18th February 2013
I should think doctors, with a wide range of patients coming in and out of their surgeries every day, are best placed to know exactly how healthy we are. The profession’s overarching body, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, has issued a report saying that obesity is literally a huge problem. We need to do something about it, fast. It suggests that advertising of food which is bad for us is regulated, and taxed in the same as as alcohol and tobacco.
David Cameron has arrived in India today with a 100 strong delegation of British businessmen. Again he is thinking long term. The country will probably be one of the world’s three largest economies by 2030 and he wants Britian to be it’s future economic partner of choice.
There has been a Channel 4 dispatches programme about horsemeat this evening. Apparently a significant supply comes from across the Atlantic. It is thought some 140,000 American racehorses are sent to slughterhouses in Canada and Mexico every year for transport to the European market. Racehorses of course are valuable animals and as such they are given material quantities of veterinary drugs throughout their lives.
Owen Paterson had another set of meetings today with the food industry in his Ministry. Following my note yesterday I am pleased that the one supermarket chief executive willing to talk to Channel 4 news there was the gentleman from Asda. BBC Radio 2 news also recorded some words of their external affairs director in the street after leaving the meeting. I hope he doesn’t mind me saying it but I did think he sounded a tad nervous, as though someone in his organisation had specifically asked him to speak to the media.
James Blitz I feel is a FT journalist who has contacts in our security services. In last Friday’s paper he reported on a speech the Foreign Secretary gave the day before at RUSI. Mr Hague said, in my language, that the Gang are having to exploit local grievances much more nowadays to get people to act extremely in the way they want. No longer do they have the luxury of working without attention over periods of years. Mr Hague also said that Syria has become a magnet for jihadists of every shape and size. We must keep an eye on how that situation develops especially with regard to fanatical young men who have travelled there from Britain, and will one day return.
I do think it would be a pity if Silvio Berlusconi returns to political power in Italian elections at the weekend. I am really surprised Italian voters cannot see he would be no good for them. That paper reports him saying that bribes to secure commercial contacts in developing countries are acceptable. They are not crimes but commissions.
The editorial in that issue makes the point that if anyone attacks Iran militarily, if it continues inexorably down a path of producing a nuclear bomb, it must be America. Should Israel act precipitously it will plunge the region onto dangerous conflict.
In my experience, when the Gang start one of their schemes they will also plant a sleeper of destabilisation for when their hidden workings eventually come to light. For that reason I would say they started their horsemeat shenanigans in the spring of 2011 when the then Meat Hygiene Service warned Defra that the horse passport system was a recipe for disaster. My information comes from today’s FT.
19th February 2013
The south Arfican paralympic athlete has been in court this morning applying for bail. It is not disputed that he shot his girlfriend dead with his own gun when she came over to his home last Thursday evening. The prosecution says it was premediatated murder. The man says in was an accident. All you can hope for in a situation like that is the accused should get a fair trial.
Simon Kuper writes an extremely thoughtful article in last Saturday’s FT with the on line title of, Dangerous Myth of the Role Model Athlete. It links the stories of Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and now Oscar Pistorius with what he calls the sports-industrial complex. Physically talented men, but ordinary in the sense of having the same human failings as us all, became caught up in the machine of story telling and image. That happened to such an extent, I suspect, that they themselves lost sight of what is real and what isn’t. The system has been catastrophic for all three.
The front page of that paper had a banner headline promoting it’s magazine story about the death of Caliofirnian Shane Todd, a man in his twenties. His girlfriend walked into his apartment in Singapore on 24th June 2012 and found him hanging from the bathroom door. My interpretation of the narrative is as follows. Shane went to work in Singapore in December 2010 for a local company called IME, headed by an American gentleman, to develop GaN devices. Initially he thought their application was only for commercial use but as time went by began to realise they could equally have significant military capabilities such as to create a system of high powered radar. In January 2012 he went to America to be trained by a company called Veeco for the project. It seems likely they were in possession of some specific scientific code for development of the systems which they were not prepared to put onto any computer hard drive but were willing to give Shane on a USB stick for him to take back to Singapore. IME’s work was in collaboaration with the Chinese company Huawei Technologies who, not by chance I feel, Today interviewed on their programme last Friday. Shane, I am pretty sure, felt he had been hoodwinked. He was being drawn step by step into a conspiracy, so that he would pick up what was really going on, but could not do anything about. I suspect he concluded he must fight back. He gave in his notice to IME, with the intention of returning to the States. On his last day at IME he copied all his work files onto a portable hard disc. When the police arrived at his apartment on 24th June they took away Shane’s laptops but did not realise the significance of the small case on the side containing the disc. When Shane’s parents walked into the apartment a few days later they took the case back to America with them, enabling a lot of the detail in the FT article to be written. They asked an American pathologist to look at photographs they had taken of Shane’s body. In his view the marks on it were consistenent with Shane having been in a fight, before being killed by strangulation.
In the paper itself an article covers the Russian exploding meteorite story I wrote about on 15th February 2013. It’s headline asks quizzically if it might have been a bird or a plane. It doesn’t say anything about superman. It suggests something might well have exploded high up in the sky with debris falling to earth. The editorial treats the subject seriously. It does seem quite logical the Gang Master would not have done such a thing unless he wanted to flag something up for us. The paper thinks it might be sensible to carry out some proper reearch into just how likely it is an astral body might crash into us. That might stop us worrying unnecessarily. One thing the Gang can’t do anything about is the law of probabilities in our universe.
The same issue goes through the horsemeat revelations. It notes that meat products containing horsemeat have been found in Belgium, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany and Ireland. The latter’s agricultural minister says he is 110% certain that incorrectly labelled horsemeat found there came from Poland.
That edition returned to the story of the apparent Mossad agent who died in an Israeli prison in 2010 which I wrote about on 13th February 2013. The official line is that the man hanged himself in the most secure cell, in the country’s tightest maximum security prison under the gaze of closed circuit cameras. Some Israeli liberals and journalists are saying it is unconscionable that the death is not being investigated, through using that magic phrase state security. Any ordinary citizens involved with a suspicious death like that would have the full weight of the legal process bearing down on them.
Another article in those pages is about the Pope’s resignation. It says his ministry has been to teach other Christians how to manage their lives in a pagan society.
Bearing in mind the long running territorial dispute over Kashmir Mr Cameron, in my view, has made it plain he wants to be friends with both Pakistan and India: at Chequers with the Pakistani President a fortnight ago and in Delhi with the Indian prime minister now. One area that he does want to concentrate on, according to a BBC webpage today, is cyber security cooperation between India and the UK.
There is a BBC webpage up this morning saying it is possible the universe is inherently unstable and in a billion years from now a new one might open up within our present cosmos, and replace it. That is completely out of my league. I shall not be commenting further!
In doing work for a client this morning I had to ring a surveying firm in Leeds. It could have been anticipated I would be doing that. Unusually the phone was not answered immediately. I had a short recorded welcoming message before being put through. In my view the lady I spoke to was a Gang helper. My speculation is that my number had already been programmed into the system and when I rang my call was diverted through to a particular extension. I imagine the same thing might have happened when Gordon Brown’s office thought it was ringing Rupert Murdoch as I refer to in chapter 9 of my book.
From a report on Today this morning it seems there is a jihadist group in Northern Nigeria who wish to do exactly as their Gang mentors signal. Last March they captured a Briton and an Italian in the country who subsequently died. In December is was a Frenchman. Now, in a clinical raid, they entered the housing compound of a large Lebanese construction and engineering company and took away seven foreign workers including one British man.
In the run up to the Olympics the Met set up an economic crime unit. As a result of intelligence gained from that, I understand, they have just issued a report saying there should be legally enforceable rules about ticket fraud. I guess, if you have been duped by a ticket website, you are reluctant to report it but the police estimate the criminals make £40 million a year out of tricking us.
Thanks to Today this morning I now know a lot more about the Mossad spy story. He was an Australian Israeli and accused of leaking secrets to the Australians. He was jailed at the beginning of 2010 in secret under a disguised identity. He was just about to agree a plea bargain, involving him spending a long time in gaol, when he was found dead.
Another piece on the programme was about the charity Public Concern at Work who are to set up a working group, comprising respectable people from relevant walks of life already in place, to report to the government in due course how whistle blowing can be made easier for concerned members of the public. We d0 have a protective law, introduced by a MP’s private member’s bill in 1998 but from recent relevations we need to do more if we can.
The Director General of Business Tax at HMRC was also a contributor during the broadcast. He says his staff are now getting down to the hard core of tax avoidance scheme promoters. They are a tough bunch and his department will have to up it’s game to finally deal with them. Otherwise the war of attrition will go on for ever. That’s the Gang for you.
As I have remarked before I do feel the Gang like to prepare their schemes for multi-faceted reasons. I also suspect the Gang Master, besides liking expensive paintings as referred to in my diary note of 17th October 2012, might have a penchant for polished diamonds. Perhaps he makes them into gaudy ornaments which he places around his home. Yesterday evening eight men wearing fake uniforms, and driving two vehicles with blue flashing lights looking like police cars, cut a hole in the perimeter fence at Brussels airport and drove to a parked Swissair plane on the tarmac about to take off for Zurich. Shortly before it had been loaded with diamonds, polished and rough cut I think, by the Brinks security firm. In five minutes the men took the packages they wanted and departed the airport the way they had entered. Estimates of the value of their haul range from $50 to $470 million.
I recall that Brinks-MAT were the security firm who had gold, diamonds and cash, valued at £26 million, stolen from their warehouse within the boundary of Heathrow Airport in 1983. Last year I had a conversation with an honest person in the pub trade. He said he had a loose acquaintence who he believes was deeply involved in the Brinks-MAT robbery. Surprisingly to him the person seemed a nice man.
Then another well planned heist involving transportation of lightweight fortune was the Great Train Robbery of 1963. There I believe I had a oblique connection as I describe in chapter 1 of my book.
General John Allen was due to become Nato’s supreme commander in Europe after finishing his term as commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan. However he has been to see his President today and asked to retire. Mr Obama has accepted saying that the request was due to health issues within the general’s family.
20th February 2013
I have started to get trouble with the top waist button on my trousers. Somebody is yanking on them, loosening the thread and then it is only a short time before they fall off and you have to sew the button back on. I notice immediately when I put a clean pair of trousers on whether the button is suddenly loose. People really should have more productive ways of spending their time.
Although I do not think it was by any means the worst British atrocity in the period the one remembered is the Amritsar massacre of 1919 when India was part of our Empire. We had banned public meetings but local families still held one in some public gardens. A general was sent to disperse the crowds. Without warning he blocked the exits and ordered his men to open fire. It only stopped when they ran out of ammunition. Hundreds were killed. Mr Cameron went to the Amritsar memorial today to show his respects.
As this story is on the BBC website today I shall relate it. There was an explosion yesterday, caused by a suspected gas leak, in a shopping district of Kansa City, Missouri. At least 14 people have been hurt, some critically.
It has always been the same. It will never change. It is the easiest thing in the world to pick on people unfairly. To make them feel down when they have done absolutely nothing wrong at all. I would call it gang culture.
Twice recipient of the Man Booker Prize for her novels on British monarchy centuries ago, Hilary Mantel gave a lecture on her subject at the British Museum on 4th February, sixteen days ago. No doubt for topicality, and in passing, she said that the Duchess of Cambridge might be looked at by some as a mannequin whose sole purpose is to deliver an heir to the throne. Thanks to yesterday’s edition of Today I have listened to extracts of her speech. In my view it was thoughful, sympathetic and respectful towards Kate. The difficulty however, through neither ladies’ fault, was that Kate had a public engagement yesterday, her first this year, at a London charity. That gave the Daily Mail the opportunity to splash a front page headline to coincide with her outing. It called Ms Mantel’s words astonishing and venomous. If you were walking past a newstand yesterday to work and saw the paper, you might well have been induced to buy it when normally you would not. And that, irrespective of what two faced people might tell you, is what it is all about; money, money, money.
Yesterday evening some overhead power lines for the East Cost main railway line unexpectedly came down at St Neotts, Cambridgeshire. The 11.30 train from Kings Cross to Leeds remained at the platform for four hours before a coach was found to take some passengers to Peterborough where they could resume their journey. However as they were being driven up the motorway the coach suddendly careered through the central reservation. Fortunately no one was hurt. There are two ways you can look at that it seems to me. Either it did not involve you so you can get on with your life as normal without ever thinking about it again. Or you do find it concerning and you would like to do something to help if you could. Random Gang events can happen to any one of us. People could have been killed last night.
Beating the Gang I feel is all about having really good lines of communication open. I was interested therefore to hear a piece on Today this morning before 7am. There are 23 official languages in the EU which means by neccessity that the nuances of expression of your own tounge become lost in Brussels speak. I don’t think there is anything you can do about it. At least apparently European officials know what they mean by some of their strange phrases even if the rest of us don’t.
The BBC’s Rome correspondent, Alan Johnson, had an enlightening piece on that programme about Silvio Berlusconi. Whatever it is about the gentleman it works for a lot of Italians. Alan says he dosn’t bother with political campaigning, he just buffoons himself through television studios which viewers find fun. Many Italians are disaffected against politicians so at least he is refreshing. You get what you see. The fact that he tells voters what they want to hear, however unachievable it is, probably helps as well.
Life is a complicated business. Things unfortunately are never entirely straightforward. Some of this morning’s edition was asking whether a culture of fear is growing up in the police about talking to journalists. It seems the Commander of Ealing police and two other officers have recently been arrested for leaking information to the media for no payment in relation to plebgate inquires. The presumption I imagine is that they thought they were acting in the public interest. 107 people have now been arrested under operations Weeting and Elevedon of which 57 are journalists.
The auction of 4G facilities by the government to mobile phone companies today did not make as much money as forecast by the Office of Budget Responsibility. Today asked the downbeat sounding Conservative MP for Woking to comment. His take is that the public sector will not reduce it’s spending whilst the private sector will not pay more taxes, or no doubt inflated prices for publicly provided new technology. That means we have a long term structural problem. I hope he is not right. On a more cheerful note, figures out this morning show that UK unemployment has fallen again. As the economy contacted over the same period it is a puzzle which I don’t think anyone has a convincing answer for.
Andrew Mitchell, of plebgate fame, opinions in today’s FT that Mr Cameron’s approach to Europe is one of tough love, of which he approves. He says that the French governing Socialist Party is very anti-British at the moment as are leading political figures in Poland. He puts forward practical suggestions on how we could have a more positive impact on our European neighbours.
On the same page is an article suggesting that China needs to be a bit more hardball with North Korea. The interpretation is that they do have a parent-child relationship, with China wanting stability at all costs, as some form of buffer against the rest of the region. North Korea quite realise that and play their hand for all it is worth. Their recent nuclear test was no more than a tantrum.
I do believe we live in a mirrored world. That which we can easily observe if we are prepared to look but behind the screen occur activities of which we only see the results. We need therefore to work out interpretations for what does seep out into the open. In our physical world no one can be completely invisible. So where do some bad people reside? In Iran I would say it is The Revolutionary Guards and in China the People’s Liberation Army. In America, Britain and Israel I suspect it is parts of the CIA, MI5 and Mossad. I wish all those last three services were more accountable and transparent than they are.
Both Newsnight last night and the FT today have been pointing the finger at the PLA as far a cyber hacking is concerned. The FT suggests that the intensity of Chinese computer espionage attacks doubled during last year. But second in the pecking order are those from America, then those originating in Russia. Not by coincidence in my view it is a private sector sector firm, Madiant, who believe they have established that recent cyber attacks in America have come from a single building in Shangai occupied by the PLA. In 2010 it was a Russian private sector firm, Kaperski Lab, who precipitated America into admitting it always knew about the Stuxnet virus, as I relate in chaper 11 of my book. Today’s FT editorial compares our point in human history with the holding of nuclear weapons at the start of the cold war in 1947. To stop things getting out of control we need to talk not fight. That is the only way we will expose those people in the shadows.
Chris Huhne and his former wife have had a rough time recently. Mr Huhne, it seems to me, made a very bad error of judgement in March 2003 and he has been paying for it ever since. His former wife feels she has been wronged. If she was hoping the legal process would give her closure as soon as possible that hope was shattered today. The jury enlisted to decide whether she willingly helped Mr Huhne pervert the course of justice could not agree. She will have to be tried again. The judge has commented that the jury appeared to have a fundamental deficit in understanding of their role. He said he had never seen such a thing in 30 years of experience. They appeared to think they could introduce there own evidence in reaching a verdict and were not willing to decide what reasonable might mean. You will know what I think.
If you are a registered voter then you could randomly receive a letter at any time from the Jury Central Summoning Bureau of HM Courts and Tribunals Service. However, I feel, if Gang helpers work in that office the selection might not be quite so non selective as the rest of us imagine. In chapter five of my book I relate how a member of my family circle was called for jury service in 2011. The other 11 people in the room with her had a different opinion about what she saw as plain. She found that a deeply upsetting and destabilising experience.
In January 2012 I read an article in the FT by a professor of journalism at Kingston University who has since moved onto more political things. He mentioned the Stephen Lawrence and Barry George murder trials (I briefly go through the history of the latter in chapter 6 of my book). He concludes that there should be more academic research into the workings of our jury system in this country. I thoroughly agree with him.
21st February 2013
If you live in a Gang controlled environment it is not very nice. Everyone just does as they are told. Equally in that situation the Gang do exactly what they want. For their own ends I believe the Gang wish the South African paralymic athlete to be convicted of premeditated murder, whether he is guilty of that crime or not. It would be unlikely to happen however if the lead policeman is tainted, and could be discredited, by past misdeeds.
Today spoke to a South African journalist this morning whose team were yesterday looking into the lead policeman’s background. They found media reports from 2011 alleging he had been drinking on duty and whilst in that state, with colleagues shot randomly at a vehicle when pursuing a suspect trying to stop it. It was thought that could constitute attempted murder by the policeman. No charges were ever brought against him however, or if they were they were dropped. The journalists went through yesterday to the public prosecutor’s office for comment. Then, also yesterday, the policeman gave a poor account of himself in court under sharp questioning from the defence counsel. Later in the day the journalists were informed that attempted murder charges against the policeman were reinstated on 4th February 2013. I do not believe that. It is too much of a coincidence. Today the detective has been removed from the police inquiry into the sportman’s shots. If I am right about that the public prosecution official and the policeman have been treated like inaminate pawns. The Gang do not look upon them as human. Unless we all do our bit to resist their influnce such things could happen to any one of us.
David Cameron was back home from India this morning. Whether directly related to the trip is speculation but I think he feels he would like our future military influence in the world to be as strong as possible. He has said he can see no objection in principle to spending some of our aid budget equalling 0.7% of national income, which will not be cut, transfered to the Ministry of Defence for peacekeeping and security purposes in fragile states.
I finished writing my book on 30th July 2012. On 2nd August Vladimir Putin visited London and went to the Olympics with David Cameron. I did not publish my diary note but I think Mr Cameron was hoping he might be able to persuade the Russian leader to act proactively over Syria. As far as I could see nothing positive came of Mr Putin’s interest in coming to London. However, although I will never know and I am not sure I want to anyway, I hope he may have read a translation of my diary note about his country dated 15th February 2013.
Yesterday, after a meeting in Moscow with the Arab League and some Arab foreign ministers, the Russian foreign minister announced he and the General Secretay of the League want to establish direct discussions between the Syrian government and the opposition. The Syrian National Coalition are just starting a two day meeting in Cairo to see how they want to react to the proposal.
This morning a massive car bomb went off in the Mazraa neighbourhood of Damascus killing at least 42 people. The explosion was near the ruling Ba’ath party offices and the Russian embassy.
I do hope the Russian leadership will be able to see through the fog and do the right thing, not only for innocent followers of the Syrian regime but for all the peaceful citizens of the countries in the region as well. That would not be easy. The Gang would fight them all the way. But it can be done.
The Gang will target whoever thay wish. Often that will be people in the public eye such as television presenters, like Jill Dando who I refer to in chapter 6 of my book. Then there was a horrible BBC Newsbeat webpage published this morning about one of the hosts of the Countryfile television programme until 2008. He believes that when he was drinking in a pub in Stow on the Wold with his family and friends last week someone spiked his drink with an hallucinatory drug. The effect kicked in afer he got home. He tried to jump out of a window. His wife and friends had the good sense to lock him in a room whilst they waited for an ambualance to arrive. Through pure good fortune he came to no harm. I hardly need point out such a thing could happen to anyone who consumes drinks in public places.
For the last couple of mornings Today have been highlighting the case of three young Britons on holiday in Dubai whose vehicle was stopped by police last July with some form of drug in it’s passenger compartment. They have been in custody ever since and have only just been charged. Over that period they have been very badly tortured. A strange story.
There was a lovely sounding, completely unaffected and calm lady on the programme speaking about her problems with Camarthenshire County Council. Without any rancour she explained why she feels the workings of the council should be open to public scrutiny. She has been writing a blog on the subject since 2009. In 2011 she tried to film a council meeting using her mobile phone. The police were called, she was handcuffed and spent some time in a cell before being released. She sued the council leader for libel who then cross sued her, with his council paying his legal fees. The court case finished yesterday with the verdict due later. She has obviously been busy over the last couple of weeks but says she will get back to her blogging as soon as possible.
Towards the end of the edition was a quite technical discussion, I thought, on the aspect of exemplary or punative damages as recommended by the Leveson report. They would cover the position, for example, where a newspaper breaches an individual’s privacy without proper reason. What I took from it was that the Leveson discussions between the parties are not going well. The press decided they wanted to leak to the BBC some confidential legal advice they had received which they thought helpful to their case. Perhaps it is time for those who are supposed to be in charge, our politicians, to do what they think is the right thing.
The three British born men of Asian heritage who were arrested in 2011 under our terrorism laws were today found guilty by jurors at Woolwich Crown Court. Apparently they hoped to carry out an atrocity to rival 9/11. From watching Newsnight tonight I understand the outcome is looked upon as a good success for MI5.
22nd February 2013
I mentioned the other day that I am finding it difficult to get my story out. However I always try to form some sort of strategy and I have one now with which I am progressing. But I would feel uncomfortable telling you what it is. The most difficult thing for me when I start a project is that it leads to other people becoming targeted, often at random and whom I don’t know. Only I, and a few other people, can see it happening. It is so, so easy to feel guilty when all you want to do is a bit of good.
When I first started speaking to the outside world about this story one of the first things I noticed was that my local paper started a campaign about the safety of the main road that runs through my village. In subsequent times at least three people died in accidents within a few miles of where I live. Then in the spring of last year I was looking for a publisher for my book. It was not rocket science to see I would probably ask a small company from the north of Scotland with whom I was in contact at the time. In the fullness of time I did. Over the period of a few weeks I noticed the BBC webpages reporting an unusual spate of accidents on the A9 trunk road running between Perth and Inverness.
There is a BBC webpage up this morning about the closure of a prayer room at City University London used by muslim students for Friday prayers. It seems that in the past sermons there might have preached a radical form of faith. I don’t think the situation now is nearly so bad but the university authorities wish to see a prior transcript of the sermons. The students say that is against their right of free speech. A gentleman from the Quilliam Foundation suggests the solution is for both sides to keep calm heads, not to fall out and talk it through so a compromise can be reached which is acceptable to both sides.
A man has been found guilty today of murdering and decapitating an English lady retired abroad there, in a Tenerife supermarket in May 2011. He will serve his term in a psychiatric unit. I write about the man in Chapter 5 of my book and also in a fax I sent to the Prime Minister on 23rd July 2011, reproduced as appendix 11/8.
The Olympic blade runner gentleman has been granted bail today whilst waiting for his trial to start. He must surrender his passport. I noticed that the magistrate when reading out his decision said he found it strange his girlfriend did not shout out when he shot her through the toilet door. I have no wish to prejudge the matter at all but I have decided I do wish to make a couple of comments. I feel it significant, if reports are true, that a gun belonging to a friend accidentially went off when the athlete was examining it in a restaurant recently. It was only pure chance that no one was hurt. I also understand the man always slept with his gun on his bedside table. It seems quite likely he may have come under considerable pressure in recent times of which the restaurant incident was an example. If you had been studying him you might have noticed how twitchy he had become. Ripe for the picking. The aspects of the night in question which should be considered, it seems to me, are; how did the apartment window become open, what made the man wake up, why did he immediately think a thief would have shut himself in his toilet, why was his girlfriend locked in the toilet, why did she not shout out after the first of his four shots.
On Today this morning Mike Thomson had a piece recorded in South Sudan which gained it’s indepencence two years ago. We give it £100 million of foreign aid every year. It is a dangerous place ruled by local gangs. If they don’t like you or you challenge their authority you get shot. Not surprisingly people tend to keep their heads down. Mike spoke to a senior government official but it was on the condition that their converstaion was off the record. The man said that if he, or even a minister, spoke openly about the troubles thugs could come and kill them at any time.
I have not written about it before and I not going to speculate. However it is totally bizarre that police forces all over the country had for decades been keeping body parts of corpses without informing relatives of the deceased. Details emerged last May of almost 500 instances uncovered by an audit carried out by ACPO. A lady who had her dead baby’s brain kept, was on Today this morning.
There was an author on the programme saying that guerilla warfare is as old as mankind itself. Today our culture refers to people using hit and run tactics as terrorists. That seems to put them on a bit of a pedestal it seems to me. They are misguided, and often mentally unstable, silly people.
23rd February 2013
A BBC webpage reports today that the Pope resigned because he he was told about a group of Vatican priests who were being blackmailed for reasons of their sexual orientataion. A spokesman has reacted angrily. He says whoever has money, sex and power at the forefront of their minds sees the world through those parameters. I should think the Mafia wish the Gang would go away as much as anyone else.
I have wondered what is happening to product, tainted with horsemeat. It is after all still good nutritious food which should not be wasted. I see a churchman and a senior politician in Germany say it should be given to the poor.
Yesterday Britain lost it’s AAA credit rating from the Moody’s agency. Mr Osborne did not whine about that. He said it made him more determined to do the right thing by the country. Labour’s job is to oppose of course. It is not difficult to say the government should be increasing our debt so we can grow ourselves out of trouble. Growth is undoubtedly the key, but how best to achieve it. I suspect borrowing more would deal with the effect of our malaise rather than the cause. What we need is for the private sector to have the confidence to borrow to expand their individual businesses. That would create jobs for us and foreign currency for the country through their exports. However everything the Gang does destroys that confidence. To overcome their influence is the long term project.
The biggest Sikh community in Britain, with the largest temple, is in the Southall area of west London. The second largest is in Gravesend in Kent. Yesterday a 13 year girl on a skiing trip with her Sikh school from Hayes fell 16 feet from the transportation chair she was sitting in to the snow below her. She was pronounced dead on the way to hospital.
I have now read Wednesday’s FT, printed two days before the death of the girl. It seems as though a Cameron aid who spoke to the paper wished to put a political slant on his boss’s visit to Amritsar. The appropriate article says Britain has a 800,000 strong Sikh community many in marginal seats for the Tories. It also looks to me as if the Prime Minister has been set up through no fault of his own.
Apparently the meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Cairo at the moment has not gone as well as some hoped. Even though it’s leader stretched out a conciliatory hand three weeks ago it seems he has either been overruled or persuaded to change his position. He will now not be going to Washington nor Moscow for peace talks which had been pencilled in. I think too many of his colleagues are too upset with Russia. In that case then it is vitally important Russia itself does not get upset. Too many innocent people have died already for that. I understand there is a meeting in Rome on Thursday of the Friends of Syria quartet comprising Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. In my view before then Moscow should find out what the good people in the SNC feel they need from Moscow to outmanouvre the less positive elements of their coalition. I feel, if they did that, Russia would gain an enormous amount of political capital in western governments.
Simon Kuper’s article in the FT Magazine last weekend was headed, Carry on Panicking. It is something he feels the popular press, especially the Dail Mail, encourage us to do. In the 60’s the fightening bogeymen were Mods and Rockers, then it was football hooligans, then it was Islamist fundamentalists and terrorists. Chapter 12 of my book suggests that in the future the Gang Master would like it to be our health and the weather.
24th February 2013
A BBC webpage today says military operations by French and Chadadian forces in northern Mali are reaching their final stages. Apparantly America is moving drones to the region to be used for reconnaissance purposes. They will be based in Niger.
The Radio 4 newspapers review this morning tells me that Lord Ashcroft, benefactor and former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, has told friends he does not wish to make any financial contributions to the Conservative Party for their 2015 election campaign.
It would be nice to think that art is a force for beneficial change. I suspect the Oscar nomination committe think that as this year two candidates for best documentary are the Palestinian, Five Broken Cameras and the Israeli, The Gatekeepers, as mentioned on yesterday’s PM programme. Perhaps the filmakers feel the politicians are paralysed in some way and they need to fill the gap. The Gatekeepers interviews the six living former heads of the Israeli internal intelligence agency, Shin Bet. Those participants I understand are quite open. The director of the film suggests the same exercise could be carried out for MI5. I thoroughly agree with that.
A BBC webpage reported yesterday that Microsoft offices have just suffered an attack from computer hackers. Earlier in the week Apple said the same thing and last week it was Facebook. Facebook thought their incursion came from China.
I think it possible Europe’s horemeat scare had prompted the Americans to tighten up audits of various aspects of their national interests, food related and otherwise. The day before yesterday it was announced that the military had grounded it’s fleet of 51 F-35 fighter jets, due to the discovery of a cracked blade within an engine of one of the aircraft. Then yesterday we were told that six, decades old underground storage tanks holding liquid waste from making nuclear weapons are leaking in Washinton State. Fortunately the site is in a remote location.
The former executive editor of the News of the World has just been informed, after 20 months of waiting to know, that he will not be charged under phone hacking investigations. He was on Today yesterday and makes the point about 60 of his colleagues are still on bail under those inquiries. He suggests there should be a rule that the police and prosecution authorities be allowed no longer than one year to decide whether they wish to procede against a suspect.