The #PanamaPapers leaks have exposed David Cameron as a hypocrite and consequently done great harm to his reputation.
If the political fall-out from the leaks does eventually bring the British Prime Minister down then he can’t really complain as he’s had a dream ride up to now.
He didn’t deserve to become Conservative Party leader in 2005 as his main rivals for the job were better qualified and more experienced and he most certainly, given his track record in office, didn’t deserve to get another term as Prime Minister in 2015.
In fact, if we look back at Cameron’s career, it’s apparent that from very early on he was placed on the ‘Fast Track’ to power. It’s hard to think of another leading political figure in recent British political history who has had it quite so easy.
Cameron didn’t have to fight his way to the top as others have to do: He was eased into his position by influential Tory neocon ‘modernizers’ who were confident that he would serve their interests better than his rivals.
Cameron had three major advantages to help kick start his career: He was from a very wealthy Establishment background (with money on both sides of the family dating back several generations), he went to Eton, the country’s most prestigious public school, and then studied at Oxford University. During his gap year between Eton and Oxford he worked as a researcher in the House of Commons for his godfather Tim Rathbone, a Tory MP and former banker – who incidentally also went to Eton and Oxford.
At Oxford, Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon Club – an exclusive all-male dining and drinking club with a reputation for wild, outrageous behavior (George Osborne, Cameron’s Chancellor since 2010, was a fellow member).
After he got his degree, Cameron spent five years working at the Conservative Party research department, making valuable contacts within the party.
In 1994, feeling he needed experience in the private sector to boost his career prospects in the Tory party, he entered the media/PR world, landing a job as ‘Director of Corporate Affairs’ at Carlton TV.
“The manner in which he obtained the job says much about how men of Cameron’s background tend to progress through life,” James Robertson and David Teather noted in the Guardian in 2010.
“With no experience outside politics, he did what any old Etonian might do and worked his contacts”, Robertson and Teather continued.
“The mother of Cameron’s then-girlfriend Samantha, Lady Astor, was friends with Michael Green, then executive chairman of Carlton and one of Margaret Thatcher’s favorite businessmen. She suggested he hire Cameron, and Green, a mercurial millionaire, obliged. The 27-year-old was duly recruited on a salary of about £90,000 a year (the equivalent of more than £130,000 today).”
Nice work if you can get it, eh? But you’ll only get it if, like Cameron, you have the ‘right connections’. Experience and indeed ability has nothing to do with it: Cameron‘s career is proof that Britain is a long way off from being a ‘meritocracy’ – a place where people get jobs because of their talent and not because of who they know.
Carlton TV’s ‘Director of Corporate Affairs’ was selected for the winnable seat of Stafford for the Tories in the 1997 general election, but lost out in the Labour landslide.
However, three years later Cameron was selected for the very safe Tory seat of Witney in Oxfordshire, and was duly elected as an MP in 2001.
Just four years later, at the age of 39, ‘Call Me Dave’ was Conservative Party leader. How was it done?
Cameron’s main rivals for the Tory leadership in October 2005 had stronger CVs. Ken Clarke aka ’Big Beast’, was a former Home Secretary and a Chancellor of the Exchequer who had presided over an economic recovery from 1993-7.
David Davis, a successful self-made businessman who had been born and brought up by a single mother on a council estate, had been a Minister of State for Europe, a Chairman of the Conservative Party and was now Shadow Home Secretary.
Not only did Clarke and Davis have far greater experience than Cameron, they also had greater voter appeal than the Old Etonian.
A BBC Newsnight poll in September 2005 revealed that Clarke was FOUR times as popular with ordinary voters than his nearest rival in the Tory party leadership race: 40 percent said Clarke would be the best Tory leader, 10 percent said Davis, but only 4 percent said Cameron.
Yet ‘Mr 4%’ David Cameron was the candidate anointed in editorials and comment pieces by influential Tory-supporting media pundits and the novice cruised to victory. Why did Cameron get such a leg-up?
In October 2005, I attempted to explain Cameron’s rapid elevation in The Guardian.
“Cameron’s meteoric rise from leadership no-hoper to frontrunner has taken many by surprise,” I wrote. “But what has happened is that British neoconservatives, faced with the nightmarish possibility that in a straight fight between David Davis and Kenneth Clarke the more charismatic and anti-war former chancellor would prevail, sought to undermine support for the latter by reinventing Cameron, the pro-war Thatcherite, as the voice of Tory ‘moderation'”.
The big negative with Ken Clarke for the Tory neocon ‘modernizers’ was that the former Chancellor had opposed the Iraq war.
As I noted in the Guardian, Cameron’s leadership campaign was masterminded by the ‘neoconservative trio’ of George Osborne, Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey. The last two men were signatories to the Statement of Principles
of the uber neocon ‘Henry Jackson Society’ which launched in the UK in 2005, the same year Cameron became Tory leader.
The Tory neocons wanted a man who could be relied to carry on an interventionist foreign policy. The fresh-faced Cameron – who unlike ‘Big Beast’ Ken Clarke had supported the Iraq invasion – could be the Tory party’s Tony Blair. A man cast as a ‘moderate’, but who could be relied upon to carry out extreme policies, like cuts and privatization at home and further redistribution of wealth to the super-rich, while carrying on UK support for ‘wars on intervention’ abroad.
As Cameron himself declared during the leadership campaign: “I am the heir to Blair”.
We can’t say we weren’t warned.
In Part 2: How Cameron repaid his neocon backers
Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66
It’s questionable now whether David Cameron will be able to survive 2016 as prime minister. The crushing combination of the #PanamaPapers and the UK Brexit referendum may well be enough to pulverize ‘Teflon Tory’ and bury him.
In Part One of ‘A Charmed Life’, I explained how David Cameron, a man born into great wealth and privilege, had been fast-tracked to power by influential neocons. After just four years as an MP he was anointed as Tory party leader, even though his rivals had much stronger credentials and greater public appeal.
Since his elevation ‘Call Me Dave’ has certainly not let his backers down! His governments, under the pretext of ‘austerity’, have cut welfare payments and social services and helped the one percent become even richer. The top rate of income tax was cut and corporation tax has also been slashed.
Remaining publicly owned assets have been privatized, or have been earmarked for privatization with rich City insiders and party donors benefiting. In 2013, the Royal Mail, in state hands since its inception in the 16th century, was privatized, with a hedge fund whose co-head of development strategy was the best man at Chancellor George Osborne’s wedding, netting a profit of £36m.
The government now plans to sell the Land Registry – in public hands since the days of Queen Victoria.
In foreign policy, Cameron continued where Bomber Blair left off. In the same way that Tony Blair helped destroy Iraq, ‘Tory Blair’ helped wreck Libya. A country that had the highest living standards in Africa was transformed, thanks to NATO’s ’humanitarian intervention’, into a failed state and a haven for radical jihadists and terrorists.
Cameron and his governments also played a very negative and destructive role in relation to Syria, enthusiastically supporting ‘regime change‘ and championing the cause of violent jihadists and terrorists – euphemistically labeled ‘rebels’- who were fighting to overthrow a secular government implacably opposed to Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
In 2013, Cameron, faithfully serving neocon interests, tried desperately to get Parliament to support airstrikes on Syrian government targets. Thankfully, that was defeated. Had it not been, then it’s likely that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Qaeda affiliates would now be in charge of the whole of Syria.
If ever a British Prime Minister deserved to lose a General Election it was David Cameron in 2015. ‘Call Me Dave’ had presided over the longest fall in living standards in the country for 50 years.
His government had pledged to improve public finances, but in fact had made them worse: the UK’s debt increased by 50 percent under Cameron‘s watch.
Furthermore, Cameron’s foreign policy has undoubtedly made the world a much more dangerous place.
However, helped once again by a very friendly media, and in particular the Murdoch press – which thought it of the utmost importance that we saw a photo of Labour leader Ed Miliband eating a bacon sarnie on the front page of The Sun, Cameron scraped home in last year‘s election.
As I noted in an RT op-edge about the election campaign: “There was little, if any, proper discussion of the Conservatives’ many failures in office… If there had been proper media coverage of the way Tories have sold off public assets to their City chums, and the future privatizations Cameron and Co have planned (Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to sell off £20 billion more of state assets by 2020), then the Tories would not get anywhere near the amount of seats they did.”
It’s clear that Cameron was chosen, from quite early on as the best ‘front man’ for taking the neocon project on to the next stage. The question now is: will those who helped put Cameron into power – and who did everything they could to help him stay in 10 Downing Street during the 2015 General Election campaign, continue to support him?
Up to now Cameron has been the ‘Teflon Tory’ – the man against whom no charge seems to stick. While Tony Blair is rightly reviled for what he did to Iraq, Cameron has largely escaped censure for his role in the destruction of Libya. Even allegations of Cameron taking part in a weird initiation ceremony involving the head of a dead pig at Oxford didn’t do too much harm to his ratings.
The #PanamaPapers leaks, however, could be a game changer. In Parliament last week, Cameron tried to draw a line under the revelations by making a Commons statement. Toadying Tory MPs stood up to declare that The Great Leader had done nothing wrong. One MP, the very wealthy oil trader Sir Alan Duncan, tried to make out that the outrage over the Panama Papers was due to envy over people’s wealth – and made a snobbish reference to ‘low-achievers’.
The smug, self-congratulatory mood was splendidly punctured by veteran left-wing Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who dubbed the prime minister ‘Dodgy Dave‘.
Shortly afterwards, I sent out a tweet saying that Skinner was a ‘National Treasure’ and asked people to retweet my message if they agreed with it. At the time of writing the tweet has been retweeted almost 6,000 times and liked over 3,000 times.
The tweet, I note, has got more endorsement than any from establishment gatekeepers and members of the elite punditocracy, who were keen to label Skinner as ‘rude’ for having the temerity to voice the views of millions of ordinary Britons.
It’s not just on social media that members of the public are making their voices heard. A poll in the Daily Mirror newspaper asked readers if they thought Skinner should have been thrown out of the Commons for his ‘Dodgy Dave’ remark: 95 percent voted ‘No’.
The Mirror is a Labour supporting publication, so perhaps you’d expect such a result. But another poll in the Daily Express – which does not support Labour – showed that 83 percent of readers thought Cameron should resign over the Panama Papers scandal.
A few days ago, Cameron was overtaken by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in approval ratings for the first time, with almost 60 percent of people saying that he’s doing badly as PM.
‘Call Me Dave’ and his Chancellor George Osborne are now the least trusted politicians on tax avoidance. Meanwhile, over 160,000 people have signed a petition calling for a snap general election.
The neocons who backed Cameron in 2005 are divided over Europe, which also doesn’t help the PM’s cause. Michael Gove, who helped mastermind Cameron’s campaign in 2005, is one of six Cabinet ministers campaigning for Britain to leave the EU in a referendum that Cameron – given the dip in his ratings – could easily lose. Even if the ‘Remain’ side does sneak home narrowly, Cameron would still be very vulnerable.
We know just how ruthless the Conservative Party can be when they feel they’ve got a leader who’s gone past their sell-by date: even the fact that she had won three general elections wasn’t enough to save Mrs. Thatcher in 1990.
Cameron has already declared he won’t serve a third term as prime minister, but it must now be doubtful that he will even be able to survive 2016. Whether it’s the #PanamaPapers or the EU referendum in June which finishes him, the dream ride for the ‘Teflon Tory’ has almost certainly come to an end. About time, too!
If I hadn’t seen for myself that this article “exposing” Jeremy Corbyn was published on the Daily Telegraph’s website, I would have assumed it was a spoof from The Onion – an even more preposterous one than normal.
In a lengthy hit-piece, the Telegraph suggests that Corbyn is a hypocrite for criticising David Cameron over his efforts to conceal the financial benefits he received from his father’s tax-haven investments.
What’s the Telegraph’s evidence for accusing Corbyn of a double standard?
Corbyn is apparently part of the fat-cat class himself because he earnt £1.5 million. That sounds a lot – except it was his total earnings as an MP over the past 33 years. That’s the equivalent of a £45,000 a year salary. A good sum but hardly the stuff of scandals.
As a Labour spokesman says (buried at the bottom of this long piece): “It represents his wages as an MP over the last 30 years, the same as every other MP who has done the same service. He’s been elected consistently by the electorate and he has earnt what every other MP earns and those payments are in the public domain.”
In other words, this is a complete non-story. He’s a an MP and he received the benefits due an MP. If there’s a problem with that, then the Telegraph ought to be campaigning against MPs’ salaries.
So why is the Telegraph writing a story that makes clear it is not even pretending to be a newspaper – which reveals in stark fashion that, in fact, it is just a propaganda sheet for the business class?
There can be only one reason – or two related reasons.
That Corbyn is seen as such a danger to the vested interests of the powerful corporations that are served by the Telegraph and the rest of the corporate media that they need to smear him even at the cost of undermining their own credibility.
And equally significantly, that they are so sure that Cameron can be relied on not to damage their interests, that they will do anything – including writing a patently ridiculous anti-Corbyn story – to help the prime minister in his hour of need.
If Corbyn became prime minister, he might threaten the apple cart that has made the Telegraph’s owners, the famously litigious Barclay Brothers, and the rest of the 1% fabulously wealthy. The brothers are – how can we put it? – familiar with the workings of tax havens; they live in one.
Cameron is a member of that same exclusive club: he might talk the talk, but he is never going to walk the walk. He and his party will look after their friends and their off-shore accounts for as long as they can do so without paying a serious political price.
The only scandal here is that the Telegraph can write a story like this and still be considered a newspaper rather than a muck-raking comic. This example may be extreme, but behind it lie the same motives of class-interest that have driven the hundreds of other hatchet jobs on Corbyn over the past year, published in every British newspaper including supposedly liberal publications like the Guardian.
Umberto Eco in his last book, Numero Zero, in describing the reality of the manipulating and manipulated western media, has a newspaper editor say, “let’s just stick to spreading suspicion. Someone is involved in fishy business, and though we don’t know who it is, we can give him a scare. That’s enough for our purposes. Then we’ll cash in, our proprietor can cash in, when the time is right.”
And that is exactly what is happening with the appearance simultaneously in all the western media, on Sunday, April 3 of a story about what are called the Panama Papers. The story attributed to a shadowy organisation called the International Coalition of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has all the hallmarks of an operation by western secret services to attempt to subvert targeted governments. The primary target is of course President Putin in order to influence the coming elections and to further attempt to portray him in the eyes of the peoples of the west as a criminal.
But the targets also include FIFA directors, continuing the harassment of FIFA by the United States government, in order to keep Russia out of the next world cup football games, Lionel Messi one of the world’s best football players, perhaps because he refused a request by President Obama’s daughters to meet him when Obama visited Argentina, Jackie Chan, no doubt punishment for supporting the Communist Party of China, and various people blacklisted by the United States for dealing with North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and other American designated enemies.
They include President Poroshenko of Ukraine, perhaps signalling they are tired of him, the prime minister of Iceland, since forced to resign, no doubt for jailing bankers, seizing their banks and giving the people some compensation for their losses in the financial crisis of 2008, Hosni Mubarak who has accused the United States of trying to overthrow him, the murdered Gadhafi, and Xi Jinping, president of China. No Americans or NATO leaders are named though David Cameron’s father is named, perhaps a slap at Cameron for allowing a referendum to take place on whether Britain should leave the European Union, which would reduce US influence in Europe.
Essentially these people are all considered by the United States government to be enemies or critics of the United States in one way or another, or no longer reliable partners.
The immediate positioning of President Putin as the principal target of this story, despite the fact he is not mentioned in the documents, coupled with the timing of the story make a reasonable observer conclude that this information was not released just to inform the public but to subvert and discredit chosen governments, that is, it is a propaganda operation, using information that will get the attention of the masses. The rich hiding their money is always a good way to generate anger among the people and to provoke unrest in order to destabilise governments, as we saw just happened in Iceland. It does not matter whether the information in the story is true or not. Some of the information may be but the law firm from which the information was stolen says much of what the story says is untrue. But it doesn’t really matter because the story is what is important and that’s all that people see.
This conclusion is the more inescapable when the true nature of the ICIJ is revealed. For to understand what this story is about it is important to know who put it out, with whom they are connected and who provides the money.
The key is found in the list of the members of the Advisory Board, the Board of Directors and the funders of its parent organisation, the Centre For Public Integrity (CFPI). The ICIJ states on its website that is a non-profit organisation. That technically may be true but they failed to add that they act for the profit of the people who fund them and who control their operations. Funders of the CFPI include the Democracy Fund, the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations of George Soros, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund and many others of the same pedigree. Individual donors include such people as Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and many others of the powerful US corporate and financial elite.
Its Advisory Board includes Geoffrey Cowan, who was appointed Director of Voice of America by President Clinton in 1994 and was in 1994-96 associate director of the United States Information Agency. He is now president of the Annenberg Foundation which has hosted US presidents at its retreat in California, dubbed Camp David West, including President Obama. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations which is the American think tank whose membership includes several former heads of the CIA, several US Secretaries of State, and connected media figures and which has the role of promoting globalisation, free trade and other economic and foreign policies for the benefit of the rich and powerful in America.
The Advisory Board also includes Hodding Carter III, former assistant secretary of state under President Carter and later a journalist for major western media such as BBC, ABC, CBC, CNN, NBC, PBS, Wall Street Journal, and now President of the Knight Foundation. There is Edith Everett, President of Gruntal and Company, one of the oldest and biggest investment banks in New York City, Hebert Hafif, connected establishment lawyer, Kathleen Hill Jamieson, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, an expert on the use of the media for political purposes including how to influence political campaigns and elections, and Sonia Jarvis, a lawyer who once worked with President Clinton,
It includes Harold Hongji Koh who was a legal adviser at the US Department of State from 2009 to 2013, nominated by President Obama, who in March 2010 gave a speech supporting the legality of drone assassinations. There is Charles Ogletree, Harvard law professor and a close friend of President Obama, Allen Pusey, publisher and editor of the American Bar Association Journal, Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media, former president of ABC News and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Paul Volcker not only is an individual financial supporter but is also on the Board. Aside from his position as a former chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979-1987) he was also chair of the US Economic Advisory Board, appointed by President Obama (2009-2011) a former chair of the Trilateral Commission, worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank and is very close to the Rockefeller family.
It includes Harold Williams, former Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (1977-1981) and member of board of directors of dozens of companies, William Julius Wilson, professor of sociology at Harvard and, last but not least, Christiane Amanpour, chief war propagandist for CNN, who just a few days ago appeared on CNN acting out a charade in which she interviewed a staffer from the ICIJ about the Panama Papers while pretending not to know anything about them. She was in fact interviewing a member of her own organisation but she never informed her viewers of this. For some reason her name does not appear on the CFPI website but her name does appear in the organisation’s latest annual report for 2014-15.
The Board of Directors includes Peter Beale a former head of CNN.com, a former Reuters agent, editor at the London Times, and Microsoft editorial director, as well as Arianna Huffington, president of Post Media, and Bill Kovach, journalist for the New York Times, to name just a few of the establishment figures listed.
The point is made. This is not some independent, muckraking group dedicated to truth and democracy. This is a group of propagandists who, under the cloak of journalism, carry out the art of deception on behalf of the American government and secret services. Indeed in the annual report, they even quote President Obama approving their work. In January this same group launched an attack on the government of China with another story of “leaked” financial documents implicating the Chinese leadership and have done it again in this new story, now doubt part of the “pivot to China.”
So there you have it, the information you need to know but which CNN, The Guardian, the BBC, CBC, the New York Times and all the rest of the media refuse to provide you so that you can properly assess the story they have propagated through the world media. The role of the western media is not to inform the public but, as Umberto Eco says, “to teach people how to think,” to manipulate opinion and action. Their suppression of that information is a lie and as that other great writer, Jose Saramago, wrote, they use “the lie as a weapon, the lie as the advance guard of tanks and cannons, the lie told over the ruins, over the corpses, over humanity’s wretched and perpetually frustrated hopes.” It is time for these people to be exposed for what they are and called to account for their deception of the people they claim to serve, for what greater crime can their be than to deceive the people?
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed David Cameron on the tax avoidance scandal saying the “unfairness and abuse must stop.”
The leader of Britain’s main opposition party called on the government Tuesday to tackle tax havens, saying it was high time British Prime Minister David Cameron stopped allowing “the super rich elite [to] dodge their taxes.”
“There cannot be one set of tax rules for the wealthy elite and another for the rest of us,” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said at the launch of the party’s campaign for local elections next month.
“The unfairness and abuse must stop… I say this to the government and to the chancellor, no more lip service, the richest must pay their way.”
After leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm revealed how the world’s powerful use secretive offshore company structures to stash their wealth, Cameron has come under pressure to clamp down on tax evasion in British-linked territories after the “Panama Papers” implicated his father, Ian Cameron, in running an offshore tax-evasion fund.
“Russia bombing Syria will lead to further radicalization and increased terrorism”. Prime Minister David Cameron, 4th October 2015.
How desperately Prime Minister Cameron has been yearning to bomb the Syrian Arab Republic.
In August 2013 when his aim was defeated in Parliament by a 285-272 vote, his vision of the UK joining US-led strikes bit the dust. His dreams of illegally joining the bigger bully and bombing an historic nation of just 22.85 million people (2013 figures) three and a half thousand kilometers away, posing no threat to Britain, was thwarted.
The US threw a conciliatory bone to the snarling Cameron and according to the BBC (1): “would ‘continue to consult’ with the UK, ‘one of our closest allies and friends.’
France said (that) the UK’s vote does not change its resolve on the need to act in Syria.
After the vote … Cameron said it was clear Parliament did not want action and ‘the government will act accordingly.’
Chancellor George Osborne whined on BBC Radio 4′s flagship “Today” programme that: “there would now be “national soul searching about our role in the world “, adding: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all of the world’s problems.
Translation: “Inconsequential politicians on small island only feel like real men when sending off their depleted air force to blow modest populations far away to bits.”
The then Defence Secretary Philip Hammond: “ … told BBC’s Newsnight programme that he and the Prime Minister were “disappointed” with the result, saying it would harm Britain’s “special relationship” with Washington. Ah ha, that tail wagging, panting, lap dog “special relationship” again, for which no body part licking, no crawling on all fours, no humiliation, no deviation of international law is too much.
The excuse for the 2013 rush to annihilate was accusations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in March and August of that year, a claim subsequently comprehensively dismissed by detailed UN investigations (2.)
Cameron’s excuse for attack had all the validity of Tony Blair’s fantasy Iraq weapons of mass destruction, but of course he regards Blair as a trusted advisor. Judgement, it might be argued, as Blair’s, is not one of Cameron’s strong attributes.
Then came the Friday 13th November tragedies in Paris and by 2nd December Cameron’s parliamentary press gangs managed to threaten and arm twist through a vote to attack Syria in an action of shame which will surely haunt him as Blair is haunted by Iraq.
As the bombs fell, on 6th December, Cameron celebrated the anniversary of his his tenth year as Leader of the Conservative Party with his very own military action, Libya’s tragedy forgotten and belonging to yesterday. That, as Blair’s Iraq, it is entirely illegal (3) apparently bothers the former PR man not a whit.
As the Parliamentary debate was taking place, before the vote, it was reported that RAF reconnaissance ‘planes had already taken off for Syria from Scotland – of whose fifty nine parliamentarians, fifty seven voted against the attack. Cameron thumbed his arrogant nose to near and far.
Apart from the illegality, did it even cross Cameron’s mind, or did he care, that using the Paris attack not only defied law, it defied reason. To repeat again, the attackers were French and Belgian born, of North African extraction, with no Syrian connections apart from that some of them had been there joining the organ eating, head chopping, people incinerating terrorists. Syria is the victim, not the perpetrator, deserving aid and protection, not cowardly retribution from 30,000 feet.
After the vote, pro-killing MPs reportedly went straight into the Commons bar to celebrate with tax payer subsidized booze. Warned that the main doors in to Parliament had been closed due to anti-war protesters outside, one woman MP apparently shouted gleefully “It’s a lock in.” How lightly mass murder is taken in the Palace of Westminster.
Chancellor George Osborne: “eschewed the celebratory drinks … and joined a carol service in nearby St. Margaret’s Church – in aid of a charity for child amputees. You couldn’t make it up”, wrote a ballistic friend.
Within a week Osborne was in the US addressing the Council on Foreign Relations stating that with the air strikes Britain had “got it’s mojo back” and stood with the United States to “reassert Western values.”
It was he said “a real source of pride” to have the authority for air strikes in Syria.
“Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead.”
Britain was prepared to play a “bigger role”, he vowed.
“Mojo” according to varying dictionaries means “a quality that attracts people to you, makes you successful and full of energy”, denotes “influence” and “sex appeal.” The man needs help.
Immediately after the vote during a visit to RAF Akrotiri, the British base in Cyprus from which the airborne killers will take off to drop their human being incinerating ordnance, UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, told military personnel that their mission had the backing of “both the government and the people of Britain.” He lied.
A recent ITV poll showed 89.32 % of British people against bombing. Governmental “mojo” has clearly passed them by.
Pro bombing MPs though, it seems, are anything but warrior material. When angry emails arrived from their constituents condemning the bombing, the heavyweight Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson (pro bombing) complained of “bullying” saying stronger social media policy was needed to prevent such correspondence.
Anti war campaigners had also sent graphic photographs of dead Syrian children to MPs to persuade them not to vote for creating more mutilated little souls. This, the warmongers said, was “intimidation.”
One pro-war parliamentarian said the messages led him to have concerns for the health of his pregnant wife. Beyond pathetic, try being the husband of a pregnant wife, or the wife, in Syria with Britain’s bombs incinerating your neighbourhood.
Another MP was so keen to become a member of the “bullied” club, she was found to have added a death threat to herself at the end of a justifiably angry email from a member of the public. Her attempt to was speedily uncovered. The desire to tarnish those repelled by illegally murdering others is seemingly becoming common currency in the Cameron Reichstag.
A majority of British politicians, prepared to drop bombs on people, blow their children, parents, relatives, villages, towns, homes to bits and are cowed by a few words. As for “bullied”, try being under a bomb Mr Watson, one of the bombs you voted for. “Bullying” doesn’t come bigger than that.
Upset at being sent pictures of dead babies? Imagine being a mother or father holding the shredded remains of theirs. Courtesy the RAF.
Have they any idea of the reality of their “mojo” moment? People tearing at the tons of rubble that was a home, trying to dig friends, beloveds out with bare, bleeding hands?
Further reality is the demented, terrified howls of the dogs who hear the ‘planes long before the human ear can, the swathes of birds that drop from the sky from the fear and vibration, their bodies carpeting the ground, the cats that go mad with fear, rushing from a loving home, never to be seen again. And the children that become mute in their terror, losing the ability to speak for weeks, sometimes months and even years.
Yet David Cameron allegedly called Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and those who voted against this shameful act of terror: “terrorist sympathisers”, reportedly telling a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee before the vote: “You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers.” (5)
This presumably was juvenile pay back time for Corbyn having stated correctly that: “Cameron’s approach is bomb first, talk later. But instead of adding British bombs to the others now raining down on Syria what’s needed is an acceleration of the peace talks in Vienna.”
Cameron also received widespread derision, including from Conservative Parliamentarian Julian Lewis, Chairman of the influential Defence Select Committee, for his claims that there were 70,000 “moderate” fighters on the ground ready to take on ISIS after British bombing.
One government source compared the claim to Tony Blair’s fantasy that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction on the West “in 45 minutes.” Lewis commented: “Instead of having ‘dodgy dossiers’, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters.” (6) Another commentator referred unkindly to Cameron’s “70,000 fantasy friends.”
Perhaps the best encapsulation of anger and desperation came from author Michel Faber, who sent his latest book to Cameron (7.)
In searing sarcasm, he wrote in an accompanying letter that he realized: “a book cannot compete with a bomb in its ability to cause death and misery, but each of us must make whatever small contribution we can, and I figure that if you drop my novel from a plane, it might hit a Syrian on the head … With luck, we might even kill a child: their skulls are quite soft.”
“I just felt so heartsick, despondent and exasperated that the human race, and particularly the benighted political arm of the human race, has learned nothing in 10,000 years, 100,000 years, however long we’ve been waging wars, and clearly the likes of Cameron are not interested in what individuals have to say.”
He speaks for the despairing 89.32% who hang their heads in shame. He speaks for those of us who simply cannot find the words.
Citizens of the world are being asked to dig deep for humanitarian aid to Syria. After five years of war and millions displaced there is an urgent need for the world to lend a hand, we are told.
At a so-called “donor conference” in London this week, British prime minister David Cameron appealed to the rest of the world to stump up $8 billion to help war-torn Syria.
Among the 60 nations attending the confab were the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Senior figures from these countries were wringing their hands in anguish over the plight of Syrian refugees.
Washington’s top diplomat John Kerry told delegates: “With people reduced to eating grass and leaves and killing stray animals in order to survive on a day-to-day basis, that is something that should tear at the conscience of all civilized people and we all have a responsibility to respond to it.”
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon adjured nations to “take responsibility to end the crisis in Syria”.
Take responsibility for ending the crisis? How about taking responsibility for beginning it?
Cameron, Kerry and the rest of these charlatans should spare us the emotional blackmail. Most of the governments represented at the London conference are the very instigators and perpetrators of Syria’s destruction.
Why should the rest of the world pay for their crimes?
This is not to suggest that people should simply turn their backs on fellow humans in dire need. But let’s get some straight-thinking here.
Those governments and individual politicians who oversaw regime change in Syria should be paying for their violations, either through massive financial reparations or in jail time. And why not both.
The case is irrefutable. The US-led regime-change plot to subjugate Syria goes back several years, according to numerous sources, such as American diplomatic cables released by the whistleblowing site Wikileaks, former French foreign minister Roland Dumas and ex-NATO supreme commander US General Wesley Clark.
It is only largely due to the dutiful dissembling by the Western news media that such criminality might seem rather outlandish. But it is not outlandish. It is documented and provable. Western governments are culpable in a criminal scheme of regime change in Syria, as they have been in countless other unfortunate countries.
From the outbreak of violence in mid-March 2011, the Arab country has been a charnel house of covert war involving the most vile terrorist mercenaries. Those who take ultimate responsibility for the violence are the authors of the regime-change plot in Syria. Top of the list are Washington, London, Paris, as well as their regional client regimes.
With an estimated 250,000 dead and nearly half of the 23 million population turned into refugees, the total war damage to Syria has been estimated to be at least $100 billion. This is what Washington and its allies owe Syria — and no doubt far, far more — and yet these country-destroying rogue states are trying to wheedle money out of world citizens to pay for their criminal excesses, with the emotional plea of “humanitarian aid”.
Washington and its co-conspirators for covert war in Syria want the rest of the world to pay for their criminal scheming by cajoling the UN, the European Union and anyone else who will listen to fork out “humanitarian aid”. Make no mistake this will eventually translate into ordinary taxpayers, workers and families, paying the bill for their governments’ sanctimonious financial pledges.
In other words, Western powers like the US, Britain and France together with their regional client regimes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, unleash mass murder and mayhem on a once peaceful, sovereign country — and instead of being held to account under international law for their criminal aggression, these rogue states are getting the rest of the world to subsidize their evil enterprise.
The “donor conference” in London this week was the fifth in a series going back to 2012. Last year, the fundraiser fell well short of its appeals. This year, British leader David Cameron went out of his way to give the appeal added urgency.
Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Cameron said: “Sufficient funding to guarantee the basics of life that these refugees need must be the bare minimum expected of us.”
The British premier emphasized the need for more aid given to refugee centers in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where nearly five million Syrians have been displaced and are languishing in squalid camps.
Cameron’s apparent concern belies his real worry. He doesn’t want any more refugees streaming into Europe and towards Britain. That’s why the British leader is now calling for more international donations and for the cash to be thrown at Syria’s immediate neighbors in order to keep refugees there.
Going back to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, he told the London conference:
“The situation in Syria is as close to hell as we are likely to find on this Earth.”
Syria is indeed a hell on Earth. Made by people like Cameron and Kerry with whom Ban Ki-Moon was rubbing shoulders with in London this week.
Turkey was represented by prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu who tried to blame the humanitarian crisis on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s military intervention. Davutoglu’s lies are particularly nauseating given Ankara’s role in acting as a conduit for terror brigades infiltrating Syria and his country’s ongoing threats of outright military invasion.
NATO member Turkey’s role in fueling Syria’s refugee crisis through its regime-change machinations is acutely reprehensible. And yet Ankara is to receive $3.4 billion from European Union taxpayers, allegedly to help with stemming the flow of refugees into Europe.
This is just one aspect of the general trend that Washington and its allies are establishing with breath-taking audacity. They have all but destroyed Syria with their covert war using terrorist proxies, and yet they are getting the rest of the world to pay for their crimes.
The cost of war and imperialist crimes was always offloaded on to ordinary people by their rulers. In that regard, nothing much has changed. Except that the scam has become even more brazen.
A chilling remark from a House of Lords debate just caught my eye.
Hansard 4 Nov 2015 : Column GC355
Lord Mendelsohn: We welcome the appointment of the former British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who will have a key role in cybersecurity inside the Cabinet Office — a very useful and important position.
Sure enough, the UK Government’s website confirms that Gould is now Director of Cyber Security and Information Assurance at the Cabinet Office. “He and his team are focussed on keeping Britain safe from cyber attack, through delivering the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy.”
They must think we have very short memories. Gould was the first Jew ever to hold the post of Britain’s ambassador to Israel. He describes himself as a “passionate” Zionist and whilst in Tel Aviv was instrumental in setting up the UK-Israel Tech Hub. In the words of MATIMOP (the Israeli Industry Center for R&D), the Hub was established “to promote partnerships in technology and innovation between Israel and the UK, and is the first initiative of its kind for the British Government and for an embassy in Israel. The Hub’s creation followed an agreement between Prime Ministers David Cameron and Benjamin Netanyahu to build a UK-Israel partnership in technology.”
Three years ago Cameron appointed venture capitalist Saul Klein as the UK Tech Envoy to Israel with the task of promoting the partnership, leading UK tech missions to Israel, bringing Israeli start-ups to Britain, and hosting tech events in both countries.
MATIMOP quotes Britain’s National Health Service as an example of successful UK-Israel tech collaboration. The NHS “has now formed strong collaborations with Israeli life sciences companies conducting clinical trials in the UK. The cooperation was made as part of the burgeoning partnership between Israel and Britain’s life sciences industries initiated by the UK-Israel Tech Hub.”
Four years ago Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, argued that British policy was being driven in an underhanded fashion by the Israel lobby. He linked Gould with the Fox-Werritty scandal and raised questions about meetings between disgraced former Defence Minister Liam Fox and Fox’s friend/adviser Adam Werritty (who was backed financially by Israel lobbyists but had no security clearance and therefore no authorized role) and Gould.
Former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox and his bestman Adam Werritty.
Murray wrote to Gould asking when he first met Werritty, how many times he had met him, and how many communications of every kind had passed between them. He was told these questions would be answered in Cabinet Secretary O’Donnell’s investigation. “But Gus O’Donnell’s report answered none of these questions,” wrote Murray. “It only mentioned two meetings at which Fox, Gould and Werritty were all three present…”
This prompted Murray to dig further. “There were at least six Fox-Werritty-Gould meetings, not the two given by O’Donnell…. Matthew Gould was the only British Ambassador who Fox and Werrity met together. They met him six times. Why?”
Did Fox and Werritty meet 6 times with ambassador to Israel to plan ‘secret agenda for war’ with Iran?
Murray, with many useful sources from his days as an ambassador, claimed to have serious evidence connecting Gould with a secret plan to attack Iran, but the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Secretary blocked questions. Murray published his story ‘Matthew Gould and the plot to attack Iran’ here.
In it he pointed out that “Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as ‘Not just an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador’. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.”
He went on to say that Gould stood suspected of long term participation with Fox and Werritty “in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel”. The stonewalling by O’Donnell and the FCO led Murray to conclude that “something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government”.
Labour MP Paul Flynn remarked that no previous ambassadors to Israel had been Jewish so as to avoid conflict of interest and accusations of going native. He immediately came under intense flak. Flynn too asked about meetings between Werritty and Gould, as some reports suggested that Gould, Werritty and Fox discussed a potential military strike on Iran with Mossad. “I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories,” said Flynn, “but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran.”
Fox had earlier made the idiotic claim: “Israel’s enemies are our enemies” and “in the battle for the values that we stand for… Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together”. The Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Furthermore Fox continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, was no threat to Britain but is regarded by Israel as a bitter enemy. Iraq too was Israel’s enemy, not ours. Yet Fox, according to the theyworkforyou.com, voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Afghanistan.
Given that Fox so eagerly waved the flag of a foreign military power and was a man with dangerous beliefs and demonstrably weak judgement, how could those who appointed him not see that he was unemployable as a Minister of the British Crown – unless they were similarly tainted?
When the Werrity relationship came to light Fox jumped before being flung from the battlements. But the good people of North Somerset, in their wisdom, re-elected him at the general election last May. He’s already on the road to political rehabilitation among the Conservative high command.
Gould’s new job as head of The Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA) involves giving strategic direction to cyber security and information assurance for the UK. This includes e-crime, working with private sector partners on exchanging information, and engaging with international partners in improving the security of cyberspace and information security. Does it seem right for such a person to be in charge of crucial security matters at the heart of our government? What was in fellow Zionist David Cameron’s mind when he appointed him?
Well, here’s a possible clue. In March of this year Francis Maude, the previous Cabinet Office minister responsible for cyber security, announced three UK-Israel academic collaboration ventures with cyber research funding, the partnerships being University of Bristol/Bar Ilan University, University College London/Bar Ilan University and University of Kent/University of Haifa. They’ll be working together on six specific areas of research:
- identity management
- governance: regulating cyber security
- privacy assurance and perceptions
- mobile and cloud security
- human aspects of security or usable security
This builds on existing UK-Israel cooperation. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital co-operation in March 2014.
Still sitting comfortably? Only this week the Cameron government was lecturing us on threats to national security and announcing plans to trawl through our personal emails and web browsers in order to “keep us safe”.
Question is, who trawls Gould’s private emails?
David Cameron’s Spurious Defence of British Veterans
The PM is right to draw a line in the sand, to protect the freedom with which the military has to operate…
— General Lord Dannatt, ex-Chief of Staff
Prime Minister David Cameron is getting himself all wound up about the nasty slurs on ‘our brave boys’; ‘our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq’; ‘the people who risk their lives to keep our country safe’; the veterans of Britain’s illegal invasion of Iraq. Of course, they must ‘act within the law’ etc… Except they didn’t.
The said ‘brave servicemen’ are in danger of being taken to court over their abusive treatment, and in some cases murder, of Iraqi detainees during the invasion of Iraq. Hundreds of complaints have been lodged with the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) which was investigating between 1300-1500 cases. Many are simple complaints of ill treatment during detention, but some are far more serious:
- Death(s) while detained by the British Army
- Deaths outside British Army base or after contact with British Army
- Many deaths following ‘shooting incidents’
According to Cameron, ‘Our armed forces are rightly held to the highest standards…’ One wonders what standards he’s thinking of, seeing that it has been proved more than once that the UK military has not complied with international humanitarian law. Britain has a long and ignoble history of practicing torture, as documented by Ian Cobhain in his book Cruel Britannia.
Curiously, or perhaps not, just two days after Cameron launched his assault, IHAT announced it was dropping no less than 58 inquiries into unlawful killings by army veterans. And while so many rushed to the defence of the soldiers accused of abuse, absolutely no one has mentioned another example of the culture of violence within the armed forces which resurfaced just a few days earlier: the ‘notorious’ Deepcut Barracks.
The two law firms pursuing the claims on behalf of Iraqis and their families, Public Interest Lawyers, and Leigh Day, have been labelled ‘ambulance chasers’ and ‘tank chasers’ by much of the loud, right-wing media. Other insults include ‘money-grubbing or grabbing lawyers’. Naturally, goes the refrain, they want to get as many cases into court as possible so they can make a fortune in lawyers’ fees. It’s what you do if you’re defending humanitarian law.
One of the law firms involved, Leigh Day, is now the subject of an intended action by the government, who want to sue it for failing to supply documents to the al-Sweady inquiry, documents which ‘proved that alleged innocent victims (of abuse by UK armed forces) were actually enemy insurgents.’
But Cameron, like other occupants of Number 10, refuses to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was illegal. And as UK armed forces were in Iraq illegally, any Iraqis who fought them were not ‘enemy’ insurgents, but citizens legally resisting the invaders of their country. Thus, ‘enemy insurgents’ could be, and in this case were, also innocent victims of illegal treatment, treatment that did not comply with international law.
International law covering ‘enemy’ soldiers (in uniform) or insurgents (in any old clothing) ensures proper, humane treatment of any prisoners. No beating, no slapping about, no prevention of sleep by using loud noise, no withholding of food or water, no forced stress positions, no sandbags over their heads, no deliberate extremes of temperature, all techniques which British soldiers were witnessed employing.
Even worse, despite these practices having been banned more than once by Parliament, they were, as evidence at the Baha Mousa inquiry demonstrated, being taught to soldiers and encouraged to use them in Iraq by the Ministry of Defence. Only one soldier ended up with any kind of a sentence after the killing of Baha Mousa (Corporal Donald Payne, one year in prison and dismissal from the Army), but when the inquiry into Mousa’s death was held the evidence that came out was utterly damning.
General Lord Dannatt, once Chief of Staff, is one of those backing Cameron’s stance. Appearing on the BBC’s Today programme on January 22, he defended the high standards of our wonderful army, and spoke of the greed of “lawyers with less integrity than others”. Of course, British forces should “act within the law”, he said, but many of these claims are “spurious and cannot be substantiated”. Not, of course, until they have been tested in court, a point that seems to have escaped the noble lord.
One lawyer with real integrity defending the legal action being taken on behalf of abused Iraqis is Lt Colonel Nick Mercer who, at the time of the invasion, was the Army’s chief legal officer in Iraq. He was out in Basra, he saw the abuse, he complained to his superiors and he gave strong and disturbing evidence to the Baha Mousa Inquiry. As he said, “It was my job to protect British commanders and make sure they kept to the right side of the law.” But the MoD was ‘resistant to human rights’.
The MoD’s view was that the government position prevailed over Mercer’s interpretation of international law. In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that the advice he had tried to give the MoD in 2003 was correct. But it was not until 2010 that UK military intelligence interrogators were trained in international law and human rights. Whether that has made any real difference to their standards of practice is as yet unknown. In 2011 the MoD was hit by more claims of mistreatment, when Iraqi victims won the right to an inquiry in the Court of Appeal.
Again and again the MoD had tried to gag Mercer, threatening to report him to the Law Society, and in 2007 he was suspended for conducting a case in Cyprus in a way that disagreed with MoD views. He has now left the Army and is an Anglican priest, his principles and defence of the law as strong as ever. He has come out fighting in defence of Leigh Day and Public Interest Lawyers, saying it was beyond doubt that British soldiers tortured Iraqi prisoners.
He emphasises that he and others raised their concerns at the time the mistreatment of prisoners was going on; that the International Committee of the Red Cross had raised their concerns with the government; that the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights has also raised its concerns – with the International Criminal Court. This is not just about ‘money-grabbing lawyers’ against the rest of the nation. There are too many others who were and are concerned about the abuse that have no financial motives, says Mercer, and it was wrong to try and polarise the debate in this way.
He points to the fact that the MoD has already paid out £20 million in compensation for 326 cases. “Anyone who has fought the MoD knows they don’t pay out for nothing, so there are 326 substantiated claims with almost no criminal proceedings to accompany that. And you have to ask why.”
Lord Dannatt said that only 3 of all these cases have been proven – another point he seems to have missed: that the MoD paying compensation prevented the cases coming to court. Dannatt’s version of this is that the MoD “opted on the side of generosity rather than try to fight these cases in court”.
Cameron says these allegations of abuse are ‘spurious legal claims’ that must be stopped, ‘spurious’ being a word that is now used by all those on the MoD’s side. Cameron is a master of spurious claims. He produces one or two almost every week in Parliament, during Prime Minister’s Questions. A recent example, which earned him a great deal of ‘non-credibility’, came during the parliamentary debate on whether the UK should bomb Syria.
He said that there were 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria – a claim that the MoD reportedly asked to have removed from his statement. His ministers are masters of the spurious as well, constantly being corrected for their statements that the government has done this or that, given extra funding for this or that, when, for instance, the ‘extra funding’ turns out to be less than the amount they cut a Ministry’s budget the year before.
But Britain has to face the fact that not only do we have a spurious* government, but that ‘our brave soldiers’ have consistently broken both UK and international law, have been encouraged to do so by their masters and that the government will fight tooth and nail to prevent them being taken to court. For the sake of all of those abused, here and abroad, it is time there was a full and independent inquiry into the MoD’s non-compliance with international humanitarian law.
Last month, before the parliamentary vote on whether to bomb Syria, British Chancellor George Osborne publicly stated that the cost of extending air strikes against Islamic State into Syria would run in the “low tens of millions of pounds”.
Reuters (December 1st 2015 Osborne referring to the bombing of Syria) – “I think the estimate of extended air action over Syria would be in the low tens of millions of pounds. That’ll come out of the special reserve which we established for the purposes of military action like this.” Osborne told a committee of lawmakers.
Reuters (March 23 2011 Osborne referring to the bombing of Libya) – “The cost of Britain’s involvement in military operations in Libya is likely to be measured in tens of millions of pounds rather than hundreds of millions, Chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday. Osborne said the cost would be less than recent conflicts and would be fully met from contingency reserves rather than the defence ministry’s main budget”.
Same thing, different bloodbath.
Documents released from Westminster show the final statistics of the bombing campaign in Libya amounted to £320m. This included £50m spent on replacing spent weapons and munitions. These figures were clearly designed to disguise the truth from the British public.
It has since transpired, contrary to Osborne’s “tens of millions” prediction, that the actual total to Britain of bombing Libya is now estimated conservatively to be somewhere between £900 million and £1.25 billion.
We have a Chancellor in Britain who ‘miscalculated’ this campaign by around 12,000%, give or take a few ‘tens of millions’. Any so-called ‘special monies’ set aside obliterated in days.
In the meantime, the UK’s actions in Libya has left the country awash with weapons and terrorists groups running amok, the government has collapsed, the country completely lawless. Africa’s richest nation per capita, where poverty was lower than The Netherlands and life expectancy the longest on the continent under Gadaffi has disintegrated. Libya is now just a failed state, a bloody anarchy with extremists hell bent on exporting its death doctrine to the streets of the West.
In September 2011, David Cameron, Speaking in Paris after he chaired a summit on Libya with France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, said early signs for its future were “incredibly impressive” and that the UK will “play its part in rebuilding the country.”
Cameron lied. Britain sent just £25 million ($36m) to rebuild the devastated nation. For context it cost $100 million to build one waste water treatment centre in Iraq after the invasion.
Carmeron, being asked questions by a BBC correspondent said “We stopped a genocide. Would you have rather we’d done nothing, let a genocide take place? Would you feel better as a British citizen?”
The Prime Minister continued to challenge his questioner: “You’re asking me lots of questions, why don’t you answer a question?”
He added: “What you’re suggesting is we should have stood aside and had a genocide take place in Libya, that’s what you’re suggesting. I profoundly disagree. Really disagree. I was prime minister at the time, I could see what was happening, I could see people were going to be slaughtered in their hundreds, possibly in their thousands. I had a choice: act and stop it or stand to one side? We acted and it was the right thing to do.”
But as Counterpunch reveals – David Cameron’s assertion of genocide was a myth. The NYT reported March 2011 – “the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming nonexistent battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric behavior”. The “vastly inflated claims” are what became part of the imperial folklore surrounding events in Libya, that suited Western intervention.”
It has since been estimated that although David Cameron asserted that ‘hundreds, maybe thousands’ would be killed by Gaddafi – 60,000 civilians were killed by August 2011 as a result of the 26,000 bombing sorties and 9,600 strike missions.
British former MI5 agent Annie Machon went further, telling RT that NATO’s intervention was a total disaster on every front.
“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age.”
The World Food Programme stated in November 2015 that one third of Libyans now need humanitarian assistance just to survive and one in five are on the brink of starvation. The economy has utterly cratered.
In an interview with The Spectator, just three weeks ago, David Cameron, a man with blood on his hands for taking a fully active role in the destruction of Libya, lied again – “I would say that Libya is better off without Gaddafi. The coalition helped those on the ground to get rid of the Gaddafi regime. We did a lot to try and help it”.
Cameron went on in the interview to confirm he would do the same again under the same circumstances and unbelievably, given his own ‘dodgy dossier‘ moment confirmed that “you can’t drop democracy out of a box at 40,000 feet” – and proceeded to do exactly that in Syria.
In December, after the British parliament voted to engage in the bombing campaign in Syria, there were seventeen airstrikes in three weeks. As truepublica reported on the 8th December – “Each 6 hour Tornado mission costs around £210,000, adding to that cost is the use of four Paveway bombs at £22,000 each and two Brimstone missiles at £105,000 each. If all weapons are fired on an average mission the cost of each Tornado mission is therefore £508,000.”
It costs £400,000 a week for British fighters to use airbases alone, before they fuel the fighters – and this is a campaign set to go on for years according to David Cameron.
In the meantime, Britain has successfully lobbied the UN to send ground troops alongside special forces back into Libya to fight terrorists that Britain allowed to take a foothold and subsequent control in the first place. This will add to George Osborne’s “tens of millions” that turned into £1.2 billion.
Up to 2013, the cost of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the British taxpayer nearly £35 billion in addition to normal military funding, which left those countries devastated. Of course that doesn’t include the government’s silence over the£36 billion ‘black hole‘ that the taxpayer was facing in 2010 when the Conservatives came to power.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor at the time of the Iraq invasion stated the cost of the Iraq war to Britain was £8bn – which was only £12 billion short of the actual cost.
One of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system … it’s about making sure people are in control and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters.
— David Cameron, First speech as Prime Minister, May 11, 2010
David Cameron has made “transparency” a mantra. In May 2010 he vowed to rip off the: “cloak of secrecy” around government, extending transparency and stating:
Greater transparency is at the heart of our shared commitment to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account.
He was specific, adamant even:
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since doing this job, it’s how all the information about government – the money it spends, where it spends it, the results it achieves – how so much of it is locked away in a vault marked sort of ‘private for the eyes of Ministers and officials only … By bringing information out into the open you’ll be able to hold government and public services to account.
In early July 2011 he declared: “We are creating a new era of transparency …” Later that month in a speech in Singapore he talked of “accountable and transparent institutions …”
In January 2013 he said one of the main priorities of the UK’s Presidency of the G8 was “transparency.” In November that year at the Open Government Partnership he again delivered a speech stressing the importance of the “transparency agenda.”
In fact, the only transparency is Cameron — you can see right through him.
Holding “government and public services to account?” In your dreams. For example, the UK illegally invading the air space of other countries, murdering people in extra-judicial executions, a pretty massive government undertaking. Questions should surely be asked and have been. “Transparency” and accountability have not only been unforthcoming, they have left the planet.
In August last year two British nationals fighting in Syria were killed in British drone strikes, they were Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, the latter not a “formal” target but killed anyway. Whilst many may be tempted to think “terrorists, serves them right”, this is the thin end of a very dodgy legal wedge. An illegal strike on a sovereign country, killings with no recourse to law – and only the government’s word on who they killed anyway, there will surely never be absolute proof.
Moreover, for all the word juggling, it seems Cameron’s government has followed in the footsteps of their Master, Barack Obama, and had the UK National Security Council draw up a “kill” list.
Defence Minister Michael Fallon denied there was such a list but confirmed in an impressive sleight of words:
… our job is to … identify the terrorists and where we can forestall them. But if you’re asking me would we hesitate to take similar action again today, tomorrow, next week – absolutely not, we would not hesitate.
Assassination whilst illegally in or over another country is now renamed “forestalling.”
It should also be noted that it was not until December 2nd that the UK Parliament voted on Air Force intervention in Syria, a vote and actions anyway in murky legal territory, but the killings were undertaken under Führer Cameron’s auspices without MPs even being consulted, with, it transpires, the “kill” list drawn up “some months” prior to the August action with “a list of targets who would be subject to extra-judicial killing.”
“The Government” has also “refused to publish the advice it received from the Attorney General to justify the attacks.”
Further according to The Independent:
David Cameron said that Khan was involved in “actively recruiting (Isis) sympathisers and seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the West including directing a number of planned terrorist attacks right here in Britain …
However, no further evidence has been provided to substantiate these claims. Downing Street has said it cannot provide this information as it might compromise ongoing operations and legal cases …
Cameron seemingly morphs ever more into his hero Tony Blair – even down to seemingly having a compliant Attorney General in Jeremy Wright, QC. Few will have forgotten Blair’s, Lord Goldsmith, who changed the advice on the Iraq invasion from illegal to legal at a gentle tap on, not even a twist of, the arm.
Wright: “… appearing before the Justice Select Committee said he acknowledged it was important in such exceptional circumstances that MPs should know that legal advice had been given, but insisted that its precise content could not be revealed. Asked why not, Wright said: “In part, it’s an obligation to ensure that legal advice taken by the government is as full and frank as it can be … It’s also important to take collective responsibility under cabinet government.”
So much for holding “government and public services to account.”
That was in September. On January 12th:
Members of the UK’s Parliamentary intelligence watchdog will not be allowed access to all intelligence or defence information relating to the new British practice of targeted killing by drone, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron was asked today by Andrew Tyrie MP whether the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) would be allowed to examine the military aspect of the targeted killing programme, and whether he would commit to the Committee’s security-cleared members being able to see all the relevant intelligence.
Mr Cameron refused on both points, stating that the ISC’s job was to examine intelligence, not military affairs, and that he could not give the commitment Mr Tyrie asked for regarding the Committee’s access to intelligence. Mr Tyrie pointed out that what the Committee is allowed to see remains under the control of the Secretary of State, and that its work on targeted killing ‘could be rendered meaningless’ if it were barred from looking at the military operation.
Harriet Harman MP, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is currently carrying out an inquiry into the issue. She asked whether he would publish the UK Government’s policy on drone strikes – Mr Cameron responded that he had already set out his position to the Commons, but that publishing a written policy might ‘get us into more difficulties.’
In response, Kate Craig legal Director at the international human rights organization Reprieve stated:
In fact, the Government is under a legal obligation to formulate and publish a clear and unambiguous policy, especially when we’re talking about state killing.
Moreover, the Prime Minister’s refusals to share vital information with the ISC raises the disturbing possibility that – much like the controversial US drone programme – UK targeted killing may be beyond accountability and oversight.
Law, national and international, is clearly fast becoming a redundant irritant. Britain and America’s acts of terrorism seem ever more blatant and unaccountable. “Why do they hate us?” bleated George W. Bush. Work it out.
As for Cameron’s “transparency” mantra, having been in mortal danger from the day of its unveiling it is now consigned to that great political cemetery of Prime Ministerial and Ministers’ towering falsehoods and humbug.
Reprieve – January 12, 2016
Members of the UK’s Parliamentary intelligence watchdog will not be allowed access to all intelligence or defence information relating to the new British practice of targeted killing by drone, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron was asked today by Andrew Tyrie MP whether the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) would be allowed to examine the military aspect of the targeted killing programme, and whether he would commit to the Committee’s security-cleared members being able to see all the relevant intelligence.
Mr Cameron refused on both points, stating that the ISC’s job was to examine intelligence, not military affairs, and that he could not give the commitment Mr Tyrie asked for regarding the Committee’s access to intelligence. Mr Tyrie pointed out that what the Committee is allowed to see remains under the control of the Secretary of State, and that its work on targeted killing “could be rendered meaningless” if it were barred from looking at the military operation.
The Prime Minister was taking questions from the House of Commons Liaison Committee, composed of the chairs of the various select committees. He was also asked questions on targeted killing by drone by Harriet Harman MP, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) which is currently carrying out an inquiry into the issue. She asked whether he would publish the UK Government’s policy on drone strikes – Mr Cameron responded that he had already set out his position to the Commons, but that publishing a written policy might “get us into more difficulties.”
Commenting, Kat Craig, legal director at international human rights organization Reprieve said: “Despite the Prime Minister’s assurances to the contrary, the UK’s targeted killing programme is entirely ambiguous and shrouded in secrecy. Just because it may take a bit of effort to formulate a policy, it does not mean the Government can wholesale refuse to do so. In fact, the Government is under a legal obligation to formulate a policy, especially when we’re talking about state killing. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s refusal to share vital information with the ISC raises the disturbing possibility that – much like the controversial US drone programme – UK targeted killing may be beyond accountability and oversight.”