Jultra Truth. Freedom. Oh and the end of New Labour and Tony Blair, Ian Blair, ID cards, terror laws and the NWO and their lies

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The pornography of distraction ?

Isn't it funny that Home Secretary Jaqui Smith's husband apparently a Mr Richard Timney, was paying for porno films and at the expense of the tax payer to boot. A funny and small comeuppance for this ridiculous cloth-headed gorgon at the Home Office, and fittingly ironic for these anti-privacy ghouls in the tinpot regime; just a tiny hint of what the kinds of retained records they want everyone else to be chained to as a 'privilege of living in a modern society' can dig up. Smith is one of several New Labour gorgons, which all blend one into another as far as I'm concerned, I can barely even tell them apart.

Certainly there's a lot of media interest in MP's spending at the moment, and there is something seemingly of insanity about some of the things MPs can claim in their expenses, and for sure there are some grotesque examples of this that the press and other politicians will dig up.

Other than it underlines the particularly dismal and inevitable Animal Farm scenario for Labour, I don't believe it's a particular 'problem' though, and typically all this general talk of sleaze and abusing expenses and so on has a very corrosive and distraction-inducing effect.

Instead of talking about the horrendous, vile and very real policies of this government, including the burgeoning police state apparatus and policies being feverishly assembled, with the Home Office at the forefront of, we end up talking about their expenses and making that the 'bad' thing that they are doing. And this just totally trivializes the real issues of the day.

Unless we are to treat this case as some kind of serious warning shot at those Labour politicians hysterically trying to dismantle privacy and liberty in the UK, which include but are no means limited to mass internet data storage, driving surveillance, the National ID Register, the uploading of medical records and so on.

Great if that's the case, I certainly hope it is, and frankly it should be seen like that anyway despite the general focus on politicians' expenses at the moment.

But it would also be appropriate if this media, rather than solely trying to catch a politician out over some minor rule, or find some embarrassing expense just tell the truth about what's going on and what the government is trying to do to the population.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quarter of UK's databases are illegal

I meant to post this from yesterday, the title is (from the Independent):

Quarter of UK's databases are illegal

(And the rest of them are 'merely' degrading, dehumanising, vile and utterly inappropriate - j)

"One in four of the major government databases is almost certainly illegal and should be scrapped, a report says. The national DNA database, the proposed national identity database and the ContactPoint system, which will hold records of all children in England, are among the systems singled out for fundamental reform or abolition.

Researchers called for 11 systems assessed as "almost certainly illegal" under human rights or data protection law to be scrapped or substantially redesigned.

The study, by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, also pointed to significant legal and practical problems with a further 29 databases, including the national childhood obesity one and the planned NHS summary care record system, and said they should be reviewed independently. Privacy experts were asked to compile the report after two discs listing the entire child benefit database went missing in 2007. Researchers said data-sharing should be authorised only for strictly defined purposes, and said sensitive personal information should be collected and shared only with the individual's consent.

The report's co-author, Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University, said: "Britain's database state has become a financial, ethical and administrative disaster which is penalising some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Often, computerisation has been used as a substitute for public service reform rather than a means of enabling reform. Little thought is given to safety, privacy and value for money."

Researchers highlighted legal problems with systems that held sensitive data where there was "no effective opt-out" such as ContactPoint, the index planned to record English children's relationship with public services. The report said: "Many question the consequences of giving increasing numbers of civil servants daily access to our personal information. Objections range from cost through efficiency to privacy. The emphasis on data capture, form-filling, mechanical assessment and profiling damages professional responsibility and alienates the citizen from the state."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We recognise the absolute necessity of striking the balance between the rights and privacy of the individual and the ability to disrupt, prevent and investigate crime effectively. That is why the Home Secretary [Jacqui Smith] has made it clear that a 'common sense' test must be applied to every action in this area to make sure it is proportionate, transparent and robust safeguards are in place.

"For example, the National Identity Scheme and ID cards will have independent oversight built in from the start, with every citizen given the right to see their data and who has accessed it. Technology such as DNA and CCTV is providing clear benefits in deterring and detecting crime, securing convictions and reducing fear of crime."

'Criminal' records Singled out for abolition

*National DNA Database

Holds 4 million individual profiles


A national index of all children in England

*The NHS Secondary Users Service

Summaries of hospital and other treatments

*The Common Assessment Framework

Children's welfare needs


A Home Office system used to determine whether young people are at risk of offending

*Dept for Work and Pensions data sharing programme

Matches data with government and outside agencies

*Audit Commission National Fraud Initiative

Matches data within central and local government bodies to detect fraud and error

*The Prum framework

An international agreement which allows police information to be shared


*Communications database Would bring together details of emails, telephone calls and web use

*National Identity Register Will store biographical information and biometric data linked to ID cards

*The NHS Detailed Care Record Will hold GP and hospital records "

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Norman Finkelstein on Holocaust

A short video interview with scholar Norman Finkelstein (I think from Nov last year - not sure)

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Monday, March 23, 2009

BBC and sickening barbarity towards fish

I just saw a glimpse of something on one of the BBC channels that appeared to be about eating fish in Japan.

And I have to say I was absolutely disgusted at this program for depicting the cruel and awful treatment of the poisonous Fugu fish by a Japanese restaurant or factory or something. It was just hideous cruelty.

I do love fish as food, I think fish are a wonderful food.

However I also know that fish are wonderful animals, not some numb stupid lump of prehistoric flesh.

I really do hope that in the western countries, and as you may guess I'm writing this totally off the top of my head, that there are laws that apply to the treatment of fish for food that are humane. I take it there are laws, and I haven't looked at this subject at all so I just don't know, but one would assume there are laws in place about the cruel and degrading treatment of animals that are used for food like cows and pigs and how they are killed. And I certainly hope that applies to fish.

Skinning a fish, cutting its mouth off and taking its eyes out while alive I would describe as sickening barbarism.

And frankly the BBC, I think it was the BBC should consider their quirky voyeurism of this; those executives, directors and producers, along with those Japanese restaurant or factory staff ask themselves if you think it is a big funny joke, imagine the same was happening to your dog or cat.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jade Goody dies of cancer (dies of media ?)

Guardian: "Reality television star Jade Goody, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, has died, her publicist said this morning"

Certainly our prayers are with Jade and her family.

I don't really know what to make about this story. I know it's not the kind of thing we usually talk about on here. As I understand it, some arrangement between Jade and the press was made as regards some of this for the benefit of her children, but I never liked the way this was presented.

Frankly I felt the media held court over a culture of death with the specific and deliberate intention to normalise that culture of death and this bizarre macabre voyeurism about someone very ill, and I don't believe anything hugely positive came out of that or that had any positive effect on Jade or those close to her.

I remember the front of the Daily Mirror day in day out for the last 2 months or more instructing us all how Jade is about to die any minute, I remember reading some column by Dr Hillary Jones (who remembers him ?) saying how it's all going to be so painless for Jade and telling us how she is going to die.

Personally I think this is grotesque. When I saw that I thought, if he hasn't been already, he really should be struck off the list from medical practice.

All this coverage has been vile. Jade obviously was very ill, but not one prayer or wish for a miracle, not even a a glimmer of hope, nothing that was even a flicker of the struggle for life.


I think that message is itself depraved, destructive, and disgusting. And that's the message this media and this rotten government loves to pump out, day in day out.

The Guardian reflect on some of Jade's career and recall how the 'public turned against her' after she made some off-the-cuff comment, which was almost certainly whipped up into a frenzy by this same ghoulish race-obsessed media at the time.

So the hell what ?

It's true that newspapers and so on write obituaries well before someone actually dies, but in this case, based on their track record here, you can't help the sensing 'mission accomplished' by our wonderful media.

Rest in Peace Jade.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Google's spy in the streets triggers a wave of protests

Sorry for the lull here.

Guardian: "For 24 hours, Google's new Street View brought a vision of British cities to the web that included such memorable sights as a man throwing up between his knees outside a London bar and youths with traffic cones on their heads in Edinburgh.

But while the chance to take a 360-degree tour of every street in 25 UK cities continued to bring most offices to a standstill yesterday, some of the more invasive moments caught on camera saw Google hit with a wave of privacy complaints"

If you read the article there's very little real protest. I'm not going to say I've never used this. And it's quite cool and all. I just don't like Google's culture of 'filling in the gaps' aka ostensibly 'If it can be done let's just do it', it creates this care-free atmosphere of zero-consequences that contributes massively to this surveillance culture.

It's as if Google see it as their sole responsibility to push back the boundaries of privacy more and more to the point that it really doesn't exist anymore. And it's developed a firm track record of this, which is very difficult to deny, with Gmail and Google Health, its search records and various other greedy guzzling initiatives which I think are demeaning, trivialising and sinister.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Melanie Phillips on the police state and its causes.

Quite an interesting article by Melanie Philips in yesterday's Mail and well worth a read.

To cut a long story short and I certainly recommend people read Melanie's article, but according to her- a wider culture of so called human rights legislation, anti-discrimination laws, political correctness etc. have helped play a role in laying the groundwork for a police state in the UK (although she herself doesn't yet like that term). She says:

"It may be thought a curious irony that the Human Rights Act was introduced in 1998 to tackle precisely the concerns expressed last weekend of a slide into tyranny - and yet liberty has been seriously eroded in the past decade.

In fact, this isn't curious at all. Although the campaigners would sooner cut off their hands than admit it, the one has followed directly from the other. The idea that human rights law expands freedom was always a serious mistake. It has the opposite effect."

It's a pretty interesting article, of course a lot of people know Melanie Phillips and either love her or hate her but I don't believe any serious conservative grass roots campaigners against the police state in the UK represents anything like the culture she describes, although others may do.

Sometimes I've referred to something like the European Court of Human Rights, not because I think it's necessarily ideal and that it would in an perfect world supersede national laws but because the system has been so skewed, become so entrenched and the whole thing such a mess now, and the UK such a damaged blot that's what's there currently in this big mess.

And even if the culture Melanie describes is historically on the right lines, things like the European Court of Human Rights also happen to be rebuking the national Labour regime over things like their vile DNA stock-piling.

Certainly though Melanie could well be correct about a lot of it as far as it goes. I think these things probably have helped create the framework for a lot of this, and loosely you might throw these things under the heading of internationalism, post World War II.

Organizations like Liberty advocate a culture of human rights and egalitarianism rather than freedom per se, and the media tend to do a good job of obscuring this and presenting a case about 'civil liberties and human rights'. And this has the implication that the notion of freedom must be bound to other concepts as a kind of intellectual taxation and must now be 'handed down' rather than something you just have with inalienable implications.

And actually in fact I would quite expect the media to advocate, or some organizations to play up to the very notions Melanie is complaining about. I.e to promote people who are anti-police state but somehow enveloped in a culture of political correctness or maybe pro-hate laws or have some flavor of that about them; having the effect to slightly dilute and distract from the the real message and the main issue people are fighting against. It certainly wouldn't surprise me.

And certainly Melanie is absolutely correct to suggest that human rights, or in particular the culture that has now become associated with human rights should not be seen as any kind of a replacement for liberty and freedom.

I did see a leaflet for an event I think it was called 'Taking Liberties' off the top of my head (And I believe our friends at Irdial may have attended) and it listed Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell as main speakers on a panel. And I agree that they may not like the police state but they are also not necessarily representative shall we say but represent something else.

This isn't an issue to do with feminism or gay activism.

Of course sometimes we all have to find common ground on those issues that are serious and important with widespread implications and that's a good thing, and I don't believe that is incongruous to anything else, but certainly that must be without loosing sight of what those big issues are.

What Melanie didn't mention of course is this police state/surveillance culture is being cultivated in the United States and Europe too. I don't know if you can pick Britain out in that way other than it's way ahead of the others.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Information Commissioner warns of surveillance culture

The Times from 27/2/08:

"Laws that allow officials to monitor the behaviour of millions of Britons risk “hardwiring surveillance” into the British way of life, the country's privacy watchdog has warned.

Richard Thomas told The Times that “creeping surveillance” in the public and private sectors had gone “too far, too fast” and risked undermining democracy.

The Information Commissioner warned that proposals to allow widespread data sharing between Whitehall and the private sector were too far-reaching and that plans to create a giant database of every telephone call, e-mail and text message risked turning everyone into a suspect. “In the last 10 or 15 years a great deal of surveillance in public and private places has been extended without sufficient thought to the risks and consequences,” said Mr Thomas, 59. “Our society is based on liberty and democracy. I do not want to see excessive surveillance hardwired into British society.”

He criticised proposals going through Parliament to allow mass data sharing between government departments and the private sector. Campaigners have claimed that Section 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill would enable the transfer of health and tax records to private companies such as insurance firms and medical researchers.

Last year Mr Thomas — who became head of the independent body charged with safeguarding privacy and freedom of information in 2002 — recommended to ministers that data sharing be allowed only in carefully defined circumstances such as law enforcement, improving public services and for research. They ignored his advice. The Bill “needs to be narrowed”, Mr Thomas said. He called on Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to write into it that “anything to justify a data-sharing order has to come explicitly under one of those headings”.

Whitehall sources told The Times yesterday that Mr Straw would amend the Bill in the next few weeks to meet Mr Thomas's criticisms. Previously Mr Straw's department had maintained that there were sufficient safeguards, including a requirement for parliamentary approval for each data transfer.

The Bill also gives the Information Commissioner the power to investigate public bodies without their consent where there has been a suspected breach of data protection law. Mr Thomas complained that the powers did not extend to private companies.

Other government plans also risked undermining people's right to privacy, Mr Thomas said. Of the Home Secretary's proposal to build a database to store information currently held by internet service providers and telephone companies, Mr Thomas said: “A government-run database of the communications of all citizens, every phone call, every e-mail, every text, every internet use; a database of all those activities held by the Government would be a step too far for the British way of life.”

He dismissed Jacqui Smith's assurances that officials would have access only to data on who had contacted whom, rather than the content of the communication. “That A has telephoned B on a particular date from a particular location is actually quite intrusive,” he said. “If an MP logged on to a site selling Viagra, that tells you quite a lot. If a 16-year-old girl goes on to a website about abortion that tells you an awful lot about her too. I don't think there's a black-and-white distinction between traffic data and content.”

Mr Thomas made clear that he did not object to the monitoring of those suspected of involvement in terrorism and serious crime. “But I think that's a very different situation from monitoring the communications of the entire population,” he said. “We've got to have a much clearer distinction between those who are suspects and everybody else and I think we're at risk of making everybody a suspect if we go too far down this road.”

Security services have insisted that modernising the capacity to store and search telephone and internet information is crucial if Britain's ability to combat terrorists and serious organised crime is to be maintained.

Mr Thomas said that forcing government officials to make specific requests every time they needed information — as they currently have to do - provided a crucial safeguard. “If you have a security service or a policeman making an application [to an internet service provider for records], at least each of those applications has to go through a process and is scrutinised by the ISP. That's very different from it all being done behind the closed doors of a governmental agency.”

His concern about the erosion of the right to privacy extends to social networking sites. People did not realise that information put on sites such as Facebook and MySpace could come “back to haunt them”, he said.

Another area of concern for Mr Thomas is the use of surveillance cameras: he criticised the police for pressing to have closed-circuit television cameras installed in pubs. “We've come out against the requirement for pub licensees to fit CCTV as a condition of their licence,” he said. “This is hardwiring surveillance into British pubs. It is unacceptable.”

He also expressed concern that even some schools were now installing cameras in the classroom. He said that it might be acceptable in the case of a particularly unruly class, “but to roll out cameras in all classrooms is unacceptable”.

The Information Commissioner added his voice to criticism of ContactPoint, a computer database containing details on every child in the country.

“I can see the benefits of a national database of children at risk ... I'm less convinced that you need to have a database of every child in the country. Is it not better to have fuller details of children known to be at risk and make sure that information is used properly?”

Other key government surveillance measures had been “pushed through” without proper scrutiny or parliamentary debate. Of a database of DNA gathered from crime suspects, he said: “Clearly, the DNA database was set up with insufficient public debate. Part of the problem was that such debate took place on the assumption that it would be expensive to run DNA tests. The costs have absolutely fallen and it has become a matter of routine. We have to re-examine the issue in the light of current technology.”

He also lamented the lack of debate over the creation of a North London database that records details of car numberplates for up to five years. Mr Thomas questioned whether the Government had the legal authority for this and asked whether the public recognised that millions of their daily journeys were now being monitored. “We have to scrutinise every proposal very closely indeed to ensure that none involves a step too far.”

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