"“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 15, 2008

Stop the War. Whitehall. Saturday 15th March 2008

Is that half a bottle of gin in his pocket ?

Good Flickr gallery of 62 pics of the event here

See Report here with lots of comments. Also the "Indefatigable" gobshite Galloway the Dundee Dodger and Respect Rapscallion on You Tube here

Super cop and super stud Hot Toddy, Asian Babe, Met maids ....

The Manchester Evening News had a fascinating story about a bent copperess on 2nd September 2005.

This was an everyday story of a glamorous, attractive Asian, super fit, lissome, ex model, airline hostess, mother of a nine year old, who had committed a minor fraud of claiming on an insurance policy claiming she was outof work when she wasn't and had embezzled £1,327.21 by making false statements .... (BBC)

"She was trumpeted in a highly-publicised recruitment campaign by Greater Manchester Police and photographed with Chief Constable Michael Todd."

Curiously the picture of the presentation at the force's training school at Sedgeley Park, Prestwich, Manchester on 27/ 2/2004 has re-appeared ... in the Mail's story tomorrow morning."How many MORE lovers did 'suicide' police chief have? "

There are some contemporary remarks on Police Specials which are (with hindsight) of interest. Fit young lady too, came 19th in RIBBLE VALLEY 10K ROAD RACE 30th December 2001. The daughter of a UN diplomat, it was claimed she was depressed and had undergone unsuccesful fertility treatment with a partner who had left..although she had a daughter already. The fraud she undertook pre-dated her time on the Police and she resigned on June 30th, the day after her arrest and four months after the happy photo-op.

The Sun also covered the event, but with a different picture.

However top cop Todd was not only shagging her , he had left the Met behind and also Julia Wortley, 43 a detective chief inspector, who was based at Colindale police station in North-West London. Mr Todd's office was on the same floor. The two were often spotted together in the gym situated along the same corridor.

Their relationship is understood to have continued until she joined Hertfordshire police as a superintendent in 2003.

Although the uniform obviously attracted him he was also shagging journalist Andrea Perry a crime reporter on a Sunday newspaper who is said to met SuperToddy when she interviewed Mr Todd shortly before he left the Met six years ago.

So if "Hot Toddy" was so evident a philanderer, he would, on the same principle of choosing Stalker be open to manipulation and coercion ...unless of course it was impossible amnogst all the ACPO members to find a non -bent copper. The Vice President of ACPO's West Midlands force is going to "investigate" Mr Todd - several lorry loads of white paint have been seen being delivered at their HQ.

Miss Nagulapalli, has moved to Australia, she still rents out her home in Chorley which the Mail says she shared with a married Chief Insopector called Ross (who he ? ED.) . Now living in Brisbane, she insisted this week: "The suggestion there was an affair between us [her and Mike Todd] is absolute rubbish."

Funny thing is that MI5 /6/7/8 have a habit of recruiting glamourous, attractive Asian, super fit, lissome, bright, intelligent people in their late 20's and early thirties. Sounds as though it might fit the highly mobile , but evidently UK based Miss Nagulapalli. Perhaps she should pop an application form in the post ... unless of course she doesn't need to.

It is of interest that Miss Nagulapalli was represented by expensive lawyer Emma Edhem of the South Eastern Circuit and a Tenant of Richard Ferguson's Chambers, 9 Carmelite Street London EC4Y 0DR whose list of clients defending some pretty nasty charges leads like the who's who of people traffickers, fraudsters, rapists, and death merchants in old people's homes.

To trouble this highly effective barrister to come to Preston in a case involving fraud of £1,372.71 to which she pleaded guilty - she was after all bang to rights - she was of course living with a Police Inspector at the time called Ross - would cost a lot of money.

The Asian Babe got 200 hours community service and had to pay Crown costs of £2,084.71, so all in all a pretty expensive day in court. Bit expensive extravagant for a probationary Plod don't you think ?

Unless someone else was paying the bills ? or someone who had good contacts in London to pick one of the top criminal defence briefs in London ? ...

All this of course is total bollocks.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Alastair Darling and his Amazing Bank of England / Northern Rock / Newcastle United Sinking Fund - Amazing Pictures

Here at Patel Towers as we have been emptying the Piggy Bank's to send off to the Bear Stearns Survival Fund ,we have been trying to evaluate 2 seperate bits of econ omic information ...

1 .Mr Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge. Con. ) asked Chancellor of the Exchequer in Parliament this week.

"what estimate he has made of the annual value of new mortgages that Northern Rock will need to originate in order to prevent a non-asset covenant breach occurring of the Granite securitisation vehicles."
To which Angela Eagle (Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury) gave the very , very carefuly worded reply, "The sale of mortgages from Northern Rock into Granite is a commercial decision for Northern Rock. The estimated value of mortgages that Northern Rock would need to sell into Granite in order to avoid a non-asset trigger is a commercially sensitive matter."

2. Financial Times Headline 12/3/08 Treasury looks to reduce N Rock debt to £14bn

"Northern Rock’s management, led by Ron Sandler, is expected to shrink the lender’s balance sheet, allowing it to repay the government debt within two to three years. The Treasury stressed that the £14bn figure was a forecast and could change in the future."

This suggests that the mortgage book will be rduced by about £10-11 Bn. This will be done by telling mortgage holders when their term expires that rates will rise - effectively they don't want their business - a polite financial Fuck Off - take your business somewhere else.

Now some 80% (ish) of mortgagees are responsible people, they have a very sizeable chunk of their earnings tied up in the house they live in or rent out. They willsimply move an and their solid credit history of unbroken payments will move onto the books of another bank - B & B, A & L, HBOS etc., who will not charge usorious rates.

BOE / NR will then be left with those mortgage holders with a rotten payments history , strewn with "payments holidays" bounced cheques, failed Direct debits - at the bottom end of what we bankers like to call "credit quality".

Unsurprisingly these will include many , many of those "lie to buy" mortgages where people self declared ... they will include the funny money 125% mortgages ... many if not most will have no equity and by walking away will look on their mortgage payments as an alternative way of having paid rent.

Of course it will affect their credit status...but that was bogus anyway so what have they to lose?

This will have several effects.

1. Family problems , splits, divorces, broken homes.
2. Boost to rental property.
3. Intense pressure on public housing and social servcies.
4. Huge increase in foreclosures (especially in Labour held NE seats) which will help drive market prices down.
5. Which Lowers the asset value of the mortage held by the Bank of England / Northern Wreck / Newcastle United.
6. Mr Branson was right, NR is a broken Brand and with unrealistic mortgage rates cannot generate enough new business to "in order to prevent a non-asset covenant breach occurring of the Granite securitisation vehicles"
7. Which will lead to a " a non-asset covenant breach occurring of the Granite securitisation vehicles"
8. Which will cause what Angela Eagle and the authors of the Granite prospectus ***calls a "non-asset trigger " - about which she is coy as it is "a commercially sensitive matter".

Too fucking right it is, because if that happens, Granite want to return the Assets (?) and say, "Please may we have our money back" ... and there is £40 Bn. of Granite Bonds that can be "triggered".

Or in more technical terms this would (what we bankers call) breach "triggers" ,the trust will be wound down and go into early amortisation. (We want our money back) Many of the triggers are related to the credit quality of the mortgage book – if mortgage arrears were to increase dramatically, for example, this would trigger a wind down.... .oooooh ...er.

*** The prospectus is 344 pages long and requires a 43 page Glossary of defined terms - Pages 297 - 340 ..... for example an "insolvency event" takes 3 pages (297-281) to explain. (read all 344 page pdf here) ..

Looks like Gordon "Prudence " Brown and Alistair "Stability" Darling are on to a winner there then.

We'll pass that one by for you again ...

"Northern Rock’s management, led by Ron Sandler, is expected to shrink the lender’s balance sheet, allowing it to repay the government debt within two to three years. The Treasury stressed that the £14bn figure was a forecast and could change in the future."

Could change in the future! You can put your fucking mortgage on it.

NEXT WEEK - Star attraction Montigue Tigg is joined by Alastair Darling to launch the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company along with Jonas Chuzzlewit and Mr Pecksniff.

Roll Up! Roll Up! Bring me yer widders n'orphans!

Bear Stearns shares crash 42% - Joe Lewis has lost US$600 Mn.

Joe Lewis bought a total of 8.1 Mn. shares in Bear Stearns (closed Sept 8th NYSE US$107.50) which makes him the biggest shareholder after founder James Cayne (5.8%) and Putnam Investment Management . Joe, 70 next birthday, who seems to have missed out on a knighthood, or even a baronetcy is a native Londoner but spends most of his time running his 140 company plus empire from the poolside . He had been building up a share stake in Bear Stearns from since early August .Aug. 6 to Sept. 4 spending US$860 Mn. (ish)

As we speak they trade at US$32 down 42% .... which means he has lost about US$600 Mn. (ish)

UPDATE at Market Close NYSE - share price has halved in a week.

Previous Posts on this basket case Bank, Fraudsters home and Black Hole - Court cases, fraudsters, crooks and con-men.

UPDATE Saturday 15th March Financial market traders across London have been told by their firms to stop dealing with Bear Stearns, while dealers in New York scaled back their transactions with the ailing investment bank, sources in several dealing rooms said on Friday. At least six major institutions in London -- including Commerzbank , Royal Bank of Scotland and JPMorgan -- had stopped giving prices to the U.S. bank.

Just another bloody silly conspiracy theory No. III

Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime
How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers

By Eliot (Can't keep his Dick in his Trousers) Spitzer
Thursday, February 14, 2008; Washington Post

(Remember that Spitzer must have been ruminating / discussing this piece for some time .....)

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser" rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York's, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

Throughout our battles with the OCC and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

The OCC is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Chartered in 1863, its purpose is to organize and to administer a system of national banks and a uniform currency....

In his 2003 annual report, J. D. Hawke, Jr., then Comptroller of the
Currency, said:
"In response to an appeal by two national banks and after reviewing public comment, the OCC concluded that a Georgia law that imposed severe restrictions on all lenders operating within the state, did not apply to national banks and their subsidiaries. In issuing this preemption determination, the OCC ruled that the Georgia law interfered with national banks’ ability to exercise permissible federal powers and was thus in conflict with Federal law."

A storm was brewing. Many state examiners were concerned that predatory lending practices were on the rise. In 2003, the seeds of the now subprime disaster had been planted....

For example see the Press Release from the CCC NR 20004-3January 7, 2004

"OCC Issues Final Rules on National Bank Preemption and Visitorial Powers;Includes Strong Standard to Keep Predatory Lending out of National Banks

WASHINGTON – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued two final rules today that reflect the federal character of the national banking system. The regulations enhance the ability of national banks to plan their activities with predictability and to operate efficiently, subject to effective and efficient supervision.

The first rule codifies a series of court decisions and OCC interpretations, and establishes symmetry with federal thrifts regarding the types of state laws that apply to national banks, and includes a strong anti-predatory lending standard. The second rule clarifies the scope of the OCC’s visitorial authority under federal law.

The new rules respond to numerous questions the OCC has received in recent years about the extent to which state laws apply to national banks and the authority of state or other agencies to examine or take actions against national banks...“Federal preemption is not a new idea,” Mr. Hawke said. “Its roots lie in the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, and the courts have repeatedly held that the states cannot restrict the federally-authorized activities of national banks.” .

Nouriel Roubini
of New York University's Stern School of Business quoted by By Martin Wolf ( A Bilderberger) February 20 2008 in the Financial Times ...He first predicted a US recession in July 2006*. At that time, his view was extremely controversial. It is so no longer. Now he states that there is "a rising probability of a 'catastrophic' financial and economic outcome"**. The characteristics of this scenario are, he argues: "A vicious circle where a deep recession makes the financial losses more severe and where, in turn, large and growing financial losses and a financial meltdown make the recession even more severe."

Prof Roubini is even fonder of lists than I am. Here are his 12 - yes, 12 - steps to financial disaster.

1. Worst housing recession in US history.
2. More losses, beyond the $250bn-$300bn now estimated, for subprime mortgages.
3. Big losses on unsecured consumer debt: credit cards, auto loans, student loans and so forth.
4. Downgrading of the monoline insurers, which do not deserve the AAA rating on which their business depends.
5. Meltdown of the commercial property market
6. Bankruptcy of a large regional or national bank
7. Big losses on reckless leveraged buy-outs.
8. Wave of corporate defaults.
9. Meltdown in the "shadow financial system".
10. Further collapse in stock prices.
11. Drying-up of liquidity in a range of financial markets, including interbank and money markets.
12."a vicious circle of losses, capital reduction, credit contraction, forced liquidation and fire sales of assets at below fundamental prices". (Which has really got under way with the Carylale capital Corporation yesterday)

All in all, argues Prof Roubini: "Total losses in the financial system will add up to more than $1,000bn (one Trillion) and the economic recession will become deeper more protracted and severe."...

Is this kind of scenario at least plausible? It is....

Can the Fed head this danger off?

More important - how do you shut Spitzer up ?

Spitzer is deeply disliked for example ...Spitzer's Sins in the Spotlight - His career has always been marked by self-serving hubris.By Jim Copland March 11th National review...

"As New York attorney general, Elliot Spitzer charted a course unprecedented in American history — stretching the bounds of ancient laws and the state-federal prosecutorial divide in his crusade against Wall Street. Spitzer flaunted the federal regulatory scheme ..."

GSK's claim cervarix HPV vaccine affords long-term protection against fourmain HPV types

Cervical cancer affects the 2nd most common cancer in women aged 15-45, affects over over 1.4 million women, is the third leading cause of death by cancer in women , after breast and lung cancer.

Most of the deaths occur in the developing world. Cervical cancer is an invasive and patient slow growing problem often diagnosed too late for effective action unless regular screening is provided.

The cause is a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) transmitted by sexual activity both between men and women and between men and men and women and women. Cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease. Condom use fails to provide adequate protection as transmission does not require intercours but may occur simply through skin-to-skin contact in the genital area.

As HPV is almost symptomless people can be infected and transmit the without even knowing it.

Of the known 100 known types of HPV only about 15 can cause cervical cancer. Only 4 of these are the most commmon (16, 18, 45 and 31) and appear to devliver some 80% of observed cases.

HPV 16, 18 and 45 are are associated with nearly 90% of cases of adenocarcinoma, a very aggressive form of cervical cancer.

On Monday (International Women's day) at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists' Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer, Glaxo Smith Kline presented new clinical data for what they call their "cervical cancer vaccine", Cervarix - competitor to Merck's Gardasil.

They show that it provided significant protection against four types of human papillomavirus (types 16 and 18) for almost six and a half years.

These follow-up analyses, involving women aged 15 to 25 years, demonstrated ;

1 . Cervarix was 100 % effective at preventing precancerous lesions caused by virus types 16 and 18 over six and a half years.

2. Cervarix was 78 % and 60 %t effective at preventing incident infection caused by virus types 45 and 31, respectively.

GSK say this shows the "longest duration of consistently high antibody levels demonstrated by a cervical cancer vaccine."

GSK literature promotes the claim of Anna-Barbara Moscicki, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Universityof California, San Francisco who runs a Teen Colcoscopy Clinic. "Vaccination of pre-teen/adolescent girls against cancer-causing HPV before onset of sexual activity will be an important part of the overall strategy for cervical cancer prevention."

See Wikipedia on Gardasil and HPVresource.org

The Anschluß - 70 years ago - little to celebrate

A historian once remarked to Lord Patel that the Austrians were the cleverest people in Europe. They have convinced everyone that Adolf Hitler was German and Wolfang Amadeus Mozart was Austrian.

The Nazis marched into Austria on March 12, 1938, there was no resistance. Many thousands turned out to welcome them.

For decades , Austrians denied their role in the Holocaust. Oliver Rathkolb in his book “Die paradoxe Republik” (The Paradoxical Republic) made the case that Austrians adhered collectively to a belief that having lost their autonomy in 1938, they stuck to a policy of “comprehensive victim’s doctrine,”

The Holocaust and all that went with it was dumped on the defeated German Reich . The 600,000 Austrians who had joined the Nazi Party simply evaporated in the post war confusion.

This biased view was augmented by the 1943 Moscow Declaration signed at the 4 Nation Moscow Conference on October 30, 1943 named Austria as the first victim of Hitler’s aggression and called for the establishment of a free Austria after the victory over Nazi Germany.On March 28, 1945, Russian soldiers, coming from Hungary, entered and "liberated" Austrian territory. On April 10, the tower of St. Stephen’s was in flames. Terrible horrors followed: Theft, rape, kidnapping and murder it is not a period in which there is much documented history.

The Austrian Independence Treaty of 1955 which was signed when the occupying powers departed also included this victim thesis -- and still does.The state of victim hood only began to change as historians started to question and examine the the way the Ausirtain state responded to the Anschluss .It was the revelation that Austrian President Kurt Waldheim had concealed his past as a member of the SA -- and the scandal that followed -- opened up public discourse and made a post war generation aware of their history.

10 minutes to eight in the evening, March 11, 1938, Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg took to the radio to address his people. He bade them farewell with portentous words: “God protect Austria.”The Nazis marched into Austria on March 12, 1938.

On March 12th, early in the morning , at 5:00 a.m., SS leader Heinrich Himmler landed with his staff at the Aspern Airport in Vienna. Shortly thereafter “Operation Otto,” swung into action and the “reunification of Austria with the German Reich,” as Hitler formulated it for a law decreed earlier that same day, was in full swing. Schuschnigg's planned referendum on the topic of independence on March 13, sparked off Hitler 's resolve to solve his “Austrian question.”

The Austrian dream of independence was shattered ..."Für ein freies und deutsches, unabhängiges und soziales, für ein christliches und einiges Österreich!"

It also meant that around 2.7 billion shillings in gold and foreign currency would fall into the lap of the badly stretched German Reichsbank. Austria would be a brudghead for Eastward expansion and conquest.

Hitler headed first for his childhood home, Linz. he moved on Vienna as an Emperor would and excited crowds cheered him on saluting all the way. On March 15, he declared the “entry of my homeland into the German Reich” from the balcony of the Hofburg Imperial Palace. On Heldenplatz, 250,000 people gathered to celebrate the occasion. (see pic)

He said "Als Führer und Kanzler der Deutschen Nation und des Reiches melde ich vor der Geschichte nunmehr den Eintritt meiner Heimat in das Deutsche Reich!"

On the Ringstrasse, which circles central Vienna the German Eighth Army paraded with SA and SS units. Tanks and fighter planes rolled past as well -- a precisely staged performance for the cheering masses. One year later in Czechoslovakia Germans marched into Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The streets were empty and desolate.

On March 18, Austrian bishops spoke out decidedly in favor of unification. They calculated that, by supporting the new regime, they would be able to preserve their far-reaching privileges... "by working with the National Socialist movement the danger of the all destructive Godless bolshevism were repelled"."dass durch das Wirken der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung die Gefahr des alles zerstörenden gottlosen Bolschewismus abgewehrt wurde" Cardinal Innitzer signed the message of support. Leading politicians accepted the “Anschluss” (Annexation) without hesitation Chancellor Karl Renner welcomed it.

In London they asked later whether the Austrians raped or was enticed ("rape or seduction"). In London fragte man sich später, ob die Österreicher vergewaltigt oder verführt worden seien ( "rape or seduction" ).

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer

The Nazis moved ahead quickly with their decisive grab for power. An emphasis was placed on propaganda, with banners hung everywhere. Stage managed to the finest degree , 200,000 pictures of Hitler arose , in the subsequent referendum, 99.73 % of the population voted for “reunification” with the German Reich. "Bist Du mit der am 13. März 1938 vollzogenen Wiedervereinigung Österreichs mit dem Deutschen Reich einverstanden und stimmst Du für die Liste unseres Führers Adolf Hitler?" (11,929 negative votes and 5,776 invalid voting cards votes for = 4.453.772 (= 99.73%) .

The collapse in 1918 of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was traumatic. The new state of German Austria, determined by the victors was settled at Versailles on November 12, 1918. many wanted annexation with Germany. The collapse of the Weimar republic, the consequent economic crisis, large-scale unemployment meant that by February 1933, 600,000 Austrians were unemployed.

In the 1932 state elections, the Nazis (DNSAP)(Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria (SDAPÖ))were able to substantially increase their share of the vote in Vienna, Salzburg and Lower Austria. Many hoped that the “party of the small people” would finally bring them a better life. “Austria,” says Brigitte Bailer, scientific director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW), “fell into Nazi Germany’s lap like a ripe fruit.”

Engelbert Dollfuß became Chancellor on May 20, 1932 as head of a coalition government. This diminutive (4'11") Jesuit educated bastard with only a one-vote majority and at his side the brilliant economic advisor, Ludwig von Mises, he was highly unpopular inside and outside of Parliament, especially among the (deeply hostile to Dollfuß) (Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria (SDAPÖ).

March 1933, was a time of poitical turmoil the president of the National Council (the lower house) resigned, and the two vice presidents resigned as well. Dollfuß declared that Parliament was unworkable, and advised President Wilhelm Miklas to issue a decree adjourning it indefinitely. Thereafter, he governed as a dictator without parliament by emergency decree.

This was the end of democracy of any sort in Austria until 1955 . Dollfuss seized power - he was concerned that the Austrian National Socialists (DNSAP) would gain a majority or a significant minority in future elections, to threaten Austria's existence as a completely independent He banned the DNSAP in June 1933 as well the communists.

As a counterweight to Hitler and the fascist threat Dollfuß allied himself with Mussonlini - a man drawn to secret alliances - Dollfuß exchanged 'Secret Letters' with Mussolini about ways to guarantee Austrian independence.

In September 1933 Dollfuß merged his Christian Social Party, the Nationalist paramilitary Heimwehr (Home Guard) and other conservative groups to form the Vaterländische Front, an militarised umbrella group to support both him and his government / dictatorship.

In February 1934 there was a brief internal civil war which was crushed and Dollfuss promulgated on May 1st a new Constitution.

Dollfuß was assassinated in July 25, 1934 by eight Austrian Nazis who entered the Chancellery building and shot him in an attempted coup d'état, the July Putsch, as a prelude to the Anschluss

Dollfuß’ successor, Kurt Schuschnigg, also proved unsuccessful in his attempts to prevent a Nazi dictatorship. The treaty Schuschnigg signed with Germany in July 1936 defined Austria as a “second German state.” Intended as a maneuver to reduce pressure from Hitler’s Germany, it instead led to a de facto erosion of Austrian sovereignty. This, in turn, led to the agreement signed at Berchtesgaden on Feb. 12, 1938. There, in the mountainous and isolated heights of the Obersalzberg mountainside, Schuschnigg met Hitler and, under massive pressure, sealed his country’s fate: Austria became completely annexed to Nazi Germany. The graphic illustration of Austria's new status came a month later with the invasion of German troops.

After Annexation came the terror, systematic intimidation, persecution, expulsion. The victims were Jews, Socialists, and also the representatives of the state. “By 1936, the judicial system and police had been infiltrated by Nazis,” says historian Bailer. “Thus, the Gestapo had immediate access to complete lists naming so-called ‘enemies of the people.'” Throughout the country, thousands joined the Nazis in their campaign of terror. Many stood to profit from the new regime: apartments stood empty and jobs were not available - many fled westwards.

Numerous Viennese train stations provided the starting point for transports heading to concentration camps. In total, 65,000 Jews were killed during the Nazi terror, with thousands more political opponents landing in prison. Around 2,700 resistance fighters -- there are no exact figures -- were sentenced to death.

Today, Austria still has a hard time with its own Nazi legacy. The debate surrounding Nazi perpetrators like Heinrich Gross -- who led a child ersatz eugenics and euthanasia program in Vienna, in which more than 800 girls and boys were killed, and enjoyed a career in justice after the war -- still touches open wounds. It was only on April 28th 2002 that the preserved remains of these murdered children were finally buried. Attempts to bring Gross to justice continued well into the earlier part of this decade. Still, says historian Bailer, “there is no legitimate research on the perpetrators.”

There appears to be little desire to go after the perpetrators -- there are too many family skeletons. so - the victims are necessarily neglected.

The planned Simon Wiesenthal Center in Vienna, fights for funding. So far, the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna have been unable to reach a compromise.

A new book by Hans Petschar, called "Anschluss: Eine Bildchronologie" (Annexation: A Photo- Chronology), has just been published containing dozens of photos and movie stills that for years were lost in attics and cellars across Austria.

Hans Petschar: Der Anschluss – »Ich hole euch heim«
Eine Bildchronologie; Brandstätter Verlag, Wien; 208 Seiten, 250 Abbildungen, 29,90 € Erscheinungstermin: 1. März

"he would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe - you know - I mean that . . . very basic things." Spitzer's Nemesis

..if she is 5'1" and 105 lbs Lord Patel is a banana ...more disgusting pictures and links to her My Face page here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Policeman Overboard ! Ex Policeman Undercover

Inspector Neil Munro, 43, of Dorset Police bought a ticket and boarded the Brittany Ferries ship alone late last night in Poole, Dorset which set sail at 11.45 pm.

His body was found just down the coast on a beach bordering Poole harbour at 8.30am.

The last time he hit the headlines was a few days earlier on March 5th when he broke up a student party in Winton, Bournemouth of a feckless student who advertised their party on Bebo - and 200 turned up. Drunk. " It is never a good idea to encourage or allow strangers into your home" said Inspector Munro.

Peter Power , a Superintendant in Dorset Police, was once the subject of a file passed to the Director of Public Prosecution as a result of an investigation by Dorset Police.

Peter Power retired from Dorset Police, which had suspended him on full pay, on the grounds of ill health before any decision was taken by the DPP on whether to act upon the file.

Peter Power was running a terror exercise on July 7th 2005 which, in his own words that evening, was “based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing upright!“.

Peter Power has never provided a sliver of evidence to support his claim made on radio that day. Neither has anyone else.

Peter Power has never provided a sliver of evidence to support his claim made on radio that day. Neither has anyone else.

Peter Power has never explained what caused his suspension and reitrement from Dorset Police.

Peter Power and the Dorset Police have some explaining to do.

Another bloody silly conspiracy theory - Dead Men tell no tales Part II

"We all make assumptions "

"We assume if it's planned it works."

" Out there there are a lot of people who got in the way - that damned guy in Tashkent, trawling the bars looking for whiskey and whisky a go-go"

The speaker paused.

"Of all the bars in all the world he has to walk into one where Chuck is en route UTTT to Dushanbe and then on to UATB"

His audience knew UATT was Tashkent and UATB was Kabul Airport.They had been there often enough.

"All hell broke loose then. he starts playing the bleeding heart and worrying about Karimov doing a boil in the bag with the awkward squad" . The speaker paused and took a sip of water.The audience waited. Patiently.

" Anyway, first we had him quietened 1. visas for girlfriends 2. arriving at the office drunk 3. Takes a girl up country unaccompanied ....drove car down staircases... dolly birds ... keeping driver on tap whilst he visits strip joints..."

There were weak smiles around the table.

"Then the Brits, as per, they fucked up ... Christ they accuse him of driving the Embassy car down steps ... the guy can't even fucking drive."

The smiles broke into chuckles, and snorts of derision.

"So we had to move in ." There was a lengthy and silent pause as he strode up and down .... He swung around to face his audience. " You know whatthey did ? They fucking medivacced him outta there , way out of our reach, put him in a private hospital and kept him on fucking suicide watch"

"24 fucking 7"

"And some cunt told the Press"

Again a silence.

"You know what gentlemen, from mid 2003 we had to close down UTTT." He banged the table violently. "Tashkent was shut down ... those fucking limey fucking public school bastards."


"This time, no fuck ups."

"Straw has done a good job. Played what those goddam limeys calll a straight bat. No evidence of rendition ...if you have any let us know... Don't know what Condi did to square him , but it worked"

His audience smirked. "Some hot bitch" someone muttered. A snigger echoed in the bare room. He sat down. Purposefully and leant forward.

"Now" he said , his voice lowered," it's the time for the fucking Euro fucking crats". Again he banged the table. Everyone listening waited.

"This Marty guy has been put on the job" Silence. "We can't stop him, it's too late."

"So Jack has agreed we organise a Brit report...finds nothing." Silence."Plausible denialability" as Dubya tells us all"

"This gents is the way it works"

Attention could not have been better.

Jack says they have a an ex Home Office person in Liberty ...makes a fuss .. demands a report... well they get one." Silence as he gets up and walks to the window.

"Remember Stalker ? Northern Ireland ? Shoot to Kill ? .. well they have to investigate that Hermon fellow - honour amongst thieves so a Chief Constable has to be examined by a Chief Constable ...They are all in the same Lodge or went to the same fucking school.. no-one wants to know."

He walks back and sits down.

"Now for once the limeys are smart. They pick a guy..Stalker, blotted his copybook, mixed with some dodgy men who like to sail over to Miami, they pay his bills, dah di dah ...."

"Keen as mustard.. starts turning up stuff no-one wants , turning over stones no-one wants turned over . BANG" He banged the table again.He had the listeners full attention.

"They get rid of him. Pension him off. Someone in the Lodge or whatever finishes off the job and everyone forgets everything."

"So this time, more of the same. We - by that I mean Jack's pals, have picked this keen, ambitious, guy in the Met, anxious to get on in the world." He paused and sipped the water again. " This guy has a weakness .. it's a weakness we all have, one we keep in our trousers"

" So gentlemen our man has, with some persuading done the business... here we have a report, not authorised by their lawmakers, not by the Ministers , not by anybody but the Top cops Trade Union. ACPO they call themselves." he smiled appreciatively.

"And it's for some holier than thou libertarians."

"Signed , sealed and fucking delivered - end of cucking story and whingeing bloody limey tree huggers."

"Examined the evidence , nothing there, everything fine and if anybody has any evidence drop it in the post". Silence."That was 7th June 2005 - 8th June - by extraordinary coincidence (He smiles) the day that Senator Dick Marty issued the Council of Europe’s official report. When he ..and I quote ...found European collusion with extraordinary rendition and blanket “overflight clearances” for US military flights... that took him 19 fucking months.

"So everything is ficking hunky fucking dory as that chap in Vauxhall says".

"But, No. Our Policeman Pat who had left a trail of brokenhearts at London's Finest, has proceeded on his merry way and broken a few more fucking hearts up in the godforaken North, one a fucking cadet - some sort of Limey trainee, and fucking Asian beauty to boot."

"His wife is on the case, another of his sweethearts, brainy one with lots of clout has given up and the heavy mob say he has to go."

"Medical, go quietly, early retirement at the Sunset Home for Convalescent Plods .. nice Pension..."

"Does he take it ? Does he fuck"

" No, he wants to clean the City's streets, he wants to marry this happily married woman ,he wants to fuck beautiful young recruits.... and gentlemen he wants to spill the fucking beans"

"Our man has a little file. An insurance policy."

There was a rustle round the table. Chairs shifted and squeaked, backs straightened.

"It's time for a walk in the countryside"


"It won't be him collecting on the insurance policy"


From the bivouac just below the summit they could see through the slit the ATV with the stretcher carefully skirt the railway and break off 200 feet below. They stripped the site. Their dull grey anoraks were wet with snow as they packed up. Minutes later they met and silently took the body and the ATV disappeared down the track.

Carefully, as planned, the props were set out, the bottle ( a heavy glass breakable bottle), the clothing - discarded some distance away - a sure sign of hypothermia. The Blackberry with it's fragile tiny keyboard (would anybody wonder how he texted in an an 80 mile an hour blizzard with bare hands ?) . A few bruises - the medical guy fiddled with the syringe making sure the puncture marks were in the scalp and unseen - just enough alcohol some more in the catheter.

Then they broke off. Their crampons clinking as they struggled on the ice rink of the path to get to the summit , they sat down and had a chocolate bar, some Kendal Mint cake and left the wrapper stuffed in the cracks of stone windbreak.

They set off down the hill,there were some patches of sun briefly flashing , it was about 3.00 clock when they called. 999 ask for Llanberis mountain rescue. They gave their location. Yes they would wait, they didn't want to be long as the light was going and they wanted to be off the hill.

The called ahead and as they reached the road the black scruffy people carrier slid up to the gate. Then they were in and off to Lakenheath where Gulfstream N829MG was waiting for them. It was a long journey as they took carefully prepared route to miss the number plate recognition cameras until they changed vehicles at .....

In Manchester his flat was entered and some papers discovered and taken away , a computer for safe keeping ... later it was announced he had left letters.

Mountain rescue didn't have the time to get any details from the walkers who wanted sensibly to be off the hill, searches for the mobile identity showed a German pay as you go which had been bought for with cash in Hanover.

Confusion over relationships, his mental history, a detox course, his wife, his marriage, his married lover, his job , his affairs, kept the press busy and the public happy. The Bishop of Manchester obligingly made the Cathedral available.

Nobody seemed to want to know about the people who found him. The Good Samaritans.... and he couldn't tell them.

Dead men tell no tales.

Keep watching this space.

Friday, July 15, 2005
Another bloody silly conspiracy theory

David Davies at Football Association reveals new plans for Premiership Football for next season - Amazing pictures

Angie, angie, when will those clouds all disappear?

Angie, angie, when will those clouds all disappear?
Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You cant say were satisfied
But angie, angie, you cant say we never tried
Angie, youre beautiful, but aint it time we said good-bye?
Angie, I still love you, remember all those nights we cried?
All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear:
Angie, angie, where will it lead us from here?
Oh, angie, dont you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes
But angie, angie, aint it time we said good-bye?
With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats
You cant say were satisfied
But angie, I still love you, baby
Evrywhere I look I see your eyes
There aint a woman that comes close to you
Come on baby, dry your eyes
But angie, angie, aint it good to be alive?
Angie, angie, they cant say we never tried

Jagger / Richards

Carlyle Capital Corporation go bust - US$16.6 BN ++++ down the tubes...more to follow

We posted about the woes of Carlyle Capital Corporation last Friday, March 07, 2008 - Carlyle leads the way with Triple A mortage Fire Sales as margin calls cannot be met.

Now today they have issued notice that effectively they have gone bust - Carlyle Capital Corporation (CCC) Unable To Reach Agreement With Lenders; Lenders Likely to Take Possession of Remaining Assets Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited listed on Euronext Amsterdam ticker symbol: CCC; ISIN: GG00B1VYV826 it is a Guernsey investment company that was formed on August 29, 2006 and completed its initial offering in July 2007. Carlyle Investment Management L.L.C. (“CIM”) manages the Company pursuant to a management agreement. - CCC has not been able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement to stabilize its financing.

Which means they have run out of money.

The only assets held in the Company’s portfolio as of today are U.S. government agency AAA-rated residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). (There are of course avariety of views as to whether these actually represent assets - ie they have actually no tradeable value - like Lord Patel's 600 Vinyl LP's)

In the last week Company received margin (and could not meet margin calls of more than US$400 million.

Unable to meet them the lenders proceeded to foreclose on the RMBS collateral.

Beware - adjust your clothing before reading the next sentence.

In total, by last night, the Company has defaulted on approximately $16.6 billion of its indebtedness. The remaining indebtedness (?) is expected soon to go into default.

Today we expect margin calls tomorrow of approximately US$97.5 million.

CCC IPO'd last July at US$ 20 a share , today they are worthless. Carlyle Gropup are said to own 15% of CC .Says something about the management skills of Carlyle Investment Management L.L.C.

According to CCC's annual report, counterparties for its repurchasing agreements as of the end of 2007 (ie the folks who are left holding those wonderful AAA-rated residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)) were Bank of America, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Calyon, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, ING, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Simpletons in charge at the Treasury

The (Scottish - by the sound of his accent - Morningside ) Chancellor (AKA The Smuggler's Friend) hit the law of Diminishing Returns with a bang yesterday.

14 p on a bottle of jolly old Vin/Vino will raise £300 Mn in extra Tax Revenues

4 p on pint of beer and 3p on cider will raise £100Mn.

55p on a bottle of Scots falling down juice (now nearly 75% of label price) - tax revenues remain unchanged at £2.3 Bn.

£400 million gain , that will be pissed away on carousel fraud in a month (see previous posts ad fucking nauseam). Or put another way will buy you 0.01% of Northern Rock costs to the taxpayer todate (see previous posts ad fucking nauseam).

Out of Interest Hansard 18th May 1999 Col 366

Ms Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the revenue lost to the Exchequer through smuggling of tobacco. [76050]

Dawn Primarolo: In his Budget speech of 9 March, the Chancellor explained that in terms of the turnover of criminals' tobacco smuggling is now a £1½ billion business. That was an assessment by HM Customs and Excise based on their work in progress to monitor the scale of such smuggling (chiefly of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco). The provisional results of this work indicate that the total amount of revenue (excise duty and VAT) evaded in 1998 was perhaps around £1.7 billion.

Forms of tobacco duty evasion covered by this assessment include cross-Channel smuggling of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco, smuggling by air passengers, diversion frauds and smuggling over very large consignments in freight.

HM Customs and Excise will continue to examine ways of measuring such smuggling, and are discussing with representatives of the tobacco industry ways of improving the methodologies used.

" Customs lost about £2.9bn in excise duty in 2003-2004 and the figure is expected to increase in 2004-2005." BBC

"The government is losing £3.75bn a year in excise duty because of tobacco and alcohol smuggling, an all-party committee of MPs reports today.

Despite a government campaign to crack down on fraud, the Treasury select committee said 10% of excise duty receipts were going unpaid, equivalent to the revenue from 1p in income tax." Guradian March 2005

"Commenting on the Chancellor's decision to increase tobacco taxes in today's Budget, (11p on a pack of 20) Christopher Ogden, Chief Executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA), said: "The increase in tobacco tax announced today will do little to reduce the level of tobacco smuggling and crossborder shopping which lost the Treasury GBP4.5 billion in revenue last year. The decision helps to maintain the UK's position as one of the world's most profitable destinations for tobacco smugglers and this is of great concern to the TMA and its member companies."

"The TMA estimates that in 2007 around GBP4.5 billion in revenue was lost through smuggling and crossborder shopping in tobacco products and over the last ten years these losses exceed GBP40 billion. "PR Newswire yesterday

Geraldine Ferraro - Fall guy ?

Women's International Day / Year gets off to an even better start.

Geraldine Ferraro ran as Veep with loser Walter Mondale in 1984. Dubya's dad ran as Veep as well.

Feisty and very, very attractive, a 1st generation Italian immigrant, she was an advocate for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, sponsoring the Women's Economic Equity Act ending pension discrimination against women, and seeking greater job training and opportunities for displaced homemakers.

Now the smart money is that Bill Clinton devised a strategy that she, representing one minority ,calls Obama's success down just to his blackness ... and resigns. Shit sticks and Shrillary walks clear.

Paradoxically it was her husband's contacts with slum landlordism that damaged her in 1984 ... like Obama's with Rezko. Things were slightly more polite in those days and it came down to revealing tax returns which the candidate's husband Zaccaro wouldn't. Mrs Kerry - Heinz did the same and much it helped John Kerry.

When asked if she had any regrets about what she said, Ferraro replied, "absolutely not."

Dirty business politics .

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Iraqi Post War shambles - Tim Cross the crux that cracked under the strain.

Tonight BBC 2 Newsnight had one of their 10 minute fillums about the illegal Iraqi invasion. Star was General Tim Cross ...this is what we posted last year 2nd September ... we wouldn't change a word.
Major General Tim Cross - crucified .. or he fucking well ought to be

Major General Tim Cross,CBE, the most senior British officer involved with Jay Garner and one of his three deputies within the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is mentioned once in Paul "Call me Jerry" Bremer's " My Year in IRAQ". He appears once in it's pages, on Page 17 his presence is noted at the first meeting of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He apparently had an impressive history in logistics and He became the first Commander Logistic Support of 3 (UK) Division in preparation for the formation of the Royal Logistic Corps in April 1993.

It was at this meeting (described on Page 19) that "Jerry" told them that he was going to introduce an order on De-Baatification - anathematised by General Janus Jackson - "Jerry" doesn't record that there was a single peep of resistance to the idea.

On Page 20 he records at the end of the meeting..."Some .. at the table looked inspired some faces showed no emotion and a few seemed dubious" Who knows , Tim maybe looked dubious.

In today's Sunday Mirror, sandwiched between a Brazilian call girl's steamy encounter "Our Orgy with Man United Aces" and "Big brother faces Axe" , now retired, Major General Tim Cross follows (and endorses his every word) his retired ex - boss General Janus Jackson in an arse covering article attempting to absolve the blame for the post invasion fiasco on the shoulders of anyone and everyone but him.

" I had lunch with Rumsfeld in Washington before the invasion in 2003 and raised concerns about the need to internationalise the reconstruction of Iraq and work closely with the United Nations."

"I also raised concerns over the numbers of troops available to maintain security and aid reconstruction. He didn't want to hear that message. The US had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy"

"Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea - they simply shut it out. Myself and others were suggesting things simply would not be as easy as that."

"But he ignored my comment. He dismissed it. There is no doubt with hindsight the US post-war plan was fatally flawed - and many of us sensed that at the time."

Ex Major General Tim Cross, General Janus Jackson , Major General Patrick Cordingley, ( who led the Desert Rats in the 1991 Gulf War the Mirror reminds us) , Malcolm Rifkind, Menzies Campbell, William Hague, foreign affairs spokesman for the Conservatives .... it is not sufficient to make the argument - it is necessary to win it.

The British politcial and military leadership signed off, indeed Parliament approved the illegal invasion which millions marched against. They signed up willingly, as brothers in arms with Dubya's gang, they accepted and often promulgated lies. They deceived the public with dossiers - they cannot cast off their responsibilities, conceal their cowardice by now calling the US policies , "intellectually bankrupt" or looking for a handy scapegoat.

This Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy will not wash. The whole illegal military endeavour, the invasion , designed to outflank diplomacy - merely a continuation of a rape that started with sanctions and no-fly zones was a conspiracy.

It was a conspiracy that the military leaders (however unwilling) failed to modify, it was a compact with a flawed and dishonest leadership - across all parties. Mealy mouthed apologies and casuistic explanations re-directing the blame cannot and must not be allowed.

Major General Tim Cross had a choice, he could have resigned his commission - he would of course not be enjoying quite the serene and safe financial benefits he might now enjoy (Pension £36,000 p.a plus a nice little earner from Nottingham University) - but at least he could relax, satisfied that he had stood up against the folly of the invasion and all that ensued. That Major General Tim Cross , a specialist in logistics failed to make an impression on Donald Rumsfeld is hardly news - that he was party to the UK Government machine being bullied is a memory of his disservice to it's citizens - he could have stood up to be counted.

He didn't. Now his squalid apology fights for attention with the sordid capers of drink fuelled whores in a 4 hour hour footballers sex orgy - hardly the public arena for a resolute Christian, (like anothor gobby General, - Dannatt, his old boss) who spoke at the Association of Military Christian Fellowships' (AMCF) European conference in 2002.

It makes one wonder how his fee from the Mirror compares with that of 24 year old Brazilian Blonde Bombshell , Juliana Baltrusch.

Let's not forget that the desert booted and suited, clean cut, Mr Bremer (call me "Jerry") who of course so carefully laid the plans for the current disaster, destruction of the Army, de-Baatification, looting, incredible Allied corruption etc etc., was of course ex Managing Director of Kissinger Associates

Iraq & Afghanistan - Winning Hearts and Minds by Aerial bombing / strafing / rockets - more boring statistics

At least 44 people were killed in violence across Iraq today, including 16 in a bomb attack on a bus. 13 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far this month.

1. Monday - A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers and an interpreter in Diyala province.(CNN)

2. Monday - 4 U.S. soldiers died in a suicide bomb balst and one more died later of wounds. An Iraqi interpreter also was wounded in the explosion.(CNN)

3. Wednesday - A U.S. military spokesman said 3 American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on their Combat Outpost Adder near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. 2 other American soldiers were injured .(MSNBC)

The Hidden Air War

Norman Solomon searched the LexisNexis media database, for the phrase “air war” with reference to the current U.S. military effort in Iraq?

The New York Times - Zero
Washington Post - Zero
The the nation’s largest-circulation news magazine, Time - Zero

US - CENTAF - Airpower Summary for March 10

In total, 51 close air support missions were flown as part of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

e.g : Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fired cannon rounds onto enemy locations in the vicinity of Kabul. French Air Force Mirage-2000s conducted shows of force in the vicinity of Gereshk. In Bagram, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped Guided Bomb Unit-12s onto enemy combatant positions. A Royal Air Force GR.7 Harrier dropped an enhanced paveway II munition onto enemy combatants in the vicinity of Garmser. Shows of force were performed by RAF GR.7s in the areas of Kajaki Dam and Musa Qala.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 52 close air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

e.g : In Iraq, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-38s onto an enemy building and conducted a show of force in the vicinity of Baghdad. Furthermore, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon performed a show of force in the same area.

U.S. Air Force, French, and Royal Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 42 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.8 million pounds of fuel to 248 receiving aircraft March 9.

..and Finally before we go over to the weather ...

4 Afghan civilians have been killed ( 2 women and 2 children) and one injured in an air strike called in by British forces in Helmand , the Ministry of Defence said today.

An MoD spokeswoman said British troops called in air support after being caught in a Taliban ambush at an undisclosed location in the south of the province.(Guradian)

Lieutenant General Graeme Lamb CMG, DSO, OBE Stockholm Security Conference Monday

"There will of course be circumstances where we can earn the trust of local people, where we can prevail amongst the national leadership, establish a constructive dialogue with religious authorities, but I doubt we will (be) or maybe ever have been in a position to win their hearts and minds,"

"To suggest that good intentions will cross fundamental cultural, social and religious differences and win over a damaged population is at best dangerous and wishful thinking. The image of winning a heart or a mind is almost ridiculous,"

Michael Todd - A death has been reported - Curiouser and curiouser - Woolmer heart Attack ? Send for Jamaican pathologist, quickly.

The Press Association report approx 1300 hrs GMT

That Michael Todd was found dead next to a half-empty bottle of gin. His coat had also come off and some of his clothes were discovered nearby.

An unknown source is quoted ..... "The body was found next to a half-full bottle of gin, slumped face down on a gentle slope some 20 minutes from the summit of Snowdon. There was no evidence of any pills or tablets but that is something the coroner will have to look at. Members of the team covered his face as a mark of respect.

He added that it was possible Mr Todd was suffering from hypothermia, saying: "He would have had mobile reception up there, probably. There were no signs of slit wrists, I believe." The Mail report a source saying, ""There are no obvious injuries compatible with a fall from height."

"I have seen suicide cases on the mountain before where people have taken alcohol and pills before taking their life. It is conceivable he drank too much and that hastened the onset of hypothermia.

"No-one would have survived conditions on Snowdon on Monday night - it was horrendous."

Mr Todd's suspected suicide is being linked to his alleged extra-marital affairs, it has been suggested.

His car (Range Rover) was found in Church Road, Llanberis, 5 miles from weher he was found. He was 20 minutes from the summit when he died

The Times report the same circumstances but say that mountain rescuers were searching for over 12 hours in completely the wrong area for the officer.

The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team received a call from North Wales police at 1am on Tuesday to say that they were concerned about Mr Todd’s well being.

A cell site analysis was carried out on his mobile telephone and the full rescue service was directed to the Menai Straights and Port Dinorwic - 10 miles from where he was eventually found.

The coast guard, search and rescue dogs and the North Wales police helicopter fruitlessly searched for Mr Todd until about 1.30pm on Tuesday when walkers found “personal items” that were identified as belonging to Mr Todd. His coat was missing which is still being searched for.

He had a backpack with a change of clothing and a mobile phone which was working and which should have received a signal.

Similiar reports in the Mail who also say he had returned from a "make or break" holiday with his wife and repeat suggestiions that he had had at least one affair with a senior female police officer. Apparently The chief constable had recently been on a month-long detox and fitness regime and had told friends he was looking forward to spending another two years in his job.

Report in the Guradian which apart from a wonderful type where they refer to David Davis as the "shadowy Home Secretary" adds that ..."Dewi Pritchard-Jones, the coroner for North Wales, said tomorrow's inquest would last longer than the usual opening and adjournment so as to deal with all the rumours surrounding the case, some of which were "absolutely incorrect", he said." Which is an odd thing to say. get the Press attention on him though.

Of course you realise this is all bollocks.

The BBC News BBC 4 "PM" at 5.00 pm GMT made the odd announcement that Michael Todd sent texts to freinds on Monday afternoon which gave rise to concern that suggested danger to his life and that of the recipients . (This wording was slightly revised on the 6 o clock news)

Sounds as though those texts will make very interesting reading.

VAT Carousel Fraud - HMRC still don't know how much is going on... That's OFFICIAL

Thursday, March 06, 2008 UK Trade for 2007 - Exports down 10% - Imports up , Carousel VAT fraud stopped rising as well

When writing the piece about the Trade Statistics published that day , we took, as usual , the precaution to check any data we use. So on 6th March we e-mailed Jan Marszewski /Press Officer, Business Desk /HM Revenue & Customs jan.marszewski@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Could you please advise me as to the reasonableness / unreasonablness of the statement :

"However if adjustments are being made of £8Bn of trade transactions in 1 Quarter are being made then at a generous 10% = $800 Mn. of VAT per Qtr = £3.2 Bn. a year is still going missing in VAT payments. "

We received a reply from Jan just minutes ago ...

I have been asked to reply to you on behalf of my colleagues in the Trade Statistics team.

In answer to your questions:
A comparison of of 2007 data with 2006 data totals at this stage could lead to miscalculations, as the 2007 data is provisional until August 2008.

The 2006 figures quoted have been revised and the missing declarations were not the same for each subsequent quarter. You cannot extrapolate in this way, the figures for all of 2006 have been published (not now provisional). Does this refer to 2006 or 2007?

The estimates of missing trade declarations associated with MTIC fraud have since been revised. The figures are available on our Web site http://www.uktradeinfo.com/ or from the ONS site http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/trd0208.pdf .
This will also include figures for 2007, but they are provisional ,

As stated in the article quoted, you cannot estimate VAT loss from these figures, as there is not a direct relationship.

No mention if it reasonable, but we stick to a VERY conservative estimate of 10% of the gross MITC declarations. ...to be fair they DIDN't say it WAS unreasonable.

Taking up the link offered below (HOUSE OF LORDS OPINIONS OF THE LORDS OF APPEAL FOR JUDGMENT IN THE CAUSE ---- Total Network SL (a company incorporated in Spain) (Original Respondents and Cross-appellants) v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (suing as Commissioners of Customs and Excise) (Original Appellants and Cross-respondents)
[2008] UKHL 19) will take some reading however this became apparent

"As the Court of Appeal observed in para 3 of its judgment, this type of fraud is not confined to the United Kingdom. It is common in other countries within the EU. It has been described as a sophisticated attack on the VAT system. It was estimated to have cost in excess of £1bn in the year 2004/2005 to the United Kingdom by way of lost revenue. The Commissioners refer in their written case to estimates that show that this figure was exceeded substantially in the succeeding financial years. There is no doubt that this is a pernicious stratagem, and that member states are justified in making use of every means at their disposal within the scope of the Sixth Directive to eradicate it."

To those unfailiar with how this fraud is perpetrated ..

"7. It is sufficient for the purposes of this case to summarise the details of the first of the thirteen conspiracies alleged in the Statement of Claim. It has been treated as representative of all of them. On or about 15 October 2002 Total sold 3,780 Nokia mobile phones to Redlaw Ltd, a company incorporated in England and Wales, for £1,672,224.75. On the same day Redlaw sold the mobile phones to Lockparts Ltd for £1,423,170 plus £249,054.75 as VAT, amounting in total to £1,672,224.75. On the same day Lockparts sold them to GAK Ltd, for £1,428,840 plus £250,047 as VAT, amounting in total to £1,678,887.

Both Redlaw and Lockparts thereafter ceased to trade and did not pay the VAT due on these transactions. On the same day GAK sold the mobile telephones to The Accessory People plc, for £1,436,400 plus £251,370 as VAT, amounting in total to £1,687,770. On the same day The Accessory People sold them to Alldech Ltd, the broker, for £1,447,740 plus £253,345.50 as VAT, amounting in total to £1,701,094.50. In due course GAK and The Accessory People paid
VAT on the transactions which they had entered into. Finally, on the same day Alldech sold the mobile telephones to Total for £1,508,220.

That sale, being a sale out of the United Kingdom, was zero-rated.Alldech claimed and was paid a refund of input tax from the Commissioners which included the sum of £253,345.50 of VAT which it had paid to The Accessory People."

Which is not bad pay for day's work shuffling Invoices about....or as one of the learned Judges remarked..

…”The telephones, if they existed, did not physically move from the place or custody in which they were in the morning of 15 October 2002, when the carousel began, to anywhere else or anyone else’s custody by midnight."

One of our policemen was missing - now we know he is dead. Did he fall ? ..... Or was he pushed ?

Chief Constable Michael Todd took the responsibility to investigate the possibility that planes rented by the CIA which had transited the UK and stopped at airports nationwide on over 300 instances were carrying people for rendition elsewhere - he wrote to Ex - Home Office lawyer Ms Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty on the 5th June 2007 which was received on 8th June - by extraordinary coincidence the day that Senator Dick Marty issued the Council of Europe’s official report finding European collusion with extraordinary rendition and blanket “overflight clearances” for US military flights after 19 months of investigations.

This was not, we must remind ourselves, in any way an official enquiry, he was not empowered to seek out evidence or witnesses, no crimes had been reported or recorded, no Minister had officially sanctioned such an enquiry, it had not been approved by anybody. ACPO has no legal authority to sanction any such enquiry. Indeed the letter he wrote to doe eyed media star Sami, was on Greater Manchester Police notepaper.

"On behalf of ACPO, " Mr Todd wrote, " I agreed to look at the issues. None of the airports involved are located within my own police area and, consequently, I was able to look at the issues with a degree of independence." Ho.Ho.Ho.

"UKIS and HMRC’s respective interests in General Aviation Reports relate to identifying risk in relation to passengers declared on the form and on movement of prohibited and restricted smuggled goods. Passengers who remain on board an aircraft that lands on UK soil, for example to refuel, are regarded as airside transit passengers and not normally subject to immigration or customs control unless they seek to enter the UK. Both Services firmly point out that if their staff suspected that passengers were being transported illegally or in breach of their human rights, this would be passed to the relevant authority – most likely the Police in the first instance."

"I am encouraged by the reassurances from my colleagues in HMRC and UKIS about the action their staff would take if they thought that these offences were being committed at a UK airport. I can add that police officers would take such allegations made to them, whether from UKIS, HMRC or any other source seriously and take appropriate action including boarding aircraft, if necessary, to investigate."

It appears that no aircraft were boarded, or if they were Chief Constable Todd had not discovered any evidence that they had.

Mind you, he didn't spend a lot of time or effort in looking. Or did he ?

Perhaps Mr Todd had a very troubled mind when set out alone on his walk on Snowdon in some of the worst weather for many years - it is unclear whether he set out on the Saturday / Sunday or the Monday . (It now appears(WEd aftrenoon) it was Monday but this is not certain) Perhaps Mr Todd had a very troubled mind when we are told he leapt off that cliff on Snowdon, scattering letters to be carried away on the 100 mph winds. Then because of the impossibility of using a helicopter being carried on a bruising and lengthy stretcher journey down the mountain which must make any examination of his wounds a difficult problem.

His colleagues at GMP only became aware he was missing on Monday afternoon (Daily Telegraph today)- he was due with others at the Home Office on Tuesday morning - and raised the alarm, it was not until Tuesday afternoon his body was discovered by the Mountain Rescue Team. (watch Sky News Video link at Update at bottom of story - officers at Home Office meeting were not told why Todd was not present nor aboutthe search and learnt from Sky News of his death)

By The Way

Newsniffer has 12 versions of the BBC Online story this appeared in Version 9 at 19.20
The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team began the task of taking his body off the mountain on foot at about 1800 GMT

Mr Henderson confirmed that the alarm was raised by walkers who found "personal effects" belonging to Mr Todd while out on the mountain.

Spokesman Ian Henderson said teams had been hampered by "appalling" weather conditions, including heavy rain and high winds, which meant rescuers could not use a helicopter

His body was spotted later about 200 yards away from the spot where the items were found, he added.

Sources at Greater Manchester Police said that among the items found with him were personal letters written to his loved ones, the BBC's Nick Ravenscroft said.

No news yet of the heroic walkers, or their pictures, or their names, or why they were out there in that dreadful weather, or why the personal items were 200yds away, or why they hadn't blown away, or why they looked.

Rgeular readers may remember Saturday, August 06, 2005 Scotsman who embarassed Tony Blair dies on a country walk. about Robin Cook who died on a highlands walk ... and those who take an interest in these matters remember ......

"Who were the so-far unidentified group of walkers (or hunters(?)) who, we were told, came to Gaynor Cook's aid? If it's not an obvious question, what were they doing on Ben Stack? For, according to the landlady of Scourie Lodge, where the Cooks had spent their last night,

"She was lucky another walker was in the area to be with her at such a time.
"You could be on Ben Stack ninety times and not see a soul, so for someone
to be within shouting distance and with a mobile phone was very fortunate."

and ...

" Although most reports spoke of a 'group of walkers', in this Times article there was only one.
Neither of the Cooks was carrying a mobile phone but Mrs Cook's cries for help were answered by a walker, who called the emergency services at about 2.23pm.

Between them, Mrs Cook, 48, and the man, who has not been named, gave Mr Cook mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions under the telephone guidance of Inverness ambulance staff, until rescuers arrived by Coastguard helicopter at 3.01pm.

How come that heroic walker kept his anonymity? Did he, at least, give a statement to police? What about the party he belonged to, mentioned by the Sunday Times, the Herald and many others? I find it odd that no one in that group of walkers spoke to, or was spoken to by, anyone in the media or, as far as we know, the police. Was even their nationality ever revealed?"

... more fascinating details, conjecture and thought provocations at Shapan and of course nobody will forget what happened when Dr Kelly went for a walk...er..... on his own.

UPDATE : 3.00 pm GMT Curiouser and Curiouser watch this SKY video news item from yesterday announcing the news of his death we have a recording so it won't go away.

Here is the Snowdonia weather forecast issued Tuesday .. we have not yet found the one issued on Sunday ... seems just the right weather for a solitary walker on the hills. Click to enlarge.

Read what Llanberis Moutain rescue give as advice to walkers in the winter

1. Keep an eye on the Met office weather for Snowdonia for a few days before your planned a trip, as it has information of the freezing level as well as weather outlook. If the freezing level has stayed below 900 metre for a day or more you can expect some icy condition high up on the mountains.

2. If it has been below freezing we recommend that you take with you both an ice axe and crampons, as even the PYG track becomes a inclined ice rink after even a short peiod of frost due to the amount of running water on it. ....

UPDATE Michael Todd - A death has been reported - Curiouser and curiouser

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