From the Reporter's Desk

This new customised scam gives the old fashioned con artist the full leverage of the electronic funds transfer era.


 

A new wave of money transfer fraud techniques is on its way to New Zealand. It is the President scam, so called because it is centred on the departure from secure procedures triggered by a very senior official in the targeted organisation intervening and giving the appearance of wanting the fraudulent transfer to take place.

Under the President modus operandi someone poses as the boss of an organisation. They then conjure up an exception of some kind and which requires an instant transfer of money. The controlling officer, the one at the receiving end of the email or telephone call, then instructs the operations person concerned to implement the transfer. Or transfers it personally.

Inherent in this confidence trick is the artificial flap and the urgency it generates, an urgency designed to wash away any remaining security steps, especially any suspicion about the entity on the other end of the money transfer.

The theme of the President scam is that it differs from other transfer frauds in that it is designed to be implemented and completed in minutes rather than hours.

However the preparatory spade-work by the perpetrator will take much longer and involves a close study of the voice and verbal pattern of the senior official, the President, who is being mimicked. It will also require an evaluation of the vulnerability of the authorisation chain and especially of the individual who will press the button on the transfer.

These weak links may include for example a command chain noted for an informal i.e careless approach to established procedures.

Also an organisation in which the boss, the President, is known for making procedural short cuts. A boss who is feared in this context represents a weak link because line staff will want to avoid incurring their ire and so be more willing to take the procedural short cut.

There are of course a number of variants on the President scam.

These include the scam artists impersonating suppliers who claim that if a certain payment is not immediately made, that they will cause, for example, a production line to close down.

A particularly nasty twist is when a known adviser, perhaps the head of an organisation’s firm of accountants appears to be ringing in, urgently advocating the settlement of this or that account before the sky falls in.

In Europe where the President scam was developed and refined there can often be a conspiratorial aspect to the impersonation in which the scam artist seeks to impersonate elements of the forces of law enforcement, and seeks the covert assistance of someone connected with money transfers on the grounds of patriotism.

The money transferred under the President scam moves quickly through the hot money arteries, bouncing around countries with low banking surveillance, before being laundered, and often factored through commodities and other merchandise.

The history of the preceding waves of electronic scamming indicates that the International fraud artists turn their attention to New Zealand when they have picked the eyes out of the low hanging fruit in the northern hemisphere.

This time, as we shall see, is about now. Neither can we claim that the President technique has not already been applied to New Zealand. It may have been intercepted. Or the victim organisation has shut up about it.

Anyone involved in money transfer knows that by its very existence any chain of authorisation is vulnerable just because humans are involved.

So we have to hold onto something solid. In this case documentary credit instruments represent the best banking landmark. This means, in this context, sight documents.

Why? Because seeing is believing. Any departure, any exception, from authorised procedure must be verified by “sighting” the individual, the President, the CEO, or the CFO who is demanding the implementation of the exception to standard practice i.e. the money transfer.

The reason that sight procedures (never in this connection ever to be confused with citing or even “site” procedures)apply now is just because unlike previous waves of point to multi point stacked scams, the President formula relies on a high degree of customisation.

This means for example that an email used in the scam will be customised around the known habits of the President and also around the known personality of the target, the officer of the organisation authorised to make the transfer.

This email may, for example, have a holiday home telephone number. “Ring me for verification.” The person at the other end of the line will be the impersonator, perhaps with a nasty cold in order to cover up any discrepancy in tonality.

It is this customisation that makes the President scam so dangerous to New Zealand organisations.

Organisations should now evaluate the wisdom of displaying and generally publicising the names of their treasury people, especially on their web sites. They are the point of departure for practitioners of the President scam.

As practitioners turn their attention to southern latitudes we find that only in the simplicity of direct sight, the face-to-face encounter, is there an antidote to this curious yet so far extremely successful blend of the old fashioned confidence trickster merged now with the speed of light of a numerical transfer.

How vulnerable are New Zealand medium to large organisations to this new threat?

Until now the publicised victims of electronic scams of all stripes have been individuals, householders.

The first wave was the Nigerian one in the fax era. Then followed a medley centred on phishing or bank impersonation. Dismayingly the banks insist on using emails to send out their promotional material which means that they cannot collectively state that any email from a trading bank is by definition a false one.

It is in this year’s wave, the telephone calls from Microsoft accredited agent impersonators that we find the direction of this new scam.

As this particular Microsoft scam developed it was observed that recipient caller display bars began to show New Zealand telephone numbers.

Though replies indicated that the caller display numbers elicited no response.

Another pointer is the arrival in the Auckland area especially of criminal gangs working over ATMs.

We are entering the era in which organisations will have to start becoming reticent about their financial authorisation chains in terms of who staffs them.

Similarly with IT structures in which any unanticipated request for tests should be flatly ignored.

At least, until the sight verification.

| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk - European Correspondent  ||  Tuesday 22 August 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Our panel takes the National Party election engine apart---and diagnoses a machine in full reverse thrust


 The National government has no more than a 50-50 chance now of winning the pending general election. This has come as a surprise and most of all to the National Party which is scrambling around its faithful to put together an 11th hour war chest to avert what many of its adherents are beginning to suspect is the inevitable. How did it all come to this? It seems only yesterday that the National government would go on and on and on….There was the almost monarchical transfer of power, the abdication of King John and the accession of the crown prince, now King William. What could go wrong? Simple. The National government’s formula of being all things to all people started to lose compression. Then this loss of impetus became obvious. The MSC Newswire panel now takes apart, disassembles, National’s election machine, the one supposed to drive it into power again. This reveals that the engine is sputtering just because so much National government policy is influenced by a category that does not vote for it. We now present in this exploded voting component presentation analysis the self-destructive path that the National Party insists on following, the one that favours those who do not vote for it, at the expense of its own voting blocs. This component bloc analysis is on an ascending order of sector significance.

Category 1: The Intelligentsia
This is the sector which most preoccupies the National Party, yet which delivers it the least quantity of votes. We are talking here of the broad picture of social “science” centred on universities. This sector has the ability to make the National Party feel unfashionable. So the National Party constantly seeks the approval of this vote-arrid sector, often to the detriment of its own conservative base.

An example was when under the persuasion of the university lobby the National government university-ised crucial artisan and technical vocations. This had to be unpicked by Jim Anderton MP, he of the far left, and the trade apprenticeship courses re-instated and revved up.

This one-sided infatuation between the National Party and the intelligentsia elites continues still in several forms now in the run-up to the pending general election.

For example, the National government is paralysed in the matter of articulating in any clear fashion at all, the doctrines of global educational bodies, themselves university based, to the effect that money invested in early education delivers a value far in excess of the money invested in later education.

2. Administrative Class
This is the category once described as white collar. They slog away doggedly keeping the nation on its course. We are talking here of those who work for institutions such as banks, insurance companies, utilities, and of course the government itself. This bloc has a problem. They are not very exciting and in this mediatic age this counts for a great deal. National governments take this sector pretty much for granted. What this category wants more than anything is stability.

Again, we find the National government in its preoccupation with the flashy and the fashionable elites quite unable to make the obvious gesture to this solid sector.

This should be to the effect that National governments personify stability and the once-much quoted “steady as she goes” way of politics.

National must make it clear to this sector that it recognises it – and will not be subjecting it to any sudden changes of the social engineering variety and which will de-stabilise it.

3. Self employed
New Zealand First’s Winston Peters MP has singled out this sector for special attention – and no wonder. National government’s treat this sector with a disdain bordering on snobbery. It refuses to acknowledge the immense contribution of this sector which generates in three dimensional and practical terms the prosperity of the country. We are talking here of people such as owner-drivers, plumbers, electricians, builders, butchers, bakers. Also, and this is not widely understood, IT people.

These solid, dependable types once again tend to be rather unexciting and so once more we find the National Party taking them pretty much for granted, or did so, until Mr Peters singled them out for his special attention.

One of the problems of this sector is that in expanding, or “growing” their businesses, they need to employ staff, and in doing so run the risk of incurring the immense distraction, not to say cost, of a disaffected employee and the litigation that they can invoke.

The National Party should clearly set out its record in streamlining hiring/firing and state unreservedly that it intends to introduce further such work place measures.

4. Farmers
National governments over the past 30 years have found it increasingly hard to adjust around this sector due to pervasive dairy farming, and more recently and to a much lesser extent, bio-farming.

As a voting bloc it has lost its significance to the National Party. Worse still, the National Party has let this show.

Who outside the sector can instantly recall for example the name of the Minister of Agriculture or the relevant departmental permanent heads?

This weakness too has been identified by New Zealand First’s Winston Peters who has cast himself as the true champion of this once clearly defined and identified backbone of the National Party.

Mr Peters has correctly drawn the conclusion that the National government’s constant compromising with the unproductive but noisy ideological factions has driven farmers to distraction, and thus alienation
This is quite simply the most cruel and the most dangerous cut that Mr Peters has ever delivered to the National Party of which he was once a loyalist.

How exactly does the National government explain why it has been so pliant with these ideologues, who have no intention of casting a vote in its direction in any shape or form?

Even at this late stage the National government must embark upon a strident, very noisy, old style tub-thumping campaign to remind its once key constituency of the way in which it has held firm in the face of so much ideological fear-mongering.

Two of these self-induced panics worth signalling might be Food Miles and the animal respiration/global warming syndrome.

5. The Professionals.
This is the class from which National members of Parliament tend themselves to be recruited from. We are talking here of accountants, lawyers, company directors, medical doctors. The traditional boss class in other words. The National government badly needs to re-vitalise this base. The reason is that it is precisely this voter category that is now restless. It continues to vote National, certainly. But it will hedge.

This will take the form of tossing its spare vote to one of the other parties which however dotty it nonetheless views as being forthright, and thus decisive.

This category is in the business of making clear-cut decisions and across a wide swathe. It is becoming increasingly disaffected by the National government’s failure to do the same thing.

6. The Traders
This is the vocational category that loves the National Party and from which the National government will draw its largest single occupational vote haul. This sector is made up of those in occupations not particularly admired by the rest of the working population on the grounds that practitioners are amply rewarded for a minimal contribution to society, a contribution that in the view of many even has an entirely negative impact.

This is why the National Party in or out of office prefers to put some distance between it and this voter category, the only one it can truly rely upon in this pending general election.

We are talking here of course about real estate agents, property “investors” and the money dealers of various descriptions.

The reason they support National is that the National Party prefers to leave them alone in their counting rooms.

Even so, in the sea-change that has gripped politics in the Western world since the beginning of the last year, even this group cannot be relied upon to deliver its vote unprompted.

It is exactly for the benefit of this somewhat unloved category that the National government can deliver a daring policy. More importantly still, it can clearly state the reason for putting it forward. There is another benefit. It will not cost anyone a single cent.

The National government can announce that it will not introduce a capital gains tax. Ever.

Reason A. It is unenforceable and will merely create a wave of unproductive work for Category 2 and Category 5.

Reason B. Countries which have a capital gains tax, which means most OECD countries, have had far worse property bubbles than has had New Zealand.

Ireland is one such example. Britain and the United States are two others.

|  From This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   ||  Friday 11 August 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

National Party Paralysed by non-productive but media-friendly anti water exports pressure groups


 From MSCNewsWire's European Correspondent August 7 2017 -  Fresh water is New Zealand’s most promising new primary export yet the more extravagant become the prospects for development, the more intense the pressure to vapourise the business from powerfully placed ideological pressure groups.

In recent months attempts to staunch the packaged water business has U-turned away from a generalised argument against the plastic (i.e petroleum-derived) containers to a much broader-gauge argument to the effect that pumping out drinking water is undermining the very geological base on which the nation itself rests.

This notion is quite literally allowed to float un-contradicted.

A reason is that the relevant lobby New Zealand Water association is reluctant to buy into the issue.

Privately, officials will talk about the scaremongering centred on the emptying out of the subterranean aquifers.

They point out simply enough that the supply of water remains constant and that water merely changes its form on its way to finding its own level again .

Steam, rain, snow, ice being just some of them.

However, the New Zealand Water association is mainly comprised of municipal water treatment officials and their suppliers.

So there is an understandable reluctance to buy into the ideological and thus frenzied fresh water exports debate.

This is correctly viewed by New Zealand Water industry group, which is a top-tier lobby, as a lose-lose proposition from its point of view.

There are now strong indications internationally that fresh water exports offer the same economic opportunities to New Zealand now as did the wine sector a generation or so ago.

Sales of bottled water in Europe have now substantially overtaken sales of bottled flavoured sodas, of the type now so actively despised by New Zealand educationalists, among others.

The other trend is the way in which the bottled water sector has imitated the wine sector in that provincial and family-owned bottled water marques have begun to bite deeply into the established brands.

This means that Nestle and Danone, the two dominant bottlers, have had to reconfigure their marketing around the threat of these niche, and personalised premium brands.

All this is much more than abstract state of affairs for New Zealand.

It means that all the French multinationals involved in packaged potable water are intent on diving headlong into Asia.

As these companies seek scale and market share in Asia they are much assisted by France’s merchant marine which is customising its freight capacity to take advantage of this new highly absorbent market.

This will be a big export setback in the region.for New Zealand.

Much greater than is widely understood.

The reason is that the European potable water will be bundled into much wider primary offerings just because firms such as Danone and Nestle are also the world leaders in, for example, dairy products.

Dairy products move in and out of various categories of surplus.

Fresh water in clear contrast enjoys a much more constant level of demand.

| From This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ||  Monday 7 August,  2017   |||

 

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Has Booby-trapped Centrists


 New Zealand First leader Winston Peters MP has booby-trapped the pending general election for the centrist parties.

He now presents himself as the voice of common sense without the clutter of chic, neo fashionable issues that continue to cloud and generally fuzzy-up the offerings of the National government, and to an only slightly lesser degree, the Labour Party opposition as well.

Examples of his precision focus:-

  • Farmers. He has undermined this founding and traditional support base of the National Party by appealing directly to them and doing so without the environmental qualifications that increasingly haunt the National government. More seriously still Mr Peters has bathed the nation’s economic base in a halo of Heroism while branding their leaders (i.e National Party) as Donkeys. Invoking this Western Front oratory, though, has tended to mask some of his other undermining devices. So also in his sapper’s kitbag we find fuses attached to:-
  • Multiculturalism. The National government can only tread around this minefield for fear of antagonising its often unrecognised but still very strong intelligentsia support in places such as universities. Mr Peters states straight-out that whether we like it not that we all have to pull together for the common good.
  • Diversity.(See above)Immigration. Like all adept populists, Mr Peters has the ability to articulate what most people are actually thinking. This is that the nation’s long-standing liberal policies on immigration have a lot to do with the demand for houses substantially exceeding their supply and especially so in Auckland. In other words that the immigrants have the effect of making houses too expensive for the locals to buy.
    In this current campaign which surely must be his last hurrah? Mr Peters also packs in his electioneering kitbag his old whizz-bangs from his previous campaigns.

Among these we can include his known distrust of the non productive money twirlers (anyone still remember the Wine Box era?)

This is the segment known to be far,far away when the bill for their unproductive though personally ultra-profitable activities eventually falls on the electorate at large.

He also benefits from the National government’s chief piece of knock-out weaponry which is the nation’s extremely low unemployment statistics.

Note that we say “statistics.” The problem is that they have become a damp squib. Because few believe them

Mr Peters knows that there is great distrust about these figures just because they do not give any value to the actual jobs, many of which will be part time or low-paid ones in the services sector, or include for example those doing educational course of one description or another.

To have survived so many campaigns requires of course luck. Here again we find Mr Peters’ star shining brightly still.

The changeover in leadership pf the Labour Party means that it quite literally presents to the progressive part of the electorate an altogether much more fashionable and thus appealing face.

This means that Green voters, the fringe ones, can happily accommodate the prospect of casting their vote in the general direction of the Labour Party.

The Labour Party is much more disposed to form a coalition with Mr Peter’s New Zealand First Party than is the Green Party.

|  From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ||  Saturday 5 August 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Passengers travelling out of   major Australian airports should plan their airport arrival to be earlier than usual from today, to allow for increased security screening after police and counter-terrorism agencies foiled a plot at the weekend to “bring down” a plane, reportedly an Australian domestic flight.

Qantas now advises arriving at airports two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.

Counter-terrorism squads, which launched armed raids on four Sydney properties on Saturday evening over an alleged “Islamic-inspired” plot to blow up an aircraft, arrested four men. Authorities first learned of the alleged plot on Wednesday and stepped up security at Sydney Airport on Thursday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters yesterday (Sunday) that security-screening measures had been beefed up at all Australian airports – and passengers should arrive early.

“Travellers should arrive at terminals at least two hours before flights to allow ample time for screening.

“They should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage, as this will help to ensure that security screening is efficient.”

That’s from the Prime Minister.

Passengers faced significant delays at major airports yesterday and used social media (as above, on Twitter) to let people know that queues were building up at airports around the country.

Qantas placed the following notice on its website yesterday:

Additional security screening at Australian Domestic and International Airports

The Australian Government has introduced additional aviation security measures at international and domestic terminals at Australia’s major airports.

Customers can expect to experience an increased level of security scrutiny at the airport so it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process:

  • Passengers should arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights to allow ample time for screening.
  • Passengers should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage they travel with as this will help to ensure security screening is efficient.

There are no changes to what can and cannot be carried on-board the aircraft.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Virgin Australia and its budget subsidiary Tigerair Australia advised passengers similarly, adding that customers “should not be concerned about these precautionary measures”.

“As the measures place an additional burden on the screening system, it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process,” Virgin Australia said.

At Adelaide and Sydney airports, some passengers reported delays yesterday of up to 90 minutes before passing through security, with a major police presence at and around the airports.

Turnbull said the plot appeared to have been carefully planned and was probably not the work of a lone wolf but in the category of “quite elaborate conspiracies”.

He said none of the men arrested worked in the airport industry but police believed the plot aimed at the Australian aviation industry at a major airport.

Five properties in Surry Hills, Punchbowl, Wiley Park and Lakemba were raided on Saturday evening. Surry Hills, a diverse and – in parts – very fashionable inner-city suburb, was a surprise. The other suburbs, in south-western Sydney, have significant Muslim populations, giving rise to early suspicions that Saturday’s simultaneous raids were linked to Islamist extremism. This seems to have been confirmed.

“We believe it’s Islamic-inspired terrorism,” Australian federal police commissioner, Andrew Colvin, said. “Exactly what is behind this is something we need to investigate fully.”

ABC News said it had learned that police found materials and items “that could be used to make a homemade bomb” when they raided the house at Surry Hills.

| AneGlobal Media release written by Peter Needham  ||  July 31,  2017   |||

The broadcaster said it understood that authorities believed the group planned to smuggle the device onto a plane and blow it up.

Australia’s national terrorism threat level remains at “probable’, unchanged since 2014.

Written by Peter Needham

Published in TRAVEL

 One of New Zealand’s longest-running pioneering business success stories, Gallagher Power Fence Systems Limited, has announced plans to expand operations in Kenya at Tatu City.

Gallagher will build 24 warehouses on four-acres at Tatu Industrial Park, the leading industrial area with Special Economic Zone status in East Africa. The warehouses will be used for storage of security products and for lease. Construction will commence in September 2017 and create approximately 100 jobs as part of the multimillion dollar investment.

Whilst visiting Tatu City, Sir William Gallagher, Chairperson and CEO of the company, said that the move was a strategic step in Gallagher’s growth and expansion plans in the region.

“Over the last 18 years, we have experienced immense support from various partners and customers in Kenya. We are proud to be playing a role in creating employment opportunities, and we aim to reach a wider clientele through the facilities that we will be setting up here at Tatu City,” he said.

Gallagher is also in the process of building an electric security fence on the boundary of Tatu City. The fence will will be equipped with CCTV cameras, floodlights and access control at entry and exit points, all monitored in a dedicated control room by Tatu City’s security team.

“We are delighted yet again to attract a global investor and service provider with strong local roots to the ever-growing list of Tatu City partners,” said Stephen Jennings, Founder and CEO of Rendeavour, the owner and developer of Tatu City. “Gallagher is a household name in dozens of countries around the world, and the company’s quality and standards are such that they have built a strong business in Kenya.”

About Gallagher Power Fence Systems Ltd (www.gallagher.com)
Gallagher are a global leader in the innovation, manufacture and marketing of animal management, security, fuel systems and contract manufacturing solutions.
For 75 years Gallagher has designed and delivered innovative solutions to a global customer base. GPF Kenya was established 18 years ago in Nairobi and established itself as a highly reputable supplier and installer of high quality cost effective security systems.

All installations are designed and installed to comply with National and International requirements. Gallagher inspects and certifies all installations as appropriate, ensuring that the systems comply with Gallagher’s stringent code of practice and quality standards.

About Tatu City (www.tatucity.com)
Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors. Schools and businesses are already open at Tatu City, and a range of houses are under construction to suit all incomes. A Special Economic Zone, Tatu City is a unique live, work and play environment that is free from traffic congestion and long-distance commuting.

| A Gallagher release Nairobi, July 11, 2017    |||

Published in TRADE

After a long tour of duty the National government again demonstrates erratic and quirky behaviour


Trans Tasman commentator Spiro Zavos observed that toward the end of one of their long periods of time in power that successive National governments become erratic, sometimes eccentrically so. They would, proclaimed the maven, succumb to a type of long distance fatigue and start to weave across their own political road. Here are a trio of notable and quite recent examples…..

Example 1. The John Key Knighthood.

Purpose of the ennoblement: To demonstrate that the National Party appreciated upon his retirement the shrewd and personable leader who had led them to their triumphs, and indirectly, remind its aspirational followers what he had done for them.

Where it went wrong: The K looked like part of Mr Key’s severance package. It was bestowed far too soon, almost immediately after his departure. Also the immediate bestowing looked as if Mr Key wanted it now, rather than waiting for just a few more months. But at which time the Party might not be in a position to give it to him because it was out of power and thus out of the patronage business.

What should have happened: The party should have leaked the notion that their former boss deserved the K. But in the event had turned it down. The leak would then have encompassed the very groups that the Nationals wish to draw into their fold. The leak should have let it be known that the former Premier believed that there were others who deserved the K much more, especially those in let us say education, health, climate, foreign aid, and race relations.

This omission was a major boner and the National marketing apparatus is still unaware that it was pulled in the first place.

Mr Key could then, a few months later, and having correctly foreseen the National win, and indirectly plugged some of the sectors it badly needs to win it, and after suitable expressions of the very, very deepest state of being humbled,, have safely collected his K in the New Year.

If the National spin apparatus has failed to see the contradictory nature of all this, it will, of course, have been identified by New Zealand First’s Winston Peters and sometime very soon will be used as a bargaining chip.

Unintended impression: That Mr Key is uncertain that his party will win the imminent general election

Example 2. The Southland Clutha candidate affair

Purpose of the selection: To demonstrate an uncompromising faith in youth, in this case in their early 20s.

Where it went wrong: The candidate selected had little real life experience especially in the matter of handling local committees and their procedures, particularly important in an electorate so remote from Wellington headquarters

What should have happened: There were plenty of seasoned candidates to choose from in this ultra safe seat who would have contributed to National’s enduring appeal which is centred on experience.

Unintended impression: Revealed an obvious and as it turned out foolish grab at the youth look. Also that the National Party’s once vaunted control over its rural electorates is slipping

Example 3. Premier John Key’s Campaign to change the New Zealand flag.

Purpose of the campaign: To demonstrate that the National Party was sensitive and caring about nationhood and renewal and thus sought a country-wide sharing consensus in devising a new emblem to express this caring, sharing etc…

Where it went wrong: The change-the-flag campaign ran parallel with the commemoration of the centenary of Gallipoli and the Anzac era.

What should have happened: The National government having re-scheduled the flag changing referendum play until before or ideally after the Gallipoli and Anzac centenary should have stated a practical and coherent reason behind what still appears a bizarre event that did not conform to any of its stated policies.

In practical terms it remains a mystery why nobody stressed the mooted change being a solution to the problem many have in telling the difference between the New Zealand flag and the Australian version which at a glance look identical.

Unintended impression: That the National government was prepared to ride roughshod over its backbone patriot support in order to pander to the ephemeral whims of the anti-monarchist, middle class guilt transfer crowd.

| From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ||  Thursday 13 July 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Commonwealth Mediaevalist sees recurring Antipodean pattern now supercharged by media-driven Compensation expectations


 

In the era of pervasive popular communications, asserts Commonwealth mediaevalist Gordon Strong, “it has been seen that the media and the public combine symbiotically in influencing outcomes in a court of law.

“Accusations are far more likely to remain in the public consciousness than subsequent retractions.”

Justice must be done, and seen to be done, noted Gordon Strong in evaluating the current hysteria outbreak in Australia

“The problem now arises when pressure is brought to bear on the judiciary from other, non-judicial, sectors,” he emphasised.

He stressed too that in assessing the current furore over Cardinal George Pell “it will be instructive to examine previous events of a similar stamp.”

He cited the Orkneys ‘Satanic Abuse’ case in which social workers insisted that children had been subjected to demonic practices and which was dismissed as ‘fatally flawed’ by the presiding judge.

Similarly, the Chamberlain Trial / Baby Azaria case of 1980 which “now seems remarkable for the fact that most of the prosecution evidence was later rejected.”

The pillorying in the Baby Azaria case of the defendants by the media, “the ludicrous innuendos, and the disingenuous attitude of the ‘environmental’ officers, resulted in an unedifying spectacle.”

The Chamberlain couple were not fully exonerated until over thirty years later.

“The issue here is not necessarily the guilt or innocence of the parties involved.

“It is the tendency of the media to weigh opinion towards one version of events.”

Child abuse he said is only one of the emotive issues embraced, “almost gratefully,” by the media.

“Such reportage grips the public imagination, and therefore opinion is easily manipulated. “

Cautioned Mr Strong: “It might be argued that in such cases the media encourages and supports victims who might not otherwise have had the courage to step forward with their own revelations.

“Is it possible some proportion of these claims might be spurious?

The immense sums known to have been paid out in compensation in such cases “must surely tempt unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of the situation?”

He added that the media accelerator now routinely draws in another multiplier represented by Hollywood “via rapturously received movies based on these very cases.”

Both the account of the exposure of ecclesiastics in Boston and the Chamberlain trial were dramatised.

In general, observed the mediaevalist, the Cardinal Pell affair seems “couched in mystery,” even without considering the complexity of the internal politics that are a “hallmark” of the Roman Catholic Church.

“It is so far unclear what allegations have been made against this senior official.

“The denial of any wrong-doing by him is simply interpreted in this fevered atmosphere as further proof of his guilt.”

Mr Strong recalled that Pope Francis describes the affair as ‘a mediatic judgment – a judgment of gossip’.

What is equally a cause for concern, noted Mr Strong, is that Australia’s Victoria State police officials publicly speak of ‘a whole range of historical sex offences.’

This he pointed out was a phrase which, stated in isolation, has an ominous ring.

“Undisclosed information held by government agencies always has sinister overtones, as if to imply ‘you are all guilty, if we say so’

Mr Strong said that he discerned an underlying sense of personal triumph being shown by “lesser mortals” in attempting to bring down Cardinal Pell.

He observed too that in the present era of media excitability the more celebrated and powerful the figure the more likely they are to be drawn into a maelstrom of rumour and infamy.

In contemporary times, said Mr Strong, it is evident that having an exalted status in society may in fact be a liability, a lethal burden instead of a blessing.

Somerset, UK, based Mr Strong, the author of numerous books on antiquity, and who recently visited Australia on a lecture tour, pointed out that he was not a Roman Catholic.

He was anxious that researchers into this now apparently recurring syndrome, one on a seemingly accelerating cycle, provided context and background.

Mass hysteria episodes in history, although equally alarming, were not exacerbated by the pervasive universal electronic communications of today.

It was now overdue and imperative claimed Mr Strong that this element became recognised for what it had become---a precipitating and sustaining component of contemporary outbreaks of mass hysteria.

|  From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk  ||  Monday 10 July 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Microsoft Scam Artists Have Revealed the Cause of this inevitable bias


 The accelerating reduction of the domestic land line in favour of the exclusive use of mobiles will tend to favour in polling for this year’s general election the political parties that traditionally appeal to the older generation, the demographic which literally holds onto its landlines.

This will favour the National Party and also Winston Peters’ New Zealand First Party.

It will work against the parties that rely on the younger protest or ideological following such as the Greens or the new Gareth Morgan-led Opportunities Party.

This whole phenomenon has only just been identified and it was discovered due to the plague of scam callers from around the world barraging New Zealand households to the effect that their Microsoft-driven computers are a liability and that only the caller, claiming to be an "accredited" Microsoft specialist ,could fix the “problem.”

Nobody could fathom out why these scam artists were and still are laying siege to an older demographic unlikely to be dependent on Microsoft?

It was now that the obvious explanation was realised and it was that the older generation tends to be the one that hangs onto its landlines

It is thus accessible to the international scamsters who rely on scrolling through the Spark (formerly Telecom) white pages.

The incredibly shrinking printed White Pages phone books are further proof of this phenomenon.

It is now a serious issue in polling that the political class, for once, is reticent to talk about.

No wonder. It means that a growing majority of households are excluded from polling.

It means that all flatters, the one group that the parties are determined to target this year, are eliminated from polls.

Since cell-only people tend to be mostly young people, the pollsters intentionally overweight the 18-30 year olds to compensate for this effect, but as more middle aged people also drop their landlines, it is becoming a serious issue.

A baffling element of the fake Microsoft scamsters plague is why the same households, the ones still with their landlines, were targeted time after time in the same confidence trick call, sometimes in the same evening.

The reason was and is that the fraudsters' automated phone diallers are programmed on a household probability to make a defined number of phone calls. Not finding the required pre-programmed quantity of landline numbers , the system then reverses on itself and goes back over its old numbers.

Occam’s Razor holds that in any mystery at all the revealing explanation will always be the obvious one.

The foreign phone scammers have demonstrated the nature of the flaw in the polling for the general election.

It’s an ill wind………

| From the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ||  Friday 7 July,  2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE

Health threat changes its form


 

The National Government sensibly is de-fanging the dog issue by having its Internal Affairs Department sponsor advertisements seeking to encourage owners of attack dogs, or as the advertisement describes them “menacing by breed,” dogs castrated.

Local government authorities meanwhile are being encouraged to advertise to “proud owners” of all animals their obligation to get their dogs registered.

Why the gentle persuasion, instead of tough pressure on the owners of the animals?

There is strong evidence to demonstrate that dog owners are single-issue voters on the lines of love me, love my dog.

The dog threat is a highly visible one.

The late local body politician Brett Ambler saw his region becoming overrun with threatening dogs and he noted publicly that their owners clearly delighted in the stand-over status that the animal bestowed on them.

The urban dog problem has accelerated with the success over many years of the anti-hydatids programme.

While hydatids remained a threat the parasite dissuaded urban dog ownership simply because the zoonotic parasite easily jumped from animals to humans, notably young children at the crawling stage.

Early steps to contain the dog problem centred on pavement fouling and local authorities enjoyed success in engendering a community-led scooping solution.

The arrival of the “menace by breed” animals then took the problem to another level.

All political parties are anxious to avoid what they regard as the no-win issue and hope that various kinds of dissuasion instead of legislation will staunch the developing public menace.

The New Zealand Veterinary Association points out that “dog aggression is responsible for a significant public health problem.”

There are five dog breeds which automatically receive menacing dog status: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and (pictured) American Pit Bull Terrier.

There is a ban on importing these dogs, but no ban on owning or breeding them.

In 2002 the Ministry of Health declared New Zealand “provisionally” free of hydatids.

| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  ||  Thursday 6 July 2017   |||

Published in EXCLUSIVE
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