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Friday 12 June 2020

'Fatou Bensouda of the ICC is corrupt' says US AG

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was founded with the best of intentions, but like the UN has been turned into an instrument funded by the West and misused against us by the third world and the dags of the anti-western powers. The ICC has been weaponised. The President of the ICC is a Nigerian barrister, Chile Eboe-Osuji, 57, but the weaponised bit of the ICC is the Office of the Prosecutor, which has treaty authority to conduct investigations into a wide range of human rights offences. The current Prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, 58, who qualified as a Nigerian barrister.
Fatou Bensouda 'corrupt' says US Attorney General Barr
As with other international institutions such as the WHO, there are suspicions that both Russia and China, neither of which are full members, have been responsible for using the ICC Prosecutor to launch an investigation into US military activity in Afghanistan. In response, the US has imposed sanctions on the ICC's senior players, and visa restrictions on their family members. US Attorney General William Barr is reported in the Guardian as saying "The US government has reason to doubt the honesty of the ICC. The Department of Justice has received substantial credible information that raises serious concerns about a long history of financial corruption and malfeasance at the highest levels of the office of the prosecutor". In other words, Bensouda is as bent as Geller's spoon and has been bribed to start the investigation.

The ICC Prosecutor has power to investigate a wide range of abuses, including slavery, bondage and sex slavery - areas of investigation high on political agendas across the globe, including in the West. Modern slavery is a curse, and so widespread that it requires international action to confront it. Why, then, is the ICC ignoring it in favour of poking a stick at the US? This may give a clue -

Nigeria is #7 and the Gambia #9 in the league table of Slavery offenders
Embarrasing. Both the President of the ICC and the Prosecutor are from nations in the top 10 of the world's worst modern slavery offenders.

Thursday 11 June 2020

The truth is, there's some crap science out there

Looking back at the blog posts here in the week or so before the UK lockdown on 24th March, it is clear we all knew the likely risk of the Wuhan virus - roughly, a fatality rate of 1% and an R rate of around 2.3. That would give around 520,000 excess deaths if no action was taken. Those figures came as the median values from a large range of speculative figures from a host of scientists, and like a normal distribution curve there were some extreme outliers at either end of the bell curve. One of which, as the Speccie reports, is being touted by anti-government broadcaster Channel 4 - a silly forecast of over three times the median forecasts, with a potential 1.7m fatalities, from numpty scientists in a competing department at Imperial.

The posts also record, to be frank, in the days before lockdown, the scientific prediction that the measures would reduce the number of excess deaths to around 20,000. Well, they were way off with that one. We've already had 64,000 excess deaths.

In fact, as emerging evidence now suggests, everyone was already taking isolating measures a week before lockdown, again reported in the Speccie. We really aren't just sheep, and given the right information, we can make decisions for ourselves.

The confused but anti-government media are already making much of the testimony given by the discredited scientist Neil Ferguson to the Commons Science Select Committee. Testimony that is patently false given the probability that the disease had peaked a week before lockdown.

It seems that there is still a lot of crap science out there, and I have great sympathy for Boris and ministers who can't tell in advance who is a crap scientist and who is pukka, and even some sympathy for journalists who dropped all science in the fourth form in favour of arts and media subjects, and can't even add up a shopping bill let alone understand pandemic maths. The idiocy comes when, as Peston does, they then attempt to explain science they don't themselves understand.

Add to this the downright mendacity, distortion, omission and misrepresentation by scientific and government bodies when faced with scientific evidence they don't like, ably documented by both Dick Puddlecote and Christopher Snowdon. Some crap science is because they don't know better, some is because they refuse to listen. We need to be wary of both.

Bristol study from the Speccie - virus peaked a week before lockdown

Tuesday 9 June 2020

A Fair Fishing policy - EU must act responsibly

The operation of Liquidated Damages is one of the first lessons anyone learns in Construction Contracts 101. The contract provision cannot operate in any way as a 'penalty clause' if it is to be enforceable; LADs must be a genuine pre-estimate of valuable loss and damage arising from the contractor's failure to complete by the due date. And this, I think, is a valuable lesson for the way in which we can use our EEZ after the end of the year.

One of the reasons why we are so determined not to give away any binding commitments to EU nations, and to stick to the granting of annual licences (which we can expect to slip to an offer of biannual in the final round of negotiations - which the EU may not want to take-up) is that the extent of any licence is wholly at the discretion of the UK. They're our waters.

However, we face challenges. One is illegal fishing and over-fishing by vessels from EU nations, or the use of vessels and methods of fishing which will be banned in UK waters. Drone surveillance and marine intelligence may inform us of offending, but enforcement action is costly. Not only the costs of patrol vessels with Royal Marines boarding parties, the costs of taking into custody offending boats and skippers, and of mounting prosecutions. It costs big money.

Then there is the failure by those same EU coastal states to control illegal migration from their nations to the UK - a failure amply demonstrated by Nigel Farage in recent weeks. Every migrant that France assists across the Channel comes with a lifetime cost - few of them will become net contributors. The TPA has estimated that net lifetime costs could be in the region £0.3m - £1m for each migrant. This, too, is a breach of our Exclusive Economic Zone - migration is an economic matter.

EU nations make big money from British fish. The FT reports that EU boats land more than 700,000 tonnes of fish from UK waters each year. Even if that figure reduces by half after licensing, it is still a very substantial sum.

And so we must consider a defaults system. A process for notifying breaches and defaults to the offending EU coastal state should be put in place - failures both by EU national governments to secure the EU border and breaches of fishing regulations by EU flagged vessels - with a mechanism for response and appeal to a UK tribunal. Any defaults accumulated during the course of a year would result in an appropriate reduction in licence quota for the following year - or two years, with biannual licences. The extent of reduction, like LADs, would be directly related to the estimated NPV of the cost of the breach, whether costs of maintaining migrants or the long-term depredations to fish stocks as an economic resource by illegal fishing, or the estimated costs of physical enforcement. A rubber boat full of illegal migrants may be valued at £10m, an illegal-mesh net £5m.

This is why the EU wants so much to secure a permanent legal right to fish in our waters. It would prevent us from implementing such a fair and reasonable licence condition. A properly formulated defaults system would stand up to challenges in both UK courts and international tribunals. Like LADs, such licence adjustments must be genuine pre-estimates of loss and damage.

The defaults scheme would also have beneficial consequences - EU fishing fleets would be motivated to take action themselves to prevent illegal migration in small boats; every raft let though by the French coastguard would cost them money. And EU national authorities would properly police their borders, as a failure to do so would result in lost votes and angry protests from a volatile fishing industry. It's win-win as far as I can see. And marine ecology and sustainable fishing would also be immeasurably improved - so even the Gretas could support it.  

Monday 8 June 2020

Euro on path to crash and burn

The scenes of mob rule in our cities will I fear trickle on until George Floyd's funeral on Tuesday. I will refrain from comment today as the near-riots are still too fresh.  

It was AEP who nudged my thoughts. I take his column with a pinch of salt, but he is right to anticipate problems from our response to the crisis.  People are saving and paying down card debt, using the furlough splurge as an opportunity to retrench. Consumer demand is down, and the whole supply side constrained by the virus closures. In the autumn this will turn into full blown recession as unemployment will rise to maybe 10%. And all the while we're printing money by the tanker-load and pumping it into assets that are inflated like a Peking duck. The stock market should be crashing, so should property prices. Well, what do you think will happen when too much money chases too few goods?

It may of course be a cunning plan. There are three ways of dealing with debt; pay it down, inflate it away or default on it. Inflation of 5% - 10% a year for three or four years would certainly make a massive dent in the national debt, but would leave millions of ordinary folk in dire straits. The effect on the Euro nations would be the same, as AEP writes
Prof Polleit said the ECB is walking in the steps of the German Reichsbank in the early Twenties. “We’re not heading for hyperinflation of course but in some ways it is similar. The Reichsbank started buying a little, and then a bit more, until they realised that it was out of control,” he said.

Weimar inflation was a diabolic disturbance of the settled social order. Speculators made fortunes overnight. Diligent law-abiding citizens were pauperised, losing their bank savings and paper securities. The sense of injustice drained the Weimar Republic of its legitimacy.
So here's a question for you. If anyone has a few bob in the bank, what should they buy with it now, to ensure they're one of the speculators that does well, rather than one of the paupers?

Source: Zerohedge