The Search for Change

by craig on May 21, 2013 10:50 am in Uncategorized

The linked long term phenomena of falling electoral turnout and a decreasing percentage of those who do vote, voting for the two main parties, leaves politicians in power with the active support of an increasingly small minority of the population. To date this has not seriously impacted on consent – the Majority are apathetic, and devoid both of interesting sources of useful political information, and of social cohesion. Membership of organisations of horizontal solidarity is also in long term decline.

I would love to see an attempt at long term quantification of the difference between the parties in terms of the manifesto policies they offer. I have no doubt that there will be a very sharp reduction in difference, or rather policy convergence between the parties. If you look at 1911 – social insurance, pensions, power of the hereditary aristocracy, 1945 – nationalisation of major industries, initiation of the NHS and full welfare state, and 1983 – privatisation, nuclear weapons – there were very real and sharp political differences that offered voters a distinct ideological choice. The country – and your own future – could be recognisably different dependent on for whom you voted.

The last two times our government changed parties, the new party came in to pledge to continue the fiscal measures already projected by the treasury under its predecessors. Anyone who believes the Treasury would be fundamentally different under Balls or Osborne is delusional, and responding to tribalism not real difference. Who introduced tuition fees? New Labour. Who accelerated the “marketization” of the NHS? New Labour. Who vastly expanded PFI? New Labour. Who bailed out the banks? New Labour.

In effect, the parties offer exactly the same neo-con policies. NATO, Trident, Occupation of Afghanistan, Privatisation, Tuition Fees – the only apparent alternative at the last election came from the Lib Dems, and the electorate grasped at it in larger numbers than a third party had ever received before, something we have quickly forgotten. The reason that we have forgotten it is that Clegg, who was never any kind of Liberal, dumped the entire radical heritage of his party as soon as he came to power.

There is a much wider point to what happened to the Lib Dems. Two other changes – the introduction of PR for the European Parliament, and the large increase in expenses for MP’s staff – had made a radical change to that party. Lib Dem conferences were suddenly places of power dressing, not woolly jumpers. A great many young professional politicos – MPs research assistants, and staffers from Brussels – were all over the place. Bright, presentable, highly paid, most of them had no connection with liberalism, had never read John Stuart Mill or Hazlitt, had no idea who Lloyd George was and cared less. They had latched on to a rung of paid political work, had become part of the political class – that was the entire purpose of their activity. The woolly jumpered chap who had campaigned about paving stones in Salisbury and passionately wanted to abolish Trident and adopt green energy became sidelined, an amusing anachronism, the subject of the jokes of the sophisticates.

Of course, their focus groups showed that the people want policies which the ever shrinking ownership of the mass media promotes, because they are the only policies they have ever heard of. But the people no longer trust the ownership of the media, and the expenses scandal caused a much-needed scepticism of the appalling political class. People are desperate for leaders who look honest and say something different.

So do not despise UKIP supporters. They are not vicious racists. They are in fact brighter than those stupid enough to continue voting for the three neo-con parties, despite having their lives crippled for the next three decades to pay unconceivable sums to the bankers. The UKIP voters at least wish to punish the political class and wish to hear of some different policies.

The problem is that the only alternative of which the mainstream media is prepared to inform them is Mr Farage and his simple anti-foreigner maxims. Many of the bankers are keen to leave the EU, as Nigel Lawson told us. So if people want an alternative, that is the one they will be offered. Only in Scotland have people been offered a more radical alternative – and while I do not wish to exaggerate the economic radicalism of the SNP, they are markedly to the left of Westminster on issues like tuition fees, healthcare and PFI.

The great question of the day is, how to put before the population, in a way that they will notice, a radical alternative other than simple right wing populism. I have a strong belief that there remains a real desire in society for a more social policy, for a major and real check on the huge divergence between rich and poor, for good public services, for a pacific foreign policy, and for leaders not just in it for the money or to promote wealthy interests. But how do you get that message to people?

UPDATE

From comments made, there must be an ambiguity about this article which I don’t see myself. I made this clarification in a comment and I add it here for certainty:

Of course UKIP are not a real alternative. I said “do not despise UKIP supporters”, not “do not despise UKIP”. UKIP are a false “alternative” dangled by the mainstream media and the bankers. But the support for them is evidence that the public do very much want some alternative. I shall append this to the article as it must be more ambiguous than I thought.

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254 Comments

  1. Remember the Pamphleteers? Those campaigners who got their (varied!) political messages across by handing out sheets of paper … and the Catholic church at the time of the Renaissance using lots and lots of images in their churches to inform their (illiterate) believers and counter the Reformists …

    When you consider how the popular right-wing media informs and converts their readers to a way of thinking that is more often than not against their own interests you realise that they use the self same methods; simplified image (in picture and/or words). No statistics, no complicated facts – just a subjective (and often untrue) image.

    Why don’t/won’t those who are concerned somehow use the same methods to get their arguments across?

  2. April Showers

    21 May, 2013 - 11:24 am

    This good piece by one of the co-editors of Medialens has received nearly 20,000 ‘hits’.

    The Illusion Of Democracy

    18 December 2012
    By David Cromwell

    Liberal Journalism, Wikileaks And Climate Deceptions

    In an era of permanent war, economic meltdown and climate ‘weirding’, we need all the champions of truth and justice that we can find. But where are they? What happened to trades unions, the green movement, human rights groups, campaigning newspapers, peace activists, strong-minded academics, progressive voices? We are awash in state and corporate propaganda, with the ‘liberal’ media a key cog in the apparatus. We are hemmed in by the powerful forces of greed, profit and control. We are struggling to get by, never mind flourish as human beings. We are subject to increasingly insecure, poorly-paid and unfulfilling employment, the slashing of the welfare system, the privatisation of the National Health Service, the erosion of civil rights, and even the criminalisation of protest and dissent.

    The pillars of a genuinely liberal society have been so weakened, if not destroyed, that we are essentially living under a system of corporate totalitarianism. In his 2010 book, Death of the Liberal Class, the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges notes that:

    ‘The anemic liberal class continues to assert, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that human freedom and equality can be achieved through the charade of electoral politics and constitutional reform. It refuses to acknowledge the corporate domination of traditional democratic channels for ensuring broad participatory power.’ (p. 8)

    /..
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2012/713-the-illusion-of-democracy.html

    Well said.

  3. Two words: Green Party.

  4. @April Showers

    ‘Well said’.

    Second that.

  5. Craig, why are you ignoring the Green Party of England and Wales?

    Also, see this for a comparison of recent manifesto commitments.
    http://www.politicalcompass.org/

    Your suggestion that there is no difference between Tory, Lib Dem and Labour is bang on. UKIP, however, are no better or worse. In fact, if you look at their bizarre policies (or lack of them) they’re worse. A protest vote for them risks empowering lunacy.

  6. Must agree with PunkSci – UKIP may be a sump for a mixture of the protest vote and the bloodyminded exasperation vote, but they have clearly attracted candidates from the wilder shores of Dementia (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Looneytuneiana!) The likelihood of any policies grounded in something vaguely resembling reality are slim at best, yet what I fear is that when they serve up their predictable dogs dinner of blinkered 1950s toryism the BBC etc will take it seriously.

  7. So do not despise UKIP supporters. They are not vicious racists. They are in fact brighter than those stupid enough to continue voting for the three neo-con parties, despite having their lives crippled for the next three decades to pay unconceivable sums to the bankers. The UKIP voters at least wish to punish the political class and wish to hear of some different policies. (and caveats)

    It needed to be said. Granted, UKIP are in the happy position of the Liberals, before they made the mistake of thinking that a coalition would benefit them in the long term. They don’t have to have credible policies, just a cheerful shouty public face. Which I think is the answer to Craig’s last question. Trouble is any credible policies are going to involve acknowledging the necessity of a haircut all round…cheerful shouty face has to advertise jam tomorrow.
    It’s also the answer to punkscience. Frankly, we’re all doomed.

  8. “The problem is that the only alternative of which the mainstream media is prepared to inform them is Mr Farage and his simple anti-foreigner maxims.”

    In your effort to trivialise UKIP, you have inadvertently highlighted the point that the mainstream State sponsored orthodoxy, recognises UKIP as the only true challenger to its continuance, and also tries to trivialise it.

    The main message from UKIP is one of countering ‘big State'; whether that is the Brussels Leviathan, or the home-grown Bureaucracy. The green agenda would simply be more Statism, as James Delingpole points out, the ‘greens’ are really ‘reds’ on the inside.

  9. Punkscience, Mike,

    You misread me. Of course UKIP are not a real alternative. I said “do not despise UKIP supporters”, not “do not despise UKIP”. UKIP are a false “alternative” dangled by the mainstream media and the bankers. But the support for them is evidence that the public do very much want some alternative. I shall append this to the article as it must be more ambiguous than I thought.

  10. The need for an alternative is apparent. There are possible signs of life based on the same-sex marriage debate though.

    In falling over themselves to find an angle that wasn’t homophobic the media picked up two angles of attack. The first was the so called rebellion by Tory MPs against Cameron. This was played as him being dictated to by his MPs and not being a strong leader. The second was that local parties were having an influence on the votes of their MPs over and above that from the leadership. Isn’t this what is supposed to happen? Aren’t MPs the representatives of their constituency and accountable to it? Isn’t the leader of the party accountable to his party too?

    A similar thing happened over the Queen’s Speech and the announcement over the Europe bill following the fall out from its omission from the speech.

    Debate, including internal party debate, is good for democracy.

    Sadly this won’t continue into other matters as the whips will be out, debate stifled, and normal service resumed.

  11. April Showers

    ‘It refuses to acknowledge the corporate domination of traditional democratic channels for ensuring broad participatory power.’ (p. 8)’

    Your quote is spot on as you say. If you are on the motorway network after 17.00, you will see a commuter fleet of brand new corporate BMW/Audi/Mercedes black estate cars driving home in the fast lane. This display of multi-cloned, Thatcherite individualism doesn’t come with individual opinions fitted.
    They are personalised clones, not individual minds.

  12. Mick S….
    Possibly the least fundamentally important events of the last few months are the gay marriage debate and the continuing argument, largely between politicians, over Europe. And look at the media coverage!

    The neoconmost Tories are right on one point, though. They have a weak leader, and this spells disaster for any group of people.

    Returning to April’s relevant quote:
    What happened to trades unions, the green movement, human rights groups, campaigning newspapers, peace activists, strong-minded academics, progressive voices?

    They were outflanked by industry, commerce and finance. It’s an arms race: between Them and Us. As can be seen by the constant infiltration and subversion by government “security” agencies, of most of the abovementioned, the government-of whatever shade- is necessarily a party to this. “We” need to evolve new weapons and structures. And “we” need a charismatic leader. That works best of all. Imagine where the SNP would be without Salmond…

  13. Steady on Craig- your in danger of re-defining the term ‘Liberal Intervention’.

    Defeat them with kindness.

    Education is realised at the ballot box, and education is a social issue and presently our decline seems to be caused by our lack of definitive outcome or aims at least for the most.

    As life is entirely oppposed boredom in societys search for meaning we are aimless and wanton in our struggle, with much emphasis put on the realsation of capital and material wealth.

    As we know those aims for some but not for all.
    Therfore for the majority to come together liberal intervention is needed, aims of which yourself Craig or Nevermind would see us well.

  14. “And “we” need a charismatic leader. That works best of all. Imagine where the SNP would be without Salmond…”

    Well they might be doing a bit better with a charismatic leader instead of a beached whale shoehorned into a pair of tartan trousers but I think it’s fairly obvious to all but the fanatics he’s no different to all the other sociopaths.

    Like the BBC propaganda on their web site today “Scotland ‘can afford independence'”. Like there was ever any chance whatsoever he was going to make the report say anything else.

  15. Can you have a “Democrary” in any real sense when there is no real difference between the two parties who will always be in power in the London parliament? As more and more people do not bother to vote politicians of those parties feel they are no longer answerable to the people. The media constantly distorts the truth or simply doesn’t cover stories adverse to the Establishment parties. Come up to Scotland and see how the BBC political output is not remotely balanced for example. Ultimately both the Tories and Labour are storing up massive trouble. As they continue to exploit the situation and become more and more greedy the poor will, at some stage, realise that the balot box no longer brings about the possibility of a fairer society. Suppression only works for so long.

  16. Fred,

    Salmond appeals to Scots, and has led the SNP successfully for years because that’s what he does. They had to bring him back after the Sweeney interregnum, because Sweeny is a nice guy but not a leader. I am sure he can bear the fact that he is not very appealing to the English, still less to the Tories, whose arses he handed them some time ago, or to Labour, because he retained a socialist ethic while they sold out to various hedge fund managers.* I take it your main objection to him is that he is overweight.

    *and no, I don’t think he ought to have courted Donald Trump. A sign perhaps that new blood is at last needed. It gets to them all in the end. There is no such thing as a successful career in politics, as someone is rumoured to have said.

  17. …… the Majority are apathetic, and devoid both of interesting sources of useful political information …..

    In a local election night’s question and responses from the candidates, one of the Independent candidates addressed the press as follows:

    ”Tonight those absent voters numbering as much as seventy percent of the electorate won in this election, they voted; “none of the above”. Their choice however does not matter, and the minority voted politicians will go onto waxing lyrical about their approved mandate”

    Needless to point out this observation never made it into the corporate media. Fact that majority of the plebeians are rejecting the current arrangements, is misconstrued as “apathetic plebeians” and in the words of Willie Whitelaw the fault of those going: “round and round the country stirring up apathy”!

    Fact is the mass rejection of the current arrangements has little impact on the plutocrats and their hand picked and groomed henchmen who are foisted upon the minority of electorate as their would be political leaders. This follows the case; as in any re-branding affair, the said plutocrats offer even more choices, by introduction of various new “parties”, which for certain upon accession to power will be equally as bad as the last lot which were supposedly tossed out of the office.

    These placebo measures are designed to maintain the status quo , albeit executed by differing actors, with a differing narrative.

  18. @Fred

    “And “we” need a charismatic leader. That works best of all. Imagine where the SNP would be without Salmond…”

    It’s all about perceptions … say SNP to people and they (usually) immediately think of Salmond’s face. CND to many of us, conjures up their logo … Parties need images to impress themselves on people’s minds. New or small parties have to create one. A charismatic leader helps …

    The Green Party has a great manifesto but no image … most don’t inform themselves of what’s in it and think ‘Green’ means only that … not so.

  19. I have a problem with the concept of democracy as a whole. Is it the system that we really want to have?

  20. @Dave

    “Democracy” is a pig in a poke …

  21. James Chater

    21 May, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    I think there is a lot to be said by changing the qualification to be an MP. Let no one below the age of 60 be allowed to serve in Parliament.
    Parliament is full of career politicians who have had little experience of life outside politics. We need people who have had experience in all walks of life whether as parents, directors of companies, freelancers, employees, or unemployed. This way the gap between rulers and rules would be narrowed. Theory would no longer trump practice and there would be more attention paid to the practical consequences of this or that legislation.
    Introducing an age bar of 60 would encourage pensioners to come forward and offer their experience, leisure and maturity.
    In ancient times, the “senate” meant literarily a group of older people who were deemed wiser. Most often, they were.
    If such a system is not possible, at least we could consider the election or appointment of 60-plussers for the upper house. Let it be the same system as for the jury service: a group of “good and true” men and women who “weren’t born yesterday” and who could take a good hard look at the legislation and filter out what is obviously ill-conceived or plain daft.

  22. As two previous contributors have commented, Craig’s post has completely ignored the Green Party which does indeed offer real alternative policies to the mainstream. As for UKIP; I wonder how many UKIP voters Craig has actually met. I know lots and can assure you they are all 100% small minded racists. I have as much contempt for UKIP as the other three main parties, all of whom are slaves to their corporate masters and all of whom promote discord and hatred among the general population.

  23. We probably need some token youths, James, otherwise I agree.

    Other thoughts on the kind of MP we want:

    1. Same wage as a senior nurse. Legitimate expenses on top of that.
    2. Must relinquish any directorships on entering and be barred from holding any directorships or consultancy/advisory positions for two years upon leaving Parliament.
    3. Must have resided full-time for five years in the constituency for which he/she stands.
    4. Abolish Party whips. Free vote at all times.
    5. Appointments to the House of Lords to be made by the party opposite to the candidate.
    6. Standards of debate to be rigorously enforced, if necessary with tear gas and tasers, in the House.

    7. No Etonians . We’ve already enjoyed the democratic quota of Etonians for the whole of British history plus the next thousand years. These people are TRAINED to keep the peasants down and the fat cats purring. It’s the reason for Eton.

    8. PPE Oxonians ditto. Do a proper degree and get a job before you ponce your way into government and tell the rest of the country what to do.

    ….there’s much more.

  24. @James Chater and Komodo

    Common sense suggestions – and none the worse for that … but what to do with the upper echelons of the Civil Service!

    Bet Craig could say a few words about that …

  25. The Green Party has a great manifesto but no image … most don’t inform themselves of what’s in it and think ‘Green’ means only that … not so.

    Yes. That’s the point. Though the image many people see is tainted by sandal-wearing, or worse, bicycling, vegetarian hippies. The Greens do have an image but it needs work. And the Jolly Green Giant ™ to explain things.

  26. re Komodo’s eighth stipulation: I guess that rules me out!

  27. Komodo, Eton still churns out a lot of guilt-ridden lefties of the Occupy variety, who go on marches and bash the bankers, even though daddy probably is one.

  28. James, would have ruled out Tony Benn as well.

  29. April Showers

    21 May, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    O/T As sorry as I am for those affected by the tornado and for those who have lost their lives and everything else, is it necessary for both Sky and the BBC to be giving it full time coverage? Anyone would think that America had never razed other countries completely to the ground and killed millions.

    The nearly empty HoC is still droning on with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. They are discussing whether Humanists can have the same rights as proposed for other religious groups.

    They are completely out of touch with the electorate when there is mass unemployment and a broken economy, enormous state and personal debt, a collapsing infrastructure and many other shortcomings in the country.

    Was this bill ever proposed in an election manifesto by either of the coalition parties? Was NHS privatisation similarly proposed in 2010? etc etc No. No and No.

  30. Eton still churns out a lot of guilt-ridden lefties of the Occupy variety, who go on marches and bash the bankers, even though daddy probably is one.

    I’ve met a couple. They grew into fat caterpillars, pupated and re-emerged as the great and the good, despite their early romantic intentions. No Etonians.

    James, I don’t rule out the possibility that you encountered the real world and reformed. Nevertheless, I would recommend doing a degree in aeronautical engineering, before putting your name on the ballot paper. Some sort of genuine penance is required.

  31. The Greens’ problems are their policies: pro-EU, pro mass-immigration, believe wind can power a major industrial economy ( they don’t really believe it, they just don’t want the industrial economy) totally in thrall to man-made global warming theory above much needed conservation measures. Like Jimmy said, watermelons.

  32. Forget who said it … Disraeli? (Know someone on here will put me right). ” People vote according to their heads, their hearts and their pocket books”. (Or words to that effect).

    The order depends on the person. Voting apathy causes me to assume that of those who vote now most vote against … not for … and of those who vote for the largest number prioritise their pocket books – what’s in it for me? Few really examine, listen and rationalise, I don’t think … Thatcher (curse her cotton socks) understood this: a charismatic conviction politician who gave many ordinary people the belief that they’d be better off voting for her and her party.

    No matter the opinion of it, in voters’ eyes she gave her party an image.

    Our present parties – with the unfortunate exception of UKIP – are perceived to have none.

    I know it goes against the grain to say it but any party of the left would have to learn how to ‘look’ populist.

  33. No doubts Britain’s main political policies will nicely converge with that of theBilderbergers.

    We are the masses, for our part we have got our heads down and are working, we want to work build and create and hope well for our fellows.

    ‘Nurture that’!

  34. Craig, when you ask for change, have we not had vast change in our lifetimes? It seems to me that the people who change things are usually in the business of transferring their own bottoms to the seats of priveledge in place of those who were previously there in the name of change. But as soon as they are in power they show themselves to be more ruthless, selfish, and uncaring than the previous incumbents.

    What is missing is the pre=Thatcherite concept of doing things because of their own merits, rather than because they increased the money/power/advantages of those in power. That is now completely absent in government. If someone wanted to make the world a better place, they would first have to remove the Zionist lobby from Parliament. This would allow decisions in the world to be made on the basis of international law instead of vested interests. You would easily put Assad in jail without igniting another civil war and displacing millions of people.

    The single most pressing need for reform is to remove the Zionist lobby from parliament. If world events were proceeding by international law then the lesser evils of stupidification of the education system, privatisation of the NHS and corporatisation of business by pricing smaller organisations out of compliance with the law, would all become more glaringly obvious.

    The presence of horrific war is being used to block discussion about more general moral issues, and the sole instigators of war in the last two decades has been the Zionist lobby. One bad tooth needs pulling out of parliament so that the rest of the teeth can continue to function normally. ‘Fuck off down to the dungeon, Guano. No Truth welcome here!’

  35. Former chairman of the Green Party, Jonathon Porritt, is an Old Etonian.

  36. “So do not despise UKIP supporters. They are not vicious racists.”

    I’m pretty sure at least some of them are…

  37. Got kids, Giles? They’ll thank you for your views on the climate. And you summarise the Green manifesto succinctly, except that even the Greens realise that wind power can’t power a major industrial economy. They’re not that keen on major industrial economies for that very reason…I predict that those policies will cease to be a problem in the not-too-distant future. I may not be around to see their full justification – fortunately, because I guarantee the world will continue sleepwalking towards its own demise. And if the Greens’ policies are unpopular now, at least they’ll have tried. Unlike any of the alternatives.

    One of the consistent predictions of those who (what a bizarre connection to make) noticed that rising CO2 levels matched rising global temperatures, in accordance with some absolutely basic physics, has been, (since even before they started irritating “Lord” Lawson, the well-known climatologist/savant and his oil industry friends), that more extreme weather events would be expected.

    Like the biggest tornado ever to hit America, f’rinstance.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50147187n

    That’s if you can wait for Wells Fargo to tell you how safe your money is…

  38. Porritt’s not standing for parliament..

  39. Summerhead: “I wonder how many UKIP voters Craig has actually met. I know lots and can assure you they are all 100% small minded racists.”

    For the uninitiated, in order to make sense of this claim, bear in mind that to the modern left, racist doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It has now been made to mean someone opposed to mass-immigration. Only by understanding this will Summerhead’s claim make any sense.

  40. Rather than continually pissing on the Green Party Giles, despite the article being about UKIP mainly, touted by them as the only alternative, maybe you would like to substantiate your disaffection with their policies, rather than those personalities who have hijacked it for their own middle class agenda.

    The MFFS speaks of ‘decentralising power’ but the Green Party itself has been highly centralised by the continuous Green 2000 pressure, a factional group who wanted to mainstream the Green Party in the late 1980’s.

    Just as other parties, their policy base is determined by those few who go to Conference or can be bothered to direct the politi, some 9% max. of their respective membership, not a democratic relationship.

    Change will come, it is determined by the amount of flailing the public can take, how much more austerity can be construed before there is an eruption.

    And they are worried, why else would Radiop Norfolk, in the safest county in Norfolk, invite the assistant chief constable to talk about arming Norfolk police? Off course if jolly calm Norfolk accepts guns for their officers, who could possibly deny arming the police in far more violent counties places.

    The established parties are worried that their postal vote ruse will soon fail to work as others adopt it with vigour, they are also worried if people vote for UKIP.

    The vast majority, as Craig well said, can’t be bothered, whatever happens.

    Should we involve them? by using the vast costs of elections to the public coffers for a better cause and just add all the NI numbers into a hat, then pull a representative/councillor/ chief constable/ whatever.

    Those who don’t want to be in the hat, have to opt out. Those pulled and not available for work, get put back into the hat and another one is drawn who is eager to earn 66K /per annum to work for the Constituency.

    One of the worst features of elections is that those who are upright and Independent, rejected at many elections in the past, totally loose their will to live, get demoralised and stop trying, because they are the only ones who keep the current system from going stale and cold.

    I regard this system as a perpetuation of an establishment that is determined to manipulate the electorate for their aims only and at any price, democracy does not come into it.

    Please Santa, can I have some demarchy for Christmas.

  41. Komodo, as there has been no global warming for 17 years, while release of CO2 has increased drastically, and the computer models have been shown to be deeply flawed, the watermelons changed tack and called it clmate change. Now snow and cold winters were blamed on man, when previously the watermelons said our children would never see a snowflake. Left increasingly desperate as their racket was exposed, they now blame every natural disaster on man-made climate change, earthquakes, tidal waves, the lot.

    I work in conservation, Komodo, trying to ensure that the likes of the brown hairstreak and the nightingale are still around for my children to enjoy as I have done. We know why these species are struggling – we know next to nothing about why the climate changes, as it always has done and will continue to do.

    I certainly wouldn’t fill their heads with propaganda like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVGGgncVq-4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    And by living at sea-level I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Why haven’t Craig and Nevermind fled for the hills?

  42. Giles

    I do live on a hill.

  43. … Reminds me of a Beatle’s song…

  44. I generally agree with Craig and the many articulate and well informed regulars, but sometimes, and this is one of those occasions, I think that people are too busy being PC to actually get the point.

    I expect to take some flak for saying this but we do have a real problem with immigration. Unless we are prepared to talk rationally about some of these issues, voters will continue to gravitate towards the parties of bigotry.

    For too long we have been moving toward the US model where we neglect the education and training of our own citizens, instead we poach already trained personnel from poorer countries. While it is often said that these immigrants add to our economy, I wonder if that is really true once you allow for the fact that someone else, and potentially their families as well, end up on the dole as a result. Also consider the plight of the nations that we poach those people from.

    Mention must also be made of the tendency of the business classes to evade the law of supply and demand by importing cheap, even illegal labour from elsewhere. It might make their business more profitable but it adds to the population without creating any more jobs. Surely it is not too difficult to understand the resentment of those from the lower socio-economic strata who see mass immigration as a ploy by the rich to keep their wages down. Racism doesn’t have to come into it, although sadly it often does.

    We must have an end to the neo-liberal wet-dream, where waves of cheap labour slosh around the globe undercutting each others wages, until we have all competed ourselves into the gutter. While we are about it, we need a return to trade tariffs, at least for non-EU countries. It is obviously impossible for British workers to compete with workers whose wages would not even cover the rent on social housing (not to mention competing with child labour, or prisoner labour) What are we supposed to do, move into a tent and forage through bins for food?

    Let the vilification begin, see if I care.

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    21 May, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    ” as there has been no global warming for 17 years,”

    Don’t wish to derail the thread, but this is hard to ignore.

    Is it your contention that longer winters and the fact that ice is extant, therefore warming of the atmosphere is not a factor in the anomalous weather patterns around the globe?

  46. There is only one outcome at the next general election. Everyone who does not vote will elect the party of Government.
    Those who try their hardest will be frustrated with dilution of votes, i.e. paper candidates that also stand under an Independent banner, as happened at the last county election in Wymondham Norfolk were the dirty tricks brigade under Cllr. Joe Mooney was in full swing.

    The moment a relevant council makes postal voting forms available, they are downloaded and printed by standing councillors of the main parties, every old and infirm voters is targeted and visited, with offers of help and safeguarding and delivery of this form.

    Their own party supporters get their postal voting forms sent by the council directly the moment the election is called. By the time the nomination have to be in most people will already have their forms and the moment the candidates are confirmed they vote, campaigning does not come into it, for them its a forgone conclusion without even listening to what any of the candidates, including their own, has to say.

    A farce!

    Next year we will see Euro and District elections thrown in on the same day, always confusing for voters. Will there be any Independents risking 5000,- at the Euro’s? I seriously doubt it, unless they have already started some time ago, they should not waste their money.

    It is to be seen whether we see many Independents standing in the District election, I don’t hold my breath.

  47. MarkU

    Immigration is purely political. It builds an economic and a driveable highway from ourselves to Turkey and beyond to Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan etc enclosing these countries into the political economic bosom of the West. Cutting these countries off from shite like Assad backed by Russia.

    I did not originally approve of this project when it started in Poland in the ’80s, but having seen its benefits in my own personal life by enabling me to travel overland through these countries in absolute safety, I am now 100% in favour.

    What does it matter to me if I can’t find work here because of immigration if I can find work and a new life abroad outside the crazy Euro-Christian zone? You know you have entered civilisation when you hit Turkey and the toilets provide facilities for cleaning yourself and it steadily gets better as you move Eastwards. If it had not been for Western/Zionist interference in the Muslim countries imposing dictators and fomenting violence, Muslim countries would now be way in advance in terms of civilisation and safety compared to here.

  48. “What are we supposed to do, move into a tent and forage through bins for food?”

    What are the people who live in tents and forage through bins for food now going to do when somebody else got to the bins first.

    Had it good all these years then when the going gets tough you think you can just move in and help yourself to the bin foragers food, leave them to starve.

    Typical.

  49. Mark U, why, in a globalised trading world, with almost no borders for those who want to make money, work and/or develop products wherever they want to, should there not be immigration patterns that follow the work?

    Further, your assumptions that there are willing and able workers here, wanting to do the jobs currently done by people from the US, Australia and the EU countries, not to talk of workers from the ex commonwealth and other colonial hangups, is groundless.

    Some 1/5th of our fresh food supplies comes from the Fenland’s. The farmers in this vast area have more than once gone on record saying that they can’t get British youngsters to come and do the jobs, that they are dependent on immigrant labour. A farmer whop has a three day window to get his asparagus on to your table will not question the labour arriving at 5.30am in his field, he pays for the work to get done and its hard honest work.

    To make out that we have not got the same chances to work these jobs is BS.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cambridgeshire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8530000/8530168.stm

    Three cheers to immigrants and to the 4-6 billion taxes they are paying, we can’t say that of Mr. Usmanov can we? why else would he go for a football club.

  50. “Some 1/5th of our fresh food supplies comes from the Fenland’s. The farmers in this vast area have more than once gone on record saying that they can’t get British youngsters to come and do the jobs, that they are dependent on immigrant labour.”

    That isn’t a new problem, it’s been like that for centuries. Britain had an itinerant work force willing to travel to where the work was when they were needed.

    But they made their way of life illegal.

  51. we neglect the education and training of our own citizens, instead we poach already trained personnel from poorer countries.

    Obviously the author is not aware of the education budget cuts that are being proposed. The trouble with the model is that “austerity” ie less government expenditure, is an effort to balance the books so that the rich and the corporations can get tax cuts/pay less taxes, whilst the poor pay their own way with more taxes, and upon fleecing the poor to bare bones, then the policy dictates to take away the services that the poor depend on to balance the books. This is called “small government”, “responsible citizenship”, etc.

    The above has nothing to do with immigration but everything to do with the political direction that many are blissfully ignorant of, and fixated on; its the immigrants wot done it.

    the fact that someone else, and potentially their families as well, end up on the dole as a result.

    Consider how much cheaper it is to keep the surplus labour in their stables, and affects thereof on the wages, than letting these unemployed getting jobs and earning a living?

    Therefore the arse about tit logic applied somehow in the grips of fits of emotions cannot see the wood for the trees and on goes the diatribe: its the immigrants wot done it.

    Mention must also be made of the tendency of the business classes to evade the law of supply and demand by importing cheap, even illegal labour from elsewhere.

    The depressed labour market has an unintended consequence of depressed demand, because the masses have little or no disposable income. Therefore the businesses intent on survival seek to reduce their operating costs through deployment of even cheaper labour.

    However the arse about tit logic that expects profit hungry businesses to become charitable and philanthropist organisation, deduces: its the immigrants wot done it.

    Surely it is not too difficult to understand the resentment of those from the lower socio-economic strata who see mass immigration as a ploy by the rich to keep their wages down.

    Never mind the rich whose machinations and intrigue has brought about the destitution of the “lower socio-economic strata” but really: its the immigrants wot done it.

    We must have an end to the neo-liberal wet-dream, where waves of cheap labour slosh around the globe undercutting each others wages, until we have all competed ourselves into the gutter.

    All that arse bout tit thinking results in totally disappearing up the said arse, and coming out with the manifesto of let us understand that globally: its the immigrants wot done it.

    It is obviously impossible for British workers to compete with workers whose wages would not even cover the rent on social housing (not to mention competing with child labour, or prisoner labour) What are we supposed to do, move into a tent and forage through bins for food?

    Oh well now that we know: its the immigrants wot done it, let us fuck them up even more with trade tariffs, and stopping them coming to our shores to trade with us and shit.

    Well how’s about let us nuke the foreign bastards and solve all the planets problem in one go?

    The pathetic lines of “thought”, that regurgitates the mims set in place by the same policy makers whom have contrived the current situation, that is disseminated through their various “news” organs are verily taken to be the lines of “thought” that the author has arrived at all by himself, and indeed a “reasonable, cogent, informed” stance that needs no further explanations, and anyone who disagrees with it are the very epitome of poppy pants to the man of them.

    Missing from the “debate” are the following facts:

    What the fuck has the City of London any business in investing abroad, and earning a tidy living from being the international rentiers?

    Where are the legislation to compel the said culprits to invest in the plant, education, and training of the workforce and capital structures with in UK? Can there be any hope of any such a legislation ever getting passed?

    Why in hades the huge amounts of investments abroad are then protected by the huge expenditure in the armed forces to ensure that the international borrowers do not think of taking the money and doing a runner? If the city is so intent on investing abroad then it should also set up its own security measures to compel the defaulters to pay up and not ask the nation and tax payers as a whole to become the guardians of the said bunch of international rentiers.

    Further, fact that the various third world countries have been getting targeted and attacked (aggressively asset stripped), and other countries have been the subjects of covert attempts in the overthrow of their governments with a view to installing a more “City friendly” bunch of operatives, also does not come into the equation either. Really there are far too many facts that are missing and to mention these would need a huge space.

    What levels of ignorance can ignore such a plain facts set out in the missing facts sections, and still carry on maintaining: “ its the immigrants wot done it”?

  52. Horseman Joe

    21 May, 2013 - 7:35 pm

    UKIP are a real alternative given how bad the current lot are. Sure, their policies are a bit vague and problematic, but they are not so much worse than what we have today that they cant be considered an alternative. Even if they made a huge mess, as they might, would it be a worse mess than we’re in now? Not much, no.

    They might not let Johnny Foreigner come to live here, but the current lot are dropping bombs on Johnny Foreigner to stop him living at all.

  53. I am just amazed by how naive, ignorant, and day-dreaming posters are when it comes to solving or at least mitigating the problems of current Western governance.

    Its system of government only expanded voting rights to avoid being overthrown, and while the electorates grew, including minorities and women, they created a professional class to carry out its day-to-day details.

    Now the voters have become useless in who are governs are, and what they see fit to do.

    Unless people are willing to get rid of them, we are just stuck with them

    It’s like the so-called democratic changes never really occurred.

  54. technicolour

    21 May, 2013 - 8:06 pm

    What fascinating comments. Thanks MarkU, and everyone else. Horseman Joe, to take it one step further, have you thought what they might do to the ‘Johnny Foreigners’ living here now?

    Does the proposal of boot camps – in England – give you any pause for thought? Or the anti-Muslim/immigrant rhetoric we’ve seen displayed by UKIP supporters previous threads?

    What is the proposed massive hike in ‘defence spending’ for?

    Otherwise, I don’t despise anyone, including UKIP supporters. It worries me, however, when people who (understandably, I think) claim to be pro UKIP because they are against being in the EU, and are fed up with things generally, are prepared to ignore the vicious undercurrents of violence, hate, money and power behind the party make-up itself.

    I am now, out of interest, going to look for reasons to stay in the EU – beyond the Human Rights Act which in itself has so far prevented the UK from going down these routes:

    # Restrictions on prisoners’ correspondence and visits by their lawyers (Golder, 1975);
    # Routine strip-searching of visitors to a prison (Wainwright, 2006);
    # Allowing the Home Secretary rather than a court to fix the length of sentences (Easterbrook, 2003);
    # Admitting testimony obtained under coercion as evidence (Saunders, 1996);
    # Keeping a suspect incommunicado in oppressive conditions without access to a solicitor (Magee, 2000);
    # Extradition of a suspect to the United States to face a capital charge (Soering, 1989);
    # Granting the police blanket immunity from prosecution (Osman, 1998);
    # Shooting of Provisional Irish Republican Army suspects in Gibraltar without any attempt to arrest them (McCann, 1995);
    # Killing of a prisoner by another mentally ill detainee with whom he was sharing a cell (Edwards, 2002);
    # Investigation of an unlawful killing by police officers conducted by the police officers who participated in the killing (McShane, 2002);

  55. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    Nevermind,

    As someone who used to pick berries and occasionally tatties when much younger I can tell you one reason why farmers lost access to local labour. Quite simply many were unemployed (or employed but on some benefits) and/or students in the days when you could sign on over the summer. Flying Dole Office squads then started turning up in fields for spot checks – at that time not for immigrants but someone earning enough for a few drinks that evening to top up their dole money. Rasp pickers had it worst as their hands would be stained and scratched. If that was spotted by the dole office gestapo when you had to physically sign the form in front of them once a fortnight then you got pulled in for questioning. The farmers did not pay anywhere near enough to make it worthwhile signing off at the time. They frightened away the local pickers on Thatcher’s instructions during the course of the 1980s.

  56. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 8:44 pm

    “Berry Pickers Fund the IRA”

    I’d almost forgotten that but it just came back to me. It was a headline (from the Sunday Post I think) to help justify the crack-down. It seems they were worried that unemployed Catholics of Irish descent were sending their ill begotten berry money to the IRA. They were actually spending it in the local pubs of course.

  57. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    21 May, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    Glenn; Is that you behind those Foster Grants?

  58. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    21 May, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    Anyhoo…cheers to Glenn. I hope you are rebounding from your loss.

  59. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    And into the 80s local school holidays were arranged to fit in with the farmers.

    Michael Gove has something to say about that

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/shortcuts/2013/apr/21/michael-gove-shorter-school-holidays

    Michael Gove wants to shorten school holidays, saying they were designed back when the UK still had an agricultural economy, and cites the “tattie holiday” as an example. The extra-long October halfterm in parts of Scotland got its name because it was “the period when kids would go to the fields to pick potatoes”, he explains. Such holidays, he insists, represent “a world that no longer exists”. Yet schoolchildren were still pulling up potatoes in the “tattie holiday” in the mid-1980s, when the process was mechanised. And many remember it fondly.

    ===== Rest at link ====

    Kids from about 6 years up used to work at the berries (and enjoy it with older relatives) and from 11 up at the tatties (if you were a big 11). Farmers would get locked up for that these days. Ah, listening to test matches on a transistor radio in the late 70s at the berries. Life was good.

  60. This is where Liberal values get you up the slippery pole of personal advancement, ingratiating you to the people in power, whether you are building a career or trying to get weapons to make jihad against Assad. Everybody likes sky hooks going up.

    But when you get to the top and they’re trying to pin the torture on their diplomats or the false flag bombs on their Al Qaida recruits that’s when they call in those Liberal values that anything goes. But that was only for when you\re climbing up! When you\re being spiked with ‘condoning’ everything and turning a blind eye to the reality around you, that’s when you have to fight them off.

    A lot of people come to the conclusion that if you’re going to get impaled on the very sky hooks that hauled you up, if you’d stayed on the ground in the first place you’d have been better off.

  61. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    And then out of my berry pay I bought this http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/plustron_plustron_tv_radio_combin.html in 1979.

    Still have it and it still works 34 years later. Pity they shut down the analogue tv signal but I’ve got a little UHF low power transmitter which relays the cable channel to it in the kitchen. Don’t tell anyone.

  62. When more extreme parties get air space they seem to act as a sort of magnet moving the mass consensus not exactly in their direction, but allowing some of their ideas to become part of the accepted discourse. Its a chicken and egg thing, and self perpetuating for a while. When Nick Griffin appeared on QT it is was a shock. He performed badly and the BNP faded, but it seemed that the very fact that he was allowed out on a respected BBC platform gave not him credence, for he came acros badly, but put immigration out on the agenda and then as if by magic centre ground politicians felt charged to talk about immigration in a way which they had not felt comfortable doing before hand. Partly it was as if they were saying they would talk about immigration to stop the BNP talking about it. They had flashed up a bogey man and then adopted some of his language.

    With UKIP it isn’t so much about immigration (though they obviously attract those who bang on about that) but UKIP getting so much attention gives credence to the idea of leaving europe and so centre party politicians who wouldn’t previously have discussed it, who would have treated it as taboo move into that dialogue, and drip by drip the possibility of leaving Europe gains wider possibility. Is an exit worth considering, not if mooted by UKIP and not if UKIP are in the driving seat, but anyway if the idea gains momentum then it gains its own life. Repeated in the mainstream its repetition makes it possible. I suspect a variant is more likely.

    So extreme parties sometimes give birth to ideas, but may themselves die in labour. They function as a cross between a herald and a bogeyman. Their idea is then adopted and raised in a more main stream way.

    Are people keen to wake up to change, or just happy to follow whatever message is repeated? Maybe it does not take many influential people to create a resonance of a new idea, which might gain momentum. Are there such people? Do they have a good idea? if the people are influential and the time is right, perhaps they may apear to make some changes. Probably the ideas are shallow and everyone stays asleep. What is wrong with working with what we have in our small daily lives and looking at that and seeing if we can make some difference.

    Of course people need a magnet to pull them into a change of direction, but who are we to plan such changes. Whatever happened to old fashioned pragmatism and muddling along making only slow adjustments, correcting as we go along step by step with a good heart. Idealism, right or left is usually a day dream. Buddhists have wars, hippies make money, socialists turn out to be only feathering their own nest. It is all nothing unless we keep an eye on ourselves, which is something we all fail to do.

    On leaving Europe: I can see a variant occurring. Just as China has one country two systems, so europe can have one, eh whatever it will be, one federal state and two systems with UK, or perhaps England as an offshore HK type centre. Maybe it could pan out alright for England, but whether it would be a good idea generally I don’t know. It is hardly an ideal, but could perhaps be a consequence of the current direction.

  63. This sums it up “the Majority are apathetic”.

    Those who own the media, the banks, the government (The Bilderbergers?) are in charge and most people, even many of my friends, are apathetic because these evil few thousand people have conditioned the masses. Friday marked 100 days of prisoner hunger-striking in Guantanamo. There was a demonstration in London on Saturday, and I donned some orange overalls for four hours in Birmingham City Centre (later moving to St Phillip’s Cathedral) in solidarity. I had tried to get others involved but ended up being the only protester in the UK’s second city against the monstrosity known as Guantanamo Bay.

    Shaker Aamer has been ‘cleared for release’ for six years. They water-boarded him, and tortured him in abominable ways. He is known in Guantanmo as “The Professor”, an intelligent man who has a ten year old son he has never seen all because of the US ‘war in Islam’. Is it not worth showing solidarity with Shaker? It would appear not.

  64. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    Ben – an email address of anon@anon.com gives the gravatar sunglasses avatar. I am not Glenn if that was what you were wondering.

  65. Day at the berries

    21 May, 2013 - 10:45 pm

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/?first=adam&last=werritty&search=Search&searchType=fps

    0 Results for adam werritty

    An exact match for adam werritty could not be found.

  66. Attended a packed Yes Scotland (cross party) event at Old Gala House in Galashiels this evening. The object is simply one of connecting people in the disparate towns and villages, informally organising for further events across the Borders; long before any intensive campaigning begins, support is multiplying. A convivial meeting, but quite formal, lacking something – perhaps some musical entertainment and refreshments- it was preaching to the choir mostly but won some new support outright. One person stood up during the Q&A, possibly a plant, muttered something incoherent about Europe and UKIP and walked out before any of the speakers could even figure out what his point was, never mind try address it.

    Support for the centralising model of EU though is at a low-ebb, though mutual trade to and from the countries of Europe is as strong an incentive as ever to co-operate on standards, uniform worker’s and citizens rights, environmental protection, and tariff-free easy movement of goods, between sellers and buyers. Discrete issues though aren’t so important just now as is the success of the Yes vote, after which WE will have a say ourselves on: NATO, monarchy, the EU and the timetable for removing WMD from the Clyde, amongst other issues on which the final say for the Scots, rests with the Scots –only with Independence.

    The Hootsmon ‘newspaper’ was the butt of many jokes, with its total detachment from reality and its daily most ludicrous scares, unspoken though implicit was that the same newspaper group also has a monopoly on local newspapers in the region and this well of poison cannot avoid, indeed is noticeably contaminating the local titles too, to the detriment of their already perilous credibility and viability. Local Lib-Dem MP and Scottish Secretary Micheal Moore (aka Lurch) now openly a Tory tool, was of course conspicuously absent, just as well as the mood in the heart of his own constituency is that his ‘jaikit is on a shaky nail’.

    Peebles tomorrow (Wednesday), Hawick Thursday and Haddington Farmer’s Market on Saturday.

    http://www.yesscotland.net/events

  67. May I just say, I couldn’t agree less with the idea we need a charismatic leader. Komodo made some good points, but respectfully, I’m with Occupy on this one: the leaderless structure is what was good about Occupy. Not everyone agrees on this; respected left commentator, Paul Street, who is always excellent, thought the structure unhelpful, for one.

    However, I distrust the whole charismatic leader vibe. It’s just Tony Blair redux. Take the Greens. If they ever got a sniff of power, all of a sudden a ‘charismatic’ leader will almost certainly appear, making promises about getting ‘over the top’ and whispering about how much good they can do if only they make the necessary compromises to attain power – and then all of a sudden this ‘charismatic’ leader is given far more credit than they deserve, and parley this political credit into policies at variance with what the party actually stands for. No to charisma, it’s an over-rated vice anyway.

    As it goes, I conclude that charisma and narcissism are often inextricably linked. Your charismatic individual is likely to end up vain, self-centred, ego focused, because … well, I’m not sure. Perhaps being showered with praise corrupts a person. Or, perhaps, more interestingly, charisma is actually the visible manifestation of a flaw, certainly when it is taken to extremes.

    I speculate idly. Alas, my comments are negative, not constructive. I suspect that less of the former, and more of the latter are, to answer Craig’s question, a start on the long road.

  68. The bankers are dangling UKIP? What world are you living in, Craig? Not the real one, that’s for sure.

  69. Neil Barker

    In the real world it is a fact that the bankers concealed the truth about their criminal salting away of funds into their own pockets from the time of Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the exchequer.

    They manipulated New Labour back into the box where Mrs Thatcher had shoved them with her daft ponzi economy schemes, by monstrous, humungous lies on a devastating scale. This has made Gordon Brown and the rest of New Labour look incompetent and stupid. No, they were lied to and manipulated by reckless, selfish, criminal bankers.

    If you don’t understand that the bankers blackmail the government, then you don’t understand anything about the stupidity of the Thatcher plan to trust the banking class.
    Racist UKIP is the odour-eating paper tree dangling from the car mirror to hide the stench of banker greed and corruption.

    They dangle them with their usual utter cynicism and recklessness, as a decoy from their own criminality in order to fool the masses into a fascist swerve to the right. Exactly the same as before the two world wars.

    Craig lives in the real world, not in the froth of Tory wanked-out ideas. The Tories would not have been re-elected in 50 years if Clegg and Ashdown had a grain of principle. They think they are so clever for shoving these mad, cruel decrees of austerity down our throats. Tories and bankers will be dangled from electoral gibbets in a couple of years, if not before.

    Some researcher has discovered that Gay marriage might be a vote winner amongst former New Labour and LibDem supporters. What cynical, barking, stuffed tigers. No principals, no ideas, no solutions. Just hair-brained schemes to divert the election to their side.

  70. April Showers reminded us of the illusion of democracy and Dave and Indigo agreed ‘democracy’ is a ‘pig in a poke’ – the ‘common people’ are no longer stood for at the top. Today no such democratic vision and accountability is permitted in through the revolving doors of big-money control.

    I said yesterday, change is an illusion, a brand, a circle of events presented in a different order. There is no light in change.

    We have witnessed ‘the worst crimes against humanity under law, perpetrated without respite – murder, assassination, deprivation of access to food , water and medicine, forcible transfers of population, torture, persecution, false imprisonment, enforced disappearances, plunder of public property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages’

    These are all crimes against humanity under law. This is the antithesis of Craig’s ‘great message of the day.’ How do you get that message to people?

    My approach is not political – the political system has failed us. Why use it? The alternative stares us in the face. We must take the judicial route to expose these crimes, these violations, this immorality.

    Our friend Dr David Halpin and his wife Sue took a brave legal stance (even after his computer systems were attacked and evidence ‘disappeared’) and challenged the official verdict on the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly. David Halpin said, ‘We reject haemorrhage as the cause of death and see no contrary opinion which would stand its ground. I think it is highly likely he was assassinated.’

    David Halpin has lead the way and given us guidance. Our country is corrupt at the top down.

    Our Democracy is corrupt. Money is used to pay people off. It must be time to recognise the undeniable criminal agents and institutions now ruling us.

    In a direct stand against fear and the trepidation of being branded a ‘terrorist’ we can identify the lead individuals and institutions as proven mass murderers and oppressors for power and gain. Simply by connecting with each other, with trust, we can expose the truth in law and the knaves and tyrants lose their face and legitimacy.

    These tyrants who drape themselves in flag and country – fear this exposure
    so much they seal the lips of their citizens by terror. In the course of time they will collapse as they are increasingly recognised as what they are – the vilest criminals, serial murderers, liars, torturers, looters of others’ lives and resources. We can make their time short.

    Finer, fitter and better people here in our community can make this due process happen.

    Don’t vote, give-for truth! Giving is our pitch-fork. We can depend on it. Our case is the light at the end of a 100 year tunnel!

  71. BrianFujisan

    22 May, 2013 - 2:58 am

    Day at the Berries@ 8 : 11 pm and 9 : 36pm… That brought back Memories. There was a Subclass of people – aspiring students of wich where the most hopeful, many of the rest were a ravaged Motely Crew from Pretty much the Lowest rung of the Social Ladder. The pittance paid to Ruhbarb pickers / cutters was shocking when compared to the Price of a tin of the stuff in tesco…And yes the unemployment Gestapo would turn up. people fleeing through fields with their razor sharp Knifes, there was always someone requring stitches in hands / fingers at the Ruhbarb cutting.

    I Find that pretty much everyone around me don’t mind Alex Salmond’s Size as any kind of issue, But Even the uninformed appear to support the SNP. When i say uninformed i mean MSM junkies…bbc daily record, ect
    John @ 10 ; 24 is spot on The few Own the Media, but its not just media news manipulation, it’s pop music, Film, tv shows.

    April Showers @ 3;02 pm

    John Hilley Has a Couple of Great Posts About bbc Bias, the latest of which being an exchange over bbc bias with regards IBC

    http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html

  72. BrianFujisan

    22 May, 2013 - 3:11 am

    VERY Well said Mark. i fear one of the problems is that they make such Damn sure of protecting themselves, Will it come down to the Army refusing to turn on the people i wonder, Cos the police are well owned…as many a demo is witness F%ckers

  73. @ Mark U

    With regards to the immigration issue, there is no causal relationship between unemployment and immigration.

    During the 50s there was mass immigration but near full employment.

    Conversely, during the 30s, there was mass unemployment but almost zero immigration.

    It is misguided to scapegoat immigrants for a problem whose source stems from the vagaries of the market.

  74. Independent or not, we are a socialist community in a capitalist environment. As the comteol of the money supply- commodities is at least under control of the same Capitalist system. We know, from our recent eploitations in the middle East.

    The few Major banks and corporations are leading us with their capitalist aims into communism
    Great so will this form of socialism flourish?

    We are at present still able to build and re-build, put in place the foundations for a future that will be representituve of our best peoples high achievements.

    Politics is preventing us.
    This Ukip is just further division, How can we enhance society and the world we live in.

    Birds, Bees,plants and people’s?

  75. “I am now, out of interest, going to look for reasons to stay in the EU – beyond the Human Rights Act…”

    Human Rights Act nothing to do with the EU. Comes under the auspice of the Council of Europe so leaving the EU won’t mean we can automatically withdraw from the ECHR.

  76. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 7:58 am

    Day at the Berries. Someone else is using that avatar calling himself Pete Meat. He left an unpleasant post on the Werritty thread yesterday.

    ~~~

    PS Spellcheck does not like ‘werritty’. It suggests warranty or verity. Also ferity.
    fer·i·ty
    n.
    1. The state of being wild or untamed.
    2. The state of being savage; ferocity.

    Ooh er Missus!

  77. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Brian and Jay.

    10% of UK wildlife ‘endangered’
    A stocktake of UK nature suggests 60% of animal and plant species have declined in the past 50 years – and one in 10 could end up disappearing. BBC Nature
    Scots wildlife ‘faces rising threat’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/22609000

    So what have we been doing? And what has been the use of the multiple conservation charities concerned with the environment other than to record the declines? RSPB, WWF, English Nature, the county based Wildlife Trusts, et al.

    Anyone seen a honey bee this Spring? I have not. I used to have frogs and toads by the dozen in my garden, sand lizards, smooth snakes, hedgehogs, thrushes, starlings, house martins, wagtails, wrens, goldcrests, pipistrelle bats, etc etc. Over the 30 years that I have lived here they have all disappeared. I do not use chemicals and I try to make the space friendly to wild life by leaving weeds and nettles, using nectar bearing flowers and shrubs and providing plenty of cover. Dead wood is left on the ground to decay.

    It is both sad and worrying.

  78. April Showers, we have honey bees living in our wall cavity. They send decoys out to fly by the door to distract from the real holes they are using. None of us has been stung. I started by phoning pest-control but there is no humane way of dealing with them. Especially as there is a fall in honey-bee population I do not want to disturb them but come the winter feel I must cement up their entrances. Has anybody got any suggestions?

  79. Giles, I am beginning to suspect you are on some kind of greenwash programme for Exxon (or Cuadrilla), if you are involved in conservation, as you say.

    It is untrue to say that global temperatures have not risen for the last 17 years. Maybe that comes from one of the 24 (out of 13,950) peer-reviewed papers on the subject? Do cite it, please. The rate of increase has slowed, sure. That isn’t the same thing. Nor does it invalidate the basic premiss, that the average temperature across the world is rising, and will continue to rise unless CO2 emissions are cut drastically. In private, even the oil companies admit this. As a result of thermal expansion and continental icecap melting, sea levels won’t just rise in theory, but ARE rising. As a result of the oceans’ buffering capacity for CO2 being saturated, coral reefs won’t just die in theory but ARE dying – http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2006/05/warming-coral.html

    You’re in denial, and I fully sympathise. The prospect for your descendants is much worse than you like to think. You can’t see it’s happening, and you don’t want to see it happening, you’re interested in local conservation and focused on the smaller picture.

    Just a thought from Hawaii, where the highest atmospheric concentration of CO2 to date was recorded a month or so ago…

    Most folks in Hawaii agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is real.

    We believe it because “we’ve experienced it in a way that other people in America have not,” explains Dr. Melissa Finucane, a senior fellow at the East-West Center who specializes in climate risk perception. “If you go to Honaunau and see that the site where Captain Cook died is now underwater, it’s hard to say sea level is not rising. You can see beaches eroding; streams that you played in as a child are dry. Those kinds of experiences touch people in a way that’s really hard to get across with statistics and science.”

    http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2012/12/climate-change-in-hawai%E2%80%98i-it%E2%80%99s-here/

  80. @John Goss

    Just leave them … we’ve had a hive in the wall outside our back door for as long as we’ve lived here (seven years).

    The buzz of each as he goes back to the hive with his bounty gives me pleasure … I know that, despite the filthy stuff manufactured by Monsanto et al he has found his way home again.

    It’s my sound of summer …

  81. ian blackhall

    22 May, 2013 - 9:12 am

    Scotland did have a radical alternative. the Scottish Socialist Party, but Tommy Sheridan got “Craig Murried” by the state.

  82. Brendan: May I just say, I couldn’t agree less with the idea we need a charismatic leader.

    History shows that successful revolutions depend on two things: a charismatic leader and good publicity. “We” (this lizard least of all) don’t want a charismatic leader and a marketing wonk. But “we” sure as hell do need them.

    Anyway, despite what Fred thinks when in his cups, Alex’s not a bad model for a publicity-conscious charismatic leader. It doesn’t have to be Tim Bell and Margaret Thatcher…

  83. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 9:26 am

    Komodo. My thoughts exactly on our friend with the Mandarin Duck avatar. He seems to have a lot of spare time away from the ‘Con- Servation.

    Speaking of ducks, last year there were dozens and dozens of mallard ducklings on the river here. This year there are just two females, one with a near fully grown duckling and another one newly hatched??, and the other who has six newly hatched ducklings including two that are creamy white coloured and not the usual multi coloured. Different dads to account for the latter or some genetic change?

    So cute as they paddle furiously to keep up.
    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/63/154636158_2c3915ff8a.jpg

    http://www.daviddrufke.com/photography-blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ForestLake09-0039-blog.jpg

  84. Sofia Zobolotna-Habbercake

    22 May, 2013 - 9:37 am

    John: Re bees.

    Have you asked a local bee-keeper to take a look. They are a generally friendly and helpful species.

    If the bees’ flight-path is not causing people to get stung you may want to consider constructing an observation hive on the inside wall for them to expand their hive into. A simple box construction (10″ deep and 24″x 36″in size) with a well sealed and sturdy hinged glass front covered by a hinged wooden shutter. That way you can both give them a sanctuary, enjoy observing them, and best of all you can break off an occasional sweet reward for your trouble.

    If you really feel you need to remove them and don’t want to poison or trapp them inside, here’s something I saw once. I have seen a huge wild hive behind a plaster wall dismantled by a well-suited* beekeeper using a Dyson vacuum cleaner. With this he sucked the bees up as he broke off the combs. He tried in vain to locate the queen as he worked in the hope of at least saving enough of the colony to move to a new hive.
    The whole process happened over about two hours and the bees got sucked up and spun to death before they could produce their alarm scent. Pretty grisly but I think it was a quick and sudden death, preferable to poisoning or being walled in. At the end of the process there was a bucket of dead bees and three buckets of honeycombs.

    And no, I am not insane.

    Alternately you can find Dad. I’m sure he would have something entertaining to suggest.

    *Not Armani.

  85. Not sure that Salmond’s value to the independence movement is as a leader. Within the SNP he tends to be respected rather than liked, and his leadership style has caused occasional ructions (remember he was removed for a while and replaced by Swinney). His value is as a champion of the cause, the debater that nobody wants to face, the interviewee who cannot be intimidated or wrong-footed. Of course he has a great advantage in that he can tell the truth, whereas his opponents (who include most BBC interviewers) must avoid it at all costs.

    Tommy Sheridan was getting close to performing the same role for the more radical left – ironically it was a failure to tell the truth that destroyed him. I know that he was advised by a friend, a prominent legal figure, that he should not pursue his case against NOTW as even winning it would damage him. Silly boy.

  86. Sofia Zobolotna-Habbercake

    22 May, 2013 - 9:55 am

    OT I know!

    John.

    Here’s a good read for you, after which you will have a feel for the creatures you are sharing your home with.
    “Bees and Honey” Ted Hooper. ISBN 0 7137 0782 8

    Thanks to all for a great thread.

  87. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 10:07 am

    Perhaps those here rejecting democracy; accusing the electorate of apathy and of being slow on the uptake (the sheeple tag has been used in the past); failing to recognise that compromises have to be made with those with who they disagree or are not in total disagreement in order to acheive a consensus and something like stablity which is what most people want; and pooh poohing the real differences that do exist between our political parties (e.g. there is a lot of difference between seekiing to cut the deficit when growth is established and trying to do so strtaightway over the life of the parliament) – might just wish to reflect that the history of political change being brought about by small groups of the ideologically pure isn’t particularly promising.

    Might I suggest that we have hard fought for democratic institutions in this country and that if you wish to change things then you use them, but a warning for the faint hearted and lazy this is not an easy route. You have to meet a lot of people and talk to them and convince them to change their minds – they are the 99% after all and not a few like minded people in tents or on this blog.

    It should of course be noted that Craig is one of those fickle creatures who as a LibDem member personally voted for this coalition; so that is probably one reason why he would like to argue that they are no different from New Labour, against whom he clearly has a deep and personal animus. And is now flirting with Scottish nationalism – which if the recent clash with UKIPs southern English nationalists is any thing to go for has already started its slide into the nastier forms of nationalism, which as Orwell pointed out is an inevitable consequence of all forms of nationalism. I found it quite noteworthy that Salmond was only prepared to condemn those who protested against Farage if it could be proven that they had broken the law – which of course allows quite a degree of unpleasantness before that threshold is broken. The next stage of course is to control the law enforcement officers so that they can develop selective blindness.

  88. Sofia Zobolotna-Habbercake

    22 May, 2013 - 10:51 am

    Yes, Resident Dissident, like we’re going to be patronised by the likes of you and Dad into being blind and dumb.

    And of course the British state would never consider any unpleasantness would it? Oh, apart from wars of conquest, torture, development and possession of illegal weapons of mass destruction, arms trading, Dublin and Monoghhan bombings, fostering of organised banksterism, deep-state child abuse (Kincora Boy’s Home and Jimmy Saville probably just the tip of the iceberg), wasting police time harassing dissidents, unaccountable state security organisations………….Sorry I wont use up the next 1000 valuable lines of the “fickle” Craig’s blog, but I think you get the gist

    But apart from those trifles, what a magnificent example of a democracy the great people of Britain people have fought so hard create! Why would anyone assume it could be improved?

  89. Komodo wrote:

    “Just a thought from Hawaii, where the highest atmospheric concentration of CO2 to date was recorded a month or so ago…”

    Indeed, the Hawaiian CO2 monitoring has shown a slow and steady increase from 1960 to the present; so naturally, any time from then until now, will have been “highest” recorded state with respect to previous times, since station monitoring started.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide-en.svg

    I estimate the increase in CO2 from approximately 315 ppm in 1960, to 390 ppm at the present; or about 24% increase. Meanwhile Global oil use has been approximately doubling for every 7 years since 1960 [this doubling rate has slowed in the last decade]; hence fossil fuel burning has increased globally by several hundred percent in the same period that CO2 increased by a measly 24%.

    This lack of large increase in CO2 may account for this:

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=71369

    Your kilometerage may vary.

    PS. All the carbon of the worlds total fossil fuels, including coal, and chalk downs and coral reefs, used to be part of the primordial atmosphere, in the form of CO2. The Cretaceous period had approximately 600% more CO2 in its atmosphere compared to today, yet life thrived as a result; for the climate was a bit warmer, but not catastrophically so, and the plants were well fed to the point that they didn’t need broad leaves, as they do today.

  90. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 11:10 am

    Sofia

    “Might I suggest that we have fought hard for democratic institutions in this country and that if you wish to change things then you use them, but a warning for the faint hearted and lazy this is not an easy route.”

    I think you missed this bit – but quite happy to hear other ways as to how things should be changed. apart from the old lets throw the toys out of the pram routine which I would patronisingly suggest is more suited to infants than teenage revolutionaries.

  91. PS. All the carbon of the worlds total fossil fuels, including coal, and chalk downs and coral reefs, used to be part of the primordial atmosphere, in the form of CO2. The Cretaceous period had approximately 600% more CO2 in its atmosphere compared to today, yet life thrived as a result; for the climate was a bit warmer, but not catastrophically so, and the plants were well fed to the point that they didn’t need broad leaves, as they do today.

    Yes, Jimmy. Now read Wikipedia on the Cretaceous. (I’m a geologist*, but I’ll spare you the technical details, because I like you). You will see that broad-leaved plants began their rise during the Cretaceous, and that temperatures, particularly deep-ocean temperatures, were a good bit higher. Also most of the south of England was underwater. (lol)

    As to the slowing rate of warming:
    1. Will the rate continue to slow? The jury’s out, but if the slowdown is due to ocean pH falling, and dissolution of biogenic carbonate acting as a temporary sink for CO2, then possibly. Unfortunately this means a lot of shellfish and coral reefs will go. Ultimately the calcite compensation depth will rise to the surface, and then there will be no more buffering. By which time, I guess, big oil and Chinese coal will have ensured a point of no return.
    2. This is a short-term trend superimposed on a much longer-term trend. Which is solid.
    3. Warming hasn’t stopped. Think of it as the foot relaxing on the accelerator.
    4. Oh, and look: [this doubling rate has slowed in the last decade] A complete coincidence that warming has slowed, then…but actually, the relationship isn’t usually believed to be that simple.

    *Really. I don’t usually boast about it, but…

  92. Vronsky, points well made and well taken. But: His value is as a champion of the cause, the debater that nobody wants to face, the interviewee who cannot be intimidated or wrong-footed. Of course he has a great advantage in that he can tell the truth, whereas his opponents (who include most BBC interviewers) must avoid it at all costs.

    I’d say those are essential attributes for a political leader.

  93. “History shows that successful revolutions depend on two things: a charismatic leader and good publicity.”

    Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao…

    What did you want a revolution for? We already consume far more that our fair share of resources were you hoping to improve on that? Salmond is already a fat pig is he hoping to get even fatter?

    Over a quarter of the population of Scotland are clinically obese, one in 25 has type 2 diabetes but these figures aren’t good enough, they have to have a revolution, make themselves more prosperous.

  94. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 11:26 am

    John Goss

    http://www.bees-online.com/RemoveBees.htm

    Cementing the exit to the outside, without first killing the bees probably isn’t a good idea since when they wake up they will look for other cavities to the inside.

  95. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 11:37 am

    A lot of propping up of the numerous bars goes on in the HoC, all heavily subsidised by us.

    17 May 2013
    ‘Unhealthy’ drink culture among MPs – Alcohol Concern
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22564369

    17 May 2013
    The ‘unhealthy’ drinking culture of MPs isn’t a private matter – it also impacts on public policy
    Parliamentarians are as oblivious to the health risks of drinking alcohol as the general public and we have to ask what effect this is having on the nation’s health
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-unhealthy-drinking-culture-of-mps-isnt-a-private-matter–it-also-impacts-on-public-policy-8621365.html

  96. Sofia Zobolotna-Habbercake, thanks very much for your suggestions. I like Indigo’s solution too, though it’s a bit too like the apathetic majority’s solution – do nothing. In this case it might be best. Thanks both for your entertaining comments.

  97. “The next stage of course is to control the law enforcement officers so that they can develop selective blindness.”

    That isn’t the next stage.

    That was the last stage.

    Every policeman from Gretna to the Outer Hebrides now has the same badge and the same boss.

  98. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    Fred

    You are absolutely correct – I wonder how long it will be before Craig realises there is no such thing as “liberal nationalism”. Of course the one thing that nationalists hate most is nationalists that support another nation – hence the antagonism to UKIP.

  99. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    Who made the decision to commemorate the start of WWI and did Agent Cameron, presumably acting on instructions to instigate the commemoration next year, ask us if we wanted £55m of our taxes spent in this way? He is promoting nationalism in the style of the Diamond Jubilee ‘celebrations’. Disgusting spiv. He is off to Brussels again, this time on tax evasion. (David Cameron to seek action on tax avoidance at EU summit). He should look closer to home.

    Remembering war to promote peace
    The Guardian, Tuesday 21 May 2013 20.59 BST

    Devastated Battlefield of The Somme, 1916
    ‘A military disaster and a human catastrophe’ … the devastated Somme battleground between Bapaume and Arras in 1916. Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

    Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the first world war. Far from being a “war to end all wars” or a “victory for democracy”, this was a military disaster and a human catastrophe.

    We are disturbed, therefore, that David Cameron plans to spend £55m on a “truly national commemoration” to mark this anniversary. Mr Cameron quite inappropriately compared these events to the “diamond jubilee celebrations” and stated that their aim will be to stress our “national spirit”. That they will be run at least in part by former generals and ex-defence secretaries reveals just how misconceived these plans are.

    Instead we believe it is important to remember that this was a war that was driven by big powers’ competition for influence around the globe, and caused a degree of suffering all too clear in the statistical record of 16 million people dead and 20 million wounded.

    In 2014, we and others across the world will be organising cultural, political and educational activities to mark the courage of many involved in the war but also to remember the almost unimaginable devastation caused. In a time of international tension, we call on all those who agree with us to join us – by adding their names to ours at ww1.stopwar.org.uk – to ensure that this anniversary is used to promote peace and international co-operation.

    Jude Law, Michael Morpurgo, Antony Gormley, Patrick Stewart, Carol Ann Duffy, Vanessa Redgrave, Simon Callow, Brian Eno, Lindsey German, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tony Benn, Timothy West, Dominic Cooke, AL Kennedy, Janie Dee, Neil Faulkner, Heathcote Williams, Dame Harriet Walter, Tim Pigott-Smith, Roger Lloyd Pack, Alan Rickman, Ken Loach, Ralph Steadman, Ken Livingstone, Rob Montgomery, Duncan Heining, Chris Nineham, Kate Hudson, Jan Woolf, Peter Kennard, Andy de la Tour, Evan Parker, Robert Wyatt, Colin Towns, Chris Searle, Neil Yates, Steve Berry, Leo Aylen, Danny Thompson, Terry Jones, Kika Markham, Susan Wooldridge, Tony Haynes, Mike Dibb, Nic France, Leon Rosselson, Barry Miles, Liane Aukin, Alistair Beaton

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/21/remembering-war-to-promote-peace

    Two of the other four letters oppose the view held in the group letter above.

  100. Mark Golding

    Judicial process is being undermined by a breed of Muslim thinkers who prefer politics and deception to create change. The fact that it gives the green light to our extra-judicial neo-con rulers to create and do massacre on an industrial scale seems to have eluded them. They are encouraging the neo=cons, who will inevitably betray them and the people they lead, to continue being extra judicial murderers. It is immensely frustrating that the leaders of the Muslims are the very ones who are causing the judicial path to fail.

  101. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    Given his attachment to the historical routes of liberalism perhaps Craig might wish to explain how the Scottish Enlightenment came about after the Act of Union and how none of its major figures appeared to have argued for its revocation.

  102. @ResidentTroll

    I’ve observed no-one here rejecting the idea of democracy, but the existing democratic institutions in this country have empowered egregious war criminals, ideologues and despots such as Thatcher and Blair; in the US, their strange ‘democracy’ has resulted in self-inflicted injuries such as September 11th 2001, and open outright genodide in Central-America, south-east Asia and most recently in the Middle-East, in pursuit of oil mostly and in carrying out the agenda of the frankly insane zionist regime squatting in and terrorising that neighbourhood, for long but not much longer.

    You’re not a dissident of any sort, you are just a liar, your non-dissidence takes a predictable form: deceit -of backing the powerful and wealthy in their designs, of might over right, excusing the abhorrent. That’s not dissidence, chum, that is bootlicking and toadying, in the hope of crumbs from your masters table. Hope they choke you.

    We all know what democracy is, not from having it but from long yearning for it.

    If we had democracy and with it justice, Blair and the rest of his cabinet, most of the then Tory opposition infact most members of parliament would have been hung, drawn and quartered.

    That time draws near and you’ve chosen your side and bad company, hell mend you.

  103. Gloomy but interesting piece in the London Review of Books. Climate change now unstoppable, what to do now?

  104. “History shows that successful revolutions depend on two things: a charismatic leader and good publicity.”

    Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao…

    Yes Fred. I said “successful”. Not necessarily nice. Even Darwin, who co-led a revoltion in biological science, wasn’t very nice. And Ghandi? Oh, he was thin, so obviously a good bloke.

    You do seem to have a fixation about obesity, Fred. And you appear to be on the verge of stereotyping Scots on the basis of lipid content. Glad you’ve got nothing more damning to say about them or Alex, anyway.

    Ever been there, btw? I’m guessing you have, and your robust defence of the right of London to impose its rules and restrictions on Edinburgh elicited the (racist, fascist, anti-English, boohoo) predictable response – “If you don’t like it you can XXXX off.” Classic bad move. Scotland isn’t provincial England. It’s Scotland. It’s very different in ways you probably haven’t spotted…

  105. Sofia Zabolotna-Habercake

    22 May, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Resident Dissident.

    “…….we have fought hard for democratic institutions in this country and that if you wish to change things then you use them, but a warning for the faint hearted and lazy this is not an easy route.”

    If you want to give pompous lectures to the faint hearted and lazy do you think this is the place to sound off?

    And maybe you could tell me why I keep getting detention in
    History class when I point out the glaring contradictions between the narrative of “don’t we have a great democracy” and the multitude of realities that tell a completely different story.
    Doesn’t it take a very willfully blinkered perception to really believe the British state, and the West in general, is a force for good in our world. Why do you get so bothered when we excercise our democratic right to examine and criticise what the sham that passes for our democracy?

    I could ask you a million questions but lets just look at one example. Could you give me one good reason how a true democracy could ever treat the Chagos Islanders in the way our state has consistently treated them over the years? Is refering to the people, whose your island home your government is planning to give to a war machine, as “man fridays” really the language of democrats?

    Haven’t recent generations sleepwalked into letting the truly democratic achievements that our predecessors fought so hard for, be dismantled by clever crooks and pirates who pay wrap themselves up in the mantle of democratic language and values while clearly persuing an agenda of conquest and plunder?

    If you can’t see that the I believe you are either thick, sick or comfortable and bought.

    I’ve got stuff to do and I’m sure this will bounce off your intellectual armour plating, but really I find your defense of the indefensible is a bit unconvincing in the face of the mountains of hard evidence to the contrary.

  106. “Scottish nationalism – which if the recent clash with UKIPs southern English nationalists is any thing to go for has already started its slide into the nastier forms of nationalism… ”

    I’m afraid this has been happening for some time. Racist attacks in Scotland have risen sharply in recent years and although Asians are still the main victims more than a third were white British and the number is rising.

  107. “Who made the decision to commemorate the start of WWI and did Agent Cameron, presumably acting on instructions to instigate the commemoration next year ”

    Instructions from who? Lizards? Freemasons? WW1 started in 1914 so 2014 would seem a reasonable year for centenary commemorations.

    It would not be right for the anniversary to be ignored and we’ve little idea of what has been planned so far. I know some money has been put aside to send school parties to WW1 battlefields and having visited some myself I think that can only be for the good. Many nations are running similar events and they all seem to be spending more than us. Australia has committed £72 million for example.

    There does seem to be an emphasis on battles which were, or are seen as, defeats for the British. Whilst I would not like to see the events descend into triumphalism focusing on these does not provide the full picture.

  108. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 1:28 pm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p019cxf4

    Radio 4 Today this morning.

    Cameron: We’ll focus on big picture
    Duration: 16:59

    David Cameron discusses divisions within the Conservative party.

  109. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    Remember World War 1 in the name of peace not war – SIGN THE LETTER :)

    A letter in today’s Guardian (http://bit.ly/14v45Oh) launches a campaign to oppose David Cameron’s plans for commemorations of World War 1 in 2014 that stress ‘our national spirit’. Among those organising the commemorations are former generals and defence ministers.

    The letter calls for a different approach to the anniversary to ensure that it is used to promote peace and international co-operation.

    The campaign already has the support of Jude Law, Michael Morpurgo, Carol Ann Duffy, Anthony Gormley, Sir Patrick Stewart, Vanessa Redgrave, Simon Callow, Brian Eno, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Ken Livingstone and many, many more.

    The campaign, bringing together Stop the War and other anti-war groups and individuals, will involve a series of events and actions next year to underline the horror and devastation of a war that led to the death of 16 million people. It will be launched by Michael Morpurgo, Janie Dee, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lindsey German and others outside Siegfried Sassoons’s house in Tufton Street, Westminster this morning.

    We are asking all our supporters to sign the letter to ensure the highest profile for the campaign. Go to http://ww1.stopwar.org.uk and sign now.

  110. technicolour

    22 May, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    Kempe (earlier) re Human Rights Act – thanks. Given the dystopian list of abuses this state has already attempted and which the HRA has prevented or condemned, one wonders why anyone sane would want to scrap it. UKIP do, of course.

    Otherwise, the only decent revolution I can think of is the Portuguese Carnation revolution: no obvious leader.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnation_Revolution

    Venzuela? Anyone got any others?

  111. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 1:44 pm

    Agent Cameron has been doing his bit for the export drive.

    20 May 2013

    UK approved £112m of arms exports to Saudi Arabia last year

    Gulf state paid British arms manufacturers almost £4bn in past four years in face of human rights concerns

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/20/uk-approved-arms-exports-saudi-arabia

    Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador, with David Cameron in Riyadh in January 2012, one of two visits the prime minister made to Saudi Arabia last year. http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2013/5/20/1369072693325/David-Cameron-in-meeting–008.jpg

  112. I heartily second Mark Golding’s recommendation of John McMurtry’s scholarly piece.

    http://www.journalof911studies.com/resources/2013McMurtryVol35Feb.pdf

  113. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 2:50 pm

    O/T What lies behind this FBI killing?

    The FBI in Orlando, Florida, have shot a man they were questioning about possible links to Boston bombs suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, US media report.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22627923

  114. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Also O/T

    It’s a mercy that these protesters stopped the building of this nuclear power plant at Inola, Oklahoma in 1973.

    Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant

    The Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant was proposed by the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) in May 1973. The facility was to be built approximately 3 miles southwest of downtown Inola, Oklahoma, but still within town limits, and was to consist of two 1,150 MWe General Electric (GE) Boiling Water Reactors.

    In June 1979, about 500 people were arrested for protesting about construction of the Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant. In 1982, after nine years of court and legal challenges by Carrie Barefoot Dickerson and the Citizen’s Action for Safe Energy (CASE) group, all plans were abandoned and no complex was ever built. It is believed to be the only nuclear power plant in the US to be canceled by a combination of legal and citizen action after construction had started.[1][2]

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

    ~~~
    Inola is 140 miles NE of Moore, Oklahoma. The path of the tornado was towards the NE.
    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/67727000/jpg/_67727218_moore_ok_tornado_976_3.jpg

    There was a tornado in Inola a month ago which caused considerable damage.
    http://www.newson6.com/story/22012228/inola-home-destroyed-in-overnight-storm

  115. Sofia Zabolotna-Habbercake

    22 May, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    Where’s Dad when you need his grammar lessons?

    Sorry , I was so steamed up I didn’t read it through so it was even more mangled than my usual offerings. Certainly worthy of a good fatherly ticking off and some clever hints I’d have thought.

    Anyway Miss Entwistle is in her own little world, droning on about Jane Austen so I’ve borrowed Gary’s Galaxy here at the back of the class, to see what Resident Dissident had to say about the Chagos Islanders. He seems to have done a runner too, just when I was getting going. Those Zabolotny genes were really kicking in this morning and I’m sorry if I was boring the rest of you to de…..

    Oh no I see another detention comi

  116. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Komodo and JimmyGiro;

    This Hawaiian is adept at a few things along with Hawaiian specifics and global CO2 measures.

    Just a sample; http://islandbreath.blogspot.ru/2013/03/genghis-khan-climate-health.html

  117. @ April Showers 1.35 OM – “Remember World War 1 in the name of peace not war”. When I was a boy, the causes of WW1 seemed very clear to us – it was 100% Germany and the Kaiser’s fault; that’s what the propaganda of that time told us. But today it appears that none of the great powers in 1914 actually wanted a war. Unlike WW2, historians can’t even agree on what caused WW1. We had blundered into it.

    But one thing is clear. Our politicians, diplomats and monarchy had failed. The State had screwed it up – getting us into an unnecessary war, and without having the means to win it. Fortunately, our then decentralized cities, towns and counties came to the rescue, raising a largely Citizen Army. At one point the life expectancy of a Citizen subaltern at the front was 10 days. Our power-elites having caused the war, these Citizens had to fight to regain the peace. A million of them died in this bloodbath and our State’s power-elites, whose failure stared this unnecessary war, dodged the issue, placing blame for the dead on the Generals.

    WW1 was a defining moment in British (and Canadian) history. I will remember it and and we should remember it. But it is that gutsy Citizen Army, with its Pals Regiments, that I will remember – not the contribution of the State’s incompetent elites who, having failed to stop an unnecessary war, then went on to screw up the peace as well.

  118. The glorification of wars, along with expansion of the territorial army, have now been complemented by the DfE, under the leadership of Gove; have now started their “free schools” program for a network of military-style state schools.

    Protecting the City’s international financiers and their investments abroad on the cheap now. Obviously this too is because:immigrants wot done it. Go ask the racist fuckwits, if you don’t believe me.

  119. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    Sofia

    I am not defending the indefensible – and you should note that I have never made a claim that democracy results in perfect outcomes. It does however give you the ability to do something about what you perceive as its problems or its failures. Rather than resorting to nihilism or worse to argue your case, you seek to convince other people of what you are saying and you get them to vote for you or others you have convinced of your cause at the ballot box. You may consider this a frustrating process with little chance of success but as my membership of campaigns against hospital and school closures, apartheid and in solidarity with Eastern Europe all show that progress can be made.

    Much as some here dislike New Labour no serious person can deny that with regard to their two main objectives of healt and education that there was no progress made in those areas during the years they were in power – I just have to look at the new schools my kids go to, or the rebuilt local hospitals, or the higher wages paid to nurses and teachers in order to know that progress has been made. I can also point to how Labour took its eye of the ball when it came to market deregulation and the City – but I am pretty confident that the consensus view on this has changed within the Party and the same mistake won’t be repeated (this is the same as saying that the Party has abandoned the mixed economy, which is of course the end objective of some of those here who still yearn for the command economy)

    I’m afraid democracy can be a two steps forward one step back process but I’ve yet to find anything better – and certainly not among the regimes or ideologies that many here are all too ready to defend and whose excesses such as flying airplanes into skyscapers or suicide bombers they are prepared to consider as “self inflicted” injuries on democracies.

    The reason why I get so upset about many of the statements here is not necessarily with the stated end goals but it is with the lack of indentification of any democratic means as to how those objectives will be achieved. Many here don’t understand that there are often competing arguments which also have to be respected and engaged with nor that in a democracy progress is to be made based on achieving consent rather than insulting those with whom you disagree. If they think there is a better way of achieving progress and democracy they offer precious little in terms of what they may be – and instead just offer a continuing series of links to demonstrate their loathing of their own society.

    I am neither thick, sick or bought. I do have to admit to being comfortable – but perhaps that is another benefit for most of us in democratic societies – and almost certainly is the case with most commenters here, who perhaps should reflect that in Iran there are currently 131 journalists and bloggers who have been imprisoned for expressing their views (as reported in today’s Guardian) and the regime talked about annihalation (Press TVs words) of a group who worked for the Farsi service of the BBC World Service.

    Cryptonym

    I should think it is pretty obvious that my dissidence is to the prevailing opionions here and not to “democratic” society in which we live. And I have seen plenty here objecting to the idea of democracy and perhaps even more who fail to understand that it is not just an end in itself but should also be a means by which you seek to operate. Might I suggest that trying to reach out and achieve a consensus with those whom you disagree (as opposed to throwing childish insults), and removing those you disagree with by the ballot box, rather than hanging drawing and quartering, are signs of democracy rather than resorting to nihilsism or worse. But please try and prove me wrong and demonstrate how you would achieve change by democratic means?

    “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill House of Commons on 11 November 1947

    (I’m sure Sophie’s dad and history teacher would approve)

  120. LastBlueBell

    22 May, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    @Komodo, 22 May, 2013 – 12:56 pm

    O/T, but I am curious regarding this,

    “Even Darwin, who co-led a revoltion in biological science, wasn’t very nice.”

    In what way, and on what grounds? Personally, he has always come across as a rather (if not), very decent person, not least when you read accounts by his children?

    But my memory or my mind may have failed me here…

  121. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 5:09 pm

    And I have no problem in expressing my support for the cause of the Chagossians = particularly since they are seeking to promote it using wholly democratic means

    http://www.chagossupport.org.uk/how-you-can-help

  122. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 5:11 pm

    “The reason why I get so upset about many of the statements here is not necessarily with the stated end goals but it is with the lack of indentification of any democratic means as to how those objectives will be achieved”

    Thoughtful statement on the whole, RD.

    I agree Democracy is the best form of government. Part of the problem is we have created a convenient form of same, which allows detachment from accountability for the citizenry. In a direct democracy, the People vote as opposed to Representative Democracy wherein we vote for proxies we trust with the agenda. That’s where the problem is. The reason, imo, many here deride the politicos as inept, or worse, corrupt and proffer no solution to their behaviors is because there are so many shenanigans said politicos use to avoid their Public service oaths The triangulations of back room deals and closed meetings make the electorate cynical and apathetic.

    So, what to do? Volunteer at local level to develop and campaign for candidates most likely to carry out their duties with some consistent integrity. Get involved and get others involved. “All politics, are LOCAL” is a famous quote that applies here.
    Monitor said candidates after election and hold them accountable for their voting record. Replace, as necessary. Part of the reason these guys go rogue after election is the fervent wish to be re-elected. When you haul enough of them out of office for non-performance, the message will be clear to the rest of them. Now in districts which are of a different bent, politically, maybe one you don’t agree with, it’s fair to apply the same standard. However, I too am comfortable, but that is a relative measure of the quality of life. I am not rich. But I am not wanting. Yet, I do think there is some ‘noblesse oblige’ I need to display for those not as comfortable as I.

  123. II’m afraid democracy can be a two steps forward one step back process but I’ve yet to find anything better – and certainly not among the regimes or ideologies that many here are all too ready to defend and whose excesses such as flying airplanes into skyscapers or suicide bombers they are prepared to consider as “self inflicted” injuries on democracies.

    What a loads of bollocks

    As for the rest of shite about new schools and hospital: PFI (ie keeping the expenditure off the books and leasing the premises from privateers whom have already built up the place with an inherent obsolescence, looking forward to the subsequent upgrades at enormous costs to the tax payer eventually).

    So far as the wage increases; which fucking planet are you on mate? The real earnings of the plebeians has gone back to be equivalent as the years after the war, coupled with the massive money printing frenzy sold as Quantitative Easing, i robbing the poor to pay the rich/banksters/financiers/leeches, anyone who had saved has seen their savings disappear down the shitter.

    This is no dissidence, it is more like a fucking propaganda drone to reinforce the shite that the corporate media has been pumping out under the tutelage of the SIS and the governments combined. Clearly thumping the same message home will eventually sink in to the brains of the gold fish is the ethos that is not going to be let go as yet.

  124. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    That’s a weird one Fedup – the Phoenix Free School in Oldham.

    It was first mooted in 2011,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18832576
    turned down in 2012 and has now been approved by Poison Gove following assistance from the DfE officials on the application.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-22621108

    The head Tom Burkard, a former school teacher and a ‘military instructor’, is quoted in the 2011 BBC piece as coming ‘from the Centre for Policy Studies’, a Thatcher and Keith Joseph creation.

    Lo and behold here is Poison Gove delivering the CPS Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture to the ‘City’ being introduced by Saatchi.
    http://www.cps.org.uk/publications/reports/the-2013-keith-joseph-memorial-lecture/

    This is their board. http://www.cps.org.uk/about/board/

    Milords Saatchi and Blackwell, the Marquess of Salisbury, Niall Ferguson, Rocco Forte, two from Goldman Sachs, Nelson from the Spectator and four others representing PR, property, private equity and previous Tory governments.

    A far cry from poor kids in Oldham who are going to do some drills and be subject to a militarized regime to save them ‘getting into crime’.

    ‘shun. By the right, quick march…….

    Here is Gove eulogizing Sir Keith Joseph. 1 hr. I could bear just about the first ten minutes.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xPEvyY_QibA

  125. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 5:27 pm

    I was about to remind the ResDiss of the vast debt (£300bn) that he, his children and grandchildren will be repaying to the shark investors, speculators, lawyers, accountants, et al for the >next 30 years as these debts for NuLabour schools and hospitals are sold and bought. At the end they will be slums, being mostly ticky tacky constructions.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/05/pfi-contracts-list

    Full data of the debts and contracts.

    I believe that PFI contracts are still being entered into by Gideon and his mob.

  126. April Showers, this latest murder of Ibragim Todashev by the FBI shows just what we are up against when it comes to dealing with the excesses of Western police states.

    Todashev knew the elder alleged Boston bomber, the one who was killed outright so he would not be able to explain why he went off the rails ultimately while working with the Bureau in entrapping Chechen terrorists.

    Todashev knew much about this, even talking to Tamerlan after the bombings, and he became increasing angry while being interrogated by the Bureau about it, so it took him out like how French so=called counter terrorists took out Mohammad Merah after the Toulouse massacre.

    You can always get a suspect to fight back if you come calling during the wee hours of the morning, and break down the door in trying to make an arrest.

    I am particularly interested in the case as the FBI, it seems, tried again to entrap in crime by calling me twice, and asking me if I was one Stephen Nickerson – who I suspect Todashev told the Bureau knew about the Boston bombings,

    Of course, I am not Nickerson, and have never used that alias or any other one.

    The Bureau was just on another fishing trip to catch me, as in the ‘Jihad Jane’ fiasco, but I never answer any of its queries.

    Be really interesting if we hear more about one Steve Nickerson being involved in this latest counter terrorist fiasco.

  127. ot – The new Pope sounds good (!)

    Culture is the foundation of Peace

    The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! (…..) this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.

  128. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    So Fedup – what do you propose? More of the usual gold fish mouthings is my guess rather than anything which is constructive and workable? We know waht you are against – but what are you for?

    Ben Franklin

    By all means there should be a discussion about what forms of democracy work best – I would be a little more circumspect about Direct Democracy – I am not sure that it can handle the large number of decisions and detail that is required in modern government or that non elected elements wouldn’t do everything they could to sway short term decisions in their power. I also suspect that most people would prefer to leave the smaller and more detailed decisions to others . That said I could see systems where say decisions are required to be sent for wider consultation when say a voter panel expresses a certain level of dissent. There also needs to be a lot more thought about the roles of second houses (at least here in the UK where it is appointed/hereditary) and local/regional government offering checks and balances.

    On the selection of reprsentatives, I agree that regular reselection and contact with the voters is one of the best controls out – and indeed there is a lot to be said for annual (or more regular) parlaiments, which is the one unsatisfied demand, of the Chartists. Of course in the UK we have just made a backward step from this where we now have fixed 5 year parliaments as a result of the coalition programme for Craig voted, even though none of us were offered such an alternative by any party in the General Election. We also have something of a problem in the UK in that many parliamentary candidates are creatures of the political machine rather than having experience of worked elsewhere – perhaps we need some qualifying criteria, but this does run into the problem of someone else other than the electorate having a say in what constitutes an acceptable candidate.

  129. And can you believe that I no sooner posted the above than I received another call from the Bureau, assuring me that it was official business, and asking whether or not I am one Stephen Nickerson.

    Can’t deny that it isn’ t plugged in worldwide 24/7.

  130. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    April Showers

    So how else would you have raised the money to pay for the schools and hospitals without incurring debts of some form? Expropriations I presume or wouldn’t you bother at all?

    I am more than happy to criticise the terms on which PFI debts were raised and the near complete failure of Treasury officials to drive a proper bargain with the sharks providing the finance (in many cases due to ignorance and worse on their part) – especially since I almost certainly know a lot more about the subject than yourself (e.g I think you will find the lawyers and accountants were in nearly all cases paid up front). But perhaps rather than criticising you could suggest some constructive alternatives?

  131. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 6:11 pm

    RD;

    “– I would be a little more circumspect about Direct Democracy – I am not sure that it can handle the large number of decisions and detail that is required in modern government”

    Quite impractical from the standpoint of Joe Lunchbucket who hasn’t the time to familiarize himself with the ‘Devil’s Details’.
    But having some form of incentive for voters to ‘volunteer’ (like a jury foreman) who acts as ombudsman for a District to assess or make recommendations for legislation based on polls and research, could work. Yet I feel this is harder than just creating grass-level organization within the existing Representative system.

    ” non elected elements wouldn’t do everything they could to sway short term decisions in their power.”

    This is part of the problem which can be corrected through savvy and rapid communication with the electorate through activist orgs. Networking through various medias is key. Transparency is paramount before the nefarious elements objecting to change for selfish purpose see their mugs on streetlight pole ‘Wanted for Crimes against the People’ posters. Of course, I am being rhetorical. When the voter sees a direct connection between their plight and the actions of many working against their interests, the chips fall. The battle for hearts and minds is won by those who don’t quit or give up. Persistence, not talent, is why most of these thugs get their way. Double-down on their persistence.

  132. @ resident dissident – 12:22 pm : re Your comment “Given his attachment to the historical roots of liberalism perhaps Craig might wish to explain how the Scottish Enlightenment came about after the Act of Union and how none of its major figures appeared to have argued for its revocation”. A very interesting comment if I may say so. I don’t know Graig’s view, but I personally don’t see any contradiction.

    My view is that the Union worked well for Scotland in the 19th and 18th centuries and that the major figures of the 18th century “Enlightenment” were smart enough to understand this. They were pro-union and anti-Jacobite. The Union brought economic opportunities that resulted in boom time for great cities like Glasgow; and the 15 & 45 Jacobite rebellions, great in romance and song, made no sense to these rational thinkers. But the times have changed and the Union no longer works well. The once great industries have collapsed. Across the UK everything economic has been centralized to the disadvantage not only of Scotland but of the English regions. Scotland now has a chance (perhaps a last chance) to put this foolish centralization into reverse and, with oil, the money to do so.

    The “enlightenment” were Rational Thinkers, and just as Rational Thought once backed Union, so Rational Thought would back independence today.

  133. “You do seem to have a fixation about obesity, Fred. And you appear to be on the verge of stereotyping Scots on the basis of lipid content. Glad you’ve got nothing more damning to say about them or Alex, anyway. ”

    Point is revolutions are for people with no food in their bellies not for people who holiday in Florida. Being more prosperous is important if it means not being hungry but not if it just means buying more Buckie.

    Successful revolutions are driven by need not by greed.

  134. what are you for?

    1- A very serious curbing of the powers of the prime minister, with respect to declaration of war, patronage of MPs, appointment of peers.

    2- A very serious overhaul of the electoral process with respect to delineation of powers of setting electoral boundaries, away from any political operative, or the incumbent government. Introduction of proportional presentation without the single transferable vote element.

    3- Return of decision making power to parliament.

    4- No more stuffing the legislative committees with uninterested MPs who will be sitting at the back and getting on with their work, whilst the legislation is getting debated/amened, to be put to vote on the floor.

    5- Re regulation of financial institutions, and setting of minimum floors for mandatory investment within UK on: plant, buildings, workforce training, modernisation.

    6- Fixed term parliamentary period to stop the bribery of the electorate by the incumbent government along with the Punch and Judy show that goes with setting the election dates.

    7- A bill of rights, and a written constitution.

    These are just a few pointers that will start the ball rolling in the direction of “democracy”. The sloganeering about “democracy” more and more sounds hollow, and is akin to yea olde repressive Nazi, or Communist regimes.

    The fact that elected MPs have little or no power, and are entirely dependent on the patronage of their relevant party leaders, only reinforces the current status quo, in which the SIS are running wild, and the state within the state is governing regardless of the plebeians wishes or aspirations.

    It is sickening to see the all out song and dance about fucking democracy, when there is none.

  135. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    Fedup @ 6:25

    That’s the WHAT….but HOW is it done?

  136. That’s the WHAT….but HOW is it done?

    Can only be done through a fucking miracle.

    The current vested interests cannot afford to allow even the least of the changes, for these know very well; upon accession of people to power, the golden egg laying goose will in no time stop laying the gold eggs.

    The notions of full employment, viable social services, and adequately modernised infrastructure, will only demolish the current status quo.

  137. Video of London attacker just up at ITN – http://www.itv.com/news/

  138. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 7:17 pm

    Resident Dissident 5.59pm How else to finance building schools and hospitals….

    A. Borrow in the usual way. PFI is twice as expensive.

    Also were all the brand new buildings and services needed. What about repairing and extending the existing stock. Cheaper and would have given employment.

    http://scriptonitedaily.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/all-in-it-together-how-government-is-handing-ownership-of-our-schools-and-hospitals-to-banks/

    PFI is used for many other public works. See that Guardian spreadsheet.

    For instance, Surrey CC has contracted the replacement of street lighting via PFI with Skanska. Value £79m ! http://www.skanska.co.uk/Projects/Project/?pid=342&plang=en-gb
    They will operate and maintain the scheme until 2035. Goodness know what charges will acrrue to the Surrey taxpayers over the next 22 years.

    There’s more. http://www.group.skanska.com/en/Projects/Search-project/

  139. John Reid – and Theresa May

    Of course it’s “sickening and barbaric”!

    But it’s no less sickening and barbaric than what those so-called “rebels” that you’re backing in Syria are doing. And it’s no less sickening and barbaric than drone attacks, just because you don’t see the results up close and personal on the ground.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630304

    and John Reid – the idea that currently serving British soldiers are “protecting you” day after day, is a fiction. Pure fiction.

  140. Since an immigrant wielding a knife was killed by police, some days ago, Sweden has been engulfed in rioting, with young people mainly joining in the rioting. There are other sources and I wonder what Arbeds take would be on the symptoms of this eruption.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/sweden-riots-4-arrested-stockholm-suburb_n_3312512.htm

  141. Giles – I can assure you that I mean racist in its only sense. I happen to work with actual workers, the majority of whom use words like coon, raghead, etc. on a daily basis and think nothing of suggesting that people who have different coloured skin or speak a different language should be deported, shot or gassed and these are the same people who vote UKIP (mainly because there is no BNP presence in this part of the world). If this surprises you, I suggest you seek out some Sun/Daily Mail readers and ask them for their opinions on a few things.

  142. John O’Connor, former commander of the Flying Squad, warns there is no way of knowing if this is “a one-off incident”.

    He tells BBC News: “It seems to me that this is a departure from the established type of attacks that you see.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630304

    Yes, I wouldn’t be too worried about looking for the backers – the planners and financiers. Doesn’t seem like there was much planning involved?

    Both of the attackers were shot by police. One is dead. One in hospital, as far as I know.

    God help the guy who was attacked. RIP.

  143. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    Ref the savage murder of a member of the armed forces in Woolwich this afternoon.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630304

    1908: The BBC’s Nick Robinson tweets: “To those offended by my describing the attacker as of “Muslim appearance” – I was directly quoting a Whitehall source quoting the police.”

    He was a study in severity. He repeated the phrase ‘of Muslim appearance’ at least twice in the 6pm News on BBC1. The T word was used too and we were reminded of 7/7 and other terrorist attacks.

    Mrs May has called a COBRA meeting. Hammond was interviewed. Cameron is returning early from seeing Hollande to attend the COBRA meeting. They have just held a joint press conference.

    Miliband is cancelling a visit to Germany.

    Sky News have had John Reid speaking from their Westminster studio. I will leave what he said to your imagination.

    PS
    What does a Muslim look like?
    What does a Christian look like?

    PPS I am not defending the murder just critical of the reaction by the media and the politicians.

  144. Has the UK reinforced Boston? The drift indicates yea.

    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-05-22/exclusive-video-man-with-bloodied-hands-speaks-at-woolwich-scene/

    Terrrrrror – I am recording the initial responses.

  145. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    Restraint from Frank Gardner.

    ‘1936: The BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, says there are still a lot of questions to be answered about the motivation behind the Woolwich attack.

    People should keep an open mind until more information emerges, he adds.’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630304

  146. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 7:57 pm

    The 1982 Hyde Park bombing came back into the news today with the charging of an Irishman, John Downey. That’s 31 years ago.

    John Anthony Downey in court over 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing

    Dead horses covered up and wrecked cars at the scene of carnage in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, after an IRA bomb exploded as the Household Cavalry was passing

    Horses were also killed by the bomb which exploded as the Household Cavalry passed

    A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of four soldiers in the 1982 IRA bombing in Hyde Park, London.

    John Anthony Downey, 61, of County Donegal, Ireland has been charged with the murders of Roy John Bright, Dennis Richard Anthony Daly, Simon Andrew Tipper and Geoffrey Vernon Young.

    The four members of the Household Cavalry were travelling to Buckingham Palace when they were killed.

    Mr Downey was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Sunday.

    /..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22625104

  147. John Quatermass Reid whose doctorate was gained through his explorations of socialism in Benign. He used to carry his make shift rostrum around with him and get on with his numerous pontifications about al kaidy whilst in charge of home office. As ever he has been pulled out of the cupboard to get on the beeb and give us all a re run of his numerous pontifications.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch with shades of Jean Charles de Menezes and his puffer jacket with wires hanging off! The story of the Woolich attack in no time is tied to Islamic Taayyyrrrrrooorists, that is without much information at the disposal of the enunciators.

    Hence anyone, just surfing the net will see the poison and bile that is getting poured on the “Muslims” which is not racist by any means (as per the current conventions), and now we can all wait and see what sort of attacks will be carried out on the Muslims in reprisals dished out by the hatemongers. Surprisingly the debates about killing Muslims are going on , evidently without any intervention of the SIS.

  148. @Fedup

    “6- Fixed term parliamentary period to stop the bribery of the electorate by the incumbent government along with the Punch and Judy show that goes with setting the election dates.”

    I am fairly sure this has already been done (even RD agrees), though of course after setting the maximum term, our politicos, Westminster Village idiot scribes and wonks have managed to create the impression that it’s a minimum term instead, meaning that once in they will hang on for the full five years, to the last day of it, come what may -deliberately misconstrued its presentation to convince many that five years is an entitlement, which they must ‘dutifully’ serve. Instead of constraining them to five years maximum it has actually entrenched them for the full duration, however loathsome their conduct might get. It was only six years maximum previously by convention, so isn’t really much of a change, no-one could go on indefinitely, except maybe an ‘emergency’ coalition for an entirely fabricated crisis of their own making. In practice then it is completely ineffectual as far as democratisation goes, a government can still throw the towel in early and collapse or be paralysed by infighting for a successor executive, and parliament can still have a a vote of no confidence, and with no counter vote (a cancelling vote of new found confidence in a new administration formed or a policy change), within a specific time a general election is automatic as if the five years were up. Neither of course can a fixed term parliament compel a collapsing government to keep governing if they decide they won’t or find they can’t do, or are obstructed from having everything their own way. For MPs, it was a sly way of giving them job security, a means of guaranteeing five years salary and having made personal financial arrangements on that basis, makes a no-confidence vote far less likely as instead they all have a strong incentive to keep clinging on to the bitterest end.

    I’m not sure too all how any of this would stop the bribery of the sectors of the electorate, by for example more tax cuts for the stupendously wealty, or the greater number of aspirant wannabes, daft enough to delude themselves they can be one of the in-set too. It doesn’t -won’t have this effect at all in practice. If anything giveaway budgets were a sure telltale of an imminent election if past the third quarter of a parliament’s life.

    Chartists’ annual parliaments as was mentioned above, giving them no chance to get too comfortable, and with incumbents disbarred from standing, seems the obvious best option.

    Abolishing Westminster entirely seems worth considering too, move the English parliament and seat of government to the Midlands or somewhere further North or more central. Start afresh.

  149. the maximum term

    It is not a fixed term; it leaves the of calling the election date at the disposal of the incumbent government. Fixed term means; exactly upon four years term there will be an election taking place. This will effectively strip the carpetbaggers from their stop, go economic shenanigans; bribing the gold fish to “vote” for the incumbents again.

  150. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 8:48 pm

    They did their best to off D-Dawg after dispatching the other tool. This latest STFU moment with the associate being ‘questioned’ by the FBI has been dispatched, now we have the Wool hackers who have been shot and are in custody. Any chance we can find a survivor, closely aligned, so that we may connect the dots? Not much.

  151. What I am saying is we have it: new fixed-term parliament legislation was passed in 2011, it is five years exactly, then there must be an election. The next general election, the date is already fixed, it is Thursday 7th May 2015. The coalition expect not to relinquish power until then.

  152. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Never heard the aftermath of this similar attack.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/24/man-arrested-attacking-samurai-sword

  153. Will be interesting to see if Captain Simon Hayward aka Captain James Rennie, who witnessed the horrific attack on the Household Cavalry back in July 1982, and went on become the 14 Intelligence Company South Detachment’s OP, will testify in any Downey trial.

    When his apparent associate, Derrick Bird aka Private Walnut and Soldier ‘C’ in the ambush of Francis Bradley – the lead-up to the assassination of Swedish statsminister Olof Palme in Stockholm on February 28, 1986 – was confronted with a new inquest into the Bradley murder, he went on that deadly rampage in Cumbria.

    Looks like here, any fireworks will be the work of the Provisionals.

  154. April Showers

    22 May, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    Some icing on the cake by CNN. Note the triple killings the murdered man was supposed to be responsible for. And the name of the martial arts club.

    Man killed by FBI agent knew Tsarnaevs, tied to triple murder, source says
    By Michael Martinez. Tom Watkins and Susan Candiotti, CNNhttp://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/22/justice/florida-fbi-shooting-boston/index.html

  155. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 9:06 pm

    Fancy the Times of Israel having a nugget not seen elsewhere, by me.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/fbi-kills-man-linked-to-boston-marathon-bombings/

    ““(The FBI) took me and my friend, the suspect that got killed. They were talking to us, both of us, right? And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they’re going to bring him back. They never brought him back,” Taramiv told the station.

    “He felt inside he was going to get shot,” Taramiv said. “I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.’”

    The FBI confirmed that the suspect was “deceased.””

  156. Shortly before the shooting, Todashev ‘had a bad feeling. He felt there’s going to be a set-up against him,’ Taramov said.

    Todashev gave him phone numbers for his mother and father late Monday just in case he got ‘locked up.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329001/Ibragim-Todashev-FBI-agent-fatally-shoots-suspect-Orlando-knew-Boston-Marathon-bombing-suspect-Tamerlan-Tsarnaev.html

  157. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 9:24 pm

    Dreoilin @ 9:16

    I suspect that if T and D-Dawg were radicalized, Zubeidat is chief enabler. She strikes me as somewhat hysterical in everything I’ve read about her.

    The mother of the Tsarnaev brothers, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, also confirmed that her older son knew Todashev.
    In a telephone interview with the New York Times from Dagestan, Tsarnaeva said Todashev moved from Boston to Florida about two years ago. She said she is devastated to learn that he has been killed.
    ‘Now another boy has left this life,’ she told the newspaper. ‘Why are they killing these children without any trial or investigation?’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329001/Ibragim-Todashev-FBI-agent-fatally-shoots-suspect-Orlando-knew-Boston-Marathon-bombing-suspect-Tamerlan-Tsarnaev.html#ixzz2U3T6bVtw
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  158. “I suspect that if T and D-Dawg were radicalized, Zubeidat is chief enabler. She strikes me as somewhat hysterical in everything I’ve read about her.”

    I didn’t notice anything hysterical about her, Ben. She’s a mother and they are her two sons. That’s all I noticed. But I wasn’t paying particular attention to her.

  159. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    April @ 7:36

    From your BBC link

    “2102: In her statement, the home secretary refused to confirm or deny if the alleged Woolwich attackers were known to MI5 or the police.”

    Non-denial, denial.

  160. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 9:34 pm

    I’ve been noting her since Boston, Dreolin.

  161. next general election as 7 May 2015 and on the first Thursday in May in every fifth year thereafter.

    What is a year between friends?

    It ought to be four years, as it is the convention across the world (with good reason too), there is no need for the extra year (this could effectively could lead to 2 years more in power for the incumbent upon wining a second term with the resulting complications thereof) .

  162. George Galloway has tweeted

    “This sickening atrocity in London is exactly what we are paying the same kind of people to do in Syria”

    and an eyewitness said that one of the attackers tried to use a rusty revolver and blew his own finger off. I think that would be the attacker in hospital.

    Someone has “translated” tweets from “the vernacular”

    http://www.reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom/comments/1eu5ig/eyewitness_tweets_of_machete_attack_in_woolwich/ca3t2uc

  163. “The reason why I get so upset about many of the statements here”

    As a child of the sixties, my earliest “News” memory, was the announcing of the end of the Vietnam War; even at that tender age, I was struggling to understand why we in the “Capitalists” countries were so against people living in countries called ” Communists”, so against in fact that we were prepared to kill and/or die; it seemed totally bizarre that how one society decides to organize itself was of concern, never mind a dire threat to other differently organized societies; my child brain just couldn’t understand why people really need to actually kill each other over purely political matters /ideological reasons ?!

    At this time, the worst thing a person could be accused of was of being a “communist”, and the second was being called “a dirty communist sympathizer”; it was a message that was conveyed through the “News”, and movies, through Government spokesperson, etc, it permeated throughout society, you simply couldn’t be unaware of it. I particularly remembered how certain people would get very, very angry when speaking against “communists”, and I was left astounded that a) they could feel so intensely passionately about such an immaterial thing such as how other people chose to organise themselves, b) wars, mass killings, immense suffering, great injustices etc, hardly produced a peep from these very same “passionate” people. Only much later, did I notice that these very excitable, intensely passionate anti-communists, divided into two general groups, namely those who were obviously well situated in “capitalist” societies, so had a stake in demonizing any alternative, therefore competing system to their status-quo; then there was the second type, who just seemed possessed of an irrational loathing, hatred even, of anything that hinted at a potential of being a good working alternative, or heaven forbid, better way of living, than to what they were used. It became obvious to me that this second group were blighted by such low self-esteem that they needed to feel good about themselves by feeling that they had the best, were the best etc, in other words a psychological need to feel superior to mask the fact that they know they are not, which is where presumeably all this irrational passionate anger comes from.

    People like RD & the Habba-Clown, who are always getting “upset” at criticisms directed at how the West is & operates, coupled with their disturbing lack of empathy to the human carnage, indeed genocide, caused by how the West is & operates, remind me of the low self-esteem communist haters who only can feel so passionate over ideological issues for psychological reasons, but normal human empathy left them cold, as despite their protestations, their uncontrollable outbursts of ideological “upset” rather than “upset” over the genocides in Vietnam or Iraq, reveals what really makes them tick.

  164. Dreoilin at 7.27pm.

    Very good post.

    As undoubtedly horrific and contemptible as the Woolwich incident was,do the Powers That Be not understand if you invade/bomb/murder these far away lands for decades-or centuries-there will be inevitable blowback?

    Do they not understand the basic rules of cause and effect?

    John Reid is an ignoramus and bully boy.

    Bu$hCo,Blair,Straw,Hoon et al…don’t you see now what your lies have caused?

  165. No sooner said than done EDL fuckwits are in Woolwich getting on with their hobby.

  166. Jack Straw’s denial of all knowledge about extraordinary rendition and torture seems to be now confirmed as hollow as the day he uttered it.

    So the “conspiracy theorists” were right all along Straw.

    How do you sleep Straw?

  167. And don’t forget murdered GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd who was investigating Britain’s assistance of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, was lied to completely about it, and when he learned about about it, and started doing something about it, he was miraculously killed.

    You just can’t make this shit up.

  168. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 11:16 pm

    Macky

    I can and do get upset about the abuses of the West. I too was against what the US did in Vietnam and Cambodia – which if you bother to look I have already made clear in comments here amounted to a war crime. I also opposed the US role in Chile and El Salvador – and I was none too keen on the role that the US played in arming various despots around the world (including Saddam at one time – although the Soviet Union was always his main supplier). And i have little argument with the condemnation of Israel for many of its abuses of human rights.

    I also have quite a lot of time for some communists e.g some of the Euro communists, and the many rank and file within the Soviet bloc who accepted the basic tenets of fairness and equality of that creed, which have some overlap with my own social democracy. You are right however that I have little time for those communists who have used their creed in order to justify the Soviet GULAG, the Ukrainian Holodomor, the invasions of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary or the countless abuses of the Chinese communists, and let us not forget the initial appeasement of Nazi Germany (something which they share with much of the British establishment)or how they destroyed the struggle against Spanish fascism. The hatred of this type of communism, which I share with the likes of Orwell and Koestler comes from my political heritage on the libertarian left rather than the irrationality to which you ascribe it.

    I also have an ability to understand that no one side has a monopoly on abusing human rights, genocide or terrorism – and that such things such be criticised whoever is the perpetrator. All of us have to form a view as to which political system we consider most likely to progress society and sustain human rights – my view is that social democracy offers the best alternative(if only because it presents us with the opportunity to do something about abuses of human rights), and your comments about lack of human empathy and supporting genocide speak volumes for you as a person rather than myself. But perhaps rather than criticising those who at least have an idea of where they would like to see the world going you might wish to enlighten us as to what is your alternative?

    PS your conflation of Ho Chi Minh and Saddam really speaks volumes – as far as I recall Ho didn’t start two wars against his neighbours, use WMDs, drive millions of people out of the country through fear and torture or openly espouse a fascist ideology.

  169. resident dissident

    22 May, 2013 - 11:22 pm

    “It ought to be four years, as it is the convention across the world (with good reason too), there is no need for the extra year (this could effectively could lead to 2 years more in power for the incumbent upon wining a second term with the resulting complications thereof) .”

    It also ought to be four years because that is what was in the LibDem and Labour manifestoes at the last election – but we have been given a change to our electoral system than no one voted for, that is other than those LibDem members who voted for the coalition agreement at their Conference.

  170. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 11:25 pm

    Would they ever voluntarily rescind permanent employment?

  171. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 11:31 pm

  172. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    22 May, 2013 - 11:41 pm

    AP reporters ‘trash’ Israel on secret FB pg.

    http://freebeacon.com/vultures/

  173. Would they ever voluntarily rescind permanent employment?

    This is taking the piss, right?

    Full employment in the current economic wisdom is ninety five percent employment, the plutocrats cannot afford 100 percent employment. The consequences of the labour shortage would be horrendous; so far as these are concerned.

    With a low skill, low Tech. economy; result of expectations of return on the capital employed many times over, as the old and worn out plant and machinery in use proves, coupled with a low skill labour force, and lack of investors (City institutions do like unusual returns from their investment outside UK). These all help to promote the current messed up situation.

    The surplus labour helps the policies of the plutocrats immensely. It has done so, ever since passing the poor act.

    ====

    In the other news:

    Newsnight is busy promoting more “security measures” ie even more of a police state, along with the curbs on the internet, censorship, email snooping, and teams of disinformation operatives spreading the “on message” whilst identifying those, whom do not subscribe to the “on message”

    Sky is busy fanning the flames of hatred towards Muslims, not so subtly, and discounting any of the clap trap about any connections to “war on Islam” foreign policy.

    Resultant of the hatemongering: mosques are getting attacked, and Muslims are getting their heads kicked in. Not a bad days work, already the news of the “results” are trickling in.

  174. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    23 May, 2013 - 12:08 am

    Fedup;

    My reply was to RD @ 11:22

  175. Ben,

    Quick fire sometimes can lead to embarrassment!

  176. Good man Ben = Let’s say that again:

    “2102: In her statement, the home secretary refused to confirm or deny if the alleged Woolwich attackers were known to MI5 or the police.”

    Non-denial, denial.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630304

  177. I’m reminded of a Spitting Image sketch. After a bomb in Oxford Street, Douglas Hurd bursts in on Mrs Thatcher, yelling “There’s been a bomb in Oxford Street, there’s been bomb in Oxford Street!”, to which Thatcher replies: “Well who’s responsible?” and Hurd replies “You are you dreadful old witch”

    Substitute Oxford Street for Woolwich, bomb for knife, Thatcher for Blair/Brown/Cameron etc.

  178. Obama Admits US Killed 4 Americans in Drone War

    http://news.antiwar.com/2013/05/22/obama-admits-us-killed-4-americans-in-drone-war/

    (surely “drone war” is a misnomer? It suggests that both sides have drones)

  179. Sofia Zabalotna-Habbercake

    23 May, 2013 - 12:43 am

    Resident Dissident. 4 43 pm

    Forgive me for assuming you had run away. Maybe you had detention too.

    Your more thoughtful piece has been well chewed over already by the regulars. Thanks.

    But I still want to respond.

    Ok. First of all where did you find all those straw men?

    I don’t recall accusing you of claiming “…democracy results in perfect outcomes.” I think I suggested that in the light of the evidence the British “democratic” state, and the West in general, behave in ways that lead to pretty dreadful outcomes for an awful lot of people.

    Neither do I recall suggesting resorting to “…nihilism or worse to argue your case”.

    As for “…many here are all too ready to defend and whose excesses such as flying airplanes into skyscapers or suicide bombers…..” I can only say WTF? And very loud too! Please show me where I can read these posts as I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

    You claim other contributers ….. “ just offer a continuing series of links to demonstrate their loathing of their own society.” Are you not confusing the rejection of appauling and illegal behaviour with loathing our society. If not, some examples please?

    You say ….“most commenters here, who perhaps should reflect that in Iran there are currently 131 journalists and bloggers who have been imprisoned for expressing their views…..” Can you show me an example of a commenter here suggesting that Iran does’nt have human rights problems? ow would that compare with, for example Guantanamo? Do explain to me how the history of Western powers’ dealings with Iran have ever seriously tried to improve the lot of the Iranian people?

    Now I call that a crowd of straw men.

    Miss Trunchball would leave a lot of red ink in the margins. “RD tries hard but lacks proper insight and imagination. Makes too much up as he goes along. Attend remedial class after school every day next week. 3O%”
    I suggest you avoid her like the plague.

    For my part I would love to see a recognisable democracy in Britain, a country and society, many aspects of which, I love and respect. What I perceive is a sham, dressed up as a democracy, and carefully managed by a compliant press, political parties, judiciary and police force and other deep-state / corporate controlled agencies.

    As to the progress made in the New Labour years I can only ask what planet do you live on? Words really fail me here!

    And your patronising tone, “Many here don’t understand…”. What if it’s you who “don’t understand”?

    You seem to get genuinely upset that opinions counter to your own get expressed here.

    Well I feel upset that for every kilogram of explosives set off in the West every now and then by people of”muslim appearance” there are TONS OF HIGH GRADE EXPLOSIVES (sorry for shouting) detonated by Western people all over the muslim world every day. Please tell me who are really the greater terrorists? Or does the fact that they wear our uniforms and act under orders from our leaders mean that they just can’t be terrorists in RD World?

    Finally how can a state expect to be seen as an fine example of “democratic values” when it celebrates men like these as national heroes?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Arthur_Harris,_1st_Baronet

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Melville

    Goodnight all.

  180. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    23 May, 2013 - 12:52 am

    Fedup @ 12:18

    Confession is good for the soul, and I confess often.

  181. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    23 May, 2013 - 12:55 am

    Mark @ 12;26

    The power of intention, unfortunately, has a dark side.

  182. “The mindset of violent jihadists is influenced by many different factors – but one common factor among those who have been involved in acts of politically-motivated violence is the basic principle that they oppose a Western presence in the Islamic world.” to me

    My lower order thought system has placed that paragraph in the ‘dumbest BBC statement’ box.

    Dear Dominic Casciani BBC News,

    May I present a retake, a snapshot of reality:

    “We have witnessed the worst crimes against humanity under law, perpetrated without respite – murder, assassination, deprivation of access to food , water and medicine, forcible transfers of population, torture, persecution, false imprisonment, enforced disappearances, plunder of public property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages.”

    The list is incomplete. It omits treason, subversion, deception and ‘guilty until never proved innocent.

    Violence begets violence.

  183. Double-take

    Mr Hague said the case for the EU to amend its arms embargo, which would allow the international community to arm the rebels, was “compelling” – Independent

    A US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for legislation that would send arms to terrorists“vetted” moderate members of the Syrian opposition.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/us-senate-votes-to-arm-syrian-rebels-8626612.html

    Have we become too reliant on American security guarantees?

  184. BrianFujisan

    23 May, 2013 - 2:35 am

    Two things One BIG, but becoming more and more common in us police state. the other off the scales

    First Off the Scales and Good luck indeed Julian and Co

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/julian-assange-bradley-manning-lawsuit_n_3321302.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    Then there’s This Disgusting stuff, EXACTLAY as Fedup @ 11:55pm – Noted –
    ” In Other News…..

    http://www.politicalforum.com/latest-us-world-news/304003-teenager-arrested-posting-rap-lyrics-facebook.html

  185. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 7:23 am

    St Theresa of May was wearing black last night and was giving her statement (off an autocue?) with deep gravitas. She had been rehearsed. Her white make up gave her a witchlike appearance.

    She cannot wait for SOCA to be replaced in October with her National Crime Agency. National police force to follow in due course.

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

    He statement last night was in complete contrast to her ramblings here. Working hard, working hard, working hard for hard working people ad infinitum. LOL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNK2DZsHGaM

    What a bunch over the last 20 years. Incompetents or thugs mostly.

    Michael Howard
    Jack Straw
    David Blunkett
    Charles Clarke
    John Reid
    Jacqui Smith
    Alan Johnson
    Theresa May

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

  186. “You just can’t make this shit up. ”

    You seem to manage pretty well. In fact your quite good at it.

  187. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Photo of the COBRA meeting room provided under a FoI request.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/51806/response/136071/attach/3/FOI308182%20information.pdf

    Spooky eh?

  188. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 8:14 am

    23 May 2013
    US confirms four American citizens killed by drones
    The US had revealed Awlaki’s death but had not publicly confirmed he was killed by a drone

    Related Stories
    First US drone launch from carrier Watch
    Robot warriors: Lethal machines coming of age
    Viewpoint: US media lax on drones

    The US attorney general has acknowledged four US citizens have been killed in drone strikes since 2011.

    [..]
    ‘Awlaki, who was born in the US state of New Mexico, was killed in a missile strike from an unmanned plane in Yemen in September 2011. US officials announced his death but did not officially reveal he was killed by a drone.

    Samir Khan, a naturalised US citizen who produced an online magazine promoting al-Qaeda’s ideology, died in the same missile strike.

    Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, who was born in Colorado, was killed in Yemen a month later.

    Jude Kenan Mohammad, a North Carolina resident with a Pakistani father and an American-born mother, was arrested in Pakistan in 2008 after trying to enter a part of the country that is dominated by militants and is off-limits to foreigners.

    He was charged with weapons possession and lacking the correct paperwork but disappeared after being granted bail.

    According to his acquaintances, Mohammad is thought to have died in a strike in November 2011 in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region, the New York Times reported.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22633934#

  189. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 8:25 am

    Sky News is like the Hammer House of Horrors this morning.

    May lurching from her car into No 10.

    Reid spouting his stuff about the Muslim war of terror against us!!

    Hollis reminding us that ‘these people’ are not on the radar just as the brothers in the Boston Marathon bombings were not known to the security services!

    All interspersed with footage from 7/7

  190. An interesting set of responses to my comment, mainly reasonable though mainly missing the point that I intended to make, my fault mainly, I should have expressed myself better. I will try again.

    Why have UKIP done so well in recent elections?

    My hypothesis.

    Globalisation has done no favours to the majority of the British populace. Our country has been, and is still being, de-indusrialised with a resulting loss of job opportunities. The ready availability of cheap labour from abroad has reduced the relative bargaining position of British workers.

    Questions.

    A Chinese or Indian workers wages would not even cover the rent on social housing in the UK, how can it be fair to expect us to compete on the world markets on an equal basis?

    Are we expected to be a de-industrialised country in perpetuity?

    Why is it considered indecent for working class brits to have self interest, everyone else is allowed some?

  191. @RD, the fact that you used the term“abuses of the West”, is indicative of the problem I have with people of your mindset; even disregarding the fact that the wealth/standard of living etc of the West today is largely founded on the bloodstained spoils of colonialism, where even little countries like Belgium & Portugal caused genocide & lingering mass misery, to describe the post WW2 Western violence unleashed against the people of the developing world, Vietnam, Iraq, being just two of many examples , as mere “abuses, is a self-serving ideological whitewash.

    True to your New Labour Creed, you imitate Blair by invoking the Humanitarian twist on Godwin’s Law,in being unable to not to mention the Hitler-like anti-Christ personification of ultimate evil, the name Saddam; yet back in the real world, in the hell on earth now called Iraq, we have even the bitterest of Saddam’s opponents telling us that we have made them cry for the days of Saddam; you also can’t resist having a dig at the Russians for selling conventional arms to Iraq, but are startling silent on the fact that the US and Britain sold Saddam the technology and materials Iraq needed to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction; you even have the blinkered cheek in your PS to accuse Saddam of starting two wars, omitting that he was egged on & used by the West against Iran, & then tricked/deceived into going into Kuwait; and as to the millions driven out of Iraq through fear & torture, you must be getting your time frames confused, as this only happened after Iraq was attacked by the West.

    Re the fixation with Russia & China, the red-herring tendency of people like yourself, to keep referring back to the barbarism of historical totalitarian governments, in an obvious attempt to deflect criticism of CURRENT Western barbarism, is another indication that your emotions only fire up for ideological rather than true humanitarian concerns.

    “what is your alternative?”

    Real simple, treat everybody as you would want to be treated yourself; the West can start by doing some old fashion honest trading for other countries valuable commodities, instead of either taking by force, or through the use of corrupt & blood-soaked puppet dictators.

  192. “Point is revolutions are for people with no food in their bellies not for people who holiday in Florida. Being more prosperous is important if it means not being hungry but not if it just means buying more Buckie.

    Successful revolutions are driven by need not by greed.”

    That at any rate has an element of truth. But the revolution is usually incited by the bourgeois as they approach the state at which the underclass has long existed. By the time everyone’s starving, no-one’s got the strength to revolt.

    Anyway, we’re not really talking about a revolution, are we? Just the right of a country to manage its own affairs. And I know for a fact that the SNP is formally committed to nonviolence, so relax.

  193. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson is attending the Cobra meeting in Whitehall. On his way in he says: “It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam. But it is also equally wrong to try to draw any link between this murder and British foreign policy, or the actions of British forces who are risking their lives abroad for the sake of freedom. !!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22635318

  194. “Anyway, we’re not really talking about a revolution, are we? Just the right of a country to manage its own affairs. And I know for a fact that the SNP is formally committed to nonviolence, so relax.”

    All we know about the SNP is that they tell lies. Scotland not only manages their own affairs they manage everyone else’s as well. Back in 2003 when we declared war on Iraq it was down to Blair, his deputy Brown and the support of the opposition led by IDS. All three Scottish yet on these very pages we see the Nationalist fanatics blame it on the English.

    We know that the SNP formulate their policies not round their beliefs but round what is most likely to win independence. The ex RBS energy consultant pall of Souter is not actually a Socialist, he just knows that support for independence is greater among the working classes. If they win independence, or more likely when they lose the referendum, we don’t know what they are going to do.

  195. Fred, if you’d ever doorstepped for any political party, you’d know (unless you spent your time with your fingers in your ears going lalalala – not recommended for canvassers) that all political parties tell lies in order to get elected. Even yours, whatever it is. Another argument against the party system.

    You do seem to have this visceral hatred of the SNP and Salmond, though. Was your mother frightened by Wendy Wood when you were an embryo? Or is it just because the working class is keener on the SNP than on patrician twat George Osborne?

  196. “But it is also equally wrong to try to draw any link between this murder and British foreign policy, or the actions of British forces who are risking their lives abroad for the sake of freedom.”

    Wow, two lies in one breath !

    So the Boris the Buffoon doesn’t think this is a terrorist attack despite attending a Counter-terrorism Cobra meeting, and presumably when viewing footage of the guy with bloodied meat cleaver, speaking the words “”We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same” & “Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace”, he had his fingers in both ears, going “lalalala”

    Beyond belief he has the front to speak such nonsense in public.

  197. April Showers

    23 May, 2013 - 11:16 am

    The BBC have had this sweetie in the studio explaining that community cohesion is the watchword. Dept of War Studies, Kings College. That says it all.

    Where she has been and what she has done.

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/lecturers/rogers.aspx

    She was followed by Milord West ex Chief of the Naval Staff and Brown’s Minister for Security and Counter Terrorism would like to see the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ enacted. Blamed Clegg for getting it taken out of the agenda.
    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-west-of-spithead/3834

    It is interesting to see the slick BBC news presentation in operation on a busy day like today.

    Studio Carrie Gracey and Simon McCoy
    cut to Norman Smith Downing Street O/B
    cut to Matthew Amroliwala Westminster O/B
    cut to Ben Brown Woolwich O/B
    cut to 70 Whitehall COBRA

    The satellite vans must be busy.

    Each one in turn passes to the next using each other’s first name using a scripted introduction. Norman Smith seems to have prior knowledge of the content of the speech Cameron is about to make.

  198. I have a dislike for all Nationalist parties and Nationalism itself. This is due to the sordid history of Nationalism and me not being stupid enough to believe that just because the nation is the one I live in that makes it all right.

    The referendum is not an election to be held every four years, the people deserve to be told the truth and the fact you defend lies and deceit shows your contempt for democracy.

    I don’t support any political party, the person I vote for is a Liberal and a member of the aristocracy and I support neither, never have. He gets my vote because I know people he went out of the way to help when they were in trouble and because when it comes to a choice between the interests of my area and those of the Liberal party it’s the Liberals that lose. He works hard for the people of my area so he gets my vote as what else he is.

    Those who’s politics are based on a hatred of the English may find this hard to understand.

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