The Strange Death of David Kelly

B1488

Norman Baker MP has performed a great public service in researching the circumstances surrounding the David Kelly incident, and demonstrated a level of integrity and public service that has become woefully rare amongst politicians. This is a book that deserves and demands to be read. The unlawful killing of Dr David Kelly, and the subsequent cover up, are amongst the most serious incidents in a decade of Blair Brown regime national socialism. Dr David Kelly was a nice man, a quiet man, an honest man, a family man. He spent his life as a dedicated public servant, working in the area of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. In his field he had no superior and few equals. His death was not only a personal tragedy and a grievous stain on the already besmirched record of the Blair Brown regime, but it was a great technical loss for Britain and her allies. David Kelly had built a detailed knowledge of the most terrible and destructive weapons on the planet, and the people who owned them, or aspired to ownership. He was a determined researcher and a persistent investigator who persuaded the Iraqi government to provide access to information that they would rather have hidden from view. His honesty and quiet determination earned the respect of those he investigated even if they did not like him. At home he was a respected member of his community who participated in local affairs and spent as much time with his family as a busy schedule permitted. In spy thrillers and films, the intelligence community is depicted as a collection of young and violent spies and assassins. The reality is that much of the community is composed of people like David Kelly who do not normally come to public notice, working quietly on the acquisition of knowledge in their specialist fields. Even within the community, they are not widely known and the essence of their work is bounded by the principle of need-to-know, as is shown by the copy of David Kelly’s security certificate that has been published in this book in the section of photographic plates. But for the grievous and shameful actions of the Blair Brown regime, David Kelly would never have come to public notice, continuing to work diligently to retirement as a seriously underpaid public servant, working in an area that most people would rather not know about. The working brief, that David Kelly operated to, was not unusual in his field. He was tasked with building an unrivalled knowledge of weapons of mass destruction and providing guidance to Government. To acquire this knowledge and to perform as a control inspector, he visited a number of countries, notably Iraq, and reported back on their weapons programmes. He also had a function as a liaison with the news media. This function is always poorly defined in writing and public servants, doing the type of job that David Kelly did, often have to exercise their own initiative on what information to give to which journalists. Much depends on a climate of trust between the public servant and a small group of journalists who have demonstrated a level of integrity. However, David Kelly committed the gravest sin in the eyes of the national socialists. He failed to follow the propaganda line in perpetuating the Great Lie on which the invasion of Iraq was based. Any government, which decides to launch a war of aggression against another sovereign state, runs the risk of both creating a very dangerous international situation, and also exposing itself to international condemnation. To reduce risk, the aggressor tries to fabricate some ‘justification’ for invasion. German national socialists became past masters at this, as was evidenced in 1939 when they fabricated attacks on Germans and German territory by Poles. Often the ‘justification’ is flimsy and not fully believed by the intended international audience. Eventually, all such war crimes are exposed. David Kelly exposed the situation at the beginning.

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Gipsy Moth IV

B1487

The author tells the story of an extraordinary endeavour to restore a static marine exhibit to full operational capability. Sir Francis Chichester captured the public imagination in many countries during his record-breaking circumnavigation. It seemed natural that his unique yacht should be turned into a static exhibit in a dry dock alongside the historic tea clipper Cutty Sark at Greenwich, London. This raises the traditional debate as to whether a vehicle of any kind is better preserved as a static display or be preserved by operation. Boats, land vehicles and aeroplanes all have a natural environment and the technology means so much more when the vehicle continues in operation. However, preservation by operation introduces risk because the subject can fail and be destroyed, although, as in the case of a failed attempt on Gipsy Moth, and a successful attempt in drydock on Cutty Sark by arsonists, static display is not without risk either. Operation introduces many new costs and requires the recreation of components and skills to keep the subject operational, but effective preservation in static display does not come cheap either. In the case of a boat or ship, the creation of a fully controlled display environment can be prohibitively expensive and frequently results in towing the vessel to a disused drydock and pumping out the water. The vessel is then exposed to the elements and the tramping feet of visitors, timbers drying out, metalwork corroding, and GRP hulls and topworks breaking down under relentless effects of weather. This is static preservation on the cheap and many artefacts have been permanently lost as a result of this approach. Doing the job properly can be extremely difficult, even for relatively small exhibits, where full protection from the elements, and the visitors, with regular necessary conservation work and effective security, can be an enormous continuing expense. On balance, most subjects are best preserved by operation but this is a huge enterprise even for relatively small subjects. Gipsy Moth IV was an advanced design, employing state of the art technology that had not prior examples of longevity. She was built specifically to make a fast single-handed circumnavigation but she ended up as a vessel that really required a crew of at least three people, making her single-handed circumnavigation a particular triumph for Chichester. The author tells the story of the battle to acquire and restore the boat for a commemorative circumnavigation. He then recounts the trials and tribulations of the voyage with its relay of crews giving young and disadvantaged people an experience of a lifetime.

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Conway’s The War At Sea in Photographs 1939-1945

B1486

As the title proclaims, this is a photo essay covering the spread of the Second World War. It is a large format book, that is well produced on good quality paper that shows off the evocative images of global war to the full. The choice of illustration is good and the images are representative of an extraordinary period in history when the photographer was given access to the front line and the traditional bandw image was accompanied by full colour photography which is still vibrant today. Many of the images appear in a book for the first time and there is good captioning throughout the book. Text is concise but more than adequate to support the impressive photographic collection. Of particular importance, the book includes many Soviet photographs which have never been available outside Russia before. For a quality photo essay the book is aggressively priced bringing it into reach of a wide readership and no serious WWII library will be without a copy.#

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Supermarine Spitfire, Owners’ Workshop Manual

B1485

Around the world people regard the Supermarine Spitfire as THE fighter aircraft. Even German fighter pilots asked for Spitfires and those shot down, often by a Hawker Hurricane, refused to accept that anything but a Spitfire could have been responsible for their defeat. When it first flew it was the most beautiful of aircraft and even seventy years later it still looks beautiful. It was to serve in the RAF throughout WWII and on into peacetime and the Cold War. The Seafire variant performed a similar outstanding service with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. It was to serve under many colours and continue in combat into the 1950s and well into the age of the jet. Through its production life, it increased in weight and the engine power more than doubled. It was loved by its pilots and is much admired on the air show circuits. This outstanding and unique reputation has made the Spitfire an enduring icon without equal and inspired a deluge of books about it, its pilots and its exploits. Each new book seems to be an instant success even when it adds very little to what has already been written. This new book deserves to sell very strongly around the world, taking a novel approach to its subject and adding much new information. Few readers will have the funds to buy a real Spitfire or to resurrect a Spitfire from wreckage. A fully restored example will sell for well in excess of one million British pounds and a major restoration is likely to take many years and reach a similar cost. A few more may be fortunate to fly a Spitfire or take a ride in one of the few flying two-seat versions. A larger number may own a model from a small plastic or metal replica to a powered radio controlled replica with a wing span of more than two metres. Many will simply enjoy reading this book for the pleasure of learning more about an amazing machine. Haynes Publications core business has been the publication of very high quality owners’ manuals and restoration manuals for road vehicles, where they produce a practical engineering manual from stripping a vehicle and examining every component, photographing every step. They have applied this approach to the Spitfire and the result works extremely well. Full colour has been used throughout and although some images are only available in single colour much is available in full colour. There are detailed drawings and well-scripted captions to all illustrations. Many of the images will not have been seen before in any previous Spitfire book. The book begins by looking at the family of Spitfires.

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Build your own Computer

B1484

 

This manual follows the Haynes traditional format of lavish illustration and concise text in a logical progression from selection through operation and maintenance to provide best value from the subject of the manual. Most computer users buy a packaged system from a computer shop or from a manufacturer. Even large corporations rarely build their own computers but issue a specification and accept a proposal that more or less meets that specification, usually including something beyond the stated requirements. Sometimes a product that does not really meet the spirit of the specification will be delivered. A computer is a complex blend of hardware, firmware and software. Many different combinations will each be capable of meeting general computing requirements. A challenge facing the majority of users is that they either do not know enough to specify what they really need, or they trust a supplier to know what they need. The easy answer is frequently to purchase the apparently cheapest machine that claims to do everything the user thinks is needed. The result is that few users receive a computer that best fulfils their particular requirements and they have to adapt to match the machine. Building a computer to provide exactly what is required is much easier than many users think it will be. Essentially it is a matter of deciding what functionality is required and then looking at the available components to meet the needs. That may then require some compromises because of the constraints of budget. At least, the user gets to decide rather than having to accept someone else’s compromises. To provide lowest cost computing, the user needs only to buy those components that will collectively provide the required performance and capacity with the functionality that is needed. To meet the most demanding requirements, the user can source the highest quality components and create a computer that has the highest performance and ensures service by including duplicated components that can be individually changed when they fail without requiring the computer to be switched off and without losing data. That represents a very wide financial range, where typical package products sit somewhere close to the lower end of the price range and often very close to the bottom end of the range for value. This manual explains what components are necessary for particular tasks, how to choose the most suitable and how to put them together. Most readers will be very pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it is to choose and assemble the components to create exactly what they need in a computer.

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Working from home Manual

B1483

This manual follows the Haynes traditional format of heavy illustration and concise text in a logical progression from selection through operation and maintenance to provide best value from the subject of the manual. It covers a very important social and career opportunity that is becoming increasingly popular. Working from home is a reality for more people every month in most countries. Unfortunately, many of those who come to work from home make poor use of the opportunities and pay inadequate attention to the challenges and risks. The home computer and the Internet potentially enable people in many different jobs to work from home for part or all of the time. It can be a valuable new choice for young mothers and people who suffer illness or disability or are caring for a family member who needs long term care. It can greatly reduce both the need for commuting and new office space in cities. For executives and sales staff, the ability to work quietly at home on quotations and proposals can be very important and company continuity and risk policies benefit from catering for an immediate increase in the numbers of home workers following a major incident that has destroyed the normal corporate facilities. However, there are very many challenges. Employers often see home working as a way of reducing their costs and make no attempt to adequately compensate the employee for providing work facilities at home. There are many potential security issues both for the employer and the employee.

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Digital Photography Manual

B1482

This manual follows the Haynes traditional format of heavy illustration and concise text in a logical progression from selection through operation and maintenance to provide best value from the subject of the manual. After a hesitant start, digital photography has suddenly taken off and almost eliminated the film camera. Professional photographers will continue to use film for specific types of photography, in the same way that some specialist photographers find a hand-built reproduction of an ancient plate camera indispensable in their specialization. There are still some forms of photography where the digital camera cannot produce the artistic or technical image required. Those forms are becoming progressively rarer as the digital camera achieves ever-higher definition, faster shooting and faster automation. It is also achieving amazing results from very tiny versions. The new SLR bodies are able to use the same lens as those used by the analogue camera body from the same manufacturer and introducing new lens that are optimised for digital bodies. It seems that almost by the week the megapixel capability of digital cameras increases. This presents a challenge for a manual because, although the information is not outdated, new capabilities are added to the available range of equipment. A great many digital cameras are purchased for family and holiday snapshots where the freedom of not having to have film processed is one consideration. As cameras used in this way are used infrequently, most users never learn about lighting and composition which is a great shame because greater knowledge will significantly improve the quality and personal value of the images. Similarly, many digital camera users will make no attempt to edit and enhance images on a computer, or use this new medium of image creation artistically. Most users will rarely print images at home, relying on high street print shops to produce sets of prints, or never printing the images, missing out on one of the great advantages of digital photography. Most users will email a digital image at some time to someone else, but never learn how to do this efficiently. Of these users, the majority will probably never acquire a manual. Fortunately, a great many people will want to learn how to take advantage of this new form of recording images and find this manual the ideal guide to improving their knowledge and the quality of the digital images they record. For these users, the manual covers all of the aspects that go to make great pictures digitally and then to make use of the images. Those who already have a good knowledge of analogue photography will learn why some long cherished rules do not apply to digital photography, how a digital camera can be more tolerant of conditions and where it is still at a disadvantage. Every owner of a digital camera can learn something from the book and be able to benefit when recording images for private or commercial purpose.

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Mac Manual

B1481

IBM may have developed the small desktop computer and failed to draft the contract effectively with the operating system developer, Microsoft, but the Mac was really the pioneer of modern personal workstations. The company has always enjoyed a loyal customer base even though the pricing has often been user-hostile. Where the Intel/Microsoft PC came to dominate the market place, the professional user has tended to employ either a UNIX/Linux workstation or a Mac. This has been particularly true of creative users in graphics design, journalism, publishing and related crafts. It is difficult to be sure why the Mac has always had a strong fan club or why it failed to exploit the huge market served by the PC. The probability is that the Mac pricing policy made it a professional rather than a casual or domestic purchase. It established a Rolls Royce reputation and generally has proved to be a more reliable produce than many PCs. Mac has also pioneered, particularly in graphical operation as a windowing environment. Given that the typical Mac user has been a professional prepared to pay for a premium product, it is surprising that few user ever learn much more than the majority of PC users about their vital electronic tool – and that is terrifyingly little about a very powerful tool that offers high risk to the unwary. This manual provides a very friendly and heavily illustrated guide to most effective use of a Mac. Unlike manufacturer’s computer manuals, it is set out in a logical and very easy to follow manner, working the reader through the stages from initial selection, getting to know the machine, increasing performance, expanding capabilities through the addition of upgrades and new peripherals, to maintenance and trouble shooting.

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Restoration Manual, Land Rover Series I, II and III

B1480

aynes Publishing has rightly made its reputation on the excellent practical engineering handbooks produced over the years on a selection of vehicles. This restoration manual is a little different from the workshop manuals. The Land Rover has been a great British engineering and automotive success story that has been running for sixty years. The original Series I took over the territory marked out by the American Jeep and did it brilliantly. Land Rovers have been driven in all conditions in a bewildering variety of sub-types. The manual starts by providing a heavily illustrated history of the Land Rover range including the models that followed the Series III. The manual then provides advice on buying and restoring Land Rovers, following the Haynes traditional format of heavy illustration and concise text that is easy to follow. For those intending to restore a Land Rover, it is still possible to obtain original manufacturer’s workshop manuals and to purchase Haynes owners manuals for a specific series of Land Rover. One challenge of Land Rovers is that the basic three classic Series, the military light-weight version and the forward control Land Rover, are only basics. There has always been a wide range of optional accessories, including power take-offs and tracks, that significantly change a basic vehicle into a specialist vehicle.

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The Royal Air Force at War

B1479

The front inside flap claims that every dramatic episode of RAF history from 1939 to 2007 is covered in this book. That is a bold claim. The 1939-45 war occupies naturally many of the pages. The story continues up to the recent wars of aggression that Britain has become involved in as an invader, as a secondary player to a new imperialism. This has allowed the author to paint a reasonably comprehensive picture of the changing face of aerial warfare over the period and provides many insights and personal contributions from RAF crews. It is impossible to cover every aspect of RAF history over more than sixty years in a single volume. There are some episodes where a reader might wish for more information. There will also be some former RAF personnel who feel that an episode in which they participated should have been included but has not been. However, this is a very interesting and balanced historical overview that is lavishly illustrated in single colour. It succeeds in providing a flavour of RAF life, military engagement and rapidly changing technology. It also provides a social commentary during a period where Britain struggled to adjust to life at the end of Empire. Given the huge amount of material already published on the RAF during WWII, the most important contribution of this book is in placing that history in context with what was to follow. Some readers will be surprised by the level of activity and the great variety of episodes that followed the end of WWII.

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