Saturday, 18 November 2017
General Ben Hodges commander of US Army Europe couldn't have timed his remarks on UK defence spend better than just a week before Parliament's review of defence with former UK Chiefs of Staff and Kent's Defence Minister Mchael Fallon resigning and being replaced by the sharpened carrot of new Defence Minister Gavin Williamson.
But General Hodges has surely lobbed a grenade into the debate by calling for more defence spend by UK and NATO? Generals calling for more soldiers and shells is hardly surprising. And it's certainly not unreasonable for the US taxpayer to want to see bang for their buck with Europe sharing more of the defence burden.
The US military had to ship containers full of ammunition because Europe's NATO and defence industries couldn't provide it?
While the UK army and police stumbling over themselves to procure Belgian and German and Austrian machine guns and ammunition suggests the UK defence industry is harmless to the point of being ineffectual.
Presumably there's the same lack of coordination on making and buying cargo planes and helicopters? The regiments of UK defence attaches selling guns only seem to be in USA and Canada unless it's a holiday on the rates?
The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall soon, rather needs a new Checkpoint Charlie mission for US Army Europe on the tsunami of cocaine and heroin rather than a wave of Russian tanks into Europe. While something seems to have gone wrong - despite the expense of GCHQ and military satellites and radar - with illegal flights into Europe such as KAM Air or gunrunning from Ostend airport.
And how can a Malaysian airline fall off radar and out of the sky in the 21st century? Even switching off its own radar and black box?
And how embarrassing the USAF efforts in Ukraine in WW2 go as unrecognised as the Dambusters anniversary next year and late medals, with Putin even having to step in over the heads of UK MOD officials to recognise the Murmansk convoys.
General Hodges has no view on the right ratio of civil servants to soldiers (even Royal Navy Admirals per ship?) just a bottomless pit of more money needed?
But is the NATO 2% of GDP realistic? And is UK transgressing the boundaries of its share of defence? It's of concern that the NATO quango, calling for more money for itself, is surrounded by no criteria at all of what is included or not in the 2% figure. Hardly viable budgeting from the regiments of military clerks.
Indeed the only output so far seems to be a shiny new HQ building in central Brussels just a few footsteps from the coffers of the EU parliament - and as far from the Russian frontier as is physically possible.
And the average EU spend on defence is 1.3% with UK spending - some would say badly - at least 2.3% already and The New European newspaper citing figures as high as 5.6%.
General Hodges seems to have UK in his sights yet the figures suggest a reduction is best - and his view that UK would be a less viable military partner and NATO ally is at odds with the facts.
Perhaps too the US taxpayer may want greater scrutiny of the US defence budget of 6% of GDP- a new forecast of over $700BN. Few would argue that 8,000 US troops in UK, or 30,000 US troops in US Army Europe are excessive nor 1,000 HQ staff in US Army Europe Kaiserlauten (plus that shiny new NATO HQ in Brussels) or 1,500 staff in US Africa Command in Stuttgart.
But they may question whether both HQ commands could be merged - already Senate figures such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham expressing concern at the lack of information on US troops deployed in Africa after the Niger special forces deaths. Respected journalist Nick Turse also citing the increase in US troops as part of a forever war of drone deaths and kill squads beyond democratic oversight. Details will be published of the Ajadez and Lemonnier bases?
While the US taxpayer - recognising US Army Europe's remit since 1942 might question whether troops based near the French frontier in the wealthiest parts of Southern Germany is viable or value in resisting Russian border-nibbling in Ukraine. Perhaps less so given the bierkellars are stirring once more to the sound of the ADF Nazis, but certainly a Sarajevo Shift to the Visegrad nations is needed with EU reform.
While the Messina and Balkans bridges in Italy are long-delayed from fears of organised crime involvement.
The Soviet tank training grounds of East Germany as was are empty - and a shift east and south in Europe has already begun with UK and US and NATO troops in the Baltic states and Romania.
Surely that can only continue with a revitalised Visegrad 4 and Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova membership to the EU. Russia and Turkey can’t be far behind Georgia and Ukraine too. Perhaps Belarus will be last.
While US Army Europe rightly resist Russian aggression in Donetsk and Crimea and Georgia - and that KGB playbook from Montenegro to Magnitsky. Putin’s 65th birthday marked by protests in dozens of Russian cities and concern in London over the polonium murders and Surrey Police investigation of Perepilichnyy.
And General Hughes beyond mere pounds and pence might want to consider a US move east to the Oder - further may well antagonise a Russia not unreasonably fearful of encirclement and intervention after the German invasions of 1914 and 1945 - and UK and US invasion of 1920.
PM May citing both Russian cyberattacks – and the North Korean cyberattack on the NHS - along with Bear bomber radar probes of UK and Holland as antagonistic as Bear probes over Guam and the 7th Fleet.
Indeed after Putin and his KGB playbook, future Russian leaders may well want to join both NATO and EU and focus on being a European power rather than stretched thin into Asia with only 8M citizens in the Far East. A numbers game that China's 1Bn citizens can only win - and economically the OBOR and Siberian road-rail link through the Bering Strait to Alaska and Vancouver, across the Pacific with dry feet, more useful than sabre-rattling on the Amur again.
The Chinese taxpayer must surely be wondering what 1M PLA troops are doing sat in barracks. They can’t even fit on Mischief Reef or Taiwan. From Hainan to Hartford perhaps many of those troops should be reskilled in solar panels or vaccines or robotics or teaching and nursing?
Surely the new Boston Dynamic Atlas robots funded by the DARPA Big Dog projects are the sort of civil-military technological impetus needed in not just robotics but batteries and vaccines? And Boston Dynamics don't want to forego another bowl of clam chowder by Boston harbour and export to UK and Europe?
Climate Change and the arctic sea route more a pollution concern than a military one.
But how can European or American taxpayers seriously consider massive increases in NATO funding? Not just with NATO troops closer to Moscow than they've ever been requiring more detente than sabre-rattling.
Certainly here in East Kent as the birthplace of USA (No problem. You're welcome. Have a nice day) with Tom Paine and Pocahontas and General Patton's Fortitude, and with Margate twin towned with Crimea since the 1970's, (the Soviet-style tower blocks of Arlington House, council corruption and asbestos in schools the only reminder now of those dark days) surely a New Yalta is required from the ashes of 1945 and the Cold War? At the very least fastforwarding again Kent and Virginia's links from Jamestown onwards.
For only Kaliningrad and TransDniestra as well as Belarus are looking more Soviet than Putin now. While Russia - beyond the KGB/FSB and Generals - must surely want to invest its blood and treasure in peace and prosperity rather than tanks that would rust away on the steppes.
Certainly a revived China must be thinking of a reunited Korea and US troop reductions and arms limits, and Japan its lost Kuriles and Sakhalin with a burgeoning population - perhaps a variant on the Alaska Purchase for a Russia mired in corruption, crime and sanctions.
While thousands of nuclear missiles are an accident waiting to happen rather than a viable military weapon - the mysterious radiation burst last week in Russia and America's 1960's floppy disk a warning of such decrepit technology. And that's without even considering the F35 jets - no wonder the US marines bought up all the UK Harrier jets instead. Is the UK not allowed the Apache software codes? Even if we work with US Coastguard?
US Ambassador in London Woody Johnson, and CEO of Johnson and Johnson, must surely want to expand not just NFL coverage in UK and Europe but medical coverage too whether TB and HIV or cholera that afflicts Yemen and Haiti and Zimbabwe. Surely the Stanford swab programme of a medical early warning system for new strains of flu and TB and food poisoning, and even plague in NYC, of USA trains and suwbways and airports needs importing to UK and Europe?
And a nuclear airburst over Brest-Litovsk or Birmingham (UK) might be preferable than Birmingham (Alabama)for US Army Europe - but not when factored in a nuclear winter or the radiation drift seen from Chernobyl.
And surely US Army Europe's budget should be considered an aspect of the UN 0.7 GNI aid target before the 2018 G20 Summit in Argentina. Or does USA not do USAid or Climate Change now and leave that to the rest of NATO? Norway even manages 1.1% aid.
General Hughes battle cry of more money for the military doesn't seem credible in the post-Empire and post-Cold War and now post-ISIS era.
Time for Change
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Clearly the #paradisepapers detailed on BBCTV Panorama and every main UK and global newspaper and website has implications for Kent.
The #paradisepapers were hacked from the offices of Appleby lawyers in Bermuda one of many law firms arranging tax haven status - hence The Queen investing in Cayman islands (horrifyingly in Bright House the renttobuy firm recently fiend £14M by UK government and with interest rates of over 900%), Bono a Lithuanian shopping mall via Malta and Lewsi Hamilton his private jet via the Isle of Man.
While Kent's largest council projects are:
* Dreamland registered in Cayman Islands now via Arrowgrass and/or Sands Hotel - who knows previously for Lottery funds
* Pleasurama in British Virgin Islands via the Cardy/Colin Hill sales - so murky nobody quite knows even the council who sold it
* various other smaller tax haven items such as parts of Margate High St and hotels in Maidstone
Manston airport the only main Kent project not registered in a tax haven but the strange $1 sale from Infratil to Stagecoach-Gloag and onto it seems the SHP speculators. Nobody quite sure - even from Parliamentary testimony - who actually owns the site.
The Gang of Four: Ezekiel, Latchford, Samuels and White - the senior TDC councillors and civil servants - resigned/sacked over Pleasurama a few years ago now. Yet for over 20 years the project has lumbered on with no details of who the secret directors are.
Even the former Planning Direcotr resigned/sacked after setting up her own property firm around the Cardy sale.
Clealry Bob Bayford - sharing an office with Terence Painter the estate agent for Pleasurama - and Deputy leader and now Tory leader - must have some details he can clarifty?
While Labour Leader Iris Johnson must be keen to open up on the Pleasurama details?
As must the Toxic Two of Paul Carter and Geoff Wild at KCC - the Toxic Three now lacking Alex "Burgher" King the Deputy KCC Leader and regular meeter of Infratil etc from his hasty KCC resignation after 30 years.
This Summer's strange Stoppping up order from KCC must also need detailing.
The question remains as to why Madeline Homer TDC CEO and Tim Howes TDC lawyer haven't yet called in the police and instigated a public inquiry?
Many people view the council silence as essentially blackmail to continue civil servant jobs and pensions and even squeeze a payrise out of our supine councillors.
While TDC leader Wells and Mayor Shonk have explaining to do on Manston as the only UKIP policy suddenly cancelled.
As must both Nigel Farage and Henry Bolton as UKIP leaders with Manston as the main UKIP national policy - beyond a bit of burkabashing and badger wrestling - and Bolton suddenly resigning as Chair of Why Not Manston the pro-airport group. Surely as UKIP leader he;d want to ensure an airport the size of Gatwick is built near Gatwick and on the aquifer and explain why?
Kent Greens silent - even on Kent Environment Agency refusing EIUR requests on Thor mercury.
And Kent Libdems with resignations after the Manston Spaceport and EU Taiwan farces - you couldn't make this stuff up could you.
KCC must also face questions over its funding of Manston especially KCC-USA via various KCC quangos - add in the tax havens and it's all very murky and downright corrupt.
Kent Police it seem scared to intervene and the City of London Fraud Squad the main UK anticorruption group (although UK far weaker than most nations such as Argentina and Thailand no doubt given the proliferation of tax havens in its colonies and Commonwealth - weak too even with Laurence Stephens law firm Andrew Conway posing as an HMRC official(!). Perhaps the police fancy dress uniform was taken for the Kent police panto - Judge Mann appearing in the Daily Mirror phone hacking fraud trial from his appearance with Glick QC and Magic Guy Hollingworth.
The High Court UK's last unreformed institution and little more than an adjunct to Russian oligarch libel trials - Canada introducing a Magnitsky law, and UK trying to prosecute him despite Putin's polonium sandwiches.
OR Lord Grabiner of BHS fraud still a judge - maybe riling on One Essex Court cases too swiftly swapping wigs and dashing around the Bench. Sleight of hand worthy of Hollingworth but too fleet of foot for elderly Glick or portly Leavor. Don't tell 'em anything the One Essex Court motto. And TDC it seems.
All in contrast to Prince Mo of Saudi Arabia arresting dozens of princes and ministers in an anti-corruption drive - as well as giving women the right to drive - as he moves the Kingdom to a moderate Islamic state.
The arrests including the National Guard bodyguards - the size of UK army - and the UK MOD Sangcom guns for bungs projects. Hence Saudi Arabia having more RAF jets than the RAF and much of the UK defence industry geared to arming Saudi to allow for bungs to princes: several hundred UK MOD and military staff based in Saudi. And that not even including the secret war in Yemen or UK cluster bombs.
Former South Thanet MP Jonathan Aitken jailed over the even larger Al-Yamamah guns for bungs scandal.
And now Craig Mackinlay MP facing jail next Summer over the Battlebus largest electoral fraud in UK history - clearly Kent politics and governance is very dirty.
And merely laughable is Roger Gale MP giving election advice in Chad or Karen Constantine KCC labour doublehatter giving referendum advice in Kurdistan - let's hear them on Kent corruption rather than teaching Chad or the Kurds Kent's dodgy ways
Cheering words for basketcase nations such as Chad - don't worry Roger Gale is here and he's bringing Karen Constantine.
But Prince Mo's vigorous Davos in the Desert - part of the Vision 2030 beyond oil - should enable the dynamic NEOM city on the Red sea a city with its own laws - although some would argue that Jordan and Lebanon if not Bahrain, Qatar and Oman are the basis for well-run and moderate Islamic nations.
Even Morocco and its North African rail to Cairo and down to Senegal and Timbuktu. Or Desertec solar in Libya and Algeria and Tunisia - all the more relevant with the latter the most ISIS returnees and civil war continuing in Libya and Syria, Yemen, Sudan and even Lebanon destabilised.
And USA Senate calling for an inquiry as to lack of oversight and permission on US troops and US Africa Command in the Sahel across Chad etc with 4 Special Forces deaths and drone bases sprouting as vigorously detailed by Nick Turse.
With the Queen investing in the Caymans and KCC and TDC too should Prince Mo be called in to run UK?
the Belgians must be busy enabling peace and prosperity for the rest of European and Africa.
Wells and Shonk must go. And LocalCraig and Gale and Constantine - they are of the past and have done nothing. Even the secret BrettGate cement project fell through on Phase 2 but not Phase 1. When will they explain these?
And there are clear UK reforms:
1. Ban tax haven funds form all UK public sector projects
2. End UK and Commonwealth tax havens before the April 2018 Commonwealth Summit and G20 Summit
3. Cap UK interest rates at 9.9% not the monstrous 1,000% rates
4. End of Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall tax exempt status: the Civil List only - Prince Charles batting for Englandshire in Malaysia on Superfoods and as a weak riposte to the Trump juggernaut in ASEAN and Asia - who lost China-UK trade for Saudi guns4bungs?
5. A Police and public inquiry into Pleasurama etc - and cancellation of these projects for review
6. Boycott the KCC free seat form Ken Gregory's death - leave it free for Bessie his best pig as an airfreshener in the County Barn until we have some detailed explanations of cancer etc
7. Civil servant delays on all the above projects before TDC elections in May 2019 or Wells/Shonk resignations
Time for Change
Friday, 27 October 2017
It's astonishing that Kent's role in D-Day with Fortitude South the feint to an invasion of Calais helmed by General Patton is so ignored in East Kent by Visit Kent - even Liberation Route Europe instigated by Martin Schulz EU president and recent German Chancellor candidate.
Musch as Wellington's Waterloo HQ in Ramsgate, UN monument and film star Will Hay are as neglected as Kent's Beatles and Stones concerts or Van Gogh gallery.
Surely new street names of Fortitude North Close and Fortitude South Close and General Patton Drive are needed.
If not Sword, Gold, Omaha, Juno and Utah streets - indeed POTUS JFK's elder brother Joe Jr. killed over Sussex in the first experimental drone raids on V1 sites in France.
And perhaps I am wrong but UK is the only nation that's failed to commemorate USA support in WW1 and WW2 (or Sikh and Asia allies as Thailand and Japan) with a Woodrow Wilson Avenue or Franklin Roosevelt Boulevard.
Perhaps East Kent can redress that imbalance too and even a George Marshall Grove - the USN P22 Rhine gunboat in Ramsgate harbour and Tom Paine's Sandwich marina a reminder - and Ike Drive.
And apt with the 75th El Alamein anniversary last week, a Monty View.
With the collapse of Manston yet again new streets hardly likely to be built especially at the $1 SHP-Gloag-Infratil random Garden-Town-Film-Studio-Garden-Village-overbuild-thingy.
And certainly not before TDC or RTC(?) elections in May 2019 or sooner.
With Manston as their only policy and that an outrageous deceit knowing of the aquifer and toxic dangers, both TDC Leader Wells and RTC Mayor Shonk should resign. As should Bayford and Iris of Tories and Labour and Local Craig MP (facing electoral fraud trial in c.June 2018) and Gale MP.
Especially with new town entre problems again – astonishinly with hundreds of complaints over months and months.
Already 20 council seats at TDC will be cut as doublehatter bloat and waste - and development of an East Kent Council - and my TDC sources tell me several UKIP councillors ready to resign anyway not so much at Manston but at nothing done in general.
Wells and Shonk seem to have acted as mouthpieces to muffle concerns, if not as a block on everything. They will speak up in the missing monitors and fines and cancer before they go?
Ramsgate's £17M in town tax and one third of KCC's £2BN tax wasted in being sent to Margate or Maidstone to have a bureaucratic levy or absurd reserves salted away for failure before fractions returned: the RTC budget a laughable £400k sop via TDC. That said clearly TDC and RTC in its present format are too incompetent and corrupt to handle such budgets.
And the largest councillor and civil servant salaries in UK local government for such failure.
Pleasurama and Dreamland mired in Caribbean tax haven and dodgy deals as is the Wetherspoons Pavilion sale and 104SE Rd overbuild.
While Brexit a national shambles that will be completely revoked that - along with the end of May and Boris and Davis -hardly difficult given the 18 months or so since June 2016 with nothing done beyond empty waffle.
All their political careers are over they're merely limping on as long as possible.
Manston the only policy of all the TDC pensioners and an utter disaster and crime with removal of the monitors and fake fines and aquifer pollution.
Wells and Shonk should go. Go. Go now. A vote of no confidence is required to oust them from merely clinging on for their pay cheques.
And Boris a Poundshop Churchill in a Poundland Brexit Caymans.
Not an FDR in sight with a chicken for every UK pot - and certainly not chlorine washed or with bird flu.
Fewer fools and more Fortitude and Resilience needed in East Kent and post-Brexit UK if the Special Relationship isn't to wither on the vine.
Time for Change
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Luke Johnson's ode to capitalism in his Sunday Times Animal Spirits article last week is right on the money in its concern over the weak quality of UK universities and Business Schools.
Hopefully the coffee and cake guru (and cancer with his ICE Cancer School - surely NASA's DNA work on the P53 cancer gene for Mars 2030 flights is calling out for his dynamic efforts in UK?) in his new professorship at King's Business School will be able to help resuscitate UK business learnings in academia.
And why shouldn't King's Business School rival Harvard or Yale or Stanford?
Oxford and Cambridge and LSE may be excellent universities in general but few would rate their business schools. Kellogg School of Management university could do better half-asleep in lectures.
Indeed with UK universities punching above their weight in both the Times and Sunday Times university leagues where is the UK MIT, or even UK RAND and UK DARPA? Surely the latter a shoo-in for King's also with its War Studies dept?
Project Gilgamesh extending human life span to at least 150 years - the first 1,000 year old man or woman born already? - would possibly be impossible for King's.
While the UK knowledge economy and Creative Industries are hampered by a lack of learning rigour. Fashion perhaps strutting its stuff through the London College of Fashion at the Olympics site. A failure though in support of the Hanoi College of Fashion from a recent ASEAN visit.
But, with my Sincerity Advertising hat on, I was astonished that the University of Texas - apt for the United States of Advertising even as it loses ground to UK Great Advertising - is one of the few universities anywhere with its own dedicated Advertising School and courses.
They must be laughing at UK all across the South West States. For, in my previous Visiting Professor role at Watford Advertising College - the UK's leading advertising college - and other universities I've long argued for such a remit. Even leading on making the best use of MOOC's and alumni.
Who would balk at Prof. Johnson insisting on a Patisserie Valerie or three on King's campus - maybe a Starbucks or seven too? - and some HFSS alternatives in with the lardy cake. Simon Stevens NHS Chief insisting on bargain buckets of gutbuster lard n' sweets (mostly) banned from NHS vending machines. If only they vended cholesterol sweeties. One for Nestle or Nabisco?
As with Dreamland now failing on its food ratings reform and fresh eyes, and struggling on from council corruption and mismanagement, even after lavish amounts of Lottery funding, is needed.
Perhaps a Robotics Dept - not UK's strongest suit at the moment - could deliver on Prof.Johnson's article in not just endless theorising but sourcing the best of the moment, reviewing and recommending and forecasting to move UK plc into assembly line production. Unilever and CocaCola something to add on that last one for UK management learnings?
I'll save a few points on English language learning schools and methods for another day.
And Bechtel, Mott and Murphy won't sit around waiting forever for new housing construction methods. Shouldn't Kenya's Kibera slums the largest in the world be a test case for a new version of Homes Fit For Heroes? Other Commonwealth, and ASEAN, slums might be keen on that too - a Prof Johnson Visiting Professorship to Nairobi or Mumbai or Jakarta or Manila University?
All the more absurd is Kent academia given the closure of CCU Broadstairs campus - various £20M buildings on the rates opened less than a decade ago (King's School buyout for $1?), or overbuild vanity projects from tax: a half-empty new mega-library in the Age of Kindle? Student housing on the rates and greenbelt and sports fields, rather than student digs in the private sector or Cliftonville? Million dollar Vice Chancellor - and rafts of deputies - salaries?
Indeed there's an argument for universities to take on more impartial public sector functions such as elections - the best way to rig an election after all is to screen out the candidates or count the ballots. My MP and Mayor "Stop the Corruption. Stop the Construction. Stop the Pollution" campaign halted in the first election some 5 years ago due to concerns over even mentioning (council) corruption on the ballot.
The same torpor and delay in Kent as policies - Pleasurama? Manston 3? Thor mercury? Brett 2? Carter 4? - are shunted into reverse to await democratic face-saving with the next election.
While weak self-regulation over utilities - whether water or energy - or the notorious failures of Bar and Lawyer corruption long needing more robust and impartial scrutiny than fraudsters such as Lord Grabiner of One Essex Court, Britain's most corrupt set of barristers, and BHS would care to explain. Secret shareholders in a plc? Fake invoices presented to Court? High Court denials then confessions - isn't that perjury even (especially) for a barrister and lawyers?
If Lord Grabiner is the apogee of weak corporate governance then Professor Johnson has his work cut out in reversing the rot in business or law even with the King's Law School.
While one Sincerity friend near the end of a 3 year media degree at one Kent university that shall remain nameless - Canterbury Christchurch seeing as you ask, near the bottom of UK university leagues, and with Kent University needing a refit for a global 200 university in Kent unless Malaysia's UK universities have a view - had never even heard of David Ogilvy.
Ogilvy a figure perhaps second only to Alex Osborn in the UK and USA surge in advertising post WW2. The aphorism that you wouldn't produce a bad ad with Ogilvy's rules, but not a good one either, a little harsh. She had heard of David Beckham though so her degree wasn't a total waste of £9,000 tuition fees and minimal tuition and a hessian tote bag.
With just 13.4% of Fortune 500 companies of 1955 still on the list in 2011, USA business in trouble - Amazon,Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Google/Alphabet and YouTube almost all created or peaking in the last 20 years. How many Chinese or Indian Fortune 500 companies in the next decade? Dynamic UK companies such as Jardines and HSBC based on UK-China trade.
Perhaps only the History of Advertising Trust a beacon in UK for disseminating knowledge on advertising and no doubt receptive to wider funding and support and links with schools such as King's.
Luke is right also to despair at the winging it quality of many Beckham Studies or Eastendersology courses and noodling dissertations of almost no worth at all. DHL the only Fortune 500 company founded from a dissertation, or was it FedEx?
Even a Start Up Nation School with Israeli - and Palestinian or Lebanese or Jordanian - universities? Impossible. But permanent war never lasts forever.
Former Transport Chair, Liverpool's dynamic MP Louise Ellman, giving Republican Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania a run for his money with her Zafira inquiry, after the GM ignition switch recall of 800,000 Chevy Cobalt cars with a $2 ignition switch repair delay causing at least 13 deaths in head-on road collisions and airbag failures.
All the more concerning as the car price-point attractive for parents buying teenagers their first car so the lives of upto 153 young motorists snuffed out.
Even the UK-USA Special Relationship foundering as UK's second largest trading ally seeks other markets for its supersize cakes and smaller cars. Indeed with Motor City USA - whether Detroit or Diego San - USA's car industry long a giant of capitalism and management learning.
Surely Professor Johnson could urge an Auto Industry School at King's or elsewhere an Aviation and Rail and Space Schools, to mine the best learnings from Ford or Sloan even lathe worker Frederick W. Taylor - indeed with another Mercedes airbag recall of 400,000 cars and VW, and others, emissions scandals and Zafira fires, the world needs a more rapid and resilient response to auto-tech failures. Lives literally depend on it - as does UK as a Road Safety Superpower and 1M deaths globally.
I know there probaly isn't room on the King's campus now (did I mention the acres of space at Broadstairs campus?) but could a Road Safety PHD be crammed in or Professor Johnson inisist a few desks are found and pushed together for a Resilience doctorate?
And if the P53 cancer gene is crying out for a focused business response surely the other dynamic Johnson, Tylenol's Ambassador Woody, as well as Unilever's dynamic CEO Paul Polman, fresh from celebrating the Lifebuoy soap Kenya handwash campaign, could roll up his sleeves and grasp the opportunities for Zero Disease by 2030. At worst 2035.
Luke may even need to issue them a free pair or two of Zoggs sunglasses to shade their eyes and wallet from the dazzling opportunities.
Surely Johnson and Johnson and Johnson and Polman may be the worse name for a company ever (and Garbutt? There has to be one fool in the room) but ideal for their contribution to a new UK Business Council - Liam Fox can't sit in a room or on a plane all by himself coming up with random trade deals. As a doctor suckled on the tax-teat of the NHS and then Parliament, he's done rather well so far but surely needs some heavyweight business support?
If Ambassador Woody is out at the ball game or down the beach surely Messrs Reckitt and Benckiser could step up to the plate? Even the Heinz boys of Preston? Or Givaudin perfumes and the almost as-sweet aroma of CupaSoup Ashford?
The UNSDG30 providing a clear framework for delivery of polio pills, HIV vaccines, TB nasal sprays and so on. With London the TB capital of Europe the danger, and opportunity, that much closer to home - could King's even squeeze in a Pandemic School on their campus?
Indeed an astonishing failure of UK's 130 universities is its lack of cohesive USA and ASEAN links but also dedicated Cancer and Dementia departments in each university. No wonder it takes decades to find a disease and then decades more for a cure.
While a Ministry of Reconstruction for Europe's waterfront in Libya and Syria as well as Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan - and now Yemen - long overdue whether within government or academia.
And I know, I know, there isn't room at King's overcrowded campus from the above, but surely a Media School could be squeezed in - part of its Advertising School? - to review European film and television reforms and learning given the Ofcom review even computer games and VR and EKFOS.
Certainly Luke is right that UK universities and business schools are infected with more failure than is tolerable in 21st century Great Britain and not immune to reform.
Let's hope Professor Johnson is at least promoted to Vice-Chancellor this side of the next academic year.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Certainly Belgium in terms of military defence writes Alastair Campbell, former press secretary of PM Tony Blair, in the latest issue of The New European newspaper.
And Campbell even press-gangs Lord West the former head of the Royal Navy into his argument that Tory defence cuts would result in a keelhauling if undertaken by Labour.
I imagine that's possible in a narrow party political sense.
But isn't the wider issue one of the competence of the military and MOD and military-industrial complex?
The political parties and politicians don't fumble the ball over Caribbean Resilience or secretly nuking Disneyland before the Trident renewal debate or aircraft carriers without planes - that's the military and MOD.
The politicians have issued the orders and the military as with Rear Admiral Burton can either carry them out effectively and efficiency or be marched around the parade ground, epaulettes ripped off and sword snapped over the knee, and out the gate they go to write why-oh-why letters to the Daily Telegraph and Naafi, or join their favourite arms company.
Alastair railing against the fact that the 79,000-strong UK Army could fit inside Wembley stadium misses the point. Whether they could fit in a phone box or a bus or a football stadium is irrelevant - it's whether they're any use and the right size for that use.
Lord West's sabrerattling and scaremongering over the dangers of the modern world - is Andorra or the Swiss Navy upto something? The Albanians? - is empty cheerleading and the worst sort of interservice fighting.
The harsh reality is that the world is a safer place than ever before - yes, North Korea's nuclear threat is real but not unknown for decades, although Kent's Michael Fallon Defence Minister citing London as nearer than San Francisco has a whiff of the Saddam-Blair 15 minute nuclear howitzer fantasy threat about it.
And it negates the real threat to Seoul and Tokyo and disturbingly Chinese weakness over Shanghai and Beijing and Vladivostock also being turned into another Hiroshima by North Korea either accidentally or deliberately.
While, as an aside, the prevalent threat to all humanity of meteor strikes - this week's near miss equivalent to 30 Hiroshima blasts - and volcanic eruptions ignored and underfunded by the UK and EU Space Agency and NASA for say Royal Navy cruises.
Sometimes I imagine I would be a better Lord than most of the elderly duffers asleep on the red benches. Even Lord West's sabre-rattling failing to rouse most of them. Perhaps war with Spain over Gibraltar is the best that could be expected. And a UK Senate some 200 years overdue.
And yes the real threat of Putin border-nibbling straight out of his East Berlin KGB playbook with Georgia and Crimea and Donetsk - and now the Baltic states following Belgium as the cockpit or charnelhouse of Europe. Yet even that real threat to destabilise Europe halted through tardy but effective NATO action - but a real danger that excessive NATO action could revive the real Russian fears of Western invasion.
France under Napoleon, and Crimea (again) with France and Britain, Japan in Manchuria and the Russian Far East, Germany under the Kaiser, Britain (again) and America in 1920, and then the devastating slaughter of Hitler's Germany.
Russians in Paris in 1815, and in Berlin from 1945 is a not unreasonable response to such devastation. And a destabilising danger as NATO edges nearer to Moscow requiring more detente and disarmament not less.
East Kent twinned with Crimea and Margate from the stagnation and Soviet-style Arlington House fetid tower blocks and town planning of 1970's is perhaps the basis of a New Yalta for Russia in Europe.
Perhaps the wider question of the military is how NATO failed to see every Russian threat since and including the Berlin Wall to Crimea and Syria? Or the Taliban and ISIS. NATO and GCHQ are very expensive and intrusive for such basic errors.
And here in Kent the provocations of Russian Bear bombers probing UK and Dutch radars a concern as in Guam. The Manston-Infratil crimes and Ostend with Afghan's KAM Air wandering across Europe hardly reassuring for European air safety even without the Ukraine airliner downings - or Malaysian jumbo jet somehow disappearing from both radar and expensive satellite coverage.
No wonder Kent struggles with shoddy mobile phone and television reception - thank goodness for French and Belgian coverage as well as Belgian Navy minesweeper and gunboat patrols to rescue the RN if they're all at sea.
And the wheezing threat of Admiral Kutzenov flagship Russian aircraft carrier trundling through the Channel is more an indication that Russia too needs to waste its tax on military kit that's unlikely to be used.
Certainly the Med refugees a damning indictment of military failure by NATO's navies sailing in circles as thousands drown.
As is UK aircraft carriers not only without planes (stop laughing at the back this is serious) but running on Windows XP (stop giggling) and UK's submarines having to resurface for a wifi connection (stop it!) as cybersecurity threats increase.
No wonder USA won't release its helicopter software and Trident codes to UK, keeping a firm hand on pulling the plug in the event of any Suez adventurism.
While UK's own generals cite the appalling incompetence of its military efforts in Basra and Afghanistan. No doubt urging more tax-money and tech-kit to be thrown at the problem.
And after 15 years, more heroin than ever produced in Helmand and Shan for UK streets despite a UK troop presence and deaths, and USA troops increased as Kent only supplies a few hundred Ghurkas, Britain's best mercenaries.
All of which suggests a strategic failing to pay any price and bear any burden.
For the hard yards of years and decades. Perhaps 25 years. Maybe 50 years. Northern Ireland took over 40 years for peace and the beginnings of prosperity so why should Iraq or Afghanistan take less?
UK too often merely showboating as America's spearcarrier for political vanity rather than nation building.
And taking over a year for Iraqi and NATO troops to take back flyblown towns such as Mosul and Raqqa - after an ApBacian loss in the first place with hardly a fight to ISIS?
But should Tesco or Walmart Asda or DHL take over Caribbean Resilience if the military can't deliver?
And surely Thailand's Blue Flag welfare stores an innovative and vibrant response to essential stock inventory and food banks without the shame or shambles of Universal Credit? Worth a trial in Burnley as well as Buriram? Cheapo specs for a quid can't be in stock just in Poundland? And surely a spare pair in the car a legal requirement with medical kits etc in future across the EU?
With more RAF jets in the Saudi Airforce - and banned cluster bombs - as well as a private army of MOD civil servants for guns-for-bungs projects for Saudi princes such as Sangcom it's no wonder the UK public were baffled as to why government buildings flew the Union Jack at half-mast for the death of Saudi royals. Maybe Saudi royals rather than Belgian royals should head up UK ceremonies?
As with Saudi arms deals a long retreat from the RN navy pier in Bahrain also needed - again UK military incompetence at its best in propping up another dubious Gulf kingdom just as oil becomes irrelevant.
Perhaps a drone strike on Whitehall by the Army Air Corps would be of more use to UK security.
Surely Dubai and Brunei as the last nations not having the vote - and in the Commonwealth - can't be linked to the UK military support shooting down dissent and funded by the public?
Certainly a fancy new NATO HQ in Brussels seems a worthless quango expense of several billion dollars.
As does NATO citing that NATO should have 2% of Europe's budgets. Imagine that. Especially as UK already funds 2.3% of the military suggesting excess and the EU average 1.3%.
USA taxpayers and earmark pundits might quail at the Pentagon's 4% of military spend - not just at POTUS/General Eisenhower's warnings on the military-industrial complex bloat and war-search. The Andorrans could be upto anything couldn't they?
Presumably the Pentagon keen to keep its tax-claws sharpened with upto 50% of USA tax-take dependig how you define it, rather than wasting it on Medicare or gun controls.
And with 1M USA troops and 1M European troops and 1M Chinese troops it's astonishing that most of them are just sat in barracks ironing their underpants - just 4,000 UK troops at Xmas deployed overseas out of 100,000 hardly suggest either value for money or massive security threats.
What would a million or two of demobbed extra pairs of hands do for the solar panel or space or vaccines or farming industries? UN detente and disarmament long overdue.
And reducing the 96,000 by half hardly suggests penny-pinching.
And as an aside, Special Branch turned into a Catalonian goon squad of cops with guns patrolling the Guildford Cheese and Wine Festival - and no shortage of police volunteers for once to go out on patrol for the Tunbridge Wells Kinky Sex Festival (almost as many dead and medevaced as in the Caribbean and more anoraks). Or RN sailing through the Notting Hill carnival without a care in the world on the rates as the Caribbean drowns - or balaclavas without badge numbers, suggests a lack of real intelligence on counter-terrorism as ISIS leave Raqqa to return to Europe and ASEAN whether Manchester or Mindanao.
Alastair Campbell rightly cites the lack of maritime P8 AWACS and anti-submarine patrol aircraft and radar aircraft and refueling planes (that can't refuel), and cargo helicopters or helicopters that can't dustoff when it's dusty, that constitute the enforced idleness of the military sat in barracks painting coal white. Years of military procurement expertise to build a pub with no beer? A rum do indeed.
Or the utter extravagance and waste of 800 Warrior and Jackal armoured cars at the very least costing as much in parking fees - almost as much as parking costs at hospitals - with billions wasted, as the Boris water cannons rusting in Kent.
When would 800 armoured cars ever be deployed - it would make a handy target as a convoy anyway. And the largest UK tank battle since 1945 was 25 tanks in Iraq.
No wonder the Russian Defence Minster cited the new UK aircraft carriers as just a larger target for thousands of drones. And the RN, or any navy, has hardly fired a shot in anger since 1944. It's a senior service that's over the hill as well as over the horizon for a deluge of missile strikes.
And the RM and RN antics over Caribbean Resilience the worst beach landings since Dieppe. Our Cockleshell Heroes look comical rather than Comacchio. Even landing without their guns. Dismal. And even worse the chorus of military cheerleaders to try and excuse this nonsense.
Certainly defence reforms such as reducing the RM by 1,000 or reducing beach landing ships are foolish in the wider sense of an island nation than just the particularly shoddy efforts in the Caribbean. It's called Hurricane Season for a reason and it happens every year.
Aside from Resilience rescue and aid, the drug interdiction routes through the Caribbean and Latin America to both USA and West African narco-states a real threat to UK security. And what Churchill or Boris would call the soft underbelly of Europe's drugs ports in Spain and Italy and France and Albania and Turkey. As is the piracy of the Nigerian Delta and Somalia as well as Singapore.
While UK has much to learn from French successes in a picket line across the Sahel to protect Fortress Europe through the sandsea of the Sahara (where are the Desert Rats when they're needed now?) and Mediterranean.
While the carnage and chaos of Saddam and Gaddafi highlights that the real threat to UK is dictatorships.
The former USA Ambassador writing eloquently on the need and ease of ending dictators by 2025 - that seems too long with 2020 drawing nearer for the last few gerontocracies of Africa and Central Asia. Why would EU and NATO help prop them up? The Clinton Doctrine and ICC already ending support for military coup sand presumably presidential term extensions.
Syria and Sudan and Russia (protests in 80 Russian cities for Putin's 65th birthday present must be as welcome as a polonium sandwich at his birthday party) now and now doubt Equatorial Guinea under Obiang, Zimbabwe under Mugabe and after Bouteflika in Algeria.
Assad, Putin and Kim JongUn surely now the last ever users of chemical weapons?
And Kent’s aged and corrupt Tory and Labour even failing against the decrepit UKIP eg Pleasurama tax haven projects under Bayford and Iris and Homer.
And a new crop of MP's fresh from the military, Johnny Mercer and Tom Tugendhat and Rory Stewart reporting for duty, ready to rally round the flag and claim some special lack of scrutiny of the military is needed. The French Foreign Legion always needs new recruits if they're unhappy with Parliamentary and public oversight of the UK military.
If only they'd made a success of invading Afghanistan, the Taliban stronger than ever through the safe havens of Pakistan - a new Ho Chi Minh trail if you will - and Pakistan more Axis of Evil than much of a Commonwealth or NATO ally, fuelling the North Korea nuclear threat, and chemical weapons as well as to Myanmar. Journalists still in prison there for exposing that threat more dangerous than Margate’s and Cato Ridge’s Thor mercury.
While reconstruction after the AfPak tech war explosions limited to drone strikes on wedding parties rather than any sort of Ministry of Reconstruction cohesive effort. No doubt the Caribbean tax havens will need to resort to some financial jiggerypokery too to rebuild their shanty towns.
With the new UN Nuclear ban would RN sailors and MOD officials be considered war criminals for manufacturing, or warehousing or even deploying nuclear weapons in a few years or months?
EU oversight and control of UK and French nuclear weapons draws nearer as does an EU seat on the UN Security Council with India. An EU army mere bureaucratic fluff or perhaps another expensive HQ - except for the EU Defence Council - given the existing EU Battlegroups and European aspect of NATO.
Certainly UK and EU funding for the last colonies needs regearing to encouraging trade. Stan Abbott in the same New European edition writing eloquently on Guadeloupe and EU-Caricom funding. It's surprising USA not urging enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine or UK/EU tax havens, or under a new Cuba ending its colony in Guantanamo Bay after some 100 years of Bahia Honda and the Isle of Pines - Castro still refusing to cash those US Imperial cheques.
And Puerto Rico and Vieques unimpressed with the US Commonwealth cheques so far after the Caribbean Resilience destruction. Only the US Coastguard emerging unscathed from the mess far from shore.
But the ranks of elderly RM blazers lined up to excuse the war crimes of RM Blackman particularly repulsive: dragging a wounded Taliban prisoner into the trees to murder him out of sight of helicopters reminiscent of My Lai rather than the best of UK military. And then RM troops filming themselves shooting the prisoner while openly stating it as a Geneva Convention war crime is also reminiscent of Calley's murderous troops or a mini-Malmedy.
But in terms of UK military reform surely there are some low hanging fruit and quick wins:
* regear the UK and EU military to UN peacekeeping as in Eire - ending the Empire and Cold War presumption that UK needs to tackle every military issue itself
* restrict NATO funding to 1.3% - and specify inclusions/exclusions not a blank cheque and minimal scrutiny for a quango
* handover the lavish NATO HQ and MOD Whitehall offices to Microsoft and Samsung cybersecurity - and a Sarajevo Shift of EU and UN offices eastwards to V4 (Kent unfortunately all too familiar with V1 and V2 rather than Hungary and Poland links) and Balkan allies
* fastforward UK and EU efforts on Cyprus and Greece-Turkey and Gibraltar and Ceuta/Melilla conflicts - all too long a stain on European unity and peace
* clearly detail Russia and Turkey EU/NATO membership requirements
* end the Admirals in every dinghy bloat of the RN: 40 Admirals and 80 Captains for c.20 main warships suggests an absurd shortage of P45's and pensioning off
* cap all RN ships to under 25 not over 70 - and fasttrack more RN landship closures (or offices), certainly left-behind coastal towns such as Portsmouth and Plymouth viable for more Whitehall-out-of-Whitehall MOD regen
* end the military and police oaths to the Royals: even the most cavalier royalist would agree parliament and public have had precedence for over 300 years
* scrap the last Royal medals/honours without Parliament approval and peg civil service gongs to less than 20%
* enforce a revolving door ban on majors and above joining arms firms on retirement - as with Zambellas hawking missiles
* publish corporate welfare tax figures each quarter for arms firms such as BAE and Qinetiq and deals with Boeing etc
* scrap the Manston MOD Fire base - a bloat-duplication of the one in Hampshire and setting fires on the East Kent aquifer to put them out with chemicals as militarily foolish as pissing on campfires to put them out
* ban white phosphorous from UK and NATO and Israeli armouries as napalm-lite, a weapon as offensive as Agent Orange – surely Israeli StartUp nation or UK DARPA could replace it in moments
* rejuvenate UK shipbuilding whether military or civil from Newcastle to Wales - and to Virginia Beach and San Diego - with forward-thinking allocation of warships and robot ships and skills. Certainly few RN ships patrolling the coast means more bloat for the Border Force and Coastguards to pick up the slack, even a Police Navy. Perhaps a Police Admiral in every dinghy too.
* scrap the MOD's toxic stockpile of Larium antimalaria pills/vaccines and fastforward DARPA research for AMR and vaccines as well as graphene armour, battteries and rare earth materials
* sharpen the Army to under 50,000 with three divisions on rotation - halve the RN and RAF to 15,000 each and place them under Army control as a united command to reduce interservice manoeuvring. They could comfortably fit in Wembley Stadium or the Gunners' Emirates stadium then
* cancel more ineffective regiments than RM eg RAF Regiment WW2 runway-walkers and rockapes with only their Alsations keeping them on a short leash of interspecies cooperation on the rates
* cancel the last vestiges of BAOR in Germany: merely an extended bierkellar boozeup ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 - the different spare parts and training for all the different helicopters and jets must cost a small fortune in storage.
* expand UK troops in East Africa: Kenya and Sudan - and Afghanistan - and a West Africa force on regular rotation
* establish a DFID Minstry of Reconstruction and Resilience for post-conflict and disaster dithering and delay
* create an MOD presumption for helicopters: SAR and cargo rather than gunships and jets
* scrap Trident as part of the UN new nukes ban, already winning the Nobel peace prize, and lead on nuclear and naval disarmament, especially of subs, jets and carriers attack weapons
* expand UK/NATO mine clearance from WW2 in North Africa with MAG Laos and Belgian Iron Harvest - and SS Richard Montgomery Liberty shipwreck in Kent
* reinstate the feeble search for banditti such as Kony
* merge tri-service military police into one Redcaps under civilian police, after Deepcut farce and stolen guns, and Learmonth's Learjet police readiness for stranded/jailed UK citizens and one global emergency number eg 112
* instigate Left is Life military and police blood donors/groups given increased organ donations and emergencies
* place military Medical Corps on rotation in Africa, India and Asia with US Army Europe: out of the barracks and into the field eg vaccinations, Operation Smile cleft palate surgery etc. Even a bar of Lifebuoy soap for handwashing duty or Lucky Iron Fish if the military aid is a bit anaemic
* rearm the UK military with UK guns after the farce of the Army buying-in Belgian machine guns - maybe we're more Belgian already - and end police purchasing of German and Austrian guns - especially as they're faulty, the guns not the police. Or USA having to ship in bullets to Europe. A UK arms industry geared to supplying its own troops for defence not offence is a strategic and long-delayed shift
* ban UK arms exports beyond NATO - as with Germany
* end UK troop recruitment under 18 as highlighted by SNP - the last EU/NATO nation to do so
* end RN Ambre Solaire tours to the Jersey Boat Show and Monaco: either on useful duty - presumably only the Med or Caribbean or West Africa - or tied up in port saving on fuel and rum
* end RAF involvement in Syria: a service vanity project for live-fire weapons testing on mud huts, mobile phones and motorbikes - or is that kinetic constraints on command bunkers and communications routes?
And bizarre General Rupert Jones, commander of some bit of the Army's regiment of acronyms, and son of H Jones VC, claiming low collateral damage bombs are being dropped on civilians on buildings in Syria to minimise damage and deaths. Utter drivel. Clearly just another expensive Rupert deserving of retirement.
Or bussed over to Mexico to help pull some bodies out of buildings there from earthquake damage.
* expand Kent's Ghurkas and Royal Engineers activity and rotation in Africa and Asia eg Sudan, Sierra Leone - and Nepal earthquake readiness. For surely Sudan for example needs roads as well as aid airstrips, through to Ethiopia and Somalia, even aside from Cape2Cairo Rail or Kuwait Rail
* instigate cocaine and heroin annual targets for the military and police - certainly The Kent Year of an extra year in jail for possession in Frontline Kent
* USAF and FBI review of EU aviation weaknesses eg Manston-Infratil crimes and Ostend airport gunrunning - and failure of African aviation safety and links between African nations not former colonial powers
* a military review and whitewash of EU nuclear safety and sabotage as Belgian nuclear sabotage crisis, missing US Benelux nukes, and radiation leaks and waste in Spain and the Channel
* cap old soldiers on defence committees to under 30% - enough for poacher turned gamekeeper and not blind cheerleaders in blazers
* recruit Chief Canuck Mark Carney of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada to highlight Canadian defence reforms and Veterans Minister - even WW1 Ramsgate, as neglected for Canadian Medical Corps and Red Cross links, as Canada's - and USA's - First Nations
* Sudan as with Senegal overdue hispeed rail links - and resolution of the Spanish Sahara open wound
* Expand CWG and Liberation Route Europe funds - and create a proper Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand memorial than the shame of just a Welsh Hong Kong male voice choir(!) or a tiny USA plaque(!) for the 75th Anniversary this next year and rail links destoyed in the colonial 1950's
* establish an Asian WW1 Allies London memorial for Thai and Japan and Vietnam Masterdom deaths - presumably some distance from the ludicrous Hyde Park military memorial to animals
* recall all c.400 UK defence attaches from touting arms deals on the rates outside NATO unless they're spies
* detail the Commonwealth Summit 2018 Agenda beyond tea and biscuit and caviar niceties on the rates - on Resilience and aid and peacekeeping and drugs spec requirements - A Jamaica Coalition beyond Germany, with Cuba and Haiti and Central America overdue
* ensure UNSDG30 a core feature of UK military activity and aid
* expand UK Space Agency with retired RAF pilots and engineers - for Mars 2030 and a Global Space Exploration Plan
* place UK colonies - now hardly more people than an East Kent village - under EU and UN oversight for independence within a decade, or suzerainty to USA or Brazil or Argentina, or evacuation for nature reserves. The paedo islands of Pitcairn and West Falkland as indefensible as UK-Philippines online paedo activity
* scrap F35 jets for drones, and begin an investigation as to how Eurofighter Typhoons can be more expensive than French Rafale jets. So much for European defence cooperation and savings?
The closure of several USAF based in UK hardly suggestive of wider conflicts in Europe - rather USA focused on Eastern and Southern Europe for Russia and Africa. Congo after all causing more deaths than WW1 and Rwanda and Sudan more genocide than Kosovo.
England's footballers gearing up for the World Cup with Rabies jabs. Russian footballers might for the return match want TB jabs with London as the TB capital of Europe.
So might Alastair Campbell and his former PM's TB and GB - unless the UK's vaccines have run out again. Surely lavish amounts of vaccines could be stockpiled in UK and then shipped to Africa and India a few months before the expiry dates by RN ships? Perhaps not. Impossible.
Discovery Science Park and Pfizer, the world's largest vaccine company give or take Johnson and Johnson and Glaxo, the USA's largest inward investment in Europe sat idle here in East Kent just a few miles from Dover Europe's largest port and the Channel Tunnel. And London as well as Paris and Brussels. And concerns raised in PMQ in Parliament at a strategic national asset rusting.
Impossible. So impossible.
And Spanish Flu Pandemics more likely to be an African Flu or Ebola or Mozambique's current Plague. Surely Farage and his AFD Nazi collaborators or homegrown Turnip Taliban could resuscitate his repulsive African HIV remarks from the last but one election to make some racist political capital out of all this?
Clearly, Alastair Campbell is right that UK is more Belgium in its defence now, but that's a good thing. Ramsgate's General Lord Dannatt citing swords turned perhaps not into ploughshares as yet. But certainly into pruning shears, as the Illinois railsplitter's better angels of our nature have reduced war to just civil war and ethnic cleansing and peacekeeping this far into the 21st century.
And unfortunately not More Virginia or More Wyoming in its trade deficit - but only because a Nelsonian blind eye has been turned under successive governments to incompetence and waste.
Perhaps if UK defence is so incompetent, Nelson should be removed from Trafalgar Square and replaced with General-Admiral-Wing commander Marc Thys.
Time for Change
Monday, 9 October 2017
The Tory party conference ended with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson citing Cambodia and the Khmer version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Neak Neng Klay Chea Sethey if your Khmer is rusty) as well as painting the Labour Chancellor John McDonnell as a modern Pol Pot.
Clearly the curlywurly-haired Boris is stuck in the 1970's of Johnny Foreigner, Nazi punishment beatings at Colditz or Eton, and the watermelon smiles of apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa or Caribbean tax havens - along with Corbyinite socialism of nationalising monopoly services such as trains and utilities.
Hardly doing Modern Britain nor Future Britain any favours.
While the Labour conference also cited Year Zero in the IPPR thinktank presentation on Future Britain.
And with his Johnson and Johnson hat on, shouldn't Ambassador Woody – not Boris - be the first American to carpetbomb Cambodia - with condoms and vaccines to rollback HIV and TB rather than Agent Orange and napalm. JandJ is a world-leading company has plenty of CSR programmes of its own but can lend its weight to the ADB and AIIB etc. Even to the G20 achieving 0.7% GNI in aid.
Pump-priming such nobrainer activity that after all has already happened in UK and USA over the years would also uplift research and production into Flu vaccines, EU Rare Diseases given the 14 new EU allegens, and Cancer and Dementia. JandJ could take a leaf out of Durex Reckitt's book and develop its own subsidised-to-free condom. And why should only the Tampon Tax remove VAT from a medical essential?
While with former Deputy PM Nick Clegg points out the horrifying 64,000 heroin/opioid deaths in USA in just one year, 2016 - more than US troop deaths in ten years of the Vietnam War - and now 90 people a week in UK, the highest number ever.
Surely UK and USA need a more combined effort from the poppy fields of Kandahar and Pakistani safe havens and Shan state, that contribute over 90% of the world's heroin, to the pharma medical labs to hospitals and drug clinics to policing the drugs gangs and streets?
All of this would be familiar in Kent with the Ground Zero, Year Zero policies of Paul Carter's KCC. The Kent Bleu if you will. Or perhaps Bleuuggghh. Tumbleweed is blowing through the Empty County Barn. And rather Kent in a right old state - and not the first time a right-wing regime has poisoned its own citizens, and Farage doesn't need to suck upto the new AFD German Nazis - with the Manston-Infratil crimes and Thor mercury overdue FBI scrutiny if UK police are too scared.
Fortunately Kent Labour helped too to remain silent as does UKIP with new Leader Henry Bolton OBE my erstwhile rival for Kent Police Commissioner last year (surely keeping up the UKIP tradition and resigning any day soon, and even musician Morrissey getting his gladioli in a twist in questioning if his election was rigged to keep out the anti-Islam Nazis) stumbling to explain the missing monitors and fines given reopening Manston is UKIP national and local policy.
Henry's chairmanship, now quickly resigned, of pressure group Why Not Manston surely means he knows of the problems? An OBE a badge for whitewash it seems in the tradition of Roger Latchford OBE and Sir Roger Gale.
But the wider UK malaise is symbolised by Cambodian Boris - Cambodia going through its own upheavals with the closure of The Cambodia Daily newspaper by PM Hun Sen - imagine if Boris or Theresa May were to shutter The Times, or allow RIPA and GCHQ snooping into all emails and Facebook sites. Or the most CCTV in Europe. Plus police drones and bodycameras with minimal democratic oversight. Even elected councillors tailed by Special Branch on their way to the council chamber and on a Domestic Extremist database.
It could never happen here. Could it? Has it?
And with Khem Sokha arrested - Cambodia's Vince Cable although the analogies are imperfect - of CNRP Party. And - with shades of Thailand's Yingluck - his deputy Mu Socha fleeing Cambodia for exile in Morocco, as with Sam Rainsy's, exile abroad there is a new Year Zero in effect.
With PM Hun Sen, if nothing else, the great survivor of almost 40 years of the Khmer Rouge era and Vietnam invasion and government and subsequent UN and democratic governments.
Mu Socha urging a time for democracy and time for sanctions ahead of the national Cambodian elections in 2018. Perhaps worrying that Thailand is still playing guessing games over a 2017 or 2018 or 12th of Never election to return happiness, and democracy, to the people.
Probably 2018 was confirmed to POTUS Trump, but the 2017 and 2016 deadlines after the 2014 coup have drifted by. Surely PM Prayut must be drafting a verse or two and a melody on Thailand 4.0 before then?
As an aside, surely UK has a role for ASEAN political exiles of all stripes going back to the days of South Vietnam. And eventually, with new governments, strongmen such as Hun Sen or PM Prayut or others may well need a safe haven too.
As with Carter's KCC, the Hun Sen government dominates the elections - yet what will Carter's elderly and arthritic government offer the younger generations? Say those under 70?
Apparently Carter was re-elected last week as KCC leader by his geriatric colleagues. Who knew? And, sadly, who cares? Carter's KCC an irrelevance now merely slipping further into stagnation. Carter must almost have been hoping for Economy Minister Mark Dance or Fire chief Nick Chard to hold even a token opposition.
Similarly Boris harking back to the genocidal days of the Khmer Rouge must mean nothing to modern Britons nor young Cambodians born this century and heading off to work and university.
Even Lord Puttnam's -Special Envoy to Cambodia and Laos (no envoy to Thailand or Vietnam?) - ageing VHS, or is it Betamax, showing of The Killing Fields must be wearing thin in modern Cambodia.
Certainly UK trade could be more greatly enhanced in ASEAN - and Lord Puttnam's Irish education MOOC venture must surely be seized upon by dynamic Ambassadors such as Washington's Dan Mulhall aided by Antony Philippson formerly of Singapore now New York Consul and Antonia Romera of UK DIT.
While the Foreign Office's first Malaysian Bond girl since Michelle Yeoh, Vicki Treadell - perhaps channeling Ursula Andress with a knife strapped to one thigh and a fork to the other - as she dines for Britain in greatly expanding UK-Malay universities and investments.
Maybe a can of Guiness, or a bottle of Lao Dark beer, in her handbag if the meetings are too dull. Or a ring-pull can of pineapple chunks if dessert is delayed.
And she must be taking a helicopter view of how UK industry can sidestep the Boeing-Bombardier-Airbus trade war circus that will blight the Belfast Bombardier factory, Boeing Sheffield factory and Bombardier Derby rail factory for SAR and cargo Resilience.
An ASEAN-Eurocopter flying away from a perfect storm if you will. And boosting UK-Japan Meiji efforts with the new defence treaty.
But surely Pacific Commonwealth Resilience as much a concern as the dismal RN and RM efforts last month - surely the worst beach landings since Dieppe. Certainly more comical than Comacchio and the modern Cockleshell Heroes seem sunk. Perhaps lucky the Germans hadn’t got to the sunloungers first.
A Jamaica Coalition needed beyond Germany in Caribbean Resilience.
While Malaysia's expanded efforts on Chevening and c.20k students into UK must be a template for other ASEAN nations such as Thailand's 8k students. An anaemic effort worthy of more SCB or CIMB support or at least Lucky Iron Fish.
While UK and USA efforts on new passenger planes in Asia - and overhauling Africa's decrepit fleet and unlinked international flights, every EU banned airline from Africa - must surely expand both Boeing and Airbus through the supply chains?
And new USA Ambassador Woody doesn't need to have been playing American football without a helmet and taking one too many knocks to his coconut, not to be urging UK-US calm over the Poseidon/Apache/C17 contracts rightly flagged up by Kent's defence minister Michael Fallon.
Even dusting his broom on USA culture from sea to shining sea in UK at least with a name like Robert Johnson or Woody there should be some Good Vibrations from State Culture depts?
Balfour Beatty's Mighty Quinn busy on South Florida's seafront might also help with Bombardier rail division constituting 50% of group profits - and provide a boost for USA ports and rail infrastructure that POTUS Trump has rightly highlighted as weak.
An aviation trade war could be averted as well as a UK-USA trade and infrastructure boost - although the Boeing tariffs now increasing to 300% raises few doubts over America first but more doubts over the Special Relationship.
While UK and USA police cooperation on Black Lives Matters ethnic policing could help reassure NFL stars not to take the knee.
Before Ambassador Woody knows it, the crowds could be chanting his name at Wembley and giving a Mexican wave as he drives the UK-USA trade bus. Certainly one worth more than the £350M Brexit Boris bus up on bricks and out of gas.
Dynamic Australians such as Julie Bishop and Angela Corchoran may well want to expand the new Australian Space Agency with UK and Commonwealth focused effort on dual-use aviation for the space race. And it must be absurd for Australia still to lack hispeed rail to crunch the megadistances between its cities - is the ADB or AIIB only for Asians not Aussies? Is London's City only for Londoners?
But with the excellent Moneypenny call answering service - I'd certainly use them as Sincerity Advertising rolls out through London and ASEAN and USA - flagged up by Ambassador Treadell she already has the outlines of a strategic template for UK in Backoffice services using ASEAN as the bridge between UK and USA timezones.
Say with EKFOS the East Kent Film Office and Studio - or any Soho film production company - being able to whizz through the latest special effects for a Ridley Scott or Christopher Nolan movies (Dunkirk and Mena and now Bladerunner2 with both massive rave reviews and missed opportunities given UK-USA cooperation on special effects) as the clock whirrs around from London to Bangkok to LA. Or any point in-between as with EKFOS East Kent Film Office and Studio for the Ramsgate gasworks regen site. Whether Jakarta or Manila or Danang.
Certainly with Wales' dynamic PM Carwyn Jones launching the 1917 Doughboys Experience, Thailand's and USA's car industry may figure prominently with Ford and Port Talbot steel. Surely cars and steel and a port are a rootin' tootin' tutti-frutti combination that would do Dairy Queen proud? If they were to land in UK.
And no 1918 Thai or Japan or Vietnam WW1 Experience? How quickly Britain forgets its Allies, perhaps faster than USA.
And with the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Bridge on the River Kwai next month in Thailand surely the CWG's sterling efforts in keeping the graves clean need more effective road and rail infrastructure overhaul between Thailand and Myanmar.
No road link between Mezali and Kyunchaung. Bong Ti Pass and Sai Yok roads in need of upgrade. As well as a reduced rail service after Nam Tok rail station and the excellent Australian museum at Hellfire pass. Even greater efforts on Mahidol university at Sai Yok or Technology School of Kanchanaburi linked to Kasetsart and Newcastle and Kent universities?
Kent's film school and American studies depts in need of refresh too - or inaction - given Kent graduate Kashuo's Nobel prize for Literature.
While Philippine's dynamic petrolhead and politician Karen Jimeno may well be asking UK to put the pedal to the metal on call centre outsourcing to Manila or Mindanao. Why would Ford or Microsoft or DWP or a myriad of banking and insurance businesses not be handling more of their calls and backoffice functions in ASEAN?
Eire already kickboxing above its weight with most of the main USA pharma and banking corporations nestled next to the Liffey. 65M Irish and Brits won't be able to process all their buying orders for shares and vaccines as promptly as with 90M Filipinos helping through the night or is it the day?
UK's Filipino expats are a thriving community to manage the flow of workers. Spoken English is excellent in Philippines, even - whisper it quietly - American English, and written English. While former Amabassador Asif Ahmed now clearing up some of the mess in Jamaica, from the hurricane and cocaine fiascos, must keeping a weather eye open on keeping the Panama Canal open to expedite manufacturing trade and Resilience support from UK and USA to Philippines.
For example, East Kent's Copart, the USA car sales and recycling mega-corporation with 15 UK sites plus dozens upon dozens in USA and Latin America and Asia would be ideal in supply chain uplift - car parts disassembled in UK, recycled fully in ASEAN and carparts manufacturing expanded.
Only in Kent could the good folks of Copart and Stevens metalworks - and Hornby/Scalextric - be constrained in their factory sites on prime seafront and heritage land near Discovery Park and Pegwell Bay. The cargo shipwreck yesterday by the Antony Gormley statues at the Turner Centre symbolic of the shambolic protection of the most Blue Flag beaches in UK and UNESCO Pegwell bay site with NEMO and Southern Water. Ships illegally berthed ready to be flung onto the shore literally under the gaze of the expensive new Coastguard station barely open.
Not even Kent officials aren't being transferred to Kandahar to use their skills in municipal government there - I'm hearing lots of public concerns. Lots.
Even a broken landward wind turbine an eyesore monument to government failure to develop the Richboro Roman Fort - site of Julius Caesar's landing, the St Augustine Pilgrim Trail, the Landings tourism attraction and UNESCO's Pegwell Bay itself.
Surely more trade and tourism, and UK's expanded Chevening scholarships, will do more good than harm to Cambodia.
Archbishop Trevor Wilmott who runs things when the Archbishop of Canterbury is down the pub, is certainly right to referee the differing views as to whether St Augustine counts as Catholic or CofE. And with The Trevor's Scholarships, part of a wider activity with the Catholic Churches of Philippines and Ireland - even Thailand and Vietnam and Spain - in advance of the Magellan anniversary. Bristol's Cabot might want to join in too.
The Catholic Church moving fast too to divest its Climate Change investments.
And as an aside, how fascinating that Columbus landed in Haiti, hoping he'd reached Quoc Eo in Cambodia known since Roman times as one of the main spice ports with Ha Tien. Kampong pepper valued even back then and before its EU designation.
Surely UK and Australian universities must be ready to expand their LIDAR ground radar research in Angkor Wat, the Canterbury Cathedral of Cambodia, to new tourist sites such as Quoc Eo?
Perhaps even Roman links between Kent's Richboro and Alexander the Great and Quoc Eo, and way before Marco Polo's silk road and Magellan and Amerigo's voyages.
Augustine friars of Canterbury vintage even established the Feast of the Black Nazarene every January in Quiapo Ipo Church Manila.
While the Royal Road from Battambang to Surin, encompassing Cambodia and Thailand's main and lesser-known Khmer temples, is long overdue cohesive tourism and infrastructure support ensuring peace and prosperity - as well as reseeding the jungle after the Khmer rouge toxic mix of landmines and logging.
While Priti Patel has wisely warned of the dangers of the bloated DFID fatcats of aid, surely UK’s dynamic ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft will take heed in his new role heading up DFID. It would be wrong of me not to cite Surin Village School Charity building schools in Asia and Africa and Latin America for just $30,000. 1,000 schools a year hardly impossible or extravagant, and helping regenerate Ramsgate's Third Sector with a Red Cross Town.
While Mu Socha's call for sanctions are well-argued in terms of targeted EU and USA sanctions - the expelling of the US Seabees a strange way to repay USA efforts to rebuild the bridges of the past.
Albeit Puerto Rico's broken dams may need their support - hopefully more robust than the New Orleans levees of Katrina -as would the Mekong dams that could unleash a further wave of malnutrition and climate change downstream in the Mekong Delta. Kent's Royal Engineers might also need to pack their jungle fatigues as well as their Sudan desert uniforms.
The end of USA sanctions on Sudan surely boosting a range of peace and prosperity initiatives Cape2Cairo given that nation has the fewest roads in the world even with JCB efforts.
But sanctions only work in developed economies - as in the call for a Winter of Discontent in East Kent to bring the Infratil criminals back for trial - perhaps Lord Grabiner's One Essex Court, Britain's best corrupt barristers, could easily pull a rabbit out of a hat and wriggle them free anyway.
In Cambodia, modern and developing as it is - the internet and phone service to put BT to shame - sanctions will hit the public the hardest, already suffering 40% malnutrition.
Interesting that Kent's Winston Churchill was cited as so malnourished when he joined the Army with just a 31 inch chest (almost half of UK WW1 recruits also rejected) he collapsed on infantry parade under the weight of kit and had to transfer to the cavalry for service in Cuba and Sudan.
South Western rail and Royal Mail now urging strike action hot on the heels of Southern Rail, SouthEastern rail, and Ryanair and Monarch aviation collapses. A trade union dastardly plot to bring down the government hardly likely as Boris and Theresa manage to do it all by themselves. The likeable Grant Shapps MP and former Tory Chair putting his Manston visit behind him and merely urging things along with a wave of the machete.
While the first real efforts in infrastructure such as the railway to Sihanoukville deep sea port and its food warehouses, or the BKK-Poipet railway and burgeoning food warehouses on the Thai border could be derailed. Already the Poipet to Battambang and Phnom Penh link slowing. And no real development on the Phnom Penh to HCMC railway.
Perhaps the Mighty Quinn could kickstart that engine of growth? And get Murphy, and Arup, to lend a hand instead of leaning on their shovel? And maybe just maybe Siam Cement could galvanise its business through some certainty on ASEAN railway sleepers - cement not logs now -volumes.
For with Prince Charles and Camilla refusing a visit to Myanmar over the ethnic cleansing under Aung Sang Suu Kyi's regime - or at least the military going their own way - mainland ASEAN could be without rail-links to its capitals for many more years.
There could be more delays than HS3 between the Northern Powerhouses of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull. Again something of a missed opportunity for Bombardier rail and metro carriages.
The One Yorkshire Plan for the Northern Powerhouse in Parliament next week with the $20BN Yorkshire GDP x2 Wales and larger than 11 EU nations. Shoddy that Kent has no idea of its GDP beyond $3BN on KCC.
To add to ASEAN's woes, Boris escaping the rubber room in King Charles St and turning up in Yangon and having to be reined in by the UK Ambassador for another yikes-cripes escapade of filmed by BBC TV insulting Buddha in a Buddhist temple. A schoolboy error unworthy of a G7 Foreign Minister. Perhaps Boris will turn up in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent's Shwedagon, with a whoopee cushion or some stink bombs.
Admittedly Yangon's - now Taiwan's -British Council contaminated by its weaker cohorts.
Britain's efforts in North Africa also undermined by Boris claiming Sirte in war-torn Libya would be a lovely seaside town once the dead bodies were cleared away.
But damaging for UK efforts with the brave UK Ambassador Peter Millett now in-country not so long after the USA's Ambassador was killed in the civil war.
And UK trade damaged no doubt as BP goes beyond petroleum with solar power and projects such as Desertec that could bring peace and prosperity to Cyrenia as well as Tunisia (emerging from the ISIS crisis of massacred UK citizens as TUI-Thomson relaunches beach holidays), Algeria (perhaps stumbling back into an ISIS crisis with the end looming for the ageing Bouteflika) and Morocco, ready for more Western investment.
And Desertec would provide the world with all its solar power needs.
While the North Africa and the Levant - escaping the repulsive and repeated anti-Semitism of the Labour conference confusing support for Palestine with abuse of Judaism and Startup Nation Israel - represents, with Russia and Turkey, the next phase of the EU.
More careful planning than the East European expansion could result in doubling Europe's population and markets through the shores of Tripoli that Kent's General Patton would recognise from before Fortitude.
While Alastair Campbell formerly PM Blair's spokesman has decried Boris's claims to be channeling Churchill as that of a pub karaoke singer claiming to be Mozart or Rolf Harris claiming to be Ramsgate's Van Gogh. Indeed the ill-coiffured Boris with every passing day isn't a new Churchill (unless it’s Churchill the insurance dog) but nearer to the silliness of Britain's Greatest Living Englishman - Ken Dodd.
Certainly the jam butty mines of Britain will congeal and the broken biscuit factories remain broken in the absence of any coherent economic policy beyond the absurd twaddle of Brexit rendering Britain a nation of economic diddymen.
Your children and grandchildren may well face a Cambodian future back toiling in the fields as EU migrants say London isn't Open and Kent isn't Welcoming and return home. Never mind buying German cars, who will buy a Great British Sandwich then?
UK life expectancy and cancer treatment slipping back. And a new UK Tobacco Plan only this Summer aiming to reduce tobacco by just 3% points from 15.5% feeble, and that with UK as a Tobacco Cessation Superpower on a par with a Road Safety Superpower or Sporting Superpower.
And the good folks of Ramsgate Asda-Walmart could be left with acres of wilting Kent orchids - one of 52 UK species. Kent's UKIP pensioners resorting to just Waitrose soup and softer bread as they wait longer for their denture repairs as the Spanish and Hungarian dentists go home.
Britain's long-term GDP: 50-70 years hence forecast to dip from 3.5% of global GDP to 1.5% - nearer to Belgium. Perhaps astonishing that plucky Belgium does so well boosted by The Flanders Engine just a short swim or ferry ride away from East Kent.
While the very sensible new UK policy of opt-out for organ donations (as in Wales) will end c.500 deaths each year from lack of organ donations. Indeed organ donations might be one of UK's few growth industries.
Perhaps Dr Liam Fox could keep his hand in with his NHS experience, along with his sterling efforts on UK trade in San Diego and the Carolinas, and wield the knife on Boris. Certainly Theresa May's last days as PM will no doubt end in her wielding the machete on Boris' political career and reverting to her Remain views.
Amber Rudd sensibly launching the ban on under-18 knife sales online and zombie knives - certainly with Chief Constable Pughsley of Kent Police back from his holidays a knife and gun amnesty as successfully introduced by West Midlands police is on the cards. New PCSO reforms still struggling with a lack of patrols.
The Independent newspaper detailing a marvellous story on the Insects in the Backyard restaurant in Bangkok with chef Thitiwat Tantragarn focusing on bugs for its menu: delicious fried crickets, succulent silkworms and water beetles and so on. Similar to Siem Reap's Bugs Café – insect tapas if you please.
Not relevant yet for Surin Thai restaurant in Ramsgate (try the sea bass!), Kent's best Thai restaurant, top ten UK and Europe, and Masterchef Damrong Garbutt, part of the burgeoning East Kent Cuisine Culture, but one of the ways of the world to feed itself.
And certainly no more outrageous than prawns or crayfish being harvested and eaten. Or even Quorn as healthier option to British beef now back on the Philippines' plate. And even flies now commercially harvested in UK for pet food - releasing more food for human consumption making famine or malnutrition in 21st century ever more absurd.
UK's former DIFD head Mark Lowcock now heading up UN Humanitarian Aid OCHA surely a Union Jack opportunity to dovetail aid and peacekeeping efforts in Africa and India, especially the Commonwealth?
With Europe spending more on pet food than Third World aid, insect protein is one way Cambodians and Laotians, and Africans and Indians could have fuller bellies faster, and circumnavigating the diseases of malnutrition that take decades and generations to resolve.
With the only bright spot of the party conferences comedian Simon Brodkin (more a Shakespearian bodkin piercing the pomposity of Party conferences and the writing not on the wall as the Tory signage literally falls apart advertising their failure) - his Lee Nelson Well Good chav and Jason Bent footballer surely ripe for cultural translation into heartland USA and two nations divided by a common language as Boris might have said if he was Churchill.
Brodkin handing Theresa May a P45 - fresh from showering Sepp Blatter of FIFA with dollars and urging North Korea for the 2026 World Cup (surely xxx and ASEAN Olympics in 2032 following the sun of LA in 2028?) then Year Zero might symbolise Britain now rather than Cambodia or Kent.
Indeed I've had to rework the priority of Sincerity Advertising offices ASEAN rollout on the latest trends:
3. Kuala Lumpur
5. Phnom Penh
Those not including Phuket, Hua Hin and DaNang or Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh.
Clearly UKEF export efforts in ASEAN are developing along with ADB and AIIB with OBOR China investments.
I've long-harboured hopes of launching my advertising lectures - after Watford College the UK's main ad college - with a University Advertising School in UK, Asia or USA. Texas one of the first universities to see the value of advertising and Creative Industries.
And absurd that UK has no equivalent of the JFK School of Government or Lee Kwan Yueh School of Policy. Nor university links with the US presidential libraries such as the Carter Center - nor of any USA VP Library system to detail the VP's and other candidates in elections.
It's worth pointing out a few quotes from The Sunday Times interview with Hillary Clinton yesterday and a brief read of her book What Happened on 3M more votes than Trump but the peculiar electoral college system where just 40,000 votes (hardly more than an East Kent election) in flyover country such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania swung it:
"Clinton speaks of Farage with disgust (the first foreign politician received by Trump after the election) "He came to USA to campaign for Trump and spent half his remarks insulting me in a very personal way and talking about Trump as the alphamale, the silver-backed gorilla...the real Bond villain in her book however is Putin who she believes wants revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union and expansion of NATO...he's a KGB agent - by definition he doesn't have a soul."
Clinton's views on $100k on 3k Facebook ads over 2 years by Russia possibly on USA issues is far more overblown. Such ad spend and coverage is negligible: mere chaff.
The wider question for a POTUS Kaine or POTUS Zuckerberg now, for the future, is both a shortened Trump presidency and viable Clinton policies. Merely criticising Trump is easy - what is the alternative: something Clinton failed to detail beyond the same insular Beltway concerns and feeble and strained reliance on feminism. Dressed in white as a suffragette if she'd won? Really?
Clinton's concerns over "her plea for UK authorities to investigate Cambridge Analytica a behaviour profiling company run by an Old Etonian that reportedly received $8M from the Trump campaign to help swing voters" more relevant. She says: "I hope the UK are investigating..they were involved in the Kenya election and Brexit".
While Clinton won the vote of Black, Latina and Asian women by large margins, 53% of white females preferred Trump. A feminist backlash and the Russian bogeyman weak excuses for failing to detail policy concerns that Trump and Saunders managed.
Next week she comes to Swansea to open a law school in her honour - and an evocative story of 13 year old Hillary writing to NASA saying she wanted to be an astronaut and the response: "sorry little girl we don't accept women into the space program".
Surely the first woman on Mars before 2030 may be American but -with the 60th anniversary of Sputnik last week - will carry the UN flag and humanity's hopes?
An interesting series of insightful articles in yesterday's Sunday Times too by David Smith and Irwin Stelzer, with EU GDP valued at $20TN double China's. And, the final nail in the Brexit coffin, 55% of UK imports from EU even a year after the Brexit referendum and March notice, and 48% of UK exports to EU - the latter only down 2% points. While UK exports in EU value chains are 30% and just 12% in non-EU value chains.
The last point a concern in who lost China in terms of UK trade?
UK lack of effort still in Asia all the more concerning with Thai FDI to UK still down 30% after the SSI steel venture. NowShell cancels $900M sale of two Thai subsidiaries after failing to agree a timely deal with Thai government which held over 22% of Bongkot gasfield to Kuwait petroleum.
And one bright spot as the Thai royal investment fund boosts SCB Bank and the SCB Abacus launch with a $500M investment.
While China is powering ahead on robots, electric vehicle and solar panel exports, while USA, UK's 2nd largest market (but still about half of EU trade), fixates on steel, petrol cars and coal under POTUS Trump - indeed if anything.
It was just 11 months ago Trump was elected and every policy has been cancelled or reversed amidst waves of opposition.
While China's Made in 2025 activity I've detailed before encompasses not just OBOR as the $1TN delivery mechanism. But lavish subsidies on aerospace, cloud computing, biopharmacy, integrated circuits and AI backed by the $800BN sovereign wealth fund.
Englandshire's lack of similar Meiji Kent reforms, and stalled UK-DARPA, are being knocked into a cocked hat.
USA now moving apace on a NASA base on the Moon and Mars 2030 and Australia launching a new Space Agency.
Aviation cooperation would create space to speed up humanity's journey to the stars with Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Dragon spaceships. The Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets failing with production problems at the Voronezh factory and Khrunichev metal alloys requiring rework and a year's delay on faults in 70 rocket engines.
Future Asia is being redrawn with China food exports to North Korea still up 100x in corn and 11x in wheat last year. When Chinese and USA troops leave a unified Korean peninsula - hopefully not in ashes. And a Chinese democracy is reunited with Taiwan, will China take back Vladivostock again? Even with a Bering road-rail route to Vancouver and onto New York or Santiago?
Putin's 65th birthday yesterday marked with protests in 80 Russian cities. Japan's swollen population may even retake the Kuriles and Sakhalin before Russia joins EU and NATO? Or before China, Japan and Korea create and Asian EU.
Russia's Far East of 8M people is looking an Achilles Heel for Moscow, with China's 1BN population and Japan's 100M people all cramped into the Hu Line and Japanese islands.
But Future Asia and Meiji Kent aside we are all Cambodians now. Even Boris and Hillary Clinton.
Time for Change
Monday, 2 October 2017
Dodgy lawyers are hardly something new in society. The liar-for-hire almost a prerequisite of the job description. Even Shakespeare urging a cull of lawyers.
Clearly something has gone wrong though in the UK Justice System - the expensive network of courts and clerks that lawyers and barristers and judges rely upon to make their living is broken.
Not just the absurd million pound fees - essentially the courts as a lawyer ATM to issue and costs they like - Lord Grabiner of One Essex Court once again cited in yesterday's Sunday Times as "the apogee of weak corporate governance" for his role in the BHS scandal. Secret shareholders for a UK plc – Grabiner resigning and followed by an exodus of senior management.
Dynamic MP Frank Field cited previously being after the whale of Philip Green (now paying £363M of the BHS pensions leaving only £1BN or so missing) as well as the sprat of Dominic Chappell who bought BHS for £1 from Grabiner-Green.
The scandal of payments for secret shareholders for a plc distorting their report and accounts yet to fully emerge - and hardly different from NZ corporation Infratil and the Manston monitors/fines crimes and scandal distorting their NZ share price.
As an aside the Monarch airline largest ever peacetime repatriation following on from the Infratil collapse and evacuations. While Riveroak with Tony Freudmann again hidden by a Delaware tax haven company that seems almost obligatory for the largest East Kent public sector projects eg Pleasurama and Dreamland – requiring reform.
But a fish rots from the head and Lord Grabiner is apparently still a judge in the High Court as well as the controlling interest of One Essex Court perhaps Britain's most corrupt set of barristers.
I’m fortunate to have witnessed their courtroom antics with Guy Hollingworth the part-time magician(!) - you couldn’t make this stuff up could you - pulling more than a rabbit out of his top hat or barrister's wig with fake invoices for his costs.
A veritable Ali Bongo of the Bar.
As well as similar fake costs from PB Law's Steve Palmer - the go-to firm for rather spurious claims against online traders it seems from their latest activity. You know the sort of thing: cease trading against our client who’s paid us £50 for a letter or we'll sue you for millions.
In the courts you fund from your tax.
That sort of thing.
Bizarrely Grabiner trying to cover the mess up as well as elderly QC Ian Glick his deputy previously in the dodgy firm. And even more bizarrely Glick and Grabiner - for lavish payments - advising parliament on tax issues.
I’d trust neither of them as far as they could throw Philip Green.
The Hollingworth magic even failing slippery clerk Darren Burrows given the previous clerk - an MBE no less - had to be resigned over the matter.
Obviously they’re ignoring their Bar oath to keep as shtum as possible. Even Peter Leaver QC who had no involvement in the case keeping silent as the One Essex Court deputy – and Deputy High Court judge.
A rather bizarre conflict of interest from the heavyweight QC.
Clearly reform of the High Court is long overdue - not just the sacking and striking off of dodgy barristers and judges and lawyers such as Grabiner and Glick and Hollingworth.
But also the UK courts essentially the most stagnant part of the UK with until the last few months almost no BME judges and officials and extremely elderly duffers that even Kent's councils would reject.
Elderly MP Roger Gale declaring himself mentally agile as ever - stop sniggering at the back! Daft old Roger is amazing and we could never manage without him and his Sirhood for something or other - as UK prepares for another sudden election as the party conferences stumble into silence and The Maybot 9000 goes on the fritz.
With Britain's most corrupt council surely Bayford and Iris and Homer and Bensted will be volunteering to service in the foothills of Afghanistan for local council reforms? It's been a long time with no improvements for lavish salaries and pensions.
Perhaps the quietly capable Philip Hammond and Justine Greening - neither from Kent but nothing's perfect, and Kent's quietly capable Damian Green and Greg Clark and defence attack dog Michael Fallon (more bite than the RAF Regiment apes or feeble RN Resilience efforts under review) would be on hand to offer advice - would make an interim PM and Deputy PM administration through to a full election (another one!) next year.
Fallon is vigorously active on the Bombardier trade dispute with USA that may give new Ambassador Woody "Guthrie" Robert Johnson a headache that only several Tylenol could resolve (other brands are available but they’re not as good).
One overlooked facet form Belfast aviation job losses (in the DUP magic money tree backyard) is Derby job losses too - but Bombardier Rail there perhaps keeping UK-USA trade on track given POTUS Trump (it must be too soon surely to raise both POTUS Kaine and Zuckerberg nominations?) has cited the weakness of USA infrastructure.
And with the expansion of the Chevenings Scholarships surely there's a revisionist need beyond the torpor of the public sector for say The Trevor's based on Archbishop Wilmott who leads the Church of England when the Archbishop of Canterbury is down the pub. Something more broadly based whether religion or civil society, Trevor speaking out on the contribution of Buddhists to Kent whether Ramsgate’s Pav Temple or not in his previous Easter message.
That no mean feat given the rise and fall of Ukippery and narrow anti-Moslem hatred. Kent’s Henry Bolton my erstwhile rival in the 2014 Kent Police Commissioner campaign narrowly averting a UK Nazi Party as Farage attends AFD meetings in Germany with relatives of Hitler’s Finance Minister.
Farage cosying upto the Bundestag Nazis in celebrating German troops achievements in WW2 - no doubt from the barns of Wormhouldt to the ravines of Babi Yar to the fields of Malmedy.
Nein danke Herr Farage or his tame Rupert,Henry.
Henry a nice enough chap, aiming for 3rd place but getting the booby prize of winning the UKIP leadership, and already criticising East Kent UKIP and dropping like a hot cake his Manston links.
And Labour mired in a repulsive anti-Semitism against Jews in general, beyond concerns over Palestine or wider Israeli government policy. Israeli efforts on the StartUp Nation or expertise on demolishing nuclear reactors from Dungeness to Damascus to the Yalu could be lost to UK.
While Eire's Ambassador Mulhall in Washington penning a verse or two of poesy in the Irish theme pubs of Washington and New York. Even dynamic Virginia's Governor of Cork Terry Mcauliffe staring into the foam on his brew - or a misty glass of Argentine red - and wondering of the possibilities of USA-Eire-Scotland trade with UK and a Southern Eire deepsea port and hispeed rail through to Dublin and Belfast and Glasgow within the day, while avoiding Southern England's crowded ports and railways.
A wider question beyond new Hispanics such as Cruz or Kaine or Rubio is whether Hillary would have done anything different but better?
A 219% Bombardier trade tariff putting America First rather than the Special Relationship and proving more of an issue than 1,000% credit tariffs to the public or crackgambling machines. Germany manages with just 9.9% APR: UK when not if?
NHS dynamic doctors such as Sarah Waldron and Liam Fox must want to test the temperature of UK trade or at least take a firm hold of UK plc's trading prostate. No Tobacco Plan? No DNA rollout? Nothing on Cancer and University synergy? Lebanon and Algeria and Morocco left adrift? USA flyover country from South Carolina to San Diego? Berlin to Bahrain?
I’ve long argued for EKFOS – the East Kent Film Office and Studio as Kent’s Hollywood with a Buddhist temple at the Pav rather than the drab and deafening motorway service station once the Brexit mullet-rascal Tim Wetherspoon has left. His incoherent Brexit views suddenly backtracking at losing both cheap Eastern European labour or Continental lagers.
They must be laughing at us in Chorley. `Laughing at us.
Impossible some would say to regear the Kent economy as conservatism slides into stagnation and the bierkellar boys emerge in a recession again. Impossible.
Kent's Leo Quinn and Balfour Beatty already moving beyond the Ashford Hitachi railyards to begin work in USA. And the eloquent Lord Bridges - amid the rubble of the DEXEU Brexit dept with 20% resignations evne the dynamic Antony Philipson of Singapore now housed in New York as Consul - remarking, as he would named after infrastructure, on bridging the gap between UK and USA and Asia.
If only Lord Bus and Lord Trainstation and Lord Deepseaport even Lord Johnny Appleseed would speak up too: POTUS Trump dipping his fries in UK's tomato ketchup (Heinz and not HP sauce) in ASEAN this week and in November as the US pivot moves apace and UK is left debating the Brexit guff of how many bureaucratic trade negotiators can dance on the head of a pin before agreeing it's all been silly. Time lost never to be reclaimed.
My erstwhile rival for Kent Police Commissioner, the perfectly pleasant and invisible, Henry Bolton (he remains silent on the Manston corruption I campaigned on or securing Europe's leaky borders as a former EU official - I promise I’m not making any of this up. One of his first acts to lambast TDC and Leader Wells here in East Kent as the only (just) UKIP council as incompetent and worthy of resigning.
Do NOT mention the Infratil monitors or aquifer, Henry.
But let's hope he's vigorous on UK reforms in Afghanistan and USA support with only Kent Ghurkas as America's spear carrier now - the Taliban Ho Chi Minh trail if you will - through the safe haven of Pakistan. And ISIS resurgence in South East Asia.
Certainly Farage exhibiting his Midas touch in reverse as the great white hope of UK politics in helping Trump's government collapse - I struggle to see how $100,000 worth of supposedly Russian Facebook ads makes any difference to a US election other than reviving McCarthyism to oust Trump. Although the Hillary memoir provides more detail on Russian Trump investments.
I don’t think Trump is a particularly good President by any stretch of the imagination but he narrowly won fair and square. And to his credit, as with The Maybot 9000, he’s cancelled all his absurd policies and repulsive advisors in just over 6 months.
Maybe fox-hunting is what 21st century America could borrow from Britain rather than democracy and rule of law?
Perhaps Andrew Conway could be the lawyer of choice to make up a new law to do it if Magic Guy is otherwise detained - and speaking to the AFD Nazis including relatives of Hitler’s Finance Minister(!) - you just can't make this up can you.
Conway the sort of lawyer happy to pose as an HMRC Customs official.
Again straight from the dodgy lawyer playbook Conway is rather keen to state that I live in Thailand rather than UK to his client the Benenden Healthcare Finance Director in York. He remains silent as to how I stood for MP in Kent. They certainly wouldn’t allow these sort of lawyer shenanigans in Thailand.
Clearly not enough dodgy lawyers are being jailed or struck off.
Lord Haddingfield jailed for £13k of expenses fiddling or Kent MEP Peter Skinner for c.£5k – for four years - are a precedent for crooked politicians but not the crooked lawyers it seems. Presumably Judge Leavor will preside over any One Essex Court case?
But let's hope Ambassador Woody now he's touched down in London doesn’t hesitate in promoting NFL and NBA even a bit of baseballrounders.
On the NBA surely Steve Balmer's LA Clippers, with the good folks of existing sponsors MBNA, would be ideal to promote the new Clipper ferry service between East Kent and the City along the Thames? Dynamic Lord Hezza's Thames Gateway gradually creaking open. Microsoft's dynamic Balmer, the Red Adair of UK-USA trade, can't sit in his Foundation skyscraper looking glum and watching out for North Korean missiles over the Puget Sound.
England expects. As do the good folks of Pfizer at what was USA's largest inward investment project in Europe just down the road from Ramsgate here in east Kent at Discovery Park. 5,000 jobs out of 7,000 still missing but thrown a lifeline by former Chancellor George Osborne on the board and now at Blackrock. And of course Sittingbourne Science park (plus the triumvirate of the Glaxo site in Dartford)for failure - look at the shitty mess of Southern water.
And both Jo Johnson the more capable brother of Boris and dynamic Lord Adonis – perhaps a Lord Infrastructure - have raised concerns over tuition fees - undoubtedly back to free as in Scotland and Chancellor salaries. Half a million quid for the Bath university chancellor? Plus the bloat salaries and pensions of their reams of assistants for a middling at best university?
The Sunday Times University league table exposing some weaknesses in both Kent University and Canterbury Christchurch University that no doubt the new Nottingham Karen Cox will be vigorously active on such as the Broadstairs campus.
Frankly not enough barristers and lawyers are being jailed or struck off.
Imagine any member of the public passing fake invoices in High Court or blatant porkies and misleading judges. Yet contemptible layers such as Grabiner and Glick and Hollingworth aren’t just missing out on Pentonvile porridge at the moment but continuing to access and use the public’s courts for their frauds.
Grabiner is a Lord and mere twerp and corruptioneer, and the rest only judges hired by the public until they are redundant.
The clothcap QC Keir "Hardy" Starmer (Keir Hardy not Ollie Hardy) delaying on legal reform and handicapped by legalese in trying to square the circle of Brexit being cancelled as unutterably daft, if not the worst UK foreign policy since Suez. Certainly his efforts on ending the Caribbean death penalty are overdue being completed as merely a legislative technicality given the Queen as Head of State and parliament and Supreme Court as final arbiters of many Commonwealth nations.
The ludicrous Hollingworth - Britain's best barrister for bank robbers or drug dealers looking for excuses - even citing Vanuata law in his fraud (it's somewhere in the Pacific and not as unpleasant as the paedo islands of Pitcairn or West Falkland) law at one point in a summing up that was more a clutching of straws as invoices tumbled out of his case.
All that was needed was one of those long trains of handkerchiefs appearing out of his sleeves. A distraction for any jury that would have the temerity to enter the closed courts.
And separately one interesting aspect of the Koh Tao murders of two UK backpackers in Thailand was UK Special Branch police being criticised unfairly for assisting Thai police as Thailand has the death penalty. A fact lost in translation that as in the Caribbean the death penalty in Thailand is a legislative technicality in abeyance and unlikely to be used.
The UK also stumbling on instigating a UN-wide death penalty ban and ignoring last month's UN ban on nuclear weapons. Certainly any UK sailor and supplier must be concerned at potential war crimes charges for aiding or deploying - not even using nukes. Certainly without a parliamentary debate on the issue as well as the hidden details of UK nearly nuking Disneyland before the Trident debate.
One of my favourite barristers James Turner QC (JTQC his legal abbreviation) usually with something interesting to say and exhibiting a sense of humour beneath the impenetrable verbiage that tongue-tied m'lud-grovellin' lawyers often substitute for sense.
Too often Parliament's laws exploited as a common language for lawyers to boost their fees or betray their clients - a quirk of the legal system being lawyers are responsible to the courts and government not the clients that fund them.
Equally clearly the Supreme Court couldn’t follow Magic Guy and pull a rabbit out of a hat and instigate reforms only being established in 2009 and anyway reporting to Parliament as the UK’s Supreme Court to hire and fire any judge and instigate or revoke any legislation or act.
And certainly the oversight mechanisms of the legal profession in the Solicitors Regulation Authority/Law Society and Bar Standards Board/Bar Council, are tame beasts funded by lawyers to whitewash lawyers.
Even the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal a cod-court of solicitors hiring solicitors to represent them against a hearing by other solicitors rather than a professional standards body rooting out dodgy lawyers such as Conway. Tame.
Or the Bar Inns self-regulation with feeble-minded feeble clerks refusing to hear of concerns and asking - via email - for paper correspondence.
As old-fashioned and corrupt as Grabiner's set of fraudsters.
At one point I had to remind the repulsive Conway that a cod-court of self-selected property lawyers wasn’t a court and that they did need to go through the pretence of citing an actual law and crime - not just using the courts to seize what they wanted.
After two or three attempts he came up with something top write on his forms and give it a whirl in court on the off-chance Judge Langley was asleep.
Perhaps Conway is a legal genius and should actually head up the Government Legal dept as Attorney General. Stop tittering. It’s possible.
The worst kind of liar-for-hire and theft by fountain pen that the Judge Cocklecarrot series on Private Eye should do more of.
Steve Palmer of PB Legal, now in hiding, is the worst kind of greasy-haired lawyer too sweatily- incoherent to speak for himself (his written explanation of his costs, over two pages of densely written and contradictory cobblers is extraordinarily special. But he believes it so don’t mock even if he puts your children on trial. Judge Mann will get them off. No?) and having to hire a barrister to prance around the courtroom for pay.
Even those lawyers that represent the best of their profession such as Thailand’s Klity Creek justices or even JTQC the crime fighter - for a fee - citing his work on the General Pinochet case a few years ago. At best raising the gruesome crimes that littered Latin America through the brutal Chile and Argentine and Brazil juntas - but at worst merely a day in courts on the rates gasbagging to no effect for a fee.
Pinochet merely jetting away from the tainted court to continue his crimes against humanity.
London’s courts as with the Magnitsky case essentially funded by the UK public for Russian oligarchs to excuse the murder of brave lawyers such as Sergei Magnitsky or excuse Putin's executions of dissidents by low-yield chemical weapons in your polonium sandwich.
Assad or butchers such as Kony in Sahel, or Obiang in Equatorial Guinea - his parades a cakewalk for American oil companies such as Total now banned in Kent for Myanmar war crimes - no doubt reassured by the lowering of standards in UK courts and fall of the Bar. Obiang's son being prosecuted in French and USA courts for various crimes.
The French and USA courts and police more active than UK in African cases - UK more fettered by its last remnants of colonial past in Africa and Caribbean.
And again the Sunday Times citing the ICC International Criminal Court failure in its lawyers working for the Libyans they were investigating for war crimes(!).
Clearly guns-for-bungs- deals such as Sangcom with BAE et al and the dodgier Arabian kingdoms won't be held in UK courts any day soon. Weak judges such as Mann hiding behind the farce of cases having to be brought to them rather than initiating anything.
And closed courts a recipe for corruption with say Conway and Langley splitting the proceeds of any deal - although I don’t think for a second think they have but it’s feasible. And certainly feasible with Mann and Hollingworth having secret court sessions unlikely to be a review of magic tricks. Perhaps Judge Man distracted by a cloud Hollingworth’s magic dust.
Hollingworth, as Britain’s best corrupt barrister, is available for birthdays, bar mitzvahs and so on - legal advice or magic tricks – although it seems American high school students can replicate his tricks Izzy Wizzy he needs to get busy on some new ones.
Certainly he’d make a marvellous Pinocchio in the Kent Police Xmas pantomime - perched on Geppetto elderly Glick's knee -watch his nose grow as he delivers an ace or five up his sleeve. See the invoices and his clerk's career disappear in a puff of smoke.
The Police though are cowed with the much-vaunted Action Fraud by City of London Police meant to increase UK cyber-security feeble (of far more use than aircraft carriers on Windows XP or Private Eye citing one submariner concerns expressed to PM may at his sub having to resurface to download his porn).
Kent's Adrian Leppard Deputy Chief formerly Chief of City Police before retiring and now replaced by xxxx but Action Fraud merely the online equivalent of an empty bucket with a hole in it - fraud complaints are merely redirected back to the local force to be lost in their statistics without sight of CPS etc.
Weak judges such as Grabiner or the porridge-faced faced Jock and Judge Mann seem the norm. Even the eccentric Suitcase Smithy involved tangentially in the case before being sacked after threatening to jail the British Airways CEO in a separate BA case - because Smithy went on holiday and lost his suitcase containing his underpants and selfie-stick even though it was all returned a few days earlier. The underpants possibly even washed and ironed. Or not. Let’s hope he;s not inconvenienced by Monarch going bust.
And the Teacups Judge randomly stating in open court "you'll never get Glick". Obviously his best mate around his china cups.
While Kent has seen political judging at its best with the trial of Craig Mackinlay for UK’s biggest electoral fraud over the Battlebus raised a fortnight before the June election and then bounced away for another year to another court after it.
I don’t think for one moment Craig had anything or even much to do with the Battlebus fraud - and is certainly innocent until proven guilty even in the UK’s tainted courts - that was simply imposed upon him and other candidates from Central office by the now defunct May/Timothy/Hill government.
Far too many judges are twisting Parliament’s carefully-crafted laws beyond any reasonable interpretation and the courts a publicly-funded playground for fees rather than justice. Kent's courts normally has sound oversight of many of the legal issues and certainly a review of court sentences, and even use of closed courts is overdue.
And when did jury trial become a rarity rather than barrister-judges as Grabiner and Glick playing both sides of the public's coin?
But the epidemic of dodgy lawyers means the Bar has already lowered if not fallen through the floor.
Time for Change