Home' Greymouth Star : January 9th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, January 9, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1324 - Death of Italian explorer Marco Polo.
1799 - British Prime Minister William Pitt
(the Younger) introduces income tax at two
shillings in the pound to raise funds for the
1806 - Lord Nelson, mortally wounded in the
hour of the British eet's victory at Trafalgar in
October 1805, is buried at St Paul's
Cathedral in London.
1868 - Last transportation of
convicts to Australia.
1902 - Legislation is introduced
in New York to outlaw irting in
1960 - Construction work starts
on the Aswan High Dam in Egypt.
1972 - Fire destroys the liner Queen
Elizabeth in waters o Hong Kong.
1978 - Islamic revolution erupts in Iran.
1980 - Sixty-three Muslim fanatics are
beheaded in Saudi Arabia for their part in the
siege of the great Mosque in Mecca.
1991 - e Pentagon adopts a set of press
rules for the impending war in the Gulf that is
criticised as bordering on censorship.
1992 - Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina
proclaim their own state.
2007 - Carlo Ponti, one of Italy's best-known
lm producers and the husband of actress
Sophia Loren, dies, aged 94.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
omas Warton, English poet laureate
(1728-1790); ; Dame Gracie Fields,
English entertainer (1898-1979); ;
Richard Nixon, US president (1913-
1994); Joan Baez, US folk singer
(1941-); Jimmy Page, British rock
musician (1944-); Crystal Gayle, US
singer (1951-); Joely Richardson,
British actress (1965-); Dave
Matthews, US musician (1967-);
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (1982-).
" ose who give have all things. ey who
withhold have nothing." --- Hindu proverb
His grace toward me has not been in vain."
--- (1 Corinthians 15:10
accompanied by heavy
machinery, worked throughout yesterday to
repair a washout on Dublin Terrace in the
upper Buller Gorge, estimated to be about a
chain across. e washout occurred during
the height of Tuesday's electrical storm
accompanied by heavy rain which lashed the
West Coast and Buller.
e washout closed the upper gorge to tra c
while repairs were being made yesterday and
resulted in the Nelson-Greymouth bus service
arriving here three and a half hours behind
schedule last night. It meant that the bus
had to be re-routed from Murchison through
the Shenandoah route to Reefton, thence to
Inangahua Junction, on to Westport and then
down the Coast Road to Greymouth.
e preliminary phase for pile driving --- a
forerunner to the actual start of building
operations --- will begin on Fletcher Industries'
Gladstone wood factory site next week. e
work will be pitching the long concrete piles
which are to provide the foundations for the
giant plant, said the man in charge of site
operations Mr Ron McQuinn, in giving a
progress report on the project today.
"Everything is going well. If only this weather
would brighten up we'd be more than happy,"
said Mr McQuinn commenting on general
progress of the project. At present 25 men are
working on the site. "At the moment this meets
our requirements but the nal sta level for
the construction will be built up to about 60,"
concluded the site supervisor.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Healy s view
Fiona OrtizEight months ago Spanish
Elpidio Jose Silva was
investigating a sensational
corruption case that brie y
landed politically connected
former bank boss Miguel Blesa in jail.
Now Silva, whose job combines the roles
of prosecutor and judge, is organising
his own criminal defence after Blesa,
president of savings bank Caja Madrid
from 1996 to 2009, complained he was
e judge's predicament stems from a
quirk that allows the accused in Spain
to lodge complaints against judges, one
of many factors that have slowed down
a string of high-pro le fraud cases,
damaging con dence in the justice system
and raising concerns about political
in uence, surveys show.
Silva, who denies any wrongdoing, has
been removed from the case and could
face trial for alleged misconduct in his
probe into possible crimes at Caja Madrid
before it became part of Bankia, which
later required Spain's biggest-ever bank
Blesa's lawyers declined to comment for
this story but in court lings have denied
Silva's charges of misappropriation of
funds and falsifying a document in a 2008
Silva continues to work on other cases
and is writing a book. He says he is calling
it Spain: no country for judges.
Public perception of fraud in Spain is
among the highest in Europe, and more
than 90% in an independent Metroscopia
poll said they were frustrated by the
time it took to investigate, and they
overwhelmingly blamed complaints by the
"Because of the delays, people get
the impression there is little interest in
investigating, or that there's some sort of
collusion between the government and
judges. e slow process gives a sensation
of low standards," said Jose Juan Toharia,
president of Metroscopia.
Spain also has proportionally fewer
judges than Germany, France, Italy or
Portugal, and many get rotated o a case
part way through, all of which adds to
Silva has launched a media campaign
claiming the accusations against him are
politically motivated and have a chilling
e ect on corruption investigations.
" e complaint against me is abusive
and political. ey should have thrown it
out by now," the shaven-headed Silva told
Reuters in his Madrid apartment, as he
elded calls from organisers of signature
drives in his support.
Baltasar Garzon, a Spanish judge
internationally known for his pursuit of
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, also
fought graft in Spain and ran into trouble.
He was suspended as a judge in 2010
for illegal wiretapping of suspects in a
corruption case, one of several complaints
Garzon, now a global human rights
consultant, claims he was politically
persecuted for trying to investigate crimes
during the 1939-75 dictatorship of
After Franco the justice system was
redesigned to safeguard the rights of the
accused, but unfounded complaints against
judges have led to long delays in several
cases, including eight years to convict
corrupt politicians and land developers
in Marbella and 10 years to bring to trial
People's Party politician Carlos Fabra for
tax fraud. Fabra was sentenced to four
years but is out on appeal.
Even Spain's royal family is caught up
in a long-running fraud investigation that
has still not gone to trial. It is three years
since a judge opened an investigation
into Inaki Urdangarin, husband of King
Juan Carlos's younger daughter Princess
Cristina, for forgery and embezzlement
through his charitable foundation. e
judge this week ruled the princess should
also face charges.
e royals, who deny any wrongdoing,
have not raised any complaints to slow
the process, but the judge and the anti-
corruption prosecutor have been at odds
on how to proceed.
Spain's political elite has also been
rocked by charges that Luis Barcenas, a
former treasurer of the ruling People's
Party, stashed up to 48 million euros in
Swiss banks and ran a party slush fund fed
by cash from construction magnates.
ree years into the investigation, he is
in prison charged with money laundering
and other crimes, but a trial could still
be years away. He denies doing anything
While few would want a return to the
limited rights defendants had in the
Franco era, and a handful of cases of
improper conduct have been found against
judges, the snail's pace of accountability
has damaged faith in public institutions,
Opinion polls also consistently show that
smaller political parties could bene t at the
next election in Spain.
Silva's probe into Caja Madrid was always
going to be sensitive, since like many
Spanish savings banks it was closely tied
to a political party, and Blesa was a friend
of former PP Prime Minister Jose Maria
Caja Madrid ran into trouble after a
property bubble burst in 2008. It was re-
christened Bankia after merging in 2010
with six other savings banks, but with
billions in bad loans to property developers,
it soon needed a 22.5 billion euro bailout.
e bank's rescue, its disastrous 2011
public share launch, and complex debt
instruments disguised as savings deposits
have all triggered a number of criminal
Silva was looking into whether Blesa
outed rules on risk management when
Caja Madrid bought City National Bank
of Florida in 2008. He ruled in June there
was evidence of improper management,
misappropriation of funds and falsifying a
public document and had Blesa taken into
Blesa was released after posting bail,
and his lawyers then complained Silva
had overstepped his authority. Madrid's
prosecutor opened an investigation into
the judge on accusations of false arrest and
o cial misconduct.
Silva's replacement on the case issued
a summons for Blesa to appear later this
month to answer further questions on
the Florida deal to determine whether
it damaged Caja Madrid. Blesa's lawyers
have not yet responded.
In the meantime Silva is gathering
signatures to show he has public support.
"If they don't convict me, it will be
because citizens stood up to put a stop to
it." --- Reuters
No country for judges
Spanish magistrate Elpidio Jose Silva
e braying of Tory asses in Britain
inevitably elicits an answering cacophony
of hee-hawing from New Zealand's own
conservative community. It is, therefore,
only a matter of time before one or more
of our right-wing commentators picks
up on the historical inanities of British
Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and
repeats them here.
On January 2, the Daily Mail published
an article by Mr Gove entitled "Why
does the left insist on belittling true
British heroes?" Billed as a series of
"damning questions" to his socialist
opponents, Mr Gove's piece was actually
a crude attempt to characterise all
criticism of his Government's plans
to paint World War One as a just,
honourable and ultimately successful
con ict as evidence of "at best, an
ambiguous attitude to this country and,
at worst, an unhappy compulsion . . .
to denigrate virtues such as patriotism,
honour and courage."
Mr Gove's is but the rst shot in the
"history wars" of 2014 and beyond. Like
World War One, whose centenary we will
commemorate in August, the struggle to
de ne the truth about the most important
event of the past 100 years promises to be
prolonged, bitter and exceptionally costly
to all concerned.
New histories of New Zealand's
participation in World War One are
constantly appearing in the nation's book
shops --- and many more will follow. is
is only tting, because New Zealand paid
an extraordinarily high price in blood and
shattered lives for its privileged status as
Britain's far- ung farm.
e number of New Zealanders killed in
the war was 18,052, with a further 41,317
wounded. e war dead represented
1.64% of the New Zealand's 1.1 million
population. Of the English-speaking
countries participating in the war, only the
United Kingdom paid a higher price.
Most of the new histories will be devoted
to re-examining the campaigns in which
New Zealanders were engaged (Gallipoli
being the most traversed). Some will focus
upon the battle eld contributions of New
Zealand's military commanders; while
others will study the diaries and letters of
ordinary soldiers to present a participant's-
eye-view of the con ict.
Very few New Zealand historians,
however, will venture beyond the Who?
What? When? and Where? of World
War One history and into the dangerous
territory of why? It is across the eld of
the con ict's causes; of its participants'
motives and conduct; and of their ultimate
objectives; that Mr Gove and his ilk will
direct their most deadly suppressing re.
On "our" side, World War One became
the occasion for the most extraordinary
propaganda campaign ever undertaken by
the English-speaking peoples. Germans
were transformed: from the civilised
citizens of a modern state (enjoying more
democratic rights than the British) they
became the pitiless "Huns" --- ravishers of
women, bayonetters of babies.
So virulent was the propaganda of World
War One that when, in the 1930s and 40s,
news of genuine German atrocities and
the genocide of European Jewry leaked
out to the west, the authorities
--- remembering the lies of 1914-1918
--- dismissed it as crude misinformation.
ere was, of course, a very good reason
why the United Kingdom worked so hard
to demonise the Germans during the war,
and, when it ended, were so insistent that
Germany accept the 'war guilt clause' of
the Versailles Treaty.
It was done so that the people of Britain
and of her loyal Dominions would never
be willing to accept the fact that it was
France and Russia who masterminded
the outbreak of war in 1914: or that the
British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward
Grey, knew what was happening, but, in
order to shatter the military and economic
power of Germany and safeguard the
British Empire from future Russian
encroachment, he did nothing to prevent
it. ere can be little doubt that, had Grey
intervened, the war could have been
prevented. e stark and unspeakable
truth, however, was that Grey and the
British Prime Minister, Asquith, did
not want to prevent it. Germany was
regarded as a threat and Britain was only
too willing to let France (a vengeful army
masquerading as a country) and Russia
(a feudal autocracy masquerading as a
modern state) tear her to pieces.
Once Russia ordered a general
mobilisation, only France could call it
back; and the only power capable of
persuading France to call it back was
e First World War was "our" fault.
Chris Trotter is an independent
left-wing political commentator.
World War One could have been avoided
If you use a PC, laptop,
cellphone, or iPod (or
maybe all of the above),
you are no doubt familiar
with the name of the
wireless technology linking
them together: Bluetooth.
Okay, maybe not all the
digital technology, but
we are talking about the
name here and what it refers to.
When you take o and land, the
airline cabin attendant reminds you
to "disable the Bluetooth function
on your electronic device". ere's
nothing dental about my wireless
connection, and the only thing blue
is the icon. So how did the name
Bluetooth get attached to a short-
range wireless technology?
According to Jim Kardach,
one of the original designers of
Bluetooth technology, the name
emerged from a broad-ranging
discussion of "history" during a
1996 winter pub crawl in Toronto,
Canada. Kardach's partner in
history and drink that night,
Ericsson's Swedish tech designer
Sven Mathesson, mentioned a
10th-century Viking king, Harald
"Bluetooth" Gormsson, who united
tribes from Denmark and Nor way
and converted them to Christianity
(at least nominally).
Harald may have had a
conspicuously bad tooth or
especially liked to eat blueberries,
which would explain his epithet
His reign, from about 958 to
985, was marked by more peaceful
relations among previously warring
Scandinavian tribes, which later
Scandinavian chroniclers attributed
to Harald's ability to mediate
between hostile groups.
(Interestingly, during this same
three decades, Anglo-Saxon
England was also less ravaged by
Viking invasions. Coincidence?)
Kardach liked to
explore history and was
intrigued by the career
and aspirations of King
Harald, so he did some
more reading. During
several tech companies
with di erent proposals
for wireless (radio)
interfaces, he chose the
name Bluetooth as an
appropriate, if temporary, name
for the special interest group they
were trying to form. Previously,
Intel, Ericsson and Nokia had
each been developing separately
a wireless technology to enable
di erent devices to communicate
with one another. As the project
moved for ward, the group adopted
Bluetooth until a formal name was
But the name stuck. While many
internet names have been drawn
from the cultural mythology of
exploration, discovery and conquest
(Explorer, Safari, Konquerer,
Netscape Navigator), Bluetooth is
linked to a story of communication
--- New Zealand Herald
Where did that word come from? --- Bluetooth
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