Tag Archives: BBC Radio 4

The way of cowards

This is not the first message we see in the news and it will not be the last. We see the everlasting rumble of facilitation and the need to sweep under the carpet the actions of others and never holding them to account. Last week many in the UK were given ‘Instagram bans ‘graphic’ self-harm images after Molly Russell’s death‘, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/07/instagram-bans-graphic-self-harm-images-after-molly-russells-death) gives us a scenario that should kick us all into action, yet not in the way that some believe is the right one.

Even as we saw: “After days of growing pressure on Instagram culminated in a meeting with health secretary Matt Hancock, the social network’s head Adam Mosseri admitted that the company had not done enough and said that explicit imagery of self-harm would no longer be allowed on the site“, we should be angered by the words of Adam Mosseri, yet we are not. The image in this is not as simple as it is given, but it should be. 2 days ago we see ‘Instagram urged to crack down on eating disorder images‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/08/instagram-urged-to-crack-down-on-eating-disorder-images) where the quote: “The Guardian has discovered thousands of hashtags and accounts promoting anorexia, including diaries of weight loss, alarming pictures and comments on goal weights“, we get the advice “Please don’t report, just block,” and that is also the first path where the solution is found. It should instantly apply to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all other forms of social media.

The simple solution

You as the poster are responsible for the content you post, you can be prosecuted and sued if need be, if a case goes to court all data and information of the account, as well as its posting history will be made available to the prosecuting parties. You are responsible for the created account and the content posted through it.

It is this simple; those who are on that path of chaos and anarchy must bear the responsibilities of the impact. No matter your age ‘I did not know’ is not a valid defence in court. Your life over, no tertiary education (the fast food industry always needs fresh blood).

It is time that we stop facilitating to social media to grow their numbers any way they can, even as the death of Molly Russell is out now, we need to realise that the matter is worse than: “But critics said the changes should have already been made and remained skeptical they would be enough to tackle a problem that some said has grown unchecked for 10 years“, political inaction and facilitation are a direct cause here and it is time to stop fretting and apply every brake we can. The measure ‘including the removal of non-graphic images of self-harm‘, the poster needs to be dealt with, In case of self-harm it might have meant that the proper people talked to Molly Russel immediately, which now implies that Molly Russel could have been alive today if action had been taken earlier. Those who posted fake alerts might find themselves prosecuted, their equipment seized and they can revert to spending hours reading, their library card giving a clear “no internet access” part. There needs to be a price for the damage inflicted. The response ‘I thought it was fun!‘ will not hold water, we have given enough leeway for the longest of times and we need to realise that the parents are often not blameless either.

Dangerous message!

So as we are given: “young people also faced being confronted with pro-anorexia images” we need to be extra alarmed. So when we are confronted with that slogan, how can this be seen as “an ascetic Journey“? If we look at ascetic we see “characterized by severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons“, yet most of the younger people will have considered that they meant aesthetic which means “concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty”, what I would call miscommunication through words that sound alike. You see, ”abstention from all forms of indulgence“, does not include do not eat what your body requires to stay healthy, because the message bringer was pretty clear of remaining in the dark to what constitutes indulgence, and whilst we see: the element of “more than is good for you” to be ignored, we see the sliding scale of danger towards that persons health. So even if we agree with “There is a social obligation and whether there is also an industry obligation is an important point that is coming out at the moment as well.” We see that in the end, the poster is not held to account and whilst we look at the statement of images, it is clear that there is every change that the slogan is kept online, which is more dangerous as slogans can become meme’s in the mind of the troubled person hammering second after second until it grabs hold in daily life. The damage is done!

When we set into law the prosecution of the poster, we also see a first step into resolving the state of cyber-bullying, these cowards are hiding in the shadows, feeling that they have fun, yet when the data becomes available for prosecution as they can no longer delete their activities, we see the impact of their fear reversed, we enable the bullied to go after those bullies. These people will now step into the spotlight and they tend to not like it at all.

All elements solved by properly holding the poster to account and that is what most social media fear, because when accountability comes into play posts decline by well over 30% and that is the fear of social media, to be made responsible is also to be made less flammable and social media grows with every online flame, it is a consequence of participation and when there is an emotional flame everyone wants to participate and have their say in it all.

It is Jade (19) who gives us more in the Guardian, who at age 11 engaged in “When my eating disorder and depression were at their worst, I scoured apps like Instagram to find these images which only worsened my self-image. At this time the posts were few and far between. Clearly the amount of images is now vast across almost all social media platforms,” Now we can understand that this is not the fault of social media that people ignore age requirements, yet this is the common issue that has been around for too long, so when we see “It isn’t only Instagram that is riddled with these potentially distressing images, sites or apps like Tumblr, Pinterest and Weheartit are also full of these posts.” we see the stage where the poster needs to be held to account, we see the stage that has been avoided for a decade and all the players know that they have been avoiding the stage. Now there is a new trend, the image of cutting, even as some sources are about the dream, about: “Cutting oneself indicates family problems“, it is now linked in several ways to self-harm and as such the picture becomes less and less transparent to resolve, yet the first option, hold the poster to account is still there and this path has been avoided for close to a decade, the question becomes why?

Age is no longer a valid point, the transgressors had no issues lying about their age, as such they need to directly feel the impact as they throw away their lives, it puts them and their parents in the picture, it needs to become about this as overworked parents all rely on giving their child a tablet or mobile as a toy so that they can be quiet as they are too exhausted, all replacement towards the failure of raising a child (in some cases). In other cases it is the lack of discipline and peer pressure, it has to stop, holding the poster to account has become an essential first step. There is a secondary need to do this, we see in some parts of the world how social media is used to spread extremism (Indonesia), how long until they start looking for tools to do their work for them? How long until we start seeing the impact of “extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS)“, via a fictive 17 year old boy named Kevin living in Springfield (IL) or Richmond (Vi)? He’ll tell you that they gave him a cool video game for promoting and retweeting something he could not read, and his classmates all did the same because Kevin got a really cool video game, that was money in the bank. For the JAD in the end it would have been money in the bank all that visibility for $59 (plus shipping), Google Ads could not have given them a better deal ever. The federal investigation teams will unable to untangle that mess for months, the perpetrators will have moved on weeks before.

That is how I see it!

We need to change gears on all social media fronts and holding the poster to account is a first step. To remove dangers form people like Molly Russell is a first, but it goes beyond that. Even when we see the sceptical foundation of: “Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, the digital minister, Margot James, said the government would “have to keep the situation very closely under review to make sure that these commitments are made real – and as swiftly as possible”” people like Margot James and her various international counter parts need to realise that it is way too late for ‘keep the situation very closely under review‘, it is over half a decade too late already, we need to change gears and make a first step towards holding posters accountable for what they post, when it results in fatalities a freedom of expression will not hold water and even if the court decides to do just that, the people have a right to know who that poster was. It gets to be even worse when we consider the factor that Apple played in all this. Their part is less easy to see because privacy is set and at times privacy is just that nobody’s business, yet when it results in the death of a 14 year old and it was a cyberbully that was behind it all? Should Apple be allowed to protect the identity of the murderer? It is not an easy matter and some drawers should justifiably be kept closed, yet the image still remains and that too is a moment where the poster could have been held accountable and holding them to account might have stopped a worse matter earlier on, it was not to be the case.

I believe that dozens of lives could have been saved if political players had acted a lot earlier and a lot more decisive.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

Betrayed by government?

That is how you should feel in the UK. This is not some issue with the conservatives, I myself am a conservative. The issue is on both sides of the isle. That issue was shown to be very much the case yesterday in an article by Robert Booth titles ‘Tower cladding tests after Grenfell fire lack transparency, say experts‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/26/tower-block-cladding-tests-after-grenfell-fire-lack-transparency-say-experts). Yet, Robert is skating around a few issues, and he should be confronted about this. You see, I covered a few of them three days before that and it took less than an hour to get those facts, they are out in the open. I published them (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/06/23/under-cover-questions/), with the actual brochure. You see, the Arconic brochure, which I had in the article as well. Stated: ‘it is perfect for projects less than 40 feet high‘. So please give us the name of the project manager who allowed for this cladding to be chosen, please give us his/her name. So when I read “The communities secretary, Sajid Javid, announced on Monday that samples of aluminium panels from all 75 buildings that had been sent for fire retardancy testing had so far “failed”“, I am not that surprised as the Arconic brochure states on page three ‘a polyethylene or fire-retardant compound’, so which is it, because polyethylene is a combustible element, so there must have been two options here. And there is, you see whoever made the choice chose the Reynobond (PE), which is the combustible edition, that is what earlier news gave us. So in that case, who signed off on that idea?

The actual Arconic leaflet gives you this information BEFORE purchasing. So when Robert gives us “The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) asked councils to cut samples of at least 25cm x 25cm from the cladding of towers and send them to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) at Watford for testing but has not said if the tests show whether they meet a British standard test” I wonder who are they kidding here. My question would be ‘Did the DCLG know that they were enabling their buildings to become Roman Candles with the option to kill anyone inside that building?‘ it is not really the same question, yet with Grenfell, we have the ‘evidence‘ to the better extent. The next part is even more hilarious, although not on the side of Robert Booth. The quote “Experts have warned that far more comprehensive tests on the entire cladding system are needed to establish if buildings are as at-risk as Grenfell was, including the insulation and design details such as fire stops. The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, told the House of Commons that “cladding is not the whole story”.” You see, here John Healey is as I personally see it the joke and it will be on him. There is indeed more than Cladding, yet the Celotex RS5000 seems to hold water as there are comprehensive fire tests, as one would expect and the brochure does not beat around the bush. They are giving the reader the test names, what and how it was tested. Unless specific combinations crop up (which is possible), the French firm who resides in Saint-Gobain did a decent job. Although in the last days there is an update that they are withdrawing their materials for any project on buildings that are taller than 18 metres. That is a fair step to take, yet with the possible impact this offers, certain parties could under common law now find themselves in a torts case for loss of economic value and losses, which could be a very large amount. This is what a lack of transparency gets you and Robert Booth does point that out. And yes, after my article, Celotex gives us “Celotex is shocked by the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating human tragedy. We have been supplying building products for over forty years and as a business our focus has always been to supply safe insulation products to make better buildings.” I find that acceptable. Their brochure is to the point, gives us a lot of good and the architects should have had the info they needed as well as a handle what else to ask for or what else to test for. At present, unless there are inconsistencies or misquotes, the work of Celotex is all above board and all good (me speaking as a non civil-engineer). The second person now under scrutiny should be Barry Turner as we read: “Barry Turner, director of technical policy at Local Authority Building Control, which represents council building control officers also asked: “I would like to know just what tests these panels are failing.”“. You see, in opposition I would ask, what tests were performed, how was testing done and who signed off on that? Again Arconic gives us in their own brochure: “the ASTM E84 test” and it passed with a Class A. Yet, that test involves a horizontal test sample’, so how horizontal was the Grenfell tower when people were living in there? Perhaps a vertical test would have been needed. I am merely going for broke with the questions. Of course the press will soon focus on the ‘savings of £1.5 million‘ yet I wonder if there is a real story there. It could be, but I am not convinced. You see, the directive to choose away from the initial builder as to the why, and the shown facts beyond the mere cost saving that will impact it all. In addition, the fact that the cladding was done to appease the luxury flats around that building is another matter for discussion. You see, when a building was safe enough, adding a fire hazard means that those requestors can also be interviewed very visibly now. They wanted a better view, so how was that view on June 14th? Yet we see little of that in the article. At this point, Robert gives us a gem, one that is interesting. The quote “The London Borough of Hounslow, where the Clements Court tower failed the DCLG test, panels are being “swiftly” removed, but the council stressed: “The insulation material behind this outer cladding is a ‘Rockwool’ material which is a non-combustible product, unlike the case of the Grenfell Tower, where the insulation was a combustible type“. You see, when we look at the RS5000, we see “Due to its excellent thermal insulating efficiency at service temperatures ranging from -297°F to +300°F, polyiso foam has become the standard for low temperature insulation applications“, this is the information we get on ‘Polyisocyanurate Foam‘ which is what is used in RS5000. So who are the members of that council, can we get names please? With the encountered allegations that go nowhere, we do not seem to get any names, so shall we get all the members of the Borough of Hounslow in the dock and ask them some questions? The fact that the insulator seems to fail is that vertically burning polyethylene (Raynobond PE) tends to go beyond 300F really fast, and we can agree that under normal weather conditions, the temperature of 150 degrees would never be met, would it? The final quote to look at is “One architect responsible for some of the projects where cladding has been ruled to have failed, asked: “What are they testing to what standard? This could be a massively costly and disruptive error to thousands of residents.”“, what standard? Well the one that does not burn people to a crisp would be nice. And if it is a costly, does that not make the test still valid? Also the given term “’costly and disruptive error’ to thousands of residents” by that architect? Perhaps his comment was taken out of context to some degree, but it still leaves me with questions. The disruptive error we see now is that those people who died do not complain, the ones burned and still living will complain as will their family members. The fact that I as a non architect, with limited firefighting expertise (a remnant of my merchant navy and marine rescue days) was able to question the validity of choosing Raynobond PE the moment I had gone through their 7 page marketing brochure. There remains an option that there are questions regarding the Celotex RS5000, yet with the massive failure that the cladding was, the insulator has no real way of proving itself. All this was obtained from merely watching 30 seconds of news film and one product brochure. In that we see that over half a dozen councils need to reassess their values and choices as we now see that changes made in haste are done in Liverpool, London, Plymouth, Salford city and Camden. I reckon that a few more are to follow before the week is out. In all this I love the BBC radio 4 quote the best: “Cladding is being removed from three tower blocks in Plymouth, which were found to have the lowest possible fire safety rating“, how does one consider going for the LOWEST possible fire rating? It almost sounds like a Victorian advertisement: “Pay rent until the day you die, we offer both in our places of settlement!

Grenfell is showing clearly that the focus of the government failed, not just this one, both Labour and Conservatives are equally guilty here. Having seen the paper trail as a foundation of non-clarity for far too long, I wonder how this was not brought to light a lot earlier. The complaints from the people in Grenfell can be used as evidence in this case. This time it got a lot of people killed and as he Tottenham MP, David Lammy stated the term “corporate manslaughter“, it leaves me with two things that you all should consider carefully. The scope implies that it is not just corporate and there is every chance that MP’s and council members could share the dock here in court. The second one is that when the evidence shows that it was about cutting costs at any expense, we see that with the BBC4 radio part. Is it still manslaughter, or does it become murder? Is leaving people in death-traps, with such intend manslaughter, or should we call it the way it is “casualties for the sake of profit margins“. There is no common law part in law or in UK cases to make this an actuality, but perhaps it should. Perhaps it is time to make that change, if only to stop greed to some degree, because 149 victims in one building would sanctify such a change in law. The government that does not give that honest consideration in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords during at least two sittings each is betraying the trust you bestowed upon them. This is now becoming a job for the Law Lords and as the blogger Lawlordtobe I call upon them to make the UK a safer place to be.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics, Science

Losing Blatter control

I initially dreaded today, not just because I had heard earlier that FIFA will get a few more years of bladder control, but because of the news waves that would come after. The first one that came to view was the Guardian (of course). So this is what the Guardian had to say: “The re-elected FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has said he was “shocked” at the way US authorities targeted football’s world body and slammed what he called a “hate” campaign by Europe’s football leaders“.

Dear Mr. Blatter, are you (allegedly) insane? This is not a little get together, this is a structural failing of an organisation, where over 150 million went to personal gains. All this whilst you were in control! I suggest you wake up and consider the fact that possible events calling for criminal negligence with Sepp Blatter in the next indictment has not been ruled out yet! As for the statement “arrests were timed to interfere with Zurich congress” could be regarded as misdirection, when you send in the ferrets, you send them into the hole when all the rabbits are together!

Let’s re-attach the original indictment: fifa-indictment-webb-etal

Then we see the comment: “The FIFA president condemned comments made by US officials including the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who said corruption in football was “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted, both abroad and here in the United States”” Is that the fact Mr Blatter? The indictment specifies 13 criminal schemes, so if you want to condemn anything, it should be your choice of organisation and your inability to prevent any of this. The articles have not even looked at the implications on the overturned appeal to release Michael Garcia’s original full report. Consider the votes who blocked this and the people who are now indicted for corruption. How many influence was there?

Consider the appeal response by FIFA (at FIFA.com) “The FIFA Appeal Committee, chaired by Larry Mussenden, has concluded that the appeal lodged by the chairman of the investigatory chamber, Michael J. Garcia, against the statement of the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, is not admissible“, the people want to know what actually was found. So, in all this, with this much money involved the three top dogs: Larry Mussenden, Hans-Joachim Eckert and Sepp Blatter. They are all in awe and shock that there was corruption? I mentioned it yesterday Andrew Jennings with ‘The Beautiful Bung: Corruption and the World Cup’, consider that this was 2006, we get two parts “A few days later we encountered Warner at Trinidad’s international airport and tried again to ask him about his ticket rackets and the fact that he steers lucrative FIFA contracts to his two sons Daryll and Daryan. After the World Cup Andrew obtained two confidential Ernst & Young reports from FIFA sources revealing that Warner had illicitly obtained 5,400 ticket for Germany and sold them to package tour companies in Japan, Mexico and Britain” as well as “FIFA vice president Jack Warner makes threatening gestures to Andrew’s cameraman“. Now we see that the sons have been arrested, Jack Warner proclaims his innocence and now we see reports that in the statements from the sons that their father is mentioned as being involved.

I think that Mr Blatter needs to take a long hard look at his own indignation and consider what he will do next, because his legacy has been burned down, it happened on his watch. In my view he has no one to blame but himself. Not because this unfolds now, but because there has been a decade of clear indications that things were amiss and no corrective steps had been made (as far as I can tell).

So when we see the Guardian part where we see the Defence of Blatter, which is shown at “But Blatter also appeared to discount his own responsibility for the scandal. “We can’t constantly supervise everyone in football,” he insisted. “You can’t just ask people to behave ethically just like that.”“, is that so? So, when we see the events from 2006 onwards, what did you do Mr Blatter?

Now, before people start overreacting, or trivialising on how large FIFA is, let’s not forget that amongst the arrested people were Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo, both Vice Presidents of FIFA, so the list takes us to one step from the very top, which gives additional weight to both the inactions from Sep Blatter as well as the overturned appeal from Michael Garcia. Not to mention the fear they NOW have as they are fighting extradition, it does not matter what rank you have in FIFA, once you are a member of the State Penal League, those ‘rich’ boys will end up becoming somebodies bitch, how will that feel?

A side fact to mention is that I talked to dozens of people today regarding the FIFA corruption, not one person, I say again, not one person was surprised. So Mr Blatter, how truly undignified can you be, when there is almost a decade of presented evidence, as well as the press coverage over the years. It seems that in my humble view, Mr. Blatter should currently be presented with an Oscar for best theatrics, 2015!

Now let’s take a look at the part that matters, not just the press, not the ‘opinions’ from people (or from me for that matter), let’s look at the allegations in the indictment.

The enterprise is set as FIFA. It only has a written Code of Ethics in October 2004, revised in 2006 and 2009, it states that ‘that soccer officials were prohibited from accepting bribes or cash gifts and from otherwise abusing their positions for personal gain‘. On page 32 we see: ‘The Initial Corruption of the Enterprise’, here we see “WARNER worked closely thereafter with Co-Conspirator #1, whose fortunes rose with WARNER’s and who was appointed to be WARNER’s general secretary at CONCACAF. Following his appointment, Co-Conspirator #1 transferred CONCACAF’s administrative headquarters to New York, New York. WARNER established the president’s office in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago“, in addition we see “the defendant JACK WARNER established and controlled numerous bank accounts and corporate entities in which he mingled his personal assets and those of CONCACAF, CFU, and TTFF. Beginning in the early 1990s, WARNER, often with the assistance of Co-Conspirator #1, began to leverage his influence and exploit his official positions for personal gain. Among other things, WARNER began to solicit and accept bribes in connection with his official duties, including the selection of the host nation for the World Cups held in 1998 and 2010, which he participated in as a member of the FIFA executive committee“. Even though we can all understand that these people are making a nice amount of coinage. The growth in real estate by ‘family members‘ should have spurted questions on a few levels. the fact that the indictment states “with money drawn from an account held in the name of a soccer facility that was ostensibly affiliated with CONCACAF and was supported in part through FAP funds” gives voice to additional questions on how the books were kept, who was keeping the books and how can a FIFA president remain ignorant of these situations as they are now being documented?

I keep on going back to the work of Andrew Jennings ‘The Beautiful Bung: Corruption and the World Cup’. You see, Jennings is an investigative reporter, he worked for the Sunday Times and BBC Radio 4. He is not some glossy wannabe on the Telegraph or on any Murdoch shouting-wannabe-outrageous press view. This man did a decent job, looked at the issues and this all is reasonably nothing compared to ‘FIFA’s Dirty Secrets’ (November 2010). These are several clear-cut allegations that should have been points of action into investigation and adaption of rules and regulations within FIFA, yet all indications are that nothing was done, which makes the position of Sep Blatter a lot more worrying. Now we get to the one defence Blatter gave that does make sense “At the end of my term I will be able to hand over a strong FIFA – one that is integrated and will have enough safeguards to not need political interventions” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32925227). In my view, the only way to do this is to be open and strict investigative. So, that did not include, or should it have allowed for the statement “the way US authorities targeted football’s world body and slammed what he called a “hate” campaign by Europe’s football leaders“.

In my view Sep Blatter is off to a negatively rocky start.

Additional evidence for questions on how finances are managed. Even FIFA.com is massively unclear on all of it. It that not strange for a multi-billion dollar industry? The fact that there is one president and then there are committee members, no clear CFO, of head of Finances, at least not clearly stated on their website. That does not raise any questions? Something this widespread should have a clear list of names and functions, especially financial ones. So when you see the Governance part of FIFA and we see “According to article 69, paragraph 2 of the FIFA Statutes, FIFA’s revenue and expenditure “shall be managed so that they balance out over the financial period”. Furthermore, “FIFA’s major duties in the future shall be guaranteed through the creation of reserves”“, when we see that line and we should all wonder on how some of these operations are in play. Consider the representation (at http://www.martingrandjean.ch/data-visualization-the-fifa-budget-2015-2018/), I cannot attest to the accuracy of it all, but it shows something interesting. With 5 billion coming in and when we look at the massive amounts of projects in funds going out, whilst leaving 100 million in profit, now consider posts like ‘competitive management‘, ‘Football governance‘, ‘Human resources‘ so many involved projects, linked people and other elements, can we now see that Sep Blatter should have acted in many regards a lot sooner, especially when we see the allegations thrown at the members of governance of FIFA?

This graph might be debatable for the amounts, but what is clearly shown are the amount of venues linked in all this and I feel decently certain, that considering where the 500,000 dollar from the Football Federation Australia went. If that went to ‘a stadium upgrade in Trinidad and Tobago’, if so, where is the accounting? Apart from the payment calling in to all kinds of questions, there are logistic issues. Something this big, this complex requires accountants and oversight. Can anyone explain why we see a second Tesco evolve? If you think that this is an exaggeration, then consider the data visualisation and all those projects costing millions, some totalling hundreds of millions out of a cash flow of 5 billion. You still think I am exaggerating?

When you look at these ‘facts’, I state facts loosely, because the source and quality of the data visualisation cannot be validated/verified (even though the source ‘FIFA Financial Report 2013’ is mentioned). But overall it shows several paths and many of them are known entities, so when we ignore the amount except for the two elements adding to 5 billion, which are publicly known. Can you even imagine how weird and unacceptable the ignorance of Sep Blatter is, how totally out of place of is for a president of an organisation the size of FIFA?

I let you decide, but consider the stories we see, the information we are not seeing and how the FBI was the one acting at present. In addition, as I requoted the 500,000, which was according to sources for a ‘stadium upgrade in 2010’. The information I found was that it was to upgrade the Marvin Lee Stadium. In 2007, the Stadium became the first in the Caribbean to have an artificial playing surface, costing TT$8 million, which was made possible through a FIFA development grant. This comes to AU$ 1.6 million, or £824,000. So where did the 2.4 million TT$ go to in 2010? And why did a stadium needed that much for an upgrade? Interesting on http://stadiumdb.com/stadiums/tri/marvin_lee_stadium is the fact that we see there that renovations were made in 2007, there is no mention of the 2010 upgrade as was stated. I am certain that some upgrades were made, but for how much? In addition we see all the artificial turf, but who costs it and is it competitively costed (especially when it sets someone 1.6 million back)? I do not know the answer, I am asking, I wonder who else if any are asking these questions in plight of the corruption allegations as well as the arrests made.

There is one final part. It puzzles me, hence I mention it. Especially in light of what is now visibly passing. The indictment, criminal counts three and four involve two wire transfers totalling 13 million in name of CONMEBOL at Banco do Brasil in Asunción, Paraguay. In light of the financial hardship Paraguay has had, with the crises of 1995, reforms demanded by the IMF due to corruption, with the banks having a long time history of laundering. Why would FIFA act in such a naive way? It is a fact that the HQ of CONMEBOL is in Paraguay, so there is a valid reason for the transfer, In 2013 Chile had one of the 50 safest banks, and Paraguay does not get mentioned on that list at all. Even if we accept the validity of the bank transfer (which seems to be the case), but what happened to the money after that? You see, that becomes the question. In addition, we see that apart from the Australian ‘donation’ counts 10 and 11 where additional donations went to the CFU Trinidad. Again, it seems valid, but what happened after that? The indictment is now 11 days old. Any quality CFO could have gone public stating where the money had gone to, in effect blowing the entire indictment out of the water. The fact that we see that certain FIFA members are fighting the extradition, in addition to the fact that conference and election or not, clarity on several points could have been able to give (read: should) in matters of hours give added question to what is going on.

My issue is not the ‘what next’ part, it is the ‘what did they not yet find’ part.

You see the indictments are on the transfers and payments, in the first degree. we see over time that CFU got two payments of a little over half a million, which should not be a blip on a 5 billion dollar radar, but for the indictment, it is, so what information is not shown at present (the trial will bring that out)? You see, are counts 10 and 11 a clear indication that they have certain evidence, or are these counts the crowbar to open up other issues, issues that could come up in ‘operational expenses and services‘ which the data visualisation sets at 990 million. I reckon that true digging into ‘building and maintenance’, ‘human resources’, ‘other’ and one element not even named could be the field where the FBI knows the issues are, the question now, does FIFA have a correct and precise account, if not, why not? If so then the comparison will leave a few highlighted fish, which will put Jeffrey Web in an uncertain location. The CFU will get into other waters as well as this is all British terrain (artificially grassed or not), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will soon get additional work, because they will now have their own investigation as well and as I see it, it will go a lot further than just a few banks.

FIFA might be all about the ball, but it seems that Sep Blatter has not been on it, not for a while now.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, Law, Media, Politics

Choices we make under pressure

It is an odd day, one day we predict and await, the next day we see how issues are just settled out of media. Now, at times I am all for keeping the media out. Not to put too delicate a point on it, but some members of a group we at times laughingly refer to as ‘people with journalistic integrity’ seems to have a moral view that is only slightly worse than a crack user in Camden. So as I saw that Chuka Umunna was going for the Labour leadership, I took a look at him. I saw just one interview he had just after the elections and I was not impressed. That is not a measurement of anything. You see, when Ed Miliband abdicated, which is a shame in one way, but understandable in another, I expected to see a person equal to the presenting task. Mr Umunna was not it. Now, that is just a first impression. I have no idea about his family, his extended family or anything else, I do not care about them (not meant in a bad way). In my view, it is about the man/woman and his/her political ability. The rest does not matter to me. Doesn’t it seem strange that a person who fights to get on top of things, who works hard to get anywhere, that person should not be measured by anything else but him/her! If I was to be measured by my abusive alcoholic father, I would be a lot better of going to the top of the closest by high building and enjoy the view on the way down (and I do not mean via the stairs or elevator). I am my own man, I fought to get where I got and I did it mostly myself. That is how I would measure Chuka Umunna!

So when it was revealed that he pulled out, I became curious (at https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/waugh-room/why-chuka-pulled-out). It is this quote “But the 48 hours crystallised his view that he just didn’t want the level of private scrutiny that being a Labour leadership contender, let alone Labour leader or Prime Minister, could entail“, which is fair enough! Or is it?

You see people in high places always had scrutiny, they accept that, but nowadays, the press has taken all of this into a realm that is no longer acceptable. So when you see this quote: “It’s also true that his girlfriend’s elderly grandmother was contacted by the media” in that article, we should consider what level of harassment any person in public office should get, and to what degree their family members are allowed to be shielded from. Remember, this is not the media around the election, this is day 5 after the elections and the pressure is already on. The fact that Chuka is shielding his family from all this for the coming 5 years is understandable but still regrettable.

This reflects back to the beginning. Was my view right? For now, I reckon so! For now he is the starter, the newbie, likely to be prone to all kinds of beginner’s mistakes, but that is what happens in year 0 (as any faction leader would face). Yet, should we accept this? Even as a conservative, I wonder whether the press is now engaging in acts that deprives the British people from proper representation. Is Chuka Umunna the best representation Labour would get? Well, now it seems that the Labour party will never find out, the press seems to have put a stop on that. Let me be frank, as a public figure, Mr Umunna can expect all kinds of exposure, to a limited degree the immediate family too, but the pressure to the extent some people get now it is a lot less acceptable. We get back to the press and how the press is actually abusing its freedom.

Lord Tebbit, former conservative MP for Epping and Chingford once stated: “It’s better to risk the press abusing its freedom than to risk the authorities abusing an unfree press“. In my own way I would add to that, that this might have been true in the days when his lordship was young and innocent, but in today’s society we must truly consider whether the press remains such a force of consideration. The term ‘risk regarding the press abusing its freedom‘ is now with some certainty the issue of ‘the press abusing the rights and freedoms of the people for the need of innuendo and circulation‘. This goes far beyond the old Hacked off issues. From the moment that was settled we saw some articles grovelling, then hyping on how freedom is such a good thing and how the press can regulate itself and that entire matter was not even a month old we got ‘MH370 suicide flight‘, were we ever shown any actual evidence to that? Now it is likely to get worse and many of my readers from the UK have not signed up for their possible political representation to be scrutinised to such a harassing degree. Here I must oppose Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter. In the interview in the Guardian, where after only 8 seconds he goes on with ‘but we have a great range of talent out there still hoping to run‘, so the person the conservatives feared the most (me thinks not) is replaced after 8 seconds for the next person. There is something wrong here too. If Chuka Umunna is such a great person, why not fight for him. You see, either Chuka is not that great a politician (fair enough) or this is about the worry on how much limelight labour will get from the press regarding the ‘wrong’ person. That is an immediate threat to the democratic freedom of all. So this is not about NOT looking into a politician, this is about the decent level of privacy the not immediate family is entitled to.

In the Guardian we also see Mary Creagh who was quoted from BBC Radio 4 “Modern politicians with social media, Facebook and emails face pressures even 15 or 20 years ago they did not face … We are expected to be some how superhuman”, is that true, or is there an increasingly skewed action by the press to overexpose whatever is not perfectly spotless and in that manner undo whatever good a politician is trying to do.

In the Daily Mail (I apologise for using a lowly regarded source of information) we see two quotes “Chuka Umunna is the articulate politician who had hoped to make the Labour Party electable again after the humiliations suffered under Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. But many party workers were worried that this 36-year-old, 6ft-tall, well-dressed former lawyer may be just a little too smooth. The grandson of a British prosecutor at the Nuremberg war trials, Chuka was educated at a private boys’ school, and was a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. His voice can be heard singing the theme tune to the Rowan Atkinson comedy Mr Bean. Mr Umunna thinks nothing of spending £1,200 on bespoke suits from Alexandra Wood, an exclusive Saville Row tailor“.

So why would this be an issue? The terms ‘well-dressed‘ and ‘too smooth‘? The fact that he is the grandson of a former War Crimes prosecutor! That counts! Then there is the Saville Row reference, so this is not about skill, this is about the image that he inherited, the choices he made. Yet this person also decided to give his time to Labour, to champion the workers. He did not become a conservative as rich people seem to be seen as. In addition we get the quote “He was forced to apologise two years ago after it was revealed that he had once commented on a website that London’s nightclubs were ‘full of trash and C-list wannabes’“, so now people must apologise for speaking the truth? Have you seen the trash that comes out of some of these clubs? Smashed, drunk as a skunk and regularly we see how some of these places will have people leaving on all kinds of chemical trips. This is a consequence of binge drinking and slipping 1-2 pills with the white wine. This whilst many of them ladies complain on how they were entitled to VIP treatments in clubs so much better than the one they just crawled out of on all four. So perhaps Chuka Umunna is more than just a little right. Perhaps the press was worried on not having a hold on a person like this and they prefer a person slightly more ‘colourful’ (pardon the pun).

So where will Labour stand? Time will tell. Bren Bradshaw was right in one regard. The Labour party has loads of talent, no one denies that, but they’ve already forgotten that Ed Miliband was plenty talented and to some extent even visionary (in the wrong time as I saw it). So as the second talented member gets pushed off stage, are we seeing the effects of internal power plays and if so, should the press not be held to account for being the tool in all this?

I will let you, the reader mull over those facts and you should come to your own conclusions.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics