Loyalty is its own reward

From BBC News
Blair names new security supremo
Security has become one of the top political issues
The head of the immigration service is to take over as Tony Blair's security and intelligence supremo.

Bill Jeffrey will replace Sir David Omand, who retires at Easter.

Mr Jeffrey's office was involved in fast-tracking the visa application which prompted Home Secretary David Blunkett's resignation last month.

As the new security and intelligence co-ordinator, he will work on counter-terrorism efforts across government and the intelligence agencies.


The head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, William Ehrman, will also report to him.

During his time in the job, Sir David gave evidence to the Hutton inquiry after being involved in meetings about how to handle government weapons inspector David Kelly, who later committed suicide.

Announcing Mr Jeffrey's appointment, Tony Blair said: "I regard this post as one of the most important in government.

"I am very grateful to Sir David Omand who has worked tirelessly with his colleagues to develop and realise the UK's ground-breaking counter-terrorism strategy.

"But there are still many challenges ahead. Bill is an extremely talented official with huge experience of government and he is well-equipped to make a success of this post."

Northern Ireland experience

Mr Jeffrey has been director general of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate since September 2002.

The married 56-year-old began his civil service career in the Home Office, before working at the Cabinet Office between 1994 and 1998.

He was then political director of the Northern Ireland Office, advising the secretary of state and Mr Blair about the peace process.

The inquiry into whether Mr Blunkett speeded up a visa application for his ex-lover's nanny revealed emails between the ex-home secretary's officials and Mr Jeffrey's private secretary.

'No favours'

In one message about the case, Mr Jeffrey's official says the nanny's case was pulled out of a queue and a decision made.

"No special favours, only what they would normally do - but a bit quicker," said the e-mail.

Mr Blunkett said he had not realised the case had been speeded up and stressed that Home Office officials had only done what they thought had been right.

Mr Jeffrey was not mentioned by name in Sir Alan Budd's inquiry into the visa row.

Conservative homeland security spokesman Patrick Mercer said: "This is without doubt one of the most challenging and difficult appointments and we wish Bill Jeffrey well.

"However, if the government wanted to take security seriously then Mr Jeffrey would be working directly to a dedicated minister for homeland security and not having to look in the several different directions that he will have to under the current arrangements."
Obviously having a selective memory pays off
OldRedCap said:
BBC News said:
In one message about the case, Mr Jeffrey's official says the nanny's case was pulled out of a queue and a decision made.

"No special favours, only what they would normally do - but a bit quicker," said the e-mail.
Is this not what hundreds, if not thousands, of people do each year with their passport applications when they book a holiday, then realise 3 days before it that their passport has expired.
For a small fee the UK Passport Agency will issue a passport the same day!

Doesn't seem such a big deal now, does it?
Ghost_Rider said:
OldRedCap said:
BBC News said:
In one message about the case, Mr Jeffrey's official says the nanny's case was pulled out of a queue and a decision made.

"No special favours, only what they would normally do - but a bit quicker," said the e-mail.
Is this not what hundreds, if not thousands, of people do each year with their passport applications when they book a holiday, then realise 3 days before it that their passport has expired.
For a small fee the UK Passport Agency will issue a passport the same day!

Doesn't seem such a big deal now, does it?
It wouldn't be if the issue were one of issuing a document (passport) on a case already decided, but it wasn't. The nanny was applying for a type of immigration status, not a passport as the journalists liked to say. Let's not confuse issuing a document to someone who can prove they already qualify for it and speeding up a decision over whether you should qualify for indefinate leave to remain in the UK - a status that does not afford you a UK passport only the right as a foreign national to remain here and legally work without sponsorship.
I expect we will be hearing a lot from this guy in the build up to the election as Bliar tries to convince the voters that we are under imminent threat from some nasty terrorist, and it would be daft to change Government whlst we were all in such appalling danger. :evil:

It worked in USA so they are bound to give it a try - I expect we are something like, oh shall we say, 45 minutes from an attack?
far2young2die said:
It worked in USA so they are bound to give it a try - I expect we are something like, oh shall we say, 45 minutes from an attack?
I think it may be a bit simplistic to suggest that Bush was re-elected solely by convincing the US electorate that they were under imminant threat and that he was the only guy to save them (though I can see Tony giving that tactic a try).

have a read of this (taken from the internet), it's far more illuminating:

How You Could Have Had My Vote
It's been two days since John Kerry conceded, and all I am seeing, hearing and reading from the Democratic party is that you guys think you lost on "moral values." You seem to think this means nothing more than opposition to gay marriage. You seem to think that Bush voters waited in line for hours to stick it to the queers, to tell those faggots how much we hate them!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many Bush voters, like myself, were not happy to be voting for the President's re-election. Many Bush voters agonized over our decision and cast our vote in fear, trepidation, and trembling. Many of us would have given our left arms for a Democrat we could have supported.

Because I am too young to be as disillusioned as I am, and because I know that one-party rule is not good for my country, and because it is my deepest wish to see the Democratic party change into one I can give my whole-hearted support, I am going to explain why you didn't get my vote, and how you can get it in the future.

First, for context, let me give you a bit about my perspective: I am a single, heterosexual, college-educated woman in my late 20's with an annual income of about $30,000. I live in a solidly red state in the South, the region you guys wrote off entirely without even trying to persuade us to vote for you. I am not an ideologue, and I experience painful ambivalence about many political issues. The notion of an abortion makes me queasy, but I don't want Roe vs. Wade overturned. I have friends who've been impregnated by rape and friends who found out late in their third trimesters that they were carrying babies too malformed to ever have normal lives. The pictures of Iraqi children who've lost arms from the bombs my tax dollars bought make me shed tears, but I recognize that the war was the right thing to do, given the information we had available at the time the decision was made. I had no health insurance for three years, but I'm still, hesitantly, not in favor of socialized medicine. I know people who abuse the social services, but I also have friends who would be dead without the food stamps and SSI checks they collect each month. I believe in God and consider myself a Christian, but I don't go to church, and Falwell, Robertson, and their ilk scare me more than they scare you. I believe that in a perfect world, Roy Moore would have to live with the stench of his own ego, just like the rest of us do.

I have gay friends who are closeted and gay friends who couldn't be more open if they had QUEER tattooed across their foreheads, and I think they should be allowed to get married if they want to. I read The Onion, Dilbert, Dan Savage's sex advice, Salon.com, and quite a few blogs. The local librarians know me on sight. I waited in line until midnight when the fifth Harry Potter book came out. I can't wait to see the new Chucky movie. I will probably shack up before I get married, but I won't be proud of it. I wouldn't buy an SUV, even if I could pay cash for one. I recycle. I shop at Wal-mart, but I feel guilty about it, and if they unionized, I would never cross the picket line. I think FOX News is about as fair and balanced as a seesaw with a gorilla on one end.

President Bush's close relationships to people like John Ashcroft scare me. I hate the PATRIOT Act and am fearful of what might be part of PATRIOT II. The two dumbest trial balloons I've heard floated for his second-term agenda are privatizing Social Security and abolishing the income tax. When he says that God chose him to be President during this time of trial, I am embarrassed. I roll my eyes.

I am a pragmatic, disillusioned, realistic, and entirely ordinary member of the radical middle.

Here is why you didn't get my vote:

1. You didn't give me clear positions on the issues. I followed the news closely all through the campaign, but I still don't understand Kerry's position on Iraq. I know he voted for the IWR, but then he voted against the $87 billion. To you, that seemed to be a symbolic stand against Saddam Hussein (the IWR) but also a principled stand against a President who was out of control (against the $87 billion). To me, that was just confusing. He said he would have done everything different, but he also said that, knowing what he knew today (the day he was asked) he still would have cast the same vote. He said that he would bring allies to our side to share the burden, but he also said he would be sending 40,000 more of our troops. He said that we must finish the job, but he also said it was the wrong war at the wrong place and the wrong time. Huh?

2. You didn't convince me that you would defend America against the threats of terrorism. Kerry seemed to think that terrorism is like any other crime. You catch the people responsible and put them in jail, and that's that. After seeing the destruction – physical, financial, psychological, and emotional -- wrought by the September 11th attacks, I do not understand how he could believe this. The hijackers lived among us, ate at our restaurants, shopped in our malls, and wounded us worse than we have ever been wounded before. How Kerry saw this as a crime, and not as a paradigm-shifting event that deserved a military response, both in direct retaliation and to keep it from ever happening again by going on the offensive, is something I don't understand.

3. You insulted my intelligence by the constant mantra of Kerry's service in Vietnam. Most of the men I know who are older than 50 served in some way, either in country or in the Coast Guard or other non-combat roles. I don't see the relevance, and the drumbeat of "three purple hearts" struck me as manipulation. It was as if you were saying, "These dumbshit hawks want war? We'll give 'em a real war hero! That'll get their votes!"

4. Your constant references to the opinions of the rest of the world scared me, and I'm not talking about the "global test" comment. I don't care what Europeans think about me or my country. I learned in high school that living my life with one eye on the opinions of everyone else leads only to unnecessary turmoil and pointless pain. Why didn't you?

5. You disturbed me with your demonization of the rich. Rich people were talked about in this campaign as though they were all evil cheaters who had wage slaves tied up in the basement to be flogged for minimum wage, and what they didn't earn from the wage slaves' labor, they stole from nursing home residents. I am not rich, but I work hard, am learning about investing money, am continuing to improve my prospects for earning more money in the future, and fully expect to end up at least well-off someday. If I do, it will be because of my efforts and work, not because of winning "life's lottery." I know two millionaires personally. Both are entrepreneurs who took big risks and worked their backsides off for years to get where they are. Given that Kerry is married to a billionaire, this seemed especially hypocritical.

6. Here is something you could work on right about now: I could not stomach to listen to your incessant hatred of President Bush. Bush is stupid, Bush is an idiot, Bush is Hitler, Bush is a Nazi, Bush masturbates to photos of dead Iraqi babies, I'd vote for my dog before I'd vote for Bush, I'd vote for Castro before I'd vote for Bush, the Rethuglicans are fascists, Bush voters are treasonous, Bush should be impeached, blah blah blah blah blah blah. It was old three months after Bush's inauguration, and it's now just tiresome. I don't hate my President, even though I voted for him with more reluctance than I can express and a queasy feeling in my stomach. Language like this makes you seem immature, needlessly vulgar, and obnoxious.

7. Lastly, and I hope this doesn't hurt anyone feelings, because my objective is to make you think, not emote: I don't think you really want my vote. I actively sought out your perspective. I tuned in regularly, for months, to your biggest media project, your serious effort to get your message out: Air America Radio. I listened all day on Good Friday as host after host mocked people like me for believing in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. I listened as Janeane Garofalo, who was one of my favorite comedians for years, expressed hatred and disgust for Bush voters so vile that I ended my live stream feeling assaulted, as if I'd been vomited on. I listened the night that Mike Malloy told a young Republican to hang up the phone and go open a vein. I listened to pure, unadulterated venom that was so intense I sometimes cut the stream and cried. Tonight, your spokespeople on AAR have been calling people like me "snake-handling evangelicals," and that was about the kindest thing I heard. Um…y'all? I've lived in the South my entire life and have never met a single snake-handler. Your attitudes, language, and behavior toward people like me: reasonable, thinking Christians who are quite moderate politically and who are just as well-informed as you are (yes, I've read all the PNAC essays, too, and yes, they scare me, too) is reminiscent of nothing so much as an abusive ex-lover, a crazy and drunken stalker. "I'll make you love me, or you'll regret it, you worthless bitch! Come here and let me beat you over the head and tell you how stupid and worthless you are! Then you'll see it my way!"

I tried so hard to give you guys a chance. I'm young, I'm not extremely religious, and I'm supportive of liberal ideals like fighting for higher wages, stopping outsourcing of jobs, and standing up for the little guy. I wanted to vote Democratic this time, more than I can possibly put into words. You just didn't give me the option.

President Bush won on values, yes, but not hatred of gays or any other stereotype you have in your head about Bush voters like me.

He won because he has values, clearly defined values, and even though I agree with little of what he believes, at least I know what he believes. At least I know that he really does believe in something. At least I know that he will do what he says he will do.

That's disgustingly little, but unbelievably – you offered me less.

So, if you want my vote next time, and the vote of all my close friends, and the millions more like us that you refuse to believe exists, it's pretty simple: take positions and don't waffle on them. Stand up for America, especially with regard to terrorism. Shut up about what Germany and France think. Stop pretending that the only way to become wealthy in America is to cheat, for the sake of those of us who still want to get there. Treat the President with at least as much civility, if not respect, as you would've wanted right-wingers to give a President Kerry. Most importantly, please, please please, please, please, please stop abusing me. No more verbal and psychological and emotional savagery. Treat me like a voter whose vote you would actually appreciate getting, and you will get it.

Do you maybe, just maybe, see where I'm coming from?

I doubt it. But I had to try.


A Very Sad American
woopert wrote
I think it may be a bit simplistic to suggest that Bush was re-elected solely by convincing the US electorate that they were under imminant threat and that he was the only guy to save them
I know that it wasn't the only reason - most Spams I know were pretty apathetic to it all, I also don't think that we will see a 'moral majority' influence. But I do just get the feeling they are stoking it up towards that, we keep hearing from all of the Govt cronies about this danger & threat - without ever actually telling us what it is :evil: Next thing you know they'll be locking people up without trial!
Woopert, where's this quote taken from? It’s a very informative view of US domestic political thought and a good example of the intelligent planning behind the Bush campaign.

The writer's opinions about the 'terrorism' and 'Europeans' were particularly interesting, a clear expression of support for unilateralism at a grass routes level.

I wonder if this is a parallel of the forth-coming UK elections - an unpopular government remaining in power due to ineffectual opposition - the only difference being that the British choose not to vote when they are dissatisfied.
This woman does sound rather well educated and informed for the average middle-American though. I suspect she may be right that 'Bush won on values' but it seems unlikely that the largest majority in fifty years was returned after months of agonising by most individual voters. The fear created by the rhetoric of 'terror' would seem to have been a crucial element in the success of Bush's campaign and the belief that force is the best response to the terrorist threat.

Could Blair play this card at the election? I suspect not, the British population even the Sun reading majority are a little better informed on world affairs than the average FOX watching American and we do not have the militaristic outlook that is characteristic of much of US political thought. Apathy is likely to be Labour’s closest ally.
I don't think that on it's own it is an election winner - the British Public were used to the IRA threat so are a bit more pragmatic about such things, unlike most Americans. Also in America people are (generally) more likely to vote along party lines. In UK this is difficult as the lines between them have all but disappeared. I just get the feeling that there is a steady build up of dis-information from the government (nothing new there I know) to make those people who are floating voters not feel the need for change.

I agree entirely about the apathy, and the amount of service voters registered to vote is very low, but for crying out loud where are the opposition :evil: A 'sacked' Home Secretary and a (possibly) fast tracked adoption, and from Nosferatu we hear nothing!
barkingbugle said:
Woopert, where's this quote taken from?.
I don't know who the author is, it was taken from a "blog" that has been doing the rounds for some time.

I think it is dangerous to take anything for granted these days. 3 min silence for the dead of the tsunami? Well I agree it is a tradgedy of huge proportions, but we don't have silences for the 3 million or so who died of swine fever at the turn of the century. The country has gone soft. Look at the "outpouring of grief" after Princess Di died, all sense of perspective has gone. We've stopped thinking critically and engaged in going with what we feel.

This government (or what passes for a government) has become very adept to manipulating emotion and feeling in a way that politicians previous never could. Had John major been PM when Di was killed there would have been a state funeral of sorts and muted grief, but nothing like the pathetic demonstration we saw. I felt truely embarrassed by the way this nation reacted, but worse was the cynical manipulation by BLiar of every facet of public and private emotion. I would not put it past them to try and scare us into voting them a 3rd term to defelct from the domestic issues of high crime and falling detection, a failing NHS, PC schools that turn out illeterate kids who can't read or write but at least feel good about themselves (until they hit the dole and get a taste of reality), immigration that is out of control, prisons that fail to do their jobs (when the police can get away from their forms and diversity training to actually catch the criminals), the introduction of "Police Lite" with the CSO's who are worse than useless, and a whole nation gone down the toilet at the hands of these idiots.

Sadly the Tories are loosing the ability to win the argument. They are trying to be too like Labour. If they rammed home the message that taxes are up, services are down, crime is up, and crims need to be caught, flogged, birched, and locked up to do hard time then they would start to win back public confidence. But they won't. Too scared of infringing human rights you see.......
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