Bent Judges 68


These is a lack of subtlety evident in the use of “public inquiries” to whitewash governmental wrongdoing. The appointment of Sir Peter Gibson, the former Commissioner for the Intelligence Services, to head the judge-led inquiry into UK complicity in torture was a brazen act of corruption. Sir Peter has a choice; either he exonerates ministers and the security services, or he finds himself guilty of corruption or gross incompetence. He has already, in his capacity as Commissioner, certified as correct the conduct of the intelligence services in the period he is now “investigating.” If he had any honour or genuine intentions, he would have turned the inquiry appointment down. There is no conclusion possible but that Gibson accepted the appointment with neither honour nor good intentions.

It is equally astonishing that Judge Leverson accepted the leadership of the inquiry into News International when he had at least twice been a guest in Elisabeth Murdoch’s home. I simply cannot understand why in these circumstances he does not feel he must refuse the appointment. The concept of honour appears to have disappeared entirely from public life.

This was very predictable. Thirteen days ago I blogged “Murdoch’s main priority on this visit will doubtless be to work with Cameron to get the right safe judge appointed”. Power people like the Murdochs do not entertain people merely because they like them; everyone around that dinner table is there because they hold power or influence. If you wonder why precisely the Murdochs were cultivating judges, of course you now have the answer. Ordinary people have to wake up to just how real is the shroud of corruption cast over British society.


68 thoughts on “Bent Judges

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  • Scouse Billy

    Woody,
    .
    “The Committee on Standards in Public Life is an independent public body which advises government on ethical standards across the whole of public life in the UK.”
    .
    yet
    .
    “As an advisory Non-Departmental Public Body, the Committee receives its delegated budget from the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office Accounting Officer has personal responsibility for the regularity and propriety of the Cabinet Office Vote. However, the responsibility for certain levels of authorisation, methods of control and day-to-day management are delegated to the Secretary to the Committee, who:
    .
    * manages the budget allocation to meet the objectives agreed with the Cabinet Office
    * sets out the Committee’s aims with the resources allocated
    * reports regularly on resource use and success in delivering plans.”
    .
    .
    Doesn’t sound “independent” to me.
    .
    Both statements are from their own website:
    .
    http://www.public-standards.org.uk/About/Financial_Information.html

  • Ruth

    Larry Levin,
    How do you know the accountant wasn’t in the pocket of the police? I thought that Daniel Morgan had found out that the Met were dealing in drugs and Morgan was going to blow the whistle.

  • John Goss

    Paul Johnston. Good for Gregory Maxwell, and you for posting the link. I’ve seen such a decline in free access to academic articles from my first degree in the eighties. Obviously they were not available on-line then. But now (I’ve just submitted a 60,000 word thesis) if my university did not subscribe to JSTOR articles I would not have been able to afford to access them. And will not be able to after my thesis is approved. It’s worse than that. I’ve written for ‘Notes and Queries’, an Oxford University publication. In payment they send you a few offcuts of your article. They used to send you the whole journal and offcuts in 2003, but now, if you wanted to read another article from the same journal in which yours appears, you have to pay. What has happened? Where did it all go wrong?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “…it took the depression to change things. When investors and shareholders throw themselves off skyscrapers because their God is dead there is a good starting point to begin again. The only trouble is scum floats on the surface, as it ever did.” John Goss
    .
    Yep. That’s it: Economics.
    .

  • Nextus

    Suhayl, I agree. While trying to keep up my publication record after graduation, I had to pay 25 quid for a photocopy of an important article, which turned out to be one and a half pages of common-sense summary and a page of references. How is that value for money?

    Since then I’ve also edited an academic journal, which helped me understand the financial pressures: much of it involves funding the physical typesetting, printing and distribution, which is paid for by subscription. Accordingly, journals can’t allow open-access to articles in case it undercuts their income base. Many journals are now converting to online-only to avoid that economic dilemma and spread their influence rather than maximise their income.

    I notice that services are increasingly becoming free at the point of delivery: open-source software, web services, social networking, etc. This seems to tie in with the Big Society ethos of encouraging people to give their labour for free. Indeed, I’ve spent most of my time since graduation doing high-level work that was completely unpaid (including editing the journal), while living a very frugal and impoverished lifestyle. But money is still evidently flowing through the economic system. I wonder who’s getting their actual hands on it?

  • tony_opmoc

    Maybe I was wrong. I don’t know I can’t make any sense of such insanity…

    Ben & Jerry’s over the last couple of days has been a Festival in Clapham Common and Heaton Park

    Everyone was really nice to each other

    And there was free ice cream – as much as you wanted.

    They Had Live Music on Too.

    We All had a Really Good Time.

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    None of this nonsense is going to make Nations go to War.

    The Only Effect is That We will slowly get close to the top and they will not be able to tell the difference and we will slowly seduce them and gradually take away all their weapons of mass destruction…

    And they won’t notice the Change….

    And when it comes to it and They have Decided They Are Going To Destroy Our World

    And They All Press The Button

    Then We Will Arrest Them Having Already Disarmed Them

    Tony

    I Love Paul Weller

  • technicolour

    #FuckyouWestminster!

    not at all off topic:

    uhttp://visionon.tv/web/hamish/blog/-/blogs/sparking-a-twitter-torrent

    and more

  • anno

    ‘Praise be to Him who sent The Book i.e. the Qur’an , to His slave and has not made it crooked.’ Sura kahf.
    There was an old crooked man with an old crooked stick …
    I would expect the guardians of a corrupt system to be multi-bent.
    perhaps that is the origin of the family name Miliband.

  • Ruth

    It’s always interesting to delve deep to find out why judges do what they do.

    Mr Justice Calvert Smith, one of the country’s most senior judges, decided that an application for a certificate of inadequacy by a fraudster, Stapleton, who owed taxpayers £1.8 millions should be heard behind closed doors because the fraudster objected to the media’s presence. He sided with him, on the grounds that his verdict would be made public after “suitable editing”.
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23894506-this-secrecy-in-court-wont-give-us-true-justice.do

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23897632-victory-for-evening-standard-over-secret-hearings.do

    All I can is what a load of bollocks. I know another case for an application for a certificate of inadequacy in which the judge went behind a crown court order and granted a certificate. In this case Customs wanted to conceal an agent provocateur in a carousel fraud.

    I understand the ‘Mr Big’ in Stapleton’s fraud was Peres, a businessman claimed to have paid a major government informant £250,000 to bribe the head of customs covert operations to interfere with his trial for a £1.4m Vat fraud.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article547428.ece

    It’d be very interesting to find out what shenanigans went on behind the closed doors to keep the ‘fraudster’ happy.

  • mary

    What Price Privacy?
    .
    …..Police are reviewing a report compiled by Britain’s Information Commissioner in 2003 which detailed the use by a string of newspaper groups of a firm of private investigators to obtain details about story targets, the commissioner said.
    .
    “It’s a rich source of possibly corroborative evidence in some cases,” Christopher Graham told BBC Radio on Thursday.
    .
    Police have already said their investigation is not confined to Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, but this was the first confirmation that the 2003 Information Commission report, largely ignored at the time, was now being reviewed.
    .
    Sly Bailey, chief executive of Britain’s Trinity Mirror Plc, has written to the head of parliament’s media committee to complain after a lawmaker suggested one of its national papers had been involved in hacking…..
    .
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/25/us-britain-cameron-idUSTRE76K37520110725

  • craig Post author

    But the conflicts of interest I mention ought to trigger an innate sense of honour that has nothing to do with any published code of behaviour – I don’t give a damn about the committee for standards in public life, it is the end of personal morality, of virtue, which is worrying me.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well, if one reads Denis Lehane’s excellent book, ‘Unperson’, one comes to realise firstly that the justice system in the UK systemically does not dispense justice and secondly that in specific cases such as Lehane’s (which involved the CIA) there is manipulation of the justice system by, for example, MI5. I would strongly recommend this book.
    .

    Philip Knightly – twice UK Journalist of the Year – has penned an article about Lehane and he cannot get any mainstream national newspaper to publish it. And so, it goes on.
    .
    http://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/bookpages/unperson.html

  • John Goss

    Craig, when the family of a murdered man – boiled to death – approached you when you were a newly-appointed British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, (Murder in Samarkand) you took on the corrupt dictator, Karimov, but also your own masters. You took a moral stance, regardless of danger to your own life, regardless of former foreign diplomatic guidelines. Many who get to the top have no scruples and that is why they are there. A former classmate of Margaret Thatcher said however early you got to the dinner-queue, she was always at the front. A former classmate of Henry Kissinger said “his sincerity is a millimetre thick”. You have every right to be worried about the end of personal morality and virtue. For some at the top – among them high court judges – morality and virtue has never been part of their lives.

  • John Goss

    I meant “morality and virtue have never been”. It started off as ‘morality has never been part of their lives.

  • mary

    btw I am not disputing the good work that the Big Issue has done in getting people off the streets but see gross hypocrisy from Cameron in climbing aboard this bandwagon when his policies will make/are making people poorer, homeless and jobless. Why have the Big Issue allowed themselves to be compromised? Silly question. Kershaw is in the No 10 bag.

  • woody

    “I don’t give a damn about the committee for standards in public life, it is the end of personal morality, of virtue, which is worrying me.”

    Shame on you, Craig. We all know that Parliament is stuffed with pimps and hirelings with no morality. The Standards Committee is supposed to work on our behalf to realise Nolan’s ambition for cleaner politics. Cleaning up the Committee would be a worthwhile first target.

  • Clark

    Craig, my belief is that personal and societal morality exist in equilibrium with each other. The Committee for Standards in Public Life is immersed in this equilibrium as much as anyone or any group. It is both cause and effect, as is the morality of each of us personally.
    .
    The action of society upon individuals is two-fold.
    .
    (1) A more moral individual within a less moral societal milieu becomes marginalised and disadvantaged, as you were yourself.
    .
    (2) A less moral society makes less stringent moral demands upon its members; corruption becomes the norm, and thus more widely accepted and less vigorously criticised.
    .
    This is why I keep coming back to this site. It comforts me to read the opinions of people who care, and it helps me to continue to care.

  • mary

    Craig believes that morality and a sense of honour should be innate in those within the structures of power. They very obviously are not.
    .
    ‘In Britain, what has appalled so many about the News International scandal is not just the phone-hacking, but the light it has shone on the undemocratic way in which we are governed. Political power in a democracy is supposed to reside with the people; in fact it resides with a small clique of elite media and financial figures, who the elected politicians, of all parties, feel obliged to cosy up to.
    ,
    And while establishment voices have tried to assure us that ‘Murdochgate’ is a storm in a tea-cup, hyped up by those awful lefties at the Guardian and the BBC, the reported slump in sales of other News International titles and the calls on social media for a boycott of Murdoch-owned papers suggests that the public thinks very differently.’
    ,
    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/82129,news-comment,news-politics,2011-the-year-we-took-on-the-unaccountable-elites-revolution-murdoch-arab-spring,2#ixzz1T6sNrSmF
    .
    PS I would dispute that the Guardian and the BBC are left wing. The very opposite.

  • Guest

    “PS I would dispute that the Guardian and the BBC are left wing. The very opposite.”
    .
    100% agree with you one that one Mary.
    .
    Craig, if you truly believe that ANY of the people in power have any kind of a “sense of honour”, morality or principals, you are living in a fantasy world that harks back to the days of the round table.

  • Clark

    The very existence of The Committee for Standards in Public Life is symptomatic of the problem. It suggests that the entire domain of public figures is so devoid of moral standards that oversight of morality has to be delegated to some obscure committee.

  • Clark

    Guest, I disagree. All people have a moral core, a conscience. But a conscience is like any living thing. It requires exercise and nourishment, or it withers.

  • Clark

    I also wonder if the supporters of religion have a point. Maybe some people require a conditioned “fear of God” to keep them behaving decently. I do not think this is true of everyone, though. And for some, religion operates in the opposite direction, giving them false justification and an excuse to criticise others.

  • Sir Galahad

    Clark, from this day forth, thou shalt be known as the pious knight.
    .
    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men,
    they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorises it, and a moral code that glorifies it.”
    .
    Frederic Bastiat, The Law (1850).

  • Guest

    “Maybe some people require a conditioned “fear of God” to keep them behaving decently.”
    .
    If there is no God, there is no sin. We are governed by a bunch of atheists who have no “sense of honour”, morality or principals. Not true of all atheists though, so there must be another reason. May I suggest a total lack of a humanity gene ?.

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