Toe in the Water

by craig on April 8, 2013 12:22 pm in Uncategorized

I am trying to ease back in to blogging again, after a few weeks of being mentally immersed in early nineteenth century Mumbai. I find I care more deeply than makes a great deal of sense about understanding the people in Alexander Burnes’ story. For example, the incredibly irascible and sometimes plain irrational Sir Henry Pottinger: I still have not found out the real cause of his monumental falling out with Burnes in 1834. Also if anyone can help me by shedding light on the reason for his later sudden removal as Hong Kong’s first governor I should be grateful. I can find rather coy Victorian references about him resigning owing to the British merchant community finding him difficult to work with, but I don’t have the time to go hunting in more detail down this particular side-alley. In the very many Pottinger manuscript letters from the mid 1930s I have read, I find some of them so wild and ill-judged, paranoid even, that I begin to wonder if he were not addicted to opium – which was less uncommon than you might think among British officials in India.

See, I started trying to blog something away from Burnes, and I find myself automatically producing one of the thousand questions I have been trying to resolve for my book. To tear myself into the present in an abrupt and rather random way, I am not sure I have ever expressed my appreciation of Peter Tatchell. He does great work, and keeps banging on undaunted. I wish I had his singleness of purpose.

I continue to be quietly confident with the way the Scottish independence referendum will go, whatever the opinion polls may say. Nuclear weapons and Conservative Prime Ministers are each less welcome in Scotland than a dose of the clap, so to have one come up to extol the virtues of the other is a real double whammy. The prospect of losing cannon fodder is one of the reasons the Tories don’t like Scottish independence. But the nuclear argument is a complete bust. North Korea’s weapon development shows precisely that Trident is as much use as a chocolate teapot against any actual developments in the real world. No serious discussion of the North Korean situation has ever mentioned British nuclear weapons as a factor that might influence the behaviour of that – entirely deplorable – regime.

There is not the remotest chance that anyone who actually possesses nuclear weapons and a delivery system would attack the UK with them. The continued existence of Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden must be a real mystery to Cameron, who purports not tonbelieve we can continue to exist without throwing $140 billion we don’t have to the United States in return for Trident. Of course Cameron is no fool and does not believe that either; it is just that, like most politicians, he understands that delivering huge tranches of taxpayers’ cash to his paymasters, is his job.

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49 Comments

  1. Welcome back, Craig. I’m delighted to discover that a busy mind rather than an ill body is the reason we haven’t heard from you for a while.

    In the absence of a fresh topic to post about, the collective mind of we bloggers has been fluttering around random topics like a butterfly on methamphetamine. Judging by this post – Alexander Burnes, Peter Tatchell, Scottish independence and nuclear weapons – sharp focus is not yet required.

  2. Good luck with your research on Alexander Burnes. Maybe you will help make a film about him one day!

    Stop Press – Maggie Thatcher is dead.

  3. Shame her political legacy didn’t die with her.

  4. Apologies … got carried away by the stop press … actually came on to say ‘Welcome back’ to Craig. Am also pleased that your absence wasn’t caused by ill health but by a healthy dose of intellectual curiosity.

  5. Wondered where you where…I believe the museum over here has some documents pertaining to Burns…will pop in and have a look see this week and see what I can dig up…

  6. Oh no, Thatcheridolationextravaganzafest.
    OK, bye bye. If anybody wants me in the next week, I’ll be behind the couch with a cushion over my head.

  7. “There is not the remotest chance that anyone who actually possesses nuclear weapons and a delivery system would attack the UK with them. The continued existence of Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden must be a real mystery to Cameron, who purports not tonbelieve we can continue to exist without throwing $140 billion we don’t have to the United States in return for Trident. Of course Cameron is no fool and does not believe that either; it is just that, like most politicians, he understands that delivering huge tranches of taxpayers’ cash to his paymasters, is his job.”

    I agree on the remote risk. Glad you highlighted the massive quantum of the spend/throw-away. Anyway, I would have thought, the risk of a nuclear attack in the UK would be from a small “dirty bomb”, if at all.

  8. Nice to have you back, Craig. I hope you’re right about the Jock independence vote, it seems the only possible way to give the main parties a kick up the arse but the consequences may blight the initial comeuppance that will be created.

    Full state funeral for Maggie – wassat allabooot?

  9. Its nice to hear you are buzzing Craig :)

  10. Yes welcome back Craig. We were all getting worried but I remember you said you visited the archives when you were in Scotland.

    A Node. Don’t worry. You will be in good company. The folk at Medialens are of a like mind.
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1365422242.html

    Sky News have just said, very straight faced, that there will be a state funeral but she will not be lying in state like the Queen Mother. YCNMIU. They are getting all the Tory crooks on like Lord Bell and Jeffery Archer to eulogize.

    On the previous thread, I said that there will be riots if her hearse is paraded through London.

  11. $140 Billion is about £90 Billion, ten times the cost of the Olympics. £1500 for every man, women and child in the country. I imagine that every patient waiting for surgical treatment and everyone in need of housing plus every genuine refugee plus every dispossessed citizen of Diego Garcia could be comfortably taken care of for that much. The Lib Dems had better exert their influence and stop this colossal waste, seeing as the Tories are usually so enthusiastic about cutting waste.

  12. @Abe Rene

    “The Lib Dems had better exert their influence and stop this colossal waste, seeing as the Tories are usually so enthusiastic about cutting waste.”

    The Tories only consider any monies spent ‘wasted’ if they are for the disabled and/or poor … the sickened feeling in my stomach gets worse by the day.

  13. Im distracted, whats that it the water? a toe..

  14. Leon Friederichs

    8 Apr, 2013 - 2:09 pm

    Great to ahve you back, Craig! I’m looking forward to your book :)

    On Thatcher: Her funeral should be handled by the lowest bidder. That’s what she would have wanted.

  15. Of course Cameron is no fool and does not believe that either; it is just that, like most politicians, he understands that delivering huge tranches of taxpayers’ cash to his paymasters, is his job.

    Indeed a refreshing and honest evaluation of the political class and their imperatives. These sons of bitches are not groomed in the relevant stables for the sole purpose of serving the plebeians. The sad fact is these are owned by the same bankster class and oligarchs who are bent on adding a cloak of respectability to their operation in fear of getting lynched by the same wasters of food romping around in the streets as plebeians.

    PS if Pottinger was an opium addict then it is an all too expected affair for him to be; irrational, paranoid, inconsistent, whimsical, unreasonable, unreliable, and plainly put a complete pain in the arse.

  16. Welcome back Craig ,you have been missed. I can’t better Leon Friederichs on Snatcher,let’s hope the eulegies are short.

  17. Is the Sir Henry Pottinger anything to do with Bell Pottinger, whose Lord Tim Bell is currently eulogizing on Thatcher?

    A comment on Medialens:

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1365422899.html

  18. A strange coincidence in time. Craig posts 12.22pm. MT’s death announced 12.40pm

    http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/628301/diff/1/2

  19. Well done, old man. Keep on keeping on.

  20. Glad to see you blogging again Craig. As to your research my only suggestion if the reason for the falling out between Alexander Burnes and Sir Henry Pottinger cannot be found in their own correspondence or diaries is to find a contemporary diary of somebody who knew and disliked one or the other of them. Most primary historical revelations have an element of serendipity to them, and they do not always provide answers to questions to which you are seeking answers. For example, I read, in Transactions of the Birmingham Historical Society that the radical novelist Robert Bage was an original member of the famous Lunar Society (he was close friends with two of the original members, Erasmus Darwin and John Whitehurst). The claim however was not referenced. More than a decade of research has failed to prove or disprove this claim. Nevertheless I have found out much about Bage that was previously unknown (including formerly unknown details about his wife and children, his personal involvement in anti-slavery and educational campaigns). Good luck with establishing the reason for their falling out.

    So Thatcher is dead. “Speak well of the deceased” was a nonsense maxim we were taught, but I would be hard-pressed to find anything positive to say about ‘that woman’. You can judge a person by the company he or she keeps. Pinochet, the mass-murderer, her friend, and friend of the USA, finds his past catching up with him as the body of poet, Pablo Neruda’ is being exhumed to see if he was poisoned on Pinochet’s instructions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22062216

  21. Milipede E could not quite bring himself to say that she was a great Prime Minister just now on Sky News. He is an appalling specimen.

    I expect you know that Harperson has announced that the the Nu NuLabour policy on welfare is that you can only get out what you put in. So the end of an unwritten social contract where the better off help the poor and vulnerable.

  22. Mary, you’ll like this. I remember when Suzanne Nossel was appointed as head of Amnesty International you pointed out her support for Zionism and so it proved when she was eased-out earlier this year. What she was eased into afterwards was PEN (writers’ organisation which included many top writers). Chris Hedges has resigned over her appointment. Hedges was one of those I recall who helped get the permanent imprisonment without trial bill thrown out in the States. Hopefully others will follow suit.

    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/chris-hedges-why-i-resigned-from-pen/

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    @ Mary at 15h28 :

    “I expect you know that Harperson has announced that the the Nu NuLabour policy on welfare is that you can only get out what you put in. So the end of an unwritten social contract where the better off help the poor and vulnerable.”

    *********

    Subject of course – as always! – to correction, I believe the above Mary comment misrepresents the position.

    The comment gives the impression – perhaps unwittingly, perhaps deliberately – that Harman is saying that social security should be a zero sum : ie, you can take out in benefits no more than you paid in in contributions. I believe that this is inaccurate. What Harman said – or meant to say – is that everyone had to have paid in something (in other words, have contributed to the scheme) in order to get something out; the first ‘something’ does not have to be the same quantum as the social security benefits later claimed.

    This is the system used in many continental European countries – including, by the way, Denmark, a country which has a very definite social contract.

    It is also one of the the main principles of the whole social security system inspired by Beveridge – a system which was based on contributions, with transitory arrangrments for those too old to have had to pay into social insurtance.

    Another principle – or perhaps to say it better, another assumption – was that social assistance was to function for short periods. It was not devised in order to allow whole generations to live on the state.

    *************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    @ John Goss (15h04) and others :

    “So Thatcher is dead. “Speak well of the deceased” was a nonsense maxim we were taught, but I would be hard-pressed to find anything positive to say about ‘that woman’”

    In one’s eagerness to damn a phenomenon (eg Mrs Thatcher) it is sometimes also instructive -and fruitful – to reflect on the phenomena which gave rise to that phenomenon, and perhaps, if appropriate, to also damn those preceding phenomena.

    I wonder what contributors think were the phenomena that led to the election of Mrs Thatcher in 1979?

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (aude sapere!)

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    @ Mary, who says :

    “On the previous thread, I said that there will be riots if her hearse is paraded through London.”

    ********

    Do I detect a note of hope in that comment?

    I say that you are wrong and that there will be no riots.

    If, however, there are riots, I’ll happily repost and admit that Mary was right. I hope she will do the same if there are none.

    **********

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  26. This site has been up since 2010. Its moment has come:

    http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk/

  27. Fruit machine jackpot time for the troll, again. Three in a row.

  28. You have a good memory John. (3.49pm) That was when I linked the Suzanne Nossel story to a website which unbeknown to me was a so called holocaust denier or some such. The troll then was called Stephen and I went through a torrid time. My first experience of being stalked by a troll and not the last as it turned out. Good training!

    Wonder what happened to him? ;) I think I found out that he was a Zionist supporting solicitor.

    Thanks for the info. I admire Chris Hedges for his stand and for his stylish writing.

    Is there an antidote to the garbage coming out of the LED machine? All these presenters and newsreaders wearing black, Agent Cameron speaking at a podium outside No 10 and the whole evening’s programming dominated by the news. BBC 1 even have a ‘special programme to mark her passing’ running from 8.30 until 10.

    The Barclay Brothers gave her houseroom at the Ritz so that she could have extra care and it is now being shielded to give privacy! I thought it was a hotel for rich people not a care home for the elderly confused.

    Has the precious and crooked Mark with wife no 3 arrived yet? Yes. Flown in from Marbella. Isn’t that the place where all the criminals hang out?
    http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2013/04/08/expat-mark-thatcher-announces-mothers-death/

    .

  29. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    “Fruit machine jackpot time for the troll, again. Three in a row.”

    Are you referring to your own posts, Mary? You know, the ones at 14h27, 14h33 and 15h28 ?

    BTW – be careful, or I’ll ask Glenn to do one of his periodic counts of who has posted how often.

  30. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    @ Mary the Viper (18h31) :

    “Has the precious and crooked Mark with wife no 3 arrived yet? Yes. Flown in from Marbella. Isn’t that the place where all the criminals hang out?”

    ***********

    Are you – either directly or by association – calling Mark Thatcher a criminal, Mary?

    If so, that’s a very serious charge. Would you be prepared to back it up in a court of law?

    BTW – what significance do you ascribe to the fact that Mark Thatcher’s wife is his third wife? Would you say it is more significant than the fact that you are a widow?

    *************

    La vita è bella, life is good! (combat spite and sly innuendi masquerading as truth and justice)

  31. Thatcher – most famous for his involvment in the lucrative Al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia, was spotted out having dinner with friends in San Pedro on Friday night.

    The 59-year-old, who was also linked with the overthrow of African dictator Obiang in Equitorial Guinea, was seen eating in exclusive Albert & Simon restaurant.

    Sir Mark Thatcher is refused a US visa over criminal record
    By Catriona Davies
    04 Apr 2005

    Sir Mark Thatcher has been banned from joining his family in America because of his part in a failed African coup.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatfeedback/4195759/Sir-Mark-Thatcher-is-refused-a-US-visa-over-criminal-record.html

    ~~~

    On 3 April 2005, Thatcher, then living with his mother in Belgravia, London, announced that his family home would be in Europe after he was refused a residence visa to live in the United States as a result of his guilty plea in the Equatorial Guinea affair. His children, he stated, will be educated in the United States.[citation needed]

    Under the headline “Mark Thatcher – undesirable in Monaco?” French newspaper Le Figaro reported on 20 December 2005:

    Margaret Thatcher’s son, the former British prime minister’s nefarious offspring, will not be installing himself in the principality of Monaco as he hoped.” A spokesman for Prince Albert II of Monaco told Le Figaro that Thatcher’s residency card would not be renewed. “He has a temporary residency card valid for one year. It will not be renewed when it expires in the second half of 2006 and he will have to leave.” The spokesman, Armand Deus, added: “I cannot say why it will not be renewed. But the Prince made things very clear during his investiture in July when he said that ethics will be at the centre of life in Monaco.”

    In Equatorial Guinea in June 2008, Simon Mann claimed during his trial testimony that Thatcher, then resident in Spain, “was not just an investor, he came completely on board and became a part of the management team” of the coup plot.[13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thatcher

    ~~

    The Wikipedia page is rather skimpy. Has probably been ‘edited’.

    ~~

  32. technicolour

    8 Apr, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    Sir Mark Thatcher has been banned from joining his family in America because of his part in a failed African coup.

    US authorities refused Sir Mark’s application for a visa because of the criminal record he received when he pleaded guilty in South Africa to funding a plot to overthrow the president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatfeedback/4195759/Sir-Mark-Thatcher-is-refused-a-US-visa-over-criminal-record.html

  33. Your memory over Stephen is good too Mary. I remember what a pain he was to you. Of course if choose not to snap at the bait you won’t take the hook. Then the trolls can sit on the bank all day without a single bite

    Thanks for the Mark Thatcher link too.

    This piece I wrote earlier this year, I’ve just been reminded, mentions both him and his mother with almost equal disdain.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/01/29/libya-lubricating-the-oil-magnates-with-blood/

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 7:54 pm

    @ Technicolour :

    “US authorities refused Sir Mark’s application for a visa because of the criminal record he received when he pleaded guilty in South Africa to funding a plot to overthrow the president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.”

    ******

    Oh, are you referring to that NICE young President of Equatorial Guinea? The one whoi took over from his uncle, I think it was (keep it in the family, eh!) as the enlightened and democratic ruler of one of the richest and happiest states in the world?

    Shame on Mark Thatcher and the other plotters! Had their coup succeeded the country could only have gone to the dogs.

    **********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (dictators are bad..until they are good)

  35. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Apr, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    @ John Goss, who boasted :

    “This piece I wrote earlier this year, I’ve just been reminded, mentions both him and his mother with almost equal disdain.”

    Yes, I’m sure many remember that earth-shattering piece. The nation trembled….

    Actually, to judge by the general quality of what you post on here, anyone about whom you’ve written a ‘disdainful’ piece would be well advised to wear it as a badge of honour.

  36. To the Pottinger question, I’m not sure if you’ve read “A Biographical Sketch-book of Early Hong Kong” By G. B. Endacott? That has a few pages on Pottinger and goes into some details on the difficulties he had. No mention of any opium addiction though. It’s on Google Books

  37. doug scorgie

    8 Apr, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    Abe Rene
    8 Apr, 2013 – 1:40 pm

    Re Trident:

    “The Lib Dems had better exert their influence and stop this colossal waste, seeing as the Tories are usually so enthusiastic about cutting waste.”

    Sad to say Abe the LibDems have no influence when it comes to Trident; neither does the Labour party for that matter, the USA dictates the issue.

    The replacement of Trident is a done deal anyway but we have been assured by our “leaders” that a definite decision on the matter has not yet been made; they lie.

    David Cameron stated recently that we would be foolish to give up our nuclear “deterrent” in light of North Korea’s recent “irrationality”.

    He also says that cancelling the upgrade would cost thousands of Scottish jobs thus trying to kill two birds with one stone:
    Scottish Independence and any opposition to Trident replacement.

  38. doug scorgie

    8 Apr, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    8 Apr, 2013 – 6:50 pm

    To:

    Mary the Viper (18h31)

    “Are you – either directly or by association – calling Mark Thatcher a criminal, Mary?”

    “If so, that’s a very serious charge. Would you be prepared to back it up in a court of law?”

    I call Mark Thatcher a criminal and I would be prepared to back it up in a court of law please e-mail him and give him my name (I use my real name).

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Apr, 2013 - 12:24 am

    @ The Scourge :

    Standard Scorgie bluster.

  40. Habbakuk says, of The Great British Welfare provision:

    “Another principle – or perhaps to say it better, another assumption – was that social assistance was to function for short periods. It was not devised in order to allow whole generations to live on the state.”

    This underclass was created during Margaret Thatcher’s time, and quite deliberately so.

    As her govt unloaded the working class onto the dole, she sweetened it by allowing the industrially redundant to go on the sick. That’s where it comes from.

    Prior to Thatcherism, we had full employment.

  41. As her govt unloaded the working class onto the dole, she sweetened it by allowing the industrially redundant to go on the sick.

    Take away peoples honest graft, usher them onto the sick – makes them sick, bitter, institutionalised, resented and ultimately subjugated.

  42. Just taking a really quick look at the Pottinger story.

    1. Pottinger lost the support of the local British merchants in Hong Kong and was isolated.

    2. During his governorship, (26 June 1843 – 7 May 1844) Hong Kong became the major port for trading opium in China.

    3. Elias David Sassoon moved to Hong Kong in 1844 to use it as his base to start business in China.

    4. The Sassoon family was heavily involved in the shipping and opium production industry in China and India.

    Was Pottinger actually working for the Sassoons?

  43. Doug. The Resident Interrogator is very timid on the first page of a new post, ie when under Craig’s direct gaze. It’s only when a thread reaches multiple pages, that the full throttle is applied.

  44. I would like to thank November and Pottinger for pointing Craig in the right direction, the time tallies, so does his Governance of Hong Kong, chances are he tried his own products before selling them to the Chinese.

  45. “Prior to Thatcherism, we had full employment.”

    When Thatcher came to power unemployment was already 1.4 million. It was to get much worse, more than double, but the age of full employment was long over.

  46. Sorry, haven’t time to clean this c&p up. Eliot was appointed by Palmerston to finish the First Opium War, which he did, concluding with the ceding of the HK lease to us.

    Sassoon was likely unconnected with him, but was an opium trader:

    David Sassoon,
    …..
    patriarch to one of the world’s great
    trading dynasties, was able to leverage the Chinese opium trade to cement his family’s
    position globally. Sassoon emigrated from Baghdad to Bombay in 1830 and promptly
    set up a trading house. He would come to be the center of a large community of
    Baghdad Jews living
    in India, which would become the main rival of, and eventually
    surpass, the Zoroastrian Parsi community of traders
    that included Ghosh’s fictional character Bahram Modi
    Early involved in the Indian side of the Chinese opium and cotton trade, in
    1842 and
    1845 David Sassoon’s son Elias David Sassoon established trading offices in
    Hong Kong and Shanghai respectively. Around the same time, they together founded
    a number of firms that would grow into a trade empire. Especially in Shanghai, the
    Sassoon
    s
    transfo
    rm
    ed
    the ethnic composition of the foreign merchant community.
    Chiara Betta, one of the few scholars who has written extensively on the early years of
    the Sassoon family, maintains
    that

    i
    f the Sassoon firm
    s
    had not expanded their
    business to Shanghai, ver
    y few Baghdadi Jews would have had any incentive to seek
    their
    fortune in the city. The early Baghdadi community was indeed formed almost
    37
    Ibid., 148.
    37
    exclusively by employees of the Sassoon firms and their spouses.”
    38
    One practice that
    helped the Sassoon family become
    particularly successful, Betta argues, is their
    participation in the British trading world as if they were British citizens: “the benefits
    of receiving British protection were especially evident in relation to the opium trade.
    The Baghdadi commercial elite
    s, in fact, together with the Parsis and Ismailis, lodged
    protests and memoranda with the British consular authorities whenever their
    commercial interest
    s
    in the trade were at stake.”
    39
    In the wake of the Opium War, if
    these merchants were able to get the B
    ritish government on their side in trade
    disputes, they were nearly assured of the protection needed to
    pursue
    trade
    successfully
    . By the turn of the twentieth century, as the
    opium
    trade began to fall out
    of fashion in Europe, the Sassoon family and other
    Baghdadi elites controlled the
    majority of the India

    China opium trade.
    40
    The Sassoon family became so much a
    part of the British merchant sphere that one of his sons was able to move to England,
    where he was made a Baronet. Stanley Jackson, the Sassoon’s
    biographer notes that
    they were spared racial prejudice and snobbery that plagued the other prominent
    family of Jewish merchants, the Rothschilds, as, “Opium trading was still considered
    unexceptional and apparently less noxious socially than vulgar profit

    making on the
    Stock Exchange.”

    Much more in this excellent thesis:

    http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1953&context=etd_hon_theses

  47. I assume you’re aware of this, Craig?
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C4266948
    FO705/25, at National Archives, Kew.

  48. Craig, I’d like to know your opinion on this:

    If North Korea actually could and did launch one of its primitive nuclear weapons at US territory, what exactly could the US do in response?

    No doubt there would be a deafening demand in the US to “nuke” North Korea and “send it back to the Stone Age” – as re Afghanistan after “9/11″ – but I find it hard to imagine that the US actually could nuke a small country (half the size of Britain) sandwiched between China and South Korea. Or do nuclear weapons nowadays produce no fallout? Even if the US could get away with nuking North Korea, all it would achieve, surely, would be killing a large number of half-starved semi-slaves, since the tiny group of people who had actually ordered the strike against it would be safely tucked away underground.

    I suppose the US could carpet-bomb North Korea with conventional bombs, but that would a) still only kill a large number of half-starved semi-slaves, which wouldn’t be very good PR and b) make very obvious how useless nuclear weapons are.

    If the US or South Korea tried invading North Korea, that would play nicely into North Korea’s hands, as it would have much better prospects of really hurting them.

    Is there much further the US could ratchet up its sanctions against North Korea?

    Or am I talking nonsense and actually the US has plenty of ways to retaliate at its disposal?

  49. Geoff Huijer

    10 Apr, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Glad you are back.

    I’m not as ‘quietly confident’ as you regarding the referendum
    on Scottish Independence – the mainstream media (esp. BBC) are ensuring
    pro-Union bias at all costs.

    I don’t visit as regularly as before as your blog
    tends to end up as the Mary v Habbabkuk show more
    often than not.

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