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.