Tag Archives: House of lords

Want to bet on that?

The Guardian released a story last night, it released something a lot more important than you and I initially considered. You see, it intersects with articles I wrote in 2014, yet until today, and as we recently saw the issues that the Bank of England reported on, I now see a part I never considered, because, unless you are a banker it would not make sense. I admit that from the mere consumer point of view it seems like dodgy, even counterproductive to good business. So, I did not consider it, I did not inform you and for that I apologise. The writer of this story did not inform you either, but it was not the focus of her story so Mattha needs not apologise at all. Yet what is happening is a lot more important than you and I think and if I grasp back at what I found in 2014, there is every indication that GCHQ is actually aware of the situation, yet they decided to do nothing, endangering the sanity and social security of thousands of Britons, so should they apologise? Should Robert Hannigan, director of GCHQ apologise? I believe so, he should also get grilled in both houses (Lords and Commons), but that is not for me to decide (life would be so much fun if it was).

So as we are set in this path, let me explain what happened as per last night. Mattha gave us (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/31/gambling-industry-third-party-companies-online-casinos) the issue ‘how gambling industry targets poor people and ex-gamblers‘ the start is already an explosion of question by themselves. With: “The gambling industry is using third-party companies to harvest people’s data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling, the Guardian can reveal” we need to ask questions, but let me continue and give you a few more parts on these goods. the next items are “The revelations will add to calls for tighter regulation of the gambling industry more action to address problem gambling after the news on Thursday that online betting firm 888 had been penalised a record £7.8m because more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts“, as well as “The data is often gathered from raffle sites that offer cash prizes and gifts in weekly giveaways, he said. To apply for the prize draws, users must usually provide their name, date of birth, email and address. He claimed raffle companies would then sell the data, something customers have sometimes unwittingly consented to in lengthy terms and conditions agreements. One such site states: “The following sectors [including gambling] are the industry types you can expect to receive products, information, services or special offers from.”“. With these three quotes we have the first part of the equation filled. The article gives a lot more, but for now, here, that is what we need. So we see that people sign up for things they do not understand (we all do that), and for the most the initial thought was harmless enough. I have signed up for free premiere movie tickets, some of us for fashion items or even something as innocuous as a free bottle of perfume or after shave. It seems so harmless and when it comes to products it usually tends to be. Yet when it comes to free trips to certain destinations, for some of us, red flags go up, but at that point it is usually too late, we have already given out our details.

Now, we go back to January 2014. In my blog ‘Diary for a wimpy President‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/18/diary-for-a-wimpy-president/) I set the stage that includes GCHQ. The setting was theft of IP on a massive scale, yet it was on equal terms the issue we see more common, the theft of personal data. The questions I posed were:

  • Have you identified your organisation’s key information assets and the impact it would have on your organisation if they were compromised or your online services were disrupted? [Alternative: what data is bankable?]
  • Have you clearly identified the key threats to your organisation’s information assets and set an appetite for the associated risks? [Alternative: what data is accessible?]
  • Are you confident that your organisation’s most important information is being properly managed and is safe from cyber threats? [Alternative: the value management of data you think you own]

it came with the footnote: “The alternative are not just views I opt for, consider that the data collection field goes into open commercial hands as it could be presented by March 31st, what are your options to purchase certain buckets of data?

We are now on par in the two sides, my blog three years ago and the new iteration that the Guardian shows. I admit, the Guardian shows a side I never considered before last night. You see, with the quotes we saw mentioned by me, we need to add the third side to what is not a pyramid, but optionally the specific view on a cube, or even more disturbing a buried dipyramid. Now, we cannot expect people to realise that this is happening, but GCHQ knew, there is no way it did not know, and missing that is a career breaker plain and simple. You see, to give you that part, we need to add the following items. The first was seen on August 21st with ‘UK credit and debit card spending ​growing​ at fastest rate since 2008‘. We need to keep a check on the quote “The number of card transactions increased by 12.3% over the year to the end of June, according to the banking trade body UK Finance, coming amid a boom in consumer debt that has been raising alarm bells at the Bank of England. The pace of growth in card payments was 10.6% in the 12 months to the end of December“, the second quote comes from two days ago in the Guardian. Here in the article ‘Credit card lenders ‘targeting people struggling with debt’‘ we see the two parts “Citizens Advice finds almost one in five people struggling with debts have had their card limit raised without request” as well as “Unsecured lending is returning to levels unseen since the 2008 financial crisis, raising alarm bells at the Bank of England that consumers may struggle to repay loans in another economic downturn, thus putting financial stability at risk“. I believed this to be a bad business practise, yet until last night I did not give it the merit it should have had. You see commercial bankers are for the most without a moral compass at best, what if they are joining hands with gambling places that do not care how they get the money? The banker gets the bonus because business was booming and his (or her) moral compass is limited to the cash leaving the door without the use of criminal activity, beyond that they will not care. Yet with hundreds of thousands getting into this scrap. How many gambled the gained credit? How many pushed a chance for instant wealth into a decade of depression without options? The weird part is that GCHQ had to be aware, they are our (mainly the UK) watchdogs and they let this just go on. The questions I asked three years ago show that GCHQ should have been aware and monitoring. If they did not do that, then we have a case of negligence that surpasses the age of MI5 and the Cambridge 5. the funny part in this is that those 5 “were contemporaries at Cambridge University in the 1930s, and were attracted to communism mainly because of the Wall Street crash” and now we see that the same thing is happening for merely the same bloody reason (but those tend to be on the other side of the exploitative equation nowadays), yet now every gambling capitalist gets to enjoy the fallout, or is that out falling?

The evidence?

Yes, some elements will demand the evidence. In my view we merely have to compare the two lists, one showing the unrequested credit rises and the second list are those on the gambling marketing list, with any surpass of 5% being enough to be seen as significant evidence. This now gives two issues, the one is speculative when we go with ‘Is this a shady move for banks to push Brexit out of the way?’ You might think this is conspiracy theory, but is it? How many setbacks can the UK deal with before the banks cry foul and beg for Brexit to be delayed because they are too big to fail? Is it that farfetched? I don’t believe so. The second part is on the location of the location of the gathered online betting location and how these ‘marketing lists‘ all made it out of the UK and in several cases out of the European Union, which now puts the actions (read: non actions) of GCHQ on the firing line of enquiries and inquisitive questions on how they are keeping the people of the UK safe. We might argue (and I would) that people who gamble only have themselves to blame, yet when we see ‘more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts‘, we see that the odds are intentionally stacked against them and I believe that ‘Gambling firm 888 penalised record £7.8m for failing vulnerable customers‘ is a joke, I consider that giving them a £78 million penalty would have been too soft for them, especially as their growth surpassed 63% in 2016. And that is merely ONE gambling holding. The issue is growing at an alarming rate, even as we see how in Australia councils are drawing lines on ‘out of bounds areas‘ whilst with such amazement that the new casino that is currently being built on the order of bad boy jimmy Packard is (with surprising amazement) to be exactly outside certain zoning issues, just like Star Casino, giving him all the freedom he needs and get to play without any level of limitation. Let’s just mark that one up to ‘coincidence‘ shall we?

That example shows a certain complacency between councils and certain playing players and we now see that such levels are apparently happening in the UK for online gambling and we see that there is no way that GCHQ was unaware, we merely need to wonder why there was no political intervention, because that question is becoming more and more important.

Issues, shown from 2014 onwards give rise to non-protectionism of an unacceptable shady character. The act that the Guardian now shows that certain players are given a wide berth of that gives them degrees of freedom that no company in the UK ever gets is also giving questions to the status of banks and lenders and whether we should allow them to operate in the UK. If you wonder about this statement you only have to consider the triggers of bankruptcy, personal insolvency and how it is that these lenders will get paid either way, through either collection or write offs. What happens when they are no longer allowed to write off these bad business actions? What happens when it needs to come from their own ‘profits’ and ‘bonus schemes’? How long until suddenly the online casino’s and lenders walk away and continue that in places where they can exploit all they like?

Can you now see that you are placed in an increasingly difficult place to grow the stability of your family? If not, consider that you might not be the gambler, but you are a member of that bank or lending corporation. If they cannot write off, they will charge you through the services you receive, either through administration fees or interest percentages. You would (and rightly so) complain about these fees, so you want no change, which is what they are banking on and that should not be allowed. The final statement in the article is also important. With “In a longer statement to its investors, the company said it had taken action to fix its self-exclusion systems, which it said arose when customers who self-excluded from some of its brands were able to gamble with others” we are confronted with the question that seeing ‘fix its self-exclusion systems‘. You see, I believe that they never properly worked in the first place; leaving us with the intent that they had too much to lose enforcing ‘self-exclusion‘ which in my book makes them guilty of intentional and reckless corporate negligence.

You see when we consider that courts are less willing to cut off liability due to intent, the scope of Liability in Intentional Torts is now a given. The plaintiff would be entitled to see the entire engineering part of the ‘self-exclusion system’ and with the failing it holds whoever goes after house 888 might have a legal setting to regain all their losses. Yet that is merely one online gambling house. The fact that none of them want to truly cooperate gives rise to the notion that too many players don’t want the broken system to be fixed, not until after they got out of it whatever they could and such a knowledge tends to give consideration that the burden on GCHQ will be higher and needs to be higher. Yet will the burden be unjustly set too high? Because that is the clear direction we seem to be going to and that is equally unjust. In the end it will turn out to be a counterproductive situation.

Are you willing to place a bet on any outcome here?

 

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When the trust is gone

In an age where we see an abundance of political issues, an overgrowing need to sort things out, the news that was given visibility by the Guardian is the one that scared and scarred me the most. With ‘Lack of trust in health department could derail blood contamination inquiry‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/19/lack-of-trust-in-health-department-could-derail-blood-contamination-inquiry), we need to hold in the first stage a very different sitting in the House of Lords. You see, the issues (as I am about to explain them), did not start overnight. In this I am implying that a sitting with in the dock Jeremy Hunt, Andrew Lansley, Andy Burham and Alan Johnson is required. This is an issue that has grown from both sides of the Isle and as such there needs to be a grilling where certain people are likely to get burned for sure. How bad? That needs to be ascertained and it needs to be done as per immediate. When you see “The contamination took place in the 1970s and 80s, and the government started paying those affected more than 25 years ago” the UK is about to get a fallout of a very different nature. We agree that this is the term that was with Richard Crossman, Sir Keith Joseph, Barbara Castle, David Ennals, Patrick Jenkin, Norman Fowler, and John Moore. Yet in that instance we need to realise that this was in an age that was pre computers, pre certain data considerations and a whole league of other measures that are common place at this very instance. I remember how I aided departments with an automated document system, relying on 5.25″ floppy’s, with the capability that was less than Wordstar or PC-Write had ever offered. And none of those systems had any reliable data storage options.

The System/36 was flexible and powerful for its time:

  • It allowed 80 monitors (see below for IBM’s description of a monitor) and printers to be connected. All users could access the system’s hard drive or any printer.
  • It provided password security and resource security, allowing control over who was allowed to access any program or file.
  • Devices could be as far as a mile from the system unit.
  • Users could dial into a System/36 from anywhere in the world and get a 9600 baud connection (which was very fast in the 1980s) and very responsive for connections which used only screen text and no graphics.
  • It allowed the creation of databases of very large size. It supported up to about 8 million records, and the largest 5360 with four hard drives in its extended cabinet could hold 1.453 gigabytes.
  • The S/36 was regarded as “bulletproof” for its ability to run many months between reboots (IPLs).

Now, why am I going to this specific system, as the precise issues were not yet known? You see in those days, any serious level of data competency was pretty much limited to IBM, at that time Hewlett Packard was not yet to the level it became 4 years later and the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) who revolutionised systems with VAX/VMS and it became the foundation, or better stated true relational database foundations were added through Oracle Rdb (1984), which would actually revolutionise levels of data collection.

Now, we get two separate quotes (not from the article) “Dr Jeremy Bradshaw Smith at Ottery St Mary health centre, which, in 1975, became the first paperless computerised general practice“, as well as “It is not developed or intended for use in any inherently dangerous applications, including applications that may create a risk of personal injury. If you use this software or hardware in dangerous applications, then you shall be responsible to take all appropriate fail-safe, backup, redundancy, and other measures to ensure its safe use“, the second one comes from the Oracle Rdb SQL Reference manual. The second part seems a bit of a stretch; consider the original setting of this. When we see Oracle’s setting of data integrity, consider the elements given (over time) that are now commonplace.

System and object privileges control access to application tables and system commands, so that only authorized users can change data.

  • Referential integrity is the ability to maintain valid relationships between values in the database, according to rules that have been defined.
  • A database must be protected against viruses designed to corrupt the data.

I left one element out for the mere logical reasons.

now, in those days, the hierarchy of supervisors and system owners was nowhere near what it is now (and often nowhere to be seen), referential integrity was a mere concept and data viruses were mostly academic, that is until we get a small presentation by Ralf Burger in 1986. It was in the days of the Chaos Computer Club and my trusty CBM-64.

These elements are to show you that data integrity existed in academic purposes, yet the designers who were in their data infancy often enough had no real concept of rollback data events, some would only be designed too long later, and in all this, the application of databases to the extent that was needed. It would not be until 1982 when dBase II came to the PC market from the founding fathers of what would later be known as Ashton-Tate, George Tate and Hal Lashlee would create a wave that would get us dBase III and with the creation of Clipper by the Nantucket Corporation, which would give a massive rise to database creations as well as the growth of data products that had never been seen before, as well as being the player that in the end propelled data quality towards the state it is nowadays. In this product databases did not just grow with the network abilities within this product nearly any final year IT person could have its portfolio of clients all with custom based products all data based. Within 2-3 years (which gets us to 1989), a whole league of data quality, data cleaning and data integrity base issues would surface for millions of places, all requiring solutions. It is my personal conviction that this was the point where data became adult, where data cleaning, data rollback as well as data integrity checks became actual issues that were seriously dealt with. So, here in 1989 we are finally confronted with the adult data issues that for the longest of times were only correctly understood by more than a few niche people who were often enough disregarded (I know that for certain because I was one of them).

So the essential events that could have prevented only to some degree the events we see in the Guardian with “survivors initially welcomed the announcement, while expressing frustration that the decades-long wait for answers had been too long. The contamination took place in the 1970s and 80s“, certain elements would not come into existence until a decade later.

So when we see “Liz Carroll, chief executive of the Haemophilia Society, wrote to May on Wednesday saying the department must not be involved in setting the remit and powers of an inquiry investigating its ministers and officials. She also highlighted the fact that key campaigners and individuals affected by the scandal had not been invited to the meeting“, I am not debating or opposing her in what could be a valid approach, I am merely stating that to comprehend the issues, the House of Lords needs to take the pulse of events and the taken steps forward from the Ministers who have been involved in the last 10 years.

When we see “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere“, we see a valid argument given, yet when we would receive testimonies from people, like the ministers in those days, how many would be aware and comprehend the data issues that were not even decently comprehended in those days? Because these data issues are clearly part of all of these events, they will become clear towards the end of the article.

Now, be aware, I am not giving some kind of a free pass, or give rise that those who got the bad blood should be trivialised or ignored or even set to a side track, I am merely calling for a good and clear path that allows for complete comprehension and for the subsequent need of actual prevention. You see, what happens today might be better, yet can we prevent this from ever happening again? In this I have to make a side step to a non-journalistic source, we see (at https://www.factor8scandal.uk/about-factor/), “It is often misreported that these treatments were “Blood Transfusions”. Not True. Factor was a processed pharmaceutical product (pictured)“, so when I see the Guardian making the same bloody mistake, as shown in the article, we see and should ask certain parties how they could remain in that same stance of utter criminal negligence (as I personally see it), but giving rise to intentional misrepresentation. When we see the quote (source: the Express) “Now, in the face of overwhelming evidence presented by Andy Burnham last month, Theresa May has still not ordered an inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the Department of Health in dealing with this human tragedy” with the added realisation that we have to face that the actual culprit was not merely data, yet the existence of the cause through Factor VIII is not even mentioned, the Guardian steered clear via the quote “A recent parliamentary report found around 7,500 patients were infected by imported blood products from commercial organisations in the US” and in addition the quote “The UK Public Health Minister, Caroline Flint, has said: “We are aware that during the 1970s and 80s blood products were sourced from US prisoners” and the UK Haemophilia Society has called for a Public Inquiry. The UK Government maintains that the Government of the day had acted in good faith and without the blood products many patients would have died. In a letter to Lord Jenkin of Roding the Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS) informed Lord Jenkin that most files on contaminated NHS blood products which infected people with HIV and hepatitis C had unfortunately been destroyed ‘in error’. Fortunately, copies that were taken by legal entities in the UK at the time of previous litigation may mean the documentation can be retrieved and consequently assessed“, the sources the Express and the New York Times, we see for example the quote “Cutter Biological, introduced its safer medicine in late February 1984 as evidence mounted that the earlier version was infecting hemophiliacs with H.I.V. Yet for over a year, the company continued to sell the old medicine overseas, prompting a United States regulator to accuse Cutter of breaking its promise to stop selling the product” with the additional “Cutter officials were trying to avoid being stuck with large stores of a product that was proving increasingly unmarketable in the United States and Europe“, so how often did we see the mention of ‘Cutter Biological‘ (or Bayer pharmaceuticals for that matter)?

In the entire Arkansas Prison part we see that there are connections to cases of criminal negligence in Canada 2006 (where Canadian Red Cross fell on their sword), Japan 2007 as well as the visibility of the entire issue at Slamdance 2005, so as we see the rise of inquiries, how many have truly investigated the links between these people and how the connection to Bayer pharmaceuticals kept them out of harm’s way for the longest of times? How many people at Cutter Biological have not merely been investigated, but also indicted for murder? When we get ‘trying to avoid being stuck with large stores of a non-sellable product‘ we get the proven issue of intent. Because there are no recall and destroy actions, were there?

Even as we see a batch of sources giving us parts in this year, the entire visibility from 2005-2017 shows that the media has given no, or at best dubious visibility in all this, even yesterday’s article at the Guardian shows the continuation of bad visibility with the blood packs. So when we look (at http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/aug/04/bad-blood-cautionary-tale/), and see the August 2011 part with “This “miracle” product was considered so beneficial that it was approved by the FDA despite known risks of viral contamination, including the near-certainty of infection with hepatitis“, we wonder how the wonder drug got to be or remain on the market. Now, there is a fair defence that some issues would be unknown or even untested to some degree, yet the ‘the near-certainty of infection with hepatitis‘ should give rise to all kinds of questions and it is not the first time that the FDA is seen to approve bad medication, which gives rise to the question why they are allowed to be the cartel of approval as big bucks is the gateway through their door. When we consider the additional quote of “By the time the medication was pulled from the market in 1985, 10,000 hemophiliacs had been infected with HIV, and 15,000 with hepatitis C; causing the worst medical disaster in U.S. history“, how come that it took 6 years for this to get decent amounts of traction within the UK government.

What happened to all that data?

You see, this is not merely about the events, I believe that if any old systems (a very unlikely reality) could be retrieved, how long would it take for digital forensics to find in the erased (not overwritten) records to show that certain matters could have been found in these very early records? Especially when we consider the infancy of data integrity and data cleaning, what other evidence could have surfaced? In all this, no matter how we dig in places like the BBC and other places, we see a massive lack of visibility on Bayer Pharmaceuticals. So when we look (at http://pharma.bayer.com/en/innovation-partnering/research-focus/hemophilia/), we might accept that the product has been corrected, yet their own site gives us “the missing clotting factor is replaced by a ‘recombinant factor’, which is manufactured using genetically modified mammalian cells. When administered intravenously, the recombinant factor helps to stop acute bleeding at an early stage or may prevent it altogether by regular prophylaxis. The recombinant factor VIII developed by Bayer for treating hemophilia A was one of the first products of its kind. It was launched in 1993“, so was this solution based on the evolution of getting thousands of people killed? the sideline “Since the mid-1970s Bayer has engaged in research in haematology focusing its efforts on developing new treatment options for the therapy of haemophilia A (factor VIII deficiency)“, so in all this, whether valid or not (depending on the link between Bayer Pharmaceuticals UK and Cutter Biological. the mere visibility on these two missing in all the mentions, is a matter of additional questions, especially as Bayer became the owner of it all between 1974 and 1978, which puts them clearly in the required crosshairs of certain activities like depleting bad medication stockpiles. Again, not too much being shown in the several news articles I was reading. When we see the Independent, we see ‘Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to meet victims’ families before form of inquiry is decided‘, in this case it seems a little far-fetched that the presentation by Andy Burham (as given in the Express) would not have been enough to give an immediate green light to all this. Even as the independent is hiding behind blood bags as well, they do give the caption of Factor VIII with it, yet we see no mention of Bayer or Cutter, yet there is a mention of ‘prisoners‘ and the fact that their blood was paid for, yet no mention of the events in Canada and Japan, two instances that gives rise to an immediate and essential need for an inquiry.

In all this, we need to realise that no matter how deep the inquiry goes, the amount of evidence that could have been wiped or set asunder from the eyes of the people by the administrative gods of Information Technology as it was between 1975 and 1989, there is a dangerous situation. One that came unwillingly through the evolution of data systems, one that seems to be the intent of the reporting media as we see the utter absence of Bayer Pharmaceuticals in all of this, whilst there is a growing pool of evidence through documentaries, ad other sources that seem to lose visibility as the media is growing a view of presentations that are skating on the subject, yet until the inquiry becomes an official part we see a lot less than the people are entitled to, so is that another instance of the ethical chapters of the Leveson inquiry? And when this inquiry becomes an actuality, what questions will we see absent or sidelined?

All this gets me back to the Guardian article as we see “The threat to the inquiry comes only a week after May ordered a full investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV“, so how about the events from 2005 onwards? Were they mere pharmaceutical chopped liver? In the linked ‘Theresa May orders contaminated blood scandal inquiry‘ article there was no mention of Factor VIII, Bayer (pharmaceuticals) or Cutter (biological). It seems that we need to give rise that ethical issues have been trampled on, so a mention of “a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale” is not a mere indication; it is an almost given certainty. In all that, as the inquiry will get traction, I wonder how both the current and past governments will be adamant to avoid skating into certain realms of the events (like naming the commercial players), and when we realise this, will there be any justice to the victims, especially when the data systems of those days have been out of time for some time and the legislation on legacy data is pretty much non-existent. When the end balance is given, in (as I personally see it) a requirement of considering to replace whatever Bayer Pharmaceuticals is supplying the UK NHS, I will wonder who will be required to fall on the virtual sword of non-accountability. The mere reason being that when we see (at http://www.annualreport2016.bayer.com/) that Bayer is approaching a revenue of 47 billion (€ 46,769M) in 2016, should there not be a consequence of the players ‘depleting unsellable stock‘ at the expense of thousands of lives? This is another matter that is interestingly absent from the entire UK press cycles. And this is not me just speculating, the sources give clear absence whilst the FDA reports show other levels of failing, it seems that some players forget that lots of data is now globally available which seems to fuel the mention of ‘criminal negligence‘.

So you have a nice day and when you see the next news cycle with bad blood, showing blood bags and making no mention of Factor VIII, or the pharmaceutical players clearly connected to all this, you just wonder who is doing the job for these journalists, because the data as it needed to be shown, was easily found in the most open of UK and US governmental places.

 

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Sanity Check

We all need a sanity check at time. There has been a need to regard what we are offered and why certain people seem to try to start to regard fear and misinformation to set people towards the need of greed of some. This is the feeling I get when I look at ‘Brexit: ‘Real risk’ UK could run out of some foods after EU exit, government warned‘ (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-food-supplies-shortage-warning-policy-failure-supermarkets-imports-eu-a7844751.html), it starts with the subtitle that gives us “Theresa May accused of ‘serious policy failing on an unprecedented scale’ by academics“. So what matter have they been raiding? Consider the EU nations and how things changed in the late 90’s. Now consider the foods and lives we had in for example the 60’s. We had no shortage of food, we could buy foods and outside of the UK, it was equally easy to buy a bottle of Worcester Lee & Perrins sauce. Some articles were not available (like Tripe), mainly because of the import laws already in place (and we all so loved to eat that in the first place). It was easy to get the Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas plum pudding. The entire exercise to spread fear and misinformation is actually getting to me. I am so sick on the implied creation of intentional chaos. So when you read: “A report from food policy specialists has warned the forthcoming break from Europe will lead to “chaos” unless ministers establish a clear plan on how a new food system will operate“. This reads like it will be the point that some food policy specialists will soon be without a job. Consider the need for sales and exports. Do you think that countries like the Netherlands, Belgium or even France have no export policies in play? These policies have existed for decades. So after Brexit there will be French cheeses and wines, there will be Belgium chocolates and Shrimps and there will be fresh vegetables from the Netherlands. The EU has had close to no influence; it merely seemed to digress towards red tape for the hidden unmentioned need of profitability for large corporations. There will of course be questions in some situations, yet do you think that the exporting corporations will not be ready for that? So when you read ‘without provisions in place‘, we see levels of fear mongering from people who are pushed by other people who are shy of the limelight, because we really have no need for those players fattening the invoices wherever they can, the EU gravy train is coming to a partial end and some politicians are getting nervous. All that easy income falling away, all those unwanted costs added to the prices of what people require to import. Yet the dangers of the single market are often ignored. In a single market may struggle to survive against their more efficient peers, yet how do we see places like ‘Walmart’ as an efficient peer? In that light we see that those with the approach of what should be regarded as ‘exploitative’ and being way too large, having the option to pressure their costs and buying at near 0% margin for the manufacturer has no benefit to competition, it merely makes the owners of Walmart rich fast, whilst there is no place for any number two players. That is the opposite side in all this, a side that the EU has been intentionally silent on for way too long.

The article refers to a paper which can be found (at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/newsandevents/2017/publications/food-brexit), the added PDF in there gives us “Set new clear targets for UK food security (food supply, quality, health and consumption) which go beyond mere quantity of supply by addressing ecosystems and social systems resilience“, this sounds important, yet in all this my question towards Tim Lang, Erik Millstone & Terry Marsden becomes ‘When was the last time you ate an equine burger?‘, the UK was part of this so called EU food security, and as such the professors from the Universities of Cardiff, London and Sussex might have forgotten about that 2013 events, where Tesco had 27 beef burger products laced with horses and pigs.

Also consider the quote ““In the EU, UK consumers and public health have benefited from EU-wide safety standards, without which there will be a risk of the UK having less safe and nutritious products“, we could argue that with 100,000 angioplasty events per year, that issue is a non-issue at present already, ye as it is hard to get any clear EU statistics (read: could not get any reliable figures) there is no quality view to get at present. In all this, when I see certain events mentioned, it is almost like there is a hidden P&G (read: Proctor & Gamble) logo behind all this. That is a purely personal and speculative view! In addition, as I write in opposition of certain points, this is an academic paper, it gives us clear sources and we can disagree with the view of these three professors, there is the issue that their view remains a valid view.

This gets us to two parts that mention the issues that we are going towards, in my view it is a view that should have been adjusted for at least 5 years ago, Brexit might be an element, but it is not the cause and after Brexit these systems have never been adjusted, there is merely the identification that the government in general should have started to make adjustments a long time ago. The quotes “The current food policy community is fragmented and divided. There is an urgent need for a more collaborative policy platform to be created involving all the main players. If the government fails to do this, others will need to take the initiative“, as well as “Meanwhile the NHS is becoming increasingly bankrupted, not least because of the growth of an aging population suffering a dietary-health epidemic; the critical significance of the food system needs highlighting in these debates“, it is interesting that I recognised this several day ago as a hindering issue for the NHS.

 

There is one part that the paper definitely gets right (read: it actually gets a lot more right). It is seen on page 14 with “These aspirations and policy principles should be incorporated in the new food legislation, which Food Brexit will entail. An estimated 4,000+ pieces of regulation and law are EU based“, this is one side that truly matters. The question becomes: ‘Is it merely ‘new legislation‘ or comparing the EU legislation against that legislation that was in play?’ and as such decide on the path of adjusting the original legislation, or create new legislation. This is something that should have been discussed in the House of Lords at the very least. It seems that not only it has not happened; there is no indication at present that this will happen any day soon at present, which is odd to say the least, it is not like the entire Brexit issue dropped out of the sky last night.

Still, even as the paper is valid and valuable, it is my view that the Independent is too much about fear mongering. When we see “Even a “soft” departure from Europe, in which the UK will remain in the single market or customs union, could badly affect the food and farming industries, they add“, so even if the UK remains in a single market, there are still dangers? If that is so, what the bloody use is a single market?

Another issue (as I personally see it) is seen in “The report, which is based on more than 200 sources, continues: “Prices, which are already rising and likely to rise more, will become more volatile, especially harming poor consumers.”“, in the first, prices have always been rising and that is not likely to ever change. The cost of living has been under attack in the UK for the better part of a decade. If you are not a well off banker, or some hedge funds investor, it is extremely likely that your quality of life has been stagnant. It does not matter whether you are a cashier, a barrister or a doctor; your quality of life has been declining for the longest time. It is merely the amount of quality of life lost that differs between the three groups. In the second, volatility has been equally an issue for the longest time. If that was not the case, the mere need for equine burger was never an issue. The EU at large has been under ‘profit scrutiny‘, which just emphasises the need for better food security all over Europe, a factor the EU failed since decently before 2013. In all this another article requires the limelight. With “It cites recent research by the British Retail Consortium that the absence of a trade deal could push the price of imported food up by 22%“, the question becomes, what (and where) are these numbers based on? The article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/christmas-dinner-price-rises-by-14-per-cent-a7453591.html), is as speculative as the evidence that the photographed Turkey tasted nice. We just do not know. With “In October, the British Retail Consortium warned shoppers could face higher prices if the Government failed to strike the right Brexit deal with the EU” as well as “the UK could be forced to use World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which could cause the price of meat to rise by as much as 27 per cent“. In these two quotes the operative word is ‘COULD‘, none can give any evidence on the amount it raises (or if it rises at all); it is from my point of view with the emphasis of ‘merely fear mongering’. In the end, none of them acknowledge that the UK is a willing market with 68 million consumers. Show me one salesperson who would willingly walk away from such a large group of consumers and I will introduce you to a liar. All the fear mongering we see, and in the end we see a collection of large corporations like Mars and Coca-Cola that will accept the impact on their margins as they are trying to avoid a total loss of bonuses for a much longer period of time.

I will add the paper at the end in this article, because whether I agree or not to some extent, it is a good and proper academic piece and even as we might consider elements in different light, the paper does show clear indications that there are issues that require addressing and there are also issues that should have started to be addressed several years ago. There is a policy failure to some extend in some way and in a much larger way in other views of focus. The academic paper is not in question; the method of fear mongering that the Independent is playing with is a much larger issue that should be taken a look at.

So as the Independent is fear mongering food issues and the Guardian tells us ‘Britain ‘will be less safe’ without access to EU crime databases – peers‘, yet because before the Schengen mess there was no Interpol or information available, we need to realise that some things will require adjustment, that was never ever in question and in all this the events are not due for 20 months. Now, we can all agree that things need doing, yet has anyone considered that some of these current systems will be obsolete before the 20 months deadline (read: some already are to some degree)? The EU has no firm handle on data automation (as per collecting), or the impact that 5G will give to the data stream, none of the systems will be ready before the change and some will not even be ready then. It was only Yesterday when I found it essential to message Ben Wallace MP that his ‘Accelerator Open Call for Innovation‘ is missing an encryption topic in the data challenge. (at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-and-security-accelerator-enduring-challenge/accelerator-enduring-challenge), in this age of Ransomware and security flaws, the entire encryption challenge will be a huge one, as more cloud data is no longer safe in either data in transit or at rest, any security assessment system would require new levels of encryption. This is not merely my view, when we look at the works otien Lenstra, a cryptology professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, says the distributed computation project, conducted over 11 months, achieved the equivalent in difficulty of cracking a 700-bit RSA encryption key, so it doesn’t mean transactions are at risk and his 2007 article passed the deadline 5 years ago. Even now the larger military contractors like Thales are seeing Big-Data Encryption as one of today’s challenges, so how important would it be in let’s say 3-4 years?

So as we see food fears and so called ‘security‘ data issues, we see that some of the players haven’t even considered including the elements of encryption in some areas. The reason for that view is that encryption is not merely about adding some code, or encoding all data, it is a system of checks and balances, where recovery of corrupted data becomes increasingly important. For those not in the know (which is very valid) there was a virus decades ago called the DBase-virus, it came from the 90’s and decided to corrupt all the data in a DBase database. The clever part was that as long as the virus was there, the user did not know, the moment it was cleaned out, all the data was instantly corrupt, the virus was a cypher and decipher part. In these days of Ransomware, such systems require additional elements and they end up being part of the core, not merely an added element in the core, so when the paper gave me “data – cyber, information, big data, management and processing, sense making, visualisation, delivery, interoperability” as an element, whilst encryption was not part of it, whilst there were other topics like mobility and situational awareness (sensors and surveillance). It seemed to me that the crypto element was not just important, it will be vital and in that field a little innovation goes a very long way. Yet beyond all that, with larger computers and ever-growing large hi speed mobility, the need and application of encryption equally changes, so when we see the need for some European adjustment, we need to realise that not merely the policies are overdue plenty of revisions, in all this, Brexit or not, with the near daily events of data losses, we need to seriously contain certain dangers

So how of topic did I go?

From merely the food part quite a bit (seemingly), yet in all this, the policies and the data issues are connected. If we accept that some of these policies are all depending on the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), we see that the objectives, indicators of progress, the achievements and action points are also data driven (at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Departmental-overview-2015-16-Department-Environment-Food-and-Rural-Affairs.pdf), now data will be at the centre of pretty much every part of life, yet from the paper that the three food boffins bring us (namely Lang, Millstone & Marsden), it will not merely a more dire need in reactive, there is an increasing view that the view needs to be transposed towards a proactive situation. The elements in that paper on Spending reduction (page 10) and workforce capability (page 13) imply that these two will impact the entire CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) in several ways, so to not go towards the fear mongering as the Independent implied with its 27% price rise, a proactive system that could counter or at least limit these events to a certain degree. The need has always been there, but the EU has gravy train driven red tape factory (as I personally see it) and as such too little forward momentum is seen and the UK parliament has been forever waiting for the EU to start something so they could be seen as a limited forward momentum party as well. So now is the perfect time to get something actual in place, but to rely on data that could be ‘mismanaged‘ by those trying to thwart the machine requires a much better digital transformation plan as well as a much better digital security and footprint approach, one that has clear boundaries of non-repudiation. Many of these elements either not mentioned, or ignored.

And here is the great part, I am not fear mongering, I am merely saying that things require attention and doing and there are still 20 months, yet doing something immediate is equally dangerous as 5G will impact on a global scale, so having proper preparations and having a system that is not set in stone, but one with certain levels of flexibility and options of evolution is much more important, so that we avoid having a massive invoice that requires paying it twice (or even thrice).

If there is one element of the entire Food report that I had an issue with than it must be ‘12. Keeping a close eye on our EU neighbours: it takes (at least) two to tango‘, there is nothing wrong with what is written, yet what I voiced earlier, the need to sell to the UK is partially ignored and the second partner in that tango is the provider of goods. The 5 scenarios read perfectly fine, yet they are all so based on the premise of the UK being the needy one, we forget that there are 27 nations all vying to get a leg up on the option to sell to 68 million consumers, it seems that the part is not that emphasised. In the end there needs to be a level of balance, yet I feel certain that once Poland is playing hard to get with the UK, I feel certain that Spain will jump up at the chance to get this market. It will not always be a balanced battle, but the UK has options and the newspapers at large have been overly silent on this part, which is why I am upset with the entire fear mongering thing. There was never an issue with being alert, but the papers at large have been completely negative again and again, focussing on the negative ‘could’ and ignoring the positive possibilities. In all this, I still personally believe that the largest players are all about the Status Quo as they have it and in that the one part that Nigel Farage got right, if this gives an option for the local smaller players to get an actual slice of the exploited market we might actually get some level of economy growing and in that, at the end the United Kingdom becomes an economic growth winner.

I think it is a mere sanity check that we try to get a level of alignment on the jobs that need to get going on and as such get a grip of what becomes a possibility, in that the ‘A Food Brexit: time to get real‘ report gives us a handle on what needs to be realised, but at times, although the report gives a really good view, as stated, my issue remains to some degree too much about the page 15 mention of; “UK ministers have failed to explain from where they expect the UK to import its food“, whilst in equality, the optional question “Which quality provider of foods is ready and willing to export to the UK?

In a world where export is essential to any government, is it not interesting that we do not see the latter version in the media, in a situation that amounts to pretty much the exact same premise?

A Food Brexit: time to get real

Departmental Overview 2015-16

 

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Upstairs, Basement

We have all seen the TV shows, and felt with both sides of the Victorian houses that had an upstairs and downstairs in London, places like Downton Abbey or were merely in Brideshead and we decided to revisit them. Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith, Jeremy Irons, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Ian Ogilvy and Anthony Andrews. Some of the biggest stars have been identified and idolised with this Victorian era view, some even in more than one of these series. We have felt for the high side and the low side, yet in all these times, there was always a feel of justice and acceptance for both sides. So why on earth the utter idiocy and non-acceptable acts of Lord Philipps, 4th Viscunt St Davids (pun with the additional missing ‘right’ and ‘honourable’ intended) Rhodri Colwyn Philipps decided to state “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant.” on social media is completely beyond me. I myself have been mostly outspoken in favour of Brexit, yet that does not take away the right of any Bremainer to voice their issues. Now I admit that plenty of those do not really voice it that clear, complete or correct. Yet it is still their right and of course those who fail to make the decent point will work in my Brexit favour and I was on the fence for the longest of time. It was the voice of Mark Carney in the House of Lords who got me from Brexit and moved me towards neutral on the fence. In the end the lack of insightfulness by Mario Draghi as he decided to print a trillion euro’s and wantonly spend it on no one knows what pushed me clearly back into the Brexit field. These issues all matter, because anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller had every right to campaign for her Bremain conviction. In all this, we might also ask a few questions regarding senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot at this point. That is based on the following in the article we see the quote “Mine includes, torturing Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton, Isis, Dave (PM) the forgettable, Murdoch … Oh and that hideous jumped up immigrant Gina Miller.“, which was the one that was found racially aggravating. Yet when we see the other responses, like “Please will someone smoke this ghastly insult to our country? Why should I pay tax to feed these monkeys? A return to Planet of the Apes is not acceptable” another vocal attack on Gina Miller. Now, the judge found that this was not menacing and acquitted Lord Phillips of the charge related to that post. So in this case let’s take a step back to the 14th of march when we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/14/face-off-mps-and-social-media-giants-online-hate-speech-facebook-twitter), where we see “Social Media companies including Twitter, Facebook and Google have come under pressure from MPs for failing to take tougher action to tackle hate speech online” so as we see people like Yvette Cooper taking cheap shots at technological complicated issues to get a few easy points before the election, it seems that in regards to Gina Miller, UK’s little Yvette seems to be either really really quiet, or the media decided just to not take notice of her. Is that not weird too? It is all a little too sanctimonious to me.

Another post from this Lord Thingamajig was “I will open the bidding. £2,000 in cash for the first person to carve Arnold Sube into pieces, piece of shit” which was seen by her honour to be ‘menacing’ but not ‘racially aggravated’. Let’s take you through the legality. In the assault side we see ‘the actus reus of assault is committed when one person causes another to apprehend or fear that force is about to be used to cause some degree of personal contact and possible injury. There must be some quality of reasonableness to the apprehension on the part of the victim‘. So this is supposedly a lord, a wealthy man and for all intent and purpose an intolerable buffoon (read: legally speaking a man who is not very nice). In support I offer R v Ireland [1997] 3 WLR 534, “The defendant made a series of silent telephone calls over three months to three different women. He was convicted under s.47 Offences against the Person Act 1861. He appealed contending that silence cannot amount to an assault and that psychiatric injury is not bodily harm“, yet in social media, empty screens have no value and the specific part “Holroyd J. to a jury that “no words or singing are equivalent to an assault”: Meade’s and Belt’s case 1 (1823) 1 Lew. C.C. 184” could also give rise that poetry and prose within social media texts could carry the same weight, allowing for less defence by the defending abuser on social media, especially if that person would try to rely on some obscure dark comedy aspect. In addition to the earlier given, as the quote included ‘£2,000 in cash for the first person‘ making it a contest (read: race to the target) and here we see again in the case R v Ireland [1997] 3 WLR 534 the issue given as ‘to fear an immediate application of force‘ now comes into play with £2,000 and with 20,000 dimes it would become anyone’s dime to relieve economic hardship, which is overwhelming to many people in the UK.

Although he has been found guilty, it seems to me that as he was acquitted from some parts. Yet these parts are part of a whole, this whole is not just his mere right of communication, it is the abusive approach he makes in all this and as such in the Mens Rea part we need to find that ‘in contact to the other and that contact was caused either intentionally or recklessly‘, well it seems to me that the published texts clearly shows the reckless part, which is evidently seen by thousands if not millions of others. Although the precise places were not given to me, a case could be made that it could have been intentional. You see, some were responses to categories. I am guessing that the ‘naughty ideas on orgasm‘ were in some ‘girly’ page or a given section on sex in for example the Guardian, as such it will be hard to prove that there was ‘intent’, yet reckless had already been established and that was enough.

In all of this there is no given defence. The options offered by the accused on the matter like “It’s not for first generation immigrants to behave the way Gina Miller did” is one I can immediately counter. She is a resident of the UK, a legal one (which has no influence), as such she has a freedom of speech, a freedom of opinion and a right to be politically aligned in any direction. As I stated, I am in opposition of her Bremain view, but it remains a valid view, whether right or wrong is in the eyes of the beholder. In her eyes I am the one with the wrong view on ‘Brexit v Bremain’. In the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/11/man-jail-offering-money-run-over-gina-miller-rhodri-philipps-viscount-brexit) that started all this is also the quote “The judge added: “To some who don’t know you they would perceive the offers of bounty as menacing.”“, her honour seems to step over the issue that there were two money offering events as such there is a pattern, in the second there is the issue that in this economic day and age there is the risk that too many people would take a member of the aristocracy at their word, as such these were two oral contracts towards establishing a criminal act. The fact that I see no mention of this is actually a larger issue. In this we see a lot more at revolvy.com (not sure about the source at present regarding correctness of data). Here we see that he holds half a dozen titles, all inherited. In addition we see “Following a complaint made in November 2016, Philipps was arrested in January 2017 by Metropolitan Police officers investigating online abuse against a 51-year-old woman. In March 2017 he was charged with malicious communications with racially aggravated factors, over alleged threats against Gina Miller, the woman behind a successful legal challenge against the UK government’s intention to give notice to leave the European Union without an act of parliament“, this implies that Rhodri Philipps is an optional repeat offender, a fact that the Guardian did not make mention of.

So as I seem to have wrapped that up neat and decently tight, it seems that any upcoming article on Twitter social media and online hate speech should be thrown in the faces of any MP (literally throw that paper into their faces I mean), with the mention that unless they are a lot more consistent in their actions and silence regarding Gina Miller, they should shut the ‘eff’ up and start doing something useful for a living.

The other part that irritates me a little is the sterility of the event as the article shows. Now, from the Guardian points of view that makes sense, the reality is that this is an emotional situation and as such emotions will run high soon as such it makes sense. In addition, there is nothing wrong with the article that Julia Gregory wrote, yet the fact that I got a lot more issues, events and facts in front of me in about 5 minutes gives rise that the lack of illumination of acts that several papers show in the last 6 months regarding Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids give rise to a loosely translated ‘structural problem’ with this person and the way how he communicates. Now as stated before we all have the freedom of speech and expression, which is not in question, yet this person bankrupt three times, another implied pending case as well as.

We will hear tomorrow what the man has coming, I wonder if it will be another suspended sentence like in Germany, if that is so that the House of Lords would need to take a sitting on the situation and discuss whether a Viscount should be allowed to hold his title when there is the larger consideration that it allows the person to evade jail sentences. We can all agree that any person, living upstairs or downstairs in the mansion has rights to speak and sometimes is might be grammatically correct, yet it is a lot less refined that that of a London Dockworker; these moments do occur (we all have these issues, especially during a sports match), yet as it is seen in repetition, should a person in such an elevated position of privilege not be held to higher standards? If so, should he be allowed to keep all those titles? In the end the House of Lords would rule against my request, yet it is important to hold that conversation. Merely because this is not some revamping of words and an edited view of some interview, these are the words that he submitted to social media, ready to be seen by thousands and more. In his case we get an actual first that in the consideration of upstairs, downstairs that he is the one who should reside in the basement and the staff members on the first flow, sleeping in a lovely bedroom with a nice view.

To be regarded in high esteem is one thing, to actually live up to it, quite another. In all that it seems to me that Rhodri Colwyn Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids failed on every level possible, that might be seen as an accomplishment, yet is it the one we should allow for?

 

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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.

 

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Insomnia Rules, OK?

It is 3:30, for some weird reason, I cannot fall asleep and I have no intentions to play a game until I get tired, so what do you do? You start looking a little more intense at twitter and that’s how I got into the twitter tweets with a Human Rights Lawyer. Now, I am all for human rights, were it not for that pesky HRA at times, but that is not the issue. There actually is no issue. You see the tweet that got this all started was :

hr_tweet

The issue given was “I, for one, have always been somewhat bemused by the concept of a right to life. What about the young girl who tragically dies of leukemia? What happened to her right to life?” To be that made sense. You see, I am not against a right to life at all, I just wonder how you can set a phrase like that to law. You see, I have been on the other side of matters, so the right to life as seen as a concept where it is not under scrutiny of capital punishment, war, abortion, euthanasia and justifiable homicide is very much the core of the matter, The one part some add, mainly ‘public health care‘ is not in question in this case (it should be a given right no matter when, how or who). I am not against capital punishment and war allows for the situation where lives are lost, hence the right to life is not a given here. I feel different about abortion and euthanasia. You see, I do not agree with either pro-abortion or pro-life. They are stigmatised and polarised opposites of different currencies at time. Pro-lifers are all willing to hang an abortion doctor at the nearest tree, whilst pro-abortion seems to see it as a solution for unadulterated sex (read: exaggeration for dramatic effect), which is how I see these two players. In my view the truth is in the middle.

There are clear cases where abortion needs to be valid, yet I feel uncertain on the wisdom to where the line should be drawn, on the same issue, I see that pro-life doesn’t always have a clear case beyond their conviction. That view tends to be smitten with parts of religion and natural law, yet the full acceptance of both cannot be maintained, so a blanket pro-life abolishing abortion as a whole is equally unthinkable to me.

The best term is the worst classification

You see, for the most I am not against the concept of right to life, but the title itself is unrealistic in a few ways, making me side with the member that started ‘House of Lords member is unsure about a legal right to life‘. You see as stated, my issue makes the ‘right’ almost null and void. In that same setting, the quote “An obligation on its members not unnecessarily to hazard the safety of others” comes as a light in the dark. For the most, we have an obligation not to endanger the lives of others, we get this for the most when we consider the military. They get to endanger themselves and defend that life by taking the lives of those who endanger that life. In this age of terrorism and extremism (like that place you can find on historical maps, namely Aleppo).

A pro-life polarisation cannot survive, and as such the right to life comes under attack and whilst the attack on it might seem correct, the sentiment itself should never be under attack. We all have a right to life and at some point some people throw that right away and the blanket ‘right to life‘ cannot correctly deal with that situation, which is why the House of Lord member makes perfect sense. Yet telling all this in 144 characters was never a possibility, which is why today is all about that tweet.

The strongest opponents in all this is Capital Punishment and Euthanasia. At times I have had a much polarised view on those proclaiming justice here. You see, from my point of view, those who cannot hand out the death penalty might be hypocritical cowards. This is way too strong an expression, so let me explain this (I think I did in a much older blog). You see, we all adhere to the law. Now let’s say that we have a rounded 70% lawful and 30% criminal population, the law will take care of that, and for the most, all laws, even those who have no death penalty do that. I am fine with that. Yet the crime part is not 30%, within that group is a 0.000001% sub group that is so extreme, so willing to take the lives of others (like terrorists) that the law can never properly deal with them. So we either wait for that person to get in a court of law (which could be after the death of many more lives). So where was the right to life for those victims? We have a duty to hunt those extreme cases down and put them to death if need be, either by death penalty or by targeted killings. Now consider the number I gave. On this world, that would amount to 8,000 people. When you consider that as per last year 2,984 were on death row in the United States, the number I grasped at is not that far a reach. You see, when we holster the ‘right to life’ and the Crimes Act as golden calves onto our field of vision, worshipping that principle beyond all, is it not fair to say that these people are willing to set the victims of these extreme criminals as human sacrifices? How is human sacrifice seen in view of a right to life? As for Euthanasia, how much suffering should a person endure until he is either constantly drugged or died from pain and suffering? I am not stating that I have the wisdom, but I reckon that at times physicians need to be able to offer such an option, especially when there is no option to manage the pain or outcome.

In this regard I now need to address the issue that some call ‘justifiable homicide’. You see, just like ‘right to life’ I have an issue with that term. I am all for targeted killing, because it comes with a switch. Targeted killing is not the same and I am not sure if ‘justifiable homicide’ is legally acceptable as homicide is a clear crime in the 1900 Crimes Act (or other Common Law equivalent). You see, the term comes with this dictionary explanation: ‘the killing of a person in circumstances which allow the act to be regarded in law as without criminal guilt‘, that could apply to the act of a Sociopath or a Psychopath. Some could proclaim: “homicide is justified when it prevents greater harm to innocents“, you see, we now get dangerously close to Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven where we hear: “killing an infidel is not murder. It is the path to heaven“, which is not the only quote, I reckon that Ridley got part of one characters dialogue from Pope Urban II, who at the Council of Clermont in 1095 is witnessed to have stated: “Deus lo vult! – ‘God wills it!’“, which is my issue, as religion needs to stay far away from today’s Laws. I just feel too uneasy on something that can be ‘justified’ especially when a militant mass comes with hate speech and offs people to safe others. Targeted killing is not like that and as far as I can tell, from my legal point of view, ‘Justifiable Homicide‘ should not be allowed either. The fact that a valid action (like that of a policeman) resulted in the death of a person would always be investigated and the officer would either be prosecuted or be cleared from prosecution, these events have clear mechanics and when we resort to targeted killings, that too comes with a machine of checks and balances. Justifiable homicide could theoretically avoid some of these checks and balances and I really have an issue with that.

So as we are splitting hairs on murder versus killing, we are not digressing from the right to life, I am establishing (or trying to do so) that there is a right to life, yet people can act in ways to negate that right. This is why the member of the House of Lords struck a chord within me. I find myself in the same situation when I consider ‘right to family life’, to which I have had an issue or two in the past. I agree that a person should have the right to a family life. Yet in the same way as he/she has that right, he/she can also squander that right. It could be squandered through abuse, either sexual, physical or psychological, which now gets me on my issue with the HRA. You see, if the HRA was a piece with teeth, then there should be a majority who would allow for domestic abuse to be set within article 3 (torture) as it is a clear form of physical and psychological torture. The fact that this will not happen (and is unlikely to do so) makes me wonder why we have an HRA (or at least one lacking teeth under certain conditions), which might clearly be a short-sighted view and position from my side, yet as I saw my mother getting beaten to death when I was young, my sentiment remains to be on the right path as I personally see it.

All these thoughts resurfaced as that one tweet hit my eyes. Now, I have been following this Human Rights Lawyer and he makes great cases and sets the bar of Human Rights realistically high and it is always a delight when he has a go at everyone’s favourite piñata in the UK, Grayling.

So, I still feel that the tweet as exposed has an issue and I personally feel that I remain on the side of the member of the House of Lords, yet merely in the fact that the sentiment on right to life should exist, but I am not sure if that is what we should call it and in addition, we need to realise and accept that this right can be lost by the actions of the person who lost it. It has nothing to do with a child suffering from Leukaemia as stated, but from the acts of a person who does not respect the right to life of another, or the sanctity of a family without harm or suffering. Both laws, humane, yet I feel too humane and therefor I found them personally to be flawed.

I needed 7429 characters more than the 144 twitter offered.

 

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In This War!

We look at the news that is now taking on a she said, she said path, whilst he said is ignored towards what another he is stating. This is not a battle of sexes (which is a nice change). No this is almost like the US Senate versus Congress (also known as the fruits and nuts department of US politics), this is British politics in the Brexit phase that is now following. People dragging their feet, people going over simple narrow-minded seeding of statements whilst throwing the custard pies in as many faces as possible. It is like watching toddlers getting off the rocking chair. In all this there are also corporate players who have been hiding behind others whilst spreading unsolicited memo’s leaving them in the open to read with a ‘top secret‘ stamp on it. It almost feels like the GCHQ soap that we saw in Cheltenham 1991 (could be 1989 or 1990).

Anyway, when we hold people to account for their statements we will get these ‘miscommunication’ issues which will waste everybody’s time and it will not get anything done. That first part is seen in the Guardian in an opinion piece by Toby Helm (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/10/brexit-camp-abandons-350-million-pound-nhs-pledge). My issue started with “dropped their pre-referendum pledge of a £350m-a-week spending bonanza for the NHS“. Let’s be clear here! Nigel Farage has stated on several occasions that the 10 billion pounds (34 million a day), should not go towards the EU, it should be spend in the UK on people for the UK. In addition, he stated on Good Morning Britain that he could not guarantee that it (£350 million a week) would go to the NHS. That was months ago! Even earlier (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkr_Qjey8s8), we see Nigel Farage talking about the debate that is required around NHS. I believe he is right, in all this the debate he opened is one that the Tories and Labour aren’t stating they are slinging mud. In that part we see that Nigel was promising to put 3 billion (out of the 10 billion) towards the NHS. It was an intent to do!

He literally said ‘we could put 3 billion pounds‘ (around 5:55 into the story). Means it was not a given, just an option! In this Nigel Farage was right. Labour and Conservatives had ideas which meant borrowing more money. Also, let me remind the readers that it was Labour who stuffed up the NHS IT program costing the tax payers 11 billion pounds. It was a complete failure and large loss, one of the largest the NHS ever faced.

Now of course we can sling mud all over and as a Conservative I guarantee you that you will lose at that point. The NHS is on the verge of collapse and neither side has done anything to truly take care of business. UKIP sees it as a disgrace and so it should be, because it has been known for over 15 years that the UK is largely an aging population, meaning the pressures on the NHS will only increase, that while it is being drained. In this we also need to take a look at the TTIP and the dangers it poses. We can try to have faith in the marketing joke the EU is when we see the focal point that is useless (at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/january/tradoc_153010.4.7%20Pharmaceuticals.pdf). This is especially seen when we see the elements around protecting Intellectual Property:

– Companies to profit from their research and remain amongst the most competitive in the world- Patients to benefit from new medicines.
We won’t negotiate anything in TTIP which would:

– Upset this delicate balance, or
– Increase costs for EU countries

The TTIP is about profit, especially for American Pharmaceutical companies!

Places like EFPIA are not lying to you, they are just misrepresenting the needs. Because a strong TTIP is not what they state ‘How a Strong Pharmaceutical Chapter in TTIP will Benefit the EU‘, it gives massive powers to the Pharmaceutical industries, whilst stopping generic medication from getting in. And here is the crux for the NHS, to get part of their budgets to meet up with reality, there will be a massive need for generic medication. For over 2 years I have pleaded to get stronger ties with India that has a growing market of generic medical solutions. A partial solution can be found here! Now, it will not solve all, there are still patented medicinal solutions we need and they will be bought, yet the fact that pharmaceutical industries want another 20 years of exclusivity is just not proper, not realistic and not acceptable. The US should have cleaned house in that market decades ago, but they were only focused on flaccid politicians requiring Viagra. Now that the game is up they all want a little more (read: twice as much). This is not how patents are supposed to work, they never were!

Consider the following two quotes: “The EU and India are taking steps to end a trade row sparked by an EU ban of 700 Indian pharmaceutical products after New Delhi cancelled talks on a free trade accord earlier this month“, which was in August 2015 by the way! As well as “Modi personally argued that the long-stalled talks on a free trade accord should be revived, India’s turnaround puzzled the 28-nation bloc, which insisted the ban was a minor, technical issue unconnected to trade“, it was all about the product, not about trade, the issue that the EU licking the heels of Washington gives us “the delays risk leaving India isolated. While Modi is trying to double India’s global exports to $900 billion in five years, Europe’s top negotiator now spends more time on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Washington“, you see, this 900 billion market is stopping an almost 2 trillion market of US pharmacy. Even if it is not all UK, what would you rather see? The NHS spending 90 million, or 2 billion on the same amount of medication? Let’s not forget it is down for over 13 billion at present. The NHS needs this generic solution and at present having strong ties with India makes a lot more sense than the ties with the US that are bringing the UK down, all because they would not clean their own stables!

This is and remains the foundation of Brexit, so when we see the Guardian quote “Anna Soubry, the pro-Remain Tory MP and former minister for small business, said it was outrageous that the Leave campaigners had “peddled that lie” during the campaign and were now quietly abandoning it“, we need to tell Anna Soubry that she needs to stop whining like a politician and start giving out papers that clearly define on how the NHS can be stopped to collapse, because as a fellow Tory she does know that from the moment the Tories came to power in 2010, too little has been done to revive the No Holy Sanctum, so actions are required. The fact that the previous administration from 1997 onwards also made its shares of mistakes as well as waste an additional 10 billion, means that massive effort needs to go into the NHS, having to listen to a whining Anna Soubry (in this matter) is a waste of everybody’s time. I am actually not happy to phrase it this way, because Anna has had quite the political career. Not into the limelight for too much, but I always saw her as upcoming House of Lords material, mainly because she has been outspoken on more than one occasion, at times this is how we hope our Lords would be. I never minds whether a person was right or wrong, just that they would be an evolving wisdom. Those vague stating politicians (as too many are) would never be Lords material, Anna still is in my eyes. This does not mean I will agree on her, or on my party. Things need to get done and too many aren’t getting it done.

In addition, we see all these financial doomsayers who are now resetting the view of Brexit in less negative ways. It is not as bad as they thought it was. This is their view on managed bad news. Another piece of the puzzle, where too many people were trying to demand that the Status Quo remain. When spending has not had the incentive of growth and managed bad news was used to dim the impact, now we see the opposite where their doom is not happening and now they are revising the numbers upwards (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/09/city-banks-revise-brexit-doom-and-gloom-forecasts). Here we see the ‘bitches’ of Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse revising their numbers as the trade deficit is now falling for the UK and that gap is now optionally turning into the momentum of a better economy. So, is my view too extreme when we see the quote “Morgan Stanley initially forecast the economy going negative by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2016, but this week changed that to expectations of 0.3% growth“. This makes me state ‘How stupid or non-comprehending is your staff?‘ I would like to add personally to James P. Gorman: “You now have 7 quarters of data showing that managed bad news is never a real solution and that the Status Quo of finance is a mere illusion. So will you in the near future clean house and start being a visionary instead of remaining a facilitator?

I know, diplomacy has never been my forte, yet as Apple is likely to lose up to a 2% market share over the coming tax year, he needs to wake up and kick the right people into gear before he has to do a negative 2 trillion dollar speech, and perhaps I might just have oversimplified the problem for both you and him!

These are only parts of the solution, but we need to tackle them one at a time. Because the intricate mess both sides of the isle is trying to make them will not solve anything. I will go one step further, I am almost driven to get one additional degree in Medicine, move to the UK and work at the NHS trying to resolve the problems! You see, one of my lifelong idols is Lord Baden-Powell. I was never a boy scout (in more than one way), but I have always taken one of his quotes to heart “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it!” It is the master of all thoughts, because it does not make you solve things, it is not my burden, just leaving it a little better, a little cleaner is all we all need to do. The simplicity is that if all 68 million Britons do just that, we could all turn the UK into the paradise it once was and can be again in almost no time at all.

The simplicity of any solution is the one step you actively take! Because when it is done you take the next step! This is what happens when we are not stopped for too long by too many managers trying to figure out WHAT to do, just to start doing it. That is the brilliance of Brexit. That step has been taken, now we take the next step and the one after it. So many politicians have been too worried about looking good that they forgot about actually doing anything good. I reckon that the inactions towards the NHS and housing are ample pieces of evidence to show that I am right, and the Mud Ladle of Blame goes to both sides of the isle.

In all this the one massive reason for me to remain towards the Brexit side is the one no one seems to discuss, or perhaps the press is being told not to dig too deep into that side. You see, one of my major issues has been and still is Mario Draghi. Bloomberg gets close with the quote “About three months ago, the Draghi-led European Central Bank started buying corporate bonds in the region for the first time. The results have been dramatic and, at times, alarming” (at https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-09-07/companies-are-getting-paid-to-be-rated-junk-in-europe). You see, the simple clarity is that you cannot use a credit card spending over a trillion thinking it will have no impact of your credit score. The quote “Investors are now literally paying European companies to borrow. Sanofi, a French drug maker, just became the first nonfinancial private company to issue debt that yields less than zero” as well as “Bonds of some investment-grade European companies now carry negative yields” are just two examples of the mess and the nightmare that will soon hit too many places. Then there is “Less clear is how investors are justifying purchases of junk-rated bonds that promise nothing and come with big risks“, which is what we saw on Cyprus and in Greece. No one is held accountable and those screaming for more money have no idea and no option to pay it back. It was never a solution! So Draghi spending a trillion plus leaving the credit card to be added to the workload of his successor is not ever a solution. Moreover, the EU nations have to come up with paying it back somehow, so leaving this collection of spenders seems much better than to play possum and ignore that credit card, because that debt comes with interest and there is not one government in the EU who doesn’t have their own national credit card maxed out, which means that our children will have to work of this debt. That is not a world I ever accepted to be in!

Now consider the last quote “Does this mean risky debt in Europe getting less risky? No. Fundamentals are, in fact, deteriorating, according to the Bank of America strategists, with investors recovering less from defaulted debt than they have in the past“, which is partially the problem and the issue I have with the USA. Wall Street is setting up a scenario that is reminiscent of the old Pyramid schemes, with the difference that they quickly want to cash in one more time and breaking free from whatever remains. It is wrong on many levels, so as there is one more round of bonds and stimulus, the previous instigators cash in and get out with as much as possible, knowing that they will survive in the next two decades whilst the ones not getting out drown and lose all. This is why the Draghi method is so dangerous and we need to get away from it Brexit was part one, although Frexit (part two) is not a guarantee, the fact that Sarkozy is now ready to set a referendum if elected should be ample warning for the US (read: Wall Street) that the status quo route is no longer acceptable and too many nations are willing to let it all fall back to nationalism if pushed, should be more than enough for Wall Street to find a ‘live with the loses solution‘. Something we all know will never happen!

So in this war there is the immediate need to stop misinformation and above all get something done, in this case fix the NHS, it should be the only issue on the agenda of both isles for the rest of the year, that whilst Brexit moves forward. It is a tall order to deliver no matter how you slice it, but whomever does will have the support of the people for a long time to come, because that aging population will still hold the majority for well over a decade.

 

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