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Monday, 13 November 2006

A free society is defined by being free from authoritarian control

Will any fresh legislation be introduced with the advent of 'ID cards' to assure they can never become the manipulative and coercing tool of an oppressive illiberal government? Civil liberties are retained not only to protect from current government, they provide a defence from what government may become. Should a less benign future government or situation emerge, we would find that by virtue of the 'ID society' proposed that we are subject to a totalitarian government's strict control. A free society is defined by being free from authoritarian controls and not by just relying on a government that says it can be trusted.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Blair Baloney

In a recent speech, to the Royal Society in Oxford, Tony Blair proclaimed "We need our scientists today to be as celebrated and famous as our sportsmen and women, our actors, our business entrepreneurs. Scientists are 'stars' too."

The culture of suggesting people aspire to 'stardom' as an aim and mark of success is ill-founded. Roll-models are important to inspire people to recognise the merit of achievement in all constructive walks of life, but setting 'stardom' as a goal will, by it's very nature, preclude the majority from reaching the supposed pinnacle.

If we want the majority to be successful we must set attainable goals they want to reach. The role and function of scientists and engineers is more important than can be portrayed by the public notoriety of the very few. People know the opportunity for achieving fame is a remote prospect and it is not a motivating factor - logic will predict it's unlikely occurrence.

It would be more inspiring to take the example of normal people excelling at their profession, showing what they do, where their professions have taken them in their lives and explaining the motivation and rewards they enjoy from their endeavours. This will be a scenario a young scientific mind will be able to logically relate to and can portray the prospective outcome of their endeavours should they take the time, effort and expense to enter such a career.

Does the government believe that it's love of celebrity figureheads is the answer to popularising careers in the sciences or do they respect the danger of framing career success within such irrelevant terms ?

Monday, 6 November 2006

My fear of ID cards and the underlying database

My fear of ID cards and the underlying database commences simply from my lack of trust in Tony Blair along with any part of this government. I accept they are not the worse government we could have, I have a powerful imagination and can think off many ways in which our national circumstance can become worse still. One way may be with an oppressive centralised European government, voted into power by a people distant to us through geography and culture, dictating a future clearly detrimental to this island and its people's interests.

From our recent experience in the hands of the Blair government, leading the nation to a war on a tissue of lies with the unmitigated slaughter and disaster that has ensued as just one clear example, we can learn a salient lesson; we are already near powerless to resist, prevent or correct the wrongful behaviour of our own instruments state.

We need to know we have the means to protest, to resist and ultimately overthrow our leaders. And they need to know this possibility is an option too. The cornerstone of totalitarian control is put into place with the ID Database. If it's social values are to be realised, it's dangerous nature has to be counterbalanced with liberal legislation offering a viable mechanism to ensure our leaders can never become tyrannical rulers or more likely puppets acting out the bidding from a hidden hand.

Civil liberties stand as a defence from whatever future holds. To assure an enduringly free society the balance must always be; government is to trust people and not demand legislation that requires the people to trust government.

Thursday, 2 November 2006

The true controversy over the Hutton Inquiry

Lord Hutton is wrongly suggesting that controversy over his report is because he had white-washed the truth of how Tony Blair took our nation to war in Iraq. This question was not specifically relevant to his terms of reference.

The true controversy is over how the Hutton Inquiry supplanted the process of the Coroner's Inquest, commencing instead on the basis of an assumed premise for Dr David Kelly cause of death and then, without sound investigation or due legal process, inappropriately coming to a finding that his death was suicide, whilst deflecting national attention with the shenanigans between Downing Street and the BBC.

Lord Hutton has whitewash on his hands.

Friday, 20 October 2006

Kelly Inquest Quitter Coroner Helps Avoid Enquiry into Dead Solders

Because the bodies of service personnel killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are flown to RAF Brize Norton, Oxon, it is the Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Garner who should have been conducting the backlog of 111 inquests now due.

Nicholas Garner was the coroner who aborted his inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly. Under the 1999 section 17A amendment to the 1988 Coroners Act, provision was made that if the Lord Chancellor tells a coroner there is to be a public enquiry (into the events surrounding the death) before the coroner's inquest is likely to be completed, the coroner shall adjourn their inquest. This is only if the Lord Chancellor considers it is 'likely' the cause of death will also be investigated by the inquiry and that there is an absence of any exceptional reason to the contrary.

The Lord Chancellor was wrong to allow the presumption that Dr David Kelly's cause of death would be adequately investigated within the terms of the inquiry he had called for 'to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death' and with witness evidence not to be taken under oath. The coroner Nicholas Gardiner should have recognised the 'exceptional reason to the contrary' within the inquiry's terms and procedures allotted and hence should not have adjourned his inquest before establishing cause of death.

The same Coroners Act section 17A amendment could now be legitimately deployed to save the Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Garner conducting these multiple individual inquests, supplanting that process with an all encompassing inquiry into 'the circumstances leading to and surrounding the deaths of these 111 servicemen'. There is not so much doubts as to how each of these men were killed but a honest answer to how they were caused to go to war would be revealing.

Monday, 16 October 2006

Who says the Pentagon did not have a plan for post-war Iraq?

Who says the Pentagon did not have a plan for post-war Iraq? Everything appears to be proceeding swimmingly to plan - the plan to allow Iraq to disintegrate into civil war so to fragment the nation into a series of weaker states that individually, on the balance of probabilities, will be easier to influence and control.

Iraq's autocratic rulers, the Bathists under Saddam Hussein, were emboldened, by the wealth of oil and autonomous power, to resist the coercions of foreign powers. Having previously succumbed, in their fruitless war with Iran, they learnt to resist the hand of their master with which they used to be fed.

The frustration of such indiscipline lead those who thought themselves to still be Iraq's masters to beat and eventually destroy their once useful hound. And to ensure that Iraq would not resurrect, phantom like, it's corpse was to be dismembered. Should one of the new smaller Iraqi states fail to tow the line (as is probable) it's power and strategic regional threat posed (to you know who) will be much diminished from that considered to exist with Saddam's Iraq and mixing it up yet again, in the hope of a preferable fresh outcome, an easier task.

As Henry Ford said "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs"