News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Leadership

Shoot to kill

June 6, 2017

The Prime Minister, electioneering, has said that she fully supports “shoot to kill” while defending herself from the resonant accusation that she reduced the police forces during her time as Home Secretary and since by nearly 50,000.

“Shoot to kill” may sound like a brief action of a few armed officers but the concentration of automatic weapon brandishing officers in London has increased so much in the last ten years. The reduction in police on the beat has made the city feel under siege rather than safe.

Armed police are useless as investigators. As a last resort, they are more effective than a riot squad armed with batons, but it is only as a last resort are they at all effective. The PM is blind to the actual problem, she thinks that brute force is the only path to defeating terrorism, but it is actually the presence of many police with guns that normalises the fear and rewards terrorism for changing the way that we live, under constant reminders of threat.

London has over 2 million cameras which are nearly useless in detection but serve police well after an incident has occurred as investigatory tools. Reduction of police forces by such large numbers means that the support staff necessary to investigate and detect simply are not there. Being able to also now monitor internet chatter would not strengthen detection, it would require another 100,000 back office staff. There are not enough now to detect issues and thinking they can trail 20,000 people and predict that when they hire vehicle, they should be arrested, is plainly illogical.

To defeat terrorism, remove the reasons that stimulate it. Of course, there will always be radicals and insane criminality. Of course, there will always be thugs. But breeding them with an imbalanced society and starving the police of resources is Theresa May’s real crime. She is the cause of this rash of terrorism.


Clinton and Bush

October 3, 2012

Bill Clinton and George Bush reveal their friendship when they appear together on TV. So it seems, at least. Perhaps they will cause world peace together but something is odd about this caucus of ex presidents. It is as though Clinton has embraced the devil vs the rehabilitation of Bush. The presidential campaign costs 3 billion dollars and yet this could swing voters, but which way is anyone’s guess. It is democracy in a bottle, diplomatic sages warning the next generation of bucks about to debate with each other.


The Euro crisis

November 12, 2011

There are many ways to “solve” the crisis.

You do not win a game of chess by barking at the pieces on the board, but sacrifice can have huge dividends. Part of the crisis is one of leadership.

Our leaders keep talking but not facing the fact that the economic system is riddled with corrupt practices, magical mathematical models that distort value and they appear to be relying on these mechanisms “to induce real growth” while starving the participants in favour of those for whom tax avoidance is a religion and make fortunes by gambling on leveraged valuations for things that do not exist.

Posted as a comment in The Guardian, article.


The end of war

June 9, 2008

The End of War is a notion, certainly, but it is also a statement of intent. Many do not understand war as anything other than a force that some evil leads our side into, until our side bluffs its way into warfare and we then question if our leadership really does know what it is doing, what right it has to life and death and what the limits on use of armies as police are, and why.

Leadership has to be more than bravery and, let’s face it, being suckered up to by the manufacturers of weapons that require Governments to consume their armanents to stay in business is a source of election funding.

Americans may blame Jimmy Carter for things that were economic consequences of the massive cost of Vietnam. When shall we learn the Republican adventure is actually a larger and more expansionalist form of Government?