Peter Sutherland – former chairman of corporate giant Goldman Sachs International, thinks the government’s reaction to Calais migrants is wrong

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Peter Sutherland, the UN Secretary General’s special representative on international migration and occasional strategic adviser to Goldman Sachs International (also former chairman he retired in June 2015), said the British reaction to the Calais crisis was “grossly excessive”.

In 2013, University College Dublin law school was renamed the Sutherland School of Law in his honour, following his financial contribution to the newly completed law teaching facility, the gentleman is clearly as respected as he is esteemed.

The great majority of migrants heading to Europe are genuine refugees, he said, and Britain receives far fewer applications for sanctuary than other European countries.

He said calls to stop economic migrants entering the UK are “a xenophobic response to the issue of free movement”.

He told the BBC: “In my opinion, the debate in the UK is grossly excessive in terms of Calais. We are talking here about a number of people – a relatively small number in the context of what other countries are having to do – who are in terrible conditions and have to be dealt with by France and/or Britain.”

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Thousands making the perilous boat voyage across the Mediterranean to reach southern Europe are “in the main” genuine refugees fleeing violence and persecution, he said.

Britain also receives far fewer asylum applications that other European countries, he said.

“Germany last year received 175,000 asylum applications. Britain received 24,000,” said Mr Sutherland.

David Cameron has faced criticism for referring to the thousands of migrants who are camped in Calais trying to get across the Channel as a “swarm”.

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Mr Sutherland said: “I think it is most unfortunate to create an image of hordes of people, when in reality the highest figure I have seen for the actual numbers in the so-called ‘jungle’ around Calais – the place where these unfortunate people are living – is 10,000.”

Kevin Hurley, police and crime commissioner for Surrey, earlier this week called for the 2nd Bn Royal Gurkha Rifles based just outside Hythe, Kent, to be deployed to make sure Britain’s border is secure.

Mr Sutherland said: “The first thing we have to do collectively is to deal with their conditions. Instead of talking about sending Gurkhas or building fences, we should be thinking of the humanitarian crisis.”

Mr Sutherland urged the UK to join the common European approach to the migrant issue, warning: “Anybody who thinks that by erecting borders or fences in some way a particular state can be protected from alleged ‘floods’ – which are anything but floods – of migrants is living in cloud cuckoo land.”

Mr Sutherland delivered his thoughts on this subject with an astounding gentleness, considering the decidedly aggressive approach he adopted, when establishing the World Trade Organisation in 1993.

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Perhaps his approach has softened with age, the gentleman who elevated the role of the World Trade Organisation, so that it dealt personally with presidents and prime ministers as opposed to just ministers, now chooses to walk gently over eggshells when discussing the subject of migration with those same presidents and prime ministers.

The same gentleman was also a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, until he was kindly ask to leave the board by the British government, who took over the bank as it teetered on the verge of bankruptcy.

Peter Sutherland is also on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group and was a vice-chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists ( an organisation highly focused on improving considerably, business competitiveness within Europe).

He would appear to be a gentleman whose concerns centre (in the main) around the more intimate co-operation of nations across the world, on matters economic and political. He is a creature of the coporatocracy, one who also heads the International Catholic Migration Commission, which has been active in Afghanistan, Indonesia (after the Tsunami in 2004 and is now hard at work in Syria.

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One wonders what has motivated him to comment on England’s xenophobia in relation to the Calais migrants. Mercy & compassion? Or cold blooded, clear eyed business sense?

In the words of Pietro Reichlin, economics professor at Rome’s Luiss university,

“When wages go down, there is more incentive to move towards the black economy (an economy fuelled by illegal migrant labour). It is almost a form of insurance, a way out” and he went on to say “Without the shadow economy, some economies would collapse. It’s the only part of the economy that keeps the economy thriving”. A black economy fuelled by migrant labour, as has become the case in parts of Italy (see Prato ) and Spain. Xenophobia aside, this doesn’t bode well for the migrants. 

 

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The Hunt For Osama Bin Laden, a secret I didn’t know!

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“He had two lives: one, open, seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances; and another life running its course in secret. And through some strange, perhaps accidental, conjunction of circumstances, everything that was essential, of interest and of value to him, everything in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, everything that made the kernel of his life, was hidden from other people.” 
― Anton Chekhov, The Lady With the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896-1904

Did you know? ‘The CIA recruited a respected Pakistani doctor to organise a fake vaccination drive in the town, and in the process collected thousands of blood samples from children in the area children—among them, as it turned out, Bin Laden’s children. Since theirs was a fairly upscale section of town, the campaign began in a poorer area to make it look more authentic, then moved on to the neighborhood housing the Bin Laden compound a month later—without even following up with the required second or third doses in the poor area. The whole thing worked—with consequences.

For one thing, Dr. Shakil Afridi—the doctor involved—has been convicted of treason by the Pakistani government and given a thirty-three-year prison sentence (“Wouldn’t any country detain people for working for a foreign spy service?” one Iranian official helpfully pointed out). For another, the campaign has caused irreparable damage to organizations that carry out legitimate vaccinations. There are deep-seated suspicions in many Middle Eastern regions about those who provide vaccinations, and this gambit to assist in finding Bin Laden has only bolstered those suspicions—particularly in Nigeria, India and of course Pakistan, where efforts to eradicate polio are ongoing ‘(Mike Floorwalker 25 May 2013).
http://youtu.be/PVj5OBxeJjc

Iran & Israel: Falling In Love Again?

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One of my best friends currently lives in America, only I don’t know where she lives. When she was only a child her family decided that it was better that way. Her father (a military man in Iran during the Shahs’s reign), died of cancer before Latifa and her mother fled to England. Roughly three years into their stay here, Latifa’s mother died of cancer and eventually Latifa went to live with a deeply religious and deeply devout family belonging to the Plymouth Bretheren, a radical Christian denomination. Quite what Latifa’s mother saw in what seemed to us to be an extremely eccentric, religious sect we will never know. Suffice it to say my mother pulled out all the stops to see to it that Latifa was delivered out of that hot house of fundamentalism, and back into the hands of the American branch of her family. Latifa’s mother had destroyed every possible record that could have enabled anybody to trace the other remaints of her family, so it is testament to my mother’s tenaciousness that Latifa’s brother was eventually traced, and Latifa travelled to America to start a new life with her brother and was never seen again.

What does this have to do with Ahmadinejad? Nothing really, the Iranian Republic came into existence, a tragedy for those people who suffered when the Shah fell in 1979, a triumph for those people who didn’t much like the perceived moral and spiritual turpitude encouraged by the Shah. And since Israel had been the Shah’s friend, why it should only follow that they would be perceived as the Iranian Republic’s enemy. And so we have the state of play that was existant for 26 years, up to and including the initial year of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, now I could waste considerable time typing up the point by point, ‘tit’ for ‘tat’ animosity that comprised Israel’s relationship with Iran up till now, but I believe I’ll just insert a detailed description supplied courtesy of Wikipedia.

‘In 2010, a wave of assassinations targeting Iranian nuclear scientists began. The assassinations were widely believed to be the work of Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service. According to Iran and global media sources, the methods used to kill the scientists is reminiscent of the way Mossad had previously assassinated targets. The assassinations were alleged to be an attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program, or to ensure that it cannot recover following a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. In the first attack, particle physicist Masoud Alimohammadi was killed on 12 January 2010 when a booby-trapped motorcycle parked near his car exploded. On 12 October 2010, an explosion occurred at an IRGC military base near the city of Khorramabad, killing 18 soldiers. On 29 November 2010, two senior Iranian nuclear scientists, Majid Shahriari and Fereydoon Abbasi, were targeted by hitmen on motorcycles, who attached bombs to their cars and detonated them from a distance. Shahriari was killed, while Abbasi was severely wounded. On 23 July 2011, Darioush Rezaeinejad was shot dead in eastern Tehran. On 11 January 2012, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his driver were killed by a bomb attached to their car from a motorcycle.

In June 2010 Stuxnet, an advanced computer worm was discovered. It is believed that it had been developed by US and Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. In a study conducted by ISIS it is estimated that Stuxnet might have damaged as many as 1,000 centrifuges (10% of all installed) in the Natanz enrichment plant. Other computer viruses and malware, including Duqu and Flame, were reportedly related to Stuxnet.

On 15 March 2011, Israel seized a ship from Syria bringing Iranian weapons to Gaza. In addition, the Mossad was also suspected of being responsible for an explosion that reportedly damaged the nuclear facility at Isfahan. Iran denied that any explosion had occurred, but The Times reported damage to the nuclear plant based on satellite images, and quoted Israeli intelligence sources as saying that the blast indeed targeted a nuclear site, and was “no accident”. Hours after the blast took place, Hezbollah fired two rockets into northern Israel, causing property damage. The Israel Defense Forces reacted by firing four artillery shells at the area from where the launch originated. It was speculated that the attack was ordered by Iran and Syria as a warning to Israel. The Israeli attack was reported to have killed 7 people, including foreign nationals. Another 12 people were injured, of whom 7 later died in hospital. The Mossad was also suspected of being behind an explosion at a Revolutionary Guard missile base in November 2011. The blast killed 17 Revolutionary Guard operatives, including General Hassan Moqaddam, described as a key figure in Iran’s missile program. Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai wrote that several lower-ranked Iranian missile experts had probably been previously killed in several explosions at various sites.’

– Wikipedia (2013)

And so now we have President Rouhani, a popular moderate cleric, embarking upon the first efforts made in 30 years to establish a workable relationship with America, with the full support of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. What’s not to like? Iran may still have questions to answer, but take a long look at what Israel has been up to with the help of it’s allies, that’s all in the past now it’s true. But if both Iran and America play their cards right, here’s a real opportunity to sue for a globally beneficial peace, or at least a lengthy laying down of arms.

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USA Versus Syria: Market Boom or Bust?

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Thinking about this seriously, what would be the profit margins if America did go to war with Syria?

‘With the stock market at an all-time high, we are frequently asked about the situation in Syria, and whether now might be a good time to beat a hasty retreat from stocks.  To address these concerns, we reviewed historical capital markets performance during times of war.’

– Mark Armbruster , CFA (Chartered Financial Analysis)

Now most of us might be considering the thousands of refugees, who have had to flee to the borders of their own country in order to escape chaos, mayhem and death. Others may be thinking about the fact that the outside world, appears to have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, do we fund the insurgents who may include Al-Qaedah terrorists? Or do we send in soldiers of our own. But there is a third group seriously intent upon balancing the books on profit and loss;and if you think that’s reprehensible then consider the Iraq war.

In advance of the invasion, the Iraqi government opened the warehouses and distributed six months of food rations to the population. Each package bore the sign: “Remember to feed a resistance fighter.” Small arms, explosives and simple instructions for making improvised explosive devices were publicly distributed. In spite of this, Iraq was invaded, Saddam Hussein was overthrown, and the corporations moved in, raking upwards of  $17.2 billion dollars in three fiscal years (in the case of Halliburton Inc.), and in the case of Veritas Capital Fund making upwards of $1.44 billion through a subsidiary DynCorp. Aegis, a British company, saw fit to benefit from the Iraq war, by securing a contract to coordinate all of Iraq’s private security operations, the Pentagon contract was good for $430 million. However, the company’s decision to contribute to Iraq war efforts, lead to a rejected membership application from the International Peace Operations Association. According to The Independent, the influential trade organization did not consider Aegis worthy of inclusion in the “peace and stability industry.” It remains to be seen whether Aegis will continue to be ostracised for participating in the training of Iraqi security forces.

So what of Syria? True, it does appear that the likelihood of an invasion by occupying powers is a long ways off, but America, the United Kingdom and France have guaranteed support to the Syrian rebels, with the United States prepared to send $100 million in aid. There may, therefore, in the future, arise a scenario whereby, the help of American, French and British companies is enlisted, in restoring Syria’s infrastructure. Companies like for example, International American Products, may find themselves called on once again to restore electricity supplies. Fluor made find itself rebuilding and managing water supplies and the Perini Corporation (sans Senator Diane Feinstein), made find itself called upon once more to engage in the environmental clean up of Syria, once the dust has settled. Yes, the war in Syria might very well turn out to be an exceedingly lucrative affair for those funding the Syrian insurgents, those whom it appears are to a limited degree being reluctantly persuaded, to embrace the road to negotiations and eventual peace. A lucrative affair for western corporations, maybe not so beneficial for those who have lost their relatives, livelihoods, and homes in this struggle for what truly constitutes a democracy.

Mandate Light

The 2003 Extradition Treaty between America & England works very efficiently for both countries. Since it’s review the standard of evidence required for an extradition has been lowered.

There is no need to have a prima facie case in order to apply for the extradition of your ‘suspect’ and bag your man.

The only problem with that is what happens when someone suffering with a learning disability is suddenly transported overseas and into the arms of a judicial system he knows little about.

Most people would display no little concern at the idea of an autistic person (however mild his autism ) being forced to defend himself in a foreign court. Especially when the charges concern allegations of terrorism. This is what has happened to Talha Ahsan.

May be the allegations against him can be successfully substantiated; but when you bear in mind the case of Shaker Aamer, held without charge and without being freed in 11 years it makes you wonder.

Talha Ahsan, a British citizen, could also have been tried in England on home turf with much easier access to his family. That wasn’t permitted to happen and you have to wonder why.