| Saturday 28th February 2004 15:22MST | → 0 Comments |
Finally got around to changing the address on my share trading account so I can sell my shares and close the account before the end of March (as they plan to introduce ‘inactivity fees’ then). This will net me a nice little windfall, part of which can go towards my main expense
“Double jeopardy” for some Guant
| Friday 27th February 2004 19:09MST | → 0 Comments |
The other day I received one of the ‘phishing scam’ emails, purporting to be from MBNA and asking me to go to a website which, if you look carefully, had an authentic-looking address with a long string of hex afterwards. I was worried about how said scammers found out I had a MBNA credit card but now suspect it was a mass-mailing as today I’ve received the same sort of thing supposedly from Barclays.
Taking this pseudo-Barclays one, I really find it hard to believe people fall for this sort of thing given how bad the English is. An extract:
Our new security system will help you to avoid frequently fraud transactions and to keep your investments in safety.
Interestingly contradictory Sun editorial. First they say:
She has betrayed the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Labour Party and the country… she has put lives at risk. By revealing matters of national security which she gleaned while in Government, she has probably broken the Official Secrets Act…
but then goes on to say:
The fact is that all major countries spend a lot of time, money and energy spying on others. It’s not necessarily sinister but is more a common sense precaution…
Well if it’s both widely known and perfectly acceptable, how has she endangered national security by simply confirming a known fact? After all, she didn’t reveal the content of the transcripts so no actual secret information has been released.
| Thursday 26th February 2004 18:54MST | → 0 Comments |
I heard Clare Short’s revelations on the Today programme this morning. Blair has described her as ‘irresponsible’ and apparently said:
It’s just a pity she’s done what she’s done today because I think it is wrong.
Not half as wrong as violating international law and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, as well as our security services being used for political ends - thus threatening our international relations and very democracy. In no way is this sort of activity, to quote Blair:
… in the best interests of this country.
Watch a webcast of today’s UN press briefing by Spokesman for the Secretary-General, discussing this. He states categorically that such action is illegal.
As an aside, imagine what the reaction of the UK or US governments would be if they found some African or Middle-East country has been bugging their ambassadors.
Latest book order: Human Rights and the End of Empire: Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention. I’m looking forward to it.
| Wednesday 25th February 2004 19:33MST | → 1 Comments |
Yesterday I went out for a Birthday meal with Denise, Valentina and Daryl at the Thai Terrace in Guildford. It was the first time I’d been there and I was very impressed. Food was excellent too. I came away with quite a haul of presents, including Muji stuff, a tin of gingerbread ‘persons’, books and an amber incense burner.
GCHQ translator cleared over leak. This is only because the Government didn’t want to reveal any supposedly secret information (including the precise legal basis for going to war) because they knew it would be unpopular for condemning someone for acting in conscience against an internationally illegal act, as well as exposing all the flaws in their justifications for war. I only hope now that further action is taken against the US Government (and possibly ours) for violation of international law. I won’t hold my breath though.
Listening to BBC Europe Today I notice that David Blunkett always calls for an “intelligent debate” whenever he knows he’s in the wrong, after being roundly criticised by just about everyone. He couldn’t help but take a dig at his critics, putting them down as “proclaiming themselves to be the self-appointed custodians of human rights”. If I, being interested in human rights, speak out and lobby my representitives on this issue, am I ’self-appointed’ too - having not been appointed by… whom?
| Tuesday 24th February 2004 19:31MST | → 2 Comments |
I sent a rather hurried letter to my MP asking her to vote against the maintenance or any extension of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, which is being debated in Parliament tomorrow. From my letter:
The draconian measures permitted in this bill do little to combat terrorism without implementing the most drastic curbs on civil liberties this country has seen for a very long time, especially when considered in the light of Britain’s own ‘Guantanemo Bay’ in the shape of Belmarsh Prison and the derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights as regards article 5(1) on the protection against arbitrary imprisonment (which no other European country has found the need to derogate from).
I feel that any positive feedback on this act at this stage would encourage David Blunkett to further extend its powers. He is already considering lowering the level of proof in criminal trials and plans to increase the powers of the various authorities to spy on citizens private affairs. If these are combined with another idea of keeping on record unfounded allegations made against a person, the mere accusation of terrorist sympathising could condemn a person to a legal and political nightmare.
See also the Joint Committee on Human Rights report.
| Monday 23rd February 2004 21:50MST | → 0 Comments |
Blair (and the ever evil Blunkett) again demonstrate how they follow rather than lead and give in to xenophobic tabloid editorials over restricting the rights of citizens from the EU accession states. At a stroke they’ll encourage the populus to view any visitor and workers from these countries as ’scroungers’, possibly leading to discrimination or attacks. Of course, a number of other countries are thinking the same but consider what this BBC Q&A says:
When Portugal and Spain joined in the 1980s there were fears in France and some other countries of an influx of people, but it did not materialise and the “transitional” measures were dropped.
| Sunday 22nd February 2004 18:56MST | → 1 Comments |
Home again and the middle class horror is over (including my brother coming over to visit but not actually saying a single word to me the whole time). Came away with some cheques (totalling
| Saturday 21st February 2004 1:11MST | → 0 Comments |
Here visiting mother over the weekend, partly because I haven’t seen her since before Christmas but also because it’s my birthday on Sunday (I’ll be 32 - oh no!). We’ll be shopping for presents the day before and I might just end up with a Digital DAB Radio, along with some rechargable batteries as I gather such devices consume power at a prodigious rate.
I also found some belated Christmas presents waiting for me, including the DVD of Man with a Movie Camera.
Next Page »
| Wednesday 18th February 2004 21:30MST | → 1 Comments |
Tougher terror law not ruled out. This is the bit that worries me:
He also left the door open to further opting out of the European convention on human rights. Such a decision could only be made “in the context of the extent to which the state is threatened,” he said. “That is the basis upon which the derogation [opt-out] occurred leading to the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act.”
It makes you wonder if they were ever serious about making human rights a core foundation of the country. The ECHR is the only defence we have against governments drunk on their own power, especially as we have no written constitution.
I bought a webcam today - a Philips Toucam II, which was only