Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Drugs business in Indonesia.

May 28, 2005: an Indonesian court has sentenced Australian Schapelle Corby to 20 years in prison for smuggling 4.1kg (9lb) of marijuana into Bali. The cannabis may have been placed in her bodyboard bag by airport baggage handlers.



George J. Aditjondro has some views on the drugs business and the Suharto family.

Aditjondro points out that Ecstacy has been transported from Jakarta to Australia and to various parts of Indonesia such as Bali.

Jakarta's Hard Rock Cafe and Hai-Lai Discotheque were reportedly major distribution centres.

Sources in Jakarta and several Western media "have pointed their fingers at Suharto's eldest grandson, Ari Haryo Wibowo, also known as Ari Sigit, as the main person behind this illegal drug traffic in Indonesia."

Three Indonesian students were tried in Perth in December 1995 for illegally importing 450 ecstasy tablets.

According to Aditjondro: "During the trial of the Perth trio, allegedly at the request of Ari Sigit, who had specially flown to Perth, they benefited from the best defense council in town. Secondly, the fathers of two suspects in the Perth case were promoted afterwards. The father of Jose Rizal Paruntu, Brig. Gen A.P., then military attaché in New York, received a one star promotion and has become the assistant of the Defense Minister for foreign affairs, since Suharto's last cabinet. The father of Nasar Aliando, R.H. Sumarno,who was then the customs chief in East Timor, received a promotion in the Directorate General of Customs."

A woman called Zarima was caught with 20,000 ecstasy pills. She received "a generous reduction in her sentence".

Col. A.B.R. closed down an ecstasy ring in Jakarta.He "received threatening phone calls from his superiors in the Police and Army".


Gusti Maya Noor, the wife of one of Mr Suharto's grandsons, Ari Sigit, was jailed for 8 months for possession of drugs.



On May 24, 2003, Laksamana.Net reported: "The involvement of employees of national airline Garuda Indonesia in ecstasy smuggling is nothing new, and as usual, couriers face imprisonment while the masterminds of the illegal trade remain free. The most recent haul occurred on May 16, when authorities at Jakarta’s Sukarno-Hatta International Airport seized more than 39,000 ecstasy pills smuggled from Amsterdam by a Garuda employee....

"Indonesian courts have been increasingly severe in handing down sentences to foreign drug dealers, although authorities appear reluctant to be equally tough on police and military officials involved in drug dealing.

"Army Special Forces (Kopassus) Second Lieutenant Agus Isrok, ... was arrested in August 1999 at a West Jakarta hotel for possession of 1.6 kilograms of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), 6,218 ecstasy pills, 27.9 grams of heroin and 25 packets of Valium pills.

"Isrok, the oldest son of former Army chief General Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, was in June 2000 sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rp10 million. But a military high court in November 2000 reduced the sentence to two years in jail and a fine of Rp3 million...

"A source at a Western embassy in Jakarta has told Laksamana.net the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague supplied Garuda staff with diplomatic bags for the smuggling of ecstasy. The source said the alleged mastermind of the ecstasy trafficking operation was none other than Suharto’s super-rich grandson Ari Haryo Wibowo, better known as Ari Sigit Suharto.

"Claims that Indonesian diplomatic bags were being used for ecstasy smuggling by Garuda staff were first reported by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf...


"Marijuana is one of the main cash crops in Aceh province, northern Sumatra. In fact, Aceh is said to be the second biggest producer of marijuana in southeast Asia. Sources say members of the military, Mobile Brigade (Brimob) police and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) all profit from the province’s marijuana trade."



Some quotes from Xymphora:

"Even if Iran had bombs, which it doesn't, they could only be used for defensive purposes, as nuclear retaliation would be fatal to the country.

"The only nuclear power in the Middle East with dangerous bombs is none other than Israel, the country that Perle and AIPAC work for.

"The reason we know about Iran's nuclear program is that Iran has allowed UN inspectors to inspect, something that Israel won't allow.

"Any bombs Iran might ever have in the distant future could never pose any threat to the United States as Iran has no means to deliver them.

"Since the Iranian nuclear program is spread out and hidden in anticipation of just the attack Perle is calling for, bombs wouldn't stop it.

"Bombing will kill a lot of civilians, but will have no effect on dislodging the Iranian government, and will indeed strengthen the position of the hardliners in Iran.

"The chief neocon goal is to start a general crusade of the Christians against the Muslims, for no other reason than that they really, really hate Muslims

"The only way Greater Israel - the ultimate goal - is going to happen is in the general confusion of a conflagration in the Middle East."

European constitution; France's referendum


Jonathan Steele, 31 May 2005 in the Guardian, suggested that "people power" was victorious in France's referendum on the constitution.

"It was a shout of defiance at intellectual Stalinism", wrote Steele.

Many of the 'no' voters wanted:

"a more 'social' Europe in which the forces of international competition would not create a race to the bottom and a Europe of the lowest common denominator, in which the social rights won during a century of political struggle would be whittled away."

Steele referred to the problems of:

1. globalisation
2. capital flight
3. outsourcing.
4. privatisation of services
5. low wages
6. long hours
7. rising inequality.



Letter to the Guardian:

"At a meeting in Le Havre, attended by 500 people, a speaker was loudly cheered when he said: 'I'm not against the Polish plumber, but I am against the the underpaid and exploited Polish plumber.'"

The people who voted 'no' "were in tune with the millions around the world - in the anti-globalisation movement and the end-poverty and anti-war campaigns - who are disaffected from the encrusted political elites and their corporate policies."

Monday, May 30, 2005

The BBC: premier propagandist for the imperium


William Bowles, 10 February 2005, wrote about: 'The BBC: premier propagandist for the imperium'

Bowles searched the BBC’s Website and found 299 articles that mentioned Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Not a single article raised any questions about his existence or the timing of statements allegedly made by him. 'Every article accepted without question the utterances of the US goverment.'

On 23 January 2005 the BBC told us:

Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for many bombings and beheadings in Iraq.…

Correspondents say the voice on the latest recording sounded similar to that on other messages attributed to the fugitive, whose group is linked to al-Qaeda.

'But we are not told who the attribution belongs to, and who, exactly linked ‘Zarqawi’s group to al-Qaeda’?'

'The only source is the CIA but the BBC neglects to mention this fact, nor the wealth of background material on the role of the CIA in fabricating evidence about Zarqawi.'

'In its coverage of the destruction of Fallujah, the BBC uncritically relays US propaganda via ‘embedded?’ journalist Nick Childs when he tells us':

Insurgent casualties he (US general Metz) described as significant but acknowledged that many of the leaders – including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – had probably fled.

A story dated 8 November 2004:

The message, signed “al-Qaeda in Iraq”, was posted on a website known for publishing messages from Islamic militant groups.

'No attempt is made to ascertain whether the Website is a genuine source.'

'In story after story, the existence of ‘Zarqawi’ is not questioned, nor his alleged role in Iraq.'

Kennedy assassination

Rose Cheramie was found unconsciousness by the side of the road in Louisiana, on 20th November, 1963. (Biography: Rose Cheramie)

Lieutenant Francis Frudge of the Louisiana State Police took her to a hospital. On the journey Cheramie said that she had been thrown out of a car by two gangsters who worked for Jack Ruby.

She claimed that the men were plotting to kill President Kennedy in Dallas within a few days. She told the same story to doctors and nurses who treated her.

After the Kennedy assassination, Rose Cheramie told the police that Lee Harvey Oswald had visited Ruby's night club. Cheramie was killed by a hit and run driver on 4th September, 1965.

On 12th October, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot dead. She had had an affair with John F. Kennedy. Her former husband, Cord Meyer, was a senior figure in the CIA's covert operations.

Leo Damore claimed in the New York Post that: "She (Meyer) had access to the highest levels. She was involved in illegal drug activity. What do you think it would do to the beatification of Kennedy if this woman said, 'It wasn't Camelot, it was Caligula's court'?"


Operation 40 was created by the CIA on the eve of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. One member, Frank Sturgis, described it as an 'assassination group.' The group was presided over by Richard Nixon. Its first meeting in January 1960 was attended by David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt. Porter Goss joined the project. Cuban figures Luis Posada and Barry Seal. Some people believe that Operation 40 was linked to the kennedy assassination.

In November 1961, after the failure of the Bay of Pigs operation, President Kennedy sacked the CIA's boss Allen W. Dulles. John McCone became Director of the CIA. Richard Helms became head of the Directorate for Plans.


After the Kennedy assassination, CIA agent Gary Underhill told his friend Charlene Fitsimmons:

1. He was sure Kennedy was killed by the CIA.

2. "Oswald is a patsy. They set him up."

Gary Underhill was found dead on 8th May 1964. He had been shot in the head.

In his book 'Crossfire', Jim Marrs listed 103 people linked to Kennedy who may died in mysterious circumstances between 1963 and 1976. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/JFK/deaths.html

Underhill believed the CIA's 'Executive Action' was involved in the death of Kennedy.

Executive Action toppled leaders such as the Congo's Lumumba, South Vietnam's Diem and Iraq's Kassem.

In his book 'The Secret Team' (1973) Leroy Fletcher Prouty claimed that elements of the CIA, working in the interests certain top business people, may have used the Executive Action unit to kill Kennedy. Prouty named CIA operative Edward Lansdale as one of the key people involved. Lansdale was Assistant Secretary of Defence for Special Operations from1961-63.

(The Military Industrial Congressional Congress - Between 1948 and 1989, the government spent more than $10 trillion (in dollars of today’s purchasing power) on defense, and much of the money found its way into the bank accounts of the defense contractors. http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=141

In 1981 U.S. Government analysts estimated that the annual sales volume of illicit drugs exceeded half a trillion dollars. The total of legitimate, recorded international trade, in all commodities, was in the order of one trillion dollars. http://www.history-matters.com/pds/DP3_Overview.htm )

In the book 'The Last Investigation', Gaeton Fonzi, a staff investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations argues that the assassination was organized by David Atlee Phillips, head of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division. Phillips told the investigator, Kevin Walsh, that Kennedy had been "done in by a conspiracy, likely including rogue American intelligence people."

In the book, 'JFK: The Second Plot' (1992), Matthew Smith quotes James Wilcott, a former CIA man, who claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald had been "recruited from the military for the express purpose of becoming a double agent assignment to the USSR."

When he returned to America, Oswald's job was to pretend to be a left-wing activist. Smith argues Oswald was "taken over and run by renegade CIA agents who were dedicated to assassinating President Kennedy."

Smith claims Oswald was being set up as a patsy. Tippit was supposed to take Oswald to Cuba in order to implicate Fidel Castro in the assassination.

In September 1960, the CIA had held talks with the Mafia's Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana, and later Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante and Meyer Lansky, about removing Cuba's Castro. After the 1963 assassination of Kennedy, it was rumoured that Roselli, Trafficante, Marcello and Giancana were involved, along with CIA agents such as David Atlee Phillips.

In August 1978, Victor Marchetti published an article about the assassination in Spotlight. Marchetti claimed that the House Special Committee on Assassinations had obtained a 1966 CIA memo that revealed CIA agents E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Gerry Patrick Hemming had been involved in the plot to kill Kennedy. Hunt took legal action.

In the 1985 trial, eyewitness Marita Lorenz testified that she saw Hunt pay off a CIA-backed assassination team in Dallas the night before Kennedy's murder. (Hunt v. Liberty Lobby; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; 1985)

A jury decided, in January 1995, that Marchetti had not been guilty of libel when he suggested that Kennedy had been assassinated by people working for the CIA.



Did Oswald have a double?


26th August: Oswald is seen in Clinton, Louisiana, with Clay Shaw and Carlos Bringuier.
27th August: A man claiming to be Oswald visits the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City.



Jim Garrison, the district attorney of New Orleans, believed that a group of right-wing activists, including Guy Bannister, David Ferrie, Carlos Bringuier and Clay Shaw were involved in a conspiracy with the CIA to kill Kennedy.

Guy Bannister died in 1964 and David Ferrie in 1967. In 1967, Shaw was charged with conspiring to assassinate Kennedy, with the help of Oswald, Ferrie, and others. At the trial in February, 1969, Perry Russo claimed that in September, 1963, he overheard Shaw and Ferrie discussing the proposed assassination Kennedy. It was suggested that the crime could be blamed on Fidel Castro.

In his book, 'Plausible Denial', Mark Lane argues that CIA agents killed Kennedy. He claims that the conspiracy involved E.Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis.

In Anthony Summers' 'The Kennedy Conspiracy' it is argued that Kennedy was killed by members of the CIA plus anti-Castro activists, funded by Mafia mobsters.

In his book, 'Deep Politics and the Death of JFK', Peter Dale Scott claims J Edgar Hoover was part of a cover-up operation.



Mordechai Vanunu reportedly said in an interview that Israel was linked to the assassination of President Kennedy.

Vanunu suggested that according to "near-certain indications", Kennedy was assassinated due to "pressure he exerted on then head of government, David ben-Gurion, to shed light on Dimona's nuclear reactor".


Michael Collins Piper's 'Final Judgment' suggests that there was a Mossad/CIA link to the Kennedy assassination.

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison accused businessman Clay Shaw of being involved in the JFK assassination. Garrison discovered that Shaw was on the board of Permindex. A primary shareholder in Permindex was the Banque De Credit International of Geneva, founded by Tibor Rosenbaum, allegedly a 'financier of Mossad'.

The allegedly 'Mossad-sponsored' Swiss bank was reportedly the chief 'money laundry' for Meyer Lansky, an Israeli loyalist 'with links to the CIA'.


1. Kennedy was in conflict with Israel over nuclear weapons.

2. Lyndon Johnson reversed Kennedy's policy toward Israel.

3. The top Mafia figures alleged to be behind the JFK assassination 'were only front men for Meyer Lansky'.

4. The CIA's liaison to the Mossad, James Angleton, 'was a prime mover behind the cover-up of the JFK assassination.'


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Army officers, cricketers, bribes.


India, March 2001:

The internet news site, Tehelka.com, revealed secret video film showing top politicians, bureaucrats and army officers taking money in connection with a fake defence deal.

Unscreened footage showed senior officers demanding sexual favours and in one case an officer having sex with a prostitute.

Journalists had posed as businessmen for a fake company, West End International, trying to sell equipment to the Indian military.

They used hidden cameras to videotape politicians, bureaucrats and army officers accepting money.

The incident came in the middle of court hearings into the Bofors arms scandal in the 1980s, in which a number of Indian politicians as well as businessmen are accused of taking bribes.



A former member of India's national cricket team, Manoj Prabhakar, has publicly accused a former Indian captain and leading cricket star, Kapil Dev, of involvement in match-fixing.

Prabhakar's claims focus on a match between India and Pakistan in 1994 which was part of a series played in Sri Lanka.

He alleges that Dev approached him to offer a substantial sum of money if he would in return under-perform on the field.



"Probably the greatest cricketing crook was Salim Malik, the former Pakistan captain. He should have been remembered as the greatest Pakistani batsman of all time, but is instead remembered as a man who accepted thousands of dollars of bribes, threw many games and whose captaincy was entirely corrupt. He, along with Mohammed Azharuddin, the former Indian captain, are now banned from cricket for life."

David Cameron


David Cameron MP

Remunerated directorships
Urbium PLC (non-executive); bar and night clubs business.

Terror and the military in Indonesia; Munir


Sources include: 'Terrorism Links in Indonesia Point to Military' by By Gary LaMoshi , Asia Times, October 8th, 2004

Some people believe that Indonesia's President Yudhoyono 'did practically nothing to reform the Indonesian military during his three years as security and defense minister'.

There is evidence that 'the military encourage the radical religious violence largely responsible for creating Indonesia's terrorism problem'.

The Indonesian military 'has a history of using terrorism for political purposes'.

When Suharto was president, the military and its militias terrorized civilians in East Timor and elsewhere.

The military has used 'Islamic' militias for political purposes.

In 1965, Suharto and the military, supported by Britain and America, used Moslem organizations to help kill up to one million opponents.

Before the 1977 elections, the military tricked radical Moslems into reviving the militia group Darul Islam. The military then arrested the leaders in order to discredit the Moslem political party.

At the time of President Wahid, there was terror in parts of Indonesia such as the Malukus, the Spice Islands. The military reportedly supplied weapons to the terror groups and collected protection money from the affected civilians and businesses.

'Moslem' thugs have reportedly been used in the wars between the police and the military over who is to collect protection money.

The Islamic Defenders Front, suspected of being linked to elements of the police, ransacked nightspots 'that failed to pay protection money'.

Laksar Jihad has got involved in clashes between Christian gangsters and Moslem gangsters in places such as the Malukus.

Laksar Jihad received military training and supplies.

Jemaah Islamiya, the allegedly al-Qaeda-linked group blamed for the bombings in Bali, the Jakarta Marriott in August 2003 and the Australian Embassy, is thought to have shadowy links to sections of the military.

A September 2000 car bomb at the Jakarta Stock Exchange killed 15. Two members of the military's elite Kopassus commandos were arrested.



Indonesian human rights campaigner Munir was murdered.

Laksamana.net reported, May 18, 2005, that a government-backed fact-finding team investigating the murder Munir says it will consider questioning former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief, retired lieutenant general Ahmad Hendropriyono.

The main suspect in the murder is Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto.

Pollycarpus had made several telephone calls to BIN headquarters when Hendropriyono headed the agency.

35 telephone calls were reportedly made from Pollycarpus’ mobile phone to former BIN deputy chief Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono.

The team is planning to question Muchdi over allegations that BIN recruited Pollycarpus and ordered him and other Garuda personnel to murder Munir. Muchdi is a former chief of the Army’s elite Special Forces (Kopassus). He was dismissed from the position in 1998 after Munir exposed his role in the kidnapping and torture of numerous pro-democracy activists. Many of the activists are still missing, apparently having been murdered by the military.

Munir, founder of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) was killed by arsenic poisoning in September 2004 while on a Garuda flight from Jakarta to Singapore to Amsterdam.

"Investigators believe the arsenic was placed either in Munir’s in-flight meal of noodles or in a glass of orange juice he consumed on the Jakarta-Singapore leg of Flight GA-974...

"Police have so far named three suspects in the murder case: Pollycarpus, who was assigned to the flight as an ‘aviation security officer’ and convinced Munir to switch from economy to business class; aircraft galley worker Oedi Irianto, who prepared meals on the flight; and senior flight attendant Yeti Susmiarti, who served Munir his food and drink.

"Garuda on Tuesday announced that it had suspended the three suspects. The airline's board of directors has already been fired following Munir's murder."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Britain bombed Indonesian city; many hundreds of civilians killed.


When Japan surrendered its control of Indonesia in August 1945, Indonesia declared its independence. The Dutch, however, wanted to make Indonesia a colony once more.

Britain supported the Dutch.

In Surabaya, a British naval blockade cut off supplies to the city's Indonesian leaders.

On 16 September 1945, the Dutch flag was raised above Surabaya's Oranje Hotel. Young Indonesians pulled down the flag. There then began a period of vigilante attacks and gang killings throughout the city.

British troops led by Brigadier Mallaby fought Indonesian youths who were armed with bamboo spears.

Mallaby was assassinated.

On November 9, the new Allied commander issued an ultimatum: all leaders of the Indonesian resistance would surrender themselves by dawn the next day, or Surabaya would be bombed flat.

Surabaya was bombed.

"Hundreds upon hundreds were killed," said K'tut Tantri, a British woman who sided with the Indonesians. K'tut made anti-colonial broadcasts from an underground radio station and was given the name Surabaya Sue. "The streets ran with blood, women and children lay dead in the gutters. Kampongs were in flames, and the people fled in panic to the relative safety of the rice fields. But the Indonesians did not surrender."

Air strikes and naval bombardments gave the British control of most of the city, although some street fighting continued for three weeks.

Indonesian freedom fighters continued their struggle across Java for four years.

On December 27, 1949, the Netherlands finally gaveIndonesia its independence.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Depleted Uranium and ill health in the UK and elsewhere.


Depleted uranium shells have been fired from the UK's Kirkcudbright range since 1995.

A Dr Heasman told an inquiry (the Dounreay Inquiry) that the DG7.3 post code area, a little inland from Kirkcudbright, contained the highest excess leukaemia risk (age 0 - 24) of any post code in Scotland.

Depleted uranium (DU) shells were used in the Gulf War. When a DU shell hits its target, it explodes and vaporises. Uranium micro-particles are transported by the WIND and by WATER.

A 1991 United Kingdom Atomic Energy report warned that depleted uranium left on Gulf War battlefields could cause 500,00 deaths among soldiers and civilians. (See also Dan Fahey, Swords to plowshares, www.nuclearfiles.org )

The Sunday Herald 7/1/01 quotes a Ministry of Defence document which states that the inhalation of particles from DU shells is a health risk.

Professor Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon's Depleted-Uranium Project, worked in the Gulf area during the war. Rokke suffers from reactive airway disease, neurological damage and kidney problems. Rokke says, "DU is toxic, radioactive and pollutes for 4,500,000,000 years. It causes lymphoma, neuro-psychotic disorders and short term memory damage. In semen, it causes birth defects..."

In a Gulf War veterans community in Mississippi, 67% of the children were born without eyes, ears, brain and thyroid. (Source: Desert Concerns, by Daniel Robicheau, www.antenna.nl )

Shaun Rusling of the Gulf War Veterans and Families Association says that 521 British servicemen have died of Gulf War Syndrome to date.

According to Daniel Robicheau, there has been a massive rise in cancers in Saudi Arabia, and in most of the Emirates all the way to Bahrain.

In Iraq there has been a six-fold rise in cancers. Birth defects have become common.

An OFFICIAL study in Italy has found a direct connection between the deaths of six soldiers who served in the BALKANS and NATO's use of DU shells.

According to a letter from Mr Dan Kenny in the Galloway News, 30/11/00, nuclear waste lies in a field two miles from Bridge of Dee. "The field contains hundreds of tons of mud from Kirkcudbright and Palnackie harbours..." The letter suggests that the Kirkcudbright Bay area has hotspots with dangerously high levels of radiation. (Part of the blame is put on the Windscale waste pipe.)

"Depleted Uranium: The Invisible War" by Messonnier, Loore and Trilling, claims that the DU shells used in Iraq and Kosovo contained traces of elements that indicate the probable presence of PLUTONIUM.

The authors claims are based on papers that have led them to 3 nuclear plants in PADUCAH, Kentucky, PORTSMOUTH, Ohio, and OAK RIDGE, Tennessee - the main makers of DU. (Sunday Times 21 Jan 2001).

In January 2000, Bill Richardson, the then US Energy secretary, accepted that THOUSANDS of workers at PADUCAH "had been exposed to radiation and chemicals that produced cancer and early death."

Many of the victims suffer from chronic fatigue and joint pain, the same symptoms suffered by Gulf War veterans.

Documents from August 1999 show that workers at Paducah had been inhaling PLUTONIUM. (Sunday Times 21 Jan 2001). In October 1999 the US Energy Department reported that "the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant...created depleted uranium potentially containing...plutonium." (Sunday Times 21 Jan 2001)

In January 2001 United Nations officials investigating the effects of DU in kosovo confirmed they had found traces of elements indicating PLUTONIUM. (Sunday Times 21 Jan 2001.)



Stop Using Uranium Munitions Now - by John Lewallen

"The vaporized, ceramic uranium oxides which billow as smoke from an impacting uranium munition have poisoned the human environment with minute, undetectable uranium oxide particles which will remain radioactive and toxic for the lifetime of Earth.

"Unlike natural uranium, which is soluble, breathed uranium oxide particles are insoluble, and become lodged in the human body if breathed, remaining there for many years, causing a host of diseases.

"Uranium oxides are mutagenic, attacking the genetic code which allows the human race to reproduce without crippling mutation.

"Today the United States military forces are fully committed to a munition metal which, based on U.S. Veterans Affairs disability statistics on veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, will, along with the effects of other toxins in Iraq, disable one out of three battlefield troops who use uranium munitions within a decade of their exposure.


UK poaching from Africa


The Lancet, 27 May 2005, explains that Africa has lost many of its doctors and nurses to Britain. African health services are badly damaged as a result.

A 1998 UN study estimated that 56% of all migrating doctors move from poor to rich countries, while only 11% migrate in the opposite direction; the imbalance is even greater for nurses.

Britain is seriously short of doctors and nurses. Data from 2002 show that among the 11234 new registrations with Britain's General Medical Council nearly half were from non-European Union countries.

It has been estimated that 60% of the doctors trained in Ghana in the 1980s have left the country; 200 doctors left in 2002. In 2003, UK work permits were approved for 5880 health and medical personnel from South Africa, 2825 from Zimbabwe, 1510 from Nigeria, and 850 from Ghana, despite these countries being included among those proscribed for NHS recruitment.

Many British doctors move to Canada and the USA.

In France only around 5% of practising doctors qualified overseas.

In the UK, 31% of practising doctors and 13% of nurses were born outside the UK.

Half the recent expansion of the NHS—8000 of an additional 16000 staff—qualified abroad.

In France and Germany the proportion of practising doctors who trained overseas is under 5% (UK 31%)

France, Italy, and Germany have many more doctors per 100000 population than the UK

Italy 606,
Germany 362,
France 327,
UK 166
Ghana 9
Tanzania 2

The need to train more doctors in the UK is now urgent.

There has been an increases in early retirement of UK doctors.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

New leads in Johnny Gosch case


Iowa's news channel KWWL, 25 May2005, reports new leads in the case of the paperboy Johnny Gosch who disappeared in the West Des Moines area 1982.

A private investigator and former police detective, James Rothstein, believes Johnny was kidnapped as part of a government conspiracy. Rothstein shared new evidence with KWWL. The evidence includes a recorded phone call that has never been heard publicly, until now.

Rothstein has spoken with a former CIA agent. "This man has told us that at the end of their investigation that there were 834 kids involved that were kidnapped."

Rothstein has evidence:

1. linking Johnny's kidnapping to child prostitution.
2. pointing to the involvement of U.S. government officials.

"They were using kids to compromise people. And what better way to compromise somebody than get a young boy with a politician or some powerful person that may be in the military or whatever and then you can compromise them and get what ever you want."

Rothstein believes it is possible that Jeff Gannon, who passed himself off as a White House reporter, could be Johnny Gosch.

Rothstein believes the CIA was involved.



From Rigorous Intuition:

"I think of Gary Caradori, Chief Investigator for the Nebraska Legislature's Franklin committee, calling Senator Loran Schmit and exclaiming "We've got them! There's no way they can get out of it now!" He was returning from Chicago with photographic evidence of Lawrence King's elite paedophile ring. Schmit took another phone call a short while later, which informed him that Caradori had died in the crash of his small plane. His evidence was never recovered."

Pentagon behind the bombs in Iraq?


John Kaminski has recently written about Iraq.

Kaminski quotes a report by a Mr. Khadduri:

"A few days ago, an American manned check point confiscated the driver license of a driver and told him to report to an American military camp near Baghdad airport.... the driver did visit the camp... The American interrogator told him: 'We have forwarded your papers and license to al-Kadhimia police station for processing. Therefore, go there...'

"The driver became suspicious of a low flying helicopter hovering overhead. He stopped the car and inspected it carefully. He found nearly 100 kilograms of explosives hidden in the back seat and along the two back doors."

Kaminski suggests that the Americans booby trapped the car.

In Mosul, a car was confiscated. The driver was told to go to a police station to reclaim his license. The car broke down on the way to the police station. The inspecting car mechanic discovered that the spare tire was fully laden with explosives."

An Iraqi man saw American soldiers plant a bomb. The Iraqi was hauled away, never to be seen again.

That story was reported on "Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq".

Sunni clerics get killed. Then Shia clerics get killed. Kaminski suggests that there is an attempt to provoke a civil war.

On May 13, 2005, a 64 years old Iraqi farmer, called Haj, took his tomato truck to Baghdad, accompanied by Ali, his 11 years old grandson.

They were stopped at an American check point.

The grandson told Haj that he saw one of the American soldiers putting a grey melon size object in the back among the tomato containers.

Haj found a time bomb among his tomatoes. He threw it into a ditch.

"They intended it to explode in Baghdad and claim that it is the work of the 'terrorists'."

Frank Morales' at globalresearch.ca wrote: "The Provocateur State: Is the CIA Behind the Iraqi 'Insurgents' — and Global Terrorism."

We do not know who killed the American mercenaries in Fallujah that eventually precipitated one of the great slaughters in history.

We do not know if the al-Qaeda website which claims responsibility for various atrocities is not really run by the CIA.

Provoking violence 'conceals the sinister genocide the Israelis continue to perpetrate on the hapless Palestinians'.

Kaminski writes:

"There is not now nor ever was an Arab terror threat.

"The main point in understanding these deliberate provocations to prevent peace is to understand how the American capitalist system, now hijacked by billionaires with no trace of conscience, thrives on war and profits from the misery of others.

"Lockdowns at Florida military bases appear to augur an imminent invasion of oil-producing Venezuela."



US media and Galloway


MARIA TOMCHICK, in Counterpunch, points out that America's two major newspapers went out of their way to paint Galloway as guilty.

The alternative press in the US reprinted Galloway's statement. You can find it at here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Domville, Knight, Mosley, Blunt ...

Sources include

In the 1930s, some members of MI5 and MI6 were fans of fascism and Hitler.

Hitler was seen by some of the spooks as being a potential ally in the fight against Communism.

According to Admiral Sir Barry Domville, head of Naval Intelligence, Hitler was "absolutely terrific."

Wing Commander Frederick Winterbottom, head of MI6's air section, reportedly hoped Britain and Germany would unite against Stalin's Russia.

MI5 agent Mark Papys, Earl of Cottenham, allegedly had sympathies with the Nazis.

When reports reached MI6 that Czechoslovakia was about to be invaded by Hitler, the reports were said to have been dismissed by the head of MI6, Admiral Sinclair, as "alarmist rumours…. put forward by Jews and Bolsheviks for their own ends."

British Fascist organisations such as Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists (BUF), the Anglo-German Fellowship and The Link (which reportedly included the Duke of Westminster and the Duke of Bedford among its members) were allegedly 'left alone by MI5'.

Maxwell Knight (model for James Bond's boss M) reportedly served as Director of Intelligence of the British Fascists (BF) from 1924 to 1927.

MI5 agent, James Hughes, reportedly served as a Chief of Intelligence of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) from its formation in 1912 until it was banned in 1940.

Hughs 'played a leading role in establishing BUF secret cells (modelled on those of the German Nazi Party) in the British civil service, armed forces, key manufacturing and commercial enterprises and the trade union movement.'


When World War II began, the intelligence services had among its members Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt and Victor Rothschild.



John Hope, at Lobster Magazine November 1991, wrote about: Fascism, the Security Service and the Curious Careers of Maxwell Knight and James McGuirk Hughes.

Reportedly there is evidence of collusion between the British Fascists and top MI5 officers Charles Henry Maxwell Knight and James McGuirk Hughes.

Knight was primarily responsible for the surveillance of Britain's fascists.

Knight, in 1940, revealed the pro- Nazi activities of Tyler Kent and Anna Wolkoff. A number of fascists were then interned.

According to John Hope, at Lobster magazine, there was another side to Knight's encounter with fascism.

In 1924 Knight 'became a member of Britain's first fascist movement of any significance, the British Fascists (BF) and served as its Director of Intelligence from 1924 to 1927'.

Neil Francis-Hawkins, Director-General of Organization for the BUF, informed an Advisory Committee on Detainees in 1944, that Maxwell Knight "had been Director of Intelligence at the British Fascists".

Foreign Office papers show Knight's name on a list of the British Fascists' senior executives provided by two of the movement's members in September 1926 to Special Branch and Foreign Office officials.

Knight's position as the BF's Chief Intelligence officer appears in an intelligence report given to the Australian authorities in 1924, and discovered by the historian, Dr. Andrew Moore.

Knight joined the British Fascists in 1924, prior to his recruitment by the Security Service in April 1925.

There is evidence that Knight continued to be a fascist after he left the BF in 1927.

Francis-Hawkins claims that shortly after Knight left the BF he revealed his identity as an MI5 officer and offered assistance to the BF in its work for the "Clear Out the Reds Campaign".

Knight's testimony at the trial of Tyler Kent was that his sympathies for fascism began to wane in 1935.

Bernard Porter has suggested that Knight had served an "intelligence apprenticeship". His source was John Baker White, Assistant Director and then Director of the Economic League between 1926 and 1939. White may have recruited Knight for his private 'right wing' intelligence agency.

'The line separating the private intelligence agencies of the right from the state Security Services was distinctly blurred.'

White suggests in his autobiography that the right-wing groups had close links with the fascist movement.

Certain right wing groups, organised on military lines, conducted violent assaults on strikers and socialists.

Some of the earliest members of the British Fascists 'were drawn from the organizations of the conservative right'. Titled aristocrats and senior military personnel were members of the movement's Grand Council and Executive.

There is some evidence that the conservative right 'was more deeply involved in facilitating the growth and development of the BF than most studies indicate.'

TheDuke of Northumberland's paper, The Patriot, carried out the initial recruiting for the BF.

The BF 'became a beneficiary of the links that the conservative right had with the security apparatus of the state, in particular with MI5.'

The case of James McGuirk Hughes

Hughes was the British Union of Fascists' Chief of Intelligence in Department Z of the movement, from its formation in 1932 until it was banned in 1940.

Hughes reportedly disclosed his employment by MI5 to Mosley when he applied for the position.

Hughes had first served an apprenticeship with the British Empire Union's private intelligence and counter-espionage network.

Hughs and his agents infiltrated and sabotaged trade unions and left-wing groups.

In one of his reports Hughes wrote "that we have the complete confidence and help of Scotland Yard, and in fact have received payment from them. The Assistant Commissioner (Col. Carter) considers that we are the only efficient organization.......our relations with the provincial police continue to be good....We had placed under us a number of the plain cloths (sic) men of the Glasgow police...'.

When Hughs joined Mosley's fascist movement he was an established MI5 agent.

Hughes had the job of setting up the BUF's secret cells, modelled on those of the German Nazi party and the Italian Fascisti. A plan to set up such cells in the Civil Service, the Armed Forces, key manufacturing and commercial enterprises, and the trade union movement, began in 1933.

Hughs seemed happy to use the BUF for MI5's operations against the left.

Knight joined the BF before he was recruited to MI5. Hughes' work for the fascists appears 'to outweigh the information he relayed back to the Security Service.'

There is 'no evidence at all to show that either Knight or Hughes made any attempt to undermine or sabotage the movements to which they belonged - at least before the start of World War Two.'

'For MI5 to collude with fascism was merely a continuation and extension of existing practice.'


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Labour election tricks


Channel 4 TV Dispatches programme revealed how Blair's New Labour used "astroturfing" - faking grassroots support during the General Election.

An undercover Channel 4 reporter, Jenny Kleeman, showed how

1. Fake letters were sent to local newspapers to show support for Labour’s achievements.

2. Labour activists posed as 'local people' to greet Blair on the campaign trail.

3. 'Spontaneous' demonstrations against rival politicians were organised, with activists instructed to use handwritten homemade-looking placards.

4. The party kept lists of professionals, such as doctors, senior police officers and teachers, who were not identifiable as Labour party members but could be relied on to speak supportively to the media.

Kleeman said: "I witnessed extraordinary examples of the kind of foul-mouthed bullying and everyday mendacity that are the common currency of Labour’s male-dominated media organisation," she said."


According to the Observer: "Party members and supporters were systematically used to create the impression of 'real people' passionately backing the government."

Among the American strategists drafted into the Labour campaign was Zach Exley.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Haw-Haw and MI5


'Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce' is a new book by Nigel Farndale.

William Joyce was called Lord Haw-Haw.

Lord Haw-Haw and his wife broadcast Nazi propaganda from Germany. Haw-Haw was decorated by Hitler.

Haw-Haw was originally American. His wife was British. Haw-Haw was reportedly hanged. His wife was allowed to go free.

Nigel Farndale suggests a deal was struck between Haw-Haw and MI5: Haw-Haw would keep quiet about certain MI5 links and his wife would survive.

Margaret Joyce was "returned to the Continent".

Before World War II, William Joyce was deputy to Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists.

According to Farndale, William Joyce also worked for MI5. Maxwell Knight, the head of Joyce's MI5 section, reportedly helped Joyce escape to Berlin on the eve of war.

Paul Ricoeur


Paul Ricoeur was one of the most distinguished philosophers of our time.

According to Ricoeur:

Political power can be ‘power-in-common’: the community organising things like hospitals and transport.

Political power can also involve violence and dictatorship.

Decent politics means making sure that what we have is ‘power-in-common’ rather than violence and dictatorship. Clever con-men have a habit of coming to power. Decent politics is a fragile thing.

We have to beware of clever talk involving threats or false promises.

Political talk is about ‘the future’. But we can’t be certain about the future. This is why politics is fragile.

Some people are tempted to believe the black and white statements of the extremist politicians. Some people are tempted to become apathetic.

The opinions of as many people as possible ought to be taken into consideration. This best promotes ‘power-in-common’.

People should not allow politics to be dominated by one particular view, whether religious or economic or racial.

We need international cooperation to deal with problems like the environment. We should not exclude any nation or group.



The Independent on Sunday, 22 May 2005, had a story about food.

A secret study into GM food has shown that rats fed GM corn due for sale in Britain developed abnormalities in blood and kidneys.

The report for Monsanto, the GM food giant, 'shows that rats fed the modified corn had smaller kidneys and variations in the composition of their blood.'



Trevor Royle, in the Sunday Herald, 22 May 2005, has an article entitled - Africa: far from a lost cause, hope returns to the continent

Royle points to some success stories.

Botswana has reportedly performed well in managing its diamond revenues.

It has 'reserves instead of debts, and corruption is virtually unknown'.

Mozambique: Sugar production has increased and poverty levels have fallen as the economy has shown a healthy 8% annual rise since 1996.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Taoism - Alan Watts


Alan Watts (1915-1973), who held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, was a fan of Taoism.

According to Watts, the tao is a kind of order. But don't think of the sort of order where there are lots of straight lines.

Think instead of a plant. A plant is not geometrical looking.

The plant looks like a Chinese drawing. The Chinese understand non-symmetrical order.

In the Chinese language this is called li.

According to Watts, Clouds have li, marble has li, the human body has li. There is no way of defining it.

The patterns of li are also the patterns of flowing water.

The Tao loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them.

Taoism says the lowly position is the most powerful.

To some Americans Taoism may sound lazy and spineless. But Watts points out that "we are always creating trouble by doing good to other people. We wage wars for other peoples benefit, and attempt to help those living in "underdeveloped" counties, not realizing that in the process we may destroy their way of life. Economies and cultures that have coexisted in ecological balance for thousands of years have been disrupted all around the world, with often disastrous results."

Consider the lilies


Obi-wan Kenobi taught Luke Skywalker the "ways of the Force".

Luke was trying to avoid laser blasts from a remote, but failing miserably. When Obi-wan Kenobi placed a blaster helmet on his head so he couldn't see, he easily deflected the remote's laser blasts.

When you are aware of the Tao and feel it, you can flow with it, and the right action appears for itself, spontaneously.


http://www.godquest.org/taoism.htm Http://www.crystalinks.com/taoism.html

Some Taoists and Christians and others believe that bliss can be achieved when:

1. one is compassionate

2. one is moderate

3. one is humble

4. everything is in balance

5. one is in tune with God or the Tao or whatever one wants to call it. One goes with the flow.

6. one avoids the use of force; one avoids pitting one’s will against the universe.

The Christians talk about God’s spirit. God nourishes us.

The Taoists talk about the Tao being a force that flows through everything. The Tao nourishes us.


When the Tao is in balance one can be happy.

The Yin Yang figure represents the balance of opposites. ‘When they are equally present, all is calm. When one is outweighed by the other, there is confusion and disarray.’

‘The Tao surrounds everyone and one must listen to find enlightenment.’

True Taoism does not get bogged down with theology. "The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao."

Taoists love their enemies. "I am good to the man who is good to me, likewise, I am also good to the bad man."

Wu wei is action through inaction; ‘a practice of minimal action, particularly violent action’. Don’t overdo the antibiotics or the pesticides. Don’t bomb your enemies. Consider the lilies.

Don’t force yourself or others to be compassionate. Be spontaneous. Genuine love is spontaneous love.

"The Master does not see evil as a force to resist, but simply as an opaqueness, a state of self-absorption that is in disharmony with the universal process, so that, as with a dirty window, the light can't shine through. This freedom from moral categories allows him his great compassion for the wicked and the selfish"-Stephen Mitchell

"The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)"


Henry C K Liu wrote in the Asia Times about Taoism.

Where does evil come from?

There can be no ‘good’ without ‘evil’.

"Controlled quantities of the bad can be good. Excessive amounts of the good can be bad. Poison kills. But when handled properly, it can cure diseases. Without poison, there can be no medicine. To employ poison to attack poison is a Taoist principle, which is validated in modern medical the practice of vaccination, the use of antibiotics and chemotherapy treatments."

How should we act?

We should avoid producing unintended consequences.

"Not taking premature or unnecessary actions keeps all of one's options open, so that the most appropriate action remains available. Actions always elicit reactions. Each action taken provokes reactions from all quarters that, taken together, are always more powerful than the precipitous action itself. It is the ultimate definition of the inescapable law of unintended consequences."

"To follow the dao (path) of life is to go with the natural flow of life and to avoid going against it. The ethical theories of Taoism lean toward passive resistance, believing that evil, by definition, will ultimately destroy even itself without undue interference.

"Yet it would be a mistake to regard Taoism as fatalistic and pessimistic, instead of the ultimate sophistication in optimism that it is.

"Only by not applying effort can one achieve that state in which nothing is not attainable effortlessly (wu-wei ze wu-suo-bu-wei).

"A little ambition is a good thing. Total elimination, even of undesirables, is an extreme solution, and it is therefore self-defeating.

"Life is a prison from which one can escape only if one does not try to escape. It is the desire to escape that makes a place a prison, and the desire to return that makes it a home. Home is not where one is, it is where one wants to return."



From Taoism: happiness comes from helping others; wealth comes from giving to others. "Love the world as yourself; then you can care for all things."

From Buddhism: "Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy." Buddha: "See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"

From Islam: "There is a reward for your treatment of every living thing." Muhammad also said: "None of you is a believer until you like for others what you like for yourself."

From Christianity: "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

Smears and Lies


The following is taken from Socialist Worker:

A history of smears and lies

The intelligence services have used forgeries and concocted evidence time after time to discredit governments and individuals.

In the 1970s the British intelligence services conducted an extraordinary campaign of dirty tricks to smear Harold Wilson’s Labour government.

Colin Wallace

A British MI5 intelligence operation known as Clockwork Orange, led by Colin Wallace, conducted a dirty tricks operation to smear the Republican movement in Northern Ireland, and then the Labour government itself.

Incredibly they believed not only that Harold Wilson was a Soviet agent, but that Tory leader Edward Heath was one too. Wallace’s team forged a variety of Labour Party leaflets.

In one fake document, five senior Labour figures were added to the list of sponsors for a Bloody Sunday event. Wallace later refused to participate in such actions, and was himself smeared.

In the 1990s Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times ran an entirely false story about former Labour leader Michael Foot. Posters appeared around the country saying, “Michael Foot is a Russian spy.” When Foot took the paper to court he won £30,000 in damages.

Zinoviev letter

One of the most famous forgeries took place in 1924 with the “Zinoviev letter”. This produced a “red scare” which helped defeat the first ever Labour government.

On the eve of the general election the Daily Mail published a copy of a letter which was supposedly written to the British Communist Party by Soviet leader Grigori Zinoviev. It took 75 years for the authorities to officially admit that the letter was forged.

The miners

A vicious witch-hunt was launched against miners’ leader Arthur Scargill in 1990. The Tories and MI5 wanted to take revenge on all those who had taken part in or supported the 1984-5 miners’ strike.

Their allegations were published in the Daily Mirror. Scargill was accused of taking money from Libya.

Roger Windsor, the NUM’s chief executive during the 1984-5 strike, claimed that Scargill had taken £70,000 from money supposed to go to strikers to clear his £25,000 home loan from the NUM.

Socialist Worker was almost alone in defending Scargill and the NUM. Three years ago the highest court in France found that Windsor had signed documents that he claimed were forged by Scargill.

In May 2002, Roy Greenslade, the editor of the Mirror during its witch-hunt against Scargill, admitted he had been taken in by lies.

Last week Greenslade wrote, “Galloway has achieved the dubious honour of being the media’s new left wing whipping boy, following in a line that includes Arthur Scargill, Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone. Like them, he has dared to confront not only the old establishment but also its Labour alternative.”

Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

Friday, May 20, 2005

UK arms sales and Blair and Thatcher


The UK is ranked second in the world for arms exports behind only the US.

The UK arms industry receives more government support and subsidy than any other.

Arms sales to Indonesia have been underwritten by the British taxpayer to the tune of more than £800 million.

Labour has signed strategic export licences to supply three-quarters of the 40 worst human rights abusing states in the world.(As assessed in Ethical Consumer October/November 1998)

For example, Labour has sold arms to Indonesia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Columbia, India, Pakistan and Morocco.

The UK military export industry is estimated by the government to employ just 0.3% of the total employment market of 28 million jobs.



"The UK government's DTI has underwritten South Africa's purchase of BAE Hawk jets by £1.7bn. This means if the extremely fragile economy of South Africa defaults in payments to the UK, the taxpayer picks up the bill.

Tanzania is one of the poorest nations on earth. Tanzania received £64m from the UK in aid. Almost half of this went straight back into the hands of BAE engineers on the Isle of Wight."



from The Mirror (London) May 29, 2002

John Pilger:

"With nuclear powers India and Pakistan on the edge of war, the role of the Blair government in fuelling the conflict has been critical.

"In the year 2000, the Government approved nearly 700 export licences for weapons and military equipment to both countries. These had a total value of £64million. India, which gets the great majority of British weapons, is building under licence Jaguar bombers that are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

"In January, as the two countries prepared for war, Tony Blair arrived in the subcontinent on what was called a "peace mission." In fact, as the Indian press revealed, he discussed the opposite of peace - a £1billion deal to sell India 60 Hawk fighter-bombers made by British Aerospace. "The issue of India acquiring the Hawks," reported the periodical Outlook India, 'was raised by Prime Minister Blair with Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, defence minister George Fernandes said today."'


"TONY Blair's close links with Israel - many of them forged by his friend, the deal-maker Michael Levy, whom he made Lord Levy - are described as 'the Government's tireless efforts to bring peace and stability to the Middle East.' The opposite is true...

"In the first 14 months of the Palestinian uprising against Israel's illegal military occupation - when the Palestinians' main weapon was the slingshot - the Blair government approved 230 export licences to Israel for arms and military equipment. The licence categories these covered included large-calibre weapons, ammunition, bombs and almost certainly vital parts for American-supplied helicopter gunships. These Apache gunships have been frequently on the news, firing missiles at civilian areas."



In the New Staesman, 31 Jan 2000, Samuel Brittan explained 'Why arms sales are bad for Britain'.

Blair's government sold Hawk aircraft to Indonesia's Suharto and sold Hawk fighter spare parts to Zimbabwe. Saudi Arabia accounts for about one third of British arms sales.

Brittan writes that we should be on our guard when politicians defend dubious policies by declaring "jobs are at stake".

"The argument that jobs derived from exporting weapons cannot be replaced is akin to the argument for keeping open uneconomic coal mines for the sake of employment."

People change jobs constantly. 'It is almost certainly easier for arms workers, many of whom have a wide range of valued skills, to find new jobs than it was for miners, whose training was far more specific.'

"Defence exports", measured by orders rather than sales, are worth around £5-6 billion a year or a little over 0.5 per cent of GDP. The number of workers employed is 130,000.

A cut of one-third would eliminate the most dubious items. This would mean a loss of 0.167 per cent of GDP or just over 40,000 jobs.

If British arms exports were cut by £1 billion or £2 billion a year, the cost could be a small deterioration in the terms of exchange between British exports and imports from overseas amounting to around 0.25 per cent of GDP.

But arms sales are so heavily supported by the taxpayer that there might actually be a gain in moving the workers, plant and technical skills to other activities that could pay for themselves.

The drive for arms sales distorts the design and production plans of British manufacturers and, in the view of some defence economists, offsets the savings in overheads.



"BALFOUR BEATTY was one of the two British firms to win the contract to build the Pergau dam in Malaysia in 1991. Margaret Thatcher's government agreed to fund the project with £234 million of overseas aid.

"Her son was employed as an adviser to the other British contractor, Cementation International. Thatcher's foreign affairs adviser, Sir Charles Powell, became a director of Trafalgar House, which owns Cementation International.

"The subsidy to build the dam was secretly linked to an agreement by the Malaysian government to buy £1,000 million of British made arms.

"The High Court later ruled that the Tory government had illegally used overseas aid to subsidise arms sales."


"In Malaysia, the Pergau dam was built with £234 million of British overseas aid. Documentary evidence subsequently revealed that the aid package was linked in writing to a reciprocal arms deal whereby the Malaysian government agreed to buy over £1,000 million worth of British military equipment in return for the UK funding Pergau.

"A judicial review brought by a British NGO, the World Development Movement, against the Foreign Office led to a High Court ruling that aid for Pergau was in violation of the 1966 Overseas Aid Act, which forbids British aid money being used for the purchase of arms.

"According to project officials, the Pergau dam can only be used at peak energy hours because the volume of water allows the dam to operate for only a few hours. Even the World Bank criticised the project, arguing that it would be more cost effective to build gas fired power stations."



"The day after Lady Thatcher landed in Oman in 1981 to clinch a £300m university construction deal for Cementation, a Trafalgar House subsidiary, the young Thatcher arrived in the desert kingdom and claims were publicly aired that he pocketed payments as an intermediary in the contract. His mother subsequently told the Commons that she was only "batting for Britain"; he issued statements denying any impropriety.

"A similar charge of a conflict of interests was played out after his mother signed the al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia and he was alleged, based on transcripts of telephone conversations between Saudi princes and agents, to have enjoyed £12m in commissions."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

British yob culture - causes and cures


Quotes from Julie F Scott, Lock Haven University of Pensylvania:

"All of a sudden ‘yobs’ were everywhere and responsible for all social ills. Such was the extent of this cultural shift that even the sons of Prime Minister Tony Blair and the then Home Secretary Jack Straw were participating; one wandering drunk through central London, the other caught dealing Cannabis by a tabloid journalist...

"Britain has the highest divorce rate in Europe (which increases by 3% p.a.)...

"There has been a steady rise in male delinquency (two thirds of all UK crime is committed by males aged 15-25) and also male clinical depression...

"1 in 4 children are now clinically overweight; there has been a decline in childhood activity: polls show most kids’ leisure pursuits are sedentary...

"Davie notes (1994) the UK is no longer a ‘gathering’ or ‘belonging’ society. People just do not join or participate in public organisations anymore, whether church or civil. Britain has one of the lowest rates of civil participation in the West. Supermarket shopping, going to the pub, and soccer have been suggested (Finn 2001) as the only universal forms of civil participation in the UK today...


Comments, from the BBC website, by members of the British public:

"Last year, a local drunken yob kicked a man senseless - the victim needed intensive care. He applied for bail - and got it, despite a huge string of previous violent offences.

"While on bail, he assaulted myself and my wife (both disabled), our son, and 2 police officers. Despite breaking his bail conditions, he was on the streets again the next day.

"And after the trial, he walked - smirking - from the court with a sentence of community service! He's offended twice more since then, but clearly thinks he's fireproof - and why not, as so far he's been right.

"The police are little help either - they never seem to appear until the trouble is over, and insist they can't act until an offence has actually been committed. Whatever happened to the laws against "loitering with intent?" John, Scotland


"In 1992 I went on a thieving rampage. The magistrates were a joke. I had four conditional discharges before being put in jail for two weeks. I feel great regret for the harm I caused people and I wish the courts would've dealt with me in a more severe way to start with. It's not the police that aren't dealing with yobs. It's the middleclass suckers that are our magistrates." anon, UK


"Police Constables were put in cars and their numbers reduced. Alcohol licences were granted to late night cheap drink clubs. 'Alco-pops' were introduced. Penalties for yob behaviour are less than those for minor motoring offences, with some violent drunks merely sent on their way with a kindly, 'Now don't be naughty again" warning. What kind of people are in charge that they sit and wonder what can be done?" Ed, Aberdeen, Scotland



A report by the thinktank Civitas claims that Britain has one of the highest crime rates in the developed world.

The report adds that British policing is among the worst in the world.

The report says burglaries have increased more than fivefold, from 72,000 in 1964 to 402,000 last year, and that police numbers have not kept pace with crime.

In 1921 there were 57,000 police officers dealing with 103,000 crimes - two to each officer - but in 2002/2003 134,000 police officers had to deal with 5,899,000 crimes - 44 each.

"Young people who grow up in troubled and dysfunctional households in which moral values are not inculcated, who attend schools where teachers are afraid or unwilling to teach the difference between right or wrong, who live in communities in which the influence of religious faith is negligible, will naturally be drawn towards the self-gratification and situational ethics that predominate in contemporary culture."



"The root cause of anti-social behaviour is the rise of dysfunctional families who fail to teach their members the skills necessary for an effective family life, let alone how to negotiate successfully the wider world" - Frank Field, MP

Former Labour minister Frank Field is claiming that the Government’s policy of driving young mums back into work is fuelling "yob culture".

Ex-welfare minister Frank Field believes mothers should be given financial help to stay at home for the first two years of a child’s life.

Mr Field argues that nurturing children during their first two years is crucial to the kind of citizens they become.



George Kerevan, in the Scotsman, wrote that his neighbour found drunken teenagers doing damage to his garden.

" There has been fire- raising, a spirited attempt to knock down the parapet of the local bridge (doubtless in the hope that a car would drop 20ft into the river) and intimidation of any adult who objected," wrote Kerevan.

Kerevan's wife phoned the police and asked if she should take a photograph of the neds who were demolishing the roof of a neighbouring property (there being no squad car instantly available). She was warned about the dangers of being had up for taking pornographic images of children.


Kerevan refers to the book "Neighbours from Hell: The Politics of Behaviour", in which Labour MP, Frank Field argues that:

1. earlier societies had built-in social contracts.

2. survival demanded co-operation. Rights came with responsibilities to the group.

3. young people had to earn the right to acceptance within churches, schools, teams, places of work. They learned politeness, considerateness and respect.

Kerevan was brought up on a bleak housing estate in Glasgow in the 1950s.

"Break a window or give cheek to an adult and your dad would soon know and do something about it, or he would face the censure of his peer group."

"Today, that adult male bonding has gone, and with it the institutions that moderate behaviour on similar estates."

What Field wants:

1. The teaching of parenting skills.

2. Welfare payments to be linked to behaviour — abuse a teacher, and your parents’ welfare gets docked.

3. Give genuine power back to local communities.

Neighbourhood courts should be run locally by elected community prosecution lawyers whose careers would depend on their ability to maintain law and order on their patch.

Kerevan suggests that

1. the granting of tenancies on council estates should be subject to approval by existing tenants,

2. the local police superintendent (sheriff) should be elected.

George Kerevan http://www.news.scotsman.com/columnists.cfm?id=1051532003


Let us run our lives


UK Labour Party corruption

Private Eye's greatest days were in the 1970's when they tried to find out whether or not the Prime Minister was a spy for Israel (or the KGB.)

Harold Wilson was President of the Board of Trade (a government minister) from 1947-51.

The few people who could get permission from the Board of Trade to import heavily rationed raw materials or finished goods were in a good position to become vastly rich.

Among the lucky few who got licenses were Montague Meyer, Joe Kagan and Rudy Sternberg. Kagan and Sternberg later became peers.

Meyer gave Wilson a consultancy which took him on frequent trips to Moscow and Eastern Europe.

After the 'mysterious' death of Hugh Gaitskell, Wilson became Labour leader and eventually Prime Minister.

Harold Wilson's 'private office' was funded in secret by a wealthy group which included Lord Goodman, Sir Samuel Fisher, and Rudy Sternberg.

In the 1970's, Private Eye began to receive information of a possible link betwee n Wilson and the Israeli secret service and the KGB.

Much of this information may have come from people within MI5.

In connection with alleged plots, the names of various people were handed to Private Eye.

Labour MP Ian Mikardo had at one time partnered Leslie Paisner in a business that traded with East Germany.

Mikardo's pair in the House of Commons was Barnaby Drayson who worked for Rudy Sternberg, as did Wilfred Owen MP who had resigned after being revealed as a spy for Czechoslovakia.

Montague Meyer, it turned out, was the man who had bought up much of the timber felled in Tanganyika during Labour's ill-fated groundnut scheme.

Then there was Labour MP Edward Short 'who had been in the habit of receiving bundles of banknotes from T Dan Smith', the city boss of Newcastle and one time partner of Eric Levine.

Kagan was a frequent visitor to Downing Street. He was also on friendly terms with the station chief of the Russian KGB. After being questioneded by the police about tax and currency offences he eventually 'fled' to Israel, where perhaps his real allegiance lay.

Sir Rudy Sternberg was also under investigation by the security services.


The "Donnygate" Labour Party corruption case, March 2002, was the worst local government corruption case since the 1970s.

Two senior Labour Party councillors in Doncaster, South Yorkshire and a property developer were sentenced to a total of 11 years in jail.

The case has been described as the tip of a vast pyramid of corruption.

Doncaster Labour Party corruption involved:

1. councillors taking expenses for foreign trips
2. councillors buying racehorses
3. embezzlement reportedly running into millions
4. 74 arrests
5. 23 Labour councillors convicted for expenses fraud

In neighbouring Labour Party-dominated Rotherham council:
1. Rotherham councillors set up an initiative to deal with the town’s poverty
2. Appointed officials received salaries of up to £100,000
3. The organisation failed to draw up a single working policy to combat poverty.



Martin Wainwright wrote about corruption in the Guardian, 24 March 1999.

According to Wainwright: "Labour's 'Doncaster mafia' used the same tactics that had won power for the left within some trade unions in order to take over the council, then set about distributing power and financial rewards through its apparatus of committee chairmanships."

Is Doncaster typical? Jack Riley, jailed for claiming false expenses, told Doncaster magistrates: 'It was standard practice.'

Six Labour councillors resigned in Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire in 2001 over planning misadventures.

The ex-Labour leader of Wakefield Council and two colleagues have been arrested

The Labour deputy leader of Rotherham plus two officers have been arrested.

The Poulson scandal in the early Seventies involved bribes, building contracts in London, the Midlands and the North-east and backstairs planning permission.

It led to the conviction of Yorkshire architect John Poulson, senior civil servant George Pottinger and a number of local politicians and officials, including two top Labour councillors, T.Dan Smith, ex-leader of Newcastle City Council, and Andrew Cunningham, chairman of Durham County Council.


The Prime Minister made Paul Drayson a lord, six weeks before he gave the party £505,000, Electoral Commission accounts reveal.

Lord Drayson donated £100,000 while his firm Powderject made £20million as the Government's only supplier of the smallpox vaccine.

Powderject received a £32m contract for smallpox vaccine without normal competitive tendering, shortly after donating to Labour.

In the Steelgate affair it was revealed that billionaire Lakshmi Mittal had donated £125,000 to Labour party funds prior to receiving Mr Blair's backing for his takeover of the Romanian Sidex steel plant.

The Indian Hinduja brothers were allegedly involved in bribery in connection with defence contracts and applied for British passports in order to try and avoid extradition to India.

November 1997: Gopichand Hinduja is given a UK passport.

March 1999: Srichand Hinduja receives his UK passport.

19 January 2001: The Hinduja brothers appear in court in India in connection with an arms scandal dating back to 1986. The brothers are accused of criminal conspiracy and bribery in connection with the purchase of field guns by India from the Swedish company Bofors. They are bailed.

20 January 2001: In response to enquiries from The Observer Mr Mandelson says about a Hinduja request for a passport: "This matter was dealt with by my private secretary ... I did not support or endorse this application for citizenship."

Mr Campbell tells reporters that Mr Mandelson phoned Mr O'Brien to inquire if Srichand's passport application would be re-considered.

Mr Campbell concedes he had made statements on the issue to reporters which were "plainly not true", and all but publicly accuses Mr Mandelson of misleading him.

January 2001: Mr Mandelson resigns from the government.



Paul Foot wrote:

"Geoffrey Robinson, Blair's first Paymaster General, ... has now been found to have been a beneficiary of the generous crook Robert Maxwell--to the tune of £200,000, no less, the cheque which Robinson just cannot find.

"Robinson's connections with the accountants Arthur Andersen, which raised funds for New Labour, have been exposed in a recent book by Tom Bower, just in time for the Enron scandal. Enron went bust last year in a spectacular bankruptcy caused by various imaginative accounting devices dreamed up by Andersen.

"From 1994 to 1996 Andersen's sister company employed Patricia Hewitt, a rising star in New Labour, and cooperated generously with New Labour before and after the 1997 election. Its main aim in life--to remove the ban on it imposed by the former Tory government because of its dishonesty over the DeLorean scandal--was achieved within seven months of New Labour coming to office."


A Labour Party MP and financial backer of the Labour Party was Robert Maxwell

Robert Maxwell, Mossad, Pension theft, Pensions

Politicians - Tessa Jowell, Cathy Jamieson, Michael Howard....




The Sunday Times, 30 May 30 1993, reported on financial scandals and rackets in the London borough of Lambeth.

Confidential papers obtained by The Sunday Times revealed massive fraud and mismanagement in the Labour-controlled borough.


1. Charged thousands of times the real cost for repairs and maintenance.

2. Altered or destroyed documents to allow unnecessary, unauthorised or fictitious work to be billed to the authority. Papers relating to millions of pounds of public money are missing.

3. Handed out £2m of work for the environment department's homelessness initiative programme to "a small select list" of contractors, without tenders and on the say-so of one council officer.

The government's District Audit Service issued a "public interest" report accusing the council of unlawfully misdirecting more than £20m.

Paul Claydon, the district auditor, spent two years investigating Lambeth.

In one instance, a repair to a wall had a correct price of £184.30, and a special Lambeth price of £8,573.54. In another, a £33.86 job to replace ceramic tiles was billed at £1,055.62. One item which rightfully should have cost £7.26 was billed for £10,204.74.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Meacher for leader?

Would Michael Meacher make a good leader of the UK labour Party, in place of Blair?



In the Guardian, 18 May 2005, Meacher explains what a Labour government should be doing.

Meacher wants:

1. greater democratic control over the top people;

2. improved quality in government schools and hospitals;

3. the fostering rather than the undermining of human and civil rights;

4. more capacity to hold political leaders to account;

5. a lessening of the gap between rich and poor.

Meacher points out that:

1. 22% of the UK population are still living below the poverty line;

2. 125 directors are now paid over £1m a year.

According to Meacher, these excesses should be dealt with by:

1. taxing all benefits in kind at their full monetary value,
2. blocking the more flagrant tax avoidance devices such as the super-rich non-domicile loophole,
3. giving shareholders a binding vote on remuneration policies.
4. raising the minimum wage to £6.31 per hour - the Council of Europe decency threshold - lifting 6.5 million out of poverty.

Meacher wants a reduction in the power of the big corporations:

1. Industrial legislation should not be heavily tilted to the advantage of big business.
2. Key national decisions should not regularly favour corporate interests over the environment, social rights and sustainable development.
3. The media should not be controlled by a small number of very rich tycoons without any accountability.

Meacher believes that schools and hospitals should not be about making profits.

Meacher wants Britain to be less dominated by the USA.

Michael Meacher is Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton; he was environment minister from 1997-2003.
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