Saturday, 17 December 2011

Stalkers and Malware

Many "phishing" and other scam e-mails are sent from hijacked e-mail accounts, using lists of e-mail addresses found on computers by infecting malware. Usually, these are friends and contacts of the account holder, so they may be people who'd be sympathetic if he got into difficulties and needed money.

But what happens if such malware infects a computer owned by a stalker?

Well, the malware searches for lists of e-mails and personal details, and sends scam e-mails to them, and passes any other contact details to cold-calling scammer's call centres, as usual. Except these are not the computer-owner's friends and contacts: they are the people he's been stalking and obssessively gathering information on: see below for an example.

-- On Sat, 17/12/11, PHILIP BEAVEN <> wrote:

Subject: My Sad Trip...Philip Beaven
Date: Saturday, 17 December, 2011, 9:34

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about my trip, because it was impromptu. I had to be in Madrid Spain for a program. The program was successful, but my journey has turned sour. I misplaced my wallet on my way back to my hotel after I went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables I had. Now, my passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when I make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of 2,605 Eur from you. this will enable me sort my hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much.


Normally, one is sympathetic to someone whose computer is hijacked in this way and in whose name, friends and family get reams of malicious spam.

But in this case, Mr Beaven seems to have been hoarding details of people who were not friends, family or contacts: they are people he hounds.
Including the unfortunate stained glass artist from Ipswich who Mr Beaven tried to out, falsely, as "Medawar".
The e-mail lacks the profanity and hate-filled abuse that Medawar normally expects from Mr Beaven, which is partly how it was spotted as a scam.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Stalkers and Snake Oil

Rhys Morgan, a young man with a serious illness who decided to expose some of the cranks and con-artists peddling harmful alternative "cures" for his condition, is beginning to experience the early stages of an organised stalking campaign.

This may get worse, but he may also find that many of the threats are empty ones. If someone is really going to sue, they get a properly registered solicitor to send a letter. Threatening e-mails have no legal force whatever, and the person sending them is almost certainly breaking the law and/or professional codes of conduct.

The way to tackle this kind of thing, is to keep striking at the head of the snake (or the snake-oil salesman) and not to allow skanks hired by the snake oil salesman to divert attention from the con.

The people doing this are in the United States, they are almost certainly breaking Federal Laws and are exposing themselves to massive civil liabilities from people they have sold harmful substances to on the basis of false promises. They have a great deal more to lose from a court battle that Rhys Morgan has, so what they are doing is lay down a barrage of threats of legal action, as well as threats of a more direct nature (sending him Google Earth images of his home, for example) precisely in order to keep the matter out of court.

The stalker's next move will be to use a campaign of lies to induce individuals to initiate some kind of physical harassment against Rhys and his family. These lies may be completely unconnected to Rhys's campaign, and probably won't be based on even a grain of truth. At which point, he must contact the police, very firmly and preferably with a solicitor in tow, and make it plain that there is a criminal smear campaign against him, and that it is taking place in order to protect a large scale consumer fraud.

The ACPO advice, which leads many police forces into abject failure on stalking cases in particular, is effectively to blame the victim for provoking "anti-social behaviour" from conveniently unidentified local "kids". (The Data Protection act supposedly (but not actually) makes it illegal for the police to tell the victim who they think it might be!)

It is very important to squash this suggestion from the outset and every single time it is subsequently deployed, because a succession of police officers will be involved, and it only takes one of them to succeed in making this suggestion without challenge, for it to go on the file and become the official explanation for any crimes committed against Rhys and his family. The above advice may sound hostile to the police, but it's necessary to recognise that many of their guidelines are issued precisely in order to limit the number of cases they get involved with. They will help, providing that the victim can ensure the case is recorded and presented in a way that triggers investigation and solution, rather than pallative or evasive measures preferred by the more political levels of the criminal justice system.

If threatening e-mails originate from the USA, this is where to report them.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Meredith Kercher: Evading the Obvious Explanation

Now that there's nothing about the Meredith Kercher case which would be defined as sub judice under English Law (no-one facing an unresolved criminal charge) it may last be safe to point out a painfully obvious probability, and pose the one question which Italian Police and Prosecutors notably failed to ask:

In the two or three months before Miss Kercher was murdered in the cottage she shared with Miss Knox, did anyone in Northern Italy (not necessarily Perugia itself), systematically research the financial means of families of foreign students studying or due to study in Perugia? The Knox family in particular, but it wouldn't be confined to them, at least not in the early phases. Someone would have found out the names of foreign students, found out where they came from, then narrowed their sights a bit onto those who seemed to come from prosperous communities. These would have been researched a bit more deeply, until a shortlist was drawn up, of students with caring families who could afford a ransom, but could not afford (and would not know how to hire) a small army of ruthless mercenaries instead.

The Kerchers are from Surrey, which might excite interest, but there's a bit of a financial gulf between St George's Hill and Coulsden, and once the list-maker discovered the Kerchers came from the latter, Meredith might have been struck from the list.

Eventually, such lists have one name on it, and, with hindsight, Amanda Knox probably struck the ideal balance between wealth and vulnerability, so the name would have been hers. The name would be passed to someone more local, who'd played no part in researching the list, and who was definitively expendable -and they would have to be known to organized crime. The expendable local would have cased the joint, more competently or less, and when he observed a window of opportunity, he would have summoned a small group of specialists, whom he would have led to, and into, the property.

Both Meredith and Amanda have the same general description: English-speaking ,young, female, long brown hair. Miss Knox protests that until she was arrested, she'd never been in the same place as Rudy Guede before, and this would imply that Mr Guede would not have been a reliable authority on the crucial matter of which English-speaking young woman with long brown hair was which.

Fairly quickly, the specialists and their expendable local would have realized that something wasn't stacking up. Almost certainly, the specialists would have realized this long before the expendable local was prepared to admit it. Faced with a choice between total disaster and trying to get a ransom for a different young woman, they would have chosen the latter, and tried, in a few minutes, to establish equivalent information to everything which the researcher had supplied for Amanda after a month's work. That would account for the huge number of injuries on Meredith's body: sexual assault and torture at first, giving way to frustrated psychopathic rage when her answers, or the lack of them, signalled the end of their perceived opportunity for gain. This would have also served to impress Mr Guede with the urgent need not to implicate or identify the specialists in any way. Which he's managed not to do.

A bloody handprint links Mr Guede to the murder scene, but there are also fingerprints for several other persons, none of whom Italian Police have been able to (have tried to?) identify.
Tne unambiguous bloody hand-print emphasizes Mr Guede's expandability.

The above is not a flight of fancy, but a well-informed description of one of the most famous and lucrative industries of Northern Italy, one which every level of Italian officialdom, politics and the judiciary, has always preferred to pretend doesn't exist. Kidnap for ransom.

Amanda Knox is not lucky to get out of jail: she is lucky not have to have spent a few terrified weeks in a cellar or cave, having peripheral parts of herself sliced off and sent to her family through the post, before being found, almost certainly dead, in a car boot somewhere on payment of a ransom. Meredith Kercher was very unlucky, but also possibly, and we will never know for sure, brave enough not to cooperate with Amanda's would-be kidnappers.

A further observation might be that a young member of an important organized crime family, might have felt the need to pull off a major crime to prove his worth. If this was it, it couldn't have gone more wrong. As Medawar has observed elsewhere, "clogs to clogs in three generations" applies to organized crime families as well as industrialists.

The Appeal Court has published its reasoning over Miss Knox's acquittal.
There has been some deabte over whether Miss Knox might have been convicted on the evidence produced by the Italian prosecution, in a "UK" or US Court.

There is no such thing as a "UK Court"; an English Court is presumably what is meant, as the victim came from a long way South of Hadrian's Wall.

But the question really ought to be , what repercussions would there have been for the chief prosecutor and the detectives involved? Because they are the only ones who might be convicted of anything in an English Crown Court on the basis of the case they presented against Miss Knox and her boyfriend! What they did may be legal in Italy, but as the Appeal Court Judge has made very clear, it's definitely not acceptable in Italy and it's certainly not a way to solve a murder.

The case against Miss Knox and her boyfriend looks, for all the world, like an attempt to fill in the obvious two-person gap in the case against Rudy Guede, which is very incomplete despite, in some ways because of, his guilty plea. We'd be a lot nearer the truth if he'd fought the case and forced the prosecution to produce more of their evidence against him.

But that might have cast a spotlight on names and faces which the world still hasn't seen or heard about. Given a choice between that, and a sixteen year prison stretch, Mr Guede willingly takes the porridge. Which implies that the obvious two-person gap is in reality filled by much more frightening and resourceful personalities than those of Miss Knox and her boyfriend.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Forced Labour in Skane

This link is to an article reporting that human rights researchers in Sweden have found that at least seven Irish organized crime gangs are using forced labour on construction contracts in Sweden, with the slaves receiving little help or concern from Swedish authorities and, even more shamefully, no detectable concern from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office at all. It is apparently being left to the Serious and Organized Crime Agency and local (English) police forces to do all the work, and they obviously have no diplomatic power to pressure the Swedish government into living up to one of the most basic responsibilities of a government in the civilized world: to stop slavery happening and to punish the slavers.

Whilst the Daily Mail concentrates on those slaves who may be British subjects, it appears that practically all of them have been trafficked through the UK, which makes their welfare a British responsibility regardless of where the gangsters involved originally kidnapped them from. The current British Prime Minister is an appeaser at heart, and nothing would pain him more than to embarrass a fellow European politician on behalf of down and outs who don't own a single top-end Rangerover between them, but using the very considerable power of his office to protect the weak against the venal and ruthless is one of the duties that goes with all the power and privilege. The Swedish Prime Minister should not feel humiliated by being taken to task for this: the dishonour and humiliation lies in allowing it to happen, and that would appear to cover several successive British Home Secretaries from the early nineties to the present day, as well.

Stalkers in Central Texas

The unlovely pair on the left are stalkers, active in Fredericksburg. Readers with names, addresses and other useful details about them are welcome to post anonymous comments here. Medawar would also be interested to hear victims of this pair other than the lady who took this phonetrait. It would be interesting to know how far out of Fredericksburg their writ (if they are literate) runs. It would be helpful if anyone suggesting names states red or blue so we know which is which.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


The above "follower" has been blocked on suspicion of being some form of spam follower.
Unless Medawar receives an intelligent communication which convinces him that something other than spam was intended, that follower will remain blocked.

Fresh Slavery Arrests

Three more people have been arrested in connection with slavery adn servitude offences at Green Acre caravan park in South West Bedfordshire. See Link.
So far, everyone ever arrested in England under the "Slavery and Servitude" Section 71 of the Coroner's and Justice Act, has been a member of the same, Connors, family.

However, it is becoming apparent from the testimony of liberated slaves, that some of them were traded, and had originally been abducted by persons unconnected with the Connors family. It isn't clear how effectively the new laws deal with the trading of persons for forced labour. The basic techniques employed, seem remarkably consistent regardless of who the slave-holders and traders are, and this would seem to indicate that the practice has been going on for long enough for "best" practice to be established and disseminated, albeit within a narrow community.

Medawar hopes that the Proceeds of Crime Act will be applied in all of these cases, because Section 71 appears to set a maximum prison term of 14-15 years, and some of the slaves have been held for longer than that. If there cannot be complete justice, there must be reparation.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Cocaine, Cartels and Vermin

The people who committed this atrocity are apparently concerned that their good names will be sullied by allegations made by public-spirited bloggers.

Recently, Ms Cherie Booth QC, sitting as a Crown Court Recorder, came to the startling conclusion that a cocaine smuggler did not deserve a custodial sentence. (Fortunately, the court of appeal begged to differ.)

Quite apart from the fact that any Recorder whose son earns a living as a football agent really ought to declare a conflict of interest and decline to hear cases related to the supply of class A drugs, there's a whole raft of liberal opinion that seems completely oblivious to the nature of the trade which supplies them with a brief, sordid and never entirely satisfactory thrill. That, in fact, is the effect of the drug they take and not the fact that it's illegal: cocaine damages the parts of the brain associated with empathy. Shocking and awful as this picture is, no cokehead can look on it and feel anything but anger at the fact that someone finds fault with him and his habit.

It's psychosis in powder form: a way of leaving the human race.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Tories: Corruption

A further link from the Daily Telegraph for those who wonder why the New Tories are intent on destroying the country.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

"My Subjects, Like Any Other"

The words of Charles the Second, when asked about the legal status of slaves, former slaves and coloured people on St Helena and other colonies. Although Parliament likes to date the abolition of slavery from when it finally took action, a couple of centuries later, (and only after the High Court had, in 1773, made essentially the same ruling as Charles,) it was only the post civil war vanity of Parliament which prevented slavery being made illegal on the spot when Charles spoke, as he was being asked for his formal opinion on the law.

So how, then, do we react to the news that Bedfordshire Police have rescued two dozen men from forced labour and being detained against their will, for up to fifteen years, on a Traveller's Site in South West Bedfordshire, near the Buckinghamshire border?

See link
and indeed, link as the police now have their side of the story online.

Medawar thinks that any reaction other than cold fury is probably wrong.
If it hadn't been for Margaret Thatcher and Kenneth Baker suspending the old laws on slavery for some ill-defined European and UN action, which never amounted to anything except a green light to restart the slave trade, those arrested today would have been facing the death penalty if convicted.

For whatever reason, when the UN and European Commission first asked Great Britain to do away with the death penalty for aggravated trafficking, Jim Callaghan refused. (It is said that his words were "I am against the death penalty in principle, but I'm not silly enough to abolish it for pirates and slave-traffickers." Whether he used those exact words or not, this is undoubtedly a fair reflection of his thinking. Thatcher and Baker did not think at all: they merely gave into pressure from people who thought progress would be effected by "modernising" this brutal but effective part of English law.)

The death penalty is off the table, but this case already shows every sign of being at the most extreme end of the possible offenses under the more recent, 2010, anti-slavery laws. There must be no half-measures: if fairly convicted, the harshest possible sentence must be passed. It would be a terrible mistake for judges to hold a little bit back in case there is a worse offence sometime in the future, because that would invite just such an offence.

Britain was free of this scourge for more than a century precisely because the first few slavers to be sentenced, suffered the most brutal punishments the State could mete out. Slavery is a crime for calculating men, not sociopaths compelled by some internal disorder, and brutal deterrents demonstrably work with this crime. And, yes, it is worse than murder.

And it will be interesting to see if those guilty of this abomination, are part of the Traveller's groups who have been playing the victim to such perfection recently, aided by certain journalists, Bishops and actresses who seem to have, not rose-tinted glasses, but rose-tinted corneal grafts.

Most importantly, this link is to the official register of plot-owners at the site. The relevant entries are under Little Billington, Greenacres, Gypsy Lane. This is a document of public record and you are fully entitled to download and keep a copy.

Four men, all from the Connors family, have been charged. See link.
It is likely that more charges will materialize against these four, and against others higher up the food chain, in due course.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New Tories: The Enemies of England

In the past few weeks, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Chancellor, George Osborne, and a junior minister who, frankly, deserves nothing but complete anonymity so that his brief political career can vanish from the memory of men, have been orchestrating a determined effort to so drastically redraft planning law, that elected local councils will be obliged, either by government inspectors or the courts, to approve practically any planning application which the applicant claims is of economic value. To this end, planning guidelines which are currently more than a thousand pages long, will be cut to an entirely arbitrary fifty pages.

Medawar is all in favour of "cutting out red tape", but there's a difference between concise legislation, which states Parliament's intent in a few words of clear and unmistakable meaning allowing no room for misinterpretation, and truncated legislation, which leaves everything important unstated or undefined and allows almost any self-serving interpretation to be placed on a document which no longer has a clear meaning or, indeed, any useful purpose other than the feeding of lawyers.

Because arbitrarily-truncated planning guidelines cannot clearly guide, any obviously destructive proposed developments which government planning inspectors actually reject, will invariably be reinstated through the courts, because the guidelines don't support any grounds for rejection clearly enough for a judge to over-ride the stated preference for development to take place. The guidelines may indeed contain the comforting suggestion that planning applications might be denied, in exceptional circumstances, but the fiddly definitions which would allow a judge to actually identify those circumstances are in the thousand pages being disposed of.

The existing planning guidelines run to more than a thousand pages, primarily because in the eighty odd years since the Greenbelt was devised, crooked property developers have been so inventive in their attempts to run rings around legislation meant for the long-term public good. If Property Developers as a class had tried nothing on, the guidelines would be no longer now than they were in 1927.

All this is being justified by invoking the current economic crisis, with the suggestion that dissenters are madmen threatening the economic recovery.

The Greenbelt's predecessor (urban development boundaries, determined locally by Urban District Councils) and other basic planning tools were introduced after the British General Strike and just before the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. They were not abandoned in those extremely hard economic times, because the Statesmen of the time saw that planning law would ensure that the country remained habitable for the long term, whilst they were trying to encourage short-term economic growth. Planning law was the safety net under the high wire that Chancellors Baldwin and Chamberlain were performing on. Planning law takes care of the long term while Statesmen and Captains of Industry deal with any crisis.

We do not have Statesmen and Captains of Industry these days: we have career politicians, property developers and oligarchs, and there is no comparison.

The greenbelt was partly a conscious rebuff on the part of Thomas Sharp, to the "Garden City Movement" which believed that if developments were made leafy enough, destroyed countryside wouldn't be missed. The recent vogue for "eco-towns" and "sustainable development" suggests that this error has not entirely died yet. Sharp saw that the countryside was something distinct from the town, that it had a unique value of its own, and that it was in the interests of both town and countryside for the distinction to remain. One of the important differences between the two is the timescale: the English countryside has been shaped by the activities of man as surely as any new town, such as Milton Keynes, but that process has taken thousands of years and in most of the British Isles, it is perfectly possible for an informed and caring eye perceive the entire progression from the copper age to the early twenty-first century. Towns can keep an identity for centuries, or they can be transformed beyond recognition in a couple of decades, but the countryside is where thousands of years of gradual change can be seen. The importance of this to human life and understanding transcends all immediate and political argument, or ought to. The Statesmen who saw the United Kingdom out of the Great Depression were prepared to accept this, the career politicians who are dabbing ineffectually at the current financial crisis (which they largely made for themselves), show no such wisdom.

As with the Cameron government's attempts to do away with the Forestry Commission, (from which they were forced to retreat, still protesting that their inane policy was somehow right but "misunderstood" by us, the little people,) the current policy is the product of "advice" from highly partial sources which deliberately excludes any counter-argument, sound advice or even dissenting opinion, from any other source. The genesis of the new planning laws may be close to that forestry policy in more than one way, in that the same very narrow interests might profit from it. A recent article in the Daily Telegraph offers a potential mechanism whereby a bad idea which benefits only a handful of extremely wealthy property developers, might be the only one that actually reaches the ears of ministers. Lobbyists don't just pay political parties and ministerial advisers to put their client's views to the minister: they pay for the minister not to hear any others.

Another article, in The Guardian, will give Medawar's readers a shrewd idea of why the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party's idealistic and "green" coalition partners, have sabotaged almost every Conservative policy goal, except this one.

Quite apart from issues of the Greenbelt and the countryside, the truncated planning guidelines will basically leave it up to market forces to prevent a property developer building houses on sites which will inevitably endanger anyone who lives there. This is based on a complete misunderstanding of how market forces work: they do not require developers to refrain from building houses which will kill their customers, market forces merely require the developer to get the customer's bank draft into his first account, and then transferred overseas, before it rains.

Medawar would like to close with his own observation, which is different from, but not in opposition to, the theories of Thomas Sharp. Landscapes are not always valuable because they have an immediate and striking beauty on the large scale, which would gain them the status of "Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty" which the Prime Minister is claiming will lead to protection even under the new laws. (The Slad Valley is a designated AONB, the setting of Laurie Lee's iconic novel, Cider with Rosie, and it's now going to be built on by one of the developers which has given the Prime Minister's party money.)

Sometimes, the value of a landscape lies in all the information about ourselves, going back thousands of years, that it contains. Sometimes, the value of a landscape is in the way it inspired brave men to sacrifice their lives for something greater, especially in the fight against Nazism. And most of all, the value of a landscape is sometimes in the very small things it contains and gives a home to, which developers and the new breed of "conservative" politicians simply pay no heed to. As was said when John Major's government slid into an abyss of sleaze and incompetence: these are conservatives who will not conserve anything!

Ted Williams Tunnel

This is one of three large and hugely expensive road tunnels under Boston harbour, and, indeed, under a lot of buildings and other transport infrastructure on shore, too. See link.

Medawar is concerned that recent intelligence about three potential truck bombers having entered the United States, is being too readily interpreted as meaning that an attack on Washington or New York is imminent. It might be, but the late Osama bin Laden was a civil engineer, from a family of civil engineers, and if he had a hand in selecting the target, one with a spectacular payoff that would be linked directly to his own engineering expertise, would seem more likely. There are also three bombers, three tunnels. This is the way Osama's mind worked until the lumps of lead intruded into it.

One hopes that the high level of alert in new York and Washington does not leave Boston undefended, or that city might suddenly and painfully discover what it feels like to be on the receiving end of terrorism after so many years of allowing numbskulls to put fifty dollar bills in the NORAID bucket to knowingly fund similar atrocities across the Atlantic.

Hopefully, a modicum of alertness might spare Boston from ever having to find out what it was like in Woolwich, Birmingham, Manchester, Docklands, The Baltic Exchange, Omargh....

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Judit Nadal, Inquest Findings

This link is to the Daily Mail report on the inquest into the death of Judit Nadal, a researcher at Imperial College, London.
It seems that she did make a mistake of some kind, shortly before her electric car was hit by a much heavier Skoda. The Gee Whiz Electric car was turning across the path of the Skoda and the broadside impact tore the Gee Whiz in half. Which makes argument as to whether Judit Nadal was wearing a seat-belt or not a little academic.

The Coronor and Investigating Officer make some comments as to the lightness of the Gee Whiz.
Actually, it's more to do with strength and weight distribution. The cockpit of a Formula One racing car weighs less than a Gee Whiz, but if a driver stays in it, he can survive enormous impacts which send the cockpit safety cell spinning through the air.

The Gee Whiz is very light, but within that light weight, is a very heavy battery pack, which concentrates nearly all of the vehicle's mass under the back seat behind the driver. The photograph of the wreckage clearly shows that the structure failed, almost neatly, along the front of the battery. Had the light structure not contained the battery, the heavier Skoda might simply have knocked it spinning across the junction. This wouldn't necessarily be survivable; that would depend on the nature of subsequent impacts, especially if this involved a still larger vehicle which might ride over the Gee Whiz. But still, surviving the first impact would in most cases leave the occupant facing smaller second and subsequent impacts, so it would be a worthwhile improvement of the odds. Especially as a structure which survives the initial massive impact, can also be made to shed kinetic energy in s series of glancing impacts as it bounces around. This is why the crash of a modern Formula One car looks terrible, but is survivable. It's meant to spin around the landscape, so that it loses energy, with glancing impacts on a different bit of structure each time.

There is not just a need for the structure of lightweight electric vehicles to be made stronger and "smarter" (more thought given to where the strength is), but also for the mass of the power source to be spread over the vehicle. It appears the Nadal's car was hit at a position and angle which ideally exploited the mass and strength of the battery to shear the vehicle in half. If the front of the Gee Whiz had shared more of the mass, it might not have been cut in half.

This is an argument for electric vehicle development to centre on super-capacitors rather than environmentally questionable lithium batteries, let along nickel-based batteries which are proven environmental disasters.

Super capacitors are more efficient, in that pretty well all the electricity put in can be got out, and they can absorb massive surges of power, allowing much more effective use of regenerative braking. They are also much lighter for any given amount of energy stored, which would allow more of the car's weight to be structure than battery. And they do not suffer from such a rapid loss of storage capacity as chemical batteries.

But the prime virtue of super-capacitors is that they are made of carbon nano-fibres and they are themselves very strong structural components. This, coupled with the fact that they can last the economic life of the car, means that they can be used throughout the structure, making everything stronger and avoiding any single concentration of weight that concentrates the force of an impact on what becomes a line of failure.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

David Kelly: Application for Judicial Review

This link is to a site soliciting donations towards the costs of legal action, by a group of concerned medical professionals, to secure a formal inquest (scandalously denied by devious and wicked machinations of the Blair government and apathetic connivance of the Cameron government) into the death, on Harrowdown Hill or quite possibly elsewhere, of Dr David Kelly.

As before, the photograph is of Gruinard Island, as a reminder that Dr Kelly was a public servant of very great value, who did far more for his country than any of his detractors and persecutors within Downing Street.

The first step towards securing an inquest, is an application for judicial review of the Attorney General's perverse decision not to ask the Oxfordshire Coroner to hold one, as has been the normal practice in practically every other sudden or unexplained death in England for many centuries. It is expected that the judicial review will incur legal costs around £50,000, although if the review is granted and the Attorney General does not expend huge sums of public money defending the indefensible and merely delaying the inevitable, the judicial review may be the only adversarial legal action that is necessary.

It has been hinted that there are delicate matters of national security involved. Medawar does not believe that there is anything in this, other than a desire to conceal possible illegal actions by agents of foreign states, in order that the government may appease those states. "National Security" is in all cases better served by standing up to murder and blackmail rather than by giving in to it in craven fashion. States which are allowed get away with murder come to believe that they will be allowed to get away with military intimidation and even conquest.

The medical professionals involved are tackling only the medical evidence, from a medical standpoint, and Medawar has always sought to give them the elbow-room needed to do this. However, whereas Lord Hutton's inquiry was presented with partial, incomplete and possibly highly unreliable medical evidence, the evidence of a very expert forensic botanist who made detailed investigations at the scene and on the body, was not heard or even referred to, at all. Either by the Hutton inquiry or any other official investigation.

In many cases of unlawful killing in recent years, the forensic botanists have produced by far the most important and most reliable evidence of all, and it is now normal practice to give them the highest priority access to crime scenes and the body of any deceased person. Medawar's view is that, especially where the medical experts question whether Dr Kelly died where his body was discovered, or even anywhere near, the forensic botany evidence will be the most important.

It is also important to note that the Hutton inquiry did not hear any evidence under oath, therefore there is no legal sanction whatever for any person who deliberately lied to the inquiry, or omitted evidence. Several incidences of false evidence are now known, including a police officer who admits to having lied to conceal the presence of a third party who attended the scene with the officer and his partner. This was supposedly to "protect" a trainee officer, but since there is no reason why a trainee officer should not have accompanied his experienced mentors to a crime scene, to observe proper procedure, it is ridiculous to conceal the trainee's presence if this explanation is really true. The officer's actions make sense only if the third party's presence would seem to the general public (and possibly the courts) to be inappropriate, and that would only be the case if they were not an officer at all, but some other category of person.

Only a proper coroner's court can examine these witnesses under oath, and therefore under strict legal sanction for lies and omissions, and therefore, in a case where it is already established that people are lying, only a coroner's court has the tools to access the truth.

There must be a full inquest, with a jury, where the liars are made to tell the truth (and all of it!) and the coroner calls the most competent witness with the professional tools to answer the most pertinent questions, and that would be the forensic botanist.

And as for Iraq and all the conspiracy theories surrounding Iraq:

All of the most important tasks of Dr Kelly's career, concerned not the WMD programmes of Iraq, Syria and Libya, but the much larger and better-resourced WMD programmes of the Soviet Union and more latterly, the former Soviet states which inherited these programmes, sites, hardware, software and bacterial and viral cultures. If it does transpire that Dr Kelly was unlawfully killed, the murderer will most likely be found in connection with the most important matters of his career and not the least or necessarily the most recent.

Solicitors have been formally instructed to apply for judicial review, and the appeal for funds had, last time Medawar checked, raised £33,000 of an estimated £40,000 cost. Seven grand more, please!

There is going to be an inquest into the death of Gareth Williams, too, but some "senior police source" is still briefing the press with absurdities to try and prevent any objective and rational inquiry. However, only the Daily Express is still willing to print this person's dissembling and the Daily Mail and even the Sun have ceased to even acknowledge that the "death by his own perversion" line is still being peddled. The officer involved may soon find that no journalists at all are willing to pay for his lunches and dinners in return for being told improbable and grossly defamatory lies. The reason for this is simple: the officer's conduct is likely to pervert the course of justice, assisting him by reproducing his falsehoods in print could make the journalist and his publisher co-conspirators in that perversion of justice, this can carry any penalty up to and including life imprisonment. It isn't at all surprising that journalists don't appreciate being used as mouthpieces for this kind of campaign!

However, there is still no sign of any progress whatsoever towards an honest and open-minded investigation into the suspicious death of Dr Kelly's former research student, Dr Timothy Hampton, in Vienna. Medawar suspects that this may prove to be at least as important as Dr Kelly's death. A link to former Soviet WMD programmes can't be ruled out there, either.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Diplomatic Immunity and Murder

This link is to an article that was published in the Mail on Sunday, on the 14th of August. Medawar has taken the liberty of reproducing the above crucial photograph from the article, in case improper pressure from Downing Street or what's left of the former leadership of the Metropolitan Police, causes the paper to withdraw this article from its webpage.

The BMW Series 3, diplomatic registration 251D198 was seen fifty yards from Mr Williams' flat, the day after he was last seen outside the flat.

Another BMW series 3, registration 251D306, was seen in a multi-storey car park behind the flat, the occupant, a brown haired-man, got out to pay the parking charge, but wasn't seen to go anywhere.

Both sightings were made by a Russian emigré with a very healthy regard for his own safety, which causes him to carefully document the presence of Russian Embassy cars near his home. It is unusual for Russian Embassy cars to appear in this part of London, and these particular ones were not seen there before or since the week of Mr Williams' murder.

Medawar has already commented on the fact that Mr Williams was working on ways to track illicit movements of money (now hitting £18bn a month) from Russia to London and presumably beyond. The article in this link gives some idea as to why these money movements are important, and who might be on the receiving end.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Leaving the EU

This is a link to a petition on the UK government website, calling for Parliament to debate an orderly withdrawal from the EU.

It currently (7th of August) appears to be gathering only about 2,000 signatures a day, which may reflect the capacity of the server rather than the level of public interest. According to opinion polls, about 80% of the UK electorate supports the broad aims of the petition, even including nearly half of all Liberal Democrat members, but almost no Liberal Democrat party officials, MPs or Parliamentary candidates, which dislocation has interesting implications for the party's future.

This is not the only petition on the site, where results are somewhat askew compared to the response one would expect from the British public. Regardless of whether one supports a particular petition or not, Medawar hopes that the published results are indeed honest. Because if they are being manipulated, as night follows day, the manipulators will be found out, and given the current mood of the British public towards the political elite, they won't get off at all lightly.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

High Speed 2: Vanity, Ignorance and the Chilterns

There are some non-ideological economic fundamentals that are the same for almost any ideological and social model. The only exceptions are completely nihilistic regimes that are actually trying to erase humanity's presence from the Earth.

And yet, economists and their political sponsors have a weakness for economic theories so detached from the fundamentals that the result resembles a "Breatharian" cult, whereby meditation, self-discipline and enlightenment are supposed to allow the devout to live for months or years without food.

All economic activity consists of doing something to a resource to make it worth more. Even in Aboriginal hunter-gatherer societies, gathered food will be processed to make it more nutritious when eaten, or to preserve it so that it can be carried to sustain people on a journey. These goods are not necessarily exchanged for money (the society might not recognize money as a concept) and they may not even be traded at all. But if something is being processed to make it more useful, that is economic activity. That's the utter baseline of the economy. Can even political economists ignore this? Yes they can.

"Knowledge-based economies" are one way in which the fundamentals can be ignored. This isn't inherent in the concept, which has virtue, it's just that a combination of wishful thinking, laziness and vanity, can lead to policy-makers becoming indifferent to the nation's access to resources and the means to process them. If the real world is being engaged with, a "knowledge-based economy" enhances our access to resources and our means to process those resources to make them more useful, making such work more efficient and expanding the number of different ways in which something can become more useful.

If the real world is not being engaged with, then a "knowledge-based economy" is just a totem or idol: "we don't need resources or the means to process them, because we've got knowledge". Give them a few years, and they will be asking a wooden figure called "Knowledge" to rise and fill their granaries and treasuries for them. An early symptom of this might be an unhealthy concentration on the needs of the "wise" (or "the rich") at the expense of taking care of resources and those who process or manage those resources to make them more useful. No matter what resources might exist, those accessible to us at any one time are finite, and if we expend an excess of resources in ways that do not in turn enhance either our access to resources or our ability to make more of them, then we reduce those resources and we diminish our ability to process them into more useful forms. We become impoverished.

Limiting the resources expended on pleasing the elite is not an ideological preference: it is frequently a matter of life and death. Ancient Greece survived the Persian onslaught only because the Spartan elite put themselves in harm's way, when the elites of every other Greek tribe insisted that their festival rituals were more important than making any preparation to resist an invading army that was already on Greek soil. It wasn't a case of other Greeks not being willing to march with the Spartans, it was largely a case of their not being allowed to, because the festivals were an expression of the elite's importance and must therefore come before anything else, even the survival of Greece...

A resource may be all kinds of things, and in the case of the Persian invasion of Greece, time was the resource being most seriously squandered. In modern Britain, as elsewhere in the modern world, investment is squandered because the elite values the convenience of the elite above the needs of the nation. It is not utterly venal, but a sufficiently ignorant and insular elite is generally incapable of perceiving for itself what the true needs of the nation might be, and highly resistant to being told, either by someone from outside the elite or by a dissident from within the elite. (Who departs the elite the moment he differs with it.) The elite directs the resources of the nation towards its own whim and convenience, because those are the limits of its perceptions.

Because, for a generation or more, resources have been diverted to ends which do not even replace those resources, still less enhance them, investment in Britain has become extremely scarce and correspondingly precious. The scarcer investment gets, the more it matters when a given sum is misdirected and misapplied. Britain can no longer afford to mis-invest a single billion. (Neither can the United States, although the folks on the hill clearly do not see it yet.)

The available investment in energy is being squandered, because a system of subsidy channels that investment into methods of energy generation which do not work, but which meet a need of the elite: that it should appear to be addressing the issue of global warming. Appearance is all. Investment in other new methods of energy generation is limited to non-existant. The untried methods might or might not all work, but it is certain that if they are never tried, they will never work. However, as long as the non-working methods are accepted as being a solution to something or other, diverting billions of investment in that direction every year satisfies the elite, even as it impoverishes the nation.

Energy is a resource, and it is also part of our means to process other resources to make them more useful. Transport, too, is a fundamental economic resource. Otherwise, there is no way to bring other resources together, or to allow people access those resources in order to process them to make them more useful. Indeed, in many cases, "processing something to make it more useful" may be defined as simply moving it from somewhere it is moderately useful or not useful at all, to somewhere it is needed and therefore very useful.

Now, the distinction between working and non-working transport systems is a little bit less obvious than the difference between a power station that produces power intermittently and one which produces power on demand.

A true knowledge-based economy that engages with the real world, requires transport that moves labour and resources so that "knowledge" can help the labour process those resources into more useful forms. A false knowledge-based economy, destined to sink into idolatory or a secular equivalent, requires transport for the "knowledgable" alone. The elite must be moved ever faster, in ever greater comfort, whilst labour and material resources are moved grudgingly, if at all.
Knowledge itself can now travel at the speed of light: there is no practical benefit in giving preference to the physical movement of the "knowledgable". The quotation marks are there because in this kind of voodoo economy, the "knowledgable" are in reality ignorant of and insulated from, the real world.

This is where the proposed "High Speed 2" new railway link between London and Birmingham comes in. After denying funds for everything from encouraging school children to stay in education till at least the age of eighteen, to allowing the Royal Navy even the most basic means of projecting air-power ashore in precisely the way that is needed in Libya, the current British government blithley proposes to invest, in this single railway, the sum of £34bn if you believe their own estimates, and up to £60bn if you give the cynics any credence at all.

This rail link, despite cutting through one of the most densely populated regions in the world, will not have enough stops to play any role in local commuting, and indeed, is designed as far as possible NOT to serve this need. Medawar predicts that some factory or shop worker will be enterprising enough to find a way of getting to work on HS2, but that's not what it's intended for. (Perhaps by taking a second job on the train, as a cleaner or steward, a worker will be able to reach his regular place of work?)

Nor is the HS2 line intended to carry a single wagon load of freight during its projected sixty-year operational lifespan.

The sole purpose of the HS2 railway line, is to carry the business and political elites between two fairly adjacent major cities, a predicted 26 minutes faster than the trains on the existing rail routes between those two cities -which will still be quite a lot slower than competing low-cost airlines, which are also likely to offer significantly cheaper fares.

Tellingly, the official economic case in favour of this massive investment, assumes that the average salary of passengers will be £70,000 in 2011 sterling. Does £70,000 sound like any average citizen that you know? The economic case also assumes that passengers on a train do nothing economically productive or necessary while on the train, and that they will immediately do something economically active and necessary during their extra 26 minutes at their destination. Neither thing is the experience of businessmen who regularly travel by train. They read letters and use their laptops on the train, they eat, drink and rest on the train: time on the train is often valued as a distraction-free opportunity to finish awkward items of work, or prepare to make the most of whatever meeting they are travelling to. When reaching their destination quickly takes precedence over these advantages of train travel, businessmen take a scheduled airline service, (this can cost as little as £59 London to Birmingham) and the uber-elite will use a private plane or helicopter.

And yet, rarely does a businessman or politician travel to a city and spend every last half hour of his time there doing something economically productive.

Even allowing these two highly questionable assumptions, the best any independent verification of the official case can come up with, is that the economic benefit of HS2 will return 47% of the projected £34bn cost. The economic benefits of countryside, way of life and existing economic activity that will be disrupted or destroyed by the construction of HS2, seems to be valued at or close to, zero. The route is through a densely populated region (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire), the adverse economic impact of the construction phase will certainly not be neglible!

Taking the case for HS2 pretty much at face value, the nation's resources will be reduced by £18bn. Allowing a realistic figure for economic disruption in the many population centres along the route, and the absence of local stops means that few of these populations centres derive ANY direct benefit from HS2, it looks as if we might be lucky if the net loss to the nation's resources of HS2 is limited to the £34bn it is supposed to cost to build and equip. HS2 has the potential to show a negative return: reducing the national economy by more than the money invested in it.

There is no prospect of an intangible benefit to even things up, because every aspect of the design and technology is to be imported and already exists. The nearest we're likely to get to a "technological breakthrough" for this £34bn, will be the waiting room seats.

What is anomalous to the point of being offensive, is the way that whatever is in the way of the construction tends to be assessed as being of minimal value the way it is. This kind of bias drives a very high proportion of the elite's worst decisions. The other great offense, is that the case for these great projects is only presented in a way that tests it against its own internal assumptions: it is never, ever, tested against an alternative way of investing the same (or much less) money.

Medawar believes that it would not be an unsurmountable challenge, to identify five more pressing investment projects in Britain's railway network, each one of which would yield more than the £16bn of benefits claimed for HS2 over a 60 year operational life, and yet all five together, would cost less to implement and operate.

Firstly, it probably only costs £3M to pass a simple piece of legislation through Parliament. What is needed is an act of Parliament repealing and forbidding any law or agreement which prevents services on the existing Marylebone to Wrexham line from competing with other lines and services via the West Midlands. Currently, the Department of Transport protests about limited capacity from London to Birmingham, and simultaneously presides over a regulatory structure which prevented Marylebone to be used in competition to, (or in support of) Virgin's services from Euston station. Delete Richard Branson's unjustified sweetheart deal, and the basis for more capacity is there.

Secondly, invest up to £3bn on each of the existing railways lines from London to or around Birmingham, there are several of these. Most are capable of capacity and speed improvements by removing bottlenecks and by adding stretches of extra track along existing lines, so that freight and commuter trains can be moved out of the way of high speed intercity trains, without actually having to stop and wait. There are many stretches of line in Britain, not just near Birmingham, where the permanent way for such track is already there, and the extra tracks were simply removed as a short-term (and false) economy measure after the Second World War.

Some of the bottlenecks involve track that contorts itself to avoid an obstacle that is no longer there anyway, or which can more easily be dealt with by modern technology than was possible when the line was first designed in the Edwardian era.

Were a critic to point out that this might cost £15bn, they would be revealing just how many railway lines there already are between London and the Midlands. Making all of them work to modern standards would yield much more capacity, for commuters and freight as well as high-speed elite passengers, than building another, single-purpose, line.

Thirdly, we must recognize that the biggest problem with all of Britain's transport policies are the words "London to..." The most expedient way of removing the traffic congestion between London and Birmingham that afflict all modes of transport, road, rail and air, is to provide an efficient rail route between Bristol and Manchester. This does not need to be, and should not be, a hot-shot single purpose high speed line, merely a bottleneck-free version of what's already there, with a new tunnel under the river Severn, and as much extra parallel track as the existing permanent way will support, to allow freight and passenger services to co-exist.

If the rail route between Bristol and Manchester were of the same quality as the one between London and York (that's about the same distance) then we'd see a far healthier distribution of population and economic activity around the country, and we'd also see a lot of the heavy freight traffic through the Midlands disappear. Nearly all the freight on Britain's road and rail networks arrives by sea: if the railways out of Bristol worked better, more of that sea-traffic would arrive at Avonmouth and other south-western ports.

Fourthly, lunatic decisions are already being taken in order to divert all available investment to HS2. Perhaps the least noticed but most destructive of which is to confine the modernisation of railways in East Anglia to a modern "Thameslink" engineering standard, to lines south of Cambridge. This, coupled with a massive investment in new trains for this standard, eliminates the possibility of through trains from London, via Cambridge, to anywhere beyond Cambridge. The same government which trumpets the fact that East Anglia is the fastest-growing region in the country, is determined that modern rail travel will end in the centre of that region, trapping that growth in East Hertfordshire and Essex, basically.

Over time, because only older trains will be able to use the unmodernised network to the North of Cambridge, not only will passengers have to change trains there, but the services in the North of East Anglia will become increasingly costly to maintain. The investment will always be out of sync. And this includes services to significant sea ports, such as King's Lynn. Ports in the North of East Anglia handle relatively little freight, other than timber imports, which are considerable and vital, but they are the construction and service ports for all of the offshore windfarms, gasfields and oilfields in the Southern North Sea. Government transport policy is cutting the throats of ports upon which its energy policy depends!

The rail network to the North of Cambridge must be included in the investment to produce a common engineering standard across East Anglia and the East Midlands, or there's no discernible point in that investment! At the same time, freight links to King's Lynn must be fully restored and upgraded.

This takes us back to the "Beeching Cuts". Although railway enthusiasts traditionally hate Beeching for closing lines, what he was attempting to do, was identify a network that the country could afford to upgrade to a modern common engineering standard -and discard what couldn't be modernised. He knew that piecemeal modernization would be worse than useless: everything had to move together and to the same standard. Of course, what happened when Dr Beeching had made his cuts, is that self-interested lobbying from the elite promptly sabotaged the modernisation and commonisation programme that was supposed to go with the cuts. So what he did looks like random savagery, because its beneficial purpose was thwarted.

Unless the whole of East Anglia and the East Midlands is included in the upgrade to a common engineering standard, the effect will be to ensure the eventual closure of the unimproved parts of the network. Far from enhancing rail travel in the region, the partial modernisation will eliminate rail travel altogether from half of the region. This is precisely what Dr Beeching made huge and painful sacrifices to avoid. It is the worst outcome possible -and it is being contemplated simply in order to feed investment to HS2.

The fifth project would be a wholesale and thorough improvement in rail freight capacity and efficiency between all the "middle" East Anglian seaports: Harwich, Felixstowe, Ipswich and Yarmouth, and Peterborough (and thereby London, York and Edinburgh) and the Rugby railfreight terminal. The alternative is not merely the currently-needed £1.6bn capacity improvement to the A14 trunk road, but an ongoing need to increase the capacity of this highway by a similar amount, every five years for the foreseeable future.

All this could be done for less than £34bn. Any of them would benefit the country more than the hugely expensive single-purpose HS2 line.

(The photograph at the top of this article is of typical Chiltern Hills flora and fauna. The sort of thing which supporters of HS2 believe is worth absolutely nothing at all. Medawar doesn't argue that it has infinite worth, but it does have a worth, and that shouldn't be wiped off the balance sheet.)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Christopher Shale

A leading Conservative Party figure has been found dead at the Glastonbury Festival, on the very day that this article appeared in the Mail on Sunday, based on documents he had written about the future direction of the party.

Medawar thinks that Mr Shale's final thoughts deserve to be taken proper notice of, and not buried under a thick blanket of warm words from his increasingly heedless former protegé.

Gareth Williams and The (Russian) Texas Bankroll

This article in the Daily Mail suggests that before Mr Williams was murdered, he was working on a method and software to enable the intelligence services to track money being moved to and through London, by the Russian mafia.

To this article Medawar would add the following two observations:

Firstly: any chain of money-laundering transactions with the Russian Mafia at one end, tends these days to have the Israeli Mafia at the other end. The Russian Mafia's cosy relationship with the FSB and "United Russia" is mirrored by the Israeli Mafia's relationship with Mossad and many prominent members of Likud.

Secondly, and far more importantly: London is experiencing an ongoing property price boom in the middle of a global credit crunch, recession and debt crisis. This is driven by money coming from Russia. The experience of Dublin and Miami, both of which have experienced similar property bubbles, started by an influx of money from organized crime and sustained by investment lemmings, is that the organized crime figures whose cash drives the boom, know from the outset that it is unsustainable. Estate agents, bankers and politicians, never know this and always think that their own genius has created a golden paradigm, where unearned wealth will multiply permanently. Organized crime knows a shower of mugs when it sees one.

Some time before the bubble reaches bursting point, organized crime will stop pouring its money into London, except for a relative trickle on high-prestige projects to keep the estate agents feeling good. The lemmings will keep investing for a while longer. During this period, organized crime will either quietly sell nearly all the property it has bought, borrow hugely against it, or, very naughtily, do both at once. There will be a sudden and massive reversal of the money flow accompanied by great woe, because far more will flow out, due to fraudulent loans, than ever flowed in. Meanwhile, some other city, possibly in China or Argentina, will experience a massive influx of "investment" and the local politicians there will think they've hit the jackpot through their own brilliance.

It is a sophisticated variant of the "Texas Bankroll" scam, whereby genuine notes are peeled off a huge roll of money in a bar, to buy drinks all round, gamble with, the roll's owner gracefully losing and paying up with only mild complaints. Then a really big transaction or gamble will be proposed with what's left of the roll. Only, the "winner" will find himself holding a roll of writing paper with just one fifty dollar bill on the outside. Just about all the real cash or items of value in the bar will have already left, in the saddle bags of the generous stranger who came in with the Texas Bankroll.

The Greek debt crisis isn't the main danger to the British economy at the moment. The biggest danger is that the Russian mafia is about to do to Britain's economy, and especially London, precisely what Greece's own mafia have already done to their own economy and Athens.

If Gareth Williams was tracing the transactions involved in this, there was an obvious danger of his alerting politicians and financial regulators before the scam was complete. He was a lone Spartan in the pass, and he deserves a lot better than systematic efforts by unidentified "police" sources to smear him as a pervert.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

An Invaluable Public Servant

(This photograph, of Gruinard Island, is by Kevin Walsh, of Oxford, who is not responsible for any of the following text. Medawar hopes this attributes the photograph as required by the licence which Mr Walsh has kindly granted to the world to use it.)

Today (9th of June 2011), the Attorney General of England, Mr Dominic Grieve QC MP, has told Parliament that he sees no need for there to be any proper inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, and that he finds the evidence that Dr Kelly committed suicide to be "very strong". At no time in the history of Coroner's courts in England, has the subjective perception by an official that the evidence made a particular verdict a likely outcome of an inquest, been accepted as a legally valid reason for not holding such an inquest. Nor is it all usual for anyone except the coroner to decide whether or not to hold an inquest.

A coroner's court is different from any other court in two respects: inquest findings, in the form of a verdict or narrative, are a finding of fact and not guilt or liability -and the findings of an inquest are not the sole or even the primary reason for holding one. The public examination of evidence, under oath but also under privilege to stop the truth being used against someone who tells it, the testing of that evidence by counsel for interested parties and by the coroner, the comparison of evidence and testimony from divers sources, are an end in themselves and definitively in the public interest.

The Hutton Inquiry did not test any of the evidence or testimony, none of which was presented under oath. Evidence from official sources was largely accepted at face value and read into the record. Including evidence from a police officer who now admits lying to conceal the presence of a third officer when he testified that he and one colleague attended the scene where Dr Kelly's body was discovered.

The Hutton Inquiry did not call many of the most expert and important witnesses: most conspicuous by her absence was a forensic botanist; normally the most competent authority on where the deceased might have been prior to death -and in this instance, Medawar believes, one of the most competent forensic authorities in the country.

It is impossible to share Mr Grieve's supine contentment with the inquiry as a substitute for an inquest, and it's certainly an abuse of the English language to describe that inquiry as being as good as an inquest, which in effect is what he did today. Evidence was not tested, false evidence from a police officer was not noticed, challenged or punished, and whole sweeping categories of evidence, such as forensic botany, (customarily relied on to establish the truth about locations and movement history) were excluded altogether, without explanation.

In fact, the only normally acceptable reason to delay an inquest, is to allow the police and other authorities to complete a criminal investigation and prosecution. Since a criminal case would require the rigorous examination of much of the evidence which the Hutton Inquiry accepted at face value, or ignored completely -and because of this, a criminal case might satisfy the public interest in a way that neither Lord Hutton's Inquiry nor Mr Grieve's fag-packet review of it, possibly can.

This brings us to the greatest misapprehension surrounding the David Kelly case: for there to be a crime that can be brought to court, there has to be specific evidence of unlawful killing. Even many of those calling for a formal inquest, including Dr Stephen Frost QC, appear to have fallen for this. It simply isn't true.

Persons who discover a dead body are legally obliged to report the matter to the local coroner, promptly and accurately. Any misrepresentation, wilful omission or trans location of evidence, including the body itself, is a crime. Any wilful action on the part of anyone thereafter, which tends to prevent or hinder the detection and prosecution of that crime, is "conduct tending to pervert the course of justice" or "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice."

If Dr Kelly died by suicide, accident or natural causes, but in a location or manner other than which was reported, a crime was committed there and then, and any subsequent attempt to conceal that fact in turn, was also a crime. As both Lord Archer and Mr Jonathan Aitken have proved, in far less serious circumstances, perverting the course of justice is a crime for which even cabinet ministers can be convicted and jailed. Precisely because the Hutton Inquiry was given a non-judicial status, there was no oath, but no privilege either, so nobody involved in that inquiry would actually be immune from prosecution for perverting the course of justice or other offences.

Those campaigning now for an inquest might be heartened to read that Medawar expects that they will eventually get one. The problem lies with "eventually" because the government can spend unlimited amounts of public money delaying this for as long as the higher courts will allow, which will make any subsequent criminal prosecutions very difficult indeed.

However, whilst a long-delayed inquest might derail a criminal prosecution, the reverse is rarely true, which is why they normally occur in the order of criminal case first and then the inquest. Indeed, a criminal case, having both a prosecution and a defence actively discovering and presenting evidence, can set the stage nicely for a formal inquest to establish the definitive truth for the public, and historical, record.

The other argument in favour of a couple of swift private criminal prosecutions to break the logjam of evidence withheld and ignored, is that individuals, especially those in positions of authority and trust, must be held to account for their actions. Medawar isn't interested in "conspiracy" as such, other than where that is a legal description on a charge sheet. The only way to fight conspiracies in the first place, is to hold individuals to account for their own actions, and nine times out of ten, that is what any conspiracy is intended to avoid in the first place.

Sometimes, there is only evidence available to prosecute one individual or two out of many who might be involved in a hypothetical conspiracy. This is only a problem if one is obsessed with the conspiracy itself. If one puts the conspiracy to one side, to deal with the actions of individuals as evidence emerges, then things acquire a natural order and progress can be made before the "whole picture" can be seen. And in the end, justice can only be served by holding individuals accountable, anyway.

An inquest isn't there for "justice", we hold them because human beings are not expendable machines or puppets that can be discarded. We have a duty to account for every unnatural death, simple as that. Inquests are the standard way of doing this and there is no compelling need for there to be an exception, especially not in a case of the greatest possible public concern. The inquest has to happen, but it can come later.

For now, there is apparently incontestable evidence that one junior police officer gave a false account, and allowed a still unknown colleague to conceal the fact that he had been one of the first policemen on the scene. The doctors and lawyers pursuing an eventual inquest, have every right to bring a private prosecution in the meantime, either for "conduct tending to pervert the course of justice" or the lesser charge of "wilful misconduct in a public office."

There is also alleged to be evidence that a much more senior officer, an Assistant Chief Constable, also misled the public and key officials, and may have misdirected inquiries being carried out by his subordinates and various Home Office experts. If that evidence is indeed available and compelling, then the ACC, too, could be the subject of a private prosecution for the same charges.

Private prosecutions usually require the prosecuting party to have a legitimate interest in the case: Dr David Kelly was a internationally famous expert in microbiology, who taught and furthered the careers of other important experts, such as Dr Timothy Hampton. He made safe biological warfare test ranges dating from the second world war and earlier, he detected and helped bring an end to a treaty-violating programme by the Soviets to weaponize the Smallpox virus, which was a far greater threat to our national security than anything found or suspected in Iraq ever was. His career, had it continued to the present day, was highly likely to bring benefits to the whole of British society, and beyond. This man was of value to all of us, we all have an legitimate interest in his case.

This isn't an attempt, either, to single out and persecute two individuals, it is merely the start of a vital process of holding every individual to account for his or her own actions. If it is done consistently enough, and fairly enough, this process will free us from all conspiracy and all fear of conspiracy, because there is no point to any conspiracy at all if the individuals involved will inevitably be called to individual account.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Perils of Living In Tony Blair's Old Constituency

For anyone who believes that Antony Charles Lynton Blair is a good man and a "pretty straight kind of guy", here is a link to a blog about organized harassment in his former constituency, his constituency party officials appearing to be amongst those doing the organizing. Strangely, for a man who made anti-racism so much a part of his mission, there's a strong racist element to some of the harassment practiced by his former goons.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Global TAC, LLC

This appears to be an anonymous proxy service, based in Las Vegas, which allows people to access blogs, websites, etc. without leaving their own IP. Sort of online stalker's toolkit, doubtless in Las Vegas to better serve the Mob.

Anonymous, and indeed unrecorded, that is, until they store a complete page on their desktop "to read later" and then click on the article title when they do. This promptly tells Medawar that:


They are called Sean and they are an idiot.

Look! It's a blog, people are supposed to be able to read it! Skulking in using webtools designed to hide your IP, just makes you look like a stalker or a terrorist. As long as you don't leave threats or self-serving lies in the comments section, Medawar doesn't mind people reading the articles. If Medawar was keeping a secret, would he be publishing it on his blog?