Monday, 8 December 2008

Act of terror

Those, who brought in the Terror Act and apply it indiscriminately as a universal tool to sort out whatever they find unpleasant, are quite resourceful again and seemingly are the only people committing act of terror on every normal everyday person... every single day with their renewed machinations.

And since there are occurrences of classic paranoid terms like 'they', well, let's be clear, it is about the current British Government and Home Office, specifically.

The matter of the compulsory ID cards with full-blown biometric data, as an essential tool in the fight against terrorism, has been debated a lot in the recent past, well, ever since its wonderful idea was introduced. Nothing wrong with ID cards per se, many countries have some form of it, but the rationale for its absolute need was flawed from the beginning.

What is particularly hilarious is that the Home Office, in this citadel of Western democracy, is now trying to introduce them via the 'back door'. They want to introduce a clause by which they make the presentation of the ID card compulsory at border points, when entering the UK. So if asked, one has to produce it.

Ergo, ID cards are no longer compulsory. You can perfectly live without them, as long as you never leave and (re-) enter the UK. Brilliant.

What is then interesting, is that the European Court recently had a verdict by which holding of DNA information on any person not involved in a criminal investigation (and/or not convicted in the end) is illegal.

Our Home Office Secretary, the particularly creepy, spineless, transparent and utterly brainless woman she is (a wonderful combination that any totalitarian dictator would have loved to have in the Government), found the ruling "disappointing".

Well, what it will do to our ID cards, we'll see... maybe some more back doors are to be introduced.

I would like to leave this topic with just one interesting example of Home Office theory and practice.

They introduced at some airports the iris scan facility, and once enrolled, you can enter without passport checking queues. Well, in practice it means most of the time slower and longer queues at the very few iris scan cubicles and countless times I got through quicker via traditional and even longer passport checking queues.

When they got pulled up on why there is only one cubicle at LHR Terminal 1 and it most of the time 'out of order', the response was: we shall install more as soon as we refurbish the arrivals area at that terminal.

Well, they have done so... work has finished. In the renewed immigration check area you can guess how many iris scan cubicles there are.

You guessed it, just one. The same one and it breaks all the time.

Come on, Mrs. Smith of Home Office grandeur: you have no real interest in biometric data being used for people's advantage, to speed or modernise things, to help in any way anybody.

You just want to POSSESS full biometric data on everybody. Full stop.

Ah yes, apparently for helping the war against terror. Ah yes.

Friday, 5 December 2008

One democracy, two democracies

An interesting update about the Romanian farce first: it didn't quite work. In the end, with a marginal difference, the old Mafiosi were not brought back, instead we have some continuity with the not so old Mafiosi :-)

Another interesting development is that the extreme right Great Romania Party, with the colourfully demented fascist leader, C. V. Tudor did not reach the needed threshold to get into the Parliament, what a shame.

While former home, Romania was sorting itself out in the aftermath of the elections, the current home, UK has reached new heights of its democracy.

The Terror Act was used against an MP who leaked information to the opposition regularly, about frankly scandalous matters of the current Government. So one can say, whether it was a violation of the Official Secrets Act or not, is secondary, because the information was something the MP in question deemed necessary for the public to know. So it can be a philosophical debate...

But while that debate may go on, it is clear that none of the leaked pieces of information were in any way a national security risk. Still, that is the label put on them, and the chap was raided by police, his office was also searched - and the clencher is: search warrants were not issued at all.

Not only showed again that the Terror Act, exactly as predicted by every lucid being years ago, can and will be used for utter abuse of power, as soon as something doesn't suite the Party that established it, but it also showed that even the most basic aspects of judicial process, never speaking of basic human rights, have been violated or bypassed altogether.

This has all the elements of a totalitarian state... not the first time this so-called Terror Act was used as a tool to sort out whatever didn't suit Mr. Blair or Mr. Brown's Government.

Also, the irony is that the Party which labelled the scandalous information leaked to the opposition a national security threat is responsible for countless diabolical losses, misplacement, leaks and losses of highly confidential information that all WERE indeed direct threats to national security.

Furthermore, if Gordon Brown had this treatment, then he would have spent most of the 80s in jail, when he made a career out of leaking information...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Romanian democracy

It is a sarcastic title - and while one fights with sense of guilt for not having been physically there to feel every minute of the General Elections in Romania, it is just simply impossible to leave that absolute farce without a comment.

Don't look at Zimbabwe... there are much closer places on the map, where democratic principles have been completely thrown out while performing an apparent eminent democratic process.

Such artful farce so far was the exclusive characteristic of talented African and former Communist block dictatorships, but we have something very close to it now.

As some stunningly erudite analysts stated, the Social-Democrats in Romania have relied on under-development, on miserable voters living in medieval conditions (and medieval mindsets). The gamble succeeded, the winning seems to be by fractions of percent. As he also states, the manipulation of the depraved thick layers of the society was a 'negative magnum opus' achieved by the party - and the well-designed electoral farce has also succeeded.

For starters, for the first time, more than a million voters could not vote... because votes for (I emphasise!) general elections could only be cast at your permanent residence. It brought back a certain feudalist practice, and it was not by accident, it was by design. More than a million voters were caught out by this absolutely absurd new rule, while also arrangements for students to make their way home from distant cities have been strangely pushed into chaos.

Why? It's not conspiracy theory, it is a well-designed and obvious pattern, considering who seems to have won the elections, based on the current polls and preliminary counts.

The rural votes have ... ruled, and they brought their characteristics with it. Romania, in many ways still a very rural country, has now brought back to power the (what countless called in the Romanian press) traitors and ex-communist/neo-communist Mafia which traditionally always managed to charm rural voters and that party has learnt the lesson how to orchestrate the elections such that these key votes will be the predominant ones.

It is incredible that after 18 years, these pests are voted back into Government, bringing back the darkest years of post-Revolution history. Reading the more enlightened comments in national and local press, it is evident that the closest state of shock that resembles this was the re-election of "W" :-)

Fun aside, there were concerted efforts to make urban and more 'intelligent' votes invalid, prohibit people from non-rural environments (who eminently work further away from where they are registered as permanent residents). There were concerted sabotage actions to prohibit hundreds of thousands of students to properly reach their permanent home where they could cast their votes.

Never before the split was so clear in the country, between those that are blinded by the well-organised empty propaganda augmented by pure emotional campaigns and gifts (yes, immense funds from somewhere were spent on bribes of entire communities!) and those that see who these people are. Not difficult to see, as they have been on the political stage before and the results were, well, the darkest neo-communist Mafia years of the country.

Even compared to the usual standards of Romanian corruption across every layer of society, this bunch will truly make them pale in significance. We are returning to an era of the post-Iliescu/neo-Nastase clans...

It is a dark day. And dark months and years are to follow.

Reading the comments in the press and online, even traditionally patriotic voices are so bitter that many state: they are happy to live outside the country and they are deeply ashamed to even mention their home country now. Some wrote that they were planning to return to Romania in coming years, but this change now (and HOW the election was orchestrated) means they abandoned any plans to even visit home...

It is sad to see this, while personally I am also blinded with anger, listening to the street-level reactions and facts about the way the election was run.

Some at least attempt to make elections look democratic, but the Romanian political Mafia has acquired enough arrogance and power over 18 years to not even bother with appearances.

As the Social-Democrats can't govern with their proportion in the Parliament, now the coalition talks will be extremely interesting, especially as the key players currently flatly refuse coalition.

One sweet pill, though: it seems the ultra-fascist Great Romania party for the first time does not make it into the Parliament, what a shame.