25th February 2013
You can see the law and order position in Manchester is difficult. Not as bad as it ever was in Northern Ireland but there are elements of that. The stronger the Gang become in a particular community in my view, in this case the criminal fraternity within Manchester, the more their values become the norm. They feel beholden to nobody. Jail has no fear for them as they are in charge there. Human life is disposable.
Yesterday two police officers stopped a car for speeding in Manchester. As they walked over, it reversed into them and drove off. Both officers are in hospital although, thankfully, not with life threatening injuries. Two men were later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
John Kerry left America yesterday for his first trip abroad in his new post. In 11 days he will visit the cities of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha. It is a feather in Mr Cameron’s cap, I feel, that Mr Kerry has chosen London for his first stop. After his talks with Mr Hague Mr Kerry urged the Syrian Opposition Council to attend Thursday’s Rome talks. He will meet the Russian foreign minister and some Syrian opposition members in Berlin tomorrow.
I had a pre-arranged meeting during the day yesterday. On departure I became slightly delayed by checking something up by the garage. A man on a bicycle went past the front gate. Then driving up the road I remembered I had not got something I wanted. Coming back I passed two separate groups walking eastwards towards my house and when I got there could see another group approaching from the other direction. They reminded me of a swarm of locusts. When I returned later I wondered what they might have been up to but everything seemed normal and in place. It was not until the evening that I discovered the Sky signal to my bedroom television was absent. Again though no physical changes at all apparent to the eye. I will look further into it when I have the time.
A BBC webpage this morning reports that inspectors have intercepted a consignment of horsemeat contaminated meatballs, labelled as containing beef and pork, set for sale in the Czech Republic. The Czech Veterinary Administration has also said that horsemeat has been found in beef burgers imported from Poland. There now seems to be consensus on the continent that the horsemeat saga is a European problem and, as such, needs pan-European action to deal with it.
I watched Channel 4 news last Thursday when a lady working in the Liberal Democratic Party was interviewed saying that several years ago she visited the home of a former chief executive of the Party with another lady. Whilst there he physically groped and propositioned her. The programme spoke to several other women who related similar stories from 2003 onwards. The man was seen as extremely powerful within the Party but because of the circulating rumours he was spoken to by Nick Clegg’s chief of staff in 2008 warning him that if the allegations were true they were unacceptable. The man denied the charges then, as he does today. Mr Clegg gave an interview this morning when he pointed out that last Thurday was the first time that any recordable complaints against the man had been made. Now they have, two formal investigations will be carried out. One into the complaints themselves and the second, independently chaired, into the history of the affair. The deputy prime minister says he recognises that the two named women have finally spoken publicly out of frustration that nothing was done in the past.
However, as always with these things I am afraid, there is a political element. It is three days to the Eastleigh by-election. Then I heard Nick Robinson on Today this morning say some senior Libe Dems, including Nick Clegg himself I think, feel the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph in particular do not like them very much and are therefore pushing the story for all they are worth.
In exactly the same political way, in my view, the leader of the Scottish Catholic Church has today resigned meaning no one from our island will be voting for a new pope in a week or so’s time. He was retiring anyway next month, due to outstanding rumours I expect from the 1980’s of his inappropriate behaviour. However three priests and one former priest have now made formal complaints, making his position untenable. Just like the hearing in South Africa last week it is said the charges were made in the week before the Pope resigned. I wonder.
The new trial of the former wife of Chris Huhne started this morning with the same judge. The fact that it has followed on so quickly and smoothly from last week makes me think that the outcome then might not have been entirely unexpected to the authorities. Provided they had a signed order from the Home Secretary I believe I am correct in saying MI5 could have been listening to conversations in the jury room. It might also help to explain the judge’s remarks last week, who will not have know, but could have worked out I expect from what was going on around him.
Last Friday’s FT reports comments by the chief executive of Asda showing that he is taking the horsemeat story seriously. He said a significant adulteration issue existed and his company would leave no stone unturned to restore consumer confidence.
The weekend Cypriot presidential election was comfortably won by the centre-right candidate over his Communist backed opponent. The victor says he wants to reach agreement with the EU to lead his country out of it’s economic crisis. It would also be nice if he could stretch a hand of friendship to the Turkish administered residents of the island physically separated from their Greek brethren since 1974.
Today’s FT informs me Angela Merkel is visiting Turkey today, primarily in relation to Syria I suspect. However she has also said she supports Turkey joining the EU in due course, even though apparantly the suggestion does not have majority public support in either country. The article says the main opponents against a Turkish accession are France and Greek Cyprus.
26th February 2013
I heard on the radio at lunchtime that the new Independent Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire has suspended his acting chief constable who would otherwise have been in post for a year until the end of March. It has happened because potential conduct matters are being looked into. I do not know if it is related but my diary note of 29th January 2013 records that Lincolnshire Police are now the only service outsourcing work to the security firm G4S.
Iran is meeting today in Kazakhstan with the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany to discuss it’s nuclear programme. With Iran’s presidential election come up in June nobody expects any breakthrough. An early piece on Today this morning also made the point that whatever happens away from home it will be Ayatollah Khamenei who makes the decisions.
I do not know how it compares with other countries but the Alzheimer’s Society say 80% of people in our care homes suffer from dementia or severe memory loss. The chief executive of the charity said on the proramme that those 300,000 odd citizens are not looked after as well as they might be.
Another item in that broadcast was an interview with the EU Commissioner for Taxation. Next year 11 EU countries including Germany, France and Italy intend to introduce a Tobin tax to raise £30 billion annually. All share and bond transactions between financial institutions within their juridictions will have a 0.1% levy added (£10 for a £10,000 deal), and 0.01% for derivitave trades. Economist Evan Davis was asking the questions. It was plain he was sceptical that the proposal was either fair or feasible.
There was another massive bomb blast in Damascus, in the al-Qaboun neighbourhood, yesterday evening. I saw it reported yesterday that John Kerry rang the president of the Syrian Opposition Council after his talks with William Hague yesterday to ask him to reconsider his decision not to attend Thursday’s Rome talks. The President announced on his Facebook page last night that he would now go in view of America and Britain offering guarantees to alleviate the suffering of Syrian people. I understand from a video clip by the BBC’s Jim Muir that the American vice-president also spoke to the President yesterday. Jim says the Russian foreign minister is extremely unhappy about that new development.
A grouping in Italy needs majorities in both the lower house and Senate in order to govern. By a quirk of fate, and just like our own election in 2010, the popular vote is not conclusive. The centre-left have won the lower house by less than 1% and the centre-right the senate by the same miniscule margin. After 15 months of Mario Monti’s technocrat government, acclaimed by his European partners and the financial markets, he has been given the heave-ho gaining only 10% of the vote. 25% of Italians have given their hearts to the comedian and nascent politician Beppe Grillo, even though he calls for a plague on all his fellow politicians’ houses. An interesting development. It would be nice to think the players, including Silvio Berlusconi, will raise their game and cooperate with each other as the voters, unintentionally, have asked for. We shall see.
Egypt I feel is a crucial country both for the Middle East peace process and the Syrian civil war. I understand tourist income there dropped 30% to $6.8 billion in 2011 due to their unrest. Then last month the Tourism Minister announded a 17% rise in tourist numbers. The last thing they want at the moment is the pressure of a tourist accident. I was not particularly surprised therefore to hear this morning that there has been a tourist hot air balloon crash at Luxor. A gas cylinder exploded when the craft was 1000 feet up. Apparently the pilot and one Scottish man have survived by jumping out of the basket before it became engulfed in flames. The other 19 occupants perished including Hong Kong, British, French and Japanese citizens.
A top ten most popular BBC webpage was up this morning about the Russian meteor on 15th February about which I wrote in my diary the same day. The page says a team of Colombian astronomers have worked out the trajectory of the object from camera footage taken. Apparantly Nasa has estimated it’s size as between 7,000 and 10,000 tonnes with it’s width being about 17 metres. I would like a few more details as to how those figures were calculated.
Today’s FT relates that a 30 year old Palestinian man with the first name of Arafat, arrested last week for throwing rocks and a firebomb at Israeli settlers and soldiers, died sometime after, in an Israeli jail, in disputed circumstances. That sparked Palestinian riots over the weekend. Apparently there are currently some 4,700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli goals.
The paper also says that last week the EU approved plans for us to send security and civilian-military trainers to assist the Syrian rebels.
After my note earlier today mentioning Ayatollah Khamenei I have read an article in that issue written by a gentleman who was in the Iranian government for almost 30 years. He notes that President Obama’s strategy is very much carrot and stick with the stick, I imagine, being strong ecomomic sanctions which I think are having a significant detrimental effect on the living conditions of everyday people. The author suggests that approach will not work with the supreme leader. It is probably just the way he is but it seems he does not think it right to succumb to pressure. Being a religious man perhaps his attitude might be, if you are respectful, open and considerate towards me I will be quite willing to respond in kind to you.
A well argued editorial appears there, in my view, on Syria. It says by all means talk to get a negotiated outcome but do not let that drag on for too long. The west has the ability to transform the opposition if it wants. We should let it be known that will happen unless people see sense. Another reason for a time limited approach is because the jihadists in Syria are becoming stronger and more embedded all the time. They will remain whoever wins the struggle on the ground.
27th February 2013
Owen Paterson and Philip Clarke, the head of Tesco, will be speaking at the NFU conference in Birmingham today, in support of British farmers. To coincide with that I heard Mr Clarke interviewed on Today this morning and watched a video clip of him on a BBC webpage. I do not wish to be disrepectful of our politicians at all but it was so refreshing to hear someone speak plainly and just say how it is. Mr Clarke, through the Tesco clubcard, will know exactly how his customers have shopped over the last few weeks. His key word was trust. Tesco have lost trust in their supply chain. As a responsible company they will sort that out. More important though to Mr Clarke is the trust his shoppers put in Tesco. He will not run a successful company without it. He made it plain he values that very highly and will do all in his power not to let it slip further. I suspect he might have had it in his mind that it was only a Tesco beef product in which 29% of horsemeat was found. Almost as though someone was having a bit of a giggle at him.
In similar vein I read a BBC webpage this morning that some people in America are suing Belgian-Brazilian company Anheuser-Busch, the largest brewer in the world producing Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks, with watering down it’s own beer. The information for the action has come from former employees, no doubt working on the production floor. I have little doubt it will be shown to be true. If only the senior management had know. There is now likely to be a major breakdown of confidence in their products.
Then on what politicians say I heard the Conservative MP for Sevenoaks speak on the World at One today about the ebarrassments the Liberal Democratic leadership currently feel. It was quite a valid point to make that part of their present difficulty arises because they were not completely transparent at the start of their sexual harassment story last week. Nevertheless, I feel, exactly the same criticism could be made of his own party in what I imagine Mr Mitchell was encouraged to say when the plebgate story blew up. In my view the telling of truth at all times should be a powerful force in our society.
There is a green near where I live which for a couple of years now has had horses tethered to stakes, providing circular grazing areas. I had always assumed that was with the agreement of the local council£ However after reading last Saturday’s FT investigation into wild horses in this country I realise that probably isn’t the case. The National farmers Union estimate there are 3000 unwanted nags out on public spaces. They can cause distress, amd sometimes physical harm, to a local community. However it is a complicated and costly, about £1500, job to remove one animal involving ownership notices, vets fees and horse boxes. Some police forces and local authoriries are simply not interested in getting involved.
And then there is the Gang angle. Anything we feel emotional about they naturally become excited by. Very easy for them to start playing their silly games. Members of the traveller community look upon horses as status symbols, even grazing on public land. Some men and women I suspect, like riding horses because it makes them feel in control.
I am not sure if these remarks were in the original Channel 4 News report last week but if they were they were also reproduced in that FT edition. One of the two leading ladies now complaining about sexual harrassment by the Liberal peer, when she first went to her party leadership about it, was told no other women wanted to take it further. But I want to take it further she said. Whence the reply came back, that’s a shame because no other women want to take it further. That is exactly how I feel on telling you about my Gang story.
Another article there notes that some Oscar nominated films this year present a particularly glamorised and idealistic view of people who work for the CIA, portraying them as military and police heroes. I mentioned my view on the current CIA in my diary note of 20th February 2013.
My feelings about two nice ladies, the Duchess of Cambridge and Hilary Mantel were expressed on 19th February 2013. Peter Aspen wrote about Ms Mantel’s lecture in that paper and her saying we seem to see royalty as some form of public property. He also quotes her noting that we are ready at any moment to rip away the veil of respect, and treat royal persons in an imhuman way, making them not more than us but less than us, not really human at all. And yet those at the Daily Mail still found it in their hearts to describe her words as astonishing and venomous.
From the early newspaper review on Today this morning it seems journalists at the Daily Mail are feeling highly emotional and supportive for their colleagues at Channel 4 News at the moment. Nick Clegg spoke yesterday about some sections of the media, not Channel 4 News he clarifed, acting like self appointed detectives. I wouldn’t have thought that was particularly offensive in the great scheme of things. The Mail however did and laid into him and his Party for several pages apparently. I understand it’s headline told him it’s called a free press for a reason. Then in quite similar style the Daily Telegraph have been exercising their right to freedom of action by employing a private satellite operator to take photos of some Iranian buildings which, the paper says again over many pages I understand, prove their covert nuclear bomb making activity is far more advanced than we are being told. Not that they want to worry us of course.
Apparently it is known that 60,000 people have been killed in the drug wars in Mexico since 2006. However the programme reports, before 7am, that the new Mexican government estimates another 26,000 are missing. That is a lot of people and horrible for their families who have no idea what may have happened to their loved ones.
In chapter 10 of my book I talk about my the size of my electricity bill last summer. I thought it was far too high but did not fancy challenging the company all on my own. Indeed, as far as hidden workings are concerned, I suspect the Gang have got our power suppliers pretty well buttoned up. If they have got any long term nasty surprises lined up for us in that regard one thing they will want to do is ensure they have tight control over all our means of power generation. For that reason I expect it was some good people in MI5 who this morning asked Today to give publicity to the very serious underground fire which took place in a UK Coal Plc mine in Warwickshire last week. Such a thing has not been seen in the industry for at least 30 years. The pit will almost certainly have to close and the financial hit on the company will be so great that it too will probably fold. It could then be bought at a knock down price by who knows who. The thought at the moment is that the company should apply for a bridging loan from the government until such time as it receives settlement of it’s insurance claim for the fire.
A wrote about a visit to Sudan by Baroness Cox in my diary note of 21st January 2013. I was very pleased she was also given air time on Today this morning. North and South Sudan became separate countries in 2011 and the BBC’s Mike Thomson has recently been to the South. He interviewed a 17 year old girl. She told him how her village has been visited by light skinned Arab soldiers (from the North). They killed every black Animist person (inhabitants of the South) they could find. They especially concentrated on the children, the adults of the future. The girl could not understand why God had chosen to spare her.
Quite rightly we remind ourselves a lot about the fate of the Jews under the Nazis. The genocide that has scarred them, perhaps for ever. Please don’t feel comfortable that that is all in the past. Such systematic killing continues as I write these words. The West watches and it does nothing.
There was a quite horrendous BBC webpage published yesterday authored by Simon Gompertz. Possibly 380,000 students, who normally should have the brightest of futures in front of them, are in danger of becoming criminals by being duped into laundering money for fraudsters. An investigation carried out on behalf of major banks has discovered that 19% of approached students have agreed to the fraudsters’ requests. I expect many half plausable reasons are given but essentially money comes into your account and then you pass it on somewhere else, often keeping a cut of about 8% for yourself. Ignorance, or wishful thinking, is no defence when you have broken the law.
After a tense all-night meeting apparently, northern countries overcame the resistance of southern ones to introduce the phased ban on fishing discards, to start in January 2014. Spain, France and Portugal were able to negotiate alleviation for their fishermen to initially discard 9% of their catch however. They say to keep and land unwanted fish for their long distance trawlers is too expensive.
On the news this morning I heard that the Scottish man who survived yesterday’s hot air balloon accident in Eqypt comes from Perth. His wife died. It is a miraculous story. The British Consulate says he is in remarkably good shape. The other survivor, the pilot, has 70% burns to his body.
I heard today that Conservative MP and former leadership challenger, David Davis, has said that if his Party finish third in the Eastleigh by-election it will create a crisis for Mr Cameron. It seems to me that is a self serving, irresponsible comment much more to do with Mr Davis’ own ambition than the good of his Party or indeed the country at large.
28th February 2013
John Kerry met with the Russian Foreign Mimister in Berlin on Tuesday. I have seen a photograph and the body language between them looked good. Yesterday Mr Kerry was in Paris, today it is Rome. In advance of his talks with the Syrian opposition I feel Mr Kerry has put it very well. He wants them to tell him how they think America can best assist them in acheiving a political settlement. Nothing silly, like continuing to kill people, but what practically can be done to acheive a sensible outcome. Separately I see Francois Holland has decided he would like to travel to Moscow today. And Mr Putin has decided he would like to see him. I am really impressed how our leaders seem to be working as a team. I include Russia in that. We are all in this together.
There is a BBC webpage up this morning about Baader Meat, meat protein obtained when a Baader machine process strips an animal carcass of all flesh, sinew and membrane using a jet of low pressure water. Although I am sure it is perfectly nutritious, since April 2012 it has been illegal in the EU to refer to mechanically separated meat, as meat in the labelling of food products. However the opinion in the meat supply chain is that Baader Meat is not MSM, presumably because water is used. I expect they will soon be told not to be so silly. Interestingly the largest supplier of private label frozen sausages in the UK retail market agrees it uses Baader Meat in it’s products. It is within the same group as the company where equine DNA was found in January.
Another little piece of good news is that the Commons Public Accounts Committe have said that although in the past the Ministry of Defence have spent money like water, wasting billions of pounds on unneeded equipment, there are now signs it is finally getting a grip on the situation.
When I was in London today I went to the museum, open to the public, at the Freemasons United Grand Lodge in Covent Garden. I picked up some literature. The masonic movement is almost entirely an English based organisation thought to have originated from stonemasons building our cathedrals, in existence in it’s present form in the 17th century. It’s teachings went to our colonies, including America, with us. It is not a secret society so I know it has 8000 lodges in England and Wales in most towns. Each lodge has a number I believe and probably an identifying name. The names of members who would be known to the public, including royalty, are listed on Wikipedia. Home membership is 250,000 with six million worldwide. I mention freemasonary several times in Chapter 7 of my book and as I repeat there, it’s principles are undoubtedly honest and true. However, due to it’s age I suspect, it seems to have ossified traditions. It says itself it’s initiation ceremonies and pratices comprise a series of ritual dramas involving the use of symbolic tools. I would imagine that does give you a mindset of defensiveness in this modern age, knowing how easily you could be made fun of. Perhaps it makes the movement easy to manipulate. The set-up does seem to be very much an old boy’s network. For example I know there are three levels of membership, depending on one’s standing but I have not seen it explained exactly how one moves from one to the other. As I mention in chapter 6 of my book it is alleged a man arrested on suspicion of murder and convicted of perverting the course of justice joined the freemasons in order to cultivate links with corrupt masonic policeman. Anyone can apply to be a mason so I make no criticism if that allegation is true. However I do feel it would be wise for leaders of the society to modernise themselves as much as they can.
Men groping women is very much in the news at the moment. That, I would say, can be catergorised as anything from squeezing a woman’s breast to gently holding her arm. One could not be rationally explained in a polite way, the other might simply be an act of non sexual reassurance. And then there is everything in between. We had a similar discussion I recall some time ago about touching children. I welcome the debate as long as we keep a sense of proportion. Men are men. Some women are more understanding of their sillyness than others. The important thing there I believe is that if a lady feels disregarded in some way she should be listened to with respect and remedial action taken as appropriate. My own personal view, as I intimate in chapter 8 of my book, is that sexual attraction between people is a positive, natural thing. I imagine most ladies could give you a name of a hunk, male or female, they would not mind being groped by. The subject should be viewed in that light.
It has been the Syrian opposition’s day in Rome today. There has been a distinct shift in emphasis from the West which they appreciate. I am sure nothing specific has been said but the Syrian National Council feel they will openly receive arms from the West within a matter of months if diplomacy doesn’t work. I was impressed with the responsible tone of their spokesman on Channel 4 news tonight. He said his group would let the international community decide how they thought it best to protect Syrian people, moving into the future.
1st March 2013
I am not an expert in these things but I suspect the Lib Dems called the Eastligh by-election as soon as they possibly could. If so I think the decision might have retained them the seat. As it was the groping story blew up in their face and, if there were several more weeks to go I expect the Gang would have arranged for other embarrassments to emerge. Two futher points I would make are that Channel 4 News were in a bit of an impossible position. If they had delayed their report they would undoubtedly, in my view, have been smeared for it in the same way as Newsnight were for pulling their initial Jimmy Savile report. Then Eastleigh voters, in making decisions about their political representative, were not swayed by stories of how men and women react with each other out of the public eye. They were much too sensible for that. The man and woman in the street see the sexual argument from both sides.
One of Today’s pieces this morning picked up on the Commons Home Affairs Committee’s report on the previously publicised issue of undercover police officers’ relations with individuals in the groups they infiltrated. It is one of those men and women, and culture stories. In this case there appears to be a prevailing view in the police that it is alright in certain circumstances for a male officer to have a sexual affair with a woman, for the good of the job. I imagine they must have put that opinion so forcefully that even the committee have been swayed to an extent. As I understand it the MPs have said, if that is absolutely neccessary, then no babies must result from the intercourse. The only way that position can make any sense, it seems to me, would be if a pregnant lady were told she would not be allowed to give birth to a baby she had conceived. I did not think we lived in a totalitarian state. Surely the correct position should be that discovered sexual relations by undercover officers in such situations is a disciplinary offence. If they need sex so much I am sure they could find it in other ways.
A final thought on the issue is the discussion on Today this morning just before 8am. The policeman seemed to be saying he thought a sexual relationship could be justified in exceptional situations. Justin Webb tried his very hardest to get the man to answer the question directly. I felt it was very interesting how the man, completely unconsciously in my view, chose not to answer the question.
The links page of the wesite can take you to that for Transform Drug Policy Foundation. I have just received my monthly newsletter. Thay have commissioned a poll by Ipsos MORI which shows a majority of people now favour allowing cannabis use legally in a structured way whilst 40% do not wish transgressors to be made criminals. As the charity says, the results show the public to be way ahead of politicians in progressive attitudes towards drug policy. You would not think that to listen to some of our elected representatives.
The letter also reports that the Czech Republic has introduced laws to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use and for that supply to be grown locally by licensed firms, or imported. I suspect the Gang are strong in the Czech Republic.
One of my visits yesterday was to an office at the end of a quiet central London street about 100 yards long. I was inside the building for about 15 minutes. When I came out there was a single man to be seen standing in the middle of the road towards the other end facing me. He was wearing a yellow high visibility jacket and had a long handled dust pan and broom. He looked incongruous to say the least. However it also means I think that the Gang are kings in their domain.
I have just watched a video clip of President Obama talking to the nation following non agreement on American budget cuts. I think he played it exactly right. He puts himself above the political fray, on the side of the public, starting his words by saying he had just spoken to both leaders of the political parties. He reassures his population that they will get through even though the default cuts will produce 750,000 lost jobs. He calls the actions of the politicians unnecessary, arbitary, dumb and inexcusable. It is a game of chicken. The President hopes that with the public behind him the Republicans will blink first, before too much damage is done.
I do tend to drink a lot of tea and coffee, and with my age that means I go to the loo quite a bit as a result. Something I have never mentioned before are my sometimes stange expereiences in toilets when I am out. They are nearly always in supermarkets but I have also had it happen at petrol filling stations and fast food outlets. A man comes rushing in after me a moment after entering. It was extremely noticeable when I visited my local Sainsburys supermarket on Wednesday evening. I think it must be that the Gang use public toilets to transfer items between them. Somewhere without any cameras with the transaction being made in a matter of seconds. They think that because they do it, at particularly sensitive times I think, I will be doing it too. They are completely paranoid.
2nd March 2013
The Gang are facilitators. They hiddenly assist others to conspire for horrible ends whenever they can. Normally we only see the results after the event, when they have had time to adequately cover tracks so the planning element is never shown. Not with this story though, I suggest. Last October a New York policemam was arrested for an alleged plot to kidnap women, rape and torture them and then cook and eat their body parts. He is also charged with using police databases to gather information on potential victims. A BBC webpage from the time says authorities were alerted by the man’s estranged wife. If that is correct I feel it was very fortunate. She was listened to and believed. Kent Police have just confirmed that two men from the Canterbury area aged 57 and 30 have been bailed on suspicion of conspiring with the American, also for grooming and possession of child abuse images. It seems the elder Englishman is a nurse.
I describe what happened when I and my family flew into Stansted airport on a Ryanair flight from Bergamo, Italy on 15th August 2008 in chapter 5 of my book. The next paragraphs follow the story through to questions that were asked of me by HMRC criminal investigations branch in Ipswich, then some terrorist suspect arrests in Manchester in April 2009. I think it likely my experiences on landing decided the authorities to order an investigation by the Competition Commission into the property holdings of British Airports Authority, the owner of Stansted. The following month BAA announced it was putting Gatwick airport up for sale. In March 2009 BAA were told that the sale of Gatwick must go ahead, that they should also sell Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airports. In October 2012 BAA changed it’s name to Heathrow Airport Holdings. The sale of Stansted airport has just been completed. The new owner, Manchester Airports Group, has immediately increased landing charges at Stansted by 6%. Ryanair, which accounted for 70% of traffic at the airport in 2011, is upset. It suspects the surprise increase was a hidden deal between the buyer and seller to justify the purchase price paid for the airport. It says it will be cutting it’s number of flights there by 9%. It asks that the regulatory body, the Civil Aviation Authority, should investigate the matter.
In chapter 6 I mention about the hole in the road that suddenly appeared in my village in 2010. A similar event has just occured in Florida where a sinkhole in a limestone area opened under a man’s bedroom whilst he was sleeping. It is assumed he is dead. No damage has occured to the outside of the timber bungalow, we have not been shown inside and when the man’s brother spoke to the TV I noticed the young man behind him had no wish to look at the camera lens. It might well be a true story. Also it might be useful for a person who wanted to disappear, assumed dead, as has happened in much more tragic circumstances to Madeleine McCann and April Jones. I write about April in my diary notes of 5th and 15th October 2012.
There was an ombudsman’s report out last Thursday on solicitors’ cost in divorce procedings which was mentioned on Today. 13% of divorce clients are dissatisfied with the service they receive, double the rate for other specialisations. One quarter of that percentage is in respect of fees. Apararantly one firm charged their client £4000 for photocopying costs.
Damian McBride was a special adviser to Gordon Brown when he was Prime Minister. There was a real fuss in April 2009 when the Daily Telegaph discovered that Mr Mcbride was thinking about setting up a website to anonymously spread false rumours about the private lives of Conservative politicians. I cannot think an intelligent, unpressurised person at the centre of government would normally think that a sensible thing to do. Mr McBride had to resign. On Wednesday he explained the background to the Commons Public Administration Select Committee and I listened to some extracts during Yesterday in Parliament on the following Today broadcast. Mr McBride sounds very nice. Indeed the chairman of the committee referred to him as being corrupted by the system at the time.
Nigel Farage was on Today on Friday after UKIP came second in the Eastleigh by-election. He accepted that his party’s success was partly a protest against the three main political groupings. However he said a recent opinion poll showed a quarter of UKIP’s new supporters were people who had not voted for twenty or thirty years. I am not sure why those people would have bothered to register for voting last autumn but, if he is right, it is certainly a very good sign for democracy.
There was a senior doctor on that programme asking the government to tweek their planned changes to introduce competition for GP self commissionioning of clinical processes. He fears they are too ideological and will instil a tick box culture. Doctors should not be distracted from their main desire to do good for patients. They should be trusted a bit more.
If you want to do a bit of good in this world you have to use every piece in your tool box. I won’t speculate about how it may have come about but it seems Kim Yong Un is a lifelong basketball fan. Someone must have suggested he invite the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea who are led by Dennis Rodman. They might just accept. As noted on Today in that edition, go they did, for commercial reasons I think. Apparently Mr Rodman is a highly volatile, emotional person. However for the moment he says Kim Jong Un is his friend for life.
From another piece on that programme I can see that behind the scenes emotions are become raised on the Defamation Bill which has been passing through Parliament with all party support to better our libel laws. Following the Leveson Report the Lords have passed an amendment by a large majority which they feel better suites the times. It is being said the Prime Minister is now saying he might not take the bill back to the Commons for a vote which means the legislation will fall. On the face of it that looks a little childish. All very confusing.
3rd March 2013
I feel the Gang Master’s sect is showing real anger at the moment. So much so that they are exposing themselves to outside view. A pity then that those lower down the organisation can do nothing about it. He is endangering them all. Yet he isn’t the one who makes all the Gang’s billions. A bit of a strange set up if you ask me. Mr al-Assad has been pesuaded, in my view, to make a tirade against Britain in a Sunday Times video interview. He says the Prime Minister is naive, confused and unrealistic. We are bullies. He directs his remarks not at America, or Russia or Saudi Arabia but us. A detached observer might think to themselves what on earth has the Syrian conflict got to do with little old Britain so especially.
Mr Cameron has given a defiant message in this morning’s Sunday Telegraph that he will not cave in to the demands of his right wing MPs following the Eastleigh by-election result. They can turn if they want to but he is not for turning.
I think the lessons learnt in Iraq and Afghanistan are being put into practice in North Africa. I have little doubt it was western intelligence agencies who discovered the whereabouts of both Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, said to be second in command of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and Mokhtar Belmokhtar who took the hostages at the In Amenas gas plant. In the past American special forces would have gone in to take the two men out. The Gang would probably have seen to it that the operations went wrong. This time a bit of trust has been put in the Chadanian government and it’s military. Yesterday the Chad president announced the al-Qaeda man had been killed and this morning a general in the Chadanian army said the same had happened to the islamist hard-liner, both in northern Mali. I also note Mali forces themselves were not used for the attacks no doubt with the agreement of the Malian government. I suspect that approach wouldn’t have worked either.
Both Eddie Mair on PM on Friday and Justin Webb on Today on Saturday seemed to get a bit frustrated with interviewees, I thought. Each were speaking to politicians on their conclusions following the Eastleigh by-election result. Everyone was polite and reasoned but what the jornalists were looking for were thought through deductions rather than hoped for justification of some pre-conceived ideas.
William Hague hit back hard against Mr al-Assad’s comments on the Andrew Marr show this morning. He quoted the UN envoy for Syria as saying the President has been told by his inner circle that there is an international conspiracy against him. Mr Hague says Mr al-Assad’s words are the most delusional spoken in modern times.
Last Thursday’s FT reports that Vladimir Putin has given a speech saying Russia must close it’s military capability with that of the United States. Otherwise he obviously fears Russia could be bossed around by America. I am not sure he is right about that. Also a former Russian finance minister has said he does not know where the money for that upgrade would come from.
I see from that paper that the next stage in Italy’s governance process is for new rulers to win votes of confidence in both chambers of parliament at some point over the next few months. Beppe Grillo on behalf of his Five Star Movement has said they will not be participating in any government coalitions.
A few pages on I see that following the meeting last week in Kazakhstan Iran has agreed to further discussions on it’s nuclear programme with the six negotiating powers, at the beginning of next month.