The Land Which Hope has Forsaken

For the Palestinians, August is the cruelest month. It mixes death and destruction. Yesterday a cease fire was agreed in Gaza, which was supposed to last for 72 hours but lasted for less than five hours. There was insufficient time for people to bury their dead or to retrieve what possessions were left after their homes and schools and medical centres were shelled. Both sides claim the other was responsible for breaking the cease fire. Continue reading

The More Laws, the More Corruption

Laws are enacted in our present civilised society virtually every day; some days many laws are enacted, too many for anyone to read. It has become virtually impossible for a citizen to understand all the relevant laws that might apply to his or her conduct, transactions, habits and behaviour. There is primary, secondary and even tertiary legislation. There are laws upon laws, laws within laws, and laws about what is not within the law. In nine years the last Labour government managed to create 3,600 new criminal offences. The present Conservative government is also busy creating new criminal offences, not quite at the same rate, but with the same enthusiasm. Continue reading

The Manicured Sophistry of Israel

I am getting tired and depressed listening to representatives of the Israeli government explain, with their manicured sophistry, just how essential it is to protect Israel that Israel should bomb women and children while they sleep in a United Nations shelter in Gaza, and how it is proportionate that the body count of Palestinians exceeds that of Israelis by a factor of twenty and how to describe such body count as disproportionate is “emotive”. Continue reading

The Balance Sheet of Death

Traditionally dictators and tyrants keep good order over the nations they rule, because to do otherwise would put their rule in peril. Once the tyrant is deposed new potential tyrants emerge and the nation suffers civil war and destruction until one tyrant manages to seize power. Continue reading

The Banker’s Exemption From the Criminal Law

It is better to use short words instead of long phrases. We should not call spades agricultural implements and we should not call fraud  serious misconduct. However, if you a fraudster operating in the banking system, organising large scale deceptions your chances of being prosecuted are so low that I do not think I can compute them.

There are so many examples of this, that I stand in pause to know where I should first begin, but I shall simply mention the sale by all the major UK banks of interest rate hedging products to small and medium sized businesses. Continue reading

The Military Objective of a War is to Win the Peace that Follows

Wars are complex difficult events but when you simplify the act of fighting a war to its bare essentials the way to victory is to kill more of the enemy than the enemy can kill of your side. Ultimately, if you can kill all of the enemy you will likely succeed in the political aims of the war. These days no one can kill all of their enemies; international law requires warring parties to leave plenty of enemies alive, and in those you leave alive you leave a breeding ground for generations of enemies that will plague you with endless war.  Continue reading

GM Crops

Manufacturers of genetically modified crops make great claims about them especially when lobbying government, but they do not explain the disadvantages about their products. Continue reading

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