Monthly Archives: May 2012

Leveson Inquiry – My Subject Access request: the Inquiry withhold data

My Subject Access request to Leveson has resulted in virtually no material being released and an admission that they are withholding information on the grounds of legal privilege. I am challenging this with the Information Commissioner – details below. The course of my  request  can be found at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-data-protection-act-request-for-information/.

In addition to my submission to the Information Commissioner,  I include in this post (1) the substantive reply to my Subject Access request and (2) the only information released other than copies of my correspondence with the Inquiry.

Robert Henderson

Mr Christopher Graham

Information Commissioner

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK95AF

25 5 2012

————————————————————————————————-

Dear Mr Graham,

                                                                                                       The Leveson Inquiry          

I made a subject access request to the Leveson Inquiry on 29 2 2012.  The Inquiry has refused to release all the information they hold on me citing legal privilege – see email dated 23/4/2012 sent under the aegis of The Leveson Inquiry Team. 

As you will see from my unanswered emails of 30th April and 13th May, I have asked the Inquiry legal team to spell out exactly what legal privilege arises,  bearing in mind that I am not a lawyer, a client, a witness, a defendant or a party to a civil law suit. The fact that the Inquiry has failed to answer such a simple question after a month suggests strongly that no legal privilege exists in this instance.

The information the Inquiry has released is slight, merely my own submissions, there responses to me and one email which was sent to them, unbeknown to me,  by a third party Roger Dewhurst.  I will not supply you every email or letter the Inquiry and I have exchanged because it is a voluminous correspondence and I do not think it would add anything to my complaint. Should you feel it necessary, I shall of course be happy to supply all the documents. For the present I enclose copies of my subject access request, my subsequent correspondence with the Inquiry relating to the subject access request and the information the Inquiry initially released, which is the Dewhurst’s email and a list of my correspondence with the Inquiry. 

There are extremely strong reasons to suspect that the Inquiry holds information on me which is being withheld simply because it would be at best very embarrassing for them to release and at worst something far more damaging, for example, a conspiracy to protect the powerful and influential. I have supplied the Inquiry  with  a great deal of important material including a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was editor of the Mirror in which he admits to receiving information from the police about me in circumstances which can only be illegal. (I enclose a  facsimile copy of the letter). From it you will also see that the story in the Mirror of which I complained to the PCC concerned the failed attempt by Tony and Cherie Blair to have me prosecuted during the General Election campaign of 1997. The final document I send you is a copy of my original submission to appear as a witness before the Inquiry. This provides you with a brief summary of the  dangerous (for them) territory I have asked the Inquiry to tread  upon.

Leveson has refused to use any of my evidence including the letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC or to investigate the prima facie perjury Morgan committed regarding the illicit receipt of information of information from the police whilst under oath before the tribunal.

I ask you to rule on whether Leveson can claim legal privilege and if they cannot make such a claim, to instruct them to release the withheld material. If you find that legal privilege does  apply, please let me have your detailed reasons for judging that it does apply.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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The Inquiry’s  substantive reply to my Subject Access  request

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)

From:

Josephine Norris [Josephine.Norris@39essex.com]

Sent: 29 February 2012 20:37

To:

Leveson inquiry Solicitors Team

Subject: Fw: Smelling like a dead mullet.

Follow Up Flag: Follow up

Flag Status: Yellow

Fyi

—-Original Message -.

From: Roger Dewhurst

To: Robert Jay; Josephine Norris; wirwin@tgchambers.com <wirwin@tgcha m bers.com>;

DavidBarr@tgchambers.com <DavidBarr@tgchambers.com>;

clerks@tgchambers.com <clerks@tgchambers.com>;

clerks@landmarkchambers’co.uk <clerks@landmarkchambers.co.uk>; tfisher@landmarkchambers.co.uk <tfisher@landmarkchambers.co.uk>; clerksd@4-5.co.uk <clerksd@4-5.co.uk>;

hemmerson@4-5.co.uk

<hemmerson @4-5.co.uk>

Sent: Wed Feb 29 20:30:30 2Ot2

Subject: Smelling like a dead mullet.

This is looking more and more like a whitewash to which you are a party.

Roger Dewhurst

Robert Jay QC

Lead Counsel to the Leveson inquiry

Leveson inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WCL

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

Is there a deliberate attempt to sabotage the trial of Rebekah Brooks and co?

Robert Henderson

At first glance it beggars belief  that Alison Levitt QC,  the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ,  took the decision to prosecute the one time chief executive of News International and erstwhile editor of the News of the World (NoW) Rebekah Brooks  and others associated with her  beggars belief.  Levitt was the subject of  tabloid stories, including coverage by the NoW , relating to her affair with a high profile  peer , Lord Carlile, the Liberal Democrat who is in charge of reviewing  Britain’s anti-terror laws. (Levitt and Carlile are now married).   The affair was very messy and its exposure in sensationalist fashion must have been a very unpleasant experience for  Levitt, something  which  cannot have disposed her to view the tabloids with equanimity (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-431884/Anti-terror-peer-dumps-boring-wife-glamorous-barrister.html#ixzz1vL8lAqTi ).

Unsurprisingly,  Levitt denies that she was in any way influenced by her treatment and maintains that she was not even  aware that the NoW  had run any stories about her affair when she made her decision to prosecute, a claim which may raise a few eyebrows because it was given considerable tabloid exposure and  a  common behaviour of  people caught in a media storm is to obsessively read everything printed about them.  It is also worth bearing in mind that those abused by the media tend to blame the media generally rather than just a particular newspaper or broadcaster (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2146209/Rebekah-Brooks-preposterous-claim-tabloid-expose-prosecutors-affair-peer-undermine-charges-her.html#ixzz1vL9BWHCg).   But whatever the truth of her feelings towards the NoW – and she could have been biased without recognising she was being biased – she should have stood down. Natural justice requires that those making decisions  within the justice system should not only be disinterested but be seen to be disinterested. Unsurprisingly, Brooks is now  considering whether to launch a judicial review on  the decision to prosecute on the grounds of potential bias on the part of Levitt.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/9273276/Phone-hacking-Rebekah-Brooks-could-challenge-charging-decision-because-prosecutor-was-victim-of-tabloid-sting.html).

It is noteworthy that Starmer’s predecessor as DPP,  Ken Macdonald,  had no hesitation is standing down from a another politically  sensitive case  simply because of his association with people could be taken as evidence of partiality.  MacDonald was the  co-founder of  Matrix Chambers which he established with Cherie Blair whilst Tony Blair was Prime Minister. Because of this relationship,  he excused himself from involvement in deciding what should be done in the “cash for honours” investigations (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4812822.stm), although the Mail reported that “The DPP excluded himself from the decision on whether to prosecute to avoid claims of a potential conflict of interests but has been regularly briefed by Miss Dowd on the investigation.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-469857/The-woman-called-halt-cash-honours-case.html).

Whether the case came to her in the normal course of her duties or whether she was  allocated it  by her boss, the present DPP Keir Starmer,  Levitt  should have refused to take it on the ground that she could not be seen as disinterested.   Starmer, who cannot  have been ignorant of Levitt’s history with the tabloids because of the high-profile nature of the story and the fact that  it involved a senior member of the legal profession , Lord Carlile – the legal world is a very small one. Consequently,  he   should have given the case to someone else  if he was responsible for allocating it or,  if Levitt  received the case in the normal course of her duties,  he should taken the case from her when he became aware that she was or would be  handling it.    However, it is wildly improbable that such a high-profile case as that against Rebekah Brooks  would  not have involved the DPP  as soon as it was submitted  to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), at least in the sense that he would have taken an interest in who was dealing with it and  how the CPS assessment was proceeding.  The idea that it would simply have come to the CPS and been allocated to a junior CPS lawyer until working its way up to Levitt   seems most  unlikely.  It is also improbable  that Levitt as the principal legal adviser to the DPP would not have discussed the case with Starmer . Whatever happened, the bottom line is that the DPP is ultimately responsible for any decision to prosecute and has the final say in whether a prosecution will occur.

The fact that Starmer did not do remove Levitt from the case  argues  for one of three things: an alarming naivety on his part; a stupidly  arrogant belief that the CPS could get away with ignoring the dictates of natural justice  because they are part of the UK power elite or the   deliberate choice of someone (Levitt)  who would not seem disinterested to make the decision in order to contaminate the prosecution.

There are not enough facts in the public fold to be certain of why Levitt’s very obvious disqualification for taking the case was not acted upon by Starmer, but I can paint a plausible scenario to explain why  he did not act.   Brooks  (and her fellow accused her husband Charlie) is not merely someone who has connections with leading politicians through her employment with News International.  She  certainly had a more than a  business relationship with David Cameron and met Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister frequently enough to suggest that there was a social element to their relationship). There has also been considerable interaction  between   leading  Labour and Tory politicians   and News International  and the Murdochs as a family, for example, Tony Blair is  godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s children by his present wife (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14785501)

To any feelings of personal friendship or obligation felt by Labour and Tory politicians must be added the  likelihood of News International having a good deal of dirt on the politicians which even if it did not point to criminal activity could be hideously embarrassing for the likes of  still active politicians such  Cameron and retired ones like Blair, who if they have no formal power still have influence.   The politicians the Murdochs have seduced are in a Mexican stand-off with News International.

Then there is the position of the DPP.  There is no proper separation of powers between the executive and the justice system in the UK. Three members of the government – the Secretary of State for Justice/Lord Chancellor, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General –  have oversight of the justice system.  The DPP is appointed by the Attorney-General and is ultimately responsible to him.   As already mentioned, Starmer’s predecessor Ken Macdonald was appointed to the position by the Blair government despite having very intimate connections with the Blairs. It stretches credulity to believe that  any DPP is actually untouched by political considerations and sympathies or does  not make decisions which are influenced, one way or another,  by those considerations and sympathies. .

Given the choice the Government and the Opposition, at least at the level of the front benches,  would  fervently wish that no court cases involving the likes of Brooks were taking place. The problem is that having set up the Leveson Inquiry and pressed the police to investigate,   the Government  cannot crudely fix matters by ensuring that either the police investigations come to nothing or the CPS says that  a conviction is improbable  or that prosecution would not be in the public interest. That would cause to big a stink.  Instead they  need police to go through the motions of a serious investigation and for the CPS to be seen to acting impartially,  whilst at the same time taking action to ensure that no one of importance is actually found guilty or even better manufacture a reason to drop the prosecution .

There are various ways a prosecution can be fixed to fail. A favourite is “over charging”. This means  bringing charges which are too serious for the evidence to support. A classic example is the Jeremy Thorpe case in the 1970s when the leader of the Liberals  was charged with and acquitted of a charge of  conspiracy to murder  Norman Scott who claimed to have had a homosexual relationship with Thorpe.  What Thorpe should have been charged with was conspiracy to commit a lesser form of assault such as GBH.   Other favourite  ways of ensuring a verdict of innocent are losing evidence or simply conducting a case incompetently, for example, by making a Horlicks of cross examinations.

What may have happened in the case of Rebekah Brooks et al is this: the CPS decision to prosecute has been deliberately tainted by the employment of Levitt.  The tainting opens up a number of possibilities to get rid of prosecution altogether.  Brooks  might obtain a judicial review which finds that the decision to prosecute is tainted  and  the prosecution cannot proceed unless the case is reviewed by someone else at the  CPS. Alternatively, the mere threat of such action may persuade Starmer that he cannot let the original decision stand.  In either case that raises a problem. If Levitt’s decision is set aside, who in the CPS could examine the case anew and be considered truly impartial? Not  Starmer and that would raise a further problem because anyone else a new review of the case would have it in mind that the head of the CPS had agreed with Levitt’s decision to prosecute. Human nature being what it is, subordinates are normally reluctant to go against what the boss has agreed.

All of that would give Rebekah’s Brooks’ lawyers ample  opportunity to claim that no prosecution should go ahead because no impartial judgement of the merits of the case could take place.   If Levitt did not seek legal advice  from outside the CPS this argument would be strengthened.    Her lawyers could also argue that because of the publicity generated by and around   Levitt’s prima facie partiality,  it would   be impossible for Brooks and her fellow accused to get a fair trial.  Faced with all that there is a fair chance the prosecution would be dropped for one reason or another.  If that happened it would provide the best outcome for politicians and News International because the politicians could claim that a proper investigation had occurred and that a prosecution failed to take place simply because of the unfortunate behaviour of the CPS and there would be no embarrassing convictions of News International one-time employees.

It will be interesting to see whether this case ever gets to court. If it does,  watch out for  the quality of the evidence, evidence going missing, which witnesses are and are not called  and the performance of the prosecutor, especially in cross-examination.

The character of Barack Obama in his own words

Robert Henderson

1,. The utility of Obama’s books

2. Shaping the past

3. Obama’s genetic inheritance

4. Nurture – the context of Obama’s upbringing

5. Obama’s racial fixation

6. Obama’s ethnic interests

7. Black adversaries

8. Obama’s inability to handle white criticism

9. Non-racial  insecurities

10. The Obama intellect

11. The peculiarity of Obama’s election

1. The utility of Obama’s books

This appraisal of  Obama’s character is based on his two books  Dreams from My Father (DMF) and The Audacity of Hope (AOH). The advantage of relying solely on these sources  that  they are not only Obama’s own words  but his considered words.  That being so,  he cannot claim that  what he has written  was written hastily and without due consideration.  In addition,  Obama agreed to the re-publication of   DMF in 2004 when he was already  an established  politician.  This means his  views in  DMF cannot be written off as something which do not represent his present views.  It is also worth bearing in mind that DMF was written when he was a family man  in his mid-thirties. Hence,  they were his mature views not those of a giddy teenager. To guard further against claims of being taken out of context I have quoted at some  length  in most instances.

There is a further advantage in using  the books: they give  you Obama before he had started his political career (DMF)  and  Obama when he was established in that  career (AOH) .

2. Shaping the past

On opening either book the reader is presented with  reams of what appears to be at first glance great swathes of reported speech,. These are ostensibly conversations from his early childhood onwards.  (Readers will get the flavour of  this from the examples I give as the article progresses.)  In the case of DMF,  a casual reader could easily  imagine that he or she has picked up a novel.

Obama says  coyly in  the introduction to DMF  ”Although much of my book is based on  contemporaneous journals or the oral histories of my family, the dialogue is necessarily an approximation of what was actually  said  or relayed to me.”

Approximation is putting it mildly because  Obama “recalls” such  vast tracks of dialogue  from all stages  of his life  that he makes Nelly Dean,  the housekeeper in Wuthering Heights, seem positively amnesiacal when it comes to the power of narrative recall.  Pages of almost continuous dialogue are  frequent and when he meets his Kenyan  half-sister Auma  for the first time we get a monologue which covers almost seven pages (DMF pp212-219.). As for contemporaneous journals, nowhere does Obama mention keeping such records  himself or give details of journals kept by others. As  he is the protagonist in  almost all the  dialogue,  presumably he is relying  almost entirely on “oral history”,  his own and  that of others, a notoriously unreliable  source of information as everyone can testify from their own experience.

The fictive nature of what he is writing is further developed by Obama because  “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology”. (The narrative  is frequently  vague about exactly or even approximately when an event occurred.). Obama then tops all this imprecision by telling the reader  that “With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of their privacy.”  An uncharitable soul might interpret that as a device to make sure that  awkward questions are not asked by nosey journalists or objections raised by  those he writes about .

The use of invented dialogue, fictional names, composite  characters and a vague chronology  means  we cannot directly judge whether Obama is putting  his own  views into other characters’ mouths  or whether they represent the views of others.  For example, take this rant against supposed white oppression he puts into the mouth of  an old black friend  from his childhood called Frank :

“Leaving your race at the door” he said. “Leaving your people behind.” He studied me over the top of his reading glasses. “Understand something, boy. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. They’ll train you to want what you don’t need. They’ll train you to manipulate words so they don’t mean anything anymore. They’ll train you to forget what it is that you already know. They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that shit. They’ll give you a corner office and invite you to fancy dinners, and tell you you’re a credit to your race. Until you want to actually start running things, and then they’ll yank on your chain and let you know that you may be a well-trained, well-paid nigger, but you’re a nigger just the Same.”  (DMF p97).

Is that Obama talking or Frank? Who knows, although it is  a fact that when Obama creates  dialogue which is nakedly anti-white – and there is a good deal of it in DMF – he either does not condemn it  outright as racist or  even treat it  as being unsavoury or dangerous. The most he ever does is  pose arguments against such views  in a quiet voice  and so wrapped in qualifications that one can never be certain exactly what is his position.  Moreover, his toleration  for more than 20 years of Jermiah Wright’s views is a pretty strong hint  that much of the anti-white racism he reports in the mouths of others is not entirely  uncongenial to him. (More on the Rev Wright later). Obama  also gives  us dialogue in which he  himself  expresses anti-white feelings. Here  he is as a student talking about  Conrad’s Heart of Darkness:

“[Obama] It‘s a racist book. The way Conrad sees it, Africa‘s a cesspool of the world, black folks are savages, and any contact with them breeds infection.”

‘Regina blew on her coffee. “So why are you reading it?”

“Because it’s assigned,” I paused, not sure if I should  go on. “And because -”

“Because….”

“And because the book teaches me things.,” I said. “About white people, I mean. See, the book’s not really about Africa. Or black people.     It’s about the man who wrote it. The European. The American. A particular way of looking at the world. If you can keep your distance, it’s all there, in what’s said and what’s left unsaid. So I read the book to help me understand  just what makes white folks so afraid. Their demons. The way ideas get twisted around. It helps me understand how people  learn to hate. “ ‘(DMF p 103).

How do we generally judge the veracity of what Obama is writing?  A strong pointer to a general lack of objective truth is the fact that the tone of the dialogue is  uniform. Whether he is a speaking as a boy, college student, married family man or senator  he is much the same. Here he is supposedly speaking,  as a  boy of less then ten ,  with his Indonesian step-father  Lolo (Lolo  struck me as the one person in either book who was  firmly attached to reality) :

“Have you ever seen a man killed?” I asked him.

He glanced down, surprised by the question.

“Have you?” I asked again.

“Yes,” he said.

“Was it bloody?”

“Yes.”

I thought for a moment. “Why was the man killed? The one  you saw?”

“Because he was weak.”

“That’s all?”

Lob shrugged and rolled his pant leg back down. “That’s usually enough. Men take advantage of weakness in other men. They’re like countries in that way. The strong man takes  the weak man’s land. He makes the weak man work in his fields. If the weak man’s woman is  pretty, the strong man will take her.” He paused to take another sip of water, then asked, “Which would you rather be?” (DMF p40)

There you have both the implausible power of recollection and the adult style of speech by the young child Obama.

This uniformity of style strongly suggests that all we are hearing is Obama as  the man he was when he wrote either book,  not what he was at various points in his life. That in itself is dishonest because he is presenting the dialogue as a good approximation of what was said.   To that can be added the fact that the dialogue invariably serves a purpose  which benefits Obama , for the supposedly real-life people  are invariably manipulated in the way a novelist manipulates his  characters, to fit the story which  they wish  to tell.  Obama  wants to display black victimhood, up pops a character to say  how hard done by blacks are and always have been. He wants to agonise about his racial heritage, along comes someone to say exactly what he needs to start the self-examination off. He wishes to expand upon his political policies and philosophy, up pops  someone with exactly the right peg on which to hang his disquisition.  Here is Obama using  a white English doctor  he calls Wilkerson  who is working in Malawi:

‘I asked him why he thought he had come back to Africa and he answered without a pause, as if he’d heard the question many times.

“It’s my home, I suppose. The people, the land. . .“ He took off his glasses and wiped them with a handkerchief. “It’s funny, you know. Once you’ve lived here for a time, the life in England seems terribly cramped. The British have so much more, but seem to enjoy things less. I felt a foreigner there.”

He put his glasses back on and shrugged. “Of course, I know that in the long run I need to be replaced. That’s part of my job—making myself unnecessary. The Malawian doctors I work with are excellent, really. Competent. Dedicated. If we could just build a training hospital, some decent facilities, we could triple their number in no time.

“And then?”

He turned toward the campfire, and I thought his voice began to waver. “Perhaps I can never call this place home,” he said. “Sins of the father, you know. I’ve learned to accept that.” He paused for a moment, then looked at me. ‘ (DMF p355)

The passage  neatly allows Obama to promote the idea of white guilt, the subordination of  white interests to that of African, white contempt for their own society and white  longing for Africa,  although it is a  longing  which  they can never satisfy because  they do not belong there.

All of this suggests that what  Obama is giving us is  no more than  his heavily edited version of the past at best and pure fantasy  at worst.

What does his choice of this   form of narrative tell us about Obama? .It suggests  he is a man  who is abnormally determined to make reality shape to his own idea of himself .  Why should he do this?  Well, as we shall see there is plenty in the books to suggest that he  is a  very insecure  personality,  someone who  both  cannot  deal with criticism and  constantly fretting over how he is perceived by others.  Highly neurotic would not be too harsh a judgement. A plausible explanation for why he writes in this manner  is that he wishes to control the world because he fears exposure of what he secretly perceives to be his inadequacy.

It really is very odd  behaviour for anyone let alone someone aspiring to be a politician. I cannot  think of any other leading politician who has used the pseudo-novelistic  approach to tell his life story.

3. Obama’s genetic inheritance

If it is  allowed  that genes play a strong role in determining character  both directly through  qualities such as IQ and indirectly through  specific abilities which affect behaviour , for example, the possession of a special talent for music,   what can we learn from his ancestry?

On the bare facts, his father  behaved in a way which, apart from the fact that he got himself an education,  matches the modern stereotype of  the black male. He goes from one woman to another breeding,  incontinently,  hence, Obama’s  various half brothers and sisters.  He leaves Obama’s mother when Obama is still a  toddler and subsequently appears rarely in Obama’s life  From Obama’s account  he provided Obama’s mother with  no money  whatsoever to support  his son and back in  Africa  Obama senior variously abandons and neglects his other women and children, becomes a drunk and ruins his  job prospects by  recklessly  insulting  influential people. Here is Obama’s account of his  half sister Auma  describing his father’s behaviour  towards members of the Kenyan  elite:

“When he was passed up for a promotion, he complained loudly. ‘How can you be my  senior,’ he would say to one of the ministers, ‘and yet I am teaching you how to do your job properly?”  (DMF p215)

Obama’s mother,  Anna, a white woman from middle America,  marries first an African then an Indonesian,  neither of which marriage lasts. (For someone of her background to marry one person of  a different race and culture might be put down to love; marrying two begins to look like a political statement. )  She takes Obama  to Indonesia  then sends him back to the USA (Hawaii) after several  years to live with his maternal grandparents. Eventually she returns to the USA and takes an anthropology degree during which time Obama lives with her. Having completed her degree, she leaves Obama once more while he is a child, depositing him  again with his maternal grandparents as she goes abroad to undertake anthropological fieldwork

Obama’s description of his mother  portrays her as  a type of Margaret Mead anthropological naif , forever searching  for the right-on approach to  non-white, non-American people while ironically insisting  for most of the time that  Obama be brought up as an American.  Here is Obama describing her attitude towards blacks:

‘Every black man  was Thurgood Marshall or Sidney Poitier ; every black woman Fannie Lou Hamer or Lena Horne.  To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear..

‘Burdens we were to carry with style. More than once, my mother would point out “:Harry Belafonte is the best-looking man on the planet.” (DMF p51)

Those are the parents. To their behaviour  can be added  Obama’s description of the background of his  mother’s parents, the grandparents who played a large part in his upbringing. If Obama is to be believed,  his grandfather was  a restless undisciplined man  who never  made much of a success of anything., flitting from place to place and job to job until he finally settled in Hawaii. The grandmother, despite Obama’s attempt to paint her as  a feminist trailblazer as the first female vice-president of a local Hawaiian bank,  comes over as  curiously colourless for someone  Obama claims loomed very large in his emotional life..

The bare facts of tell us that Obama’s parents were  unusually  selfish and egotistical, far more concerned with the satisfaction of their own wants than those of other people, even those of  their children. Obama’s  description of  their personalities, both through his own  reputed recollection and  that  of others , paints a picture of parents who were congenitally reckless, self-centred and lacking in application. . His maternal grandfather, if Obama is to be believed,  is  someone who  never quite fitted in, a man who never  stuck at anything from choice for any great length of time.

4. Nurture – the context of Obama’s upbringing

Obama’s mother is white. He was raised, apart from five years in Indonesia with his Indonesian step-father, by whites.  For most of his childhood he lived in the State (Hawaii) which , because of its very varied population including a non-white indigenous  people who came late under the US banner , probably gave him the least opportunity of any part of the USA  to experience racial segregation  or racism.

His schooling  when he returned to the USA  was  at  an exclusive school which contained only one other black pupil  in his grade – Obama doesn’t say so explicitly but the implication is that the school was predominantly white. Afterwards  he moves to a good university (Occidental) which is predominantly white.  When  he forsakes  his community work amongst blacks  he opts to go to the  white dominated Harvard Law School and  having graduated   spends  much of  his working life (including his time in the white dominated  Illinois legislature) until he is elected to the very white Senate lecturing in constitutional law  in white dominated universities.

Having such an upbringing it might be thought that Obama  would feel at the least comfortable about both his racial mix and with white society . In fact, the reverse is true.  Obama was unlucky enough to have parents who both deserted him. That alone makes for an insecure personality and could account for his lack of a sense of place. .  But interestingly his  ostensible  insecurity   is not based on his childhood parental desertion  but on his racial background.  The man is utterly obsessed  with  the fact that he is between two worlds, the black and the white.

5. Obama’s racial fixation

Obama  signals this obsession  with his sub title to DMF  “A story of race and inheritance”

To see how extraordinary this is in modern America, just imagine  a book written by a white man had that subtitle. The unfortunate writer would be banished to David Duke-land  before you could say knife.   Any thought of a maintsream political career would be out of the question. The fact that Obama agreed to such a subtitle, both in the original and in its re-issue in 2004, signals what becomes painfully evident once the reader is inside the books, namely,  here is a  man is pathologically  obsessed by race and stuffed to the gills with black victimhood,  Indeed, Obama unselfconsciously recognises  this in AOH:

“I have recorded in a previous book the ways in which my early work in Chicago helped me grow into my manhood – how my work with pastors and laypeople there deepened my resolve to lead a public life, how they fortified my racial identity…” (AOH p 206).

Once he starts writing  DMF  Obama loses no time in getting down to the mixed race nitty gritty by diving into it in the introduction to DMF::

“When people who  don’t know me well,  black or white, discover my background (and it is usually  a discovery, for I ceased to advertise my  mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began suspect that I was ingratiating myself with whites), I see the  split -second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for  some telltale sign. They no longer know who I am. Privately, they guess at my troubled heart, I suppose – the mixed blood, the divided soul, the ghostly image of the mulatto trapped between two worlds.” (The introduction to DMF p XV).

This childhood mistrust of  whites and   the wish to be unambiguously one of the brothers (Obama unselfconsciously refers to  blacks as the brothers  and  the sisters in DMF) causes him to be aggressive to any mixed race person who does not play the same game, viz:

‘She was a good-looking woman, – Joyce was, with her green eyes and honey skin and pouty lips. We

lived in the same dorm my freshman year, and all the brothers were  after her. One day I asked her if she was going to the Black Students’ us on cam- Association meeting. She looked at me funny, then started shaking  her head like a baby who doesn’t want what it sees on the spoon.

“I’m not black,” Joyce said. “I’m multiracial.” Then she started  telling me about her father, who happened to be Italian and was the  sweetest man in the world; and her mother, who happened to be part

African and part French and part Native American and part something  else. “Why should I have to choose between them?” she asked me. Her voice cracked, and I thought she was going to cry. “It’s not white people who are making. me choose. Maybe it used to be that way, but now  they’re willing to treat me like a person. No—it’s black people who always  have to make everything racial. They’re the ones making me choose. They’re the ones who are telling me that I can’t be who I am…”

They, they, they. That was the problem with people like Joyce.  They talked about the richness of their multicultural heritage and it sounded real good, until you noticed that they avoided black people. It wasn’t a matter of conscious  choice, necessarily, just a matter of gravitational pull, the way integration always worked, a one-way  street.  The minority assimilated the majority culture, not the other way around.  Only white culture could be neutral and objective. Only white culture could be non-racial, willing to adopt the occasional exotic into its ranks. Only white culture had individuals. ’ (DMF pp99/100)

Or take Obama’s  conversation with  Mark, a half  brother by Obama  senior’s second white wife and a physicist working in the US, whom Obama met during his first trip to Kenya:

‘”You don’t ever think of settling here?”

Mark took a sip of his Coke. “No,” he said. “I mean, there’s not much work for a physicist, is there, in a country where the average person doesn’t have a telephone.”

I should have stopped then, but something – the certainty in this brother’s voice, maybe, or our rough resemblance, like looking at a  foggy mirror—made me want to push harder. I asked, “Don’t you

ever feel like you might be losing something?”

Mark put down his knife and fork, and for the first time that afternoon his eyes looked straight into mine. “I understand what you are getting at,” he said flatly. “You think that somehow I’m cut off from my roots, that sort of thing.” He wiped his mouth and dropped the napkin onto his plate. “Well, you’re right. At a certain point, I made a decision not to think who my real father was. He was dead to me even when he was alive. I knew that he was a drunk and showed no concern for his wife  or children. That was enough.”

“It made you mad?” -

“Not mad. Just numb.”

“And that doesn’t bother you? Being numb, I mean?”

“Towards him, no. Other things move me. Beethoven’s symphonies. Shakespeare’s sonnets. I know—it’s not what an African is  supposed to care about. But who’s to tell me what I should and  shouldn’t care about? Understand, I’m not ashamed of being, Kenyan. I just don’t ask myself a lot of questions about what means. About who I really am.” He shrugged. “I don’t know.  Maybe  I should. I can acknowledge the possibility that if I looked more fully at myself, I would…”

For the briefest moment I sensed Mark hesitate, like a climber losing his footing. Then, almost immediately, he regained his composure and waved for the check.

“Who knows?” he said. “What’s certain is that I don’t need the stress. Life’s hard enough without all that excess baggage.” ’ (DMF pp 343-344)

Obama allows his racial agonising to enter his love-life. Here he is talking to his half-sister Auma:

‘“Well. . . there was a woman in York that I loved. She was white. She had dark hair, and specks of  green in her eyes. Her voice sounded like a wind chime. We saw each  other for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in her apartment, sometimes in mine. You know how you can fall into your own private world? Just two people, hidden and warm. Your own  language. Your own customs. That’s how it was.

“Anyway, one weekend she invited me to her family’s country house. The parents were there, and they were very nice, very gracious.  It was autumn, beautiful, with woods all around us, and we paddled a canoe across this round, icy lake full of small gold leaves that collected  along the shore. The family knew every inch of the land. They know  how the hills had formed, how the glacial drifts had created the la the names of the earliest white settlers—their ancestors-—and before that, the names of the Indians who’d once hunted the land. The house was very old, her grandfather’s house. He had inherited it from his grandfather. The library was filled with old books and pictures of the grandfather with famous people he had known—presidents, diplomats, industrialists. There was this tremendous gravity to the room.

Standing in that room, I realized that our two worlds, my friend’s and  mine, were as distant from each other as Kenya is from Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I’d eventually live in hers. After all, I’d been doing it most of my life. Between the two of us, I was the one who knew how to live as an outsider.”

“So what happened.”

I shrugged. “I pushed her away. We started to fight. We started thinking about the future, and it pressed in on our warm little world. One night I took her to see a new play by a black playwright. It was a

I very angry play, but very funny. Typical black American humor. The audience was mostly black, and everybody was laughing and clapping and hollering like they were in church. After the play was over, my friend started talking about why black people were so angry all the time. I said it was a matter of remembering—nobody asks why Jews remembered  the Holocaust, I think I said—and she said that’s different, and I  said it wasn’t, and she said that anger was just a dead end. We had a big fight in front of the theater. When we got back to the car she started crying. She couldn’t be black, she said. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. She could only be herself, and wasn’t that enough.”’

DMF pp 210/211)

Despite his insistence that he cares deeply about his white mother and grandparents, Obama’s attitude towards them  is deeply mistrustful.  He  constantly views them through the prism of their whiteness and their, to his mind,  incomprehension of  what it is to be other than white. (The obverse of this is that Obama never considers  his inability to understand what it is to be other than black., an omission of which  he appears completely unconscious)  Here is Obama being  more than a little dismayed by his mother’s  attitude towards  blacks as they are depicted in a film called Black Orpheus:

“The film, a groundbreaker of sorts due to its mostly black, Brazilian cast, had been made in the fifties.  The story line was simple: the myth of the ill-fated lovers Orpheus and Eurydice set in the Favelas  of Rio during Carnival. In Technicolor splendour, set against scenic green hills, the black and brown Brazilians sang and danced and strummed guitars  like carefree birds in colourful plumage. About halfway through  the movie I decided  that I had seen enough, and turned to my mother  to see if she might be ready to go But her face, lit by the blue glow of the screen, was set in  a wistful gaze. At that moment, I felt as if I were being given a window into her heart, the unreflective heart of her youth. I suddenly realised  that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen, the reverse images of Conrad‘s dark savages, was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white, middle-class girl from Kansa, the promise of another life : warm, sensual, exotic different.  I turned away, embarrassed for her….” (DMF pp123-124).

.

Exhibit  two concerns his grandmother “Toots” who is approached by a black man asking for money. Obama depicts his white grandfather Stanley as being outraged by this and refusing to give her a lift to work:

“I [Obama] took her into the other room and asked her what  happened. “A man asked me for money yesterday. While I  was waiting for the bus.”

“That’s all?”

Her lips pursed with irritation. “He was very  aggressive, Barry.  I gave him a dollar and he kept asking. If the bus hadn’t come, I think he might have hit me over the  head.

I returned to the kitchen. Gramps was rinsing  his cup, his back turned to me. . “Listen,” I said, “why don’t you just give her a ride . She seems pretty upset.”

“By a panhandler?”

“Yeah, I know—but it’s probably a little scary for a  big man block her way. It’s really no big deal.”

He turned around and I saw now that he was shaking. “It is a big deal.  It’s a big deal to me. She’s been bothered by  men before. You t know why she’s so scared this time? I’ll tell you why. Before you came in,  she told me the fella was black.” He whispered the word. “that’s the  real reason why she’s bothered. And I just don’t think that’s  right.”

The words were like a fist in my stomach, and I wobbled to regain my composure. In my steadiest voice, I told him that such an attitude bothered me too….” (DMF  pp 88/89)

There you have classic Obama the writer, painting his white middle America grandfather as a neurotically aware anti-racist , his grandmother as a covert racist and himself as traumatised by such shocking behaviour.   Sadly, his grandfather’s putative anti-racism does not save him from suspicion for  Obama concludes after this episode that however well his grandparents behaved towards him  he still  knew “that men who might easily have been my brothers could still inspire their rawest fears.” (DMF p89).

Obama refers to the physical appearance of blacks  frequently. His descriptions are normally  positive.  for example,   “Linda, with her dark, striking beauty…” (DMF p234), “An African woman   emerging from behind the customs gate, moving with graceful steps,….”  (DMF p207), “They [Masai] were quiet, handsome men, their cheekbones accentuated by the fire…” (DMF p353)

Conversely,  when Obama describes the appearance of whites he is  normally unflattering – the exception is the white girlfriend mentioned above, but of course in that instance Obama had to say he had  a  beautiful girlfriend. to preserve his own ego. . Here he is describing  Marty Kaufman,  the man who gives him his job as a community organiser:

“His  appearance didn’t inspire much confidence. He was  a white man of medium height wearing a rumpled suit over a pudgy frame. His face was heavy with two-day whiskers  ; behind a pair of thick, wire-rimmed glasses, his eyes seemed set in a perpetual squint” DMF p141/142

And  here are a couple of examples of him  describing  white strangers:

“I flew out of Heathrow Airport under stormy skies. A group of young British men dressed in ill-fitting blazers filled the back of the plane., and one of them – a pale, gangly youth, still troubled with acne – took the seat beside me.”  DMF p299

“He was a slight, soft-spoken man with round glasses and pasty blond hair..” (p354)  This applied to a white English doctor  working  in Malawi., a man he calls Wilkerson.

When he goes to  Kenya  for the first time he is “going home”. When he gets there he  finds that he is  free because almost everyone about him looks like him (well, sort of):

‘…a steady procession of black faces passed before your eyes, the round faces of babies and the chipped, worn faces of the old; beautiful faces that made me understand the transformation that Asante and other black Americans claimed to have undergone after their first visit to Africa. For a span of weeks or months, you could experience the freedom that comes from not feeling watched, the freedom of believing that your hair grows as it’s supposed to grow and that your rump sways the way a rump is supposed to sway. You could see a man talking to himself as just plain crazy, or read about the criminal on the front page of the daily paper and ponder the corruption of the human heart, without having to think about whether the criminal or lunatic said something about your own fate. Here the world was black, and so you were just you; you could discover all those things that were unique to your life without living a lie or committing betrayal. ‘ (DMF p311).

Not that the man’s paranoid or anything.  Interestingly, Obama does not consider the possibility, as well he might have done, that all  races, including  whites, might feel the same way about preferring a society in which they did not have to think about race because it is a homogeneous society.  His view of race is hermetically  one-eyed.

Sadly,  Obama found Kenya  to be not all  he wanted  it to be  with its flagrant corruption  and  tribalism.  But   the politically correct reader can relax because this is  not the fault of black Kenyans but down to white colonialism“ “when the lives of whites in foreign lands rested comfortably on the backs of darker races“  (DMF p 314) , which  left a legacy of  psychological   subordination in Kenyans. Obama personifies this by taking the case of a black waiter who ignored Obama and his half sister while serving  white tourists:

‘Did the waiter know that black rule had come? Did it mean anything to him? Maybe once, I thought to myself. He would be old enough to remember independence, the shouts of “Uhuru!“ and the raising of new flags. But such memories may seem almost fantastic to him now, distant and naïve. He learned  that the same people who controlled  the land before independence  still controlled the land , that he still cannot eat in the restaurants or stay in the same hotels that the white man built. He sees the money  of the city swirling above his head, the technology which spits out goods from its robot  mouth.  If he’s ambitious he will do his best to learn the white man’s language use the white man’s machines, trying to make ends meet the same way the computer repairman in Newark or the bus driver back in Chicago does, with alternating spurts of enthusiasm or frustration  but mostly with resignation. And if you say to him that he’s serving the interests of neocolonialism or some other such thing, he will reply that yes, he will serve if that is what’s required. It is the lucky ones who serve; the unlucky ones drift into the murky tide of hustles and odd jobs; many will drown. ‘ (DMF pp314-315).

The same people  controlling the land now as during colonial times Mr Obama?  How about the post-colonial black elite?  Did they decide to hide away during your visit and put hordes of  actors playing white Happy Valley  characters  on show instead?

Obama’s recent insulting treatment of the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown  when he returned a bust of Churchill  which had  been in the Oval Office for much of his predecessor’s presidency,  gave Brown an insulting gift of 25 DVDs of Hollywood films and did not arrange a joint press conference  may not be a hundred miles away from his view of British rule in Kenya and Africa generally.

Obama is very revealing when he writes generally about race. For example, he introduces us to his decision to become a “community organizer with “That’s what I’ll do, I’ll organise black folks. At the grass roots. For change.” (DMF p133) .(Imagine a white man deciding to  “organize white folks”. )  Or take the fact that Chapter 7 of AOH is entitled race. If a white politician had dared to have such a chapter heading – rather improbable in the  present pc terror circumstances – it would have had to be a crawling apology for all the supposed wrongs done to blacks by whites from the date the first black slave arrived in the earliest  English colonies.  For Obama the chapter title is simply a hook on which  to hang yet more black victimhood and  puffing of the black  cause, viz:

‘Few Africa American entrepreneurs have either the inherited wealth or the angel investors to help launch their business or  cushion them from a sudden economic downturn. Few doubt that if they were white they would be further along in reaching their goals.’ (AOH p241).

Perhaps the most damming passage on race in either book occurs in DMF where Obama considers the case for black nationalism  aka black separatism:

‘In talking to self—professed nationalists like Rafiq [a follower of the unashamed black racist Louis Farrakhan‘s Nation of Islam], though, I came to see how the blanket indictment of everything white served  a central function in their message of uplift; how, psychologically, at least,  one depended on the other. For when the nationalist spoke  of a reawakening of values as the only solution to black poverty expressing an implicit, if not explicit, criticism to black I listeners: that we  did not have to live as we did. And while there were those who could take such an unadorned message and use it to hew life for themselves—those with the stolid dispositions that  Booker T Washington had once demanded from his followers—in the ears of  many blacks such talk smacked of the explanations that whites had always offered for black poverty: that we continued to suffer, if  not genetic inferiority; then cultural weakness. It was a message that  ignored causality or fault, a message outside history, without a script  or plot that might insist on progression. For a people  stripped of their history, a people often ill equipped to retrieve  that history in any form other than what fluttered across the television  screen, the testimony of what we saw every day seemed firm our worst suspicions about ourselves.

Nationalism provided that history, an unambiguous  morality that was easily communicated and easily grasped. A steady attack on the white race, the constant recitation of black people experience in this country, served as the ballast that could prevent the  ideas of personal and communal responsibility from tipping into an ocean of despair. Yes, the nationalist would say, whites are responsible for your sorry state, not any inherent flaws in you. In  fact, whites are so heartless and devious that we can no longer expect anything from them.  The self-loathing you feel, what keeps you drinking or thieving  is  planted by them. Rid them from your mind and find your true . power liberated. Rise up, ye mighty race!

This process of displacement, this means of engaging in selfcriticism while removing ourselves from the object of criticism, helped explain the much-admired success of the Nation of Islam in turning around the lives of drug addicts and criminals. But if it was especially well suited to those at the bottom rungs of American life, it also spoke  to all the continuing doubts of the lawyer who had run hard for the gold ring yet still experienced the awkward silence when walking into the clubhouse; those young college students who warily measured the distance between them and life on Chicago’s mean streets, with the danger that distance implied; all the black people who, it turned out, shared with me a voice that whispered inside them—”You don’t really belong here.”

In a sense, then, Rafiq was right when he insisted that, deep down, all blacks were potential nationalists. The anger was there, bottled up and often turned inward. And as I thought about Ruby and her blue eyes, the teenagers calling each other “nigger” and worse, I wondered whether, for now at least, Rafiq wasn’t also right in preferring that that anger be redirected; whether a black  politics that suppressed rage toward whites generally, or one that failed to elevate race loyalty above all else, was a politics inadequate to the task.

It was a painful thought to consider, as painful now as it had been years ago. It contradicted the morality my mother had taught me, a morality of subtle distinctions—between individuals of goodwill and those who wished me ill, between active malice and ignorance or indifference. I had a personal stake in that moral framework; I’d dis4covered that I couldn’t escape it if I tried. And yet perhaps it was a framework that blacks in this country could no longer afford; perhaps it weakened black resolve, encouraged confusion within the ranks. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and for many blacks, times were chronically desperate. If nationalism could create as and effective insularity, deliver on its promise of self-respect, the hurt it might cause well-meaning whites, or the inner turmoil it caused people like me, would be of little consequence.

If nationalism could deliver. As it turned out, questions of effectiveness,  and not sentiment, caused most of my quarrels with Rafiq…” AOH pp 198-200)

So there you have it, Obama had no absolute moral objection to black nationalism, only  a practical one. As for the interest of whites, even white liberals, well, they could just go hang. The passage  is also a first rate example of Obama’s Oprah-style self-examination and agonising.  It is also noteworthy that shortly after that passage Obama refers to “Minister Farrakhan” (AOH p 201) and criticises him only for his ineffectiveness as an organiser not for his racist views.

Even if we did  not have the direct evidence  of Obama’s own words, his association with the likes of  Jeremiah Wright and  members of the Nation of Islam  speak volumes.  The Nation of Islam apart from being black separatists also view whites as  devils  intent on oppressing black, while the Rev Wright has some distinctly interesting views on both whites and America. For example:

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color….”

(Sermon “Confusing God and Government”, delivered on April 13, 2003.)

“The government gives them [blacks] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (ibid)

Who could sit listening to the views of the likes of Wright for  20 years  without being in sympathy  with them to a large degree?  Who would allow such a man to marry  him and baptise his children without feeling warmly towards the person? Imagine a white politician who attended  for twenty years an all white church with a pastor saying equivalent things about blacks. He would have be condemned automatically as a racist. It is also worth asking why a self declared inclusive politician  would want to belong to a black church rather than an integrated one and why someone who  has a white mother, was brought up by whites  and attended schools which were overwhelmingly  white,  would wish to immerse himself  so deeply in black society  unless he is  at heart a racist..

It is telling that  after leaving the Jeremiah Wright’s congregation  and condemning  some of   his most inflammatory statements (but only some), Obama then took as his spiritual advisers  men (this pc  icon did not choose a single woman) who are in the main anything but in the liberal mainstream. The five are Bishop T Jakes (black), Kirbyjon Caldwell (black), Otis Moss (black), Jim Wallis (white, Joel Hunter (White).  (How interesting that in a nation in which blacks  form less than 15% of the population, three of the five are black).

Of these five, four  – Otis Moss (an old associate of Martin Luther King) is the odd man out – are anti-gay. to one degree  or another. Hunter and Wallis oppose abortion.  (All  details taken from Sunday Telegraph 22 3 2009 – Obama replaces one fiery pastor with five – Tim Shipman).  This is of interest because  Obama tries throughout  AOH to come down on the “right on “liberal side on such issues, although always writing with his usual Guardian leader equivocation.  How odd that he should  choose  such men without any balancing liberal voice now that he is President.  There are two possible explanations: that  despite his liberal posturing, his private views are somewhat different or he is simply playing  to his black constituency. The latter I suspect is the case because   throughout both  books Obama gives the impression  that he  views his religion as a political vehicle  rather than as a profound act of faith.

Obama’s  current view of race is probably best expressed  in this passage from AOH (pp 232-233):

‘To say that we are one people is not to suggest that race no longer matters—that the fight for equality has been won, that the problems that minorities face in this country today are largely self-inflicted. We know the statistics: On almost every single socioeconomic indicator, from infant mortality to life expectancy to employment to home ownership, black and Latino Americans in particular continue to lag far behind their white counterparts. In corporate boardrooms across America, minorities are grossly underrepresented; in the United States Senate  there are only three Latinos and two Asian members (both from Hawaii), and as I write today I am the chamber’s sole African American. To suggest that our racial attitudes play no part in these disparities is to turn a blind eye to both our history and our experience—and to relieve ourselves of the responsibility to make things right.

Moreover, while my own upbringing hardly typifies the African American experience—and although, largely through luck and circumstance, I now occupy a position that insulates me from most of the bumps and bruises that the average black man must endure—I can recite the usual litany of petty slights that during my forty-five years have been directed my way: security guards tailing me as I shop in department stores, white couples who toss
me their car keys as I stand outside a restaurant waiting for the – valet, police cars pulling me over for no apparent reason. I know what it’s like to have people tell me I can’t do something because of my color, and I know the bitter swill of swallowed-back anger. I know as well that Michelle and I must be continually vigilant against some of the debilitating story lines that our daughters may absorb—from TV and music and friends and the streets— about who the world thinks they are, and what the world imagines they should be.’

Try to imagine a white man  so paranoid about  their racial circumstances being elected president.

The kindest view of Obama’s racial opinions is that he is seriously  infected with the victimhood mentality.  The unkindest is that he  a black racist with separatist leanings.  For those wanting more of his   utterances on the subject, I recommend  acomprehensive dissection  of his  publicly stated views on race  and how they have conveniently changed  over his political life   has been  made by Steve Sailor and can be found at http://www.vdare.com/half-blood_prince/

half-blood_prince.pdf

6. Ethnic interests

Obama’s concern for  the  interests  of  ethnic groups is selective. . He is greatly  concerned  with what he frequently calls the  “brothers and sisters”  but shows little concern for any other group. Latinos get  some small mention but always in the context of how they have linked their cause to that of blacks. There are a few  token waves at   various types of Asians .

The one group whose ethnic interest is  never  considered is that of  whites ,whom Obama tends to treat as a single entity.  Obama seemingly does not seem to have any consciousness that they have any ethnic interest, or at least not any which they should have the temerity to defend.  Early on in AOH (pp36/7) he makes this  astonishing claim:

“The victories that the sixties generation  brought about – the admission of minorities and women into full citizenship, the strengthening of individual liberties and the healthy willingness to question authority—have made America a far better place for all its citizens. But what has been lost in the process, and has yet to be replaced, are those shared assumptions—that quality of trust and fellow feeling—that bring us together as Americans. “

Better for all Mr Obama?  Better for the mass of whites who have lost their position of dominance through discriminatory immigration rules which favour  those from ethnic minorities and the  lax  attitude towards the enforcement of what immigration controls there are?   Better for the whites who have been denied opportunities through affirmative action?  Better for the whites (especially men)  who have had to bow the knee to the ruthless imposition of political correctness, an ideology whose penalties are rarely if ever  exacted against those who belong to the pc approved groups (ethnic minorities, women and gays) when they engage in behaviour equivalent to that which would cause  a white person  to be convicted of a pc crime?  How exactly has  that  resulted in ”the strengthening of individual liberties and the healthy willingness to question authority” ? Whether or not white advantage is seen as right or wrong, to claim that whites have  benefited from what has happened  over the past  40 years  is simply a denial  of  reality.

But it is not merely a question of whether whites in the US have been  disadvantaged   over the past  40 years which makes Obama’s statement  risible. The bigger question is whether the policies  followed since the 1960s have  benefited  Americans generally.  As Obama constantly mentions,  the black middleclass may have expanded its members  and  improved its general condition, but blacks outside that group do not at best live lives which are significantly improved from what they were fifty years ago and at worst are actually diminished because the sense of community within  the still largely segregated  black districts has greatly diminished.  What applies to blacks applies to other substantial minorities, most particularly Latinos.

It is also difficult to see how  the  loss of  “ those shared assumptions—that quality of trust and fellow feeling—that bring us together as Americans. “  can have done anything but  weaken and tarnish American society.  A strong society is one in which its members have fellow feeling: a weak one in which  competing groups engage in a never ending internecine struggle for  their special interest.  Fractious societies are unpleasant and dangerous societies to live in and the most fractious societies are invariably those which do not share a common history and sense of unity.

One more example of  how Obama ostensibly  flies in the face of  reality.  Here he is on the choice of him to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention: “The process by which I  was selected as the keynote speaker remains something of a mystery to me.” (AOH p354).

A mystery Mr Obama? There you were, a newly elected  senator selected to make the highest public  profile speech a senator   could make. Did it not occur to you that you were chosen because you were that great rarity, a black senator?

Does Obama actually believe what he writes about race?  If he does he must have  an amazing streak of credulity.  If he does not, then he is a master cynic, using race simply as  a tool to power.

7. Black adversaries

There is one unintentionally hilarious passage in  AOH . It concerns Obama’s  campaign for the Senate.  The Republicans decided to put up a black candidate, Alan Keyes, to oppose Obama.  Why did the Republicans do this? Well,  Obama  claims that  “ One Republican colleague of mine in the state senate provided me with a blunt explanation of their strategy: “We got our own Harvard-educated conservative black guy to go up against the Harvard-educated liberal black guy. He may not win, but at least he can knock that halo off your head.” (AOH p209).

Whether or not that was the strategy it certainly worked at the level of severely flustering Obama. To begin with he  cannot play   the race  card. Secondly, he has an opponent who is not afraid to attack him personally. Here is  a sample:

‘Beyond the Senate’s genteel confines, though, any discussion of religion and its role in politics can turn a bit less civil. Take my Republican opponent in 2004, Ambassador Alan Keyes, who deployed a novel

argument for attracting voters in the waning days of the campaign.. “Christ would not vote for Barack Obama,” Mr. Keyes proclaimed, “because  Brack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for  Christ to have behaved.”’ (AOH p209)

Most cruelly Keyes accused Obama of  not being a genuine African American, an  inverse race card as it were:

‘There was no doubt that the man could talk. At the drop of a hat Mr. Keyes could deliver a grammatically flawless disquisition  on virtually any topic. On the stump, he could wind himself into a He accused me of taking a “slaveholder’s position” in my defense of abortion rights and called me a core, academic Marxist” for my support of universal health and other social programs —and then added for good measure added that because I was not the descendant of slaves I was not really  African American. At one point he even managed to alienate  conservative Republicans who recruited him to Illinois  by commending — perhaps in a play for black votes  — Reparations in the form of a complete abolition of the income tax for all blackswith slave ancestry. (“This is a disaster!” sputtered one comment*posted on the discussion board of Illinois’s hard-right website,the Illinois Leader. “WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE GUYS!!!”) ‘(AOH p210)

Obama simply did not know how to respond. Having spent several pages pouring vitriol over Keyes he concludes: :

‘In other words, Alan Keyes was an ideal opponent; all I had to do was keep my mouth shut and start planning my swearing-in ceremony. And yet, as the campaign progressed, I found him getting under my skin in a way that few people ever have. When our paths crossed during the campaign, I often had to suppress the rather uncharitable urge to either taunt him or wring his neck. Once, when we bumped into each other at an Indian Independence Day parade, I poked him in the chest while making a point, a bit of alpha-male behavior that I hadn’t engaged in since high school and which an observant news crew

gamely captured; the moment was replayed in slow motion on TV that evening. In the three debates that were held before the election, I was frequently tongue-tied, irritable, and uncharacteristically tense— a

fact that the public (having by that point written Mr. Keyes off) largely missed, but one that caused no small bit of distress to some of my supporters. “Why are you letting this guy give you fits?” they would

ask me. For them, Mr. Keyes was a kook, an extremist, his arguments not even worth entertaining. ‘(AOH p211)

Faced with someone who challenged him, the Obama mask of cool detachment drops to reveal  a petulant child and , interestingly, someone none too quick on his mental feet in debate. I will expand upon Obama’s supposed superior  intellect later.

This political pantomime of putting up a black to fight a black does have its comical side and I suspect  that Obama will let himself be rattled again by Michael Steele, the newly appointed first black leader of the Republican Party,  or any other black person in a public position who challenges him.   But it is also a sinister thing that political correctness has gained such a stranglehold on the States that no white mainstream politician will  tackle Obama honestly. If they did they would find him a very easy opponent to deal with because he is both a chronically neurotic individual  who is unable to deal with criticism and a very thin skin which has not been toughened by  his political career because  he has been given a remarkably smooth ride by the mainstream media and politicians throughout his political career.

8. Obama’s inability to handle white criticism

Obama has rarely met with mainstream political or media criticism. (Of his campaign for the Senate he writes: “Political observers would note that in a field of  seven Democratic Primary  candidates, not one of us had run a negative  TV ad.”  – AOH p18) . But when he does  meet it he responds  badly, if not in quite such an intemperate manner as he responded to Keyes.  Here he reacting to the criticism he received after making a speech about free expression  which implied that Obama  might not be entirely unsympathetic to some form of unofficial censorship – see the Obama Intellect section for further details:

“You would have thought I was Cotton Mather. In response to my speech, one newspaper editorial intoned that the government had no business regulating protected speech, despite the fact that I hadn’t called for regulation. Reporters suggested that I was cynically tacking to the center in preparation for a national race. More than a few supporters wrote our office, complaining that they had voted for me to beat back the Bush agenda, not to act as the town  scold.”  (AOH p61)

Nor does Obama take kindly to being placed under close physical scrutiny:  Here he is  complaining about  a young man called Justin who was employed by his Republican opponent to record all his public appearances on  a video camera during his Senate campaign. Obama admits this is  frequently done  in political campaigns but claims that it amounted to stalking:

‘I strolled into the press office of the state capitol building  and asked some of the reporters who were having lunch to gather round.

“Hey, guys,” I said, “I want to introduce you to Justin. Justin her’es been assigned by the Ryan campaign to stalk me wherever I go. “

As I explained the  situation, Justin stood there, continuing  to film. The reporters turned on him and started  peppering him with questions.

“You follow him into the restroom?”

“Are you this close to him all the time?”

Soon several news crews arrived with their cameras to film Justin filming me. Like a prisoner of war, Justin kept repeating his name, his rank, and the telephone number of his candidate’s campaign headquarters. By six o’clock, the story of Justin was on most local broadcasts. The story ended up blanketing the state for a week—cartoons, editorials, and sports radio chatter. After several days of defiance, my opponent succumbed to the pressure, asked Justin to back up a few feet, and issued an apology. Still, the damage to his campaign was done. People might not have understood our contrasting views on Medicare or Middle East diplomacy. But they knew that my opponent’s campaign had violated a value—civil behavior—that they considered important.” ‘(AOH p65)

.9. Non-racial  insecurities

The word “I” appears with inordinate frequency in  both books . Add in interminable  Oprah-style displays of angst  and a startling political naivety  and  you have a good outline of the man‘s general character.

A prime example of his childlike egotism and political naivety  occurred in 2005. In April of that year  he wrote an article for Time  Magazine in which he likened himself to Lincoln:

“In Lincoln’s rise from poverty, I mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal
loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat—in all this, he reminded me not just of my own struggles.”  (AOH pp122-123)

He is then amazed that  a journalist  picks this up as an example of hubris:
‘No sooner had the essay appeared than Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, weighed in. Under the title “Conceit of Government,” she wrote: “This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time Magazine and explaining that he’s a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better.” She went on to say, “There is nothing wrong with Barack Obama’s resume, but it is a log-cabin-free zone. So far it is also a greatness-free zone. If he keeps talking about himself like this it always will be.”  (AOH p 123)

Obama’s descriptions of his relationships with others  are curiously bloodless even when  describing circumstances of high emotion. It would be very interesting  to know exactly  how popular he is generally. Consider this:

‘…during the entire time that I was growing up, I attended exactly two birthday parties, both of which involved five or six kids, cone hats, and a cake.’  (AOH P349).

Bear in m mind that Obama spent most of his  childhood in a privileged middle class world, it really is very odd that he only attended two children’s parties.  Could it be that he was far from popular? As a child and this  fed his feeling of exclusion from white society?  As to his general popularity, his descriptions of  his relations with others during his college days  and  his time a community organiser are frequently fractious, especially with other black males (vide Keyes again). Could it be that he is not generally liked at the personal level?

In view of his wife’s frequent  put downs of him, it is interesting that Obama has a persistent habit of   reporting how women found him attractive. He does this in both  DMF and AOH:

‘“You really don’t,” the older woman next to Angela said. I offered the woman my hand, and she smiled to show off a gold front tooth. “I’m sorry,” she said, taking my hand, “I’m Shirley.” She gestured toward the last woman, dark and heavyset. “This is Mona. Don’t he look clean-cut, Mona?”

“Sure does,” Mona said with a laugh‘.  DMF p151

‘Michelle would tell me that she had been pleasantly  surprised when I walked into her office; the drugstore snapshot for the firm directory made my nose look a little big (even more enormous than usual, she might say), and she had  beeen sceptical  when the  secretaries who’d seen me during my
interview to her I was cute:’  AOH p 328

He is also determined that not only he but the entire world thinks that the woman he as chosen for  his  wife is  not only  beautiful but amazing in every way:

“MOST PEOPLE WHO meet my wife quickly conclude that she is remarkable. They are right about this—she is smart, funny, and roughly charming. She is also very beautiful, although not in way that men find intimidating or women find off-putting; it is he lived-in beauty of the mother and busy professional rather ian the touched-up image we see on the cover of glossy magazines. Often, after hearing her speak at some function or working with her on a project, people will approach me and say something to the effect of “You know I think the world of you, Barack, but your wife. . . wow!” (AOH pP327)

and:

“…her employers loved her, and everyone remarked on what a good mother she was….”   (AOH p341).

The subtext is “Look at me, I’m so attractive and wonderful I can get the most amazingly beautiful and talented woman”.

Obama devotes  chapter 9 of AOH to his family. In this he seems more than ordinarily keen to  acknowledge his wife’s support  as a wife and mother. Page after page is filled with Obama going on in minute detail  about how Michelle  organises the house, arranges children’s parties and such forth. In the chapter he tries  heavy, self-deprecation  (a form of disguised boasting which says, hey, look at me. I’m so successful and secure I can make fun of myself). Here is   a sample of both the self-deprecation and the minutely tedious rendition of the mundane from Obama‘s life: :

‘When I can, I volunteer to help, which Michelle appreciates, although she is careful to limit my responsibilities. The day before Sasha’s birthday party this past June, I was told to procure twenty balloons, enough cheese pizza to feed twenty kids, and ice. This seemed manageable, so when Michelle told me that she was going to get goody bags to hand out at the end of the party, I suggested that I do that as well. She laughed.
“You can’t handle goody bags,” she said. “Let me explain the goody bag thing. You have to go into the party store and choose the bags. Then you have to choose what to put in the bags, and what is in the boys’ bags has to be different from what is in the girls’ bags. You’d walk in there and wander around the aisles for an hour, and then your head would explode.”
[Feeling less confident, I got on the Internet. I found a place that sold balloons near the gymnastics studio where the party would be held, and a pizza place that promised delivery at 3:45 p.m. By the time the guests showed up the next day, the balloons were in place and the juice boxes were on ice. I sat with the other parents, catching up and watching twenty or so five-year-olds run . and jump and bounce on the equipment like a band of merry elves. I had a slight scare when at 3:50 the pizzas had not yet arrived but the delivery person got there ten minutes before the children were scheduled to eat. Michelle’s brother, Craig, knowing the pressure I was under, gave me a high five. Michelle looked from putting pizza on paper plates and smiled.
As a grand finale, after all the pizza was eaten and the juice boxes drunk, after we had sung “Happy Birthday” and eaten some cake, the gymnastics instructor gathered all the kids around an old, multicolored parachute and told Sasha to sit at its center…..”’(AOH pp 349-350)

There is a kind of Blairite masochism about his wish to humiliate himself  in that passage  and unfortunately for Obama the picture rings all too true from what we know of his attitude towards him from her public utterances., I rather suspect  Michelle wears the trousers in their  relationship., just as Cherie Blair does in that of the Blairs.   What such behaviour does suggest is that Obama is essentially a subordinate personality, just as Blair is.   Subordinate characters in positions of power are a disaster waiting to happen because  they are inherently weak and prone to both making no decision when one is needed and being pushed into reckless decisions because of a lack of will.

10. The Obama intellect

Obama is portrayed by the mainstream media as a highly intelligent intellectual .  This quality is  not readily apparent from his books.

DMF is essentially a  prolonged retailing of racial anxiety and victimhood. These are not subjects which test the intellect being  essentially  expressions of  emotion , of taking a political or social stance. There is little about Obama’s views on strictly non-racial matters. AOH  is a different matter. Here Obama does  address matters of political policy along with a fair bit of DMF-style agonising. The problem is that  when Obama deals with  a matter of serious political  concern  he trots out cliché after cliché  and  frequently   fails to come to any definitive conclusion. Reading AOH is like being locked into an interminable Guardian  leader (the Guardian is the leading liberal left paper in Britain), on the one hand this, on the other hand that, on the third hand this.  Here is a good example of  this trait in a speech he gave on a subject supposedly dear to the heart of an admirer of the  Constitutional, namely, freedom of expression.:

“I recently gave a speech at the Kaiser Foundation after they released a study showing that the amount of sex  on television had doubled in recent  years. Now, I enjoy HBO as much as the next guy, and I generally don’t care what adults watch in the privacy of their homes. In the case of children, I think it’s primarily the duty of parents to monitor what they are watching on television, and in my speech I even suggested that everyone would benefit if parents—heaven forbid—simply turned off the TV and tried to strike up a conversation with their kids.
Having said all that, I indicated that I wasn’t too happy with ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs popping up every fifteen minutes whenever I watched a football game with my daughters in the room. I offered the further observation that a popular show targeted at teens, in which young people with no visible means of support spend several months getting drunk and jumping naked into hot tubs with strangers, was not “the real world.” I ended by suggesting that the broadcast and cable industries should adopt better standards and technology to help parents control what streamed into their homes.  (AOH) pp60-61)

This type of flaccid waffling  is classic Obama.  He does not defend free expression forthrightly nor advocate official censorship. Instead he offers the in practice non-solution of self-policing.  Nor can you be sure where he stands on free expression generally because he offers only the qualified statement “ I  generally don’t care what adults watch in the privacy of their homes”  , which could  mean he might censor any particular thing and might censor much outside  the privacy of the home.

But, I can hear Obama supporting voices saying, what about his work as a Constitutional  expert and practising attorney, how could he have done that .without having a fine intellect?  How could  he  have won scholarships to the likes of Occidental and Harvard Law School?  The first thing to note is that a subject like Constitutional Law is not a high IQ subject. It is, as political positions are, a very subjective business as the political  wrangles over Supreme Court Justices  and blatant  distortions of the Constitution such as Roe v Wade (the judgement which legalised abortion)   show.  High intelligence is not needed to determine matters such as  abortion or civil rights, merely emotional responses to the subjects.  Even US Constitutional history is not  the proverbial rocket science. Someone with a moderately respectable  IQ and diligence in study could  master the subject well enough to get by , especially if, like Obama, you take what might be described as the imaginative approach to the Constitution:

“…when we get in a tussle about abortion or flag burning, we appeal to a higher authority—the Founding Fathers and the Constitution’s ratifiers—to give us more direction. Some, like Justice Scalia, conclude that the original understanding must be followed and that if we strictly obey this rule, then democracy is respected.
Others, like Justice Breyer, don’t dispute that the original meaning of constitutional provisions matters. But they insist that sometimes the original understanding can take you only so far— that on the truly hard cases, the truly big arguments, we have to take context, history, and the practical outcomes of a decision into account. According to this view, the Founding Fathers and original ratifiers have told us how to think but are no longer around to tell us what  to think. We are on our own, and have only our own reason and our judgment to rely on.”  (AOHp89) “

There you have Obama doing his on the one hand this, on the other hand that routine. He concludes after a few hundred more words in which he fulsomely praises the Founding Fathers  – “Moreover, I understand the strict constructionists’ reverence for the Founders; indeed, I’ve often wondered whether the Founders themselves recognized at the time the scope of their accomplishment…“ – that  Ultimately, though, I have to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution  – that it is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.” (AOH p90).

In other words, Obama wants the Constitution to mean whatever he thinks it should mean.  Doubtless  we could all be constitutional experts if we  were allowed to make it up as we went along.

Obama also has the considerable additional advantage of being an educated black. Every since affirmative action  arrived , being black  in the US has been   an immense advantage to those blacks who have aspired to higher education.   So desperate have US universities been to have the “right” number of  blacks (and other minorities)  that even where their SAT scores (the tests used by US universities to guide  the choice of candidates for entry to higher education) have been much lower than for candidates from non-PC  favoured groups such as whites and Asians from places such as Japan, it has  got them into college, got them  scholarships,  got them into graduate school and  when they came to enter the jobs market the same imperative to have ethnic minorities on the staff has  got them good jobs . In the Bell Cure, Murray and Herrstein report:

“We have obtained SAT data on classes entering twenty-six of the nation’s top colleges and universities. In 1975, most of the nation’s elite private colleges and universities formed the Consortium on financing Higher Education (COHFHE, which amongst other things, compiles and shares information on the students at member institutions, including SAT scores. We have obtained these data for the classes entering in 1991 and 1992… In addition, the figure includes data on the University of Virginia and the University of California at Berkeley in 1988.

“The difference between black and white scores was less than 100 points at only one school, Harvard. It exceeded 200 points at nine schools, reaching its highest at Berkeley (288 points). Overall, the media difference between the black and white mean was 180 SAT points, or conservatively estimated, about 1.3 standard deviations.” (The Bell Curve p451)

For US graduate schools Murray and Herrstein found that in Law school only 7 per cent of blacks had scores above the white mean. The figures for medical schools were similar to those of the Law schools, while the arts and sciences were slightly stronger. (The Bell Curve pp455-8).

The import of what Murray and Herrstein found is simple: many blacks with moderate  academic attainment  are in high status jobs.  Obama may well be one of them. How do they survive once they are in them?  They will be protected by political correctness.  Moreover, in an area such as constitutional law it is so much a matter of opinion  that  there is no one to say this is absolutely right or wrong. It is the sort of area  where you can bluff your way through., especially when you are black and  whites will be terrified of criticising you too strongly for fear of being called a racist.

Political correctness can also account for Obama’s work as an attorney. Despite his  frequent boasting about other aspects of his life he is curiously reticent about his legal career. So it is not clear how successful he was.  However, he does  make clear that his work as an attorney  was directed at  what  might be called black victimhood cases, suing  companies and public bodies for compensation  for  breaches  of black civil rights.  Those, of course, are just the sort of cases which will be favoured by  judges and juries because of the  politically correct circumstances of  latterday America..

Obama’s  performance during his inaugural ceremony  was  interesting. This supposed expert on the Constitution,  who presumably had rehearsed the inauguration  ceremony a number of times, was thrown by the Chief Justice  making an error when he moved a word from the beginning to the end of  a sentence. Was  that  just nerves on Obama’s part?  Or was it evidence that this a man  who cannot think on his feet, evidence of someone who needs  to work from a script in his head rather than extemporise?   The intelligent of course do the latter.  Think back to his inability to debate with his black opponent Keyes. Was that also a reflection of his lack of intellect?

Of course there is far more to intellect than IQ, for example, psychological  and sociological insight   are two qualities which  a politician  needs.  Obama shows precious little of that.  For example, he  re-took the oath in the White House without cameras being present and  did not take the oath on the Bible.   There is no Constitutional requirement to take the oath on the Bible, but for a man who was persistently the subject of claims that he  is a covert Muslim ,it was distinctly odd that he would feed the belief.  It was also very strange that the ceremony was not recorded and shown to the public.  Even odder was  the reason given  for the absence of  a Bible , namely, that one could not be found in the White House. At best it shows  a startling naivety about  how modern American politics works.

The way a man writes is also a good pointer to the quality of his intellect.  I get the distinct impression from his writings that at some point he has either taken a creative writing course or has read a book on the subject because his work is splattered with ponderous self-conscious “fine writing” wordplay . Here are a few examples:

‘Old faces and young faces all glow like jack-o-lanterns in the shifting lamplight…’  (DMF p389)

‘Perhaps I just find the ways of the heart too various, and my own life too imperfect, to believe myself qualified to serve as anyone’s moral arbiter. (AOH p336)

“I know that tucking in my daughters that night, I grasped a little bit of Heaven.” (AOH p226)

Whatever else he is, Obama is not a natural writer, but someone who gives the impression that  he is writing by numbers. Even at the technical level of grammar, punctuation and syntax he is poor with a penchant for dividing sentences unnecessarily  – “That’s what I’ll do, I’ll organise black folks. At the grass roots. For change.” (DMF p133) – and a  cavalier way with punctuation , which in the case of the comma is so uncertain as to be next to random.

A third  way of judging a man’s intellect  is to look at what he has actually achieved. Obama has been  immensely  successful in gaining  positions  but  once in them he has done  nothing  considerable. Let me quote again the passage  relating to his brash egotism in comparing himself to Lincoln: ’ No sooner had the essay appeared than Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, weighed in. Under the title “Conceit of Government,” she wrote: “This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time Magazine and explaining that he’s a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better.” She went on to say, “There is nothing wrong with Barack Obama’s resume, but it is a log-cabin-free zone. So far it is also a greatness-free zone. If he keeps talking about himself like this it always will be.” ’ (AOH p 123)

That  sums up Obama’s working career in general. His interminable description of his few years as a community organiser is a litany of failure. According to his own account, Obama is constantly engaged in initiatives  which fail. He organises meetings to which few people come;  his attempts to deal with local politicians and bureaucrats  bear no fruit; even his  relationships with  the brothers and sisters  are far from  smooth.

Obama’s second  career as an academic and  attorney  is also curiously  lacklustre. He  produces no  academic work  of note nor  acts in any  significant  legal cases.

When Obama gets his foot on the political ladder  in the Illinois legislature he is bored with the parochial politics and  does nothing of note.  His translation  to the Senate has  also resulted in  a national legislative career of  stunning banality.

There are two other points to note about Obama’s working life. First, prior to the presidency he has never held an executive position of political substance. Second,  he has not been in any of  his  jobs  for  very long – his longest stint being as a part time academic.   That is strongly reminiscent of  the behaviour of  his maternal  grandfather and his father, men who were not willing stickers  at anything.

11. The peculiarity of Obama’s election

To understand how  odd Obama’s election was all that needs to be done is to  imagine that a white man had expressed  equivalent views about  blacks .to the views Obama has expressed about whites. He would not have managed to get into the political mainstream let alone got elected to any public office.

What would be the white equivalent of Obama? It is a little difficult to give a precise comparison  because whites have been and still are the demographic and culturally dominant force in the USA. But  it is possible in broad terms to envisage a white Obama  doppelganger , an anti-Obama as it were. It would be a man who mistrusted blacks  to the point of paranoia and held that  whites had been disadvantaged  ever since  LBJ’s Great Society legislation was passed in the 1960s. He would seek not only the end of affirmative action for blacks  but affirmative action for whites to compensate them for the disadvantage they have experienced in the past 40 odd years.  He would believe that  blacks were generally  as  they are caricatured,  welfare dependent and feckless, with black men  procreating  incontinently before abandoning their children  and black women having children by multiple fathers before going onto welfare.  He would advocate the  reduction of welfare to blacks and an increase of welfare to whites. He would press for the end of  multiculturalism institutions such as Black History Month and the unashamed promotion of white history and  celebrities.  He would seek to reverse the present assumption that  only  whites can be racist  and  develop a new form of political correctness which  harried anyone who attempted  to be racist towards whites using the absurdly broad definition of racist developed by latterday liberals , that is, any  reference to racial difference which offends  the politically correct  approved group.

I suspect there is not a living soul who will have an imagination  powerful enough to translate the idea of such a being into the position of president. But what the imaginations of  what is still the large majority of Americans (whites) will be able to do is envisage what a man who is deeply suspicious  and resentful of whites will do if it is within his presidential power. They will see him at best ignoring their interests and at worst further disadvantaging them to both weaken their ethnic dominance and to promote the interest of ethnic minorities, most especially the interests of blacks.

Obama’s racial paranoia and deep-dyed sense of victimhood should be enough to have disqualified him from holding the post of President, but DMF and AOH also provide ample evidence of  general  character defects which make him a very dangerous choice of President.

To begin with the man is generally insecure. Obama is constantly self-consciously scrutinising his behaviour and evaluating it in the context of how others respond to him. A man who is constantly navel gazing is unlikely to be an effective executive. A corollary of this indeterminate state of mind is his constant wavering over where he stands on just about every important policy area.

Obama’s  insecurity is also seen in his  worrying adolescent trait of  boasting about  his abilities  and accomplishment, nowhere more embarrassingly than in his desire to be seen as widely attractive to women and his puffing of the physical attractions and moral qualities of his wife.

In the  emotionally  chaotic anarchic world of politics,   Obama has frequently been  very easily rattled by  both criticism and scrutiny, especially scrutiny of his day-to-day behaviour.  He has also shown frequently  bad judgement in his choice of candidates for senior government posts, with a string of them withdrawing as some blot on their copybook appears.

To Obama’s  general insecurity and lack of judgement of people can be added doubts about his intellectual capacity, in particular of his understanding of economics and finance.  I defy anyone to find a passage in either DMF or AOH which gives  evidence of  a mind which is either first rate or given to thinking for itself when it comes to matters of intellectual substance. . The books are filled with three  things: Obama’s novelistic re-constructions or imaginings (take your choice), his racial paranoia  and a thoroughly pedestrian retailing of  received opinion.

His grasp of economics seems  to be more or less non-existent, with his solutions to social problems being almost invariably to spend more taxpayers money without giving any serious thought to how the money might be found and no thought at all to outcome of providing public money for similar projects in the past.

An emotionally insecure president who doesn’t really understand political realities, especially economic ones,  represents a tremendous danger to both America and the rest of the world in our present perilous circumstances. The fact that his approval ratings have already dropped to below those of George W Bush at the same stage of his  presidency suggests that the penny has begun to drop with many of those who voted for him. The problem is America and the rest of the world is saddled with him for another 46 months. His election is best seen as an example of mass hysteria.

Liberals in a multicultural denialfest

Robert Henderson

Nine Muslim men living in Rochdale Lancashire – eight from Pakistan and one from Afghanistan – have been convicted of  various offences arising from what  is coyly  described as “street grooming” , but whose honest description would be at best the forced prostitution of girls under the age of consent  and at worst  repeated gang-rape often accomplished when the girls were too drunk to know what was happening. . (The girls were all under the age of  16 -the British age of consent for intercourse – and abuse began when some were as young as 13).

Strikingly,  every one of the  47 girls identified as being the subject of abuse by the gang were white. Cue for liberals to dash into a  frenzy of terrified make-believe as they desperately tried  to convince themselves and the public that vicious and sustained abuse of  exclusively white girls by Asian men  had no racial motivation.   Thankfully there have been some  honourable exceptions in the mainstream media to this wilful self-delusion,  for example, Allison Pearson of the Telegraph  pointed out the absurdity and  dishonesty of  the denial of racism in pithy fashion:

“Nine white men are found guilty of grooming young Asian girls, aged between 13 and 15, whom they picked up on the streets of London. The girls were lured with free fish and chips before being raped or pimped as prostitutes. One Asian girl from a children’s home was used for sex by 20 white men in one night. Police insist the crimes were not “racially motivated”.

Imagine if that story were true. Would you really believe that race was not a factor in those hateful crimes? Do you think that, despite conclusive DNA evidence from a girl raped by two men, the police would have hesitated to press charges because the suspects were white and it could make things a bit sensitive in the white community? Would the Crown Prosecution Service have refused to prosecute, allowing the child-sex ring to flourish for three more anguished years?’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/allison-pearson/9254651/Asian-sex-gang-young-girls-betrayed-by-our-fear-of-racism.html)

The tactics of liberal denial

Any normal human being would have no problem in seeing  the very obvious racial element  in the case,   but white liberals have found no difficulty in calling black white.  Some, such as the ineffable Asian MP Keith Vaz , opted for simple denial: “ Right at the start of this trial the BNP were outside demonstrating saying that this was a race issue. I do not believe it is a race issue.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9253978/Keith-Vaz-says-child-sex-ring-case-not-race-issue.html).

A real gem came from the lips of the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester whose force investigated the case:

‘…following the trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Greater Manchester Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, said: “It just happens that in this particular area and time, the demographics were that these were Asian men.

“However, in large parts of the country we are seeing on-street grooming, child sexual exploitation happening in each of our towns and it isn’t about a race issue.”’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9263050/Claiming-Rochdale-grooming-not-about-race-is-fatuous-Trevor-Phillips.html).

A more exquisite example of the religiously pc state senior police officers in Britain have reached would be difficult to find.  I urge  anyone who believes that  there is nationwide “street grooming”  proportionately undertaken by whites to try to find evidence for this. I should be very surprised if they can come up with such evidence. If it did occur one may be sure that it would be given massive prominence by the media and produce hordes of examples when the subject is Googled.   When I tried Googling the subject I drew a blank.

The more sophisticated  amongst the liberal deniers have turned to the well tried and tested liberal left ploys of claiming  that the perpetrators  were not true Muslims and  putting up a smokescreen through the creation of a false equivalence between white and non-white sex offenders.  Here is Aljazeera playing the “not true Muslims” card:

These men convicted in Rochdale may have been nominally Muslim, but they were clearly not practising the true essence of their faith. Many so-called “Muslim criminals” (as identified by the media) are in fact people who might drink, take drugs or engage in other practices considered haram ["forbidden"]. Individuals who commit abuse are abusers, full stop.” (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/201251371618264468.html).

Compare the Rochdale offences with the sex offences committed by Roman Catholic priests. Would anyone want to argue the priests  were only nominally Catholic? I rather doubt it.  It is also true that  Islam, as with any ideology,  sacred or profane, has no “true” version, merely different versions. .

Not to be outdone the Guardian sternly advised that “The defendants in question are at most nominally Muslim. Practising Muslims certainly aren’t supposed to have sex with children.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/08/asian-sex-gangs-on-street-grooming?newsfeed=true)

The Guardian managed to be both dishonest in its refusal to address the fact that not only the Rochdale case,  but the large majority of this type of group abuse in Britain is conducted by Muslims, and  profoundly wrong when it claims “Practising Muslims certainly aren’t supposed to have sex with children.” Girls of the age used by the Rochdale groups and younger are taken as wives – not merely betrothed – in the Muslim world  and Mohammed himself  took wives of a very young age,  the latter being especially important because Mohammed is the model of the Muslim man.

The false equivalence ploy consists of comparing apples with oranges  and ignoring the widely differing numbers of whites – and Asians – especially in this context  Muslims Asians – in Britain.   Here is an example:

“Martin Narey, former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, said there was “troubling evidence” that Asians were “overwhelmingly represented” in prosecutions for street grooming and trafficking of girls in towns such as Derby, Leeds, Blackpool, Blackburn, Oldham and Rochdale.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That is not to condemn a whole community, most Asians would absolutely abhor what we have seen in the last few days in the Rochdale trial, and I don’t think this is about white girls.

“It’s sadly because vulnerable girls on the street at night are generally white rather than more strictly-parented Asian girls, but there is a real problem here.”

Mr Narey, who is [also]  a former head of the prison service, added however that sex offenders were “overwhelmingly white” and that there was evidence that those guilty of online grooming were “disproportionately white”. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9253978/Keith-Vaz-says-child-sex-ring-case-not-race-issue.html).

Narey  begins by comparing  the apples of  the girls repeatedly gang-raped  by the Rochdale group  with the oranges of  sex offenders in  general, an utterly meaningless comparison because sex offences  in Britain can be anything from someone downloading anything deemed to be sexual images of a 17 year old girl  to the rape and murder of a toddler. He goes on to state  ‘that there was evidence that those guilty of online grooming were “disproportionately white”’.    This is a claim made by quite a few  people commenting on the case in the media, for example, by Jane Martinson in the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/09/rochdale-grooming-trial-race). She  cites her source as the  CPS’ Violence against Women and Girls 2010/11 report (http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/CPS_VAW_report_2011.pdf). What the report actually says is this:

“Ethnicity

In 2010-11, 75% of VAWG  [Violence against Women and Girls] crime defendants  were identified as belonging to the  White British category and 79% were categorised as White (as in the previous year). 6% of defendants were identified as Asian, and a further 6% were identified as Black, similar figures to the previous year . Over half of victim ethnicity was not recorded, so is not reported on within this report. “

As  the population of the UK is around 90% white,   the representation of whites is certainly disproportionate,  disproportionately small that is.   It is also interesting to note that the ethnicity of the victims was not routinely recorded and  consequently no figures  are given in the report  for this aspect of the crimes. Could it be that the percentage of white victims is disproportionately large because blacks and Asians  concentrate on white women and girls and statistics are not kept because of this?

Apart from the misrepresentation of the statistics,   there is the ignoring of  the degree of  the offence.  It is one thing to be sexually abused by a single person , quite another to be gang-raped regularly.   The Rochdale abusers were engaged in the most serious category of sex offences.  Try as I might, I cannot find a case of white men acting in a conspiracy to persistently abuse under-age girls in that fashion.  Nor, perhaps most tellingly, can I find any example of white men gang-raping non-white under-age girls or of individual white men abusing non-white under-age girls.   I can also vouch for the fact that, at least as it is reported in the mainstream media,  sexual abuse of non-whites by whites in Britain  is extremely rare.  For nearly two years I wrote a column entitled The joy of diversity for the  magazine  Right Now! now sadly defunct.  The column dealt with the ever growing ethnic minority criminal mayhem being wreaked on Britain.  To do this I kept a cuttings file  which included  all the serious sexual crimes committed by blacks and Asians.  I also kept a  cuttings file of all the similar  crimes committed by whites.  There was a steady stream of sexual offences by blacks (particularly) and Asians , many of them committed against whites. I  only  once came across a  case involving a white attacker  and a non-white victim.

In the days  following  the claims that there was no racial element to the crimes was increasingly challenged, although  what people thought constituted the racial element was almost invariably a cultural explanation rather than a true racial one.  Trevor Phillips, the black chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission,  eventually joined this new bandwagon  after remaining silent for a week:

“Anybody who says that the fact that most of the men are Asian and most of the children are white is not relevant – that’s just fatuous.

‘“These are closed communities essentially and I worry that in these communities there are people who knew what was going on and didn’t say anything, either because they’re frightened or because they’re so separated from the rest of the communities they think ‘Oh, that’s just how white people let their children carry on, we don’t need to do anything’.”

He said it was important also that the role played by the authorities in the area was properly investigated.

“If anybody in any of the agencies that are supposed to be caring for these children – schools, social services and so on – took the view that being aggressively interventionalist to save these children would lead to the demonisation of some group because of the ethnicity … then it is a national scandal and something that would need to be dealt with urgently,” he said. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9263050/Claiming-Rochdale-grooming-not-about-race-is-fatuous-Trevor-Phillips.html).

Phillips’ intervention is especially interesting because he has a habit of playing what might be described as the liberal’s controlling non-pc card when the absurdities of political correctness become dangerously glaring.  He never becomes honestly non-pc,  just non-pc enough to distract from whatever pc fantasy  is threatening to become a focus for serious dissent amongst native Britons.  Had Phillips been unambiguously honest in this case he would not have waffled on about “closed communities”  or  attributed their general silence on the subject to a contemptuous “Oh, that’s just how white people let their children carry on”.  Instead he would have asked why  the “communities” were closed or questioned exactly how those in these “communities” could have honestly  believed that the sexual exploitation of under-age girls, some as young as 13, was acceptable. He would have asked why all the girls were white rather than being drawn from vulnerable girls of all races.  If Phillips had been really daring he would have raised the  most difficult question of all, namely, in what sense are ethnic minority groups meaningfully  British if they see themselves as so culturally separate from the British mainstream that they will happily accept the abuse of young girls drawn from the native white population?

The crimes were objectively racist

The objective facts of the case say the  Rochdale  crimes were racially motivated.  It was white girls who were exclusively chosen.  If the choice  of  girls  had not  been  decided by race, ethnicity or religion, a mixture of races and ethnicities  amongst the victims would be expected.  The culprits could have chosen Asian girls, including Muslims from their own ethnic group .  If they  had decided they would not use Muslims – although making  that choice would have fallen within the definition of racism that is presently used – but everyone else was fair game,  they could have gone after non-Muslim  Asians from the Subcontinent  such as Sikhs and Hindus, Asians of far Eastern ancestry and  black  as well as white girls.

The claim commonly made by  Asians  that Muslim girls or Asian girls generally  are strictly controlled by their families  whereas white girls  are not and, consequently, white girls are targeted for abuse  simply because they are available and Asian girls are not on offer  will not stand up to scrutiny. Most, possibly all, of the white girls abused in the Rochdale case were in local authority care or from seriously troubled homes .  These were girls who had effectively been left without any adult  guidance or supervision. There are substantial numbers  of black and Asian  girls in the same position.  Moreover, because  ethnic minorities  in Britain are overwhelmingly  concentrated in the large urban areas  rather than distributed  throughout the country as is the case with whites,  the likelihood of vulnerable black or Asian girls being available in or close to the areas where Asian abusers live is high. This is the case with the Rochdale  abusers, Rochdale being part of Greater Manchester which has a large and variegated non-white population.

There is also the contemptuous  attitude Muslim men often have  towards white women to bring into the equation. Here is Allison Pearson again:

“I spoke to Mr Danczuk [the local MP]  yesterday, and he strenuously disputes claims that this is a one-off case, or even a recent phenomenon. The grooming of white girls by a small sub-section of the Pakistani community was being discussed in Blackburn council 15 years ago. Recently, the MP was outraged when male relatives of the accused in a similar child-sex case came to his constituency surgery to ask for support. “They spoke about white women in an exceptionally derogatory way. I nearly threw them out.”

Danczuk’s reported comments also demonstrate  the most shameful  aspect of this affair: the persistent refusal of the authorities – everyone from the local politicians and  the council care workers to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)  – to  honestly address the complaints of sexual abuse because of a fear of being thought racist and most probably a fear , at least at the political level,  of having such an incendiary topic – immigrants targeting white British girls  for forced sex – brought before a  public who are already deeply concerned with the effects of mass post-war immigration. Tellingly, the CPS prosecutor who  overturned the original CPS decision not to prosecute was a Muslim, Nazir Afzal, whose race and ethnicity protected him from charges of racism.

Complaints have been heard from non-Muslim Asians  whose origins lie in the Indian subcontinent – primarily Sikhs and Hindus –  that  the routine media description of the Rochdale gang as Asian  is misleading because it  tars all Asians with the same brush when it is only Muslims who  were involved and are  rumoured to be involved in other similar instances of abuse. They may have a point. Despite assiduous use of search engines I cannot find any instances of Sikh or Hindu gang grooming of  girls. Interestingly, in my searches  I  came across Hindu and Sikh complaints from 2011 that Sikh and Hindu girls are being targeted by Muslims:

“January 11, 2011

Poush Shukla Saptami, Kaliyug Varsha 5112

Amritsar (Punjab): A day after UKs’ former home secretary Jack Straw blamed some Pakistani Muslim men for targeting “vulnerable” White girls sexually, UK’s Hindu and Sikh organizations also publicly accused Muslim groups of the same offence.

Straw, in an interview to the BBC recently, had said, “…there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men…who target vulnerable young white girls…they see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care … who they think are easy meat.”

Feeling emboldened by Straw’s statement, UK’s Hindu and Sikh organizations have also come in open and accused some Pakistani men of specifically targeting Hindu and Sikh girls. “This has been a serious concern for the last decade,” said Hardeep Singh of Network of Sikh Organizations (NSO) while talking to TOI on Monday.

Sikhs and Hindus are annoyed that Straw had shown concern for White girls and not the Hindu and the Sikh teenage girls who have been coaxed by some Pakistani men for sex and religious conversion.

“Straw does other communities a disservice by suggesting that only white girls were targets of this predatory behaviour. We raised the issue of our girls with the previous government and the police on several occasions over the last decade. This phenomenon has been there because a minority of Islamic extremists view all ‘non believers’ as legitimate targets,” said director NSO Inderjit Singh.

Targeted sexual offences and forced conversions of Hindu and Sikh girls was not a new phenomenon in the UK, said Ashish Joshio from Media Monitoring group. 

“This has been going on for decades in the UK . Young Muslim men have been boasting about seducing the Kaffir (unbeliever) women. The Hindu and the Sikh communities must be commended for showing both restraint and maturity under such provocation,” he added.

Hardeep said that in 2007, The Hindu Forum of Britain claimed that hundreds of Hindu and Sikh girls had been first romantically coaxed and later intimidated and converted by Muslim men. (http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/11088.html).

This strikes me as  differing in type from the abuse of white girls described in the Rochdale trial, because the Sikh and Hindu girls seem to have been recruited for conversion  with sex used a  tool to achieve this rather than simply being used as  sexual vessels.  Nonetheless, if the report is true –I say if because of the considerable animosity between Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus and the general appetite amongst ethnic minorities for parading their victimhood means  it is best to be cautious about the veracity of the claims – the reported behaviour does display the same contemptuous mentality towards women shown in the abuse of  the white victims in the Rochdale case.

The attitude  of  one of the Rochdale defendants, a 59-year-old man who was not named for legal reasons during the court hearing (most probably because naming him would have identified a minor involved in the case)   gives  a flavour of the mentality which both drove them to commit the crimes and to excuse themselves:

“The man seen as the ringleader, a 59-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for a total of 19 years for conspiracy, two counts of rape, aiding and abetting a rape, sexual assault and a count of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

The defendant was previously banned from court because of his threatening behaviour and for calling the judge a “racist bastard”.

Simon Nichol, defending, earlier said his client did not wish to attend the sentencing hearing and had ordered the barrister not to put any mitigation before the judge on his behalf.

“He has objected from the start for being tried by an all white jury and subsequent events have confirmed his fears,” Mr Nichol said.

“He does not take back any of the comments he has made to your honour, to the jury, or to anyone else in the court during the course of the trial.

“He believes his convictions have nothing to do with justice but result from the faith and the race of the defendants.

“He further believes that society failed the girls in this case before the girls even met them and now that failure is being blamed on a weak minority group.” (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/crime/arrogant-to-the-end-as-rochdale-child-sex-ring-leader-snubs-sentencing-of-racist-court-7727757.html).

So there you have it, in his mind it was not him but society which is  to blame – and by implication white society and nothing to do with his part of the UK population –  and the only reason he was being tried and convicted was racism on the part of ol’ whitey.

The nature of Islam

The predominance of sub continental Muslims in this type of crime raises a question, what is it that makes them and not non-Muslims  from the same region  commit this type of crime?   (It could be that this type of crime is committed by, for example,  Sikhs and Hindus, but there does not appear to be any evidence for it). If that is the true situation it could be that Islam itself encourages the mentality  displayed by the Rochdale offenders  to develop.

The Koran makes no bones about the subordinate position of women by

1.  Sanctioning polygamy – up to four wives  for any Muslim man, although  Mohammed was given a special dispensation to have an unlimited number  and had a reported nine wives plus slave-girls :

“Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom Allah has given you as booty; the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and of your paternal and maternal aunts who fled with you; and the other women who gave themselves to you and whom you wished to take in marriage. This privilege is yours alone, being granted to no other believer. (Sura (chapter):  The Confederate Tribes).

2.  Explicitly saying women are subordinate to men:

“’Men  have authority over women because  Allah  has  made  the  one superior to the other,  and  because   they  spend  their wealth to  maintain  them. “(Sura   ‘Women’). 

3. Sanctioning the corporal punishment of wives by husbands:

“Good  women are obedient.  They guard their unseen  parts  because Allah guarded them.  As for those from whom  you fear disobedience,  admonish them and send them  to  beds  apart and beat them.”  (Sura   ‘Women’). 

4. Allotting a lesser portion of any inheritance to women than is allotted to their male relatives:

“A male shall inherit twice as much as a female…”  (Sura   ‘Women’). 

5. Enforcing  Islam onto non-Muslim women if they wish to marry a Muslim:

“’You shall not wed pagan women, unless they embrace    the faith. A believing slave-girl is better than an  idolatress…’ (Sura ‘The Cow’).

6.  The idea of slave-girls as sexual toys  given by Allah as rewards to the faithful as in the passage cited in 1 above:  “the slave girls whom Allah has given you as booty…”

The general attitude  towards women in the Koran is epitomised by the scorn poured on Arab  pagans who worshipped female deities  and Angels who were the daughters of Allah : “Would Allah choose daughters for himself and sons for you?”  (Sura Ornaments of Gold).

It might be objected that quotes are translations and the original meaning or nuances may be lost or distorted.  Well, the quotes are all taken from the Penguin English translation by N J Dawood, a native Arabic speaker.  In addition, while it is true that any translation presents difficulties,  it is a fact that most Muslims cannot read Arabic and consequently have to rely on translations or word of mouth from Imams  and are  consequently equally subject to translational deficiencies or debates as any non-Muslim reading a translation.  Indeed, many will take their knowledge of the Koran from translations such as that of Dawood.   I have also  looked at another couple of translations and they do not differ greatly on the most contentious passages and clearly  give sanction to behaviour to the idea that women are subordinate to men by Allah’s word and women may be used as men want within the limits decreed in the Koran.

It is easy to see how  any Muslim, even a white western convert, would have difficulty in subscribing to the idea of sexual equality if they were sincere in their faith.  There is not for the Muslim the luxury of re-interpreting the Koran  at will as modern Christians do with the Bible,  because it is the literal word of God  transmitted to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel.  There are disputes within Islam about how the Koran and supporting texts such as the Hadith should  be interpreted,  but this is generally interpretation  of what  a particular passage or practice means in literal terms  – a good example would be the punishment for adultery which is given at different points  in the Koran  as stoning to death and flogging: the interpreter of the Koran has to decide which is the correct punishment not whether there should be a physical or indeed any punishment for adultery.  Consequently, unlike  mainstream Christianity in Britain, there can be no convenient shrugging off of passages in the Koran  incompatible with modern Western society because they are deemed to be either  unimportant expressions of the social state of former times rather than the core beliefs of the religion  or, more fancifully,  by claiming that they  were not meant as  literal instructions to the faithful.  It is also a  fact that the Koran gives much less scope for plausible “fudging”  of  inconvenient passages (for liberals)  than the Bible,   because it is  both much shorter with fewer contradictions and is, for  Muslims, a  transmission from God  through a single man rather than being a collection of writings -drawn  from many sources, times , places  and people  – working out a religious destiny, as is the case with the Bible.

Any Muslim man would be faced with a dilemma if he wished to adhere strictly to the Koran whilst living in a Western society  because the Koran instructs him to behave in ways which run strictly counter to the values of Western society, including the position of  women.  It is true that  there is  Islamic tradition which require Muslims in countries which are not Islamic to abide by the laws of the society in which  they live, but there is no central Islamic authority which gives such traditions the force of universal  application such as exists with the Catholic church.  Alternative interpretations are handed down by different Islamic authorities.  A Muslim could quite  reasonably  choose an interpretation which suited strict Islamic observance in a non-Islamic country , arguing that it was what the Koran  required and to do any other would be the act of a poorly observant  Muslim.

That would the case of a sincere devout Muslim. But the fact that the Koran gives specific authority to behave in ways, including the  physical chastisement of women ,  which are incompatible with a secular society  such as modern Britain  means it  also gives a green light to less honest  or sincere Muslim men to do what they will with women  simply because it suits their purposes and carnal desires.

It might be objected that men who are not Muslims in many societies have similar ideas on the condition of women.   Most dramatically, the existence of “honour killings”  of women who do not conform to  patriarchal customs  is widespread amongst Sikhs and Hindus and the casual treatment of women by black men is legendary.  But what these non-Muslim men do not have is a religious sanction for such behaviour.  There is a good deal of difference between custom, powerful as that can be, and explicit permission from God, which is the most potent of emotional intoxicants and sanctions.   There is also a qualitative difference between “honour killings” where a female member of the family  goes against  the cultural norms of the ethnic group by , for example,  forming a relationship with someone who is not a member of the group or refusing to accept an arranged marriage,  and taking young girls who are outside the group for sexual abuse.  In the case of the “honour killing”, the act is directed against someone within the group and is intended to preserve the cultural norms of the group. The taking of girls from outside the group is simply the satisfying of sexual desire.

The  age of the girls abused may also have something to do with Islam.  As mentioned previously, girls of the age of those abused by the Rochdale defendants are frequently married in the Muslim world.  In addition, the Koran’s sanctioning of slavegirls  as sexual toys  given by Allah “as booty” to deserving Muslim men may also come into play. It would not be that massive an emotional  stretch for a Muslim man to see white girls as a modern version of slavegirl booty.

There is something else in Islam which may have contributed to the crimes.  The Koran is extremely aggressive towards non-Muslims and makes no bones about the fact that Muslims are the chosen people of Allah. Here are a few example quotes:

‘As  for the unbelievers,  the fire of Hell  awaits  them.  Death shall not deliver them,  nor shall its               torment be ever lightened for them.  Thus shall the  thankless  be  rewarded.’  (Sura ‘The  Creator’).

‘Prophet,  make  war  on the  unbelievers  and  the  hypocrites and deal vigorously with them.  Hell  is their home.  (Sura ‘Repentance’).

‘When the sacred months are over slay the idolators  wherever you find them. Arrest them,  besiege them, and  lie in ambush  everywhere for them.’  (Sura ‘’Repentance’).

 ‘Because of their iniquity, we forbade the Jews the  good  things  which  were  formerly  allowed  them;  because  time after time they debarred others  from  the  path of Allah;  because they practice usury  –  although they were forbidden it – and cheat  others  of their possessions.’ (Sura ‘Women’).

The final quote is especially telling because the Jews are one of the peoples of the book who are supposedly given special protection under Islam.

As with the subordination of women, the fact that the Koran – which is the literal word of God for Muslims –  explicitly and repeatedly  states that Islam  and its adherents are above the rest of humanity will feed the idea that Muslims in non-Islamic countries should both remain separate from the majority population and have the right to use members of the population who are not Muslim in a manner which they would not countenance for their fellow Muslims.

How ideologies fail   

The reason why this type of racist abuse  has been allowed to grow is the ever more paralysing effect   political correctness  and its component  multiculturalism has on British society.  Whites, especially white Britons,  have become at best deeply afraid and paranoid about doing something which could get them held up as a racist and at worst have succumbed to the incessant politically correct propaganda so that they believe ethnic minorities are in some curious way granted dispensation from the dictates of both traditional Western morality  and, ironically,   the supposedly essential  maxims of political correctness.  The most grotesque example of the mentality I can think of is the case of a young white girl Rhea Page who was attacked by four Somali  girls whilst walking with her boyfriend. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070562/Muslim-girl-gang-kicked-Rhea-Page-head-yelling-kill-white-slag-FREED.html#ixzz1flw8TY6p).   The attack was vicious and sustained – it can be viewed at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgIN4kBsNRg –  and the Somalis were  screaming “white bitch” and “white slag yet the judge ruled there was no racist motive and  also refused to jail the Somalis on the grounds that they had taken alcohol which was not part of their culture.

What will happen now? There will be  further action by the police and the CPS on the type of offences exposed in Rochdale – further arrests have already been made (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9261748/Arrests-made-in-second-Rochdale-sex-grooming-scandal.html), but  the question is not whether one or two more trials will be held as tokens  but whether the grip of political correctness  can be loosened.  It is just possible that this is happening already without any conscious decision being made to do so by those with power.

Secular ideologies never  stand the  test  of time if they become the elite ideology.  Marxism is the classic example,  both because of the scope of its ostensible implementation and the length of time it existed, or  arguably still exists in the case of China and North Korea. Such ideologies  fail because they never accord with reality. They may have some truths but  all seriously clash with what is.  This means that those dependent on the ideology have to revise either the reality to accord better with reality or tell lies to cover the gap between the ideology and reality.

Ideologies are also revised to fit the ambitions of individuals and the circumstances of particular societies.  These often further remove the ideology from reality. The first great Marxist revision was the denial by Lenin  that  the proletarian revolution could only take place when a large  degree of industrialisation had created an industrial proletariat. The second great revision was Stalin’s acceptance that “socialism in one country”  had to replace the  internationalist  credo of Marx  for at least a period of time.   To those breaches in Marx’s  system was added the ever growing corruption of the Soviet elite and the demoralisation of the people.  The upshot was that Soviet propaganda became ever more absurd as the reality of Soviet life jarred ever more with fictitious official reports of soaring harvests and industrial production.  This growing discord between what Soviet citizens experienced and what they were told was happening was an important  agent  in the fall of the Soviet Union.

Political correctness is divorced from reality more emphatically than any other dominant secular ideology of the past century.   Marxism, even in its revised Leninist and Stalinist  forms,  at least appealed to a widespread  human desire for equality of material condition and social status, or at least a desire for no great inequality.   Even  at its most pure political correctness asks human beings to deny vitally  important natural human behaviours  by pretending that no distinction can be meaningfully or morally be  made between races, ethnicities, cultures,  religions, sexes or sexual  behaviours.  It seeks to treat all members of homo sapiens as interchangeable, sees  the continuing idea of nations as pernicious and insists that no element of the universal and natural human trait of tribalism be countenanced.

The pure version of political correctness would be very damaging and seriously divorced  from reality. But the version of political correctness that actually exists is not pure and is a political recipe for widespread political unrest. It applies double standards when dealing with different racial and ethnic groups and has been reduced to no more than a means of privileging some groups over others. As those who are privileged are invariably the minorities and those disadvantaged  invariably the majority native populations,  the lies needed to produce  an official narrative in  accord with political correctness become ever more implausible  – the Rhea Page case and the attitude towards the Rochdale  defendants  are stark  examples – and the anger within the majority native populations grows.  There is a growing possibility that at least the multicultural part of political correctness may come tumbling down under the weight of its own fantastic absurdity.

Leveson Inquiry – Lord Leveson prepares the way for the cancellation of part 2

Robert Henderson

Leveson hints at an early end to the Inquiry

On 2  May the London paper the Evening Standard let a rather large cat out of the bag. It reported that Lord Leveson,  in a ruling made very quietly on 1 May,  had  hinted strongly that he wanted to cut short his eponymous Inquiry.  (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/uk/leveson-phone-hacking-inquiry-could-be-cut-short-7706894.html).  The  relevant passage on the Leveson Inquiry website is this:

Para 65  “The public concern which led to the setting up of this Inquiry is beyond argument or debate. I do not know whether there will be prosecutions but, having regard to the number of arrests and the quantity of material seized (including the 300 m. e-mails which it is said have had to be analysed), if there are, it is likely that the process of pre-trial disclosure and trial will be lengthy so that Part 2 of this Inquiry will be delayed for very many months if not longer. In those circumstances, it seems to me that it is in everyone’s interests that Part 1 goes as far as it possibly can. If the transparent way in which the Inquiry has been conducted, the Report and the response by government and the press (along with a new acceptable regulatory regime) addresses the public concern, at the conclusion of any trial or trials, consideration can be given by everyone to the value to be gained from a further inquiry into Part 2. That inquiry will involve yet more enormous cost (both to the public purse and the participants); it will trawl over material then more years out of date and is likely to take longer than the present Inquiry which has not over focussed on individual conduct. Obviously, the more restrictive in its analysis that Part 1 has been, the greater will be the legitimate public demand for Part 2. I repeat that this possibility has not affected my approach to what I perceive to be appropriate in law and, when necessary, in the exercise of my discretion but it is undeniably a sensible strategic consideration for those who have participated in this Inquiry.” (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Application-of-Rule-13-of-the-Inquiry-Rules-2006.pdf)

Leveson’s sudden found concern for the public purse is more than a little strange because it has been apparent from early in the Inquiry that it was going to be a lengthy and expensive process .  Nor is there any plausible  ground  for his concern about cost. To justify his new found desire to be a guardian of the public purse Leveson cited the Inquiries Act 2005, viz:

s. 17(3) :

Para 8 “In making any decision as to the procedure or conduct of an inquiry, the chairman must act with fairness and with regard to the need to avoid any unnecessary cost (whether to public funds or to witnesses or others).” (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Application-of-Rule-13-of-the-Inquiry-Rules-2006.pdf)

The cost of carrying the Inquiry through may be considerable (although it would be minute in the context of overall public spending),  but it would be fanciful  to describe the uncovering of serious criminal offences involving corruption or other misconduct such as a wilful failure to investigate complaints of crimes as an “unnecessary cost”.  So why has Leveson flown this kite? It looks as though he has either  been told by his political masters to cut  the Inquiry  short because he is losing control of the official narrative, namely, the scandal is about News Corp and there is  nothing else of consequence, or  has decided to do so without being told because he understands he cannot control the Inquiry in the way he knows the Government would wish.

What would be lost if the Inquiry is shortened? 

If  Part 2 is  either dropped or seriously curtailed it would not only prevent further public questioning under oath of those suspected of having information about the various criminal behaviours,  but would also mean that evidence already submitted about such criminality would never see the light of official day, viz:

‘Lord Justice Leveson’s finding has disappointed Ian Hurst, a former British Army intelligence officer, whose computer was allegedly hacked by the News of the World. In March, Lord Justice Leveson rejected evidence provided by the former spy which claimed to have uncovered “intelligence of police corruption, including that at the very highest level”.

He told Mr Hurst the subject matter would be suited to Part Two as it would entail “lengthy and time-consuming analysis of the very considerable detail”.

However, the evidence will never be publicly-disclosed if, as expected, the inquiry wraps up early in July.”’ (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/uk/leveson-phone-hacking-inquiry-could-be-cut-short-7706894.html).

What has prompted Leveson to act now?

Why has  Leveson acted in this manner now? The most likely explanation is that Inquiry has been creeping ever closer to seriously damaging evidence which could lead to senior politicians,  leading Tory politicians up to and including  Cameron himself.   In addition,  just by its terms of reference  Part 2 of the Inquiry has the potential to be much more damaging than Part 1. Here is its remit:

“3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.

4. To inquire into the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation, and the conduct of the prosecuting authorities.

5. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen.

6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International

7. In the light of these inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.”  (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/about/terms-of-reference/).

Apart from the potential danger to politicians and  police officers contained in the remit,  the concentration on News  International stands out.   They might be the obvious target in the case of phone hacking because of the evidence which came out before the Inquiry began, but there is no reason to believe they would be any more likely than any other press publisher engaged in similar journalism to have bribed police, politicians or public servants  or corrupted them in other ways. It is clear that the narrative  the Inquiry is meant to portray the  News International and Murdochs are the font of all serious press evil  with no other press group being put in a position of serious difficulty.  

Politicians and Judges

A senior judge is above political direction or collusion you say?  Sadly no. To begin with there is no proper separation of powers in Britain between the executive and the judiciary. British politicians have their hands on the justice system in a very intimate way. Three members of the government act as law officers – the Secretary of State for Justice now (combined with the office of  Lord Chancellor) who sits in the cabinet;  the Attorney-General (who on occasion attends cabinet meetings) and  the Solicitor-General have considerable influence on the operation of the  justice system in England and Wales, including  in the case of the Lord Chancellor,  the oversight of judges’  behaviour and roles in the appointment of judges and the dismissal of all but the most senior judges, despite   these powers being reduced substantially by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-03792.pdf).

To these very direct hands on the justice tiller is added the fact that Parliament – both Lords and Commons – is heavily littered with lawyers, most  of them barristers with a good sprinkling of  QCs.    This is important because the  legal world from which judges are drawn is a very small one. The vast majority of judges were barristers before their elevation  (the most senior judges are all barristers) and they are in practice drawn from a pool of just a few thousand .  There are around  15,000 barristers working in the UK, but  only a thousand or two at any one time would possess  the experience  to have even a theoretical chance of being appointed  to the bench at any level (http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/Articles/197) .  The  upshot  is that judges, and especially senior judges, will almost certainly know  socially many of the barristers in Parliament and will quite probably have  had a social relationship with one or more of the Government’s law officers.   The re is a fair chance they will have  also  have socialised  with politicians who are not lawyers.  Moreover, a senior judge  will almost certainly  have  a sense of unconscious class solidarity with Government ministers because judges and politicians often  share a broadly similar social background.  This social familiarity provides any government  with ample  opportunity to  appoint someone who is judged to be  well enough  known to members of the Government  for them to be sure in their own minds that  someone appointed to an official Inquiry will  not do anything to rock the establishment boat .

There is also the normal human response to the powerful in play.  Powerful men do not have to spell out what they want done. Often  circumstances can be relied on to suggest what behaviour is required of those subordinate to him. Where the circumstantial prod is deemed insufficient by the powerful, they will let their views be known either by stating them publicly or through intermediaries.

All these forces acting on a  judge appointed to a public inquiry will almost invariably ensure that whatever evidence comes out the conclusions drawn by the Inquiry it will be favourable to the Government’s position –  provided the government which commissioned it is still in power  when the Inquiry  report  is published. The Hutton Inquiry into Dr David Kelly’s death  is a prime example of how an Inquiry can come to conclusions which are utterly at odds with the available evidence.   The Inquiry  unearthed much which  suggested an unnatural death,  but produced a report which concluded exactly what the Blair Government wanted it to conclude, namely, that Kelly had committed suicide.

Why has Leveson failed to do what Cameron expected him to do?

If Leveson was committed to controlling the Inquiry to protect politicians (and possibly senior police officers) why has he failed to be successful to the extent that the Inquiry itself is in danger of  being closed down early?  The answer is simple: the Inquiry became impossible to control because  Cameron  and  those  politically close to him were too closely wound into the News International story.  Because of that the remit of Part 2  of the Inquiry holds  considerable dangers for senior Tory politicians. Suppose, for example, Ian Hurst’s evidence showed senior police officers engaged in not only run-of-the-mill corruption but also political interference in police investigations of  News International.

Leveson and his lawyers have certainly done their level best  to ensure that they have created no  really serious trouble for national politicians,  press owners  and their senior employees, not even for News International and the Murdochs.    The questioning has been  so feeble  and generally incompetent that it is difficult to believe that it has not been so on purpose – see (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/leveson-inquiry-the-killer-question-robert-jay-qc-is-not-asking/). There has been sleaze unearthed and embarrassment  generated for politicians and journalists,  but to date nothing which might lead to criminal charges has emerged during the Inquiry. (Mediafolk have been arrested during the Inquiry’s existence  but not as a consequence  evidence unearthed by the Inquiry).  To this general ineptitude can be added the  blatant concentration on News International and the Murdochs to the virtual exclusion of the rest of the British national press.

To what is publicly obvious I can add my own experience of  just how determined Leveson is to not go  beyond News International  when it comes to revealing serious press abuse.   I supplied  the Inquiry with  evidence of  serious misbehaviour by  politicians, the press and the Metropolitan Police. (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/). All of  this  falls objectively within the remit of the Inquiry.

The misbehaviour included at hate campaign against me by the media generally in 1995;  a severe libelling of me  by the Mirror in 1997 in a story linking me with the Blairs to which I was given no chance to answer (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/);    plentiful evidence of the wilful refusal of the PCC to investigate cast-iron and most serious complaints and collusion between the press and politicians to suppress stories (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/leveson-inquiry-politicians-and-the-press/).

Amongst the evidence  I sent to the  Inquiry was a letter sent  by Piers Morgan to the PCC when he was Mirror editor (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/).  In the letter he admitted receiving information (about me) from a police officer in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect…”.

Leveson both  failed to question Morgan about the letter when he gave  evidence  and refused  to investigate the matter when I pressed the Inquiry to do so after the failure to put the letter to Morgan (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/leveson-inquiry-wanted-people-who-have-had-their-evidence-ignored/).

Despite the general strength of the evidence I supplied,  Leveson refused  not only my application to be a Core Participant, but has also failed to  use me as a witness or utilise in any way  the evidence I have supplied .

Leveson’s   utter determination not to let the Inquiry stray from the narrow  narrative concentrating on  News International  to the exclusion of other parts of the press  is shown by his cavalier  behaviour when I applied to be a Core Participant  – this would have allowed me not only to give evidence but, amongst other things,  become involved in what questions were asked of witnesses under oath.

I was asked to provide details reasons why I should be a Core Participant (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/leveson-inquiry-robert-hendersons-application-for-core-participant-status/).    At the Directions Hearing  which dealt with my application Leveson announced that he had not read my submission and would not be doing so, but, rather, he  would make his decision based on what I could say in  five minutes. I did this and my application was  turned down in the most peremptory fashion at the end of the Directions Hearing.  I never received any  written reasons for the refusal. (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/leveson-inquiry-the-response-to-robert-hendersons-application-to-be-a-core-participant-2/)

Why did Cameron set up the Inquiry?

Bearing in mind the close relationship Cameron and other  Tory politicians had with News International it might be thought more than  a little strange that Cameron set up the Inquiry.  He could have  quite legitimately refused an inquiry on the grounds that there was a massive and ever growing police investigation into the relationship between the police, politicians and the press and a public inquiry would jeopardise this.

As with every other government instituted inquiry, Cameron probably  imagined he could control the outcome by choosing a judge who could replied on not to come to any disagreeable (for the government or any member of it) conclusions and  by designing the remit of the Inquiry to steer it away  from anything which might embarrass (or worse) himself ,  his ministers or his party.  But even if Cameron thought he could control the Inquiry this could be post facto wishful thing because there  is good circumstantial evidence that he was panicked into setting up the Inquiry.

On  5 July 2011 the police released details of those whose phones may have been hacked, including  9/11 victims and relatives and the murdered teenager Millie Dowler  after she had been reported missing and before her body was found.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/8619373/News-of-the-World-bereaved-relatives-of-77-victims-had-phones-hacked.html).   The general public had not been tremendously exercised by the phone-hacking up to that point, seeing it  as a parade of celebrities  whose lives were normally on public view.  Come the revelation that the practice had extended to “ordinary people” – and in particular to the Millie Dowler case – public outrage was created.

This alone might not have  panicked Cameron into setting up an Inquiry, but his  reckless employment of a one-time News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his  director of communications brought the question of press misbehaviour and phone-hacking in particular uncomfortably close . Coulson  was arrested in connection with phone-hacking  in July  2011. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11195407).  He was not  charged (and has  not been charged)  in relation to any  phone-hacking,  but his arrest  was enough to persuade Cameron to set up the  Inquiry.  Coulson was arrested on 8 July (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2012540/ANDY-COULSON-ARRESTED-Camerons-ex-aide-quizzed-phone-hacking.html ) and the Inquiry announced on  13 July http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/).

As the extract  from the Inquiry’s remit quoted above shows,  the Inquiry was clearly intended to be directed at  News International and nothing else.  This was a colossal   blunder from Cameron’s point of view. He did not take properly into account the extent to which he and other senior Tories had been compromising themselves by their closeness to Murdoch and other senior News International and News Corps figures. This may have been to some extent through ignorance of what his fellow  Tory politicians had been up to on Cameron’s part, but his own  very close relations with News International should have been enough to set the alarm bells ringing in his head.

The problem for  Cameron is that he , along with the rest of the Tory hierarchy, were and are in a Mexican stand-off  with News Corp generally  and the Murdochs in particular. The latter have presided over newspapers which have  engaged in highly  immoral and,  in some instances ,  serious criminal behaviour.  Against this News  Corp and the Murdochs in particular will have a good deal of information about Cameron and other leading Tories which at best could be very embarrassing and at worse point to criminal collusion.

That Cameron (and those close to him) could not see the dangers suggests either a disconcerting  obtuseness on his part  or a monumental arrogance which persuaded him that , regardless of any  unpalatable facts  which might come out, the Inquiry could be controlled by the Government.  He may have been misled by the experience of the Hutton Inquiry, but if so he was remarkably naïve.   There is a great deal of difference between his and his government’s position and that of  Blair at the time of David Kelly’s death.  Cameron does not have a healthy Commons majority;   he is hamstrung by being in coalition which makes him look weak and hypocritical; the economic times are radically worse now and the country is already weary and increasingly contemptuous  of him after two short years.

Even if Part 2 of the Inquiry does not take place it will not get solve  Cameron problems.  Part 1 still has the capacity to bring a good deal of damaging material into the public fold, not only from the Inquiry but generally as the Inquiry and the response to what it uncovers prompts other information to be given public prominence  .  Yesterday (9 May) an updated biography  of Cameron  revealed that he had sent one time NoW editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks a supportive text two days before she resigned from News International (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9253633/David-Cameron-sent-supportive-text-to-Rebekah-Brooks-biography-reveals.html).  This morning (10 May)  stories  appeared showing that Andy Coulson  attended meetings which required high security vetting which Coulson did not possess. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/leveson-inquiry/9256111/Government-admits-Andy-Coulson-attended-high-level-security-briefings.html)  and the failure of Cameron to declare  two meetings with Rebekah Brooks days after Andy Coulson quit his No 10 post (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/9255030/David-Cameron-failed-to-declare-meeting-with-Rebekah-Brooks-two-days-after-Andy-Coulson-quit.html)

The cancelling of Part 2 would of itself create a scandal in the public mind because the natural conclusion for any disinterested party to draw would be that it has been done simply to protect Cameron and other senior Tories.  That would increase the  already considerable contempt in which politicians are generally held and the dislike and  anger at the performance of the Coalition. However, that would not mean either a change of Prime Minister or an early election.

The only things going for Cameron  are the fact that the LibDems are largely silenced on the matter by their  position in the Coalition and their dire position in the polls; Labour’s own considerable involvement with News International  makes attack by them on the Tories on the subject of Murdoch  very difficult and the general reluctance of by  Labour and LibDems to go into another election soon because of the poor state of their party finances.  Because of these considerations it is likely that if  nothing  utterly damning about the relationship between News International,  the police and  Cameron and other senior Tories comes out the Coalition will stagger on for a year or two even if the Inquiry is cut off at the knees.

Leveson Inquiry – Politicians and the Press

Miss Kim Brudenell

Solicitor to the Inquiry

Leveson Inquiry

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London WC1

2 May 2012

Cc All barristers employed by the Inquiry

Dear  Ms Brudenell,

Politicians and the Press

I enclose three  examples of  collusion between politicians and the press.    All cases demonstrate the willingness of the British mainstream media to act in concert to suppress  stories of great public interest as a result of either direct  political interference or  a shared interest between politicians and the media in suppressing a story.

Case 1 Tony  and Cherie Blair

During the General Election campaign of 1997 Tony and Cherie Blair attempted without success to have me prosecuted for offences under the Malicious Communications Act and for common assault after I sent letters to them (the attempted charge of assault by writing was and is a crime unknown to English law).

The Blairs made the complaint to Belgravia Police who  immediately  referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS refused the complaint on the same day they received it,  ruling that my letters constituted NO CRIME.

The fact that the CPS made such a  rapid and unambiguous decision tells its own story:  they had the tremendous pressure  on them of having the man who was almost certainly about to become the prime minister making the complaint yet threw it out within a matter of hours.  There was a  very simple reason for that:  my letters  contained no obscenity, crude abuse or threats.

Ironically, I wrote to the Blairs  asking for their help after I had been the subject of a media storm in 1995 after Wisden Cricket Monthly published an article of mine “Is it in the blood?”  I contacted them after I was refused any opportunity to reply by the media and the PCC refused to adjudicate on my complaints.  I asked Blair  what he would do to stop such abuse if he formed a government and sought the assistance of his wife in her role as a prominent human rights lawyer.

Tellingly, the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters but only after I had circulated copies of my letters and the non- replies I received from the Blairs’ respective offices  at the beginning of the General Election campaign.

The Blairs were advised by the police that if they wanted to take the matter further all they could do was start a civil action against me. They  failed to do so despite the fact that the evidential test in a civil case is much lower than it is in a criminal case.  That failure, together with the facts that (1) the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent the letters  and  (2) they  are both lawyers  with ready access  to legal advice from their friends and colleagues make it  reasonable to assume that they realised no crime had been committed and pressed the case simply as a device to silence me during the election campaign.

After the Blairs failed to have me made the subject of a criminal investigation the Daily Mirror and its sister paper in Scotland  the Daily Record  published stories  on 25 March 1997 revealing that the Blairs had been to the police to try to have me prosecuted.  The Inquiry already have copies of  both stories, including facsimiles of the original pages,  but I attach copies for your convenience (Daily Mirror and Daily Herald  stories.docx http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/  ).

The Mirror story in particular was dramatic, involving a large front page flier for the story and almost a full page for a photograph of me  (taken without my permission while I inside my flat) and story  which was both highly sensational and very libellous,  with  false claims such as “Police are probing a string of race hate  letters  to Tony and Cherie Blair” (there were no such letters and the police never began an investigation),  “The  letters,  which are said to  contain  racist   filth”  (ditto) and absurd (and false) claims that I bombarded the Blairs with letters.

What happened next will be of  interest to the Inquiry as it conducts module 3 dealing with the relationship between the press and politicians.  Despite the sensational nature of the Mirrors’  coverage  and the facts that it was (1)  published during a General Election campaign and   (2) it concerned the leader of the Party  who would in all probability be prime minister within six weeks, not a single  mainstream newspaper (or broadcaster)  took up the story of their own volition.   Nor could I get any newspaper (or broadcaster)  to  take it up, either immediately after the publication of the Mirror story or afterwards.

That the Mirror and Herald were the only papers to publish the story is easily explained: they were absolutely committed to Blair and the Labour Party’s election in May 1997. It would not be too much to say that the Mirror was at that point effectively the Labour Party’s house journal.

As for the failure of the rest of the media to take up the story, that demonstrates  the general  collusion of the UK media and politicians.  There is a constantly flow of personnel between politics and the media, not merely  politicians going to the media but also all the hangers on such as personal advisors.   In addition to that personal vested interest, there is a general vested interest with politicians begging for favourable media coverage and mediafolk desperate not to be  frozen out from government briefings, official or otherwise.

Case 2 Gordon Brown and the Francis Crick Institute

A very large research laboratory, The Francis Crick Institute,  is being built on land behind the British Library in Kings Cross, London –  http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/objection-to-ukcmri-planning-application-for-a-research-centre-in-brill-place-london-nw1/.

The land on which it being built was publicly owned. It was sold by ostensibly  public tender  by the Department of  Culture, Median and Sport (DCMS) in 2007 to  a consortium the United Kingdom Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCRMI).

Just as the decision on the Murdoch bid to buy all the shares in BSkyB that News  Corps did not own was supposed to be decided impartially by a minister (Jeremy Hunt),  so was the sale of the land by the  Secretary of State for the DCMS . The reality was that there was no impartiality exercised. As is clear from the documents below which I obtained using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Gordon Brown persistently interfered with the sale by putting his weight behind one of a number of bidders. This invalidated the bidding process.

I made great efforts to get the story into the mainstream media and politics  – see http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/. These were unsuccessful which says a great deal about both our politicians and political  journalists. Nonetheless, it does stand as evidence of the persistent willingness of politicians to misuse their power  and of the British media to suppress political stories when it suits them.

There is another strong public interest in this story because the Francis Crick Institute will by dealing with highly toxic viruses and bacteria in its research. This makes it a serious and potentially catastrophic danger to London, both from lapses in bio-security and terrorist action.  The full story can be found at http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/.

The emails and letters showing Gordon Brown’s interference in the bidding process are contained in the attached file UKCRMIGordon Brown.docx (http://ukcmri.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/gordon-browns-involvement-in-the-sale-of-the-land-to-ukcrmi/)

Case 3 The attempted suicide of Tony Blair’s daughter

In May 2004 Kathryn Blair attempted to commit (reports on the web by non-mainstream media  suggest she was taken to hospital on Thursday 13th May 2004, for example, http://www.public-interest.co.uk/aseye/index.htm# ). Every single national  newspaper and broadcaster (including the BBC) refused to use the story.  The BBC’s failure is especially reprehensible because  a public service broadcaster has a special obligation to put anything of political importance  before the public.

How do we know the story is true?  Well, Martin Bright when political editor of the New Statesman confirmed the story verbally to me at a meeting of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and Tom Leonard when he was with the Daily Telegraph sent this email when I raised the matter with him:

“ In message <011401c5913d$53a14e40$171b1…@tgl.telegraph.co.uk>, Tom Leonard <tom.leon…@telegraph.co.uk> writes

Dear Mr Henderson, thanks for your email. The problem with the story about the Blairs’ daughter is that the BBC was far from alone in ignoring it. I think the whole of Fleet Street ignored it too on the grounds of sensitivity and intrusion into privacy (she is a minor of course).

However, you are completely right about the BBC’s vested interest and well done for pointing it out to Mr Grade. The BBC is too used to never being properly grilled by >the public.

Regards, Tom Leonard”

Then there is the behaviour of  the BBC.  I twice confronted  Michael Grade when he was  BBC chairman with the failure of the BBC to run the story.

The first occasion was at the Viewers and Listeners Spring Conference in April 2005. Grade claimed not to know the story, but refused to discuss the matter. Later I wrote to him asking him to justify his failure to make the story public. Grade did not reply but I received a letter from the BBC’s Head of communications Tina Stowell which ran “The question you raised at the VLV Seminar on 25 April relating to the Prime Minister’s daughter is not one which the BBC Chairman will respond to in public or via correspondence.”

The second occasion was at the Governors “AGM” at Television Centre on 19 July 2005. After the programme, The Governors rashly mingled with the audience. I managed to corner Grade for about five minutes and ask him in front of plenty of witnesses why he had censored the story of the Blair daughter’s attempted suicide, especially after I had raised the matter with him in April 2005 at the Voice of the Viewer and Listeners Spring Conference. He tried to make a joke of it, but before he escaped I asked him the following question: Do you believe the story is true? He refused to answer. ’nuff said.

At the same meeting I lobbied four other Governors: Deborah Bull, Merfyn Jones, Fabian Monds, Ranjit Sondhi and Angela Sarkis. Without exception they all seemed painfully startled by the news. I got a promise from each to look into the matter if I sent them the full details. I wrote to them and the other Governors on 20 July 2005. None have replied. Instead, I again received a letter from Tina Stowell (22 July 2005). This ran “Thank you for your letter to the Board of Governors. The BBC’s position remains the same as in my previous letter.” I then submitted a formal complaint through the governors’ website of 28 July 2005. This elicited no reply.

I raised the failure of the  BBC to act on BBC phone-in programmes and was always cut off immediately I had raised the subject.   I wrote to Feedback, the programme which supposedly deals with listeners concerns with the BBC, asking them to investigate the censorship. They failed to do so.

In addition to this evidence, there were  also references in the mainstream media  in 2004 of a family matter which could persuade Blair to resign.  It is reasonable to conclude that the ‘family matter’ was Kathryn Blair’s attempted suicide.  Interestingly, Cherie Blair said this in an interview in 2009:

“  Mrs Blair has also told Italian paper La Repubblica that Nicky and Kathryn were taunted at school over their father’s decision to send troops into Iraq in 2003 to stop Saddam developing weapons of mass destruction.

‘They had some really difficult moments at school. Everybody called their father a liar,’ she said.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211450/The-young-OBlairs–Former-Prime-Ministers-children-Irish-passports-thanks-grandmother.html

There is the strongest public interest in the media running stories such as Kathryn Blair’s suicide.  Politicians are by definition professional moralists because they tell  everyone how to live through the laws they pass and the moral judgements they publicly make. For that reason alone, in a democracy the electorate need to know how their private lives match up to that which they ordain for others.

But there are other good reasons. Blackmail is one and the effect on a politician’s mind and behaviour of traumatic events another. Clearly, this event was such as to potentially seriously  destabilise Blair’s mental balance. As he was PM  the public had a right to know what he was undergoing.

To argue that a child must be given anonymity at all costs is nonsensical. It would, for example, prevent the release of names and details for a child who has gone missing.

Nor is there any reluctance on the part of the media to constantly name children who have done something wrong which stops short of an appearance in a criminal court. In addition, in some criminal cases, the ban on identifying children is lifted and the media again is only too happy to identify them, often in ways which may incite attacks on the child or parents.

It is also true that children generally have to bear the humiliation and shock of seeing their parents and other adult relatives named in the media when they have committed a crime or behaved immorally. That is at least as traumatic as the child being named.

Tellingly, the media have no difficulty with reporting failed teenage generally can be seen from the vivid example of Rebecca Ling, the survivor of a suicide pact viz:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/3651008.stm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/tragedy-of-the-suicidepact-teenage-girls-who-met-in-internet-chatroom-551402.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-316749/Suicide-pact-girl-bullied.html#ixzz11P5vVRDz

Both at the time of the suicide pact and during the inquest into the girl who died the BBC and every other mainstream media outlet reported the story with her name, in depth and sensationally. What is sauce for the Man on the Clapham omnibus gander should be sauce for the PM goose. It should not be for the media to decide what they will and will not put before the public when there is a matter of great public interest at issue. Clearly, the Blair child’s case was  suppressed because of political pressure and/or bias on the part of the media.   (It is worth adding that the children of the elite gain great privileges simply by virtue of their accident of birth. The downside is that they may be under greater scrutiny than the ordinary child in the street.)

Why was the story so completely suppressed? I would suggest this. In modern Britain it is next to impossible to force a Prime Minister out of office for political reasons. Where a Government has a massive majority it is impossible. The only thing which could bring Blair down was personal scandal. No media outlet was willing to risk being  the one which broke the silence and being shut out from the political inside stories.  There is also the fact that Murdoch was supporting Blair  and much of the rest of the media wanted Labour to remain in power.   That is probably why the story of his daughter’s attempted suicide was  so ruthlessly censored.

Conclusion

I am, as ever, willing to appear as a witness at the Inquiry and to offer any other help to the Inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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