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What did Parliament do? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,014
edited December 2023 in General
imageWhat did Parliament do? – politicalbetting.com

It was not the Commission which changed the law allowing the Post Office to prosecute subpostmasters on the basis of flawed unreliable evidence. But MPs. Parliamentary scrutiny should mean something, shouldn’t it? Let’s see what it actually meant here. How did MPs discharge their function? Many are lawyers. One of the much touted benefits is meant to be that they can properly scrutinise such legislation and understand its implications. MPs also get expenses to pay for researchers. 

Read the full story here

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    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
  • Options
    TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 114,358
    edited November 2023
    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
  • Options
    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,800
    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.
  • Options
    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014
    @Cyclefree

    Section 69 notwithstanding, is a prosecutor tried to take advantage of it today could an individual judge require them to prove their assertion or does the judge have no discretion in this?
  • Options
    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    Indeed, it led to the invasion of the Falkland Islands.
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    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960
    On topic, surely, in an investigation of the sort we are discussing, nothing should ever be taken for granted?
    Except, possibly, sunrise and sunset!

    And a Good, if rather chilly, Morning to everybody!
  • Options
    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014
    edited November 2023
    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318
    As usual with @Cyclefree pieces - not merely right. But the self evident truth.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318
    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.
  • Options
    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014
    Also for people interested in how organisations can go wrong without appropriate control and oversight this books is both fascinating, disturbing and depressing. We really are governed by pygmies*

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=code+over+country&adgrpid=137339391547&hvadid=587160842329&hvdev=m&hvlocphy=1006886&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=18377449744563161551&hvtargid=kwd-1036270491066&hydadcr=17346_1802382&tag=hydrukspg-21&ref=pd_sl_22gu0xte0p_e

    * not especially picking on Sunak here
  • Options

    Also for people interested in how organisations can go wrong without appropriate control and oversight this books is both fascinating, disturbing and depressing. We really are governed by pygmies*

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=code+over+country&adgrpid=137339391547&hvadid=587160842329&hvdev=m&hvlocphy=1006886&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=18377449744563161551&hvtargid=kwd-1036270491066&hydadcr=17346_1802382&tag=hydrukspg-21&ref=pd_sl_22gu0xte0p_e

    * not especially picking on Sunak here

    Coupled with a sense of "We are the state. We are the good guys. We are the cowboys and you are the Indians."

    Which has always been there, which is why humility, checks and balances are so important. See also the ongoing Ruth Perry inquest;

    Firstly, it was pointed out to Mr Derry that much of his evidence regarding his interpretation of events during the inspection was given as witness testimony, and that this interpretation neither matched his written evidence nor the notes he’d taken during the inspection…

    This elicited a fierce response “Why am I here then? If my word is not to be believed.” Similarly, when facing questions from the family’s lawyer about his “unpleasant and mocking tone”, about how he’d shut down discussion by raising his hands in a ‘stop’ gesture and…

    HMI Derry was given other instances of behaviour that school business manager Nicky Leroy described as “intimidating” whereas, on day one, he was contrite and expressed regret that other ‘colleagues’ regarded him in this way…


    https://twitter.com/Edmund_B_W/status/1730110526510829814
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
  • Options

    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
    "If you need euphemisms to describe a plan, you shouldn't do it" is a pretty good rule for life, I reckon.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    The frigging post office scandal? Again?
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    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472

    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
    There are other views.

    Rosalynn Carter died a few days ago. Henry Kissinger died today. A greater contrast spanning the two extreme ends of human good and human wickedness cannot be imagined.
    https://twitter.com/curiouswavefn/status/1730121807670452295
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    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,635

    Another top piece.

    Quite.

    The header's reference to a nurses' trial in South Wales makes very familiar reading to us PBers who have been following the PO scandal, though in that instance with rather different results (so far):

    https://journals.sas.ac.uk/deeslr/article/view/4891/4841

    "The judge excluded some evidence from the jury as being prejudicial under s 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Evidence was derived from flawed data, flawed IT, and flawed management of IT. Nurses were blamed for these failures. As this paper explains, the underlying causes must be properly understood as basic software issues that should have been taken seriously as and when they originally happened. Indeed, it is baffling that the hospital failed to detect and addressthe corruption of the databases that had been in continual clinical use over a period of years.

    It is to be speculated as to how many other cases —internally or reaching the courts —inappropriately blame and pursue clinicians caught up in fallout from hospital IT chaos, with nobody recognizing or wanting to admit or check whether IT can cause the problems. Poor IT, and poorly managed IT, can induce clinical7and other error, contribute to error, exacerbate error, cause huge costs,8and make it hard to disentangle true causes.[...]

    There must be many other cases where clinicians have been blamed for hospital IT chaos, where nobody recognizes or admits, or checks that IT can be the cause of such problems. Hospitals spend a greatdeal of money on IT, and they have IT staff to manage it; there is a significant financial and personal investment in this being right, so it is psychologically very satisfying to blame the users (nurses in this case)."
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    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472
    "How many of his eulogists will grapple with his full record in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Chile, Argentina, East Timor, Cyprus, and elsewhere?"
    https://twitter.com/NKingofDC/status/1730064031669522661
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    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,800

    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
    "If you need euphemisms to describe a plan, you shouldn't do it" is a pretty good rule for life, I reckon.
    “Special treatment for category 84”, “evacuation”, “resettlement”, being prime examples.
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    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
    The banality of evil.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472
    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Put that massive IQ of yours to some use, and read the header.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Put that massive IQ of yours to some use, and read the header.
    No. Life is too short

    I’ve no doubt this is a massive scandal and I find @Cyclefree a decent writer with interesting opinions and I’m glad some people are angry enough (unlike me) to take an interest in this grave injustice blah blah blah blah

    But personally I shall go and read Reddit for a bit
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318
    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Yes. The headers will keep up until you can successfully implement distributed transactionality with full rollback.
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    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,937
    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.

    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    The comments below are (ahem) somewhat blindly pro-Elon. It's almost as though there are troll farms pumping out content... ;)
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
    "If you need euphemisms to describe a plan, you shouldn't do it" is a pretty good rule for life, I reckon.
    Yes. The more knowledgeable a person is, the less they rely on “professionalisation” verbiage.
  • Options

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Another reason to disincentivise private schooling.
  • Options
    EabhalEabhal Posts: 5,886
    Leon said:

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Put that massive IQ of yours to some use, and read the header.
    No. Life is too short

    I’ve no doubt this is a massive scandal and I find @Cyclefree a decent writer with interesting opinions and I’m glad some people are angry enough (unlike me) to take an interest in this grave injustice blah blah blah blah

    But personally I shall go and read Reddit for a bit
    Here you go: https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/13rivfx/til_the_british_post_office_falsely_prosecuted/
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Another reason to disincentivise private schooling.
    Dismissive, reflexive ignorance is a feature of “the cult of the generalist”. Across all educational backgrounds.

    PB leans very heavily towards STEM.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717
    Nigelb said:

    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
    There are other views.

    Rosalynn Carter died a few days ago. Henry Kissinger died today. A greater contrast spanning the two extreme ends of human good and human wickedness cannot be imagined.
    https://twitter.com/curiouswavefn/status/1730121807670452295
    Usually even divisive figures get fairly diplomatic obituaries in the mainstream press and politics. I recall Ian Paisley was a rare occasion outlets were much more open about leading with criticism. Kissinger, I imagine, much more so.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472
    Leon said:

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Put that massive IQ of yours to some use, and read the header.
    No. Life is too short

    I’ve no doubt this is a massive scandal and I find @Cyclefree a decent writer with interesting opinions and I’m glad some people are angry enough (unlike me) to take an interest in this grave injustice blah blah blah blah

    But personally I shall go and read Reddit for a bit
    Surely, as our resident authority on AI, and someone who I believe is not entirely unfamiliar with criminal law, the legal presumption that computer evidence against an accused person is true, unless the defendant can prove otherwise, might give rise to a twinge of concern on your part ?

    A de facto reversal of the burden of proof in criminal cases ought to worry all of us a great deal.
  • Options

    Sean_F said:

    Kissinger’s role in Operation Condor can’t really be forgiven.

    I know that “love” isn’t the right word to use in this context but…

    This is a masterclass in bureaucratese from Gen Robert Porter (wiki) on Condor’s objectives:

    in order to facilitate the coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin American countries, we are ... endeavoring to foster inter-service and regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and the conduct of joint and combined training exercises
    "If you need euphemisms to describe a plan, you shouldn't do it" is a pretty good rule for life, I reckon.
    I use nothing but euphemisms in my private life…ah I see your point.
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    edited November 2023

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Another reason to disincentivise private schooling.
    Dismissive, reflexive ignorance is a feature of “the cult of the generalist”. Across all educational backgrounds.

    PB leans very heavily towards STEM.
    There are bluffers from all school backgrounds. The ones with the confidence to pull it off successfully at the highest levels of government tend to be privately educated.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472

    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.

    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    It is.
    The self declared first amendment absolutist doesn't seem to appreciate that his advertisers also have first amendment rights, which they are exercising.
  • Options
    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,800
    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    Kissinger was undoubtedly an expert.

    Whether he was good at his job is another matter.
  • Options

    @Cyclefree

    Section 69 notwithstanding, is a prosecutor tried to take advantage of it today could an individual judge require them to prove their assertion or does the judge have no discretion in this?

    The judge has no discretion. The law is that computer evidence is treated as reliable unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise. This puts the burden on the defendant to provide such evidence. This is made worse by the fact that many judges have no real understanding of computers. When defendants asked for disclosure that would have revealed the issues with Horizon, Post Office resisted and judges sided with Post Office.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Another reason to disincentivise private schooling.
    Dismissive, reflexive ignorance is a feature of “the cult of the generalist”. Across all educational backgrounds.

    PB leans very heavily towards STEM.
    As Leon is demonstrating this morning, the ignorance can be wilful.
  • Options
    kjhkjh Posts: 10,614
    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Honestly. Rather than pontificating on nonsense try reading the header on a real tragic miscarriage of justice. In addition the header is not really just about the PO. It is more general and applicable to several scandals, some well known and lots only a few will know about. I am involved in a campaign that probably nobody other than @NickPalmer and @Cyclefree here will know about, but still a scandal. Very critical NAO and PAC reports seem to have no impact on a stubborn government and civil service resulting in 11 years of hardship.

    Yet you only want to post about nonsense.

  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    edited November 2023
    Nigelb said:

    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.

    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    It is.
    The self declared first amendment absolutist doesn't seem to appreciate that his advertisers also have first amendment rights, which they are exercising.
    He seems a bit schizophrenic as well. On the one hand he says Fuck off I don’t need you, on the other he says “they are killing the site”

    Which is it?

    He would be better running TwiX as an ad free site dependant entirely on subs. But getting there will be tricky if not impossible
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Even very smart people can sometimes be both very wrong and very dumb.

    They can be fooled just as easily, willfully ignoring warning signs in their confidence, and this can be compounded by egos the size of a beached whale.

    Just look at the success of fraudsters and idiots in getting smart people to back things like FTX and WeWork for a start.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,472
    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    Kissinger was undoubtedly an expert.

    Whether he was good at his job is another matter.
    Top obituary (though a pale shadow of the one they published for Nixon).

    GOOD RIDDANCE
    Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/henry-kissinger-war-criminal-dead-1234804748/
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717
    Nigelb said:

    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.

    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    It is.
    The self declared first amendment absolutist doesn't seem to appreciate that his advertisers also have first amendment rights, which they are exercising.
    He's a hypocrite, simple as. If he had simply not pretended to be an absolutist when he obviously never was then his pick and mix approach would be less silly.

    As it is it gets pointed out and because he has such thin skin he throws tantrums, throwing in a swear to look edgy.

    That's the bit I find weird - how people make billions with such thin skin. I'd assume you need to be a little tough to be a ruthless businessman, but he's so fragile, and not alone in that.
  • Options
    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,937
    Whenever I hear Kissinger mentioned, I am reminded of a verse from a Momus song:

    "My sister lives in Knightsbridge now and when I go to visit her
    I buzz three times on the intercom and say Lulu, it's your solicitor
    I once walked in and caught her sitting naked on top of Henry Kissinger
    Take my word or take this Polaroid picture

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Henry Kissinger!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e581YeP0g7k

    (The song is nsfw, like pretty much all of Momus's 1980s output...)
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,875
    kle4 said:

    That's the bit I find weird - how people make billions with such thin skin. I'd assume you need to be a little tough to be a ruthless businessman, but he's so fragile, and not alone in that.

    Did he not make his first "billion" when daddy gifted him an emerald mine though?
  • Options
    SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,859
    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
    There are other views.

    Rosalynn Carter died a few days ago. Henry Kissinger died today. A greater contrast spanning the two extreme ends of human good and human wickedness cannot be imagined.
    https://twitter.com/curiouswavefn/status/1730121807670452295
    Usually even divisive figures get fairly diplomatic obituaries in the mainstream press and politics. I recall Ian Paisley was a rare occasion outlets were much more open about leading with criticism. Kissinger, I imagine, much more so.
    It’s fair to say that there’s a very wide range of opinion on Kissinger, at least among obituary writers.
  • Options
    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,937
    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.

    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    It is.
    The self declared first amendment absolutist doesn't seem to appreciate that his advertisers also have first amendment rights, which they are exercising.
    He's a hypocrite, simple as. If he had simply not pretended to be an absolutist when he obviously never was then his pick and mix approach would be less silly.

    As it is it gets pointed out and because he has such thin skin he throws tantrums, throwing in a swear to look edgy.

    That's the bit I find weird - how people make billions with such thin skin. I'd assume you need to be a little tough to be a ruthless businessman, but he's so fragile, and not alone in that.
    I don't think Bezos has thin skin. When the dick pics scandal came out, his attitude was basically "publish and be damned!"

    I don't think Gates has thin skin, either, given all the stuff that's been thrown at him, rightly and wrongly, over the years. Did Steve Jobs? At times, earlier on, perhaps. Later on, in his prime, no.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,980

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Another reason to disincentivise private schooling.
    Most MPs are state educated as I expect were most post office managers
  • Options
    kle4 said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Even very smart people can sometimes be both very wrong and very dumb.

    They can be fooled just as easily, willfully ignoring warning signs in their confidence, and this can be compounded by egos the size of a beached whale.

    Just look at the success of fraudsters and idiots in getting smart people to back things like FTX and WeWork for a start.
    Also companies claiming to have commercial fusion reactors operating in 10 year's time.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,980
    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Some interesting points but it is more law than politicalbetting really and quite a long article again
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,980
    Sandpit said:

    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
    There are other views.

    Rosalynn Carter died a few days ago. Henry Kissinger died today. A greater contrast spanning the two extreme ends of human good and human wickedness cannot be imagined.
    https://twitter.com/curiouswavefn/status/1730121807670452295
    Usually even divisive figures get fairly diplomatic obituaries in the mainstream press and politics. I recall Ian Paisley was a rare occasion outlets were much more open about leading with criticism. Kissinger, I imagine, much more so.
    It’s fair to say that there’s a very wide range of opinion on Kissinger, at least among obituary writers.
    He did open the way for engagement with China and had an unmatched knowledge of international affairs
  • Options
    SelebianSelebian Posts: 7,403

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Frankly, I applaud cyclefree for putting her own stamp on it.
    A first class analysis, when she could easily have been forgiven for going postal.

  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    kle4 said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    Even very smart people can sometimes be both very wrong and very dumb.

    They can be fooled just as easily, willfully ignoring warning signs in their confidence, and this can be compounded by egos the size of a beached whale.

    Just look at the success of fraudsters and idiots in getting smart people to back things like FTX and WeWork for a start.
    Also companies claiming to have commercial fusion reactors operating in 10 year's time.
    You mean AI Crypto-mining Using Novel Space Launch, Shirley?
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    SelebianSelebian Posts: 7,403

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    The context of that remark was interesting.

    Gove had just received a “briefing” from an apparent academic expert. Who had no actual qualifications in the domain. The briefing had been a demand for a vast increase in spending. What on and what the results might be, the expert in question was rather vague about.

    Edit: the entire PO scandal was created, engineered and maintained by experts. One of the problems with the dismissive, reflexive ignorance of the elite, is the inability to detect the difference between bullshit artists and real experts
    We've had enough of charlatans pretending to be experts would have been a fair comment. Actual experts - we need more of those.

    (Worth nothing that 'actual experts' this includes 'lay' experts, such as subpostmasters, patients/families of patients with extensive experience of NHS etc etc. actual experience can be much more valuable than a piece of paper)
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318
    Selebian said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Frankly, I applaud cyclefree for putting her own stamp on it.
    A first class analysis, when she could easily have been forgiven for going postal.

    An indifferent delivery, there.
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    kjh said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Honestly. Rather than pontificating on nonsense try reading the header on a real tragic miscarriage of justice. In addition the header is not really just about the PO. It is more general and applicable to several scandals, some well known and lots only a few will know about. I am involved in a campaign that probably nobody other than @NickPalmer and @Cyclefree here will know about, but still a scandal. Very critical NAO and PAC reports seem to have no impact on a stubborn government and civil service resulting in 11 years of hardship.

    Yet you only want to post about nonsense.

    True. I can neither deny it nor forswear it. And, yet there is some frail consolation, surely? That is to say, despite the bitter taste of my human flaws, despite the oft mentioned inadequacies in the crooked timber of my soul, at least I am not a nipple-scrapingly boring mega-twat, like you
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    Happy St. Andrew's Day (hat-tip Google's home page doodle).
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    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,800
    Nigelb said:

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    Kissinger was undoubtedly an expert.

    Whether he was good at his job is another matter.
    Top obituary (though a pale shadow of the one they published for Nixon).

    GOOD RIDDANCE
    Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/henry-kissinger-war-criminal-dead-1234804748/
    I actually felt slightly better-disposed towards Kissinger, after reading that, which is usually the case with polemics.

    Rolling Stone’s take on foreign affairs is no more attractive than Kissinger’s.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993

    Whenever I hear Kissinger mentioned, I am reminded of a verse from a Momus song:

    "My sister lives in Knightsbridge now and when I go to visit her
    I buzz three times on the intercom and say Lulu, it's your solicitor
    I once walked in and caught her sitting naked on top of Henry Kissinger
    Take my word or take this Polaroid picture

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Henry Kissinger!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e581YeP0g7k

    (The song is nsfw, like pretty much all of Momus's 1980s output...)

    I have a modest Kissinger anecdote


    A friend of mine's wife works in publishing. About 30 years ago, when she was a pretty slip of a lass in the PR department, she was told to go and collect him at Heathrow and bring him into town - for some launch of one of his books

    So she met him at LHR and they got in the limo and she confessed she found him weirdly attractive, and had to actively restrain herself from climbing on his lap. She was probably about 23 at the time, he must have been around 70

    Wasn't it Kissinger himself who remarked on power being the ultimate aphrodisiac? It is powerfully alluring, to some, and he had it
  • Options
    kjhkjh Posts: 10,614
    edited November 2023
    Leon said:

    kjh said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Honestly. Rather than pontificating on nonsense try reading the header on a real tragic miscarriage of justice. In addition the header is not really just about the PO. It is more general and applicable to several scandals, some well known and lots only a few will know about. I am involved in a campaign that probably nobody other than @NickPalmer and @Cyclefree here will know about, but still a scandal. Very critical NAO and PAC reports seem to have no impact on a stubborn government and civil service resulting in 11 years of hardship.

    Yet you only want to post about nonsense.

    True. I can neither deny it nor forswear it. And, yet there is some frail consolation, surely? That is to say, despite the bitter taste of my human flaws, despite the oft mentioned inadequacies in the crooked timber of my soul, at least I am not a nipple-scrapingly boring mega-twat, like you
    As usual when called out you resort to insults.

    Where is this mega IQ you are so famous for? Eh where?

    PS Much of the systemic failings also apply to the Asian rape scandal. You might like to reflect on that as it appears to be the only scandal you care about.
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    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,635
    edited November 2023
    HYUFD said:

    Sandpit said:

    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    Foxy said:

    O/T Rest in peace Henry Kissinger, blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    Tom Lehrer said that satire became impossible after Kissinger won the Peace Prize.
    I've always admired Kissinger, he's the poster boy for immigration/refugees.

    He assimilated well into the host country, was hard working, did two jobs at the same time, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.
    There are other views.

    Rosalynn Carter died a few days ago. Henry Kissinger died today. A greater contrast spanning the two extreme ends of human good and human wickedness cannot be imagined.
    https://twitter.com/curiouswavefn/status/1730121807670452295
    Usually even divisive figures get fairly diplomatic obituaries in the mainstream press and politics. I recall Ian Paisley was a rare occasion outlets were much more open about leading with criticism. Kissinger, I imagine, much more so.
    It’s fair to say that there’s a very wide range of opinion on Kissinger, at least among obituary writers.
    He did open the way for engagement with China and had an unmatched knowledge of international affairs
    Presumably that includes using the USAF to bomb foreign countries heavily without admitting it? I was at uni when William Shawcross's book about the bombing of Cambodia came out, and I remember the reaction of a friend who read my copy - he could not believe it. But it did happen.
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    kinabalukinabalu Posts: 39,161

    If this video is real, then Musky Baby just told many advertisers, and would-be advertisers, on X to f***k themselves.
    https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1729992193463521685

    It would be good if he were to re-focus on the areas where he is genuinely gifted and can add value. If this means we hear a little less from him on politics and current affairs (where the gifts and the value are not so apparent) well this is perhaps a price worth paying imo.
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    NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,326
    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?
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    CookieCookie Posts: 11,386
    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Some interesting points but it is more law than politicalbetting really and quite a long article again
    You're at liberty to skim through if you want to! I've no complaints about the length of any article that someone volunteers.

    And we focus on so few subjects - Tories still in the 20s, 2024 presidential pre-pre-election second guessing - that introducing another hobbyhorse into our agenda is not unwelcome.

    I wouldn't have heard about the Post Office scandal at all if it weren't for Cyclefree. I certainly wouldn't have understood it - I'd have just classified it as a highly regrettable error and moved on.

    Personally I don't find the subject exciting - not unimportant, but unexciting. I understand why this is a big issue, but instinctively my brain wants to classify it as a 'computer says no' error. But I'm very pleased that someone DOES care about it. Because it clearly deserves more caring about than its getting.
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    kinabalukinabalu Posts: 39,161
    Owen won't be sending flowers:

    "Henry Kissinger should have spent his last days in a prison cell. His carpet bombing of Southeast Asia killed hundreds of thousands. He was pivotal in Pinochet’s murderous coup, and genocides in East Timor and Bangladesh. One of the great monsters of our time."
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    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,800
    In terms of war, if it succeeds, it’s viewed as being morally justified. If it fails, it’s viewed as morally unjustified.

    Had South Vietnam turned out like South Korea ( and Rhee’s regime was considerably nastier than the South Vietnamese), the war would be viewed in the same light as the Korean War.

    The USA is neither The Shining City on the Hill, nor The Great Satan. But, I sleep safely in my bed, due in no small part to US firepower, and for that, I am grateful.
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    If the speed camera has not been calibrated, according to the manufacturers instructions for periodic servicing, why should we trust it?

    To start with, the Horizon system had no internal self-audit.

    The system I am working on currently, writes logs and creates database entries for *everything* it does. This is to create a deliberate audit trail, so that you can follow every transaction as it moves through the system. A timeline of actions.
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    CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 25,183
    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Some interesting points but it is more law than politicalbetting really and quite a long article again
    No - it is about Parliament: how it operates and what it should do now and about its responsibilities to voters, about the proper balance between state and citizens - see the section on fairness which sums it up, which indeed sums up why all these scandals - not just this one - matter.

    The relationship between state and citizen is the very essence of politics. If you can't see that what on earth are you doing on a politics site?

    (And it is shorter than yesterday's.)
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    Leon said:

    Whenever I hear Kissinger mentioned, I am reminded of a verse from a Momus song:

    "My sister lives in Knightsbridge now and when I go to visit her
    I buzz three times on the intercom and say Lulu, it's your solicitor
    I once walked in and caught her sitting naked on top of Henry Kissinger
    Take my word or take this Polaroid picture

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Henry Kissinger!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e581YeP0g7k

    (The song is nsfw, like pretty much all of Momus's 1980s output...)

    I have a modest Kissinger anecdote


    A friend of mine's wife works in publishing. About 30 years ago, when she was a pretty slip of a lass in the PR department, she was told to go and collect him at Heathrow and bring him into town - for some launch of one of his books

    So she met him at LHR and they got in the limo and she confessed she found him weirdly attractive, and had to actively restrain herself from climbing on his lap. She was probably about 23 at the time, he must have been around 70

    Wasn't it Kissinger himself who remarked on power being the ultimate aphrodisiac? It is powerfully alluring, to some, and he had it
    There's no doubt power is sexually alluring to some. How else to explain all those politicians caught in flagrante? It's rarely their physical attractiveness.
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    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    If the speed camera has not been calibrated, according to the manufacturers instructions for periodic servicing, why should we trust it?

    To start with, the Horizon system had no internal self-audit.

    The system I am working on currently, writes logs and creates database entries for *everything* it does. This is to create a deliberate audit trail, so that you can follow every transaction as it moves through the system. A timeline of actions.
    ...or so the IT guys tell us.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    I can recommend Kissinger's book about AI

    https://www.amazon.com/Age-I-Our-Human-Future/dp/0316273805

    Simple, short, lucid, brutally honest. It is typical Kissinger realpolitik - but this confronting the robots, not the commies

    AI is gonna change the world, very profoundly, and it will often be painful. He doesn't pull punches
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    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014

    @Cyclefree

    Section 69 notwithstanding, is a prosecutor tried to take advantage of it today could an individual judge require them to prove their assertion or does the judge have no discretion in this?

    The judge has no discretion. The law is that computer evidence is treated as reliable unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise. This puts the burden on the defendant to provide such evidence. This is made worse by the fact that many judges have no real understanding of computers. When defendants asked for disclosure that would have revealed the issues with Horizon, Post Office resisted and judges sided with Post Office.
    Ok. So let’s someone is convicted on this basis. Doesn’t that give grounds for arguing miscarriage of justice - even if the judge was correct in applying the law? Would strike me as something the UK Supreme Court might want to consider
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    kjhkjh Posts: 10,614
    Leon said:

    I can recommend Kissinger's book about AI

    https://www.amazon.com/Age-I-Our-Human-Future/dp/0316273805

    Simple, short, lucid, brutally honest. It is typical Kissinger realpolitik - but this confronting the robots, not the commies

    AI is gonna change the world, very profoundly, and it will often be painful. He doesn't pull punches

    For goodness sake give it a rest.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 46,993
    Cyclefree said:

    Leon said:

    kjh said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Honestly. Rather than pontificating on nonsense try reading the header on a real tragic miscarriage of justice. In addition the header is not really just about the PO. It is more general and applicable to several scandals, some well known and lots only a few will know about. I am involved in a campaign that probably nobody other than @NickPalmer and @Cyclefree here will know about, but still a scandal. Very critical NAO and PAC reports seem to have no impact on a stubborn government and civil service resulting in 11 years of hardship.

    Yet you only want to post about nonsense.

    True. I can neither deny it nor forswear it. And, yet there is some frail consolation, surely? That is to say, despite the bitter taste of my human flaws, despite the oft mentioned inadequacies in the crooked timber of my soul, at least I am not a nipple-scrapingly boring mega-twat, like you
    If I had been your commissioning editor I'd have got you to go round Cambodia - after having read Norman Lewis's book - and written about what if anything was left of the old pre-war Cambodia, how a country survives something as evil as war and the Khmer Rouge and whether the Cambodia of now has anything at all to do with the Cambodia of 70 years ago. Has it been remade? Or is there some Cambodian essence which survives even the worst human atrocities?

    That would be an interesting article.
    Well, that guy SeanT wrote a reasonably well received article about Cambodia, last year

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-we-forgot-about-pol-pot/

    https://archive.ph/g77U1

    Not sure I can do better than that, so I shan't bother
  • Options
    viewcodeviewcode Posts: 18,697
    Cyclefree said:

    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Some interesting points but it is more law than politicalbetting really and quite a long article again
    No - it is about Parliament: how it operates and what it should do now and about its responsibilities to voters, about the proper balance between state and citizens - see the section on fairness which sums it up, which indeed sums up why all these scandals - not just this one - matter.

    The relationship between state and citizen is the very essence of politics. If you can't see that what on earth are you doing on a politics site?

    (And it is shorter than yesterday's.)
    Can confirm. 951 vs 1179 words

    (Incidentally @Cyclefree, although my review is the same as usual - interesting, well written, too long, nothing to do with betting - this is obviously of interest to many. Have you thought of writing a book?)
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    If the speed camera has not been calibrated, according to the manufacturers instructions for periodic servicing, why should we trust it?

    To start with, the Horizon system had no internal self-audit.

    The system I am working on currently, writes logs and creates database entries for *everything* it does. This is to create a deliberate audit trail, so that you can follow every transaction as it moves through the system. A timeline of actions.
    ...or so the IT guys tell us.
    At least it tries. The point is also that if you don't find something in the audit sub-system(s), but it happened, then alarm bells should start ringing,

    The way that Horizon swallows evidence is quite suspicious to me.
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    I’m not sure that is practical.

    Perhaps it’s just to downgrade the standing of IT evidence to corroboration. Ie - not sufficient to convict *in the absence of other evidence*

    AIUI one of the mysteries in the PO scandal was “what happened to the cash”? The sub-postmasters weren’t living extravagant lives and their bank accounts weren’t inflated. The PO said “they are just skimming cash and hiding it somewhere - the computer says it’s missing and the computer is right”

    If they had actually had to prove the first part of the proposition would that have provided sufficient protection?
    When you present text messages in court, you don't just hand the judge your mobile. There is a process by which (for text messages) the mobile company provides "legal grade" evidence, based on data from their servers.
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    eekeek Posts: 24,947
    edited November 2023

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    The default defense for a speed camera was it was not calibrated which is why many police forces now employ a senior admin person to keep all that data up to date in 1 place.
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    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    I’m not sure that is practical.

    Perhaps it’s just to downgrade the standing of IT evidence to corroboration. Ie - not sufficient to convict *in the absence of other evidence*

    AIUI one of the mysteries in the PO scandal was “what happened to the cash”? The sub-postmasters weren’t living extravagant lives and their bank accounts weren’t inflated. The PO said “they are just skimming cash and hiding it somewhere - the computer says it’s missing and the computer is right”

    If they had actually had to prove the first part of the proposition would that have provided sufficient protection?
    When you present text messages in court, you don't just hand the judge your mobile. There is a process by which (for text messages) the mobile company provides "legal grade" evidence, based on data from their servers.
    Yes but I assume that is reported and audited (like should be the case in all good IT systems)

    @NickPalmer was suggesting a full independent review of all the code if there’s an accusation it’s false. Is that really feasible or is it a (retired) politician just suggesting something that sounds good (even if he has a background in IT)
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    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014
    Eabhal said:

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    Something like a speeding fine isn't minor if someone drives for a living and their contract of employment or local authority licence depends on a certain number of points (taxis, HGVs etc). And the courts often do decide the camera was potentially faulty, as Dura Ace will describe in great detail shortly.

    The IT stuff is a red herring. There is complexity in almost everything, whether it's the engineering of railways, financial services, environmental protection. We can't expect the courts to understand it all, nor us.

    The error was not with an ignorance of the IT, but with the broader legal system that could see hundreds of these prosecutions go forward without someone checking the victims' bank accounts/beds/spending behaviour and thinking "huh - where is all this stolen money going?".
    That was my point but stated more clearly
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    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,635
    Eabhal said:

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    Something like a speeding fine isn't minor if someone drives for a living and their contract of employment or local authority licence depends on a certain number of points (taxis, HGVs etc). And the courts often do decide the camera was potentially faulty, as Dura Ace will describe in great detail shortly.

    The IT stuff is a red herring. There is complexity in almost everything, whether it's the engineering of railways, financial services, environmental protection. We can't expect the courts to understand it all, nor us.

    The error was not with an ignorance of the IT, but with the broader legal system that could see hundreds of these prosecutions go forward without someone checking the victims' bank accounts/beds/spending behaviour and thinking "huh - where is all this stolen money going?".
    Hm. The PO employs its own investigators and prosecutors. The police don't have anything to do with it. Maybe that has something to do with that mentality?
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    NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,326
    kjh said:

    Leon said:

    I can recommend Kissinger's book about AI

    https://www.amazon.com/Age-I-Our-Human-Future/dp/0316273805

    Simple, short, lucid, brutally honest. It is typical Kissinger realpolitik - but this confronting the robots, not the commies

    AI is gonna change the world, very profoundly, and it will often be painful. He doesn't pull punches

    For goodness sake give it a rest.
    Or write a header for a PB thread? Many of your longer posts would make a good, provocative new thread header even if only expanded slightly.
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,318

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    I’m not sure that is practical.

    Perhaps it’s just to downgrade the standing of IT evidence to corroboration. Ie - not sufficient to convict *in the absence of other evidence*

    AIUI one of the mysteries in the PO scandal was “what happened to the cash”? The sub-postmasters weren’t living extravagant lives and their bank accounts weren’t inflated. The PO said “they are just skimming cash and hiding it somewhere - the computer says it’s missing and the computer is right”

    If they had actually had to prove the first part of the proposition would that have provided sufficient protection?
    When you present text messages in court, you don't just hand the judge your mobile. There is a process by which (for text messages) the mobile company provides "legal grade" evidence, based on data from their servers.
    Yes but I assume that is reported and audited (like should be the case in all good IT systems)

    @NickPalmer was suggesting a full independent review of all the code if there’s an accusation it’s false. Is that really feasible or is it a (retired) politician just suggesting something that sounds good (even if he has a background in IT)
    That is not feasible on a court case by court case basis.

    But for, say, ATM transactions, the system should be previously audited and signed off by regulators as good/bad/shit.

    It should be -

    1) The system is audited and verified, on a regular basis
    2) The system is audited and certified as part of the court case

    In banking, there is already quite a lot of audit of systems, and more is coming.
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    CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 25,183
    Leon said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Leon said:

    kjh said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Honestly. Rather than pontificating on nonsense try reading the header on a real tragic miscarriage of justice. In addition the header is not really just about the PO. It is more general and applicable to several scandals, some well known and lots only a few will know about. I am involved in a campaign that probably nobody other than @NickPalmer and @Cyclefree here will know about, but still a scandal. Very critical NAO and PAC reports seem to have no impact on a stubborn government and civil service resulting in 11 years of hardship.

    Yet you only want to post about nonsense.

    True. I can neither deny it nor forswear it. And, yet there is some frail consolation, surely? That is to say, despite the bitter taste of my human flaws, despite the oft mentioned inadequacies in the crooked timber of my soul, at least I am not a nipple-scrapingly boring mega-twat, like you
    If I had been your commissioning editor I'd have got you to go round Cambodia - after having read Norman Lewis's book - and written about what if anything was left of the old pre-war Cambodia, how a country survives something as evil as war and the Khmer Rouge and whether the Cambodia of now has anything at all to do with the Cambodia of 70 years ago. Has it been remade? Or is there some Cambodian essence which survives even the worst human atrocities?

    That would be an interesting article.
    Well, that guy SeanT wrote a reasonably well received article about Cambodia, last year

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-we-forgot-about-pol-pot/

    https://archive.ph/g77U1

    Not sure I can do better than that, so I shan't bother
    It is an interesting article. But not really what I was describing. Anyway you should read Norman Lewis - one of the best travel writers around. His account of his early life - Jackdaw Cake - is a must read: an absolute hoot. "Naples 44" also.
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    algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 10,504
    edited November 2023

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    Interesting suggestion. This is an example of an even wider problem, and I don't suppose the growth of AI will help much either. Social and legal systems are simply unable to keep up with the way stuff is.

    Examples: With the internet and social media, the laws, courtesies and rules of defamation, libel and slander do not really exist. Ditto bullying.

    No parent can reliably protect their young children from accessing, or having accessed for them, material which no sane adult would wish to see, whether of a sexual or violent nature. (Listening to people like Clegg defending, denying or explaining this is vomit inducing).

    Yesterday on PB a post described how a scammer could pretend to be contacting from a genuine bank phone number. (BTW if that is possible, how can any call or text etc be taken by a criminal court as coming from the alleged source?)

    No filter at all exists to assist those who struggle to distinguish between fact and fiction. The growth of belief in conspiracy theories is truly alarming.

    Similarly the problem we are discussing here arises because IT is involved in a way which even our fairly sophisticated criminal system has proved itself entirely unable to deal with fairly.
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    Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,530
    One of the most important witnesses is due to give evidence today at the Post Office Inquiry, Jarnail Singh, former PO lawyer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoSsalkkW98
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    Eabhal said:

    Thanks to Cyclefree for another challenging piece. As someone responded on a previous thread, there is a general problem in where to put the burden of proof when complex IT is involved. Clearly it's unreasonable to expect a subpostmaster to get to the bottom of a bug in the central software. At the same time, it's impossible to prove a negative, so requiring that the prosecution to prove that the software is bug-free really is 'impractical'.

    Where something minor like a speeding fine is involved, I'd be inclined to trust the system, and wouldn't expect a court to assume that every speed camera is faulty unless proved sound. Where criminal prosecution is being undertaken, clearly a higher standard is needed. What would a fair system involve? Perhaps an *independent* IT analysis of whether there is a way that the apparent fraud could have been caused by a bug in the system?

    Something like a speeding fine isn't minor if someone drives for a living and their contract of employment or local authority licence depends on a certain number of points (taxis, HGVs etc). And the courts often do decide the camera was potentially faulty, as Dura Ace will describe in great detail shortly.

    The IT stuff is a red herring. There is complexity in almost everything, whether it's the engineering of railways, financial services, environmental protection. We can't expect the courts to understand it all, nor us.

    The error was not with an ignorance of the IT, but with the broader legal system that could see hundreds of these prosecutions go forward without someone checking the victims' bank accounts/beds/spending behaviour and thinking "huh - where is all this stolen money going?".
    Follow the money? A lot of victims were Asian so there may have been a casual assumption that skimmed profits were sent "back home" or otherwise disappeared into the banking system. I was told (perhaps unreliably) that one reason the BCCI scandal in the late 90s did not elicit as many claims as were expected was because a lot of the money lost came from crime or was at least undeclared to Her Late Majesty's Inland Revenue. This would follow a similarly lazy assumption rather than a slew of evidence.
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,980
    Cyclefree said:

    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    The frigging post office scandal? Again?

    Some interesting points but it is more law than politicalbetting really and quite a long article again
    No - it is about Parliament: how it operates and what it should do now and about its responsibilities to voters, about the proper balance between state and citizens - see the section on fairness which sums it up, which indeed sums up why all these scandals - not just this one - matter.

    The relationship between state and citizen is the very essence of politics. If you can't see that what on earth are you doing on a politics site?

    (And it is shorter than yesterday's.)
    It is technically a Politicalbetting site rather than a strictly politics discussion site ie largely elections focused.

    Though yes that can be interpreted loosely and include discussion of what Parliament does or did not in this case do
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    viewcodeviewcode Posts: 18,697
    Leon said:

    I can recommend Kissinger's book about AI

    https://www.amazon.com/Age-I-Our-Human-Future/dp/0316273805

    Simple, short, lucid, brutally honest. It is typical Kissinger realpolitik - but this confronting the robots, not the commies

    AI is gonna change the world, very profoundly, and it will often be painful. He doesn't pull punches

    I can recommend his "World Order". It's a good overview of the entire planet, dealing with states-as-concepts and the ways they interact

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Order_(book)
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,980
    edited November 2023
    Sean_F said:

    Nigelb said:

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    Kissinger was undoubtedly an expert.

    Whether he was good at his job is another matter.
    Top obituary (though a pale shadow of the one they published for Nixon).

    GOOD RIDDANCE
    Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/henry-kissinger-war-criminal-dead-1234804748/
    I actually felt slightly better-disposed towards Kissinger, after reading that, which is usually the case with polemics.

    Rolling Stone’s take on foreign affairs is no more attractive than Kissinger’s.
    The Chinese rolled out the red carpet for Kissinger with Xi calling him 'an old friend' even while snubbing Biden administration officials

    https://www.businessinsider.com/henry-kissinger-xi-jinping-old-friend-chinese-people-snub-biden-2023-11?r=US&IR=T
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    rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,907
    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    Note the typical, reflexive sneering at complexity by the generalists involved.

    As Mr Gove once opined: "people in this country have had enough of experts"
    Kissinger was undoubtedly an expert.

    Whether he was good at his job is another matter.
    It's bizarre to me that he is so lionised as a US hero when he was actually a careerist traitor who betrayed American democracy.

    He deliberately and successfully prolonged a war which cost tens of thousands of American lives to get Richard Nixon elected...
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    I hope, vainly, that the question of where the money went will eventually be addressed, at some length.
This discussion has been closed.