Archive for March, 2010

Bob Geldof Threatens to Sue African Government


This is an updated version of a missive originally uploaded on 17 March.

I remember being slightly puzzled by Band Aid’s choice of song-title: not only was it appealing for help in a region which was not necessarily Christian, but famine victims are in no less danger on the other 364/5 days of the year.

But, a famine there was in northern Ethiopia and what is now Eritrea; even if the cause was not a preternatural Biblical plague outwith the control of local inhabitants, but disruption caused by war in the famine zone.


Tory MP Explains Why He Threatened Blogger With Libel


Barrister, Member of Parliament for Banbury and Pooh Bah look-alike Tony Baldry has contacted the blogger whom he threatened with libel over allegations he had interceded on behalf of James Ibori; Nigerian oil-magnate currently on trial at Southwark Crown Court for corruption.

The blogger in question, Richard Wilson had read a Correction in the Independent on Sunday newspaper on 28 February which withdrew previous claims Tony Baldry MP had written a five page letter on behalf of Ibori’s solicitors to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and copied to the Attorney General, Justice Secretary and Home Secretary: only as Tony Baldry QC.

Wilson discussed this and the background on his blog, as well as the observations of Allen Green (aka Jack of Kent) that it is virtually unheard of for a barrister to write such a letter to major Government departments on the instructions of a solicitor.

Further threats of defamation proceedings followed from Baldry’s solicitors, Olwsang against both Wilson and his blog providers, WordPress; which was thought to be legally liable under English law.  Had this gone further, I suspect the California-based WordPress would have given the Agincourt Salute.


A New Way to Pay Old Debts


It is difficult to overstate my disdain at the sense of entitlement behind the likes of Sir Fred Overreach – a man so dull that he was reported to have hired an assistant to sift through all the notes to be dispensed at ATMs from the RBS HQ in Gogarburn to ensure they all had his signature – who has now sallied into a consultancy position for RMJM architects which receives Scottish Executive contracts and designed the Parliament building.

Thus, I never would say no to seeing white-collar graft seized upon with ruthlessness.  All the same I feel disquiet at the conviction for bribery and/or industrial espionage of four Rio Tinto mining executives by a Shanghai court. This included a total of 10 years for naturalized Australian citizen, Stern Hu.


What Do the MPs for Mitcham & Morden and Banff & Buchan Have in Common?


… they both have written character references for cannabis-dealers and/or -producers.

It was reported to have been the biggest skunk cannabis smuggling ring, with proceeds of some £70 millions. When Police £225,000 left to rot in a safe.

The ringleaders now have been convicted in Southwark Crown Court. One, Peter Moran has been revealed to have had a character reference provided by his second cousin, Labour MP for Mitchem and Morden, Siobhan McDonagh.


Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt suspended from Parliamentary Labour Party


From Liberal England, news is breaking on the BBC News site.

After details of tonight’s Dispatches had been released, Byers had admitted to claiming to be like a cab for hire, but that he had been “exagerating”.

As Goring almost said of von Ribbentrop, he deserves to have been suspended if only for his stupidity.

Did I mention Patty Hewitt has been suspended?  Ha fucking ha.

Ryugyong Hotel Meets Bladerunner


When I first saw the carbuncle of a building which was Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, I was read Bladerunner II: the Edge of Human by K. W. Jeter. The image of a hovercar, containing Rick Deckard became embedded in my mind.

This animation by Demolition S reinforces that impression.

Osama Saeed Resigns as Director of Failed Quango


This explains his rather confused attempt to accuse the family of Anas Sarwar, his Labour rival for Glasgow Central of associating with Hamas.

SNP PPC for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross


A newsletter has just popped through my door introducing me to Jean Urquhart, Councillor for Ward 6 (Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh) of the Highland region and now SNP PPC for my Westminster constituency in the upcoming General Election.

The eye was caught by the headline which proclaimed that Scotland was “the only nation to have discovered oil, but ended up poorer”. Quite apart from the question of which economic indices were being used, and that of Scotland being a nation but not necessarily a country which didn’t receive and well as deliver to other regions in the UK, my immediate thoughts were of the Dutch Disease and kleptocracy endemic in West African states; not limited to but especially Nigeria’s oil-producing regions.

There is a big world out there, and Scotland is but one wee scrap of it.

Tory MP Threatens Blogger With Libel, Manky Scots Git Threatens to Scupper Libel Reform


Aback reports of the rapidly falling stars of Geoff Hoon, Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers, the antics of one of their Tory compatriots deserves more attention.

In The Lawyer, Allen Green (aka Jack of Kent) writes of the strange case of the defense of real-life former Nigerian State Governor, James Ibori by Tony Baldry QC.  Starting with discussion in an anti-corruption web-forum called Nigerian Liberty Forum, as reported by Sahara Reporters Online, Baldry was shown to have written a five page letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and copied to the Attorney General, Justice Secretary and Home Secretary.

Details of the contents are sketchy – not least because the FCO has refused an FoI request from the NLF – but Baldry is assumed to have sought to effect the dropping of a-still-ongoing prosecution at Southwark Crown Court against Ibori for numerous corruption charges.


Racist Murders and War Crimes in Dorset


Fifty-one decapitated skeletons found in a mass-grave on the Ridgeway between Weymouth and Dorchester have been confirmed as being from a Viking party captured by local Saxons in the early 10th Century.

A grisly suggestion of what took place:

Ceri Boston, an expert in ancient bones who examined the remains, said: “It was not a straight one slice and head off. They were all hacked at around the head and jaw. It doesn’t look like they were very willing or the executioners very skilled.

“We think the decapitation was messy because the person was moving around. One man had his hands sliced through. It looks like he was trying to grab hold of the sword as he was being executed.”

A multicultural Britain since the Iron Age my arse.