Tag Archives: Civil Liberties

Second arrest over Parsons Green bomb attempt. Do you STILL think it was faked?

Police investigations are ongoing at a property in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Now two people have been arrested in connection with the failed bomb attack at Parsons Green tube station – but This Writer is willing to bet that still isn’t enough to convince some of you that it was real.

The Vox Political Facebook feed is full of comments straight out of the tinfoil hat:

“This looks like a phones gone pop or laptop’s gone pop. English molehill mountain… No bomb damage just a burning bucket.”

That would be because the bomb didn’t explode; only the detonator. That’s why it only caused a fireball which swept through the train carriage and singed 30 people (some quite badly), rather than a conflagration that could have killed them all, along with many more.

“No scorch marks then? Handbag must be very strong to survive a blast that injured so many.”

This comment refers to the following image:

[Image: @RRigs].

Of course the side of the handbag that would have taken any damage is facing away from the camera. Also, a fireball would have gone upwards and travelled along the carriage’s ceiling, not outwards. Finally, we have no idea when the handbag was put there; the image was clearly taken after the detonator had been triggered but beyond that we have no idea of the context.

“Gonna get a Lidl’s bag they are indestructible.”

This refers to the fat that the device appeared to be in a plastic bag from the Lidl supermarket chain. Look at the image, though – it clearly wasn’t indestructible.

“If this device sent a fireball down the length of the carriage I don’t understand why there are no signs of any scorch marks in the immediate vicinity, and the white plastic container is in pristine condition.”

Because the flames went upwards, not outwards, as stated previously.

Here’s an image typical of the kind of ‘false flag’ meme going around. They claim that we’re being misled but This Writer’s belief is that they have been created to mislead:

In response, I wrote: “No, it’s the aftermath of a FAILED bomb. It didn’t go off, remember? The fireball was from the detonator. If the bomb had gone off, there would have been a LOT more damage and your sarcastic little meme would be in extremely poor taste.
Seriously, have a think about what has actually happened before posting nonsense like this.
In response to the concluding question: No; it looks like the aftermath of a FAILED bomb.”

Another commenter pointed out: “Flammable gas tends not to burn a lot of things if its source it cut off before it can cause anything else to combust. That’s why it’s so widely used as a ‘safe’ flame source in film and TV production.”

The nonsense goes on and on.

One commenter compared a victim being walked away from the site with a bandage around her head with someone dubbed a “crisis” actress – but the resemblance was only superficial. It was not the same person.

But the boneheads were out in force. Here’s another one: “It doesn’t matter if they are crisis actors or not. If we don’t know by now that the security services are complicit in these false flags then we really need to knock our own heads – preferably with something hard!”

Of course we don’t know anything of the sort and there is no evidence to suggest that our own security services took part in an attack on innocent UK citizens, which would be a contradictin of their own purpose.

What do the people who were injured have to say?

Here’s some sense from another commenter: “I think the facts must come from the people who were there. There WERE some serious burns, one man lost hair from the top of his head and his scalp was burned, on the initial interviews there were people with bandages on their heads and hands and burned clothing. The flames travelled down the carriage at roof level according to what I heard, and a lot of people will have ducked down which would be the natural response and would have been shielded by others less lucky.

“My OPINION – and that of others I have discussed it with, is that the explosion was actually much less serious than it was intended to be, and fortunately for the victims, something went wrong with it resulting in only a small explosion when a much larger one was planned.”

This opinion is shared by another commenter who happens to be friend of This Writer and a former member of the armed forces: “The influencing factor in most IEDs is not the explosive used but the containment of the explosive to build pressure while it burns up. Contain the explosive pressure for just long enough and you have a powerful bomb. Contain it for too long and it doesn’t explode at all, don’t control it for long enough and you get the equivalent of a magnesium flashpot – a short but intense localised burst of heat and light that’s capable of causing 1st/2nd degree burns and loss of hair on people standing close to it but not enough to cause damage to sturdier materials like hard plastics. This is what appears to have happened here and if so, any shrapnel included in the bomb would likely not have been expelled.”

The overwhelming chorus from the ‘false flag’ brigade is that the attempted bomb was a bid by the minority Conservative government to attack what’s left of our civil liberties.

But there’s one big problem with that: We already know that the UK’s ability to detect planned terror attacks has been whittled away by Theresa May and the minority Conservative government. There should be no support for any attempt to remove our remaining civil liberties because it would be the wrong response by this government to a situation for which this government is responsible.

In short: It is irrational to support oppressive measures proposed by a government to stop an emergency that it has created.

The ‘false flag’ brigade should think about that before parading their ignorance across the Internet.

There is another aspect to this story that has been seized and perverted by the ‘false flag’ people – the claim that the first man to be arrested had formerly been fostered by a couple who had looked after hundreds of children, including refugees. The claim is that MI5 had radicalised this 18-year-old in some way.

This Writer is keen to know how that is supposed to work. It seems more likely that, as a refugee, this person was recruited after leaving the care of Roger and Penelope Jones, but I’ll stand corrected if I have to. I suspect I’ll be waiting for confirmation of the story for a very long time.

A second man has been arrested in connection with Friday’s attack on a London Tube train, police said.

The 21-year-old man was arrested in Hounslow, west London, on Saturday night on suspicion of a terror offence and is in custody in south London.

An 18-year-old man is also being held on suspicion of a terror offence over the Parsons Green explosion.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC that the second arrest suggests the attacker was not “a lone wolf”.

Police are searching a residential address in Stanwell, Surrey, in connection with the 21-year-old man’s arrest.

Police are continuing to search a house in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey.

It is thought the 18-year old, who was arrested in the port of Dover on Saturday morning, lives there.

Source: Parsons Green: Second arrest over Tube bombing – BBC News


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Catastrophic Coalition lies: Civil liberties

zcoalitionfailcivil

The title of this series of articles is supposed to be ‘Great Coalition Failures’ – but even a cursory examination of its record on today’s subject reveals that it is not adequate to the depth of the betrayal that is evident.

Considering the oppressive behaviour of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat administration in destroying British citizens’ freedoms, one can only conclude that David Cameron, Nick Clegg and all their representatives actively set out to deceive the British public on the subject of:

3. CIVIL LIBERTIES

We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness [In the light of the Coalition’s record, this can only be seen as a very sick in-joke for the benefit of the writers].

  • We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion [It seems state intrusion in our lives has never been higher].
  • We will introduce a Freedom Bill [This happened. It was a Nick Clegg idea and includes measures mentioned elsewhere on this list. Of the others, the proposed restrictions on police stop-and-search powers seem laughable, following the furore over the stopping and searching of people during the ‘racist advertising van’ debacle of 2013 – because they looked foreign].
  • We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.
  • We will outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission [This is in the Protection of Freedoms Act].
  • We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency [Attempts to secure up-to-date figures on the number of benefit claimants who have died as a result of government ‘reforms’ shows that the Coalition has made a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act. For a run-down of the ways in which government departments may dodge their responsibilities, see this article].
  • We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database [DNA database protections are in the Protection of Freedoms Act].
  • We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury [A lie. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have started ‘secret’ trials, in which a person can be convicted without ever knowing the offence of which they are accused, seeing any evidence or having any chance to mount a defence against it].
  • We will restore rights to non-violent protest [This has not happened. It seems clear that the response to any such street protest that our current government dislikes will involve the employment of water cannons. Free speech is covered by changes in the libel laws that protect outsourced government services from criticism, and then there is the Gagging and Blacklisting Act, which was supposed to be about government lobbyists but became a tool of repression].
  • We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech [Conservatives blocked changes that would force private companies to show financial damage before being able to sue others for libel. This means government-owned prisons may be criticised without fear of legal action but privately-run prisons cannot. With so many government services being outsourced or sold off, this effectively neuters any relaxation of libel law as far as criticism of the government itself is concerned].
  • We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation [This is in the Protection of Freedoms Act].
  • We will further regulate CCTV [This is in the Protection of Freedoms Act].
  • We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason [Depending on your point of view, this is a lie. What constitutes “good reason”? The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act tramples all over any definition].
  • We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
  • We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties [This is an outright lie. The Bill of Rights, as proposed in recent weeks, will remove obligations that were placed on us by the ECHR, and lay the British people open to abuses of their civil liberties on a scale not seen for many years. The stated desire to promote a better understanding of civil obligations and liberties may be discounted as it is not in the government’s interest to tell people about freedoms that are being legislated away from them].

140129freespeech1

The verdict: The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition has overseen the most oppressive clampdown on British citizens’ civil liberties for decades. Freedoms that we had four years ago are now distant memories. Freedom of speech – gone. Freedom of association – gone. Freedom to join a trade union – heavily monitored, with a threat of blacklisting. Our telephone conversations and Internet communications are monitored. We can be arrested, charged, tried and imprisoned without ever knowing why or seeing any evidence against us.

Meanwhile, the government has never been so well-protected against criticism. Government departments have an arsenal of excuses to protect themselves from having to answer Freedom of Information Requests, so you can’t find out what they are doing or the consequences of their actions. Privatised and outsourced government services are immune to criticism as they may sue any critic for libel.

Your freedoms have been removed and your government is more authoritarian than ever. If the Conservatives are elected next year, you are likely to lose the few human rights that remain.

You didn’t vote for any of this.

Does that offer you much consolation?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best political analysis!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

 

The promises of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats – what are they worth?

Not a lot, if this cartoon from the Telegraph is worth anything:

libdempromises

Of course, Torygraph reporters are probably aware that Nick Clegg secretly agreed to go into coalition with the Conservatives back in March 2010 – two months before the last general election (the so-called negotiations after the poll resulted in a hung Parliament were a sham) – and it was at this time, not in May, that the Liberal Democrat promise to abolish further education tuition fees was dropped.

Clegg went on to run a relatively successful campaign (as far as these things go for the Lib Dems) on the back of that promise – a promise he had already broken.

Now he’s accusing his Conservative Coalition partners of following a “serve the rich, smash the poor” agenda since they got into office. He was a willing part of that agenda.

In The Guardian on Saturday, his excuse was that the Tories had “mutated almost out of recognition” since the Coalition agreement was signed. This is not true. The Tories we have seen since then are the Tories we recognise. David Cameron’s “compassionate Conservatism” was the lie.

“We went in with partners who told us they were green, but they are not. They told me they weren’t going to bang on about Europe, but it’s all they bang on about. They said they believed in civil liberties and they want to trash them,” said Clegg.

“I can understand why they have done it. They are in a complete blind panic about UKIP, but I like to think we have not raced across the political spectrum like that.”

Wrong again. The Tories are in a panic about UKIP (see yesterday’s article on the Hunting Act) but that has little to do with the policy areas Clegg was highlighting. Tories always want to trash civil liberties; they always trash the environment – one of their first planned acts was to sell off all the common land in the UK; and they always, always “bang on” about Europe. Even if they weren’t so bitterly divided about it, they would use it as a distraction technique to dupe voters.

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

Now the Tories have ‘scooped’ the Lib Dems by claiming they will increase the tax-free personal allowance for low earners to £12,500 per year, something Clegg was planning to announce as one of his own party’s policies – and something to which UKIP beat them both.

Labour has ‘scooped’ the Lib Dems on the NHS, with a pledge to increase funding by £2.5 billion per year, knocking Clegg’s £1 billion promise into the proverbial cocked hat. Labour is also promising to introduce a ‘Mansion Tax’, stealing another well-known Clegg aspiration (and did you see how the Tories responded to that? Hypocritical, when one considers their rabid support of their own Bedroom Tax).

One has to wonder what he has left to say.

“Sorry” might be a good start.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
asking the searching questions!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Do parents even know their children’s school data has been given away?

140426schooldata

Fellow blogger and Vox Political reader Owen Boswarva has delivered frightening proof of the way parents have been sidelined by Michael Gove’s Department for Education, in order to give away – not even sell – confidential information about our children to private companies.

Mr Boswarva said he had written a blog post about the issue last year, in which he stated his concern about “the low profile of DfE’s NPD initiative. Most of the consultation responses are from organisations with an interest in re-using the data, leavened by some cautionary advice from civil society groups. There are only a couple of responses from schools and a half-dozen or so responses from individual parents (consistently opposed to the proposals).” [Emphasis mine]

“There appears to have been no concerted effort to bring the consultation or the NPD initiative to the attention of parents or pupils (i.e. the data subjects themselves). This is a quote from one of the parents who did respond: ‘I am shocked and appalled that I wasn’t notified about this consultation through my child’s school — I read about it on Twitter of all things. A letter should have gone to every single parent explaining the proposals and how to respond to this consultation.’

“(Now imagine that sentiment amplified via Mumsnet …)”

His full article is available here and makes absorbing reading as it features all of the responses to what the DfE (laughably) called its “consultation”.

In his comment to VP, Mr Boswarva wrote: “Some civil liberties organisations (including Big Brother Watch) did respond to the DfE consultation… The implemented access regime is not quite as bad as the original proposals, but I agree we should be concerned.

“For me the main issue is that parents (and pupils themselves, who are the actual data subjects) are unaware of how the personal data is being shared with third-party organisations.

“There was no press release or any other broad communication to the public when access to NPD data was expanded. (It’s worth noting that most of the broadsheets [newspapers] have been given access to Tier 2 pupil data themselves, so they are probably not keen to rock the boat.)

“If you want to get into the detail of what DfE is up to with the NPD, try this Deloitte report: National Pupil Database: Exploiting the benefits of releasing the data.”

I have yet to do so (time being against me) but I invite any readers with an interest to download the report, go through it, and report your findings.

I’m off to find a contact address for Mumsnet.

Addendum: I’ve amended this article after Mr Boswarva contacted me to point out that the DfE isn’t, in fact, selling pupil information – the department is giving it away for free. In my opinion this makes its actions even worse. What do you think? (Thanks are due to Mr Boswarva, whose full communication should appear in the comment column below.)

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Child abuse imagery arrest raises questions about newspaper timing

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Today’s (March 4) papers and Internet news sites will be full of the arrest of Patrick Rock, until recently an aide of David Cameron (and a former protege of Margaret Thatcher) on suspicion of possessing child abuse imagery.

The BBC News article is one of a deluge covering the story of the 62-year-old former deputy head of 10 Downing Street’s policy unit – who had been working on policies that are allegedly intended to make it harder to find images of child abuse on the Internet.

The arrest took place on February 13, a few hours after Mr Rock resigned his position with the government.

Nothing was mentioned in the press at the time – but isn’t it interesting that the Daily Mail started stirring up old allegations against Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt – about the Paedophile Information Exchange’s involvement with the National Council for Civil Liberties, while they were members – only days later?

While it is important to stress that Mr Rock has not been found guilty of any crime and must therefore be considered innocent until such time as this happens, it is appropriate to ask whether the Tory-supporting Mail used the old story about Labour’s deputy leader and her colleagues to divert attention away from the arrest – which is a far more serious issue.

Comedy genius Rowan Atkinson used to do a sketch in which he would ask a sidekick, “What is the secret of great comedy?”

As the sidekick started to respond, “I don’t know, what is the s-“, Atkinson would interrupt: “Timing.” The premature punchline used to get a big laugh.

In contrast, the Daily Mail‘s timing isn’t funny at all.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political is an independent political blog.
We don’t receive any funding other than contributions from readers.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook