The World’s Biggest Scandal


The next time anyone tries to convince you of the need to cut benefits to the unemployed or there is not enough money to care for refugees, consider this:

An estimated $21 to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secrecy jurisdictions around the world. Secrecy jurisdictions – a term often used as an alternative to the more widely used term tax havens – use secrecy to attract illicit and illegitimate or abusive financial flows.

Illicit cross-border financial flows have been estimated at $1-1.6 trillion per year: dwarfing the US$135 billion or so in global foreign aid.

A global industry has developed involving the world’s biggest banks, law practices, accounting firms and specialist providers who design and market secretive offshore structures for their tax- and law-dodging clients. ‘Competition’ between jurisdictions to provide secrecy facilities has, particularly since the era of financial globalisation really took off in the 1980s, become a central feature of global financial markets.”

The UK is the Worst Offender

The UK is regarded by Tax Justice Network (TJN) as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, single player in the global offshore system of tax havens (or secrecy jurisdictions) today.

There are two reasons for the discrepancy between its ranking and its importance.

The first is that the City of London, or “the City”, a term used to describe the UK financial services industry centred on London, is on some measures the world’s largest financial centre. As this report explains, this is built substantially on ‘offshore’ characteristics – though these characteristics in the UK’s own case aren’t particularly predicated on financial secrecy but on other offshore offerings, particularly lax financial regulation.

The second is that the UK is intricately connected to a large network of British secrecy jurisdictions around the world, notably the three Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and the 14 Overseas Territories, which include such offshore giants as Cayman, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

Though these jurisdictions have a measure of independence on internal political matters, Britain supports and controls them: the Queen appoints many of their top officials, and her head is on their stamps and banknotes. Illustrating the fact that these links are above all financial, Jersey Finance, the official marketing arm of the Jersey offshore financial centre, states that:

“Jersey represents an extension of the City of London.”

Overall, the City of London and these offshore satellites constitute by far the most important part of the global offshore world of secrecy jurisdictions.

Had TJN lumped them together, the British network would be at the top of their index, above Switzerland. (In fact, the British network is even bigger than this ‘official’ network, and includes 54 Commonwealth countries, many of whose final court of appeal is at the Privy Council in London.)

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Solution to violence in Israel


I witnessed the UK riots (Liverpool version) in 2011. The hooded gangs as they marched into the city centre reminded me then of the Intifadas.

Those involved, primarily, are of the agegroup 14-21. An age where their brain is not sufficiently developed to control their desires. They (not all young people – just those who commit violence) assume their identity from gangs and are fired up by viciousness and its repercussions. They have no political concepts. Any “Nationalism” has no more significance that the football clubs or the city of their teams.

An extra spice, when the consequences of their actions are considered, is the political interpretations put upon their violence. It disguises the real animalistic thrill they are seeking and is useful as an excuse if caught.

The long and the short is, I see no difference apart from, in Israel, its deadliness. These excesses are only possible because the “excuses” appear to have support amongst those older, more respected, members of their community.

I have a solution. It may appear as a joke. However, I am serious.

Legalize marijuana.

Allow the State of Israel to control its production and distribution. As a viable crop, the cultivation of marijuana could also help save the economies of many kibbutzim and moshavim.

Introduce a law that says each Arab between 14-21 can receive one kilo gratis from the State for every year he is not arrested for, or suspected of, any violent crime.

Introduce another law underlining the seriousness of being caught under the influence of marijuana whilst a member of the IDF.

The advantages are many:

  1. Those suffering from Cancer and other incurable diseases would have available a drug that would give some relief.
  2. Those who have traumas as a result of war or terrorism would have available a means (without stigma) to help them come to terms with their horrible experiences.
  3. The economics with respect to taxes and profits would at least be as beneficial to the State as the alcohol industry.
  4. The young, over-exited and frustrated, will be able to find a way to control their actions. If only on the basis: if you are stoned it is not too easy to throw stones.
  5. Consider the increase in Tourism
  6. In ten years, the word Palestinian would be synonymous with phrase “peace-loving beatnik”: a person who enjoys the freedoms bestowed upon him by the State of Israel.
  7. Hamas would become amo, amas, amat.
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Being a refugee is not a choice

Nobody chooses to be a refugee: their only choice is between dying or living.
No Jew turns away a refugee: their only choice is between living and dying.


In 1881, 4.1 million Jews lived in the Russian empire. Over the next three decades, 1.5 million Russian Jews immigrated to the United States, and another 0.5 million left for other New World destinations, a mass migration surpassed in strength only by the Irish earlier in the century.


On 13 May 1939, more than 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a luxury cruise liner, the SS St Louis. They hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the US – but were turned away in Havana and forced to return to Europe, where more than 250 were killed by the Nazis.


Nazi persecution of European Jews confronted the world with an unprecedented humanitarian challenge. The extraordinary circumstances of the plight of the Jews called for a response that was also out of the ordinary.
But countries around the globe resisted the pressure to take special measures to relieve Jewish suffering.
The United Kingdom was no exception. It opted for caution and pragmatism, subordinating humanitarianism to Britain’s national interest.
Nor, when the crisis of the Jews became yet more grave, did the British approach change fundamentally.
During the Holocaust, Britain’s policy — much of it made in conjunction with the United States government — continued to put self-interest first, leaving minimal scope for humanitarian action.

 [Whitehall and the Jews, 1933-1948: British Immigration Policy, Jewish ... by Louise London]


Cyprus internment camps were camps run by the British government for internment of Jews who had immigrated or attempted to immigrate to Mandatory Palestine in violation of British policy. There were a total of 12 camps, which operated from August 1946 to January 1949, and in total held 53,510 people.


Exodus 1947 was a ship that carried Jewish emigrants from France to British Mandatory Palestine on July 11, 1947. Most of the emigrants were Holocaust survivors who had no legal immigration certificates for Palestine. Following wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy seized the ship and deported all its passengers back to Europe.

arab ex

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Where are the refugees?


German and European Union leaders have called for European countries to share the burden of absorbing the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have poured into the continent this summer.

One plan, which was proposed in May, would have established quotas based on each country’s size and resources. The quotas were rejected in June, but they may be a starting point for any comprehensive solution.

More than the quota                         Fewer than the quota
Source: New York Times analysis.
Note: Austria has not disclosed how many people it has granted asylum.

What about Arab countries?

Jordan:  has an annual per capita income of $11,000 and has received 630,000 refugees.
Lebanon: has an annual per capita income of $15,000 has 1.2 million Syrians, making them about one-quarter of the population.
Turkey: has an annual per capita income of $20,000 has over 2 million Syrian refugees

Qatar:  has an annual per capita income of $143,000 has no refugees 
Kuwait: has an annual per capita income of $71,000 has no refugees
Saudi Arabia: has an annual per capita income of $52,000 has no refugees
United Arab Emirates:  has an annual per capita income of $44,770 has no refugees
Bahrain:  has an annual per capita income of $24,281 has no refugees


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Worthy to be here


Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

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Just one picture, just one thought:

Refugees welcomed by Saudi… 0; Kuwait… 0; Qatar… 0; Emirates… 0; Bahrain… 0

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Jeremy Corbyn – OK by me


Close the deficit by growing the economy and taxing the wealthy

Corbyn has published an eight-page policy paper outlining his alternative plan to close the current budget deficit by growing the economy and taxing the wealthy. He would give the Bank of England a new mandate for a programme of “people’s quantitative easing” – essentially printing money – to invest in large-scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects partly through a national investment bank. He says he will fund this by reducing the “tax gap”, which his team estimates at £120bn a year in uncollected or evaded revenues, and by ending some of the £93bn a year in corporate tax reliefs. Says Labour did not regulate the banks enough.

Progressive tax system based on collecting lost revenues

Corbyn has said the biggest issue is not the top rate of tax or corporation tax. Instead says he wants a progressive tax system based on collecting an estimated £120bn in lost tax revenues every year. Corbyn says there is £20bn in tax debt uncollected by HMRC, another £20bn in tax avoidance and a further £80bn in tax evasion. He promises to reverse cuts in HMRC staff and introduce a proper anti-avoidance rule. Corbyn also says “some of the £93bn a year” in corporate “tax reliefs and subsidies” could be stripped out to fund a new national investment bank.

Scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants

Corbyn has set out a £10bn plan to scrap all tuition fees and restore student maintenance grants, funded by increasing national insurance on those earning more than £50,000 a year and a 2.5% increase in corporation tax, or slowing the pace of deficit reduction. Would rethink the role of free schools and academies, probably moving them back under council control

Curtail right to buy, ease curbs on borrowing to help councils build

Corbyn will suspend council right-to-buy schemes in areas of high housing stress. e will lift borrowing restrictions on councils so they can contribute more than half of the 250,000 new homes he says are needed each year. Will consult on linking private rents to local average earnings levels and introducing a right to buy for private tenants of large-scale landlords, to be funded by withdrawing some of the £14bn of tax allowances given to buy-to-let landlords. Will also introduce a system of rent controls.

Immigration is not a drain on the economy

In 2013 Corbyn said the debate on immigration had been “poisoned”. He said migration was a global phenomenon that had been going on for hundreds of years, and criticised his party’s feeble defence of immigration. Immigration is not among the 11 key policies his website says “he is standing to deliver”. Has consistently argued that immigration is not a drain on the economy and has campaigned on behalf of asylum seekers, most recently over the need to rescue Mediterranean refugees.

Opposes Trident renewal, wants to withdraw from Nato

Corbyn would vote against extending air strikes to Syria: “Terrorist attacks on British citizens will not be prevented by bombing parts of Syria from 30,000 feet … We need to cut off the supply of money and arms that is flowing to [Isis].” Opposes renewal of Trident, is in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament and wants to withdraw from Nato. Has suggested Tony Blair should stand trial as a war criminal over the Iraq war.

Negotiations should focus on workers’ rights and environment

At the last campaign hustings he refused to rule out campaigning for a no vote in the referendum because “Cameron quite clearly follows an agenda which is about trading away workers’ rights … environmental protection … much of what is in the social chapter”. Labour should set out its negotiating demands on issues such as workers’ rights, the environment, tax and wage protection “rather than saying blanketly we’re going to support whatever Cameron comes out with whenever he finally decides to hold this referendum”. Pressed, he said his preferred position was to stay in a reformed EU.

Public ownership of railways – with public control

Corbyn wants to renationalise the railways and to bring the energy companies back into public ownership: “I believe in public ownership, but I have never favoured the remote nationalised model [of] the post-war era. Like a majority of the population and a majority of even Tory voters, I want the railways back in public ownership. But public control should mean just that: so we should have passengers, rail workers and government too, cooperatively running the railways … in our interests and not for private profit.”

Aim is for 50% of Labour MPs to be female

Corbyn has pledged gender parity with a 50:50 shadow cabinet, and to work to raise the proportion of female Labour MPs from 40% to 50%.

No reason why anybody should have to live in poverty

Not being part of the shadow cabinet, Corbyn was one of 48 Labour rebels to vote against the government’s welfare reform bill. Has said: “We are one of the richest countries in the world and there is absolutely no reason why anybody should have to live in poverty”, adding that he supports groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts and Boycott Workfare.

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Don’t knee-jerk Obama



I understand the disappointment many feel about the role of the US and the EU. The concerns about Israel’s security, we all share (if there is anyone who does not, they are in the wrong debate).

Let’s look at the US and why this deal:

  1. President Obama needs a big deal to seal his precedency and signify his legacy.
  2. Those Democrats planning for the next election need a springboard for their campaign
  3. This deal could fit the bill.

Why did the US “not accommodate” Israel?

  1. The US (State Department and the White House) believes (excuse the sexual terms – it will become clearer, later) they are the “big d*cks” in the Middle East.
  2. They need to be “big d*cks” because all they need is sex (read “oil”)
  3. Iran has oil.
  4. When a big d*ck sees the possibility of more sex that is all he thinks.
  5. A big d*ck is not concerned about his responsibility for the rape and pillage of the area since Versailles (1919). He just needs his oil.
  6. A big d*ck is only marginally concerned about Israel in so far as the SOI can placate US Jews and keep them voting for big d*cks.
  7. There have been many charming big d*cks. These have seduced equally charming Israeli premiers into believing they had a joint interest in helping keep the big d*cks active. You supply my needs; I will supply yours.
  8. Unfortunately, Obama and Netanyahu do not share the same taste in cologne. The boys have squabbled.
  9. Someone in the white house thinks Netanyahu is an overweight, balding, jumped-up, smart-ass, Jew who speaks better English than most. And besides, “Jesus, he never listens to anybody. Get that Jimmy Carter book”, she wrote in an email.
  10. They figure they can teach Bibi a lesson and still get what they need.

And why is this a surprise?

  1. It should not be.
  2. Since Obama was elected, the signs have been there: the tiffy tantrums between the two boys (one called Hussein and the other Benyamin might be a clue).
  3. More importantly. The reluctance of the US to demonstrate 100% its support for its only ally – the only democratic state in the Middle East – when Israel was at war. Be a doubter and negotiate compromises when at peace. When at war, it must be (if an Israeli) as Orwell said “My country, right or wrong”. It is only correct to expect one’s allies, at these times, to do the same. The US did not.


Why did the EU “not accommodate” Israel?

  1. The individual EU states have the illusion that by holding hands their miniscule appendages will grow.
  2. That holding hands with the big d*cks over the pond is better than any Viagra.
  3. Their underwear is stained with the stench of anti-Semitism

And why is this a surprise?

It wasn’t.

I really cannot see the point in getting involved in these pissing contests.

On the other hand, Iran is something else.

That Iran is publically anti-Semitic is obvious. However, the private anti-Jewishness of all of the Iranians I have known (and I have known hundreds through my work with DRK) has more the nature of a cultural rivalry. The Persian believes his literature, music and to some extent, his religion is superior to the Jewish. Like most aristocrats, he believes he is superior to all cultures especially Sunni Muslims.

This is in contrast to the Syrian (I have also known hundreds) whose anti-Semitism is endemic and primitive. Their education system in this matter would make Hamas seem enlightened.

So Israel must contend (compete) with a nation that is as culturally and intellectually sophisticated as they are. You may also read into what I am writing that in my opinion the Persian is more culturally and intellectually sophisticated than either the US or the EU.

As a military (and terrorist) threat to Israel, Iran has displayed it is to be feared. However, those who fear the Iranian regime most are the Iranian people. With good reason.

No matter how many Israeli deaths you may attribute to Iran or Iran supported terror groups, it comes nowhere close to the numbers of Iranians who have died because of wars fought by the Iranian regime against others or against its own people.

Over half a million Iranian (maybe more) lost their lives fighting against Iraq (1980-88).



Tens of thousands of those in opposition to the “guardians of the Islamic Republic” have been killed or disappeared. In its attempts to make sure the people did not take away from the leadership that which it had given them, social, political and academic repression has continued.

Homosexuals are publically hanged. Iran remains the only country in the world that continues to execute minors.



It could be argued that women have suffered most. Girls aged 9 can be married. Men can beat their wives (and do). All women must cover their hair. Those who not cover their hair have acid thrown in their faces.

In this male dominated society, there have been some “positive” changes. A man must now go to court to give his reasons for demanding a divorce. It used to just enough to say, “I divorce you”. However, this is a system still not resolved in Israel. All changes are relative.

The Iranians welcome this agreement because (from a survey last month conducted in Farsi in Iran):

  • All have the have the belief that failure to reach an agreement would result in economic disaster, increased political and cultural repression, and possibly war.
  • Seventy-one percent expect economic benefits from the accord, but one-fifth of those fear these benefits could be lost to ordinary Iranians due to governmental mismanagement.
  • Twenty-five percent expect any economic benefits to reach only the wealthy and connected, due to entrenched corruption.
  • Sixty-one percent believe a deal would enable political and cultural reforms, as a politically strengthened Rouhani administration could now turn its focus to such issues.
  • Thirty-six percent expected no improvement in political or cultural freedoms, citing either Rouhani’s lack of authority or his willingness given his meagre record over the past two years.

A point made by several observers is that the numbers of Iranians, who took to the streets in joyous celebration when they heard the accord was agreed, was 10 times the size of the official rally making this announcement – the rally where “death to US” and “death to Israel” was heard.




I once knew a woman who was a daughter of one of the Greek Colonels who seized power in Greece. I asked why their coup eventually failed. She said, “Because the Greeks couldn’t buy Levis”.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that when the young Iranian begins to discuss whether they should buy Wrangler or Levi, the influence of the authoritarian grandfathers and guardians of the revolution has already begun to diminish.

We have to support this accord because it is the only chance that the young Iranian can take back the power to decide their own future.

When that happens, no Iranian will be concerned about Israel, other than as an economic partner.



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When an Arab is dirty he is picturesque; when a Jew is dirty he is filthy.

“When an Arab is dirty he is picturesque,” said the wife of a British official, “when a Jew is dirty he is filthy.”



We seem naturally to suspend our imagination, to relate our morals, or at least our assumptions as to what is the correct way to behave in a given set of circumstances, when we watch fantasies such as “Game of Thrones”.

We are able to, at least understand, if not sympathise, with actions, that contradict our everyday ethics because we recognise that in this world other rules and regulations apply. How many deaths have we been satisfied to see? Deaths that in the real life, that is the 21st century in our time and on our planet, we would abhor.

I would suggest that every historical time on our planet is just as complex and different from today. Not only in the lack of knowledge, events and circumstances in which they take place, but especially with our, seemingly reluctance, to set us in in the morality of the time.

We seem to spend so much time and energy making judgements based on 21st century principles, it clouds our conclusions and eventually devalues the lessons we can learn. Not about what could and should have been done – which is a waste of time – but about in the manner in which we tackle the problems we have inherited.

The classic example is the Middle East. Too often analysis condemn the colonialism, the nationalism, the alliances, the betrayals, the racism, the lack of consideration for the indigenous peoples etc. without considering the fact there was nothing unusual or untoward with these motivations (or lack of them) – such was the life. There was no other.


The British treated Palestine as a colony and ruled it with a tiny garrison.

Possessing no artillery for a Remembrance Day salute on 11 November 1925, the army borrowed an ancient cannon which the Islamic authorities fired to signal the start of the fast of Ramadan.

High Commissioners presided in state, first from a Kaiser-inspired “Wagnerian schloss” on the Mount of Olives and later from a square-towered, purpose-built Government House, complete with ballroom and minstrels’ gallery, on the Hill of Evil Counsel.

As usual the British kept to themselves and followed their own pursuits. They hobnobbed in the exclusive Jerusalem Sports Club. They chased jackals with the pink-coated Ramleh Vale Hunt. They took picnics in Galilee where the air was limpid and the earth was carpeted with wild flowers—anemone, narcissus, cyclamen, asphodel and ranunculus. Beside the Dead Sea, with Moab rising beyond it like a wall of brass, they played on the briny, sandy nine-hole course of the Sodom and Gomorrah Golf Club, competing annually for the prize of a marble statuette known as “Lot’s Wife.”

They kept the peace and suppressed disturbances, the bloodiest of which occurred over a dispute about the Western (“Wailing”) Wall in 1929. They attended to matters like justice, health and education. They promoted agriculture, helping Jews to make the desert “blossom as the rose” and assisting Arabs, who still reaped with the sickle and used asses to trample out the corn.

Inspired by Lutyens’s New Delhi, they even planned to build their own new Jerusalem.

But if the British were making Palestine “cleaner, richer and duller,” they were not making it happier, said Sir Ronald Storrs, Governor of Jerusalem and Judea. “Thou hast multiplied the harvest but not increased the joy, is my epitaph for the British Empire.”

Successive proconsuls failed to achieve political cooperation between Jews and Arabs, who ran parallel administrations.

The Jewish Agency consolidated its hold on strategic areas, especially the coastal plain and Galilee where Jews bought land (which absentee owners sold even though thousands of their Arab tenants were evicted). From afar Weizmann guided the Agency with consummate skill, though even he could be provocative. He wrote, for example, that “the only rational answer” to dissension over the Wailing Wall was “to pour Jews into Palestine.”

The Supreme Muslim Council was led by Haj Amin al-Husseini, whom Samuel had appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-eminent religious and legal office. Mild-mannered, soft-spoken, red-bearded and black-robed, with a white turban around his scarlet tarbush, the Mufti had the rare gift of immobility.

But his impassive and dignified exterior concealed a burning ambition to maintain the Muslim majority in Palestine. Amin believed that the Balfour Declaration had stemmed from a Jewish intrigue with the British and he reminded one High Commissioner that a Jewish intrigue with the Romans had led to the judicial murder of Christ.

No mean intriguer himself, the Mufti tried to destroy the Jewish national home first by treating with the British and later by embracing Muslim militants. Initially he shunned any council or congress that might give legitimacy to the Jewish presence.

During the early 1930s he temporised, recognising that Arabs would dominate an elected assembly by dint of numbers. This was precisely why Weizmann and his allies rejected proposals to form such a body.

All round the world Jews faced hostility from majorities in their adopted countries.

It was the prime goal of Zionism that Jews in Palestine should “cease at last to lead a minority life.”

from “The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997” by Piers Brendon.

Further suggested reading: “Jerusalem: The Biography” by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

These two books contain bibliographies and notes for a life-time’s reading on this subject.

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I feel sucked into a whirlpool of moral contradictions

I am saddened and shocked that Finn Nørgaard was murdered. I am saddened and shocked that Dan Uzan was murdered. My heart goes out to their families and loved ones.

I am also deeply affected by my sympathy for the young woman, who on a day celebrating her mature movement through her religion and her life, was raped by the obscenity that took place in the street outside.

Just as this young woman and her family will never forget the events in Krystalgade, so also will the injured policemen and their families.

These reactions are “normal” and I am convinced are shared by almost everyone in Denmark.

These feelings are terrible when considering the injustice shown to the victims. Yet they are necessary when bearing in mind the healing processes those involved must begin.

If Danish society (as well as those directly involved) is to move forward, it will be dependant on the empathy all can feel for those in pain.

However, what is confusing me, is the “chitter-chatter” that fills our newspaper and TV screens concerning the “reason” behind these tragedies.

Almost everyone is trying to show their pet theories are correct.

• Increase in anti-Semitism? There’s your proof.
• Too many immigrants? There’s your proof.
• Islam is a killer religion? There’s your proof.
• Denmark is too lax with respect to freedom of speech? There’s your proof.
• Jews are not safe in Denmark? There’s your proof.
• All Jews should be in Israel? There’s your proof.
• Multiculturism doesn’t work? There’s your proof.

Consider a similar catechism in relation to a man who sexually assaults his daughter:

• Increase in male-sexuality? There’s you proof.
• Too many fathers? There’s your proof.
• The family is a killer institution? There’s your proof.
• Denmark is too lax with respect to the freedom it allows families? There’s your proof.
• Girls are not safe in the family? There’s your proof.
• All girls should be in female only institutions? There’s your proof.
• Gender mixed families do not work? There’s your proof.

The relative moral confusion is more obvious. We acknowledge and, without exception, condemn the immorality of a man who sexually assaults a child. This is something that MUST NOT BE DONE. There is no excuse.

Equally, with respect to the events in Copenhagen. The moral imperative is very clear: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. To consider any excuse for murder is at best sociopathic if not psychopathic.

There is no acceptable excuse for an individual to kill another. However, this immorality, in a land in which relative morality has become so dominant, has received very little attention.

How this imperative (THOU SHALT NOT KILL) relates to institutionalised violence, (war) is a completely new dialectic, which the Danish people have repressed for far too long.

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