Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Mention The (illegal) War

The farce of a long-awaited 'inquiry' into warmongering Blair's illegal Iraq War has finally opened to a fanfare of fudge and a big dollop of whitewash. For months the public will have to suffer the charade of a parade with none of the powers of a full blown legal inquiry.

As one senior judge told the Guardian: "Analysing the war's legality was beyond the panel's competence. It does not include a single judge or lawyer."

The 'inquiry' is fronted by Brown's placemen working to a tight Downing Street remit. Brown was a member of Blair's war cabinet. How can this be independent of the very government which took the country to war on the back of a pack of lies? Another cover-up is on the cards.

No witnesses can be ordered to attend. No-one can be subpoenaed. No evidence will be given under oath. The 'inquiry' cannot reach a 'verdict', apportion blame or judge criminality.

Chilcot's opening statement today made that quite clear: The inquiry was "not definitive in the sense of a court verdict".

The public does want definitive answers. Why did Blair take this country to war illegally? Who else was in on the shameful act? But that legality isn't on the agenda. Unlike a full public inquiry, Chilcot has no legal standing to lay criminal blame or get to the bottom of the complex issue of the legality of the war.

Witnesses can lie through their teeth with no forensic legal mind to challenge them and no recourse to law. No final report will see the light of day until late 2010.

Chilcot, a former Whitehall mandarin and 'safe pair of hands', has been at pains to insist the 'inquiry' will not produce a 'whitewash'. Methinks the man doth protest too much.

The Orange Party remembers reeling in disbelief over the Standard's ludicrous '45 minutes' shock headline. Listening in a daze to Gilligan on Radio 4, spilling the beans on the 'sexed up' Iraq weapons dossier. Watching Blair's henchman Campbell storm into Channel 4 news live to rip the BBC and bully anyone who got in his way.

Watching the shameful spectacle of a witch hunt over government scientist David Kelly. Watching a reporter asking Blair if he had "blood on his hands" after Kelly's strange, still unexplained death.

Watching hundreds of thousands of protesters outside a duped parliament. The relentless spin of going to war to hunt down invisible WMDs rather than regime change, which would never stand up in an international court of law. Hearing Claire Short let slip Blair's "taste for war".

And ripping up life-long membership of a so-called 'Labour' Party in disgust. If New Labour can lie about war what else did it lie about?

There has already been one whitewash - the Hutton 'inquiry' into the death of Kelly. There has already been a discredited secret Butler inquiry into pre-war intelligence failures which protected Teflon Tony. Chilcot has been set up to join them with a shameful cover-up.

In the meantime an expensive farce is set to unfold as a pre-election sop to voters. The public still won't know why troops were sent to their deaths in Iraq or exactly what advice the government was given over the war's legality.

Barrister Blair will have his day, facing piles of trials with smiles. After all the fudge and faux outrage, a war weary public will be none the wiser.

Top picture: Peter Brookes, The Times. Mid pictures: Daily Mirror, Evening Standard. Bottom Picture: Private Eye.

NOTE: Two blogs giving a blow by blow account of the Chilcot Inquiry are worth following. Channel 4's Iraqinquiryblogger and the Iraq Inquiry Digest, edited by Chis Ames.


Climategate II-A Feeble Fightback

So-called 'climate change scientists' and self-appointed cheerleaders of the AGW con are staging a feeble fightback with a bit of dodgy science of their own, after leaked e-mails showing up the sham of the man-made global warming myth sent shivers down the spines of the greenwash zealots.

Slammed as 'the greatest scandal in modern science', now "three UK groups studying climate change have issued an unprecedented statement about the dangers of failing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases", reports the BBC with glee.

Usual suspects, The Royal Society, Met Office, and Natural Environment Research Council say the science (sic) underpinning climate change is "more alarming than ever".

And to back up the Climategate sham, they say the 2007 UK floods were "consistent with emerging patterns".

Nothing to do with a woeful lack of investment in storm drains. Nothing to do with building houses on flood plains. Nothing to do with concreting over huge tracts of land. Nah. Blame it on man-made global warming. So much easier.

A damning string of emails hacked from one of the world's top climate research centres at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) confirmed that the entire shoddy science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a scam.

About 1,000 e-mails and more than 3,000 private documents relating to climate change showed up attempts to prevent the release of scientific data, destroy material and rig scientific data to make out humans are causing global warming.

Some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Sceptics claim this is 'the final nail in the coffin' of man-made global warming theory. Even evergreen George Monbiot, now feels he's wasted years of his life "promoting a bogus discipline".

The publication of hacked e-mails has prompted one key US Republican senator to call for an investigation into the research. James Inhofe told the Washington Times, he would probe whether the IPCC "cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not."

Here former chancellor, Nigel Lawson, has called for an inquiry into the global warming scandal.

The Orange Party has long believed the man-made global warming myth is an elaborate money-spinning hoax. The 'world's leading climate scientists' are more dedicated to promoting an alarmist political agenda than scientific research.

At the centre of the Climategate scam is the international body that claims to be the world authority on climate change – the UN-sponsored IPCC.

Any shred of credibility left in the IPCC and its lackeys in the CRU, Met Office and BBC has been torn to shreds.

Opinion polls show the public doesn't buy into the hype of man-made climate change. Advertising watchdogs are investigating a scary £6m government 'climate change' ad over claims it's 'misleading and too "scary" for children'.

The government's climate change figures have been branded 'misleading' by the government's own UK Statistics Authority.

A BBC ‘climate reporter’ and regional TV weatherman, Paul Hudson, ruffled a few feathers with the audacity to ask: What happened to global warming? Pointing to the fact that "the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998."

These so-called "scientists" deliberately set out to trick and mislead. They skewed the data to fit in with a half-baked political agenda. Throwing out facts which did not support an ideological stance.

Science is only what AGW zealots deem is science. Truth only that which which fits into a narrow minded view of the complexities of nature's long rich cycles. The public has been deliberately taken for a ride on the anthropogenic global warming scam when the brutal reality is staring them in the face but more difficult to stomach. Pollution and greed are the culprits.

Pollution and greed which has seen forests wiped out and natives booted out to fuel the West's insatiable demand for cheap beef and palm oil.

Pollution and greed which has led to Far East factories belching out poison to satisfy the craving for cheap goods. Pollution and greed which forces poor souls to eek out a living on the stench of Third World rubbish tips.

Pollution and greed which has led to factories and public utilities given a slap on the wrist for polluting rivers, fields and water courses.

These are the real culprits. Not the hapless soul who is forced to read by a dim 'energy saving' light bulb.

The real scandal is the way dodgy science is being used to prop up politicians, carbon traders and taxpayer funded 'research centres', riding on the back of the scam to make a quick buck.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Only Four Face Expenses Fiddling Charges

Four MPs and peers could face jail of up to ten years for fiddling their expenses after files on a Scotland Yard probe into alleged fraud was handed over to state prosecutors.

The Telegraph disclosed last week that just six MPs and peers are facing criminal charges of fraud following police investigations into the wide-spread scandalous abuse of parliamentary expenses.

The Telegraph reports those facing prosecution are: New Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, and peers Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.

Out of all the crooks, cheats and chancers in the House of Shame, the CPS has been handed files on four, who have not been officially named, with two more expected to follow.

Specialist police working with the Legg audit have been investigating expenses abuses since the MPs' sordid scandal was exposed by the Telegraph over the summer. The Sunday Times has taken the lead in hot pursuit of Lords a-leaping around phantom 'second homes'.

Both Brown and Cameron have said they expect prosecutions, according to the Telegraph.

But it is the Director of Public Prosecutions who will decide whether there is a 'reasonable' chance of conviction and if it is 'in the public interest' to bring prosecutions. Hmmm? No decision is expected until the New Year.

Even if the MPs and peers are charged, it is unlikely any trial would start until well after the general election.

Meanwhile MPs Shahid Malik and Tony McNulty will face no further action over their dodgy expenses claims, according to the Telegraph. Police have ruled out criminal investigations into the second homes 'flipping' scam or capital gains tax avoidance fiddle.

The parliamentarians could face jail terms of up to ten years if found guilty of fiddling their expenses. Politicians found guilty of fraud or false accounting face maximum penalties of 10 or seven years in prison respectively. All the MPs and peers deny criminal wrongdoing.

Top picture: Clockwise from top left: Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine. (Telegraph)


Rogue Poll Sends Parties In A Tizz

A rogue poll has sent political parties in a tizz offering a meagre crumb of comfort for a fag-end government and its lamentable leader. Election weary voters were given only a short respite from hard core politicking. Now it's all hands to the pumps of a sinking ship.

A sure sign of political unrest and uncertainty comes when a single poll out of kilter with other polls is seized on to make political capital.

The 'surprise' Ipsos/Mori poll in yesterday's Observer should be taken with a pinch of salt.

As Anthony Wells over at UK Polling Report points out: "the big difference between MORI and other pollsters is that MORI do not politically weight their sample."

It's all down to the sampling and the political weightings, as Wells makes clear:

"Part of the reason for the shift in MORI’s voting intentions since last month is that their sample appears to have had significantly fewer people who voted Tory in 2005 and significantly more people who voted Labour in 2005."

Push polls, used extensively during the US presidential campaign, are common place in the run up to elections.

Taken on dubious face value, the poll cuts the Tory lead over New Labour to a narrow six points with the Tories on 37 per cent, Labour on 31 per cent and the Lib Dems down in the dumps on 17. A far cry from, er, the last major poll a couple of weeks ago.

But that didn't stop everyone and their political dog putting on their best Sunday spin, with the Observer proclaiming: "Poll boost for PM as confidence in economy grows". Yeh, sure.

The LibDem loving Observer even put a smile on the face of glum Clegg, jumping on his dream of a 'hung' parliament: "Chance of hung parliament as Conservative lead falls to 6%". LimpDems hanging on the coat tails of a hung parliament. Every wet liberals dream.

Tories have a fight on their hands to form a workable government. But that was always the case with an electoral system rigged in New Labour's favour. Even with a consistent double digit poll lead, Tories are not home and dry.

Cameron has managed to position the Tories as a 'government in waiting'. Boy George has done well to turn into Honest Osborne. But the sales pitch to voters is still 'David Cameron's Conservatives'.

The spectre of Cameron as a hyped up heir to Blair still haunts, is difficult to shake off and for many a turn off, despite the Sun banging the drum for Dave.

Dave's dithering EU referendum shuffle was a watershed. For the first time it seemed Cameron was heading for a Bernie Ecclestone moment even before he was in Downing Street.

Any politician who has to fall back on the lame of excuse of being 'a pretty straight kind of guy' to deflect deflated trust, faces an uphill task to win hearts and minds in the battle to contact and convince voters.

As the election approaches, the Orange Party believes the polls will have less to do with a 'hardening' of New Labour support, more to do with a 'softening' of Tory support.

Would-be Tories voters could well turn to UKIP if they were not such a joke and embarrassment. Hanging over New Labour is the traditional 'Liberal' enemy. Hanging over both main parties is the dark shadow of the BNP.

Buried in the Observer poll report was a salient sliver of truth which should send a shiver down the spine of the struggling Supreme Leader. A question over the party leaders which never saw the light of day in all the poll spin.

Brown is still down. Cameron is still on his uppers.

"Brown's personal rating remains in the doldrums. Only 34% of people are satisfied with his performance, against 59% who are dissatisfied. David Cameron had approval ratings of 48%, with 35% against."

What is clear is that the election grid is now fixed whoever carries the burnt out baton in the dying days of the doomed New Labour project.

Sealed with the sham of a Queen's Speech. Sealed with a deliberate campaign to increase the scandal of postal votes. Sealed with the outrage of pulling a squalid rabbit out of the hat close to election day.

Soon the recession depression will be officially over. Brown's BBC cheerleaders can finally wheel out their unrealistic but reassuring 'Upturn' graph. Couple that with a promise to pull troops out of the Afghan killing fields - sometime. Things can only get better but who will clean up the mess?

For voters a stark choice still remains. Who do they trust to place a firm hand on the economic tiller? Who do they trust to get to grips with a decade of lies, deceit, failure and disaster?

And who do they trust when a rogue poll is placed in a New Labour supporting newspaper on a wet Sunday to give Beleaguered Brown a much needed bounce?

UPDATE 7pm: A new Angus Reid Strategies poll for politicalbetting paints a very different picture. Conservatives 39%, Labour 22%, LibDems 21%.