DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and do not reflect those of Veterans Today or it’s editorial staff.
It was always a terrible mistake for the Tory Party to choose a Remainer as leader. Supported by the Cabinet Office, Theresa May is fighting a desperate rear-guard action to sell Britain down the river and do a deal with the EU. Her Euro-nutter Chancellor Philip Hammond even came up with a giveaway Budget last week, designed to pave the way for a general election. May and Hammond were no doubt hoping to get round the Democratic Unionist Party veto over wedging Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.
The cunning general election plan was spotted and stopped, thank goodness. After her disastrous performance last year the Tory Party isn’t going to trust ‘Appeaser Theresa’ with running another general election campaign. The DUP are standing firm, being the principled people they are with respect, and the Anglo-European talks are likely to collapse over the Irish border issue.
Theresa May and the Cabinet Office are desperate to avoid a hard border. ‘Oily’ Robbins, the Cabinet Office’s notorious chief negotiator, apparently conceded that Northern Ireland could stay in the customs union, which would mean border controls between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, who is surprisingly intelligent with respect for a Cabinet Minister, had to fly to Brussels on a Sunday afternoon to stop him. It takes a lot to get a Cabinet Minister working on a Sunday!
Tension in the party is building. The Brexiteers are probably close to the signatures they need to force a confidence vote. Hanging on till March is seen as increasingly unattractive – May and Hammond could do a lot of damage between now and then.
It’s important to emphasise that May and Hammond’s opinions on the EU are the product of group-think, not a rational analysis of the costs and benefits. Remainers rarely engage with Leavers – they simply resort to abuse, or hysterical allegations of criminality, such as those flung against millionaire Arron Banks last week. The police in this country ceased to be independent long ago – in political cases, like mine, they tend to follow orders from the Cabinet Office. No doubt the plan is railroad Arron in the same way I was railroaded. Tony Blair largely gave away judicial independence in this country 20 years ago when he caved in to Cabinet Office demands to abolish the Lord Chancellor’s Department. In practice this meant that the Cabinet Office got access to the judges’ confidential personal files. If it goes to trial (it shouldn’t) Arron may find his case allocated to a judge who has been around to see Miss Whiplash and hasn’t told the wife.
Death of a Dictator
Cabinet Secretary Lord Heywood of Whitehall’s death was announced today. I heard it on the car radio on my way to Manchester, whilst listening to Classic FM. Possibly sensing the national mood the station followed the announcement with joyous music and a trumpet fanfare. Jeremy Heywood will not be mourned. He most certainly will not be getting a State Funeral, unless Jerry gives him one in Berlin of course.
Strictly, since he exercised his power behind the scenes, Lord Heywood was only a quasi-dictator, unlike, say, my old friend General Pinochet, who was a proper dictator. Augusto wore military uniform, was part of a junta and had people shot, usually only in a proper case of course. (He was a nice dictator.) Lord Heywood preferred to leave his victims lying around fields in Oxfordshire with empty packets of Co-Proxamol beside them, or have them flung into prison on trumped-up charges.
Arguably he wielded greater power than any one man or woman in this country since the late King Charles 1. Like King Charles he may have come to a sticky end. He died of cancer, but it’s unclear whether it was induced or not.
Being the Good Guys we Brits don’t normally go around giving people cancer – we leave that sort of thing to the Germans. I’m not even sure if our biological weapons centre at Porton Down has the technology, although I know they looked at it following the assassination of the courageous journalist Christopher Story FRSA.
They may even have had a look after the assassination of the equally courageous Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, who was whacked with induced pancreatic cancer (ouch). Since Lord Heywood helped cover up the Story Assassination and probably helped cover up the Goldsmith Assassination, if he was whacked he could not have been heard to complain too loudly. Assuming dictatorial powers in Britain is a dangerous occupation, as King Charles found out. (His Majesty was the only King of England to end His reign shorter than when He began it.)
Now that Lord Heywood has snuffed it, poor chap, I am no longer gagged, and can tell the truth about him. You won’t find it in his obituary in the Times. He was bisexual, was being blackmailed by the Director of GO2 and was Germany’s top man in Whitehall. It was he who on April 19th 2012 ordered the Ministry of Defence to destroy every item of evidence in their possession revealing what I had actually said in my intelligence briefing about that missing Russian nuclear warhead and order my arrest. In many ways he was the ideal Cabinet Secretary – intelligent, secretive, supercilious, unscrupulous, unprincipled, a fluent liar and bent as a three bob note. He was a man with an instinctive understanding of the country’s problems and how to make them worse.
I can now reveal that he took a £1 million bung related to a rail infrastructure development, arranged by GO2, with a view to stopping the Brexit referendum. He was totally opposed to Brexit and was giving secret instructions to our negotiating team in Brussels to agree to the demands of his German paymasters. The bung was paid in USD into his offshore bank account in the BVI, which may now be frozen, since it can’t officially form part of his estate.
Lord Heywood’s successor
With Lord Heywood on his last legs his successor was announced last week, in a smooth transition. The new Cabinet Secretary is Sir Mark Sedwill, a close ally of Prime Minister Theresa May, who may no longer be a figurehead, at least for her few remaining months in office. Sir Mark had been filling in since June.
He is an unusual Cabinet Secretary in a number of ways. For a start he’s not actually evil and so far as I know he’s not a German spy. I don’t think he even speaks German.
Normally the recruitment process for a new Cabinet Secretary resembles that famous scene in Blazing Saddles where every desperado in riding distance is interviewed, including the Klu Klux Klan and a bunch of Nazi storm-troopers. Generally speaking the incoming Cabinet Secretary is nominated by the incumbent. This process goes back to 1938, when the Abwehr were desperate to retain control of Whitehall after the retirement of their man Hankey. Sir Edward Bridges was Maurice Hankey’s choice and served Germany faithfully throughout the whole of World War II, getting thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen killed.
I don’t think that Sir Mark was Lord Heywood’s choice, however. Sir Mark is reputed to be honest and, so far as is known, hasn’t been an accessory to murder, even after the fact. He even retains some residual belief in democracy and the Rule of Law, although obviously he isn’t totally committed to either concept, otherwise he would never have got the job.
Sir Mark is none too bright, with respect – he is said to believe that membership of the EU brought economic benefits to Britain. He also apparently believes in man-made global warming. I don’t mean that he pretends to believe in it, like the Chinese government or the more intelligent climate scientists. It is being said that he actually believes in it, poor chap, although I hope I’m not doing him an injustice. Still, having an honest Cabinet Secretary who is actually trying to do his best for Britain will be a pleasant change after Lord Heywood, no offense to the latter intended. (The death of one’s enemies always poses a moral dilemma – should one be pleased, or send flowers, or be hypocritical and do both?)
Despite living in Britain and being banned from entering the United States by the CIA (officially the State Department) I actually have rather a good track record in predicting American election results, even if I do say so myself. (If other people won’t blow your trumpet, as it were, sometimes you have to blow your own.)
At this time I’m calling the Senate for the Republican Party. There are just too few seats up for grabs and they’re in the wrong place for the Democrats to take control.
I’m finding the House more difficult to call. I’m going to do what I’m often accused of doing, and sit on the fence. I thought that President Trump’s administration had been effectively sabotaged from within after the failure to assassinate the poor man during his inauguration. However the welcome appointment of that nice man Ambassador Bolton signaled a change in fortunes.
The Fed, who are backing the Democrats, were obviously worried by the improvement in the American economy and tried to derail it by pushing up interest rates. That had me worried. Then we had that October Surprise with the MAGAbomber, a man who suddenly became a Trump supporter in 2016 and had no previous record of support for conservative causes.
The problem with the MAGAbomber was that it so obviously a put-up job that I’m not sure the American public fell for it. I get lots of e-mails from Trump supporters (I’ve even been encouraged to vote, which struck me as odd, since I’m not even a citizen!). I’ve yet to receive an e-mail from an organisation calling itself GFFT (Gay Filipinos For Trump).
Despite the MSM being convinced to the contrary the American people aren’t actually that stupid, except possibly in Massachusetts. They elected Donald Trump after all, and smelt a rat with Obama. A majority of Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy (they’re right – he didn’t) and many Americans have seen through the global warming hoax. I therefore tend to think that having a phony Filipino post letter bombs to Democrats won’t have got them many votes.
Even so, the House was looking difficult until somebody came up with the bright idea of organising a caravan of illegal immigrants from Central America, with the avowed intention of lodging obviously fraudulent claims for political asylum, which should be lodged in the first safe country you reach. If any of them genuinely feared persecution in Mexico they would need to explain why they went there in the first place.
This has allowed the debate to move onto territory where the President is strong. The caravan was such a cack-handed move that I actually heard a UN type on the BBC PM program this week (the Beeb’s evening drive-time news and discussion show) alleging that Trump’s people had organised the caravan, as though John Bolton had been selling tickets in Guatemala City.
The President then pulled a blinder over the 14th Amendment. It was never intended to apply to aliens or the children of aliens. If the left want to make every child born in America a citizen, even if his or her parents are illegal aliens, they’ll need to pass another amendment. The Supreme Court now has some serious legal scholars on it, with respect, and I doubt they’ll be fooled into taking the 14th Amendment into territory it was never designed to enter.
I suspect that the caravan organisers had read the polls and thought the election was safe. I’m not buying the polls, however. They were wrong in 2016 and may be wrong again. I think the House race is tighter than the pundits are saying, although I’m not convinced that the majority is safe. Not everybody is frightened by Nancy Pelosi, sadly, although they should be.
Looks like a pitot tube. That’s the tube which measures air pressure and feeds vital data to the pressure instruments, principally the Air Speed Indicator, the altimeter and the Vertical Speed Meter. My old man once lost his pitot tube in an F-86, after a ground collision whilst strafing some gun-butts, and needed a chase plane get him home. If you’re doing a spot of high-speed strafing, BTW, it’s best not to hit the ground. (Not the old man’s fault, in fairness – he was just back from leave and should have been given a familiarisation flight.)
Pilots are trained to follow their instruments and will usually follow them right into the ground if the pitots have failed. They are not trained to use other instruments like the radar altimeter or GPS to assess speed and height in an emergency. If your pitots go these days you should have enough electronic aids, including radar guidance, to get you home in one piece.
If I’m right about the pitot tubes, the next big question is why did they fail, not least on a brand new airplane? Boeing know how build airplanes. Precisely because the pitot tube is such a vital instrument there are invariably back-ups on modern airliners. From memory they’re on the nose on a 737-Max. (You can mount them elsewhere on the airframe, indeed on the dear old Douglas DB-7 Boston (A-20) the pitot tube was on the top of the fin.) Fixing the pitot tubes, plural, is a known sabotage method. (There’s no point fixing just one, of course.)
If it was sabotage (we don’t know enough about this tragedy to be able to call it at this time) then somebody is obviously putting heavy pressure on Jakarta. My smarter readers will already have smelt a rat over that dodgy-looking tsunami.
It would be a great help, BTW, if those readers who are blocking Spyhunter from reaching the President (and they know who they are) were to stop trying to understand high-energy physics and just get the damn book into the right hands! I’m none too sure about the recent spate of hurricanes, either. The climate is not political – major storms are happening during conservative presidencies for a reason. The planet is not a living thing – the species that live here are, but not the rocks, nor the oceans, nor the atmosphere. You can kick a rock – it won’t feel pain, although you might if you stub your toe. Storm systems don’t wait until there’s a conservative Republican in the White House. Obama might have been able to control the polls, but he couldn’t control the weather.
The litmus test on the ground, as always, is cell-phone and other radio interference. It would be interesting to know if there was any during the recent storms, or on Sulawesi.
This was an interesting murder, not least for poor old Jamal. The issue is not whether he was whacked or not – journalist going into consulate after hit team, hit team coming out and journalist not coming out normally equates to one less journalist. The issue is why was he whacked?
Even though he wrote for the Washington Post it seems that Jamal Khashoggi was a good journalist. It looks like he had high-grade sources and acquired some very interesting information. Distinguished colleagues on this site have suggested that this may have had something to do with nukes. The Saudis have always been very sensitive about their nuclear program, which was accelerated after Iran went nuclear in about 2004, using French plutonium. I wouldn’t argue against my colleagues.
This may not be good news for the Saudi intelligence chiefs who ordered the hit. When the King of Saudi Arabia says ‘heads must roll’ he means it. It’s not like forcing the resignation of the head of MI5, say. You’ve got actual heads rolling about. It can get a bit messy (offering the chap a peerage is much nicer, and you don’t need to clean up the mess afterwards, at any rate not usually).
Some tourist advice
Whilst listening to Radio 2 recently (I’ve been very busy, hence the non-weekly appearance of my weekly column, and have been doing a lot of driving) I heard someone complain about the length of time it took to change trains at Bank Station on the London Underground. It is possible to change trains from the District and Circle Lines at Monument to the Central Line at Bank, but American tourists visiting London should beware.
Not everybody who has attempted to change trains at Bank has succeeded. It’s a bit like a Raiders of the Lost Ark movie – you may see cobweb-covered skeletons of lost passengers on your way. The London Underground map is official and like much official advice it is not wholly accurate.
Movie Review: First Man (2018, dir. Damien Chazelle)
This rather good movie was released to theaters in the UK a few weeks ago, indeed I saw it on the day of its release. It’s factual, mostly, so it’s going to upset those conspiracy theorists who have convinced themselves that America’s greatest achievement, other than inventing Froot Loops (a great delicacy), never actually happened. Yes Americans did land on the lunar surface and yes, Neil Armstrong was first.
He was a great man. Highly intelligent, he was a lot more than just a very fine pilot. I’m sure he was deeply affected by the tragic loss of his young daughter to cancer, as the movie suggests.
The movie makes points. President Kennedy’s famous speech about going to the Moon is portrayed and rightly so. Not all conservatives are prepared to admit it, but he was a visionary president, who wanted to see peaceful exploration of space.
The Apollo 1 astronauts also get a look in, and rightly so. Given that their capsule was sabotaged (NASA were very good at electronics and knew what they were doing) I suspect that at least one of the movie’s advisers was well-informed.
There’s also a fleeting appearance of a senator winging about the cost of the Apollo program. I rather suspect the senator portrayed was William Proxmire, who knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing. He was wrong about the cost of course – the American taxpayer only paid the upfront costs. In the long run the technological gains meant that it cost the taxpayer nothing at all.
Going to the Moon was a great achievement. Neil Armstrong was an authentic American hero and it is entirely right that he should be portrayed on screen.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.