If you’re one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as “the truth,” you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no “truth” … or rather, that what we’re all conditioned to regard as “truth” from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the “Word of God,” or “the immutable laws of quantum physics,” and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.
OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how “truth” is manufactured. It’s actually not that complicated. See, the “truth” is … well, it’s a story, essentially. It’s whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history (“we” being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don’t in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.
I’ll return to this point a little later. First, let’s look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing “truth.” I’m going to use The Guardian‘s most recent blatantly fabricated article (“Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy”) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by “respectable” outlets over the course of the last two years.
The “Russian Propaganda Peddlers” story. The “Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton”story. The “Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid” story. The “Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape” story. The “Novichok Assassins” story. The “Bana Alabed Speaks Out” story. The “Trump’s Secret Russian Server” story. The “Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis” story. The “Russians Orchestrated Brexit” story. The “Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms” story. The “Twitter Bots” story. And the list goes on.
I’m not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook, Craig Murray, Glenn Greenwald, Moon of Alabama, and many others). [ed. including us]
The short version is, The Guardian‘s Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed “Russians”) on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding’s earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on … well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous “intelligence sources.” After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece (employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.
By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other “respectable,” “authoritative” outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian‘s story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump … well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and “leftists” who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.
At this point, I imagine you’re probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing “truth.” Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie … a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the “truth” thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes’ lies). Unfortunately, it isn’t. Here is why.
Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that “truth” is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.
Nor are there many truths (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one truth … the official truth. The truth according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of “truth” was invented (i.e., to render any other “truths” lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some “objective truth” (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger’s dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn’t. The truth is just a story … a story that is never our story.
The truth is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else’s story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the truth of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their “truth” as heresy. They regard their “truth” as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.
For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or “fearless adversarial” outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.
Or … all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian, or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can’t afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.
Look, I’m not trying to argue that it isn’t important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that “the truth” is not going to “rouse the masses from their slumber” and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly “wake up,” “see the truth” and start “the revolution.” People already know the truth … the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.
And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.
As for Julian Assange, I’m afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn’t left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can’t have heretics of Assange’s notoriety running around punching holes in their “truth” and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.
Universal Credit will be claimed by 8.5 million UK households and each will have at least 12 decisions each year. Of these 102 million individual UC decisions each year 20% of them will be wrong and result in short payment says the National Audit Office.
Over 20 million wrong and underpayments each year yet we still have idiots calling for a stop and fix rather than stop and abandonment policy! We still have idiots saying UC is fine in theory it is only the implementaion that is wrong! Wake up and smell the coffee.
What is wrong with Universal Credit is that it is THE most incompetent social welfare policy ever created. It is incompetent by design.
Frankenstein IDS and his latest monster Rudd
After more than 5 years since it began to be rolled out nationally in October 2013 so many basic errors and faults and flaws have still not been corrected and we see the NAO state that 1 in every 5 decisions is wrong. You cannot even roll the UC turd in glitter any more and the policy has to be abandoned.
Even the latest concerted challenge to stop UC rolling out before Christmas 2018 on the basis it will cause hardship at Christmas is idiotic. Its basis is leave it till January 2019 and presumably on the basis that the abject poverty it creates on implementation is somehow fine if it occurs in January and February but not in December!!
Sir Amyas Charles Edward Morse, KCB is the Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office (NAO), an independent Parliamentary body and who wrote to the Secretary of State Work & Pensions (ie DWP) in July 2018 (see here) informing the then SSWP Esther McVey that 20% of Unversal Credit decisions are wrong
We also know that 20% of claimants are not paid in full on time and that the department cannot measure the exact number of additional people in employment as a result of universal credit.
- 20.4 million wrong UC decisions each year
- 1.7 million wrong UC decisions each and every month
- 1.7 million UK households being underpaid each and every month
- Over 4 million men, women and children directly placed into poverty (1.7m households containing 2.4 people) each and every month due to this incompetent farrago of a policy
Over 5 years of “Stop and Fix” aka “Test and Learn” activities to fix this policy of its most basic of errors and it is still not fit to even be called a turd.
If 1 in 5 UC decisions are wrong NOW with just 10% of the intended full UC cohort claiming this incometent mess of a policy and after more than 5 years of piecemeal changes in the test and learn strategy then imagine what it will be like when UC expands to ten times its current claimant number! So far the UC 10% are the easiest and least complex cases of (mostly) single persons. The Government test and NOT learn policy cannot even roll the policy in glitter on the easiest and least complex cases!
Universal Credit is a failure by design. The Government UC test and learn policy is also a failure.
Robert Craig: Privacy International Symposium – Privacy International and the Separation of Powers — | Administrative Law in the Common Law World | 23 November 2018
Privacy International has brought judicial review proceedings against the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, in respect of the Tribunal’s treatment of a complaint about computer hacking by GCHQ. At first instance ( EWHC 114 (Admin)) and on appeal ( EWCA Civ 1868), it has been held that judicial review of the Tribunal is precluded by the ouster clause contained in s. 67(8) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court (Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath and Lord Lloyd-Jones) will hear Privacy International’s appeal in December.
This online collection grows out of a symposium held by the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge on October 20, 2018, organised by Dr Paul Daly (University of Cambridge). Symposium participants have agreed to post short contributions on this important litigation.
The separation of powers is the Cinderella of constitutional discourse. My theme in this blog is that the court’s treatment of an attempt by parliament to oust the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court needs to draw a clear distinction where the relevant body is in fact acting in a judicial rather than executive capacity. This blog is a condensed version of an article in the October 2018 edition of Public Law.
Ouster clauses appear to place into tension two core ideas which are that the will of parliament must be obeyed and that ordinary citizens should be able to challenge public bodies in court: parliamentary sovereignty versus the rule of law.
Anisminic is now generally seen as the classic example of the treatment of ouster clauses by the courts. The courts held they are to be treated as ineffective without crystal clear words. The decision in Anisminic was eventually considered to have swept away the jurisdictional distinction such that when a public body makes a mistake of law, it always acts outside its jurisdiction.
Ouster clauses applied to judicial bodies
In my submission, the effect of ouster clauses on judicial review of judicial bodies should be clearly distinguished from the Anisminic situation. My claim is that in Privacy, the relevant body, the IPT, exercises a judicial function. The appropriate analysis of ouster clauses concerning bodies exercising a judicial function is conceptually distinct from the application of such clauses to bodies exercising an executive function.
In a series of cases, including Racal and Page, the supervisory role of the courts over bodies exercising a judicial function has been brought close to, but not entirely in line with the treatment of administrative bodies after Anisminic. There remains, however, a clear set of circumstances where the writ of the High Court does not run.
Lord Diplock in Racal stated that where parliament intended to oust the jurisdiction of the High Court over inferior courts, such clauses should be generously construed. In Page Lord Browne-Wilkinson held that, in general, inferior courts will not be able to diverge from the general law.
It might be thought that all areas of law should be compliant with the ‘general law’. This is clearly disproved by Page. The court said that the visitor ‘is applying not the general law of the land but a peculiar, domestic law of which he is the sole arbiter and of which the courts have no cognisance’. Thus there are two sub-categories of ouster clauses concerning judicial bodies.
The case of Woolas is a good example of where a court was never supposed to diverge from the general law which forms one sub-category.
The second sub-category – where the writ of the High Court does not run
Cart concerns the jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal. Lord Justice Sedley in the Court of Appeal in Cart drew a precise distinction between ‘outright excess of jurisdiction’ and a ‘mere error of law made in the course of an adjudication’, describing the distinction as being a ‘true jurisprudential difference’. This specifically recognises that the Upper Tribunal has the mandate from parliament to diverge from the general law by making errors of law within its jurisdiction.
Most unfortunately, the Supreme Court significantly muddies the clear waters mapped out by LJ Sedley. It held that the criteria for judicial review should be the ‘second appeal’ criteria which mean that if a point of general public importance is raised, then the claim could be brought. This was said to be a pragmatic compromise.
Unfortunately, as with many compromises that fudge hard choices, this judgment neatly captures the worst of both worlds because it allows the Upper Tribunal to diverge from the general law in apparent breach of the rule of law but at the same time it undermines parliamentary sovereignty by permitting judicial review in some circumstances but contrary to the intention of parliament.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (‘IPT’) was set up by statute to permit the legality of actions taken by the security services to be tested independently, in court. The IPT is a judicial body because it deals only with questions of law not the merits of substantive decisions by the security services.
Importantly, the IPT is the only available forum for actions against the intelligence services under s 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 – actions under s 7 must be considered by a judicial body. The IPT may be labelled a “tribunal” but it exercises a judicial function. What matters in these situations is that the function of the relevant body in the particular case is carefully assessed and classified.
Parliamentary sovereignty or the rule of law
The linguistic distinction between the clauses in Anisminic and Privacy was not one that persuaded Leggatt J in the Divisional Court: “(including decisions as to whether they have jurisdiction)”. Leggatt attacked the possibility of there being any ‘legal islands’ specifically on rule of law grounds.
The rule of law does not require hegemony. The IPT is an independent judicial body with prospective, clear, open, stable and general rules that have been set out in advance with hearings that are subject to the rules of natural justice. This tends to undermine any claims that the absence of an appeal procedure from the IPT necessarily breaches basic rule of law principles. To the extent the application to the Supreme Court relies on a generic appeal to the “rule of law” as its core thesis, the argument is weak.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the damage to the clarity and certainty the rule of law is meant to promote if the courts were to disregard the wording of s 67(8) RIPA and the clear intention of parliament. Demanding crystal clear words where otherwise the executive could operate outside the law is one thing. Insisting that parliament cannot prevent the senior courts imposing their interpretation of RIPA on the IPT in the teeth of parliamentary intention to the contrary is quite another.
LJ Leveson in the Divisional Court and LJ Sales in the Court of Appeal both take a radically different view to Leggatt J. Their approach is consistent with the test in Pageand the views of LJ Sedley in Cart. Crucially, RIPA imposed ‘second tier’ appeal requirements on This means that it would arguably be inappropriate for the court to impose the same test in Privacy as was applied by the Supreme Court in Cart. This is because if parliament had intended to introduce the second-tier appeal mechanism that it in fact introduced later then it would have done so beforehand.
It is reasonably clear that the intention of parliament when it created a judicial framework to consider the legality of activities of the security services was to create a regime that was separate and potentially divergent from the general law. The IPT has its own jurisdiction which should be respected.
The wording of the ouster clause appears to confer on the IPT the right to determine the limits of its own jurisdiction and the intention of parliament appears to be clear. The IPT ouster clause should be effective notwithstanding the Anisminic doctrine. This is primarily because it was a judicial body and in particular a judicial body that parliament intended to be able to deviate from the general law. It has its own jurisdiction.
I have attempted to clarify the courts approach to ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court since Anisminic. I have suggested that applying the separation of powers to the analysis forces a distinction to be drawn between ouster clauses in different situations. It is clear that ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court to supervise executive bodies requires exceptionally clear words as Anisminic shows.
Separately, the courts have interpreted ouster clauses for judicial bodies narrowly where parliament has shown no intention of conferring the power to diverge from the general law on a particular judicial body. A proper approach to the separation of powers is central to this analysis.
By contrast, where parliament has indicated that it intends that a particular judicial body should be able to deviate from the general law, then such bodies can do so by making errors of law. They have their own jurisdiction. It is rare for parliament to indicate that this is its intention. Arguably, Cart was one such example and LJ Sedley’s judgment is to be preferred to the Supreme Court because it recognises that parliament did in this case intend that the tribunal system would be, basically, autonomous. Privacyprovides us with another example. Page was the first example.
In Privacy, and arguably Cart, parliament intended to reallocate judicial supervision usually undertaken by the High Court to a new statutory judicial body that cannot itself be judicially reviewed by the High Court for error of law. This clear parliamentary intention should be respected and in my submission the possibility of effective ouster clauses covering some specific judicial bodies should be recognised by the Supreme Court.
Robert Craig is a PhD Candidate at Durham University
Want to Deradicalize Terrorists? Treat Them Like Everyone Else. | ELENA SOURIS, SPANDANA SINGH | FOREIGN POLICY | 23
Many counter-extremism efforts falter because ideological reform programs run by governments lack credibility. Appealing to the basic psychological needs of ex-radicals is more promising.
As the French prime minister in 2016, Manuel Valls presented an 80-point, $114 million plan for countering jihadists. It featured an experimental deradicalization center that Valls hoped would turn French extremists into non-threatening citizens who could rejoin society. The objective was worthwhile, but it was hamstrung by a peculiarly French focus on secular nationalist symbolism.
At the center, nine volunteers for rehabilitation worked with teachers, psychologists, and imams in a rural chateau in the Loire Valley to discuss religion and jihadi ideologies. Participants were expected to stop eating halal food. Every day, they studied French history, philosophy, and literature, wore uniforms, and sang the national anthem.
Unsurprisingly, the program ended after just five months. Local villagers protested the former extremists’ proximity to their community and several French experts and officials criticized the model for its clumsy, heavy-handed design flaws. Though this model isn’t reflective of France’s comprehensive deradicalization strategy, it suggests that when done poorly, deradicalization programs benefit no one—neither the participants, government, nor community—and can do more harm than good. Three participants in the program started calling themselves “the rigorist Salafist gang” and another was later arrested for the crime of “apology for terrorism.”
The French government made two primary mistakes. First, although the center wanted to address the root causes of radicalization and had psychologists on staff, the model put too much focus on ideology by trying to replace extremism with a secular “counter-truth.” Second, the program promoted Western nationalist identities over Islamic ones, an especially fraught move in France, given the country’s long-standing tensions around laïcité, the legal principle that promotes secularism in theory but, to many critics, seems to be more focused on limiting Muslims’ ability to observe Islam. Ultimately, these mistakes not only made deradicalization unlikely, they were also bad policy.
A more comprehensive psychology-based framework would make deradicalization programs more effective
A more comprehensive psychology-based framework would make deradicalization programs more effective
, offer a more appropriate role for the government, and protect former extremists’ legal rights.The first step is to see ex-jihadis as individuals with unique psychological traits. Daniel Koehler, director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies, arguesthat deradicalization can only happen when an individual has a “cognitive opening” and an environment that supports personal reflection. In this kind of environment, a program could then initiate deradicalization by applying and engaging what psychologists and researchers term the “significance quest theory” (SQT) as one component of the deradicalization process.
The SQT postulates that all individuals are motivated by a desire to have significance in their lives—essentially, to matter. When applied to violent extremism, the theory suggests there are three elements that can translate this basic human need into motivation for violence: a need for personal significance, an ideological narrative (often political or religious) that presents violence as an acceptable method, and a social network that supports this path. Some Islamic State recruits, for example, have cited political motivation or spiritual duty. Similarly, neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan propaganda often promises members a fulfilling role in protecting women, children, and country.
Psychologists including David Webber, of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Arie Kruglanski, of the University of Maryland, argue that successful deradicalization efforts might specifically address an individual’s significant “deficits.” That means analyzing their needs, narrative, and network, and redirecting those desires toward more positive goals such as meaningful jobs or community roles through therapy, education, and networking. When done well, this kind of approach sees former extremists as complex, multifaceted people.
When done well, this kind of approach sees former extremists as complex, multifaceted people.
Sri Lanka is one country that has employed this model. After the country’s civil war ended in May 2009, the victorious government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa established detention centers for members of the defeated militant group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Detained former Tamil Tigers would then undergo a deradicalization program that took a six-pronged approach addressing the educational, vocational, spiritual, recreational, psychosocial, and sociocultural/familial aspects of an individual’s life when transitioning back into society.
Kruglanski, Webber, and their colleagues evaluated this program, examining 601 former Tamil Tiger members, including men and women of all ages. Ultimately, they found that program participants showed decreased levels of extremism over time thanks to lower feelings of insignificance.
As a result, participants were less reliant on Tamil Tiger separatist ideology and were less nostalgic for the group. When looking at the program’s long-term impacts, the study found that former participants were significantly less extreme than other Tamils who lived in their community but had never joined the Tigers. Those who kept social ties to the group were more extreme, suggesting the importance of a new social network.
The Sri Lankan case study, of course, has its limitations. Many participants may have demonstrated lower levels of radicalization and desire to rejoin society because the Tamil Tigers had been defeated, so participation wasn’t a viable option. The program also doesn’t include high-level extremists who planned or carried out attacks. More seriously, the fact that the program is government-run and military-managed—following a violent conflict in which the LTTE fought the Sri Lankan state—should be a red flag.
Rajapaksa was famously anti-LTTE in his platform, and human rights groups have reported abuses perpetrated by both the secessionists and the government. For example, the government detained 280,000Tamil civilians after the war ended. France does not have the same recent history of conflict, but any model that involves a majority group government imposing values on another should be treated with some suspicion.
The Sri Lankan case study shows promising results for how programs can address the psychology of deradicalization, but the government’s involvement, as in France, was a problem. One clinical psychologist, Malkanthi Hettiarachchi, described Sri Lankan rehabilitation centers as “warm” environments that treat participants with “care and respect,” and vaguely noted that the government-run, civilian-staffed program are operated separately from the “investigating arm of the state.”
The program also involves nongovernmental organizations, corporate and private sector cooperation, and a mentoring program featuring successful Tamil actors, businesspeople, and athletes. Still, it’s easy to imagine that a strong government influence immediately following a violent conflict could make it difficult for such an environment to fully achieve the cognitive opening that Koehler emphasizes.
That’s because credibility matters. Respecting former extremists’ religious and political rights is equally important, as this helps ensure programs don’t strike participants as repressive or hypocritical. Any appearance of deradicalization turning into “re-education” could easily backfire.
Civil liberties advocates and community groups are especially wary of government deradicalization programs violating individual rights to freedom of speech or religion, or strongly promoting specific ideologies. Ritu Banerjee, the senior director of the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, rightfully said that when government officials debate ideology with ex-radicals, it can seem like “propaganda.” In cases with Islamist extremists, anything fueling the “Islam versus the West” dichotomy undermines deradicalization and plays into jihadi messaging.
In cases with Islamist extremists, anything fueling the “Islam versus the West” dichotomy undermines deradicalization and plays into jihadi messaging.
In France, it’s especially important to avoid nationalist messaging because of laïcité’s recent anti-Islamic overtones. Debates about public displays of religion have focused far more on wearing burkinis than crucifixes, signaling that Islam isn’t welcome in French society while observance of other religions is fine. Far-right politician Marine Le Pen famously said “France isn’t burkinis on the beach. France is Brigitte Bardot,” and former President Nicolas Sarkozy also called for a burkini ban against what he considered a radical Islam “provocation.”
To create successful programs and balance government involvement, governments should stick to their specialty: bureaucratic tasks like job identification to smooth the social transition and coordinating witness protection for former radicals who testified against other members. Then, community partners can take on their role as more credible—and legally appropriate—intermediaries to discuss ideology, religion, and extremism.
But maintaining this balance is easier said than done. According to Evanna Hu, co-founder and CEO of Omelas, a company that evaluates global online countermessaging, any program involving former extremists is high-risk. Politicians, by nature, are afraid of a backlash or the consequences if a graduate later commits an attack.
Politicians, by nature, are afraid of a backlash or the consequences if a graduate later commits an attack.
Some critics also argue that any government involvement will discredit intermediaries such as imams or therapists. In the French program, for example, former jihadis viewed the program’s designated imam as “unfaithful” for working with the secular government and not eating halal food and they initially refused to speak with him. However, models in countries such as Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore have suggested that governments can serve as valuable intermediaries and convening forces between local religious leaders, authorities, former extremists, and their families. Government involvement, when carefully designed and implemented, could potentially lend programs credibility and structure, driving results.
Governments have also acted while maintaining political distance through issuing deradicalization grants. For example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism grant program gave money to groups such as the education nonprofit Ka Joog, which works with the Somali community in Minnesota and implements localized anti-extremism programs. While skeptics could research these groups’ funding—grant awards are publicly announced on government websites and sometimes receive local media coverage—the tone is much different than if the U.S. government itself was directly running and operating the program.
In 2017, however, the Trump administration shifted the program’s focus to groups partnering with law enforcement and working against Islamist extremism. Life After Hate, the only group funded by DHS to work against far-right extremism, also lost their funding, potentially because one of the group’s founders was critical of President Donald Trump on Twitter. After that, some Muslim-focused organizations, including Ka Joog, returned their grants, citing Trump’s attitudes toward Muslims and immigrants. In Ka Joog’s case, this meant giving up almost $500,000.
The perception of government Islamophobia directly thwarts deradicalization efforts.
The perception of government Islamophobia directly thwarts deradicalization efforts.
It alienates Muslim communities, ignores far-right threats, and sabotages community intermediaries who could otherwise be well-received messengers. This has a disastrous effect on deradicalization programs because it discredits government assistance and the intermediaries who accept it, before programs even begin.Addressing domestic extremists, returning fighters, and increasing citizen anxiety is becoming a huge challenge for Western governments—one they’re not sure how to address. Psychological models are not a cure-all and should only be one piece of the larger deradicalization puzzle.
While it is tempting to categorize terrorists and extremists as irredeemable, it’s important to remember that they generally respond to the same incentives as everyone else. Incorporating the significance quest theory model as one part of the deradicalization process may remind policymakers that extremists are, in fact, human.
In the aftermath of the Jamal Khashoggi murder, the kingdom has exploited the podium of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by using its imams to praise, sanctify and defend the rulers and their actions.
By Khaled M. Abou El Fadl
Mr. Fadl teaches law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The rulers of Saudi Arabia derive much of their legitimacy and prestige in the Muslim world from their control and upkeep of the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba in Mecca and the mosque of Prophet Muhammad in Medina. King Salman, like the rulers before him, wears the title of the “Khadim al-Ḥaramayn al-Sharifayn,” which is translated as the “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” or, more precisely, “The Servant of the Two Noble Sanctuaries.”
Despite the humility of the royal title, the Saudi monarchy has a long history of exploiting the podium of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by using its imams to praise, sanctify and defend the rulers and their actions.
In the aftermath of the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as the world’s accusatory gaze was transfixed on Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi monarchy has again used the Grand Mosque to defend and deify the crown prince in a manner that makes its legitimacy and control of Mecca and Medina morally troubling like never before.
On Oct. 19, Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the officially appointed imam of the Grand Mosque and the highest religious authority in the kingdom, delivered his Friday sermon from a written script. Friday sermons at the Grand Mosque are broadcast live on cable networks and social media sites, watched with great reverence by millions of Muslims and carry a great deal of moral and religious authority.
Imam Sudais delivered a troubling sermon, violating the sanctity of the sacred space he occupied. He referenced a saying attributed to Prophet Muhammad that once every century, God sends a mujaddid, a great reformer to reclaim or reinvigorate the faith. He explained that the mujaddid is needed to address the unique challenges of each age.
He proceeded to extol Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a divine gift to Muslims and implied that the crown prince was the mujaddid sent by God to revive the Islamic faith in our age. “The path of reform and modernization in this blessed land … through the care and attention from its young, ambitious, divinely inspired reformer crown prince, continues to blaze forward guided by his vision of innovation and insightful modernism, despite all the failed pressures and threats,” the imam declared, from the podium where Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon.
Invoking the debate following the Khashoggi murder, Imam Sudais warned Muslims against believing ill-intended media rumors and innuendos that sought to cast doubt on the great Muslim leader. He described the conspiracies against the crown prince as intended to destroy Islam and Muslims, warning that “all threats against his modernizing reforms are bound not only to fail, but will threaten international security, peace and stability.”
He cautioned that the attacks against “these blessed lands” are a provocation and offense to more than a billion Muslims. Imam Sudais used the word “muhaddath,” or “uniquely and singularly gifted” to describe Prince Mohammed. “Muhaddath” was the title given by Prophet Muhammad to Umar Ibn al-Khattab, his companion and the second caliph of Islam. The imam implicitly compared the crown prince to Caliph Umar.
Imam Sudais prayed for God to protect Prince Mohammed against the international conspiracies being woven against him by the enemies of Islam, the malingerers and hypocrites, and concluded that it was the solemn duty of all Muslims to support and obey the king and the faithful crown prince, the protectors and guardians of the holy sites and Islam.
When an imam of the Grand Mosque calls upon Muslims to obediently accept Prince Mohammed’s incredulous narrative about the murder of Mr. Khashoggi; to accept his abduction, jailing and torture of dissenters, including imprisonment of several revered Islamic scholars; to ignore his pitiless and cruel war in Yemen, his undermining the democratic dreams in the Arab world, his support for the oppressive dictatorship in Egypt, it makes it impossible to accept the imam’s categorization of the crown prince as a divinely inspired reformer. The sanctified podium of the prophet in Mecca is being desecrated and defiled.
The control of Mecca and Medina has enabled the clerical establishment and the monarchy flush with oil money to extend their literalist and rigid interpretations of Islam beyond the borders of the kingdom. Most Muslims will always prefer a tolerant and ethically conscientious Islam to the variant championed by the crown prince and the acquiescent Saudi clergy.
By using the Grand Mosque to whitewash acts of despotism and oppression, Prince Mohammed has placed the very legitimacy of the Saudi control and guardianship of the holy places of Mecca and Medina in question.
Khaled M. Abou El Fadl is a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of “Reasoning With God: Reclaiming Shari‘ah in the Modern Age.”
Despite all the publicity and countless deaths and Stephenie Bincliffe and Thomas Rawnsley and huge media coverage of Bethany’s treatment. Bethany’s treatment gets worse because it is worth 13,000 a week to the private company giving it.
Whilst they own ATUs and Community Living and huge NHS money is paid for both, nothing will change , despite exposure and this is beyond shameful and illegal as this is not treatment under MHA as it is making the patient Bethany much much worse and is inhuman torture costing us the public a fortune to make private profit.
Four days ago (27th October) Jeremy, Beth’s Dad, reported that she was back in seclusion – not the cell, in a two-room arrangement, but (crucially) with no hatch. So, no way of talking to anyone other than shouting through a door. So no way of hearing phone calls.
It seems that passing her food involved some sort of distraction procedure you might expect to see in a zoo.
It transpired that despite making arrangements to move her from the cell, her care plan had not been updated:
And despite agreements by all that, communicating changes to Beth, should be very carefully managed… It wasn’t. So, all in all, it appears that the change happened without the planning and communication required to make it a success.
Three days after Beth’s meltdown, and after three days of communicating through a door, Beth was back in the cell. It seems her family were informed by Beth …
So I guess she had no window, no dog, no guinea pigs but at least she had the hatch. And she walked there calmly and voluntarily. Her dad explains more:
“So Beth is back in the Seclusion Cell. Locked away again. She has spent the last couple of days locked up in extra care unable to communicate with us on the phone. Have you ever tried talking to someone on a mobile phone on the other side of a 4” solid door?
Contact took place this weekend with shouted sentences back and forth, blocked by the locked door.
Beth has been distressed hearing that she hurt 2 people. When she meltdowns like she did it is an unconscious act. She is unable to control herself not remember afterwards what she did. This always greatly distresses her.
St Andrew’s reaction was to ask to ask Beth if she, therefore, would feel safer and also be happier back in the seclusion cell where she could once again talk to her mum and dad. Of course, Beth said she would prefer that. So once more they locked her away.
If they had instead offered her a rabbit to cuddle, help to manage her emotions, the 3 trained staff to help her and a way of phoning home, I know as well as everyone else what she would have chosen.
It sickens me that such manipulative behaviour has been engineered and carried out by those responsible for her care.
In the few days she spent safely in extra care with proper help, activities and contact with animals she loves I saw a daughter I hadn’t seen for many, many months.
Put yourself in Beth’s place, how can this be right?”
Jeremy has described more about this on a chat show that can be accessed here:
Jeremy has written a moving open letter to Beth’s carers that can be accessed here.
So, for now, Beth is back in her small windowless room, with 2 pieces of plastic covered foam (one bed shaped and one chair shaped) and the hatch. She is 17. She has been there for nearly 2 years. Because she is anxious. Our NHS is paying £13k per week for this ‘care’.
You can help.
Beth likes jokes and would love to receive cards. Keep them cheerful! Send them to Jeremy, Beth’s Dad, 31 Oaklands Avenue, Harborne. Birmingham, B17 9TU.
This blog was written with prior agreement with Jeremy.
FACT-CHECK: Are Asians Overrepresented in Crimes in the UK? Is Islam the Cause? Statistics & a Response to right-wing Islamophobes, Intolerant secularists (and closet Racists) | Abdullah al Andalusi | 1 November 2018
Constant reports on “Asian Grooming Gangs” by the media, have been exploited by far-right, right-wing, and intolerant left-wing factions, to stir up anit-immigrant, or more specifically, anti-Islam sentiment.
Based upon selective research, and selective definitions of certain types of crimes, It has been argued Asian Muslims are over-represented in crimes involving 1) Group activity, and 2) against minors of age 11 and above.
By using such a criteria, they ignore the full range of statistics that show that crimes committed by ONLINE groups of pedohphiles, targeting minors age UNDER 11 are almost all “White English”.
This allows them to progress to the desired end-goals of their argument, namely, to blame Islam (?!) for causing Asian Muslim men to go out and grooming young women by inviting them to drink alcohol, take drugs (with them), and fornicate (Zina) with them, passing them around their friends . It defies all logical argument to blame Islam for all the things Islam prohibits, but considering that the Nazis accused Jews in the 1930s of deliberately targeting and raping White Aryan women as part of following the talmud  – such arguments against religious minorities are not new, and follow a long tradition in Europe.
But what do the statistics say?
If the thesis is true, namely, that Islam would make Muslims commit more crimes than others, the statistics would show that the Asian population of UK commits more crimes – especially sexual offences – across the board.
[For U.S. Americans reading this, the term “Asians” in the statistics published, refers to individuals from the Indian Sub-continent, India, Bangladesh and Pakistani].
Statistics According to Most Recent Population in Census in UK (2011):
Population of UK:
Stats (obtained from attached Government statistics published by Ministry of Justice, 2017):
Convictions for Any Crimes:
Convicted and Sentenced (incl. Punishments ranging from fines, community service or imprisonment):
Violence against a person:
Those (where the gravity of the crimes was considered to merit) Sentenced to Imprisonment:
Violence against a person
There is no statistical significance that shows that “Asians” commit more crime than Whites, or are over-represented. If anything, the stats shows that “Asians” are underrepresented for All Crimes, and less likely to commit violence against a person.
1) Well not all Asians in the UK are Muslim.
True, but assuming that non-Muslim Asians commit the same rate of crime as Non-Muslim “Whites”, the statistics for Asian crime would be still disproportionately overrepresented with Asians (as, according to the thesis, Muslim Asians commit more crimes than other Asians). Seeing as this is NOT the case, either Muslim Asians commit the same (or less) crime than non-Muslim “Whites”, OR in order to make the thesis fit, that Asian Muslims do commit more crimes, this would require that non-Muslim Asians magically, have to be disproportionately more law abiding than any other ethnicity, in order to “cover” the fact that the stats don’t show “asians” are equal or less represented in crime stats.
2) Explain why 15% of the prison population is Muslim!
While prison conversions to Islam are a well known phenomena, there could be other reasons, like defendants with Muslim names receiving disproportionately severe sentences compared to other populations. In 2002, as the War of* Terror was getting started, and the military operations against Muslim countries began, the amount of Muslims in prison in was only 8%, but now it has almost doubled to 15%! Something to consider…
In America, it is demonstrably shown by statistics that African Americans certainly receive disproportionately more severe sentencing than American “Whites”.
Secondly, in the UK the stats report “Black or Black British” to be almost three times more represented in Prisons than exist in the population at large.
No one would argue (except the KKK perhaps), that there is something innate in “Blackness” that causes crimes, so likewise is equally absurd the argument that there is something innate in Islam or Muslims that causes more propensity to crime either.
The explanation to disproportionate representation for criminal activity, usually is disenfranchisement due to poverty (or discrimination) and lack of public spending on community development in areas of majorities of one ethnicity. In 1920s, the British Union of Fascists were arguing that the poor Jewish areas in East London caused a disproportionate number of crime in London. They of course, incited by their fascism, cynically blamed Judaism, when the real explanation was simply the effects of poverty.
3) Why don’t we see similar amounts of Sikhs and Hindus in Grooming gangs?
Firstly, there are more bangladeshis and Pakistanis than there are Sikh or Hindu indians in the UK.
Secondly, immigration from the Indian sub-continent came from different sources and backgrounds. After the British Empire was crippled by WW2, most Hindus and Sikhs were brought to the country to help rebuild, come from more affluent and professionally qualified backgrounds. Many individuals coming from Muslim majority countries, like Pakistan and Bangladesh, were drawn from poor or rural areas. Therefore the first generation of Muslim immigrants (from the indian sub-continent) were much poorer than their Hindu and Sikh colleagues (see point 2). And as everyone knows, poverty has a direct correlation to crime.
4) The Muslim population of the UK is around 4-5%, and if we take away Muslim women, and children from that amount, it is around 1-1.5% – so the crimes statistics are even more shocking!
Well considering that the population of the UK is 41% male (over the age of 15), but yet males comprise 95% of the prison population, and constitute the overwhelming proportion of individuals who commit sexual assault, the attempt to claim that Muslim men are even more disproportionately represented in crime (and therefore “must” be motivated by their religion) is moot.
So if this teaches us anything, it it that conspiracy theories claiming that everything a Muslim human does is because they are Muslim, and not because they are human, are wrong. The claim that Islam causes Muslims to commit crimes against non-Muslims is wrong.
People shouldn’t follow such conspiracy theories, instead, they should adopt the feminist conspiracy theory that men commit more crime due to the (the culture/ideology?) of “Toxic Masculinity”. Because as you know, since we’re all equal, the differences between the behaviour of the sexes is just “imagined” and “socially constructed”. If this is not the case, and there is actually natural differences (caused by, natures steroid: testosterone) and nature isn’t equal, we’ll have to revise our theories of equality, and we don’t want to do that – so let’s stick with the (conspiracy) theory that there must be a “culture” or “ideology” that makes men 20 times more likely to commit violent crimes than women.
So to all you far-right Islamophobes out there: why be a fascist, when you can be a feminist? The methodology of interpreting facts is the same, just slanted towards a different conclusion. Instead of telling people to be on guard against Muslims, you can just tell people to be on guard against #All Men
[Note – sarcasm]
To read my arguments on the issue of “Grooming Gangs” see here:
Political analyst Shabbir Hassanally says the UN has become “a means to legitimize the corruption and excesses of the American regime on humanity”.
Mr. Hassanally, in an exclusive interview with FNA, said that the UN is totally complicit with the genocide of the Yemeni people, and it is possible that the situation in Yemen “would be the final nail in the coffin of the corrupt and impotent United Nations.”
The analyst also said that the Saudi-led coalition’s deliberate targeting of civilians is aimed at making the Yemeni people move against the resistance movement.
Shabbir Hassanally is an Islamic Scholar and political analyst. Mr. Hassanally lectures at various Islamic Centers from time to time and is currently working on a book on the commonalities between Zionism and Wahhabism – from a political and hegemonic perspective, as well as examining historical parallels between the two. He also consults on subjects related to human rights, activism, Islam, anti-sectarianism, and Islamic politics, economics, the Palestine issue and issues affecting Muslims across the world.
FNA has conducted an interview with Shabbir Hassanally about the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen and possible motives behind the war imposed on the impoverished Arab country by Saudi Arabia and its western allies.
Below you will find the full text of the interview.
Q: What do you think of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen caused by the Saudi war and the blockade on the country?
A: The humanitarian crisis, which is exasperated by the inaction and complicity of the United Nations against Yemen is without a doubt a criminal activity, and perhaps even the last nail in the coffin of any credibility that the United Nations had.
The pandering of the UN to the Zionist Entity historically has led to the UN being unable to – or perhaps unwilling to – prevent the Arab Zionists from perpetrating the most horrific of crimes on Yemen and getting away with them, without so much as a slap on the wrist by the so-called “civilized” international community.
The UN was built on the notion of “Never Again” following the atrocities we are told happened during the Second World War; that the world would never allow mass genocide to take place; yet here we are, for the umpteenth time, witnessing a genocide that the UN facilitates.
Q: What are the Saudis’ objectives in their war on Yemen?
A: The Saudi’s wanted to ensure that Yemen was prevented from exercising its right to be independent, to choose its own government and to control its own natural resources and indeed its own destiny.
The Saudi regime knows that Yemen is a strong, powerful country, with people who have great honour and dignity, and that given the control that Yemen has over the Bab al-Mandab Straits, it could potentially be a threat to both Saudi Arabia and its Zionist siblings occupying Palestine.
The stated objectives were to “reinstate” the “legitimate” government of AbdurRabuh Mansour Hadi, but this is invalid as Mansour Hadi had voluntarily resigned – not once but twice, and was no longer the President of Yemen. What he was, was a slave of the Saudi and Zionist project, and as a result, he committed the greatest treason upon those who he professes are his own people.
Q: It seems that the Saudis expected an easy-to-win combat when they first stepped into the war. What do you see as the reason for Riyadh’s continued failure in Yemen?
A: The primary reason for the catastrophic failure of the Saudi-coalition, led by the US/Israel/UK/UAE against Yemen has been the bravery and resilience of the people of Yemen. Their loyalty to the land and to their sovereignty, and their respect and love for the Ansarallah Resistance – who are incidentally made up of more than just the Houthi Tribe (though they are a key component of the Ansarallah movement).
Ansarallah is a popular movement, and everywhere we look, when a resistance movement is built on the popular support it is always successful and victorious. For example:
In Lebanon with Hizbullah
In Iraq with the Hashd ash-Sha’bi (also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU))
In Iran during the early years of Islamic Revolution and during the Eight-Year Sacred Defense with Baseej and Sepah (IRGC)
In Syria with the various Resistance movements that came in to defend Syria from the Takfiri terrorism, such as the Zaynabiyyoun and Fatimiyyoun Resistance Groups, and many other home-grown resistance groups that worked alongside the Syrian Army.
So whenever and wherever you see a genuinely popular movement; something that comes from the people; and is rooted in the dignity of the people and the land; that forms a “Golden Equation” as described by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah; an equation of the People, the Army and the Resistance – and if examined the above movements; as well as the Ansarallah Resistance in Yemen fully conform to this equation.
The core of the Yemeni Army is with the People and with the Resistance; as a result; since the Golden Equation is complete; there is NO POSSIBILITY for the Zionists – be they Arab or European – of having any sort of success in Yemen (or anywhere that operates on this idea of the Golden Equation). This provides a safeguard for Yemen.
Granted, the enemy will – and sadly is – working to create a monumental humanitarian crisis in Yemen; but this is merely sealing the fate of all those bombing and harming Yemen, and those who supply those criminals with weapons and “logistical support” – sadly like the UK and France.
Q: Why do the US and the UK continue to supply Saudi Arabia with arms despite international criticism regarding civilian casualties?
A: As for why the criminal regimes in Washington and London (neither of which have any sort of real public mandate; since both came to power based on deception and lies, rendering their “election” invalid and void, but I digress); these are regimes based on savage capitalism; they are driven by money and power; and controlled in every facet by the Zionist project. They are also driven by a constant fear of their own impending destruction; a fear that is the staple of the Zionists and is used by them to further their own agendas and as a means to mitigate any potential resistance against them – but again, I digress.
This can be seen in their understanding that the people in Yemen have chosen the path of Resistance, and whenever that path is chosen when the Golden Equation can be found, the people are always successful. And it will be the cause for the destruction of the enemies and those criminals who seek to invade and colonize Yemen.
They also know that if they allow Yemen to prevail (and of course they cannot stop the inevitable victory of the people of Yemen, they can only try and delay it and cause more deaths and destruction), then the next stop for victory is Palestine; and this will lead to another certainty; the destruction and end of the Zionist entity occupying Palestine.
For this reason – among others – the US and UK, who are the parents of the Zionist entities – both the one occupying Palestine and the one occupying Arabia – are making sure that they arm their two rabid children – “Israel” and “Saudi Arabia” to the hilt – and ensure that they can thwart any attack.
Alongside that they constantly and indeed pathologically choose to point the finger of blame on the Islamic Republic of Iran for somehow provide support and weaponry to the people of Yemen; who are incidentally under what is essentially a hermetic seal and complete blockade. Nothing can get in and nothing can get out without the permission of those engaged in the blockade and “police” the same. Something attested to by the UN which is itself a party to the blockade and does nothing to prevent or lift it.
So, considering this complete blockade of Yemen, how would Islamic Iran or any other party for that matter get any military equipment or missiles into Yemen?!
Food can’t be brought in; lifesaving medications can’t be brought in – and yet somehow the world is expected to believe that Iran is somehow able to send huge missiles and bombs into Yemen?!
The lies of the aggressors are getting worse and worse; and indeed, will bury them.
Q: Why have the international organizations, particularly the UN, remained passive in the face of the ongoing Saudi atrocities?
A: As I’ve explained above, the United Nations is an impotent organization; it is crippled by the illegal imposition of the five permanent members who all have the veto power – rendering the participation of all other global countries pointless if they cannot get a veto-wielding power to agree with them.
The UN in this instance is completely complicit with the genocide being perpetrated on Yemen, and as I said; it is entirely possible that the Yemen situation would be the final nail in the coffin of the corrupt and impotent United Nations. An organization that speaks much of international law but can do nothing (unless a veto power-wielding member agrees and chooses to do something) to impose and enforce such laws.
Rather, what the UN excels at is being a mercenary outfit for the United States, a means to legitimize the corruption and excesses of the American regime on humanity. Legitimizing the barbaric “oil for food program” against Iraq; legitimizing the existence of the Zionist entity, an entity built and based on theft; legitimizing the existence of the terrorist factions attempting to harm Syria and indeed working in a manner so as to topple the legitimate government of Syria – all at the behest and for the sake of the United States.
When things don’t quite go according to the US’s desires, the US does what it has been doing as of late; it says it will leave and acts like a spoilt child.
Indeed, if the UN doesn’t go through significant reform, including the removal of the veto power from the five permanent members – especially the United States, United Kingdom and France who have used it brazenly to support genocides and illegal aggressions across the world, from Palestine to Yemen and elsewhere – this organization should just be closed and relegated to the museums of history, as the broken and corrupt relic that it is.
Q: The airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition have mostly killed Yemeni civilians, including thousands of women and children. What do you see as the objective of these airstrikes targeting civilians?
A: The core reason for the mass murder of civilians in Yemen – and indeed in other places – has been to break the spirit of the people, and somehow make the people go against those resisting the aggression.
They feel that in killing people they will somehow make the people want to capitulate and have tea and biscuits with those throwing deadly bombs upon them. It is based on a deluded sense of grandeur, and is yet another reason why those who act like this were referred to by Imam Khomeini, may God rest his pure soul, as “Global Arrogance” – because it is extremely arrogant.
Since we are also led to believe that the US and UK are providing “logistical and intelligence” support to the “Saudi”-led coalition, then it might be argued that the targeting of civilians – and this is without a doubt what is happening a deliberate targeting of civilians in Yemen is being done not only by Saudi Arabia, but by those providing it with the “intelligence” that such and such place is a “threat”. Because naturally, we must understand that for the forces of Global Arrogance, a wedding is a threat, a funeral is a threat, a school or hospital is a threat and so on.
For the sake of brevity, I won’t discuss further why these civilian places are such a threat to Global Arrogance, and why they are explicitly targeted by the Saudi/Israeli/UK/US/UAE coalition against Yemen, suffice it to say that the world is losing its humanity in Yemen.
British intelligence had prior knowledge of a plot by the Saudi government to target Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident journalist who was killed in the hands of Saudi intelligence officers in Istanbul on October 2, and allegedly warned Riyadh not to proceed with the plan, according to a report. Khashoggi was a former Saudi government adviser who became critical of the kingdom’s style of governance. He is believed to have been killed by a 15-member Saudi hit squad while visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He went there for a scheduled appointment in order to be issued a document certifying his divorce from his former wife in Saudi Arabia. After vehemently denying any role in Khashoggi’s killing, the Saudi government admitted last week that the journalist was killed while inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It has pledged to punish those responsible and reform the Kingdom’s intelligence services. But critics accuse Riyadh of ordering the dissident’s murder.
Now a new report claims that Britain’s external intelligence agency, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), was aware of a plot by the Saudi government to kidnap Khashoggi in order silence him. British newspaper The Sunday Express says it has evidence from “high ranking intelligence sources” that MI6 was in possession of communications intercepts containing conversations about Khashoggi. The conversations were between Saudi government officials and officers of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom’s primary spy agency. In the intercepts, a member of the Saudi royal family is allegedly heard giving orders for the GID to kidnap Khashoggi from Turkey sometime in early September. He also instructs the GID to secretly transport the dissident journalist to Saudi soil where he could be interrogated. During the conversation, a discussion took place about the possibility that Khashoggi would physically resist his abductors. At that point in the conversation, the high ranking intelligence source told The Express, the royal family member “left the door open for alternative remedies […] should Khashoggi be troublesome”.
The paper reports that MI6 “became aware” of the arrival of a 15-member Saudi hit squad in Istanbul on October 1, a day before Khashoggi went missing. According to the paper’s source “it was pretty clear what their aim was”, so MI6 contacted the GID directly and warned the Saudi spy agency to “cancel the mission”, said the source. However, the source added, “this request was ignored”. On October 10, The Washington Post, the newspaper that employed Khashoggi, said that American intelligence agencies had evidence that the Saudi royal family tried to lure The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, in order to capture him.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 29 October 2018 |
Surely there must be some safeguard/check on such a ginormous thing as the removal of any citizen of England and Wales’s legal competency?
But there isn’t.
Our government’s proposals to rename and extend Deprivation of Liberty Orders with Liberty Protection Safeguards and create Approved Mental Capacity Practitioners will as the government state;
‘ensure that the design of the new system fits with the conditions of the sector, taking into account the future direction of health and social care.’
Shouldn’t the government ensure that care is fit for purpose and not merely for’the conditions of the sector’ whose overriding motivation is to make profit ?
So government ‘fits the sector’, a for profit one, by allowing it to be autonomous, self regulating and enforce the MCA.
And outsourcing LAs and NHS CCGs are given the power to remove an individual’s legal competency via a paid MCP rather than a COP judge, to harvest those from whom corporate profit is made without independent safeguards.
Smashing Art 12 (1) European Convention on Human Rights, Art 5 Right to Liberty, Art 8 Right to Family Life. and Art 6 Right to a Fair Hearing.
So this is the Tory’s shrinking state and social conscience?
With the conflicts of interests of LA and CCGs approving and paying the Mental Capacity Practitioners and commissioning the care providers.
The incomprehensibility and unworkability of the Mental Capacity Act the most draconian and only Act of its kind in the world is legendary.
And now an approved mental capacity assessor is effectively charged with enforcing it.
The MCA barely got through Parliament, even with a large Labour majority and took two years to get through the House of Lords and then was made subject to a review .
And this review was devastating.
The House of Lords Select Committee in March 2014 found
’ the poor implementation of the Act by health professionals, is to some extent, symptomatic of a wider marginalisation of mental health issues’.
The College of Social Work giving evidence that the Act was,
‘ not fully understood by professionals, as an enabling piece of legislation, while families and carers painted a depressing picture of their exclusion from decision making’.
Despite this, nothing was done to end the MCA’s illegal implementation, nor involve the family or service user, the executive merely increasing MCA ‘awareness’.
And now it appears handing its implementation to its chosen for profit service providers via their commissioners.
Surely there must be some safeguard/check on such a ginormous thing as the removal of any citizen of England and Wales’s legal competency?
But there isn’t.
Once a person is even suspected of being ‘incapable’, a term ever more diluted to in the Care Act ‘difficulty making decisions’, he, nor his family can effectively apply to the Court of Protection.
An application for Guardianship is expensive, revocable and need recommendations from those caring for the suspected ‘incapable’ ie GPs , Social workers who will be part of the state private care pathway and MASH.
Powers of Attorney are being voided on the grounds of incapacity and the only representation allowed and funded is via an on message Official Solicitor.
Dols are of a precarious legal nature created in 2009 on the excuse of the incompatibility between English Common law not the MCA with Art 5 of the ECHR (right to liberty) as revealed by HL v UK.
Dols do not exist under the equivalent Scottish MCA but appear now to have been made the tail that wags the MCA dog, as the numbers of Dols applications soar to 0.5% of the population.
A Summary of the Law Commission’s Recommendations
5. A new system
DoLS should be replaced with Liberty Protection Safeguards. Liberty Protection Safeguards, authorisations should be in place in advance of any deprivation of liberty and should apply to those aged 16 and above and should be capable of applying in multiple settings.
So 16 to 18 year old in schools, care homes and their own home can now be made subject to huge control.
6. Authorising Liberty Protection Safeguards – Hospital trusts and CCGs should be responsible bodies as well as local authorities;
a capacity assessment, medical assessment and necessary and proportionate assessment should be completed before an Liberty Protection Safeguards assessment is authorised; authorisations are to apply for some people whose capacity fluctuates;
So the use of Dols is extended to those deemed to have ‘fluctuating’ capacity ie the epileptic, diabetic and those under the effects of medication. How does this fit with the MCA need to maximise capacity ?
and a responsible body ( LA/CCGs) should in some circumstances be able to rely on previous capacity and medical assessments.
This is in breach of MCA which states blanket capacity assessment can’t be made, as assessments must be time and decision specific.
7. Independence – Assessments should be independently reviewed and a new Approved Mental Capacity Practitioner role is to be created, and assessments should be referred to them
This new role is likely to be like AMHP a person will be registered and trained by LA and it is a role not a job so they are most likely to be social workers either agency or employed by LA or nurse practioners employed by NHS so anything but independent as LA/CCGs are outsourcers/commissioners for private hospital/care providers.
if there is an objection to the arrangements or in “harm to others” cases.
‘Harm to others’, is a MHA sectioning requirement not an MCA one, and, it is an additional one for sectioning, not an alternative one, suggesting MHA will be changed to an alternative requirement making it easier to MHA section.
8. Renewals – An authorisation should last for up to 12 months, after this a responsible body should be able to renew them for up to another 12 months and then for up to three years.
So the present yearly review of Dols is removed after 2 years.
9. Advocates and Appropriate Persons – An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate should be appointed unless a person does not consent or it is not in their best interests, or if the local authority determines there is an appropriate person to support and represent the individual.
So even an incapacitated’s right to consultation via an IMCA can now removed at the behest of the state.
10. Interaction with the Mental Health Act – Liberty Protection Safeguards should not apply to arrangements in hospital currently authorised by the Mental Health Act and the government should review mental health law in England and Wales with a view to introducing a single scheme to cover non-consensual care for the treatment of both physical and mental disorders when an individual lacks the capacity to consent.
This appears to suggest the incapable will be removed from MHA to MCA for all treatment.
Appears to signal the removal of the need for MHA section, if a person lacks capacity, allowing easier detainment in mental hospitals with no right to refer to a mental tribunal.
11. Wider Amendments to the Mental Capacity Act – Past and present wishes and feelings should be given greater weight as part of best interests decisions,
these are in any event required by the MCA, but who checks and enforces this has happened as courts will not interfere in service provision.
the statutory defence under Section 5 of the Mental Capacity Act should not be available for certain important decisions unless written records are kept, merely enforces documentary evidence not that the decision was reasonably required.
the Mental Capacity Act should be amended to allow emergency deprivations of liberty so liberty can be removed at any time and post factum justified
as long as a written record is provided afterwards and an individual should be able to bring civil proceeding against private care home and hospital providers if there has been an unlawful deprivation of liberty.
Who would have the locus standi to commence civil proceeding not the family only the service user and he has no capacity to litigate at best it could be through an Official Solicitor appointed by the state to sue the state.
Cause of action is practically non existent, as provided care providers/hospitals act reasonably on the balance of probabilities an action will not succeed.
And damages will be nominal, so what independent lawyer would take on such an action on a no win no fee basis and the loser would be ordered to pay huge corporate lawyers bills of both service provider and NHS/LA commission.?
This surely therefore can’t even amount to a sop to accountability.
12. We thank the Law Commission for completing a comprehensive report into mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and we have considered their recommendations carefully.
13. We agree in principle that the current DoLS system should be replaced as a matter of pressing urgency and we have set out our provisional stance regarding each specific recommendation below.
14. We will legislate on this issue in due course. However, before the introduction of any new system, we will need to consider carefully the detail of these proposals carefully and ensure that the design of the new system fits with the conditions of the sector, taking into account the future direction of health and social care.
It is clear from the following passage from the Government’s interim Mental Health Act Review the government intend to assimilate the MHA and MCA which is not good news as the later has been shown to be unworkable
It will be necessary very carefully to consider the interface between the MHA and the MCA more widely. Should MCA concepts of Powers of Attorney, Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment, and court-appointed Deputies have a role in care governed by the MHA? Should we join up advocacy services provided by both pieces of legislation, possibly with other health advocates, to produce a unified and accredited service? Surely it should be possible to standardise the legal oversight between the Court of Protection and the Mental Health Review Tribunals so that at least issues of detention can be dealt with by the same tribunal. It may also be necessary to consider if and how their jurisdictions could be widened.
There are other areas in which we are also clear, even at this early stage, that change is