Posts Tagged 'Corruption'

Power running amok as voters can only look on

The latest nauseating case of that curious species, the Westminster troughing hog, has seen Maria Miller ordered to repay we taxpayers £5,800 she wrongly claimed.

The story had me primed to write a post demanding that taxpayers must get back the other £38,000 that the Standards Commissioner said Miller should repay.  But then yesterday the Chair of the Standards Committee of MPs, which voted to ensure Miller got to keep the rest of the money, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards who originally said Miller should repay £44,000, issued a joint statement which had the effect of circling the wagons.

But while that was circulating and pouring copious amounts of mud into already murky waters, the former editor of the Telegraph, Tony Gallagher, was telling the BBC that one of Miller’s special advisers had leaned on the journalist writing the story of her claiming money she was not entitled to, effectively threatening that Miller had the ability to exact legislative retribution for the Telegraph running the story.

At the time I thought, if there is anything in this claim – and the wording did seem very specific – the journalist would surely have the comments on tape.  Having given Miller’s aide sufficient time and space to deny the story, the Telegraph has now released a recording showing that Miller’s SpAd did exactly what she was accused of.

In the same way I refuse to believe someone in the UKIP press office made up and issued a policy reversal on gay marriage without it being sanctioned, I refuse to believe Maria Miller’s SpAd acted without Miller’s knowledge or authority.  While Miller might have just about unjustly survived paying back a tiny amount of overclaimed money from our hard earned cash, and for giving an ungracious 32-second apology that was the equivalent of flicking two fingers to MPs (the public of course get no apology, despite being the party offended against), the actions of her adviser should have her clearing her desk by Monday.

No Cabinet Minister has ever made such an apology in the Commons and clung to their job.  She should have resigned this week.  But now we can add what amounts to blackmail in an effort to silence a media that is already shockingly poor, she should be sacked. No ifs, buts or maybes.  This abuse of office cannot be allowed to stand.

But of course, this is the state of our ‘democracy’ today.  The decisions will be made by MPs and men in grey suits.  The voters who have been offended against and who should have the ability to have Miller removed from office for what has happened, can only look on.  In this case it’s just as well the media decided to take an interest, otherwise Miller’s wrongdoing and the corruption in her office would not have come to light.

Just imagine how many more falsehoods, truths and corruptions could be exposed if the media chose to take notice and report them…

And they call this ‘government’

As the BBC reports, Iain Duncan Smith has said that wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should voluntarily return the money to the authorities.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has told the Sunday Telegraph that he would ‘encourage’ people who do not need such financial support ‘to hand it back’.

Well that should do it!  Thanks very much, Iain.

For decades the political class in this country has served its own interests, with naked bribes to voters in return for being able to enjoy the trappings of power.  The cost of welfare and the other promises that make up many of these bribes is largely responsible for the staggering level of borrowing and the horrific debt this country simply cannot repay.

Once again reality meets political expediency and instead of doing the right thing by British taxpayers Ministers are trying to do the best thing for their own electoral prospects while doing contortions to appease the plethora of bodies constructed by the transnational overlords and follow rules everyone else avoids.

Collectively this is why the government doesn’t get serious about only spending our money on essential services and supporting the vulnerable people in our society.  This is why our money gets spent supporting overseas based families of migrants who have contributed barely anything to the pot in the short time they have been in the UK.  This is why now hear the government enthusiastically ‘plays by the rules’ in forking over hundreds of millions of pounds for healthcare costs for UK nationals treated overseas, while permitting the NHS to fail to keep accurate records of foreign nationals treated here under the services British taxpayers fund, so we only get back a fraction of what we are due for use of our overstretched resources.

The government could slash taxes, but instead it chooses to hoover up our money so it offer some of it back in credits and benefits in return for votes.  Too many voters don’t understand that while they are being given these bribes with one hand, they are crumbs from the table as much more is siphoned off and wasted on administration and diverted for spending on things people do not support.  The government could rejuvinate the economy and reduce borrowing dramatically if it simply let people keep more of their own money and spend it on what they want, rather than fritter it away on boondoggles, wheezes, special interests and these disgraceful, self serving bribes.  But it won’t because if it controls the money it controls everything.  It can  build the insipid client state and increase the size of government to justify the ever worsening kleptocracy that has developed.

Voting for any of the political parties is an endorsement of the continuation of this scandalous behaviour.  Voting for any of the political parties props up the faux democracy that exists in this country.  It does not result in change.  It results in the electorate and taxpayers continuing to be treated with ever more contempt.

What we need is not a reshuffle of the deck chairs, nor a rotation of faces who are all committed to perpetuating the same corrupt system that holds sway in this country.  We need a complete overhaul of the system, to bring about real democracy where control and decision making rests with the people and where the executive serves the people rather than dictates to them.  We need a genuine revolution.  The potential alternatives to this, borne of desperation and anger, are too awful to contemplate.

We need real change.  It will never be realised by playing the political class’ game and using their rules – and that includes the charade of traipsing to polling stations to vote for the least worst option in the certain knowledge that on the major, substantive issues nothing will change.  They will continue to take their steer from unelected, unaccountable, self selecting entities instead of us, the people they are supposed to serve and whose wishes they are supposed to execute.  It is time for people to assert themselves and take the power back.

We have to define the game and set the rules that should be used.  We have an outline of how they should look.  Now we need people to consider how they can be realised.  In the meantime, while that discussion takes place and the approach is refined, we need to withdraw our consent by refusing to play their game and refusing to heed their desperate attempts for validation as they plead for people to use their vote.  Don’t feed the beast.

EU: That famous British influence in action

The EUphiles never tire of claiming that if the UK left the EU we would lose our ‘influence’ over the laws that are made and how things are done.  When asked to detail examples of this influence they go quiet.  It is an illusion.

That much is emphasised again in the Telegraph, which reports on the reaction of DEFRA minister, Owen Paterson, to a series of votes in the European Parliament concerning the Common Agricultural Policy. The minister is said to have condemned the votes, which will see farmers paid twice for doing the same work at a cost of up to an extra £2.6bn per year.  A substantial proportion of that money is extracted from UK taxpayers and the benefit to UK farmers is trivial compared to the subsidy whores on the continent.

The parliament’s agriculture committee, which is dominated by farming interests, backed so-called “double payments” to farmers in order to keep spending on the CAP – currently approaching £50 billion a year – as close as possible to its present high levels.

Crucially, farmers will be able to be paid twice for the same work. Farmers who qualify for money from “Pillar 2”, the part of the budget which rewards “green” practices, such as preserving hedgerows, will now get an automatic right to collect money from the larger subsidy scheme, known as “Pillar 1” regardless of how little work they do for the Pillar 2 cash, meaning in effect being paid twice for doing the same thing.

The committee also voted for more of the controversial practice, reduced under earlier CAP reforms, of subsidising farmers based purely on the amounts they produce – something which contributed to the infamous 1970s “butter mountains” and “wine lakes.”

It is waste, plain and simple. It is an appalling abuse of our money. But as if the fact the vote was carried at the meeting of the agriculture committee at all isn’t bad enough, the manner in which it passed and what was passed along with it is even worse, as a separate piece in the Telegraph makes clear:

[...] the agriculture committee voted, in several ways, to go backwards in time. They passed “recoupling”. This re-establishes, on a smaller scale, the discredited practice of subsidising particular crops for the sake of it. It blocked transparency provisions which would have published the names of all the beneficiaries and the amounts they received.

Now why on earth would transparency provisions be blocked?  The question is rhetorical, for we can already be sure of the answer.  This is the nature of the EU.  Vested interests are being served at our ever growing expense. As the piece continues:

If last week’s vote shows the unreformed nature of much Euro-thinking, it also shows up the EU’s flawed democratic processes.

These hugely important changes have emerged almost entirely without public involvement, knowledge or debate. The amendments, and the compromises between them which were passed, were produced in private, and even published only a few days before last week’s hearing.

With as many as 8,000 amendments to consider on Wednesday and Thursday — though the number was reduced by compromises — there was no time for debate, or indeed for anything but the votes.

There is much more besides and reading the whole depressing thing is essential.  But this is what David Cameron wants more of, the UK staying trapped inside a corrupt cesspool with Brussels still pulling the strings, with a few meaningless ‘powers’ returned like crumbs being swept from a table.  All because Cameron and his EUphile stooges says it’s vital this country is at the heart of ‘Europe’ using our ‘influence’.

Just where was this famous influence on Wednesday, as British taxpayers were ripped off for even more money amidst chaotic scenes, as our ‘partners’ not only picked our pockets but at the same time voted to prevent us finding out who exactly was going to benefit from this pork barrel pantomime?  Nothing that Cameron hopes to reform is going to change this.  The only way to stop being abused like this is for the UK to leave the EU.  Stories like this make it that bit easier.

Starmer to give his friend Leigh a keep out of jail card?

Regular readers may remember this post back in December, when we examined the evidence given to the Leveson Inquiry by the Guardian’s self confessed phone hacker, David Leigh.  This blog posed a rhetorical question… is it possible that the Guardian frames the law in this country?

The post argued that at the very least, senior editorial staff at the Guardian appear to be using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.  Perhaps it is less a case of subversion and more a case of wielding undue influence.  A Daily Mail story today that Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, will introduce an interim policy in a ‘matter of weeks’ to set out ‘in one place’ the factors to be taken into account when considering whether to charge a journalist with a crime.

The story explains how Starmer has outlined six factors which would be looked at when weighing up prosecutions against journalists, although others also exist. These include:

  • The relative gravity of any potential offence committed and/or harm caused compared with the public interest;
  • Whether there was any element of corruption in the commission of the offence;
  • Whether the conduct included the use of threats or intimidation;
  • The impact of the conduct on any course of justice, e.g. whether it put criminal proceedings in jeopardy;
  • Whether the public interest in question could have been served by lawful means;
  • The impact on the victim or victims of the conduct in question.

Currently there is no public interest defence for a journalist intercepting the voicemails of someone’s mobile phone.  So quite why David Leigh has not been arrested and prosecuted for his actions, when a raft of staff from News International have been arrested ‘on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting mobile phone voicemail messages’ by the Metropolitan Police, defies logic and reason.

However, it appears that Starmer’s ‘factors’ give rise to the possibility that Leigh’s ‘defence’ of public interest, when deliberately accessing the voicemails of someone he was investigating for a story, might be accepted as reasonable and therefore ensure he doesn’t face prosecution for the criminal act he has openly confirmed he committed.

Is this yet more circumstantial evidence that the DPP is working in the interests of his friends and former co-writers at the Guardian, placing them above the law that is being applied to others?  We need to watch for the interim policy to see if its contents contain a get-out clause for Leigh that ensure charges are not brought against him.

And in the meantime questions must continue to be asked about why David Leigh has not been arrested as part of the phone hacking investigation.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that his fellow left wing activist and friend occupying the office of the DPP has got his back, rigging the deck to ensure Leigh holds a keep out of jail free card.  This rank injustice is a scandal that the mainstream media continues to turn a blind eye to, to its enduring shame.  Their silence is deafening.

Director of Public Prosecutions perverting the course of justice?

Is it possible that the Guardian frames the law in this country?  Many people would rightly laugh at such a question.

But it appears, from the weight of circumstantial evidence that exists, that the Guardian’s journalists are capable – or at the very least have an expectation – of using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.

A case in point is kindly provided by the Guardian’s David Leigh, who with typical arrogance, argued before the Leveson Inquiry that the law regarding ‘phone hacking’ should not apply to him for his admitted instance of criminal activity because he believes it was in the public interest. The look on his face as he spoke suggested a confidence that other people opening admitting a crime in public just do not have. As the Daily Mail reported, Leigh argued:

I like to think that if the incident I have described came to the attentions of the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], and I was asked about it, the DPP would conclude that there was no public interest in seeking to prosecute me or another person for doing something like that. That is a backstop that the law has to stop it making an ass of itself.

Ordinarily this would seem a quite staggering assertion to make. Particularly as there is no public interest immunity from prosecution for that criminal offence.  But Leigh’s circumstances are anything but ordinary. Leigh appears to feel in a strong enough position to effectively challenge the DPP to prosecute him. And that is because of his close ties to the man this blog has previously identified as the Guardian’s Angel, the DPP himself, Keir Starmer.

Unlike the vast majority of the population, there is more than a hint that Leigh enjoys protection and preferential treatment reserved for good friends and colleagues who inhabit the same ideological, activist plane on the distant left of the political spectrum.

In our Guardian’s Angel post we showed how Keir Starmer’s career had been nurtured by his close friend and mentor, the activist left wing lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.  We reminded readers of Robertson’s direct involvement as contributor to the Guardian and its legal counsel in court actions.  We also established the clear conflict of interest Starmer has personally as a former contributor to the Guardian and also its legal counsel in court actions.  What we did not show was the professional links between Robertson/Starmer axis and Leigh.

Many people do not realise that David Leigh (then at the Observer) actually worked as an aide to Geoffrey Robertson during the Neil Hamilton sleaze action.  This was explained in Leigh’s co-authored book ‘Sleaze’ shown in extract below:

Then of course there Robertson’s fawning adoration of Leigh in his book ‘The Justice Game’ shown in extract below:

Taken in the round it can be of little surprise that this very cosy network of friends and allies working in a mutally supportive manner to further their aims.

Interestingly, in media reports from the Leveson Inquiry, there was no mention of Leigh’s involvement in other criminal activities concerning the infamous Benji ‘the binman’ Pell, which show the same contempt for the law exhibited in his phone hacking and ‘blagging’ behaviour.

The focus now turns once again to Director of Public Prosecutions Starmer.  Arrests are being made as journalists suspected of being involved in the commissioning of phone hacking are pursued by the Met Police’s Operation Weeting investigation team.  Here, in the shape of David Leigh, the Weeting investigation has a journalist who has openly admitted personally hacking the messages on a mobile phone.  It’s an open and shut case.

So where is the arrest and where is the Crown Prosecution Service action?  As the police and CPS are aware there is no public interest defence for the action Leigh has confessed to.  So what is holding them back?

Could it be that with these evident conflicts of interest and biases, Leigh’s former colleague and ideological soulmate who currently occupies the office with DPP on the door, has got Leigh’s back?  Could it be that to protect a former colleague and ally Keir Starmer is perverting the course of justice?

Something vexes thee, Phil?

From the Climategate 2.0 emails, it is astonishing how hung up Phil Jones (I refuse to use his title, he makes a mockery of that) is on an apparent catch all excuse not to provide information in response to FOI requests.

His get out clause of describing perfectly reasonable FOI requests as vexatious, and seeking justification for applying the ‘vexatious’ tag to other requests clearly demonstrate anti scientific practice.  Some people would draw the conclusion that Jones and his ilk had something to hide (other than a decline), but we already know that is the case.  Worried that his ‘findings’ would be deconstructed under review and scrutiny, Jones and others in his circle simply decided to withhold data and method.

When public money is used to generate ‘findings’ that have huge ramifications for public policy, those findings must be open and accessible to all and tested rigorously, else they must be ignored by government. But as we have seen, government (Department for Energy and Climate Change) is in on this with the spiteful little weasel and his UEA and Penn State chums, pressing the scientists to deliver what the politicians want to hear so they can impose regulations and taxes on us to fit their wider agenda.

That is what is truly vexatious.

Climategate 2.0 and a Mann with a cause…

So, thousands more emails leaked from the servers of the University of East Anglia (there is still no evidence of hacking despite two years of police investigation) have been released into the public domain.

It is being described on Watts Up With That? as Climategate 2.0.

Interestingly, even before they have had a chance to see what has been released and what is being focused upon by AGW sceptics, UEA and Michael Mann have already declared that extracts of the emails are being taken out of context.  As Jeff Id of the Air Vent puts it:

Out of context before we put them in context.  I suppose that if you aren’t a certified UEA climatologist, you can’t read.

One wonders what alternative context this quote could possibly be in:

What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably

Several Climategate 2.0 emails that stand out were sent by Mann and are note worthy for refering to the his efforts to push the man made global warming narrative as a cause.

It seems strange because I was led to believe that it was about science.  No wonder Michael Mann is so desperate to prevent other emails of his falling into public hands.  There is also more evidence in the leaked emails of Phil Jones encouraging people to delete emails in order to evade scrutiny through Freedom of Information requests, which possibly accounts for the ‘missing’ data he is unable to produce.

There are also some interesting Climategate 2.0 emails on the Air Vent originating from those chaps at our old friend, the Met Office.  These include:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others.

And there’s:

My most immediate concern is to whether to leave this statement ["probably the warmest of the last millennium"] in or whether I should remove it in the anticipation that by the time of the 4th Assessment Report we’ll have withdrawn this statement

Is this a ‘temporary warming’ phenomenon we have not been told about?  There’s also:

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?

This ‘evidence’ lark seems to be a real pain, especially when it torpedoes some of the most frequently used anecdotes, such as Kilimanjaro’s icecap melting due to human activity.  And another warmist shibboleth, the supposedly irrelevant Urban Heat Island effect  gets a kicking with this observation:

By coincidence I also got recently a paper from Rob which says “London’s UHI has indeed become more intense since the 1960s esp during spring and summer.

There is much more besides.  It is worth a few minutes of your time to sit down and read the selection of emails.  Some of the responses are eye opening.  Enjoy!

Phone hacking, the Met Police, corrupt sources and the Guardian’s DPP angel

Think back to September when the media went into full screech mode because the Metropolitan Police threatened to use the Official Secrets Act to force the Guardian’s Amelia Hill to reveal the police source leaking stories to her about the phone hacking investigation, Operation Weeting.

At the Guardian there was outrage.  Editor Alan Rusbridger started the wagon circling, declaring: “We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost”.  His brother-in-law and the Guardian’s own self confessed exponent of phone hacking, David Leigh, also leapt into print to rail against the “unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources,” while carefully trying to distract people from the fact the source was a police officer whose actions broke the law.

As always when the Guardianista comrades find themselves in the legal mire, their celebrated barrister and proxy in the assault on the Murdochs, Geoffrey Robertson QC, waded in to bemoan that it was an “attempt to get at the Guardian’s sources is not only a blatant breach of the Human Rights Act and article 10 of the convention, but it appears to involve a misapplication of the Official Secrets Act”.

The Met Police backed down shortly after.  A ‘victory for press freedom’ was the way the media reported the Met’s sudden climbdown.  Of course, if any of them uncovered a police officer breaking the law by leaking information from an enquiry on which he was working, they would report it gleefully as an example of disgraceful police behaviour that risked perverting the course of justice.  But it seems as long as the copper’s actions are benefiting a hack, he is treated as an untouchable source to be protected at all costs.

Writing in the Daily Mail, cor blimey merchant Richard Littlejohn explained:

I’m told the Yard only backed down after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, had a serious word in their shell-like and made it plain they would receive no backing from the CPS.

The intervention of Keir Starmer and its timing is something the media, in its own vested interest, warmly welcomed as it breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Had the media not been so self serving it might have chosen to look into Starmer’s links to the Guardian, and examine if his intervention was truly impartial, or influenced by something other than a legal standpoint.

Starmer had a history of left wing political and legal activism prior to becoming Director of Public Prosecutions.  When he was younger he was the editor of a magazine called Socialist Alternatives.  Almost a year after becoming DPP he defended himself against this history and the wider charge of being political when interviewed by the BBC’s Martha Kearney, declaring:

These are things of 25, 30 years ago now. They’re not relevant to the work I do now. I hope that since I’ve been in office I’ve made it absolutely clear that every single decision is made absolutely independently.

So just how independent is he?  This post will show Starmer was being very economical with the truth about his political activity and as such cannot be trusted to be independent.  His intervention on behalf of the Guardian against the Met Police needs to be put into proper context, and the media’s bias by omission exposed.

Starmer was not only a member, but Secretary, of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers which supports a variety of hard left causes and actively opposes anything considered right of centre.  That is in no way a thing of 25, 30 years ago.  Starmer’s left wing activism is long standing and has never gone away.  His first interview as DPP was given to, surprise surprise, the Guardian.  In it Stephen Moss explained of Starmer that: “[H]he has generally been seen as a Labour supporter and doesn’t demur when I mention that perception.”  Starmer was also kind enough to tell Moss that:

My background is not typical of a lawyer or a DPP.  My dad was a toolmaker before he retired, so he worked in a factory all his life. My mum was a nurse, and she’s been physically disabled for years. We didn’t have much money, and they were Guardian-reading, Labour-leaning parents. That inevitably created an atmosphere where my thinking developed.

How very cosy.  That same interview even saw Starmer reveal the fawning, high esteem in which he holds the Guardian, ironically on the subject of the phone hacking investigation:

Starmer also decided not to reopen the News of the World phone-tapping case following allegations made in this paper that its illegal surveillance operations went beyond its disgraced royal editor Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for plotting to intercept phone messages from members of the royal family. “I did get a review off the ground,” he says. “We looked at it and we formed the view that what was done at the time was the appropriate thing, and that it wouldn’t now be the right course to prosecute anybody.” But he does not rule out a case being brought at some point. “I keep an open mind. It might move on and develop if Guardian journalists or anybody else show us other stuff. What I don’t want to do is say, ‘We looked at that, we’re not going to look at it again.’”

Earlier in his career as a barrister, Keir Starmer had joined Doughty Street Chambers, founded and headed by one Geoffrey Robertson QC – the same chap who has doggedly pursued the Murdochs through his pieces in the Guardian, acted as counsel for the Guardian in the Neil Hamilton/Ian Greer libel case, and howled in protest against the Met’s proposed legal action to get the name of Amelia Hill’s police source.  Over time Robertson promoted Starmer to be joint head of chambers at Doughty Street.

Robertson as the boss had influence over Starmer and helped to advance his career.  Robertson as the joint head of chambers with Starmer arguably had an even closer bond with him.

Within days of Robertson popping up to defend the Guardian within its pages, imagine our surprise that Starmer stepped in to put an end to the Met’s idea of using the Official Secrets Act to use Hill’s notes to root out the law breaking police officer.  Was this a case of Starmer listening to his former boss, mentor and colleague and following his demands to the letter, rather than letting the police test the law in court in an effort to nail a bad apple?  If so it justifies the Guardian’s adoration of comrade Keir.

That would be enough to convince some people Starmer has too close an association with the Guardian to be an honest broker.  But looking back there’s more.  Not many people realise that in 2002 Starmer was himself paid counsel for the Guardian alongside Robertson.  Starmer even wrote for the Guardian, cementing his link with the paper.  If this was a couple of Bullingdon Club boys rather than Guardianista, you can imagine the howls of outrage that would have been flowing from Alan Rusbridger’s office.  As the Guardian will no doubt privately attest, the socialist strategy of getting fellow travellers into the top echelons of the state is paying off.

Alan Rusbridger, speaking after the Met Police dropped its action, described their attempt to confirm Hill’s source as “sinister”.  What is really sinister though is how one newspaper possibly enjoys special protection under the law as one of their favourite sons holds the senior criminal prosecutorial role in the land – and that the media turns a blind eye to a potentially serious conflict of interest, because it suits their own.

Why the Met Police is right to uncover the Guardian’s ‘phone hacking’ news source

The insipid David Leigh used space in Friday’s Guardian to moan and bluster about what he is portraying as an ‘unprecedented move’ by the police to force the paper to reveal its sources in the so called phone hacking affair. He told readers:

“The Metropolitan police are seeking a court order under the Official Secrets Act to make Guardian reporters disclose their confidential sources about the phone-hacking scandal.

“In an unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources, Scotland Yard officers claim the act, which has special powers usually aimed at espionage, could have been breached in July when reporters Amelia Hill and Nick Davies revealed the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. They are demanding source information be handed over.”

Leigh is deliberately appealing to the vested interests of journalists everywhere to rally to the Guardian’s aid and whip up public disquiet about the Met’s actions.  But you have to get to paragraph 12 of Leigh’s piece before you get a clue that this is not an assault on the press and their desire to keep their sources confidential.  For it is there that Leigh explains:

The application, authorised by Detective-Superintendent Mark Mitchell of Scotland Yard’s professional standards unit, claims that the published article could have disclosed information in breach of the 1989 Official Secrets Act.

What has the Met’s Professional Standards Unit got to do with journalism?  Nothing at all.  This is not about an attack on the Guardian, it about a tightly focused police investigation trying to uncover evidence that at least one police officer – and possibly one or more employees of the Crown Prosecution Service – who corrupted their office and committed misconduct in public office by leaking confidential investigation details to the newspaper.  Not just any information, but details that still have the potential to undermine subsequent prosecutions over the very hacking for which the Guardian wanted people held to account.

The Guardian’s nose has been put out of joint since its police mole / one of its police moles was arrested, putting an end to their scoops about arrests that were yet to be announced or had even yet to be made, and details of material in police possession that was used to undermine a rival newspaper – the News of the World.  Leigh’s piece is the manifestation of the indignation its editorial team are feeling about that.

In no way is this about the Guardian challenging an injustice to protect the public interest.  The public interest element was concluded when the police re-opened its hacking inquiry after the initial scoop.  This is about the Guardian trying to protect a source(s) who knowingly broke the law to provide details about the investigation that were not in the public interest.  For example, what was the public interest in announcing the impending arrest of Andy Coulson a day before it happened?  There was not only no justification, the story could have prejudiced the investigation and may yet undermine a prosecution.  This was all about ego and wanting to be first with the scoop. Nothing more.

While this blog opposes police over reaching their powers and laws that infringe civil liberties and privacy, the Metropolitan Police’s action is entirely appropriate.  This blog highlighted the Guardian’s mole(s) inside the Met and called for action to investigate them.  That is what the Met is doing.  The Met Police action could actually go beyond the hacking investigation to include the unrelated matter referenced in the linked piece, concerning the Guardian’s ‘outing’ of an American blogger, ‘Jeff Id’ .

While it does not fall within the scope of the Official Secrets Act, the possibility that a police source used material in police possession to identify the true identity of an anonymous blogger and give that information to a Guardian journalist – David Leigh himself – is a clear breach of ethics and illegal act.  Draining the Guardian’s swamp of sources who break the law to leak information is something that is long overdue.  It is both necessary and appropriate.

A new twist in the Wolfgang Wagner resignation saga

Following on from the previous post about the Spencer and Braswell paper… In an ideal world journalists like Richard Black at the BBC and Leo Hickman at the Guardian would try to find out if there was something more to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, which they reported in their traditionally biased fashion.

But given the BBC and Guardian acolytes, among others in the media, have an agenda  favourable to those who assert the world is warming and humans are to blame, what else can we expect? From to chairing conferences to delivering speeches and filing copy derived unquestioningly from press releases that enjoin people to accept at face value what they say, the BBC and Guardian.

Anything that raises questions about the actions of their friends in the alarmist ‘consensus’ is ignored or quietly shoved out of sight under the nearest convenient floor covering. Anything that goes beyond regurgitating the

This is why the blogosphere, so often derided by the oh-so-grand churnalists, is so important today.  This latest example of defacto censorship by the Guardian and outrageous bias exhibited by the UK’s taxpayer funded public service broadcaster, the BBC, can again be partially countered by bloggers who put the journos to shame and act in the public interest by searching for information and sharing the salient facts and background the media has deliberately omitted or tried to leave buried.

The lastest example of this can be found at the end of this post on Watts Up With That? which reveals information about a previously unmentioned relationship between Wolfgang Wagner and arch-alarmist who has been most affronted by the Spencer and Braswell paper - to the extent that Wagner issued an apology to him for publishing the paper – Kevin Trenberth.

What has been uncovered has the capacity to shed a somewhat different light on the motivation for Wagner’s resignation as editor in chief of Remote Sensing.  Yet the collective eyes, ears and mouths of the BBC and Guardian alarmists such as Richard Black and Leo Hickman will no doubt remain utterly immobile as they decide the information to be irrelevant and inconvenient to their agenda.

Dr Roy Spencer, adding to his previous thoughts on this incredible story and the reaction to the paper he co-authored, makes this comment (hat tip: Bishop Hill):

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

And as our focus on the media’s behaviour shows, it is an even more difficult proposition when those supposedly noble men and women of the news media – tasked with uncovering and reporting all the facts – are complicit in that group think and relay a distorted story to the general public.

How reaction to Spencer & Braswell underlines the corruption and politicisation of science

I want to tell you a story.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time there was a big, shiny, expensive computer system upon which programmes were run.  The programmes were written by very clever scientists to create projections of what things might be like in the future.  They called these projections ‘models’.

Some places had got very dry over the years so the very clever people wrote a programme to see what the models said was going to happen.  After the very clever scientists entered all the information and parameters they thought were important, they ran the models.  When the models came back they suggested that unlike in the past, the rain would no longer make anything outside wet.

Now, because the models were developed by a small group of some clever very scientists in very big universities who had been given a lot of public money to carry out research, they were accepted as actual fact by politicians who said there was a big problem that only they could solve.  Being part of the establishment, the media wrote lots of stories about this endorsing what the politicians said and telling people things would have to change.

Because of what the computer models had suggested, the government decided that everyone must install complex and expensive systems to use water from a brand new source to irrigate grass, trees, flowers, crops and bushes because lots of places were drier and the rain won’t make anything wet in future.  So with other governments around the world they made lots of new laws and created big plans and spent billions and billions of pounds, dollars, euros, roubles and yen to convince people of the need for this expensive change to watering things.

They also gave lots of peoples’ money to a lot of new campaign groups and businesses to go into schools and companies to tell them to had to change the way everything is watered.  It also gives lots more money to other scientists to start from what the small group of very clever scientists has already decided and find more reasons to agree with them and arrive at the same conclusion.

But all this seemed strange to a lot of people who thought there was still lots of rain and it was still making everything outside wet.  A lot of people were not convinced and they were called sceptics and they started to point out problems with the claims from the very clever scientists.  The governments were very angry because they were making lots of deals to spend money on big corporations they were friends with to develop solutions that everyone would have to use, making owners and shareholders very rich while ordinary people were left with less money. The media wrote lots of nasty things about the sceptical people and because the media was so clever and always right about everything they called those people ‘deniers’.

Not all very clever scientists agreed with each other.  Some of them became sceptical and started to examines in detail the real world observation of what happens when it rains.  Amazingly, when they looked outside and examined lots of data records, they found that not everything was drying up after all and the rain was still making things outside very wet and therefore the basis for everyone installing the government mandated water systems was flawed.

The sceptical scientists wrote a paper about this, and it was examined and tested by other very clever scientists in their discipline in a process called peer-review, before being accepted and published by a journal called ‘Remote Sensing’.  Those people who were not convinced by the need for watering change pointed at the paper as evidence that not everything was as the government and their very clever scientists made it seem.  They argued that the small group of clever scientists supported by the government might be getting things wrong and government should wait for more evidence before taking such sweeping, expensive and draconian action.

The media largely said nothing about the paper because after spending so long saying rain wasn’t making things outside wet anymore they don’t want to be proved wrong.  And besides, some of their pension plans depended on money made from investments in the new watering processes being made by the government’s corporate friends.

A little while later, the editor of the paper-publishing journal ‘Remote Sensing’ said he didn’t agree with the paper because of all those very clever scientists who believed rain wasn’t make things wet anymore because their computer models had been saying so for a long time now. So the editor resigned in protest and the media attempted to discredit the sceptical scientists, citing that one of them once had to alter a previous paper many years previously, and that he is in some way odd because he is a committed Christian.

The media agreed with another very clever scientist who said that the paper must by defintion be flawed until it satisfied all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fit the computer models.  He said this even though computer models are only as good as the data put into them by humans who are nowhere close to understanding all the complex relationships that causes nature to do what it does.  Although common sense and science in years gone by would have it that real world observation is the only reliable measure of any changes in nature and has the capacity to invalidate computer models, this very clever scientist and his friends had turned science on its head by claiming computer models have the capacity to invalidate observed reality.

It would have all been very confusing if one of the very clever scientists had not been caught out saying that even if they had to redefine what scientific peer-review is, they would somehow close down any views from sceptical scientists, even though doing so would utterly corrupt science and the correct way of furthering it.  But after putting complete faith in computer models and using them as the basis for lots of incredible projections that have never become reality, he had to put his own interests before his duty to science.

And for the ordinary people, nothing changed.  The governments continued to press ahead with their financially ruinous plans.  The media continued to exaggerate every story that fitted their narrative while refusing to cover any story that contradicted them.  The computer models continued to churn out projections that did not reflect observed reality.

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The real story is carried in the words of the sceptical scientist, Dr Roy Spencer on the excellent Watts Up With That? blog.  The media hatchet job is most prevalent in the Guardian and on its broadcast arm, the BBC.  Dr Spencer goes on to explain the findings in layman’s terms on his own website.   In response to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, Dr Roger Pielke Snr puts the politicisation of science into context.  And the ludicrous position on observations having to fit in with computer models as advanced by Dr Pete Gleick, and Dr Phil Jones’ comment about keeping sceptical papers out of the public domain, are both covered by Indur Goklany on WUWT.

What we are seeing is anti-science.  We are experiencing pseudo science that aims not to question or challenge, but to reinforce the validity of a body of opinion that is yet to make the jump from theory to fact.  It is being done to fit a political agenda.  It is a corruption of science and the latest example of why people should be sceptical of the claims made about climate change and its causes and effects

In closing, one comment left on Watts Up With That? sums up the situation superbly and deserves to be repeated widely to help others understand what really is going on:

This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.

The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

Time for IPCC to investigate The Guardian and David Leigh’s police sources

Back to business then.  Throughout the ‘phone hacking scandal’ there was a constant and unscrutinised theme… The Guardian newspaper was accessing or being given access to information no one else but the police had about the investigation, to break new stories and run exclusives.

Update: 18 Aug – And so the Guardian’s police scoops continue

A story this weekend show the seriousness of such behaviour, with the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigating a claim that an officer on the Milly Dowler murder case gave information to the News of the World newspaper.  If it is right for the IPCC to investigate an officer feeding information to the News of the World, then surely the IPCC should also turn its attention to the raft of stories published in the Guardian that appear to have originated with police sources.

These were not discoveries, these were pieces of information supplied to Guardian journalists verbally or in documents.  When it happened, the names of two reporters in particular from David Leigh’s Guardian team working the story were nearly always on display, Nick Davies and Amelia Hill. Surely when the key recipents of the information are known it should be easier to identify the person feeding them the information.  Taking just a five day period in the timeline there were a huge number of stories published, but some are worthy of particular attention as they demonstrate the likelihood of a Guardian-friendly police mole.

For example, on 4 July, The Guardian broke the story which proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, that Milly Dowler’s voicemails had been accessed and some deleted by private investigators.  The Guardian journalists said they had seen paperwork detailing how the News of the World set about getting the personal details of the Dowlers and then accessing Milly’s mailbox. However, the information itself was contained in the 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire that was in the possession of detectives from Operation Weeting. So how did the Guardian see them?

Just one day later the Guardian revealed that police were turning their attention to examine every high-profile case involving the murder, abduction or attack on any child since 2001 in response to the Dowler revelation. Again there was nothing in the public domain about the police’s intentions. So how did the Guardian know this with enough certainty to print it as fact?  The piece included the information that the name “Greg” appeared in the corner of notes taken by Mulcaire which was believed to be a reference to the News of the World’s former assistant news editor Greg Miskiw (arrested earlier this month).  As the documents have been in Metropolitan Police hands since 2006, how do they know this?

Two days later came the next big coup for the Guardian, with the revelation that Andy Coulson had been told by police that he would be arrested on the Friday morning over suspicions that he knew about, or had direct involvement in, the hacking of mobile phones during his editorship of the News of the World. Now it’s conceivable Coulson told someone he knew about the impending arrest and that they tipped off David Leigh’s chums at the Guardian.

But how likely is it that the police will have told Coulson the other revelation in the article, that a second arrest was also to be made in the next few days of a former senior journalist at the paper? Clearly the information came from elsewhere as the Guardian stated it knew the identity of the second suspect but was withholding the name to avoid prejudicing the police investigation. Someone told them and it wasn’t Coulson’s camp, because that would have clearly undermined the police’s intention to make the second arrest.

Then a day further on the Guardian published the story that police were investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal. The first reasonable assumption was that a News International insider tipped off the paper.

But that idea is dispelled by the additional colour the Guardian boasted about in its piece, namely that according to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior executive is believed to have deleted “massive quantities” of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a fraction to be disclosed. The legal entity that works with the police is of course the Crown Prosecution Service.  So is there a CPS mole feeding information to the Guardian as well as a highly placed police source?

Well its possible the idea of a police mole could be challenged as mere coincidence.  But the idea of coincidence falls away very quickly when one looks outside the phone hacking saga to an entirely unrelated story that again throws up all sorts of unanswered questions about how the Guardian gets its information.  This one concerns the concerted attempt to successfully identify by name, occupation and hometown an anonymous blogger who was critical of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) over the Climategate affair.  That link is to the full story on the Climate Audit blog.

The author of the Air Vent blog, “Jeff Id” had until that time been anonymous. As the article explains, his registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous.  To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable anyone to identify him.  So how is it that David Leigh at the Guardian managed to identify Jeff Id as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer” from Illinois and locate his telephone number too?  As the piece on Climate Audit explains:

A few days before the article, Leigh had telephoned Jeff. Jeff asked Leigh how he had located him; Leigh refused to say. Jeff expressly asked Leigh not to disclose his personal information, which were then not on the public record. Leigh disregarded the request and then proceeded to “out” him as collateral damage in their smear of Paul Dennis [employee at UEA].

A couple of weeks earlier, Jeff had been asked to answer a questionnaire by the UK counter-terrorism officer investigating the release of the emails and tree ring data. The policeman had contacted Jeff at his gmail address as “Jeff Id”. In addition to inquiring about his views on climate change, the questionnaire asked his name and address. Jeff answered the questionnaire (as did I and many Climate Audit readers). To Jeff’s knowledge and recollection, that was the only disclosure of his identity that could have led to Leigh identifying him.

Leigh’s article also quotes from an email from Paul Dennis to me, which Leigh ascribed to “police files”.

So what we have here is the team of Guardian journalists who work under David Leigh, apparently being provided with information by the police (and possibly the CPS) about the investigation into phone hacking – something Leigh himself admits he has also done – and Leigh in his own journalistic capacity being able to access information about private individuals collected by police as part of a criminal investigation into alleged computer hacking of the servers at UEA.  Only a fool would accept this as coincidence, and besides, the comments thread to this post from Bishop Hill reminds readers of various other aspects of David Leigh’s behaviour and questionable methods.

Unsurprisingly, despite requests from ‘Jeff Id’ (Patrick Condon), the Guardian (via its Environment Editor Damian Carrington – remember him?) refuses to explain how it obtained his personal information.  All Carrington will say in the replies, which can be read in the Climate Audit article, is that the Guardian did nothing illegal.  No doubt if the paper is challenged about how they came by the information concerning the ‘phone hacking’ inquiry it will say the same. What is good for the News of the World goose should also be good for the hypocritical Guardian gander.

But it is clear there is a case to answer and as the Guardian will not come clean the Independent Police Complaints Commission needs to use its powers to uncover the truth the Guardian is trying to hide.  It’s time for people to put pressure on the IPCC to do its job.

BBC climate change propaganda onslaught continues

Tonight on BBC4 viewers will be treated the the latest piece of naked BBC propaganda masquerading as an open minded examination of climate change sceptics, called – imaginatively – Meet The Climate Sceptics.  The pro Greenpeace environmentalist and film maker Rupert Murray claims:

This is a story about the world of climate scepticism and my journey as I put aside my environmental beliefs, rid myself of any bias, and try to really understand why some people think that our carbon dioxide emissions are not a problem.

Right off the bat the default position Murray holds is that CO2 is a problem and causing changes to our climate.  As such he is clearly not putting aside his environmental beliefs and demonstrates he retains a bias.  His introduction is fallacious doublespeak and his intent is to lampoon people with highly selective and distorted representations.

Being the BBC they were incapable of commissioning someone with an open mind.  They had to use a film maker who exists within their circle, so naturally it had to be an environmentalist.  To describe this as a stitch up is an understatement.  The narrative is always one-way on the BBC and there is never an opportunity for a prominent member of the counter consensus to make a programme in this manner for broadcast.  It is blatant bias and it is outrageous that we taxpayers should be compelled to subsidise this campaign to brainwash, misinform and mislead people.

For more on this venal little programme there is commentary on EU Referendum, Dellers’ news blog, Biased BBC, Bishop Hill and Climate Resistance.

 

BBC’s biased reporting of Global Warming

This excellent short video reminds us of the counter consensus on global warming/climate change, views from the scientists on side of the debate that the BBC refuses to air.

It reminds us of the political origins the global warming industry and the dishonesty of the main media player in the UK which has seized upon climate change as a convenient method of furthering their preferred political agenda. All blogs with an interest in this subject should add this to their content.

FIFA and Financial Times have questions to answer

It’s no secret that Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, wanted Russia to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar to host the tournament in 2022. But has a Financial Times journalist accidentally exposed the FIFA Executive Committee vote as a fraud?  Mark Wallace spotted the screen print below elsewhere and has written about it on his blog.

But the most interesting turn-up so far – and one no-one else seems to have noticed – was in the FT’s coverage by Roger Blitz. Sep Blatter told the world at about 3.30pm (4.30pm Zurich time) that the panel had “just finished voting”. But Blitz had already posted the news that Russia and Qatar had won…at 13.57pm.

Fascinating. So, was Blatter lying  a) about ExCo members not knowing the winning bids until they were pulled out of the envelopes, b) lying that there was even a vote or c) lying that voting had only just finished?  It would seem to add to the conspiracy theory that the winners were a done deal before any vote took place. Of course it is only a complete coincidence that this vote involved the saintly and completely honourable Russian Federation…

So, will Roger Blitz explain how he was first with this news supposedly before the voting had been completed? Was the timestamp accurate? Let’s see how quickly the explanations come once all parties have their ducks in a row. This is fun! It all adds to the farce and sense of impropriety and conspiracy.


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