#westminster

She might be the 2nd but by far the worst

Theresa May will resign. Finally. Utter disaster in the top job. No conviction. No moral authority. No judgment. Little support from her colleagues. No respect for the referendum. Destroyer of the Conservatives. Duplicitous EU supporter. Prepared to propose a deal to submit the British people which might as well have been an unconditional surrender to Brussels. No-one will miss her vacuous leadership. Probably the worst PM in UK history.

She may like to think that she was “the second female prime minister, but certainly not the last” but what has gender got to do with it? 17.4mn Brits would have been happy to have a transgender PM if ze could have executed Brexit. Identity politics was the last thing on their minds.

When the next female PM graces 10 Downing St it is likely she’ll seek inspiration from Maggie not May.

Keep calm and move along.

Could the message be any clearer for Theresa May?

The latest YouGov opinion poll has Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at 28%, Labour at 22% and the Tories at 13%. Interestingly YouGov polled 5x as many people as usual. Very damning indictment on Theresa May’s lack of decisive leadership. The PM has had no authority from the beginning of this process and remaining (no pun intended) in the top job is toxic for the Conservatives.

Do arms suppliers have a moral compass?

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40 murdered children in Yemen.  The Saudi logic behind the attack was that the Houthi rebels were training these kids as soldiers. A far-fetched claim. Yet where has the condemnation of Saudi’s role on the UN Human Rights Council been? Countless civilian deaths in Yemen at the hands of the Saudi military are nothing new. Where was the outrage then? The decades long proxy war has only accelerated since the assassination of former Yemeni dictator President Ali Abdullah Saleh in December 2017.

CNN looked to put the blame of this latest tragedy at the feet of US defence companies. Surely the Europeans are just as blameworthy for selling the Tornado or Eurofighter aircraft that likely dropped the American ordinance on these kids? Mattis has openly criticized the Saudi attack in this instance.

Arms deals are a dirty business. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Unfortunately these dangerous toys rarely come with a “please use responsibly” section inside the box of instructions. Some might argue that in certain cases users are not of the appropriate age bracket to play with them. Bribery scandals (aka incentives) are often more notable than the weapons deals themselves. Yet have there been incidences of arms suppliers turning down multi-billion dollar contracts?

If we go back in history, the Americans refused to release the source codes to the Saudis in a potential multi-billion dollar US jet fighter sale that would have allowed certain weapons (the US weren’t prepared to supply) to be fired. Even if the Saudis bought the US jets and sourced the banned weapons on the black market they wouldn’t be able to be fired.  Instead the Saudi’s bought the Panavia Tornado because the Europeans were happy to sell a similarly capable platform that the US refused to sell. UK defence contractor BAE Systems won a long term maintenance contract known as Al-Yamamah as a result of this Tornado deal. Why not bash the Brits for taking advantage of the US putting regional security ahead of arms sales in Saudi Arabia?

Perhaps we could question the moral fibre of the US refusing to sell the F-22 Raptor attack fighter to the Japanese. The Japanese top brass pleaded for the plane but US Congress refused to approve it claiming the billions required to redo all of the computer systems and source codes to ensure it had a lower capability than the USAF plane. The reality was more likely to prevent a leakage of its capability (something that had occurred when the Japanese ordered Aegis destroyers). The result was Japan didn’t get them even given its peaceful history post WW2.

Should we bash the Russians for supplying military hardware has been behind the deaths of over 100,000 Syrians? Or Ford for making the car that ran down people in Westminster?Or should we question the operators of these tools?

If we really want to get petty the Paveway Mk-82 bombs responsible for killing these kids were sold to the Saudi’s in a deal made in 2013 under the Obama administration. Was it Obama’s fault in allowing the sale? CM doesn’t believe he is but interesting that CNN left the period of sale out. Easier to attack the $110bn arms sales going forwards.

40 dead children is a tragedy. Arms deals are far from if ever holy. The instruments of death are sadly not always deploy in manners which are either moral or ethical. The Iranian backed Houthi almost sunk a French made Saudi frigate in the Red Sea at the beginning of last year. Several Emirati patrol boats have been severely damaged by the Houthi in the same area, the most recent incident occurring  last month. There are countless skirmishes along the Yemeni/Saudi border.

Unfortunately the Saudis and several other gulf states are key allies of the US in the proxy war against Iran/Russia. Do not expect a wholesale change in US arms deals with Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future.

In closing perhaps people might question China’s new interest in the Middle East? Many may have missed it has deployed 5,000 troops (including special forces) in Syria since 2017. Geopolitics seldom look to protect the rights of anyone other than the home side. Don’t pretend it does otherwise.

Remember the Guardian Angels? Expect vigilantes like them in the UK

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At 3:40 into her press announcement on the London terror attack PM Theresa May called it what it is – Islamic Terrorism. Too often leaders in the West tip-toe around the words, hiding behind the spinelessness of political correctness. Even listening to Sky News this morning the commentators were trying to soften the images when there are dozens of ambulances, police vans and policemen changing into full tactical response kit. How stupid do the media and politicians take people for?

For once, Theresa May spoke with authority. She came straight to the point. “Enough is enough!”  She talked of an evil ideology and how we need to have the embarrassing conversations regardless. She didn’t hide behind politically correct statements.

Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson made an empassioned video about the state of what is going on in the U.K. It is full of expletives. He advocates laws of internment – like that conducted when the IRA was running amock – be introduced to get 3,500 monitored jihadis off the streets. He mentioned 19,355 people were detained (fact checked – 32% of Asian descent, Whites 31%) last year suspected of starting, plotting or being involved in suspicious activity surrounding terrorism. That’s over 50/day. You can fact check in the following document.

Looking at the March 2017 report by the U.K. Government ‘Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes, and stop and search, Great Britain, quarterly update to December 2016′ it notes 

1) Arrests for terrorism-related offences fell by 8% in the year ending 31 December 2016 compared with the previous year (from 282 to 260 arrests). Although the number of arrests has fallen, it is still relatively high when compared with other recent years.

2) There has been an increase in the proportion of people arrested of ‘White’ ethnicity, from 25% in the year ending December 2015 to 35% in the latest year. [note that 50% are Asian]

3) The number of persons in custody for terrorism-related offences has been rising; as at 31 December 2016, there were 183 persons in custody in Great Britain for terrorism-related offences an increase on the 143 persons in custody as at 31 December 2015.

Robinson made one point that I mentioned earlier this morning. If politicians keep turning a blind eye and chanting “love will always win over hate” vigilante groups will spawn. People hit a threshold. Remember when the Guardian Angels sprung up in NY in the 1980s when crime on trains was getting out of control and authorities weren’t containing it. Apart from the natural embarrassment of law enforcement being shown up for restrictive response capabilities they’ll be forced to adapt.

We can’t believe in this hug one hug all hashtag, social media avatar nonsense because it clearly has no effect. The West’s current policies are a reflection of the idea that taking the moral high ground is the way to stop it. However there is no point in trying to lie down and give up cultural and legal freedoms for those who have no interest in respecting it much less appreciate it let alone reciprocate such good will. Those conducting terror attacks may not represent the majority but how many people need to be stabbed, run over, bombed to realize these radicals want a caliphate?

The people who should most abhor these villains are everyday Muslims who must resent the extra scrutiny placed upon them. Having said that, how much cooperation and assistance is being provided to weed the radicals out. Are they too afraid to speak out against the crazed jihadis within their ranks? A lot of information gathering for intelligence agencies must come from these communities already but more is needed. There are many factors at grass roots level where we can pontificate all we like but the reality is repeated incidents like Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge prove the current state of play is untenable. Action not words. Zero tolerance is not an extreme response. Sitting back and lighting up monuments doesn’t change a thing.