The Avenging Axe of Honesty and Integrity Hangs over May, Green, Ghosh and Whiteman

Posted on | Saturday, 19 November 2011 | No Comments

Following on from the evidence given by Brodie Clark and Rob Whiteman last week, Damian Green (current Minister of Immigration) and Helen Ghosh (departing Permanent Secretary, Home Office) will appear before the Home Affairs Committee next Tuesday 22 November; the interrogation is slated to start at 12noon. We can expect oily, evasive responses from the duo. In the short time they have been allotted to squirm, they should comfortably be able to sink any future career prospects down the same bog hole that May and Whiteman have already publicly dug. We can also look forward to an earlier event due to take place on Monday. That is the deadline for Teresa May (our here today gone tomorrow) Home Secretary to respond - by noon - with 6 key documents called for by the Committee. 


Here's a copy of Keith Vaz's letter to Theresa May, just so we all know what we're expecting the good lady to deliver:

UK Border Agency

I am writing to you following the Committee’s formal evidence session yesterday with Brodie Clark, the former Head of the UK Border Force and Rob Whiteman, the Chief Executive of the UKBA. The Committee would be grateful if you would provide it with the following papers which are relevant to our inquiry:
1. Any paper or papers which contain your explicit instruction to UKBA officials not to go beyond the agreed terms of the trial of risk-based processes at the border, as set out in the Interim Operational Instruction of 28 July, or otherwise set out the terms of your agreement to that trial;
2. The Operational Instruction or similar document issued in 2007, which describes the temporary changes to border arrangements which the UKBA may take in order to mitigate serious health and safety risks at a port or airport;
3. The e-mail sent by Brody Clark to Rob Whiteman at about 7 am on 3 November 2011 (which we have been told draws a distinction between the two policies described in the documents requested above);
4. Copies of the periodic updates (which we understand were weekly, in the first instance) which were sent to you on the operation of the trial between July and November;
5. A copy of the UK Border Force Operations Manual (if it is currently being updated, we would be happy to receive a copy of the last edition that was issued), or the complete URL where it can currently be found on-line; and
6. A copy of the webpages which appeared on the UKBA website before the 2010 election under the heading “Managing our border”, or the complete URL where they can currently be found on-line.
The Committee would be happy to respect any protective marking which appeared on any of the documents requested.
I understand that some of the papers requested have been or will be supplied to one or more of the three inquiries you have established to consider these events. We nonetheless believe that it is necessary for the Committee to receive copies in order for us to pursue our own inquiries.
Whilst writing, I have noted that David Wood’s interim report has in the words of the Daily Mail (16 November, page 8) “been leaked to the newspaper”. As it appears the report is ready, it would greatly assist us with our inquiry if you could provide the Committee with a copy.
Could I also remind you that the Committee is awaiting two further pieces of correspondence from you:
(a) On 7 November, you told the House following a question from Douglas Carswell MP that you would “be making information available on the issue involving Raed Salah to the Home Affairs Committee” (Official Report, col. 57). We have been waiting some time for this information and I would be grateful if you could now provide it.
(b) When you gave evidence to the Committee on 8 November, Mark Reckless MP raised a question about whether police and crime panels would have to power to trigger referendums on police precepts (QQ 62–66). You undertook to write to the Committee with fuller details of the reasons why the policy in the Act does not reflect the policy in the Coalition Agreement and the White Paper.
I would be grateful for a response by noon on Monday 21 November 2011 so that it can be circulated before the Committee’s next meeting on Tuesday 22 November 2011.
I remain most grateful to you for your assistance and continued cooperation on this matter.
The stage is set….(ed., read scaffold)

Sale of Northern Rock to Virgin

Posted on | Thursday, 17 November 2011 | No Comments

In the Guardian today (http://bit.ly/u3XbdL) A reader comment from 'matthewmacleod' reads, 'The banking bailout was much closer to "socialism" than "capitalism"!'


Absolute crap. This was an elite cartel using tax payer funds to re-float an enterprise, not for the common good, but the benefit of the Corporation of London - the 1% - and dispose of it through insider trading to its own at at huge loss. All this without any reference to the rightful shareholders - the British taxpayer

The Tragedy of the Brodie Clark Case

1 Comment

Keith Vaz certainly has the integrity and experience to guide the Home Affairs Committee towards the only possible outcome: to vindicate Brodie Clark. In so doing we can only hope they use the Committee's authority to also dismantle the veil of deception erected by the Home Office and reveal mismanagement, errors and lies. Unless this happens, it won't only be Mr Clark who suffers, it will be the integrity of our parliamentary system.

Teresa May willingly reduced UK Border staffing by 900 in blind subservience to the coalition government's cuts. Incompetence on her part, in failing to comprehend the implications of these cuts, resulted in weakened border checks - the results of which are now abundantly clear. She disgracefully looked for a likely scapegoat to shoulder the blame and through her Permanent Secretary Helen Ghosh rushed to weave a web of lies and deception. It's a disgrace. So far in Parliament, it has been a shame cover up by Cameron (who is stumbling from one political cock-up to another) and the under performing Minster of Immigration, Damien Green (covering for a cowling Home Secretary).

No one has yet seen fit to clarify what the command structure is with UKBA. How many direct reports does the newly appointed Chief Executive (CEO) Rob Whiteman, who gave Clark his marching orders, have? Just Clark? Indications from leaks within the Home Office (ref: http://bit.ly/uNCNHr) show that Whiteman was strongarmed into incriminating Clark. Whiteman's own career path is worth exploring: staff at the London Borough of Barking and Barking and Dagenham Council where he was also their CEO state only,'no comment' - hardly a recommendation. He is of a type who believe in firing staff to create fear in subordinates and peers alike as a means to promotion and glory. It's a well trodden path by many failed executives who use it to conceal inferiority complexes and 'work face' incompetence. Whiteman acted recklessly demonstrating the same lack of knowledge and incompetence as May: this is unforgivable at this level. Indications were that the Committee was not impressed by Whiteman.

Vaz's recommendations should be for the reinstatement of Clark, with compensation, and the immediate removal of Rob Whiteman for incompetence and deceit. It will then be up to the Prime Minister to wallow yet again in the muddy waters of resigning another Cabinet Minister.

There is a ground swell of opinion that breaches of Ministerial conduct - not least blatant lies in Parliament should be criminal offences - how else can we ensure integrity within Parliament? Beyond this, as Keith Vaz has already stated, there needs to be a 'roots and branch' overhaul of UKBA - and that needs to start from the Minister down.

The Liam Fox and Adam Werritty Affair

Posted on | Tuesday, 11 October 2011 | No Comments

Liam Fox should be removed from office immediately while investigations continue. But it isn't happening - all we are witnessing are empty words and procrastination from Cameron and his government. They will be tarred by the same brush if they don't act on this as a matter of national concern. But remember, Cameron has shown us all too often that among his many shortcomings he is a man of dithering indecision.

We need to remind ourselves of the need to expect the highest level of honesty and integrity from those appointed to high office in this country. They are our representatives - reflecting our moral values. This man has lied, been evasive, and demonstrated by his own questionable standards of self management that he is totally incapable of recognising any similar shortcomings in his own department when it comes to protecting the integrity of the nation. 



The fact that he lacks the good grace and integrity to accept his shortcomings reveals the character of a man who should never has been awarded the honour of serving the people of this country. Like so many in this government (and to be fair in opposition) they are are unfit for high office - lacking leadership skills and totally inexperienced - for the most part incompetent, and that's before we even get to assessing their moral character!

Latest Times Comment, 'Downing St scrambles to reject attack by Archbishop'

Posted on | Thursday, 9 June 2011 | No Comments

Ref: Tory fury as Archbishop slams coalition policies | The Times http://thetim.es/jboZb

The Archbishop of Canterbury is absolutely spot-on with his comments: they represent the views of the vast majority of rational unbiased citizens. It just that we don't have the public platform to make our collective concern heard.

His comment that, “At the very least, there is an understandable anxiety about what democracy means in such a context.” rings particularly true and is driving many of us to question the democratic process we have constituted that permits so much abuse of power. A striking example of this abuse is shown in the comment made by Roger Gale, "..elected members of the House of Commons are not mandated....". But they are Mr Gale. Their mandate is the authorization to act in a particular way on public issues that is given to them as representatives of the electorate. Understand this and then we would see that the current government policies under attack would never have passed muster.

Well said Dr Williams.



My Comment on The Times, 'Martin Ivens: Lost an empire? At last we’ve got a role'

Posted on | Sunday, 29 May 2011 | No Comments

Ref:  http://thetim.es/ko50C1
(Blocked by Moderator - they don't appreciate criticism of their own 'journalists')

Martin Ivens should not have been told how to type, because he certainly can't write an intelligent article. This is a jumble of twaddle. It's the people who hire so called 'journalists' like this who need to be fired. 

Great Britain doesn't need a 'role' in some global play by a here today gone tomorrow new world leader. We've done it all before and we prefer to sit this short run theatrical extravaganza out thank you.

"The business of Britain, to coin an American phrase (what?), is business!". What astonishing platitudes this man drivels out. Now it wasn't so long ago that we were referred to as a nation of shopkeepers. As a proud nation, we have buffeted the blows of many detractors during our long and illustrious history and and I'm sure we'll witness many more.  It's of no consequence as we know who and what we are. And it's neither shop keepers nor business operatives.

For us, primarily, we're a nation borne of warriors, with battle honours that no nation over time has been able to equal. We have no need to align ourselves as second best to any nation. And those from our own ranks who belittle us might just as well be immigrants for they know so little about this country, its people and its history; that such individuals currently govern us is the tragedy. But be assured it won't last. We will create real government in this country; government that pays homage to no man or nation; that respects integrity and understands how best to manage the roles played on the global stage by others. 

--
Grenville Mills
Googleble© though not yet Wikipediable©
(new word creations from the pen of the author)

Belated Comment on The Sunday Times Feature Article, 'As a Muslim believing in Darwin, I’m a dead man', 13 March 2011

Posted on | Monday, 23 May 2011 | No Comments

Ref: http://thetim.es/kxpwcC


Hopefully there will be no death threat carried out in Great Britain, Dr Hasan. However, you are a brave man to publish your views and brother Muslims should try very hard to understand and accept your reasoning. "...that science has the same starting point, that life began in water or clay, in the earth....that God gave life but science could be seen as the process by which life happened,”  is an enormous leap forward in Islamic interpretation of the Koran, as is “the simple picture that God created Adam from clay, much as a potter makes a statue, and then breathed into the lifeless statue ... is a children’s madrasah-level understanding and Muslims really have to move on as adults and intellectuals”. But move on they must and adjust to this view as it is intellectually sound and will help integrate Islam into modern society.

Regarding Quilliam, one wonders why the Home Office suddenly reduced the funding to the Foundation? And by how much? - this is an important omission from this article. On the face of it, the Foundation is a very necessary inter-cultural agent. If it truly is a counter-extremism think tank set up to  address the unique challenges of integrating Islam into a multi-cultural, pluralistic society then fine, so why deny it the funds it needs to continue this work? 

Comment on the lead Feature in the Sunday Times, 22 May 2011, 'I come in peace'

Posted on | Sunday, 22 May 2011 | No Comments

Ref: http://thetim.es/mjpNEJ

It's perplexing that a senior Diplomat who seems to understand the history of foreign intervention in Afghanistan, and who has proposed/supported three sound military/intelligence initiatives there, can conclude by stating that any solution must involve America.

To quote,"To have any chance of succeeding, such a process will need sustained and vigorous diplomatic engagement by the US. In particular, America will need to talk to all the internal and external parties to the conflict, including the Taliban". But, Mr Cowper-Coles, hasn't America had enough time already, sacrificed enough lives, to have achieved this by now?  Are you completely unaware that this conflict has been the result of dubious America foreign policy, a continuously flawed 'end game' strategy and ineffective military tactics.

You quite rightly mention the lessons our own history has taught us from the North West Frontier (where our forefathers knew better than extend Empire beyond the Pass into Afghanistan) and Malaya where we succeeded because WE devised the strategy, planned the tactics and implemented this in the field of battle. But then you go on to show that nothing has been learnt from this, not least by the American overseers of the Afghan debacle.

And now you are telling us that America (qualifications; Vietnam, Iraq etc) is capable of resolving the Afghan polity involving conflicts between Islam and secularism, tradition and modernism, town and country, Sunni and Shi’ite.....I don't know whether you were smoking the same stuff as your American counterpart, but your tour of duty out there has seriously unbalanced your judgement.

The answer is out, and out now. There is no gain for the Afghans, or honour for  our military by remaining there under American command. Our forces have been the whipping boys for failures in Helmet and earlier in Basra, Iraq. Enough is enough.

Your conclusion should have resolved that our troops must leave now and will never return unless part of a UN initiative. The reason, you know full well; those conducting this occupation have no understanding of the issues involved.

Another comment blocked by the Lebedev newsgroup. This time The Independent

Posted on | Wednesday, 16 February 2011 | No Comments

The US bank and the secret plan to destroy WikiLeaks



It seems the last paragraph caused the problem?! Baffles me

“Ironically you've strengthened the thrust of my argument. Take a handful of recent information, in no order or priority because that's how it showers down on us, whether leaked or gathered through good investigative journalism - whatever its source, lets call it 'informed' news, e.g., Chevron's unchallengeable devastation in Ecuador; Union Carbide's slithery escape from blame for the destruction in Bhopal; NHS cuts; UK Government assisted release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi; US release of 7/7 bomber Mohammed Junaid Babar; NHS cuts; cuts for the disabled; scrapping of Nimrods; sale of forests; illegality of Iraq war, children slain by rising knife crimes, et al - the list is now history and will be replaced by a new deluge tomorrow. It washes over us like water on a ducks back. The sheer volume of information intended to stir us into action, spiced by celebrity entertainment, produces such a heady mixture it simply doesn't penetrate our social conscience. With so much information flooding through our new social networks and the Internet, we have become blasé and apathetic. And that's the tragedy.

Governments are aware of this, i.e., our apathy. They of course expect criticism through channels such as this, but such diatribe doesn't threaten their hold on power; it doesn't deter them from implementing change not sanctioned by the electorate.

20-30 years ago, we were probably fed more propaganda than we knew at the time. But at least when we became aware of real issues, eg, Vietnam we got off our arses and demonstrated. Now, we receive so much 'news' we no longer care a shit. We Tweet or complain in these columns and believe we've done our bit. We are beginning to live in a world of virtual reality.”

Another comment blocked by the Lebedev newsgroup. This time the London Evening Standard

Posted on | Sunday, 6 February 2011 | No Comments

Boris Johnson rages at Tube bosses after Jubilee line chaos

Dick Murray and Ross Lydall
4 Feb 2011 


My comment referred to Johnson being the cause of the problem in the first place and rather than rage in the Press, he ought to be down where the problem is and sorting it out 'on the shop floor'. I expect my comment was pulled as I referred to him as a arse 'ol and tart. Now maybe the wording was a bit rich, but nevertheless warranted given the crass decisions of this man

Comment on 'The Electorate Didn't Sign Up to Cuts Like These' (Evening Standard)

Posted on | Tuesday, 1 February 2011 | No Comments

Good article by Jenni Russell on 31 January 2010. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/eLKMjW

My comment:
With the exception of misinformed belligerents like Dennis, N London, the vast majority of level headed citizens concur with your concern over the abuse of power we are now seeing. There is something very wrong with our democracy for elected representatives to ride roughshod over the very people who put them in office; to lie and deceive and know full well they can continue to lie because we have become a servile, belittled people. Unfortunately no amount of media exposure of what is happening will alter their political agenda, or modus operandi. Each of them should be held accountable for their actions, as we would hold a bent copper accountable to the point of imprisonment. 

Consider this rather well worn but no less powerful thought: 

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” 

Don't for one moment believe change results from peaceful demonstrations or that the causes led by Gandhi, Mandela, Grivas, and a host of latter day freedom fighters (referred to as 'terrorists' at the time) were without violence. We need to look no further than the unfolding events in North Africa to see what is required to realise change.

- Grenville Mills, London, 31/01/2011 22:56

The UK's 'Independent' newspaper unjustifiably censors reader's comments

Posted on | Sunday, 23 January 2011 | No Comments

In fact a somewhat mysterious application within the Independent's comment page, called DISQUS throws up the message to say a comment has been withheld pending moderation. Now I entirely agree with a moderating function on any open comment page but what is extraordinary is the innocuous nature of the post that in my humble view doesn't justify rejection (which has subsequently transpired as the original attempt to place a comment was 24 hours ago and it hasn't appeared).

The article that I attempted to comment on was in Saturday's issue, 22 January 2010, entitled, "Tony Benn: Protest is Vital to a Thriving Democracy" (http://ind.pn/f54noo) Benn's treatise would have us believe key historic demonstrations were peaceful. My response (the one blocked by Disqus/The Independent) read:


Mr Benn, we are somewhat surprised by your naivety.  Well before Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, or indeed the Suffragettes mounted their demonstrations, a North American slave encapsulated the need to demonstrate, but he called for more than just peaceful demonstrations. His name was Frederick Douglass, and he wrote:

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” 

If you believe the causes led by Gandhi,  Mandela, Grivas,  and a host of latter day freedom fighters (referred to as 'terrorists' at the time) were without violence, you are mistaken.  

Neither The Independent nor Disqus have responded to my subsequent emails asking why the comment had been rejected. 

Be warmed, freedom of speech stops at The Independent. Who's to know whether our comments are or are not filtered and selectively fed to the ISS. Frightening thought isn't it, but one we need to consider seriously when attempting to speak 'freely' though some of the UK media who would have us believe they are independent of state censorship. It's disturbing to realise that The Independent does indeed resort to third world censorship.

Update 6 February 2011. The Independent finally responded to my numerous emails through a Laura Davis presumably from their Moderation section to say she has posted my comment - that's over 2 weeks since Tony Benn's article! Go figure...

The Opening

Posted on | Saturday, 22 January 2011 | No Comments

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” ~Frederick Douglass

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