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Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Stitch Up

An investigative journalist with a reputation for uncovering and disseminating the truths and deceits that lie behind western governance has had the good fortune to be handed, what can only be described as a scoop. As any good journalist would he has put it into the public arena, in this case with the collusion of the Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times. While it is questionable whether or not his source Mr. Manning has committed a crime it is fairly clear that he has not.

 Had these revelations been about the inner workings of the new coalition and had been leaked to the opposition, they would, as all political parties do, have pounced on them with glee? There are undoubtedly quite legitimate questions as to where the line should be drawn in respect of national security but Mr. Julian Assange, be he the hero or the villain of this piece is being made to pay a heavy price for thinking that Western countries really mean it when they claim that they are committed to press freedom.

 All he has done is publish information that the United States of America does not like. Yet we are constantly led to believe that the US is the embodiment of all the fundamental human rights in the UN Charter, including freedom of the press.

 Any reasonable person must think that the coincidence of the rape charges and the leaks is suspicious; entrapment is used by many governments to control or smear those they don’t like or want to discredit. Both of the women who Assange is alleged to have raped, publically rejoiced in their relationships with him after the alleged rapes occurred but have subsequently tried to remove those statements from the internet, why?

 Both encounters began with their consent and both women claimed that only included the use of condoms because they were worried about the possibility of sexually transmitted disease. Therefore, if they have not been infected and I am sure they will have checked, then they do not have much of a case to bring. Although a high enough financial inducement might persuade them that a small dose of the clap could be a good investment.

 It might also occur to some that there is a high probability that intelligence officers (Swedish perhaps, in conjunction with the CIA) might have identified and perhaps approached these women after their encounters and before they made the complaints against Assange.

 That the US could do all this is underlined by statements made by some of their leading political figures, Sarah Palin, has called for Mr. Assange to “be hunted down like al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders”. US Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has called for him to be arrested for treason. Bill O'Reilly, a US political commentator has called for him to be executed. When last week, Mr. Assange was arrested in London to face extradition charges, the US Secretary of Defence, Mr. Robert Gates, called it “good news”.

 None of us are likely to be much concerned by anything Sarah Palin says, because its for sure she wouldn’t be able to find Julian Assange if he were painted fluorescent pink and blown up to ten times his size, he’s outside Alaska, after all. Mr. Gates however, is another matter, as he is one of the US’s two top defence officials.

 What really concerns me however, is how blatantly obvious all of this is, anyone with an IQ above 26 can see what the US are doing and even while they themselves are clearly aware that this is the case they are not being deterred. Up until now most western democracies have, when acting underhandedly, made strenuous efforts to cover their tracks, that the US are not doing so now I find very frightening, its as if they know that the illusion of clean governance is shattered but also realise that it doesn’t matter because there is nothing any of us (except perhaps Julian Assange) can do about it.

 Just imagine if anything remotely similar had happened in Iran or China, or Zimbabwe: the US and Europe would have awarded the leaker the Nobel Prize. Just last week, the nations who are chasing Mr. Assange were awarding the Nobel Price to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has been imprisoned in China for inciting subversion. Only when it comes to nuclear weapons are double standards and hypocrisy as blatant as this.

 Every nation that subscribes to justice and open democracy will inevitably be judged on their own track record, the USA’s suffered quite a knock with Guantanamo Bay, but this has the potential to be very much worse.

 It seems very simple to me (although I have to admit that my IQ is only 38) either we support human rights or we don't; there is no middle way! Such double standards should not go un-challenged.

Godfrey Sayers 16/12/2010

Thursday, 9 December 2010

WikiLeaks Intimidation

Dear friends,

The chilling intimidation campaign against WikiLeaks (when they have broken no laws) is an attack on freedom of the press and democracy. We urgently need a massive public outcry to stop the crackdown -- let's get to 1 million voices and take out full page ads in US newspapers this week!

The massive campaign of intimidation against WikiLeaks is sending a chill through free press advocates everywhere.

Legal experts say WikiLeaks has likely broken no laws. Yet top US politicians have called it a terrorist group and commentators have urged assassination of its staff. The organization has come under massive government and corporate attack, but WikiLeaks is only publishing information provided by a whistleblower. And it has partnered with the world's leading newspapers (NYT, Guardian, Spiegel etc) to carefully vet the information it publishes.

The massive extra-judicial intimidation of WikiLeaks is an attack on democracy. We urgently need a public outcry for freedom of the press and expression. Sign the petition to stop the crackdown and forward this email to everyone -- let's get to 1 million voices and take out full page ads in US newspapers this week!

To access these URL s copy and paste into your browser.

WikiLeaks isn't acting alone -- it's partnered with the top newspapers in the world (New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, etc) to carefully review 250,000 US diplomatic cables and remove any information that it is irresponsible to publish. Only 800 cables have been published so far. Past WikiLeaks publications have exposed government-backed torture, the murder of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and corporate corruption.

The US government is currently pursuing all legal avenues to stop WikiLeaks from publishing more cables, but the laws of democracies protect freedom of the press. The US and other governments may not like the laws that protect our freedom of expression, but that's exactly why it's so important that we have them, and why only a democratic process can change them.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether WikiLeaks and the leading newspapers it's partnered with are releasing more information than the public should see. Whether the releases undermine diplomatic confidentiality and whether that's a good thing. Whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has the personal character of a hero or a villain. But none of this justifies a vicious campaign of intimidation to silence a legal media outlet by governments and corporations. Click below to join the call to stop the crackdown:

Ever wonder why the media so rarely gives the full story of what happens behind the scenes? This is why - because when they do, governments can be vicious in their response. And when that happens, it's up to the public to stand up for our democratic rights to a free press and freedom of expression. Never has there been a more vital time for us to do so.


Law experts say WikiLeaks in the clear (ABC)

WikiLeaks are a bunch of terrorists, says leading U.S. congressman (Mail Online)

Cyber guerrillas can help US (Financial Times)

Amazon drops WikiLeaks under political pressure (Yahoo)

"WikiLeaks avenged by hacktivists" (PC World):

US Gov shows true control over Internet with WikiLeaks containment (

US embassy cables culprit should be executed, says Mike Huckabee (The Guardian)

WikiLeaks ditched by MasterCard, Visa. Who's next? (The Christian Science Monitor)

Assange's Interpol Warrant Is for Having Sex Without a Condom (The Slatest)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


More on the Greenland Sharks Story.
      BBC Wildlife Magazine Article
     Mysterious seal deaths

There was a big reaction from BBC Wildlife readers following the publication of a story in the October issue on the mysterious, fatal ‘corkscrew’ injuries that have been inflicted on British seals in the past two years.

This was followed by the transmission of a programme on Channel 5 about grey seals off Sable Island (a 44km sandbar about 150km off the coast of mainland Novia Scotia) that were also dying from mysterious ‘corkscrew’ wounds.

The programme, eventually, fingered the Greenland shark, better known as a cold-water Arctic scavenger than a hot-blooded predator.

Were the two cases related? Could Greenland sharks be taking out British seals?

Well, a bit of digging has revealed some interesting facts. First of all, British scientists do not consider the Greenland shark to be a credible answer to the mystery of our seal deaths.

They are only largely found under the polar ice cap, so a migration to the North Sea would take one well out of its usual range.

Second, not everyone agrees that Greenland sharks are behind the Sable Island seal deaths. BBC Wildlife has contacted two scientists who appeared in the Channel 5 film and who are two of the world’s experts on Greenland sharks.

In brief, they don’t believe that Greenland sharks are found around Sable Island, and they don’t see why they should attack and mutilate the seals without then eating them.

But according to Zoe Lucas, a naturalist who lives on Sable Island and the person who has done more than anyone to investigate this issue, Greenland sharks are still top of her agenda, and she and other scientists working on the issue have eliminated ships’ propellers as a possible cause.

You would have thought that it would be easy to determine how such extraordinary wounds are inflicted, but it appears not. In the meantime, BBC Wildlife will keep you up-to-date with any developments.

2.  Zoe Lucas

Claims to be a biologist and went to Sable Island to study the horses that live there. In an interview on her work by CBC Television she was asked what she did for a living ( how she sustained herself in such a remote place) clearly she was not funded by a grant from any research establishment. Her reply was as follows.

‘I work as a biologist conducting research and monitoring programs. If by "living" you mean what do I do for income, I conduct environmental monitoring programs for the offshore energy industry’

The offshore industry in question is as follows.

Shell Canada Ltd.
Esso Imperial Oil.
Pengrowth Energy Trust.
Mosbacher Operating Ltd.

These companies form a consortium that operate several gas platforms just offshore from Sable Island ( I didn’t see them in the channel 5 Program did you?)  Here is an extract from their web site.

‘The Sable Project is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Nova Scotia. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. We’ve established an infrastructure that will be the basis of our production efforts for the future. Those efforts are changing the face of the Nova Scotia economy, and providing an alternative energy resource to consumers throughout the Maritimes and the Eastern United States.

‘The Sable Offshore Energy Project is divided into two 'tiers' of offshore development. The first tier was completed in December 1999 and involved the development of the The baud, North Triumph, and Venture fields, as well as the construction of three offshore platforms, an onshore gas plant and an onshore fractionation plant. Gas production commenced on December 31, 1999. Alma, the first Tier II platform came on stream in late 2003 while production from South Venture, the second field began late in 2004.’

3.  Finally an extract from this web site. 

 These scientists were involved in and clearly misrepresented by the Channel 5 program.

 The actual cause of the corkscrew wound is probably mechanical. If this is the case, the culprits are almost certainly dynamic positioning thrusters used by vessels associated with offshore drilling or construction. Such operations are present off all sites reporting corkscrew wounds. Seals are curious creatures often seen diving near shipwrecks and other man-made objects. The powerful suction effect produced by a thruster would easily overpower a seal that got too close. Unlike regular ship propellers that run continuously while a ship is at sea, thrusters operate on a need-only basis and thus turn on and off sporadically.

A curious seal inspecting the intake side of this odd tunnel-like object would have no chance if the power were suddenly turned on. Being sucked into the blades would either slice the hapless seal to death or produce the horrific wounds witnessed at Sable Island and in the UK. Some of the butchered seals may even survive and swim back to the beach to die.
The Greenland shark does leave a trademark wound on its victims but this most certainly isn't it. We therefore believe that corkscrew fatalities at Sable Island and in the UK are in fact unrelated to the Greenland shark.
Human activity is yet again the likely cause for these needless deaths. Who knows how many lifeless bodies didn’t actually make it to shore? Life is dangerous enough for seals without having to deal with giant underwater food processors. If I were a seal, I'd choose the shark. I would at least have a fighting chance to survive, and if I were defeated, my death would serve to sustain a fellow creature of the sea.

Godfrey Sayers  12/10/2010

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Seal Deaths Explained

After watching the recent Channel 5 program that looked at the seal deaths around Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, I thought  that I might respond with a blog.  Then because the program’s conclusions were so obviously predetermined and the evidence for the case they were trying to make so flimsy and circumstantial, I decided not to bother.

However, since then a number of people have contacted me who actually seem to have been convinced by it and believe that the seal deaths and mutilations, both there and here on the North Norfolk coast could be caused by Greenland sharks- not North Sea sharks-Greenland sharks. This along with the story appearing on the BBC's Look East News this evening have changed my mind.
I do not think this shark explanation worthy of a lengthy debate, so a short analogy followed by a few facts that have to be reconciled if Greenland sharks are to be held responsible.

I must emphasise this analogy is purely hypothetical; I do not want to upset my farmer friends.

‘New and extremely large combine harvesters are now being used on the wide prairie fields of East Anglia, coincident with their arrival large numbers of mutilated hares start to be found in these same fields, all with very distinctive injuries. The makers of the combine harvesters deny that their machines are responsible, expert investigators think the mutilations may be caused by other machines, like tractors or farm workers bicycles, in fact anything but the newly arrived harvesters.

The injuries that are inflicted are identical with those found in the far north where arctic hares and polar bears coexist. The injuries to the hares there are thought to have been inflicted by Polar bears. Therefore, we can safely assume that the injuries being inflicted to the hares in East Anglia’s fields are also attributable to polar bears’. 

This is only slightly more ridiculous than the idea that Greenland sharks are responsible for the recent seal deaths on the North Norfolk coast of England.

  Facts that need to be reconciled if the theory that Grenland sharks are responsible is to stand up.
The figures for seal mutilations along the coast of Sable Island over several years amounted to some 5000 in total, if the injuries there are identical to those found here and from what was shown on the program that certainly seemed to be the case, then apart from the spiral cut from nose to tail all the meat on the animals remained intact. Why would hungry sharks attack so many seals and then not consume them? 

The injuries on the North Norfolk coast began on a specific date and coincidentally and significantly ceased on another, the day the publicity surrounding the deaths broke. So, a large pod of frenzied Greenland sharks traveled hundreds of miles from their natural habitat to come on a killing spree, then despite having used up large amounts of energy getting here returned without seeking to replenish their reserves on the seal meat their killings had provided?

Greenland sharks like the Great White have never been reported in the southern North Sea, they are slow moving cold-water scavengers and opportunist feeders, the seal deaths around Sable Island are difficult to explain but Greenland sharks are probably the least likely culprits. The injuries there as here are clearly commensurate with some kind of large ducted propeller. The owners of vessels that have these things are usually large multi-national organisations that are too just big to be brought to book (BP excepted). So instead of a just and sensible result 'that just might' ensure that no more seals are killed in this terrible way we get a load of pseudo-scientific nonsense and more worryingly, a willingness by some to accept it. 

4. Those who believe in Global Warming (I suspect they are also likely to believe this fairy tale) will tell you that the North Sea is getting warmer, conditions hardly likely to induce a cold water species like the Greenland shark to venture south. 
What is needed here is a conclusive explanation and today it was given to me. 

While enjoying my morning swim in the sea today I was startled by an enormous submarine surfacing just offshore. A heavily braided officer appeared on deck and hailed me. I swam out to him and he asked me if any dead and mutilated seals had been washed up in the area. I confirmed that there had been. 

He then confessed that his submarine was fitted with a kort nozzle propulsion system, and that his vessel was undoubtedly responsible. He said he was terribly sorry about it but that he had now put grills over his drives and so could promise (unless he had to take them off again for some reason) that no more seals would be killed. 

As he left to go below, I called out ‘What is the name of your vessel’?
‘ Nautilus’ he called back, I’m Captain Nemo

If you believe this then you will probably also believe the North Sea to be infested with Greenland sharks.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Deadly Sea

Part 1
The North Sea off the north Norfolk coast has suddenly become a very dangerous place; if you are a fish or a sea mammal that is. Over the last few months up to 40 dead and mutilated seals have been washed ashore here, almost all of them on Blakeney Point. Nation Trust wardens have been patrolling every day to collect the carcasses (14 in one 12 day) period. While around 40 have been washed ashore many more are likely to have been swept away to sea where they would have been eaten by birds and fish and crabs. All are mutilated and the injuries are identical in all cases; with a spiral cut from nose to tail, whatever killed the first one killed all the others. The injuries look consistent with something like an Archimedes Screw. While the cause remains a mystery what is certain is that these deaths are not from any natural causes, it has to be a machine of some kind that is doing it.

These fatalities are roughly coincident with the arrival of MV Svanen a 9000 ton self propelled and self maneuvering heavy-duty floating crane which is there to lift and position the monopiles for the 88 turbines being erected for the Sheringham Shoal windfarm. With no other obvious explanation for these deaths all local eyes are now on the vessels and machinery being used.

Norfolk Police are investigating and also the SMRU (Sea Mammal Research Unit) are now involved. The police investigations are ongoing but from their first inspection on site nothing out there seemed to account for the deaths and injuries. However, any inspection carried on the surface must have very limited value. To really get to understand what is going on an organisation with an underwater capability and with engineers that have the knowledge to understand how these injuries might have been inflicted need to be looking at this. Tests need to be carried out, like for example radio tagging  dead seals and taking them to the area where the work is being carried out and over a period of several days being put in and left to drift, where they go and where they wash up would be very significant. If they turn up in the same place as the others then the Svenan or its associated vessels are more likely to be involved, if that does not happen the area of investigation will have to widen. Perhaps to take onboard information from other sites in UK waters (off Scotland & N Ireland) where the similar injuries are occurring.

Before such a massive project like Sheringham Shoal Windfarm could be built you would expect there to have been the most rigorous democratic debate, not just because it has great significance in visual terms-just offshore from an AONB- but because of its likely environmental impacts. The potential for these was looked at most closely for the Scroby Sands wind farm off Yarmouth, with serious thought given to how it might affect marine mammals and birds; the big surprise to everyone when construction began was that the huge pressure impacts from the piling operations ( exceded only by depth charges and large under sea explosions) killed large numbers of fish, any fish in the vicinity of these things that has a swim bladder dies. I think we can all guess what would be attracted to a banquet of dead fish floating around.

This level of environmental damage has apparently been considered acceptable for wind farm construction, but does not sit well with the fact that most fish in the north sea are considered endangered and fishermen who catch just a few boxes more than their quota can be fined thousands of pounds.

The crux of this problem is that Scira, the company constructing Sheringham Shoal, should have been monitoring any impacts the construction is having on wildlife and the environment. A project of this size, the construction of 88 turbines, requires the strictest monitoring of its impacts. This extract from their newsletter suggests that Scira were ‘planning’ do some monitoring.

It says this was to be carried out by observers, using special monitoring equipment. Surely if they have been doing this to the rigorous standards that protected species like seals and porpoises warrant they will know with some certainty that they are not responsible and could demonstrate that fact with data they have collected.  This of course they may yet do.

However, I have tried without success to get this information from Scira. This is one email reply I had from them, the last words are quite telling.

Dear Godfrey,

I have received the following information today, that Scira operates according to the requirements of FEPA licenses as granted by the Marine Management Organisation. This involves marine mammal and bird monitoring amongst other things.

They understand why you are asking and would like to remind you that while this is under investigation by the police, that further questions go through them.

Scira has provided all relevant information to the police and cooperated fully with investigations even though they are not under any suspicion for the mutilation of the seals.

It is fully understood by Scira, the seriousness of this issue and why the police are doing their best to get to the bottom of this without public hindrance.



If you have been moved by this article and would like to do more, you can. Forward this URL to any friends you have who might share your concern, because in the end it may well be the weight of public opinion that determines the outcome of this terrible situation.

Update  24/08/2010.  Followed by Update 30/08/2010.
Since this unfortunate business began I have been offered a number of theories as to why the seals are being injured in this way, some of them probably not too far off the truth, much of it ill thought out nonsense.  For example it seems absurd to suggest that grey seal bulls are responsible; after many years of peaceful co-existence why should grey seal bulls have suddenly and inexplicably gone on a killing spree causing identical injuries in every case? That’s about as likely as whistling is to bring up a wind.
Other theories are scuppered by timing. The theory that fishing boats somehow spin them through between twin outboards or the theory that ships with ducted propellers are responsible are implausible: because they cannot be reconciled with two facts: that the injuries have been concentrated in the last few months; and the fact that if they were caused by random shipping accidents the carcasses would have been washed up randomly all along the coast.
The injuries are of two specific types. The first and earliest occurred around Christmas 2009 and are of the type shown at the top of this blog.  The remainder–on seals that have washed ashore since April-are like that shown above this update. This suggests two sources.
The first set of injuries could be linked to a large vessel associated with the wind farm, which I understand was operating off the coast during that period (until the Svenan arrived).  The second group of injuries do suggest a ducted propeller, but as Wells Harbour Commissioners have said, these devices have been around for a long time; why would they suddenly start killing seals in just one area now? These involve a spiral cut from nose to tail always beginning at the head, if ducted propellers were to blame the seals would be caught up as they swam and enter head first, tail first, or even sideways; their approaches to the blades would be random.
All the seals examined in the second group had entered whatever device killed them headfirst. Why?  There must be an explanation for the initial orientation of the seals before their mutilation.  What could possibly line them up?  I offer my own theory.  As piling operations begin any fish that are stunned or killed by the enormous impacts will drift down tide, seals attracted to them would then swim up into the tide to pick them up, which would orientate all of them in the same direction, toward the source of the fish and possibly toward the instrument that will kill them, sucking them in as they approach head first.
The smaller numbers of seals that have washed up around St Andrew’s Bay confuse the issue and throw a life line to the wind farm companies and those who seeking to protect their operations.  There are clear differences between the injuries that have occurred there and those that occurred here.
Everything I have heard and read recently tends to suggest that a cover up may be beginning, I have been led to believe for example that the tidal stream and wind effect investigations  showed that the wind farms could not be responsible for these seal deaths.  The studies are not yet complete however, and I know from well over fifty years experiance on and in the North Sea that the place where they are being washed ashore is entirely consistent with them being killed north east of Blakeney Harbour. I would rather trust my own judgement in respect of the North Sea than that of a landbased expert.
Since this blog was first posted no more seals have been washed up.  Before that they were coming ashore regularly.  Is this another coincidence?  The Svenan and all the other equipment working out there should have been thoroughly examined under the waterline during the very first inspection, not by the police who have neither the resources nor expertise to carry out such work, but by an organisation that was fully qualified to undertake it.  This did not and as far as I know has not happened.  The Svenan left the area for Yarmouth shortly after this hit the press and has just returned. I fear that now the injuries have ceased it may be too late to ever really know what caused them.

Update 30/08/2010
 On Friday our local BBC TV News carried the latest item on the seal deaths, in an interview with Dr Dave Thompson who is leading the investigation for the SMRU, it emerged that they now know with some certainty that the seals are being killed by a ducted propeller, and to use his words ‘are being drawn in head first as they search for food’ they are now looking for the boat responsible.
My guess from the use of the words ‘searching’ and ‘ boat’ is that they are trying to pin it on a fishing boat.  What I expect they will say is that as trawlers or other fishing vessels bring in their nets, fish spill out and then the seals that are attracted to them get sucked into their ducted propellers.
I have checked with the local fishermen’s association and have been assured that no trawlers (the main users of ducted propellers) fish this area in summer. There is apparently one exception and that is working for a wind farm. In any case as I have said trawlers and other fishing vessels have been operating here for many years. Why have we only had these seal deaths here over the last four-month period?
The explanation SMRU eventually come up with will have to fit all the facts, if their explanation puts the blame on fishing boats or other vessels it will fail to do that and therefore potentially fail to stand up to rigorous public scrutiny; but how rigorous will the scrutiny be? I doubt very much that the BBC or EDP with their pro-wind farms stance will ask any of these difficult questions.

Update 19/08/2010
Since this last blog was posted the situation has come under close investigation by a number of agencies, the aforementioned police and Sea Mammal Research Unit have been joined by the RSPCA and MMO (Marine Management Agency) who have overall responsibility for monitoring conditions and for conducting this investigation.

The corkscrew injuries inflicted on the seals are consistent with a particular type of propulsion/manoeuvring system know as a Kort Nozzle. The only place in the near North Sea where such devices are employed is Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm. This coincidence means that Scira, the company doing the work, should not be surprised if people like me who know little of their modus operandi are suspicious.

What this coincidence demands is a thorough investigation of the equipment and operating procedures being used to construct this wind farm. If such an investigation ultimately proves beyond question that they are not responsible then the investigation can look to the wider area for an explanation.

The important question that has to be asked now is what would happen if any of the vessels involved in the construction of Sheringham Shoal wind farm are found to have been responsible for the deaths of the seals, because this is a massive operation that almost certainly would/could not be stopped at this stage.

If it were me out there doing something to endanger/ kill protected species I would be prosecuted under the relevant wildlife legislation, and be fined or possibly sent to prison. However, it is not me out there, it is a massive group of international companies with enormous resources who are seen by many, including some in the prosecuting authority, to be saving the planet.

What usually happens in this country in this kind of situation is that there would be a pragmatic decision to balance off these deaths against the greater good (as with the fish) that wind farms are supposed to represent. This of course is not a decision that would sit well with most of the public, so the temptation for those in authority to blur the outcome is very real.

I can see the press release now.

'After a thorough and exhaustive investigation by MMO, the Sea Mammal Research Unit and the Police, no evidence to implicate wind farm construction in the recent deaths of seals on the Norfolk coast has been found. The cause of these deaths remains inexplicable.'

This is too important to remain unresolved, the cause, whatever it is, must be found. If you belong to a wildlife organsisation please do whatever you can to persuade them to put pressure on the investigating teams to come up with a definitive answer to this mystery.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


It seems that in this country today the police must never be seen to be in the wrong. I believe the trust that we the public have in our Police Force is being irreparably damaged by the apparent shift in the relationship between the police and the law. The police are always very quick, sometimes as in the case of the MP Damian Green too quick, to demonstrate that nobody, not even politicians are above the law, while on a fairly regular basis now we are being shown that they clearly are.

I am not trying to imply that the Police are more ‘Gung Ho’ or more violent towards the general public than in the past and they do often find themselves in very stressful situations but when incidents of conflict between the police and members of the public do occur there seems to be a definate trend toward more brazen acquittals, which can serve no purpose other than to embolden those in the ‘force’ who have a tendency toward violence to use it more often.

The first of two cases that particularly concern me is of a very drunk and no doubt troublesome reveller with a very bloodied face, handcuffed by the police and being pinned down over the bonnet of a police car having CS gas sprayed into his face at just a few inches distance, this was a clear breach of the guidelines on the use of this deterrent, which even in exceptional circumstances (which this clearly wasn’t) should not be used closer than a meter. This video shows what happened, you don't have to watch all of it.

Despite there being a clear breach of the guidelines and a lengthy enquiry we were told there was no case for anyone to answer, so just like the three enquiries into the CRU leaked emails the purpose seems to have been to whitewash.

Next the more publicised case of Ian Tomlinson.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced that no charges are to be brought against PC Simon Harwood in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson.

Video available here, if you have not seen it already then you should watch it.

It shows a man walking along with his hands in his pockets being hit first with a baton, then violently pushed to the ground, having his hands in his pockets he could do little to break his fall. After being helped up he walked on for another 100 yards or so then died.

Ian Tomlinson was examined by three pathologists, The first  Dr Patel (who is at present suspended over claims of incompetence) was not given any details relating to the circumstances surrounding Ian Tomlinson's death and concluded that he died from a heart attack. Two further examinations were carried out by seperate pathologists who both concluded that he died from internal bleeding as result of blunt force injuries consistant with his being violently knocked down.

Justice is a process, not an outcome and the decision should not have been decided on conflicting medical evidence alone, there should have been a jury and their judgement should have been based on an assessment of all the evidence, not just the medical opinions.

If a person dies, even from a heart attack just minutes after being assaulted, there should be a case to answer, the IPCC apparently thought so why not the CPS? Just a very quick bit of research on the net shows me this--- Under section 3 of the Public Order Act a person is guilty of affray if he/she uses or threatens unlawful violence against another. That alone would send PC Harwood to prison for at least 3 years.

Or conversely he could have been tried for ‘Misfeasance’, which is an action against the holder of a public office, alleging in essence that the office-holder has misused or abused his power. The video evidence alone shows that there is not much doubt about that.

More recently Ekram Haque a 65-year-old grandfather (in admittedly different circumstances) was knocked down in an almost identical fashion by a pair of intellectually challenged ‘happy slappers’, they received -a much less than they deserved -8 years in jail between them. It might have been said at their trial that they had a record of violence. However, a close inspection of PC Harwood’s record would have shown that he too had been investigated inconclusively by Surrey Police on allegations of excessive force used on another occasion.

Ekram died a week after being knocked to the ground, Ian Tomlinson died just a few minutes after he was knocked down. Yet it has taken 15 months of procrastination, for the Crown Prosecution Service to come out and say that no charges will be brought. They refused to have the case put before a jury and the delays that they have deliberately created now ensure that charges of 'Common Assault’ cannot be brought because the six-month time limit has expired. How very convenient.

In an open and democratic society it must be more important to prosecute police who have broken the law than it is to prosecute anybody else, otherwise any trust the public might have in the police force is destroyed.

Monday, 12 July 2010

What Value the Nobel Prize?

Irena Sendler

I suppose that once upon a time the British Honours system did actually honour those whose lives and works distinguished them from the background noise. Today they are diminished because the modern trend to equalise everyone has meant that a fair proportion of those honoured are just ordinary people who have been selected because they have washed floors, delivered newspapers or seen children across the road for an exceptional period of time. Deeds of dedication certainly, but hardly enough to lift them that far above the rest of us, however their selection along with that of pop stars and other inconsequential celebrities has devalued the system.

The change is not confined to the British Honours, in the last decade or so it has also applied to the Nobel Prize which now seems to have become a mirror of popular opinion rather than a reflection of outstanding achievement. Awarded recently to President Obama, with no obvious reason it was said that it was for what he might achieve than for what he actually had. The following short story illustrates a much worse example.

During WWII, Irena Sendler contrived to get permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Nurse. 
 She had a reason; she knew what the Nazi's were doing to the Jews. In 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that came to be known as the Warsaw Ghetto. It was sealed off and Jewish families ended up behind its walls, most of them to await certain death. Irena Sendler was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement. As one of its first recruits she directed its efforts to rescue Jewish children from that terrible place.

Able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass and visited daily, she took in food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying each month from starvation and disease, and she decided to do her best to get as many of the children out as possible. For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a distressing task. Finding families on the outside willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.

Irena Sendler, who wore a star armband as a sign of her solidarity to Jews, began smuggling children out in an ambulance. She recruited at least one person from each of the ten centres of the Social Welfare Department. With their help, she issued hundreds of false documents with forged signatures. Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.

Children were taken out in sacks or body bags ,others were buried inside loads of goods. One baby was smuggled out in a toolbox. Some were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, and some entered a church in the Ghetto, which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians.

But the Nazis became aware of Irena's activities, and on October 20, 1943 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet and legs. She ended up in the Pawiak Prison, but they failed to break her spirit. She was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture, that crippled her for life, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding. Sentenced to death, Irena was saved at the last minute when Zegota members bribed one of the Gestapo agents to halt the execution. She escaped from prison but for the rest of the war the Nazis pursued her.

She carefully noted, in coded form, the children’s original names and their new identities. She kept the only record of their true identities in jars buried beneath an apple tree in a neighbour's back yard, hoping she could someday dig up the jars, locate the children and inform them of their past.

In all, the jars contained the names of 2,500 children...

After the war she dug up the jars and used the notes to track down the children she had saved to reunite them with relatives scattered across Europe, although most lost their families during the Holocaust in Nazi death camps.

In 2007 Irena Sendler was nominated for the Noble Prize, she didn’t get it, it was awarded instead to the charlatans at the IPCC and one of the biggest con artists and bandwagon jumpers in the world, Al Gore.

Irena Sendler passed away on Monday May 12th, 2008.

Sometimes I get so angry I think my head will burst!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Just Us

To discover that we are not alone in the universe, that there actually are extraterrestrial intelligences out there would fundamentally alter how the human race sees itself,  but the much more unlikely event of realising that we are totally alone in the universe would I think have far more more profound implications for our philosophy and our civilisation.

An irrational belief in visits by alien space craft and alien abductions along with a constant stream of films and books involving extraterrestrials suggests that most people want to believe and even find some comfort in the idea of there being other intelligent life in the universe, even if it is green and hostile. My guess is that any survey that looked at this would show that most people believe intelligent life to be a part of the universe.

The starting point for almost any discussion about extraterrestrial intelligence starts with this statement. ‘There are billions of stars in our galaxy and there are countless billions of galaxies, there must be millions of stars with planetary systems that have Earth like planets in them. Therefore, we cannot be alone’. But this argument does not really hold up, the conditions and sequences of events for a world like ours to exist are multiple and complex, a fruit machine with a hundred reels would have to come up with all cherries several times in succession to create it. Ice formation in our atmosphere is infinitely less complex than planetary formation and produces trillions of snowflakes in a blizzard, yet no two are alike.

The universe is thought to have existed for approx 15 billion years. It took the first few billion to create the material i.e. heavy elements, for solar systems like ours to form, but that still leaves many billions of years for intelligent life to have evolved. Accepting that the window an evolving civilisation might have for transmitting radio waves that could reach us is small, (we ourselves are already transmitting much less than 50 years ago (cable /internet /satellites directing their transmissions back at the Earth) one would still expect us to have picked up something, CETI has been operating for 50 years and so far has picked up sweet FA. This alone makes the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence slim.

The astronauts who went to the moon were all effected by the overwhelming realisation that the tiny blue globe hanging in the vast emptiness that surrounded them was tiny, fragile, and very alone. We should have no need of evangelical politico/ science to make us care for the future. All we need is to see ourselves and the wonder of life around us as a miracle and place a value on it commensurate with that. A more real sense of the immensity of the universe and an understanding of just how miraculous life is might help us to put a proper value on it. Realising that it may be the only life there is might make us treasure it.

And just to humour me, imagine you have watched the news and there was a report that in conjunction with all the worlds largest radio telescope arrays and the most powerful computer ever built, SETI had analyzed the spectra of every star in the galaxy to identify chemical signatures that would indicate there were civilizations on planets going round them, but had found nothing.
Think about how you would feel.

Monday, 5 April 2010

You Can Fool Some of the People

As there are only ever a few acres of intellectual high ground it would seem to follow that the more people that believe something the less likely it is to be true. I have therefore, never believed anything anyone told me, particularly if it was important and might affect me. So I am very heartened to learn that ‘Nullius in Verba’, the motto of the prestigious ‘Royal Society’, is usually translated as ‘on the word of no one’. A statement that underlines the independent authority that empirical evidence bestows on science; knowledge about the material world should be based on experimental evidence rather than preconceived ideas, or what the political establishment or majority believe.

Man made climate change has become a political and social crusade that is setting out a framework for how we should be governed and how we should live, this is important stuff and for many it has become a surrogate religion and a spiritual quest. For them it offers liberation from first world guilt, a position of moral superiority and the illusion that they understand some science. What it also and much more dangerously offers is a rationale for government to radically increase its supervision of our lives and our choices. This is not new, governments have always striven to do this but the uniform of AGW so readily and comfortably fits the credulous that harnessed to the power of 21st century media it is fast becoming the most powerful and controlling doctrine in history.

A cynical but powerful minority have realised that it does not actually matter if the theory is correct, all you have to do is put a distorting mirror up to ‘natural climate change’ make it look un-stoppable, blame us for it and you’ve got the net and the trident. It has everything, hooks that dramatic (but quite normal) weather events can be hung on, new pictures every summer of glaciers and the arctic ice melting, causal links to almost every human activity, (particularly if they are fun) and is an imminent and looming threat to the entire future of mankind.

Abraham Lincoln said "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. This of course is not quite true because you can never fool ‘all’ the people, and in any case in a democracy you don’t have to, all you need to do is ‘fool some of the people some of the time’ just enough to get you a majority when you need it. It would seem that at the moment the warmists have it all their own way, but it might not always be so.

So far they do not control the Internet, so for the time being at least there is a place where you, I, anyone, can speak out and look for the truth. It only takes the slightest tremor to start an avalanche and if we keep having these snowy winters who knows how or who will start it.

Anyone who believes in AGW without taking a serious look at the evidence cannot convincingly argue that they have not been brainwashed. Can you?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Why I do This.

An item that appeared in a number of National newspapers this week and is now all over the Internet claims that ‘Global Warming’ has solved a territorial dispute between India and Bangladesh.

Example. 'An ongoing territorial dispute between India and Bangladesh has been resolved, South Talpatti Island (a/k/a New Moore Island) a ‘rock’ island in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared under the waves as sea levels rise due to Global Warming'.

On the face of it his would seem to be pretty conclusive proof that indeed sea levels are rising and Global Warming may be true after all.

However, after a little research what did I find? Well the key word in this particular bit of disinformation is ‘rock ‘. Because ‘Moore Island’ and a number of other islands in that part of the Bay of Bengal are actually sand banks that were thrown up during a particularly severe cyclone forty years ago. High enough to support some vegetation and big enough in area to be of limited use, both governments laid claim to them, but of course being made of sand they are -not unlike the Global Warming theory itself- gradually being eroded away over time

Friday, 12 March 2010

Only the Money is Certain

The evidence for man’s involvement in changing climate is,and always has been very uncertain, very little science is simple and our planet’s climate is perhaps the most complex and chaotic system that scientists have to investigate, our understanding of it is commensurate with that complexity. In such a situation science cannot provide the firm evidence, based on well-founded theories and experiments that are needed for reliable predictions. The best that is available at present are mathematical models and computer simulations which make unverifiable predictions that are totally dependant on the validity and ‘objectivity’ of the data fed in.
Herein lies the problem, which is three fold. First there is the high, and at the moment irresolvable degree of uncertainty in respect of the science, second the dire consequences should the models be right and third the equally serious costs that will arise from the actions being proposed to mitigate the predictions whether they are right or wrong.

How might this dilemma be resolved rationally?

The uncertain science?
Well that’s easy, get rid of the IPCC and its 2498 non-climate scientists and vested interest politicians and set up a new scientific body comprised entirely of climate scientists (in all their forms) including all of those presently excluded from the IPCC. Then keep the media and politicians away and let them get on with it.

The serious consequences should the models be correct?
The seriousness of planetary warming and possible sea level rise is only serious if looked at negatively (default mode for 21st century media). Certainly some very low-lying areas could disappear under the sea if not protected but that was true of Holland many years ago but it didn’t happen. New areas of temperate land would become available for habitation and agriculture, Greenland could become green again, the Northwest Passage could open, climate shift could re-green the Sahara (bigger than the USA) and a warmer earth would support more plant life to take advantage of the extra CO2. The benefits of a warming planet would probably outweigh the disadvantages, especially if it postpones the end of the present inter-glacial period.

The cost of the solution?
The scale of the proposed geoengineering ideas to tackle climate change are beyond anything even a flourishing economy could afford, let alone one as bankrupt as ours. The only hope for the future of a warming planet and the economies of the western world would be to junk them, we cannot possibly reduce our carbon emissions enough to make a difference no matter what we do, its completely crazy. The costs will cripple us, deprive the third world of a future and have little or no effect other than to create the perfect scenario for the economic domination of China and India. Because they have no intention of risking their economies in this futile quest.

If man made climate warming becomes a fact in the years ahead the only realistic option would be to prepare for it, more nuclear power, better flood protection, better water management and pragmatic options to move populations that cannot be defended. These are not insurmountable challenges, trying to alter the climate is.

Why then are these obvious, common sense alternatives not being considered, we know that scientists and politicians seldom have much common sense but that is not the reason. The reason is.
Science funding amounting to billions world wide is riding this wave, and is the only explanation we need to understand the momentum it has gained. Carbon trading worldwide reached £80 billion in 2008. There are predictions that the carbon market will reach $2 - $10 trillion in the near future. Hot air will soon be the largest single commodity traded on global exchanges.
Businesses large and small are reaping huge profits from this new and apparently limitless cash cow. This statement from the ‘United States Climate Action Partnership’ shows how cynically intertwined climate and business have now become.

‘United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) is a group of businesses and leading environmental organisations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. USCAP has issued a landmark set of principles and recommendations to underscore the urgent need for a policy framework on climate change.’

Yes of course they have, they cannot wait to get their hands on the loot!

These kinds of businesses also benefit from “Green Funds’ and government subsidies which we pay for, if you have not already noticed an increase in your electricity bills you soon will. Here in the UK alone there are uncounted billions pouring into windfarm development, even here in north Norfolk there are now many who are getting rich on the back of it. The politicians and business people involved in this are the most powerful people on earth, what chance can there be that they will let go of this seemingly endless money stream. They control the media and as things stand they have some justification as for thinking that they control us. It is up to all of us to demonstrate that this is not true.

Anyone who believes in AGW without having taken a serious look at the evidence cannot convincingly argue that they have not been brainwashed. Can you?