Saturday, February 04, 2012
A Couple of Examples Of What An Enormous Advantage We Have By Being One Of The World's Most Advanced ....
the Falkland War demonstrated that a nation that did not have small computers and people accustomed to using them was not going to have an effective military.And examples of what even a small government department with a budget tiny by the standards of the big departments can do when intelligently motivated. The department being America's DARPA, nominally a defence procurement agency but in fact a way of stimulating technological breakthroughs.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Goodwin & Muir Russell:The Knight Who Made A Wrong Business Decision and The Knight Who Robbed Us of £400 Million By Deliberate Fraud
The fact that they got off with this theft obviously encourages even greater thefts over the trams (probably about £1 billion) and the new Forth bridge (£2.3 bn)
I suspect that our media is indeed so wholly censored that it is impossible to get any mention of frauds far worse than anything Goodwin is accused of anywhere in the MSM even simply in lettercolunns. However I am willing to test that assessment and will let you know if any newspaper feels able to publish anything on the subject that is not government approved.
On a similar note of hypocrisy watch out for the shennigans we will see over Chris Huhne's forthcoming trial for perverting the course of justice. The facts in this case have been uindisoputable (and indeed not factually disputed even by Huhne) for many months, but already the rest ofr the political nomenklatura are lining up to say what a fine fellow he is.
Looking at the wide range of politicians enthusing over the decision to remove Sir Fred Goodwin's knighthood it is difficult to avoid seeing hypocrisy. These are the same politicians (and civil servants) who gave him total support on the way up. I personally find Jackie Stewart's public support of Sir Fred infinitely more honourable than the kicking when he is down being given by our "great and good" in politics.
Double standards are clearly evident evident when we compare the treatment of Sir Fred and Sir Andrew Muir Russell, formerly Scotland's chief civil servant. Nobody sensible suggests that Fred had deliberately broken his bank (or indeed could wish to) but Sir Andrew told the "Inquiry" into how £400 million was wasted on the Scottish parliament building, that he had personally concealed the overspend from the politicians in charge & was duly criticised for doing so.
It is true that be doing so he protected the good name of all the politicians involved, since they thus could not have known of the overspend unless they had read newspapers or spoken to any member of the public. Nonetheless Sir Andrew had thereby admitted to a deliberate deception robbing the Scottish people of around £400 million pounds - a morally far worse act than Sir Fred's honest errors.
Obviously every honest politician who supports this treatment of Sir Fred must have spent the last decade publicly calling for the removal of Sir Andrew's knighthood but I must admit no example of such political honesty springs to mind.
Indeed not only has Muir Russell not lost his honours he has been rewarded with a long series of other politically controlled appointments. These include Principal of the University of Glasgow where he attracted much criticism for his handling of the 2006 lecturers' strike, as well as attempts to close the University's Crichton Campus in Dumfries and for receiving pay rises which were much greater than the rate of inflation; also as Chair of the Scottish Judicial appointments Commission, which one might have expected to go to somebody not accused of such activities; and chair of the University of East Anglia's Climategate Enquiry where he managed to avoid taking evidence from sceptics and was thus able to say he had found no evidence of significant wrongdoing.
By doing so he protected the good name of the scientists and politicians promoting catastrophic global warming. However if a serious investigation of government integrity, competence or honesty were desired and the only candidates to run it were Sir Fred and Sir Andrew I know which one I would want to do it.
Ref - The reference to Muir Rusell taking the blame for having hidden the cost from the innocent little politicians and the criticism of his subsequent record in Glasgow Uni is taken from wikipedia and is part of the public record. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muir_Russell Indeed anecdotally I can confirm that those at the university at the time are likely to express much more unfavourable opinions of his appointment.
I will be interested to see whether
(A) the same standards are used in media coverage of civil servants, supported by government and businessmen niot so supported bit certainly not guilty of deliberate dishonesty or
(B) the British medai are so wholly censored in the government interest that it is impossible to get any reporting at all, even if limited to the letters page which is the last refuge of governmentally unapproved views, of matters matching the stuff put in the headlines.