Friday, January 24, 2020

Populism and whatever comes after

All power comes from the people. But where does it go?Bertold Brecht 

"CLEON: Dear People, come out here! [...] Come, dearest Peopley, and I'll tell you how I'm insulted." Aristopanes, the Knights

“Thus liberty, getting out of all order and reason, passes into the harshest and bitterest form of slaveryPlato


Populism has no precise definition. It is not an ideology per se, but has been viewed more often as a “folkloric style of politics”[1], a “ruse” employed by both the political Left and Right in order to manipulate the public will and gain political advantage. It typically rests on the conflict (real or exaggerated) between a monolithic group of individuals, “the pure people”, versus “the corrupt elite”. In this context, a charismatic leader, claiming to embody la volonté générale, comes to the fore to stand with ‘the people’ and, paradoxically, mobilise them against political pluralism.
Political scientist Cas Mudde called the recent rise of populism worldwide an “illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism.”

There is no doubt that representative democracy has gone astray and that serious measures are needed to correct its present deviations and inabilities. In this context, political philosopher Jan-Werner Müller wrote, “populism is seen as a threat, but also as a potential corrective for a politics that has somehow become too distant from “the people”. Populism, practised either whole-heartedly or in solemn mockery[2], can, therefore, be also seen as a means of “re-introducing conflict into politics and fostering mobilisation of excluded sectors of society with the aim of changing the status quo”[3].
Yet, playing the populist card in order to reform the way the system[4] operates can be also a hazardous project as there is no certainty about what it would, eventually, usher in, once irrationality has been introduced into politics. The big question that arises is therefore: how populism might end or what it might mutate into.

In the UK, for instance, populists (having united, Peron-style, both the hard right and the socialist left of politics) have successfully shot down, not our rigged politics and the causes of widespread institutional corruption, but the credibility of the liberal principles of representative democracy, thus setting their mini-revolution on a perilous course.

What is happening nowadays may be, however, a turning point: will popular discontent be used to repair the way we do politics and re-build a truly liberal democracy from the ashes of a decadent State, or will it be used to replace it with an openly authoritarian regime? What comes next after the current wave of right-wing populism?
Political risk consultant, Sam Wilkins, in one of his speeches, suggested an answer when he said that a populist regime could end with the arrival of a new populist from the opposite side, or, preferably in his view (in consideration of the reasons that turned people against representative democracy and made them turn to populists), with the introduction of more direct democracy, with people getting more motivated and engaged in politics[5].

Does a switch to left-wing populism or the alternative of more direct democracy, however, amount to moving forward in any way?

Socialists, just like the hard-right authoritarians, don’t believe in liberating the individual through beneficial changes to his/her environment, but in fashioning and shaping a new type of human – a creation of the mighty State. Both these political factions fear – though for entirely different reasons - a social order based on meritocracy, individual freedom and autonomy.
Unlike the Left’s and the Right’s codes of belief, liberalism - when not turned on its head - worked because it understood and respected the nature of man. Authoritarianism, practiced either in the name of the masses or for the benefit of an elite group, on the other hand, espouses an artificial conception of human nature and of how humans should lead their lives, and holds that what is good for us should be prescribed by the State.

Direct democracy (itself a species of populism) aims at bypassing representative democracy because its mediators have been deemed to be ineffectual or corrupt. Without properly addressing the question why representative democracy and democratic institutions are no longer under our control and no longer fulfil a beneficial role for us, a new, more direct style of democracy will be hampered by the same degrading forces, and perhaps even more so, since its feasibility would be even more dependent on a climate of free speech, free press and transparency that is, currently, vanishing. Hence, the participants in direct democracy would be more vulnerable to influences from well-resourced interest groups, State-funded/backed initiatives and mainstream media propaganda.[6] What is worse, direct democracy based on communitarianism often conceals some very oppressive, levelling tendencies, no better than those advocated by far-right authoritarians.
(Direct democracy – community involvement and all that - is nothing like civil society-driven reform and advocacy - civil society understood as a network of people established on the basis of ethical and political ideals and aspirations*, rather than on the basis of micro-geographic criteria and agendas driven by local government-controlled community organisers.)

People’s grievances, directed at what is often misleadingly called the ‘liberal Establishment’, are real. The dogma of economic liberalism – as some of us understand it – is inextricably linked to the moral philosophy of tolerance, civil liberties and equality before the law. When you split one away from the other, what you get is no longer a liberal democratic society - it is something else, it is its opposite using the liberal label as a flag of convenience. In such circumstances, one cannot complain about the wholesale failure of liberalism.

Perhaps, it’s time to consider that, in this country at least, what has, in fact, failed is not so much the liberal political ideology, but the requisite for its existence – the Rule of Law. The failure to maintain checks on institutional and corporate dominance and misbehaviour[7] and to keep their powers within bounds by defending the citizens’ essential rights and liberties, the fairness and justice owed to them, is the failure of the Law[8]. Without freedom from authoritarian, oligarchic rule, as well as freedom from the intolerant, self-undermining tendencies of unmediated democracy, which the Law[9] in a truly liberal society was meant to defend, we are rendered unable to investigate, think for ourselves, see how things really are and thus gain knowledge of how best to improve our lives through peaceful collaboration or politics. Only a free society has the ability to react to the excesses and abusive impositions of free market capitalism and find the optimal balance between forces. The Law[10], alas, has failed in its duty to guarantee that society remained free to express its opinions and respond to the varied challenges of the present.

Whether today’s populism will lead to a more representative and more liberal system or to a more authoritarian and unfairer regime depends, first of all, on how much freedom we manage to reclaim in the meantime.

_______________________________________________________


[1] Cas Mudde
[2] As it sometimes seems to be the case in the UK
[3] Cas Mudde, Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser
[4] President Trump assured his voters that “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it
[5]
[6] When we think about e-democracy the problems are expanded by how easily Internet information and communications can be manipulated nowadays. Direct democracy also presents problems associated with the people’s enthusiasm for participation flagging over time, the risk of their missing the points of larger-scale issues and of being used as cover by governments who want to evade accountability.
[*]
[7]The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself, That in essence is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” Franklin D Roosevelt
[8]The law perverted! The law – and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation – the law, say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish!” The Law, Frederic Bastiat
[9] That is in its formulation, interpretation as well as application
[10]The end of law is not to abolish, but to preserve and enlarge freedom” John Locke

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Means, Ends and Dirty Hands

During the first 2019 election debate, the ITV moderator asked the leaders of the two main political parties whether the truth mattered in this election. The UK Prime Minister, somewhat flustered, answered that, of course, it did. He was right: truth matters in that politicians and the media do whatever they can to manipulate it.
Mahatma Ghandi once said that “truth never damages a cause that is just”. You have to wonder why, in their pursuit of political advantage, politicians so often ignore this.

Inspired by Machiavelli, “let the prince win and maintain his State; the means will always be judged honourable, and will be praised by everyone”, the trend today is towards the expedient destruction of norms and ethics and the advancement of narrow political interest masquerading as public good.
All that happens nowadays - the perversion of democratic processes, brazen political lying, authoritarian governance, the extra-judicial punishment of regime critics and whistleblowers as a means to deter others, the gagging of free speech, is countenanced on utilitarian grounds. “Exitus acta probat”![1]

The ”ends justify the means” strategy of our rulers, or doing bad things for “the greater good”, has serious problems though: what a ‘good end’ is is quite subjective and can hide very selfish ulterior motives. Who decides what is ‘good’ [2]- and whether that has not been judged on the basis of flawed logic or from a partisan standpoint - how it is measured and at what time scale that ‘good’ was perceived? Could you have taken everything into account? Are ends arrived at by unethical means, really an achievement? Presuming your wish for the ‘good end’ is based on some moral notions of what constitutes goodness, how then can the immoral acts, committed in its pursuit, be justified without rendering all your assessments fallible?[3].

Are there no alternatives? Every one of our actions triggers a multitude of possibilities, each of them a cause for further actions, each of them with their own series of contingencies, none of them perfectly predictable, and so on[4]. Along these endless event chains there is the chance of doing the right thing at every step as you come across it. As the future cannot be forecast with complete certainty, how can you say that the ‘end’ – a probable end - justifies the immorality of your current actions? One can be much more certain of the immediate harm than of the more distant goal since means are always easier to control than the ends that one only hopes for.[5] Furthermore, as the ‘end’ that you envision is not likely to be the end, but just an intermediary point, there is no guarantee that you will not require more unethical means to reach your goals further down the line. To claim otherwise is a very narrow view of the world, a view in which there is no chance of random events or the risk of the present evils snowballing into the future.
A philosopher once said that typical of utopian thinking is the simplification of the world, the removal of its contradictions, and thus also the removal of the means that help society to deal with contradictions – a condition of all progress*.
The consequentialist approach in today’s politics thus fails on both ethical[6] and pragmatic grounds.

The rulers of our State are cutting bigger and bigger corners and in doing so they are treating individuals (I refer here, in particular, to dissidents and whistleblowers) as “superfluous appendages”[7], fair game in the field of political warfare or mere instruments that exist only for the benefit of their political schemes, which they label as the ‘greater good’.
The UK needs reminding that sacrificing innocent people for ‘good’ political ends is the ideology of terrorists; it was the pretext used by communists and fascists to justify their slaughter of millions of innocents; it was the barbarous practice of primitive societies trying to placate their gods. It was the thinking of slave masters.

The State’s obligation not to treat people as a means to an end is based on the sanctity of human life and each person’s right to dignity[8], which is an absolute human right and not subject to utilitarian considerations[9]. Any action that injures human dignity is therefore an abuse of power.
What is more, as others have already argued, the breach of this obligation damages the great principle of justice which demands the punishment of the criminal, not of the innocent, a principle that has been affirmed since ancient times: “the harm-doing must be directed at the wrongdoer, not at the innocent”[10] Breaching the right of one person[11] to be treated fairly damages the rights of everyone in society[12]. Then there are also the long-term losses relating to the weakening of our trust in justice and democracy upon which everybody’s ‘good’ depends[13].


The manner in which the UK, for political reasons, denies some whistleblowers[14] the dignity due to persons as ‘ends in themselves’ - impermissible in any circumstances - is especially wicked when there are more appropriate alternative ways of satisfying those reasons, albeit some that would require more effort, less self-interest and less cowardice on the part of our ruling elite. They, who impose sacrifices upon others, never seem willing to make sacrifices themselves.

Without respect for the individual we don’t live in a liberal democracy and, to maximise happiness, humanity has not devised a better system. Without the protection of individual rights, freedoms and liberties, we slide towards authoritarian extremes[15], where human beings become expendable.

In an age when the gratification of most comforts comes at the click of a button, there is growing impatience with the circuitous routes, marked-out by reasonableness and convention, toward the achievement of political goals. Yet, the shortcuts are more taxing still…and, most often, irreversible. As John Milton once wrote, “darkness, once gazed upon, can never be lost.”
______________________________________________________


[1] Ovid, Heroides
[2]The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced”, Aldous Huxley
[3] Nagel, War and massacre
[4]There is no single end to our actions, plural effects flow from every action” John Dewey
[5] V.V. Kokko
[*]
[6] Moral principles themselves can be justified pragmatically
[7] Theodor W. Adorno
[8] Breaches of an individual’s right to dignity are acts that are intrinsically evil and, as such, they are always wrong.
[9] An inalienable human right even in times of war, which cannot be removed by another man or even by a majority
[10] See Socrates and Leon of Salamis
[11] In sociology, Karl Popper wrote that individuals constitute the basic unit of analysis
[12]Basic rights should not be regarded as constraints on the pursuit of collective interests. Violating such rights always damages the common good.” Robert P George
[13]If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to become law onto himself, it invites anarchy” R.M.B, Senanayake
[14] John Locke, the founder of classical liberalism wrote: “no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty, or possessions.
[15] Under the despotism of one or under the tyranny of many

Monday, October 07, 2019

Civil society and the State

“BERANGER: And you consider all this natural?
DUDARD: What could be more normal than a rhinoceros?
BERANGER: Yes, but for a man to turn into a rhinoceros is abnormal beyond question.”

(Rhinoceros, Eugene Ionesco)

***

“If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying that he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever.

(Gilbert K. Chesterton)

1. When the institutions of the state no longer embody the ‘ethical will of the people’, when they no longer live up to the standards they were designed to uphold and when their actions become malign, uncontrollable and against the interests of the people they were meant to serve[1], it is not politics that can be relied upon to solve the crisis, but civil society itself.
A civic/intellectual forum/movement, detached from party politics, with its inabilities, temptations and corrupting mechanisms of success, is called upon to raise the questions that transcend or have been abandoned by politics – questions relating to the very existence of the human society, which are not political problems, but problems of life itself – and lead to a new relationship between the State and its citizens.[4]
The reduction of everything to mainstream party politics nowadays has made us subject to its ineptitudes, limitations and corruption; it has replaced what is right with what is expedient (and useful to a smaller and smaller part of society). Today’s political parties are too inwardly interconnected with the State’s power structures – while, outwardly, they maintain the pretence of being separate from and thus unable to reform them.
Transcending politics and its divisions, civil society needs to move from particular effects to general causes, it needs to go back to the level of concepts and ideals, to re-habilitate, update and re-establish the principles and values that underpin a true liberal democracy which, with time, through neglect and subversion, has become undone.[6]

2. An authentic liberal democracy requires an engaged and enlightened demos.  Misinformation and lack of knowledge usher in tyranny. Yet, more and more people live in fear of expressing free thought and taking ethical positions that challenge the official narrative. With the abdication of the mainstream media from its vital role[2], intellectuals must step in to inform, inspire and serve as the moral compass and conscience for the whole of society. Whatever mainstream media and politics touch turns to slime. We need a dissident elite, different from the growing class of pseudo-intellectuals[3] who are in the service of power or intimidated by it, a peaceful “extra-parliamentary opposition operating outside the rules created by the system itself”[4], with its own communication channels; we need a forum of public-dedicated parrhesiastes, to teach or remind citizens how to be free and why freedom is necessary in order to achieve ‘complete humanness’. [5] [6] [*]

The difficulties lie, of course, in the mobilisation of such a corps of veritable intellectuals[7] who cannot be isolated, infiltrated or corrupted, prepared to serve “the truth consistently, purposefully and organise this service”[8], in the circumstances in which we’ve got such a crisis of integrity and courage, and in which all communications and social interactions are controlled and manipulated by a increasingly authoritarian State trespassing more and more into civil society territory[9]. A few whistleblowers, at great personal cost, have drawn our attention to the unchecked proliferation of state surveillance that has reached dystopian levels and now looks to be heading into the paranormal. When more is revealed, we are going to be very shocked at how deep and how far the depravity goes.

3. We need a new Age of Reason, not to stand up against superstition, but against the disintegration of humanity, under pressure from the abusive forces of the State and its covert network of power, abetted by the passivity of a more and more fearful and distracted citizenry. Referring to the government’s Prevent[10] programme, Gracie Bradley, Liberty policy and campaigns manager, said, “It is utterly chilling that potentially thousands of people, including children, are on a secret government database because of what they’re perceived to think or believe.” We need to be constantly reminded of these dangers and that “our careless indifference to grand causes has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force”[11].

It is the duty of dissident voices to foster civic engagement[12] - indignant, critical and discerning. Membership of a political party and mobilisation in the causes of party agenda are ineffective[13], and so is mere local community involvement (within those anaerobic organisations where the very word ‘community’ has been banalised by over-use, syntheticity and the nauseating mushiness of their scope[14]).
A coherent, unified dissident class of thinkers and decent people, when animated enough, can bring about profound changes. Because, we are where we are and, “to paraphrase Heidegger, only dissidents can save us now”[15].




_______________________________________________________



[1] Society is no longer, other than theoretically, yielding the power behind politics, hence dismissing a bad government by popular vote – the so-called ultimate source of power in a democracy –only brings in another bad government.
[2] Mainstream media today is not free speech – it is manipulation – falsehoods, distorted semantics, or dead silence. Many journalists are in fact working directly or indirectly for intelligence agencies and write articles on their orders, no matter how untruthful the subject is.
[3] Long time ago, Julian Benda spoke of a “cataclysm in the moral notions of those who educate the world” – very relevant today.
[4] Vaclav Havel
[5] It is very worrying to hear of the targeting and the arbitrary, extra-judicial punishments of whistleblowers and regime critics conducted in secret and with extreme cruelty by the repressive arms of the state. The Western governments’ habit of compiling secret watchlists of thousands and thousand of innocent people, marked as enemies of the state, and targeted for surveillance and persecution - and in some cases torture - is also slowly coming to light. [https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/06/counter-terror-police-are-running-secret-prevent-database]. Constant defined absolute despotism as "where liberty can be taken away from citizens without the authorities deigning to explain their motives, and without the citizens having the right to know them.". 
[6] Roger Kimball, The treason of the Intellectuals and the Undoing of Thought
[7] That is in addition to those brave souls who are already engaged in public discourse on various particular subjects and have already made their mark
[8] Vaclav Havel
[9] As Benjamin Constant wrote, “the art of governments that oppress citizens is to keep them apart and to make communication difficult and meetings dangerous.”
[10] A UK government’s anti-radicalisation programme which collects details of people who haven’t yet committed a crime
[11] Alain Finkielkraut
[12] What author Dana R Villa calls dissident citizenship or Socratic citizenship, practiced in an “alternative public sphere” beyond the boundaries of the official public realm.
[13] “Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together” Eugene Ionesco
[14] That is when they are not used by local authorities to serve nefarious roles, such as snooping on and harassing their neighbours
[*] Julien Benda, La Trahison des clercs

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

'National Interest' as convenient cover for abuses

On the 22nd of October, we sent a message to the leader of the Opposition, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, to which, so far, we haven't got any reply:

"Dear Sir/Madam

[*******] is a naval architect who used to work for the UK Department of Transport during the time of the last Labour governments (Blair and Brown). In his professional capacity he was involved in the technical aspects related to the public inquiries held into three major maritime tragedies and had access to relevant government documents. These public investigations manipulated the evidence and hid the truth from the public in order to prevent the families of the victims from getting full compensation.
[*******] blew the whistle about the criminal actions perpetrated during these formal proceedings.
In the set up and conduct of these inquiries, in the cover-up that followed, as well as in the harassment and persecution of our family were involved ministers and officials in Tony Blair’s government (such as John Prescott et al), public servants and other Labour affiliates. The scandal caused by their actions and our revelations are an open secret amongst politicians and civil servants.
I can understand that the rise of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour party is deemed to be a matter of national interest which rests on the level of support and unity in his party. What we don’t understand, though, is how such a principled politician as Mr Corby purports to be can deem acceptable procuring the backing of other Labour politicians with assurances of protection from exposure and criminal prosecution. Mr Corbyn condones not only fraudulent past actions by former Labour ministers, but also turns a blind eye to (if he does not actually enables) their current criminal actions taken in retaliation against whistleblowers like us.
If Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party cannot address these matters, we shall be obliged to resort to legal action.
Yours sincerely,

[*******]"

If Mr Corbyn is not who he has portrayed himself to be, people should know about it.

Update (9 November 2018) _ Still no reply from Mr Corbyn's office, the retaliatory criminal actions though (including theft and burglary) have intensified since the publication of this post. Mr Corbyn and his gang act like the Mafia. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What is this all about (a brief recap)

This blog was started in 2006 as a critical response to the outcomes of the 2004 Fishing Vessel Gaul’s Re-opened Formal Investigation (RFI) and of the public inquiries held into two other major maritime tragedies:
FV Trident - lost in 1974 with 7 crew on board – first inquiry held in 1975 – re-opened inquiry held in 2010 and
MV Derbyshire – lost in 1980 with all 44 crew – first inquiry held in 1989 – second inquiry held in 2000

Since 2006, we have tried to shine a light on the corrupt means by which the British State distorted the facts, withheld the truth from the public and has dealt with our subsequent disclosures.

The Hull trawler Gaul sank in 1974 with the loss of all 36 crew.  The initial inquiry into its loss was held in 1974 and concluded that the ship had been overwhelmed by a succession of high waves in heavy seas and capsized. The wreck was located in 1997, surveyed in 1998 and 2002; and, in 2004, a formal investigation was re-opened under the auspices of the then deputy prime minister John Prescott and conducted on behalf of the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.
 
At the end of a year-long examination into the causes of the Gaul’s loss, the presiding judge, justice David Steel concluded that the trawler had capsized due to internal flooding through the vessel’s duff and offal chutes (side openings in the hull) which, he decided, had been negligently left open by the crew.

The panel tasked with conducting the 2004 formal investigation were prepared to consider a multitude of possible causes for the loss of the vessel, including the most spectacular: “… seizure, scuttling, fire, collision, explosion, missile attack, torpedo attack, striking a mine, icing, cargo shift, structural failure, grounding, snagging a seabed cable or a submarine…

…but not the obvious design faults and errors in the construction and arrangement of the Gaul’s waste disposal chutes (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)(which had been known to the government since before the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s 2002 underwater survey) and the stability shortfalls of the vessel (9, 10, 11, 12, 13) (recognized since 1974) the combined effects of which had rendered the vessel unsafe and led to her loss (14).

Although all these matters were known to the government beforehand, the 2004 Re-opened Formal Investigation took active steps to avoid attributing the loss of the Gaul to any of these technical deficiencies. Hence, the public was denied the truth and the families of the lost crew of the Gaul were denied justice and the possibility to claim their right to lawful compensation

The Gaul RFI was not, however, the only flawed inquiry into a maritime tragedy: the inquiries into the loss of MV Derbyshire - the 91,655 gross tons bulk-carrier built in 1976 and lost in 1980, and, the most blatantly unsound inquiry of all, the re-opened formal investigation into the loss of FV Trident - a Peterhead-registered trawler that sank in 1974 - showed the same disregard for the facts and arrived at conclusions that were solely intended to block the possibility of subsequent litigation for the victims’ families.
  
One of us was employed as naval architect by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at that time and was involved in the Gaul’s 2004 RFI and prior goings-on, and also carried out follow-up work for the Derbyshire RFI. We therefore had access to relevant and undisclosed government documents and carried out subsequent research.

Since blowing the whistle in 2006, we have published a significant amount of factual evidence and technical detail with a view to persuading the government and its relevant bodies to re-open the investigation and reveal the truth about the loss of the Gaul. The authorities, however, rather than putting things right, decided to continue withholding the truth and shoot the messenger [15, 16].  As time has passed, the crimes committed in hounding us and maintaining these cover-ups have accumulated and grown much worse than the original fraud.

Until 2010, the Labour governments under PM Blair and Brown, in solidarity with their own corrupt ministers and officials, had a direct, existential interest in hiding the truth about their rigged inquiries.
Yet, even after the 2010 general election, and with a Conservative Party in power, the cover-up has continued to this day – the current government exercising undue pressure and using us as bargaining chips in their inter-party politics and to fend accusations against their own members and acolytes (17, 18).
Legal cases imitated by us since 2010, which should have exposed the past wrongdoing, have been crudely sabotaged by the State, and as for the press that should have been alert to such abuses, everybody seems to have been silenced.
After a long break, we shall now catch up with you and start providing further details about all these matters.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Actual Conspiracies


It can take decades for what was once branded a “conspiracy theory” to graduate to the rank of actual fact, and for the State to awaken official knowledge and restore the truth from its concealed state to the manifest.

The term “Conspiracy theory” has started loosing its derogatory sense frequently used in the past by opinion formers – nowadays, quite often, it is just the preliminary stage to the emergence of truth ... as were the facts about the Hillsborough disaster, which have recently made it to the level of officially sanctioned history.

The verdict in the Hillsborough inquest has now exposed many of the callous machinations employed by the State in its daily course of business – the spin, the slurs and the lies that were designed to baffle the public, and protect the Establishment’s interests and the officials’ backs.

As the Hillsborough inquest revealed, the police were instrumental (as they were – and still are - in the Gaul case) and blameworthy for the cover-up. Yet, they were not the only culprits. Conspiring against the victims were all the tentacles of the State: first and foremost the civil service, then policemen, politicians, our justice system and the press (as has also been the case in the Gaul, Derbyshire and Trident cover-ups)
So wide was the Hillsborough conspiracy that, had Gordon Brown’s Labour government not been so intent on scoring political points, we might have never heard the truth about the disaster proclaimed in a court of law. Such exposure of behind-the-scenes ‘reality’ is a very unusual occurrence in the UK – the Establishment having centuries of accreted knowledge on how to hush up inconvenient facts – that only the most vicious internecine strife within the political class can lead to their dirty laundry being washed in public.

A few days ago, Labour MP Andy Burnham said that the police force “put protecting itself above protecting those hurt by the horror of Hillsborough” and demanded that people be held accountable for their actions.
Yet, we have first-hand knowledge that the Gaul, Derbyshire and Trident tragedies – dealt with by Labour in much more unseemly ways – are conspiracies which Mr Burnham, the Labour Party and their Establishment appointees would prefer to remain just theory.

Hillsborough has been called “the biggest cover-up in British history". Maybe it was, but it was certainly not the ugliest.

LINK to a previous post on this subject

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The right answer

Nowadays, each time we complain about political and state corruption and the terror the state employs against whistleblowers, we hear more and more voices arguing that cover-ups have justifications: it's either the national interest, some patriotic action, real-world pragmatism, the need for political unity (esp in the Labour Party) during these dangerous times or the majestically vague notion of 'the greater good'. 

All these justifications are, of course, BS. We have found a fragment (below), from an American political action thriller, that we think provides the only right answer to such pretentions. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Pernicious Establishment

The British Establishment have been trying to exterminate us for a while. Now they are getting better at it.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Friday, December 04, 2015

The various things hidden in the cupboard

In one of our posts of last year about the hoax played on the Gaul families with the continued help of the police authorities and of their informants, we expressed doubt that the matter of the human remains found in Russia was genuine and relevant to the Gaul tragedy. We understood that that was a pretext for keeping a tab on the families at a time when damning proof about the cover up was about to emerge. By keeping in touch with the families the police in Hull probably wanted to make sure that none of them got access to that proof.
A year after that Russian story - as we anticipated - nothing happened.

At the time we felt sorry for those whom the evidence incriminates; today, this is no longer the case.

Friday, November 13, 2015

EU comedy and humour

The text published at this link offers all the ingredients of a good comic piece of writing: 

As a famous novelist once claimed, humour is the justice that the law never is. 

Further details will be posted soon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Clarification

Some people seem to believe that any honest resolution to the serious breaches of the law revealed by us, would somehow have catastrophic repercussions, would even trigger international conflict and war.
Of such nature are the spin and the disinformation and so pervasive the arguments that those who've heard them could be easily taken in.
The reality, however, is very different. Our disclosures do not hold such sway, and to claim otherwise is fantasy. (The Tory party and members of the Royal Family have known our problems for over eight years, and during this time, the political circumstances have not stayed the same.)
The main reasons why the British state continues to cover up the truth and deny those involved their basic rights have more to do with ordinary, yet very effective, blackmail targeting the very top of the Establishment. As blackmail doesn't look so pretty, those who have surrendered to it have decided to dress up their abject failure as honourable deeds and sacrifice required by the complex circumstances of the moment.


The perfidy of our rulers knows no bounds.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good society

We cannot do that, do you want them to start asking for compensation”, argued a public servant - by “them” meaning the public who paid their salaries, in general, and the victims of marine accidents, in particular. Behind that line lies a sincere astonishment that the entitlements of ordinary members of the public could seriously be considered.
When it came to expenses, however, – some quite inexcusable – public servants would say, “We’ll charge it to the Vote.”, the “Vote” meaning the same unsuspecting public, destined to be sponged by the State as a matter of course, rather than as an exception. The politicians’ disregard for the voters’ interests may have rubbed off on the public servants who worked so close to government politics


We must emphasise that the authors of the above statements were not elected representatives, but bureaucrats appointed to public positions by virtue of a job contract. It is possible that when making those comments – and let’s not be too affronted by them, as more shocking admissions will soon need to be copied and shared – the unelected bureaucrats in question, just like our elected officials, may have felt that their elevated status and allegiance did not rest with the taxpayer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Magna Carta celebrations in a lawless land

With straight faces, royalty, government and officials have taken part in a string of celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

No freeman shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights and possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land”.

The old barons forced the rule of law upon King John – their protection against the arbitrariness of the monarch. Eight centuries on, Prime Minister Cameron vowed with patriotic energy to “restore the reputation” of the charter’s values with a new British Bill of Rights.
I’m not sure I would say that the reputation of the Carta’s values has been tainted (although the Home Office has been trying very hard to discredit its ideals), but it is certainly the case that the reputation of those duty-bound to uphold the ‘justice for all’ principle lies in tatters. Today’s barons don’t like the hassle of due process when it is a lot easier to get what you want by might.


Cameron’s British Bill of Rights – aimed at supplanting the Human Rights Act – may do away with our right to be free from torture and thus give the State the power to chastise us with iron rods and scorpions, but it will proudly assert the supremacy of the UK courts over Strasbourg. Nothing has yet transpired as to what that Bill will contain, but I can see that many are sceptical about it – after all, who can trust the protections of a Bill of Rights drafted by this generation of lawmakers?

We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right
Yet, as we know only to well, the Magna Carta celebrants are in the business of doing exactly the opposite.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cadre Rotation

In October 2011 we reported on the transfer of Mrs Theresa Crossley from Head of Shipping Policy in the Department for Transport to the position of Head of Department for Safety and Standards in the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). 
After four years at the helm of the aforementioned department, Mrs Crossley - whose progress we’ve been interested to follow, there being between us a bond of shared confidentialities - came home to be appointed as UKPMG executive director. Apart from having worked for the European Commission and being therefore remarkable, and apart from her very promotable qualities, Theresa Crossley will bring her wealth of experience and valuable contacts to the new job. UKPMG mention on their site, “Many of the issues that confront UK ports are raised, debated and promulgated in Europe via the European Commission.” Hence, their new executive director will prove useful in raising the stakes of such debate. (We do not suggest any impropriety on the part of UKPMG, of course.) 

It may also be noted in passing that John Prescott, the Department for Transport former chieftain, has also been recently elevated from his dormant status within the House of Lords to the avant-scène of party politics, and is now providing his party leader with his exact knowledge on matters of climate change. 

                                          (drawing by Dan Perjovski)


As somebody famous said, the reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Reasons and Pretexts

Another year begins with more of the same: chaos, corruption, opportunism, cowardice and indifference on the part of the State. 

The issues raised in this blog are still unresolved, and the prospects are looking a little more uncertain – if we take into account the fact that 2015 is an election year. 
In this case as in many others, there is a web of reasons and pretexts behind the official recklessness. 

Many times we’ve been informally told that the reason for burying alive the matter of the formal inquiries into three maritime disasters, was pressure from the US administration, pressure which was unbearable to the British authorities. This almost reasonable sounding justification, meant to give official wrongdoing the immunity of an act of God, has, however, two major faults: first, it is partly a cop-out and, secondly, it has got nothing to do with us – that is we shouldn’t care a toss about who is pressuring whom. 

Let me explain: the terms of our relationship with the British state that we are subjects of - in the context of the disclosures that we have made about the Gaul RFI and the other official cover-ups - do not include any deference to the whims of a foreign government. 
We have the duty to be loyal, pay taxes and obey the law of our land in exchange for various rights and legal protections that are conferred on any British citizen. This is a bond based on mutual obligations. Even the medieval vassalage was a reciprocal relationship. What is more, equality before the law has been the basic principle of citizenship since Ancient Greece. Since ancient times, a citizen has been understood as a person free to act by law, free to ask and expect the law’s protection. In today’s Britain, however, this no longer seems to be the case. 

The claim that a foreign country can impose the suspension of the rule of law here – and do so for no reason other than to assist corrupt political allies – be it a pretext (1) or a reason (2) - has and should have nothing to do with the victims of sea tragedies or with us. 

And, anyway, what would happen if Britain withstood such pressures? Would we be invaded or our foreign trade sabotaged? We don’t think so. It might have some tit-for-tat repercussions, such as unpleasant things being revealed in the press about our government, prominent politicians (‘revelations’ similar to those in the child abuse scandal etc. pursued with similar frenzy) and even members of the royal family, but these are not legitimate reasons to suspend the law. 

It is therefore far more likely, we suspect, that our government, with the 2015 general election in mind, wants to please powerful lobbies and donors and to avoid any skeletons being dragged out of the cupboards by well-connected political enemies (LINK). I don't think there is one person in public life who cannot be blackmailed. To these ends, the British authorities are prepared to ignore crime and – so as to give the culprits added satisfaction - aid and abet in the continued victimisation of whistleblowers and witnesses. 

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(1) It is already known that former Labour government figures have been in the habit of asking the US government to oppose disclosures about their crimes (see the official interventions prior to the publication of the Torture Report)

(2) The US government may try to solve their foreign policy problems by dispensing sweeteners, for the sake of unity, at others' expense.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hoax

Since December last year, the UK authorities have been taking the Gaul families for a ride: Hull Daily Mail - po.st/fFtm5P
(In December, last year, evidence about the fact that the chairs of the families' associations had been in fact shilling for the government and the other opposing parties to the detriment of the rest of the victims' families was about to emerge.)


There has never been any plausible reason to suspect that the bones found in Russia belonged to the crew of the Gaul. The story concocted on this subject was part of the continued and expanding cover-up.

More to come..

UPDATE 31 October 2014: The government is under renewed pressure to stop the facts (regarding the collusion between the parties) from being acknowledged.