Monthly Archives: July 2014

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and the worthlessness of public inquiries

Robert Henderson

The recent appointment of a senior and effectively retired judge Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss  to head an investigation into allegations of paedophiles operating within politics, the church,  public bodies,  and  the media  is probably as good an example of the British Establishment shamelessly attempting to control scandalous events which have reached the public arena  as you could wish to see.

To begin with  Butler-Sloss  is the sister of Sir Michael Havers who was attorney-general in the Thatcher government in the 1980s. During that time many of the child-abuse scandals now being uncovered or alleged were taking place.  Some of these allegations would  have reached  Havers.  One  we do know of: Havers was accused in the 1980s of preventing the prosecution for paedophile crimes of  the senior diplomat and member pf the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE)  Sir Peter Hayman.

Those facts alone should have made her unsuitable for the post  because  judges like Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.  But there is more. Butler-Sloss is an active member of the House of Lords , albeit a cross-bencher. That in itself makes her quite unsuitable for the job  whether or not she veers towards the conservative side of politics – and she probably  will  lean to the Right  bearing in mind her family background  and the fact that she stood as a Tory candidate in the 1959 General Election . She will be engaging in politics, expressing political opinions and consorting with the same class  of people who have appointed her, all of  which renders her a figure who cannot reasonably  be regarded as impartial.

Then there is her previous role in another investigation concerning paedophilia which produced a report in 2011 that criticised her competence , viz:

 Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former judge appointed to investigate allegations of an establishment cover-up of child sex abuse, was forced to issue an apology after making crucial errors in a previous inquiry into two paedophile priests, The Telegraph can disclose.

The peer was put in charge of a “flawed” investigation into how the Church of England handled the cases of two ministers in Sussex who had sexually abused boys.

Eight months after her report was published Lady Butler-Sloss had to issue a six-page addendum in which she apologised for “inaccuracies” which, she admitted, arose from her failure to corroborate information which was given to her by senior Anglican figures as part of the inquiry.

Finally, there is her age. She is eighty. Ask yourself how many people of that age you have met who seemed really mentally alert and possessed of considerable mental and physical stamina? I am in my sixties and can honestly say I have never met anyone of Butler-Sloss’ age who possessed all those qualities. Yet that is precisely what is required for an investigation like this.  Her negligence in the paedophile report  cited above suggests that even in 2011 she was not mentally up to the job.

Nor would lack of mental and physical capacity to undertake a thorough investigation be the only drawback to employing someone of her age.  The nature of the investigation will mean that there will be people with power wealth and influence under threat involved together with any servants of the elite who may have acted to protect them.  At best these will be people who have the money and connections to publicly fight against any disagreeable conclusions Butler-Sloss’ report may  come to  and at worst such people may use their power and influence to engage in a dirty tricks campaign against Butler-Sloss.  Even if Butler-Sloss has no skeletons in her cupboard whatsoever  it is difficult to imagine an 81-year-old  having the stomach for a prolonged public fight.  Consequently, the temptation will be for her to suppress evidence or misinterpret it on purpose to avoid controversy.

Finally, there is the fact that her age means there is a strong chance of her being  either unable to complete the report  through incapacity through  disease such as a stroke or through death.

Why did Cameron put someone who was so obviously wrong for the job in charge of the investigation? Perhaps it was simply sloppiness. He wanted an establishment figure who could be relied on to produce a report which would not point the finger of blame at any politicians at the least and most probably not at anyone from the elite.  He probably simply grabbed her because (1) she  was a senior judge and (2) because she was a woman which would  earn Cameron  pc brownie points. He may have also consciously or unconsciously thought of this type of subject was more naturally the province of a woman because the victims were either children or  women.

It might seem incredible that no check was made on Butler-Sloss’ background, but think of the number of times that politicians demonstrate a bewildering ignorance of the consequences of the laws they pass.  Simple incompetence is all too plausible. The alternative explanation is that Cameron  did know but simply ignored  the red no-go lights  in her background because  he believed, cynically,  that the public will swallow anything however outrageous provided a public enquiry is set in motion.

What should be done?

Public enquiries have a tremendous monotony  to their outcomes. Inquiry reports  whose conclusions and recommendations severely criticise a  politician who is still active and whose party is  in power when the report is published have a frequency of occurrence only marginally better than that of unicorns, while  any really severe criticism of any politician or senior public servant, whether retired or not,  is pretty rare.

Often public inquiry  reports contain a good deal of material which suggests that serious negligence or crimes have been committed by politicians or senior public servants,  but the conclusions and recommendations of the report do not carry through on the evidence. A classic example of this is the Hutton Inquiry which produced a good deal of evidence that suggested the suicide verdict was a nonsense – the lack of blood, the position of the body, the absence of a suicide note and so on – and instead came to the  bland and friendly to the Blair government view that it was undoubtedly suicide.

Experience shows that putting a judge in sole charge more or less guarantees that the outcome will be friendly to the government of the day and hoodwinks the public into thinking the process is impartial.  The situation is little better when a senior public servant is in charge. Consequently, there needs to be some check by those who are not part of the elite on a inquiry’s proceedings and the conclusions reach at the end of the inquiry. Perhaps a jury of ordinary citizens could be employed to  oversee the public inquiry. Perhaps whoever is placed in charge of an inquiry could be placed under oath and questioned about their findings once  their report is published.   What is certain is that the present system is a sham.

 

 

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Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from the Met Police referred to the IPCC

The Met Police’s  Directorate of Professional Standards has knocked back my appeal against the refusal of the police to investigate Piers Morgan’s illegal receipt of information from one or more police officers – see the email below the one to Anne Owers. Below that is the ongoing correspondence with the IPCC.

The refusal is based on the usual guff about the matter having been previously investigated when it has never been investigated. I have now referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) . In terms of officialdom that is as far as I can go because I have exhausted all other channels.

For previous posts on this subject click on the tag Operation Elveden

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————————-

Dame Anne Owers

Chair

Independent Police Complaints Commission

PO Box 473

Sale

M33 0BW

8 July 2014

Dear Dame Anne,

On 21 January 2013 I passed to Operation Elveden clear evidence of serious criminality involving the Daily Mirror newspaper and one or more  Metropolitan Police  officers. The criminality consisted of the then editor of the Mirror Piers Morgan and the paper’s then chief crime correspondent  Jeff Edwards receiving information illegally from one or more Metropolitan Police officers and their subsequently perjury before the Leveson Inquiry.

I appended to these reports of crime  a  further complaint against a senior Scotland Yard officer, Det Supt Jeff Curtis,  who had  years before failed to investigate,  despite having  been given the strongest evidence possible,  namely, a letter from Piers Morgan to the PCC in which Morgan admitted receiving the  information in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect”.( A copy of that letter in facsimile is attached. You will need to load it into an Adobe Reader).  I was the subject of the information illegally received by the Mirror.

You will also find  enclosed  my complete correspondence with variously Operation Elveden, the DPP and other staff at the CPS and the Met Police’s  Directorate of Professional Standards. This correspondence is divided between those three categories and within each category the documents run from the earliest to the latest in descending order.

The most efficient way to read yourself into the matter is to read the first document down which is my original submission to the then head of Operation Eleveden, Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh.

As you work through the correspondence  you will encounter the same absurdity over and over again: I keep being told that the matter has already been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. This is simply false.  The original officer Jeff Curtis  failed to investigate and no one since I made the complaint to Operation has done so. Yes, that is right, despite having the letter from Piers Morgan, neither Morgan or anyone else at the Mirror has ever been interviewed   or any examination of the Mirror’s records been made to see if there was evidence of payment being made for the information.  A very telling fact is, as you will see from the enclosed correspondence, the blanket refusal of the police to meet me to take a formal statement, despite my persistent requests that they do so.  It is reasonable to interpret that strange reluctance as a cynical device to avoid having to justify their failure to act to my face.

Throughout I have met with the same corrupt refusal to investigate that the many victims of sexual abuse have experienced.  The simple truth is that where those with power, wealth and influence are involved neither the police nor the prosecuting authorities will  investigate properly or at all if they can possibly help it. Such refusals amount to  both misconduct in public office of the grossest kind and an unambiguous perversion of the course of justice.

The story I have to tell should come as no surprise to you. In March of this year you made this statement in a radio interviewPolice officers that come to us appear all too often like sulky teenagers and won’t say anything in interviews. I and the public find it very difficult to understand how a police officer, who is a professional, doesn’t want to cooperate with an inquiry as a witness to what happened, why it happened and how something like that can be prevented in future.”

I have exhausted all other avenues, both informal and formal. Consequently,  I ask you to take up my complaints to (1) ensure that those within the police who have refused to investigate the cast-iron evidence of criminality I have provided are disciplined and (2)  ensure that an honest and complete investigation into my complaints is made.

We are in who shall guard the guards?  territory here, Dame Anne.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

Cc

Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)

Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)

Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)

Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)

Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)

James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)

Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)

Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)

Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)

Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)

Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)

Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)

Alison Saunders (DPP)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)

DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)

DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)

CI Andy Dunn (DPS)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit

 

———————————————————————–  

 

 Metropolitan Police 
Directorate of Professional Standards
Prevention and Organisational Learning Command
 

DPS Appeals Unit
22nd Floor
Empress State Building
Empress Approach
Lillie Road
London
SW6 1TR
 
E-Mail: Appeals@met.pnn.police.uk
 
Our reference:  PC/00455/14
 
Date: 19th June 2014
Dear  Mr Henderson
 
 
This letter is about your appeal against the outcome of your complaint against police received on 5th December 2013. Your complaint was dealt with in two parts. Firstly, you received an ‘outcome of investigation’ report from DCI Neligan, detailing your complaints about DI Smith. Additionally, your complaint concerning retired Detective Superintendent Curtis was subject of something called a ‘disapplication’. You appealed against the outcome of the investigation, in your appeal email dated 6th April 2014. Upon receipt of a further letter dated 16th April 2014, informing you of the decision to disapply the latter part (against Mr Curtis) you submitted a further email of appeal, dated 27th April 2014. Both aspects of your appeal will be discussed and addressed in this letter.
 
1. Appeal against Investigation
 
In answer to the first part of your appeal (investigation), the Metropolitan Police Appeals Team’s role in the appeal process is to review the investigation into your complaint, not to re-investigate your complaint. This appeal outcome is completed on behalf of Superintendent Sarti, with delegated authority for dealing with Appeals on behalf of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.
 
Our decision on your appeal is linked to paragraph 25 of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002. I have looked at the following issues in concluding your appeal:
 
·         Whether the findings of the investigation need to be reconsidered
·         Whether the outcomes, for example in relation to whether any disciplinary or other actions should be taken, are appropriate
·         Whether you received adequate information about the findings of the investigation
 
I have reviewed your email of complaint dated 5th December 2013, addressed to the Commissioner. You complaint was recorded on 8th January 2014.
 
The decisions I have reached in relation to your appeal are outlined below:
 
1.    Are the findings of the police investigation appropriate/ proportionate to the complaint?
Your heads of complaint have been obtained from the following:
 
  •   Your email of 5th December 2013 and accompanying attachments/email string
 
Your complaint was about the decision by Detective Inspector Daniel Smith, and his refusal to investigate three allegations of crime concerning Mr Piers Morgan and Mr Jeff Edwards, repeated below;
 
1. That Piers Morgan when editor of the Mirror obtained information from a Met Officer(s) in circumstances which can only have been illegal. The letter from Morgan to the PCC which I have supplied to Elveden and which you have a copy of in facsimile conclusively proves this.
2. That Jeff Edwards when chief crime reporter for the Daily Mirror illegally received information from Met Officer(s).  Morgan’s letter plus the story printed by the Daily Mirror about me conclusively prove Edwards received such information.  
3. That both Morgan and Edwards  committed perjury when questioned under oath about receiving information illegally from the police. I provided Operation Elveden with the relevant Leveson transcripts.
 
In his response to your allegations of crime, DI Daniel Smith responded;
 
Dear Mr. Henderson,
 
I write in relation to the allegations you made following your contact with DC Rooke in January of this year. I have reviewed the matters raised by you in this, and subsequent communications, with DC Rooke.
I understand that the matters raised by you relate to an article published in 1997 and that the matter was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service (Complaints Investigation Bureau). The matter was referred to the Police Complaints Authority in 1999.
I understand that there is no new evidence or information available and as a result I have decided that no investigation will be conducted into the points raised by you.
In relation to the Perjury allegation, having read the transcripts provided, I do not believe there is evidence that shows an offence has been committed. As a consequence this allegation will not be investigated.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith
 
Complaint Versus Criminal investigation
DCI Neligan was appointed to investigate your public complaint about DI Smith’s decision, not to investigate the criminal allegations about Mr Morgan and Mr Edwards. That is an important point to differentiate because in your email of appeal you appear to be confusing the two issues.
 
In the outcome letter sent to you, dated 10th March 2013, DCI Neligan has identified your complaint and the steps taken to investigate it. I therefore consider that a proportionate investigation has been carried out.
 
I have considered your grounds for appeal, as set out in your email dated 6th April 2014.
 
Point 1, you have appealed on the basis that you have not been interviewed personally by the Investigating Officers, either of the criminal investigation, or the complaint investigation. In my considerations, I have looked at the email strings you have submitted. The details of the criminal allegations are comprehensive and sufficiently detailed upon which DI Smith based his initial assessment in terms of the criminal allegations. Likewise, there is sufficient detail upon which DCI Neligan can base his assessment of his complaint investigation and therefore I do not consider it necessary to interview you at any stage up to those reviews being conducted. 
 
In terms of the criminal investigation, DI Smith had articulated his rationale for not investigating your first 2 criminal allegations (that they were already investigated by the PCA in 1999) as there is no new evidence; there was no merit in further investigation of those allegations. The third allegation, (perjury), was subject to a preliminary review, as DI Smith explained, when he reviewed the transcripts. His assessment was that there is no evidence of the offence of perjury having been made out. Consequently, that allegation would not be further investigated.
 
In his report, DCI Neligan has elaborated upon these points and provided you with additional information in terms of the police obligations under National Crime Recording Standards as well as the MPS Crime Management Policy.
Point 2, you believe the findings of DCI Neligan’s investigation “are absurd because of the Morgan letter alone, but the Mirror story and Curtis’s failure to investigate Morgan, Edwards and the Mirror generally make them doubly ridiculous.”
  
I mentioned above, the difference between DI smith’s investigation and DCI Neligan’s, but following on from Point 2 above, it is important to make absolutely clear, the role difference between the two investigations.
 
DI Smith was asked to investigate your criminal allegations. You disagreed with his decisions and have made a public complaint about DI Smith. DCI Neligan was appointed to and has, investigated the complaint about DI Smith. DCI Neligan has not investigated your criminal allegations about Morgan and Edwards. However, in conducting his investigation, DCI Neligan has looked at the actions/decisions made by DI Smith when looking at the investigation of Morgan and Edwards.
 
I find the steps taken by DCI Neligan, in examining the actions of DI smith, to be proportionate and reasonable.
 
Point 3, I similarly refer to the response to point 2 above.
 
Point 4, DCI Neligan is being asked to consider if DI Smith has committed a criminal offence, by his (Smith) not investigating your criminal allegations any further. DCI Neligan has concluded that the actions of DI Smith are correct and therefore there are no criminal actions for the CPS to consider. I concur with that rationale.
 
On the basis of this assessment the conclusion reached by the Investigating Officer, DCI Neligan is appropriate. I do not uphold your appeal.
 
2.    Is the decision that the police have made about whether an officer has a case to answer for misconduct appropriate?
Yes. The outcome of the Investigation is appropriate and the Investigating Officer has concluded there is insufficient evidence to prove a case of misconduct against DI Smith. I do not uphold your appeal.
 
3.    Are the force’s proposed actions following the investigation adequate?
Yes. The Investigation has not found a case to answer and no action has been proposed. I do not uphold your appeal.
 
4.    Have you been provided with adequate information following the investigation of your complaint?
 
Yes. The original report by DCI Neligan addresses all of the complaints submitted by you, the rationale behind the conclusions reached, and includes your right to appeal. I do not uphold your appeal.
 
5.    Has the investigation been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)? If not, is this decision appropriate?
The report has not been referred to the CPS. I consider this decision to be appropriate as the investigation and the underlying evidence does not indicate that a criminal offence has been made out.  I refer to my assessment under Point 4 above. I do not uphold your appeal.
 
After considering all the information available I have now made a decision about your appeal against the outcome of the investigation. I have not upheld your appeal.
 
You are not able to appeal against the assessment of your appeal. If you have any questions or need more information about the appeal decision please contact me using the details shown at the top of this letter.
 
2. Appeal against Disapplication
 
I will now respond to your other appeal, against the decision to disapply the requirements of Schedule 3 Police Reform Act 2002 to your complaint about ex-DSU Jeff Curtis. Your appeal was received on 27th April 2014. An appeal may be made to the relevant appeal body against a decision to disapply the requirements of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002.  The Chief Officer (where they are the relevant appeal body) must determine whether the decision to disapply those requirements should have been taken. This appeal outcome is completed on behalf of Detective Superintendent Sarti, with delegated authority for dealing with Appeals on behalf of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service
 
In determining your appeal, I must consider the following points ;
 
Has the complaint been, or should it have been, referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)?
 
The complaint about retired Detective Superintendent Curtis concerned his alleged conduct in 2003 and specifically, that he deliberately failed to investigate your original allegations against Mr Morgan & Mr Edwards despite promises made to you in a telephone conversation. Such a complaint does not meet the criteria for a mandatory referral to the IPCC, nor was it so referred (to the IPCC). The Relevant Appeal Body is therefore the Force itself.
 
Was the decision to disapply made with the permission of the IPCC?
 
No. The complaint was not referred and did not require referral to the IPCC. Therefore, permission to disapply was not required from the IPCC.
 
Was the complainant offered the opportunity to make representations before the decision to disapply was made and if any representations were provided, were these taken into account in making the decision to disapply?
 
Yes. Within the Outcome of Investigation report, dated 10th March 2014, included a request for you to provide reasons why your complaint concerning ex-DSU Jeff Curtis ought not to be disapplied on the basis that it was ‘out of time’ i.e. More than 12 months have elapsed between the date of the incident complained of and the making of the complaint, and no good reasons could be shown for that delay.  
 
You responded in your email of 6th April 2014, and those responses were considered by Chief Inspector Dunn who decided there were no good reasons for the delay of over 12 years in the making of the complaint. I accept that you had previously reported the matters originally to the Police Complaints Authority who had ‘rejected them’.
 
After considering your email of appeal, dated 27th April 2014, I consider the decision to disapply your complaint was appropriate. The incident complained of was more than 12 months before the complaint was made and no good reason for that delay has been demonstrated. Your appeal is not upheld.
 
Actions required of the MPS
The MPS will take no further action regarding your complaints or the appeals. You are not able to appeal the outcome of this appeal assessment. No further right of appeal exists with the IPCC. If you disagree with this appeal assessment, you are advised to seek independent legal advice.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
David Corbet
Inspector
Appeals Unit
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!enquiries  Jul 10 at 4:27 PM

To

‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk’

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email of 8 July 2013.

I note that the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) have finalised the complaints that you made. You were provided with a right of appeal to the DPS Appeals Panel which you exercised. You were provided with the outcome of this appeal in an email dated 16 June 2014.

In this case, the IPCC is not able to take any action in relation to your appeal. The IPCC can only act as an appeals body in cases where we are named as the relevant appeal body. I have attached a Frequently Asked Questions sheet which explains how the relevant appeal body is decided upon.

The only avenue left open to you in terms of challenging the decision of the DPS Appeals Panel is judicial review. I appreciate that this is not the response that you were seeking from the IPCC, but I am unable to advise you any differently.

Yours sincerely

 

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Tel: 03000200096

enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:jack.paynter@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk&lt;http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/&gt;

IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance&gt;

————————————————————————————————————

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission

PO Box 473

Sale

M33 0BW

17 July 2014

 

Dear Mr Paynter,

I have your response dated 10 July to my email of 8 July.  Having scoured the IPCC website I am at a loss to understand why the IPCC cannot take it on.

In the Statutory Guidance to the police service  on the handling of complaints

(yes, all 135 pages of it, an absurdly long and densely written document which is intended  for the guidance of the ordinary person) I found this:

Appeals

1.27 Chief officers now have responsibility for handling certain appeals. All appeals about the recording of complaints will continue to be dealt with by the IPCC. The IPCC will also deal with any appeal concerning a complaint about the conduct of a senior officer or complaints that have been or must be referred to the IPCC.

Please explain to me how my complaints about senior officers do not necessitate their referral to the IPCC.

The IPCC  Mandatory referral criteria contains this

The appropriate authority must refer complaints and conduct matters involving:

serious corruption

complaints or conduct matters which are alleged to have arisen from the same incident as anything falling within these criteria

Please explain to me why my complaints do not fall within these categories, especially  that of serious corruption.

Let me remind you exactly how serious and extensive are the complaints I have made against the police.  I  provided Operation Elveden with a letter to the PCC  from Piers Morgan  when he was editor of the Daily Mirror  – you should already have a copy of that letter in facsimile,  but I attach a copy to this email. In that letter Morgan admits that he received information (about me) from a Met 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)…”

That letter alone would have been enough to charge Morgan and the Mirror’s then Chief Crime Reporter Jeff Edwards with criminal offences.  In addition, there was also the evidence of a Mirror story which corroborated the Morgan letter.  A copy of that Mirror story was supplied to Operation Elveden.

The officer who dealt with my original complaint, Det Supt Jeff Curtis of Scotland Yard,  promised me that he would interview Morgan and Edwards then failed to do so. I supplied Operation Eleveden with a tape recording of Curtis making the promise.  No contact with the Mirror was made.  This meant  that not only was no investigation made of the certain offences resulting from the admitted  illegal receipt of information  in Morgan’s letter, but no investigation of the possibility of the information having been purchased was made. It is probable that the information was purchased by the Mirror. All of that  constituted a clear misconduct in a public office and a perversion of the course of justice by Curtis.

My complaint to Operation Elveden has met with the same wilful neglect of my allegations of  serious crimes that Curtis displayed. Every person who has dealt with my complaint from Operation Elveden’s receipt of it to the rejection of my appeal has,  by ignoring the cast iron evidence of Morgan’s letter to the PCC, committed the crimes of misconduct in a public office and a perversion of the course of justice. These people are:

1. Operation Elveden

Deputy Assistant Commissioner  Steve Kavanagh

Commander Neil Basu

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith

2. Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS)

Det Chief Superintendant  Alaric Bonthron

Chief Inspector Andy Dunn

Det Chief Inspector Tim Neligan

Inspector David Corbet

I have also kept Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe fully informed of the nature and treatment of my complaints.

I want every one of these people investigated.

A very telling fact about my complaints to Operation Eleveden and the DPS is that, despite my numerous requests to do so, I have been unable to meet with any police officer handling the case.  That can only be explained by the facts of the case putting  the persistent  refusal to investigate beyond any reasonable explanation. Everyone involved knows I have given them an open and shut conviction.

I ask that I meet with someone senior from the IPCC, preferably Anne Owers.

There is a sinister absurdity in  the position you are claiming for the IPCC.  Iin effect you are saying that if a police force refuses to address a complaint honestly  and does not refer it to the IPCC,  then nothing can be done because the IPCC can only take cases which are referred to them.  In short, the police can get rid  of any complaint, no matter how serious,  simply by refusing to  record or refer it to the IPCC.  Do  you dispute my interpretation of the situation?

Your suggestion that judicial review could apply is frankly adding insult to injury because there are very few people who could afford such a hideously expensive legal action. It is the equivalent to telling a  poor man that the Ritz is open to all.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————————

IPCC ref: 2014/030525

!enquiries  Today at 3:19 PM (21 July 2014)

To

‘robert henderson’

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your email of 17 July 2014.

While I appreciate that you are unhappy that there is no avenue of appeal to the IPCC, I am unable to advise you any differently.

It is also significant that your allegation of corruption with regard to an unknown police officer passing information to the Daily Mirror was referred to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA)  in 1999. The IPCC is not able to deal with matters which were dealt with by the PCA.

However, I note that your email contains allegations about a number of officers within the Metropolitan Police which have not been made in your earlier complaint. Therefore, I have forwarded your email on to the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) so that these matters can be considered as a new complaint.

Finally, the IPCC is unable to accede to your request for a meeting.

Yours sincerely

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

 

Tel: 03000200096

enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk

IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints

 

—————————————————————————————————————

 

IPCC ref: 2014/030525

!enquiries  Today at 3:46 PM (21 July 2014)

To

‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk’

Dear Mr Henderson

Further to my earlier email, I write to confirm that I have forwarded your email to the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS). It is now their responsibility to assess the new allegations you have made.

Please find attached a Frequently Asked Questions sheet which may be of some use.

Yours sincerely

 

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Tel: 03000200096

enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:jack.paynter@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk&lt;http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/&gt;

IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance&gt;

—————————————————————————-

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission

PO Box 473

Sale

M33 0BW

24  July 2014

 

Dear Mr Paynter,

I have your two emails of 21 July. Two points arise:

1. You have not answered  questions I put in my 8 July  email, viz:

Appeals

  1. 27 Chief officers now have responsibility for handling certain appeals. All appeals about the recording of complaints will continue to be dealt with by the IPCC. The IPCC will also deal with any appeal concerning a complaint about the conduct of a senior officer or complaints that have been or must be referred to the IPCC.

Please explain to me how my complaints about senior officers do not necessitate their referral to the IPCC.

The IPCC  Mandatory referral criteria contains this

The appropriate authority must refer complaints and conduct matters involving:

serious corruption

complaints or conduct matters which are alleged to have arisen from the same incident as anything falling within these criteria

Please explain to me why my complaints do not fall within these categories, especially  that of serious corruption. 

And

 There is a sinister absurdity in  the position you are claiming for the IPCC.  In effect you are saying that if a police force refuses to address a complaint honestly  and does not refer it to the IPCC,  then nothing can be done because the IPCC can only take cases which are referred to them.  In short, the police can get rid  of any complaint, no matter how serious,  simply by refusing to  record or refer it to the IPCC.  Do  you dispute my interpretation of the situation?

Do you refuse to answer these  questions? If so on what grounds? I would remind you that  the IPCC has a public service obligation  to answer reasonable questions from the public.  Your failure to answer my questions as a matter of  course suggests that I am correct in believing that the IPCC does have the power to take this matter.

2. You say that because my complaint against Det Supt Jeff Curtis was refused by the  Police Complaints Authority (PCA)  it cannot be taken by the IPCC.  The fact that it was refused by the DPA does one thing only: it unequivocally demonstrates  that the DPA were part of the corrupt manipulation of my complaints against the Mirror, the police and the Blairs. Despite having the proof of Morgan’s letter and the knowledge that Jeff Curtis had failed to investigate this clearest of evidence, they refused to take the matter up.  You can add them to the already large cast of those guilty of misconduct in a public office and a perversion of the course of justice.

What the IPCC needs to understand is that this whole affair was very political, in fact just about as political as it is possible to get.  If you look at the facsimile of Morgan’s letter to the PCC you will see that it involved Tony and Cherie Blair. During the six most important weeks of Blair’s life the Blairs  suddenly decided to try to have me prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act for letters I had written to them seeking their help after I was grossly abused by the media  in 1995 and had exhausted all  avenues – PCC,  BBC Complaints,  my MP – without getting redress.  I wrote to Blair as the prospective next PM and his wife as a leading human rights lawyer.

The Blairs suffered the gross humiliation of having their attempt rebuffed by the Crown Prosecution Service within hours of it being referred to them – just think of the pressure on the CPS to do what Blair wanted –  with the CPS saying unequivocally my letters were perfectly legal.     Not only that,  but the Blairs did not go to the police when I sent them the letters. Rather, they only made their complaints later  after  I had  circulated them and the non-replies I was getting from their offices to every mainstream media outlet at the beginning of the 1997 election campaign. Clearly the Blairs were not disturbed by the content  of the letters as such. What worried them was their failure to meaningfully respond to my requests for help and a fear that this would be taken up by the mainstream media during the election campaign.

Tellingly, after the Blairs failed to have me prosecuted they failed to take any civil action (with its much lower evidential standard of the balance of probabilities) against me.  Instead they engaged in an illegal  ten year long harassment of me using  the state security apparatus and/or private operators. (The Mirror story which induced Morgan’s letter to the PCC stated that Special Branch had taken the matter up and  I subsequently used the Data Protection Act to prove that both Special Branch and MI5 had files on me). The harassment covered everything from death threats to the ostentatious opening of my post. The harassment ceased as soon as Blair left Downing Street.  In 1999 Sir Richard  Body put down this EDM for me:

10 November 1999

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

 Sir Richard Body

 That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record – see  http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

I give you that brief précis so that you and your  colleagues can understand exactly why everyone from the police to the DPP have been so desperately keen to keep this story under wraps. Of course, the longer the time it extends, the more people involved, the greater the scandal  becomes and the more desperate is  the desire to censor the matter .

This is a wholly  exceptional matter.  I have given the IPCC the clearest evidence of wilful and sustained criminal behaviour throughout the police and justice system.  When the guards can longer be trusted, they need to be overthrown. The IPCC has the power to do that.

I ask again for a meeting with someone senior within the IPCC.   You can of course continue to refuse but think on this: if I do manage to get the scandal into the public fold the IPCC will have to explain exactly what it was doing covering up serious criminal behaviour by the police.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

Cc

Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)

Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)

Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)

Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)

Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)

James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)

Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)

Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)

Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)

Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)

Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)

Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)

Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)

Alison Saunders (DPP)

G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)

DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)

DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)

CI Andy Dunn (DPS)

Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)

John Whittingdale MP

George Eustice MP

Sir Gerald Howarth MP

Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk

Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit

—————————————————————————-

                  
Dame Anne Owers
Chair
Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
27 July 2014

 

Dear Dame Anne,
Further to my email of 8 July   I have had a look at the Police Reform Act 2002 which established the IPCC.  The sections of interest are:
 
12 Complaints, matters and persons to which Part 2 applies
(1)In this Part references to a complaint are references (subject to the following provisions of this section) to any complaint about the conduct of a person serving with the police which is made (whether in writing or otherwise) by—
(a)a member of the public who claims to be the person in relation to whom the conduct took place;….
(2)In this Part “conduct matter” means (subject to the following provisions of this section, paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 3 and any regulations made by virtue of section 23(2)(d)) any matter which is not and has not been the subject of a complaint but in the case of which there is an indication (whether from the circumstances or otherwise) that a person serving with the police may have—
 
(a)committed a criminal offence; or
(b)behaved in a manner which would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings.
(3)The complaints that are complaints for the purposes of this Part by virtue of subsection (1)(b) do not, except in a case falling within subsection (4), include any made by or on behalf of a person who claims to have been adversely affected as a consequence only of having seen or heard the conduct, or any of the alleged effects of the conduct….
 
(5)For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have witnessed conduct if, and only if—
 
(a)he acquired his knowledge of that conduct in a manner which would make him a competent witness capable of giving admissible evidence of that conduct in criminal proceedings; or
(b)he has in his possession or under his control anything which would in any such proceedings constitute admissible evidence of that conduct…..
 
My complaint ticks all the boxes:
1. I am the person directly involved.
2. The crimes which are the subject of my complaint misconduct in a public office and the perversion of the course of justice – are serious and thus  should have been submitted to the IPCC under the Mandatory Referral requirement.  The fact that they have not been submitted creates at least a disciplinary offence and quite possibly another  a criminal offence if it has been done with the intent of suppressing a crime.
3. I have supplied to the police conclusive evidence of a serious crime, namely, Morgan’s own written word that he received information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal, and conclusive evidence of a large number of police officers refusing to investigate the crime.
3. All the evidence I have is admissible, viz:
a) The copy of Morgan’s letter was sent to me by the PCC and hence was  not obtained by theft or subterfuge.
b) The Mirror story which utilised the illegal information is public knowledge.
c)  It is a checkable fact (just look at the police record of my original complaint) that Det Supt  Jeff Curtis did not interview Piers Morgan, Jeff  Edwards or any other Mirror employee or freelance and consequently did not make any examination of the Mirror’s records to see if they had  paid for the  information.
d) The evidence of the persistent failure of the police from Operation Elveden to the Directorate of  Professional Standards to investigate the conclusive evidence of  serious crime is contained my correspondence with Operation Elveden and the DPS, copies of which the IPCC has and which I again  include below.
Please explain to me by return why the IPCC is refusing to take up my complaint.  The refusal is  clearly in breach of the law.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
CC
Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)
Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)
Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)
James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)
Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)
Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)
Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)
Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)
Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)
Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)
Alison Saunders (DPP)
G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)
DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)
DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)
CI Andy Dunn (DPS)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit

—————————————————————————–

PCC ref: 2014/030525

!enquiries  Jul 28 at 4:45 PM

To

‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk’

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for your two emails of 24 and 27 July 2014. I will endeavour to answer the points that you raised.

In your email of 24 July 2014, you questioned why your complaints against senior officers had not been referred to the IPCC. To support your assertion that your complaints should have been referred to the IPCC because they were against senior officers, you quote the following passage from the IPCC Statutory Guidance:

‘Appeals

1.27 Chief officers now have responsibility for handling certain appeals. All appeals about the recording of complaints will continue to be dealt with by the IPCC. The IPCC will also deal with any appeal concerning a complaint about the conduct of a senior officer or complaints that have been or must be referred to the IPCC.’

However, this passage does not state that complaints against senior officers need to be referred to the IPCC. Rather, it states that the IPCC will act as the relevant appeal body for any complaint about the conduct of a senior officer.

I note that your complaints are against a DI Smith and a DS Curtis. In the context of the above passage, a senior officer is an officer holding a rank above Chief Superintendent.

In both your emails of 24 and 27 July, you repeat your assertion that your complaints should have been referred to the IPCC because they constitute serious corruption. However, both of your complaints against DI Smith and DS Curtis essentially amount to an allegation that they have failed to investigate criminal allegations against Mr Piers Morgan and Mr Jeff Edwards.

While I accept that your original complaint against the unnamed officer who passed information to Mr Piers Morgan would meet the mandatory referral criteria, I again remind you that this incident was referred to our predecessor the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in 1999. The IPCC is not able to deal with matters which  have already been dealt with by the PCA.

I hope that my email is satisfactory.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

 

Tel: 03000200096

enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:jack.paynter@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk&lt;http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/&gt;

IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance&gt;

—————————————————————————–

Dame Anne Owers
Chair
Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
6  August  2014
Dear Dame Anne,
On 28 July I  received yet another reply from Jack Paynter  (see below) which failed to address the question  of the IPCC’s legal obligations to investigate. He seems to either be unaware of the IPCC’s own definition of corruption or is aware of it and is cynically using that well tried and tested bureaucratic trick of trying to exhaust  a complainant by multiplying correspondence through a deliberate failure to answer questions adequately or at all.
Mr Painter takes issue with me over  the meaning of corruption.  He claims that my complaints post Jeff Curtis do not fall within the meaning of the word as far as the IPCC is concerned. Well, here is the IPCC definition, viz.:
 
35. Police forces and police authorities are required by law to refer complaints or conduct matters to the IPCC if the allegation includes serious corruption which is defined in the IPCC’s Statutory Guidance  2010 as including:
• Any attempt to pervert the course of justice or other conduct likely seriously to harm the administration of justice, in particular the criminal justice system
• Payments or other benefits or favours received in connection with the performance or duties amounting to an offence in relation to which a magistrates’ court would be likely to decline jurisdiction
• Corrupt controller, handler or informer relationships 
 •Provision of confidential information in return for payment or other benefits or favours where the conduct goes beyond a possible prosecution for an offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998
• Extraction and supply of seized controlled drugs, firearms or other material
• Attempts or conspiracies to do any of the above18
All my complaints against the police  are of misconduct in a public office and the perversion of the course of justice. The offences arise from a failure to act on conclusive evidence of criminal behaviour by Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards when they were employed by the Daily Mirror.  Ergo, these complaints  indubitably fall under  the IPCC’s “Any attempt to pervert the course of justice or other conduct likely seriously to harm the administration of justice, in particular the criminal justice system”. They are also  relevant offences which  qualifies them for mandatory referral to the IPCC..
By own rules and regulations you cannot legally refuse to investigate these complaints. The fact that they have not been submitted automatically to the IPCC as the law requires also means you need to take action against the responsible officers for failing to comply with the law. Most importantly, you must ensure  that an investigation of Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards is begun  ASAP.   If you fail to do any or all of  these things you will yourself be guilty of misconduct in a public office and arguably of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
That leaves my complaint against De Supt Jeff Curtis and the failure of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in 1999 to investigate my complaints. Mr Painter says that the IPCC cannot investigate complaints rejected by the PCA  Please let me know the legal basis for this claim.
But  regardless of whether there is such a legal bar, if the other police officers who have entered the picture since Jeff Curtis’ involvement are investigated it would be absurd if Curtis was not also investigated.
I ask once again to meet you.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
Cc Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)
Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)
Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)
James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)
Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)
Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)
Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)
Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)
Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)
Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)
Alison Saunders (DPP)
G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)
DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)
DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)
CI Andy Dunn (DPS)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit
 —————————————————————-
!enquiries  Aug 12 at 3:15 PM
To ‘robert henderson’
Dear Mr Henderson
Thank you for your email dated 6 August 2014, unfortunately Dame Anne is not in a position to respond to individual enquires and your email has been passed to the Customer Contact Team to respond.
I am sorry that you feel we were unable to answer your questions in our previous response, however our position remains the same.  This incident was referred to our predecessor the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in 1999, the IPCC is not able to deal with matters which  have already been dealt with by the PCA.
Kind Regards
Claire Parker
Customer Contact Advisor
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
Tel: 0300 020 0096
enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>
IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance&gt;
—————————————————————————-
Dame Anne Owers
Chair
Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
17  August  2014
Dear Dame Anne,
As you will see from the email from Claire Parker  immediately below I have been sent  yet another reply from your office which fails to answer my questions.  Let me list the questions again:
1. Since when has a senior public servant not been in a position to answer individual queries from a member of the public with serious and pertinent reasons to ask for a meeting, namely, (1) the persistent refusal of the Met Police to investigate serious crimes and  (2) the persistent refusal of IPCC staff to engage with the clearest evidence of serious criminality within the Met Police?
2. In my last email to you (6 August) I asked for the  legal basis for Mr Paynter’s  claim that a complaint already reviewed by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA)  – my complaint against De Supt Jeff Curtis – could not be investigated by the IPCC.  Ms Parker has failed to provide the legal basis. Please supply it.
3. I wrote this in my last email to you: “All my complaints against the police  are of misconduct in a public office and the perversion of the course of justice. The offences arise from a failure to act on conclusive evidence of criminal behaviour by Piers Morgan and Jeff Edwards when they were employed by the Daily Mirror.  Ergo, these complaints  indubitably fall under  the IPCC’s “Any attempt to pervert the course of justice or other conduct likely seriously to harm the administration of justice, in particular the criminal justice system”. They are also  relevant offences which  qualifies them for mandatory referral to the IPCC.”  Ms Carter has failed to address this matter. Please explain to me why my complaints other than the one concerning Det Sup Jeff Curtis do not fall within the IPCC’s remit.
You are treading on very dangerous ground Dame Anne.  I have provided you with ample opportunity to take up these matters and your refusal to do already constitutes the criminal offence of misconduct in a public office and arguably  is an attempt to pervert the course of justice as the IPCC is de facto part of the justice system.
If the story got into the public fold you probably would be tempted to claim that you knew nothing about the business.
That would be a difficult position to sustain because (1) I have circulated my emails relating to the matter, including my emails to you, to enough people within the IPCC and the Police to make it improbable that you would not know of the case and  (2) the nature of those involved with the case,  including most importantly Tony and Cherie Blair, makes  it exceedingly likely that it would have been  brought to your attention.
Throughout my ten year battle with the Blairs I had these  senior police officers personally deal with my complaints against the Blairs and others such as Piers Morgan who were attached to the story:
Det Chief Supt Tony Dawson – The Met’s Internal Investigations Command
Dept Supt Jeff Curtis
Chief Supt John Yates
Chief Supt Eric Brown
Supt Cliff Hughes
Supt Alex Fish
Chief Inspector Julia Wortley
Chief Inspector Ian West
Det Chief Inspector Stephen Kershaw
 My complaints ranged from  the Blairs’ attempts to pervert the course of justice by making allegations to the police about me which as lawyers they must have known were bogus to the death threats I was receiving.  As I am sure you are aware officers of this seniority  would not normally be involved at the operational level with such allegations of crimes.  Yet I had the likes of Tony Dawson – a very influential as well as senior copper – personally taking my statements.  The only reasonable explanation for such utterly exceptional treatment was the Blairs’ involvement.
You have a legal obligation to answer my questions.  I suggest you do it before  you put yourself unambiguously into the realm of criminality.  I ask again that we meet to discuss the matter.
One further point.  In his email to me of 21 Jusly Mr Paynter wrote “…I note that your email contains allegations about a number of officers within the Metropolitan Police which have not been made in your earlier complaint. Therefore, I have forwarded your email on to the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) so that these matters can be considered as a new complaint.”
I have received nothing from the DPS after 4 weeks.  Please take action to make the DPS contact me about  these complaints. Incidentally, they all fall within the IPCC definition of corruption. Therefore,  the DPS has a mandatory duty to refer them to you.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
Cc Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)
Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)
Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)
James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)
Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)
Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)
Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)
Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)
Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)
Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)
Alison Saunders (DPP)
G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)
DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)
DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)
CI Andy Dunn (DPS)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit
—————————————————————————-IPCC 2014/030525enquiries  Aug 26 at 10:17 AMTo

‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk’

Dear Mr Henderson,

Thank you for your email of 17 August 2014.

For the legal basis of my assertion that the IPCC is unable to take action with regard to a complaint that was referred to and investigated by the PCA, please refer to The Independent Police Complaints Commission (Transitional Provisions) Order 2004.

With regard to your query as to why your subsequent complaints have not been referred to the IPCC, please refer to my email of 28 July 2014. Please note, I consider that I have dealt with these matters in my previous emails. Any further emails received which raise matters which have previously been deal with will be filed, but not responded to. However, as you have not received a recording decision concerning the complaint I forwarded on 21 July 2014 within 15 working days, I have forwarded your email to our Casework Administration department. They will process your appeal and you will receive a formal acknowledgment in due course. Please send any appeal related information via email to northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk.

Finally, I note that you continue to copy numerous individuals within the IPCC into your emails. As you may have gathered, these emails are passed to the Customer Contact Centre to be dealt with. In future, please send any emails concerning your appeal to northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>. Any general enquiries should be sent to enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>. If you continue to send your emails to multiple individuals within the IPCC, we may consider restricting your email access to the organisation.

Yours sincerely

 

Jack Paynter

Customer Contact Advisor

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

 

Tel: 03000200096

enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:jack.paynter@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk&lt;http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/&gt;

IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance&gt;

———————————————————————————————————————-

 

Dame Anne Owers

Chair

Independent Police Complaints Commission

PO Box 473

Sale

M33 0BW

30  August  2014

 

Dear Dame Anne,

I have received  another email from your office, this time from Jack Paynter. His email is dated 26 August. A copy is directly below.

Mr Paynter has answered one of my questions, namely, the authority which debars complaints submitted to the Police Complaints Authority being accepted by the IPCC, viz:

“(3) No conduct matter shall be recorded under paragraph 10 or 11 of Schedule 3 to the 2002 Act if its subject-matter was previously submitted to the appropriate authority or referred to the Authority under Chapter 1 of Part 4 of the Police Act 1996 and as respects that complaint or matter any of the events mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) to (e) occurred.”

( The Independent Police Complaints Commission (Transitional Provisions) Order 2004).

As my complaint to the PCA was corruptly rejected by them,  the legislation leads to the dangerous (for justice)   situation whereby  a complainant has no remedy for a gross  abuse of power.  However, in view of the legal position I will set this complaint aside for the moment.

That does not get out of the deep hole you have dug for yourself. The rest of my complaints were never submitted to the PCA. Hence,  the IPCC has a legal obligation to accept the complaints and a legal obligation to take disciplinary action against the various police officers who have failed to perform  their mandatory  duty of referring the complaints to the IPCC  – all my complaints are relevant offences  and hence the referral to you is mandatory

Mr Paynter has simply ignored these matters, both in his latest email and his previous ones.  It is high time you dealt with these matters yourself. You have the full details of the outstanding complaints   in my previous emails so I will not repeat them.

One last thing, Mr Paynter complains about the fact that I have been circulating my emails to the senior management of the IPCC and threatens to restrict my ability to email them.  That is very telling. Stopping the circulation of damaging  facts  is the final refuge of the public servant in trouble because they have misbehaved. I am writing to the senior management to ensure that the failure of the IPCC to do its legal duty is known to each and every one of you so that none of those emailed will be able to say they did not know what was going on when the matter becomes public.

I repeat my request to meet with you.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Henderson

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
Our reference no: 2014/030525
Mr Robert Henderson
156 Levita House
Chalton St
London NW1 1HR
11 September 2014
Dear Mr Henderson .
Thank you for your appeal, received in this office on 17 August 2014. You asked us to review the non-recording of your complaint by the Metropolitan Police.
This letter acknowledges receipt of your appeal. However, none of the issues have yet been considered.
As part of the appeals process the IPCC will contact the relevant chief officer or local policing body, to get all the papers they hold about your complaint. We will use this to assess your appeal.
We are currently experiencing a significant volume of work and therefore it may take up to 8 weeks for your appeal to be allocated a casework manager. We would like to assure you that we are doing all we can to manage our appeals work effectively and apologise for any delay you may experience. It is possible that your appeal may be allocated more quickly than this.
If you have any further information in support of your appeal  you should provide this to us immediately.  Any addition information you provide should relate to your original complaint. You will not be able to  provide additional information for us to consider after a decision has been made on your appeal or about any new complaint you have made or will be  making.
We deal with appeals in date order based on the date they are received by the IPCC.  Please see the appeals area of the IPCC website for the latest forecast of the overall delay , and the date of receipt of appeals that are currently allocated and being reviewed by a Casework Manager.
Our role is to review whether or not the chief officer is the appropriate authority to consider your complaint  and whether or not they should have recorded the matter as a complaint under  the Police Reform Act 2002.  If you have not been given a recording decision we can direct the chief officer to provide you with this. Once we have completed the review, the decision we make about your appeal is final. Any direction  made about recording our complaint is not an indication from the IPCC about the merit of your complaint.
Yours sincerely,
Peter Keane
Casework Administrator
Mr Peter Keane
Casework Administrator
Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
Tel: 0161 246 8502
northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Independent Police Complaints Commission
Mr Peter Keane
Casework Administrator
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
23 September  2014
Your  reference no: 2014/030525
Dear Mr Keane,
I have just received your letter of 11 September. There are problems with the mail in my area because deliveries are being outsourced to a private company who are regularly dumping post rather than delivering  it.  Consequently, it would be better to conduct future correspondence with me by email.
To ensure you have copies of  the full correspondence relating to this case I enclose that correspondence below. It contains everything from my initial contact with Operation Elveden to my last email to Anne Owers dated 30 August.
The important thing to grasp is that my complaints fall within the category of those which must as a matter of legal obligation be referred by the police to the IPCC. The IPCC  Mandatory referral criteria contains this
 
The appropriate authority must refer complaints and conduct matters involving:
serious corruption
complaints or conduct matters which are alleged to have arisen from the same incident as anything falling within these criteria
Serious corruption
For the purposes of paragraphs 4(1)(b) and 13(1)(b) of Schedule 3 to the 2002 Act
and regulations 2(2)(a)(iii) and 5(1)(c) of the Regulations, the term ‘serious
corruption’ shall refer to conduct that includes:
• Any attempt to pervert the course of justice or other conduct likely to seriously harm
the administration of justice, in particular the criminal justice system
• Payments or other benefits or favours received in the connection with the
performance of duties where a Magistrates’ Court would be likely to decline
jurisdiction
• Corrupt controller/handler/informer relationships
• Provision of confidential information in return for payment or other benefits or
favours where the conduct goes beyond a possible prosecution for an offence under
section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998
• Extraction and supply of seized controlled drugs, firearms or other material
• Attempts or conspiracies to do any of the above.
 
All of my complaints apart from that against Supt Jeff Curtis fall within those regulations.  I have made this clear to the IPCC in my emails to  Anne Owers dated 8 July, 6 August, 17 August and 30 August and my email to Jack Paynter dated 17 July and  24 July.
When obtaining the information from the various police bodies involved please ensure that everything a sent to Operation Elveden is obtain. This includes a tape recording of Jeff Curtis promising to interview the Mirror editor and other personnel which he then failed to do.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson
Cc Anne Owers (IPCC Chair)
Rachel Cerfontyne  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Sarah Green  (IPCC Deputy Chair)
Cindy Butts (IPCC Commissioner)
Derrick Campbell (IPCC Commissioner)
Mary Cunneen(IPCC Commissioner)
James Dipple-Johnstone (IPCC Commissioner)
Carl Gumsley (IPCC Commissioner)
Jennifer Izekor (IPCC Commissioner)
Kathryn Stone(IPCC Commissioner)
Jan Williams (IPCC Commissioner)
Jonathan Tross (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 Ruth Evans (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
 David Bird (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Sue Whelan-Tracy (IPCC non-operational commissioner)
Amanda Kelly (IPCC Chief Executive)
Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary)
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP (Attorney-General)
Alison Saunders (DPP)
G McGill (CPS Head of Organised Crime Division)
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (Commissioner)
DCS Alaric Bonthron (Head of DPS)
DCI Tim Neligan (DPS)
CI Andy Dunn (DPS)
Commander Neil Basu (Head of Operation Elveden)
Detective Inspector Daniel Smith (Operation Elveden)
John Whittingdale MP
George Eustice MP
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk
Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) Appeals Unit

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From: !NorthCasework <_NorthCasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>
To: “‘anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk'” <anywhere156@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, 24 September 2014, 12:26
Subject: IPCC appeal – 2014/030525

Our ref: 2014/030525

Dear Mr Henderson

Thank you for contacting the IPCC.

I have made a note on your case to ensure that all  future correspondence is now sent to you via email rather than post.

This email acknowledges receipt, it is not a response to any points you have raised. Your correspondence will be reviewed and a response will be sent to you.

Yours sincerely

Lucy Quin
Casework Administrator
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
Tel:  (+44) 0161 246 8502
Email: northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk<mailto:northcasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk>
http://www.ipcc.gov.uk&lt;http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/>
IPCC Statutory Guidance on the handling of police complaints<http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/statutory-guidance>
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Lucy Quin
Casework Administrator
Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW
23 September  2014
Your  reference no: 2014/030525
Dear Ms Quinn,
I attach a facsimile copy of the Piers Morgan letter to the PCC in which he admits receiving information  from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.  I have supplied this to all the parties mentioned in  the voluminous correspondence I have copied to Mr Keane  and you should have it already. I send it to you to make absolutely certain that this vital piece of evidence does not go missing before the appeal takes place.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Henderson

Politics has no place in a charity

Robert Henderson

There are many aspects of modern charities which run contrary what is still, despite all the bad publicity charities have had in recent years,  the general public’s  idea of what a  charity should be;  an organisation which is doing good works by raising money from individuals,  is the reverse of self-serving  and  a morally good thing.

There is much dislike about  modern charities. They   are frequently incompetently run, often too much of a charity’s income goes on administration, especially the pay of the senior staff, embezzlement by the staff of charities  is too frequent for comfort  and larger charities often take much of their funding from the state.  However, those weaknesses are not the subject of this piece.  What I am concerned with here is the political aspect of charities in Britain, an aspect which seems to loom ever larger.

Charities in Britain are very often overtly political, using much of their income to lobby politicians, pay for what are essentially political adverts  and research which is no better than  propaganda.  The Charity Commission’s rules forbid charities being set up for a political purpose ,  charities campaigning for a political party or charities campaigning for a political end which does not accord with the declared  purposes of the charity. Charities may lobby politicians and engage in campaigns which are inherently political to their heart’s content  provided they observe  these rules.  The full Charity Commission Guidance on political activity by  charities can be found here . In summary it is :

To be a charity an organisation must be established for charitable purposes only, which are for the public benefit. An organisation will not be charitable if its purposes are political.

Campaigning and political activity can be legitimate and valuable activities for charities to undertake.

However, political campaigning, or political activity, as defined in this guidance, must be undertaken by a charity only in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes. Unlike other forms of campaigning, it must not be the continuing and sole activity of the charity. (Section D5 provides a fuller explanation.)

There may be situations where carrying out political activity is the best way for trustees to support the charity’s purposes. A charity may choose to focus most, or all, of its resources on political activity for a period. The key issue for charity trustees is the need to ensure that this activity is not, and does not become, the reason for the charity’s existence.

Charities can campaign for a change in the law, policy or decisions (as detailed in this guidance in section C4) where such change would support the charity’s purposes. Charities can also campaign to ensure that existing laws are observed.

 However, a charity cannot exist for a political purpose, which is any purpose directed at furthering the interests of any political party, or securing or opposing a change in the law, policy or decisions either in this country or abroad.

In the political arena, a charity must stress its independence and ensure that any involvement it has with political parties is balanced. A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician.

A charity may give its support to specific policies advocated by political parties if it would help achieve its charitable purposes. However, trustees must not allow the charity to be used as a vehicle for the expression of the political views of any individual trustee or staff member (in this context we mean personal or party political views).

 As with any decision they make, when considering campaigning and political activity charity trustees must carefully weigh up the possible benefits against the costs and risks in deciding whether the campaign is likely to be an effective way of furthering or supporting the charity’s purposes.

 When campaigning, charity trustees must comply not only with charity law, but other civil and criminal laws that may apply. Where applicable they should also comply with the Code of the Advertising Standards Authority.

A charity can campaign using emotive or controversial material, where this is lawful and justifiable in the context of the campaign. Such material must be factually accurate and have a legitimate evidence base.

The principles of charity campaigning and political activity are the same, whether the activity is carried out in the United Kingdom or overseas.

These rules allow charities to quite legally act as campaign groups and lobbyists and in practice charities often  get away with  throwing over even the mild restraints that the Charity Commission imposes.

Why should their politicisation be a concern? Because  such behaviour  undermines the very  idea of a charity, which generally is to pursue unambiguously beneficent ends.  Bring the pursuit of political  ends into the picture and  the moral purity of the charity is tarnished.  I would also doubt whether the general public would want the state the state to  provide privileges such as tax breaks for charities  while they  press their own political agendas.

Which charities now existing should have their status removed?

Where a charity receives a substantial part of its income from state bodies, as many of the larger ones now do, the use of the money to campaign for a political end is doubly unwarranted, for charities which receive money from public funds are not really charities at all but subcontracted arms of the state.   Receipt of state money should mean no charitable status. (The practice of politicking is strong amongst charities which receive substantial funds from the public purse).

The donation of money by non-state bodies such as limited companies or organisations which are not commercial enterprises , for example trade unions,  should  be banned where the donations are such as to promote the interests of the donor.

Individual  donations  should be left to the discretion of the donor, but the charity should be legally obliged to provide  the name of any donor providing more than 5% of a charity’s donations in any financial year, together with details of the person’s background including their political and commercial interest if they have them.

Some types of charity are  too  inescapably  political to be charities. These include those concerned with human rights,  immigration, race relations and   charities which promote the cause of particular groups (especially ethnic minorities).

Charities which support criminality either directly through or indirectly, for example, by supplying goods and services which release funds to be spent on criminal activities such as terrorism.   Good examples are Islamic charities which overtly or covertly support terrorism. There is also the problem  of ostensibly legitimate mainstream charities donating to other  charities which have links to terrorists.

Think Tanks which do nothing but produce reports and papers for discussion  should not be charities  because by definition they are not providing active relief  of suffering or directly promoting something which is socially valuable.

Charitable status should only be granted for charitable work undertaken in the UK. The British taxpayer  should not subsidise by the  granting  of tax relief work which does not benefit Britons.

Whether or not  a charity currently  pursuing political ends under the present rules receives money from the  state, they should no longer have charitable status if they insist on political campaigning.  They should sail under their true colours as political organisations  and be subject to the same rules as other non-charitable bodies.  Such organisations could be profit-making or non-profit-making and be treated as other political organisations which are not charities are treated.

None of the exclusions I have proposed mean that people will not be able to donate funds to whatever cause they wish to donate. All it means is that such donations will go to organisations which  no longer have the tax privileges or  the moral status of a charity.

What  work should charities do?

They should be reformed to be what the general public thinks a charity should be, a beneficent organisation giving active help to people  and other indisputable good causes which draws  its money  not from the state but from private donations drawn only from individuals.  To this end charities should exist simply to provide goods and services to ameliorate the deficiency that they ostensibly were founded to lessen, whether that be the alleviation of an obvious need such as poverty or sickness  or to provide something which is not an absolute need but which will be socially valuable such as specialist types of education such as music schools.

What would this mean in practice? Let me give a few examples.

1. Oxfam would cease to engage in political campaigning and concentrate solely on providing help to the poor.

2. Medical charities would cease to lobby for more government spending on medicine and concentrate solely on providing treatment and support to sufferers.

3. The RSPCA  and the RSPB would confine themselves to providing for the welfare of animals by funding care  for abandoned animals and  purchasing land to  provide habitat  for specific wild species .

The advantages of these  changes

The removal of politics from charities and of  the state subcontracting  to charities would change the relationship between  the public and charities for the better, because the reality of  charities would then be much closer to both their traditional role and the present day perception of what a charity should be  in the public mind. That would be likely to increase donations.

Charities would  be much  less susceptible to political or commercial influence if they do not take money from the state or private corporations.

The changes would  remove large swathes of charities which are manifestly not in the national interest . Any work overseas would not be classed as charitable and the army of human rights, immigration and ethnic minority charities would cease to be charities.

The type of person attracted to charity work would probably change significantly if the political aspect was removed.  The charities which were left would have to concentrate on providing practical  aid to the causes which they espouse.  People would join because they wanted to be ministering directly to ends of the charity.

Film review – Transcendence

Transcendence

Main Cast

Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, an artificial-intelligence researcher.

Morgan Freeman as Joseph Tagger,  a government scientist

Rebecca Hall as Evelyn Caster, Caster’s wife and a fellow academic.

Kate Mara as Bree, the leader of Revolutionary Independence From Technology (R.I.F.T.)

Cillian Murphy as Donald Buchanan, an FBI agent.

Cole Hauser as Colonel Stevens, a military officer.

Paul Bettany as Max Waters, Caster’s best friend.

Director:  Wally Pfister

In terms of pure filmmaking this is a seriously flawed film. The dialogue is often clunking, there is a lack of character development and  the storyline is  weak.   Nonetheless, it  is a work  which will repay  seeing  because it deals with the  lethally threatening potential  of digital technology, threats  which will almost certainly become reality within the lifetime of most people now living.

Will Caster (Depp) is a scientist specialising in artificial intelligence. He is married to Evelyn  (Rebecca Hall) who works in the same field.  As the film opens Caster  believes he is close to creating an artificial intelligence  that is truly sentient and  which he believes  will create a technological singularity – the point at which computer technology exceeds the capability of homo sapiens – a state  which  Caster calls Transcendence.

This hope is cut short when  Caster is shot by a neo-Luddite group,   the  Revolutionary Independence From Technology (R.I.F.T.),  who also  carry out a  attacks on his artificial-intelligence computer laboratories.  Caster survives the shot but the bullet is coated with radioactive material for  which there is no antidote.  The prognosis is that he has about a month to live.

Evelyn refuses to accept his imminent death and  with the help of Caster’s best friend  Max  (Paul Bettany)  arranges to upload Caster’s consciousness, personality, mind – call it what you will – to a quantum computer. Max  helps  do this despite the fact that he has grave doubts about the wisdom of the act. His doubts rest on the possibility that  Caster’s brain contents will not  be uploaded  uncorrupted or that a  Caster reduced to a digital form will not be Caster anymore  because of the immense change in his environment..

Once uploaded Caster appears on the computer screen looking and sounding  like his real world self, although there is a  new coldness  about him. He  immediately  demands to be connected to the Internet. Max sees the profound dangers of this if Caster in a computer is malign rather than benign  or simply inhuman for he will be able to copy himself throughout the Internet. Consequently, Max  tries to persuade Evelyn not to do it.    Evelyn,  obsessed with her desire to have Caster in any form,   shrugs aside Max’s doubts and throws him out of the laboratory before linking Caster to the Internet where he  promptly does just what Max feared and  copies himself throughout the  virtual world.

The digital Caster is,  if not omniscient and omnipotent, a significant way along the road to both,  because he now has the capabilities of both human and computer with access to the data and facilities of the entire digital world. He is not malign in the sense that he is consciously malicious or self-serving.  Rather Caster  is beset with the  sin of those who are sure they know best. His monomaniac desire to make the world a better place is suddenly released from the shackles of his emotions and the practical limitations on implementing his plans which existed when he was merely a man.   It is a cliché that with power comes a disregard for anyone else’s opinion, but  Caster not only knows better than anyone else,  he now  has the means to realise his dreams.

Using Evelyn as his instrument in the real  world, the virtual Caster makes a fortune rapidly and uses this to take  over  an isolated desert  town called Brightwood. Over the next two years  he develops  advanced technologies  in the fields of energy, medicine, biology and nanotechnology. His plan is to rid the world of the blight of disease,  pollution  and ultimately mortality. The problem is Caster intends to do this not only with no reference to anyone else but also by using nanotechnology to control humans so that they are in essence robots.

While all this is going on  forces are gathering to sabotage  Caster’s ambitions. Shortly after Max breaks with Evelyn , he  is kidnapped by R.I.F.T   and eventually agrees to  join them to disrupt Caster’s plans.  Then the  US government, in the form of  FBI agent Donald Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) a government scientist Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman) unofficially (so they have deniability) join forces  with R.I.F.T  in their  attempt to thwart Caster

Evelyn  gradually  moves from willing and committed  collaborator to a frightened and deeply  worried  woman . The process of disillusionment is completed when she  sees that Caster can  remotely connect to and control people’s minds .  Distraught, Evelyn approaches  R.I.F.T  who develop  a computer virus  which will destroy Caster’s  source code, killing him and, as a side effect,  destroy the technology on which modern society has become recklessly dependent. This happens because the digital Caster is spread throughout the Internet.  To destroy him, the Internet  has to be destroyed.

Regardless of the technological devastation using the virus will create, Evelyn agrees to upload the virus to end whatever it is that Caster has become.  But on returning to Brightwood she finds Caster resurrected in biological form, his body having been replicated, presumably, from   the digital information stored when his brain contents were uploaded .

Caster is aware that his wife  has the virus and  intends to destroy him but does not act against her.  The FBI and  R.I.F.T. attack the Brightwood base  and in the process mortally wound  Evelyn.  Evelyn persuades Caster  to save her by uploading her mind as his mind was uploaded. Caster does this even though he knows it will  end him and the Internet. The virus seemingly kills Caster and Evelyn, and  technological disaster ensues.

But all is not quite as it seems. Years later Max visits the Casters old garden.  The garden is  protected by a device called a  Faraday Cage. This stops any electrical transmission reaching what is inside the cage.    Max  sees a drop of water falling from a sunflower petal instantly cleanses a puddle of oil. The drop contains one of Casters nanoparticles, which is intact because of the protection afforded by the Faraday cage. Max thinks, logically correctly,  that  Caster  and Evelyn’s consciousness’s are contained within the active nano-particles. Perhaps Caster even knew when he wittingly uploaded the virus that there would be copies of  Evelyn and himself retained in the nano particles in  their old garden…

Depp’s performance a s Caster has  received a good deal of criticism on the grounds that it is a flat emotionless  portrayal. This is to  miss the nature of the character he inhabits  once he exists only in digital form. He is then  someone robbed  of the kernel of what makes them human.  Hence, his performance is exactly what is required.

The rest of the performances range from serviceable  in the case of Rebecca Hall to colourless  in the case of  Paul Bettany and slight in the case of everyone else simply because there was no space for them to expand their characters.

This could have been a much better film if two issues had been given much more space, namely, the general arguments against incontinent technological advance and the devastating effects which would result from a closing down of the Internet and  the ending of connectivity which is not only so much a part of modern everyday live but also vital for the maintenance of modern technological necessities such as power stations and large factories.

The  R.I.F.T  characters are anaemic and their arguments against technology do not go much beyond   the mantra “intelligent machines are bad”.  There is no discussion of how human beings may simply fail to survive because they become demoralised by the  superior capacity of machines or machines or that intelligent machines will take not only the jobs humans do now but any other jobs which arise.  As for the post-virus technological upset, this is barely touched upon.

The strength of the film is that it puts before its audience the possibilities of technology  moving beyond the control of human beings and even more fundamentally damaging calling into question what it is to be human.  The dangers of intelligent machines  are simple enough, either they replace humans by making them redundant or engender in humanity the trait seen in tribal peoples encountering   Europeans : the tribal peoples often became  terminally demoralised, presumably by the sophistication and scope of  European culture with which they were faced.

More fundamentally, until now we have known what a human being is. We are on the brink of losing that happy state. If the human mind could be copied an exist within a computer file there is the potential for immortality. The mind could exist within a robot body or  be  distributed throughout the Internet (or whatever supersedes it). If the mind can be uploaded to a computer file so  could all the data needed to create a digital replica of  a person’s body  be uploaded which could then be used to create a replica body into which the uploaded mind could be  uploaded in turn. If the technology to do that  existed, then in principle  it should be possible to upload a digitised mind into a body developed from someone else’s uploaded data….  That is not a world I should wish to live in.

See Transcendence  for its warning of the shape of things to come.

 

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