Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by John Aust (PR 40)

A. Psychology of political decision making.

1. What is clear from case studies is that politicians can make disastrous decisions affecting the

lives and premature deaths of millions. Research indicates that insufficient knowledge and the

inability to make a foresighted judgment using appropriate expertise is a major contributory

factor to these mistakes.

2. Neurological Reasons.

Research has shown that people rarely conform to the expectations of rationality in decision

making. (Dawes 1998; Hogarth and Goldstein 1996; Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky 1982.)

Cognitive psychology reveals that human beings have a preference for simplicity.

3. Political Leaders unconsciously strip the nuances, context and subtleties out of the problems

they face in order to build simple frames. - Janice Gross Stein, Policy Decision Making -

Rational, Psychological and Neurological Models.

B. Deleterious Effects of political decision making.

4. From Chilcot Enquiry on Iraq.

In 2002, Head of MI5, Lady Manningham Buller told Tony Blair:

Iraq was not a terrorist threat to UK.

No intelligence to suggest connection between Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

No intelligence for chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

5. Later, Lady Buller said the Iraq War has increased likelihood of terrorism here in UK.

Consequent 7/7 bombings in UK in 2005.

6. Professor George Joffe and Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman told Tony Blair in 2002:

'Occupying Iraq would be difficult at best and catastrophic at worst.'

Quote from one of the six experts present at the meeting in 2002:

'I was staggered at Blair's apparent naivety, at his inability to engage with the complexities.'

Consequent over 150'000 Iraqi civilian deaths. - The Independent 24th October 2010.

C. Advisory Improvements to Process.

7. Actual or possible Considerations during Policy or Legislative Processes.

a. Short Term Expediency to respond to an immediate problem.

b. Long Term Efficacy with informed authoritative projections (a/k/a probability estimates)

and historical analysis.

c. Humanitarian Considerations

A civilised democracy has to take into account the effect of legislation not only on its own

citizens, but on those anywhere in the world. This concept is enshrined in UK Case Law

whereby lawbreaking is acceptable if there are overwhelming humanitarian considerations

to do so. The concept of a higher moral value.


A Precedent in International Law was set when the Nuremburg Tribunals held that the sale

of Zyklon B gas to the SS, when there were good grounds to believe that it would be used

for the purpose of exterminating human beings, was a corporate crime.

Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act states:

'A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of



The actions of the 'Ploughshare Women', having damaged a Hawk aircraft due to be sold to

Indonesia, were acquitted of criminal damage. Their defence, 'to prevent the crime of the

Hawk being used to kill innocent civilians', was delineated under International Law.

LEWES CROWN COURT 1st July 2010.

Eight campaigners were acquitted of conspiring to cause criminal damage, also on the

grounds of Section 3, because the property damaged was to be involved in War Crimes

and Crimes against Humanity by the Israelis in Gaza.

9. Using appropriate Case Studies during the legislative process helps to identify the possibility

of flaws in the policy or proposed legislation and thereby reduces later repercussions for the

people affected and the public purse. (See sections 10-19).


On 30th January 1972 in Derry, 26 unarmed civil rights protesters were shot by the British

Army and 14 died.

11. Short Term Expediency.

Both Houses of Parliament adopted a Resolution to set up a Tribunal of Enquiry on 1st February

1972. The Government instituted the Widgery Tribunal which reported to the Home Secretary

on 10th April and adopted by both Houses of Parliament on 19th April 1972.

Prime Minister Edward Heath's pre-report to Widgery : 'Imperative to maintain morale of the

British Army.' - His testimony to the later Saville enquiry.

12. Long Term Efficacy. Not adopted by the Government.

Informed, Authoritative Projections.

Widgery regarded as a 'whitewash' by the Catholic community. - BBC News 19th April 1972.

Local community M.P.'s reservations dismissed. - Hansard 19th April 1972.

Historical Analysis.

Religious and social fractures intensified – further 30 years of division.

Recruitment to the Provisional IRA massively boosted. - Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the



13. COST IN HUMAN LIVES: Over 3000.

COST TO THE EXCHEQUER: Over £10 billion.

14. Humanitarian Considerations. Not adopted by the Government.


In 1979 Afghanistan had a Marxist Government, ideologically repressive but a proponent of

gender equality with thousands of women graduating from university. The United States, as part

of its Cold War strategy against all forms of communism, armed their opponents the Mujahideen,

Islamic fighters for Jihad. The Soviet Union then intervened to support the Afghan Government.

President Reagan massively increased support for the Jihad, including supply of Stinger surface

to air missiles and recruiting Osama Bin Laden as a commander. Up to that point there had

never been extremist Islamic Fundamentalism in Afghanistan. - Ahmed Rashid, Taliban.

ERIC FONER, Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge, Harmsworth Professor of

American History at Oxford:

'It was a rare commentator indeed who pointed out that Osama Bin Laden and the Islamic

Fundamentalists of Afghanistan were trained and armed by our side during the 1980's.'

16. Short Term Expediency.

The REAGAN DOCTRINE provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist guerillas and

resistance movements around the world.

Enthusiastically supported by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. - Confirmed in a lecture

to the Heritage Foundation. December 10th 1997.

17. Long Term Efficacy. Not adopted by the Government.

Informed, Authoritative Projections.

USSR Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev's offer to President Reagan. February 27th 1987:




Report by Fred Kaplan, Prize winning journalist specialising in US-Soviet Relations:

' Stuck in a Cold War mindset, Reagan refused the offer.'

Historical Analysis.

Osama Bin Laden establishes power base and subsequently al-Qa'ida.

18. COST IN HUMAN LIVES: Over 2 million – mostly Afghan civilians.

COST TO UK EXCHEQUER: Over £15 billion.

19. Humanitarian Considerations. Not adopted by the Government.


These proposed changes are in response to demands from a militarily important ally, Israel,

whose senior political and military leaders were prevented from travelling to this country

for fear of arrest warrants applied for under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act. This Act deals

with War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and applications are heard by senior judges

who are knowledgeable about the facts and who are conversant with International Law

21. Short Term Expediency.

The proposed changes will eliminate applications that at present are heard only in specialist

magistrates courts and all will now be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. No time

limit will be placed on the CPS, so any delay on their part will make any arrest warrants

eventually allowed, completely ineffective.

The CPS is under the auspices of the Attorney General and therefore a political dimension

will be part of the enactment of the law.

The political influence of the Israeli Lobby is significant. Approx. 80% of Conservative M.P.'s

belong to Friends of Israel. Any further arrest warrants against their political or military

leaders is highly unlikely.

These changes will give Israel increased immunity from the consequences of violations of

International Law.

22 Long Term Efficacy.

Reinforcing Israel's immunity to International Law is seen by the Government as helping the

peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.


The UN, the EU, the US and most governments around the world all agree that it is necessary

for there to be a viable Palestinian state comprising Gaza and the West Bank on the 1967

borders with the capital in East Jerusalem.

Most Israeli governments have never accepted this and the present one is bent on making the

two state solution impossible. The most they will accept is for Gaza to be contained like a

prison and the West Bank to be fragmented into Palestinian bantustans with Jerusalem to be

undivided under total Israeli control.

This is the reality now and any negotiations are unlikely to alter Israel's determination to

maintain this objective, ergo continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East



The 'security fence' built by Israel in the West Bank has been ruled illegal by the International

Court. Ruling ignored.

The occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal under International Law.

Ruling ignored.

The UN Goldstone Report outlined a prima facie case for War Crimes and Crimes against

Humanity by Israel during operation 'Cast Lead' in 2009. Findings dismissed.

23.Informed, authoritative projections.

With the demise of the peace process, a new consciousness is forming.

AVRAHAM BURG. Former Knesset Speaker and former chair of the Jewish Agency for


' Between the Jordan and the Mediterranean there is no longer a clear Jewish majority. And

so, fellow citizens, it is not possible to keep the whole thing without paying a price. We

cannot keep a Palestinian majority under an Israeli boot and at the same time think

ourselves the only democracy in the Middle East. There cannot be democracy without equal

rights for all who live here, Arab as well as Jew. We cannot keep the territories and preserve

a Jewish majority in the world's only Jewish state – not by any means that are humane and

moral and Jewish.'

JOHN J. MEARSHEIMER PHD. American Professor of Political Science at the University

of Chicago and International Relations Theorist.

'The only hope for Israel to end its conflict with the Palestinians is to end the occupation and

allow the Palestinians to have their own state in Gaza and the West Bank. Otherwise, Israel

is going to turn itself into an 'apartheid state', and that will be a disastrous outcome, not only

for Israel, but also for the United States and especially for the Palestinians.'

24.Humanitarian Considerations.


Disputes Israel's reason for the war and said it was targeted against 'the people of Gaza as a

whole' and was designed to 'humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish

its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever

increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability. Israel committed War Crimes including the

wanton destruction of food production, water and sewage facilities.'


Corroboration of Goldstone Report by testimonies of serving Israeli soldiers.




These proposals, as they stand, will enact a unique piece of legislation that is destined to

encourage the actions of the guilty. But they should be seen in a much wider context. Anti-

Semitism is on the rise, Islamaphobia is rife, with many of the attitudes stemming from the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

26.As regional experts have explained, Israel is by far the most powerful player with hundreds

of nuclear weapons and delivery systems and the inclination to use them in extremis. –

Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option – Yom Kippur War 1973.

With such overwhelming military force, intransigence is inevitable. Benjamin Netanyahu,

Israeli Prime Minister, in an address to Israelis on Jerusalem Day 22nd May 2009: 'A united

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was and will always be ours. It shall never be

divided and split again.' Proclaimed against the background of Palestinian evictions from

East Jerusalem.

27.The only possibility for meaningful peace negotiations is for Israel to be confronted with the

consequences of its actions – a united condemnation when it diverges from agreed

international solutions; which it does on a continual basis with occupation, human rights

abuses (see Amnesty reports) and settlements on Palestinian land. This proposed legislation

will give Israel the wrong message; will serve as an obstacle to the peace process and by

restricting access by the moderate influences to the precepts of International Law, will

encourage Islamic Fundamentalism.

28.It is also a retrograde step in terms of human progress. After the horrors of World War Two,

governments have tried to institute international standards of behaviour. Whether one

believes intelligence is seeded or evolved does not matter. Not to use it in the service of

human decency is a betrayal of the finest qualities of our species. In that respect, one should

consider the words of one of the finest minds ever to grace this planet – Albert Einstein.

From 'Our debt to Zionism' April 17th 1938.

'I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living

together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state.'

January 2011