Archive for January, 2010

Sunday, January 31st, 2010


Well, there we go. We shall have to wait a little longer. The difference is that for most of my life we have never had anybody seriously in contention. Now we have. Keep at it Murray!

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Back to the Banks

There is talk of some kind of global tax on banking and now, more realistically, an insurance levy to build a crisis fund. All of this is good. But it does not alter the fundamental requirement to remove from all the calculations and bail out responsibilities that element known as investment banking. This is neither investment, nor banking. It is pure gambling, like betting on horses. The difference is that if the rich who engage in huge horse racing  bets back losers it is their money, not the taxpayers’,  they are losing. We have to sow it up so tight that no bank qualifying for rescue, insurance or any other kind of support, can engage in these activities.

The rise of the City to become the world’s largest financial and money gambling centre mirrors the corresponding decline in British industry over the same period. As I have said many times this activity, blasting billions in all directions every hour of the day in a socially useless quest for big hit wins, sucks resources from the base of the economy into this spinning cauldron of electronic cash most of which spins overseas. This is why our population is the most indebted in Europe and why the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider.

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Iraq, Iran and Blair

Syria,  Jordan and Iraq are not countries whose borders have evolved over centuries. They are lines on a map drawn by duplicitous politicians at the end of WWI in defiance of Lawrence (of Arabia) who had promised an independent state to the Arabs in return for their military support against the Turks. Iraq became a Kingdom under British colonial rule. Because no tribal boundaries were involved in its creation this new state harboured among its citizens Shiite in the south, Kurds in the north and Sunnis in the middle. Eventually the King was overthrown and the Ba’ath Party came to power.

The Ba’ath party was largely Sunni and therefore ran the country, excluding from power the Shia majority. Now, after the invasion, the Shia majority control the government and are potential allies of Iran. This is exactly where Mr Blair did not want to be. When the Americans go, it is possible the Sunnis will try and regain power, leading to civil war. This is potentially dangerous as Jordan and Saudi Arabia are Sunni, but Iran is Shiite. Once again in resolving one problem, Saddam Hussein, we create new problems with ever wider consequences. Mr Blair’s lack of grasp of the historic truths and his inability to see other than through his own one dimensional convictions, coupled with the confusion of mind which causes him to think that because he believes he is right, he actually is, makes him an international menace.

His assertion that it was ‘right’ to invade a sovereign country because he did not like its government and considered that even if it was not actually a direct threat to us it might someday become one, is against international law even of the most primitive kind. It is  also the very excuse that Hitler used to invade Russia in 1941. It establishes out of his own lips the fact that he committed a war crime and in order to justify it, he wants to frighten us into committing another against Iran. 

The irony is that Iraq had nothing whatever to do with 9/11 and would not allow Al Qaeda to operate on its territory. Mr Blair has few piers in history for dangerous irresponsibility in government. What a blessing for us all that our friends in Europe ignored the pleas of Brown and Milliband, and sussed Blair out for what he has become, obsessed with his own ego and misplaced religeous fervor, coupled with a complete lack of remorse or gulit for the huge suffering he has caused to the innocent in his drive to confront his version of the guilty. They saw that this disquallifies him for any role in democratic government anywhere.

He may also be liable for arrest if his plane lands at the wrong airport.

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Tony Blair’s Evidence

Well it has happened and it will now be followed by cover to cover media analysis. This blog has a good deal to say, too. Rather than deal with it all in one go I intend to spread it over a day or two. Now I am going to begin at the beginning. The beginning is 9/11. Blair is on the wrong track from that very beginning.

9/11 was, as I have said before, a trap. Al Qaeda had limited resources but wanted to de-stabilise the U.S and goad it into action which would lead to a kind of international Viet Nam where they were drawn into conflicts which could not be won, but which could be lost, which would go on and on through Generals and Presidents, all the time sapping American life and materiel, while at the same time creating more and more enemies. This would have the effect of turning more and more, especially of Islamic faith, against the Americans and the West.

On the phone to one of my sons, as the Towers were falling before our eyes, we agreed this was a seminal moment. This was the moment when America had to grow up and show that it could rescue the trapped, tend the injured, comfort the bereaved, stand together, but and this was the but, get on with its day. Just as we had done during the IRA bombings which some Americans had helped to fund. All the world was on America’s side.

But Bin Laden is probably the greatest strategic brain operating in the world today and he knew that the the U.S had the most imbecile President in all its history, surrounded by zealots and fanatics itching for war. So into the trap they plunged with gleeful cries of triumphalism and nasty jibes at their dissenting allies, whom they famously dismissed as ‘old Europe’.

Our Prime Minister, who up till then had seemed such a sensible young man and who made a wise and measured speech to his Labour conference not long after the terrible drama in New York, which came very close to understanding what had actually happened and what the real dangers were, suddenly fell under the spell of the neo-con lobby with all its over simplicity and naivity, and the story unfolded as we all know.

Here we are in 2010 fighting two wars which are not being won, having destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens either directly or consequently, with Pakistan on the edge, Iran desperate to get a nuclear weapon, North Korea already nuclear armed, the Middle East more dangerous than it has ever been, personal liberty and freedom drastically curtailed, security higher than during the second world war and no end in sight to any of it. Such a farce has it become that the official strategy in Afghanistan has been reduced to bribing the enemy.

The former Prime Minister’s inability to see any of this is deeply disturbing. His self justification for what the whole world can now see was a terrible mistake is deeply shocking. His desire to prove his point by  frightening us into a new war with Iran is quite literally insane.

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Student Rebellion

An A level exam paper in biology given to students last Monday, was so at variance with the syllabus of the course to which they had directed both their studies and revision, that an Internet rebellion has been organised with thousands of participants and with dramatic effect. The Examining Board has been stung into a review and a promise to set mark levels for grades which take account of this debacle.

This is utterly splendid news. The crackpot academics and slimy politicians who are forever meddling in education to the despair of teachers now have met their nemesis. Student power has flexed its muscles and won a major concession all in a matter of hours. Expect more of this until we get back to a sane and fair education system and the nutters currently at the helm are run right out of town. My book explains: Part 5, Chapters 31 – 37. 2010 A Blueprint for Change.You can get a copy through the link on my website or from Amazon.

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Weapons of Mass Destruction

This blog will not comment on Tony Blair’s evidence until it is all delivered, but there is an issue at the heart of this which is worth airing now. The very term WMD is questionable. It can only truthfully apply to nuclear weapons. There was no doubt Iraq did not have those. Chemical weapons or gas or even biological weapons potentially kill very large numbers, but they destroy nothing but human life. It was pretty obvious as the inspections continued to find nothing, that Iraq did not have those. High explosive bombs of many different kinds can cause both death and destruction depending on the scale of their use. Every country in the world with a military capability has those.

So one begins to wonder if the very definition of the alleged cause for war was without true meaning on purpose. Was this because in private the driven and slightly unhinged men at the heart of the project, Blair and Bush, knew perfectly well there was no such thing but did not care anyway?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hutton Enquiry

I think it is probably a fact that the Hutton Enquiry, now regarded with derision by everyone outside Westminster, is the most discredited in recent history. The current Iraq enquiry is a far more comprehensive affair altogether and does not suffer the disadvantage of operating under our adversarial system of legal practice.

It is easy to forget what Hutton was about. It brought into the open the weakness of the whole case for attacking Iraq and opened huge questions about the competence of the security services and the veracity of the government. The country watched all this unfold daily and was uncomprehending when the outcome was to blame it all on the BBC. 

However Hutton was not about the war. It was about the death of David Kelly. Its conclusion that Kelly committed suicide because he suffered a breakdown following his exposure as a whistle blower was generally accepted. A few conspiracy theorists (there are always some) asserted he had been murdered. I thought that most unlikely. Yesterday I read that the medical papers relating to the post mortem of Kelly and other relevant documents have been sealed under the Official Secrets Act for an astonishing seventy years. This changes everything. It means that far from being unlikely,  the possibility of Kelly being murdered is now very likely indeed.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Aid for Haiti

It is very distressing that basic aid of food and water has taken so long to get through to the people of Haiti. Surely it was possible to do better in the aftermath? Maybe not. Maybe it was just an impossible task from the start to get help to those in need quickly.

This is another difficult moment for the U.S. It must make sure that its overwhelming logistical capability with all its  organisational structure does not overwhelm the relief effort.  There are already mutterings among some pretty experienced people, who know what is going on.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Goldman Sachs 

Clearly the point is not yet driven home. The partners at Goldman Sachs have decided to limit their incomes for this year to £1million each. Where it not for our money these people would all be bust. This gratuitous insult to the rest of the working population shows the totally unreal world these people have built for themselves. In a society where there is so much deprivation and where so many go without because of the fantasy world these people built which fell about their ears, where even the poorest among us had to sacrifice to rescue them, nobody, absolutely nobody, should earn more than tenth of that until the economy is restructured and every taxpayer penny is repaid.

We remember the rampant trades unions of the post war period who broke the back of our competitiveness with endless demands for increased pay without increased production. No government had the guts to take them on until a certain lady came to power. Enough is enough she said. And that was that.

Now I have many discomforts about the benefits and consequences of that lady’s long tenure of the keys of Number Ten, but I did see that when the time has come, the time has come. We have to halt this alchemy, stop this hoovering of resources from the poor to the rich, re-structure the economy to create a more socially just and inclusive model and end the dominance of the City of London.

Nationalise the clearing banks, cut the investment or clearing arms off, recall their taxpayer bailout and let them all go bust. Yes it would cost us electronic money in the short term but the profit to the long term wealth of the country would be every bit as great as Thatcher’s creaming of Scargill. The only politician getting near to this is Vince Cable.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Defending our Homes.

Paul Mendelle Q.C., Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association is a very distinguished lawyer. But his views on Tory plans to protect householders who set about, burglars, kidnappers and assassins who burst into their homes uninvited are wrong. He fears disproportionate force will be used, vigilantism will break out and people will take the law into their own hands.

He is on the wrong tack altogether. Once a law abiding citizen finds his home invaded and his person and perhaps his (or her) family under threat, the ‘law ‘ has already broken down and failed. He  is now on his own. If in fear, panic or rage he injures or even kills the intruder, so be it. A few more dead burglars would lead to fewer burglaries. It should be a rule of law that once you intrude upon someone else’s property uninvited with hostile intent, unless with a warrant, your human rights are suspended and you are subject to whatever wild response your victims may apply. 

There is another thing. Generals do not make political policy. They carry out orders. Lawyers should have nothing to do with law making. Their job starts once the people have decided.