"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hospital Acquired Infections - A Bad News Day

Rosa Kleb, one of the more evil masterminds of Flemings curious and sinister world is not responsible for Klebsiella pneumoniae. This talented microbe was named after the famous German pathologist (one of many in the last century) Edwin Klebs (1834–1913) who worked with Rudolf Virchow at the Pathological Institute in Berlin from 1861 until 1866. His main claim to fame is his identification of the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae as the aetiological cause of diphtheria. The bacterial genus Klebsiella is named in to honour him.

Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) is a bacterium normally found in the mouth, skin and intestines. Strains resistant to antibiotics are being found with increasing frequency in hospitals. KP causes bacterial pneumonia, it is commonly involved in hospital-acquired wound and urinary-tract infections, particularly in patients with weak immune systems, especially the elderly - the same group who are susceptible to other HAI's such as Staphylococcus aureus.

Faeces are the most significant source of infection, followed by contact with contaminated instruments, catheters, speculums, colonoscopes. Therefore strict regimes of hand washing are required by anyone who handles patients.

Early in March there were reports on Israeli TV that apparently KP killed more than 100 very sick patients in a number of hospitals around the country and sensational charges of a cover up against the Health Ministry were made.

It soon became apparent that the problem was more serious than was at first reported.

Responding belatedly the Ministry of Health appointed Prof. Yehuda Carmeli, a leading epidemiologist at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, to head a team, to deal with an outbreak whose scale had been previously not made public.

“Between 400 to 500 people have been infected by the bug, and 30 to 40 percent of them have already died,”
said Yehuda Carmeli, the head of the epidemiology unit at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
“However, it is important to note that most of them were in a serious condition, and some were suffering from prior medical conditions.”
The Ministry said later that most of those infected have been hospitalized for over 25 days, and their average age was about 75. It appears that the organism is resistant to third generation cephalosporins and the latest aminoglycosides of the Streptomycin family. It appears that KP has a neat trick of producing a mutant that produces an enzyme known as "extended-spectrum beta lactamases," or ESBLs which allows them to hydrolyze cephalosporins. 2 New York hospitals report 25% of infections with this refined biochemistry. The Sourasky Medical Center laboratory has expertise in molecular typing of bacterial pathogens, genetic analysis of mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, including beta-lactamases and collaborate with several international groups on the study of antibiotic resistance. ( Carmeli has identified Acinetobacter baumanii as a newer and possibly more dangerous antiobiotic resistant organism - Israel hospital report- see Footnote)

Although Health Ministry Director-General Professor Avi Yisraeli told reporters only very ill patients in hospitals are at risk, the public reacted to the news reports of the infections by avoiding hospitals altogether. Emergency rooms in Israeli hospitals emptied,leading doctors and the Health Ministry to warn of the dangers of avoiding treatment when necessary.

Riding on the back of this, Avi Yisraeli seized the opportunity to tackle Prime Minister Olmert to ask for 2.5 million shekels (US$600,000) of emergency funding to control the infection, and to invest in three new hospitals by 2015. At the time, Ben-Yizri told the Prime Minister that hospitals are in immediate need of an additional 3,000 beds - there are no reports about how successful he was.

It appears that Israel is the only country outside the US to have reported widespread antibiotic-resistant strain of Klebsiella although very isolated cases have been reported as widely as Thailand. the Czech republic and Hangzou in China. The emergence of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella will become a global concern just as MRSA's have ,and increasingly Multiple Drug Resistant TB's (MDRTB) have been invading the EU from eastern Europe and Russia whose prisons are a huge and potent resevoir of HIV / TB - the peristent habit of health autorities to conceal the problem from the public only hinders the resolution of the problem.... unless of course the policy is to kill off the old and save on their pension benefits.

For an example go to these 2 rports today at BBC Online (Outbreak details Costs of clean up) about the Clostridium difficile outbreak in the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk which occurred between December and March and resulted in 17 deaths. This has just been disclosed and will involve costs of £400,000 to sterilise this one hospital. There were 2 previous outbreaks of the same organism at Stoke Mandeville between October 2003 and June 2005, and overall 334 patients were infected and at least 33 died in this period. An enquiry ordered by Patricia Hewitt that reported last June said that ther may have been up to 65 fatalities.

Cases of C. difficile infection in patients aged 65 years and above increased by 17.2% in England over the last year, from 44,107 in 2004 to 51,690 in 2005, (Source Health Protection Agency.)
The Healthcare Commission's inquiry (June 2006) into the Stoke Mandeville outbreak identified failings by the senior managers at the hospital, which forms part of the Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

It said they failed to follow advice on stopping the spread of infection, even at the height of the outbreak, from infection control staff, clinicians, nurses, and the Health Protection Agency and failed to learn lessons after the 1st outbreak.

The report said they were too busy focusing on other areas, such as meeting government targets and finance control.

In other words they were more concerned about controlling cash than disease... which we find throughout the world results in perfect cash control ... and rampaging lethal, and often fatal infections.


Acineobacter baumannii has it's own website somewhat sensational it does appear that this is a major problem with soldiers returning from medical treatment in Gwermany after wounding in Iraq and Afghanistan ....

Early this year an outbreak of MDR Acinetobacter baumannii swept over Arizona, 236 cases in just 2 months. It was reported by the state disease monitoring systems, but ignored on the national level.This outbreak that is spreading nation wide is largely due to the war in Iraq, and because of a legal technicality in reporting, the military and CDC will not disss it publicly. More people come forward, bit by bit, telling stories of how the hospital played down their infection. The one person who could have done something about it, "Rep. Dennis Moore" has walked away from the issue deciding it wasn't worth getting into even after what he had seen on a visit to Walter Reed.Acinetobacter baumannii infections among patients at military medical facilities treating injured U.S. service members, 2002-2004.

Analysis of antibiotic resistance genes in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter sp. isolates from military and civilian patients treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The CDC reported reported an increasing number of A. baumannii bloodstream infections in patients at military medical facilities in which service members injured in theoperations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004. A. baumannii survives even on dry surfaces for up to 20 days, and so constitutes a high risk of spread and contamination in hospitals, putting immune-compromised and other patients at risk for drug resistant infections that are often fatal and generally expensive to treat. (there is increasing evidence that smokers with COPD are especially prone to infection).

See this for news of "adverse events" in UK hospitals...if you can find it , also read Ivan Illych LIMITS TO MEDICINE. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health. London. Calder and Boyars. Ideas in Progress 1976. The first sentence of which is "'The medical establishment has become a major threat to health'. he also identified the habit of the medical / pharma nexus to "medicalise" problems which has led to the more modern blight of "Disease Mongering".Got a pain in your foot ... well you may have "painful foot syndrome." .. You think this is a joke , 3 million Australians are said by one Oz medical luminary to suffer from "restless leg syndrome".. and will prescribe you a pharmaceutical treatment.

Internet gambling pioneer Kaplan arrested on RICO charges

In a surprise, but not unexpected move on October 13th ,2006 President George W Bush ,encouraged by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act HR4411 (it was was attached to Safe Port Act Conference Report) - making it, in effect, illegal for internet betting firms to collect money from US based gamblers. The bill passed 409-2 in the House of Representatives and on a voice vote in the Senate.

Consequently firms such as 888.com , Sportingbet, and Gibraltar-based Partygaming (who claimed this would lose them US$1 Bn gross revenues annually they announced on March 1st pre-tax profits fell 57% in 2006 )- ceased dealing with US based gamblers and concentrated on fleecing dumb folks elsewhere.

Betonsports had closed its US operations in August 2006 which had, it is claimed been responsible for nearly all of it's sizeable profuts. The gambling world was shocked when Betonsports then chief executive David Carruthers was detained while changing planes in the US. The company sacked him and shut down their business . Since then he has been under house arrest in St Louis since August.

On July 17th 2006 , Mr Gary Stephen Kaplan one of the founders of Betonsports was one of 11 people indicted on charges of racketeering, fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. the defendents included the company. Mr K was personally charged with 20 felony violations of Federal laws including: the Wire Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Conspiracy, interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia, interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws and tax evasion.

To his surprise no doubt, as he was enjoying a Pina Colada in his Santo Domingo hotel in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, he was arrested and was sent from there to Puerto Rico for apperance before a US magistrate.

The US Authorities have requested the court to move Mr K St Louis immediately or be held in custody pending a hearing to remove him to St Louis, to answer the charges against him.

Others charged with Mr K included Kaplan’s siblings, Neil Scott Kaplan and Lori Kaplan Multz; Norman Steinberg; David Carruthers, chief executive officer of BetonSports.com; Peter Wilson, media director for BetonSports.com; and Tim Brown, Steinberg’s son-in-law. The three other charged companies, all Florida-based, were Direct Mail Expertise, Inc., DME Global Marketing and Fulfillment Inc. and Mobile Promotions Inc. Also charged are William Hernan Lenis; Monica Lenis and Manny Gustavo Lenis, owners and operators of the Florida companies; and William Hernan Lenis’ son, William Luis Lenis. (Some of these have been arrested)

The racketeering conspiracy alleges that the defendants agreed to conduct an enterprise
through a pattern of racketeering acts, including repeated mail fraud, wire fraud, operation of an illegal gambling business and money laundering.

U.S Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway of the Eastern District of Missouri. “Misuse of the Internet to violate the law can ultimately only serve to harm legitimate businesses. This indictment is but one step in a series of actions designed to punish and seize the profits of individuals who disregard federal and state laws.”

Bill Frist in a statement after the Bill passed in the Senate....

"Gambling is a serious addiction that undermines the family, dashes dreams, and frays the fabric of society. Congress has grappled with this issue for 10 years, and during that time we've watched this shadow industry explode. For me as majority leader, the bottom line is simple: Internet gambling is illegal. Although we can't monitor every online gambler or regulate offshore gambling, we can police the financial institutions that disregard our laws."

Which is somewhat different to the attitude of our legislators, who cheered to the rafters Gordon's 10th Budget the unveiling last week of another another Government revenue stream of 15% on the revenues of UK based Internet gambling sites ... the gambling houses will however (as does all UK gambling) receive exemption from VAT. (The EU wide sales tax)... Hey I don't make the rules. What was that voting in Washington again ....?
The bill passed 409-2 in the House of Representatives and on a voice vote in the Senate.

Partygaming has a fascinating history - it was founded by Anurag Dikshit (अनुराग दीक्षित) (34), pronounced "Dix-it" The richest Gibralterian and Forbes 207 richest he owns approximately 30% of PartyGaming (Through his company Crystal ventures) after selling 23% of his stake in the company's Initial Public Offering. He wrote the original code at the request of California porn princess Ruth Parasol who commissioned the then 25-year-old Indian computer wiz to write some gaming software. She and her husband Ross de Leon own 40% of the company and are both US$ billionaires.

PartyGaming's head office is in Gibraltar; its computer servers run from there and from Kahnawake, a Mohawk Indian reserve within Canada, to keep them away from US lawyers; its marketing office is in London (in the same building as 888.com and Ldbrokes online bisiness) but most of its 1,000 staff work in a call centre and software development site in Hyderabad, southern India.

Dame Beckett tries to head off Milibandwagon at the pass.

Asked by the Daily Torygraph whether the public doesn't have a right to see the probable next Prime Minister tested by a young challenger such as Mr Miliband, Rt.Hon. Margaret Becket MP said: "But what about the poor bloody human sacrifice?

Mrs Beckett says: "I think 'poor David'. It is complete nonsense."

"He is very bright. He is a very good minister. I am sure he will be a major figure in the party for a long time to come and a major contender at some time in the future. But should he take this step to satisfy somebody else's prejudices? He would be daft."

Methinks the Pantomime Dame doth protest too much.

By the way ...

By the way Rt Hon David Miliband MP: gave the Dr S T Lee Lecture on Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, "The transition economy: a future beyond oil?" on the 5 March 2007 which has received litle comment. Should you wish to hear the great boy speak the 18MB MP3 audio file is available here.

He provided the first evidence that has come from his department (previously run by Dame Margaret) about the problems of energy security that have been looming for many years..and been seriously ignored.

"..many of our coal and nuclear power stations are coming to an end. For years, the UK has been self-sufficient in gas and oil, thanks to North Sea Oil production. In future, we will increasingly depend on oil and gas imports from Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We could be importing as much as 90% of our gas by 2020 compared with around 10% now. So there are plainly dangers of energy insecurity."
He talked some bollocks about Climate change but he realises (as no doubt others are now belatedly realising in Whitehall)
"...energy security and climate change can lead to common solutions."
As the Pantomime Dame says, ... "he is very bright"

His speech is seriously recommended reading .... or listening.

It is of course pre-dated (again unremarked by commentators) by what Tony Blair told a meeting of magazine Editors at a meeting at No 10 on June 27th last year.

"........ 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 ..."
Perhaps, just perhaps, the message of FCUKED is getting through.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cameron camp want to censor Channel 4 drama about the Army in Iraq

Michael Gove, MP the fresh faced (40 but looks 12) , diminutive boy genius of the Tory party, the front man and mouthpiece for the Toffs at the Top of the Tories was on Newsnight Review (again!) with Kirsty Wark tonight.

They considered the Channel 4 Drama "The Mark of Cain" by Tony Marchant, a tale of two Lancashire squaddies charged with abusing Iraqi detainees. It was filmed last summer in Tunisia and the north of England, but transmission has been delayed pending the conclusion of a six-month court martial covering similar charges and, coincidentally, involving a Lancashire regiment. and their blameless commanding officer.

This drama depicts the brutality of army life (shades of Deepcut Barracks) culminating in a vicious death. The two principal Lancastrian, childhood friends discover, when they are charged, that their superiors are able to wriggle out of blame, thanks to an unspoken system in which guilt is stratified by linguistic competence.

“It’s a class thing,” says Marchant. “People who know how to use euphemisms can get away with things. If you talk about how you want someone to be treated ‘rigorously’, that isn’t an order — which means that, if the ordure hits the Vent Axia, you can be exculpated. Further down the line, it’s, ‘We’ve got to give a bloke a kicking.’”

“Of course, you get some thugs,” Marchant says, “but I was much more interested in the people who made a journey from being an average, typical 18-year-old to doing something appalling. An argument I heard a lot is that you can improve morale: ‘We have to do this to avenge the death of our mate or popular section commander.’ If you beat up a detainee, it helps everybody feel better. You are reaffirming your bond. You don’t get involved in the mistreatment of detainees as an individual. It’s done as a group thing. Constantly, there is this schism between a view of morality over there and how we would view it over here. It wasn’t that it was morally aberrant to do unspeakable things. It was a moral obligation.”

Well poor young Michael doesn't like this. Too much like real life. It disturbs him. If it disturbs him, he doesn't want it to disturb anyone else. Simple. Ban it. He says Channel 4 shouldn't show the powerful play (which they call a "Flagship drama") on April 5th as planned .. it is not "balanced" ... in the way one imagines that say, Hamlet is unbalanced.

This is No 1 in a series of Public Service Announcements on sightings of the propaganda for Cameron and his Toofs at the Top of the Tory Party and their working class camp follower Michael Gove on Newsnight - and no doubt elsewhere on the open maw of BBC. Gove worked for the BBC4 Today programme and is a regular panelist on The Moral maze - his wife Sarah Vine writes for Rupe's Rag the Times. he is also friend of right wing hadcases Melanie Phillips and Stephen Pollard and forms the glittering centrepiece of the Notting Hill set of David Cameron, George Osborne, Edward Vaizey, Nicholas Boles and Rachel Whetstone. Is a war gaming fan along with friend and colleague David Aaronovitch and like him a supporter of Israel and critical of any Anti-Annerican or God forbid anti-semitism.

Keep you eyes open for this censorious soul.

UK : Number of vehicles up , new ones down

The total number of motor vehicles licensed at the end of 2006 was 1.4 % up on the end of 2005 at 33.4 million.

The number of vehicles registered for the first time during 2006 was 3.6 % down on 2005 (cars of all types -4.2%)

With the exception of taxis there were decreases in first time registrations for all body types. Full DVLA annual statistics

Israeli Cabinet, money, guns and lawyers ... and sex ...business as usual

On 12 July 2006, the Iraeli cabinet was to vote on the invasion of Lebanon. Haim Ramon, Justice Minister and a close ally of Prime Minister Olmert, who played a pivotal role in the founding of Kadima as a breakaway from Likud was in his office minutes before the Cabinet started that day , and he was visited by a female soldier in his office. In August when allegations surfaced Ramon admitted forcibly kissing her , but not indecent assault. He claimed the kiss was the outcome of a flirtation initiated by her.

Ramon was found guilty in January and the court has now given him 120 hours of community service and fined 15,000 NIS (£1,800) for kissing a female soldier.

The conviction could have carried a sentence of three years and the prosecution had asked for a suspended jail sentence for Ramon

The court declined to qualify his crime as one of "moral depravity" or "moral turpitude", which would of course bar him from entry to the USand also from Parliament or teh Cabinet . His rapid return to the Cabinet is expected and there is speculation he will return to replace Finance Minister, Abraham Hirchson if he gives in to public pressure and resigns due to the police investigation of his financial dealings.

Dr. Dana Pugach, director of the Noga Center for Victims of Crime in the Kiryat Ono Academic College, slammed the court's ruling. "Attempting to save Ramon's career, the court invented a sexual offense without moral turpitude - something that doesn't exist - and conveyed the wrong message to the public by giving Ramon's acts a public and moral seal of approval," she said.

Olmert : Surrounded by a sea of corruption.
Dan Halutz Chief of Staff of the IDF had to resign because of the war and how it was conducted. Not to mentionthe fact that he had sufficient time on the eve of war to "defend hos country" to call his broker to liquidate his portfolio. Such a selfless guy.

Inspector-General Moshe Karadi the head of Israel Police, resigned because of revelations concerning his conduct in a previous position.

Shula Zaken, Olmert’s Bureau Chief / Personal Secretary of 30 years, was arrested on 1st february this year, and then she was released on bail for her alleged involvement in a tax-rigging scandal - there are also widespread rumours of her association with people like Arkadi Gaydamak (pic) owner of the Betyar Jerusalem soccer team.

Gaydamak (55) is a fascinating character, a Russian billionaire whose family have widespread interests. He finds that his foreign travel requires French and Israeli passports as well as Canadian diplomatic documentation. He usually travels in his role as a representative of the government of Angola - which helps to ensure he remains free from arrest. (The French wish to extradite him on charges of illegal arms trading with Angola, tax evasion and money laundering (The so called Angolgate case) . Alexandre Gaydamak, his son is the owner of Portsmouth Football (Soccer) Club in the UK, his partner in Portsmouth has moved on and on 13th February, Milan Mandarić (who is a Serb and one time friend of George Best) was unveiled as the owner of Leicester City FC. he has also had interest in Belgian club Standard Liege and the French team OGC Nice. (of no interest is the news that only last week former Italian champions Juventus and Standard Liege are being investigated over possible fraud in player transfers. Here for interesting news of Belgian club Beveren and Arsenal, transfers etc.,.

On February 20, 2007 Gaydamak announced he would found a party based solely on socio-economic issues called Social Justice running "in tandem" with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud. Whatever that means - but Netanyahu appeared at a mass Hanukkah party that Gaydamak organized this year. Unbeleivably he says he wants to extend his help to other sectors of the population - among Israeli Arabs, Bedouin, Druze and the ultra-Orthodox.

The foundation of this party is seen as a direct threat to the loathsome Arab baiting, ultra Zionist Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, whose support is almost entirely amongst the Russian Jewish diaspora.

Jackie Matza the head of the Tax Authority, who was a personal appointment of Olmert’s when he was previously Finance Minister - was arrested and forced to resign in the wake of the same affair. See this article in Ha'aretz "Rotten to the core"

Hanging over all this is the forthcoming trial of State President Moshe Katsav, for what some call sexual misconduct and others, rape.

"War crimes of monstrous proportions"... Lancet Editor

Bush's gang of mad beekeepers

Published March 19, 2003 by Canadian Spectator.

" The full-scale, unilateral US invasion of Iraq is imminent. President Bush's gang and their "allies" do not realize their miscalculation: that the costs of invasion will outweigh any benefits.

.......I've taken Baghdad what do I do now?

What is uncertain is the aftermath. This is the variable never publicly factored into the thinking(?) of the Tony Sopranos of Dubya's gang; their deeds plant the seeds of future, furious, frightening resistance. As many as half a million Iraqi soldiers may be intentionally killed and perhaps 100,000 civilians written off to collateral damage. Think of the grief of millions after this slaughter, the conversion of that grief into rage, combine that with the internecine struggles based on historical ethnic fault lines (that the Ba'ath Party has repressed), and we begin to appreciate the explosive complexity of post-invasion Iraq.

This invasion will also ignite the well financed fires of Arab and Muslim (of all shades, hues and fealties) humiliation and anger. Either in the sands of the desert or on city streets, far from this war, the body bags will build up. "

Richard Horton , Editor of The Lancet wrote in the Guradian Comment is Free this week
about the Lancet/ John Hopkins report they published October last year which calculated from an intensive academic study that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the violence in the country. It has now evident that chief advisers warned ministers not to "rubbish" the report..

Scientists at the UK's Department for International Development thought differently. They concluded that the study's methods were "tried and tested". Indeed, the Hopkins approach would likely lead to an "underestimation of mortality".

The Ministry of Defence's chief scientific advisor said the research was "robust", close to "best practice", and "balanced". He recommended "caution in publicly criticising the study".

A Foreign Office official was forced to conclude that the government "should not be rubbishing The Lancet".

The prime minister's adviser finally gave in. He wrote: "the survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones".....

This Labour government, which includes Gordon Brown as much as it does Tony Blair, is party to a war crime of monstrous proportions. Yet our political consensus prevents any judicial or civil society response. Britain is paralysed by its own indifference.

At a time when we are celebrating our enlightened abolition of slavery 200 years ago, we are continuing to commit one of the worst international abuses of human rights of the past half-century. It is inexplicable how we allowed this to happen. It is inexplicable why we are not demanding this government's mass resignation.

Not only have we been directly and indirectly responsible for the slaughter of at least 600,000 Iraqi's, it was predicted and predictable. On top of that we have seen a massive exodus of the educated middle classes. The infrastructure destroye, less oil is now pumped / exported, less electricity produced for the grid and Death stalks the streets.

Richard Horton states that the New Labour Government is .... party to a war crime of monstrous proportions.

Isn't it time we had another march on the citadels of power ? Or is the Lady Dame Pauline Neville Jones Fan Club too firmly in control ? Are we , as Richard Horton suggests "paralysed by our indifference" ?

MOD to get 14 more 'copters. 8 refurbed turkeys and 6 on the borrer from the Prince of Denmark

The grey haired, whey faced Defence Secretary Des"I mumble your weight" Brown, the dynamic Scots solicitor left the announcement of a major future augmentation of the Army's helicopter capacity until all his chums in the House of Comons had broken up for Easter - or for the faithless amongst you, what we must now call the Spring Break.

"14 additional helicopters will become available over the next 2 years for use on military operations (please note the (very) careful wording)."
These extra and much needed machines are 6 Augusta Westland Merlins EH 101 originally for supply to Denmark which will be further equipped and will cost a total of £147 Mn with operational enhancements and the "latest generation of advanced rotor-blades which will enhance their speed, range and lift(= £24.5 MN each). This will ensure good performance even in demanding environments like Iraq and Afghanistan." Demark will receive their 6 machines subsequntly , this demonstrates says the exciteable Des, "once more the strong link between our two NATO nations."(Prime Minister Rasmussen announced in February 2007 that most Danish troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2007)

Currently the RAF has 22 EH101 Merlin HC Mk3 helicopters and the Royal Navy 44 EH101 Merlin HM Mk1s, delivery of which was completed in 2002 (£500Mn for 22 = £22.7 Mn each).

It has also been decided to convert 8 existing Chinook Mark 3 helicopters to make them available for deployment in two years at a cost of "around" £50m-£60m.

The Chinook Mk3s were ordered in 1995 for special operations says Des. They were delivered in 2001 but have been unavailable since then due to well reported technical problems.

Just to re-capit as the military johnnies say you might turn to an exchange in the House of Commons November 1st 2005.

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he expects the Chinook Mark 3 helicopter, including the six aircraft delivered to the UK during 2001–02, to enter service before the planned phasing out of the Mark 2 and Mark 2a Chinooks.

Mr. Adam Ingram: (Another fucking Scotsman) The Ministry of Defence is working towards resolving the problems of the eight Chinook Mk 3s. A study last year recommended a 'Fix to Field' solution as the probable best value for money solution. We are working with Boeing to ensure the proposed solution is mature and robust before taking the final decision on whether to proceed. If we do decide to proceed with the 'Fix to Field' solution I anticipate that the aircraft would be in service well before the Chinook Mk 2/2a fleet reaches its out of service date.

For those who savour these private moments in those hidden away committees the following exchange is worthy of mention … Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence 25 OCTOBER 2004 - i.e 3 years ago....

Q133 Chairman: Thank you very much. But the fact remains, Air Vice Marshal, that for safety reasons you cannot fly this helicopter when it is cloudy; is that correct?
Air Vice Marshal Luker: That is also correct.

The bottom line is, 8 Chinook 3’s were ordered from Boeing in 1995. They were tailored to the needs of the SAS and Special Boat Service, with satellite communications technology, extra fuel tanks and in-flight refuelling probes for long flights. (Hence the need for the derring do of the SAS "brave" lads hanging on like aerial circus performers to Apache's to lift a wounded colleague (pic) (Guradian) - portrayed as a Boys Own Paper tale of heroism but actually forced by the dire shortage of equipment that these announcement today will relieve in .... 2-3 years time) - their colleague died.

"8 brand new Chinook HC3s costing £260 million were delivered in 2001 but will be sitting on the ground until 2007,'' said Edward Leigh Chairman of the Public Accouts Committee. "Because of a massively botched job, they cannot be flown when there is a cloud in the sky. The MoD might as well have bought eight turkeys.''

In what Leigh described as "an atrocious oversight'', the ministry had decided to cut costs by refusing to pay for a fully digital cockpit. The result was a compromise that did not match British defence safety standards.

With the extras required to bring them up to British standards and enable them to carry out the tasks for which they are needed wil cost 147 Mn.

Somehow the cost of £127 MN 3 years ago has magically reduced to £50-60 Mn! Of course any costs of conversion will increase because it will only be on undertaking the job that they will discover the levels of cannibalism that will have been gping on, the need to upgrade versions of sensors, software etc., - for which they are at the mercy of Boeing.

Which leaves you nervous that it is the same people who decide whether the UK buy a new nuclear deterrant (remembering the current Trident multiple warheads belong to Uncle Sam).

Finally, who will maintain, fly these beast of the battlefield ? The Armed forces have 40 Boeing Chinook (Mk2 and Mk 2a) and have a major problem both of training pilots and retiaing them as the jobs on ofer for civilian flying are paid at 2/3 times those of military personnel - and they tend not to get shot at.

27 Sqn Chinook HC2s currently operated by the RAF’s 1310 Flight. 6 Chinooks are now positioned at Kandahar. Hot-and- high environmental conditions mean the aircraft are operating “pretty much on the limit of their performance,” says Wg Cdr Dan Startup, officer commanding 1310 Flight, and as temperatures climb to over 40°C (104°F) by mid-year, the aircraft will be forced to carry a reduced payload. However, he notes: “Nothing else can fly throughout the year.”

The vast majority of tasks so far allocated to the RAF’s Chinooks have centred on supporting the establishment of Camp Bastion, and in delivering supplies to the UK task force in Lashkar Gar and Gereshk. Loads have primarily comprised food, water, ammunition and some underslung vehicles. The aircraft do not conduct operations outside Helmand province and have so far not supported any special forces activities, says Startup. One extra Chinook has recently helped out - transferred from the Falklands - let's hope the Argies don't notice.

Des also explains that "..there has been continual work on spares and crewing to increase the number of hours the aircraft can fly per month. Operational commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq have consistently and publicly confirmed that they currently have sufficient support helicopters to do the tasks required, although we can always do more with more. For example, Brigadier Jerry Thomas (Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan) has said, "Our success on operations would not have been possible unless our forces were properly equipped and supplied. To be clear, I have not asked for additional helicopters and the supply system is working well."

Pic shows Lord Patel's personal Merlin EH 101 machine which is the Danish version with the high lift blades clearly showing the downwash deflector plate on the rear fuselage which will be a welcome addition in dusty Helmand - it comes complete with in-flight re-fuelling designed in from the start. Good kit for moving things around

The Merlin is a very advanced machine and 90% percent of the fuselage is made from composite materials for strength and for weight reduction and the aircraft has an excellent redundancy level with some systems triplicated. But like the Osprey this this has complications in battle conditions as fuselage repairs cannot be undertaken with 'O' level metal bashing and structural integrity can easily be compromised even by light arms fire. It has however very high crash survivability and impressive Defensive Aids Suites (DAS) with Northrup Grumman Directed InfraRed Counter Measures (DIRCM) highly effective at protection from heat seeking missiles with further layer of protection from dispensing of chaff and flares. Essential in Helmand.

So that's alright then , all those stories about shortages of spares (especially rotor blades sandblasted by the harshwinds) , pilots, mechanics are all untrue then. Perhaps the HOC Defence Committee (13th report) were talking balls when they noted 19th July 2006.

"we are deeply concerned at the shortage of helicopters in theatre and believe that unless measures are taken to increase the number of helicopters and to reduce pressure on crews, the effectiveness and coherence of UK operations on the ground will suffer."
Remarks Des must have seen having been reported in the Scotsman 15/10/06 who also reported ...

Brigadier Ed Butler, outgoing commander of UK forces in the south of the country, said: "If we had more helicopters, we could generate a higher tempo, not just of offensive operations, but also to crack on with reconstruction and development."

Defence Secretary Des Browne has already accepted the general shortage of helicopters and insists the government is "taking steps to deal with this".

They also reported a defence spokesman confirming that the British army may be allowed to "borrow" further transport helicopters, expected to be Merlins, designated for Nato allies including Denmark (ordered 14) and Portugal(12). (This was nearly 6 months ago)

Bottom Line

14 additional helicopters will become available over the next 2 years for use on military operations (please note the (very) careful wording).

Well up to a point Lord Copper.

Basically we have borrowed 6 Merlins from our Danish friends as they withdraw from Iraq and we finally get to use the Chinooks we ordered in 1995 in 2 years time... at a cost conservatively estimated at "around" £250Mn. Quite what the MOD would use these helicopters for other than military operations defies understanding - ferrying Prince Andrew between Golf courses ?

As 8 of those helicopters have been stuck in a warehouse in Wales since 2001 it begs the question as to whether they represent "additional" machines - of course if you narrow the definition to "battlefield helicopters" as distinct from say "warehoused helicopters" the statement might make some sense. There will be variety of views about the utility of having machines in a warehouse for 8 years before using them. - and apparently this £260 Mn worth of warehoused stock can fly again for £50-60Mn - what the fuck has been holding them back ? (Ouch! £40 Mn a pop for these behemoths)

No wonder he waited until his chums had left for their hols.

(Pic) Chinook Mark 2 Helicopters at work on the Ark Royal at the outset of Desert Storm.

Con Coughlin of the Daily Torygraph is a lying cunt. Official.

Lord Patel has always been suspicious of the all wise, obese scribbler , with an evident venereal strabismus, who when he appears on Newsnight - which is remarkable for it's frequency - gives every impressionnof terminal shiftiness (and you can leave out the 'f' ). Simply I wouldn't leave him in charge of the baby or the babysitter.

Now the NUJ have nailed the bastard and have chapter and verse on what a devious lying cunt he is, and how inaccurate and opaque his stories are. STill in a paper that regularly used to print Lady Balck's vile bile it is difficult to determine the dross from the good stuff.
Travel to NUJ New Media and read all about it.

Analysing 44 articles by Mr Coughlin on Iran, the report finds some stark patterns in terms of his journalistic technique:

• Sources are unnamed or untraceable, often “senior Western intelligence officials” or “senior Foreign Office officials”.
• Articles are published at sensitive and delicate times where there has been a relatively positive diplomatic moves towards Iran.
• Articles contain exclusive revelations about Iran combined with eye-catchingly controversial headlines;
• The story upon which the headline is based does not usually exceed one line or at the most one paragraph. The rest of the article focuses on other, often unrelated, information.

This is not of course the first time the slobbery chopped talentless fabricator has been exposed

"Nearly 25 years later, readers of the Sunday Telegraph were regaled with a dramatic story about the son of Col Gadafy of Libya and his alleged connection to a currency counterfeiting plan. The story was written by Con Coughlin, the paper’s then chief foreign correspondent, and it was falsely attributed to a “British banking official”. In fact, it had been given to him by officers of MI6, who, it transpired, had been supplying Coughlin with material for years."

"The origins of that November 1995 Telegraph article only came to light when they were recently disclosed by Mark Hollingsworth, the biographer of renegade security service officer David Shayler."
access the article for more of this well documented case.

Leopards do not change their spots.

Britain’s security services and journalists: the secret story by David Leigh
British Journalism Review
Vol. 11, No. 2, 2000, pages 21-26

It may interest some that his Daily Torygraph blog suddenly ended on February 13th - which was launched as "Con Coughlin will be writing a weekly blog on world events relating to the war on terror. "... who said that about a week being a long time ...?

The man is a lying cunt and no credence whatsoever should be given to his activities, which are basically to re-write the stuff prepared for him by the Puzzle Palace.... he is however, not alone. Read the David Leigh article.

Fiddling whilst the lights go out

The Department of Trade and Industrypublished the Energy Trends and Quarterly Energy Prices today :


- Total production in 2006 was 196.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent, 8.8 % lower than 2005.
- Between 2005 and 2006 coal and other solid fuel consumption rose by 11.0 %
- Oil consumption increased by 1.1 %
- Gas consumption fell by 5.5 %.
- Primary electricity consumption decreased by 6.5 %.

COAL 2006

Annual coal production for 2006 was 18.6 Mn tonnes, 9.3 % down on production in 2005 at 18.6 million tonnes. Opencast production was down 17.3 per cent as sources declined in output.

- Imports of coal in 2006 were record level of 50.3 Mn tones , 14.3 per cent up on 2005
- Coal demand was 68.2 Mn tonnes up 10.2 %

OIL: 2006

- Compared with 2005, Total indigenous UK production of crude oil and NGLs in 2006 decreased by 76.6 mn tonnes = 9.6 %. Two new fields started production in 2006, but production from these new fields was insufficient to make up for the general decline in production from older established fields.

- The UK was a net importer of oil and oil products for the first time since 1980 by 6.6 million tonnes. In 2005 the UK was a net exporter by 2.4 million tonnes.

- Overall primary demand for oil products in 2006 was 0.4 per cent lower than in 2005.

- Deliveries of aviation turbine fuel increased by 0.1 %. Preliminary figures for 2006 suggest that motor spirit deliveries fell by 1.7 per cent whilst Derv (diesel) deliveries increased by 5.6%

GAS: 2006

- Total indigenous UK production of natural gas in 2006 declined by 8.6 % over 2005.
- Exports of natural gas in 2006 rose by 25.4 % compared with 2005 and imports increased by 40.8 %.
- Demand for gas in 2006 as a whole was 4.4 % down on 2005.

Gas use for electricity generation in 2006 was 7.5 % down on 2005.
- Provisionally, consumption in the domestic sector fell by 3.6 % in 2006 as a whole while consumption in the industrial sector fell 4.7 %.


- Fuel used by generators in 2006 as a whole was, in total, 0.3 % lower than in 2005. (ie Static)
- The supply from coal in 2006 increased by 11.6 % (+14.9 TWh)
gas fired stations supply fell by 7.5 % (-11.2 TWh).
The supply from nuclear stations fell by 7.9 % (-5.9 TWh).
- Total electricity supplied by all generators in 2006 was 0.4 per cent lower (-1.7 TWh) than in 2005. (ie Static)


- Average industrial gas prices, including CCL were 14.9 % lower in real terms in Q4 2006 compared to Q4 2005.
- Average industrial electricity prices including CCL were 14.6 % higher, in real terms, in Q4 2006 compared to Q4 2005.
- Estimates suggest that in January 2007, industrial gas and electricity prices in the UK including taxes were above the EU15 median for all size bands of consumers.
- In mid March 2007, unleaded petrol was on average 88.5 pence per litre, a decrease of 1.0 pence per litre compared to a year earlier.
- In mid March 2007, diesel was, on average, 92.2 pence per litre, 1.6 pence per litre lower than a year earlier.
- Provisional Q4 2006 data shows that the price paid for all fuel and light by household consumers has risen by 26.4 % in real terms between Q4 2005 and Q4 2006.
- Domestic electricity prices, including VAT, in Q4 2006 were 24.3 % higher in real terms than in Q4 2005. The price of domestic gas rose by 37.6 % in real terms over the same period, whilst the price of heating oils fell by 6.9 %.

- 2006 figures for household bills suggest that an average standard credit electricity bill increased by £53 compared to 2005 bills. Bills for direct debit and pre-payment customers increased by £44 and £55 respectively.

- For gas, 2006 bills suggest that an average standard credit bill rose by £87 compared to average 2005 bills. Comparable changes for average direct debit and pre-payment bills were increases of £71 and £97 respectively.

- Combined gas and electricity standard credit bills have increased by about 18.0 per cent in real terms, and 20.9 per cent in cash terms, between 2005 and 2006.

- The Energy White Paper, published in February 2003, defined four goals for energy policy, the first of which was to put ourselves on a long term path to reduce the UK's CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050; this target was emphasised in the 2006 Energy Review, and the draft Climate Change Bill published in March 2007 proposed that the 60 per cent target would be legally binding.

- Final energy consumption increased by 9.5 % between 1990 and 2006 compared with a GDP increase of 47 % over the same period.

- Energy consumption did not change at the same rate as GDP due (says the DTI) to:
1. Improvements in energy efficiency
2. Fuel switching
3. A decline in the relative importance of energy intensive industries
4. Demand for space heating does not increase in line with output.
...ie no mention of cost increases.

Energy Trends and the Quarterly Energy Prices bulletins, published quarterly, are available in hard copy from DTI on subscription, price £40 per annum and on the internet at

It is evident that UK electricity producers are sweating their coal burning assets whilst they can and that the consumers both commercial and domestic have been jolted into more efficient energy use by the dramatic rise in price.

Natural gas and oil assets continue - like coal (open cast production declined) to decline at a masive rate. This cold and lonely island on the Western fringe of Europe, hads to importing more and more energy either as gas by tanker or pipeline, oil or coal. Whilst people worry about the impact of carbon emissions on the economy over the next 40 years, the impact on the balance of payments, competitiveness of UK industry and the cost of living - especially of the ageing population ,is, it appears, of little concern.

Fiddling whilst the lights go out.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blair, Beckett - fucking hyprocrites. Paxo and the Urban Myth for the Tower and the mystery of the Missing Lynx

On 23 March a boarding team 7 Royal Marines and 8 sailors - in 2 boats embarked from corvette HMS CORNWALL to conduct the latest of 66 boardings in March and of 4 in this immediate area. The anchored Indian flagged vessel (name ?) had unloaded cars onto barges and their investigation was co-operative throughout- the on board survey started at 0739 local time and was completed at 0910 with the merchant vessel having been cleared to continue with her business.The Royal Navy state the vessel location was The position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes North 048 degrees 43.08 minutes East.(slightly different from this MOD pic from the Missing Lynx taken later over the vehicle.

At 9.10 communications were lost and the Cornwall's Lynx helicopter
immediately returned to the scene to locate the boarding team. The MOD statement of events does not explain why the Lynx which had accompanied the original boarding did not remain on station to give aerial cover - The Urban myth on Newsnight 28th March stated they returned to the Cornwall as fuel was low and they needed to re-fuel..

Debriefing of the helicopter crew and a conversation with the master of the merchant ship both indicate that the boarding team were ambushed while disembarking from the merchant vessel. Both boats were equipped with a GPS chart plotter.

Iranian Televsion have released a film which is a mixture of RN footage, and Iranian footage of the event and another film showing the kidnapped staff eating and a verbal statement by a WREN who was part of the boarding party - plus releasing a photo and text of a letter from her to her parents.

BBC filming crew, had the day prior to the kidnap filmed and interviewed sassy
married mother of 3 year old, WREN, Leading Seaman Faye Turney about her life in the RN which had been widely broadcast by BBC and other YK TV channels and probably elsewhere.

Before the Iranians broadcast and released the video film of the capture a spokesman for Blair said .,"any showing of British personnel on TV would be a breach of the Geneva Conventions."

After the footage was aired, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said:

“I am very concerned about these pictures and any indication of pressure or coercion of our personnel who were carrying out a routine operation in accordance with international law and under a United Nations Resolution.

I am particularly disappointed that a private letter has been used in a way which can only add to the distress of the families.”
The Sun reports fun loving Defence Secretary Des Browne was also upset:
"It’s completely unacceptable to parade our people in this way. My whole focus is to secure the immediate release of our people."
At the Morning press briefing today 29th March 2007 When asked for the Prime Minister's reaction to the TV pictures of the naval personnel last night, the PMOS replied ....
".... that nobody should be put in that position. It was an impossible position to be put in and it was wrong. It was wrong in terms of the usual conventions that cover this kind of situation, and it was wrong just in terms of basic humanity."
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett (pic - or is that a really pissed off Tess who has lost her casinos - another of Tony's apparently unsackable female cabinet colleagues) made a statement in the house today which yuo can read at the FCO website. She didn't mention the Iranian TV films, she didn't say she was "concerned", she didn't say the films were "wrong" ... which is just as well because the BBC - most of which is a section staffed, funded and paid for by the Foreign Office have been repeatedly showing the films both on UK and worldwide on BBC World programs.

On BBC Newsnight last night the UK benefited from a frame by frame analysis by the Urban myth, (Hon. Sec. The BBC2 Quizzical Raised Eyebrow Club Prop. J Paxman Esq.) who deconstructed the triumphal Iranian film, identified the RN clips (presumably seized from their video kit) .. and amazingly the fact that one soldier after being kidnapped retained his S-30 Assault Rifle - He also explained in painstaking detail (courtesy MOD) how the stationary Indian (un-named) vessel was in 2 places simultaneously and where the Brits drew the boundary between Iranian and Iraqi waters - in Mercantile Law a fiction as no such line has been agreed by the adjoining sovereign states.viz Iran & Iraq.

Perhaps we should get Plod round to White City and have the Newsnight crew hauled off to the Tower of London , breach of Human Rights, Law of the Sea, Geneva Conventions.

PS Virtually every UK daily newspaper had the photograph of WREN
Leading Seaman Faye Turney wearing a black Hijab (some of them complete with her smoking a fag) - Human Rights anyone ? Geneva Conventions anyone?

.. and as for the Missing Lynx top cover that wasn't adequately fuelled for the task ...

Hurry, Hurry Trips around the Gulf of Tonkin, book now whilst the opportunity is here.

Dodgy Maritime Maps Dossier from the MOD see Craig Murray
Also Blair's Faked Border by Alabama Moon

Daily Mail catch up with the Woolmer case news

Turn to Page 19 of the Daily Mail and you will find .."Woolmer killed .."after row with crime lord's bookie" .. and relates how the bookie is linked to "one of India's most notorious godfather's " and then names his as Dawood Ibrahaim the first time his name has surfaced in the UK press. (Interpol have a red note out for his arrest.)

Those who require their news fresher may have read not only the name of the bookie but a great deal more about the murder of Woolmer which was related to Pakistani match fixing...that the bookie was in fact ....

Khwaja Arif Pappu (Tariq Aziz, President Pervez Musharraf’s aide is a big pal where they are often seen together at Lahore Race Club where Aziz is President on a Sunday), from Lahore, a man never far from the centre of the storm over Pakistani cricket and match fixing is enjoying the West Indian sunshine. There is no (or well, very little, if any, possibly) truth that he has any connection with with gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Pappu is a much misunderstood man and was an income-tax officer when Aziz served in the country’s Central Board of Revenue. He was later dismissed (totally unreasonably ) for corruption.... mishandling paper-clips etc.,

Pappu is also said to have close contacts with South Africa.
Plus a great deal about Woolmers association with match fixers in SA, Pakistan and India and the criminal nexus of Dawood Ibrahim - whose daughter is married to Oxford educated son of ace match fixer ex Pak captain Javed Miandad.

Which makes a mockery of that toad White from the Guradian saying on newsnight last night when they demonstrated (again) with his help, what a cunt Paul "Semen" Staines AKA Guido Fawkes is. "Bloggers are just commentators, not reporters."

As explaind at the head of the story this was written on the basis of information from personal contacts in Islamabad.

The silence of the press and their uncritical acceptance of the shambles of an enquiry and the assumed innocence of Woolmer is devastating.

Sacco & Vanzetti - an Anarchist enigma, were they killed by the State for their political beliefs ?

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti handcuffed together at the Dedham courthouse. It is 80 years ago that they were hung and resulted in huge scenes in Boston by a public coninced of their innocence. Read more about them and the plans for remembering the trial and hanging - In these times - The Lessons of Sacco and Vanzetti - By Annie Anderson

In October 1961, ballistics tests were run using Sacco's Colt automatic. The results left little room for doubt that the bullet (Bullet 3) that killed Berardelli in 1920 came from Sacco's gun.

There is also a remarkably good programme on NBR about a letter from Upton Sinclair dated 1929 discovered in 2005. Sinclair had just written a novel "Boston" based on the case which was seen as a defence of them ( a massive 700 page book which he called a "documentary novel" pre-dating Truman Capote). It appears from the letter recounting his meeting in a Denver hotel room with Sacco and Vanzetti's defense attorney, Fred Moore that he became increasingly sceptical that they were inocent after the book was published and how Fred Moore had told him of their guilt and explained how he had contrived alibis for them. - Sinclair said , "this was a most trying and difficult ethical problem he had faced in his life."

The letter was to his private attorney, John Beardsley whom he asked to keep the letter locked up, so that , "some time in the far distant future the world may know the real truth in the matter." Sinclair was worried the truth about the trial and the guilt of Sacco and Vanzetti might "make things harder for the victims" of some future "frame-up" by government officials.

In October 1961, ballistics tests were run using Sacco's Colt automatic. The results left little room for doubt that the bullet (Bullet 3) that killed Berardelli in 1920 came from Sacco's gun.

Z net have transcript of an interview with revisionist US historian Howard Zinn about the finding of the letter.This interview aired on Wednesday January 18th, 2006 on Uprising at KPFK, Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles, it is no longer available as an audiostream.

Whatever the truth , Saccos words from the dock appear remarkably apt today..

"There would not be no chance, there would not be no--they don't want the working class educationed; they want the working class low all the times, be underfoot and not up with the head. So sometimes, you see, the Rockefellers, Morgans, they give fifty--mean they give five hundred thousand dollars to Harvard College....They won't get, the poor class, they won't get no chance to go to Harvard College....I like men to get everything that nature will give best....So that is why I love people who labor and work and see better conditions every day develop, makes no more war. We no want fight by the gun, and we don't want to destroy young men....The war is not like Abraham Lincoln's and Abe Jefferson, to fight for a free country, for the better education, to give a chance to any other peoples....They are war for business, millions of dollars come on the side. "
Someone tell us please , who the artist is of this famous 60's post card based on the above photgraph. It would be a good idea to resurrect it this year.

Where are they now ? No 74 : Elton Welsby

Scanning the TV schedules it was a surprise to see that ITV have a show tonight celebrating 60 Years of Elton's life "Happy Birthday Elton" - when this gem was mentioned to Toni Fabuloso she pointed out the hour and half long show was not a celebration of the life of sports guru , writer, TV presenter and legend , youthful Elton Welsby but of some unheard of, pop star singer (By Royal Appointment Toni explains) and pianist.

Naturally this was a disappointment because Elton .. Welsby that is, not the pop star Z list celeb has a special place in the hearts and memories of the North West. There are few who will forget his debut in January 1978 (rocketing to stardom after a career in hospital portering in his native Liverpool) when he first met public acclaim on Granada's cunningly named football programme The Kick Off Match. There are few who will forget his breathless announcment that ....
"the score was Stockport 3 and Macclesfield 1"..so he explained "Stockport won."

A hard core of fans have followed his exciting roller coaster of a life in TV. When Match Night finished in 1983 we were disappointed not to see him again until Granada re-introduced Kick Off in 1989, with the talented(and in a way more mature) Welsby as a presenter.

From there he was on the sofa for the ITV Seoul Olympics team, (pic) then the all important and demanding Results Service until Greg Dyke in a masterstroke ,when ITV obtained (at huge cost) exclusive coverage of the Football League, gave the job to Elton as presenter of The Match. It was from this era he will be remembered for his witty asides ...

"And now for the goals at Carrow Road where it ended nil - nil."

"Football today would certainly not be the same if it had not existed."
Then Rupert Murdoch put a stop to that with his Sky Sports and it was back to his home ground in the North West until silently and almost secretly in May 2000 Granada failed (by a clerical oversight) to renew his contract. Elton then saw the challenge of radio where they couldn't see his beard stroking and presented Elton Welsby's Soccer Saturday for Century FM but that work ended at the end of the 2003/4 season.

There was a short stint as the final presenter of the hugely under rated afternoon TV gameshow Busmans Holiday.

There were reports that he was fleetingly seen commentating on Sky Sports excellent coverage of the fascinating game of TV Crown Green Bowls in the aftrenoons - a wow apparently with OAP's who are facsinated by this actionpacked game of 3 D chess with power bowls.

Now he tours with Ricky Tomlinson doing a hilarious mock interview with Ricky in character (and without acting) as the fat, repulsive , self opinionated, nose picking, drunk, know all Jim Royle froma TV programme called the Royle Family (Not, Toni assures me the Royal Family who are such great admirers if that other Elton whose toe tapping tunes will be recalled tonight. Apparently.)

Which was cancelled due to lack of support when they came(or in fact didn't) to Burnley Mechanics Institute last March.

Correction : "Don't tell those coming in the result of that fantastic match, but let's have another look at Italy's winning goal." is NOT a Welsby quote - David Coleman deserves the credit.

PS Not a lot of folks realise he was actually named Roger, and changed it .. bet that other Elton "pop" singer wasn't called Elton either.,,,probly Roger.

Shatt al Arab - Gulf of Tonkin incident Mark II ?

On the March 26th edition of US ABC TV show "The View," co-host Rosie O’Donnell discussed the Iranian seizure of British sailors.

ROSIE O’DONNELL: But interesting with the British sailors, there were 15 British sailors and Marines who apparently went into Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians. And I have one thing to say: Gulf of Tonkin, Google it. Okay.

: Some other time. Some other time.

O’DONNELL: Well, you know...

: It could be a decision making time. It's a very difficult situation. It's at the United Nations. It’s being examined now. Should there be sanctions? Militarily, we certainly don't seem to be in the position to do something militarily. But it is a decision making time.

: Yes, but it’s very interesting too that, you know, these guys, they went into the water by mistake right at a time when British and American, you know, they're two, they’re pretty much our biggest ally and we're considering whether or not we should go into war with Iran.

: But the U.N. was about to sanction them, also have an embargo against Iran. And the, and the timing [unintelligible] so they distracted the whole world with this.

: Right and they may be about to expel the inspectors right now, too, which could be considered [unintelligible]

: Right or it could be just the Gulf of Tonkin, which you should all Google.

The BBC fillum the sassy young naval lady the day before the incident, working in an area never previously patrolled according to the Iraqi Government, the UK Government claim there is an internationally recognised boundary when the two sovereign nations Iraq and Iran have not agreed one .... and all this is contrived as causus belli ?

Shirley not ?

Curiously if you Google "Gulf of Tonkin Rosie O'Donnell" you will get 32,000 hits but espite huge numbers of US press / TV references yuo will search in vain for any comment in the UK Press /TV.

Now Rosie O'Donnell may be fat. Rosie O'Donnell may be a lousy actress. She has publicly sated that 9/11 was an inside job.... she is right again ... and it has scared the shit out of the goose stepping right wing neo-cons... caught yet again with their trousers round their ankles.

... and don't forget to Google Tonkin incident when president Johnson contrived the incident which eventually led to the Vietnam war, thus bypassing Congressional control of the US war making machine.

An apology is due

The demands for apologies (and reparation) for slavery rise daily. These worthy and windy homilies are pointless and have no utility , as they refer to events , as the law has it, "beyond human memory" - and certainly beyond the experience of the apologist.

Yesterday the ever-excellent "Womans Hour" had an interview with an elderly Dutch lady who, as a teenger had been forced to act as a "comfort" woman for the Japanese military. She explained in excruciating and vivid toe curling detail her personal experience. Evidently moved, a representative from the Japanese Government explained th system by which a fund would pay £15,000 to victims which were accompanied by a letter from the Government. Which ,whilst it does not meet the expectations of everyone is some ofocial and tangible form of apology.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if some form of apology might be made say by Jonathan Evans who takes over from Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller who is retiring as head of MI 5 to spend more time with her corsets? .. whilst events in the murky war in Northern Ireland are still within human memory ?

It was he (known as "Bob") who as the Sunday Times recently explained was tipped off about the intended attack leading to the murder of Protestant RUC officer Colleen McMurray (pic) in Merchants Quay, Newry , whose family will poignantly recall was almost exactly 15 years agolate at night on March 27th 1992 , by Kevin Fulton, a former British agent in the IRA who worked for Force Research Unit, a covert branch of the Intelligence Corps set up to infiltrate paramilitary groups.

In the attack on Mc Murray (using technology acquired with the help of MI5) her colleague Paul Slaine lost both his legs in the attack and he was later awarded the George Cross for his bravery (BBC).... unlike PC Stephen Oake.

Wouldn't it be good for the US nation to apologise to the individuals they treated so appallingly as liberators at Abu Ghraib... they know who they are, they know who tortured or killed them.

Wouldn't it be good for the the politicians , Ministers and PR pimps, in the UK who supported our ally in this despicable treatment apologise, Blair, Goldsmith, Hoon, Straw,Clarke, Reid, Meacher, Beckett, Hewitt, Amos, Campbell et.al, liars all ,who plunged us all into the shameful military adventure.

Such apologies would carry weight and meaning.

They would be a welcome surprise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

PC Oake - victim of the Metropolitan / Manchester Police - and when dead, of the Government

Earlier this month Pc Clive Chamberlain, Dorset Police Federation chairman , posted his long service and Queen's Jubilee medals back to the Prime Minister in protest when PC Stephen Oake was deniedthe award of a George Cross. (Stephen was the son of Robin Oake once ACC of the GMP and also CC of the Isle of Man Constabulary)

He had been nominated by for the George Cross, the highest civilian gallantry award, by the Chief Constable of GMP, Michael Todd. Tony Blair refused to intervene, although he had not failed to miss the photo opportunity to be present with Cherie at his funera in Manchester Cathedral. His official spkoesman said.."''It wouldn't be right for the PM to interfere in the Awards process'' ... Ho.Ho.Ho. (Perhaps the Karaoke King hadn't rcvd a backhander "loan". ?)

A Prime Ministers petition to reverse the decision and award the medal , on the No 10 website obtained 8,000 signaturers before closing.

The 40 year old GMP policeman, Stephen Oake was sent to a flat in Crumpsall, N Manchester in January 4 years ago . He didn't know what he was there for, and neither would the Metropolitan Police tell the GMP why they wanted the occupants. There was what is called a, "breakdown in communications"... it was a breakdown that lead to Pc Oake's sudden death and destroyed the life of his wife and child.

One of the people in the flat was an alleged Al Quaeda operative, Kamel Bourgass , who was connected with the massive non producing "ricin" factory. After an hour when no-one knew what was going on and nobody had been arrested, Bourgass, one of the 4 men in the flat, got a kitchen knife out of a kitchen door and fatally stabbed PC Oake who was in plain clothes and not wearing protective body armour. The HSE undertook an enquiry as GMP policy is that uniformed officers must wear vests on duty. However, detectives only have to wear them if the risk evaluation reveals potential physical danger. The HSE inquiry examined the intelligence provided before the raid and the briefing given to the officers before they went into the address. They took no action.

It subsequently turned out after the trial that Bourgass was a failed asylum seeker who had not been deported - Tory vice-chair Dr Liam Fox , claimed, that as a result the government were "culpable" for PC Oake's death.)

An inscribed granite stone trimmed with gold was erected 6 months ago outside the Crumpsall flat where Stephen Oake died which was paid for by Michael Winner’s Police Memorial Trust.

Overnight on Tuesday this memorial has been smashed and pieces thrown into the car park of Cheetham Hill Police Station, just over a mile away.

The pieces of stone damaged two marked police cars and another car belonging to an officer at the station in Cheetham Hill Road. No one was about at the time and no one was injured.

His father Robin said: "He would not have wanted any recognition, he was doing it for his colleagues." He added: "Certainly his bravery needed some recognition and he got that of course at the Old Bailey trial. "At the end of the day, as a Christian man, Steve's reward is in heaven."

Paul Kelly, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation of the decision to refuse the George Medal....

"If - as I believe - the Prime Minister is aware of this decision and concurs with it, then he has let down Stephen, his family, my colleagues and every law enforcement officer in the country. He threw himself into extreme danger when he could have stepped aside and waited for back-up. He is a true hero and I am sickened by this decision."

Here is a description of the murder by a UK leading journalist, a great friend of the forces of Laura Norder just after the Bourgass trial .... One million pounds to whoever identifies the author.. (usual rules apply)

Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism squad appears to have destroyed a particular terrorist cell of which Bourgass was a member, the operation which netted him by Manchester police, in which Bourgass managed to kill DC Oake, was a sorry saga of eye-watering incompetence.

Advance surveillance of a flat which was thought to house a terrorism suspect failed to uncover the fact that Bourgass was there too. The pre-operation briefing, which was in many respects utterly inadequate, took place in a noisy police station garage so that at least one officer had difficulty hearing.

The police team did not take specialist arrest kits. Officers found that their mobile phones would not work. None of the officers was wearing body armour, and Bourgass was not handcuffed.

The officer in charge of this debacle has reportedly been disciplined - but is still employed somewhere in the police service. In other words, no-one has taken responsibility for a display of professional incompetence which left an officer dead.

Iowa - protecting the farmer's fuels and the Smithsonian

They were dancing in the streets of Des Moines, Iowa (pic) when US Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM), respectively chairman and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced the Biofuels for Energy Security and Transportation Act of 2007” (S.987). Thus effectively putting a floor under the price of corn, farmers earnings, land values, and boosting the US agrochemical industry and the farm machinery makers.

Following on POTUS's call in the State of the Union speech for the use of 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017 they have framed a requirement that increases the required renewable fuel standard from 8.5 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons in 2022 which they place a national upper limit on the use of corn for ethanol of 15 billion gallons and remainder from biomass such cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol and other fuels derived from unconventional biomass feedstocks - crop residue, switchgrass and forestry waste.

Whilst they have stretched the POTUS's time frame by 5 years they do not include coal derived fuels, as he suggested.

Naturally the far sighted farmers of the mid-west have more immediate concerns such as the extending the tax credits that subsidize ethanol and biodiesel and increasing the number of service stations that actually sell the finished product - vehicle fuels with 15% ethanol, or E85 - not that they intend to pay for them - they expect the mineral oil distillers and refiners to sell the stuff in competition to their gasoline.

Corn growers naturally see a 15 Billion gallon limit as unhelpful - "Over the long haul, to say that once we get 15 billion gallons (of corn ethanol) we really don't want any more is not a good thing to do," Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said on hearing the details of the proposed bill.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R and Sen. Tom Harkin, D both representing Iowa ,being good country farmer boys were cautious and protective , Sucking on a corn stalk , "Any focus on making our country less dependent on foreign sources of oil is beneficial as long as it doesn't harm or handcuff the existing industry that is making great strides toward energy independence," said Grassley .

Tom Harkin likes the idea but wants more folks selling the stuff and the car industry (if there is any left by 2017 ) should be made to build more flex-fuel vehicles. Judging by the way they have refused to cut fuel consumption of new vehicles for the last 20 years , he is SOL on that one.

Don't expect this one to swish through on the nod ...there are lots of vested interests at work here, oil, coal, agriculture to name the smaller ones - as well as the Indiana boondogglers building ethanol refineries like Levittowns.

Small problem at the Smithsonian

It's good to see Charles Grassley in the news again - last week he got the Senate to freeze a $17 million Smithsonian budget increase (70% of their funding is federal - US$715 Mn. last year) when he exposed their spending habits , in a report which he had demanded as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee;

Lawrence M. Small, who was previously an executive at Citibank and Fannie Mae, is only the second non-scientist to serve as Smithsonian secretary in the organization's 160 years. On appointment, the Board of Regents said, " his business acumen would help improve the organization's finances."

Well certainly Small saw his finances improve , he saw his salary raised from U$330,000 to US $915,968 (more than the President of Harvard which has endowments 30 times the size of the Smithsonian) and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursements for personal expenses, revealed by Inspector General, A. Sprightley Ryan .These included chandelier cleaning and pool heating at his home, payments for a notional mortgage on his home (he owned it outright) chartered jet travel, his wife's trip to Cambodia, hotel rooms, luxury car service, catered staff meals and expensive gifts adn meals a deux with his wife at NY's swanky Cosmos Club . He also received US$1.15 million for making his house available for official functions.

4 days later, on Monday, Small.. er..resigned and Smithsonian Regent Patricia "Patty" Stonesifer, who is also co-chairwoman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and like her husband an ex-Microsoft employee, will head the new Smithsonian governance committee.

PS. "Women of Biofuel" the 2007 calendar still available here BUY NOW (pictures unsuitable for this blog! -WARNING)

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish