Friday, May 31, 2013

In The News: EU Calls For "Full-Time" President, Mark Of The Beast Technology, Russia Sending MIGs To Syria, Syria Threatens Israel

The prophetic headlines refuse to quit - in fact, in today's news alone we can see several prophetic related developments reaching the headlines:

One day after he rejected EU "dictates" on economic policy, French leader Francois Hollande and Germany's Angela Merkel have called for the creation of a full-time euro "President."
The idea came in a joint text published on Thursday (30 May) during Merkel's visit to Paris.
The paper says that "a full-time President for the Eurogroup of finance ministers relying on wider resources" should be created after the EU elections in 2014.
It calls for: more frequent eurozone summits; a "specific fund for the euro area" alongside the general EU budget; and new "structures" in the European Parliament to oversee euro-level economic governance.

Motorola has announced it is looking at alternatives to traditional passwords in a bid to make logging into online sites, or accessing mobile phones, more secure.

Among the ideas discussed at the D11 conference in California on Wednesday were electronic tattoos and authentication pills that people swallow.

The tattoos, developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer's skin using a rubber stamp.

MC10 originally designed the tattoos, called Biostamps, to help medical teams measure the health of their patients either remotely, or without the need for large expensive machinery. 

Motorola claims that the circuits, which also contain antennae and built-in sensors, could be adapted to work with mobile phones and tablets.

The mobile devices could then be used to confirm the owner's identity and log them in to accounts automatically. 

This would prevent thieves and other people from being able to access a phone, or individual apps on the device, if it is stolen or lost. 

Another idea presented during the keynote talk at the Wall Street Journal conference with head of Motorola Dennis Woodside and senior vice president for advanced technology and products, Regina Dugan, was a swallowable pill. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday there was "popular pressure" to open a military front against Israel on the Golan Heights, and warned his country would bomb Israel if it attacks Syria again.

“There is clear popular pressure to open a new front of resistance in the Golan," Assad said in an interviewwith Al-Manar, the television channelof his ally, Lebanon's Shiite Hizbullah movement. “This is a political-ideological matter that will eventually turn into a military one.”

“There are several factors, including repeated Israeli aggression," he said. "The nexttime Israel attacks, if it attacks, we will have a strategic response. A bombing against a bombing.”

Asked what kind of weapons would be used against Israel, he said, “There are things that will be determined in the proper date and time.”

"We have informed all of the elements that contacted us that in the next times we will respond,” Assad said.

Israel is believed to be behind several recent bombing attacks against Syrian weapons sites. Israel is concerned that amid the growing chaos in Syria, unconventional weapons will be transferred to Hizbullah or fall into the hands of rebel Islamists. It is also concerned that Assad may try to unite the country by staging an attack against Israel.

Is Damascus counting down to the moment when it will launch a massive attack against the State of Israel using “strategic” weapons that could include weapons of mass destruction? That’s what Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to be signaling. The question is whether this is a bluff, or the prelude to all-out war with Israel.

Russians appear to be selling Syria highly sophisticated missile systems and other types of weaponry. Indeed, Damascus has requested 20 million rounds of ammunition. Iran and Hezbollah are working around the clock to strengthen Assad’s hand. Not surprisingly then, Israeli military is on high alert. It’s defense minister isthreatening to launch a preemptive strike against these state-of-the-art Russian missiles to keep them from becoming operational. And Israel’s homeland defense agency has been running nationwide drills to get people ready for the possibility of a missile attack from Syria, not unlike the one I write about fictionally in Damascus Countdown.

“The comments were in line with a forceful and confident message the regime has been sending in recent days, even as the international community attempts to launch a peace conference in Geneva, possibly next month,” the AP noted. “The strong tone coincided with recent military victories in battles with armed rebels trying to topple him….”

“Taking a tough line, he also warned that Syria would strike back hard against any future Israeli airstrike,” AP reported. “Earlier this month, Israel had struck near Damascus, targeting suspected shipments of advanced weapons purportedly intended for Hezbollah. Syria did not respond at the time. Assad said he has informed other countries that Syria would respond next time. ‘If we are going to retaliate against Israel, this retaliation should be a strategic response,’ he said.”

A Russian arms manufacturer says it is signing a contract to deliver at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.
Sergei Korotkov, general director of the MiG company that makes the jets, told Russian news agencies Friday that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.

Korotkov did not say how many MiGs Syria is buying, but says it will be “more than 10.”
Russia has previously said that it would only fulfill outstanding arms contracts with Syria.

Syrian rebel commander Brig. Gen. Salim Idris urged the international community to prevent the transfer of MiGs, indicating that the sale would further tip the scales in Assad’s favor. The announcement of the pending deal comes at a time when the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah has upped its forces in Syria, fighting alongside the embattled regime.

The report also claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to compensate Assad with the delivery of other “effective and powerful weapons,” including modern aircraft and helicopters, to use against the Syrian rebels.

Also see:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

In The News: Situation With Syria Worsening - Tipping Point Rapidly Approaching

Assad: Russia Already Delivered S-300 Batteries

Despite a concerted international effort aimed at preventing the controversial arms deal, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed that a shipment of Russian-made S-300 missiles — a state-of-the-art air defense system — has already arrived in his country.
In an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television scheduled to be broadcast Thursday night, the Syrian leader boasted that his country had received the first batch of missiles and asserted that “the rest of the load will arrive soon,” the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported.

The planned delivery of the sophisticated system, which can intercept fighter jets and cruise missiles, had created a tense standoff between Israel, Syria, and Russia, with Israel threatening to do “whatever it takes” to prevent the weapons being deployed, and Syria responding that it would retaliate in kind for any Israeli strike.

Last week, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror told a gathering of European Union ambassadors that while Israel may not be able to prevent the delivery of S-300 batteries to Syria, it would act to prevent them from becoming operational.

The Syrian president also told Al-Manar that his country would retaliate for any future Israeli attack on Syria, and said he would not “get in the way” of any Syrian groups that attempted to liberate the Golan Heights, which Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War, Al Akhbar reported.

The complex S-300 air defense system, considered one of the most advanced in the world, takes about four months to become operational and would require intensive training, including calibration that can only be carried out on-site in Syria, experts say.

Two diplomats who were in the room during the briefing last Thursday, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was a closed event, said that Amidror stressed Israel will act "to prevent the S-300 missiles from becoming operational" on Syrian soil. This message was also conveyed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon when he said on Tuesdaythat if the missiles reach Syria "Israel will know what to do."

Because of the system's advanced technology, the time required to make it operational can range between three to six months. Syrian operators and technicians also need to undergo training, possibly in Russia, but in order to fully calibrate the system and make it operational some of the process will have to take place in Syria.

A senior Israeli official and a European diplomat who are involved in the talks said that even though Netanyahu has not said so explicitly, he signaled in the past two weeks in talks with several European foreign ministers that his efforts to convince President Vladimir Putin not to provide Syria with the systems did not bear fruit.
"If the missiles are provided and become operational Israel's entire airspace will become a no-fly zone," Netanyahu told the European foreign ministers. "The missile transfer is a significant security challenge to Israel and we will not be able to stand idly by."  

Taunting Israel, Bashar Assad says in an interview prerecorded for broadcast Thursday night, May 30, that the first batch of Russian S-300 anti-air missiles has arrived in Syria and a second consignment is on the way. Wednesday, May 29, DEBKAfile reported the landing at Latakia of a large Russian transport carrying 60 tons of unidentified freight. This was the first S-300 consignment. Fresh Hizballah forces entering Syria Thursday are heading for Deraa, the rebels’ southern stronghold 30 kilometers from Israel’s Golan border.

The financial system of the third largest economy on the planet is starting to come apart at the seams, and the ripple effects are going to be felt all over the globe.  Nobody knew exactly when the Japanese financial system was going to begin to implode, but pretty much everyone knew that a day of reckoning for Japan was coming eventually.

In a desperate attempt to revitalize the economy and reduce the debt burden, the Bank of Japan decided a few months ago to start pumping massive amounts of money into the economy. 

There is a lot of fear in Japan right now.  On Thursday, the Nikkei plunged 7.3 percent.  That was the largest single day decline in more than two years.  Then on Monday the index fell by another 3.2 percent.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a colossal financial meltdown by the third largest economy on the planet?  The Bank of Japan is starting to lose control, and if Japan goes down hard the crisis could spread to Europe and North America very rapidly. 

And all of this money printing is absolutely crushing the Japanese yen.  Since the start of 2013, the yen has declined 16 percent against the U.S. dollar, even though the U.S. dollar is also being rapidly debased.   Just check out this chart of the yen vs. the U.S. dollar.  It is absolutely stunning...

The financial problems in Cyprus and Greece are just tiny blips compared to what a major financial crisis in Japan would potentially be like.  The Japanese economy is larger than the economies of Germany and Italy combined.  If the house of cards in Japan comes tumbling down, trillions of dollars of investments all over the globe are going to be affected.
And what is happening right now in Japan should serve as a sober warning to the United States.  Like Japan, the money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing has caused economic activity to perk up a bit and it has sent the stock market on an unprecedented run.
Unfortunately, no bubble that the Federal Reserve has ever created has been able to last forever.  At some point, we will pay a very great price for all of the debt that the U.S. government has been accumulating and all of the reckless money printing that the Fed has been engaged in.
So enjoy the calm before the storm while you still can.
It won't last for long.

The U.S dollar is shrinking as a percentage of the world's currency supply, raising concerns that the greenback is about to see its long run as the world's premier denomination come to an end.
When compared to its peers, the dollar has drifted to a 15-year low, according to theInternational Monetary Fund, indicating that more countries are willing to use other currencies to do business.
"If the dollar loses status as the world's most reliable currency the United States will lose the right to print money to pay its debt. It will be forced to pay this debt," Bove said. "The ratings agencies are already arguing that the government's debt may be too highly rated. Plus, the United States Congress, in both its houses, as well as the president are demonstrating a total lack of fiscal credibility."
Bove is not the only one sounding the reserve currency alarm, though the issue has fallen off the front pages as hopes for a sustained U.S. recovery have taken hold and the stock market has surged to near-record highs.
"The No. 1 security issue we have as a nation is the preservation of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency," said Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies. "It's a thousand times more important than a nuclear bomb being tested by North Korea. It's a thousand times more important that we keep the dollar as the world's reserve currency, and yet we are doing everything to abuse that status."

"Five to 10 years -- that would be an outlier," he said. "I would say 2015, 2016, that would be the time when it becomes a particularly salient issue. When we're spending 30 to 50 percent of our revenue on debt service payments, we enter into a bond market crisis. The dollar starts to drop along with bond prices. That would set off the whole thing."

The Homeland Security Department is buying $100 million worth of services to issue staff at all agencies smartcards with iris and facial recognition capabilities.
Late Friday, DHS opened the bidding process for a decade-long project to upgrade personnel identification cards that are used to access federal buildings and networks. Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security Presidential Directive–12, or HSPD-12, mandated biometric IDs for employees governmentwide. But many workers, including 82 percent of DHS computer users, flash the credentials at guards, rather than digital readers, largely because the cards’ electronic components haven’t been activated, according to internal audits.
Now, contractors will replace about 161,924 cards in 2013 and 116,172 cards in 2014, according to contracting documents.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

War Preparations In The Middle East

We know these wars are coming. It's just a matter of time. Meanwhile, all we have to do is scan the news and we can easily see just how extensive the war preparations are - and we can see the build-up is continuing and will do so until the very day that the prophetic wars begin:

Israeli Forebodings Over Widening Russian-Hizballah-Iraqi Intervention In Syria

Forebodings were voiced Wednesday, May 29, by senior Israeli military officers in the face of the widening military intervention in the Syria civil war by Russia, Iran, Hizballah and latterly Iraq too. They have made Syria’s civil war the platform for a Russian contest against the West and a ladder up which Iran and its proxy Hizballah are climbing to top Middle East regional power spot.

Russia, Iran and Hizballah are winning the contest by default against an unresisting US-led West and a hesitant Israel.

A senior IDF officer acknowledged on Wednesday, May 29, that Israel’s government and military leaders are at a loss on how to proceed. They have yet to recover from the calamitous miscalculation that Bashar Assad’s days were numbered to which they clung stubbornly for almost eighteen months.

And we can also see the complete lack of U.S. Support for Israel, predictably:

At a time that the US and Israel should be using their heaviest military guns to slow Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb, Tehran with Moscow's backing has brought its military assets up close to Israel’s borders in Syria and Lebanon and openly threatens to use them.

Unlike Syria and Iran, Israel can’t count on military intervention against an aggressor by supportive big powers.  According to DEBKAfile's Washington sources, no part of the Obama administration, including its military and intelligence arms, favors military action in Syria.

Even the direct evidence of chemical warfare already afoot in Syria is unavailing.
In Addis Ababa, US Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the administration’s mantra Wednesday by denying “concrete evidence” of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Secretary and the rest of NATO were deaf to the vivid testimony brought toLe Monde Wednesday by two reporters, who risked their necks by spending two months concealed in the Jobar district of Damascus. They discovered Russia or Iran had developed a chemical weapon that does not explode. The release of its poisonous gases sounds like popping the top off a can of soda and has "no odor, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the release of a toxic gas."

So what does happen?
The Le Monde reporters provided a graphic first-hand description.
"The men cough violently. Their eyes burn, their pupils shrink, their vision blurs. Soon they experience difficulty breathing, sometimes in the extreme; they begin to vomit or lose consciousness. The fighters worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate."
Wednesday morning, the Israeli Home Front rehearsed an attack on a Jerusalem suburb by a chemical-tipped missile.

Syrian and Hizballah leaders are declaring loud and clear that a war front against Israel is already operating from the Syrian Golan and Lebanon.
The question is who in Israel is listening. And what is being done to make sure that Assad will be prevented from using chemical weapons against Israeli military and civilian targets at a time of his convenience.

So who is feeding the flames of the Syrian conflict with a generous supply of military hardware? Who but Russia, the self-styled "stabilizing factor”

The senior Israeli officer interviewed by DEBKAfile put all these forebodings into words when he said: "A military and strategic catastrophe for the West and Israel is in full flight in Syria, and no one in Washington or Jerusalem is lifting a finger. Israel’s government and military heads never imagined that the Syrian war would take this turn. But we had better wake up at this eleventh hour - before it is too late.”

U.S. Backed Syrian Rebels Reportedly Massacre Christian Village

Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army interfered.

While the sources describing Monday's massacre are supportive of Assad, it's possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past.
Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement.

The U.S. and other Western governments that are backing the FSA have acknowledged the presence of jihadists but insist that they're only a small part of the rebel movement. However, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups have been at the front of the rebel movement since day one of the Syrian war that began two years ago. According to German intelligence, 95 percent of the rebels aren't even Syrian.

A Worried Israel Prepares For War

Indeed, in recent weeks there was hardly a day without someone discussing the possibility of real war. Israel, as the New York Times reported less than a week ago, is reluctantly being dragged into Syria’s turmoil.
Israel’s imperative is clear: to prevent the transfer of game-changing weaponry from getting into the wrong hands. It can’t permit Syria to send chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, nor can it allow Syria to receive missiles or other weapons systems that will make it harder for Israel to defend itself against future aggression.

Earlier this month, Israeli warplanes attacked targets in Syria to prevent a delivery of Iranian missiles to Hezbollah. There were two Israeli airstrikes in Syria within two days — the second being the third this year, after more than five years without Israeli attacks in Syria.
Given these recent Israeli strikes and Israel’s vows to act “with determination” to achieve its goals, the escalation of rhetorical threats against Israel was probably unavoidable. There are Syrian threats to use missiles against Israel, and  Hezbollah has warned that it may launch a “popular-resistance campaign’’ in the Golan Heights.

As it tries to hold together a fragile peace, Israel has its citizens conduct drills and prepare for the worst. “These days a number of scenarios can lead to a surprise war,” the chief of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, declared a week ago. A “Somalization” of Syria — a scenario that bothIsraeli and Arab diplomats see as a real possibility — would present Israel with a whole new set of security challenges.
Israeli leaders should be telling the public the truth. Choosing to attack Syria is not opting for a good option over a bad one but rather picking a bad option — the risk of war — over another bad one — the risk of letting Israel’s enemies get new weaponry. “A severe case of brinkmanship is being played at the moment,” said a former U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon. When such game is going on, a sudden state of war can hardly be considered a “surprise.”

Israel's Hope For Peace Not Reciprocated

Israeli leaders went on the offensive against anti-Zionism on Tuesday during speeches at the opening session of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, conflating it with Jew-hatred and defining it as the contemporary manifestation of classical anti-Semitism.

According to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, anti-Semitism is “becoming fashionable again.”
During his pre-taped address, which opened the gathering, Netanyahu said that despite the fact that “anti-Semites took a respite after the Holocaust,” such sentiment was again becoming socially acceptable.

Netanyahu’s sentiments were echoed by Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, both of whom gave opening remarks at the conference.
Delegitimization of the State of Israel, Bennett said, is always a prerequisite for physical attacks against the Jews. The “phase of dehumanization” came before the Holocaust, and “that’s the exact same M.O. today,” he said, in a reference to the Iranian regime.

Also see:

WHO Calls Middle Eastern Virus, MERS, 'Threat To The Entire World' As Death Toll Rises

Calling it a “threat to the entire world,” the head of the World Health Organization sounded the alarm over the Middle Eastern virus that has so far killed 24 people.
Speaking on Monday in Geneva at the global health monitor’s annual conference, Dr. Margaret Chan did not mince words about the SARS-like novel coronavirus that researchers call MERS.
“Looking at the overall global situation, my greatest concern right now is the novel coronavirus. We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat. Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control,” Dr Chan said. “These are alarm bells and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world.”
One day after Chan’s speech, health officials in France announced the death of a 65-year-old man who had apparently contracted the MERS virus after traveling to Dubai.

French Patient Dies Of New SARS-Related Respiratory Virus

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In The News: Syria, Coming Wars And Big Brother

All three stories are featured prominently in the news today:

International Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that the S-300 anti-aircraft system which Russia is set to send to Syria can also potentially be used as an offensive weapon to shoot down Israeli civilian planes over Tel Aviv.
Speaking at an Israel Project conference, Steinitz accused Russia of "encouraging support to a brutal regime" by completing the sale of the S-300 system while Assad was slaughtering his own civilians.

He said that the advanced weapons platform could end up in the hands of the wrong rebel groups or make its way to Assad's Iranian allies. Steinitz stated that Israel still hoped to convince Russia to suspend the sale of the S-300 to Syria. 

And it's just a matter of time - not "if" but "when":

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman warned Tuesday that "Hezbollah possesses weapons to hit any point in Israel."
According to Channel 2, Liberman told fellow FADC members that, amid threats from the "radical axis" of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, "what's needed now is perseverance and decisiveness."

The former foreign minister warned that Iran is "running at a frantic pace toward an atomic bomb."
Liberman also addressed reports of Syrian chemical weapon use, stating that their was "no question" that Syrian President Bashar Assad had used chemical arms in his fight against armed opposition in the country.

[Note: Still searching for the concessions that the 'Palestinians' are being asked to give towards the 'peace-process'....]

US Secretary of State John Kerry put a package of proposals for reviving the moribund Israel-Palestinian peace process before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and peace negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni before returning to Amman Monday, May 27.
He keeps the package's contents firmly under his hat. However, according to some of the details revealed here for the first time by DEBKAfiles sources, Kerry’s top-secret plan places on Israel the onus of major concessions including strategic and national assets, for the sake of buying the Palestinian leader’s consent to sit down and talk. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is not required to pay anything real in return - although it was who stalled the peace negotiations in the first place.

Israeli concessions would not end at the northern Dead Sea coast, according to the secret Kerry plan; it would be just the first in a series of land and sovereignty handovers granted the Palestinians in trilateral negotiations among Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.

The Palestinians would also be awarded by the process a three-year economic reconstruction program for boosting their Gross National Product by 50 percent and slashing unemployment from 21 to 8 percent.
The Middle East Quartet’s Special Envoy Tony Blair will head the program, Secretary Kerry reported to the world economic forum meeting in Jordan Sunday, May 26. His goal is to raise $4 billion for investing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has not divulged his views on the Kerry proposals - merely for winning Palestinian consent to talk peace. Since the payment of sovereign Israeli territory would be no more than the down- payment for pulling the Palestinians to the table, how many more high-value security and national assets will Israel will be required to part with along the road toward meeting the Palestinians’ ever-rising price tag?

Straight to the conclusion below:

The next time someone, be it in the media, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or members of Congress, like the insufferable Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.S.), say the U.S. needs to overthrow Syrian President Assad for humanitarian purposes, ask them what they think will happen next. Are they really so stupid to actually believe that freedom, democracy, unicorns, peace and lollipops will take over Syria after Assad is removed, or will another vacuum be created for the Muslim Brotherhood to fill? A vacuum that will be filled by massive bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, genocide that could set the entire region on fire with American and NATO troops being dragged in to serve the interests of someone else who are using America’s military might to create the United States of Islam. You already can see it happening in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Wake up America. Wake up the useful idiots now. The Obama administration has picked a fight with Iran and Russia in Syria which could trigger World War III. It intensified with the Obama-Clinton regime’s gunrunning out of Libya into Syria. As theWSJ reported, Hillary’s State Department provided the “diplomatic cover” in Benghazi. Do not be deceived. Benghazi was a nation-state attack.
By their fruits you shall know them.
You have been warned.

Dr. Kedar claimed that this is a process known in advance, ending with the disintegration of Europe in its current state. "It is all a result of a European softening, which the Muslims see as a weakness, as if they received Europe in their hands for free. They do not voluntarily blend in, entire neighborhoods perpetuate the culture they brought with them, they are not aware of the language and economy and stay in their enclaves. Once a French man of Algerian descent told me that they didn't move from Algeria to France, they brought Algeria to France.

According to many, demographics, which is the topic for many studies, is the red light. It points to the path in which the continent is headed – the European birthrate is at a continuous standstill while Muslim immigrants are doubling their rates.

"If they wanted to integrate within the society, as European leaders had hoped, this wouldn't be an issue," said Keidar. "But since they want to keep their identities and change Europe, it is obviously a big issue. Every year more Muslims than non-Muslims are born in France. Japan has no Muslims because they don't allow them in. Racism? Maybe. Superiority? Maybe. They don't care. They want to sustain Japan and are looking down on everyone."

1984 is here and Big Brother is watching:

For anyone familiar with how our “child protection” system too often works in practice, rather loud alarm bells might be rung by a Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament that takes the state’s intervention in family life to a startling new level. Under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, every child from birth will be given a “named person”, charged with keeping an eye on that child’s interests until it reaches adulthood.
We are familiar with the idea that state employees are expected to take an interest in a child’s welfare, from health visitors to teachers at school. But this proposal that local authorities should be empowered to appoint an official to act as a personal “guardian”, or social worker, to oversee every aspect of a child’s life from birth onwards is a world first.

In fact, the Bill is remarkably vague about the powers to be given to these “named persons”. Will they be free to arrive unannounced at the family home to check on how a child is being treated by its parents, when it goes to bed, what food it is given, what political or religious opinions it is being brought up with? In other words, the Bill gives no idea of how this hugely ambitious scheme, estimated to cost Scotland’s local authorities up to £138  million a year, will work in practice. And most worrying of all, to anyone familiar with the failings of our existing “child protection” system, is how often the most damaging errors can arise when professionals are charged with reporting to social workers their suspicion that something in a child’s life might be amiss.

In a further twist, the same health board is asking children - some of them still at nursery school - to rate their parents or carers on a scale of 1-10.

The project is part of the sinister Big Brother-style system of state meddling called Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) which is being quietly rolled out across Scotland.

Last week, this newspaper exposed the "scary" plans for all children to be given a state guardian - or Named Person - who will have the legal right to tell parents how to raise their offspring.

GIRFEC also includes proposals to store a child's personal details on a series of databases, which can be accessed by social workers, teachers and other officials.

The "parental capacity to provide wellbeing" assessment forms have been introduced in Lanarkshire under a joint programme involving the health board and local councils.

Under one part of the scheme, parents are secretly monitored by maternity staff to assess their suitability for raising children.

If they are deemed to be worthy of further investigation, another form then asks whether or not they "respect and value diversity" and give "due prominence to their racial, ethnic and cultural heritage".