“If it looks like a fraud, sounds like a fraud and quacks like a fraud, it is a fraud.”

That is what Paul Farelly MP had to say about the First Solutions matter in parliament. The story has finally been taken up by the mainstream press. There was a report on Channel 4 News the other day too. Money laundering has a “terror dimension” and so it is surprising it has taken so long for editors to pick up this story.

Justice for Sheika Hasina (sic) and Bangladesh Petition

Not only has the petition got her spelling wrong but there seem to be other odd things about this petition. ipetitions - the online petitions hosting service - is notoriously insecure. It does not check your IP address and prevent you from voting twice. It does not check your email to prevent duplicate voting. It does not seem to use cookies to prevent you voting easily in quick succession. In fact its a vote stuffer’s dream site. The redirection to a donations page and then paypal is indicative of the main thrust of ipetitions - to make as much money as possible out of the genuine and sincere people who go on to the site to register their petition.

Anyway, I was not suprised to find the petition signed by “Fred the vote stuffer” at no 65 ( at 0216 hours British time). That was preceded by Fred and Fred2. Come on AL, lets have a bit of finesse here.

Counterfeiting Luxury report

And how does one give one’s report the best chance of being picked up by the media? Link it to terror, stupid! So law firm Daventport Lyons ( these bloody lawyers….) have studied social attitudes to owning fake goods. And they say they have unearthed “a deeply concerning shift in consumer behaviour” because up to two thirds of people find it acceptable to have fake luxury goods (clothing, watches, bags). The purchase of fake goods apparently could fuel terrorism! Yes folks- bling fuels terror! And the magic word “terror,” I suspect, was enough for BBC online to publish the story So there you are, if you can’t afford the real thing, you must be supporting terrorism.