Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leveson Inquiry – Data Protection Act request for information

RE: Urgent – For Kim BrudenellFriday, 24 February, 2012 12:57

From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson'”, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email the contents of which are noted.

I appreciate that you have long standing concerns regarding Mr Morgan. The Inquiry’s position was made clear in our emails of 15 and 16 February and I have nothing to add to that.  If, however, the position changes and the Inquiry does require a statement from you, we will let you know.

Yours sincerely

Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Leveson Inquiry

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Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

29 February  2012

Dear Miss Brudenell,

As I pointed out in my last email a failure to answer reasonable questions is evidence against the refuser.   Your blanket refusal  speaks volumes.

I am going to send more  information which is every bit as strong as that which I have supplied. If you refuse to use that evidence and call me as a witness the dishonesty of the Inquiry process will become ever more obvious and extreme.

For the moment I shall content myself with sending some immediately pertinent information . This involves the  failure of the Metropolitan Police to investigate Rebecca  Brooks (then Wade)  after she had admitted to a select committee that the police had been paid for information  while she was a News International  editor.  (I was at the hearing when she made the admission)

My letters of complaint to the police in 2003  urging them to investigate  Brooks/Wade’s admission and  commentary on the  failure of the police to investigate are below.  (see  http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/the-refusal-of-the-police-to-investigate-rebekah-wade/).  The police refused to even answer the letters – they indubitably received them because they were sent by recorded delivery – so desperate were they not to get involved..

I also include letters to the MP Chris Bryant who asked the question of  Brooks/Wade which elicited her admission of payments to the police (ibid). Bryant did nothing to get a prosecution started. You will also see that my letters to the Metropolitan Police were copied to each member of the DCMS. Neither individually nor as a committee did they act to see an investigation of Brooks/Wade was begun.  All of this speaks to the unhealthy relationship between MPs and the Murdoch press and probably  the relationship between  politicians and the media generally.

Two other things.  I wish to make applications for information under the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

I make a formal subject access request under the DPA for all information you hold on me.  Under the 1998 Act that means not only the information held in digital form but any other data held in a searchable filing system. That can be as simple as a folder holding documents marked with a name, number or other signifier.  The information you supply to me should include copies of any data I have sent to  the Inquiry. You have 40 calendar days from today to supply the information or give reasons for refusing to do so.

As for the FOIA,  please inform me whether the Inquiry comes within  remit of the Act. If you claim it does not please give your reasons.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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RE: Urgent – For Kim Brudenell – new evidenceWednesday, 29 February, 2012 17:08

From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson'” , “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk

Dear Mr Henderson

I acknowledge receipt of your email, the contents of which are noted.

Your applications for information under the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have been passed to the Secretariat and you will hear from them shortly.  You may wish to consider the FAQ’s on the website, which may assist you.

Kind regards

Sharron Hiles

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Ms Sharron Hiles

Asst solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

4 March   2012

Dear Ms Hiles,

Thank you for your email of 29 Feb.   I see from the  FAQ that the Inquiry  does not come within the remit of the FOIA.  However the Inquiry does promise that  it “will endeavour to conduct proceedings in an open and transparent manner.  As part of this, as much information as possible will be provided on this website.” Taking this commitment to transparency  at face value I ask the Inquiry for the following information:

1.  The number of people who have submitted evidence to the Inquiry.

2. The number of people who have been or will be called to give oral evidence.

3. The number of people who have supplied  the Inquiry with a letter from a Fleet Street editor in which the editor admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only be illegal.

4.  The number of people who supplied the Inquiry with  evidence of the police failing to investigate complaints of police officers supplying information illegally  to the press.

5. The number of people who have supplied the Inquiry with evidence of the PCC failing to adjudicate  on complaints.

I ask for the most up-to-date answers to these questions.

The Inquiry Secretariat has yet to contact me.   I would be grateful if you can remind them to contact me ASAP.  An answer to my subject access request under the Data Protection Act is of course a legal requirement.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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156 Levita House, Chalton Street, London NW1 1HR Tel: 0207 387 5018Email: anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk

Ms Sharron Hiles

Asst solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

10 March 2012

Dear Ms Hiles,

I have not had a reply from you to my email of 4 March (copy below) , nor, despite your promise that they would do so,  has the secretariat contacted me.

Please let me  know  ASAP where I stand with regard to both my subject access request and my additional request for information in lieu of  an FOIA request.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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Leveson InquiryFriday, 16 March, 2012 15:19

From: “Jeffery, Amanda (DJO-JO)”Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk'”Dear Mr Henderson,

I am sorry for the delay in acknowledging receipt of your request for information under the Data Protection Act 1988.  Under the terms of the Act, we are required to provide you with a response within 40 days.  I will, therefore, write to you with a full response to your request by Monday 9th April 2012.

I have also been passed the other questions you have asked in relation to the Inquiry, in your email of 4th March.  We will provide you with an answer to these questions at the same time, namely by 9th April 2012.

Yours sincerely,

Amanda Jeffery

Amanda Jeffery | Leveson Inquiry:  culture, practices and ethics of the press | Royal Courts of Justice | Strand | London | WC2A 2LL | Telephone 020 7947 7837 or 07759 609835 | http://www.levesoninquiry.org

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The Leveson Inquiry

culture, practices and

ethics of the press

 

R Henderson Esq

3 April 2012

 

Dear Mr Henderson,

 

Subject Access Request

Thank you for your email of 29 February 2O12, in which you made a Subject Access Request (SAR) asking for all information on you held by the Leveson inquiry. Your request has been handled under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

 

We have now completed a search of our records and can confirm that the inquiry Team does hold personal data within the scope of your request. That personal data is being processed for the purposes of the requests and enquiries you had made of the Leveson inquiry.

 

The attached schedule shows the personal data that you are entitled to under section 7 of the DPA; as you are a recipient or the originator of each of these emails or communications, I do not propose to send you a further copy. However, if you would like to see any particular documents then I will arrange for copies to be sent to you.

 

You can find out more about the right of access to personal data under section 7, by reading the extract from the Act attached at the end of this letter.

 

You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act, (available at http://www.lesislation.gov.uk/ukpsa/1998/29lsection/7) and further guidance http://www.ico.gov.uk/for organisations/data protection/subject access requests.

 

You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details of how to appeal are annexed to this letter.

 

Request for Further information

 

You have also requested certain other information from the Inquiry. As you are aware, the Inquiry is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, but Lord Justice Leveson has indicated that the Inquiry will be conducted in an open and transparent manner. With that in mind I can answer your questions as follows:

1. The number of people who have submitted evidence to the Inquiry: we do not have an absolute number of submissions that we have received, as the inquiry is still inviting and accepting submissions to the Inquiry and so the number is constantly changing. I can tell you, however, that the Inquiry has heard oral evidence from 258 witnesses, and has published their witness statements on the inquiry website. The evidence of a number of other people has also been read into the inquiry and, again, their submissions have all been published on our website. Finally, we publish monthly updates of the number of emails, submissions and other enquiries that have come in; you will find this information in the “About the Inquiry” section of the website.

2. The number of people who have been or will be called to give oral evidence: by close of play on Wednesday 4th April, the Inquiry will have taken oral evidence from 258 witnesses. It is not possible for us, at this point, to know how many witnesses will be asked to give evidence during the remainder of the inquiry.

3. The number of people who have supplied the Inquiry with a letter from a Fleet Street editor in which the editor admits to receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only be illegal: the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way. It is, of course, open to you to review the statements that have been published on our website.

4. The number of people who supplied the inquiry with evidence of the police failing to investigate complaints of police officers supplying information illegally to the press: the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way.

5.The number of people who have supplied the inquiry with evidence of the PCC failing to adjudicate on complaints: again, the inquiry does not specifically record information in this way.

Amanda Jeffrey

(PP by N Mossally)

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Ms Amanda Jeffrey

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

11 April 2012

Dear Ms Jeffrey,

Thank you for your letter of 3 April in response to my subject access request under the data Protection Act (DPA).

I shall be making a complaint to the Information Commissioner because it beggars belief that all you hold  is my correspondence with the Inquiry plus one email  sent by Roger Dewhurst relating to my case which was forwarded to the Inquiry by Josephine Norris.  However, before I write to the Commissioner   it would be helpful if you answered this question:  do you hold information about me which you have withheld because you do not believe it falls within the ambit of the DPA? If you are withholding information, which DPA exemption or exemptions are you relying on to deny me copies?

As for copies of   the correspondence between the Inquiry and me, I do require photostatted copies of all of these.

I would also be grateful  if you could send me a copy of  your letter of 3 April (including enclosures) in digital form as I do not have a scanner with OCR.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

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Ms Amanda Jeffrey

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

18 April 2012

 

Dear Ms Jeffrey,

I would appreciate a rapid  reply to my email of 11 April – copy below.

You are obligated to send me the copies of my emails and letters which you hold. As for the question of any  other data you are withholding,  I know from my previous dealings with the Information Commissioner that although a data holder may rely on the exemptions under the DPA,  if they do they need to identify which exemptions there are relying on. So, I will ask again: are you withholding data relating to me because you believe the data is exempted?

If I have not got a full response  from you within the next 7 days I shall refer the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

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FW: Leveson Inquiry – FTAO Amanda Jeffrey – urgent

Monday, 23 April, 2012 15:09

From: “Leveson Inquiry General Enquiries”View contact detailsTo: “anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk”Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email of the 18 April 2012 addressed to Amanda Jeffery.

The Inquiry will forward to you the hard copy of correspondence by the end of the week.  The information and emails that will not be disclosed to you have been withheld under the legal professional privilege exemption.

Kind regards,

The Leveson Inquiry Team

www.levesoninquiry.org.uk

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FW: Leveson Inquiry – FTAO Amanda Jeffrey – urgentMonday, 30 April, 2012 16:18

From: “robert henderson”View contact detailsTo: “Leveson Inquiry General Enquiries”

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

30 April 2012

Dear Sirs,

The promised documents have not arrived. Please send them ASAP.

Regarding the infomation you are withholding,  saying data is being “withheld under the legal professional privilege exemption is rather vague. ” Which of the following  exemptions are you relying on?

DPA Part IV Exemptions

27. Preliminary.

28. National security.

29. Crime and taxation.

30. Health, education and social work.

31. Regulatory activity.

32. Journalism, literature and art.

33. Research, history and statistics.

33A. Manual data held by public authorities.

34. Information available to the public by or under enactment.

35. Disclosures required by law or made in connection with legal proceedings etc.

35A. Parliamentary privilege.

36. Domestic purposes.

37. Miscellaneous exemptions.

38. Powers to make further exemptions by order.

39. Transitional relief.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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Ms Kim Brudenell,

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

13 May  2012

 

Dear  Miss Brudenell,

I am still waiting for a reply to the email sent on 30 April which is below.  I would be grateful if you could let me know by return which exemption the Inquiry is attempting to bring into play.  As I have not been granted Copre Participant Status and have not been  called as a witness ,  and consequently  have no formal legal association with the Inquiry,  I fail to see how legal professional privilege  would apply.

You may find this blog post of interest:

http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/leveson-inquiry-lord-leveson-prepares-the-way-for-the-cancellation-of-part-2/

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

 

 

 

Leveson Inquiry – the killer question Robert Jay QC is not asking

The leading counsel to the Leveson Inquiry  Robert  Jay  QC and his fellow barristers are being surprisingly inept in their questioning when it comes to the question of the police illicitly supplying information to the press.  It is noticeable that although some very damaging revelations have come out during the course of the Inquiry, to the best of my knowledge none of them  to date have resulted in fresh opportunities for criminal prosecutions because  all of the revelations at the Inquiry  which might have resulted in prosecutions are already known to the police.

What  are Jay and his colleagues doing wrong?    They are rushing their fences by asking,  without any preamble,  press witnesses the bald question “Have you ever paid the police for information?”   Unsurprisingly the answer they are receiving is no. This may be the truth but there is also a strong possibility that guilty witnesses calculate that it is the safest answer all things considered.

Someone being questioned under oath  who is tempted to lie  has to weigh up the following before deciding whether to lie:

1. Is the question being asked , however seeming innocent,  likely to lead to more damaging questions?

2. What is the likelihood of the lie being exposed as a lie?

3. Is the lie worth telling in the context of the damage telling the truth would do versus the likelihood of the lie being found out and the seriousness of the lie If it is  discovered?

When press  witnesses are being questioned about their dealings with the police there will be a very strong temptation  for any journalist,  from editor to humble reporter,  to lie because to admit the truth that they had paid the police or knew of others who had would have potentially severe consequences.  It would be a very high value admission. Moreover, the press witness would also probably think that such payments would be impossible to prove.  It is also  the question produced without preamble which is most likely to produce a denial out of panic, which can be counter-productive if it happens at too earlier point in the questioning because it cuts off lines of inquiry .

However, the possibility  that those under oath will simply panic  and lie without weighing up the consequences is not as strong  as it might seem,  because someone giving evidence will often have a good deal of time to consider what might be asked when they go into the witness box.  They may also receive expert help to prepare them because, despite the prohibition on rehearsing witnesses in evidence directly relating to a case they are appearing in (http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/code-guidance/guidance-on-witness-preparation/), human nature being what it is you can bet it happens.  Moreover, simply engaging in role playing with   mock witness questioning by a lawyer whilst avoiding the subject matter of a particular case (which is permitted) can go some way to preventing panic by giving a witness a taste of what they will face.

When  witnesses  from the press appear at the Leveson Inquiry  they will have a further advantage to prepare themselves for questioning. They will have  made a witness statement so the position they will have to defend   should be  clear in their minds. The decision whether to lie or not  in response to any likely  question will have probably been taken during the preparation of the witness statement.

What Jay and his colleagues be doing?  They should have started  from the point of first establishing whether  crimes have been committed regardless of whether any money or other material inducement has been  given to the police. The passing of information illicitly by the police to the press necessarily breaches the Official Secrets Act and most probably the Data Protection Act. In those instances both giver and receiver commit corresponding offences. Conspiracy charges could also arise.  In addition,  the police officer would be guilty of misconduct in a public office. These possible offences have been  ignored by Jay and his colleagues.

The first thing Jay and co should be doing is  establish  whether  the witness had had any direct  dealings with the police or, if it is clear from their witness statement that they had  such dealings, to ask  how often they had met police officers.   Nothing too frightening there for the witness because it is perfectly legitimate for the police to have dealings with the media.  No need to lie about that.

Then should come a question or two about where the meetings took place.  Nothing necessarily improper there, although if the meetings have involved expensive restaurants for which the press was paying the  witness might find it discomforting to answer.  Still, no need to lie yet and in any case that is the sort of information which will  probably be known to others. Too risky to lie at this point  for that reason as well.

Once regular contacts between the police and the witness  have been admitted,  counsel can begin to ask more demanding questions  about the nature of the meetings and what information was passed from the police to the pressman.  Things are getting a little bit trickier. The pressman could simply deny ever receiving information he should not have received, but there would be a reasonable chance that if he is lying the lie could be exposed.  Yet if  the pressman admits receiving information  he will be drawn into saying what it was, at least in general terms.  Things are getting tricky.  The pressman will probably decide to admit to receiving information but give it a gloss to try to make it seem legitimate. Should the pressman make a  straight denial  and this not be disprovable from information counsel holds,  further investigations should be made.  The third option would be to refuse to answer on the grounds that it would incriminate the witness, but that would point the way for the police to start and investigation of the witness.

If the press witness admits to receiving information relating to police activity  he will put himself into a bind because the only plausibly legitimate circumstances in which the police can release information about police activity or data held by them to the  media is to the media generally.  This does not need to be done publicly, although it is best if it is publicly released except in special circumstances which require temporary public silence such a kidnapping, but it should be given to the media generally.  To supply it only to one person or one media outlet would be prima facie grounds for suspecting that the release of information was illegal.

At this point the press witness has to make a decision whether to lie, refuse to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination or tell the truth.  The pressman who has received information illegally  will  probably have it in his mind that third parties  apart from the police officer will know of the receipt of the information, for example, an editor may  know that one of his journalists has crossed the line into criminality. It may be that, as happened with phone hacking at the News of the World, an illegal practice is widespread within a newspaper.  There is also the possibility that an examination of the  individual’s stories or, in the case of an editor,  the stories printed by his  newspaper could strongly suggest the type of information illegally passed to the pressman by the police, for example, stories which contain information which could only have come from police sources.  If the press witness has serious doubts about whether a lie will remain uncovered he will probably refuse to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination.

Assuming the press witness does not fall back on self-incrimination,  he may try to finesse the  information received so that it appears legitimate, for example, chatting about a case which is already well reported in the media. Alternatively, the press witness may claim that nothing was discussed relating to police activity.  In either case persistent questioning about what was discussed in  the meetings between the police and  the press witness  if the meetings were entirely innocent will probably result in the press witness being unable to give much detail of the claimed meetings.  That is a strong pointer to  a lie having been told because liars normally have not got a detailed story worked out.  Someone  recounting something which has actually happened will have the detail, or what they remember to be the detail, in their heads because they have experienced it rather than having to create a story from scratch.

We are now at the point where the question of paying or rewarding the police in other material ways comes into view.  It may well be that by this point the press witness will have admitted to receiving information which they should not have received but which they do not realise they should not have received.  If so,  counsel is into the home straight,   because even if no admission of  payment to officers is  made there is both sufficient grounds for  starting a criminal investigation and leads to investigate whether payments have been made.  Counsel could try rattling the witness by pointing out the potential criminal offences which can be  committed without making payments. That is the point when the question “Have you ever paid or given any other material benefit to a police officer for  the supply of information?”  should be asked.

If the press witness has gone through the questioning without making any inadvertent admission of receiving information illegally, the question  “Have you ever paid or given any other material benefit to a police officer for  the supply of information?”  should also be put to them at this point. It at least puts down a marker and there is always a sporting chance that the question will elicit a refusal to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination if the questioning has played on the witness’  fears.

Robert Henderson  4 3 2012

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Robert Jay QC

Lead Counsel to the Leveson Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

29 2 2012

Dear Mr Jay,

When questioning press witnesses about payments to the police for information you and your fellow counsel are consistently asking the wrong initial question.

The  question you and your colleagues are putting is  along these very  bald lines:  “Did you pay policemen for information?”  What you should asking as your initial question is  something like this “Did you or your staff ever receive information from the police which only you or  your paper received?”  If they have that is almost certainly a breach of the law. You can then move to a line of questioning which further  illustrates the illicit nature of the receipt of the information to which the person has admitted receiving or knowing has been received. The question about payment should come later.

The reason you should proceed in this manner is simple. By limiting the question to payment you allow the  witness to escape questioning about other offences. Whether or not payment or other material reward is  given to the police for information , the passing of information illicitly by the police to the press necessarily breaches the Official Secrets Act and most probably the Data Protection Act. In those instances both giver and receiver commit corresponding offences. Conspiracy charges could also arise.  In addition,  the police officer would be guilty of misconduct in a public office.

I find it difficult to believe that a barrister of your experience will not realise all that. So why are you and your colleagues not pressing the matter of the receipt of information illicitly regardless of whether money or payment in kind has occurred?

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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Sent to  robert.jay@39essex.com, josephine.norris@39essex.com, wirwin@tgchambers.com, DavidBarr@tgchambers.com, clerks@tgchambers.com, clerks@landmarkchambers.co.uk, tfisher@landmarkchambers.co.uk, clerksd@4-5.co.uk, hemmerson@4-5.co.uk

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CONTENTS

Editorial Derek Turner

Click here to read

The state of the States Peter B. Gemma reviews Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower

Click here to read

Canadian candour on race and culture Robert Henderson reviews the Fraser Institute’s Effects of Mass Immigration on Canadian Living Standards and Society

Poles apart Mark Wegierski on the recent Polish elections

The charge of the light brigade Sonya Jay Porter on energy-efficient lightbulbs

Now for the tyrants in our heads Horatio Morpurgo on Western views of Islam

A dictionary for the future Michelle Berriedale-Johnson reviews David Fleming’s Lean Logic

The problem with unlimited kindness Patrick Keeney reviews David Stove’s What’s Wrong with Benevolence

Downward mobility Edward Dutton reviews Richard Lynn’s Dysgenics

The endless cycle of war Frank Ellis reviews David Stevenson’s With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918

A J P Taylor: genius or fool? Geoffrey Partington on the famous historian

Uncollected Folk Roy Kerridge on British children’s songs

Taki’s Universe Taki on ethnic parades

Orpheus rising Stoddard Martin reviews Ann Wroe’s Orpheus: The Song of Life

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Cult of beauty, blasted Leslie Jones on the Vorticists

Second Reading Svein Sellanraa on Jeppe of the Hill

Replay Mark Wegierski on Excalibur

POETRY

On an erstwhile editor, feminist Catharine Savage Brosman

Famous horse J. K. Murphy

Anger Niels Hav

————————————-

Sample article

Canadian candour on race and culture Robert Henderson reviews the Fraser Institute’s Effects of Mass Immigration on Canadian Living Standards and Society

Edited by Herbert Grubel  – a compilation of essays by  12 authors

Published by the Fraser Institute of Canada  in 2009 ISBN 978-0-88975-246-7

Massive numbers of immigrants who are either unable or unwilling to integrate with the society into which they come; cities increasingly dominated by ethnic and racial ghettos;  laws which grant immigrants rights which make it next to impossible to stop them entering the country or to deport  them once they are there;  employers greedy for cheap labour;  immigrants depressing wages and forcing up native unemployment; immigrants taking more out of the communal national pot in benefits than they put in through taxes;  a political elite which is  sold on the idea that immigration is an unalloyed good at a naïve best and a source of new voters  for parties which support mass immigration at  a venal worst; a bureaucracy which religiously carries out the politically correct  dictates of  the elite embraced  multicultural ethos ; the development of  an “immigration industry” comprised of vested interests such as lawyers, pressure groups, charities; public servants  appointed to act as what are effectively political commissars for multiculturalism; a mainstream media which ceaselessly propagandises on behalf of the wonder of multiculturalism and value of immigration whilst censoring any opposition;  a rabid state-inspired  suppression of  dissidence at any level by a mixture of  laws banning honest discussion of immigration and its consequences  and the engendering of a public culture which puts  anyone who voices anti-immigration views, however cautiously, at risk of losing  their job or political position and to  ostracism from their social circle  if they are judged to have committed a “crime” against multiculturalism.

Welcome to the Canadian experience of the joy of mass immigration. Sounds familiar? It certainly will to British ears, but the same could broadly  be said of any First World country for the globalist ideology has become the creed of elites throughout the First World.   This makes the book generally valuable as a primer on the dangers of mass immigration.  This utility is enhanced  by significant reference being made to immigration as it affects  the  USA, Britain and France.

There are of course differences of detail  between the Canadian and British experience.  Canadians   traditionally have seen themselves as a nation of immigrants whereas the British  have not and do not.  This means that  Canadians have, like Americans,  at least the residue of the sentimental  idea that immigration should be the natural order of things and  that it is somehow wrong to deny  to others what they or their ancestors enjoyed. The Canadian elite have taken this to extremes  according to   Stephen Gallagher of the Canadian International Council because “….more than any other country  Canada has bought into the  cosmopolitan logic that there can exist a ‘civic nationalism in the absence of any ethnic or cultural majority, shared roots or social coherence” (p188). His claim is borne out by the objective evidence of modern Canadian immigration policy and its consequences.

The problem with the “civic nationalism” mentality is it is one thing to have immigration consisting overwhelmingly of people who are broadly  similar in race and culture into the receiving society  – as happened throughout most of Canada’s history  -who  can  assimilate rapidly; quite another to import immigrants in large numbers  who are radically different in race and culture and either cannot or will not assimilate.  That is what has happened to Canada in recent decades.

Over the past quarter of a century  immigrants to Canada have come  overwhelmingly from Asia. The result is that at the last Canadian census  5 million  (16 per cent) out of the Canadian population of 16 million  were  “visible minorities” (p5).   The size of the overall population also counts hugely:  16 per cent of 33 million is considerably more concerning than 16 per cent of, say, Britain’s currently  estimated 62 million.

It might be thought that the geographical vastness of  Canada   would mean there is  not the same sense that the country is being  physically swamped as there is in a geographically small country such as Britain, but  Canada  is a very urbanised country with   25 million Canadians  living in towns or cities and most  immigrants  are concentrated  in a few places.   60 per cent of the  5 million “visible minorities”  live in the Metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver (p5).  In Toronto  in 2001  those classified as  “English (Anglos ) “only  formed a majority in  in a quarter of metropolitan “census tracts” (p180).  The sense of conquest by stealth is as apparent in those particular places as it would be in London or Birmingham.

Reckless Canadian immigration  took off in the  1990s. In 1990 the annual limit was raised to 250,000 by  a Progressive Conservative government with the  Minister responsible, Barbara McDougal, arguing that this would help the party with the ethnic  minority vote, the clear implication being that a large portion of the additional immigrants would be black or Asian (p4). Since then  immigration has averaged nearly 1 per cent  of the population (p4. )Things worsened after the 2001 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed.  This  set selection criteria for immigrants without putting any limit on the numbers who could come in. As there were vastly more people who could meet the criteria than  Canada  could readily accommodate and there was no flexibility to adjust to changes in economic conditions generally or to  the Canadian labour market in particular, the system soon ran into trouble. A backlog of would-be immigrants waiting to be processed formed which is estimated to reach 1.5 million by 2012 (p7) to which did not include refugees who number is considerable.  Canadian asylum policy became so lax in the 1980s that over the past 25 years more than  700,000 asylum seekers were admitted (p14).  Canada has taken steps to amend the  Immigration Act,, but even if those are effective the existing backlog of 1.5 million will be processed under the old rules (p5).

All but one the most sacred cows of the pro-immigration, pro-multicultural lobby are precisely dissected before being put out of their misery.  Overall, immigrants  do not add to Canada’s per capita wealth (p104), not least because less than 20% of immigrants come in based on their work skills or training (p3);  cultural diversity does not equal an enhanced  society  but a divided one with an ever weakening national identity and  bringing in huge numbers of  young immigrants will not solve the problem of an ageing Canadian population – Robert Bannerjee and William Robson (chapter 7)  estimate that to even stabilise the  Old Age Dependency ratio – the ratio between those of working age  to those over retirement age – and those   from what it is at  present would take decades of annual  immigration amounting each year to 3% of the Canadian population (p142). The effect of that would be to effectively end any concept of a Canadian nation as it has been and still largely is.  It would be a classic case of  the transformation of quantity into quality.  A place called Canada might still exist but  he  existing Canadian nation would be no more.

The sacred cow which remains standing if more than a little nervous,  is the question of the incompatibility of races.  Nonetheless ,  some of the contributors (especially those in chapters 9-12)  come close to venturing onto this currently forbidden territory, for example :-

“..the analysis of Sammuel Huntingdon (2004), who argues that a nation is the function of the identity of its majority population  and in the United States this identity is rooted  in the original founding Anglo-Protestant  culture and a value system described as the American Creed.” (Stephen Gallagher P188).

“What guarantee do we have that diversity in itself is a desirable objective? At what point does diversity mutate into a form of colonisation? (James Bissett p6).

The book is also good at flagging up consequences which are not immediately obvious. For example, Marcel Merette  makes the important point that as higher skilled immigrants increase the differential in wages between the skilled and the unskilled shrinks  (p159). This discourages  Canadians from taking the trouble to acquire skills because the advantage of doing so would be lessened.

Nor is any change in the type of immigrants without ill consequences. For example, if immigrants are restricted to the young (which might be thought a god thing in an ageing society) that  disadvantages the native young because it means they face greater competition for jobs from the immigrants in their age group.

There is also the effect on the one long-standing substantial Canadian minority, the French-speaking  Quebeccers . They are increasingly finding their language and culture undermined both by the presence of immigrants who will not integrate and by  having to compete for attention and privileges from the majority population with the new minority groups.

Rather touchingly, Gordon Gibson (chapter 11)  imagines that the position is much healthier in Britain because there is at least growing public discussion here and  an organisation such as MigrationWatch UK  to ostensibly provide a  focus of concern about immigration (the  final  essay in the book is by the head of MigrationWatch UK  Sir Andrew Green).   But public debate can be not merely useless but positively harmful if it is controlled.

It is true that there is vastly more  public discussion in Britain now than there was under  the Blair Government when any many of immigration and its consequences brought squeals of “racism” from politicians, the left-liberal dominated media and any pressure group or individual  able to climb onto the “anti-racist” bandwagon.   But public discussion does not equal action and  despite Cameron’s  Coalition  Government’s rhetoric about cutting net immigration to Britain “from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year” , the  numbers remain much the same as under the Blair and Brown governments.

The extent of  the growing disquiet amongst Canadians is indicated by the very existence of the book.  The editor has brought together a  wide-ranging group of contributors:  economists, political scientists, think tank members and retired ambassadors. These are not the class of people who would  commonly be found  publicly expressing  concern  about immigration,  for they are by background part of the broad elite which has embraced the multiculturalist  ideal.  That they are willing to write pretty forthrightly about the dangers speaks volumes in itself.  The message it sends is that they are so worried by the observable effects of mass migration that they are willing to put their heads above the parapet  and risk, at the least, social, political and academic ostracisation.

The failure to address the question of race as a social separator is frustrating but understandable in the present politically correct circumstances, but it cannot be ignored forever. Those who say physical differences in race are unimportant and  that race is merely a social construct should reflect upon the fact that if there was no natural mechanism to stop humans of different physical types breeding as  freely together  as those of a similar physical type then there would be no broad physical groups which we call races . These group separations cannot be ascribed to humans evolving in separation from one another  because  throughout history there has been an immense amount of movement of peoples  with every  opportunity for inter-breeding. We see the same thing happening today in places such as London where,  despite the open invitation to inter-racial breeding and the incessant multi-culturist propaganda over several generations, a surprisingly  small percentage of the population does interbreed.

I can unreservedly recommend this book because it provides almost all the ammunition needed to  refute the multiculturalist propaganda . It is not the easiest of reads  because most of the contributors take an  academic approach, which means a fair number of  charts and tables plus a decent dollop of jargon. But the book is  not very heavy going and its message is  the most important which can be given to the developed world at present: guard your own societies against this surreptitious form of conquest or  they will die.

How the BBC censors evidence of press misbehaviour

Robert Henderson

The Leveson Inquiry resumed sitting on 27 February.  Its  focus will be on the relationship between the police and the press.  Consequently, this subject was chosen for BBC Radio 5 Breakfast  Programme’s 9.00 am phone-in on that date.

Before  the subject was announced Piers Morgan appeared on the programme and repeated his denial of ever paying police for information or knowing of any journalist working for him doing so.  Because of this denial  I sent to the Breakfast email address and the presenter Nicky Campbell’s email address a facsimile copy of Morgan’s letter to the  PCC in which he admits receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal. A copy of the letter is at the bottom of this post.

As soon as the subject was announced (8.49 am) I immediately rang R5  and offered myself as a caller.  Normally if you call at that time you will get on air. I explained that I had direct evidence of police collusion with the press and asked the researcher to put on his notes to the program producer the fact that I has sent a facsimile of Morgan’s letter by email which he agreed to do.  I added that I had tried to get the Leveson Inquiry to investigate  Morgan’s admission of dealing with the police illicitly but  they had refused.

Despite offering such solid evidence I never got on the programme.  Nor did many other members of the general public – in 50 minutes of broadcasting only seven people not connected with the media were put on air, most of them for a brief period.   Instead, the vast majority of the time  was taken by Nicky Campbell interviewing  the Labour MP  Chris Bryant and  journalists including Roy Greenslade, ex-Mirror editor,  and Jeff Edwards,  the recently retired chief crime reporter for the Mirror .   Edwards painted himself as whiter than white when it came to illegal dealings with the police. This was more than a little odd because Jeff Edwards was the reporter who received the information from the police about me to which Morgan refers in his letter to the PCC.

There was one interesting call from the brother of   Tom  Cressman   who  was murdered by Jane Andrews, the one-time  wardrobe mistress to the  Duchess of York.  Richard Cressman   complained that he had submitted complaints to the Leveson Inquiry but had not been called to give evidence.

Robert Henderson 27 2 2012

————————————————————————————-

Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC admitting the illegal receipt of information from the police

FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post

16 October 1997

Your ref: 970738

Christopher Hayes Esq

Press Complaints Commission

I Salisbury Square

London

EC4Y 8AE

 

Dear Mr Hayes

Mr Robert Henderson

I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.

As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.

Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August We have consistently made it clear  that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.

Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-

In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the  Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.

Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly  they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.

I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing to Cherie Blair.

To do so was clearly designed to intimidate.

In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man”  the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly  illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair (to the extent that they be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.

He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated).

The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us tile detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that tile article was anything other than accurate.

Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.

The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm, whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players.

I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace , and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.

The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.

I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code.

I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.

However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.

Yours sincerely

 

Piers Morgan

The Leveson Inquiry and the suppression of evidence

NB This article is also  on the Libertarian Alliance website http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-leveson-inquiry-and-the-suppression-of-evidence/

 Robert Henderson

The remit of the Leveson Inquiry into the British Press is clear:

Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour.

Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest.

Module 3: The relationship between press and politicians.

Module 4: Recommendations for a more effective policy and regulation that supports the integrity and freedom of the press while encouraging the highest ethical standards.(http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/about/)

Module 1 has been completed, Module 2 is in progress.

In November 2011 I submitted extensive evidence to the Inquiry (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/). This covered gross abuse of me by the Press ; the illicit receipt of information from the police by the Daily Mirror; the repeated failure of the PCC to act on my complaints of clear breaches of the PCC Code of Conduct and criminal behaviour by the police both in supplying information about me illicitly to the Press and by failing to investigate meaningfully when I provided them with incontrovertible evidence of the supply of information illicitly to the Press by the police. Those matters were at the heart of modules 1 and 2. My submission also covered the relationship between the press and politicians, so is relevant to module 3.

The abuse by the Press concerned the Mirror newspaper which ran an extraordinarily libellous story about me relating to Tony and Cherie Blair’ failed attempt during the 1997 General Election campaign to have me prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act. (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/). The failure of the PCC was their bald refusal to adjudicate on my complaints. This allowed them to avoid expressing an opinion on the Mirror story.

The evidence of the illicit passing of information to the Mirror by the police arose from my complaint to the PCC. Amongst the evidence I submitted to the Inquiry was a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC ((http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/). The letter was sent to me by the PCC. In it Morgan writes “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published.” Morgan’s wording means that the information was supplied illegally because otherwise there would be no need to protect the police officer’s name

Morgan’s response to questions about receiving information illicitly from the police when appearing before the Inquiry begins at line 20 of page 86 of the official transcript. It runs

Q. Okay. Can I ask you, please, about paying police

21 officers. Is that something which happened at the

22 Daily Mirror whilst you were editor?

23 A. I have no reason to believe so, no.

24 Q. Are you saying by that that it was not brought to your

25 attention?

Page 87

1 A. I’ve never been made aware of any evidence for that at

2 all.

(http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Transcript-of-Afternoon-Hearing-20-December-2011.txt)

By far the most plausible motive for the police supplying the information to the Mirror is money. If that happened Morgan is guilty of perjury. But even if money did not change hands, both the police officer and the Mirror people involved committed crimes under the Official Secrets (OSA) and Data Protection (DPA) Acts.

Despite the compelling and pertinent nature of my evidence, all of which is substantiated by documents or personal witness by me, no attempt was made to call me as a witness for module I of the Inquiry or to use any of the evidence, including questioning Morgan about his letter to the PCC. In an attempt to force the Inquiry to use the evidence I applied for Core Participant status for module 2.

Core Participant status can be awarded ) if an applicant meets at least one of these criteria:

the person played, or may have played, a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates;

the person has a significant interest in an important aspect of those matters to which the inquiry relates; or

the person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings or in its report. (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/about/core-participants/). One of the primary advantages of achieving the status is that it allows the Core Participant to question witnesses.

I readily qualified under the first two criteria, having been the subject of Press abuse, PCC regulatory failure and police criminality, both in the illegal supply of information about me to the Mirror and the likelihood of the information having been supplied for money.

I was asked to submit in writing my reasons for thinking I qualified for Core Participant status. This I did (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/leveson-inquiry-the-response-to-robert-hendersons-application-to-be-a-core-participant-2/). Despite having been asked for a written submission, when I attended the directions hearing for Core Participant status on 25 January Lord Leveson announced that he had not read any of the submissions and instead would make his decision on a short impromptu oral presentation by the applicants. In the short time allowed I included in my presentation the fact that an editor who had appeared before the Inquiry had received information illicitly from the police and had almost certainly committed perjury by denying it under oath before the Inquiry. Nonetheless, I was not granted Core Participant status with no reason for this failure being given (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/leveson-inquiry-robert-hendersons-application-for-core-participant-status/).

Despite the denial of Core Participant status there was still a possibility that I would be called as a witness. Then something very strange happened. On 15 February I received this email from assistant solicitor Sharon Hiles which ran

Dear Mr Henderson

I write to confirm that your submissions are currently being considered by the Inquiry. In relation to the letter from Mr Morgan, I would be grateful if you would confirm if you have a signed copy, and if so, please send a signed hard copy to the Inquiry.

On the face of it this suggested they were taking the matter seriously. I had already supplied a hard copy of the Morgan letter to the Inquiry and emailed Hiles back to say so. This elicited another email from Hiles which stated

Having considered the letter and Mr Morgan’s evidence to the Inquiry, we do not propose to take this matter any further. The relevant part of the transcript relates to questions regarding payments to police. This is not the same issue as a newspaper receiving information for which no payment had been made.

Between Hiles’ first and second emails there elapsed 4 hours and 38 minutes. The Inquiry’s position went from seemingly taking a serious interest in the matter to deciding with no evidence whatsoever that Morgan’s admission in his letter to the PCC meant that the paper received the information without paying for it and that this in some mysterious way meant the story was of no interest to them.

I have asked the Inquiry for an explanation of (1) how they reached their conclusion that the Mirror did not pay for the information; (2) why they asked for a facsimile of Morgan’s original letter if they believed the Mirror did not pay for the information – the Inquiry definitely had the wording of the letter when Hiles’ first email was sent and if their objection was that Morgan did not explicitly state the Mirror had paid for the information, there was no point in asking me whether I had a signed copy of it and (3) why they are refusing to investigate the breaches of the OSA and DPA. I have received no reply. The full exchange of emails between the Inquiry and myself from 15 February onwards can be found at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/leveson-inquiry-wanted-people-who-have-had-their-evidence-ignored/.

As things stand, the Inquiry are refusing to investigate a very clear example of Press misbehaviour which at best involved the Mirror committing crimes under the OSA and DPA and which probably involved the Mirror paying the police for information and Piers Morgan committing perjury before the Inquiry. There is no legitimate reason this. That they are behaving this way points to one thing: the Inquiry is not intended to be more than PR exercise and, as with virtually any government instigated inquiry, any evidence which may seriously damage those with power, wealth or influence is to be suppressed. It is scandalous.

The credit crunch: an effect not a cause

Robert Henderson

 How did we get  into this economic hole?

What we are experiencing is a direct consequence of the dominant economic ideology of the age, laissez faire, an ideology which underpins the general political ideology of political elites in the West, the form of liberal internationalism we call globalism.

This neo-Liberal mentality has brought us to the brink of what is probably the most dangerous economic crisis since the Depression. Perhaps it may turn out to be even more disastrous because countries throughout the world (including Britain) are now so much less self-sufficient than they were in the 1930s, while the scope and speed of communications are beyond anything in existence during the Depression.

Most problematic are the immense and entirely novel opportunities permitted by digital technology, a technological development particularly pertinent to the money markets which are at the root of the credit crunch. No one remotely understands the medium-term let alone the long-term implications for the money markets of the creation of a universal market for every form of financial instrument, which is what the Internet potentially provides, or its potential for destabilising currencies. All that can be done at present is to guess, and guessing when the lives and prosperity of entire populations are at stake is a criminally reckless gamble.

 The consequences  of Thatcherism 

There have been outbreaks of  free market and free trade ideological  dominance in Britain from  the 1840s onwards,  but  since  Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 the worship of the laissez faire god has become more devout than ever.

Thatcher introduced something quite new. For the first time in history, a British prime minister and government actively welcomed the wholesale destruction of strategically important industries on the grounds that they could not compete. The doctrine of comparative advantage was pursued by the government in an advanced economy to a degree never previously seen. At the same time she emasculated the unions and began

recklessly selling the family silver with  her introduction of  the idea of privatisation which rapidly placed  almost all of the important nationalised industries in private hands.

Mrs Thatcher was also responsible for one great political act of folly in the name of laissez faire when she successfully fought for the Single European Market. The consequence of this was to rob Britain of its ability to favour its own industry economically (beyond what was already being done) and gave any citizen of another EU country the same rights as a British citizen to be employed in Britain or for any foreign corporation to bid for any public sector contract offered in Britain.

Her ultimate triumph was not only to drive the anti-laissez faire strain from her own party, ( a strain which had survived during previous bouts of  laissez faire dominance) but to eventually force the rest of the British political mainstream to follow suit. The upshot today is that the three major political parties in Britain have as articles of faith both a commitment to free trade and the belief that private enterprise is preferable to public provision in virtually every area or life.

The latter belief has created a novel situation in Britain. Great swathes of economic activity which were once controlled by the state – everything from the great nationalised industries to prisons – have been either sold off or contracted out to private companies.  Once privatised, these erstwhile public operations have become prey to foreigners. Because of post-1979 British governments’ commitment to laissez faire, anyone is allowed to purchase any British company, no matter its strategic importance, and most public contracts are given to the highest bidder regardless of their provenance. Nor in most instances (because of Britain’s membership of the EU) can the privatised industries be subsidised by the taxpayer, a particularly telling restriction in the case of the old public utilities when energy prices are rocketing.

Today, British utilities such as gas, electricity and water are largely in foreign hands, our major airports are owned by Spaniards, we no longer have serious mining or shipbuilding industries, and our largest native owned car manufacturer is the company which produces the Reliant Robin. In addition, many of the iconic names of British business – Bentley, Roll-Royce cars, Tetley Tea, ICI, Cunard, British Steel – have fallen to foreign buyers, while the supposed flagship of the British economy – the City of London – has seen the wholesale transfer of British merchant banks to foreign ownership. The present government has even stood sanguinely by while the London Stock Exchange has come under persistent foreign take-over attempts.

What the credit crunch  is not about

It is not about levels of government spending, although that is probably the next great economic shock which will hit Britain as the economy slows, tax revenues stagnate, the  Public Sector Borrowing Requirement grows and the Enron-style ‘off the books accounting’ involved in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes becomes impossible to hide.

What this crisis is about is the virtually unrestrained working of private enterprise, which has created a titanic pile of indebtedness ranging from dangerously generous mortgages to unsecured debt, much of it promiscuously and casually granted with a significant proportion going to people providing false information.

At the heart of the crisis lies the bundling of risky loans (especially mortgages in the United States – the so-called sub-prime mortgages) into financial packages. These have  been sold on and treated not as toxic debt but much better quality debt, debt which could be used by the banks as collateral against which to borrow. Eventually the game was up as people (especially in the United States) began defaulting on payments and banks stopped lending freely to one another because much of the debt they held was seen for what it was, toxic. Banks had to write off bewilderingly large amounts in bad debts and their store of useable collateral to set against future loans was much reduced.

This crisis is a peculiarly difficult thing for free marketers to explain. They cannot rationally blame it on too much government interference, because British financial institutions have been allowed to run their affairs largely unchecked by government for the better part of a quarter of a century, a process begun by the Thatcher governments when they threw away credit controls, permitted the de-mutualisation of building societies and their transformation into banks (which placed them under less rigorous rules regarding what they could borrow and lend) and generally slackened financial controls and state oversight.

These practices have been assiduously followed by successor British governments, who have failed to control the development of exotic financial instruments such as derivatives and by relinquishing the power to set Bank Rate (Bank Rate being, in theory at least, set by a body independent of the government, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England) and by embracing fiscal restraints imposed by the EU, such as restrictions on state aid to industry and restrictions on the setting of VAT rates.

The upshot is that the present government is left with only two very general means of controlling the economy, the variation of taxation and of government borrowing and spending. These are hopelessly inadequate instruments to deal efficiently with the multifarious financial problems which arise in an advanced economy. For example, if  credit is growing too fast, raising taxes to take money out of the economy may actually fuel further borrowing, at least in the short term, as people try to service the debts they have and to maintain their standard of living, while the additional taxation will have the unwanted extra effect of depressing the economy.

Alternatively, cutting taxes could conceivably reduce borrowing, although human nature being what it is people might actually feel more confident about the future and hence even more willing to borrow. However, even if such action reduces borrowing it will tend to worsen inflation because the amount of money put into the economy will probably be larger than any reduction in borrowing.

The setting of Bank Rate by the MPC is arguably a third weapon in the government’s armoury, because the MPC works to a narrow government set remit of controlling inflation within certain limits and the government has a considerable say, both directly and indirectly, in the appointments to the MPC. The behaviour of the MPC in crisis conditions suggests that they will do what they think politicians want rather than sticking to their remit. For example, they have dropped interest rates in the past eight months when inflation is rising. However, even if the setting of Bank Rate is a third weapon in the hands of the British government, it suffers from the same deficiency as the other two, namely, that it is too broad a measure to deal with many economic difficulties. Worse, since the credit crunch began, the interest rates charged by the banks and other lenders (especially on mortgages) have not shadowed the reductions in Bank Rate as history suggests they should do, but have stayed stubbornly and significantly above Bank Rate.

Of course, all economic interventions by governments have consequences which go beyond the narrow desired ends of the intervention, but the more economic weapons in a government’s hands, the greater the likelihood that they will be able to find one which is best suited to solve a particular problem with the minimum of unwonted side effects. For example, if the multiplier of salary for mortgages had remained by law no more than two times salary throughout the past quarter century, the housing market would have been pegged back by what most people could afford to borrow.

The money supply

There is a vital technical reason why government should control credit: it increases the money supply. To understand why this is of fundamental  importance, it is necessary to comprehend  what constitutes money, a concept which is far from straightforward in the modern world and growing more complex by the day.

A currency based on precious metals formed into coins is a relatively simple thing, because it is to a large degree self-regulating. The practices of debasing the quality of the metal or of clipping the edges of coins to remove some of the metal may be common, but such things can be tested objectively by anyone with the requisite knowledge, for example, by weighing the coin.  Moreover, the amount of physical money is limited by the availability of the precious metal(s) used in the currency.

Once a country moves from a physical currency based entirely on a precious metal to one which remains, in theory at least, fully convertible to the precious metal but which uses paper money alongside coins made of the precious metal, government’s role is expanded in importance because it is ultimately the guarantor of the currency’s integrity.

The final stage of physical money is when the link between a precious metal and the currency is broken and the entire currency rests upon trust. At that point a currency is entirely at the mercy of governments because there is no natural restraint on how much money is printed or coined in base metals.

Describing physical money is the easy bit. The concept of money becomes complicated the first time someone makes a loan. That has the same effect as someone depositing money with a bank: where one person had the money before, now two have it. Once a society develops a banking system, government needs to intervene both because of potential fraud and an expansion of the money supply. That applies in principle even in a supposedly 100% precious metal based currency, because even then there are primitive financial instruments such as bills of exchange which effectively act as money.

The more advanced a society is, the less important physical cash becomes as the instruments by which the money supply is multiplied increases. To see what a confused state we are in today we need only reflect on some of the various measures of the money supply which have been used in modern times in attempts to quantify the money supply:

1        M0 is the total of coins and notes in circulation plus banks’ deposits at the Bank of England.

2        M1 is M0 plus current account deposits

3        M3 is M1 plus all other types of bank accounts (deposit accounts, foreign currency accounts, public sector accounts)

But there are many other financial products which none of these measures catches that

arguably have aspects of money. Anything which can be readily traded for money can in effect be used as money in certain circumstances: shares, the vast array of derivatives, debt itself. For example, if I wish to buy a house in theory I could do so by swapping shares I own for the house.

The Northern Rock Debacle

September 2007 saw the first run on a British bank since the 19th Century with people literally queuing round the block to get their money out. A converted building society, Northern Rock, had been operating a reckless business plan whereby their core business of mortgages was predominantly funded not by deposits but by borrowing on the money markets. When the credit market tightened, Northern Rock were left stranded and were forced to go to the Bank of England (BoE) as the lender of the last resort, which made a loan of 25 billion to them.

Once that news became public, the panic began and the government was forced to guarantee all Northern Rock deposits which committed the taxpayer to a further £25 billion, a total of £50 billion including the loan. The Government then left the bank in limbo until February 2008 as it desperately tried to find a private buyer for the bank. Eventually, it had to admit defeat and nationalised the bank, exposing the taxpayer to another £50 billion of risk as it took over responsibility for the bank’s mortgage book. The taxpayer is now in for a potential liability of £100 billion. To put the scale of the risk in context, the  Treasury  Red Book forecast  for total government expenditure in 2008/9 is £617 billion, so the Northern Rock risk amounts to around 18% of total Government expenditure for this financial year.

All this is worrying enough but just imagine what will happen if a few more banks go belly-up. It is as reckless an act by a chancellor as you can find in British history, for not only are massive liabilities being put around the neck of the entire population, a precedent has been set. If other banks (and quite possibly much larger banks) get into the same position, it is difficult to see how the government could underwrite another Northern Rock let alone one of the clearing banks, especially in the light of the extensive borrowing facilities the BoE has extended to the banks generally. Of course, we are constantly told by the government that the taxpayer is not really at risk as the assets of Northern Rock are solid and that the loans extended to banks generally are held against sound collateral and will cost the banks a pretty penny in a premium on the interest rate they pay. Frankly, why should we believe them when the government cannot even give a guarantee of when the Northern Rock liabilities will be cleared.

Yet it is difficult to see what else the chancellor could have done. If Northern Rock had folded, the rest of the banking sector would have been placed in real danger. The position was not helped by the drawn-out attempt to find a private buyer for Northern Rock (a symptom of the laissez faire mindset of the Government), but that was merely a detail, not the heart of the problem. Had the government nationalised the bank immediately the problem was known, the liabilities would still be on the taxpayer. The scandal is that the lax credit situation was allowed to arise, something which could have been prevented by proper government behaviour over the past quarter of a century.

The developing crisis

Not only have governments been forced in practice to abandon laissez faire, there have been few if any calls for the central banks to stand back and do nothing. Even in the case of Northern Rock the supporters of the “invisible hand” have been loath to let it go to the wall.

Faced with the dangerous mess they created, the banks and big business asked the government to rescue them. The consequence is that the ordinary person gets the worst of all worlds, for they not only have to suffer a contracting of the credit market, but they also have to fund the rescue of financial institutions, either directly in the case of Northern Rock by nationalisation or indirectly through the extension of credit by the Bank of England (as lender of the last resort) to introduce money into the market for the financial institutions to borrow. The ordinary citizen also has to pay in terms of lost jobs, lower pay, poorer conditions and higher prices.

Commercial banks throughout the developed world have run squealing for help to governments, while the major Western central banks have reacted with behaviour ranging from the dramatic to the reluctant. The Federal Reserve has led the way, slashing interest rates dramatically and making tens of billions of dollars in loans to the banks available to the money markets, much of it on distinctly questionable collateral. The European Central Bank (ECB) has been more cautious on interest rates but has also made vast sums in loans available to banks.

Britain has somewhat tardily followed suit, reducing Bank Rate by three quarters of a per cent since September and belatedly providing billions in loans to the banks on collateral of ever decreasing value. The disquieting thing is that no matter what action has been taken, the flow of credit remains stubbornly locked and governments, including Britain’s, are reduced to throwing more and more money at the banks with less and less assurance that the money the taxpayer is risking will ever be repaid.

On 19 April it was reported (for example, The Daily Telegraph) that not only will the Bank of England inject a further £50 billion into the market with the banks using some of the sub-prime mortgage products they invested as collateral, but that the British government will also underwrite credit card debts held by the banks – all this on top of the eye-watering Northern Rock liabilities.

The most frightening thing about the crisis

The truly frightening thing about this crisis is that the people who are supposed best to understand the financial markets, the central bankers, are completely at sea. The Bank of England (BoE) has admitted that its understanding of the money markets is inadequate. Amid accusations that it failed to respond quickly enough to the crisis at Northern Rock, the Bank has admitted that it is struggling to determine the impact of the credit meltdown on the economy.  Charles Bean, chief economist, said assessing conditions in the economy is “subject to considerable uncertainty”. Writing in the Bank’s quarterly bulletin, Mr Bean also stated “One important step in analysing monetary demand and supply shocks involves improving the Bank’s information about credit conditions”.

The Bank’s admission that it needs to improve its understanding of the credit markets comes as John McFall, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, voiced his frustration following the appearance of Bank of England staff before the Parliamentary watchdog. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr McFall said: “The responses that people gave were unconvincing as a whole. I’m looking at the system and asking the question: Is it working? And it’s not working” (The Daily Telegraph, “We don’t understand the markets, BoE admits”, by Jonathan Sibun, 24 September 2007).

A failure of oversight by central banks both here and abroad has been compounded by the long period of very low interest rates led by the central bank rates of the leading currencies, most notably by the Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) in the USA, which kept money too cheap for a long time, thus encouraging people to borrow. The prime author of this cheap money was Alan Greenspan, who was treated with quasi-religious awe by politicians and so-called financial experts alike while he was running the Fed. Come the credit crunch and the knives came out for him, vide the famous American monetarist Professor Anna Schwartz: “It is clear that monetary policy was too accommodative. Rates of one per cent were bound to encourage all kinds of risky behaviour…..the Fed failed to confront something that was evident. It can’t be blamed on global events” (Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2008).

The inability of everyone from bankers to governments to provide a solution or even understand what is happening is palpable. In April, Gordon Brown ordered a “summit” with bankers to discuss a way out of the mess and his chancellor Alistair Darling railed against the irresponsibility of the banks for reckless lending, carefully overlooking government’s irresponsibility in this area. Massive amounts of public money have been ploughed in ever more desperately, without the squeeze on lending loosening – “The Bank confirmed it would swap treasury bills for premium asset backed debt owned by the banks. Banks have six months to use the facility. The swap is for 12 months and banks can ask for two year-long extensions, making a total of three years….. The Bank has put no ceiling on the scheme” (Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2008, “Banks hail £50bn boost to liquidity”). That it has had no effect is unsurprising, because the banks have used the money to shore up the holes in their balance sheets.

The effects of the credit crisis

The entire economy is rudely affected by a sudden shortage of credit. Apart from hyperinflation, there is no more toxic disease which can affect a modern economy, especially one dependent on consumer spending. The reduced availability of credit at any price causes an economic slowdown. More expensive credit causes people and organisations to draw in their borrowing horns. The reduction in the amount of money available to spend reduces demand. Reduced demand and more expensive credit drives down profits at best and puts companies out of business at worst. Wages are depressed and jobs are lost. This reduces demand even further.

People habituated to debt find they cannot service what they owe, and default. That is especially important in an economy like modern Britain’s where a large number of people have built their lives on a continuous stream of credit. Things which are heavily dependent on credit, most notably property, lose value. People either cannot pay their mortgage or find them selves unable to sell at all or that the price they could get would be much less than they owe on the property. Even those who are do not end up in a position of negative equity find they have great difficulty in selling both because prospective buyers cannot get a mortgage or because other people are unwilling to sell. Those wishing to move, especially if they wish to trade up, find they cannot easily get a new and larger mortgage.

Britain is more exposed to recession than most because her economy is built primarily on consumer spending, much of which is on non-necessities. Such an economy is inherently more fragile than one which is primarily rooted in the production and consumption of necessities because it is very responsive to changes in economic circumstances. In the language of economists, demand for much of what is purchased in Britain is very elastic.

The economic fragility of most peoples lives

Ever since Harold MacMillan famously declared in 1959 that “We’ve never had it so good”, British politicians have been religiously telling Britons that they are getting wealthier. To support this claim they point to such things as the growth in owner-occupation, the myriad of electronic consumer goods, holidays taken abroad and cost of living indices such as the Retail Price Index (RPI) and the CPI.

Most people have tended to take this at face value until fairly recently. They have ignored the fact if it takes two incomes to maintain a family where one was sufficient before, that is not wealthier. That if most people cannot afford to get on the housing ladder when once they could, that is not wealthier. That if the price of most essentials is rocketing that is not wealthier. And that if the Government uses bogus cost of living indices which ignore housing costs and council tax that is not a true measure of purchasing power.

Data released by the Office of National Statistics showed that household incomes fell last year in real terms, and have risen by only £2.25 a year on average since 2001. The reality is worse because these figures are based on the bogus CPI measure, which excludes housing  costs and council tax . In addition, a majority of the British population do not have savings which would allow them to survive for two months if they lost their jobs, and a large segment of the population lives on incomes well below the average wage, which is still below £30,000. A true recession will consequently hit millions of people very hard indeed.

How do we escape this mess?

The honest answer is there is no certain escape. Nor is a ‘soft’ economic landing likely. Circumstances are forcing more prudent lending behaviour onto private financial institutions, with substantial deposits being required before mortgages are granted, the feckless multipliers of six or seven times salary for mortgages vanishing, credit card limits being reduced, cards withdrawn and new card applications being refused. Unsecured personal loans are being subjected to the same type of scrutiny. The problem is that this is all happening in a rush which creates a tremendous shock to the economic system rather than a controlled decline of credit.

All this will probably cause a sharp contraction in the economy.  This creates a dilemma for the BoE. Its remit is to keep inflation close to 2% as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Inflation is significantly above that and showing every sign of rising. According to its remit, the Bank should be raising rates not lowering them. Yet the BoE has cut Bank Rate by three quarters of one percent already and is being urged universally by private business and many politicians to cut further and quickly. The likely outcome of such a policy would be our old friend stagflation. Indicatively, the growth in UK output was down to a miserly 0.4% in the first quarter of 2008.

The great problem is the dependence of housing to drive the economy. There is consequently no painless way out of our present predicament. If house prices are kept high by low levels of house building and continuing mass immigration an entire generation will find them selves stranded in a no man’s land where they cannot find good rented accommodation at a reasonable price.

Contrariwise, if there is a correction which brings housing within the reach of first-time buyers we shall have a massive problem of negative equity which will mean existing home owners cannot move and if their homes are re-possessed, being burdened with ongoing debts as their homes are sold for less than they owe. That is the bind governments over the past quarter century have got us into.

What can be done to make a safer future?

There needs to be a sea-change in the mentality of politicians. They need to recognise that government has a vital role in controlling the economy, not via the heavy hand of nationalisation or hideously complicated regulatory regimes, but by simple and effective measures such as restrictions on credit and the use of exotic financial instruments and the protection of strategic industries such as farming and energy supply.

Back to the future is the answer. We need to create a different moral climate. As little as 30 years ago, people still tended to look upon debt as something to be avoided. For the most part people saved up for things they wanted. Part of that caution was enforced because credit was nowhere as readily available as it is now although we were already into the age of the credit card. But much of the frugality was simply cultural; people had been brought up to feel debt was something loathsome and bankruptcy next door to theft. This was a Britain where the morally vital mechanism of shame still had its place.

The credit which was on offer almost always came with some strong strings attached. If you wanted a mortgage you had to save with a building society for quite some time to establish your credentials. When a mortgage was eventually granted, the amount you could borrow was restricted both absolutely (there was an upper ceiling of £13,000 in the 1970s) and by sensible multipliers of household income (commonly twice income and often the mortgage multiplier was applied only to the main wage earner’s pay). 100% mortgages or anything approaching them were not to be found. A deposit of 10% of the property’s price would have been the minimum required and in many cases more would have been asked. Bank loans required a similar establishment of creditworthiness over a decent period and credit card limits were modest. If anything was bought on hire purchase, a substantial deposit was required. The consequence of such a regime was that far fewer people got into serious financial trouble than today.

1        Here accordingly are a few examples of what might be done. Mortgages – the multiplier of salary used to calculate mortgages should be a maximum of three and a minimum deposit of ten per cent required. The re-mortgaging of owner-occupied property to release capital and buy-to-let mortgages should be outlawed.

2        Hire purchase – a minimum of 20% deposit with the monthly repayment no more than ten per cent of the monthly net pay (net pay to be that left after deduction tax, National Insurance and the repayment of any existing debts).

3        Personal loans other than mortgages – a maximum of 10% of net income.

There is also a need to tighten up checks on creditworthiness. Lenders have been incredibly lax about the information that prospective borrowers supply to them. That is a particular problem with credit card issuers who tend to accept whatever the lender says, but it is also a significant problem with mortgages with people allowed to self-certificate their earnings in some cases. The laxity has its roots in the belief by the lenders that they can reliably calculate the percentage of borrowers who are poor credit risks who will default and in the case of loans secured against property, that house prices will continue to rise rapidly, thus increasing the equity the borrower has in the property. The events of the past year have shown that lenders cannot reliably make calculations of defaulters nor rely on house price inflation to increase equity.

What now?

Is there a chance that the laissez-faire mentality of the elite will change and that common sense will prevail? Or will we stagger on in this ideological straightjacket until a true catastrophe strikes?

On the level of common humanity the hope must be that the crisis is contained reasonably quickly, although I think that unlikely. (I am writing this article in May 2008. By the time it is published the danger of a full blown depression may have been averted, although that is improbable because after more than eight months of increasingly desperate governmental pump priming around the developed world there is no sign that the credit crunch is lessening, let alone coming to an end. )

But there is danger in a rapid resolution for if it happens the underlying reasons for this economic trauma may not be addressed by those responsible for the operation of the economy and things will go on as before until the next crisis occurs. The credit crunch is simply the latest in a line of dangerous economic crises stretching back a century an a half which were brought about by the same fundamental problem, the abdication of government responsibility for the economy.

Leveson Inquiry: sabotaging deniability

Robert Henderson

To remove the defence of “I did not know”from those running the Inquiry, I have sent a fascimile copy of Morgan letter to the PCC to every barrister employed by the Inquiry via their chambers and to Leveson at the House of Lords

—————————————–

To:  Counsel to the Leveson Inquiry Robert Jay QC, David Barr, Josephine Norris, William Irwin, Toby Fisher, Heather Emmerson, Carine Patry Hopkins

In November I supplied the Inquiry  with a copy of the letter Piers Morgan sent to the PCC when he was editor of the Mirror . In the letter he admitted receiving information illicitly from the police, almost certainly by paying the police officer involved.  A copy of that letter in text form is below. The  attached word document has the letter with all the formatting intact including showing the Mirror letterhead on which it is written .

In his letter to the PCC Morgan wrote “The   police  source of our article (whose  identity  we have  a  moral obligation to protect) gave  us  the  detail of the  letters  that  we  then published.”

Under oath before the Inquiry Morgan denied ever having obtained information illicitly from the police whilst editor of the Mirror.  Consequently he has almost certainly committed perjury.  I  brought that fact to the attention of the Inquiry in December.

Despite the clear evidence of the illicit supply of information by the police to the Mirror,  the Inquiry legal team is refusing to investigate either Morgan’s admission to the PCC or his probable perjury. This brings the Inquiry into disrepute and places any person working for the Inquiry in a legal capacity in  professional jeopardy if they allow to continue this failure to investigate serious crimes which go directly to the  core of what the Inquiry is supposed to achieve, namely, the exposure of press misbehaviour with a view to controlling it in the future,

To give you the details of how we have reached present state of play, I enclose below Morgan’s letter my recent email exchanges with the Inquiry solicitors.

I ask you all to get the refusal to investigate the evidence I have given relating to Morgan overturned.

Robert Henderson 18 February 2012

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Lord Leveson

House of Lords

London WCI

20 February 2012

Dear Lord Leveson,

I write to you directly to ensure that you have sight of Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he unambiguously admits receiving information illicitly from the police by writing “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published.” A copy of the letter is enclosed, together with copies of my recent email exchanges with Miss Brudenell and her staff on 15 and 18 February.

The legal team servicing the Inquiry are refusing to use this information which shows that Morgan lied under oath to the Inquiry. This failure to act seriously undermines the integrity of the Inquiry and suggests that the any evidence which will bring anyone with serious power, wealth or influence within the confines of the criminal law will be suppressed.

I ask you to use the information I have provided to expose Morgan’s doubly criminal behaviour of receiving information illicitly from the police and perjuring himself before your Inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson 

Leveson Inquiry – Wanted- people who have had their evidence ignored

The Leveson Inquiry are refusing to use my evidence of press, PCC and police misdoing. They will not even take up the matter of Piers Morgan’s perjury before them despite the fact that I have given them a letter from Morgan to the PCC  in which he writes “ The   police  source of our article (whose  identity  we have  a  moral obligation to protect) gave  us  the  detail of the  letters  that  we  then published.”  (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/) . My  latest exchange of emails with the Inquiry is below.

I am in contact with a published  author who intends to expose such behaviour by the Leveson Inquiry.  He would like to hear from anyone else who has submitted evidence to the Inquiry and believes that it has been excluded for illegitimate reasons, for example, because   it would cause political embarrassment or require criminal proceedings to be taken against those with power, wealth or influence.

Anyone who wishes to expose such refusals should email me on anywhere156@gmail.com and I will forward them to the writer.

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RE: FTAO Kim Brudenell – UrgentWednesday, 15 February, 2012 13:02

 From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>

Dear Mr Henderson 

I write to confirm that your submissions are currently being considered by the Inquiry.  In relation to the letter from Mr Morgan, I would be grateful if you would confirm if you have a signed copy, and if so, please send a signed hard copy to the Inquiry.

 At this stage, we do not require a formal statement from you.
In relation to your final question, re how and when to make a complaint to the Metropolitan Police, I understand that you spoke to Ms Brudenell yesterday and she advised you that you may make a complaint to the Police, if you wish.
Kind regards

Sharron Hiles

————————————Miss Sharon Hiles, Asst. solicitor to the InquiryLeveson Inquiry Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC115 February 2012

Dear Miss Hiles,

I supplied the Inquiry with a photstat of the copy of Morgan’s letter on 28 November –see copy covering letter below. The letter and enclosures were sent by recorded delivery. I am most concerned that you do not appear to have this in the file with the submissions I have made. Please re-check your records and let me know whether you have my letter of 28 November and all the enclosures listed in it. If not I will supply you with duplicates in person.

The copy of Morgan’s letter I sent to the Inquiry is written on the Mirror letterhead and has the PCC stamp on it showing they received the letter 20/10/1997. Morgan has not signed it but it was pp’ed, presumably by his secretary or PA. I cannot decipher the name of the person who pp’ed the letter, but the fact that it is on Mirror letter-headed paper and has been treated by the PCC as being from Morgan removes any doubt that it was from him.

As for my conversation with Miss Brundenell on 14 February, we agreed that I would not make a complaint to the police about Morgan until I have received written answers to the questions I raised in my email to her of 27 January. In case you do not have this I enclose a copy.

Please reply by return.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

28 November 2011

Dear Lord Leveson,

As promised in my email of 25 November (hard copy enclosed) , I send you hard copies of the following documents:

- Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC dated

- Mike Jempson’s correspondence with the PCC

- The Mirror story of 25 3 1997 entitled

- The front page of the Mirror 25 3 1997 which advertised the story

- The Daily Record story of 25 3 1997

All the copies are of the original documents.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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RE: FTAO Kim Brudenell – Urgent

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012 17:40
 From:
“Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>

Add sender to Contacts

To:”‘robert henderson'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your prompt response and for clarifying the position.

Having considered the letter and Mr Morgan’s evidence to the Inquiry, we do not propose to take this matter any further. The relevant part of the transcript relates to questions regarding payments to police. This is not the same issue as a newspaper receiving information for which no payment had been made. It is a matter for you whether you wish to refer your concerns to the Metropolitan Police.

I can also confirm that in this regard the Inquiry do not require a formal statement from you. We have the other submissions you have sent, however, if you wish to submit anything further regarding press intrusion, as the Chairman suggested you could when you applied to be a Core Participant, you may do so. This will be considered by the Inquiry although you may not necessarily be called to give evidence.

Yours sincerely

Sharron Hiles

————————————

Miss Sharon Hiles,

Asst.  solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

15 February  2012

Dear Miss Hiles,

Your latest email is decidedly odd from beginning to end.  To start with the obvious , why should you assume that the Mirror did not pay for the information?  Morgan does not mention payment but  it does not follow from that there was no payment. In fact, by far the most likely explanation for the provision of the information to the Mirror is payment by the Mirror to the police officer.  Why have you  assumed the police officer was not paid? Give me a plausible reason why a policeman would  without payment supply such information . 

The other thing which makes no sense in your last email is context.  Even if you did not have the copy of Morgan’s letter in your  file containing my submissions, you had the text of  Morgan’s letter  before you sent your previous email  asking me whether I had a signed copy of the letter. Consequently, it makes no sense for you to now abruptly tell me that the Inquiry will not proceed because  “This is not the same issue as a newspaper receiving information for which no payment had been made.  “  If you honestly believed that you would not have asked me whether I had a copy of Morgan’s letter with a signature because it would be an irrelevance.

You are also objectively wrong when you claim that if no payment was made the matter does not fall within the Inquiry’s remit. Let me remind you of what the Leveson Inquiry website gives as part of the remit:

•Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour.

•Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest.

Even in  the exceptionally unlikely event  of no money changing hands,  the recipient of the information and the police officer would have committed an offence under the Official Secrets Act.  (The initial recipient was the Mirror’s chief crime writer Jeff Edwards; someone I suspect may well appear before the Inquiry at some point). It was also a breach of the Data Protection Act.

There is also another side to this matter. The police were supposed to investigate the Mirror admission of receiving information illegally but failed to meaningfully  do so as they concluded their “investigation”  without interviewing anyone at the Mirror, the details of this non-investigation I have already supplied to the Inquiry. That is a prima facie case of perverting the course of justice. 

Finally, the consequences of the supply of the information and the Mirror’s use of it was severe  because  I suffered more than a decade of harassment, the details of which I have already supplied to the Inquiry. 

All of that puts the matter  firmly within the remit of both module 1 and 2.   That removes your stated reason for not proceeding with the matter.  If you have another ground for refusing to use the information please let me know ASAP. 

You have ignored the request in my previous email for you to confirm that the material I supplied on 28 November by recorded delivery is in your possession.  Please let me know whether you have found these documents.

Why have you behaved in this way? Here is a scenario for you. Either you or your superior decided the best way to avoid taking action on the clear evidence of the Mirror receiving information corruptly from the police and  Morgan’s subsequent perjury was to cast doubt on the authenticity of Morgan’s letter by raising the question of whether his signature is on it.   When you received my email telling you that I had already supplied a copy of the Morgan’s letter to the Inquiry, you either found the copy I sent in November or you accepted that the details of the letter  I supplied made it impossible to go down the authenticity of the letter route.  That prompted  the strikingly sudden – only hours before you were ostensibly giving every indication that the material would be used  – and woefully feeble excuse that because you assumed no money was paid – an assumption best described as irrational based on the circumstances-  the matter was  outside of the remit of the Inquiry. In short, the story being told is incoherent and fractured. As a one-time Inland Revenue investigator, that  behaviour strikes me as the product of panic. Who made the decision not to proceed?

The best way of testing behaviour is always to ask how would it appear to a disinterested audience.  You and your colleagues need to ask yourself how your failure to use then potent  information I have supplied – not just the Morgan letter but the serious misbehaviour of  the press, the PCC and the police which involved me directly –  would appear to the general public.   I think it a fair bet that most people without a vested interest would conclude that the Inquiry has refused to use the evidence for reasons other than its relevance and that the most likely reason would be the involvement of powerful people, most notably the Blairs.   

If the Inquiry does not use the information I have provided,  I  shall make that failure  a very public matter indeed by using the multiplicity of web-based media now available.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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RE: FTAO Kim Brudenell – UrgentThursday, 16 February, 2012 15:20

From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson'”, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team”

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email the contents of which are noted.

I can confirm that I do have a copy of your letter of 28 November and enclosures.  I can also advise that the legal team to the Inquiry made the decision not to take this matter any further.

Kind regards

Sharron Hiles

—————————————————-

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

18 February  2012

Dear Miss Brudenell,

Please answer these questions:

1.  Who had ultimate responsibility for making the decision not to investigate Piers Morgan’s  admission  to the PCC of the  Mirror’s illicit receipt of information from the police?  I want a name not an obfuscating answer such as “the legal team to the Inquiry “.   Where there is a hierarchy, as there is within the Inquiry, the decision is not made by a group but the person in charge.

2. Who had ultimate responsibility for deciding to ignore Morgan’s perjury before the Inquiry?  Again I want a name.

3.  Did Lord Leveson see the  Pier’s Morgan’s letter to the PCC before the decision to act upon my evidence was made?

4. Has Lord Leveson had sight of any of  the evidence I have submitted to the Inquiry?

5. If Lord Leveson has had sight of any of the evidence I have submitted to the Inquiry,  when did this happen?

6.  Sharron Hiles confirmed in her last email to me (16 February)  that the Inquiry has received the original documents , including the Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC on the Mirror letterhead , which I sent on 28 November .  At what date and time were these found by  those reviewing my evidence  to the Inquiry?

7.  What was the basis for Sharron Hiles claiming categorically that the Mirror had not paid for the information?

8. If the Inquiry believes that the Mirror did not pay for the information, what motive or motives does the Inquiry believe could have led a police officer to risk his career and criminal prosecution for no reward?

9. Regardless of whether the Mirror paid for the information,  the illicit receipt of information from the police – both the police officer and the Mirror employees involved in receiving and using it committed serious criminal offences under the Data Protection  and Official Secrets Acts  –  the misbehaviour falls indubitably within the remit of both modules I and 2 of the Inquiry.  It is also very serious misbehaviour. That being so, why did the Inquiry refuse to proceed  with the matter?

10. Miss Hiles’ first email to me on the 15 February was sent at 13.02 pm .  In it she writes “I would be grateful if you would confirm if you have a signed copy, and if so, please send a signed hard copy to the Inquiry”.  That clearly implied that Piers Morgan’s admission and perjury was being taken seriously and that the only serious stumbling block might be the absence of proof that Morgan was responsible for the letter.   By the  time Miss Hiles second email of the day was sent at 17. 40 pm the question of whether I had a signed copy vanishes.  Why did it become suddenly unimportant in the     In the 4 hours  38 minutes between the two emails?

You can of course  refuse to answer these questions either in part or at all, Miss Brudenell, but as an experienced solicitor I am sure you are aware that a refusal to answer questions in circumstances where it is entirely reasonable to have them answered can be damning is evidence of itself.  Indeed, that is what the revised caution is based upon.

I would appreciate an early answer.

Yours sincerely

Robert Henderson

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RE: Urgent – For Kim BrudenellFriday, 24 February, 2012 12:57

From: “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>Add sender to ContactsTo: “‘robert henderson'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>, “Leveson Inquiry Solicitors Team” <Solicitors.Team@levesoninquiry.gsi.gov.uk>Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email the contents of which are noted.

I appreciate that you have long standing concerns regarding Mr Morgan. The Inquiry’s position was made clear in our emails of 15 and 16 February and I have nothing to add to that.  If, however, the position changes and the Inquiry does require a statement from you, we will let you know.

Yours sincerely

Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Leveson Inquiry

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Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

29 February  2012

Dear Miss Brudenell,

As I pointed out in my last email a failure to answer reasonable questions is evidence against the refuser.   Your blanket refusal  speaks volumes.

I am going to send more  information which is every bit as strong as that which I have supplied. If you refuse to use that evidence and call me as a witness the dishonesty of the Inquiry process will become ever more obvious and extreme.

For the moment I shall content myself with sending some immediately pertinent information . This involves the  failure of the Metropolitan Police to investigate Rebecca  Brooks (then Wade)  after she had admitted to a select committee that the police had been paid for information  while she was a News International  editor.  (I was at the hearing when she made the admission)

My letters of complaint to the police in 2003  urging them to investigate  Brooks/Wade’s admission and  commentary on the  failure of the police to investigate are below.  (see  http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/the-refusal-of-the-police-to-investigate-rebekah-wade/).  The police refused to even answer the letters – they indubitably received them because they were sent by recorded delivery – so desperate were they not to get involved..

I also include letters to the MP Chris Bryant who asked the question of  Brooks/Wade which elicited her admission of payments to the police. Bryant did nothing to get a prosecution started. You will also see that my letters to the Metropolitan Police were copied to each member of the DCMS. Neither individually nor as a committee did they act to see an investigation of Brooks/Wade was begun.  All of this speaks to the unhealthy relationship between MPs and the Murdoch press and probably  the relationship between  politicians and the media generally.

Two other things.  I wish to make applications for information under the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

I make a formal subject access request under the DPA for all information you hold on me.  Under the 1998 Act that means not only the information held in digital form but any other data held in a searchable filing system. That can be as simple as a folder holding documents marked with a name, number or other signifier.  The information you supply to me should include copies of any data I have sent to  the Inquiry. You have 40 calendar days from today to supply the information or give reasons for refusing to do so.

As for the FOIA,  please inform me whether the Inquiry comes within  remit of the Act. If you claim it does not please give your reasons.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

The Leveson Inquiry – Robert Henderson’s evidence still being considered

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC1

14 February  2012

Dear Miss Brudenell,

Confirming our telephone conversation of 14 February, you stated:

1. That my email to you of 27 January was received despite no acknowledgement being sent .

2.  That my various submissions to the Inquiry are currently being reviewed.

3.  That no decision as to whether I will  be called as a witness has been made.

4. That it is probable that  you  will write to me with answers to the questions  raised in my email of 27 January  within 14 days.

We agreed that if I have not received a written reply from you within two weeks I will  phone you again.

I think it would be useful if  we have  a meeting to allow me to explain fully  the extent of the  press abuse I have experienced,  the blatant failure of  the PCC to act even when presented with the most persuasive evidence of breaches of the PCC  Code of  Conduct and the shameful  refusal of  the police to meaningfully investigate instances of the press receiving information illicitly from the police which I have referred to them.

If I am not called to give evidence  it will be scandalous. Not only  am I an exemplary witness for all of the abuses the Inquiry is investigating bar phone tapping, but I have provided you with a letter from an editor  to the PCC admitting receiving information illicitly from the police. As that editor has already appeared before the Inquiry and under oath denied any knowledge of receiving information illicitly from the police, that constitutes an  unambiguous act of perjury.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email. You might like to note that I have yet to receive an acknowledgement  at the first time of asking for any of the emails I have sent to the Inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

See also http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/leveson-inquiry-robert-hendersons-application-for-core-participant-status/

The claustrophobia of diversity

The claustrophobia of diversity

Robert Henderson

In November a 34-old woman Emma West was recorded on a tram in Croydon (near to London) expressing her very no-pc views of  the effects of immigration on England even though she was surrounded by ethnic minorities.   Since her public complaints were recorded by a passenger and put on YouTube other instances of such behaviour have come to light, the most recent to hit the national media being another youngish white woman (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097142/Woman-filmed-hurling-racist-abuse-Tube-passengers-ANOTHER-video-rant-London-transport.html#ixzz1lgvuUjuO).  I put a few URLs for videos of such behaviour  from England at the end of the article. The examples are all of people who are under the age of 40. Nor does it take long for instances of such behaviour in the USA to be found on media hosting sites.  This goes against the oft made claims by liberals that what they term racial prejudice is restricted to the older generation,  who it is implied “don’t know any better”, while the young are race-blind.

Such outbursts are surprising  because of the risk they carry of assault by the ethnic minorities listening to them. They are doubly unexpected because present day England (and Britain)  is rigid with political correctness.  As  Emma West’s case vividly shows, the authorities are ever more penal in their  repression of dissent.  After her arrest in December 2011  Miss West was kept for weeks on remand in a high security prison for what the authorities coyly called “her own protection” http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state-part-2/) . She  has since been charged but not as yet tried (she appears at Croydon Crown Court on 17 2 2012) with a serious criminal offences  which carry a potential jail sentence of two years. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state-part-3/).  All of that for simply expressing her anger at the consequences of mass immigration.

But even if people are not charged with criminal offences, to be publicly labelled a racist in England is to risk the loss of a job or accommodation if rented, a campaign of media abuse and social ostracism.  The risk of losing a job is particularly high for public service employees.  In extreme cases such as those accused of  the murder of Stephen Lawrence the persecution may be officially generated and sustained and  last indefinitely and include  the holding of trials which are manifestly unfair because of  hate-campaigns conducted against the accused by both politicians and the mainstream media. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/stephen-lawrence-gary-dobson-david-norris-and-a-political-trial/).

With these very considerable disincentives to expressing honest views about race and immigration under any circumstances, what is it that drives people to express them uninhibitedly in situations which objectively place them in physical as well as legal danger?  After all the instinct for self-preservation lies at the core of human behaviour   and people are generally media savvy enough these days to realise that  anything they say in public is likely to be recorded and placed on sites such as YouTube.  So why do people like Emma West ignore all these formidable barriers to behaving in this way? Drink or drugs you may think, yet the noteworthy thing about most of the examples caught on mobile phones is that they  show no signs of being seriously intoxicated by either.  These are people who are doing it in the full knowledge of what they are doing and its likely effects. But  even if they were intoxicated with drink or drugs all that would mean is that the brakes of sobriety were removed and the true feelings of the person released.

A clue to what is happening can be found in the fact that their complaints gather around the same theme: that England is being invaded and colonised to the point where, in places such as parts of London,  it  scarcely seems to be England in anything in name.  Their  complaints are not about the particular ethnic minorities with which  they are surrounded when they make their public complaints or against individual immigrants generally,  but the general effects of mass immigration.

These people are suffering from what I call the  claustrophobia of diversity.  They feel that they are being oppressed by immigrants, that the land which is ancestrally theirs  is being colonised to the extent that parts of the country are no longer part of England . Worst of all they see themselves as helpless to prevent it because the colonisation is being facilitated and encouraged by their own elite who  all, whatever their ostensible political colour,  subscribe to the treason and viciously support the suppression of  dissent to the betrayal.  This mixture of the act of elite-sponsored colonisation by foreigners, the failure of democracy through the tacit conspiracy of the political elite  to ensure that no meaningful alternative policy on  immigration is offered by any party capable of forming a government and the inability of the native population to even voice their  protest at this betrayal of their most pressing interests  in the mainstream media produces an ever growing sense of rage, a rage made all the more terrible and onerous  by  the feelings of impotence engendered by the ever more oppressive  restrictions on public expression which British governments have imposed.

These feelings are with the English all the time. If someone  English lives  in an area which  does not have a large ethnic minority population the anger and frustration may  remain bubbling below the surface most of the time, although they will be exacerbated by reports of their fellow county men and women elsewhere being harassed and bullied by the liberal elite into towing the multiculturalist line while ethnic minorities are pandered to ever more grotesquely  with bizarre interpretations of what constitutes a human right and  the constant growth of  interest groups which cater solely for ethnic minorities, for example,  the Refugee Council (http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/about/board).

But those who live in an area which is heavily populated  by ethnic minorities  will face constant triggers for the anger and frustration to come to the forefront of their minds. Every time someone in such an area walks the streets they will be reminded of how the demographic balance has changed and is changing. Every time a native  English  parent seeks a school for their children they will be faced often enough with choices of schools where many, quite often a majority, of the pupils are from ethnic minorities.  A visit to their GP or hospital will find them sitting in waiting rooms outnumbered by ethnic minorities.  When they go for a job, especially if it is low-skilled or unskilled, they are likely to find themselves being asked to work, if they can get such work at all,  in a situation where they are in the ethnic minority and English is  not the common workplace language.  If they go into a shop, cinema or café they are increasing likely to find themselves being served by foreigners with inadequate English for the job.

Everywhere the white English man or woman in an area with a large ethnic minority population looks  it seems that their world is being changed utterly and that they can do nothing about it because of the elite complicity in what has happened and is happening. That is why the public outbursts of frustration such as that of Emma West occur.  They are the bursting of the emotional  dam.  The fact that the episodes recorded so often occur on  public transport  is  unsurprising because it is here that the proximity with those who trigger the feelings of rage and  betrayal is greatest and there is the  least opportunity to escape from these reminders of the surreptitious elite-sponsored conquest of England. The physical claustrophobia of being on a crowded train or bus marries with the social claustrophobia of diversity.

The people recorded in the urls at the end of this essay are white  working class Englishwomen. They of course are  from the class  who had to and have to suffer the main brunt of  mass immigration. They live cheek-by-jowl with the immigrants and their descendants. They send their children to schools where their child may be the only white English child in their class. They live in the tower blocks where they are the only white English family in the block. Not for them the middle class white liberals escape through white flight to the suburbs or countryside or the gentrification of once working class areas such as Islington. It is small wonder that people such as Emma West should feel deserted and betrayed and eventually lose all patience with public silence.

But uninhibited racial language and complaint is not restricted to those without status, wealth, influence and power. Two well know and recent examples are the fashion designer John Galliano  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CQO8q3FSH0) and the actor and director Mel Gibson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_qMJSPtqY&feature=relatedso – go in at 1 minute 17 sec). There is far more to these public displays of anger at the fact of mass immigration and the behaviour of the political elite  than simple desperation. It is entirely natural behaviour.  Public expression of dissent can be  partially successful but it will never be entirely complete. Even in extreme autocracies such as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany there were still voices raised in  opposition. The English have been subject several generations of ever greater elite propaganda and censorship of dissent about immigration and its effects but this has not made them race or ethnicity blind, merely increasingly reticent, fearful and stressed  about immigration and its consequences.  Not only that, but the oppression arising from mass immigration is different in quality from the oppression  of a native  elite which merely tries to enforce its will on the masses. The effects of mass migration are around people all the time. There is no respite.

When people are asked to  suppress their normal feelings  stress occurs. Where the suppression of feelings relates to the most fundamental social and psychological structures  stress is at its greatest. That is what happens when an elite tries to  recreate society by asking the population to override the behaviour which makes a society strong and stable.

Social animals have two universal features: they form discrete groups and within the group produce hierarchies – although both the group and the hierarchy vary considerably in form and intensity.  Why they do this is a matter of debate but it is a fact that this what invariably happens.  Human beings are no exception; whether they are hunter-gatherers or people populating a great modern city they all have a need to form groups in which they feel naturally comfortable and within that group form hierarchies.

But the sense of being separate, of belonging to a discrete group with identifiable characteristics is of a different order of complexity than it is for any other social animal because homo sapiens is high intelligence, self-awareness and most importantly language.  Where an animal may simply accept another member of the species as part of the group through simple and obvious triggers such as scent, markings or imprinting, human beings judge by wide variety of criteria who is and is not part of the group, the most potent of which are racial characteristics and cultural differences. In some ways that makes acceptance of the outsider easier – at least in theory –  but in  others much more difficult than it might be for an animal,  for there are  many more reasons for human beings to accept or not accept someone into the group than there are for a non-human social animal.

Social animals form hierarchies  almost certainly because otherwise there would be no way of the society organising itself to accommodate the differing qualities and abilities  of individuals which arise in any species. Societies which consist of various human groups that  see themselves as separate  from each other disrupt the creation of a healthy hierarchy. Instead of there being a single hierarchy within an homogenous group (defining homogenous as a population in a discrete territory  which sees itself as a group), there are  hierarchies formed within each group and a further overarching hierarchy formed from the various groups themselves with  each group hierarchy competing within the population as a whole.

Man is also a territorial being.  Homo sapiens  need the security of a homeland. Remove that and insecurity is perpetual.  That is why mass immigration is the most fundamental of treasons.  That which  is called racism by liberals and their ethnic minority auxiliaries is simply  political protest of the most fundamental kind. When someone resorts to complaint  based on race, ethnicity or nationality  in their own country they are saying “This is my land, you will not steal it from me without a fight”.  The time to worry is when there are no public demonstrations of dissent to the policy of mass immigration and its consequences.

The package of emotion transmuted into conscious thought we call  patriotism is an essential part of maintaining a society (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/patriotism-is-not-an-optional-extra/).  A society which forgets that is doomed.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pONVYjAd1wc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTocvGIEqOU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfGqwtn3GZY

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