Archive for the ‘London’ Category

London Protesters Threaten Bankers, Evoke Executions

March 27, 2009

Mark Barrett, a professional tour guide, spent last Saturday painting Barack Obama’s election catchphrase “yes we can” on a banner that protesters will carry as they try to occupy London’s financial district April 1.

Barrett is helping organize a protest outside the Bank of England, one of several called to express anger against banks and bankers and mark the arrival in London of leaders of the Group of 20 nations — including Obama, now president.

By Thomas Penny and Brian Lysaght
Bloomberg

“We want a very English revolution,” he says from a café near his home in north London. “The first English revolution in 1649 was about winning sovereignty for parliament over the king.” Now, protesters are campaigning for sovereignty for everyone.

All police leave has been canceled to increase security and financial workers have been told to wear casual clothes amid warnings that protests could turn violent.

“There are a lot of hacked-off people,” said Mike Bowron, commander of the City of London Police. “There’s potential for disruption and certain individual groups see violence as their raison d’etre.”

The global economic slump has raised unemployment to more than 2 million in the U.K., with more people joining jobless rolls last month than at any time since 1971. The economy shrank 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the most since 1980, and there is growing anger at the more than 40 billion pounds ($58 billion) the government has injected into ailing banks while insuring 585 billion pounds more in risky assets.

Beheading Charles I

Class War, an anarchist newspaper, has produced a special edition to promote the protest with an image of former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc CEO Fred Goodwin, whose house was vandalized this week, on a guillotine under the headline “Ready to Riot.” Another shows people dancing around a fire with the slogan “How to keep warm in the credit crunch — Burn a Banker!” Public anger erupted at Goodwin’s 703,000 pounds annual pension after RBS was bailed out by the government.

The English Revolution culminated with the beheading of Charles I in 1649, ending the so-called divine right of kings in England. Today’s protesters say they draw inspiration from 17th century radicalism.

Four marches will converge on the Bank of England at midday on April 1 for a protest the organizers call “Financial Fools Day.” At the same time, there are plans for a blockade of the European Climate Exchange, in Bishopsgate, to protest against the market in carbon emissions.

Clog Up the Roads

“There’s an avowed intention on their behalf on the 1st of April to stop the City either by just clogging up the roads and preventing people getting into work or, if they’re allowed to, getting into some of those institutions,” said Commander Bob Broadhurst of the Metropolitan Police, who is in charge of the policing operation.

“What we’re seeing is unprecedented planning amongst protest groups,” he told reporters on March 21. “There are some clever, innovative people with lots of ideas.”

Police, who are detailed to provide security for the world leaders attending the April 2 G20 summit at the Excel Conference Centre in east London, will also have to deal with a labor union-organized protest march to Hyde Park tomorrow, demonstrations at the conference center itself and an anti-war march on the U.S. Embassy.

Around 10,500 officers will be available during the week….

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/ne
ws?pid=20601110&sid=aBXS1tLJEC4A

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
7/the-coming-g20-riots-the-spread-of-mob-rule/

 Anger, Lawlessness Fueling U.S., Global Economic Revolution?

Social Unrest: Hurt by Economy, Europeans Vent Their Anger

 Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool

A university professor who is organising a protest at next week’s G20 summit was suspended from his job after warning bankers could be “hanging from lampposts”, a spokesman said Friday.

University of East London professor of anthropology Chris Knight told the BBC that demonstrators would be “hanging a lot of people” during protests in London against the summit next Thursday.

“Professor Chris Knight has been suspended from his duties at the University of East London, pending investigation,” a university spokesman told AFP. “In order not to prejudice this process we cannot make any further comment.”

Read the rest:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?i
d=CNG.3d0f93885e25228857d515468
22cbc2f.101&show_article=1

Cocaine cheaper than lager and wine as drug price falls by half

February 14, 2009

A line of cocaine is now cheaper than a pint of lager or a glass of wine, official figures have disclosed.

Cocaine cheaper than lager and wine as drug price falls by half

45 kilos of Cocaine Photo: PA

The Home Office has admitted that the street price of both cocaine and heroin has fallen by nearly half in the last ten years, making the most dangerous illegal drugs cheaper than they have ever been.

Based on reports from police forces, the Home Office said that cocaine is now being sold for as little as £20 a gram in some parts of the country.

The most common price for the drug is £40 per gram. Home Office figures for 1998 show the average price was £77.

A gram of heroin can now be bought for as little as £25, with the average price somewhere between £40 and £50 per gram. In 1998, the average was £74.

The Home Office figures are based on data collected from police forces and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

According to DrugScope, a charity that provides research and advice on drugs policy, gram of cocaine can make between 10 and 20 lines for snorting, depending on its strength.

That means a line of cocaine can cost as little as £1, with an average price per line of between £2 and £4.

The average price of a pint of lager is around £2.75, although some pub chains have reacted to the credit crunch by cutting the price of a pint as low as 99p. A glass of wine typically costs £3.50.

The figures were uncovered by the Tories, who said they proved that Labour had failed to stem the flow of Class A drugs into the UK.

James Brokenshire, the Conservative shadow home affairs minister, called the figures “startling.”

He said: “These startling figures show the reality of drug use in Britain. Price falls of this nature indicate that the supply of hard drugs into this country has jumped. It’s a serious indictment of Labour’s failure to combat drug crime and stem the flow of drugs onto our streets.”

Less cocaine is being intercepted on Britain’s borders. The Home Office figures last year showed that the total weight of cocaine seized actually fell by 15 per cent a year, and it has halved in five years.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4602051/Coc
aine-cheaper-than-lager-and-wine-as-drug-price-falls-by-half.html

Free Press: Shoe Thrown At China’s Wen Not The Mega Media Event Bush’s Shoe Seemed

February 3, 2009

China has a nice way of dealing with criticism.  They ignore it.

Rather, they make it go away.

In the state controlled Chinese media the shoe thrown at China’s Premier Wen this week in London never happened.

Oh, something happened.  The Chinese just can’t say what.

Mr. Wen was also not accosted by a pro-Tibet freedom group in London….

You can’t buy loyalty like this with a free press….And China knows it.

The shoe landed several meters from Wen Jiabao.

The shoe landed several meters from Wen Jiabao. It landed a million miles from the Chinese media…

A pro-Tibet protester runs past a police cordon outside the Chinese Embassy in London.

Protest in Wen’s face: a pro-Tibet protester runs past a police cordon outside the Chinese Embassy in London on Sunday.

******

By HENRY SANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – China’s foreign ministry and media on Tuesday denounced a man who hurled his shoe at the country’s premier and called him a dictator on a visit to Britain — all while avoiding explicit descriptions of the protest itself.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu called the disruption of Premier Wen Jiabao’s speech “despicable” during a press conference but said it would not “stem the tide of friendly relations between China and Britain.” She didn’t mention shoes.

Unlike the now-famous incident when an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush in December, covered widely not only in China but around the world, state-run newspapers and Web sites in China carried stories on Wen’s speech but did not directly mention the shoe-throwing.

China’s state-run CCTV network reported Foreign Ministry comments, which acknowledged a “disturbance” during the speech, but made no mention a shoe had been thrown at Wen.

The official Xinhua News Agency issued a story saying that Britain apologized for an incident and that China had “expressed its strong feelings against the occurrence of the incident.” However, it did not say what the incident was.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090203
/ap_on_re_as/as_china_britain_shoe_4

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/e
urope/02/02/china.uk.shoe.protest/i
ndex.html

Chinese PM Accosted by Protesters Over Tibet in London

February 1, 2009

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao came face-to-face with Free Tibet protesters in London today, an incident bound to embarrass both China and the British government. 

Protesters carrying Tibetan flags chanted “China Murderers,” and “China Out of Tibet,” as Wen, on a three day trip to Britain, arrived at the embassy.

Human rights activists have been angry at Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown and China since before last summer’s Olympics.  Brown is under fore for not pressing China on the issue of Tibet.

China is seen by some as a violator of human rights in Tibet.

“Gordon Brown and other leaders failed to press the Chinese authorities to respect human rights ahead of the Olympics,” said Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK.
.
“The result was a Games that took place against a backdrop of repression. He must not miss this opportunity to speak up for the rights of people in China.”

*************

Five protesters were arrested after trying to approach Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a Free Tibet group demonstration.

Several people vaulted barriers as he arrived outside the Chinese Embassy in London amid a noisy demonstration.

BBC

Supporters had greeted Mr Wen with dragon dancers and firecrackers as he visited as part of his UK tour.

Police arrest a pro-Tibet protester outside the Chinese embassy, ... 
Police arrest a pro-Tibet protester outside the Chinese embassy, during a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in central London February 1, 2009. The Chinese Premier arrived in London on Saturday in the latest leg of a European tour aimed at tackling the global financial and economic crisis and improving relations between the trading partners.REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN)

The Chinese Prime Minister had earlier met Tory leader David Cameron and shadow foreign secretary William Hague.

The focus of the meeting had been on the global financial downturn, with the UK and China both keen to boost their economic ties.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7
863613.stm

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/
02/01/china.britain.protests/index.html

A pro-Tibet protester runs past a police cordon outside the Chinese Embassy in London.

A pro-Tibet protester runs past a police cordon outside the Chinese Embassy in London.

 
China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao passed our compensation money to earthquake survivors last week to start the Lunar New Year.  This photo was taken last year when he visited earthquake survivors.

China Discovers Compensation for Pain, Agony; But Don’t Expect Much

January 26, 2009

Unemployed: China will help out.  Loved ones lost in the earthquake?  China will pay.  Kids killed by poisoned milk: not to worry.

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao just visited survivors of last May’s earthquake which devastated large parts of Sichuan province last year to help them celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

Many Chinese lost family members, children and friends in the earthquake, along with their homes, jobs and towns.

Related:
China Premier’s gifts to Europe come with price-tags

Wen cooked spicey Chinese stew and handed out money to some earthquake victims.  The cooking was done in a government tent shelter.

Above: Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Sichuan Province, in a photo distributed by the official Chinese news agency. Yao Dawei/Xinhua, via Reuters

China’s state run media said about 75 million earthquake victims got the equivalent of $15.00 to help them celebrate the New Year.  Per family.

Isn’t this called “papering over” trouble?
.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also announced on Monday that the government is to help train as many as one million jobless college graduates over the next three years.

Graduates will also be offered small loans to help them start their own businesses.

Let’s hope it’s more than fifteen bucks.

Experts say there are more than 20 million newly unemployed people in China, many of them migrants.  China is worried that unemployment will cause social unrest.

But analysts say the education and job-start programs show the government’s increasing concern with rising unemployment.

Tomorrow Mr. Wen travels to Europe to pass out goodies.

There hasn’t been an earthquake in Europe unless you count the global economic melt-down.

Lets hope fifteen U.S. dollars doesn’t buy China any loyalty in Paris, London and elsewhere.  Oh, excuse us, Paris is not on Mr. Wen’s itinerary….

President Sarkozy’s love of the Dalai Lama cost him at least $15.00….and China’s love….

Related from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7850726.stm

China celebrates New Year:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126/ap_o
n_re_as/as_china_new_year_2

http://www.france24.com/en/20090125-
global-crisis-dampens-china-new-year-
celebrations

*******

The China Dairy Industry Association has claimed that 90 percent families of the victims in the country’s tainted milk scandal have been compensated.

Without disclosing the compensation amount, the association said that families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements and accepted compensation, the chinaview.com reports.

Out of the families of six dead children and 891 other infants, all except two had accepted compensation, the association said. However, families of 23,651 sickened children have yet to be reached mainly because of wrong or untrue registration of names, it added.

There are only a handful of families of sickened children who want to realize their rights and interests by filing lawsuits and did not accept compensation, it said.

The Chinese Health Ministry has confirmed deaths of six infants who died after consuming contaminated milk products, whereas 296,000 infants suffered kidney stones and other urinary problems.

In a letter sent to victims last month, Sanlu Group which was at the center of the scandal along with 21 other dairy companies, offered 200,000 yuan for families whose children died and 30,000 yuan for serious cases such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure. The less severe case victims got 2,000 yuan as damage.

The dairy companies have also set up a fund to pay the medical liabilities of the sickened children until they reach the age of 18.Read the rest from ANI and New Karala:
http://www.newkerala.com/topstory-fu
llnews-81131.html

Related:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto
ry.php?storyId=99002599

Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

January 26, 2009

The guns are silent, or nealy so, in Gaza as Hamas and Israel try to make an agreement and forge a way ahead.

But in many parts of the world, people are choosing sides and discussing who is right, what is justice and how to respond to the Gaza fight.

In the Middle East, leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are telling people to keep an open mind.  But thousands marched in pro-Hamas rallies in Lebanon and other Middle East countries.

In London yesterday, thousands protested the BBC for not showing a video asking for aid contributions for Gazans.  The BBC sid it wanted to stay impartial; but BBC Persian was closed in Iran where the government said it was pro-Israel.

In the media world, any nation seeming to take a side, like the BBC and Sky news, is gaining criticism and scorn.

In France, Jews and Muslims are trying to live together.  But the battle of Gaza has spilled into France….

NPR says, “The recent conflict in Gaza touched nerves in France, which is home to Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities. Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, many say the fighting there has done lasting damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in France.”

Go to NPR and hear their broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.
php?storyId=99861094&ft=1&f=1004

Related:
Sky News joins BBC in not broadcasting Gaza aid appeal

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

Financial Crisis “Far From Over”

January 21, 2009

Our global financial crisis is a long way from over.

If you feel the need to hang a bunch of investment bankers, Wall Street types, lawyers and CEOs, you are likely having a “normal” reaction to reality.

But we still need to get behind the wheel and solve our economic ills.  And, in this commentators mind, a bunch of government spending isn’t the cure (it never has sufficed before).

But there still should be justice for the guilty.  Didn’t Enron’s Key Lay get the electric chair?
.
Get the rope.  Get Clint Eastwood.  Then let’s get Madoff!

But the problems have to be solved.  Bailouts of banks buys the mortgages and other debt that has lost value, little value and nobody will buy.  So the U.S. has to buy this debt.

There are also some 5 million “home owners” that will default on their morgages unless they get relief.

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal ... 
Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York January 14, 2009.(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The truth is, there may be some jail time passed out but the real problem is systemic which needs a lot of long-term fixing….

Headlines from London January 21, 2009:

“Banking Crisis May Last a Decade”

“Only Two London-Listed Banks By End of 2009”
…the government is now the largest, or only, shareholder in Lloyds/HBOS, RBS and Northern Rock and it seems highly likely that HSBC and Standard Chartered will be the only UK-quoted bank shares by the end of 2009.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/inv
esting/shares/4298704/Fundamentalist-View-There-wil
l-be-only-two-London-listed-banks-left-by-the-end-of-2009.html

*********************

By Philip Johnston
Telegraph (London)

Before the internet age, it was a rite of passage, a feeling that you had finally grown up and were considered responsible and trustworthy. As children, many of us might have had savings accounts or a few pounds in a building society deposited by an ageing aunt.

But to get one’s first cheque book was something special. Mine had the words National Westminster Bank written on the front, an imprimatur that could hardly have sounded more rock solid and British to the core, a guarantee of probity and quiet competence.

In those days, banks were forbidding places; there were no open plan offices. A visit to the bank manager, especially for an impecunious student trying to explain a £20 overdraft, was a terrifying experience conducted in a sternly avuncular manner from behind a large desk.

We are right to ben angry with the bankers

Fred Goodwin, former chief executive, Royal Bank of Scotland Photo: REUTERS

We all knew that such a world had disappeared. But it was none the less astonishing to wake on Monday morning to discover that the Royal Bank of Scotland – my bank, or at least the NatWest bit of it – had posted the biggest loss in British corporate history.

Nor did it take long for the shock to give way to fury. Charles Dickens captured the feeling well after the collapse of Merdle’s bank in Little Dorrit: “The air was laden with a heavy muttering of the name of Merdle, coupled with every form of execration.”

Well, there were a few execrations in my own household and doubtless in many others across the country. Both curses and questions. How could this have happened?

How is it possible to rack up a loss of £28 billion and yet be worth just £8 billion?

What happened to the RBS share of the £37 billion shelled out by taxpayers last October to recapitalise the banking system? What possessed the executives of RBS to buy a Dutch financial institution for way over the odds even as the Northern Rock fiasco was unfolding?

Beyond the sheer incredulity, there is anger that the people responsible have cushioned themselves financially against the privations that their recklessness will induce in millions of others.

The people at the top may lose their jobs, but they have already paid themselves so much in bonuses and struck such lucrative pension deals that they can retire in luxury while the rest of us face penury.

Extraordinarily, the vast bonuses were paid for what at the time was hailed as success but now turns out to be abject failure. Do they get returned, along with the knighthoods and gongs?

For those of us who did not know what a derivative was until a few months ago and had only a vague idea that Sir Fred Goodwin was “something in the City”, these are revelatory times.

It was evident from the steady flow of letters offering to lend money and urging us to take out new credit cards (all of which went into the bin in our house) that the banks were on a credit binge and that many people were being tempted to join in.

But surely, we all thought, they must know what they are doing. Even the near-collapse of Northern Rock after the first run on a bank since the mid-19th century, seemed like an isolated example of a badly run institution that had been led to the edge by incompetent and foolhardy executives and had to be rescued by the Government.

At the time, some cynical observers suggested that if it had been Southern Rock based in Guildford, it would have been allowed to go to the wall. But it was a big employer and an iconic institution in Labour’s north-east heartland, so it had to be saved. But at least it was one-off, wasn’t it? The other banks could not possibly be in the same leaky boat.

The discovery that they were sinking too has been more than a shock; it has been a betrayal. Their recklessness has bordered on the criminal. One figure from the Bank of England’s financial stability report last October exemplifies the enormity of their folly. In 2000, the amount of money held on deposit in British banks and the amount they were lending was roughly comparable.

Last year, they were lending £700 billion more than they were receiving. This was the mother of all bubbles, yet the bank bosses kept inflating it, egged on by the Government, the Bank of England, the so-called regulators and, let’s be frank, by those of us who borrowed way beyond our means.

In its report, the Bank said: “The seeds of this boom can be traced back to the development of financial and trade imbalances among the major economies over the past decade. Increased borrowing in a number of developed countries was in part financed with inflows of foreign capital, leading to greater integration in international capital markets. Benign economic conditions helped anchor expectations of continued stability. This, along with rising asset prices and low global real interest rates, boosted the demand for and supply of credit in a number of developed economies.

It added: “Over time, banks took on progressively more credit risk by lending to, for example, households with high loan to income ratios, leveraged buy-out firms and, in the United States, to the sub-prime sector.”

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetop
ics/financialcrisis/4301285/We-have-every-ri
ght-to-be-angry-with-the-bankers.html

Hama: Gaza is Israeli “Cemetery”; France Condemns Ground Offensive, Europe Mixed

January 3, 2009

Hamas vowed on Saturday to turn the Gaza Strip into a “cemetery” for the Israeli army, which launched a ground offensive in the enclave following a week of air and naval bombardment.

–AFP

**************

France condemned Saturday Israel’s decision to send ground forces into the Gaza Strip, branding it a dangerous military escalation that would undermine attempts to broker a ceasefire. — AFP

**************

By James Mackenzie

PARIS, Jan 3 (Reuters) – France condemned an Israeli land assault in the Gaza Strip on Saturday just hours after the Czech presidency of the European Union said the action was “defensive, not offensive”.

The conflicting statements suggested disunity among European partners ahead of separate visits to the region by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and an EU delegation led by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

France, which handed the EU presidency to the Czechs on Jan. 1, has led calls for a ceasefire and hosted a meeting of EU foreign minsters to reinforce the message on Tuesday.

Israeli troops clashed with Hamas forces on Saturday as columns of tanks backed by helicopters advanced into Gaza under darkness, a Palestinian witness said.

In Prague, Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said Israel, which launched air bombardments against Gaza a week ago in retaliation against rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled area, appeared to be acting defensively.

“At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action,” he said.

Saeb Erekat, aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called for the world to condemn the Czech position.

“This is a vicious aggression against our people. The international community cannot stand silent … This position (by the European Union’s Czech presidency) deserves condemnation,” told Al Arabiya television.

The French Foreign Ministry said: “France condemns the Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as it condemns the continuation of rocket firing.”

It said the “dangerous military escalation” complicated efforts to end the fighting and bring aid to the area.

Further underlining the impression of European division, a British government source said of the Czech statement: “It is not the position of the British government.”

In London, British Foreign Minister David Miliband urged both Israel and Hamas to agree to stop hostilities.

“Unfolding events show the urgent need for the immediate ceasefire that we have called for. The escalation of the conflict will cause alarm and dismay,” he said in a statement.

Israeli troops and tanks had been massed on the border for days in readiness for an invasion as Israeli firepower pounded Gaza from land, sea and air and diplomatic efforts to arrange a ceasefire stalled.

Former UK Army Chief Attacks US Failures in Iraq

December 20, 2008

A former head of the British Army has accused the Americans of “appalling” decision making during the Iraq war.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Telegraph (UK)
.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, General Sir Mike Jackson, the former chief of the general staff, said that the violence in post-war Iraq was “much exacerbated by the security vacuum created by Washington’s appalling decisions” to disband the Iraqi security forces.

Gen Sir Mike, who was head of the British Army at the time of the war, added that the US policy to “de-Baathify” Iraq doubled the time taken to reach the point where the coalition could consider a withdrawal from the country.

Former Army chief General Sir Mike Jackson attacks US failures in Iraq

Former Army chief General Sir Mike Jackson decribed American decision making as ‘appalling’ Photo: PA

The general also added that Iranian backing for Shia militants, a development which led to hundreds of British casualties, further complicated the post-war environment.

The former defence chief, who said that he believed the campaign had been successful, was also critical of the US and British governments for failing to “understand fully” the complexity of the situation in Iraq and to create a proper reconstruction plan.

The general said that the euphoria which followed the toppling of Saddam was short lived because of various factions inside Iraq began to use violence in pursuit of political objectives.

But he added that the coalition, which suffered from political and military infighting, achieved “tremendous successes” including a referendum on a new Iraqi constitution and the subsequent elections, the creation of a new Iraqi security force and the avoidance of outright civil war.

Of the 136 troops who died in Iraq and the thousands injured, the general said that their deaths and wounds “were not in vain but rather suffered in the noble cause of a better future for Iraq and the region as a whole.”

London 2012 Olympics ‘Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack’

December 15, 2008

John Patten, a former Home Office minister and an advisor to the British Olympic Association, has warned that inadequate security procedures have left London 2012 venues vulnerable to terrorist attack.

By Paul Kelso
The Telegraph (UK)
.
Patten, who was a Cabinet minister in the last Conservative government and served as Northern Ireland secretary said that the Olympic Park site in east London is already vulnerable to terrorists who could plant smart bombs in the foundations of venues currently under construction.

Writing in the latest edition of The Spectator, Patten, who is a member of the BOA’s advisory board, claims that well-placed sources have told him the Olympic project is suffering from a lack of security planning.

Patten claims that the acrimonious departure of Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who was overseeing Olympic security before he sued the force claiming racial equality, has hindered the project.

London 2012 'vulnerable to terrorist attack'

Centre of attraction: an artist’s impression of the London 2012 stadium now under construction and which could be vulnerable to attack

He also suggests that the key agencies involved in organising security are bickering over who takes the lead role, undermining confidence in the entire project.

“In an age of determined and technologically sophisticated incremental terrorism, the Met and the Security Services must overcome everything from highly unfortunate public rows over employment discrimination affecting key officers involved to more private inter-agency rivalries,” Patten writes.

“Forget about policing crowds in 2012, pipework and brickwork is being laid now which is vulnerable to smart devices that can lurk latent until 2012. At least one person from that world tells me that there is no real integrated concept of operations yet. Someone or somebody must provide that focus and work with a semi-detached Home Secretary.”

Patten’s observations, part of a wide-ranging critique of the project, will fuel concerns already expressed that security planning is behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned that security master-planning for the project was behind schedule.

The Home Office is working on a strategy document and had planned to put it to the Olympic board before the end of the year. It is expected to unveil its plans in the new year.

When questioned on the issue by The Daily Telegraph last month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was satisfied that the total security budget of £838 million would be sufficient to cover the final bill, but declined to comment on details of the plan.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london
2012/3703883/London-2012-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack.html