Tag Archives: HRA

How to get yourself killed

On the edge of the elections, we see new developments in a few areas. The issue is not the people trying to keep others safe; it is now to some extent the law that is aiding people getting killed. Here we see the first of a few issues, that first one being the Human Rights Act 1998. Now, let’s be clear! I am not against the HRA. The issue is that it is now protecting terrorists in completing their goals, which was not what it was intended to do. That issue is seen at the very beginning of article 2.1. Here we see: ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

This gives us that Terrorists cannot be hunted down; the first rule is to capture them alive, whilst knowingly endangering the lives of many. In addition we see articles 6, 7 and 8 messing things up (in light of terrorism); still it is not a failure of the law.

The issue is that these laws were never designed with the abundance of terrorism to the amount we see nowadays. The fact that any armed police action, aimed on capturing terrorists is placing them in harm’s way, but in an unrealistic and unacceptable way. A policeman’s life is set to a higher degree of danger, whilst giving the terrorist a prolonged time to act out the acts of terrorism. It is in this light that we should see ‘May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-rip-up-human-rights-laws-impede-new-terror-legislation). There is a growing concern that the laws of our nations have been a hindrance in dealing with acts of terrorism. In addition we see another return with “It is possible May’s plans could involve seeking further derogations from the ECHR. This is the way the government is seeking to prevent human rights claims against soldiers in future military situations“, the question is not just in the laws, the issue we see with “May was then repeatedly challenged about how the Home Office, police and intelligence services dealt with the information relating to the attackers, after Boris Johnson, her foreign secretary, said MI5 had questions to answer. One of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015 and a third attacker, Youssef Zaghba, 22, had been detained by Italian authorities in 2016”, there are questions for MI5 to answer, yet it is not just them. The UK needs to establish to with level SIGINT (GCHQ) has been missing the ball.

Now there are two problems with that assumption of mine. The first is whether the European intelligence services have been keeping its allies and NATO partners up to date on movements. The second is how some allies classify certain people of interest (Youssef Zaghba). Without that knowledge we end up kicking both MI6 and GCHQ without actual cause. So it is not just MI5. We can wonder how certain borders were passed as well as how we will stop certain events from happening. So Boris Johnson is correct that there should be questions and answers, yet in the first only to the smallest degree and in the second, I would want to ask GCHQ a few questions before knocking on the door of Andrew Parker. The fact that he goes straight to the door of MI5, gives an implicit lack of knowledge on the address of Boris Johnson which is not the way we know him, so I wonder what he is playing at, at present. This now gets us to ‘Police and MI5 face further scrutiny after third attack since March’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/05/police-and-mi5-face-further-scrutiny-after-third-attack-since-march). The part that matters here is “MI5 has a staff of 4,000, with up to 1,000 more promised by 2020, to keep tabs on a list of 3,000 people classified as “subjects of interest”, who included Butt, and to engage in other activities. Counter-terrorism accounts for just over 60% of what MI5 does”. We can hide behind the numbers to some extent as we consider that 1650 keep tabs on 3,000 people. This implied two people to watch per agent, this in a situation where it is about resources. In addition when we consider “Another of the London attackers, Rachid Redouane, was not known to the police or MI5, the police said”. The numbers show the impossibility of the task. In opposition we get that either the UK becomes an unlivable police state, or we take the war to them and prune the HRA to a larger extent. Weirdly enough, that gives us the headache that the HRA is losing potency, something that none of the players want. We basically move a nation into a place where we end up getting ourselves killed. As Richard Barrett, former director of global counter-terrorism operations at MI6 states: “I do not want to live in a state like that”. So even the agencies want a non-police state system, as such we need to consider other evolutions.

So how to go forward?

Until we get an actual union of interest in the Intelligence industry there will be an age of uncertainty. As SIGINT departments unite to set forth the first need of identifying the dangers and replicate that knowledge we are at an impasse. If this reads weird, then let me explain it. The function of GCHQ is to monitor and report to the UK agencies. This is how it should be in the past. In this age of ISIS/ISIL we need to consider that SIGINT agencies set the data in one common database when it concerns terrorists. So basically GCHQ forwards Intel directly to NSO (Netherlands), DGSE (France), SAIC (Germany) and so on. After that (or actually at the same time) the obtained data goes to MI5 and MI6. As filters are removed the whole gets more and quicker intelligence on movements. There is no issue with Brexit or Bremain, this is about European security, and as Europe becomes safer, so will the UK be safer. This path has never been walked because the trouble is with containing intelligence going into the open. In this setting we have intelligence filters this is not a bad thing, but the need in light of the attacks require us all to rethink the issues. There is an additional benefit that the union of data could give additional clusters of information, clustering’s we did not have in the past. It gives voice to not just paths of interests, but a path of people that are a justifiable target in this situation. A path that is partially hindered by the Human Rights Act in a way that was never the intent of the Human Rights Act in the first place.

The issue becomes a larger issue when we see certain media. Now as we exclude the tabloids on mere grounds of inferior intellect and increased factors like being clueless and greed driven through the expanse of emotion, we do get some media that should have known better. So when we see “Dame Stella Rimington, the first female director general of the agency, spoke out this week (6 June) during a keynote speech at 2017’s Infosecurity conference. The former spymaster took the time to urge for a calm response in the wake of recent London terror attacks” (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/former-mi5-chief-nobody-really-knows-how-deal-cyber-espionage-1625025), we see in addition “We are facing a world where there’s cyber-espionage now, which nobody really knows how to effectively deal with. We are facing a world of very complex communications which make it very difficult [for] our intelligence services to keep pace with changes taking place.

This is a path that has a few additional repercussions. The first repercussion is seen in the need of new technology to meet the challenges. The second repercussion is seen in combined need to evolve HUMINT, FININT and GEOINT. As money can be transferred through alternative means in faster ways and new methods we see that the terrorists are equipped and given new means to which several intelligence paths have no way to counter at present. The simplest issue of funding terrorist infrastructure through international debit cards is a nightmare to get through. Ordering these debit cards with up to 5,000 euros is getting easier and payment via web becomes increasingly easy. Getting these cards in Western Europe and dispense them to the dangerous elements in the UK is an increased danger as we now have a situation where HUMINT and FININT walk two very different paths. If we do not get an evolved SIGINT solution, we will see an escalation of events whilst the intelligence will fail. At present when a student is found with 2,000 euro a flag is raised (not always), yet when a student is seen with a debit card and 300 Euro, no flag will ever be raised. The cyber path is intervening on several levels increasing the dangers of a successful attack as they just get what they need at their destination. Nowadays a student goes into a car rental place, has his international student ID, picks up a van, pays with the prepaid card and he is off to load it up with explosives. At this point, when properly done, SIGINT, HUMINT and FININT will all have failed to stop this. This is the danger that Dame Stella Rimington is warning us about. And whilst the tabloid jokes are all about the emotions and the blame game towards the intelligence service, we see that failure after failure stacks up, mainly because what the intelligence agencies need is not coming their way. It’s like giving Jenson Button the task of winning the F1 trophy whilst giving him an Edsel to get the job done, which seems a little too unfair on the poor lad.

The world evolved too fast in too many directions and in this terrorists, especially lone wolves could use the system to remain largely invisible until it is too late. It is a collection of what we used to perceive as unrealistic elements ion danger assessment that is now stopping police and agencies in finding the targets trying to hurt innocent civilians. The game has become too unbalanced, and for the most I agree with Richard Barrett. Yet, in equal measure, we see a lack of evolution in technology that the seekers need to classify disseminated information as well as being able to cluster a multitude of databases each filled with variable information to find that needle, hoping that you are even near the right haystack. Consider the scenario I just painted. Finding that person would be near impossible if the Lone Wolf kept to the ground. So where is the validation of blame? There is none and the people actually realise this. It does not change the job, or the challenge. It merely increases the pressure. So when I read: “The third attacker was named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London” there is no concern to be elevated into some danger status, yet when we see in addition “is said to have told Italian authorities “I’m going to be a terrorist”, while officers reportedly found Islamic State-related material on his mobile phone when they intercepted him” makes it a different issue (apart from any person proclaiming to become a terrorist to the police). How long until that news reached the UK? In addition, what did the Italians do to stop this possible extremist? When we see a file on Youssef Zaghba in the areas of FININT and SIGINT, what do they reveal? You see, we might not stop all events, yet there is an increased chance that any previous success by these lone wolves will leave us with information that potentially stops the next attack. That will leave us with increased options when SIGINT will start sharing the data internationally.

We are in a phase where we get ourselves killed, not because of the failing of the agencies, but with our complacency regarding human rights and thinking that the agencies did not need certain elements. As we are bragging on Facebook and demanding the government does not collect data, we place ourselves in harm’s way, which is increasingly stupid.

Yet in equal measure spending irresponsibly (read: Jeremy Corbyn’s lame promise) is equally dangerous. You see we need to work on actual solutions, not buy 1000 staff members, 15 servers and hope it will work itself out. That is a recipe for a political pork pie that leaves us with indigestion.

There is a lot that requires doing, let’s not get ourselves killed whilst doing that.

 

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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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Is it just me?

The Guardian had an interesting article yesterday. For me it is interesting because I might not be getting it. You see, in my mind, certain issues are clear as water. Pink is pink and Green is green (avoiding a Black & White issue). So when I read ‘Bill forcing people to prove nationality slammed as discriminatory‘. So when we see the quote “The Conservatives want to give police and immigration officers the power to order people who have been arrested to state their nationality and require those believed to be foreign nationals to produce their nationality documents, such as a passport. Failure to do so within 72 hours would become a criminal offence under the policing and crime bill currently going through parliament“, I saw no issue, or perhaps better stated, not a large one. The question initially is how far does ‘such as a passport’ go?

Not everyone has a passport, or the means to quickly get one. So ‘such as’ should allow for a little bit of leniency. So when I saw the defence “But concerns have been raised by civil liberties groups, as well as some immigration and policing experts, that people will be targeted because of how they look, their accent and their skin colour“. Is that all they have? The UK has a fluctuating amount of immigrants. The numbers tend to be around the 750K, which gives us that 1.1% is in the UK illegally, impacting the British way of life. Something needs to be done and by far the illegal part is not from Sweden, the Netherlands or Ireland, but from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. So how are accent, colour and skin tones not valid reasons?

This is not about discrimination, this is about finding illegal visitors.

In my view, going from “Sara Ogilvie, policy officer at Liberty, the civil rights organisation, said: “The only grounds on which police could decide someone might not be British are their appearance and their accent, so the very basis of this policy is discrimination“, I would state that Sara Ogilvie has lost the plot. Ideology in a time where nations go bankrupt because of overprotection against those who do not respect or abide by law, how can those laws be just? How can this work? The reason why the UK is willing to dump the Human Rights Act because it has become an anchor that protects the transgressors and blocks the victims as well as the prosecutors. How are Civil Rights valid, when they are used by criminals and transgressors to secure their activities?

The second quote “The government aims to remove as many foreign national offenders (FNOs) as quickly as possible to their home countries, to protect the public, to reduce costs and to free up spaces in prison” is equally damning, but now towards the government. You see, the part “Foreign nationals comprise 12% of the prison population in England and Wales“. The issue here becomes less about the FNO’s, it becomes the issue of establishing his real identity. Still, the quote “successful identification is particularly difficult where an individual is not carrying a document at the time of arrest” remains true and the additional quote “Making it a criminal offence for a person arrested to fail to produce a passport on demand or state a nationality is unnecessary, heavy handed and carries its own risks. A police officer need only suspect a person is not a British citizen to demand a passport” remains in opposition. Why is there such an opposition against identifying one’s self? I am not against a right of privacy, is it however such a stretch to require to identify one’s self to be able to hide behind this right of privacy?

I am taking intentionally this chicken and the egg view for a very simple reason, the law applies to the established population, a British one!

Now, I am aware that my approach is equally flawed to some extent. Yet to some extent the overprotection of the populous has impacted that the bulk of criminals are better protected than the rest or the victims. The Huffington Post stated it in an interesting way in the headline “‘Human Rights Have Become Dirty Words’: Lord Anthony Lester On The Five Things We Should Fight For“, which is close to the heart of the matter, Human Rights have become dirty words, that is not an imagination, in equal measure we ignore one bit, you see Lord Lester writes in his new book ‘Five Ideas To Fight For’, the need to fight for human rights, equality, free speech, privacy and rule of law. I do not disagree with Lord Lester, yet the fact that these elements have proven in the past to be more protective to the criminals and transgressors than the population at large as well as the victims of criminals and transgressors remains a fact too. Legislators have done too little to protect victims at large and hid behind what is a legal act of humanity and not on the rule of law to protect victims.

Lord Lester has additional info (at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/human-rights-act-lord-lester_uk_571f9574e4b06bf544e0ce6f), the article states: “Lester does not believe the public share the media’s loathing of the HRA. As a Lib Dem member of the Bill of Rights Commission, he took part in two public consultations, travelling across the country to hold seminars, conferences and debates“, I personally believe that this is not correct. As the British way of life was decimated, the quality of life has been drained to below the minimum, there are plenty who are abandoning several Acts if that changes things for them. The press is part of the problem as they have been ‘illuminating’ events for maximum effect, drama and circulation by not truly informing people. That applies to well over 90% of all papers.

So where is the solution?

To protect Human Rights, to protect a humane way of life requires legislation to be adjusted to set forth and set on the first need, the victims, under a rule of law where victims and not transgressors are set in a first light. The Human Rights Acts became folly when it set the victims and criminals on the same level, with equal rights. That level was the first folly to undo a century of growth. The HRA is only the first step. Turkey is throwing fuel on the fire in several ways. Now that the EU has buckled like a wet tissue, we get ‘EU conditionally backs visa-free travel for Turkey, unveils asylum changes’, which ABC released yesterday. The first quote that will unleash hell is “The European Commission also unveiled an overhaul of its asylum system under which member states that refuse to take a quota of refugees will be fined“, this implies that self-governing is no longer an option, or only an option at a price. A forced ruling that could bankrupt anyone. An initial layer of protection could be to reinstate capital punishment. That gives governments the options that those who transgress beyond acceptable levels are put to death or incarcerated for all time. That is the part that these Human Rights Activists refuse to accept. The need for accountability in Bankers and Beggars alike, Residents and Refugees held to one account!

In my view, my personal opinion, I reckon that this act should be decently enough to push the British population to a level where we see a stronger push towards Brexit. The quote “Turkey has threatened to tear up the March agreement to take back asylum who cross the Aegean Sea to Greece if the EU fails to keep its promise to allow Turks to travel without visas to the Schengen area by the end of June” completes the deal. A nation that with the population of 78 million has a GDP that is at least 10% less than the Netherlands who achieves the same with a population 78% smaller. I will ignore the corruption and criminal indexes, places where Turkey does not score well, what is more important is the dangers that Turkey represents. The Greek refugee pressures due to corruption or utter inability of the Turkish government to stop refugees and smugglers. A nation bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria. That is the nation who is receiving free passage into Europe, whilst it has shown to be untrustworthy on several occasions?

 

If would amount to giving the European presidency to the Norwegian Hel, daughter of Loki, which in light of the flaccid politicians on a near global scale seems such a well-adjusted truth. In all fairness if this comes to blows than Norway would be one of the few nations left in Europe, for how long is an entirely different question.

So how wrong is my view?

I will forever work from a setting where I am wrong, for the mere reason that not digging and critically opposing my own view is the only way to find a balanced conclusion. You see, the BBC reported that ‘EU referendum: Turkey joining EU ‘not remotely on cards’, says PM‘ is not incorrect, yet when refugees are combined with millions of Turks start looking for a ‘better’ solution and the Turks get the legal run of the land? How many infrastructures will collapse within mere months? That fear is clearly over illuminated, including by me. I do not believe I am instilling fear, but instilling reality (don’t we all claim that same thing?).

Consider the parts I mentioned. Not just now, but over the past few months. Europe has failed the UK and other nations for a convoluted image that has no bearing on reality, whilst the coffers that would support any life resembling this have been drained by people who will walk away from that Europe and await until this generation rips itself apart, Which does not seem to be too realistic a view, I will immediately admit to that, yet as we see how ‘taxable’ dollars move away, whilst politicians remain unable to change anything, other than emotional posturing. How much taxation has been collected?

The Mossack Fonseca case has shown the following, in the Times of Malta we see “The Times of Malta is informed that Adrian Hernan Dixon Sanchez, who has been in Malta since the opening of Mossack’s representative office in May 2013, tendered his resignation last week. He was immediately replaced by two other directors, Juergen Mossack Herzog and Ramon Fonseca Mora – both residing in Panama“, in addition we see that over the last month the people seem taken aback, some quit, some moved on, but there are no actions coming any day soon. You see all the emotional posturing sounds nice, but so far NO ONE reported on any crimes, there is no evidence and due to the hack, most ‘evidence’ would end up being non admissible. All that press coverage wasted on an issue that is unlikely to go anywhere. We see quotes like ‘what you need to know‘ and ‘Mossack Fonseca was a hack waiting to happen’, all emotion, too little facts. Even the way the hack was done remains a mystery. We see more links to Sony and how Cyber threats are a thing of today, yet in all this, such precision is either from the inside or requires hardware only large governments can access. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is fact. You see, the other option is that Mossack Fonseca became reckless. Reckless on a multibillion dollar environment. I will let you decide! Just consider Greece and the near 2100 wealthy people who siphoned billions away from Greece. In those 3 years, how many taxable billions came back to lighten the load of Greece?  A nation only weeks away from the next debt crises. I will admit that the last one has additional pressures from Refugees, but clearly there are no solutions in sight, with or without refugees!

Why is this last part added?

You see, whatever humane path is to be trodden, it will require massive funds, funds that are nowhere available to be taxed. Corporations played the politicians so that legislation never happened. Now most governments have no funds to deal with even the smallest required refugee option. That is at the core of the problem and many people are seeing the rains come, this fuels Brexit. In that same light the UK could end up dropping the Human Rights Act. There is enough doubt on whether it will truly happen, but overall the Human Rights Advocates remain ideological in an age where pragmatism is called for. I believe that to be a massive reason for the swing we are seeing.

I could be wrong and it could just be me!

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How to see ‘facts’

Brexit is one of the shiniest examples on how information is twisted and turned into many ways, especially ways to either scare people or just knowingly and willingly misrepresent the facts (as I see it). In the first degree there is the press. I think that they are on a large scale doing the deeds that those who support them are requesting them to do.

This sounds ‘misleading’, so let me explain. When the press goes on quoting sources and not investigating sources, we need to start questioning the ‘facts’ that they represent and quote. I think that the press is not doing their utmost to inform their readers and the public at large. I am not talking about the Daily Mail, the Mirror or some Murdoch media outlet. No, I am referring to places like the Guardian, the Independent and even the Times, although in the last case, I have never read it (because only subscribers get access to their website articles (the ones that matter at least). We can wonder how far the press needs to go, yet the answer as I see it should be ‘A lot further than they are currently going‘.

It is up to you to decide whether my subjective version is accurate or not (never take anyone’s word for granted!)

1. The Guardian, ‘French minister: Brexit would threaten Calais border arrangement‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/03/david-cameron-calais-refugee-crisis-francois-holland).

Background: Regional president Xavier Bertrand, member of the Republicans, headed by Nicolas Sarkozy. This is important because Nicolas Sarkozy is against segregation from the EU and also very much against Brexit. When was the last time anyone going against party ruling would have been allowed to continue? Now that Sarkozy is not in power, they are all about getting elected!

The quote: “Xavier Bertrand, the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, has repeatedly said the Le Touquet agreement would be torn up if Britain left the EU. He said: “If Britain leaves Europe, right away the border will leave Calais and go to Dover. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union”“. The part that is so ludicrous is the issue that if this falls away, everyone will get checked before leaving the train, meaning that the train could stop halfway and until every person is checked, there will not be any continuation, in the second, if illegals are boarding the train, it would mean that France already has a problem, which means that this rash statement will make matters worse for France when Frexit becomes a fact because It would need to deal with a non-existing Le Touquet agreement, meaning that Belgium in equal measure will not be performing checks. This means that the flow from the Netherlands and Belgium towards France could possibly triple, especially in Lille. Consider that Lille has well over 20,000 industry/services. Do you have any idea what level of pressure would fall upon Lille? And that is just the registered part.

The Quote: “France’s economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, told the Financial Times that the Le Touquet agreement – a bilateral relationship between the UK and France – would be threatened by a British withdrawal from the EU“, which is partially a repetition from the first quote, but by Emmanuel Macron, the current Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry in France. He states ‘threatened‘ not ‘withdrawn‘. So when in office you need to be ‘diplomatic’. Yet in all this, there is actually no reason to get there. You see, this is an agreement between nations, in all this it can remain an agreement within nations. Let’s not forget that the checks remain the same and the United Kingdom was never a part of Schengen. There is off course an impact for EU citizens, yet in all this, the United Kingdom would soon be forced to create an almost identical situation that Australia currently has. There would be every reason for the UK to adopt the Australian 457 visa situation. As its own infrastructure would soon after Brexit be massively damaged by the lack of skilled persons. This would include most of the western European nations (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy).

Yet, the issue of the Le Touquet agreement will be an issue, just not the one that Xavier Bertrand states for the mere reason that France would lose a lot more soon thereafter.

2. The Independent, ‘Brexit would only bring ‘low’ cost to British national security, says former head of MI6‘ (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-would-only-bring-low-cost-to-british-national-security-says-former-head-of-mi6-a6948841.html)

Background: Sir Richard Dearlove, former El Jefe of MI6 (from August 1999 until May 2004), he was replaced by John Scarlett, who endorsed the government’s dossier on Iraqi weapons, including the controversial claim that some weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes (Source: CNN). Any rumour about Iraq ending his career seems far-fetched as Sir Richard Dearlove completed a 5 year tour, like several before him and all those who followed him. We can only argue (well, actually I can) that the Directors seat at £169,999 seems rather underpaid when you consider that you have to clean up the mess Labour made in its ignorance. The Chilcot Inquiry being the evidence here. So it was a little bit about Iraq! More important, the inquiry that ran from 24th November 2009 until 2nd February 2011, is currently being completed as parts were not to be published for several reasons. Its publication is expected to happen on April 16th 2016.

The quote: “Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights—remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque—and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the EU

The Quote: “Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return… If a security source in Germany learns that a terrorist attack is being planned in London, Germany’s domestic intelligence service is certainly not going to withhold the intelligence from MI5 simply because the UK is not an EU member“.

There are a few items here that matter. Even though the HRA could fall over, there are additional facts that would hinder extradition of a person like Abu Hamza. For one there was the case of cleric Abu Qatada, which took forever. I mentioned him in an earlier blog. I discussed this in March 2013 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/03/10/humanitarian-law-v-national-security/) ‘Humanitarian Law v National security‘, you see on 16th December 2004 the Law Lords ruled that Section 23 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 was an issue, which is now replaced by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which is currently repealed. So, my issue here is that, as far as I can tell, the issue will remain to some extent. Yes, I agree with Sir Richard that immigration will gain control, yet at present there are a few loopholes that might not result in solving new issues from becoming a political hot potato (also known as ‘an issue not resolved’) that will give rise to new cases. In the second quote, I feel a few levels of doubt regarding the statement ‘Britain is Europe’s leader in intelligence and security matters‘. Yes the UK might give more than it receives, yet overall certain intelligence matters will dwindle as the data hub that matter is not the UK (they are in third position), it is number 2 (Netherlands) and the current leader (Germany) that are the data titans in Europe, with additional growth due to a Google data centre currently in development somewhere north or northwest of Amsterdam (latest info is that its completion is in 2017). Which would grow the Dutch data stream even further, which could grow to a speculated estimation of 6.5Tb/sec. Sir Richard knows that it is not about the amount of data, but it is about the quality of data. Yet in all this, there might be a consequence of Brexit. It is possible that access to certain data streams might not be forthcoming. Meaning that GCHQ would need to develop other algorithms to counter the lack of data (read: incomplete data). Sir Richard is correct that information would not be withheld, but the exchange of data would be less smooth and time would be lost, all parties seem to agree on that. Yet in all this, Dutch paper NRC gave us in 2013 “Achter de schermen werkt Bertholee hard aan de invulling van de bezuiniging uit het regeerakkoord: 70 miljoen tot en met 2016. Daar is kort daarna nog eens 11 miljoen bijgekomen” {paraphrased: behind the screens director Bertholee (AIVD, the Dutch version of MI5), is working hard to work out on how to implement the agreed cutbacks of 70 million through to 2016, which was shortly thereafter raised by 11 million}. So as the Dutch intelligence needs to cut back on 81 million, Dutch internet nodes will soon thereafter give passage to 40% more data. Even if the bulk of it is ‘Softly Pasting Additional Marketing‘, the intelligence ramification will be larger than expected, there is no way of telling the impact of Brexit, yet the response of Sir Richard, which was “Leaving the EU would bring only a “low” cost to Britain in terms of national security“, is not exactly a given, there is, in his defence, too many unknown factors at present.

So how did we look at facts? How about the speculations we read (in the second case). Well, they are not speculations. I added sources (all except one) and I extrapolated information for half a dozen sources. I have the advantage of languages, something plenty of journalists are lacking. My issue is less with the Independent and only slightly more with the Guardian. I believe that they should have dug deeper. They did mention the facts but the fact that Regional president Xavier Bertrand is not an elected official, he was Mayor of Saint-Quentin (was being the operative word), yet as the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, which was in 2010 and he is about to be replaced by Marine Le Pen (extremely likely), whilst as Mayor he was replaced by Frédérique Macarez in January 2016. So he can claim whatever he wants. Free bowls at the wicket and no official fact to be questioned. Clean given facts that were known before the article came to print. So why were these influential facts not given?

There are more articles in pretty much most papers (excluding the Times at present), which gives us the issue, because the papers should have informed us slightly better. I personally see it as cause and effect. Why a person makes that statement is one, but the position he/she is in is equally important. I have stated before again and again, never go from one source; not even me as a source. Use the information you get and form an opinion, because when the vote is due, whatever you select is on yourself, not on others. Being the non-winner is one thing, ‘I should have voted for the others’ when ‘your choice’ makes it would qualify you the voter as an idiot. Make sure you know what you select and why you make the selection.

 

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Within the Entitlement of Relevance

Very early this morning an article made it into the Guardian. The title ‘David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia‘, (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/david-cameron-brilliant-uk-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-bae), which is fair enough. The UK is one of those nations that actually has an arms export option. It is nowhere near the size of the US, but that is not the point here.

When we read: “on the day the European parliament voted for an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen“, we should be asking: ‘and why do we care about that?‘, yet this is not the case. We see both “At almost the same time, the European parliament voted in favour of an EU-wide ban on arms being sold to Saudi Arabia in protest at its heavy aerial bombing of Yemen, which has been condemned by the UN” as well as “The vote does not force EU member states to comply but it increases pressure on national governments to re-examine their relationships with Riyadh“. Which is a joke of sizeable proportions (reasoning will follow). Finally we see: “The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been extremely critical of Cameron’s relationship with Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record, prompting an angry response from Riyadh“, which could be seen as a humorous climax in labour less form.

We need to deal with the quotes so that it all makes sense to you, but there is one more element in that story. That we see from: “Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s arms controls director, said: “The ‘brilliant things’ that David Cameron says BAE sells include massive amounts of weaponry for the Saudi Arabia military, despite Saudi Arabia’s dreadful record in Yemen“. I needed to add this to all this, because there is the start.

You see, I am on the fence here. I will happily support Amnesty International, because for the most it is a force of good. When I see the title ‘UK’s arms controls director‘ I wonder if AI lost the plot a little. Let’s be clear here. It makes sense that AI has people on the payroll who understand weapons, understands mines, chemical ordnance. That makes perfect sense. AI is in need of knowledge on many levels and plenty of their work is in places where people tend to passionately not like each other (as in: with clubs, machetes and automatic weapons). Yet, when AI is wasting time on a valid business deal, we should ask a few additional questions. Now, we should quickly mention another side. At https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/amnesty-expert-barred-london-arms-fair, we see ‘Amnesty expert barred from London arms fair‘ as well as his quote “They’ve kept me out, but the question is: what has DSEi got to hide?” Let me answer that instead of the DSEi. You see, I could with my own expertise attend that event, and like him, I will equally hear “alas sir, you didn’t meet the criteria for registration“, even though there should be a few around in that field who know my skill levels in that regard. It is not skill or expertise, you see, it is about CLEARANCE LEVELS. These events are frequented by a massive who’s who of unregistered events, with a decent amount of government employees who need to talk shop, having non-cleared people on that fair tends to be a little unsettling for several reasons. In part because this world has its own rules, you obey those rules or you stop functioning in that world. There is every chance that I could accidently make the mistake whilst Oliver Sprague would intentionally do these things. Most of these people shy away from cameras (apart from those special social functions), they are there to talk shop!

You see, I have every respect for Amnesty International, they have done many good things in the past and will continue this in the future. For example stop torture makes perfect sense. There is also a questionable part from AI, it is nice to talk about the Human Rights Act, yet in the decades they have never succeeded in championing the need to add Spousal Abuse to article 3 of that HRA. Is spousal abuse not torture in its own rights? In that regard AI likes to be very visible, but in some way the big fights are never really fought (or better stated have not been fought for a long time). They have shown success stories every year, but landmark achievements have been absent for some time. Let’s get back to the initial story, but do not forget this part as it has bearing.

You see, the next part is slightly more entertaining. That tends to be the case whenever the honourable Jeremy Corbyn gets involved. Apart from the fashion comments we have seen in the last two days. The actual issue is his choice to get to the CND-rally, which is not a bad thing, but in light of timing, he decides to walk away from the national Labour campaign day, where he would be persuading voters to back Britain’s membership of the EU. This leaves to mind, is this a first inkling that even labour expects Brexit to become a reality? Whether that is true or not, this event has a direct bearing on the British population within this year, the CND rally has been going on for decades, so there would be another one next year. There is no other story beyond that. When you lead the labour party, it must be about the party, not about temporary ideology, because the CND is temporary at best and all ideological. I state that because there is no doubt that the UK would never instigate it, it would however respond if need be. Jeremy knows this (or he should not run the labour party). In all this I accept and understand that this is an option to rub elbows with people like SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. Yes, those meetings make perfect sense, yet that means that none of them are really there for a CND rally. That is not an accusation, it is not wrong, but it leads to questions; questions that can slow down any election for a massive amount.

Two events all with issues of relevance, relevance from within those people from their point of view.

Now we take another gander, a gander towards the path of Saudi Arabia. Most people refuse to understand (read: accept) two elements. The first is that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, a nation founded in 1932 by the House of Saud. The most important part here is that this is a Muslim nation, it is a nation of laws, in their case it was the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia in 1924 when King Abdul-Aziz made Shura a foundation of his government in order to fulfil the divine order by applying Shariah (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Shura as parts of it. So, we have a clear given, a monarchy that lives by Muslim rule of law, Shariah law. We might not comprehend, understand it or even accept it. But in the Nation of Saudi Arabia it has forever been law. I still do not understand how people go about trying to enforce their rules upon others. You see, when I hear these ‘moralists’ speak on how Sharia Law is so ‘barbaric’, they in equal measure forget that their own governments abandoned them as markets collapsed twice since 2004, no decent part of the involved parties went to prison and absolutely no laws were properly instigated and enforced against greed and in that regard, the least said about flawed corporate tax laws the better. In light of all this consider another fact that applies to the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, the previous assembly had 70% of its members with a PhD, 49% got their degree in the US and 20% from a University in Europe. So this is a group highly educated. Initially, going back to the beginning, the council was entrusted with drafting the basic laws for the administration of the country. Which is interesting as the US started in a similar way, a nation of laws under god (their Christian version). When we see the Shura council, we see in Article one “and following His Messenger Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) in consulting his Companions, and urging the (Muslim) Nation to engage in consultation. The Shura council shall be established to exercise the tasks entrusted to it, according to this Law and the Basic Law of Governance while adhering to Quran and the Path (Sunnah) of his Messenger (PBUH), maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety“, so as others judge the actions of Saudi Arabia, ask yourself, in the last 5 years alone, how many instances from large corporations and government have we seen, where ‘maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety‘ were never part of any consideration? You only have to look at your pension plan, healthcare or deficits to see that ‘brotherly‘ is nowhere to be found.

This too is relevant to the entirety of the situation when we return to the honourable Jeremy Corbyn. Several sources stated “Jeremy Corbyn has called on David Cameron to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia after a United Nations report found the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had “conducted airstrikes targeting civilians”“, based on what evidence would be my first question (not stating the validity of the UN), apart from that, Corbyn has a direct responsibility, you see, the UK had coffers that need to be filled, the UK has product that can be sold. We have seen how UK Labour was willing to spend money they never had, leaving the UK in massive debt. The last thing he should do is call for a suspension. Let me explain that part.

  1. This arms deal is not with some organisation like Hezbollah, it is a legitimate sovereign government of an established nation. The UK has every right to sell products to this nation.
  2. Whenever the west gets directly involved in any Middle Eastern event, it becomes a massive mess, in all this after half a decade, the west has done next to nothing regarding Syria, Europe has to deal with massive waves of refugees and there is no end in sight. Amnesty International knows this. They also know that Sharia Law is another matter, it is not for them to judge; it is for them to accept that the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia has every right to keep their own set of laws.
  3. Hezbollah and other players in Yemen are not part of an established government, they overthrew governments and the mess that followed has been ongoing ever since. In that light, there are too many question marks in too many places.

I believe that any Middle Eastern issue should be resolved by the Middle Eastern nations themselves. With escalation on the south border and firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia, they have every rights to protect themselves in any way they need to. That is also part of the equation. In that regard Islam 101 gives us two parts “Fight against those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors” as well as “Kill them whenever you confront them and drive them out from where they drove you out. (For though killing is sinful) wrongful persecution is even worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Holy Mosque unless they fight against you; but if they fight against you kill them, for that is the reward of such unbelievers“. The next part is also from the Quran, but I am not sure whether this is Sharia: “The Quran sanctions violence to counter violence. If one studies history of Arab tribes before Islam and fierce fighting they indulged in one would be convinced that the philosophy of passive resistance would not have worked in that environment“. This is the kicker, we see that passive resistance was not a solution, because of the mess that Arab spring left the Middle East. In that Saudi Arabia has a right to counter its attacks, which means that we do not get to say too much on how a sovereign state defends itself. In addition, with the amount of ‘additional’ groups in Yemen, can we be certain who is who there?

But do not fear, Smith is here!

You see, I am very willing to join BAE and become ‘the’ sales person there (I know a person who would join me, so a team of 2 could be achieved), I will take a decent sales income and of course the 3.75% bonus on surplus sales and 3.25% bonus on sales targets reached. I reckon that I can sell the Eurofighter Typhoon military planes, with consultancy, training and guidance. In addition, I will be happy to provide for ammunition and ordnance. As stated, we Commonwealth nations need to stick together and I am happy to aid in the support and consultancy of those jets.

This now gets us to the final part ‘an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen‘. What data is there? What evidence is there? We know for a fact that Hezbollah is there, that the Iranians are all over this, which is interesting as they are supporting the party overthrowing the legitimate government. So is there more? Is this perhaps an organised annexing of Yemen for Iran? The elements that gives value to that are indeed in play, whether this is a factual interpretation is not clear, too much data is not available to me, as well as too much time has passed from the start of all this.

And the final part in all this is “The vote does not force EU member states to comply“, which makes the EU a lame duck organisation. All that time and all these events for something that holds no real value. Now let’s take the headcount for a second. Oliver Sprague, a civilian with no political power, a person who leads by instigating those who have power and only in events where it is beneficial to those people could something possibly happen (not in this case though). Jeremy Corbyn, a political headpiece, but not one that is currently in office, he is merely in opposition and as such he is about visibility and branding himself (politically plugging is also a term that applies in this case). These two non-deciders are opposing a nation that needs commerce that needs to export as many of their products as possible.

In the defence of the two non-deciders I must add, from our values, we might have issues and it is nice that the UN is also about values, yet in all this, apart from condemnation there has been very little against terrorist elements. Of all the condemnations we have seen since Syria has a little issue in 2011, how much actions have been taken and for how many millions of Syrians has it been too late? Too many speakers for inactions, too little actions on economy and actual actions on the HRA (like the little addendum to article three I mentioned earlier).

So within the title of relevance seems to apply to too many people, it includes me as well, for the mere reason that my blog has no effect on the actions of the UK Foreign Office. It is just my view on the matter, like it was the view of Oliver Sprague, Jeremy Corbyn and the EU parliament. We are all simply non-deciders. The deciders are the currently elected UK government headed by David Cameron as well as the Monarchy of Saudi Arabia, under King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They both get to look at the ‘toothless’ response from the EU parliament, who might be entering their final sitting soon enough.

Our voices might sound nice, our words might read nice, but neither bring food to the table, which is the concern of the Conservative Party, one that they are actually addressing.

 

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