Philip Hammond, the World’s Sleaziest Man and the Ultimate Corrupt and Undemocratic British State 192


Saudi billionaire Sheikh Walid Juffali is a strong contender for most sleazy man in the world.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (525778e) Walid Juffali and Christina Estrada MO*VIDA SOHO CLUB OPENING, LONDON, BRITAIN - 08 JUN 2005

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (525778e)
Walid Juffali and Christina Estrada
MO*VIDA SOHO CLUB OPENING, LONDON, BRITAIN – 08 JUN 2005

His second wife, Christina Estrada, a Pirelli calendar model, is divorcing him because he married (concurrently) a third wife, a Lebanese supermodel. Divorce in the UK is potentially expensive to billionaires. In September 2014 Juffali therefore acquired diplomatic immunity in the UK by becoming – wait for it – the Ambassador of the Caribbean island of St Lucia to the International Maritime Organisation, a UN agency located next to Lambeth Palace.

As Juffali has no connection to St Lucia or to international maritime affairs, the High Court in London ruled that the appointment was a “transparent subterfuge” and that Juffali does not have diplomatic immunity. This incensed Philip Hammond who argued that the courts have no right to question his “actions under the Royal Prerogative”. He added that the High Court

“erred in concluding that it was necessary (or permissible) for the court to ‘look behind’ the Foreign and Commonwealth Office certificate, which confirmed that [Juffali] had been appointed to the post of permanent representative of St. Lucia to the IMO and to consider whether (he) had taken up the post or exercised any functions in connection with it.”

It is absolutely disgusting that in the UK today a medieval claim that a monarch’s servants’ actions are above the courts, is used to defend a self-evidently corrupt and false arrangement on behalf of a member of the coterie of another corrupt medieval monarchy.

But there is a further important question here. Why on earth did the Foreign and Commonwealth Office grant accreditation to this obviously fake diplomat, and was Hammond involved in that decision?

St Lucia has to submit the name of its new Ambassador to the IMO for agreement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the process known by its French name as “agrement”. I know the process well.

Officials in the FCO would, undoubtedly, have flagged up this appointment as fake and undesirable. I would rate the chance as less than 1% that an appointment which is so self-evidently a subterfuge to gain diplomatic immunity, would have been approved by the FCO without a direct ministerial instruction.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has intervened to support Juffali by submitting to the Court of Appeal a legal opinion that the Court has no right to question Hammond’s decision to grant immunity.

The Court should reply by insisting that the FCO produce the internal documents in which officials discuss Juffali’s fake appointment and put the question to Ministers, and on what grounds Hammond insisted Juffali be accepted. They should call Hammond as a witness to ask what contact there was between him or others and Juffali to discuss the appointment, and what contact with other Saudi royals and authorities on the subject, including by our Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

In facilitating this obvious subterfuge, Hammond has actually committed a crime. The crime is Malfeasance in Public Office.

If the United Kingdom were a democracy, the Court of Appeal would defy Hammond and the police would be investigating him.

I expect neither of those things to happen in Tory Britain.


192 thoughts on “Philip Hammond, the World’s Sleaziest Man and the Ultimate Corrupt and Undemocratic British State

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  • Republicofscotland

    Craig this is off-topic, but I recall you mentioning the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT) not to be confused with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, though they have links.

    The disgraced, and self-confessed liar Alistair Carmichael has received a grant of £34,000 pounds from the (JRRT). The (JRRT) has several prominent LibDems on its board, and the donation to the LibDems answer to Walter Mitty is the only person to receive a donation this year.

    The Orkney Four had to crowfund their expenses, from folk that presumably don’t have much to give,which included VAT which added 20% to their overall legal fees.

    Yet Alistair Carmichael a MP on a good salary, can somehow receive a grant of £34,000 pounds from the (JRRT). (JRRT) says on its website,

    ” Our priority is to support overtly, political causes that confront corrosive powers, in our democracy, and seek to change that rebalance of power for the wellbeing of society.”

    Giving a disgraced and self-confessed liar namely Alistair Carmichael MP, a grant of £34,000 pounds hardly constitutes, confronting corrosive powers, nor does it amount to looking after the wellbeing of society, Unless of course that suits the (JRRT’s) remit.

  • Crimes Against Taste

    Your failed state can’t stop murderous pedophiles, and you expect them to harry mere polygamists?

  • Habbabkuk (the ICTY is great)

    Somewhat off-topic, but…..REJOICE !!

    Some contributors – but I imagine not very many – will doubtlessly share my pleasure at learning that the fascist bully-boy former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (excuse me: Dr. Radivan Karadzic!) has just been handed a 40 year jail sentence by the ICTY on a number of counts including genocide.

    Gone is the strutting, lantern-jawed Serbian strongman.

    One can only hope that the old bastard will die soon (“ding dong, the wizard is dead”) and so save whichever country designated to hold him a lot of money which could be spent better elsewhere. Ideally speaking some fellow prisoner should assist the old devil on his way to hell but I suppose that’s too much to hope for.

    (Cue : cries of sympathy for the noble anti-West patriot from the usual suspects… 🙂 )

    • Laguerre

      “but I imagine not very many ” A bit surprising. You are happy with Israelis massacring Palestinians, why not Serbs massacring Muslim Bosniaques? Perhaps it was a bit too obvious, a bit too Nazi. If the PR had been done properly by Israel, you would have had no objection.

      • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

        don’t be silly, Laguerre.

        Do you really teach at an institute of higher learning?

      • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

        Bu I forgot to ask : are you happy Dr Karadzic has been put away for 40 years?

      • Harry

        Cos he gets his views in a job lot from the second rate journos who populate the UK press. If they told him to blow himself he would take a yoga class.

    • Loony

      …and so you reveal yourself to be a mere goon cheer leading for the overthrow of the last vestiges of law and order. What kind of civilized society based on the rule of law would entreat prisoners to murder other prisoners?

      If the west has the values that it claims for itself then those values are embedded in the rule of law. That mere fact that you so gleefully and vociferously call for the overthrow of the rule of law exposes you as the true subversive and holder of anti-western views.

      You don’;t need to worry about how many is spent as your fellow subversives and anarchists have already decreed that any monetary requirements can be obtained by reference to the printing press.

      • lysias

        The resident snitch is calling for the kind of “law” that they have in the rapidly turning fascist country of Israel.

        • fedup

          lysis Are you going soft?

          in the rapidly turning fascist country of …….. (zionistan)

          It is a fully fledged bona fide fascist entity mate, they even have their own version of the schutzstaffel as well as boasting to have the largest open air concentration camps on Earth and in the history of Earth!

          Although as per some deluded grassing snitch the millions of displaced ethnically cleansed Palestinians, on top of the inmates of the open air concentration camps, as well as the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians has been just through accidents! No intentional firing of the howitzers, rocket launchers, helicopter gunships, fighter jets raining bombs and chemical weapons, in addition to the small arms fire, all have been accidental and no intention of mass murdering these people, there is to be found!!!

          What was the tally of murdered souls by Karadzic to convict him of genocide?

  • Habbabkuk (the ICTY is great)

    THAT’S real genocide, by the way! “It’s the intention, stupid!” (Article 2 of the 1951 UN Genocide Convention)

    • Harry

      Oh, ok. It’s not genucide, it’s just mass murder, and ethnic clensing. You pedantic knob.

  • lysias

    And here’s another report from today, Mar. 24: ‘Unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen’: HRW urges US, UK, France to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia :

    HRW says it has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, some of which may amount to war crimes. The strikes include attacks on schools, hospitals, and homes, with “no evidence they were being used for military purposes.” According to the organization, those strikes have led to the deaths of at least 550 civilians.

    The organization also cited a UN Panel of Experts on Yemen from January, in which the panel had “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war, and noted that Amnesty International has documented 26 strikes that were apparently unlawful.

    The release comes just days after UN inspectors found no evidence that a strike on a market in northwest Yemen had any sort of military goal. More than 100 people were killed in the attack.

    In October, the coalition came under fire for hitting a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Sadaa.

    The strike on the market would be the strike on Mastaba.

    • Laguerre

      The problem in Yemen is that the Saudis are losing the game. Bombing more widely is part of their effort to recover the situation. Waste of time.

      • fedup

        Their mercenaries are no longer cutting the mustard, and the war in Yemen has gone south, as you say. After the Emirati F15 was downed the flight cielings have been increased and the bombs are falling any which way but loose!! The carnage of Yemenies is going unnoticed in the oligarch owned media.

        Then Pakistanis let them down not sending their force to be minced and mangled in Syria, hence the bluster of ground invasion didn’t come to pass. Now the al saud pederasts have ran out of money after spending a trillion dollars on their adventures and have put out for a loan of ten billion dollars request.

        The clock is ticking to midnight for the al saud pederasts and they know it all too well.

  • K Crosby

    I expect neither of those things to happen in Tory Britain.

    Whichever tory partei is in office.

  • Andrew

    William Hague was foreign secretary when St. Lucia appointed Walid as its ambassador to the IMO in April 2014 (and the FCO raised no objection). Hammond took over in July 2014.

    Amazingly, according to the Court of Appeal, Walid obtained a PhD in neurology from UCL in recent years.

    • fedup

      Amazing he found the time for the research or did he buy it? Can you imagine the Viva?

      I should imagine it would a scene similar to the Cannonball run movies with the Arab millionaire (sheikh bin falafel) and his slave taking the flack, so the hired hand would be answering and defending for Walid’s thesis.

      UCL PhDs ought to carry a lot of weight by the looks of it!!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    John Spencer-Davis,

    Re: “interesting example you give about a contract for prostitution. A contract for prostitution is unenforceable, but it is valid, not illegal – both parties can lawfully carry out their obligations under the contract, but if they choose not to do so, they cannot be sued for non-performance (so to speak). A contract to gamble is similar. An example of an illegal contract is a contract to commit murder or robbery – it cannot be performed without doing something which is against the law.”

    With respect, I think that you are wrong.

    If the .law as presently written is prohibitive of prostitution ( which it is) then surely – “…it cannot be performed without doing something which is against the law.” – to use your own words,

    Isn’t that obvious and self-evident?

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Thank you for the courtesy you have shown despite your disagreement. That’s a textbook illustration of how civilised this forum can be.

      It certainly would be obvious and self-evident if prostitution were illegal. I am not sure where you live. In mainland Britain, it is neither illegal to pay for sexual services, nor illegal to receive payment for sexual services. In Northern Ireland, it is illegal to pay for sexual services, but it is not illegal to receive payment for them.

  • RobG

    Reading his posts here, Habba seems to be a proponent of genocide (against Muslims).

    Go watch the match, or whatever people do, and get a life.

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      But I do want to come down to your neck of the woods and put you on trial.

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      You could ask “Lysias” to act as your defending counsel.

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      On second thoughts, perhaps not……your offences are so grave you need a counsel of quality.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I wonder how long Juffali will bother to remain as Ambassador now that this “transparent subterfuge” has gone down the plughole.

    • Why be ordinary?

      I suspect that it does not cost him much and comes with other (tax) advantages which might soften the blow of the settlement

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Mr. John Spencer- Davis,

    You are correct that prostitution is legal in England. And, yes, I was referencing the law before and not now, as still stands in many Commonwealth jurisdictions. However, the devil is in the details. Read on:-

    ” The taxman vs the prostitutes

    Prostitutes have to pay tax on their earnings, so why isn’t their business entitled to same protections as everyone else?

    By
    Alan White

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    This week’s news regarding Donna Asutaits, who was jailed after earning more than £300,000 in two years and failing to declare tax, is a reminder that prostitution is taxable. Well, more taxable than Goldman Sachs or Vodafone, at least.

    The story of how the trade came onto HM Revenue and Customs’ somewhat hit-and-miss radar gives an interesting little insight into its relationship with the state. I decided to talk to a man who could tell me more. While he doesn’t want to give his name, he goes by the online moniker of Jolyon K Jolyon (he’s a fan of The Forsyte Saga), and he’s now a retiree, living in the West Country.

    Some years ago, he was running an accountancy practice. He found himself acting for a lady who told him she was a dental technician, but the more he looked into her records, the less they stacked up. Why, for example, was she always paid in cash? He held a meeting with her, and she admitted she was a prostitute. Undaunted, he decided to continue working for her, and soon she introduced him to more women working in the same industry.

    Jolyon is rather knowledgeable on the history of this issue. He tells me it was resolved back in the 1980s, when the famous madam Lindi St Clair underwent a series of investigations after she refused a discount to a cross-dressing tax inspector. Jolyon’s website tells the story in full, but a précis runs thus.

    After the first investigation Lindi appointed a proper firm of Certified Accountants to act for her, and they recommended forming a limited company as a way of saving tax. The following year the Attorney General successfully applied to the High Court for the registration to be quashed. A series of legal battles were then waged between St Clair and the Revenue, in which she drew attention to what she felt was the hypocrisy of the state.

    You could argue she had a point. During one police raid, the Vice Squad discovered Lindi sitting quietly in the lounge, with a vicar in a gas mask handcuffed to a wall, a straitjacketed member of the House of Lords shut up in a cupboard and an MP chained up to a dog kennel in the garden. At one point she appeared before the Appeal Court judges dressed in fish net tights, a low-cut shiny PVC dress, and a steel-studded belt from which handcuffs dangled: “I felt that if I were to be taxed as a tart, I would appear as one.”

    Lindi’s barrister argued that although prostitution is lawful it can’t be considered a trade because a prostitute cannot do things such as advertise, go into partnership, form a limited company, employ people, rent premises or sue for debts. She lost the case and her subsequent appeal at the Court of Appeal. The judges said: “[Prostitution] consists in the supply of services for reward on a commercial basis. Although the bargains made between the prostitute and her clients are unenforceable as being contra bonos mores neither the bargains made nor the services supplied are illegal in the sense of being prohibited…” In English – what you’re doing isn’t illegal even if everything surrounding it is, so pay up.

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    The case is cited by HMRC as the judgement that confirms prostitution is taxable. “But even today, there’s a huge misconception about what the law is,” says Jolyon. He feels that the big problem lies with the legislation on brothel keeping. This – unlike prostitution, is considered a crime. Common sense dictates two fairly simple things: one, prostitution won’t go away any time soon (something about that whole “oldest profession” thing), and two; the women doing it are safer working indoors with a maid, rather than working on the street.

    There’s neither rhyme nor reason to this law, besides the rule that for every outraged Daily Mail headline there’s an equally cowardly political reaction. This could be seen in action a few years ago, when Labour announced it was looking into allowing small groups of women to work together, the Mail newsdesk editors had to be mopped down with a moist towelette, and the idea was quietly junked.

    The common argument against is that there’s an epidemic of trafficking which requires the police to clamp down on brothels as and when they choose. The problem is, the last time an MP tried to cite data to support it, it turned out they were drawing on statistics drawn up by that well-respected institute of independent research, the Daily Mirror (as a side note, it’s never a good idea to cite this as a source in Parliament and then go on Newsnight, on the off-chance Jeremy Paxman rips you a new one – see below).

    Jolyon says: “The women for whom I worked simply made a hard decision and did the work with their eyes open. If people are paying taxes on their business they should be entitled to the same protection as anyone else. There are already laws to protect from trafficking and slave labour – what makes the sex industry different?”

    I tell Jolyon I know of one case where the officers who closed down a brothel had, for a period prior to the closure, been making use of its services – and have described another case at length, where the police’s behaviour could best be seen as reprehensible. It’s an inconvenient truth that the cops get a share of the frozen assets when they close a brothel down.

    Jolyon tells me the authorities make it impossible for brothels to function above ground: “Accountants are part of the regulated sector – they’re bound by money laundering regulations, so if they come across a brothel they’re obliged to tell the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and can’t tell the client that that’s what they’ve done. Similarly, no accountant wants to take on a client which at any time could be closed down under the Proceeds of Crime Act. That’s why I only worked for women working on their own.”

    As I wrote last month, the authorities have been quietly trying to “clean up” the Olympic boroughs. In that case it was a police-lead exercise – but Jolyon tells me about another operation I hadn’t noticed. According to a press release Operation Vermont, was “a multi-agency exercise which ran for six weeks in May and June. During this time 31 businesses were suspected to be underpaying workers, or were considered a significant risk requiring further HMRC investigation.”

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    Jolyon concludes: “It’s interesting that they targeted things like fast food outlets and mini cab offices, rather than brothels – you’d think they’d be the first port of call, if the industry is as sordid as they make out.” Donna Asutaits claimed in her defence that she was simply naive in not paying tax. One might raise an eyebrow at the idea she could earn so much money and assume it wasn’t taxable. But given the long-standing stigma that has emanated from government on this issue, she might well have been telling the truth.

    A Soho prostitute waits for some custom. Photograph: Getty Images

    Alan White’s work has appeared in the Observer, Times, Private Eye, The National and the TLS. As John Heale, he is the author of One Blood: Inside Britain’s Gang Culture.”

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Dear Mr Barnett,

      (I hope I have your gender right – I am really not sure if your first name is male or female, I am sorry.)

      Many thanks for the above posting, which is interesting, but I really have no idea why you have supplied it. If I am correct that a contract for prostitution is valid but unenforceable, not illegal, which I think you now agree to, what was your purpose in posting this? Please clarify. Thanks.

  • canspeccy

    If you would refrain from great thoughts at all times and write so informatively and concisely as you have done here on subjects about which you have special expertise, you could be a great and deservedly prosperous journalist yet.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    FAO Craig Murray

    Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia – response from MP

    Craig, you asked us to write to our MP regarding this matter and feed back the results here. I wrote to Gareth Thomas and he passed my letter on to James Duddridge MP, Minister for the Overseas Territories, who replied in these terms:

    – Treatment of the Chagossians was clearly wrong;
    – Compensation has been paid;
    – British courts and the European Court of Human Rights have confirmed that the compensation was paid in
    full and final settlement;
    – Government hopes to make a decision on resettlement policy “soon”;
    – Government wants to see US-UK use of the island continue.

    I am not afraid to ask hard questions, and I went and looked at the ECHR decision, and Duddridge is correct that it went against the islanders. I recently received an e-mail thanking me for my support from the UK Chagos Support Association Committee Chair, and I have sent the Chair the following reply:

    —————-
    Dear Stefan,

    Thank you for your e-mail. My MP, Gareth Thomas, passed on my concerns to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and he received and sent to me a reply from the Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge MP. I will send a copy of that reply on to you. However, I note from the reply that “the European Court of Human Rights [has] confirmed that compensation has been paid in full and final settlement”. See ECHR decision on application 35622/04, judgment dated 11/12/2012.

    Your website notes this decision and says: “This was a verdict we disagreed with on several grounds. As we noted elsewhere, Chagossians widely reported that in agreeing to compensation this condition was not explained. The document they were asked to sign was written in legalistic English whilst many Chagossians had not even a basic grasp of the language.”

    The link you provide within this comment goes to your page “Chagos Myth Busting Part 1: Compensation, Environment & Economy”. The comment on that page regarding this matter says: “A second tranche of compensation was forthcoming in the 1980s (almost two decades too late). In this instance however Chagossians were adjudged to have forfeited their right to return by accepting the compensation. Many Chagossians have reported this condition was never explained to them. The document was written in legalistic English, a language with which few could then understand to even a basic level.”

    However, the link within this links directly back to the ECHR judgment of 2012, which gives no further details about this claim. Is it possible for me to learn more about this? Has anyone gone into more detail about why the ECHR judgment should not be the end of the matter? I note, of course, that the compensation was paid late and therefore its real value had considerably declined, but that would seem an argument for further compensation to bring it up to the level at which it should have been received in real terms. Also that not all Chagossians received the compensation, but the ECHR judgment notes that the application for settlement received wide publicity at the time.

    I would appreciate a more detailed critique of the ECHR judgment if one is available.

    Many thanks,

    John

    —————-

    I would appreciate your opinion of the ECHR judgment, or anyone else’s comments.

    Thank you for your e-mail. My MP, Gareth Thomas, passed on my concerns to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and he received and sent to me a reply from the Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge MP. I will send a copy of that reply on to you. However, I note from the reply that “the European Court of Human Rights [has] confirmed that compensation has been paid in full and final settlement”. See ECHR decision on application 35622/04, judgment dated 11/12/2012.

    Your website notes this decision and says: “This was a verdict we disagreed with on several grounds. As we noted elsewhere, Chagossians widely reported that in agreeing to compensation this condition was not explained. The document they were asked to sign was written in legalistic English whilst many Chagossians had not even a basic grasp of the language.”

    The link you provide within this comment goes to your page “Chagos Myth Busting Part 1: Compensation, Environment & Economy”. The comment on that page regarding this matter says: “A second tranche of compensation was forthcoming in the 1980s (almost two decades too late). In this instance however Chagossians were adjudged to have forfeited their right to return by accepting the compensation. Many Chagossians have reported this condition was never explained to them. The document was written in legalistic English, a language with which few could then understand to even a basic level.”

    However, the link within this links directly back to the ECHR judgment of 2012, which gives no further details about this claim. Is it possible for me to learn more about this? Has anyone gone into more detail about why the ECHR judgment should not be the end of the matter? I note, of course, that the compensation was paid late and therefore its real value had considerably declined, but that would seem an argument for further compensation to bring it up to the level at which it should have been received in real terms. Also that not all Chagossians received the compensation, but the ECHR judgment notes that the application for settlement received wide publicity at the time.

    Many thanks,

    I would appreciate a more detailed critique of the ECHR judgment if one is available.

    Many thanks,

    John Spencer-Davis

    —-Original message—-
    From : [email protected]
    Date : 26/03/2016 – 09:07 (GMTST)
    To : [email protected]
    Subject : Chagossian Return: The Next Steps

    Dear John,

    Thank you very much for choosing to support the Chagossian fight for justice a few weeks ago by writing to your MP. With the UK Government poised to decide on whether to allow Chagossians to finally return to their homeland, it could make all the difference to have supportive MPs backing justice.

    Has your MP got back to you? If they have, it would be really helpful for us if you can pass on their reply. This will let us know what different parties, the Government and individuals are thinking. If they haven’t replied please do let us know about that as well.

    What else can I do to support Chagossians’ fight to return?

    •Volunteer. We are an entirely voluntary group and always need people to help out in a variety of ways, including writing, social media and fundraising. Let us know how you’d like to get involved.

    •Donate. As a group of volunteers we also have very limited resources. Your donation will go towards making sure Chagossians can lead the fight for justice as well as supporting Chagossian community projects and Chagossians facing real hardship.

    •Keep up to date. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest developments.

    •Spread the word. Do anything you can-tell your friends, host an event, write something in the media, share our stuff on social media-to spread the word about this unique opportunity to put right a terrible wrong.

    •Get in touch. Got an idea or thought you want to share with us? We are also happy to hear from supporters. Get us on the above mentioned social media channels or email [email protected]

    Thanks once again for your support. By taking the time to let your political representative know this matters to you, you could have made all the difference.

    Yours sincerely,

    Stefan Donnelly

    UK Chagos Support Association Committee Chair

    07474385386

    UK Chagos Support Association

    p: 07474385386
    s: http://www.chagossupport.org.uk e: [email protected]

    Dear Stefan,

    Thank you for your e-mail. My MP, Gareth Thomas, passed on my concerns to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and he received and sent to me a reply from the Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge MP. I will send a copy of that reply on to you. However, I note from the reply that “the European Court of Human Rights [has] confirmed that compensation has been paid in full and final settlement”. See ECHR decision on application 35622/04, judgment dated 11/12/2012.

    Your website notes this decision and says: “This was a verdict we disagreed with on several grounds. As we noted elsewhere, Chagossians widely reported that in agreeing to compensation this condition was not explained. The document they were asked to sign was written in legalistic English whilst many Chagossians had not even a basic grasp of the language.”

    The link you provide within this comment goes to your page “Chagos Myth Busting Part 1: Compensation, Environment & Economy”. The comment on that page regarding this matter says: “A second tranche of compensation was forthcoming in the 1980s (almost two decades too late). In this instance however Chagossians were adjudged to have forfeited their right to return by accepting the compensation. Many Chagossians have reported this condition was never explained to them. The document was written in legalistic English, a language with which few could then understand to even a basic level.”

    However, the link within this links directly back to the ECHR judgment of 2012, which gives no further details about this claim. Is it possible for me to learn more about this? Has anyone gone into more detail about why the ECHR judgment should not be the end of the matter? I note, of course, that the compensation was paid late and therefore its real value had considerably declined, but that would seem an argument for further compensation to bring it up to the level at which it should have been received in real terms. Also that not all Chagossians received the compensation, but the ECHR judgment notes that the application for settlement received wide publicity at the time.

    I would appreciate a more detailed critique of the ECHR judgment if one is available.

    Many thanks,

    John Spencer-Davis

    —-Original message—-
    From : [email protected]
    Date : 26/03/2016 – 09:07 (GMTST)
    To : [email protected]
    Subject : Chagossian Return: The Next Steps

    Dear John,

    Thank you very much for choosing to support the Chagossian fight for justice a few weeks ago by writing to your MP. With the UK Government poised to decide on whether to allow Chagossians to finally return to their homeland, it could make all the difference to have supportive MPs backing justice.

    Has your MP got back to you? If they have, it would be really helpful for us if you can pass on their reply. This will let us know what different parties, the Government and individuals are thinking. If they haven’t replied please do let us know about that as well.

    What else can I do to support Chagossians’ fight to return?

    •Volunteer. We are an entirely voluntary group and always need people to help out in a variety of ways, including writing, social media and fundraising. Let us know how you’d like to get involved.

    •Donate. As a group of volunteers we also have very limited resources. Your donation will go towards making sure Chagossians can lead the fight for justice as well as supporting Chagossian community projects and Chagossians facing real hardship.

    •Keep up to date. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest developments.

    •Spread the word. Do anything you can-tell your friends, host an event, write something in the media, share our stuff on social media-to spread the word about this unique opportunity to put right a terrible wrong.

    •Get in touch. Got an idea or thought you want to share with us? We are also happy to hear from supporters. Get us on the above mentioned social media channels or email [email protected]

    Thanks once again for your support. By taking the time to let your political representative know this matters to you, you could have made all the difference.

    Yours sincerely,

    Stefan Donnelly

    UK Chagos Support Association Committee Chair

    07474385386

    UK Chagos Support Association

    p: 07474385386
    s: http://www.chagossupport.org.uk e: [email protected]

  • John Spencer-Davis

    FAO moderators and commenters

    Bother. Apologies to all. My copy and paste copied and pasted a great deal more than I intended. Mods, please could you delete my last comment (11:55am) and I will attempt a more intelligible comment. Thank you.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    FAO Craig Murray

    Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia – response from MP

    Craig, you asked us to write to our MP regarding this matter and feed back the results here. I wrote to Gareth Thomas and he passed my letter on to James Duddridge MP, Minister for the Overseas Territories, who replied in these terms:

    – Treatment of the Chagossians was clearly wrong;
    – Compensation has been paid;
    – British courts and the European Court of Human Rights have confirmed that the compensation was paid in
    full and final settlement;
    – Government hopes to make a decision on resettlement policy “soon”;
    – Government wants to see US-UK use of the island continue.

    I am not afraid to ask hard questions, and I went and looked at the ECHR decision, and Duddridge is correct that it went against the islanders. I recently received an e-mail thanking me for my support from the UK Chagos Support Association Committee Chair, and I have sent the Chair the following reply:

    —————-
    Dear Stefan,

    Thank you for your e-mail. My MP, Gareth Thomas, passed on my concerns to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and he received and sent to me a reply from the Minister for the Overseas Territories, James Duddridge MP. I will send a copy of that reply on to you. However, I note from the reply that “the European Court of Human Rights [has] confirmed that compensation has been paid in full and final settlement”. See ECHR decision on application 35622/04, judgment dated 11/12/2012.

    Your website notes this decision and says: “This was a verdict we disagreed with on several grounds. As we noted elsewhere, Chagossians widely reported that in agreeing to compensation this condition was not explained. The document they were asked to sign was written in legalistic English whilst many Chagossians had not even a basic grasp of the language.”

    The link you provide within this comment goes to your page “Chagos Myth Busting Part 1: Compensation, Environment & Economy”. The comment on that page regarding this matter says: “A second tranche of compensation was forthcoming in the 1980s (almost two decades too late). In this instance however Chagossians were adjudged to have forfeited their right to return by accepting the compensation. Many Chagossians have reported this condition was never explained to them. The document was written in legalistic English, a language with which few could then understand to even a basic level.”

    However, the link within this links directly back to the ECHR judgment of 2012, which gives no further details about this claim. Is it possible for me to learn more about this? Has anyone gone into more detail about why the ECHR judgment should not be the end of the matter? I note, of course, that the compensation was paid late and therefore its real value had considerably declined, but that would seem an argument for further compensation to bring it up to the level at which it should have been received in real terms. Also that not all Chagossians received the compensation, but the ECHR judgment notes that the application for settlement received wide publicity at the time.

    I would appreciate a more detailed critique of the ECHR judgment if one is available.

    Many thanks,

    John

    —————-

    I would appreciate your opinion of the ECHR judgment, or anyone else’s comments. Thanks.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Mr. John Spencer-Davis,

    Thank you for your sensitivity in making inquiry as to my gender. Last time I checked I was a man. Have not yet made the great leap, as Bruce Jenner has done, transforming to the other sex.

    Here is my reply, when I said the devil is in the details:-

    ” Lindi’s barrister argued that although prostitution is lawful it can’t be considered a trade because a prostitute cannot do things such as advertise, go into partnership, form a limited company, employ people, rent premises or sue for debts. She lost the case and her subsequent appeal at the Court of Appeal. The judges said: “[Prostitution] consists in the supply of services for reward on a commercial basis. Although the bargains made between the prostitute and her clients are unenforceable as being contra bonos mores neither the bargains made nor the services supplied are illegal in the sense of being prohibited…” In English – what you’re doing isn’t illegal even if everything surrounding it is, so pay up.”

    The technical legal phrase used is “contra bonos mores”. I take that to have the consequence of being contrary to public policy, at least to the extent of not upholding in a court of law a contractual claim for prostitution services rendered.

    Thus, albeit prosecution is legal in England, my original, dated example, in a technical sense ultimately holds, because the poor dear will not have her contract upheld in court. My initial point, and again I accept that you are correct as regards the “legality” versus “illegality” aspect of my comment.

    All the best to you.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Dear Mr Barnett,

      Aha – it amplifies what we agree upon. Yes: unenforceable because contrary to the public good. It will be interesting to see if that ever changes, which it might very well. There is a considerable body of argument that decriminalising the criminal nature of many matters surrounding prostitution would very substantially contribute to the public good. Whether one agrees or not, if ever the legislative mood shifts then one might very well see prostitutes and/or punters suing each other. I wonder how a court of equity might deal with that – an order for specific performance? And to you.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Mr. Spencer-Davis,

    Speaking of the “public good” – you might find it interesting to consider, this, my article and thoughts many years ago, published by, what I believe is/was the largest organisation for the legalisation of cannabis:-

    http://cannabisnews.com/news/14/thread14721.shtml

    I see a real parallel between public attitudes towards prostitution and the ‘disjoint’ between public attitudes towards cannabis – versus – what drugs, in the wider sense really are.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Dear Mr Barnett,

      Many thanks for this. I am a strong believer in the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs (and, incidentally, I take none myself), but I don’t think it should be done in a hurry. I am concerned that we do not simply hand over the ability to make enormous sums of money from people’s weaknesses or pleasures, whichever you prefer, to the private sector, in the same way that breweries and tobacco manufacturers enjoy.

      I also think that it is fairly pointless giving people new legal ways to get out of their heads while there is no particular future for them. I would regard decriminalisation as only one part of major efforts to deal sensibly with unemployment, poverty, and housing, to pick three important ways to make people think it is worth living in a society rather than exiting from it. Also there should be adequate resources put into tackling addiction in general, through medical intervention, for example, and I would like to see very tight state control of manufacture, distribution, and supply, possibly using a medical model to begin with. I would not be at all averse to seeing the same applied to tobacco and alcohol, actually. But I think there should be room for personal manufacture, such as home growing or home brewing. I want to see decriminalisation start to make things better, not worse, and I think it will make things worse if decriminalisation is done in a haphazard way.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Mr. Spencer-Davis,

    Speaking of the “public good” – you might find it interesting to consider, this, my article and thoughts many years ago, published by, what I believe is/was the largest organisation for the legalisation of cannabis:-

    http://cannabisnews.com/news/14/thread14721.shtml

    I see a real parallel between public attitudes towards prostitution and the ‘disjoint’ between public attitudes towards cannabis – versus – what drugs, in the wider sense really are.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    John,

    Now I see that we can become friends – because I have reverted to the Christian name and you have not even met me in the flesh for me so to do, Yet – times change – and time marches on.

    Now – you said:-

    “I also think that it is fairly pointless giving people new legal ways to get out of their heads while there is no particular future for them. I would regard decriminalisation as only one part of major efforts to deal sensibly with unemployment, poverty, and housing, to pick three important ways to make people think it is worth living in a society rather than exiting from it”

    I disagree. “…worth living in a society rather than existing from it..” What dot you really believe that the City of London and all of Wall Street is really about? I am a lawyer and know a lot of people who really are not either nice and/or decent. But – I know a lot of people.

    Come on John, you are a very and highly intelligent man – you do debate well – you can produce substance.

    Now – produce it in your reply.

    Over to you!

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Courtenay,

      Many thanks for your kind comments. I think you are the first person I have seen on here who can exceed me in your formality.

      I don’t really know what to say, because I don’t quite understand the point you are making. Are you saying that there are a large number of people who have a considerable stake in society, like the denizens of the City of London and Wall Street, but who nonetheless choose to use drugs?

      It would be interesting to break professions down by area of interest. I worked for a long time in corporate finance, and eventually came to regard my work as completely pointless. I was putting in fourteen-hour days in order to get accountancy returns in by deadlines, in order to make it easier for foreign shareholders whom I had never seen and never would to stuff their bank balances with dividends. What the fuck for? Now, I support people with dementia, in order to make their lives and those of the people around them more bearable. Guess which activity makes my life feel more meaningful? I had an alcohol problem all through my corporate days. I don’t now.

      I wonder if we compared the life patterns of lawyers who work on Wall Street, or in the City of London, with those who work for unions, say, or to try and get settlements for the injured or disabled, which would prove to have the higher substance misuse issues. I suspect the former. That is something of what I am getting at, when I say, giving people a society worth living in.

      I don’t know what you mean by “substance”. I don’t know what you are looking for. If you want facts and figures, I suppose I can get them, but really I was just expressing a personal view, a hope, if you like. I know what I do not want to see. I do not want to see Medellin, Inc. over here selling cocaine like alcohol and cigarettes, and I don’t want to see Marijuana County mass-produced tailor-made joints with filters retailing on the street for a fiver a pack. I really don’t know if that makes sense to you or not.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    This is very weird. The Telegraph reported in 2015 that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had intervened with the Government of St Lucia to ask it to waive diplomatic immunity for Juffali. When the courts did it, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office jumped in on Juffali’s side. On both occasions Hammond must have been the responsible Minister.

    “St Lucia opened a new Honorary Consulate in Saudi Arabia on Nov 1.The head of the island’s diplomatic mission in Jeddah is Mr Juffali’s daughter, Halla. An earlier statement said the new Consulate was established at “no cost to the government of St Lucia”.

    Mr Juffali declined to say whether he had covered any of the cost.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/saintlucia/12070077/Britain-intervenes-to-strip-Saudi-billionaire-of-diplomatic-immunity-ahead-of-divorce-case.html

  • Courtenay Barnett

    John,

    Ha! ha! ha!:-

    Look at what I posted – “What dot you really believe that the City of London …”

    It should have read ” …don’t you really believe ..”

    Whatever. If the UK as an economic system keeps rewarding the equivalents of the Wall Street mafia sitting as the same in the City of London – then -come on John – even very basic economic analysis can blast the whole pretext of “earned income for the 1%” totally out of the water.

    I am tired. Have fought the good fight for many a needy many years over my life.

    Have no respect for the warmongers and wanta-bees controrollers of the globe.

  • Paul Barbara

    What a sick looking creature. I wouldn’t be quick to accuse it’s latest ‘wife’ of gold-digerry, though. Even gold-diggers have some sense of what’s acceptable, I would assume.
    BUT, given the creep’s ‘worthiness’ in the eyes of the PTB (as evidenced by the FCO), it could very well be that the ‘wife’ is an MK-ULTRA mind controlled ‘slave’.
    Cathy O’Brien serviced ‘King’ Saud as a MK ‘sex-slave’ (links if necessary).

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