Archive for July, 2011

Climategate: More spin and deception from the scientists

It seems the cabal of scientists and their enablers, central to the Climategate scandal, just cannot stop themselves from making false statements in an effort to convince those not paying attention that they are being open with the long withheld data.

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit explains how New Scientist magazine has used the occasion of CRU’s release of CRUTEM station data (temperature records) in response to the ICO’s rejection of CRU excuses to disseminate further disinformation about the Climategate dossier.  New Scientist is spinning that:

Anyone can now view for themselves the raw data that was at the centre of last year’s “climategate” scandal.

Only the raw data they are talking about is the temperature record which was not at the centre of the scandal at all.  Climategate was focused on the ‘Hockey Stick’, Yamal tree ring records and proxy reconstructions.

Those at New Scientist know this, but they are determined to cynically distort the facts to make it appear the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) is open and transparent.  It isn’t.  As McInytre explains, a recent FOI request for the 2006 Yamal regional chronology was rejected by the University.

UEA seems desperate to hide data Keith Briffa appears to have excluded from the tree ring set that it is believed shows no statistically significant increase in temperature.  The only tree rings that were included are believed to be those that suggested there had been an increase.  The University could easily put this matter to rest by simply release the full, unadjusted data set.  But it is refusing to do so.

People should make up their own minds what CRU/UEA is trying to hide.  Meanwhile the misleading statements from CRU/UEA and their friends in the journal community continue to pour forth.

Police swift to seize the new opportunity

Barely a week has passed since the mass murders in Norway.  But that hasn’t stopped Britain’s ‘finest’ using the attacks by Anders Breivik to justify their own paramilitary behaviour in defence of the establishment.

A reader has written to AM today with anonymised details of something that happened a few days ago.

A man was arrested in an English town following his written demand for a senior council executive to resign from their job, over their refusal to listen to local residents’ demands for a proper consultation over a contentious issue.  The man sent in a strongly worded communication, including his details, and with typically British humour included some tongue in cheek comments to demonstrate his annoyance.

The authority in question chose to interpret the letter as a threat and called in the police in an attempt to criminalise the individual.  Contempt of local government is clearly a priority for the police and so, at 6.00am, several officers arrived at the individuals address, arrested him and also removed his computers.

It was during this daring operation that one of the officers explained to the gobsmacked individual:

‘After Breivik we can’t be too careful’.

!!!

He was later released and his computers returned to him, but to satisfy the lust for retribution from the local authority the police gave the man a caution for good measure.  On the advice of his solicitor he has asked that no information that can identify him or the easily offended authority be published, in case it results in further attempts to acquaint him with various organs of the state whose intrusion and interference would make life somewhat less enjoyable.

Suffice to say this is another example of police over reaction. Never slow to miss an opportunity to impose themselves on people in dubious circumstances they are already citing the Breivik factor as justification for their disproportionate and heavy handed behaviour.  Didn’t take long, did it?

Had a member of the public reported an actual threat they could only dream of this kind of police response on their behalf.  Clearly we have a two tier nation where the establishment can make vexatious complaints and count upon rapid and fullsome police action, but ordinary people are often left to fend for themselves when faced with genuine threats.

Obama’s debt flip flop

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

- Senator Barack Obama, 16 March 2006

This was the future US President speaking out against raising America’s debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion.  Perhaps he was reading the teleprompter speech for a Republican senator by mistake…  Quote hat tip: Gary North

Just hat is it about assuming governmental power that turns people into mind addled debt junkies after years of perfectly reasonable calls for reducing said debt?  It’s not just Ireland’s favourite son (after Daniel O’Donnell) Barry O’Bama, here in the UK David Cameron has spoken time and again about reducing debt and spending cuts, yet UK government borrowing is increasing.

Curiously both men are wedded to the idea of huge sums of public money being spent ‘fighting climate change’ with windmills, and increasing the cost of energy, making us poorer and subsidy hungry renewable power firms very rich indeed.  Could such waste be linked to our rising debt, perhaps?

We haven’t a clue… starring Rotherham Council

When you consider the huge sums being spent by local authorities on their ‘fight’ against climate change, you would expect them to have a full understanding of their aims and what they expect to achieve.

They do things differently in Rotherham.  It is the town where everyone matters, but evidence that informs their actions does not.

An AM reader has kindly brought to our attention this Rotherham’s FOI response to a local greenbelt campaign group (posted on their campaign website) which asks a number of reasonable questions about  Rotherham Council’s consistency and understanding when approaching the issues of ‘climate change’ and ‘reducing carbon emissions’.

Rotherham Council proposes to build 12,750 new homes from 2012-2027.  But the impact of this would surely undermines their stated environmental policy. So the campaign group wanted to understand how Rotherham’s policy proposals of building on large swathes of scenic greenbelt land can be reconciled with their climate change and carbon emissions efforts.  The FOI response below shows just how vacuous and dogmatic Rotherham Council’s position is.

Asked if concreting over greenbelt land will result in an increase in CO2 emissions Rotherham MBC’s official response is that they do not know.  Incredible.

This begs the most obvious question.  If all they can cite is a graph and a generic link to the Met Office website, should they be spending massive amounts of taxpayers’ money on the fight against evil CO2 in the first place when their growth agenda contributes to increasing urbanisation which counteracts it?

Cameron the Carbon Conservative

As many readers will be aware Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is planning to impose a carbon tax in that country.  She has faced some fierce criticism and challenges, not least from the conservative opposition Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott.

But Abbott won’t be thanking his supposedly conservative ally in the UK, David Cameron.  For Cameron sent a letter to Gillard just over a week ago which has been shared with Sydney Morning Herald. The paper explains:

BRITAIN’S Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, has personally congratulated Julia Gillard on her carbon tax policy in a letter penned from the desk of 10 Downing Street.

The Herald goes on to quote from the letter:

“Your announcement sends a strong and clear signal that Australia is determined to make its contribution to addressing this challenge,” he said. “It will add momentum to those, in both the developed and developing world, who are serious about dealing with this urgent threat.”

Another snippet of the letter was shared by The Australian newspaper, which quotes Flip-Flop as saying:

I was delighted to hear of the ambitious package of climate change policy measures you announced on 10 July and wanted to congratulate you on taking this bold step.

Marvellous.  No wonder the great carbon scam continues to press ahead in this country, it is endorsed from the top by a man with vested interests in the carbon trade.

This story will no doubt be music to the ears of Tory backbenchers and grassroots members who remain confident that Cameron is merely engaging in a strategic deception and will suddenly reveal his inner Tory any day now – as they have been saying since before the election.  They will certainly be reassured by the Herald’s observation that Cameron is the second high-profile endorsement for Australian Labor’s carbon tax plans in less than a week, after former British Labour prime minister Tony Blair, in Australia for a series of corporate speaking events, said reducing carbon-fuel dependence was an “intelligent” move being adopted around the world, during a joint press conference with Ms Gillard.

So Cameron is truly the heir to Blair.  Perhaps that is the only honest thing he has said in public.

Following the Europeans into dismantling democracy

It really has come to something when Europe’s supposedly enlightened approach to democratic protest is cited as justification by another country’s Attorney General to restrict the right of their people to demonstrate against their government.

Yet that is exactly what happened this week in Tanzania.  As Tanzanian paper ‘The Citizen’ reports:

The government is pondering whether or not to ban public demonstrations, the Attorney General, Justice Fredrick Werema, hinted in Parliament yesterday. Justice Werema said his office was contemplating the possibility of tabling in parliament a Bill seeking to restrict public rallies and demonstrations during working hours.

He said although it was universally a constitutional right for people to demonstrate, some countries, like Germany, have in place laws restricting demonstrations during working hours, and Tanzania government was considering whether to emulate the example.

If implemented, such a law would be seen as a way of stifling the rising culture of demonstrations in the country, as members of the public continue to press the government to take action over burning issues.

The EU is constantly voicing its desperation to make its mark in the world.  It is becoming clear that mark is as a collective of anti democratic member states ensnared by dictatorial governance, characterised by the slow burn erosion of civil liberties and personal freedoms.

People throughout the EU should feel a sense of utter shame that this is what ‘Europe’ has become and how it is viewed in the world.  It is a supreme embarrassment that tin pot little African countries see European countries as examplars of how to stifle legitimate protest and keep people in check.  People must be allowed to protest when they wish, not when it is convenient to the authorities.

We have no place inside such an insipid and repressive entity.  It is only the political class that keeps us shackled by the bonds of Brussels.  If the politicians actually represented us as they are supposed to, they would have already sought our opinion and allowed us to decide if we wish to remain members and acted on our wishes.  But the political class acts in its own interest, not ours.  They are the modern fifth column.

One wonders how much longer we will be permitted to make observations and criticisms such as these. No doubt the bureaucracy will do all it can to decree that such comments are too ‘radical’ or an unacceptable form of ‘xenophobia’.

The Guardian’s influence is increasingly reliant on the BBC

A couple of weeks ago the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for June was reported in the Press Gazette. It shows that newspapers are fishing an increasingly shallow pool as readers turn away from them.

The average drop in year on year average circulation figures across the dailies was 7.9%.  However, as you can see from the table below, some fared worse than others…

(The Up/Down figure is the year-on-year percentage rise or fall in circulation)

The New Labour supporting Times and increasingly confused Telegraph both showed above average falls in average daily circulation, reflecting their lack of relevance.  But it is the left leaning papers that are really suffering.  The Daily Star recorded the biggest drop and The Guardian saw the third largest decline.

The Guardian is firmly on track to fall below the quarter of a million average daily circulation figure.  But that notwithstanding it continues to enjoy audience reach through its broadcasting arm, the BBC, which spouts the Guardian editorial line as if it were a given truth.  Again, this raises the question of the disproportionate influence The Guardian has over the BBC.  Despite the fact readers are rejecting The Guardian newspaper in greater numbers than the industry average, it is referenced far more by the BBC than any other organ and more journalists from The Guardian are called upon to offer commentary and opinion than from any other paper.

We could hope the BBC Trust might take time to commission a review into plurality of opinion among its invited guests, but if recent ‘independent’ reviews are anything to go by they would probably maintain their incestuous relationship by asking Peter Preston to conduct it, and the outcome would likely be a recommendation that the BBC stops inviting any journalists on air except those from The Guardian, current or retired, and that Alan Rusbridger be given his own primetime TV slot to share his views on Britain, News Corporation and the world.

Without the BBC the fact is the Guardian would be sinking much further even quicker. From the advertising revenue to the visibility and platform afforded to the paper, the licence fee payer is being compelled to subsidise a declining business under pain of fine or imprisonment.  Bar the grumbling what is anyone doing to address this outrageous state of affairs?

A minor edit shows life is now imitating art in the EU

Good evening, London.

Allow me first to apologise for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine – the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.  Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the supranational European Union. They promised you order, they promised you peace, and all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives.

So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

Putting the threat to our freedom into context

In a private exchange with a fellow blogger several days ago he speculated that the Anders Breivik mass murder would bode ill for dissenters.  Well, one assumes it was private, but who knows what is being monitored and by whom…

Anyway, being a ‘glass half full’ kind of chap I replied that seeing as the Norwegian intelligence service has shown Breivik up to be a dangerous and well armed Walter Mitty, attempts to tar dissenters with the same brush will fail.  I stressed the importance of continuing to cite evidence and push our arguments so the powers that be will be forced to speak to them.

After all, I pointed out, 7/7 didn’t really change anything and subsequent plots haven’t really changed anything, so therefore it follows a Norwegian mass murderer will not change anything either.

At this point my blogging friend said he was not so sure.  He qualified his concern by providing me with a link to a piece on the French language version of EurActiv, translated roughly by Google.

Reading and reflecting upon it made me reconsider my inital assessment, hence my post yesterday.  All bloggers should take a few moments to take the article on board.

Mentioned in that piece is European Commission spokesman Michele Cercone (pictured).  It seems old Michele has had a fair bit to say lately – some of it extremely illuminating and far reaching.  Consider this, attributed to Cercone by Balkans.com:

The European Commission is building a security system to issue early warnings on threats of extremism, xenophobia and other forms of radicalism

Or this quote reported by Hurriyet Daily News:

Compromises are more easily reached after shocking events like those that happened in Norway.

And International Affairs Magazine, explained that: ‘Various forces will be trying to capitalize on Norway’s bloody drama. Interestingly, the European Commission championed the cause. Breivik left a thorough description of the costs of the bomb ingredients, the result being that the EU rushed to impose regulations on the sales of chemicals that can be mold into explosives,’ and reported Cercone as saying:

The European Commission will speed up the introduction of new regulations on chemicals sales after a Norwegian extremist who killed 76 people in last week’s bombing and shooting spree admitted he used fertilizers to make explosives.

But virtually none of this has been reported by our world beating media corps, which is too busy devoted column hectares to its navel gazing over phone hacking.  Should we be worried by this?  Absolutely.

It is a fact that the European Commission, an arm of the EU, is now increasing its efforts to apply control over people in the member states.  No crisis must ever be wasted.  The EU, being unelected, unaccountable and therefore wholly anti democratic, is seizing the moment to empower itself still further at the expense of our personal freedoms.  We are being dictated to by an entity that is taking an opportunity to use the actions of one individual as justification to clamp down on anyone who opposes this essentially socialist construct – hence the focus on right wing ‘extremism’ where the EU decides what constitutes extreme.

The issue is one of mission creep.  We have seen it all before, where legislation enacted for one purpose becomes a convenient measure that is applied for a different purpose that was never intended.  The EU is engaging in naked opportunism to exert greater control, while setting itself as the sole authority to determine what dissent against it will be tolerated.

It is frightening that the EU, with its goal of eradicating the nation state, will be deciding whether its opponents are too radical, whether their views can therefore be shared on the internet, and will define what constitutes xenophobia and whether that should be punished – all backed by European courts and European arrest warrants.

In hindsight I got it wrong.  We are indeed staring into an abyss where our enemy, the EU, could take advantage of the Breivik attacks to effectively criminalise anti EU sentitment, or at the very least prevent people from sharing those sentiments with others, citing them as ‘extreme’, ‘radical’, ‘xenophobic’ or even potential ‘lone wolf terrorists’.  This response isn’t being driven simply by Breivik’s actions, but crucially the rationale he gave for them.

We must protect freedom, by restricting your freedom

Richard North, writing on his EU Referendum blog, draws attention to a communique following a joint meeting yesterday of the two Council of the European Union working groups on terrorism – the Terrorism Working Party and COTER.  The release explained that:

Representatives of the Norwegian authorities informed the meeting about the events and the ongoing investigation. This was followed by a debate which included experts from EU member states, representatives of several EU bodies and institutions (Europol, European External Action Service, European Commission) as well as the office of the EU Counterterrorism coordinator. Delegations seized the opportunity to express condolences and solidarity with Norway and the Norwegian people.

This is an all-too-predictable self insertion into the fallout of the massacre in Norway in an effort to make the EU appear relevant and strengthen its control over member states.  Although this meeting is quite noteworthy as Norway is not a member of the EU.  It seems to suggest that this horror will also be seized upon by the EU to add weight to its effort to court Norway and enjoin Oslo to put EU membership on its to-do list. 

But reading between the lines this communique is deeply disturbing as what we are seeing is the groundwork being laid for an assault on our freedom.  The clue is there in the last paragraph (relevant section in italics) which reads:

The issue of ‘lone-wolf terrorism’, represented by terrorists that are self-radicalised (e.g. through the internet) with no obvious attachment to any terrorist organisation, seems to require increasing attention. The experts also agreed that in confronting the threat of a terrorist attack, regardless of its underlying motivation, the effective exchange of information is vital. The importance of strengthening response capacity was another issue that was highlighted.

Alarm bells should be ringing already because the whiff of censorship of dissent is in the air.  There is a mood for it among those who advocate big government and its agendas.  It is inconceivable that those who have the power to legislate these things beyond our control are not accumulating a raft of justifications for shutting down free speech and only permitting views and opinions that fit in with their worldview.

In the piece above we have the clear reference to internet centric radicalisation.  In the last week there have been similar assaults on the notions of free speech and openness that have arisen from very separate topics.  There was  Thomas Hylland Eriksen writing in the Guardian who said Anders Breivik has been ‘brainwashed’ by websites and that if he had:

instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe’s loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different. 

Indeed. He would have been brainwashed with the state sanctioned approved truth instead, and the topics that don’t pass official muster are censored out of existence. 

Then there was Professor Steve Jones’ report commissioned by the BBC Trust into its science coverage, where the esteemed snail geneticist and doyen of the corporation openly argued that the BBC gives too much air time to people who are sceptical of the ‘consensus’ on global warming.  The thinking is that their views should be struck from the airwaves because they might strike a chord with other people, who in turn might choose to reject the position adopted and pushed by government and its media friends.  As this blog said at the time:

We are witnessing the most successful and far reaching attempt yet by the liberal left to censor the news and information delivered to the public and indoctrinate us with their selective worldview – and do it with our money.

Watch them come for the blogs next.

They are already on their way. 

Their mission is to deny us access to information, views, opinions and commentary they have not created and they do not sanction.  It is a dangerous leap forward on the path to a totalitarian form of control.  But maybe they are their own worst enemies.  For we have just seen what happened when one dangerous man in Norway felt his views and wishes were being ignored by his government.  He tried to assassinate the Prime Minister then set about murdering his supporters in the Labour Party youth organisation.

Does the EU not realise, do national governments not realise, that restricting freedom of speech and the ability to share views and opinions – no matter how daft some might seem to others – will not dissolve the threat?  It will result in duplication and replication of the very extremism exhibited by Anders Breivik and a consequent escalation in violent acts.

The censorship that seems to be under consideration or construction to control ‘extremism’ will not passify the people, instead it will turn frustration and resentment into real anger, and it will only drive more people to adopt an extremist path trodden by Breivik.  And we all know how that turned out.

You asked why – here is the answer

Following the revelation that the mass murders in Norway were carried out by a white Nordic man rather than Islamists, hours of radio time and a good amount of TV broadcast time were devoted to trying to make a number of people feel stupid for having initally suggested the attack had been perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

Plenty of bloggers and media talking heads, whose worldview favours the notion of mass immigration, seized on the news that an Anders and not an Ahmed had carried out the atrocities in Oslo and on Utoya and posed effectively the same question in a range of variations:

Why do we always assume Muslims are behind every terrorist outrage?

The idea for this was to make people feel stupid and guilty for having made an incorrect assumption, to make them feel bigoted and prejudiced for jumping to conclusions.

But the fact of the matter is the reason so many people rushed to the Islamist terrorist conclusion is that in recent years so many attacks and foiled attacks have been carried out by people citing passages from the Qur’an as justification for their attempts to kill people they view as infidels. Whether it is exploding themselves on tube trains and buses, engaging in a concerted copycat effort two weeks later, plotting to blow up shopping centres, trying to kill people outside nightclubs with car bombs, attempting to denotate explosives in shoes or ignite underpants over the Atlantic, drive a car bomb into an airport terminal building or plotting to mix liquid chemicals together in coordinated fashion on a number of jets simultaneously, the common theme of this incredibly disproportionate number of attacks and attackers is Islamism.

This has been re-emphasised today with the updated news that the two German nationals arrested at Dover and charged at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court with collecting or possessing data likely to be useful in a terrorist act, Christian Emde, 28, and Robert Baum, 23, are fanatical Muslim converts.

So it should come as no surprise that suddenly all those ‘right on’ voices determined to apply the labels of racist, xenophobe and bigot to people less ‘internationalist’ than themselves seem to have gone rather quiet again. And they will remain so until there is another rare non-Islamist assault on civilians.  It is a safe bet that the phone ins on Five Live, LBC and other stations will not be editorially re-focused to ask why so many fanatical Muslims are hell bent on attacking western countries and killing as many people as possible. It doesn’t fit in with their narrative of telling us how wrong we are to rightly point out the Islamist threat dwarfs all others.

There are a number of threats this country faces, foreign and domestic, and it is not racist or bigoted to state the fact that the biggest and most determined of those threats comes from fanatical Muslims who subscribe to the Islamist mindset.  The evidence supports it.

Two wrongs still don’t make it right

In the aftermath of the Oslo and Utoya mass murders the vicious and juvenile leftist attempt to smear anyone who is right of centre, by highlighting any political position that appears to have been shared by Anders Breivik, continues apace.

It was only a matter of time before some activist would dig through Breivik’s ‘manifesto’ to see if he held any views on climate change.  They have, and he did. Consequently, because Breivik is a ‘climate change denier’ believes that global warming is an eco-Marxist plot ‘to create a world government’ using the ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming scam’, anyone who shares that view is, by definition, in league with the evil, homocidal maniac.  In fact, the piece cross posted onto Grist.org apportions responsibility for Breivik’s views on the subject on ‘climate denial pundits':

Inspired by climate denial pundits, right-wing Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik railed against global warming “enviro-communism” in his manifesto.

You can almost feel the author itching to make a connection between ‘deniers’ and the murderous attack itself.  The man who wrote this warped article is one Brad Johnson, editor of an electronic, Joe Romm cheerleading rag called ‘ThinkProgress Green‘. His hatred of anyone who dares question the hypothesis to which he subscribes is evident by the inflammatory rhetoric he employs throughout his labour of ego. Clearly the irony of this is lost on him, probably due to his mypoic, tribal, quasi-religous observance to left wing orthodoxy.  He kindly spells out his vested interests in leftist campaign groups to show where he is coming from:

Johnson is one of those big government loving, politicised, rent seeking ‘scientists’ who is so threatened by anyone highlighting flaws in the hypothesis he is wedded to he tries to invalidate them by labelling them climate change ‘deniers’.  He is completely wrong.

The issue is not whether the climate is changing, but what the cause is and to what extent mankind has any influence over it.  So vicious is Johnson’s assault it has prompted a remarkable comment from a somewhat unexpected quarter:

Ouch. While trying to draw parallels between a mass murderer and those who dispute the narrative on climate change, in a crass attempt to shame them into silence on the subject lest they be labelled Breivik sympathisers or allies, the distasteful Johnson has managed to fall foul of one of the people he would reasonably be expected to idolise.

However, in his comment, Richard Betts states that the ‘actual scientific evidence [for man made climate change] is pretty good’.  The problem with this assertion by Betts is that, like Johnson, he is completely wrong.

The ‘evidence’ for man made climate change that exists today is utterly flawed, fact.   There is still no proof whatsoever of causation, fact. The climate models upon which the whole climate change industry is based have singularly failed to predict the hiatus in warming over the last 15 years and as the Climategate emails made clear, the politicised scientists irresponsibly and cynically pushing the hypothesis as fact can’t account for the lack of warming, fact.  Therefore the claim that mankind is to blame for the observed warming over the decades remains nothing more than a theory. Fact.

Johnson’s piece is the latest in what will be a long line of similar hatchet jobs that seek to make right thinking people feel guilty for their views and opinions.  Over at EU Referendum, Richard ruminates on this with an excellent piece that puts matters into context and shows up the shallow nature of those seeking to exploit the situation for political gain.

Now is not the time to be cowed into silence. The only person responsible for the actions of Anders Breivik is Anders Breivik.  Just because he shared some of the views of a large number of other people on a number of issues does not make the views wrong.  What was wrong was his reaction to them.  Opponents of big government, the EU, climate change orthodoxy, et all have nothing to be ashamed of.  Keep presenting evidence that exposes failings in the narrative that misleads the public.

There is more tosh in the same mould here.

What the Norway massacre is telling us

The car bombing in Oslo and depraved mass murder on Utoya carried out by Anders Behring Breivik represents the most shocking act of political violence seen for many years.  It was an act of terrorism and it was an outrage.  Particularly the murder of children which was especially heinous.

The media, in its own inimitable style, has dug up any number of angles to explain these joint incidents.  But the hacks have alighted on the ‘far right’ angle of an attack by a ‘Christian fundamentalist’ pursuing an agenda of ‘anti immigration bigotry’.

That the musings of Breivik – being taken down from Twitter, Facebook and websites as quickly as the authorities can – display his intolerance for Muslims, ‘cultural Marxists’ and the left wing Labour government in Norway amongst others is indisputable.  Breivik’s apparent claims of advising groups such as the English Defence League remain as yet unproven.  But what is notable is that the hatred and intolerance visited upon the people of Oslo was not directed against immigrants or people of the Islamic faith, as one would expect given the picture of Breivik that has been painted.

The murderous violence was directed against the government and its activist supporters.

Many commentators are describing this as the act of a madman.  That may or may not be the case.  But to commit the atrocity Breivik did certainly required him to be at the very least a person devoid of sympathy and any sense of compassion for his victims, and consumed by hatred, rage and frustration. Many of those same commentators argue that in a democracy, where people enjoy freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully, there is no need to engage in violence.

But what about when those rights are perceived to be hollow?  What can one do when the established political parties with their secure positions and consensus views on major issues of concern actually deny a true democratic choice to the electorate?  What can one do when the apparent freedom of speech is shut down by shrill accusations of racism, xenophobia or narrow mindedness, which causes people to shy away from setting up a new political opposition, as we have seen across Europe for years?  What can one do when all forms of peaceful protest are ignored by the political class because there is no swift consequence for ignoring the people they are supposed to represent? Indeed, what can one do when the accepted media outlets choose to omit stories or ignore valid arguments in order to hold the line for the establishment?

What the mass murder in Norway is telling us is that some people have a breaking point beyond which, in the absence of any other form of recourse against the people who rule over them, they resort to extremism and violence.  This argument has been used to justify political (and religious inspired) violence in places as diverse as Gaza, Kashmir, Thailand, Libya and Syria, among others.

Calls for reform in those places swiftly follow – usually led by the political left in Europe which sees any such action as revolutionary and therefore justified – and are sometimes supported by the libertarians who see such uprisings as cries for self determination and freedom.  But when such revolutionary type violence breaks out in enlightened western Europe, where the left holds political sway, the acts are immediately labelled as right wing extremism or the actions of madmen, because the left cannot believe that anyone could disagree with their worldview – and if they do they must be inherently selfish and evil.  The contradiction is clear. The ignorance is startling.

Where security experts are stating this week that there is a rise of the ‘far right’ in Europe, perhaps they do not realise we might be looking at nothing more than the an increasingly extreme form of rejection of socialist political control and the creeping internationalism that sees the political class seeking to transform European nations while doing everything possible to avoid asking the electorates for their permission to do so.

The antidote to political violence in Europe is simple… the restoration of genuine democracy where the people, not the political class, have the power.  In many ways what happened in Norway is made all the more curious because Norway still enjoys self determination outside the EU.  But a more forensic examination of domestic politics there might throw up faultlines that could explain what Breivik felt could only be be tackled by killing the current leaders of the Norwegian Labour Party and its next generation of leaders. In other words resorting to the extreme.

There are many issues where the political class across Europe defy the wishes of the people who elect them.  Anger and frustration is growing as people realise nothing they can do within the law can sway the politicians from their chosen direction.  Protest marches, letter writing, distribution of campaign material… all can be and are routinely ignored by the politicians.  There is a sense of detachment from the people that gives the political class a false sense of security from consequences for their actions.

What happened in Norway may now shake the politicians out of their complacency.  Sadly it doesn’t appear to be in the way we would hope.

As William Hague’s comments to Andrew Marr today demonstrate the politicians remain wilfully blind to the causes of such extremism and instead they will only focus on looking at ‘the lessons to be learned’ from a security perspective – in other words they will continue as they have done and just seek to learn better techniques in self preservation.

As such they have learned nothing of value.  Without a change in approach by the politicians and a willingness to finally do what they are paid to do and listen to the people, at some point another angry person or persons will snap and go on the rampage.  These people will direct their ire against the political class, but only hurt others because of the ring of steel, bullet proof glass and bomb resistant vehicles that insulate the politicians from the people they are supposed to serve.

Breivik is not the first, and as we can see from the political class’ response, tragically he won’t be the last.  It is all so avoidable.

BBC, Prof Steve Jones and the push for censorship

The favourite topic at the BBC is the BBC.  The Beeboids just love publishing stories about themselves when they involve praise of the corporation, and they are at it again today with a puff piece about their science coverage.

At least they published it in the right part of their website, because the piece is certainly entertaining for a number of reasons, and it is so creative it is worthy of the label ‘art’.

For example, only the BBC could commission an ‘independent’ review that is carried out by a man so thoroughly compromised by his close links with the corporation he may as well be on the payroll.  Consider these BBC appearances by Professor Steve Jones (There are others, I just got bored looking beyond Wikipedia):

‘In The Blood’ – six part television series on human biology on BBC TV
‘The House I Grew Up In’ – participant on talk show on BBC Radio 4
‘The Reith Lectures’ on BBC Radio in 1991
Interviews on BBC Radio 4 Today and BBC Five Live in 2008
Interview on ‘Sunday Sequence’ on BBC Radio Ulster in 2006
Interview on BBC Five Live in 2009
Appearance on BBC Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ in 2007
Appearance on ‘The Forum’ on BBC World Service

Now ask yourself, would you consider a man whose career has benefited from that amount of BBC exposure and expenditure to be ‘independent’ and capable of scrutinising the corporation in a dispassionate and impartial manner?  Going beyond that, would you consider in light of the information in the short video clip below that the BBC is anything other than hopelessly biased in its coverage of climate science, before Jones’ assault on any coverage at all of the concerns of the climate counter consensus?

If that is not enough, let us not forget that despite Jones’ concerted effort to play the ‘science is settled’ card so the BBC is giving too much coverage to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) sceptics (who he deliberately and wrongly misrepresents as ‘deniers’) how about these damning words from the BBC Trust’s own report ‘From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel’? (See this excellent post on Biased BBC by Robin Horbury explaining how the BBC Trust is compromised by outrageous bias)

Despite the wholesale and intended lack of balance in the BBC’s coverage, in the BBC piece they report of Jones that:

He said the BBC “still gives space” to global warming sceptics “to make statements that are not supported by the facts”.

Given that the proponents of AGW are still unable to provide proof that mankind is responsible for the changes observed in climate, yet continue to state as fact that man is warming the planet, it is ludicrous he should state sceptics make statements unsupported by facts.

As a professor of science he should know there is a difference between causation and correlation.  But the fact he describes sceptics as ‘deniers’ shows he is utterly partial and dismissive of anyone who does not share his beliefs. This man is a corrupter of science.

In addition to indulging his personal biases, accuracy is clearly not one of Prof Jones’ strong points.  He uses his report to make an explicit attack on the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which he claims made a submission to his review. However, as the GPWF explain on their website, they did not make any submission to the review at all.  If Jones can get something as basic as that incorrect then how can anyone have confidence in his assertions?

The public has been becoming increasingly sceptical of the AGW industry’s claims. As such many people suggested the AGW crowd would become increasingly desperate as their unsubstantiated claims fall apart and therefore would attempt to seize for themselves control of the coverage of the subject.  Professor Steve Jones is the man the BBC turned to in order to advance that aim.  He has served his purpose. And has done so at our expense.  The BBC. It’s what they do.

This story is a tiny but timely reminder that with the Guardian and BBC still hard at it shoring up the BBC’s insipid dominance of the broadcast media and online news in this country, the only entity left to challenge the establishment’s state funded orthodoxy is the blogosphere.  We are witnessing the most successful and far reaching attempt yet by the liberal left to censor the news and information delivered to the public and indoctrinate us with their selective worldview – and do it with our money.

Watch them come for the blogs next.

BBC investigative journalism? Too good to be true

This being the first opportunity to get close to a computer today the subject matter is not as timely as one would like.  Nevertheless it is worth noting for the record.

The scene was the BBC Five Live studio, this morning at 8.08am.  Nicky Campbell crosses to BBC Business Editor, infamous party goer and fixture of the establishment, Robert Peston, to ask for an update for listeners on the American angle to the witch hunt against News Corp and the resignation of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Peston (seen above hard at it, getting wonderful little snippets of information) provides his insight about the impact on Murdoch’s US interests as a result and explains how following Stephenson’s departure John Yates was sure to follow.  Then Campbell appears to toss a hand grenade at Peston by bringing up a matter that Peston has been keeping a very low profile about – namely his attendance at an opulent party thrown by Elisabeth Murdoch and her husband.

Campbell starts off setting the scene in serious tones as a journalist should; but as you can see from the transcript below, the question that should have been asked is replaced with an idiotic jokey punchline.  It was too good to be true, as this was a staged exchange designed to give Peston the opportunity to deflect attention away from his rubbing shoulders with the very people he and his employer are desperately trying to wreck…

NC: Now the links between politicians and, you know, the Murdoch family have been laid bare in the newspapers over the weekend. There was reports of a massive party two or three weeks ago, I think you were at it as well were you? A sort of big Murdoch party, is that right? There were reports in the newspaper that you attended and the great and the good attended and they were all there… What are these affairs like?

RP: (Huge belly laugh) One of the most innocent questions I’ve ever heard you put Nicky. Er, I mean, I’m sure you’ve been to these parties yourself. This was a party, err, let’s be absolutely clear this party took place before, err, this whole story blew up and before the Milly Dowler, allegations about the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone.  Err, broadly speaking my view of parties is if there are a lot of people around who may or may not have useful things, err, to tell me, who may be sort of useful sources for me as a journalist then they’re bloody useful things. This was a party thrown…

NC: Oh yeah, absolutely, when you observe, observing [descends into blustering waffle] what was reportedly a lavish affair Rupert was there and James was there, do you see, do politicians you know, visibly do they sort of crawl and fawn to these people, do they try and speak to them? I mean, what’s the body language, what’s going on?

RP: Look, in the past, one has been to lots of these parties in the past, in the past, people were queueing up to go to Murdoch parties; senior politicans were queueing up to go to Murdoch parties and they were queueing up to speak to Rupert Murdoch. I think if one of these parties were held tomorrow it would be very difficult to see any politician turning up. Err, which tells you something about the way the world, err, has, err, changed. But again, just to be clear, you know because one needs to be transparent about these things, this was a party given by Elisabeth Murdoch and by her husband Matthew Freud, who’s in the public relations business. This was not a Rupert Murdoch party or a James Murdoch party or a News Corporation party.

NC: OK fair enough, but interesting stuff. And I don’t blame you for going for getting wonderful little snippets of information that we hear about every morning.

RP: That’s the plan

NC: That’s it. Thank you very much Robert Peston.

And there we have it.  The BBC establishment closing ranks and working in harmony to defuse an embarrassing episode that lays bare the rank hypocrisy of its publicly funded smear squad.

Instead of challenging Peston, Nicky Campbell lobs him a slow softball and pointedly refuses to press him about how often he attends these parties, whether he is invited as a friend or a journalist, whether it was appropriate to attend knowing the Murdochs would be there at a time when pressure was being applied to News International about Andy Coulson.

All very cosy.  All very reasonable. Move along licence fee payer, there is nothing to see here. The BBC, this is what they do.

Peter Preston blames Murdoch for a Eurosceptic public

Every so often the Guardian’s ‘Comment we approve of is free and replies we don’t like are deleted‘ section throws up a real pearl of a piece.  Today provides us one of those times as former Graun editor Peter Preston indulges his myopic Europhilia.

If you are masochistic you can read Preston’s rambling, incoherent nonsense in full.  However, if you prefer to take in a mere summary of Preston’s ludicrous opinion, we have provided it below…

There’s lots of reasons why the people haven’t bought into our Guardian-BBC pro-EU agenda.  But chief among them is the great satan, Rupert Murdoch.

Forget what the people think and what the people don’t like, we at the Guardian know Murdoch actively turned people against the EU and it was only because it suited his business interests.

But now we have managed to taint Murdoch with the smears about phone hacking, even though we still continued to associate ourselves with Rebekah Wade after she told Parliament her paper had paid the police for information, the biggest obstacle to us presenting the British people with completely biased, selective and distorted pro-EU news and information is about to be removed.

At last, politicians will be singing Ode to Joy openly in the streets of Westminster. The gold stars on fluttering blue can fly proudly across these isles. EU plans to tax us what it likes and erode any remaining semblence of democracy and political accountability can be carried without dissent. The glorious internationalism the Guardian has long advocated can come to fruition without the people being confused or agitated by Murdoch media telling the people the things we don’t want them to know.

Victory is at hand comrades.  We at the Guardian might only sell a couple of hundred thousand copies of our paper, but with our broadcast arm at the BBC we can spin our views unmolested to millions.  We have seen to it Murdoch won’t control Sky so we have no rival to our leftist narrative.  And when Murdoch has been finished through our carefully thought out campaign, the millions of papers he sold will be no more.

Without Murdoch to give voice to the views of the people their opposition to our worldview will melt away.  But at least we can talk about our true interests now, the Guardian’s interests, about fundamental choices in a tumultuous world, about not ducking and weaving from one front page to the next giving a damn about what the people think.  We will tell them what to think.

There is no one left to challenge us.  Our dream will soon be realised.

More evidence war on Murdoch is about BBC preserving its dominance

Thus when the BBC decides to manufacture a story, or ignore another, it forms reality for millions in Britain and world-wide.

- Michael Gonzalez, 30 July 2003 (Wall Street Journal)

That is what the BBC is desperate to maintain.  No one looking at the current Guardian-BBC onslaught against News International should do so without understanding the historic context and the real agenda behind the fight.  But first, lets remind ourselves of the current situation.

The Guardian and BBC started its latest offensive using the years old story of ‘phone hacking’  as a pretext for renewing its war with Rupert Murdoch.  News International was nothing but a proxy in this fight.  With the fall of the News of the World, arrest of Andy Coulson and resignation from News International Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, the Guardian-BBC axis could have declared victory in its campaign to exact a price for the criminal behaviour of Screws journalists. But they have not done so as the real target was always Murdoch.

Never mind that Murdoch may not have known any details of operational criminality by some of the employees inside his media empire, for the Guardian-BBC cabal this was never an issue.  The aim was always to take out their biggest rival.

That is why the ‘phone hacking’ campaign quickly gave way to the carefully planned original aim of the left-liberal elite to prevent Murdoch regaining control of Sky, which this blog covered in detail.  With that objective completed far more easily than anyone expected with Murdoch announcing he was dropping his takeover bid for BSkyB, any reasonable person would have believed this story was over bar the prosecutions.  Not a bit of it.

With blood in the water and momentum established the campaign has now morphed into an effort to drive Murdoch out of the UK media sphere entirely.  Supported by their useful idiots in Parliament such as John Prescott, Chris Bryant and Ed Miliband, the left wing media machine has surrounded the Murdoch citadel and is mobilising itself for a final battle.

It is not happening because of News International wrong doing, that was just the way in, it is happening because the BBC (steered editorially by its Guardian mothership) has come very close in the last couple of years to seeing its dominant position in the UK media dismantled.  The left-liberal elite knows how close it came and is feverishly trying to destroy its only real competitor in the all important broadcast news arena.  The obsessive coverage of anything to do with News International and Murdoch in the Guardian and on the BBC is part of an agenda to protect its control of news reporting and editorial lines in Britain.

Having brought ourselves up to date, let us now take a look back to something that puts this battle into context.  Published in New York in 2003 was a piece by Michael Wolff – biographer of Rupert Murdoch, liberal media commentator, regular Guardian columnist, and a regular on BBC news and current affairs programmes – called BBC You Later.  As the by-line explained:

Never mind the battle between the BBC and the Blair government. The real nemesis of the all-powerful British broadcasting institution is Murdoch.

Prophetic words.  The piece focuses on Wolff’s visit to the 2003 Edinburgh International Television Festival – or BBC-land as he called it.  Against the backdrop of the Hutton Inquiry, Gilligan resignation, Dr David Kelly suicide and so on, the article included observations such as this…

It may just be more accurate to say that the BBC is Britain. Certainly, the legions of BBC defenders and partisans all but argue that there may not be a Britain without the BBC.

The fight, therefore, to protect the BBC or to dismantle the BBC is a fight for something like the soul of Englishmen everywhere.

and this…

And then in Edinburgh, in spirit if not in person, there was the BBC’s other blood enemy: Murdoch. (Murdoch’s papers, the Sun and the London Times, seemed to conclude every day in their coverage of the Hutton Inquiry that the BBC had, for all intents and purposes, killed David Kelly.)

The historic polarity in British society has been upper class/lower class, Labor/Tory, Thatcher/anti-Thatcher. The polarity was now more precisely BBC/Murdoch.

The whole piece is worth reading in full.  But by far the most important section is the conclusion back in 2003 which positions today’s Guardian-BBC war with Murdoch perfectly:

The BBC now derives much of its identity, along with its justification for constant expansion, from its implacable fight against the Murdoch beast; likewise, Murdoch derives much of his purpose from opposing this most egregious of liberal bureaucracies.

This may just be some quaint, hard-to-understand British rivalry, an artful balance of interests as opposed to our own Hobbesian media anarchy. On the other hand, it may really be a genuine fight to the death (you might even argue that the death of David Kelly has as much to do with the Blair-Murdoch grudge against the BBC as it does with the war in Iraq).

It could be the final Murdochian win: taking the BBC down.

But I’m not sure I’d bet against the BBC. It could be the last unassailable state.

Once again, based in historic record we find more evidence to demonstrate the Guardian-BBC campaign is nothing to do with public service or public interest, but about domination of the news, information and editorial line fed to the British public.  Far from the plurality the Guardian and BBC claim to hold dear, they are doing everything possible to make themselves the sole source of news in this country.

The EU Coastguard story and the failure of Parliament and the media

That wonder of the British media, known as the Mail on Sunday, runs a story today telling its readers ‘Brussels launches plan to scupper UK Coastguard‘ – a story run on EU Referendum on 6 July 2007!  The ‘news’ piece explains that:

Britain’s coastguards would be replaced by a new pan- European fleet under ‘harmonisation’ plans which would see their life-saving work being taken over by an EU coastguard corps emblazoned with the Brussels logo.

The news comes just days after Transport Secretary Philip Hammond performed a partial U-turn on cutting the number of currently operating Coastguard centres from 19 to eight, with just three remaining open 24 hours a day.

before going on to tell us how these proposals were uncovered by MEP for South West of England, Trevor Colman (UKIP).  As always, readers are given the impression this is some new breaking proposal that is about to be presented to the UK from our supreme government in the EU.

As always the reality is that this is something that has been knocking around for years.  As the Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL concerning the establishment of a Programme to support the Integrated Maritime Policy, issued in September 2010, explains:

On 10 October 2007, the Commission adopted the Communication on an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union –COM(2007) 575 (”Blue Paper”). This Communication advocated the need for the development and implementation of an integrated, coherent and overarching approach to the governance of the oceans, seas and coasts.

In fact this proposal – which is designed to ‘integrate maritime governance on all levels’ and has been submitted as a draft report in March this year – has already been quietly examined by the quislings in Westminster sitting on the European Scrutiny Committee.  As usual the media was asleep at the wheel as the Committee, led by supposed arch Eurosceptic Tory, Bill Cash, performed the legislative equivalent of the three wise monkeys and let the proposal quietly continue on its way.  Perhaps this is how politicians plan to get people re-engaged in politics?

Going back to Trevor Colman, he wrote about his discovery of this proposal on his blog ThE Unit on 30th June after he attended a meeting of the ‘Seas & Coastal Areas European Parliament Intergroup’ in a Committee room at the European Parliament a week earlier.  Colman’s blog post includes the following observation (made before last week’s announcement of the government’s plans for scaling down the UK Coastguard):

Did the Minister for Shipping, Mike Penning, know of the EU plans and do they have any bearing on the proposed closures? Is it just co-incidental that the two developments are taking place at the same time? In light of the EU intentions would it not be much wiser now to leave any closures of Coastguard Stations to a later date, if at all? If there are to be changes, either nationally or internationally, would it not be better if experienced staff were still available to advise and assist in whatever is planned?

Perhaps Colman could have taken a look to find out for himself.  It took AM all of five minutes to follow the trail of documentation from the European Commission to discover what information had been laid before the European Scrutiny Committee, containing from section 4.6 onwards ‘The Government’s View’ which includes the comments of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport – one Mike Penning.

So what we have once again is a supposedly breaking news story of a proposed legislative change – that dates back over four years – that has already been quietly examined by a Parliamentary Select Committee, commented upon in detail by a Conservative Minister and missed completely by the British media, but has only just become apparent to a British MEP and as such gets reported as a forthcoming power grab.

By any measure this is a matter of far greater importance than the interception of phone voicemail messages by tabloid journalists, but one that gets a tiny fraction of the Parliamentary and media coverage it should have received.

Where is sainted The Guardian and its drip feed of front page headlines about this story?  Oh yes, I keep forgetting, there is no vested interest for that hypocritical rag in reporting this story, so the public is left in ignorance while the focus remains on what is important to the media in its little bubble. Bias by omission, bias by news selection.

This is how the British public is served by the establishment.

Is there no end to The Guardian’s self serving hypocrisy?

So, she has finally bitten the bullet and resigned. Rebekah Brooks’ long standing career with News International is over.  With the way The Guardian and the BBC have been pursuing Brooks and the Murdoch boys one might be forgiven for assuming a personal antagonism exists between them.  But not everything is as it seems to those of us outside the bubble.

For despite The Guardian’s incitement to mouth foaming outrage and faux moralising over the interception of phone voicemails, its own conduct in its past dealings with Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) is worth noting.

Back in January 2003, the then Rebekah Wade returned to become editor at The Sun newspaper after a spell at the News of the World.  While at the Screws Wade had demonstrated her tabloid pedigree having been responsible for the campaign to ‘name and shame’ convicted child sex offenders after the murder of Sarah Payne.

But this didn’t stop The Guardian from inviting Wade to sit alongside editor Alan Rusbridger as a judge on the Guardian Student Media Awardsand announcing it on 10th March that year…

On 12th March 2003, just two days after this announcement ran in the Graun, another piece in its media section that reported:

The editor of the Sun yesterday admitted paying police officers for information.

Rebekah Wade, giving evidence to a committee of MPs, also said journalists were entitled to use bugging devices and other covert methods if there was a strong public interest in the story under investigation.

It was the first time that the editor of a tabloid newspaper has publicly admitted using such techniques, and raised questions about journalistic standards at a time when press self-regulation is under close scrutiny.

Now given it was such a major story at that time, and considering the Guardian’s current sensationalist reaction to allegations in the last week that police officers were paid by News International for information – not withstanding that Andy Coulson desperately countered Wade’s assertion – what do you think the Guardian did?  That’s right, it did nothing and left Rebekah Wade on the judging panel to preside on the Student Media Awards that were to be announced in November 2003.  Fellow judge, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News similarly had no problem remaining on the panel with Ms Wade.

There was plenty of time to replace Wade and find someone with whom the Guardian would be comfortable being associated.  But evidently Rusbridger and friends were perfectly happy to continue rubbing shoulders with someone who had just voluntarily admitted illegal activity in front of MPs.  Strangely enough there was no in depth investigation by the Guardian to expose ‘the truth’.  Fancy that!

In any case, if that incident had not done enough to raise question marks over the suitability of Wade to have her name on the Guardian’s judging panel, Rusbridger and his comrades had another golden opportunity to dispense with La Wade’s services before the showcase awards.

This time it was over the infamous headline in the Sun in September 2003 ‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’ in reference to Frank Bruno mental breakdown and institutionalisation.  The Sun was forced to edit the headline in its later edition.  Strangely enough The Guardian’s write up of the story, and swipe at the Sun and Wade, made no mention of the fact she was judging the Student Media Awards for The Guardian alongside editor Rusbridger.  Wade remained on the panel and News International was unmolested.

So given all this a reasonable person would be minded to ask why such behaviour by a newspaper under control of Rebekah Wade (Brooks) in 2003 was perfectly acceptable to The Guardian and its smug, morally superior editor, but in 2011 results in the closure of the News of the World, is cause for demands for Press Complaints Commission investigations, fit and proper person assessments of the Murdochs, false allegations of illegal news gathering activity, Parliamentary inquiries and so on.

Of course, it’s because Murdoch wants to regain full control of Sky and Sky News, and The Guardian recognises its BBC puppet could suddenly find its left-liberal news agenda being challenged by a potentially right-leaning broadcaster.  So, as always with the hypocritical Guardian, it is all about vested self interest rather than the public interest.

Continuous Insurance Enforcement, bureaucracy and big government

In these times of austerity it must be reassuring for the likes of Ed Miliband and his band of big state, champagne Fabians to see that this (supposedly) cost cutting government continues to generate work for itself in order to cause inconvenience to law abiding car owners.

The latest example is the recent change to insurance requirements for those car owners who choose to keep their taxed vehicles off the public highway, known as Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE).

If for example a driver has a car he uses on, say, a seasonal basis – such as a soft-top or classic car – and the vehicle is properly taxed, the law has been changed to force the driver to keep that vehicle insured.  Whereas common sense would dictate that if a properly taxed vehicle is off the road for a period of time there should be no need to have motor insurance for it, the government has decided otherwise.  The thinking behind it is to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road.  The reality is that this could turn otherwise law abiding motorists an even larger cash cow and significantly increase the bureaucratic overhead required to monitor and enforce the new law, at taxpayer expense naturally.

Drivers who wish to keep their vehicles off the public highway for a period of time often don’t bother with the trouble of completing a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and sending back their tax disc for a refund of unused duty.  That means the Treasury benefit from a bit of extra money and there is less bureaucratic work required of civil servants.  Now however they must complete a SORN and return the tax disc, or they must by law pay insurance premiums even though their vehicle is off the highway and not an accident risk to anyone.  Not having insurance on such a vehicle because it is plainly unnecessary is no longer acceptable.

What the government has done is not only counterproductive, it also undermines case law dating back to 1777 that enshrine the fundamental principle of insurance cover.  It is ably explained by Tony Bridgland writing in Insurance Age magazine:

In 1777, a ship was due to sail from England to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Under her insurance, it was warranted that she would make the voyage in convoy. But she was late in arriving at the assembly point, and the convoy sailed without her and she sailed alone.

This meant that, because the warranty was not satisfied, the insurers carried no risk.

In Tyrie v Fletcher, Mansfield ruled that the premium should be returned. In short, they could not charge for a risk they had not run.

This became one of the main principles of modern insurance, and still is.

So what we have is an example of hyperactive, interfering government tearing up long standing insurance and legal principles so that motorists are being charged for a risk they are not running.  True, they can avoid this, but only by declaring their vehicle off the road and claiming back their unused duty, then at more inconveience to themselves, having to present at the Post Office (assuming it hasn’t closed down) with all documentation to get a new tax disc later – not even being able to make use of the online mechanisms to get the disc.  As the sole commentator to the piece observes:

If you are a crim who thinks nothing of risking a £200 fine, 6 points and the car being scrapped when you take it on the road, the risk of a further £100 fine through the post is not going to get you quaking in your boots, is it?

The only people being put out and paying extra to service the administration of this change are the law abiding.  The people the government claim they are targeting will continue their law breaking regardless, in all probability not even having tax in the first place let alone insurance (and in many cases not even having a licence) and on the rare occasions they are caught will take the slap on the wrist as the price of doing business and carry on as if nothing has happened.  The answer is our money being spent on police traffic patrols instead of cash generating speed cameras.  Speed cameras don’t identify dangerous vehicles, dangerous drivers, or catch those without licences, tax or insurance.

And we wonder why we end up with ever more laws, pay ever more in tax and have ever less to show for it.  Be sure of one thing, if big government claims to have the answer then it is a bloody stupid question.


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