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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.

Charles Close

Westminster, home of British Democracy. Image Robert Cook

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

The Investigatory Powers Act was passed on Thursday. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

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’

A new report has revealed that 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 revealed that police officers in the UK ask for permission to monitor use of emails, text messages and internet searches once every two minutes ( Getty )

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

www.rt.com/uk

www.rt.com/uk/421542-theory-poison-sailsbury-skripal

Published time: 16 Mar, 2018 17:54 Edited time: 17 Mar, 2018 08:08 Get short URL

Who actually poisoned the Skripals? These are some of the top theories

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.”

Stolen Novichok 

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

Class or race war- Discuss?

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

Assange arrest final step in character assassination campaign – Slavoj Zizek

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.

www.rt.com/news/456237-julian-assange-arrest-slavoj-zizek

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.

Supporters of Julian Assange have regularly been spotted outside the Ecuadorian embassy (Image: PA)

FBI Director Hoover’s Dirty Files: Excerpt From Ronald Kessler’s ‘The Secrets of the FBI’

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 Kessler

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.

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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 Poulsen

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.

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The police blocked renewal of y press card in 2015 and are currently trying to have me sectioned. I am not allowed to say why. This is police state Britain. Robert Cook
The UK police have the right to say who can and cannot have a press card in this country. Should that not worry you? This is on the reverse side of my last press card. I have been looking into Britain’s corrupt police since 2008. The police say I am paranoid. They don’t have to offer any evidence in this fake democracy. They are the guardians of the new order, with large numbers of them monitoring computer screens and bugging conversations in the name of fighting sex, race and terrorist crimes.

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.

Card board cut out cop stuck on a supermrket window in Milton Keynes. Read the signs. Britain is a police state, playing on peoples’ fears, especially women’s. Polly State. Contact pollystate@btinternet.com

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 entryist behaviour.”

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”.

Julian Assange standing outside the Embassy of Ecuador (Image: PA)

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.