for the government,” she said. “He always said, ‘Oh I want to be a secret agent.’”
When he got out of jail Brooks promptly moved back to New York, where he’s been ever since. He said he had permission to move, but failed to complete the court-ordered domestic violence program. “I did probably 10 weeks of it and I couldn’t afford doing more classes,” he said. Court records show that In February 2018 he was written up for a probation violation, and a California judge issued a warrant for his arrest. A spokesperson for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the warrant is still outstanding.
Throughout all of this, Brooks was leading a second life on Facebook. “As the 2020 election draws closer there’s an urgent lesson in the Pelosi video hoax: Fake news is the most egalitarian of fields, where even a hastily produced, low-budget fraud can fool millions if it lands just right.”
An early version of AllNews 24/7 appeared as a WordPress blog and Facebook page in 2015. It launched in its current form in November 2016 shortly before the election. The page purports to be a straightforward news aggregation feed, describing itself as “the only News Page on the planet that never sleeps…. Unbiased and Unfiltered.” It has around 18,000 followers on Facebook. Its presence on other platforms has been touch-and-go. Prior to the Pelosi controversy, AllNews 24/7 had already been suspended from Twitter at least once, and was banned altogether from YouTube for “multiple or severe violations” of the site’s content policies. Both times it quickly returned under a slightly different account name.
Politics WatchDog is newer and more successful, boasting 35,000 followers. It was set up in February 2017 and depicts itself as non-partisan political news and commentary by a select group of anonymous co-administrators, though most of its content is on the far right.
The phoney video plunged op-ed pages and cable news talk shows into a fierce discussion of social media’s vulnerability to even half-hearted fakery. Hillary Clinton called the doctored clip “sexist trash.” Facebook responded by demoting the video’s ranking so severely it became all but unfindable on the platform, and surrounded the clip with conspicuous links to fact-checks debunking its authenticity. But the plattform refuses to remove the video, despite harsh words from critics, including Pelosi. “I think they have proven —by not taking down something they know is false—that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election,” Pelosi said in a radio interview Wednesday.
But as the 2020 election draws closer there’s a more urgent lesson in the Pelosi video hoax: Russia doesn’t have a monopoly on disinformation. Fake news is the most egalitarian of fields, where even a hastily produced, low-budget fraud can fool millions if it lands just right. In the end the Speaker of the House didn’t have to look so far to find the people behind her viral hoax. One of them was just a few hours north, in the Bronx.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here.
READ THIS LIST
- © 2019 The Daily Beast Company LLCAdvertise With Us
Britain is already a police state. Dissent and criticism of its’ so called parliamentary democracy is severely punished. Ninety per cent of MPs are graduates from comfortable backgrounds. They are not diverse. Brexit has revealed the truth.
The referendum was a sham- I am actually a remainer, but do not like deceit- and the deal is more of the same. I would like to see Britain’s Farage et al do something to reform corrupt incompetent police state Europe, not leave it because it is too close for comfort.
But ignoring the referendum will have very serious political and social implications. Unfortunately honesty is a concept alien to most politicans.
Government launches hunt for extremists across public sector
This article is more than 3 years old
Victory for Theresa May as new counter-extremism strategy will review all public institutions to protect against infiltration
Alan Travis Guardian Home affairs editor
Mon 19 Oct 2015
A major drive is to be launched against “entryist” infiltration of the public sector, charities and businesses by Islamist and other extremists as a key part of the government’s new counter-extremist strategy.
The drive will start with a full review, to report by next year, of all public institutions – including schools, colleges, the civil service and local authorities – to safeguard them against the risk of “entryism” by extremists.
The new strategy says the drive against entryism is a key component of the new “counter-ideology campaign at pace and scale” to combat Islamist and other forms of extremism in Britain.
The proposals were immediately condemned as counterproductive by the Muslim Council of Britain, which denounced their “McCarthyist undertones”.
The hunt for extremists across the public sector follows the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham schools. The Home Office defines entryism as extremist individuals, groups and organisations consciously seeking to gain positions of influence to better enable them to promote their own extremist agendas.
The new strategy says: “The review will clearly set out the risk
posed and advise on measures to guard against entryism, for example by
improving governance, inspection and whistleblowing mechanisms. It will
also engage charities and businesses to help them identify and tackle
It will also include an official investigation into the application of sharia law, new powers to intervene in the activities of faith-based “supplementary schools” and a new “extremism community trigger” to guarantee the police will take seriously complaints from the public about suspected extremists
The inquiry into sharia law will focus on instances where it is applied in a way incompatible with law, such as women being pressured to reconcile with violent husbands despite legal injunctions in place to protect them from violence.
The details of the published strategy show that the tough package first proposed by the home secretary, Theresa May, back in March has survived largely intact despite objections from no fewer than six of her cabinet colleagues.
She has compromised over her initial proposal to require broadcasters to allow television programmes to be vetted for extremist content before they are shown. Instead they will be confronted “whenever extremists have been given a platform to preach harmful messages and falsehoods without critical challenge”.
Existing legislation requiring Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, to immediately suspend television services that broadcast unacceptable extremist material is also to be extended to radio services.
Also missing from the revised strategy is the previous plan to publish a list of “hate preachers”. Instead, the strategy includes previously advertised orders banning extremist groups, closure orders against mosques used by extremists, and “disruption orders” issued against individual, named extremists.
These orders will mean it is set out clearly for the first time which individuals and organisations the government and the public sector should not engage with. Legislation introducing the new extremist banning orders is not expected to be introduced until the new year.
The drive marks a significant departure from the government’s previous counter-terrorism policies as it will criminalise for the first time “extremists who spread hate but do not break existing laws”.
May said: “A new approach is required to tackle this growing threat
and protect people from the damage extremists cause. This strategy
therefore addresses the full spectrum of extremism: violent and
non-violent, Islamist and neo-Nazi – hate and fear in all their forms.
“We will systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology, exposing it for the lie it is. And we will thwart its destructive consequences. We will disrupt all those who seek to spread hate and we will prosecute all those who break the law,” vowed the home secretary.
But the Muslim Council of Britain’s secretary general, Dr Shuja Shafi, warned the strategy will backfire: “It risks being counterproductive by alienating the very people needed to confront al-Qaida or Daesh-related terrorism: British Muslim communities.
“For over 10 years we have had to contend with a misguided ‘conveyor-belt theory’ analysis that conflates terrorism with subjective notions of extremism and Islamic practices. Whether it is in mosques, education or charities, the strategy will reinforce perceptions that all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a ‘compliance’ test to prove our loyalty to this country,” he said.
“We cannot help detecting the McCarthyist undertones in the proposal to create blacklists and exclude and ban people deemed to be extremist. If we are to have such lists at all, they should be determined through a transparent process and subject to judicial oversight to prevent any discrimination and political interference based on pressure from foreign governments.”
Another leading Muslim organisation, the Ramadhan Foundation, said the strategy was a missed opportunity to work in partnership with the Muslim community against terrorism and extremism: “The Prevent strategy has failed, we have told the government that continuing to push ahead when there is such little support from the Muslim community means this latest PR exercise will fail,” said its chief executive, Mohammed Shafiq.
“What we require now is for British Muslims to be engaged without prejudice and a new approach adopted that will see Muslims as equal citizens and not some sort of aliens to be bashed from time to time for political gains,” he added.
Rough Sleepers, Portsmouth April 2019. Shortly after this picture was taken, the Council Warden came to move them on, in spite of the freezing cold day. Polly was warned not to photograph the warden during the performance of his duties. Copyright Polly State
Shoot the Messenger, that’s the British Ruling Elite’s Way of Doing Things- they call it democracy.
In the seven weeks since arrest, Julian Asange has fallen ill and lost a great deal of weight, leading prison authorities to move him to another wing.
WikiLeaks said it had “grave concerns about the state of health of our publisher, Julian Assange, who has been moved to the health ward of Belmarsh prison”.
A spokesman added: “During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight.
“The decision of the prison authorities to move him into the health ward speaks for itself.
“We strongly condemn the refusal by the Swedish court to postpone a hearing on 3rd June on the basis of Mr Assange’s health condition.
Polly State comment: It is interesting that 80 year old British soldiers are being tried for alleged war crimes in Nothern Irealnd when they were teenagers, but Assange publishes evidence of real war crimes and he is the one on trial.
Regarding sex crime allegations, they were rather too convenient. As for the extradition orders from the U.S. it says it all about why Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the first place. What a sick joke, all this talk of British and Western democracies.
Meanwhile, Assange’s every move has been watched, and who he was talking to on the landings. His sentence for bail jumping came four hours after his arrest, getting 50 weeks in Belmarsh rather than an open prison. In those few short hours, the upper class judge quickly concluded that Assange is a narcisist rather than a whistle blower who exposed U.S war crimes, which Britain was, no doubt well aware of, even if not implicated.