Thursday, 3 January 2019

Standards in Public Life, Management and the Post-Truth Era. The Naughties: Post-Truth goes Nuclear.

Okay, I've set the scene: Governments here in Europe and in America have made tentative and ever more bolder steps to during the Nineties to own the media narrative and promote their version of the truth. Now, in this section about the decade 2000-2010 control of the narrative ramps up exponentially, telling lies as truth becomes established and governments continue to kill to keep control.

Please bear with me, there's a lot to talk about in this decade, so this post is a biggie....

It's the year 2000. We've just survived the hyped up hysteria that was Y2K. We breathe a sigh of relief. All of that hype, News as drama...

The West finally have a handle on the Balkan conflict and it's playing out it's last gasp. The events of 2001 will usher in higher priorities and the West will finally put an end to the hostilities. The greedy EU will work towards swallowing up the territory of the former Yugoslavia for the rest of the decade.

In the US the Clinton Presidency is coming to an end. In January of 2001 they get George W Bush as their President.

We still have Tony Blair as PM. Where John Major before could have been seen as a Tory for the small man, Tony Blair is firmly in bed with the big corporations, a corporate socialist.

Then comes 2001. September is a seminal month, not just for the quite obvious 11th of September attack, but also for the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud just two days earlier. His assassination has a grave impact on what followed up to the present day.

On the 11th of September I'm working from home. That day everything changes.

On a personal note, that day I lose a colleague in the twin towers attacks. Two weeks prior I had an installation team in New York and they were up the twin towers sightseeing. If a deal had gone through with a customer in the Towers, I would have been visiting the towers weeks after the attack. There but for the grace of God go I.

I also mentally note one of the first things that leaves my lips upon seeing the news footage are "this means war".

And war comes...and stays. Considering that the twin towers attacks were perpetrated by Saudi nationals, sponsored by a Saudi national it seems perverse that the first country to be invaded by the allies would be..... Afghanistan.

But there you go. The first casualty in the truth war of the naughties is the extent to which Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in general are embroiled in sponsoring terrorism.

The other casualty of the truth is the fact that the Taliban (who controlled most of Afghanistan at the time) were ready to surrender Osama Bin Laden to either a third country or to a Muslim Court. But America wanted Bin Laden for themselves.

But hey, why settle for that when you can just roll in and take the country eh?


During the Russian occupation of Afghanistan the Taliban had been trained by America to be a formidable and well-equipped fighting force. Sure, the U.S. and Later Nato forces were going after Al-Queda, but the US and it's allies look like an occupying force to the Taliban, just like the Russians
before them and the Brits a century before that. Afghanistan is not a pushover.

We bomb and bomb. Bin laden is in Tora Bora we are told.

All as it turned out were lies. Afghanistan is no pushover, Bin Laden is not in Tora Bora (and probably not in Afghanistan at all, even back then).

Operation Enduring Freedom as it was called, was initially a Special Forces initiative, allied with Massoud's Northern Alliance. Therefore in the early days of the Afghanistan conflict, press coverage was zero. Early successes for the US-backed Northern Alliance brought gains in territory

After the access granted during the liberation of Kuwait, the press began to push for access during the Afghanistan action. So eventually, cue a set-piece action, with several hundred paratroopers disgorging from US transports onto an initially hostile-free plain, all filmed in the erie green glow of a night-vision camera were relayed to global TV stations.

The calm of that action belies what went on in the background before and after the night-drop.

Initially a single hostile was seen at the drop site and neutralised easily. Then a bunch of vehicles sent out to see what was going on was also supressed. The initial actions against an unprepared Taliban force did not however prove how capable a fully alert and tooled-up Taliban force can be.

On that same night special forces were tasked to extract Taliban leaders. It did not go well. Luckily the allied forces did not lose anyone, but there were several injured when they came across a substantial well-armed Taliban unit.

At the time these negative incidents were not reported, only that the initial wave of the invasion was successful.

It is around this time, with Special Forces working in the background, that I believe one of the major lies about the current Muslim Terrorist threat has developed. There is a link to this time, the nations involved in these actions and the later and current Muslim terror threat.

Looking at the countries involved in recent terror attacks almost identically correlates with the countries involved in the Combined Joint Task Force and actions like Operation Anaconda where US, UK, New Zealand, Australian, German, and Norwegian special forces (amongst others) worked jointly, supported by US and French aircraft. Have the feeling those countries sound familiar when it comes to terror attacks?

It's a secret that continues to this day. To counter the threat at home, you first have to understand the reasons, the paymasters, etc. back in foreign lands. The political will to do this has not surfaced I suspect because the trail eventually leads to countries back in the Gulf we see politically as allies and are tied into in a significant fashion. But allies don't sponsor people to kill our soldiers on the battlefield or civilians at home.

All we hear currently is the threat... but what drives that threat, what is the motivation? Islam alone is not the answer, nor is supposed "extremism". Someone has to be pushing these young men to do these acts, someone had to have funded ISIS for it to grow to such strength before it could take oil fields and effectively self-fund (but the rise of ISIS is for another decade).

I shall end the Noughties here for the time being. Whilst embroiled in an increasingly violent conflict in Afghanistan from a more prepared , funded and organised Taliban, the powers that be turned their attention to Iraq. A war surrounded by such monumental untruths that it really deserves a section on it's own.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Corrupting Influence of Money.

I'm a big fan of money. I wish I had more of it.

But while musing about money, it appeared to me how much money corrupts. Not just in the obvious things but in the not-so-obvious.

For instance in Science. Science these days is money-led, especially in pharmaceuticals. But for instance in climate science, there is no funding for theories that debunk the AGW agenda.  If you want to earn a living out of science, then you have to follow the research where the money is.

Not only that, but then you follow the extra money that we pay on our energy bills, where does it go? Does it go to projects to offset global warming? No silly, it goes to the landowners that allow windfarms on their property, it goes to the big corporations that install and run the wind farms and it goes into the pockets of traders on the stock market trading in carbon credits.

When it comes to legal representation, do you think a poor person and a rich person have equality under the law? Don't be daft! Those expensive lawyers run rings round court appointed ones every time.

Does a poor person have political representation? Well, if you look at the current make up of Parliament, I'd have to say no.

The Tories are supposed to be the party of free enterprise and allowing the small guy to trade on the same terms as the big ones. But more and more the Tories are about increasing tax which has a disproportionate affect of the poorest in society.

Labour are no better. They would increased tax and spending, increasing borrowing so that we are lumped with huge debts in future. Paid for by increased taxation and tough if you are poor.
The Communists that seems to control the Labour party at the moment don't seem to grasp this fact.

By whinging about the corrupting affect of money, as a reader you'd think I was dead against it. But no, money is essential to commerce and life in general. But what I'm really whinging about is the way in which money is being used at the moment. There is very little fairness in the system and the poor seem to pay a disproportionate amount of tax.

There has to be a fairer system. The key elements built into the current tax system do not give the poor a fair crack of the whip.

For instance the HMRC are looking into the gig economy. They want to class these self-employed people as employed for some reason, like they have with dozens of other areas. The important thing about self-employment is you choose to work that way. You choose the freedom to not work when you feel like it, the downside is you don't get paid for it. For HMRC and the courts to start claiming that people working in the gig economy are entitled to holiday pay means that they get classed as employees, paying the full whack of employees and employers tax. Double bonus for the tax people.

Yet large corporations like Amazon and Google can cut a deal to effectively pay no tax whatsoever. How is that fair?

This has to stop. HMRC needs new guidelines to stop blurring the edges of employment and self-employment. There need to be clear cut lines to remove the grey areas which HMRC have manipulated to bully the self-employed, agency workers and small businesses into paying more tax. They also need guidelines in necessary backed up by legislation in order to take on the global corporations.

Government needs to also look more closely at how the tax take affects those least able to pay. I'm sure (for instance) that someone on £70,000 a year won't mind paying a couple of grand on council tax, but for someone on a sub-£20,000 wage, it's quite a different thing.

There needs to be holistic approach to the tax system and how it can be changed to stop the poorer in society losing out.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Kneecapping the Alternative Influence Network: The Sargon Patreon Debacle.

When Data & Society came out with the report on the Alternative Influence Network, I wrote a post on it here on my blog.

I did say that now it had been identified as a thing, the AIN will be targeted.

One of my most prescient comments was the following paragraph:

"To say for instance that someone two or three links away from Sargon are tainted by white male supremacy (even the vloggers who are not white, nor male) is a pretty paranoid viepoint. Under normal circumstances it would be ignored and more than likely ridiculed. But because it esposes the leftist media viewpoint that someone has to be to blame for the loss of control of alternative media, leftist corporations will pick this report up, swallow it as gospel and use it to shadow-ban or completely ban these vloggers, even if they have not proffered a far-right viewpoint."

Exactly that has come to pass. Someone in power has taken that report as Gospel and is now attempting to disrupt the Alternative Influence Network, be it real or fiction. If you look at the diagram D&S put on their report, Sargon is a huge blob in the centre of the network. By taking him out I believe the powers that be (whoever is putting pressure on Patreon) are attempting to disrupt a significant proportion of the AIN. If it doesn't work, they will move on to the other significant sites in the network.

Anyone on that diagram is at risk of deplatforming. I suspect that anyone with a block on that diagram close to the size of Sargon's will be next in line.

This is not about what Sargon said way back, it's not about him sitting in the front row of a debate. This is entirely political.

This is the new Battleground for the 2020 American presidential elections. Someone somewhere in a position of high power and influence in the financial system blames the influence of the AIN for Trump winning the election. They are out to radically disrupt that network by any and all means.

It may even be they want to own the media narrative and think the AIN is too big for it's boots. Don't forget that a TV station in Serbia was bombed and people killed so that those in power in the West could own the media narrative. They will go to ANY lengths.

They are using financial transactions and the loss of them as a way to kneecap the AIN in order to stifle it's alternative media message. They don't care who they take down as collateral damage. Gab, SubscribeStar, they do not care. Other platforms that provide services to the currently identified AIN will be targeted over the coming months, mark my words.