Archive for the ‘International Politics’ Category

A by-election only three people can vote in

April 16th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Buzzfeed reports:

On 19 April possibly the strangest democratic election to any legislature in the world will take place, with seven candidates competing for the votes of three people for one place in the British parliament.

The winning individual will be able to vote on laws, propose amendments, and challenge ministers in parliament. They’ll also be able to claim £300 a day whenever they turn up to work, take advantage of all the facilities parliament offers, and retain the job for life.

Turnout for the ballot is expected to hit 100% since the entire electorate, who collectively get to choose who will receive lifetime membership of parliament, consists of just three people.

Any British citizen is eligible to stand for election to the position on the conditions that a) they are a Liberal Democrat, and b) they have inherited a peerage from their father.

Which is three people, so three Liberal Democrat Peers will elect a forth peer to join them.

It reminds me of this Blackadder episode:

Was the Panama hack wrong?

April 15th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Tyler Cowan blogs:

Let’s say a group of criminal defense lawyers kept a database of their confidential conversations with their clients.  That would include clients charged with murder, robbery, DUI, drug abuse, and so on.  In turn, a hacker would break into that database and post the information from those conversations on Wikileaks.  Of course a lot of those conversations would appear to be incriminating because — let’s face it — most of the people who require defense attorneys on criminal charges are in fact guilty.  When asked why the hack was committed, the hacker would say “Most of those people are guilty.  I want to make sure they do not escape punishment.”

How many of us would approve of that behavior?  Keep in mind the hacker is spreading the information not only to prosecutors but to the entire world, and outside of any process sanctioned by the rule of law.  The hacker is not backed by the serving of any criminal charges or judge-served warrants.

Yet somehow many of us approve when the victims are wealthy and higher status, as is the case with the Panama Papers.  Furthermore most of those individuals probably did nothing illegal, but rather they were trying to minimize their tax burden through (mostly) legal shell corporations.  Admittedly, very often the underlying tax laws should be changed, just as we should repeal the deduction for mortgage interest too.  But in the meantime we are not justified in stealing information about those people, even if some of them are evil and powerful, as is indeed the case for homeowners too.

I agree – the ends don’t justify the means.

As Cowan says, imagine the outrage if the hack was of a criminal defence lawyer.

 

Australia jumps the shark

April 13th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Christopher Snowden highlights a bad trend in Australia:

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has called for all women “of reproductive age” who consume more than two standard drinks a day to be subject to “interventions” on the basis that they might be pregnant, in a remarkable submission to a Senate inquiry.

I know a lot of women who need an intervention then!

Children’s toys should be subject to plain-packaging laws similar to cigarettes, an inter­national women’s group says. 

Crazy.

Alcohol packaging should carry warning labels, akin to cigarettes, under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

Yes every bottle of wine should carry a photo of a corpse on it.

Lomborg on Tesla

April 13th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Bjorn Lomburg writes:

Before unveiling the car, Musk sanctimoniously declared that Tesla exists to give the planet a sustainable future. He pointed to rising CO₂ levels. He lamented that 53,000 people die from air pollution from transportation. Tesla, the story goes, is a lifesaver. Like other electric cars, it has “zero emissions” of air pollution and CO₂.

But this is only true of the car itself; the electricity powering it is often produced with coal, which means that the clean car is responsible for heavy air pollution. As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, “electric cars are coal-powered cars”.

If the USA had 10 per cent more petrol cars by 2020, air pollution would claim 870 more lives. A similar increase in electric ones would cause 1,617 more deaths a year, mostly because of the coal burned.

If we were to scale this to the UK, electric cars would cause the same or more air pollution-related deaths than petrol-powered cars. In China, because their coal power plants are so dirty, electric cars make local air much worse: in Shanghai, pollution from more electric-powered cars would be nearly three-times as deadly as more petrol-powered ones.

Very valid points.

In NZ, most electricity is from renewables, not coal, so in NZ using an electric car does help the environment. But not so in many other countries.

Moreover, while electric cars typically emit less CO₂, the savings are smaller than most imagine. Over a 150,000 km lifetime, the top-line Tesla S will emit about 13 tonnes of CO₂. But the production of its batteries alone will emit 14 tonnes, along with seven more from the rest of its production and eventual decommissioning.

Compare this with the diesel-powered, but similarly performing, Audi A7 Sportback, which uses about seven litres per 100km, so about 10,500 litres over its lifetime. This makes 26 tonnes of CO₂. The Audi will also emit slightly more than 7 tons in production and end-of-life. In total, the Tesla will emit 34 tonnes and the Audi 35. So over a decade, the Tesla will save the world 1.2 tonnes of CO₂.

Yet Musk has had $5 billion of corporate welfare for his cars!

Reducing 1.2 tonnes of CO₂ on the EU emissions trading system costs £5; but instead, the UK Government subsidises each car with £4,500. All of the world’s electric cars sold so far have soaked up £9 billion in subsidies, yet will only save 3.3 million tonnes of CO₂. This will reduce world temperatures by 0.00001°C in 2100 – the equivalent of postponing global warming by about 30 minutes at the end of the century. 

Around NZ$20 billion of subsidies to reduce temperatures by 0.00001 degrees!

Electric cars will be a good idea, once they can compete – which will probably be by 2032. But it is daft to waste billions of pounds of public money on rich people’s playthings that kill more people through air pollution while barely affecting carbon emissions.

They will be a big part of the future, but subsidising them makes no sense.

Leftist politician blames himself for deportation of his rapist

April 13th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Daily Caller reports:

Leftist Norway politician Karsten Nordal Hauken was brutally raped by a Somali and felt so incredibly guilty in the aftermath he subsequently questioned whether authorities should even deport the man.

Shortly before the sentence was over, Hauken learned the man was about to be deported from Norway and sent back to Somalia.

“I got a strong feeling of guilt and responsibility,” Hauken wrote. “I was the reason he wouldn’t be in Norway, and instead be sent to an unknown future in Somalia. He had already done his time in prison. Would he get punished again, and this time much harder?”

 

Amazing – he doesn’t think the criminal bares any responsibility – even when he is the victim.

“I don’t feel anger against my rapist, because I look at him as a product of an unjust world. A product of an upbringing full of war,” Hauken said.

It’s not his fault – it’s society’s!

Best Green Party ad

April 12th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

This is very funny, and pointed.

Public Polls March 2016

April 6th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

pollsmar16

Curia’s monthly newsletter is out. The executive summary is:

There was one political voting poll in March 2016 – a Roy Morgan.

The average of the public polls has National 18% ahead of Labour in March, the same as February. The current seat projection is centre-right 58 seats, centre-left 51 which would see NZ First hold the balance of power.

We show the current New Zealand poll averages for party vote, country direction and preferred PM compared to three months ago, a year ago, three years ago and nine years ago. This allows easy comparisons between terms and Governments.

In the United States Obama now has positive approval ratings for the first time in many years. The prediction markets have Trump at 44% likely to win the GOP nomination and Cruz at 36%. Clinton is at 83% to be the Democratic nominee.

In the UK polls show Remain just 3% ahead of Leave in the EU referendum.

In Australia the Coalition remain ahead of Labor but Turnbull’s approval rating continues to decline.

In Canada the Liberals have dropped 4% this month but remain well ahead in the polls.

We also carry details of polls on the NZ flag and cannabis plus the normal business and consumer confidence polls.

This newsletter is normally only available by e-mail.  If you would like to receive future issues, please go to http://curia.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e9168e04adbaaaf75e062779e&id=8507431512 to subscribe yourself.

A very gay Scotland

April 6th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

The leader of Scotland’s Labour party, Kezia Dugdale, has become the fifth key political figure and the fourth party leader in Scottish politics to come out as gay. Giving an interview to a magazine, Dugdale said she had a female partner.

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative party; Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Green party; and David Coburn, the leader of Ukip Scotland, have also come out as gay or bisexual, along with Scotland’s only Conservative MP, David Mundell, the secretary of state for Scotland.

This means Nicola Sturgeon is the only senior politician in Scotland who isn’t gay – obviously there needs to be a quota for heterosexuals!

Most people don’t care about the sexual orientation of their politicians. We should judge politicians on their choices, not on who they are.

But statistically it is rare to have so many gay senior politicians. If one accepts only 6% of the population is gay, then the chances of the leaders of the Tories, Labour, UKIP and Greens all being gay is very very small.

Would NZ do better if UK was not in the EU?

April 5th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Europe is stronger with Britain in it and if New Zealand wasn’t so far away it would want to join such a union, Prime Minister John Key says.

Both those statements are true.

However the question for the UK is not whether the EU is stronger by having Britain in it, but whether Britain is stronger being in the EU.

Likewise the issue for NZ isn’t what is better for the EU, but what is better for NZ.

I think you could argue that if the UK was not in the EU, it would be better for New Zealand.

Some of the recent restrictions on Kiwis working in the UK are because the UK is trying to limit immigration from the EU. If they were not in the EU, then those restrictions on Kiwis would probably not have been put in place.

Key to nominate Clark this week

April 5th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Helen Clark is poised to confirm her bid for the United Nations’ top job with John Key’s blessing.

Key is expected to announce on Tuesday that New Zealand will nominate Clark for the position of United Nations Secretary General, which becomes vacant with the retirement of Ban Ki-Moon later this year.

The Government’s backing ensures a concerted diplomatic campaign will be thrown behind Clark’s bid, and Key has made it clear he will use his access to world leaders to lobby on her behalf at every opportunity.

As head of the UN development programme Clark is already the third most powerful person at the UN.  But she has increasingly been linked to the top job, in part because of her work at the UNDP, and also because of a push to install the UN’s first female boss.

But there is stiff competition, with Clark expected to join a crowded field that hosts a number of women candidates including the current director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.

​There has also been speculation about a rival closer to home – former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is said to be lobbying intensely in New York as well.

​The biggest obstacle to Clark getting the job may be UN politics, with a number of countries already stating their support for the view that it is Eastern Europe’s “turn” to hold the job.

That’s more than a view. While not a written rule, it has been the unofficial rule for decades that you rotate through the regions.

But there has been talk among UN observers, including Rudd, that Clark could emerge the “compromise” candidate if the large number of Eastern European candidates cancel each other out.

Not if they cancel each other out. It is as simple as if any of them can get past a veto from the P5, especially Russia. If Russia says one of them is acceptable, then they are highly likely to become Secretary-General. If Russia vetoes them all, then Clark’s chances become much greater.

Hard to know what Putin will do. He’d anger a lot of Eastern Europe if he blocks one of them becoming SG, but hey he’s already invaded parts of various countries, so who knows.

He believed New Zealanders would be hugely proud if she succeeded.

“If Helen became the next secretary general of the UN New Zealanders would celebrate in the same way they celebrate Lorde for her singing and Lydia Ko in golf.”

Umm, not quite. It would be a proud moment for NZ for one of us to head up the UN. But someone who has been a partisan politician will never be seen in quite the same way as someone who wasn’t.

UPDATE: Key has now formally nominated Clark. The campaign website is here. As it is Key that nominated Clark, I wonder if Labour and Green MPs will allow KDS to force them to oppose the nomination!

State income taxes

April 4th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

Yesterday Mr Turnbull outlined what he called a “once in a generation reform” toredesign the tax system for the first time in 74 years.

The plan involves the federal government cutting its own income tax and giving the states the ability to collect their own taxes.

While details have not yet been revealed, some have suggested the federal government could give the states 2 per cent of the income tax rate, which Mr Turnbull said would raise about $14 billion for the states.

When asked whether this was actually “double taxation”, Mr Turnbull said “no”.

He said the plan could mean different states had different rates of income tax, but they already had different rates of land tax, payroll tax and stamp duty.

“The fundamental question is this: Are we sick of the blame game, are we sick of the finger pointing, are we sick of states not being responsible for much of the money they spend?” Mr Turnbull said.

“What we are proposing is that we begin a grown up conversation, a rational conversation, about a solution that does not involve any new or it doesn’t involve any additional tax.”

Mr Turnbull described the plan as a change to the way income tax was allocated.

“It is too easy for states and territories to just go to the federal government ATM and too easy for them to just blame the Commonwealth for not having enough money,” he said.

“It will deliver a better government because people, politicians and parliaments will be more responsible for more of the money they spend.

“They will have to be answerable to their voters for the money they spend.”

The proposal has both good and bad aspects to it.

The good is that there might be competition between states to have the lower income tax rate. People may move to states with a lower tax rate.

Also it would force state government to live within their means, rather than just demand Canberra fund everything.

The bad is that most governments like spending, and over time you may get all states increasing their income tax rates and Australians may end up paying more tax than ever.

You could set a maximum rate for state income tax, but if you do this would become the de facto rate for all.

The Nanny State Index

April 4th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Christopher Snowden has constructed a European Nanny State Index showing which countries are the worst and best to be able to eat, drink, smoke and vape.

The seven most nanny state countries in Europe are:

  1. Finland
  2. Sweden
  3. UK
  4. Ireland
  5. Hungary
  6. Greece
  7. Lithuania

The least nanny state are:

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Germany
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Netherlands
  5. Slovakia
  6. Austria
  7. Bulgaria

I’d love someone to calculate where NZ would come on this index!

They have correlated the nanny state index to life expectancy and found that there is no correlation between nanny state policies and higher life expectancy. Likewise no correlation between heavy regulation of alcohol and lower rates of alcohol consumption.

 

No jury will convict

April 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A man who was killed after allegedly breaking into a home in Australia was an ice addict and had previously been jailed for raping a teenage girl.

I’d say the chances of the home owner (and father) being found guilty of murder by a jury are basically zero.

Time getting close for a Clark decision

April 3rd, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Barry Soper writes:

Just like old times Clark appeared in front of a media scrum and with a smile said she’s got nothing to announce right now, with an upward inflection on the now.

Well maybe not now, but for the top job candidates there will be formal interaction with General Assembly members in a couple of week’s time which presumably means an announcement from her is imminent.

It really all comes down to Russia. If they signal one of the Eastern European candidates is acceptable to them, then they’ll get the job. If Russia effectively vetoes all the Eastern European candidates, then the race is wide open and Clark becomes a viable candidate.

She’s certainly got the devoted support of her successor and texting buddy John Key, who’s on record as saying he’d lobby every leader of every country he knew to help her, and given the dressing gown diplomacy he displayed at the last APEC summit, that’s most of them.

And the globe trotting, glad handing we did to secure our seat on the UN Security Council, would also have put this blip on their radar screen. The council will make the final decision and the fact that we’re on it won’t do Clark any harm, even if the former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd puts up his hand.

His CV, collapsing the Labour Party a couple of years into his dysfunctional leadership, wouldn’t do much for his candidacy over Clark who fought off a leadership attempt, united her party and led if for nine years in Government.

This got me thinking about the political impact here of a Clark candidacy. It could be quite negative for Labour.

First of all there would be the implicit comparisons – The last Labour PM was so good, she is running for the top job at the UN, while the four leaders since Clark struggle to tie their shoelaces up some days.

And you’d have several months of images of Key going around the world, campaigning for Clark, looking like a bi-partisan statesman putting the interests of NZ ahead of partisan politics.

So if I was Andrew Little, I’d be on the hot line to Putin begging him to let through one of the Eastern European candidates!

We must stop blaming ourselves for terrorism

March 31st, 2016 at 11:09 am by David Farrar

Douglas Murray writes at The Telegraph:

How many more excuses are we going to make before we face the facts? How many more fifth-rate, sixth-form debates will we have to sit through? Why, whenever any act of Islamist terror is carried out on Western society do we race to ask all the wrong questions, all based on the central fallacy that this is somehow our own fault? We wring our hands and make excuses. And then we blame ourselves. “What did we do to make this happen?” we ask, time after time.

Unfortunately, there are always people on hand eager to feed our self-absorption and ignorance. “It is your foreign policy,” they say. Perhaps after Brussels people might question this response a little more searchingly. Aside from Bhutan, Belgium probably has the least interventionist foreign policy of any country in the world.

True.

Other apologists answer that terrorists are moved to blow up trains and gun down people in cafes because they feel disenfranchised and ostracised, with few employment opportunities. This is particularly strange when you consider that there is record unemployment in Southern Europe right now and none of our cities has yet been visited by a jobless Catholic Italian modelling a suicide vest. It is about poverty, excuse-seekers say. Yet nobody from the most deprived estates of Glasgow has yet carried this idea to its illogical conclusion.

It’s silly that some try to ignore the religious motivation of Islamic terrorism.

The problem of Islamic extremism is caused – astonishingly enough – by Islamic extremism. As France, Belgium and many other societies can now attest, the larger your Muslim population, the larger your Islamic extremism problem. Not because most Muslims are terrorists. Obviously not. But because that “small minority” we always hear about grows proportionally bigger the larger the community is. What matters is the numbers, the density (thus their ability to hide and be hidden) and the type of Islam that is followed. Given Europe’s current demographic trajectory this poses a pretty terrifying problem which we’ll have to face up to one day. But in the meantime it remains so much more comfortable to blame the only people we’re kidding. Ourselves.

The type of Islam followed is key. We should reject discrimination against Muslims, but when deciding who is allowed to immigrate to NZ, we should strongly test whether their beliefs are compatible with NZ values. One easy test is whether they support the death penalty for apostasy. Anyone who does should not be allowed to migrate here.

Another university retreats from free speech

March 31st, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Breitbart reports:

Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned by his own alma mater, the University of Manchester, from participating in a debate on campus about free speech.

Manchester’s student union also banned Yiannopoulos’s debate opponent, Julie Bindel, from discussing whether modern feminism has a problem with censorship. Yiannopoulos briefly attended Manchester as a Philosophy undergraduate before dropping out to take up a place at Cambridge.

According to their announcement, the student union believes that Yiannopoulos and Bindel could compromise the “safety” of students by “inciting hatred.”

As reported by award-winning journalist Victoria Brownworth, the same student union could not come to a decision about whether or not to sanction the terrorist group ISIS, but has decided that a lesbian feminist and a gay conservative columnist represent a threat to student safety. The Manchester Student union also invited a Muslim preacher who called for gay people to be killed.

This is why people are supporting Donald Trump. The backlash against the thought and speech police.

British Police lost the plot again

March 30th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Spectator reports:

After terrorist outrages like the one in Brussels, our leaders always say the same thing: ‘We must defend European values against these evil killers.’ It seems the Metropolitan Police didn’t get the memo. For they have just arrested someone — actually arrested someone — for tweeting something unpleasant about the Brussels attack, in the process trampling their coppers’ boots all over what is surely, or at least ought to be, the most important European value of all: freedom of speech.

The arrested man is one Matthew Doyle. He went viral after tweeting about a run-in he had on the day of the Brussels attacks: ‘I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said “Nothing to do with me”. A mealy mouthed reply.’

Now, if this encounter really did happen — and many have their doubts — it was a rude and ugly thing for him to have done. But to bearrested for tweeting about the incident, on suspicion of ‘inciting racial hatred’? To be locked up for hours, as Doyle has been, for saying something silly to a woman in the street and then tweeting about it? That is outrageous. The awfulness of his tweet pales into insignificance in comparison with the awfulness of his having been arrested for it. If you’re still shocked by his tweet rather than by the fact that 21st-century Britain arrests people for what they say, then your moral priorities need urgent rearranging.

Mr Doyle is a pillock for going up to a Muslim woman and demanding she explains Croydon. It’s like going up to a random Catholic and demanding they explain what a paedophile priest has done.

He’s a bigger pillock for tweeting about it. His stupidity is near legendary.

But the response to his stupidity should be to mock him, to point out how stupid he is, to even reason with him.

The response should not be to arrest him. That is appalling.

He has now been released as the Police broke the law in arresting him. The section he was arrested under, needs the permission of the Crown Prosecution Service. But regardless it was shameful judgment on their part that they arrested someone for being a pillock on Twitter. Sure if he had made actual threats against people, that would be different. But what he said was nowhere near that.

Obama says no great difference between communism and capitalism!

March 30th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Infowars reports:

President Obama has stoked controversy after he suggested to an audience of Argentinian youth that there was no great difference between communism and capitalism and that they should just “choose from what works”.

Obama responded to a question about nonprofit community organizations and the necessity of attracting funding from both the public and private sectors.

“So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said.

“Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works,” he added.

Wow.

What works?

You’d hope the President of the US would be slightly more positive on capitalism.

Since China and India embraced capitalism around 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty.

While under communism tens of millions died in famines and the like.

South Korea and West Germany chose capitalism. East Germany and North Korea “chose” communism. The results speak for themselves.

How long until there is a milk tax!

March 30th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

People should halve the amount of dairy foods they eat, the Government’s dietary adviser has said in a radical move to cut obesity.

Public Health England (PHE) says men should have only 200 calories of dairy per day while women should have just 160cal, meaning that just one large latte coffee could put a woman over her recommended daily limit.

We need a milk tax!! People must be forced to drink less milk as it has calories in it!

The move was heavily criticised by nutritionists, MPs and the dairy industry, who accused PHE of putting public health at risk with its “baffling” advice.

They say the new guidance does not provide for enough calcium or iodine in people’s diet, essential for healthy bones and brain development.

Minor issue. At least they’ll be skinny!

Killed for wishing a Happy Easter

March 30th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

A popular shopkeeper was stabbed to death by another Muslim in a “religiously prejudiced” attack hours after posting an Easter message on Facebook to “my beloved Christian nation”.

Asad Shah, 40, a devout Muslim originally from the Pakistani city of Rabwah, had his head stamped on during a savage attack, according to one eyewitness.

Around four hours earlier the victim wrote online: “Good Friday and a very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.

“Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.”

On Friday afternoon, police confirmed that a 32-year-old Muslim man had been arrested in connection with Mr Shah’s death.

A spokeswoman added: “A full investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances surrounding the death which is being treated as religiously prejudiced.”

This is a sad reminder the problems within Islam go beyond jihadists.

30% of Muslims globally believe that apostates should be executed. This is reprehensible.

There should be no punishment at all for deciding to change religion. This is what freedom of religion means.  And to have 30% of a religion support the death penalty for those who leave it, is appalling.

That 30% is a minority. But it is a large minority.

Was the VIP paedophile ring a fantasy?

March 27th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

The police investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring that was accused of killing three children has collapsed.

The Metropolitan police confirmed on Monday afternoon that Operation Midland had closed after 16 months of investigation.

The force made a statement shortly after the last living suspect in the inquiry said he had been told he would face no charges. Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP, was given the news on Monday afternoon following a conversation between his solicitors and a senior Met officer. …

It is understood the police found no evidence to substantiate claims from a single witness, known only as Nick, that Proctor had murdered two boys and helped to organise the murder of another.

The decision to clear Proctor is a humiliating admission for the Met, which had previously described his accuser’s allegations as “credible and true”.

The high-profile investigation has involved raids on the homes of Proctor, the late Lord Brittan and the war hero Lord Bramall.

While all allegations must be investigated, the huge publicity given to the claims of Nick always seemed baffling to me.

It is quite possible that a British MP or MPs have been pedophiles.

But the idea of an organised ring is the stuff of fantasy. If you are a pedophile, you are unlikely to share your secret with your opponents (or colleagues).

Operation Midland has been running for 16 months and has cost in excess of £2m as it examines the allegations of one complainant, known as Nick, that a paedophile ring containing powerful establishment figures abused him from the age of seven until he was 16 and was responsible for the murders of three young boys.

It took 2 million pounds to investigate??

As a result of Nick’s allegations officers opened murder inquiries into the killing of three young boys. But they never established the identities of the victims, recovered any bodies or linked the allegations to reports of young boys who had gone missing in the period in question.

So it may all be fantasy. I can’t imagine three kids get murdered and no one notices.

In December 2014, Scotland Yard held a press conference in which they revealed they were investigating the murders of three young boys and the abuse of children which had taken place over a decade at the various locations. Most significantly a senior officer on the homicide command, detective superintendent Kenny McDonald, said the claims by the witness Nick were “credible and true”.

Or incredible and false.

40 years for Radovan Karadžić

March 25th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Radovan Karadžić managed to evade justice for a decade, and his trial took another decade but the 70 year old now has a 40 year jail sentence for his war crimes.

One of the things he was found guilty of was genocide for the Srebrenica massacre. They aimed to kill “every able-bodied male” in the town and systematically exterminate the Bosnian Muslim community. Over 8,000 men and boys were killed.

 

Oh diddums

March 25th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The lawyer defending the prime surviving suspect for the November 13 Paris attacks said on Sunday he would sue a French prosecutor for divulging Salah Abdeslam’s private admission that he planned to blow himself up with fellow Islamic State militants.

Speaking two days after Abdeslam was captured during a police raid in Brussels, his lawyer Sven Mary accused the lead French investigator of violating judicial confidentiality by quoting Abdeslam’s statement to a magistrate in Brussels at a news conference in Paris on Saturday evening.

Oh poor little terrorist, his privacy got breached.

UK turning every school into a charter school!

March 25th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The BBC reports:

Chancellor George Osborne has used his Budget speech to say all schools in England will become academies and extend the school day.

Schools must become academies by 2020 or have official plans to do so by 2022, he told MPs. …

Mr Osborne said: “Providing schooling is the single most important thing we can do to help children from a disadvantaged background to succeed.”

It was also the single most important thing that could be done to boost the long term success of the country, he added.

Therefore, he pledged to “set schools free” from local bureaucracy, so by 2020 all schools must have converted or be in the process of converting to academy status.

This is huge.

Academy schools are very similar to charter schools. They have enhanced flexibility. They were set up by Labour and have proved so popular that half the schools are now academy schools.

Victim Blaming

March 24th, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

University of Otago terrorism expert Richard Jackson said attacks in Europe and the rest of the world would continue until world leaders changed the way they responded.

Yeah don’t respond to them, and they will stop!

He said they often reacted to terror by increasing security, intensifying military attacks on regions terrorism was thought to be coming from, increasing restrictions on civil liberties, increasing surveillance and targeting of Muslim communities, and introducing “draconian” legislation.

“And the only thing that has achieved is more terrorism,” he said.

Classic victim blaming. It is all the fault of the West, and nothing to do with the world view of the terrorists.

“It’s impossible to secure everywhere in modern society from these kinds of attacks. So to say we are going to make our society secure by increased security measures and by vigorous military action is either a lie or it’s a delusion.”

When asked what the alternative to that would look like, he said: “The first thing to do would be to undertake an honest and rigorous investigation into the root causes of this violence – to try and understand where it comes from.”

So what is his alternative?

ISIS wants a global caliphate and the world run on 7th century fundamentalist beliefs where women are sex slaves.

Should we give them just some of what they want?