NSPCC madness

The Manifesto Club has again rightly


No option off the table

Hague has apparently said that “no option is off the table” if Syria “refuses to negotiate”.

They did this with Yugoslavia too. Come to a conference and agree to what we want or we’ll invade / bomb you into smithereens.

And just so they know that we (here at The New Observer) aren’t completely dumb – all this talk of lifting the EU arms embargo on supplying the armed opposition in Syria. The UK is already arming the opposition. The UK is sending armoured vehicles and body armour. That isn’t for defensive purposes. That is so the armed groups can carry out raids.  And no doubt the UK is acting in concert with its Middle Eastern allies as they did in Libya allowing the latter to supply the actual weapons. (Qatar supplied weapons to the Libyan opposition).

Once again; the responsible course of action and the one the British regime should be taking is to promote the UN peace process on Syria. We should be urging all sides to negotiate unconditionally. And not sending “non-lethal” arms in.

Update 24 May

Hague is reported today by Reuters as saying:

We do think it is important ahead of any negotiations … for the Assad regime to understand that the pressure on it will intensify in the absence of successful negotiations


That is clear then. “Successful negotiations” means presumably an outcome favoured by the West. Assad has about as much choice as a voter in a Western ‘democracy’. Â The illusion of choice.


Update 27 May

Hague is reported by RT as saying:

It is important to show that we are prepared to amend our arms embargo that the [President Bashar] Assad regime gets a clear signal that it has to negotiate seriously


This is another favoured trick. We get a resolution passed on the basis that we need a “credible threat”, as if it were simply a negotiating tool. Then, as soon as we’ve got it, we use it. Similar tricks were used to get resolutions passed on Iraq.


Update 27 May

It looks like the EU arms embargo on sending arms to the opposition in Syria has not been renewed and thus ends.

So; William Hague is triumphant that British tax revenue can now be used to send weapons to the opposition in Syria. The same opposition who has repeatedly refused to accept the UN Geneva accord as a basis for talks. The same opposition which kidnaps UN soldiers, murders prisoners in cold blood and is linked to car bombings.

The global corporate ‘Western’ Â state must want to get rid of an ally of Iran really really badly for them to want to arm people like this.




DBS checks – their real purpose

I’ve just signed up for an agency to do support work with young people. My first shift is tomorrow.

I’m given the location where I have to be and told to bring my CRB form. I hum and ha a bit and say slightly evasively it is in my ‘filing cabinet’. Basically I don’t want to turn this into a horrible situation where the main thing about me as I turn up to work with young people is that I have a certificate which shows I’m not a (convicted / charged)

The Panoptican is alive and well

Check out the image on this article. The one towards the bottom of the page by Lucy Nicholson, with the steel cages arranged in a semi-circle. The ideal Panoptican. With a cage they can be observed from all sides as well. Totally visible. Washed in surveillance.

The Wikipedia article on the Panoptican (which was developed by Bentham) quotes Bentham as saying:

a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.




Bread and Circuses

I’ve heard about a new web site which will offer patients / customers the opportunity to rank their local hospital. The web site appears to be if not funded by then at least endorsed by central government:


This could be said to be an example of market madness. Does anyone seriously think that having a surgeon sweating over his ‘Health Adviser’ ranking as he performs a heart by-pass operation is really going to help ‘patient safety’?

Certainly it would be possible for people with the right kind of knowledge and experience to review clinical figures and spot problem areas. This can and should happen behind the scenes. Turning it into a public auction won’t make anyone any safer, probably less, for the reason given above. (It puts people under pressure just when they don’t need it).

So; what is striking about this is the way the political class are engineering a populist ‘customer-focussed’, public participation charade. Why might they be doing that?

1. Conditioning the public to accept that everything has to be driven by market operations. Driving out any last vestiges of ideas about social provision of social goods. The