新疆找他來搞經濟

http://www.cna.com.tw/News/aCN/201305290390-1.aspx

俞正聲有新職 陸新疆政策變化

29.5.2013

(中央社台北29日電)大陸全國政協主席俞正聲多了一個職務:中央新疆工作協調小組組長。由俞正聲擔任這個職務,可能反映中共對新疆政策出現變化。

新疆日報報導,俞正聲5月23至28日在新疆考察,報導提到他的頭銜包括中共政治局常委、全國政協主席、中央新疆工作協調小組組長。

陪同俞正聲在新疆考察的,還有屬於回族的大陸全國政協副主席、國家民族事務委員會主任、中央新疆工作協調小組辦公室主任王正偉。

這是大陸官方媒體首次披露俞正聲、王正偉在新疆工作協調小組任職的消息。

根據財新網、大公網分析,由全國政協主席擔任新疆工作協調小組組長,全國政協副主席擔任新疆工作協調小組辦公室主任,是新疆工作協調小組成立以來的首次。

在此之前,新疆工作協調小組由中共中央政法委員會負責,成員來自中共中央、國務院、武警部隊和新疆多個部門;常設機構為中央新疆工作協調小組辦公室,設在中共中央政法委員會。

新疆工作協調小組成立於2000年,由時任中共中央政法委員會書記的羅幹擔任首任組長。

2007年中共中央政法委換屆,由周永康接替羅幹出任組長;副組長由當時的中共新疆自治區委書記王樂泉、國務院副總理回良玉、公安部長孟建柱擔任,其中回良玉為回族。

2010年張春賢調任新疆自治區委書記,隨即接替王樂泉擔任副組長。

報導說,值得注意的是,之前有傳言設在中共中央政法委下的新疆工作協調小組辦公室,將轉至國家民委。如今王正偉擔任協調小組辦公室主任,他也是國家民委主任。

相關人事安排也顯示,中共中央政法委在治疆的地位有了微調,或許預示中共對新疆政策「有了變化」,新疆正由「維穩」問題轉向「民族」問題,張春賢提出的「柔性治疆」策略可能上升到中央層面。1020529

changing or growing definition on anti-terrorism

“恐怖主義”的定義本來就是量身訂做的,充滿道德觀的虛矯,政客的算計。過去英美歐西方國家算計還算精緻,但是殺戮畢竟是殺戮,仇恨不會靠殺戮而被終結。
戰爭是政客登頂的捷徑,踩在別人的屍體上前進的時候,請不要忘記一具屍體背後有著一群敵對的靈魂。要不你就殺光他們(i.e.種族滅絕概念的源頭),否則隨時就會反噬。
西方政客會否猛然驚覺,他們”恐怖主義”的定義越來越趨近中國的定義,所有的”異議”被壓制後的暴力反彈都變成是”恐怖主義”。

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/23/woolwich-attack-terrorism-blowback

Was the London killing of a British soldier ‘terrorism’?

What definition of the term includes this horrific act of violence but excludes the acts of the US, the UK and its allies?

Woolwich attack, suspect on street

A man appearing to be holding holding a knife following the Woolwich attack. Photograph: Pixel8000

(updated below)

Two men yesterday engaged in a horrific act of violence on the streets of London by using what appeared to be a meat cleaver to hack to death a British soldier. In the wake of claims that the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the killing, and a video showing one of the assailants citing Islam as well as a desire to avenge and stop continuous UK violence against Muslims, media outlets (including the Guardian) and British politicians instantly characterized the attack as “terrorism”.

That this was a barbaric and horrendous act goes without saying, but given the legal, military, cultural and political significance of the term “terrorism”, it is vital to ask: is that term really applicable to this act of violence? To begin with, in order for an act of violence to be “terrorism”, many argue that it must deliberately target civilians. That’s the most common means used by those who try to distinguish the violence engaged in by western nations from that used by the “terrorists”: sure, we kill civilians sometimes, but we don’t deliberately target them the way the “terrorists” do.

But here, just as was true for Nidal Hasan’s attack on a Fort Hood military base, the victim of the violence was a soldier of a nation at war, not a civilian. He was stationed at an army barracks quite close to the attack. The killer made clear that he knew he had attacked a soldier when he said afterward: “this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

The US, the UK and its allies have repeatedly killed Muslim civilians over the past decade (and before that), but defenders of those governments insist that this cannot be “terrorism” because it is combatants, not civilians, who are the targets. Can it really be the case that when western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, that’s not “terrorism”, but when Muslims kill western soldiers, that is terrorism? Amazingly, the US has even imprisoned people at Guantanamo and elsewhere on accusations of “terrorism” who are accused of nothing more than engaging in violence against US soldiers who invaded their country.

It’s true that the soldier who was killed yesterday was out of uniform and not engaged in combat at the time he was attacked. But the same is true for the vast bulk of killings carried out by the US and its allies over the last decade, where people are killed in their homes, in their cars, at work, while asleep (in fact, the US has re-defined “militant” to mean “any military-aged male in a strike zone”). Indeed, at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on drone killings, Gen. James Cartwright and Sen. Lindsey Graham both agreed that the US has the right to kill its enemies even while they are “asleep”, that you don’t “have to wake them up before you shoot them” and “make it a fair fight”. Once you declare that the “entire globe is a battlefield” (which includes London) and that any “combatant” (defined as broadly as possible) is fair game to be killed – as the US has done – then how can the killing of a solider of a nation engaged in that war, horrific though it is, possibly be “terrorism”?

When I asked on Twitter this morning what specific attributes of this attack make it “terrorism” given that it was a soldier who was killed, the most frequent answer I received was that “terrorism” means any act of violence designed to achieve political change, or more specifically, to induce a civilian population to change their government or its policies of out fear of violence. Because, this line of reasoning went, one of the attackers here said that “the only reasons we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily” and warned that “you people will never be safe. Remove your government”, the intent of the violence was to induce political change, thus making it “terrorism”.

That is at least a coherent definition. But doesn’t that then encompass the vast majority of violent acts undertaken by the US and its allies over the last decade? What was the US/UK “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad if not a campaign to intimidate the population with a massive show of violence into submitting to the invading armies and ceasing their support for Saddam’s regime? That was clearly its functional intent and even its stated intent. That definition would also immediately include the massive air bombings of German cities during World War II. It would include the Central American civilian-slaughtering militias supported, funded and armed by the Reagan administration throughout the 1980s, the Bangledeshi death squads trained and funded by the UK, and countless other groups supported by the west that used violence against civilians to achieve political ends.

The ongoing US drone attacks unquestionably have the effect, and one could reasonably argue the intent, of terrorizing the local populations so that they cease harboring or supporting those the west deems to be enemies. The brutal sanctions regime imposed by the west on Iraq and Iran, which kills large numbers of people, clearly has the intent of terrorizing the population into changing its governments’ policies and even the government itself. How can one create a definition of “terrorism” that includes Wednesday’s London attack on this British soldier without including many acts of violence undertaken by the US, the UK and its allies and partners? Can that be done?

I know this vital caveat will fall on deaf ears for some, but nothing about this discussion has anything to do with justifiability. An act can be vile, evil, and devoid of justification without being “terrorism”: indeed, most of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, from the Holocaust to the wanton slaughter of Stalin and Pol Pot and the massive destruction of human life in Vietnam, are not typically described as “terrorism”. To question whether something qualifies as “terrorism” is not remotely to justify or even mitigate it. That should go without saying, though I know it doesn’t.

The reason it’s so crucial to ask this question is that there are few terms – if there are any – that pack the political, cultural and emotional punch that “terrorism” provides. When it comes to the actions of western governments, it is a conversation-stopper, justifying virtually anything those governments want to do. It’s a term that is used to start wars, engage in sustained military action, send people to prison for decades or life, to target suspects for due-process-free execution, shield government actions behind a wall of secrecy, and instantly shape public perceptions around the world. It matters what the definition of the term is, or whether there is a consistent and coherent definition. It matters a great deal.

There is ample scholarship proving that the term has no such clear or consistently applied meaning (see the penultimate section here, and my interview with Remi Brulin here). It is very hard to escape the conclusion that, operationally, the term has no real definition at this point beyond “violence engaged in by Muslims in retaliation against western violence toward Muslims”. When media reports yesterday began saying that “there are indications that this may be act of terror”, it seems clear that what was really meant was: “there are indications that the perpetrators were Muslims driven by political grievances against the west” (earlier this month, an elderly British Muslim was stabbed to death in an apparent anti-Muslim hate crime and nobody called that “terrorism”). Put another way, the term at this point seems to have no function other than propagandistically and legally legitimizing the violence of western states against Muslims while delegitimizing any and all violence done in return to those states.

One last point: in the wake of the Boston Marathon attacks, Idocumented that the perpetrators of virtually every recent attempted and successful “terrorist” attack against the west cited as their motive the continuous violence by western states against Muslim civilians. It’s certainly true that Islam plays an important role in making these individuals willing to fight and die for this perceived just cause (just asChristianityJudaismBuddhism, and nationalism lead some people to be willing to fight and die for their cause). But the proximate cause of these attacks are plainly political grievances: namely, the belief that engaging in violence against aggressive western nations is the only way to deter and/or avenge western violence that kills Muslim civilians.

Add the London knife attack on this soldier to that growing list. One of the perpetrators said on camera that “the only reason we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily” and “we apologize that women had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same.” As I’ve endlessly pointed out, highlighting this causation doesn’t remotely justify the acts. But it should make it anything other than surprising. On Twitter last night, Michael Moore sardonically summarized western reaction to the London killing this way:

I am outraged that we can’t kill people in other counties without them trying to kill us!”

Basic human nature simply does not allow you to cheer on your government as it carries out massive violence in multiple countries around the world and then have you be completely immune from having that violence returned.

Drone admissions

In not unrelated news, the US government yesterday admitted for the first time what everyone has long known: that it killed four Muslim American citizens with drones during the Obama presidency, including a US-born teenager whom everyone acknowledges was guilty of nothing. As Jeremy Scahill – whose soon-to-be-released film “Dirty Wars” examines US covert killings aimed at Muslims – noted yesterday about this admission, it “leaves totally unexplained why the United States has killed so many innocent non-American citizens in its strikes in Pakistan and Yemen”. Related to all of these issues, please watch this two-minute trailer for “Dirty Wars”, which I reviewed a few weeks ago here:

Note

The headline briefly referred to the attack as a “machete killing”, which is how initial reports described it, but the word “machete” was deleted to reflect uncertainty over the exact type of knife use. As the first paragraph now indicates, the weapon appeared to be some sort of meat cleaver.

UPDATE

In the Guardian today, former British soldier Joe Glenton, who served in the war in Afghanistan, writes under the headline “Woolwich attack: of course British foreign policy had a role”. He explains:

“While nothing can justify the savage killing in Woolwich yesterday of a man since confirmed to have been a serving British soldier, it should not be hard to explain why the murder happened. . . . It should by now be self-evident that by attacking Muslims overseas, you will occasionally spawn twisted and, as we saw yesterday, even murderous hatred at home. We need to recognise that, given the continued role our government has chosen to play in the US imperial project in the Middle East, we are lucky that these attacks are so few and far between.”

This is one of those points so glaringly obvious that it is difficult to believe that it has to be repeated.

• Comments have been removed for legal reasons. Further explanation of UK law around active court cases here 

bully and symbolic violence

小時候,只知道有時會被同學欺負,現在稱作”霸凌(bully)”;長大後,開始感到老師也會霸凌同學(這裡不只是指言語與肢體的”體罰”);後來更發現,霸凌是生活的一部分,發生在各種場合。
這應該就是Bourdieu講的”象徵暴力(symbolic violence)”,暴力可以有著意在言外的各種形式,與施暴的方法。
放在國際關係,大國當然隨時可以對小國頤指氣使,外露肌肉,但是小國何嘗不是一樣可以”玩弄”大國,而且是在所謂”合宜”的框架下。

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2月21日的世界母語日

2月21日的世界母語日,新疆維吾爾學者Abdukadir Jalalidin在某大學新生訓練時說:掌握了母語就好像一個躺著的嬰兒坐了起來,掌握漢語就好像坐著的孩子學會走路,可以走出房門來到院子裡,而掌握英語就好像孩子學會了跑,跑出院子,跑向更廣闊的世界!…that’s a pretty offical tone in elaborating current bi(or tri)-lingual education in Xinjiang; but technically, there are no sufficient qualified bi-lingual teachers available from primary to tertiary level in Xinjiang, and extremely few Han people in Xinjiang could speak in local languages, Uyghur, Kazakh etc. Rhetoric and practice are far from the same…

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19世紀的聖戰吧!

我很想要相信中國政府的說法,因為在那裏,只有政府有機會了解真相。假設政府說的都是事實的前提下,以下這段描述讓我時空倒轉,說詞真的很像回到十九世紀清朝鎮壓叛亂;換句話說,如果21世紀有人還想用’大砍刀’叛亂,我不知道要為哪一方感到悲哀!!

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造刀謀「聖戰」 新疆恐襲21死
維族暴徒圖謀敗露開殺戒    25.04.2013
http://www.mingpaotor.com/htm/News/20130425/tcba1.htm

【明報專訊】新疆喀什巴楚縣23日發生嚴重暴力恐怖事件,15名民警、社區工作人員在發現並處置多名攜帶管制刀具的可疑人員時遭暴徒襲殺。消息昨天由新疆當地媒體爆出時,事件已被平息,警方共擊斃6名暴徒,抓獲8人。當地官員透露,事件是一伙正預謀策劃襲擊的恐怖暴力團伙,因偶然因素陰謀敗露,設伏殺害民警及社區人員的惡性事件。

新華社報道,新疆自治區外宣辦主任侯漢敏稱,今次暴力恐怖案件共造成民警、社區工作人員15人死亡,當中維吾爾族10人,漢族3人,蒙古族2人,另有2名維族人受傷。

警長子彈用盡後被燒死

接到報告的派出所所長帶聯防隊員及社區工作人員趕到現場時,3名被控工作人員已經被殺害。趕來的眾人遭多名暴徒持1.2米長刀具伏擊,唯一攜帶手槍的派出所所長打光了6顆子彈,仍未能突圍,眾人被逼入一個房間。暴徒隨後堵死房門,灌入汽油,並縱火將眾人活活燒死。

官員稱暴徒看境外視頻取經

侯漢敏接受香港傳媒訪問稱,當局確定今次是有預謀的嚴重暴力恐怖襲擊事件,暴徒疑犯是維族人,多數來自同一個大家族,都受宗教極端影響。

侯漢敏說,經過初步審訊,這一團伙在今年年初就反覆觀看境外暴力恐怖視頻,然後還作了一些訓練,自己開始製作大砍刀,「這回的大砍刀有1.2米長,就是為了準備做『聖戰』。這回暴徒也是在一次聚集被發現了,所以就做出這次暴力恐怖活動。」

專家:暴徒轉戰偏遠鄉鎮

發生事件的色力布亞鎮位處偏遠,距離巴楚縣城80公里,離新疆首府烏魯木齊960公里。全縣40萬人口中,少數民族佔約九成。

網友「Henry Liu」在Twitter留言稱,烏魯木齊的公安「現在是二級戒備」,而巴楚縣現在各鄉鎮幹部都留守單位,並建議漢族幹部「盡量別出門」。

北京時事評論員蔣兆勇對本報表示,以往的「三股勢力」(民族分裂勢力、宗教極端勢力、暴力恐怖勢力)在大城市內佈下網絡,因大城市流動人口多,但城市管理更嚴後,他們轉而選擇藏在偏遠鄉鎮。對今次襲擊的死傷者多是維吾爾族,蔣兆勇解釋,新疆鄉鎮一級幹部以維族為主,歷史上也曾發生過恐怖分子襲擊與官方合作的維族幹部事件。

太多現實主義的猜測

Too many speculations from an angle of Realism though something actually is taken place along the line to connect Xinjiang, Pakistan, Iran and then Turkey

Turkey: Abandoning the EU for the SCO?

February 17, 2013

By Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen

Recent moves suggest Turkey could make a bid for entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It would be a mistake.

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The European Union is in a rut. Its once-vaunted economy and “ever closer” integration is facing the tough challenges of a dogged recession and anti-EU sentiment in some of its most powerful member states. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that some EU aspirants appear lukewarm about their prospects and continued desire to join the club. For Turkey, probably the most unfairly spurned EU aspirant, it makes a lot of sense to at least explore alternatives.

After all, Turkey’s economy is booming – leaping from $614.6 billion in 2009 to $775 billion in 2011 (in current U.S. dollars) according to World Bank figures. Reflecting the country’s position at the global cross-roads, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport international traffic more than doubled between the years 2006 and 2011. Last year alone its passenger volume increased by 20%, making it Europe’s 6th busiest airport. The country’s regional and global profile has grown since it first evinced a desire to join the EU. European leaders should only be surprised that Turkey has maintained its interest in the EU for so long.

However, even as it makes sense to decision-makers in Ankara to reconsider their relationship with the EU, it is not a strategically sound choice for Turkey to consider membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative. Already a ”dialogue partner” with the SCO, late last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he had made an overture to Russian President Vladimir Putin about joining the SCO, stating “If we get into the SCO, we will say good-bye to the European Union. The Shanghai Five [former name of the SCO] is better — much more powerful.” Erdogan also noted that Turkey has more “common values” with the SCO member states.

The issue, however, is that the SCO remains a nascent organization that is still in the process of defining itself. Absorbing new members, or figuring out the protocols for new members to be formally acceded, is merely one of the many problems the SCO faces. The Organization’s security structures, including the unfortunate-acronym RATS Center [Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure], have yet to fully flesh out their purpose in advancing regional security in a very militarily tense region. Meanwhile, China continues to dominate the SCO’s economic agenda, including negotiations to establish an SCO Free Trade Area (FTA), an SCO Development Bank, and Beijing offering $10 billion in loans for member states. All of this alarms Russian strategists who see China encroaching on Moscow’s Central Asian interests. Nonetheless, all of this results in a minimal concrete presence, something we found first-hand as we travelled around Central Asia over the past year, finding little tangible evidence of the Organization’s footprint on the ground.

Further complicating matters, Turkey is not the only country that has expressed an interest in becoming a full member. In fact, Pakistani and Indian officials both said their countries were interested in becoming full-fledge members at the Prime Minister’s Summit in Bishkek last December. Iran too has expressed an interest in joining the organization, although Moscow recently said this would not be possible so long as Tehran remains under UN sanctions. All three countries currently languish as “observers,“ a status that Pakistan and India have held since 2005 and one that is considered superior to the ‘dialogue partnership’ that Turkey was only accorded last June. Still, both Pakistan and India – strategically important allies for China and Russia respectively – would undoubtedly feel put out were Turkey allowed to jump the queue.

None of this is to say that Turkey does not have a key role to play in Central Asia, the SCO’s primary area of operations. Waiting for visas in Bishkek, we found ourselves jostling with Turkish truckers getting visas to Kazakhstan, whilst in the city’s downtown, eager students at the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University told us how exciting it would be to visit Turkey. In neighboring Uzbekistan, our driver told us how he preferred to fly Turkish airlines and how convenient the country was linguistically. This ethnic proximity is something that China in particular has sought to cultivate – in April last year, Erdogan broke protocol when he started his Chinese trip with a stopover in Urumqi, capital of historically Turkic Uighur Xinjiang.

Eager to attract outside investment to encourage prosperity as a salve for ethnic tensions between Uighur and Han Chinese and historical underdevelopment, the Urumqi government has established a Turkish-Chinese trade park outside the city, offering Turkish investors favorable rates and support to develop businesses in the province. Turkey is clearly a significant regional player and its SCO “dialogue partner” status reflects this. But full membership is a step too far and one that seems out of whack with the Organization’s current trajectory.

Far more likely, Erdogan is hinting at a shift in orientation in frustration at the West’s relationship with his country. Europe has repeatedly proven an awkward partner and the United States has demonstrated little appetite to get overly involved in the problems that sit right on Turkey’s border. Aware of his nation’s geopolitical location at a global crossroads, Erdogan is highlighting that he has options.

Still, the reality is that joining the SCO would not heighten Turkey’s global stature or teach the West a lesson. U.S. and NATO policymakers keep an eye on the SCO, but none seriously view it as a strategic counterweight. In some respects, Western strategists have been far more eager than their Chinese counterparts about the possibility of an SCO role in stabilizing Afghanistan after Western combat forces depart in 2014. In the past year, the Organization has expressed some interest in doing more in Afghanistan, but it remains light years away from replacing NATO as a security guarantor.

As an ascendant power in Eurasia, Turkey may find it useful to keep in a toe in the SCO.  However, full membership is not in the offing.  And even if it were, Turkey’s decision-makers would quickly find that China’s multilateral cover for its bilateral engagement in Central Asia is still an empty shell.

Raffaello Pantucci is a Senior Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).  Dr. Alexandros Petersen is the author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West and an Associate Professor at the American University of Central Asia.  Their joint research is available at www.chinaincentralasia.com.

大家博翹吧(台語發音) Let’s go gambling!!

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Europo has investigated 680 football match-fixing scandal, but the available news analysis mostly with bias blame on those gambling rings based in Asia. I don’t think those European football players are simply naive and have not speculated what the outcome would be if they agreed for matching-fixing deals. I would suggest that is a consequence of sport professionalization; an industry always conducts certain business that preferably doesn’t want to be seen or under the shadow for some people’s profit!!

只要有賭球,就會有人要求,或被要求打假球 – 管你甚麼杯,英超、歐洲杯又怎樣!這篇報導令然看不慣的是,BBC運動評論員卻把矛頭指向亞洲,(其實就是說新加坡),說賭圈賄絡球員金額龐大手法高超,亞洲賭博市場龐大云云。他怎麼不講這是球隊管理問題,球員自律問題,那些球星薪水都是天文數字,還不夠多嗎?應該是歐洲職業足球作為產業,只要是產業就是做生意,做生意當然都有光鮮亮麗,更有不足為外人道,或見不得人的一面,不是嗎?

Match-fixing: How gambling is destroying sport
By Declan HillAuthor of “The Fix” & journalist

It was not a big surprise.

Before I explain why there were no big surprises, let us step back for a moment, and explain how we got to this situation.

We have all heard the news of the shocking Europol media conference on Monday revealing hundreds of fixed football matches. However, all of this excitement begs a key question – why now? What is going on in international football, indeed many other sports, that means we are suddenly hearing all this talk of fixing?

Europol’s investigation

Inquiry started 18 months ago.

Initially involved Germany, Finland and Hungary, before being extended to Slovenia and Austria.

Ended up looking at 680 matches in 30 countries.

13,000 emails were analysed.

A total of 425 suspects were identified.

50 people have been arrested.

80 search warrants obtained.

A number of criminal investigations now taking place.

Fixing and corruption in sport has a long history. If you were to go to the site of the ancient Olympics in Greece you would find, outside the ruins of the stadium, remains of statues to their Gods. The statues were paid for by athletes and coaches who were caught cheating. Sports corruption goes back at least 2,800 years and some type of corruption will be with us for as long we continue to hold competitive sports. It is simply a part of human nature.

However, we of this generation, are facing something almost entirely new. It is a contemporary form of match-fixing – as if someone had taken fixing and injected it with steroids.

It is an utterly modern phenomenon and if we do not fight it properly, it will destroy many sports as we know them. This new form of corruption will, like a tsunami, sweep aside all other issues and leave some sports dead and destroyed.

The key to the new form of fixing is globalisation. In the last ten years, the sports gambling market has – like the music and travel industry – been utterly transformed. Now, gamblers in any part of the world can place a bet on almost any professional sports event in almost any country of the world.

What this means is that the Asian gambling market, which is far, far bigger than the European and North American market, has a huge amount of cash to bet on small matches. Today, at their press conference, Europol said the biggest amount gambled on one of the fixed matches had been £121,000.

This is peanuts. The Asian gambling market is measured in billions of dollars. Fixers working inside the Asian gambling market have destroyed much of the sport on that continent, so now they are turning their attention to other countries.

There are about 20 to 30 fixers who travel the world fixing sporting events. They regard themselves as “brokers” rather than fixers. They form alliances with local criminals, who in turn are able to form connections with corrupt players, referees and team officials.

The Asian criminals deal with fixing the gambling market by placing bets in such a way that no-one suspects the games are fixed. In this way, there is a network of corruption that stretches quite literally around the world.

How ‘matches were fixed’

Police say gang members around the world were tasked with maintaining contacts with corrupt players and officials. Laszlo Angeli, a Hungarian prosecutor, gave an example of how it worked: “The Hungarian member, who was immediately below the Singapore head, was in touch with Hungarian referees who could then attempt to swing matches at which they officiated around the world. Accomplices would then place bets on the internet or by phone with bookmakers in Asia, where bets that would be illegal in Europe were accepted.”

The fixers have operated in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and, particularly, Europe. There is now a line of badly affected leagues that is slowly moving west across Europe. Essentially, they dovetail with the former Soviet Empire, so countries like Bulgaria, Poland or Hungary have all been badly hit. Few football fans in those countries regard their sport with any degree of serious credibility.

However, it is not exclusively an ex-Soviet phenomenon – Turkey, Greece and Italy have also been hit with massive corruption scandals. What the current Europol investigation clearly demonstrates is that the line is moving closer to the UK.

For example, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Finland have all had scandals linked to fixed matches. This summer Norway had its first taste of the infamy that the fixers can bring to a league when there were suspicious matches in their third division.

The line taken by many British football fans has always been “only foreigners are corrupt”. This is dangerously naive. A non-corrupt league is like the myth of the “unsinkable ship”. It does not exist. There will always be, as the ancient Greeks knew, some risk of corruption.

I do not mean that there is rampant fixing in British football. But I do mean that the British leagues have a very small window of opportunity to get themselves ready to fight off this new form of corruption.

Football officials must start to put into place new forms of protection for the game. One defence is a proper and well-resourced anti-addiction program for players and referees. Gambling is part of the culture for many young British players and some of them risk, and lose, a staggering amount of their wages in gambling.

The Football Associations need to establish problem-gambling counselling and a clause in the players’ contracts that allows them to seek help for addictive behaviour without it damaging their professional success. They need to back this up with a full-time integrity officer and a well-designed hotline for sports people to be able to anonymously report corrupt approaches.

If the British Football Associations implement these reforms, they stand a good chance of being able to beat back the modern form of fixing. If not, then UK football may be hit with a major scandal on its own shores.

social capital matters

偽善認知Life History:以前覺得台灣人好假,後來覺得日本人假到無法再假,英國人、香港人、中國人…更不要講做生意的、政客,國內的 國外的…但是最近發現”拋頭顱灑熱血”的革命分子(或說暴徒)、國際NGO、更是滿口仁義道德,人權人權人權、民主民主民主…運用social capital,操弄symbolic violence…大家都是一丘之貉吧!欺負人的同時,還要講一大堆廢話!內行明眼局內人都心裡有數,當然還有一些裝蒜裝鴕鳥自我感覺良好的一些傢伙…”無產階級”還在結構中繼續無產下去…