Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cui Bono

More than two years have passed since a naval architect, working for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, first blew the whistle on the pathetic swindle that had been the 2004 Re-opened Formal Investigation into the sinking of the trawler Gaul.
For more than two years the British authorities have systematically failed to openly acknowledge his disclosures and take the steps prescribed by law to protect the public interest in such circumstances, although, behind the scenes, a lot of energy has been spent both in blocking the information and trying to suppress the whistle-blower.
One should wonder why, in a fishing vessel tragedy, of which there have been many, such huge efforts have been spent in controlling the information, while many other transgressions on the part of the government have already been revealed and - although no corrections were ever applied - publicly condemned. To whose benefit it is to obscure the last chapters in the story of the Gaul?
The explanation, we consider, may lie in the fact that, in the Gaul case, things have gone a bit too far – certainly further than many would find it pleasant to think about.
The events that have taken place can show a dangerous pattern in the New Labour government’s conduct and allow links to be made with other more infamous and still unresolved affairs.
It is also feared that the story could somehow cast doubt on the integrity of the ex-Attorney General, on whose legal advice and authority this country was taken to war. But most of all, it is feared that, if publicly acknowledged, the Gaul story could spin out of control and lead to direct accusations against the ex-Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and his shady network of allies.
As John Prescott oversaw the Gaul Re-opened Formal Investigation and its aftermath, it was only natural that abuses of power should have marked the course of events.
In 2006, John Prescott was still Deputy Prime Minister, his physical presence as second in command was vital to Tony Blair, shielding his shaky premiership from the surging political tempests. A total ban on the disclosures, by any means, was therefore necessary at the time and, surprisingly, all too easily applied.
More outrageous, however, is that, in order to put a lid on the leaks, the Blair government decided to use, not only the state’s repressive machine, but also foreign bodies. These abuses compounded the problem and increased the number of those with a vested interest in concealing the truth.
When Tony Blair finally left office, a short period of uncertainty followed. Soon, however, the new PM appeared to take over from where his predecessor had left off.
The reasons why the present government decided to continue perpetrating the injustice are, to us, still rather unclear.
It may be that, aware of the general political fall out with New Labour, which could ensue, should all the facts come to the surface, the new administration is unwilling to take appropriate action. It may be that our new PM is bound to protect the future political career of his predecessor.
It may be, moreover, imperative to prevent any related additional disclosures that may touch upon the EU power structures and those foreign agencies whose acts and identity many do not wish to see revealed.
Meanwhile, in our lawless land, the Gaul culprits continue to spread the blood around, confident in the knowledge that, when too few are left with a clear conscience, their wrongs can no longer be condemned.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who’s calling the shots?

In our post of 21 November 2007 we brought to your attention the fact that, in July last year, we had sent an email to the Specialist Crime Unit in the Metropolitan Police, a copy of which we are now publishing below:
To: yyyyyy@met.police.uk
Cc: wwwwww@met.police.uk
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:11 PM
Subject: FV Gaul Investigation
Dear Sir,
I refer to our complaint of 19 March 2007 on the subject of the FV Gaul Investigation and the documents subsequently submitted to you.
We would be grateful if you could send us an email/letter advising whether the additional evidence supplied to you by email on 24 April, and during our meeting of 25 April, together with the extra information published on our website (
http://the-trawler-gaul.blogspot.com & www.freewebs.com/inconvenientcitizen) before and after these dates, is sufficient for you to launch and investigation, or you would still like us to arrange the submission of further clarifications.
Many thanks and kind regards,
Four more emails were sent in the following four months, emails that apparently were never received.
At the end of October, after a promise for a timely reply to our query, the detective in charge disappeared from our radar.
However, in December last year, when I eventually managed to get in touch with him again, I was promised that a reply would be forthcoming in early January 2008.
Worried about their prolonged silence and after another unanswered email, yesterday, I telephoned the Police and thus found out that, six months after we had first posed the question, the Met was still unable to offer us a reply.
It appears that the heads of the Met, who, by the laws of hierarchy, are granted the power to decide on such matters, or maybe their superiors, have not yet decided what to do in the Gaul case; and whatever they may be thinking now they will not put in writing.
Do any political bodies have their fingers in this?
Almost as intriguingly it was to hear that the Fraud Squad detectives couldn’t access our blog since their web-surfing is constrained by a parental firewall.
To view frivolous sites like ours, they need, it seems, to follow a bureaucratic procedure: that is to apply for and obtain special approvals from above.
This, to my untrained ears, sounded rather baffling, considering the fact that, amongst other offences, they also deal with Internet fraud.
Well, with the money they get, I’m surprised they are still there.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I think people know that when a problem arises we will deal with it” said our Prime Minister on a recent occasion.
Turbulence in the provinces, abuses and debauchery at the centre, enemies pushing at the gates, his personal fears and indecision on top of that, have, unfortunately, so far prevented the head of our government to deal with many sensitive and controversial problems.
History teaches us what to expect from our leaders. It tells us about Alexander the Great who solved his problem by a bold stroke of sword instead of wasting his time unpicking the knot. He did not claim the puzzle was unsolvable, nor was he indecisive in battle.It tells us about many other prominent statesmen who fought to defend the rule of law and the public order that the nation had entrusted to them.
History also supplies us with other, less providential, examples: the story of Pierro de Medici, also called the ‘Unfortunate’, who gave in to Charles VIII of France’s invading army, offering everything he demanded, without any attempt to negotiate better terms.
Or the case of the Carl Severing, the Prussian Minister of the Interior, who accepted to be, literally, driven out of office, declaring simply:’ I surrender to a mightier force’, and thus helped establish the Nazi regime in Europe. He believed he was being realistic, bowing before the unavoidable. Everything would be in vain, he thought. His social democrats didn’t even try to oppose the Nazis, justifying their passivity with the same “it’s useless” sort of resignation. Would it have really been useless?
As a theologian once said, each of our actions sets in motion a new series of possibilities, and, since their timing and probability cannot be perfectly predicted, we have to give the unforeseeable a chance. Especially when worse problems may otherwise arise.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Love to know

In January this year, Mr Chris Huhne, LibDem MP for Eastleigh, asked the Secretary of State for Transport, “whether she and her predecessor have met (a) Mr. David Abrahams and (b) representatives of Mr. Abrahams' companies since 2004”.
The answer to Mr Huhne’s question was delivered by Jim Fizpatrick, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Transport. From him, we learned that “the Secretary of State and her predecessors have not attended meetings in their official capacity since 2004 with Mr. David Abrahams or representatives of companies registered to Mr Abrahams.”
Being rather curious by nature, we couldn’t help wondering why his reply made particular reference to potential meetings between Mr Abrahams and the Secretary of State for Transport/her predecessor in her/his official capacity.
How about unofficial encounters?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

'Nothing to be done'

In December last year we were given an unexpected opportunity of which I must give you a description.
After a number of unanswered telephone calls and emails, we were invited for an appointment with our Romsey MP, Mrs Sandra Gidley. (Our post of 17 March 2007 indicates the stage at which we had left off with her.)
During our 15 min allocated slot, Mrs Gidley let us know that the Gaul saga was the most frustrating thing she had had to deal with, and that she didn’t know where to go with it anymore.
Moreover, the Romsey MP feared that this case was taking a lot of her time, which could otherwise be spent resolving things for her constituents – things that have a better chance of getting a resolution. The Gaul affair, in her opinion, was going round in circles, and had already exhausted her resourcefulness.
Basically, it was a case of ‘Nothing to be done’, as Estragon said while waiting for Godot.
As she could not see a way forward herself, she called for our suggestions, in view of one more attempt, the last one, from her.
Eager to avail ourselves of her last favour, we suggested that she could ask - the Home Secretary, this time - why the Fraud Squad have been dragging their feet for almost a year in following up our fraud complaint.
Mrs Gidley would not go for that though. Trying to impress on us the futility of our endeavours, and lightly amused with our ignorance of the sacred rites of contemporary parliamentary procedures and political confrontations, she informed us that there was always a battle with the Table Office about how and to whom Parliamentary Questions should be addressed – a battle which, in this case, it seems, was not worth fighting.
She was already anticipating that our question would not be passed to the Home Office, but to another department.
She could write a letter to the Home Secretary instead… at least initially… she suggested. Then, if all fails, she could, perhaps, address a Parliamentary Question. We’ll see…
(This implied dragging on matters further, at least until the end of March, as some would dearly hope.)
So, we pondered, Parliamentary Questions are no longer an effective tool for holding the government to account, and Parliament is no longer a deliberative assembly, but a fortified temple where politicians find shelter and escape the consequences of their actions.
We asked our MP how it felt sitting in the House of Commons in such company.
Unmoved, Mrs Gidley recommended that we should not believe what we read in the newspapers.
Ah, well, we thought, if only things were that rosy…
We reminded our MP that, in our view, a number of offences had been committed, and that we were able to substantiate our allegations beyond reasonable doubt. However, having learned from our past mistakes, and as Mrs Gidley was not employed by the Met, we did not wish to pass her all the details.
Finally, Mrs Gidley assured us that, unlike her, many MPs would have given up on this matter long before, right after the first set of parliamentary questions and the unsatisfactory answers received thereto.

[…] “Such is life,” Estragon would have added.

Perhaps Sandra Gidley is right. Challenging the ethical indifference of our current politicians may not be an easy job; it may be as maddening and exhaustive as waiting pointlessly for a Godot to come. Perhaps life under the New Labour regime has changed us all, making us more prone to defeatism and cynical practicality, and blunting our capacity for indignation – that healthy human reaction which, as a philosopher put it, once separated us emotionally from wickedness and injustice.

“Why are we here, that is the question? And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion on thing is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come.” Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot