This is the front page of the Sun today - which readers might think bears a strong resemblance to Lord Patel's story LAST Saturday. It does, the lame attention grabbing headline is the same but last Saturday's story was more informative, but is also accurate.
The Italian Job - Spaghetti Trails
Postman Patel November 25th
Mario Scaramella a professor at the University of Naples, was a consultant to the Mitrokhin commission (1)an Italian Parliamentary commission of inquiry into KGB spy recruitment which was was headed by journalist Paolo Guzzanti - and remarkably (?) a senator from former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and fount of wisdom and icon of probity and Truth.A surprising view of commission members was that Romano Prodi was the "Kremlin's man in the EU and Rome"...........
Read on ....Comments on the Mitrokhin commission and most interestingly the connections between Mr Blair, Mrs Blair and Mr Berezovsky....with pictures.
The circumstances in which the ex President of Chechynya, Mr and Mrs Litvinyenko and indeed Mr B, plus his many other pals , henchmen, football fans, drivers, obtained UK citizenship would probably bear (or probably not) very close examination.
Pic C/o the the soaraway week behind Sun. This is a pic of the disarmingly beautiful Mrs Anna Livityenko who appears to have, not only alluring eyes but also emits alpha radiation.
As does Mr Scaramella, various seats on certain BA planes and now possibly an Easy Jet plane upon which Mr Scaramella plopped his bottom as he has been shuttling (scuttling) back and forth from London to Milan.
It is beginning to sound as though the initial smuggled samples of Polonium were carried in a container used originally for Dust'n'Vac.
Lord Patel has updated the story and has a lot of travel advice for those intending to visit Russia and an amusing comment here
Meanwhile Lord Patel who has written previously about the quasi State Armies of Aegis and Erinys (not fogetting Hakluyt) , who obtain stunning contracts in Iraq and have over 20,000 employees in that poor country have only figured very briefly in this tale, so far , is still following some fascinating (and possibly futile) trails. The radioactive HQ of Erinys is handy for Mr Berezovsky ( and employee Litvinosky who "popped" in (and many would have us beleive left a trail of Polonium) but their registered office is the charming Wiltshire farmouse of their founder and friend of .... well quite a few very interesting ex British Armed Forces officers who regularly are trotted out at Royal United Service INstitute (RUSI) "conferences".
e.g General Sir Roger Wheeler , Knight Grand Cross of the Bath , CBE was CGS1997 and 2000. Sir Roger is the current 'Constable of the Tower of London'. He also joined the Aegis Board at the same time as Lord Inge .. and is also a Board member of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (AKA National Police Service in embryo) . Another chap who makes his own modest contribution is Fatty Soames, MP happily joining Aegis at the same time who is also a member of Council of the RUSI.
Want to know more? Simply search Lord Patel's dominion by inserting "RUSI" in the top left search box - keep a spook happy for weeks.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This is the front page of the Sun today - which readers might think bears a strong resemblance to Lord Patel's story LAST Saturday. It does, the lame attention grabbing headline is the same but last Saturday's story was more informative, but is also accurate.
As Lord Patel has previously noted, on 1st October it was announced that the shady Carlyle Group had bought Tamoil for US$3Bn from the even shadier lady, Gadaffi and Libyan Gubment Oilinvest, Libya's foreign oil investment arm. Tamoil was acquired by Oilinvest (Netherlands) B.V. part of Oilinvest, in 1988.
Tamoil refines, markets and sells the country's oil, and has around 3,000 petrol stations in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, with a further 150 in Africa where they have a presence in Egypt, Chad,Niger,Burkina Faso,Mali and Eritrea. Tamoil famously has a Euro 110 Mn ( a year) sponsorship deal with Italian Football club, Juventus until 2010 - Gadaffi's son was until recently a Director of Juventus.
It is claimed that less than a third of Libya has been explored for oil. The country’s estimated reserves of 37 billion barrels put it among the top ten potential oil exporters. Current output is said to be 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) which could dvelop to over 3.0 million bpd by 2010.
Details of the deal (or confirmation that it has happened) have not been divulged by either party although the private equity world is full of gossip. This deal (and the need some say to seal it) has resulted in a sign of a major shift in the Carlyle Group investment policy . The D.C.-based private equity firm has hired Walid Musallam, former CEO of the Abu Dhabi Investment, to lead a new Middle East and North Africa (MENA) team as managing director.
The group will operate from offices in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Istanbul, Turkey, Carlyle will invest in a variety of sectors, including energy, financial services, health care, industrial, technology and transportation.
"Carlyle's global network and industry expertise are great differentiators that will benefit growing Middle Eastern and North African companies," Musallam says.
Musallam is a heavy mover and has also been CEO of Middle East Capital Group, a merchant bank based in Beirut, Lebanon (their website still shows him as CEO) He also was founder and CEO of D.C.-based Infrastructure Finance Group, with wide expereince on financing, acquisitions and dealing with governments on restructuring and privatizing state-owned facilities.He has also managed several construction projects in the Middle East.
Mr Musallam served as senior investment officer at the International Finance Corp. in D.C. and a vice president at Lehman Bros. in New York. He has managed several construction projects in the Middle East.
The very well connected and secretive outfit evidently senses a change in investment opportunities in the area - changes and opportunities that seem fairly remote to some observers.
It is interesting to read Mr Musallam in the Daily Star , Beirut 5/7/03 on the Al Jazeerah website "Why Americans support the war on Iraq" ...for example
"...how does it (the US Gubment) justify the war for Iraq where the regime was known for its antagonism toward fundamental Islam and there was no proof of a link with Al-Qaeda or the events of Sept. 11 let alone the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction? "
Popular views on the Beltway - from a man who it says was working for the World Bank.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Corruption, violence and vice have triumphed in Putin's Russia
" ...... we must confront a defiant new Russia, fortified by possession of a substantial part of the world's oil and gas reserves in an era when energy competition will be critical."
Meeting Magazine Editors at No 10 27 June 2006
"........ there is a simple stark fact that I would just like to put in front of people, which is we are going to go over the next 15 or 20 years to a situation where: one, the 20% that we get of our electricity from nuclear is going to decline to virtually zero; and two, where we are going to go from being 80 or 90% self-sufficient in oil and gas, to 80 or 90% importing it. And I think what that means is if we want to safeguard our energy supply ..."
That's one point made (apart from the fact that since TB spoke we are running with UK nuclear power at approx 65% of capacity due to engineering failures) .. for a well informed discussion on the death of Mr L the comments, which are many and varied, on the Max Hastings article are well worth reading.
Lord Truscott, Parliamentary Under Secretary (unpaid) at the DTI will be in Bacton today to mark the opening of the new 500 Mn. Euro BBL Balgzand Bacton interconnector. He will say as the gas starts to flow (it was tested this week) ;
"Gas is now flowing this winter through three pipelines. BBL and the new Langeled pipeline from Norway join the existing Belgian Interconnector and liquefied natural gas brought into the Isle of Grain on the Thames estuary. Next year there'll be additional imports of liquefied natural gas into Teesside and later Milford Haven in South West Wales, contributing to a healthy diversity of supply".The 36" BBL (capacity of 16 billion cu. meters/ year) pipeline is 235 Kms long of which only 5 km is onshore, and has been constructed in 2 years since the signing of the Dutch / UK treaty signed in 2005. Alastair Darling the DTI Minister points out that it can carry up to 8% of UK gas supplies ( capacity is around 42 million cubic metres of gas a day.)- at current consumption which is due to increase dramatically in the next 5 years.
Whilst claimed to boost energy security by the Minister, the BBL pipeline will be 9% owned by state owned Russian Gazprom which they bought off Dutch Gasunie in exchange for a share by Gasunie (who now own 51%) in the North European Gas Pipeline to become their third and last foreign partner in Nordstream. The other partners who each hold 20% are the German E.ON and BASF. So the UK have no direct financial interest in building or controlling the pipeline.
Whilst the connector will carry gas from the Dutch Groningen fields it must be remembered ,the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs is responsible for determining the rate of production from Dutch gas reserves. This is mandated in the Dutch Gas Act.
To cross the Dutch dunes a novel and technically complex Horizontal Directional Drilling system was used , a hole was drilled under the dunes through which a pipeline was fed thus minimising environmental impact.
The pipeline has been welded at sea onboard the Castoro Sei (see pic) of the Italian company Saipem (43% owned by Eni)) and lowered into position on the sea bed. With this method it was possible to install in average 3 km per day. The maximum lay rate was an astonishing 4.9 km per day.
So whilst the Ministers will boast of energy security, this is provided by a mix of German and Dutch investors, using Italian technology, supplying Dutch gas which is controlled by the Dutch Government and allows the Russian State Gazprom access to the UK market.
This children is called "energy security".
Lord (Peter) Truscott was an MEP for Hertfordshire 1994/9 - PhD from Oxford, he has written extensively on foreign and security policy. Specialist on the former Soviet Union and European security, he was visiting Research Fellow with the Institute for Public Policy Research from 1999 - 2000. He was recently an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. His major publications include Russia First (1997), European Defence (2000), Kursk, (2002) and Putin's Progress (2004). Became Minister when Lord Sainsbury resigned on 10th November 2006 to spend more time with his money - fair bet he has some interesting views on Mr Litvinenko's sudden illness.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Nike teamed up with Apple to produce Nike+iPod which gives runners using their shoes real-time updates - speed and length of their workouts. A small RFID battery powered device fits into the soles of Nike shoes, and broadcasts workout data to a small receiver plugged into an iPod Nano. This can be downloaded and the individuals performance tables, history charted.
Scott Saponas, at the University of Washington in Seattle identified the opportunity for super sleuthing or stalking that this device provides - something Apple and Nike didn't do.
The RFID broadcasts up to 60 feet and so by rigging up reader - a Linux-based "gumstix" -- a tiny, $79 computer they found they could read the device as it passed by, say the doorway of a target's house.By suitable wi-fi this could be relayed and acted on. Crazy idea but the sinister potential is not that unreal.
Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation sees this as a harbinger of potential surveillance.
"We're going to see more devices like this in the next few years," he said. "This isn't just a problem with the Nike+ iPod per se -- it's a cautionary tale about what happens when companies unwittingly build a surveillance capacity into their products."
Find out how to clone someone's RFID "key" to their office ......
...and you probably have already read about how No2ID have cloned passport details by cloning.
..and they are the uses we know about.
See report in Guradian and also Schneier on Security
It was November 30th 1995 that President Clinton shook hands in public with the leader / Generalissimo / Top Dog / Top Gun of the IRA Gerry Adams - in an event that only the IRA was able to photograph.
This was followed by a cease fire and then the Docklands and Manchester bombs.
Clinton also famously provided him with a visa to visit the US.
The second stage (Phase II) in the fairy tale of the European Trading Scheme has kicked off with the European Commission first 10 national plans for allocating CO2 emission allowances to energy-intensive industrial plants being published. Accounting for 45% of emitted carbon they show a planned reduction of almost 7 per cent below the emissions proposed by the national allocation plans (NAP's) and 7 per cent below the 2005 emissions. Plans so far cover Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The figures published show that of the ten nations who have agreed Phase II levels all failed to exceed their 1 st Period cap - i.e they produced less carbon than they planned to. This is either a triumph of engineering or a failure to establish meaningful targets.
The result was that the ETS trading scheme was a failure and far from changing hands in excess of the penalty of 40 Euros a ton, a ton of carbon trades at nearly 8 Euros.
Environment Secretary David Miliband , lying through his pearl white teeth today said ;
"Today's decision by the European Commission represents good news for the environment and good news for Europe. Emissions trading is a key tool in the UK and across the EU to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. The EU has a responsibility to ensure scarcity in the carbon market and a sustainable price of carbon. Today's decision shows a clear determination to achieve this. "
The ETS scheme is a total and abject failure - it will wither away politeley and eventually an energy tax will be applied as was proposed a decade ago.
As all the UK legislators, elected or selected, failed to understand the market, or the mechanisms that drive it, failed to criticise the scheme it was allowed to go ahead - so they will lamely let it slide away... blaming it of course on India, China, the US who never wanted part of it anyway.
The loser - the UK industrial, commercial and domestic consumers of electricity who have seen price rises of up to 45% in the last year for electricity ... and control over the industry pass to companies based outside the UK.
PS Since the announcement, the ETS market has collapsed further.Close 29 November 2006
EUA DEC 2006 €8.10 -0.50
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) took up responsibility for licensing labour providers from April 2006. From October 1st labour providers have had to be licensed.
In a groundbreaking inititative the need for licensing used local radio adverts in a massive, huge, monstrous, lavish £30,000 campaign in English, Welsh, Polish and Portuguese. The labour provider adverts were also broadcast in Welsh in South Wales. Research of listeners to the adverts showed that the major countries of origin of workers were- Poland (41%) (75% in Lincolnshire) , Portugal (11%), Lithuania, Latvia(8%), Ukraine (7%)and Russia (6%).
Furthermore half the people interviewed could speak English, 43% Polish, 29% Russian and 14% Portuguese. The majority of workers could speak two or more languages, with English being one of them and 40% stated Polish was their main language followed by Russian (14%) and Portuguese (13%)
From Friday December 1st 2006 a new law comes into force. Anybody who uses an unlicensed labour provider operating in farming and food processing sectors will be committing a criminal offence and face penalties of up to 6 months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.
This applies to an estimated users of labour from such labour providers - typically and traditionally called gangmasters who provide gangs of temporary and seasonal labour for agriculture and food processing.
The GLA we will be keen to hear from anyone who believes a Labour Provider is:
* Operating in breach of Licence Conditions
* Operating without a licence
Or that a Labour User is:
* Using an unlicensed Labour Provider.
If you have any concerns please contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020. This number is available during office hours 9am – 5pm.
The message doesn't seem to have got across to the Chinese cockle pickers although If you supply or use workers to gather shellfish, you can now apply for a GLA licence. You have until April 2007 before it becomes an offence to operate without a licence.
PS Breaking News The multi-agency 'Operation Lund' collected the Justice Shield from the stuck up nasty bitch, Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland and the luscious TV presenter Fiona Bruce at a ceremony in London today for their work in prosecuting the Morecambe Bay cockle picker gangmaster (see pic - 29 year old Lin Liang Ren) resonsible for at least the deaths of 23 illegal Chinese immigrants..
An enormously complex prosecution involving more than 1,500,000 pages of evidence, the trial eventually led to a Chinese gangmaster being found guilty of 21 counts of manslaughter and jailed for 14 years in March 2006.
Operation Lund involved staff from - the Crown Prosecution Service, Lancashire Constabulary, the courts and witness services, the Heath and Safety Executive, the coastguard, Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council, the RNLI, the Immigration Service, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the former National Crime Squad, Defra, the former Inland Revenue, the Sea Fisheries Committee, Interpol and the Chinese Embassy....and all shall have prizes.
Few will remember Lord Carlile the barrister who defended one of the defendants who accused the Home Office and the UK Immigration Service of turning a 'blind eye' to the practice of Chinese cockling.
He claimed that officials 'connived and co-opted people into acceptance of the illegal cockle trade'. The Home Office insists it did take 'robust and appropriate action." Ho. Ho. (as they say in Guangdong)
After a faulty start the Fear Factory has been thrown into overdrive - and as usual is fixated with aircraft and Heathrow.
British Airways, anxious to gain some Brownie points after the fuck up about devout Christian staff wearing crosses has kicked off . BA say over 300 flights (uspects in the growing murder enquiry now number an astonishing 33,000 passengers and 3,000 staff ) to and from Russia and Heathrow have been identified by the UK government as part of the investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko.... with one of the rarest elements on Earth which seems to have been spread across London and (now) Europe like Peanut Butter.
A list of flights affected is available.
Customers on these flights who wish to receive further advice are advised to telephone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. This includes UK citizens travelling overseas.
For all non-UK nationals, please contact your local doctor.
Only customers who have travelled on these specific flights are asked to telephone NHS Direct or seek medical advice locally.
British Airways has set up a special helpline for customers
in the UK on 0845 6040171
or + 44191 211 3690 for international calls.
Jocelyn and Hermione model the new BEA cabin crew uniform for flights to Moscow at a Press conference today at BA Headquarters, Heathrow.
Passenger protection suits are available from here.
Let's hope they don't discover it on the London Underground .... or the Queen's breakfast Tupperware containers. Max Clifford is inoccent.
Russia wants to obtain membership of the World Trade Organisation.
Allofmp3.com -- is an easily accessible online music store that sells inexpensive songs, unencumbered by copy protection based in Russia owned by Mediaservices . (see their FAQ's about copyright) CIO Vadim Mamotin interview here.
The US have taken the opportunity of Russia's application to slot in RIAA's demands to shut down Allofmp3.com - who are breaking no Russian laws. The US have been successful however in putting the pressure on the credit card companies (see Visa / Mastercard shut out on AllofMP3) based in the US to close down what they see as net pirates - see their success in stopping US based gamblers gambling on online US sports / political events.
The game is given away by a letter, "Results of Bilateral Negotiations on Russia's Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Action on Critical IPR Issues November 19, 2006"
"The United States and Russia have agreed on a binding blueprint for actions that Russia will take to address piracy and counterfeiting and improve protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), both stated priorities of the Russian Government, starting immediately."
"The agreement requires action on critical IPR issues, including:
• fighting optical disc piracy;
• fighting Internet piracy;
• protecting pharmaceutical test data;
• deterring piracy and counterfeiting through criminal penalties;
• strengthening border enforcement against piracy and counterfeiting;
• bringing Russia’s laws into compliance with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and other international IPR standards; and
• continuing training and bilateral cooperation on IPR protection."
"Russia has provided information showing that through September, Russian authorities continue their efforts on IPR enforcement, with raids at comparable levels to last year. We believe that Russia is committed to more aggressive actions before the end of the year."
"The bilateral agreement calls for stronger enforcement. The U.S. Government will continue working with stakeholders to closely monitor implementation of Russia’s commitments."
Nothing is going to happen overnight - perhaps the operation will just move overseas - Antigua - Costa Rica .. Gibraltar who knows.
Of course, ultimately the US authorities main concern - like the UK's, is to suppress the expression of political dissent and inconvenient truths. Tony Blair's "Terrorism - it's a 12 step program" last August outlined plans (as yet not implemented) to draw up of specific extremist websites, bookshops, centres, networks and particular organisations of concern. Active engagement with any of these will be a trigger for the Home Secretary to consider the deportation of any foreign national.
Matthew Taylor described as the retiring Government chief strategy adviser, spoke at an e-democracy conference last week about "the end of deference, the rapid pace of social change and growing diversity." All "good" things, he argued, but they also meant governments found it increasingly difficult to govern.
"We have a citizenry which can be caricatured as being increasingly unwilling to be governed but not yet capable of self-government," Mr Taylor told the audience. He then derided internet blogging critics of the Government as "teenagers".
It is evident that the US authorities (more at The Register) , guided by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, have got their heavy boots on....
Meanwhile Vadim Mamotin if you are reading ... don't eat any sushi with someone you don't know very well... because you might not feel very well.
Those of us considering the energy (in)security of the UK will be anxiously looking at the supply/demand ratios in the coming months - with a close eye on the weather ..
Ian Brown provides the Netweather forecast and says that after the UK's warmest ever May to October he believes that the coming winter will be close to or below the long term average temperature .
The principal factors to consider for the winter forecast in my view are :
* ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation)
* NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation)
* AO (Arctic Oscillation)
* SSTAs (Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies)
* Solar Activity
The other factors that influence my thoughts (he says) are recent trends both in terms of general synoptic patterns and of course the overall general warming.
The key statistics and how I expect the synoptics to develop over the winter months are :
* Precipitation slightly below normal
* Temperatures slightly below normal. I would expect the overall CET to be around 3.5C making it the coldest winter since 1995/6
* The mildest and wettest conditions to be in the second half of December and early January.
* The possibility that February will be the coldest since 1991
You can read more about his explanation here.
Lord Patel has just received his handy £200 (tax free) heating bonus from all the UK taxpayers - many thanks. Looks as though it will be necessary.
PS Netweather have just started on their "Weather for Christmas" report here
....." it's a pretty positive one - a white Christmas looks a reasonable possibility this year." - get down the bookies !
Get your energy supplier to subscribe to the Netweather special offer - 3 month subscription (priced at £23.99) and get 1 month free, this will give them access throughout winter to a huge range of features on offer. These include:
* The most fully featured UK and Europe 15 minute radar available on the net - including weather type detection to show whether rain, sleet or snow s falling.
* A huge range of GFS charts and ensemble graphs and charts not available anywhere else.
* Access to the CFS - 9 month seasonal charts
* 16 day in depth forecasts - including a standalone snow risk forecast
* Plus a range of other items
Scottish Power has agreed an £11.6bn offer from the Spanish energy group Iberdrola. The Directors (advised by Morgan Stanley & Co. Limited)have recommended a 777p-a-share offer from Iberdrola in the form of 400p (Euro 5.9) in cash and 0.1646 of a new Iberdrola share for every share held. The company will also pay a special dividend of 12p a share.The deal will create Europe's 3rd largest utility company (behind EDF and E.ON) with an enterprise value of £43.2bn. They rejected a 570p per share offer from German group E.ON last year.
This values the company at some 12 times its forecast earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for 2007, in line with the European utilities sector average of 12.3 and with E.ON’s recent bid for Spain’s Endesa.
Shareholders will receive 400p in cash and 0.1646 of a new Iberdrola share for every share held (Total Shares issued will increase 22%) . The company will also pay a special dividend of 12p a share.
The CEO Phillip Bowman, ( for less than 1 year !) previously headed Allied Domecq will pocket around £2.5m if the bid goes ahead. he received a payout of £15m from the sale of the drinks group to its French rival Pernod Ricard last year. He has not bought any Scottish Power shares the shares he holds awarded under a long-term (?) incentive plan worth £1.8m at the offer price. He is also entitled to at least a year's salary in compensation — around £700,000 — when he leaves.
Mr Bowman said the deal was good for the company's shareholders and workers (Ho.Ho.)and "good for Scotland", (and none too bad for Mr Bowman) adding that Iberdrola had made a commitment to retain the headquarters for the UK business in Glasgow. (So far)
However, he said he plans to leave the business after seeing the deal through. "I don't expect to remain in the long term," he said.
He also said ,"consolidation activity has resulted in massive change within the European utilities landscape. " Too right Mr Bowman.
So the vast bulk of energy production and distribution in the UK will be in the hands of companies based elsewhere in Europe - not an ideal base for UK/Scottish energy security. Scottish Energy recently (Nov 14th) released half year results with profits before tax up 59%.Wholesale Realised price for electricity was £35.7/MWh for the period, up £10.7/MWh (a rise of 43%) from the comparable period.
Loking at the Iberdrola website it is evident that the Scottish Energy renewable energy assets are of great interest - they recently announced the start of Scotlan's largest wind farm (so far) at Eaglesham Moor south of Glasgow involving investment of £330 Mn. over the next 2 years.
Of course the splendidly named but badly run British Energy continues to run the rusting, cracking, accident prone fleet of nuclear power reactors (now running at a little over 60% of capacity), racking up massive costs and straining what little nuclear engineeering expertise the country has.
At 1140 GMT Scottish Power shares were down 0.5 percent at 743p. Iberdrola was down 2.4 percent at 32 euros
UPDATE 30th NOVEMBER
30.11.06 Spanish government boosts price support for renewables
Price support for most renewable technologies is set to rise under the terms of a draft law published yesterday by the Spanish industry ministry with the aim of achieving a 27-million tonne reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2010.
UPDATE 2nd DECEMBER
Angirfaan draws our attention to correspondence in the Herald concerning the way Scottish Power have been subsidised (Rlwy from Hunterston (E coast) to Longannet (W Coast)) and the lack of interest in elected lickspittle members of both Parliaments who
"Having missed the opportunity to develop any global Scottish energy company from North Sea oil, are we now going to surrender meekly our ambitions in alternative energy?"
To which the answer is yes. This children is called energy security.
During the 4th Crusade in 1204 the Christian French and Venetian forces sacked Constantinople and stole the four bronze horses (attributed to Lysippus) from the Hippodrome . Built by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus towards the end of the 2nd century The Hippodrome was extended to an immense size by the Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great , he had installed the horses on his Emperors Box . At the time it was variously claimed that the Hippodrome could accomodate from 30,000to 60,000 spectators.
For the next eight centuries, these magnificent bronzes , (famously misnamed) the Horses of St Mark's which had stood on top of the Emperor's box at the Hippodrome, stood on a platform above the main door of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice as a proud memorial of the sack of Constantinople.
At least for nearly all that time until Napoleon stole them in is turn, but they were returned in 1815. They have been moved in rcent to the Venice Museum to preserve them from pollution (and probably theiving Turks) where this photo was taken.
Apparently thes fine bronzes were not in Pope Benedicts luggage when he jetted off to Constantinople yesterday - it's not unlikely however that someone might ask hin for them back after his recent very public exegesis pf the Byzantine view of the Muslim religion.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It is worth looking at what people were saying about Iraq 8 months ago.
US envoy to Iraq: 'We have opened the Pandora's box' Guradian March 8th 2006
"The US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Baghdad conceded yesterday that the Iraq invasion had opened a Pandora's box of sectarian conflicts which could lead to a regional war and the rise of religious extremists "That would make Taliban Afghanistan look like child's play," he said."
"....An opinion poll published by the Washington Post and ABC News yesterday suggested that most Americans agreed with Mr Khalilzad - with 80% saying civil war in Iraq was likely, and more than a third that it was very likely. More than half thought the US should start withdrawing its troops, although only one in six wanted all troops to be withdrawn immediately."
"Nevertheless, it was clear yesterday that the Pentagon was anxious to limit the impact of Mr Khalilzad's remarks. "If you take it from a year ago to now, month to month, the attacks now are down compared to last year," said General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff."
"Mr Khalilzad suggested the situation was so dangerous that without a substantial US presence, a civil war could suck in other Arab countries on the side of the Sunnis and Iran on the side of the Shias, creating conditions for a regional conflict and disrupting global oil supplies.
"Downing Street said yesterday no "strict timetable" had been laid down for British troops to withdraw. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "I do not think we would be quite as gloomy as Pandora's box and civil war." But if there were further big sectarian attacks, things could get very difficult, he said."
Beria with Svetlana, Stalin's daughter, whose son Serge, she fell in love with.
Red Army high commanders were scared shitless of Lavrenti Beria ; the phrase they had for being purged was "going to have coffee with Beria".
Stalin's death agonies were grotesque. When he was breathing his last, Beria's face shone with sweat and delight. When Stalin regained consciousness, Beria dropped to his knees and lovingly kissed his hands.
After Stalin's funeral, Beria was the first to set about discrediting him in the eyes of the supreme communist leadership. Secret tapes of Stalin's conversations were played to the central committee. The "cult of the individual" was denounced.
Beria wanted a basic revision of Soviet policies at home and abroad. He was in a powerful position to become the single successor. His luck and lack of supporters failed him. In June 1953, his colleagues Nikita Khrushchev (who had himself filled lakes of blood in the Great Terror) and Georgi Malenkov had him arrested, suspecting (reasonably) that he was planning a coup d'état.
Having resumed control of the security agencies, he certainly had the institutional opportunity, and his career showed he had the ruthless ambition. Beria's dual nature as killer and reformer was not understood.
A secret military trial followed. In December 1953, despite his pleas for forgiveness, he was shot.
Is there a Beria in the Kremlin today?
Whatever (and we still have had no post mortem) killed Alexander Litvinenko we are still uncertain - forensic scientists who talked of ricin factories without ricin, who cannot now tell us what explosive the 7/7 bombs were made of , who talk nonsense about making peroxide based bombs in aircraft toilets plainly cannit be relied upon. Nor would any sane commentator.
Whoever killed Alexander Litvinenko had a dual ambition - the death of a traitorous turncoat and the desire to squarely place the blame on Putin ... perhaps Litvinenko had, " a coffee with Beria ?"
There are many players in this carefully constructed,staged and prolonged death - a cipher for a struggle of wider dimensions and deeper struggles than we can yet imagine. It would be foolish to think that Putin rides the tiger without threats to his positiomn when the Russian economy is bringing (and has brought) enormous riches to sworn foes - of whom Berezovsky is only one.
It is too soon to make a judgement. Of one thing you may be certain, Plod will make a fucking mess of the investigation .... this is way beyond them.
First thing is, find out what killed Alexander Litvinenko.
Having charted the course for the BBC with the finalised licence fee negotiations Micky jumps ship and the Daily Torygraph have a scoop to announce it. Well up to a point Lord Copper.
Lord Patel forecast his move on November 17th
The move in the share price tomorrow will measure his worth - don't rule out Greg Dyke joining him. The Kalaidoscope has been shaken.
Financial correspondents have been slow to realise what a colossal scam the EU Trading scheme for carbon is. Ruth Lea, is increasingly sceptical about climate change and the frenzy over the rate of change in the atmosphere's levels of carbon dioxide (Biog). She now appears to have finally discovered the fundamental flaw in the ETS system - it is not an objective system (although it claims to be) and it is operated by fallible and often venal human beings excited, by the propect of riches without having to do anything beyond and above shuffling pieces of paper and pressing keys on computer keybaords... and having lengthy lunches and visiting Wimbledon and Ascot and Glyndbourne in season.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph today she realises ..
" trendy international permit trading schemes .... require all Governments to act consistently, objectively and fairly if they are to work"
It is evident from Phase one, that the current scheme the ETS scheme is none of these. As a consequence of the combination of naivety (principally of Margaret Beckett) and the belief in their wonderful economic management of the mandarinate at the Treasury, British energy consuming industry - and that includes incidentally the whole of the National Health Service - has been well and truly shafted.
By the arbitrary application of carbon production limits The UK have effectively subsidised energy production in the rest of the EU by £500 by purchasing permits from them . The result has been say the DTI 25% of the rise in wholesale electricity costs between 2004/5 is due to the ETS and 75% by a rsie in raw materials - gas, coal. The ETS has cost any other EU nation a penny, not one red dime.
"To add insult to this injury" she writes," more permits were issued than under the ETS than were required to cut carbon emissions."
In Phase 2 she feels this will be corrected which will then force up EU costs who have increasingly got to fight China / India who are resolutelly chugging out Carbon Dioxide as they are not part of Kyoto - she reminds us that China is planning 560 new coal fired power stations between now and 2012.
Of the Clean Development Mechanism" she points out it's impact is negligible and that .." A comprehensive global trading system is most unlikely "
She argues that if there is to be a green mechanism taxes - argued for, for years will prove to be more effective and direct.
1. Taxes are direct , known, transparent and not volatile like trading schemes
2. There is no need to set arbitrary baselines and targets which can be poltically manipulated (and are)
3. The effect of such taxes can be offset elsewhere in the tax regime and are not simply another burden on industry
4. Such taxes can be co-ordinated with other energy taxes allowing greater harmonisation
5. Tax collection is straighforward using current proven mechanisms
She fails to mention that it would not enrich the army of lawyers, brokers, consultants, and other money jugglers nor provide them with a tithe.
Of climate change, she maintains that the arguments reeek of snake oil but that prudence must rule. Quite why the EU with 400 Mn people should be prudent and the remaining world population isn't, escapes mention.
Anyway the good news is that as Director of the Institute for Policy Studies people will listen to her. Maybe.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Truth in Science is a Christian organisation who believe in Intelligent design. It is their firm and unshakeable belief that there is a intelligent design and he/she/it the Christian God.... or as they phrase it .."The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."
Professor Andy MacIntosh BSc, PhD, DSc, FIMA, CMath, FInstE, CEng, FInstP, MIGEM ,Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory, at Leeds University has signed a letter accompanying a pack of 2 DVD and other materials that seeks to refute Darwinism and the Theories of Natural Selection which has been sent to every science department in every school in the UK.
With all the personality of a ,"I speak your weight machine" Professor Tosh tells us on Newsnight (BBC 2 tonight) he is a thermodynamicist and justifies this attempt to subvert the standard curriculum . Their curious website quotes one of the great philosphers of the 20th century in support.
" Science, claimed Karl Popper (1902-94), proceeds by guesses that are continually tested, i.e. by conjectures and refutations. That is the real essence of science, not that its conclusions may be verified, but that they can be refuted. "
Regrettably these Neanderthal academics cannot understand that their "philosophy" can be refuted instantly by demanding proof of the existence of their Grand designer - God. An examination of dawkins latest opus, "The God Delusion" would help them enormously.
In the absence of proof and faced with the massive evidence of the processes of speciation , development and evolution of living plants and animals it is impossible to see why a child should spend any time examining this nonsense. Nor should any school with the pressures on teaching children about oral sex and citizenship be deflected from their efforts.
Examining their website is interesting - especially their confused (and confusing) defence of criticism of their activities and publications from Ekklesia, The British Humanists and the interest of the DfES which refutes their belief in the porcesses so lucidly explained by Karl Popper.
Meanwhile Lord Patel is preparing a dossier for circulation to schools from the "Flat Earth Society" and a course of public lectures, the first of which will be, "Why Aeroplanes cannot fly - Heavier than air machines - the cruel delusion".
The Times has a story today about the potential application at the London Olympic site (when / if built) , of the Dutch VCS Observation system that uses co-ordinated high discrimination microphones working with automatically directional CCTV cameras to listen to and detect agressive language up to 100 yards away.
You don't need sensistive microphones to pick up Sun columnist, cuckold, serial holder of Ministerial office, Visa hustler ,David "Rentagob" Blunkett who is opposed to the scheme (BBC) on "privacy" grounds - but then he has a lot he wants to keep private.
The system uses 12 factors, including word speed, pitch, volume , background noise is filtered out, enabling the camera to focus on specific conversations in public places. It is said thise gives police or other authorities in the intelligent control room the ability to intervene if the aggressive behaviour continues.
Holland has 300 systems in use in Groningen, Utrecht and Rotterdam in benefit offices, jails (!), and even T-Mobile shops. The microphone sensitivity can be adjusted to suit the site and situation. A 6 week trial in Groningen raised 70 genuine alarms, resulting in four arrests.
In one case the camera had homed in on a gang of four men who were about to attack a passer-by. “We would not normally have detected it as there was no camera directly viewing it,” said an officer in charge.
Public prosecution services can use them in court as evidence. The Dutch privacy board has already given its approval to the system.
Richard Thomas, Britain’s information commissioner, says sound recorded by the cameras would be treated under British law in the same way as CCTV footage. Under the commissioner’s code of practice, audio can be recorded for the detection, prevention of crime and apprehension and prosecution of offenders. It cannot be used for recording private (?) conversations. (Prince Charles / Lady Di ?)
This story is to some extent history - microphones (see pic of mike + 360 degree camera) have already been installed in Soho by Westminster Council see story "Listening Lamp Post May 25th 2005"
"Both the cameras and microphones can be moved and focused on any problems. The microphones will use the existing Wi-Fi network that links the cameras to Westminster's central monitoring station." said a Westminster Council official.
Sales of Intifada Barbie have slumped since the telcon between Olmerde and Abbas. Toys 'R' Us , Gaza have been clearing their shelves since peace was declared.
Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad called Mr Olmert's statement about a new peace, a "conspiracy" and "a new manoeuvre"."Mr Olmert is speaking about the Palestinian state without giving details about the borders," Mr Hamad said.
In the occupied West Bank town Qabatiya, near Jenin, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians, a militant and a 55-year-old woman. The Israeli army said she had been trying to recover his gun.
Olmerde speaking at an annual memorial at the grave of Israel's founding premier and terrist David Ben-Gurion , in the southern Negev desert overlooking the Zin Valley and the Avdat Plain.He talked of ;
1. Releasing many long-term Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails
2. Lifting restrictions on the occupied territories
3. Dismantling settlements
4. Creating a viable state
He offered an olive branch, probably from one of the many, many thousands of olive trees stolen by the settlers.
"I hold out my hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbours in the hope that it won't be returned empty," Mr Olmerde said.
No mention of the mysterious disappearance of the mysterious French / Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit.
Strange Facts about Ben Gurion's Grave
It was recently reported that rather than tell lies over his grave, students of the Sde Boker Academy, Yaakov Aini, in the Negev, have, for years been losing their virginity on his tomb - apparently guaranteeing both enjoyment and fertility.
Ben Gurion's grandson, Dr. Yariv Ben-Eliezer, when asked about this apparent ritual appeared unconcerned "If the information is true, I think it's great. I'm happy that years after my grandfather died, he continues to inspire our youth and still gives the country an erection."
"But I wouldn't have thought a cold, hard stone was the best place to have sex," he said somewhat ruefully with the wisdom and experience of the act that comes with age. The follies of Youth.
Sde Boker Academy's Director , Yaakov Aini, was not so laid back "it is shameful, distorted, and very serious." .. thank god it's only heterosexuals who consummate their love life there ....
Germaine Maurice Lindsay, 19 (born September 23, 1985) was also known as Abdullah Shaheed Jamal, after conversion to Islam and is also known as one of the alleged 7/7 bombers on 7th July last year. He is claimed to be responsible for the bomb that killed 26 people, plus himself, on a train travelling on the Piccadilly line between the King's Cross St. Pancras and Russell Square Tube stations.
He was married to Samantha Lewthwaite, 21 (another Muslim convert) and they, with their their young son lived in Northern Road, Aylesbury. It was from here he drove to Luton Station in his Fiat car to meet the other 3 bombers and is captured on the notorious CCTV still of them entering Luton Station after hanging around for over 30 minutes in the car park, in time to miss the only train that would have got them in London in time to have carried the bombs onto the trains.
It has been subsequently reported that his telephone number was on MI5 files long before the attacks. His Fiat car was linked to a burglary in May 2005, in which a handgun was involved. Lindsay was shown on the police computer as the registered owner, but police inquiries at the time had failed to track the car.
Immediately prior to the 7/7 "bombing" trip this allegedly devout extremist and unemployed Muslim on June 4th visited the Fragrance Shop in his home town of Aylesbury, Bucks, and Milton Keynes and Woolworth's in Aylesbury, spending about £300 in each store. He spent over £900 (US$1,500) worth on men's perfume by exclusive brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Hugo Boss and Emporio Armani on a credit card.
The following day (June 5th) he returned to the Fragrance Shop in Aylesbury searching for a bottle of Boss In Motion perfume , which he had been unable to buy at their Milton Keynes branch the day previously. (see pic)
His expenditures on this expensive scent aroused suspicion among the staff. management brought it to the attention of the credit card company who engaged a security company to make enquiries. Noel Hogan, of investigators Hogan and Co International, was quoted at the time, "We were aware of this man's movements in the immediate run-up to the London bombing. As soon as we became aware of his involvement we contacted the Anti- Terrorist Branch. We have passed them our full records. I can say no more." ... and he hasn't ever since.
The Mirror reported this insane bollocks about his purchases and their value to a terrist "bomber" ... (Footnote 1)
"in the hands of Lindsay the alcohol-based perfumes could have been used to fuel bombs with a deadly napalm-style effect, causing hideous burns. The Gaultier fragrances were in metal containers which would have splintered into lethal shrapnel in an explosion. Lindsay bought 10."
His car was towed away from Luton station on the day of the bombings, (!) it is reported to have had both a legal (7 day) parking ticket and a boot (US - trunk) full of explosive materials. There are also reports it contained a agun and ammunition.
The whole confusing tale of the 7/7 bombers cars is further examined here.
The point of this story is that Mr & Mrs Beckham The Real Madrid soccer ace and the former, lissome Spice Girl, have signed a 5 year, multi-million pound deal with cosmetic kings Coty to promote his and hers scents. A men's aftershave / eu-de-toilette ... "Instinct" describes by Coty PR as having "a personality both unconventional and uncompromising… that reinvents the codes of elegant masculinity." The perfume "created" by the multi tasking perfumier wraithlike Victoria sells for £30 (US$40) for a 75 ml bottle.. (Instint ...InnStinked) !?
Well, heroin addicts frequent pharmacies to cop for their methadone and free needles. Because portable, pocketable and high value, top end smells are readily nicked by said NHS free loaders , to off load in the pub for cash to feed their habit....even more.
Yer average addled druggie, not to mentioned yer mid - day pub boozer is not well versed in the olfactory delights of Hugo Boss and John Paul Gaultier like unemployed, car owning, 19 year old Jermaine Lindsay ... but Beckham is a name that rings bells in even the most drug and booze destroyed brain......luvvly jubbly for yer hopped up heroinist. Have it off on yer toes with the "Instinct"....
So Coty have issued a diktat to retailers, that the said smells must be taken away from public access, (and thieving druggies) as sales have slumped and shoplifting has soared.
Apparently this is offset by massive sales success in the Far East - where the whiff of embrocation and sweat is not readily associated with the genius of the ..."beautiful game."
As Beckham's fragrances were only launched recently, Jermaine Lindsay couldn't possibly have bought them.
(1) There is more alcohol in Tesco mouthwash than any scent, and virtually pure methyl or isopropyl alcohol can be freely purchased over the counter from pharmacies, hardware stores, by the litre, as a general cleaner, castte head / CD / DVD / computer equipment cleaner, fuel for paint strippers, camping stoves. Ethyl alcohol can be bought as a substance called whisky - brandy - vodka etc., There is also a very inflammable material called petrol, which you can steal from parked cars or buy at places easily identifiable by the sign "Petrol Station".
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Lord Patel sheds a tear at this time of espionage laden news for the legendary Markus Wolf, former East German spy chief (STASI) , died on November 9 at the age of 83 and he was buried yesterday besides his brother, the known East German film-maker Konrad Wolf.
He was very successful in exploiting the human farilties associated with sexuality in recruiting turncoats and traitors and used ‘Romeo’ agents, highly trained, attractive men, to seduce government secretaries. The trapped women were willing to provide classified documents and files to spies who then transmitted the files to Moscow both the NATO headquarters and the German chancellors’ offices during the Cold War
He was sentenced to two years imprisonment for treason, espionage and kidnapping but never served the sentence. After retiring he wrote his memoirs helped by journalist Anne McElvoy which examined his Jewish roots. His Jewish father was was a playwright and doctor, and his mother a goyim.
He is said to have been the model for ex spy (do they ever retire ?) John Le Carre's nefarious East German spy chief, Karla.
There is huge relief in the fear factory, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, of Scotland Yard's Terrorism Department is on the job.... according to a report in the Sunday Torygraph..."focussing on when, where and how Mr Litvinenko received the lethal dose of polonium 210."
You can sense the Rolls Royce minds of the Met at work on this one....there is more, as the challenging intellect of Peter "The Sphinx" Clarke addresses the problem ....lights his pipe, picks up his violin maybe....
"We will trace possible witnesses, examine Mr Litvinenko's movements at relevant times, including when he first became ill, and identify people he may have met. There will also be an extensive examination of CCTV footage."
Well, cannot fault him there ... but CCTV ? Hundreds, nay thousands of hours looking for the 7/7 bombers and we have one dodgy still ? ( ..and lots of overtime Sarge. Luvvly jubbly) ...... Lord Patel's confidence is ebbing away. Already.
The urgent need to fly to Italy to interview the Italian spaghetti munchers must be forming in the recessses of the mind of London's finest, our bulwark against ... er ... world terrism ? (See pic of the indefatigable detective with his lunch box).
Plod might like to pursue these interesting titbits. Mr Litvinenko (now a British citizen) lives on one side of the road, with his wife and son (who joined him via Turkey) opposite is Akhmed Zakayev, who was one deputy prime minister of Chechnya and he like BB has been granted political asylum here.
Companies registered in the British Virgin islands associated with Mr Berezovsky are shown onthe Land Registry as owning both houses.
Plod might wish to cast his eyes over the current news from Chechyna - always assuming he can find it.
PS Paul William Hampel was arrested by border security officers at Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport last week, carrying $7,800 in five currencies, several cellphones and a shortwave radio. The Canadian Security Intelligence Agency seek to deport him as they allege he is agent with the SVR and has lived in Canada for more than a decade under a false identity and that he used a fraudulent Ontario birth certificate to get three Canadian passports. He will appear in court again on Tuesday. A national security certificate has been issued which provides for his immediate deportation.
He travelled frequently to the Balkans and produced a book of photographs "My Beautiful Balkans" which can be seen here.They are very good.
This has echoes a case over 10 years ago when a married couple in Toronto ,known as Ian Mackenzie Lambert and Laurie Brodie were discovered to be Russian spies named Dmitriy Vladimirovoch Olshevskiy and Yelena Borisovna Olshevskaya.
The real Laurie Catherine Mary Brodie was born in Quebec on Sept. 8, 1963, and died in Toronto before her second birthday, Canada's Security Intelligence Service said.
Her (then) husband called himself Ian Mackenzie Lambert, the name of an Ontario child who died Feb. 17, 1966, before he was three months old.In a curious twist to the story the Russian lady in the case married Canadian doctor Peter Miller in December 1996 and applied to return to Canada in August this year, claiming to have quit the spy agency in October 1996. She was refused.
She had met the British-born doctor and Oxford graduate who worked in Canada's medical insurance industry, at a scotch-tasting party before her deportation. Her (new) husband has tried to have the attractive spouse imported for several years. With no success.