04 December 2011

Blogger Breakdown

The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007 - 2036

I'm trying to post this
"@stef said, "it's about time the readership of that report was expanded a little..."

Unfortunately, the MOD have decided against this by password protecting the link given.

However, http://www.cuttingthroughthematrix.com/articles/strat_trends_23jan07.pdf gives a link from which I've just downloaded a copy.

Just thought I'd go through the tick box exercise of seeing what's come to pass and what's still awaiting us."
comment to
'The Middle Class Proletariat' aka 'We're all potential terrorists now'
For some reason blogger is playing up with the result that the comment isn't being accepted.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following MOD link, http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/94A1F45E-A830-49DB-B319-DF68C28D561D/0/strat_trends_17mar07.pdf, which used to be freely accessible to those who paid for it, now requires a password.

Here is a working link, http://www.cuttingthroughthematrix.com/articles/strat_trends_23jan07.pdf to the report that used to be freely available to those who paid for it.

As to why I'm making efforts to post this article,

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2 The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary."

23 November 2011

Am Bobby Charlton

Still reading and re-reading the Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire, a book that I find both fascinating and difficult.

Freire criticises what he calls banking education where pupils are treated as empty vessels to be filled up with facts: in the UK this is called teaching to the test. Despite claims to the contrary, since schools are judged by test results, that is the only teaching technique that is done. There are of course many different ways of teaching to the test but at heart, teaching to the test is what happens.

Freire explains that the banking method of education should be replaced with a problem-posing method of teaching; he goes on to explain that this pedagogy cannot work unless the relationship between pupils and teacher changes. Freire says,
"The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with students, who in their turn while being taught also teach."

This is difficult to imagine but it is possible to see examples of this pedagogy. The most easily accessible example is the Hollywood film, School of Rock: read Pedagogy of the Oppressed and see the film.

The other example comes from Kes. Only fleetingly ... but it's there,

powered by Splicd.com

Again, read the book and you'll see what I mean.

Lastly, it's curious that both of these examples of Freire's method are unwitting examples: I strongly suspect that neither authors of the films had ever heard of Freire. Yet the basis of some of the most dramatic scenes in the films - the empowerment of the individual - is at the heart of Freire's work.

10 October 2011

The Administrations of McGuire

The Guardian reported in a story titled, "Nurofen contamination: man charged"
"Christopher McGuire charged after antipyschotic and antiepileptic drugs found in five packs of painkiller."
The story goes on to say that,
"A spokesman for the Met said unemployed McGuire had been charged with one count of contamination of goods, contrary to the Public Order Act 1986, and two of administering a noxious substance, which is contrary to the Offences Against The Person Act."
The first charge is very likely to be section 38 Public Order Act 1986 the "Contamination of or interference with goods with intention of causing public alarm or anxiety, etc." This offence carries a maximum prison sentence of either ten years if convicted on indictment (s38(4)(a)), or six-months if convicted summarily (s38(4)(b)).

If that was the only charge, he could get away with six-months by indicating that he would plead guilty at his mode of trial hearing (s17A Magistrates' Court Act 1980).

But the article explained that there were other two other charges of administering obnoxious substances; the charges are likely to be ss23 and 24 Offences Against the Persons Act 1861.
"23. Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously administer to or cause to be administered to or taken by any other person any poison or other destructive or noxious thing, so as thereby to endanger the life of such person, or so as thereby to inflict upon such person any grievous bodily harm, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable ... to be kept in penal servitude for any term not exceeding ten years ...."
"24. Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously administer to or cause to be administered to or taken by any other person any poison or other destructive or noxious thing, with intent to injure, aggrieve, or annoy such person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable ... to be kept in penal servitude ...."
Question is ... did McGuire administer the noxious substance? Did he bring the substance, directly or indirectly, into contact with the victims' body (Gillard (1988) 87 Cr App 189)?

Assuming that nobody has ingested one of these pills, it looks to me that whether or not McGuire will get up to ten-years or up to six-months, will depend upon whether or not someone took a pill out of the blister pack.

(Or more accurately whether or not the prosecutor can prove that they did).

Update 4th December 2011.

The Mail online explains in, "Nurofen addict 'swapped tablets in shop with his own anti-psychotic medication'" that,
"A Nurofen addict was so desperate for the pills he swapped them for his own anti-psychotic medication in chemist's shops, a court heard.

Christopher McGuire, 30, opened packets of the headache tablets and replaced them with his prescription before slipping out the store, it is claimed.

Two other customers Peter Latham and Paul Connor mistakenly took tablets from the sabotaged packets, Southwark Crown Court heard."

Update 27th May 2012

The Telegraph, under a headline, "Nurofen addict cost drug company £2.4m" from 25th May 2012 explains that,

"Yesterday, McGuire, a penniless drifter from Glasgow, appeared in court after admitting causing a public nuisance."

Details of the crime of public nuisance can be found in, Rimmington, R v [2005] UKHL 63(21 July 2005).

As for my reading of the case, it isn't clear to me that McGuire's actions "cause[ed] common injury to a section of the public" and so didn't have all the elements necessary for the offence. If that is the case, should he have entered a guilty plea?

The Pursuit Of Justice Is Not The Pursuit Of Truth

I have a number of law blogs (blawgs) in my google feed, one of which is James Medhurst's Employment Law Blog. One of his posts (unfortunately) titled, Employment Law And Magic Realism, has the following quote within it,
"What [Courts] find is deemed to be the truth but this is a convenient legal fiction and it must be remembered that it is not always actually the truth. Parties will be more satisfied with the system if this is more widely acknowledged. We must not allow [Court] decisions to construct our reality."
But constructing reality from court cases is exactly what we do.

Consider that person A commits a crime and person B gets convicted for that crime. It may well be that person A and person B are the same person; in that case the right person gets convicted, but just because person B gets convicted doesn't mean that he did it, it doesn't mean that he suddenly becomes person A.

Of these two people, one is fact the other is fiction: person A is real whereas person B is a fiction. Person A can become person B, a person who commits a crime can become a person convicted of that crime; but person B cannot become person A, a person convicted of the crime, if he didn't commit the crime, cannot become the person who committed the crime because he was convicted.

But don't take my word for it, here's a quote from Lord Neuberger speaking extra judicially,

"...it was Lord Wilberforce who famously observed that the traditional function of a common law judge was not to seek the truth. As he put it,"
"In a contest purely between one litigant and another . . . the task of the court is to do, and be seen to be doing, justice between the parties . . .. There is no higher or additional duty to ascertain some independent truth. It often happens, from the imperfection of evidence, or the withholding of it, sometimes by the party in whose favour it would tell if presented, that an adjudication has to be made which is not, and is known not to be, the whole truth of the matter: yet if the decision has been in accordance with the available evidence and with the law, justice will have been fairly done."
So when you hear that a person has been convicted of crime it is not a certainty that they did it, just a mere probability. As for a value for that probability, we should be finding that out in the near future.

16 September 2011

Al-Qaeda: The Terror Organisation That Never Was

I've just read "Ricin! The Inside Story of the Terror Plot That Never Was" by former juror Lawrence Archer. The book is well worth reading; it explains, from the perspective of a member of a jury, how people were put on trial for plotting to kill people using ricin: except, there wasn't any ricin, nor any plot.

It explains, in part, how preliminary tests of apparatus seized during a police raid tested positive for protein - which could have been ricin - but two days later, an ELISA assay (for ELISA read very sensitive) showed that no ricin was present. Yet for months everyone was mislead to believe that ricin was present in apparatus seized by the police.
"Gould's evidence that no ricin had been positively identified showed that the ricin-plot hare had been set running by a false positive test result and a decision taken by a non-scientist employee at Porton Down. What's more, no one had sought to calm public fears by correcting the wrong information which had been given to police until three months later, despite the raft of alarming and inaccurate press stories the false reports of a ricin find had generated."
Other threads in the book describe what life is like for an illegal immigrant: petty thieving, poor housing, fear of authorities, exploited by employers. The illegal immigrants in this story were from Algeria, a western friendly dictatorship, that seems not to be a part of the Arab Spring. A place where the security forces are feared, where torture is conducted and who send spies to London, not to spy on the UK gov, but to spy on the illegal immigrants so that they can find reasons to attack their families back in Algeria. Against this background everyone has false documents and everyone goes under a number of different names.

The other thought that came to mind as I read the book was that, if it's possible to be so mislead by the fear of the ricin plot when none exists, couldn't the same be said of Al-Qaeda itself?

Salvador Dali was fascinated by Vermeer's painting, The Lacemaker: he copied the painting and discussed it in lectures. His fascination was for the tip of the lacemaker's needle in the painting since, the needle is visually suggested but not actually depicted. Like the Lacemaker's needle, everything suggests that Al-Qaeda is there but do we really know that it even exists?

Update 3rd October 2011. It appears from the wikileaks 'cablegate' that I'm not the only one who has these sorts of difficulties. A cable titled, "Ergenekon: it all depends on where you sit" where ambassadorial ace, Sandra Oudkirk writes,
""Ergenekon" remains an all-encompassing term after nearly a year of indictments, investigations, arrests, and search warrants. There seem to be as many perceptions of the reality of Ergenekon as there are agendas..."
Transpose Ergenekon with Al-Qaeda and the statements make as much sense.

06 September 2011

Homeless People Ensure High Property Prices Campaign Dealt A Blow

The Telegraph newspaper reports that its campaign to maintain property prices at the expenses of homeless people has been dealt a blow. Under the headline, "Squatters could be good for us all, says judge in empty homes ruling" the newspaper explains,
"Squatters are not criminals and could be good for society, a judge has ruled in ordering a London council to make public a list of empty homes in its area."
The newspaper doesn't give us any of their analysis of Henderson J's words, instead, it goes on to report,
"With police backing, Camden Council argued that disclosing the list risked unleashing a wave of criminal damage, arson, drug-related crime and organised “stripping” of vacant properties.

But Judge Fiona Henderson emphasised that squatters were not law-breakers and said official concerns were outweighed by the “public interest in putting empty properties back into use”.

The tribunal ruling means Camden Council must now comply with a Freedom of Information Act request by Yiannis Voyias of the Advisory Service for Squatters for a list of empty council-managed and private homes in the borough."

One would hope that this ruling would go some way to stopping the Telegraphs campaign of trying to criminalize the homeless who seek the remedy of adverse possession.

Note, the newspaper article is about Voyias v IC & London Borough of Camden (Freedom of Information Act 2000) [2011] UKFTT EA_2011_0007 (GRC).

Update 27th September 2011

Another smack in the face for boy blunder Grant Shapps' campaign to ensure that homeless people remain homeless even though empty properties abound. This time the put down comes from 160 leading legal figures explains the Guardian under the title, "Squatting law is being misrepresented to aid ministers' reforms, claim lawyers".
"Solicitors, barristers and legal professors have accused the government of misrepresenting the law and misleading the public to push through reforms on squatting.

The 160 lawyers, who represent tenants and landlords across England and Wales, say the housing minister, Grant Shapps, and justice minster, Crispin Blunt, are "obscuring" the law and accuse them of "sensationalist misrepresentation" during recent debates on squatting legislation.

The letter, published in the Guardian, says that ministers' obfuscation and media misreporting have created "fear for homeowners, confusion for the police and ill-informed debate among both the public and politicians on reforming the law. [In] failing to challenge inaccurate reporting, ministers have furthered the myths being peddled around squatting"."

The article and the letter are worth reading in full. Put simply, you're being lied to. No one from government is correcting these lies.

By no one from government, that'd be Grant Shapps,

the man who has the look of someone who'd be willing to make people homeless just to maintain the excessive house prices for his constituents.

Quoting from the letter linked to above, we have
"By making misleading statements and failing to challenge inaccurate reporting, ministers have furthered the myths being peddled around squatting.
We want it to be clear that it is already a criminal offence for a squatter to occupy someone's home, or a home that a person intends to occupy, under the Criminal Law Act 1977. A homeowner will be a displaced residential occupier, or if they are intending to move into the property, a protected intended occupier. In either case, it is a criminal offence for a squatter to remain in the property as soon as they have been told of the displaced occupier or a protected occupier. The police can arrest any trespasser who does not leave. The displaced or protected occupier can use force to enter the property and reasonable force to remove the trespassers."
If Grant Shapps didn't know the above, he's not fit for purpose and should resign.
Update 5th October 2011. The truth doesn't seem to be setting me free, it's just bringing me despair and a feeling of imprisonment. Another squatting story has been written up, this time in the Independent (It isn't, Are You?), "Plea to ministers on squatting law". To be fair to Amy, our intrepid reporter, she does a reasonable job: it's just the commentators under the piece that are troubling. They keep peddling the lie that has been scotched by the letter in the Guardian which I reported above on the 27th September 2011 with regard to squatting family homes. It's despairing to think that people only get their news from one source, I just hope the contributors are shills.

03 September 2011

'S truth Bruce

Currently reading Albion Dreaming by Andy Roberts. Fascinating stuff, the book is a 'popular history of LSD in Britain' and is well worth the investment of time to read it. At p162, the background of one of the Free Festival Organisers, Bill Ubi Dwyer, is being described. Dwyer used to sell LSD at a club in Sydney called the Cellar, the book explains,
The police sent undercover officers to the Cellar but this did not seem to bother Dwyer. ...he was buying LSD directly from the police, who largely controlled the Sydney LSD trade at that time.20

Following Andy Roberts' reference takes us to a Parliamentary speech by R L S Jones, which gives many other examples of police corruption. I found the following particularly amusing,
"The other day a solicitor told me that some time ago one of his clients was busted at Terrey Hills for amphetamine possession. He was taken to the police station and the police officer behind the counter was the one who had sold him the amphetamines, so his case never came to court."

02 September 2011

You'll Never See A Nipple

The headlines in the Daily Express (beware perpetual pop-ups) said,

Should we applaud this crusading newspaper for drawing attention to the fact that our economy is so crap that four million families are reduced to beggary? I haven't read the article too closely, so I don't know what remedies are suggested in the article so that these people aren't reduced to living a life which consists of transferring capital from State to supermarket and from State to landlord.

Or perhaps I'm reading the headline wrong?

Anyway, as for my headline, here's John to explain,

(Remember that this is but mere weeks since the country was blighted by riots).

31 August 2011

George and Derek Independently Muse

The iniquity of the closed source publishing model raises it head again; this time in Derek Lowe's blog under the title, "Why Isn't There an ArXiv For Chemistry?", and in the msm Monbiot has a an article in the Guardian's cif titled, "Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist".

If you don't know the background to closed vs open source publishing, Monbiot's subheading will give a taste,
"Academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by us. Down with the knowledge monopoly racketeers"
This issue has gone unresolved for years. Back in 2004 (and millions of pounds of wealth transfered since) the Select Committee on Science and Technology tenth report told us all about the unsatisfactory state of scientific publishing.
"This Report recommends that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online. It also recommends that Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way."
So far, this has been ignored.

It is a massive and ongoing, shameful failure for all involved. This includes not only the governmental funders of research but also charities. As to when and how this will change ... I don't know. I can present reasonable and logical arguments until the cows come home (eg), as no doubt, could anyone working in science who hasn't got access to the privileges of a University library (obviously, those in a similar position but who do have access to the library couldn't give a stuff) but thus far, this continually falls on deaf ears.

25 August 2011

False Flag

It appears that the BBC has produced another Jane Standley (aka an incompetent propaganda blunder) in their reporting of the Libyan Tet offensive ...

Here is the Libyan Flag,

See if you can see it on this broadcast,
Whilst here is the Indian flag,

Sefton Dalmer wouldn't have made such an egregious mistake. Pathetic isn't it?

Thanks to Aangirfan for his post.

Further thoughts ... NATO's mandate to bomb from the UN is running out; the resolution giving them the power to bomb Libya is due to be debated in September. Perhaps there's the sense that the mandate will not be continued and hence this is the reason for the Tet offensive gamble that we're seeing being played out.

16 August 2011

Grudgeful Informers

I'm thinking about the Grudge Informer cases which can be read about here,

"The 'grudge informer' problem illustrates a fundamental difference of views about the nature of law and its relationship with morality.

It is called the “grudge informer” to cover events where one person reported another for trivial crimes, which nevertheless carried the death penalty (for exampled speaking against the Fuhrer or the government), to settle feuds or to get revenge, but effectively using the state machinery to try to commit murder.

Fuller records the following case:

After the War a German woman was prosecuted for denouncing her husband to the authorities in accordance with the anti-sedition laws of 1934 & 1938. He had made derogatory remarks about Hitler, The husband was prosecuted and convicted of slandering the Fuehrer, which carried the death penalty. Although sentenced to death, the husband was not executed but was sent as a soldier to the Eastern front. He survived the war and on his return instituted proceedings against his wife.

She argued that she had not in fact committed a crime because a court had sentenced her husband in accordance with the law of the time.

She was convicted of 'illegally depriving another of his freedom' (rechtswidrige Freiheitsberaubung), a crime under the Penal Code, 1871, which had remained in force throughout the Nazi period. The Nazi laws were, the court said, "contrary to the sound conscience and sense of justice of all decent human beings," (1951).

There were other similar prosecutions."

I'm thinking about these cases with regard to the difference in treatment being meted out to looters and rioters compared to bankers/landlords/property owners. The latter all becoming rich by appropriating the property of others, using mechanisms that are set-up within the system of the law. It's trite to say that the looters/rioters broke the law whilst the other class of people listed didn't, but that doesn't give a satisfactory resolution. The grudgeful informer didn't break the law until the Nazi regime fell and she was prosecuted; if the regime had not fallen, she could have been happily living with her paramour. The same is true of the 'bankers/landlords/property owners': they're not breaking the law until the current regime of exploitation is swept away. As to whether or not this regime will be swept away and the property returned: I doubt it. I can see that we're going to be stuck in this loop for a long while, yet.

05 August 2011

Equity For Rent

I've been thinking about equity for rent.

As I once said before,
All rent paid on land will buy a beneficial interest as will any investment in the property. The renter will immediately become a beneficiary and will then have all the settled equitable rights and benefits that are already in place.
I think that this could be accomplished by repealing section 1(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925 which provides,
The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are— ...
(b) A term of years absolute.
which would leave section 1(1)(a) of the same Act which states,
The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are—
(a) An estate in fee simple absolute in possession;....
If it wasn't possible to rent, what would happen?

By making the suggested change it would only be possible to have legal ownership until you decided to sell the property, if you wanted to rent the property you would only be capable of slowly selling portions of it. The money that passed to the landlord as rent would make the renter a beneficial owner, he would own a proportion of the property in direct proportion to the amount of money that he had paid as rent. In other words, his rental payments would buy equity.

When the tenant wanted to move on he could rely on trust law to ensure that his beneficial interest was secure. Overnight the country would become a property owning democracy. (Recall that the Thatcher government did something similar with council houses when they instigated their right to buy scheme. The amount that a tenant had paid in rent was taken into account when the tenant applied to buy the property).

Before dismissing the idea consider rentcharges. If you've never heard the expression rentcharge imagine that you own some property which you want to sell, perhaps to a builder. As part of the sale you negotiate that the owner of the land pays you money forever just because you once owned the land. The purchaser (builder) buys the land and pays you an annual income; if he's a builder, when he sells the property the rentcharge is passed on to whoever buys the property. Further, these rentcharges could go back hundreds of years. They aren't consider to be fair and are being phased out.

For more background on rentcharges consider, Report on Rentcharges (Report) [1975] EWLC 68 (pdf).

If we're prepared to scrap rentcharges: why not scrap rent? Aren't the reasons for scrapping rentcharges the same reasons for scrapping rent?

29 July 2011

Farrell v South Yorkshire Police Authority 2011

Find below a transcription of Farrell v South Yorkshire Police Authority 2011.

Note that the original document contained typographical, grammatical and other errors (eg, court cases wrongly named such as 'Granger' for 'Grainger' and inconsistent spellings of names) which I have tried to reproduce.

Note that I may have incorporated my own transcription errors (there is a sub-paragraph numbering error at the time of writing which I need to correct).

At some later date I intend to attach a table listing confusing typos and other errors.  Also, expect to see case and statutes tables.

Case No:    2803805/2010


Claimant:            Mr A Farrell

Respondent:            South Yorkshire Police Authority

Heard at:            Sheffield    On:    Monday 23 May 2011

                            (In Chambers):
                            Tuesday 24 May 2011

Before:            Employment Judge Rostant


Claimant:            Mr N Siddal of counsel
Respondent:            Mr D Jones of counsel


1. I find that the Claimant's belief does not satisfy the definition of “belief” in Regulation 2(1)(b) Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations and all claims brought under those Regulations are struck out.

2. The Claimant is to be required to pay a deposit as a condition of continuing with his claim of unfair dismissal.

3. The amount of that deposit shall be determined following further enquiry by the Tribunal.


 1. Background to the case.

By a claim presented to the Employment Tribunal on 30 November 2010, the Claimant complained that he had been unfairly dismissed and subjected to discrimination on the grounds of his religion or belief.  The Claimant had been employed as a Principal Intelligent Analyst and had been dismissed by the Respondent on 2 September 2010.  The Claimant had been tasked with producing an annual assessment of strategic threat risk assessment for the South Yorkshire Police Authority area.  This was to be done under the following headings; Threat to Life, Community Harm, Individual Harm, Force Reputation, Economic Harm to Community, Financial Harm to the Force and Cross Border and was to be an analysis of the threats posed under those various headings of a variety of crimes, the first two being terrorism internal and other terrorism external.  The Claimant produced an assessment matrix which ascribed to internal terrorism a threat level of 100% under all the various headings and, to all other risks, zero percentage save for “terrorism external” where there was a final score of 1% although it is impossible to see from the matrix where that 1% was derived from since all the scores under the various headings are 0%.  The Claimant also attached to that document a Force Control strategy document for 2010/2011 in which he described citizen and community focus, serious organised crime and motor crime, protecting vulnerable people and tackling crime as irrelevant and, under the heading of terrorism and domestic extremism which he headed:

“The Truth about 7/7 (a reference to the London bombings of 7 July 2007), The Truth about 9/11 (a reference to the September 11 attack upon the World Trade Centre in New York)”

Those two headings were followed by a report which starts with the following words:

“This report arises from your Principal Analyst holding views which run contrary to the UK Government's rhetoric on the events such as 9/11 and 7/7.  It considers the rapidly developing ideology referred to in this report as the New World Order.  From my own self assessment the report outlines how my relatively new but radical opposing views are becoming increasingly problematic both from a personal, managerial and organisational perspective.”

The document went onto outline the Claimant's views that 9/11 and 7/7 were “false flag operations” authorised by the respective national governments in order to give material with which the respective governments could persuade their respective populations to support foreign wars.  Under the heading “My Summary” (see page 85 of the bundle) the following words appear:

“For the remaining time I am employed with South Yorkshire Police I want to tirelessly and peacefully search for the truth.  I don't much care in what role I do this.  To me nothing else matters as without knowing it, we are spiralling towards a state of war every bit as dangerous as we were when Neville Chamberlain declared peace in our time in 1939. Unfortunately on this occasion, the threats are far less visible, equally putrid but potentially many times more dangerous.  They come from within our own camp but are hidden in the power and hold that the secret societies and global elite and the giant world banking establishments have over bankrupted governments.  In the UK – standing shoulder to shoulder with the USA over foreign policy in the Middle East – ours has long since been corrupted.  Frankly we are in a terrible mess and the nation has become too stupid to realise it.

My honest view as a Principal Analyst is that all other threats pale into insignificance when compared to the inner corruption in high places and government.  Ultimately, by fair means or foul this inner corruption has to be exposed and the Police Service and the Intelligence Services have their own value decision to make.  Who is brave enough to take a contra position for the sake of our freedoms?  I recognise that this stance is not likely to be embraced immediately and will probably be seen as unacceptable to senior managers.  That does not make it wrong.  Unfortunately, I see few others in the Police Services having the courage to stand up and attempt to expose the ignoble lies on behalf of the public we serve. Yet if we just do nothing and bury our heads in the sand we are every bit as complicit in the tyranny.”

The summary went onto say that the failure by the Police Service to arrest Mr Blair was to be complicit in the evil and the the report, save for a quote from Ephesians Chapter 6 versus 10 to 13, concludes as follows:

“The real truth behind 9/11 and 7/7 render the Government's Counter-terrorism Strategy and our Control Strategy of PREVENT and RICH picture and counter-terrorism local profiles as utter shams crafted to divert attention from their own secret scheming and evil ways of the elite.  It needs dismantling and overhauling fast.  All this to my mind invalidates the force controls strategy unless this stance is reflected within.”

Ultimately, that report resulted in a disciplinary hearing of 2 September 2010.  It was the Respondent's case that the Claimant's expression of views were incompatible with his contract of employment as Principal Analyst and precluded him from discharging his role. The mater was dealt with by Mr Hiller who took the view that the Claimant's position of Principal Analyst was untenable  and the Claimant was dismissed.  The Claimant appealed and that appeal too was dismissed.

 2. Background to this Hearing

The matter came before me at a Case Management Discussion on 15 February 2011 and I produced my Case Management Order on the same day.  Both parties were represented by Counsel.  The parties agreed that it was appropriate to hold a Pre-Hearing Review to consider the question as to whether or not the Claimant's “separate philosophical belief” expressed as being set out in paragraph 4 of the claim form was capable of constituting a belief attracting protection under Regulation 2(1) of the Religion and Belief Regulations 2003.  The secondary question was whether or not the claim or any part of it should be struck out as having any reasonable prospect of success or in the alternative whether the Claimant should be required to pay a deposit as a condition of continuing with any other contentions contained in this claim.

 3. The Claimant gave evidence on his own behalf.  He was represented by Mr Siddall of Counsel.  The Claimant's witness statement was taken as read and the appendices attached to the Claimant's witness statement were considered albeit, at Mr Siddall's invitation, not in minute detail.  Both Mr Siddall and Mr Jones prepared helpful skeleton arguments which I read before hearing Mr Farrell's evidence.  Both Counsel made relatively brief closing submissions to which I shall refer later.

 4. The law

In this case, the parties are agreed that the discrimination complaint is brought on the basis of belief rather than religion and the definition in Reg 2(1)(b) Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 applies.  The complaint of unfair dismissal is brought under the provisions of S94 and S98 Employment Rights Act 1996.  My powers to strike the claim or claims out as standing no reasonable prospect of success are to be found at Rule 18(7)(b) Schedule 1 Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 and my power to order a deposit as a condition of continuing with any contention, on the grounds that it stands little reasonable prospect of success is to be found at Rule 20 of the same Rules.

 5. The Parties' Submissions and My Conclusions on the Question of Religious or Philosophical Belief

 5.1. It would be helpful for me to set out paragraph 4 of the Claimant's claim form which reads in its entirety as follows:

“Further by reason of his religion and/or by reason of his separate philosophical belief the Claimant holds the following view:

i. The world faces the risk of the ascent of the “New World Order”.

ii. The establishment of the New World Order is the goal of a global elite which seeks to introduce a secret satanic ideology to enslave the masses and claim control of the world's resources;

iii. The global elite seeking the establishment of the New World Order are intrinsically linked to secrete societies such as Free Masonry and include the leaders of the United Kingdom, the United States governments and international financial institution;

iv. The attacks of 7 July 2005 and 11 September 2001 were in fact perpetrated by the governments of the UK and the USA against their own citizens for the purpose of building support for their foreign policy agenda;

v. The media is controlled by the global elite and it wrongly overstates the risk of terrorist attack on the UK to seek to build support for its foreign policy agenda;

vi. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are unjustified and morally wrong as they are for the sole purpose of furthering the New World Order.

In fact, although all parties clearly understood the matter to be a case relating to philosophical belief when discussing the matter with me in Case Management Discussion as reflected by my Order, at the hearing Mr Siddall sought to assert that, in fact, the relevant beliefs were a mixture of the philosophical and religious and, helpfully, Mr Jones did not seek to prevent the Claimant from advancing the case on that basis.  Accordingly I was content to approach the matter on that basis too.

5.2 During his evidence, it became clear that the Claimant is an adherent to what may be termed “End Time” theological views.  That is to say that he has become an adherent to a relatively well recognised strand of, particularly, Protestant Christian theology which, basing itself in large measure upon the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelations, concludes that the end of the world will be presaged by the rising up of something called the New World Order.  Mr Farrell's own religious convictions have moved over time.  He was brought up a Roman Catholic but relatively recently has become a convert to Methodism and even more recently, based upon his reading of the bible and other texts, has come to hold the End Time theological views outlined above.  A full explanation of the Claimant's beliefs in this regard is set out at paragraphs 5 to 10.  At paragraph 10 the Claimant says

“I accept that this is not mainstream Christian interpretation but nevertheless it is seen as a valid belief within Christian theology.  Such beliefs are arguably most closely match that of a Seventh Day Adventist.”

5.3 The Claimant goes on to explain that the New World Order, made up as it is of human actors, comprising the members of secret societies such as, but not limited to, Freemasons, the members of various governments including that of the UK and the United States, world banking institutes and the global media is, nevertheless, under a satanic influence.  Its hidden goal is to create a one-world, Fascist government, stripped of nationalist and racial boundaries, obedient only to its own agenda (see paragraph 15 of the Claimant's witness statement).  The Claimant is particularly concerned with part of the secret agenda of the New World Order which is the obliteration of bible believing Christianity under a one world religion.  At paragraph 20, the Claimant goes on to set out what he describes as the “separate philosophical components of my beliefs.”

They are as follows:

(a) Both Freemasonry and the New World Order are satanic and the ascent of the New World Order is part of the anti-Christ system and the fulfilment of end time prophecy.

(b) The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are morally wrong and a furtherance of the satanic New World Order agenda and

(c) The false flag attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 were perpetrated in furtherance of the New World Order agenda.

5.4 It seems to me  that the membership of the New World Order and its satanic character and the fact that its ascent is part of the anti-Christ system seem to me to be not philosophical but beliefs derived from the Claimant's reading of scripture and are religious in nature.  However, I think the Claimant has more properly ascribed his beliefs in the immorality of the wars in Afghanistan and the “false flag” nature of the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 to the heading of philosophy.  This is particularly so since the Claimant was happy to accept in questioning from me that there was nothing that flowed from his adherence to End Time theology and the existence of the New World Order that inevitably led him to conclude that 9/11 and 7/7 were false flag attacks and that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are manifestations of the New World Order's ascent.  He accepted that those were beliefs which were held by people with no religious background and he accepted that there were many people believed in End time theology and, indeed believed in the existence of the New World Order, who did not necessarily accept his explanation for the “terrorist” attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 or the fact that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are manifestations of the New World Order's ascent.

Upon further questioning the Claimant clarified that he believed that points 1 to 3  in paragraph 4 were essentially religious belief and points 4 to 6 inclusive were essentially philosophical beliefs albeit that they were connected one with the other by a logical chain of thought.

5.5  Mr Farrell is clear in his own mind that there are aspects of the belief which he relies on as affording him protection from discrimination which are philosophical in nature.  It seems to me to be common ground that it is the philosophical aspects of the belief that are those which have really caused Mr Farrell's particular difficulties at work.  On his own evidence he was perfectly prepared to continue to develop and produce a strategic risk assessment on the terrorist threat in what might be regarded as the conventional basis despite the fact that he had developed the End Time and New World Order beliefs described above.  His difficulty only arose when, in addition to those beliefs, he developed the belief that 9/11 and 7/7 were false flag operations carried out by the respective national governments as aspects of their membership of the New World Order.  For this reason, and understandably, much of the hearing concentrated on that aspect of Mr Farrell's beliefs and, to a lesser extent, on the aspect of his belief that identifies the world media as being part of the New World Order.  The significance of the latter point is that it appears to me that Mr Farrell readily accepts that without that component the gigantic hoax that is represented, in his belief, by the official narratives concerning 9/11 and 7/7 would simply be impossible.

5.6 In the course of submissions by both Mr Jones and Mr Siddall I was helpfully referred to a number of authorities the most recent of this is the case of Granger v Nicholson [2010] IRLR 4.  That is a case which relates to a philosophical belief.  At paragraph 24 Mr Justice Burton sets out a summary of what limits are to be placed upon the definition of philosophical belief for the purposes of the Regulations.  Both parties addressed themselves to the issues raised in that paragraph and, indeed, Mr Farrell's witness statement is organised by reference to the matters set out in that paragraph.  Before I address those particular submissions I should observe that the guidelines offered by Mr Justice Burton are not themselves entirely unproblematic.  For example, although there is no particular conceptual difficulty in the question as to whether or not the Claimant genuinely holds the belief, distinguishing between belief on the one hand and opinion or viewpoint on the other presents very real difficulties.  The third point, at least in this case, is relatively straightforward to deal with but the fourth is not since Mr Justice Burton does not say what level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance would be satisfied other that to say “a certain level”.  In construing that part of Mr Justice Burton's decision, I have borne in mind that one of the questions before the Employment Appeal Tribunal was how far, it at all, a philosophical belief is required to be similar to a religious belief in order to qualify for a protection.  That question is answered by Mr Justice Burton, at least indirectly, by concluding that the question of the definition can be approached with the assistance of ECHR jurisprudence and in particular the decision of (on the application of Williamson) v The Secretary of State for Education and Employment [2005] 2 AC 246HL and Campbell v United Kingdom [1982] 4EHRR 393ECHR.  Many of the points set out a paragraph 24 derive from the judgment of Lord Nichols in Williamson and that paragraphs 23 and 24 of that judgment are set out extensively at paragraph 22 of the EAT's judgment in Granger.  It seems to me that Williamson explicitly recognises that equivalent tests must be applied to both religious and philosophical belief but makes it clear that those tests may be more easily met by religious belief than philosophical belief.  Of particular relevance to my decision is the following passage taken from paragraph 23 of Lord Nichols speech in Williamson:

“The belief must also be coherent in the sense of being intelligible and capable of being understood.  But, again, too much should not be demanded in this regard. Typically, religion involves belief in the supernatural.  It is not always susceptible to lucid exposition or, still less, rationale justification.  The language used is often the language of allegory, symbol and metaphor.  Depending upon the subject/matter, individuals cannot always be expected to express themselves with cogency or precision nor are an individual's beliefs fixed to static for them.”

The significance of that passage is that I take it to be the principal source for bullet point 4 in paragraph 24 that is to say that the belief must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and important.  That is important because it is that aspect of the Granger test which I consider Mr Farrell's beliefs fail to meet.

6. Why I do not consider that Mr Farrell holds a philosophical belief

6.1 As I have already said, considerable time in the hearing was expended on the question of Mr Farrell's belief in relation to 9/11 and the involvement of the media.  Mr Siddell conceded, properly, that Mr Jones was fully entitled to conduct a forensic examination by cross examination of the nature of those beliefs.   That concession could only have been on the basis that Mr Siddell acknowledged that there is a requirement that Mr Farrell's beliefs met the test that they attained a certain level of cogency and coherence. I take the view that the words cogency and coherence, whilst bound to inform each other are different in meaning but part of one test.  Mr Siddell's submission was, however, that I should pay serious heed to Lord Nichols injunctions that not too much should be expected in this regard and to note the similarity of requirements for establishing a philosophical belief from a religious belief.  Mr Siddell said there was particular force to that submission in this case where the philosophical belief, as it were, followed on from or derived from a religious belief.  I entirely take the force of Mr Siddell's submissions but nevertheless if is clear from the authorities that some sort of objective assessment of the cogency and cohesion of the philosophical belief is expected of the Tribunal.  Mr Jones's submission was, unsurprisingly, that the beliefs held by Mr Farrell completely failed to meet even a bare minimum standard of coherence and cohesion.  I agree with Mr Jones.

6.2 In reaching that conclusion, I make it clear that I do not consider that is was not any part of Mr Farrell's task to persuade me of the rightness of his convictions nor was it any part of his task to show that his convictions were shared by a large number of people.  In this regard, the judgment of Elias P Eweida v British Airways Plc [2009] IRLR 78 paragraph 29 and the judgment of Mr Justice Burton in Granger paragraph 26 are clear.  However it seems to me on my reading of the authorities that it is my task to bring some measure of objective scrutiny to bear upon the beliefs advanced by Mr Farrell.

6.3 Although I have been concerned with all of the points set out in paragraph 25 of Granger some seem to me to be easily met.  Mr Jones does not seriously challenge the genuineness of Mr Farrell's belief and indeed Mr Farrell's sincerity and honesty shine out from his witness statement and the manner of his giving evidence in Tribunal.  There is little doubt that Mr Farrell's beliefs relate to weighty and substantial aspects of human life and behaviour.  The relate to the political and religious governance of the entire human race.  Although I took Mr Jones to be suggesting that the beliefs of Mr Farrell might not be worthy of respect in a democratic society, it seems to me that there is absolutely nothing incompatible with human dignity in Mr Farrell's beliefs, although they contain within them shocking statements about the motivation of many people who might be thought to derive legitimacy from an obligation to work in the interests of the citizens of their state.  As I have already said, the area of principal difficulty for Mr Farrell lies in the requirement to attain a certain level of cogency and coherence.  This seems to me to be a more difficult thing to achieve when beliefs are about matters where there is a substantial amount of evidence in the public domain, as opposed to where beliefs relate to the unknowable for example the existence of the deity.  In that context the assessment of cogency and coherence must take into account the broadly accepted body of knowledge in the public domain.

6.4 Unfortunately. Mr Farrell's evidence on the false flag operations and media control was relatively scant.  (See paragraphs 30 and 31 of his witness statement.)  He started with a proposition that he did not claim to know exactly what had happened during the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 but then asserted his belief that there were both false flag operations.  In paragraph 31 I took him to be setting out the reason for that belief by reference to Hegelian Dialectic theory.  He then described as “weighty proponents” supporting this theory as Professor David Ray Griffin and Professor David McGregor.  Very little more is said about Professor McGregor but the claimant did annex an article by Professor Griffin to his statement.  On the latter point it should be noted that Professor McGregor's article appears to be more in the nature of an essay and is entirely unreferenced.  It says that the London bombings “may be an instance of what I have called Machiavellian state terror” and also suggests indeed that the 9/11 attack “might also be such an incidence.” Professor McGregor goes on to suggest that the four men identified by the Police as responsible for the London bombings were nothing of the sort and suggest that the Police narrative that those bombers all blew themselves up in the course of their attacks is somehow untrue.  Indeed many of Professor McGregor's question marks and assertions are shared by Mr Farrell and it is obvious that Mr Farrell is deeply influence by Professor McGregor's thoughts.  However the fact must remain that for every Professor McGregor there are at least ten other commentators expressing contrary views and the difficulty for Mr Farrell is that the conspiracy theory he advances remains, in the light of subsequent events and the weight of evidence, wildly improbable.  There is no body of respectable academic commentary in peer reviewed journals that supports the theory, or at least none that I have had drawn to my attention.  I do not regard Professor McGregor's article as satisfying that descriptions as I have already said it is unreferenced and was published for what I take to be an on-line journal entitled J7.

6.5 Once Mr Farrell was required to answer questions about his beliefs, their Incoherent nature became all too apparent.  Mr Farrell's view was that the four bombers were not blown up in the July 7th attacks but were young men who had been persuaded to act the part of terrorist for a drill.  In this context he explained the suicide video left one one of the “supposed” suicide bombers in the 7/7 attacks as “acting” by a man playing the part of a bomber for a drill.  He and the other three men filmed on their way to the attacks were, it seems not blown up by their own bombs but killed by security forces at Canary Wharf to prevent them from subsequently revealing their role as innocent dupes.  In the is regard, a Mr Philip Powell of an organisation called Vista Security was implicated. He had been interviewed on the day of the attacks saying that he had been invited to set up a training exercise for a putative terrorist threat.  The exercise involved 1,000 people and was at the exact sites as where the attacks actually occurred.  When it was pointed out to Mr Farrell that if Mr Powell was really part of the conspiracy it would seem unlikely that he would then make such a glaring admission on national television, Mr Farrell changed tack and suggested that perhaps Mr Powell too was not knowingly part of the conspiracy but was an innocent dupe.  Mr Powell remains alive as far as is known. Mr Farrell could not explain why not one person of the 1,000 people allegedly involved in the drill had not come forward.  When confronted with the obvious fact that the 7/7 bombings had been investigated exhaustively by a six month inquest presided over by Lady Justice Hallet which has in no way challenged the official narrative and which took evidence from a large number of survivors, emergency workers and lower ranked Police Officers. Mr Farrell's conclusion, arrived at for the first time during the hearing was that Lady Justice Hallet must also be involved in the conspiracy.

6.6 When questioned about the media's involvement, Mr Farrell made it clear that there were certain matters of fact which he accepted unreservedly.  For example, he accepts the fact that thousands of people died on 9/11 and 52 people had died on 7/7.  This is despite the fact, as he accepted, that he knew this only from the media.  He could not explain why, if there was a global media conspiracy of such power that the world could be convinced of such an outrageous hoax, there was any need to perpetrate the attacks at all.  Furthermore the idea of a global media conspiracy posits a uniformity of voice which is evidently absent.  For example, there are national newspapers in the UK which evidently accept the official narrative of the 7/7 bombings but continue to publish opinion pieces and news reports critical of the war in Afghanistan.  It is this war and the war in Iraq which Mr Farrell believes is, ultimately the purpose of the false flag attacks. Mr Farrell posited a global media conspiracy without beginning to explain the evidence for this inherently unlikely construct, save that without it the rest of his beliefs are unsustainable.  That type of bootstrapping logic, so often a feature of conspiracy theories of all types, lacks anything about it to which the word cogent could be applied.

6.7 Another example of the internal contradictions inherent in Mr Farrell's position lies in his views on the truth about 9/11.  He explained that he was sceptical that the Twin Towers had collapsed as a consequence of the airplane collisions although he did not challenge the fact that the collisions had taken place (he thought that they might have been arranged by remote control).  This scepticism was key to his growing understanding that the whole official narrative was so flawed that the only possible explanation was that it was a gigantic and evil lie.  The sheer illogic of his position on 9/11 was startling.  If the purpose of those attacks was to outrage the American public into supporting the American government in foreign wars, the purpose of the aeroplane strike without the subsequent catastrophic collapse of the buildings, which the Claimant believed had been engineered by the Secret Service detonated bombs on the inside of the  building.  As with all conspiracy theory, the huge body of evidence against the theory is dismissed  as the deliberate laying of a false trail by immensely powerful people who are themselves part of the conspiracy.  How is is that, in the face of so much power and control, he had been allowed to discern the truth by, in part at least, reading published materials, Mr Farrell never explained.

6.8 The leads to another area of difficulty, which is the size of the conspiracy.  The “false flag” operations were ordered it seems, by the relevant governments of the day.  Those governments have been replaced, in bitterly fought elections, by governments of different political outlooks.  The Blair government is implicated but so is the Brown government and the subsequent coalition government, both of which have continued the wars said to be the point and purpose of the 7/7 hoax.  The same is true in the USA where, if Mr Farrell is correct, President Obama must as equally be involved as Mr Bush.  Whilst, as I have said I have no doubt about the sincerity of Mr Farrell's philosophical beliefs, in my judgment they signally fails to meet any minimum standard of cogency or coherence.  Indeed, applying an objective test they are absurd beliefs albeit sincerely held.  They do not, for that reason alone, attract the protection of the Regulations.

6.9 I turn now to another matter which was canvassed by Mr Jones which is the questions as to whether or not this is a belief or merely an opinion.  The relevant authority in this regard is the case of McClintock v Department of Constitutional Affairs [2008] IRLR a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal presided over by Elias P.  paragraph 45 of that judgment the then President of the EAT said as follows:

“As the Tribunal in our view correctly observed, to constitute a belief there must be a religious or philosophical viewpoint in which one actually believes.  It is not enough to have an opinion based on some real or perceived logic or based on information or lack of information available.”

That case involved a Christian who was also a justice of the peace and who asked to be excused from presiding over adoption applications made by same sex couples.  The philosophical aspect of his belief was founded on his observation that the evidence to support the view that single sex parent could ever be in the child's best interest was unconvincing, although he did not discount the possibility that research might reconcile that conflict.  However, whilst the evidence remained as it was, he did not consider that children should be made guinea pigs of what he regarded as a social experiment.  Mr Jones relies on that passage in suggesting the the Claimant's beliefs about 9/11 and 7/7 are no more than opinions based on information.  He particularly relies on Mr Farrell's evidence that he could conceive of a possibility that he might be wrong.  It was Mr Jones's submission that Mr Farrell's position was therefore simply a matter of opinion. Mr Siddell's submission, to the contrary, was that it was clear that whilst Mr Farrell was conceding of a logical possibility, it was not one that he thought was likely.  He did not believe that he was wrong nor was he really open to persuasion.  It was clear that he had formed a settled belief.  I prefer Mr Siddell's submission on this point.  I have no doubt that Mr Farrell's position is very different to that of Mr McClintock.  Mr Farrelll has viewed all of the evidence and as an Analyst come to a conclusion that the evidence points in one direction and not another.  Whilst as an intelligent man he is prepared to admit that he might be wrong in his analysis, he does not believe himself to be wrong. Mr McClintock on the other hand simply remained to be convinced of a particular point of view and took the view that the status quo should prevail at least for himself until he was so convinced.  In the meantime, doubtless, his religious views played some part in determining what status quo should look like.  I think there is a genuine distinction to be drawn between those two positions and I think that Mr Farrell falls the right side of the line in holding what seems to me to be a genuine belief albeit one which fails the test of cogency and coherence as I have set out above.

6.10 It follows from my conclusion that Mr Farrell does not hold a belief which meets the definition in the Regulations that all claims relying on that must be struck out, leaving only his complaint of unfair dismissal.

7. The decision on the complaint of unfair dismissal.

7.1 Although I cannot go so far as to say that this claim should struck out as standing no reasonable prospect of success, in my judgment it would be right for me to order a deposit as a condition of Mr Farrell pursing it.  At the beginning of my judgment I quoted extensively from Mr Farrell's report, the report which ultimately led to his dismissal.  It is clear to me that Mr Farrell, at least in his initial presentation to his employers, was delineating a position for himself which he recognised was in conflict with his continued employment with the Respondent.  In short, he wished to occupy himself in his employment with the Respondent in the pursuit of what he regarded as the obvious truth, that is to say that what terrorist threat exists in this country emanates from the government and not, for example, from radical Islamist terror groups.  The logic of that for South Yorkshire Police Force was that if they came to accept Mr Farrell's view the Police Force would be derelict in its duties to the public in not investigating that terrorist threat, a point which Mr Farrell also made explicit.  Mr Siddell urged upon me the view that a complaint of unfair dismissal required the Respondent to show a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that was a matter for assessment by three members of the Tribunal.  I would simply observe that Rule 18(7) permits application os this nature and permits a judge, sitting alone, to decide whether complaints of unfair dismissal (and other complaints) stand any reasonable prospect of success.  That must include an objective assessment of the evidence, taken at its highest for the Claimant, set against the relevant legal principles.  The Claimant was dismissed by letter of 7 December.  The operative paragraph is as follows:

“He (Mr Hiller, the dismissing officer) had listened carefully to both cases.  He felt that it was clear that the Chief Constable's and the Police Authority's felt that it was clear that the Chief Constable's and the Police Authority's priorities at present are to present a balanced service which meets the needs of local communities.  The Control Strategy is one document which summaries the key policing priorities in order for the Police Authority to give the force the resources to serve the needs of the local communities.  He felt that the supporting statements you presented indicated that your sincere beliefs and opinions around world terrorism meant that as Principal Analyst you are no longer able to produce a Control Strategy for the Director of Intelligence which was proportionate to the risks the community faced.  Your priority concerned global and national perspectives which are out of balance with the priorities in South Yorkshires local communities.”

That seems to me to be the very clearest indication that the Respondent would have advance a reason relating either to capability or some other substantial reason and nit seems to me to be no part of Mr Farrell's case that he was dismissed for any other reason than the views he advanced in his report to his line manager.  I think it unlikely in the extreme that a Tribunal would conclude that the Respondent in the circumstances could not show a potentially fair reason for dismissal.

7.2 I have not, however, been prepared to conclude that Mr Farrell stands no reasonable prospect of success since it may be that an argument could be made that dismissal fell outside of the reasonable range of responses.  This seems to me to depend significantly on evidence to which I have not had access, as to what possibility there was of keeping Mr Farrell away from analysis in relation to terrorism and whether in any event the confidence of the Chief Constable and Police Authority in Mr Farrell as an Analyst generally was so (reasonably) shaken that dismissal was the only possible option. However, I do take the view that there is little reasonable prospect of success in Mr Farrell persuading a Tribunal that dismissal fell outside of the reasonable range of responses particularly given the passages I have quoted and Mr Farrell's own admission that he understood his position to be in fundamental conflict with the Police Force.  That was conflict which could only be resolved if the Police Force came to adopt his views as to the nature of the terrorist threat.

7.3 In the circumstances, it will be my order that Mr Farrell be required to pay a deposit. However, I heard no evidence from Mr Farrell as to his means and I am required to hear such evidence before settling the size of the deposit.  Accordingly, unless the parties can agree to have the matter dealt with in writing there will need to be a very brief reconvened hearing for me to consider that aspect of the matter.

28 July 2011

Rancourt Sued In Defamation

Interesting court case on the way in Canada with Prof Denis Rancourt being sued for defamation, see

Particulars of claim and statement of defence found in the given links.

Curious that there doesn't appear to be any interest in the case in the UK centric blogosphere.

27 July 2011

The Squire

Once, someone told me about a play called Squire, written by a poet called Tom Pickard. The play was on television in the 70s, I've never seen it, but I'm told the story is about an unemployed man from Newcastle upon Tyne who refuses to work. He refuses to work because he's a Squire (or, he thinks he is) and squires don't work do they?
Instead, they mince about in plus fours, play croquet and live off others.
It appears there is someone else with a similar fantasy: instead of a squire, this time he's a Lord (see, Mereworth v Ministry of Justice [2011] EWHC 1589 (Ch)). The chap has this delusional view that by accident of birth he can sit in the House of Lords and interfere with the democratic process. Having more money than the Squire, at first blush, he doesn't appear to be as screwy; but the courts managed to see through him and subsequently knocked him back. They reduced him to the same status as the Lord of Harpole but were kind enough not to point out that Harpole has a lot more talent and made a greater contribution to our society.

The chap's court case draws attention to the fallacy of democracy in the UK pre-1999 and clarifies the constitutional position for those who share his delusion. However, there is still a long way to go before we stop subordinating ourselves to the delusions of others.

21 July 2011

Bad Practice

For those working in science, does anyone out there have any examples of bad practice that they've seen or heard about over the years?

  • For example, I heard about someone getting sacked for mouth pipetting polio vaccine.
  • While another person was so confident of his glassware cleaning skills that when he had washed up after using cyanide he would take a drink of water from the glassware.

  • Naked flames are banned on chemical plants; electrical equipment is made safe before being taken onto a plant, operators wear anti-static shoes. But when someone went to put a process on a chemical plant in India, he was shocked to discover that before the process was run, the reactor was blessed with burning incense.

  • A crucial part of chemical processing is safety: with this in mind reactors are fitted with something called a bursting disc. If there is an unexpected build up of pressure in a reactor, the bursting disc bursts before the vessel alerting everybody to the fact that there is something seriously wrong with the process being run. Unfortunately bursting discs are sometimes blown due to operator error and further, they can be a pain to replace. At one company I heard about, the operators replaced some of the bursting discs with coins in order to avoid having to replace bursting discs.

  • Someone used to amuse themselves by seeding a plant scale crystallisation with a bolus of their phlegm.

Anyone got anymore?

20 July 2011

Resistance Is Farrell

Tony Farrell has given another interview in the alternative media, this time on Resistance Radio. I listened to the interview with a view to (i) finding out more details of his legal claim against South Yorkshire police with regard to his dismissal and, (ii) to try and understand the process of preparing a threat assessment matrix.

In the first part of the interview he comes across as a novice conspiraloon where he namechecks people who seem to have scant regard for the scholarly method, this is done with the help of the interviewer who intrudes in the interview in order, at times, to push his own agenda. Ignoring this aspect of the interview Farrell does make some interesting points.

Starting at ca 39.40 he begins to talk about how his dismissal unfolded. He explained that he had to prepare his threat assessment for the 8th July 2010. In the run up to the big day, he had been considering the alternative hypotheses of inside jobs etc based upon various truther websites and documentaries he'd seen. Although his threat assessment was essentially complete he had a crisis of conscience with regard to what he was going to present to his superiors with regard to terrorism. This troubled him with regard to his loyalties within the hierarchy and so he dropped his superior a briefing note. He explainied that, although the terror threat assessment was only a small part of the overall matrix he was preparing, this aspect was causing him huge problems.

The next day (7th July 2010) Farrell's boss, the director of intelligence, asked Farrell whether or not he could still deliver his presentation. Farrell explained that everything was in place such that he could deliver on the due date.

When the due date came, 8th July 2010, Farrell said he presented a ludicrous report where he focused on the terror aspect of the matrix. He then went on to describe the process that was used to remove him from his position.

Throughout this description he explained that he was one of 43 principal intelligence analysts. The analysts used police information systems in order to prepare these assessments which he described as crude and flawed from a statistical point of view. He said that the threat assessment process was a gimmick to deflect from wider issues and a massive distraction from allowing analysts to do their jobs. (A comparison with R J Heuers' Psychology of Intelligence Analysis may be of interest, particularly for those who haven't read it.)

Beyond that, Farrell doesn't provide much more details as to what is a matrix threat assessment. However, searching the internet gave me a link to Project Sleipnir
"This paper describes an analytical technique
developed to rank order organized groups of
criminals in terms of their relative capabilities,
limitations and vulnerabilities. The rank ordered lists
of groups are components of strategic intelligence
assessments used to recommend intelligence and
enforcement priorities for the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police. Two versions exist: one for
organized crime which is publicly available, and one
for terrorism which is under development.
This technique uses rank ordered sets of
attributes for comprehensive, structured and reliable
measurement and comparison of qualitative
information about organized criminal groups. The
organized crime and terrorism versions use separate
attribute sets which reflect the similarities and
differences between the two classes of groups. Each
attribute is defined, weighted, and has a set of
defined values. The definitions minimize the degree
of subjectivity in interpreting and assessing
information for these assessments. The results are
presented as a matrix showing the attribute values for
each group. The definitions and weights for each
attribute set reflect consensus of opinions of
individuals from the RCMP and other agencies with
expertise in the topic areas. Consensus was achieved
by using the Delphi Method."

It isn't clear from this particular reference but I think that the technique stems from 2007.

As to his legal woes. He begins to discuss these details at 50.55.

He got the push on the 2nd September 2010 since his beliefs were incompatible with his position as a senior intelligence officer and further, it wasn't possible to re-deploy him anywhere else in the service.

His legal advisors told him that there where two issues with his dismissal
  • reasonabless
  • beliefs protected under law
Reasonableness comes from Public law and is also called Wednesbury reasonableness; Farrell doesn't elaborate much on this aspect of his case.

As to his beliefs being protected he was quite clear about the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

Farrell went on to explain that he had an employment hearing date for three days beginning the 7th September 2011 but he already has had a preliminary hearing (a pre-hearing review) on 24th May 2011 which determined whether or not he had a claim with regard to his beliefs. The judgment appeared four weeks later (will try and get a copy) and found against him; Farrell explained that the judge found that his beliefs were not deemed to be protected under the 2003 Regulations due to a lack of cogency and/or coherence.

Farrell has taken legal advice which says that he has grounds to appeal since, in the opinion of his barrister, the judge misdirected himself because he applied the legal test against the validity of Farrell's belief rather than the genuineness of his belief. Farrell has until the 28th July 2011 to lodge an appeal against this decision.

Further thoughts ... it isn't clear whether or not Farrell is being jerked around by spooks pulling strings. It's difficult to get a handle on the real Farrell especially through the process of internet interviews etc but I can see the construction of a hyperreal Farrell: perhaps in this particular interview unwittingly, in other interviews/articles not so. The hyperreal construction of Farrell is that of an embattled conspiraloon who must be suppressed.

In this regard I feel a bit sorry for Farrell.  Perhaps this will change as more details become known, perhaps not.

17 July 2011

#SmilesC Answer 10

  • #SmilesC this cpd was designed as a weapon, what is it? OC(c1ccccc1)(c2ccccc2)C(=O)OC1CN(CC2)CCC12
The compound is called 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate

The wikipedia link will provide details of its use as a warfare agent.

All very weird.

14 July 2011

OUseful Info

One of the blogs to which I subscribe is OUseful Info which gives details about how to divine data from the internet (amongst other things). With this in mind I wrote to the blog asking the following question,

"Any ideas as to how to prod, poke, scrape and collate data from the Charity Commission?
Lots of charities give money to other charities; lots of charities receive money from the UK gov; lots of trustees are on more than one charity.
Using the Charity Commission web page is like trying to watch a football match through a pinhole in the fence around the ground.
Any ideas as to how one could see what is going on?"

A couple of years later, I haven't had an answer; therefore, can anyone else supply a method of discerning this sort of information?

12 July 2011

Yorkshire Pudding

Aangirfan carried a story under the heading, POLICE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER SAYS 9 11 AND 7 7 WERE INSIDE JOBS, within Aangirfan's story is a link to an interview with the police intelligence officer, Tony Farrell which gives details, from the horses mouth, of the story.

Essentially, an intelligence analyst (Tony Farrell) working for South Yorkshire police provided a threat assessment that did not concur with the official narrative. The analyst was forced from his position. He has taken South Yorkshire police to an employment tribunal. See here for details.

A couple of points from the story are of interest.

In the Richplanet film, Farrell tells us of his academic and employment background: BSc in stats from Sheffield poly 1984, ten years or so working at Sheffield council, job in South Yorkshire police with some higher degrees (management studies etc). Is this representative of intelligence analysts within the UK establishment? The people who are supposedly deliberating and balancing our freedoms against our security. I don't mean to be offensive to Tony but ... he doesn't strike me as being especially bright.

The second point that struck me during his interview was that he was at pains to tell us that he did research in his own time, rather than police time. I don't get where he's coming from. My understanding of intelligence analysis comes from Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J Heur Jr [pdf]. There doesn't seem to be any of this analysis being done. He seems to be pre-empting the results of his research by doing 'research at home'. That is, how would he know to do research at home, in his own time, unless he knew what the results of this research was going to be before hand?

Following on from this point, when his research was presented to his superiors, they forced him out of his position. Surely it is his methods that should be under scrutiny not his results? If this is the standard at which our overseers operate then they have very little credibility.

All in all, a strange tale where no one comes out of it very well. When this story gets more widely reported, perhaps it will give a platform from which one can obtain Freedom of Information requests in order to find out whether or not our overseers are that crap.

The non-conspiraloon aspect to this story is a lot more interesting than the conspiraloon aspect.

  • what are the qualifications of intelligence analysts in equivalent positions to Tony Farrell?
  • what are their working methodologies?
  • is intelligence analysis bottom up or top down?

"Why don't ya get a good lawyer? Oh Valerie?" ♫ ♫

More details are emerging about this story where another site reports,
"Tony Farrell was summoned to a hearing chaired by the Director of Finance a member of the Senior Command Team on 2nd September 2010. He was told that he held beliefs that were ‘incompatible’ with his position. There was no allegation of any misconduct. In dismissing him, the Director of Finance said this: “It is a very sad occasion as you have done some excellent work for South Yorkshire Police and I have never been involved in a situation like today. Your beliefs are very sincere and you may be right, but it is I’m afraid incompatible at the moment with where we are.”
He took the matter to the South Yorkshire Police Authority Appeal’s Committee but his case was dismissed. He has since put the case into an Employment Tribunal where final hearings are scheduled to be held in early September 2011 in Sheffield. This will be a public event, and it is likely that South Yorkshire Police will feel embarrassed by the repercussions. This case has potentially far-reaching implications."
This takes us straight into Grainger v Nicholson a case where it was found that it was against the law to sack someone on the basis of their beliefs. There were caveats: the beliefs had to be sincerely held; they had to be compatible with a democratic society. But it isn't clear why this isn't the case with Farrell. I don't know all the facts but from what we know so far he's got a good chance of winning his case; what's more the details of the tribunal hearing will be published and available for public scrutiny. Status - one to watch. Similar cases can be found here, the employment appeal tribunal.

07 July 2011

Counting On John

Last Saturday (2nd July) John Sloboda of the Oxford Research Group gave a thirty minute presentation, Civilian Casualties: The Unacceptable Face of Modern Warfare, to the last of this year's Hexham debates.

He began by saying that the Hexham debates are most probably unique in the UK and thanked the organisers for the opportunity to present his lecture.

He went on to ask the question,
  • Who is dying in the wars that the UK fights?
Some stats were provided: in the Falklands campaign (1982) one thousand combatants and zero civilians were killed. Later, in Kosovo (1999) combatants 2 (NATO), 462 (Serbian forces), 1000 (KLA) were killed along with 1,500 (by NATO) and 10,000 (by ICTY) civilians were killed. The pattern - diminshing combatant, increasing civilian casualties - repeated itself through the Afghanistan (2000 - present), Iraq (2003 - present) and Libyan (2011) conflicts. Out of this state of play protecting civilians is becoming an important issue; for example, UN Security Council resolution 1973 is couched in terms of protecting civilians.

The lecture moved onto jurisprudence where Luis Moreno Occampo, the prosecutor at the Hague International Court, was quoted in a letter dated 9th February 2006,
Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives,11 even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) (Article 8(2)(b)(i)) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality) (Article 8(2)(b)(iv).

Article 8(2)(b)(iv) criminalizes:

Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

Article 8(2)(b)(iv) draws on the principles in Article 51(5)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, but restricts the criminal prohibition to cases that are “clearly” excessive. The application of Article 8(2)(b)(iv) requires, inter alia, an assessment of:
  1. the anticipated civilian damage or injury;
  2. the anticipated military advantage; and
  3. whether (a) was “clearly excessive” in relation to (b).
Here the idea of proportionality was emphasised. Sloboda went on to cite an academic paper (Hicks et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2009) that discusses the civilian impact of different weapon types. This paper gives data which undermines the legal defence of proportionality since the victims of bombing campaigns are 46% female, 39% children with both groups assumed to be non-combatants.

In order for bodies to be placed in front of a court with regard to civilian casualties the following needs to be answered
  • who
  • when
  • where
  • how
  • and by who
This is being addressed by the every casualty initiative with three main reasons presented for doing so: moral, practical and legal. Counting casualties, particularly civilian casualties, is considered to be a difficult process; consequently, it was said, that States need to not only do it but show how it can be done.

The process is still a developing practice but a momentum is developing.

A practioner network has arisen through the http://www.everycasualty.org/ website.

After the Bosnian War (1991 - 94) atrocities reports were used as propaganda weapons which resulted in a difficult peace. Out of this the research documentation centre was set up which was "devoted to documenting human losses in Bosnia-Herzegovina due to conflict." This had the result of causing 'humanisation' that is, turning the issue from politics to facts. Whenever someone would cry 'atrocity' the RDC would ask where the bodies were in order to count them.

The presentation ended leaving one with the impression that this was very much a work in progress.

Questions at the end elicited the existence of the Libya Letter to the UN; the disappointment that an opportunity for recording casualties was lost when the Chilcot inquiry took a ver narrow view of its remit; the treatment of the dead from 911 was thought to be a gold standard as to how deceased civilians should be treated.

Lastly, Sloboda told us that he had an uncle who was in the Polish military. During WWII he disapeared, it was strongly suspected that he was murdered in the Katyn massacre but from the time that he went missing to the time that Gorbachev opened the Russian archive which confirmed the fate of this man, there wasn't a day that went by without members of his family wondering what had happened to him.