November 29, 2006

Metropolitan police want to crack down on political demonstrations

Posted in Totalitarianism at 3:36 am by David Gould

Barely a week goes by now without evidence of another frightening shift towards a totalitarian police state.

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act went through last week and I’ll write more on that later.  This week, The Guardian reports that the Met are asking the Attorney General for powers to disrupt any protest if they decide that slogans used are inappropriate.

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October 28, 2006

Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill back in the Lords

Posted in LRRA at 1:29 am by David Gould

You might better recognise LRRB as the Totalitarianism Bill or Abolition of Parliament Bill.  It sought to grant Ministers the ability to deny Parliamentary scrutiny of Bills and was thus a threat through the gradual erosion of our civil rights.

The Bill now says the Minister can do this if “he considers” it satisfies certain conditions. Here is Lord Bassam’s interpretation:

“it is well-established law that the Minister’s opinion can be quashed by the courts if it is found to be irrational”

One concern is who is going to go to which court to find out whether the Minister’s opinion is irrational or not.

The Govt have volunteered one amendment, that the Minister be satisfied the new measure is not of “constitutional significance”.

There are other dangerous holes in this enabling Bill. The Third Reading is next Thursday.

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July 5, 2006

An evening with David Shayler

Posted in War on Terror at 12:28 am by David Gould

The first time I saw David Shayler, he was sitting in the garden of The Cube cinema, being interrogated by a transsexual.

Shayler was introducing a new film co-produced by himself and Adrian Connock regarding the unconvincing official investigation into the London bombings.

Shayler talks too much about 9/11 for my liking.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  Most of the 9/11 Truth claims require specialist understandings of things like thermite.

If anything is going to reverse people’s assumptions on 9/11, it’s asking where the US airforce was, especially those planes from McGuire airforce base, minutes away from New York.

Anyway, I got invited to the party that followed, finding myself sitting on a garden bench next to a pretty blonde woman.  Shayler sat the other side of me and started talking about why he didn’t need a bodyguard.

The blonde next to me made a sarcastic remark.  I looked at her and she said “It’s OK, he’s my boyfriend.”

So there I was surrounded by Shayler on one side and his delightful partner, Annie Machon, on the other.

Annie is both intelligent and eloquent, and suffers visibly at the way she and especially her partner are treated.  She left MI5 at the same time and for the same reason “Dave” did: it is only because Dave had a higher clearance that he reported that MI6 paid Al-Qaeda £100,000 to kill Colonel Gaddafi in 1996.

They have been persecuted ever since, including 7 weeks in jail for Dave and an alleged attempt on his life.

They are both charismatic and credible – and thus their story is tragic.  One feels very sympathetic to their case.

Anyway, back to the extraordinary and contradictory coverage of London bombings.

First we’re told that these attacks used “military explosives” and that Netanyahu was warned.

Then we’re told that Netanyahu wasn’t warned and these “clean skin” attacks had the “hallmarks of Al-Qaeda”.

Then we’re told that they used “home-made explosives” and that Haroon Aswat was the suspected ringleader.

Then we’re told that the shooting of JC de Menezes was “linked to the terrorist attacks” and that he vaulted the turnstile wearing both a padded jacket & rucksack.

Then we’re told it was nothing to do with Al-Qaeda.

Then we’re told that the 4 7/7 bombers acted alone.

Then we’re told that MI6 had been trailing them but decided to stop.

Then we get the official reports that make no mention of Haroon Aswat’s 20 calls to the bombers, Netanyahu, nor the fact that the Luton train they were supposedly on was cancelled, nor the exact type of explosive that was used.

Then we’re told that the CIA & FBI had been trailing them.

Now we’re being told that the 4 bombers weren’t acting alone and that others will be prosecuted…

Why are all these conflicting reports coming from different groups?

It’s not difficult to see why the Govt won’t give us an independent inquiry.  But when you look at the farce which was Forest Gate and other anti-terror operations, the invasion of Iraq and other attacks on the Muslim world, could we be doing anything more to encourage terrorist activity here in Britain?

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July 2, 2006

Is our ‘democracy’ still on the verge of destruction?

Posted in LRRA at 1:31 am by David Gould

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill was amended to the apparent satisfaction of the Commons.  I find it hard to see why.  Here is the first line:
“A Minister of the Crown may by order under this section make any provision which he considers would…”

any provision” means literally that. A law swearing allegiance to the new Emperor-For-Life Tony Blair perhaps.

he considers” is what New Labour put in the Bill after it had been reported in newspapers as “a nightmare plot“, “truly how democracy is extinguished” and “almost unfettered power“.

Just for this moment, I’m going to consider that everyone should swear allegiance to the new Emperor-For-Life Tony Blair because of X, Y & Z. OK, done that. Anyone going to prove otherwise?

Now, can somebody explain why any minister can’t do the same thing?

In the Commons, the Govt blocked an amendment which would change “he considers” into “he reasonably considers“.

The only logical conclusion is that the Govt wants to be able to pass laws that a minister unreasonably considers to fulfil some purpose.  This is an example of the so-called safeguards in this Bill.  A child could write better laws.  Now remember that Blair was a lawyer and thus these safeguards are deliberately designed to be circumvented.

The sensible way to produce a de-regulation Bill would be to list all the Laws which it could deregulate in the Bill – as suggested by John Redwood.

The Lords have now published their amendments and the first simply scraps the whole subjective phrase.  Is there any chance at all that New Labour will accept this amendment?

Earlier, they blocked an attempt to exempt our constitutional laws from this Bill. Again, one can only assume that New Labour wants to rewrite our constitution for its own purposes. To abolish elections perhaps.

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June 27, 2006

New Labour obliged to answer Europe’s accusations of torture

Posted in Totalitarianism at 8:25 pm by David Gould

The Council of Europe yesterday passed a resolution that (among other measures) calls for an in-depth investigation into torture flights.

From the Guardian 7th June:
The full extent of European collusion with the CIA during operations to abduct terrorism suspects and fly them to countries where they may be tortured is laid bare today by the continent’s most authoritative human rights body.

The UK stands accused of not only allowing the use of British airspace and airports, but of providing information that was used during the torture of one suspect.

Britain – like Ireland, Portugal, and Greece – is described as providing stopovers for CIA planes, but the greatest criticisms levelled against London are about the handing over of information about its residents and former residents that has, says Mr Marty, led to renditions and torture. For instance, information about a former London student, Benyam Mohammed, 27, is alleged to have been used during his torture in Morocco, where he was taken following his arrest in Pakistan.

Tony Lloyd, a foreign office minister between 1997-99 said:
“If these things are born out, this process is really damaging to any attempt to combat terrorism in our society,” he said. “It leads to the suspicion that what we are doing is the wrong tactic and even as bad as the terrorists themselves.” Here is part of what the report actually says (graphic descriptions of torture): 204. It appears that the object of the torture was to break Binyam’s resistance, or to destroy him physically and psychologically, in order to extract confessions from him as to his involvement in terrorist activities. In addition to the sustained abuse and threats, the torturers used information, apparently obtained from intelligence sources, to indicate to Binyam that they knew a lot about him. Much of the personal information – including details of his education, his friendships in London and even his kickboxing trainer – could only have originated from collusion in this interrogation process by UK intelligence services. Since the purposes to which this information would be put were reasonably foreseeable, the provision of this information by the British Government amounts to complicity in Binyam’s detention and ill-treatment.
205. Binyam has described his ill-treatment in Morocco to his lawyer in several phases: an initial ’softening up’; a routine ’circle of torture’; and eventually a ’heavy’ abuse involving mental torment and the infliction of physical injury. In the first few weeks of his detention he was repeatedly suspended from the walls or ceilings, or otherwise shackled, and brutally beaten: “They came in and cuffed my hands behind my back. Then three men came in with black ski masks that only showed their eyes… One stood on each of my shoulders and the third punched me in the stomach. The first punch… turned everything inside me upside down. I felt I was going to vomit. I was meant to stand, but I was in so much pain I’d fall to my knees. They’d pull me back up and hit me again. They’d kick me in the thighs as I got up. They just beat me up that night… I collapsed and they left. I stayed on the ground for a long time before I lapsed into unconsciousness. My legs were dead. I could not move. I’d vomited and pissed on myself.”
206. At its worst, the torture involved stripping Binyam naked and using a doctor’s scalpel to make incisions all over his chest and other parts of his body: “One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once and they stood for a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony, crying, trying desperately to suppress myself, but I was screaming. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists.”

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June 24, 2006

Blair’s justification for overriding the rule of law

Posted in Totalitarianism at 6:56 pm by David Gould

I set about tracking down the Prince of Darkness ahead of his visit to Bristol.  The Evening Post were offering 50 places in the audience…
So I tipped off Bristol Indymedia hoping to get as many activists into the audience as possible.
Unsurprisingly, only one activist (from Stop the War) actually got invited.

STW tipped me off as to the exact time and date of Blair’s lecture.  I rang around the local media who universally didn’t know, even the EP, whose reporter told me the Govt had demanded the audience list 3 days in advance, presumably to vet it for anyone with an interest in human rights.

So if you had thought that Blair was interested in any kind of open debate, now you know.

Here is what he actually said:
And the reason that it raises such profoundly disturbing questions about liberty in the modern world, is this. Because we care, rightly, about people’s civil liberties, we have, traditionally, set our face against summary powers; against changing the burden of proof in fighting crime; against curbing any of the procedures and rights used by defence lawyers; against sending people back to potentially dangerous countries; against any abrogation of the normal, full legal process.But here’s the rub. Without summary powers to attack ASB – ASBO’s, FPN’s, dispersal and closure orders on crack houses, seizing drug dealers assets – it won’t be beaten.

So the War on Drugs is the new(?!) excuse for summary powers (which means punishment without trial).  Note that when Blair says “we” here, he means every decent Briton and not himself. Blair has already used summary powers on peaceful protestors, has fought the Law Lords trying to send asylum seekers back to be tortured in places like Zimbabwe and has completely disregarded the rule of law over locking people up in Belmarsh for 3 years without even questioning them.

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May 7, 2006

8 days until Blair forces dictatorship on Britain

Posted in LRRA, Totalitarianism at 6:23 pm by David Gould

I have twice previously written about Blair’s apparent path towards dictatorship.

I have yet to write about the most dangerous Bill yet. Called the Abolition of Parliament Bill by some, the Totalitarianism Bill by others, the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (LRRB) is even more dangerous than the Civil Contingencies Act.

LRRB enables ministers to rewrite our constitution with only rudimentary scrutiny. Consider the extraordinary mass surveillance / coersion implications of the ID Cards Act. Even the well-organised opposition could not stop this legislation.

What chance then of:
1. Spotting obscure but deeply damaging clauses hidden in the boring legislation?
2. Motivating the Tories, LibDems and enough New Labour drones to subsequently block it?

LRRB is then carte blanche for Blair to do what he will with this country. Why can we deduce of his plans?

New Labour already rejected an amendment to stop LRRB re-writing our most important constitutional laws. They then promised to introduce new amendments fulfilling the same thing. Our skepticism was once again justified. This is more than enough evidence that Blair wants dictatorial powers.

LRRB is obviously a precursor to passing laws which Parliament wouldn’t otherwise pass.

Considering the deeply scary laws he’s got through Parliament, the likelihood is that he wants something so badly, and so unpalatable that he won’t even risk presenting it for proper Parliamentary scrutiny.

– He does not need Parliamentary approval to invade Iran
– He already has Hitler’s Enabling Act.
– He has already passed RIPA and the ID Cards Act for more Big Brother snooping than anything China or North Korea have.
– He already has locked up people for 3 years without trial or even being questioned – although he has been twice been ‘told off’ for breaching the Human Rights Act in this way.

I do not believe that he needs LRRB to repeal the HRA. When every other explanation has been ruled out, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be considered. I think something much worse is coming although I dread to think what.

The final reading of LRRB in the Commons will take place on 15th May. For the sake of your family and friends, please join the Save Parliament Campaign and write to your MP immediately.

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April 21, 2006

Why are New Labour publicising the BNP?

Posted in Totalitarianism at 3:09 pm by David Gould

New Labour are masters at spin. Alistair Campbell controls media exposure so tightly that we can definitively say that every TV appearance is orchestrated from the highest level.

How then did New Labour benefit from Margaret Hodge using her privileged access to go on TV to say that 8/10 of her constituents were thinking of voting BNP? The BNP have been clamouring for credibility ever since the detestable Nick Griffen took over. Hodge just handed them that credibility on a silver platter.

I did some research. Hodge is Jewish, and therefore probably does not support the BNP. I was baffled…

… At least until I saw Frank Field MP’s astonishing letter in the Daily Telegraph.

I couldn’t help noticing that he’d used the same propaganda techniques the BNP use. If you want to play this game, read the article first and only then compare your notes with mine…

1. Appeal to authority whilst presupposing “their community [is] being taken over by Bangladeshis.” Readers tend to accept whatever is presupposed, without even noticing they’ve done so, and with scant regard for the objectionable language. Did Field intend to plant this message in his readers’ subconsciouses?
“The New East End, by Geoff Dench and Kate Gavron, starts by asking poor white East Enders what they object to as they witness their community being taken over by Bangladeshis.”

2. This in turn plays the race card. It’s not yet well known that nearly everyone is a little bit racist. If you don’t believe you are, take the Arab Muslim IAT. Is appealing to people’s racial prejudices to get votes more or less despicable than racism itself?

3. Use of group to indict itself ie “I’m not a racist, the Bangladeshis themselves are saying the same thing”.
“Dench and Gavron record how surprised Bangladeshis were at receiving free access to welfare.”

4. Presupposing that welfare isn’t aligned with strong and sustainable communities and that it will be courageous to realign it.
“It will take a considerable amount of courage to realign welfare with the collective values that are crucial to underpinning strong and sustainable communities.”

I won’t comment on his suggested reforms except to say that the first and third are amateurish and I’ve seen better ideas from schoolchildren.

Instead, I want to talk about the deeply disturbing statements towards the end of the article

“the Government would be reconnecting with its once bedrock supporters by insisting that the collective rights should come first”

What are collective rights? Who needs more protection, the able majority or the weak minority? What Field is saying here is that votes are more important than human rights!

“Political correctness on individualised rights now runs deep in the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

What a joke! How many times now have the Parliamentary Labour Party passed legislation which has contravened the Human Rights Act? Answer: Twice already: the Terrorism Act 2000 (which was used to lock up people in Belmarsh for 3 years without even bothering to question them, never mind present evidence) was the first. Its replacement, the control orders of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 were ruled incompatible on exactly the same principle, the right to a fair hearing. The European Commissioner for Human Rights has already advised that the insidious ID Cards Act contravenes the HRA as the Register will contain (vastly) more intrusive data than is necessary for the purpose of establishing identity.

Perhaps this is why Fields apparently wants to repeal the HRA?
“exemptions from the human rights legislation would be insisted on”

The HRA is the only legal protection stopping this Government locking innocent people in dungeons for years on end, or torturing them. I say stopping, but of course I’ve already indicated that’s not true, and the control orders ruled illegal still persist. Are torture flights still passing through our airbases?

The HRA is the only legal protection stopping the creation of an Orwellian Big Brother state.

Is it a coincidence that the Government specifically blocked the HRA being amended by the unspeakably terrifying Democracy Bypass Bill?

In a flash, it became obvious to me why New Labour are deliberately giving credibility to the BNP. The most authoritarian credible party in Britain isn’t electable.

A credible BNP makes New Labour look moderate.

March 31, 2006

Will democracy destroy the planet?

Posted in Democratising Britain at 2:10 am by David Gould

Focus groups have become a fundamental tool of politicians ever since Bill Clinton defeated George Bush. The same tactics were used by John Major in his 1992 victory and Tony Blair until at least 2001.

Focus groups were originally solely a tool of marketeers. Edward Bernays, Freud’s nephew, invented them to find out how to satisfy mostly-unconscious fears and desires (MUFD) with products.

Politicians found the best way to get elected was to satisfy MUFD of swing voters with spin.

Here’s the problem – our MUFD are often our least enlightened attributes eg greed, self-importance, fear of immigrants etc. If Government policies exclusively pander to MUFD, the country goes downhill extremely quickly.

One slight reprieve is that swing voters’ MUFD vary. Blair found that New Labour got blamed for the problems with the railways, even though they didn’t feature in the same voters’ MUFD a year earlier.

Can spin fill the gap between sensible policy and catering for our MUFD?

Let’s recap

Governments in democracies are (re-)elected for anticipating and satisfying voters’ MUFD either with spin or actual policies.

Now, when will voters’ MUFD start reflecting the urgent need to cut CO2 emissions? Probably only when the media makes them feel guilty about it. Why would the media want to do that? The BBC might, as it doesn’t have to worry so much about losing sales. The Independent too, as it occupies a niche for people who feel they ought to know about such things.

But the rest don’t.

Therefore, democracies tend to elect governments who, while paying lipservice, avoid making voters pay for protecting the environment until it’s too late.

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February 21, 2006

The Smoking Ban was a free vote…

Posted in Democratising Britain at 4:25 pm by David Gould

Was I the only one who found the endless statements like this all week very odd indeed?

How can we have a representative democracy unless MPs are free to best represent their constituents?

Having found our that Bob Marshall-Andrews was being threatened with deselection for encouraging MPs to represent their constituents I sent him a supportive email:

Thank you for standing up to the increasingly authoritarian executive.
If they try to deselect you, it will bring them down even faster.
Keep asking the awkward questions. 😉

He actually replied to me personally:

Thank you very much for your kind email. Your support is greatly
Regards, Bob

I found this quite touching and perhaps an indication that those who do stand up for democracy are having a tough time.

It has also come to my attention that our legislative process (which failed to recognise that the Civil Contingencies Bill is in fact a Hitlerian unlimited legal power Bill) is having scrutiny removed completely thanks to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.
This is nothing less than a another major step towards dictatorship.

I wrote to my MP. It will take you 5 mins.

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