Saturday, May 30, 2009

FV Trident - update

A year ago, in a post published on this site, we gave a brief account of the of FV Trident tragedy - the Peterhead-registered seine-net trawler which sank on 3 October 1974 with the loss of all seven men on board – and commented on the fact that 6 years after the decision to re-investigate the loss of the Trident had been taken, the RFI was not yet concluded.
At long last, as recently announced in the press, there is now some movement in the official investigation.
We do not know yet in which direction things are moving, but hope that the Department for Transport and those responsible for the conduct of this inquiry will have learnt a few lessons from the aftermath of the FV Gaul and MV Derbyshire Formal Investigations and that, this time around, the victims’ families will finally obtain justice.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

League of villains extraordinaire

After many years of rampant extravaganza, our voracious politicians – once upon a time thought to be our betters –have, finally, been exposed.
Enthralled, day-by-day, we read of new revelations in the MPs’ expenses scandal and witness the unseemly squirming of those caught with their hands in the till.
The fact that many of our representatives possess a guilty conscience has created a bond of solidarity across the political divides - a unity against the voters …a league of villains extraordinaire.
In such circumstances, of course, one cannot demand justice, because justice pleases neither side.
Overly preoccupied with their personal welfare, our representatives have no time for the electorate, and, incapable of grasping what is true and just, they cannot deliberate and act in the best interests of the nation.
As in many other instances of recently uncovered transgressions, when taken to account, the culprits blame the system - a system which, in fact, they have themselves designed, but which has now, allegedly, acquired a will of its own and - just like HAL 9000, the supercomputer on board the spaceship Discovery – has taken control of Parliament.
Yet, just changing the system is not going to solve our problems. No system, however secure and cleverly conceived, can protect us from the greed of our politicians, unless we, as a society, vigorously demand that only those able to act decently out of conviction should be given the chance to represent us.
To tighten the system without improving the quality of our legislators would be to act like in those lunatic asylums of the past, where they used to tie up their patients without ever treating their illnesses.
Only a moral society is capable of opposing a crooked regime, and, if we are still a moral society, then we must demand some serious changes. Just making a noise, naming and shaming, is not going to be enough.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brazen but not brave

After 5 months of delays and prevarication, the Metropolitan Police felt finally able to release a copy of the document requested by us under the provisions of the FOI Act.

And this is how the released copy looks like:

The Met’s contention that obliterating most of the text in their ‘investigation report’ was necessary in order to protect ‘personal data’ is so absurd and so blatantly insincere that makes you wonder whether their response was meant to be, in fact, some sort of joke or mockery.
Anyhow, we took them seriously and sent another request, disproving their arguments and urging them to reconsider...
... although we have serious doubts as to their willingness and ability to serve the public interest in this matter.
Can the people of this country still trust the police force to offer them any protection against the criminal ‘elite’, or have the police, nowadays, been turned into a different species - something between the rogue army of a failed state and the timorous functionaries of a conquered nation?