Andy Myles

by craig on March 26, 2014 11:18 am in Uncategorized

One of my oldest and dearest friends has gone public on his support for Scottish Independence. I am greatly cheered by this. More thoughts later.

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1,377 Comments

  1. Thanks Brian. I had not come across that instrument before. So beautiful and complete absorption in the playing. I expected woodland creatures to appear in the background.

    Where I walk with my dog, there is a steep hill. At the top in a field, I often see a young Japanese woman performing exercises which I assume to be Tai Chi. She is also completely absorbed and is oblivious to anything else. It certainly looks similar to this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNWPk6tYoUM

    I have looked at your interesting photos before on Sqonk. I see a parallel to Palestine in the caption on the photo of the Native American!

  2. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:14 am

    Anon

    I also liked Ben’s “vapid continuation of unplugged sock-puppetry”. The whole post is really just a collection of impressive sounding words strung together without any connecting thread, isn’t it.

    Anyway, have a good day, all!

  3. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:16 am

    Top of the morning to you, Mary (as the Irish are reputed to say), and congratulations on getting in at the top of page 6! It was your turn, after all.

  4. ‘Under-fire MP Maria Miller has bought a countryside Tudor barn worth £1.2million – almost exactly the profit she made from the sale of her taxpayer funded home.

    The Culture Secretary’s new 16th-century home comprises of a main barn with four bedrooms, three reception rooms and a study, with an annexe barn with another bedroom and living area.

    The Grade II-listed property is set in 1.6 acres of private gardens, has a large cart shed and a range of outbuildings including a summer house.

    Mrs Miller was ordered to pay back just £5,800 pounds after overclaiming £45,000 pounds in expenses for mortgage interest payments and council tax on the south London property where her parents lived, while designating her main home as a rented property in Basingstoke.

    Under-fire MP Maria Miller has bought a countryside Tudor barn worth £1.2million – almost exactly the profit she made from the sale of her taxpayer funded home.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2598145/Culture-Minister-Maria-Miller-bought-Tudor-barn-worth-1-2million-profit-taxpayer-funded-home.html

    She seems to have missed out on finding somewhere with a lake and a duck house.

  5. Explosive revelation that you can’t find in the MSM; Turks responsible for the Ghouta gas attack;

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/04/06/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

  6. Compare and Contrast

    April 6, 2014 

    “It’s quite wrong that there are people in our society who will behave like this. But we will not shrug our shoulders and let them get away with it any longer. We will take the necessary measures to stop fraud happening in the first place; root out and take tough action against those found committing fraud; and make sure the stolen money is paid back.”
    David Cameron on Benefit Fraud

    “It was found she had made mistakes, she accepted that, repaid the money, she apologised unreservedly to the House of Commons so I think that we should leave it there.”
    David Cameron on Maria Miller

    IDS New Strategy To Victimise, Demonise and Bully Benefit Claimants and Pensioners

    Maria Miller will NOT be Sacked

    The Political Ramblings of a Working Class Man in Scotland
    http://aworkingclassman.com/compare-contrast/

  7. Surely an ex UK Ambassador could not be so puerile?

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)!
    7 Apr, 2014 – 8:16 am
    Top of the morning to you, Mary (as the Irish are reputed to say), and congratulations on getting in at the top of page 6! It was your turn, after all.

  8. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:29 am

    “Good to see our old friend Rehmat1 is a regular contributor to “The Ugly Truth”. All getting a bit incestous!”

    Good smear, Anonbcuk. Twat contributes to public blog comments therefore comments are entirely owned by twat. Rehmat’s been going for about a decade, and posts anywhere that doesn’t delete him, btw, including his own horrible blog.

    Have you considered contributing (instead of here) to a blog that does not continually cause you to bubble over with outrage? You do appear to have the general relevance of the proverbial pork chop in a synagogue, it has to be said.

    How about this one? Flinging filth at the evil Ay-rabs…suits you, sir.

    http://adinakutnicki.com/

    Sample:

    …a fifth column, via Muslim-American front groups, and those who support them are aided and abetted by Obama Inc.:Terrorists Intimidate GOP!
    And, anyone foolish enough to believe that the RINO leadership will come to their rescue, well, good luck with that fantasy land meandering:Republican National Convention Heralded “Arab Spring” In Its Platform, Oblivious To The Unfolding Arab/Muslim Nightmare!
    More specifically, between House Leader Rep Boehner, an addled bonehead and booze hound, and Repub political operative Grover Norquist, himself an Islamist, who exactly are Conservatives expecting to sound the (sleeper) alarms??
    To make matters even more chilling, perhaps this will hit some nerves:EX-SEAL SHOT IN STOMACH, SUSPECTS AL-QAIDA!
    Does anyone still ! believe that the above hit on an EX-SEAL is random in nature, considering that a planeload of their band of brothers mysteriously dropped from the sky:OBAMA INC’s COVER UP OF SEAL TEAM SIX SHOOT DOWN:SECRETS MIRROR BENGHAZIGATE OMERTA.WHO WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
    MOST significantly, where exactly are America’s leaders, be they political, military and high up law enforcement in all this? Are they intent on getting to the bottom of the above ready to explode dangers, or are they more invested in keeping citizens in the dark and (literally) disarmed?
    You decide. It’s your call. Your lives are on the line.

    Yup. You got it. Obama AND the Republicans are aiding and abetting Moooslim sleeper terr’r groups right here in the land of da free. By an Israeli-American.

  9. “Under-fire MP Maria Miller has bought a countryside Tudor barn worth £1.2million – almost exactly the profit she made from the sale of her taxpayer funded home.”

    I honestly do not understand why that woman is not in prison where she belongs. Anybody else would be after getting caught stealing that amount of money. Not only has she not been prosecuted she still has her job. Disgusting.

    There is no justice in Britain, those who take benefits from the disabled claiming we can’t afford them are robbing us blind and getting away with it.

  10. Macky There is a thread on Medialens about the Seymour Hersh piece which the estimable John Hilley (my idea of a fine Scot) put up. They are asking how the corporate media will deal with it.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1396828102.html

  11. Thanks for the Medialens page Mary, it contained links to interesting commentary by Johnathan Cook & Justin Raimondo.

  12. It’s just a year ago I thought Turkey was not an over willing member of the Anti Syria coalition. I thought they had everything to lose considering how well business , investment and modernisation was going.Now it turns out they are trying to provoke all out war,which would be a NATO war according to their Musketeer agreement.One for all,and all for one !
    WTF does Turkey gain by destabilising the Levant, and deposing Assad ? They handled their Kurdish problem together and had a prosperous border.

  13. Komodo 8:29am – “ Flinging filth at the evil Ay-rabs…suits you, sir.”

    A pretty hopeless attempt at a smear, even by your low standards, Komodo. I have never made any derogatory comments about “evil Ay-rabs” (your phrase, not mine).

    It says a lot about you that you are so hopelessly bound up in obsessing about Jews and Israel that you feel anyone disagreeing with you must be comparable to some extreme Zionist American-Israeli fanatic you found on the internet (your search, not mine).

    I suggest a short break to a pine forest, away from the links, the blogs, the interminable obsessing about Zionists. Breathe in and feel what it is like to be alive again!

  14. Habbabkuk 8:14am

    He’s such a pseud I’m calling him Benjamin Zephaniah from now on.

  15. This sick Tory supporter and funder, believes in shooting lions and having them skinned for fun. If you have a heart please sign the petition to remove his knighthood.

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-remove-sir-david-scholey-s-knighthood

  16. DoNNyDarKo; “WTF does Turkey gain by destabilising the Levant, and deposing Assad ?”

    A neignbouring puppet compliance state ? More territorial land grabbing at the expense of Syria yet again like the Hatay annexation ? Afterall Turkey has gotten away with occupying half of Cyprus for 40 years this Suummer. Perhaps you don’t spends decades in super close military partnership with Israel, without picking up old bad habits again !

  17. “WTF does Turkey gain by destabilising the Levant, and deposing Assad ? They handled their Kurdish problem together and had a prosperous border.”

    Pipeline, innit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar-Turkey_pipeline

    Ryan Dawson and Pepe Escobar are very good on this stuff:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=artcLfC9t_A

  18. John,

    I won’t be signing the petition, not because I don’t have a heart, but

    A) Change.org changes nothing.
    B) The sad truth is that allowing some idiot to pay a fortune to shoot a lion is one of the most effective ways of conserving them. In many parts of Africa it’s either controlled hunting or indiscriminate poaching. If, however, he has been involved in illegal and unregulated hunting then he ought to be prosecuted.
    C) Demanding the removal of a knighthood would seem to be a pointless exercise.

  19. Sir David Scholey. Once a banker, always a banker.

    “Business dried up, and Warburg was in a terrible squeeze between rising costs and declining income. This was Scholey’s first real test and, I’m afraid to say, he failed”

    “That was all, ultimately, Scholey’s fault. He has many friends and they are unwilling to talk disparagingly – at least in public – but one said: ‘There’s no getting around it – it happened on his watch.’ ”

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2002/jun/09/theobserver.observerbusiness13

    Anyway, all’s well now and he’s made a killing…

    http://www.lionaid.org/blog/2011/09/a-lion-trophy-hunting-weekend-with-ukip-and-sir-david-scholey.htm

  20. I wonder whether it’s the killing of a lion that led to the Twitterati storm, or hatred of a rich banker and Tory donor? I mean look at the way they tried to get Nigel Farage on the BBC to “explain” the auctioning of a 50 year-old lion skin at a UKIP fundraising event. I mean FFS!

    Let’s face it, it’s all political. And we won’t be hearing any criticism of Putin’s big game hunting exploits around here now will we?

  21. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:28 am

    It says a lot about you that you are so hopelessly bound up in obsessing about Jews and Israel that you feel anyone disagreeing with you must be comparable to some extreme Zionist American-Israeli fanatic you found on the internet (your search, not mine).

    Who’s obsessing? I didn’t even use the word ‘Zionist’…earlier you said -

    Look at the way you try to bypass and excuse. Can you imagine a site that was pro-Zionist being let off so easily?

    Your criticism was of the Ugly Truth site, which I don’t feel inclined to defend or excuse. My instance demonstrated that extremists can be found anywhere – didn’t have to look that hard, btw. Adina is merely punting the (very popular in the US) Glenn Beck /Pat Robertson line. She’s not very far off the US Religious Right wall at all.

    … “some extreme Zionist American-Israeli fanatic”? I think not. Pretty well aligned with Elliot Abrams,and Perle, and Gaffney, in fact.

    I still think you’d be more at home with her. Perhaps, using the persuasive techniques you deploy with such enthusiasm here, you and Habbanon would be able to bring her back to the paths of Tebbitist righteousness? Or would that be too far Left an objective? Worth a shot, anyway.

  22. Thing is though, Putin has been taking on much bigger game than himself over the past few years and winning every time.

    Scholey is a fat old bloke who fluffed it when leadership was required:

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2002/jun/09/theobserver.observerbusiness13

    Obama’s armada will soon find itself wrecked upon the rocks. Another less than glorious failure of western leadership:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-070414.html

    Let’s just hope we get to see these gangsters put on trial for their crimes against humanity.

  23. How much more execrable can these Tory types become? A fine exemplar of the species. He looks more and more like Harry Enfield’s version of Tory Boy.

    ‘Loads of hot sex’: Michael Gove on why young business people come to London
    Education Secretary made the analysis during meeting to discuss attracting more young entrepreneurs to London with head of Tech City

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/loads-of-hot-sex-michael-gove-on-why-young-business-people-come-to-london-9242144.html

    ~~~
    Tory Boy

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to: navigation, search

    Tory Boy was a character in a sketch by comedian Harry Enfield which portrayed a young, male, Conservative MP. The term has since been used as a caricature of young Conservative MPs. The Characteristic “Tory Boy” was a young right-wing Conservative member of the Federation of Conservative Students. The Tory Boy stereotype of a young Conservative MP has damaged some politicians. William Hague struggled to shake off the stereotype and was often ridiculed for it. Recently it has been argued that the Conservative Future has managed to change its image. Tory Boy was a repulsive fifteen-year-old with glaringly out-of-date ideas about the world, based on a cross between a snobbish, unpopular boy who went to school with Enfield, and a younger version of Hague. Enfield also claimed to have mixed more recent Conservative politicians as Michael Howard and Michael Portillo together in the character, on the allegation that they were “Tory Boys who have never grown up.”

    In Enfield’s 1997 Christmas Special, some months after Labour’s landslide victory in the UK General Election, a sketch included Tory Boy’s left-wing father wishing that his son would join the Labour Party. The fairy at the top of their Christmas tree grants his wish and with her magic wand she transforms Tory Boy into “Tony Boy” (a parody of Tony Blair).
    !!!!

  24. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:34 am

    This is my current obsession. Blair.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/10747166/Tony-Blair-knew-all-about-CIA-secret-kidnap-programme.html

    Looks like the deniability has run out for Tone.
    The claims against Mr Blair come as the US Senate voted this week to declassify a summary of a 6,300-page report into the CIA’s rendition programme in a move that legal experts say will put added pressure on the British government to come clean about its role.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat chairman of the committee that conducted the research, said the “shocking” report had “uncovered the facts” behind the secret programme and could be made public within 30 days following a security review by the White House and the CIA.

    As well as the continuing criminal investigation, the British government, MI6 and Mr Straw are being sued by Mr Belhadj. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph this week, Mr Belhadj said he was determined to pursue the British government through the courts for an apology and the truth about what happened to him – and what senior figures such as Mr Blair knew about it.

    “When he was sitting in the tent with the dictator Gaddafi, I was facing torture at the hands of my own country’s [intelligence] services,” Mr Belhadj said by phone from Tripoli, referring to Mr Blair’s meeting with the Libyan leader in March 2004.

    Mr Blair has never confirmed what he knew about the rendition programme, but has argued that Libya played a vital role in the “war on terror”. Mr Belhadj’s case was thrown out last December by a High Court judge who acknowledged that he had a “well-founded claim”, but declined to hear it, citing British government legal arguments that it would seriously damage US-UK relations.

  25. More from the school playground.

    ‘Anon
    7 Apr, 2014 – 10:17 am

    Habbabkuk 8:14am
    He’s such a pseud I’m calling him Benjamin Zephaniah from now on.’

    ~~~

    That referred to Ben who can knock him + his mates into a cocked hat.

  26. I hust spotted this comment on a piece on ICH about BLiar and Straw knowing all about the CIA rendition and torture programme post 9/11 from the beginning.

    Paul Barbara · 9 hours ago

    ..’Straw told the House of Commons there was ‘simply no truth’ in claims that the UK was involved in rendition, branding them ‘conspiracy theories’.. What a sick puppy! Conspiracy Theory! What all these War Criminal perps bleat when they can’t stand the truth.
    I suppose it was a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ when you caused the sacking (and probably nearly the death) of Craig Murray, the ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan when he refused to keep quiet about the Uzbeks boiling priisoners alive; Straw wanted him to shut up about it, ‘cos he didn’t want to upset the Yanks, who had two bases there.

    ~~~

    The piece is:

    Tony Blair ‘Knew All About CIA Secret Kidnap Programme’
    Former British PM was ‘fully briefed’ on CIA’s interrogation programme after Sept 11 attacks
    By Peter Foster

    April 06, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “The Telegraph” – - Tony Blair knew in detail about the CIA’s secret kidnap and interrogation programme after the September 11 attacks and was kept informed “every step of the way” by MI6, a security source has told The Telegraph.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38146.htm

  27. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Syria crisis: failure to intervene will have terrible consequences, says Blair

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/07/syria-failure-intervene-terrible-consequences-blair

    Think you’ll find, Tone, that intervening by arming the Islamist rebels who hijacked a peaceful protest has already brought terrible consequences to Syria. Though I am in some doubt as to your definition of ‘terrible’.

    If “we” had not invaded Iraq, it would now be enduring what Syria is going through, he says. He must have finally given up on the WMD’s and be on non-prescription medication. Saddam’s Iraq, though nasty, was not about to have a civil war.

    Same story – different spin:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/10749330/Invading-Iraq-prevented-Syria-like-civil-war-claims-Tony-Blair.html

  28. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:50 am

    See my post @11.43, Mary.

  29. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    “Let’s just hope we get to see these gangsters put on trial for their crimes against humanity.”

    That hope is definitely trumped by the hope that the current pissing contest doesn’t turn into a shooting war. And on current form (see Blair’s belligerent ramblings above) those responsible will almost certainly become multimillionaires within days of leaving office. And their poodles will continue yapping.

  30. Sorry Ba’al Zevul. I missed it. I am inclined not to read back in case any nasty doggie dos have been left for me by U No Who!

    I expect you heard that BLiar is with Kagame lighting some flame.

    Both the Observer and ZBC have allowed BLiar to spout forth this weekend.

    I posted the Observer piece here yesterday. Comments by the hundred have been removed. This comment was there this morning but has probably been removed by now.

    Gulonogamma
    07 April 2014 8:50am
    Recommend
    5
    Over 650 comments last night
    Now down to 270 this morning. That’s nearly 400 COMMENTS DELETED.
    Most of which were deleted with no “community standards” notice.
    This is a travesty of journalism and an almost Orwellian rewriting of reality.
    No explanation. No comment. No attempt at a justification by the Guardian mods who have simply erased all critical comments.
    Really shabby showing by the Guardian

    None of this massive erasure of comments can change the fact that the man is a war criminal

    This morning he was given time by Humphrys on Radio 4 Today.

    Blair: Rwandan genocide was ‘preventable’
    Former Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks to John Humphrys on the 20th anniversary of the country’s genocide.
    http://audioboo.fm/boos/2053553-blair-rwandan-genocide-was-preventable

    One of my friends heard him (I didn’t) and agreed with another who had said:

    ‘ “many of those who committed the genocide are still at large.” Quite.’

    ‘Quite indeed – and one of them was on Today five mins ago, I nearly threw up my orange juice. TB as brazen as ever, not an apology in sight. “Regime change is not a solution it is a beginning” or some such garbage. No apologies for the blood letting, slaughter, trauma, infanticide, on going genocide of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan – cheering on more in Syria (only heard half so don’t know if he went in to that.) And he walks – and flies freely round the planet.

    Iraq: 5 million orphans, one million widows, 5 million displaced, 1.5 million dead, though Gideon Polya (who has made meticulous studies of deaths in conflicts from 1950) says now 2 million since 2003. That is without the embargo figures’.

  31. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    Sorry Ba’al Zevul. I missed it. I am inclined not to read back in case any nasty doggie dos have been left for me by U No Who!

    Hmm.
    (1) WTF? Looks like the terrorists have won, then.
    (2) Habbabreak.

  32. Ba’al, Mary, concerning the Blair article. The Jack Straw quote at the end is telling.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38146.htm

    “A spokesman for Mr Blair said on Saturday night that he was travelling in Africa and not available for comment. In 2005, Mr Straw told the House of Commons there was ‘simply no truth’ in claims that the UK was involved in rendition, branding them ‘conspiracy theories’.”

    Now where have I heard that before, people who tell the truth being labelled conspiracy theorists. This will very soon be well-acknowledged badge to wear. Wear it with pride!

  33. Wonder if those going for the ‘hot sex’ in Tech City being promoted by Poison Gove know of these statistics.

    http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/
    Note that the incidence is increasing and that infertility in women is a side effect if chlamydia is untreated.

    New HIV diagnoses and number of persons accessing HIV care in the United Kingdom
    Produced September 2013
    http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317139920261

    Never mind. Mr Hunt’s new improved NHS can pick up the bills.

  34. Quite John. And every time I watch ‘Parliament’ someone seems to making nice comments about Straw. Wait until he leaves and there will be services of thanksgiving for his noble work for his country.

    His oppo, the consummate ac-tor in Kigali earlier today.

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74081000/jpg/_74081346_74079956.jpg

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26917419

  35. Komodo, the only person who has posted a link to that site is you. You then a proceed to make a big fuss about it as if I’m an avid reader and fan of a site I’ve never even heard of. It’s these sorts of imaginary straw man battles in cyberspace that make me think you’ve had enough internet for the time being and ought to book yourself into a retreat pronto, preferably as far away from a broadband connection as possible.

    Re ‘The Ugly Truth’, a link was posted by Mary and I pointed out that it was to an anti-Semitic hate site and she shouldn’t be posting links to it here. You then go off on some inexplicable tangent about right-wing American Zionists and Lord Tebbit (?). If you are have become so deranged that you cannot accept a simple and justified criticism of Mary’s linking to an anti-Semitic website without dreaming up all sorts of crap about the Zionist sympathies of the person making it then, again, I would suggest you take a break from your computer and attempt to reacquaint yourself with reality.

  36. Anon, how did you find your link that portrays The Ugly Truth site in the worst possible light? Will you acknowledge that you exaggerated about the anti-Jewish material there, and that the site hosts anti-Jobbik and anti Ku Klux Klan articles, too?

  37. Anon Cease your attempted blackening of my name, by association. I have already told you of the link’s provenance. Shame on you and your kind here.

  38. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 3:08 pm

    Syria revisited; Sy Hersh. Good stuff

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/04/06/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

    “The American decision to end CIA support of the weapons shipments into Syria left Erdoğan exposed politically and militarily. ‘One of the issues at that May summit was the fact that Turkey is the only avenue to supply the rebels in Syria,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘It can’t come through Jordan because the terrain in the south is wide open and the Syrians are all over it. And it can’t come through the valleys and hills of Lebanon – you can’t be sure who you’d meet on the other side.’ Without US military support for the rebels, the former intelligence official said, ‘Erdoğan’s dream of having a client state in Syria is evaporating and he thinks we’re the reason why. When Syria wins the war, he knows the rebels are just as likely to turn on him – where else can they go? So now he will have thousands of radicals in his backyard.’

  39. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 3:21 pm

  40. Ba'al Zevul(Former Contender)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    Komodo, the only person who has posted a link to that site is you. You then a proceed to make a big fuss about it as if I’m an avid reader and fan of a site I’ve never even heard of. It’s these sorts of imaginary straw man battles in cyberspace that make me think you’ve had enough internet for the time being and ought to book yourself into a retreat pronto, preferably as far away from a broadband connection as possible.

    Now take a deep breath and count to 357,000. Slowly. “Komodo” didn’t post a link to that site. Ever. Check it out.

    Talking of straw men, have you anything to say on the thread topic? Ever?

    Keep counting.

  41. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    Macky; I never thought I would say this, but I’m glad Obama is caution ‘squared’. He wears suspenders and belts for his pants and garters on his socks. His reticence to go beyond rhetoric on the Red Line probably saved us from some nasty contraindications.

  42. Chris Hedges on “Israel’s War on American Universities”
    by The Real News Network (TRNN) / April 6th, 2014

    Excerpts from author, foreign correspondent Chris Hedges’ talk at Northeastern University in support of its now banned Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. [Hedges is at his best -- DV editor]
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/04/chris-hedges-on-israels-war-on-american-universities/

    Compelling. Do listen

  43. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Macky; Drones are his caution. Fewer allied troops equals fewer casualties returning home in caskets for the evening news.

    Remote warfare has always taken the human face off of War. There’s a big difference between killing someone in hand-to-hand combat and firing an M4 from 300 yards or dropping bombs from aircraft.

    War is only Hell for the recipient when the drones fly.

  44. Two You-Couldn’t-Make-It-Up items on the Ukraine;

    EU begs Russia to bail out the Ukraine

    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/06/eu-warns-russia-faces-failed-state-neighbor-in-ukraine/

    Ukraine refuses to pay market rate for Russia Gas

    http://news.antiwar.com/2014/04/06/ukraine-refuses-to-pay-for-gas-from-russia/

  45. Clark 7 Apr, 2014 – 2:55 pm

    “Anon, how did you find your link that portrays The Ugly Truth site in the worst possible light? Will you acknowledge that you exaggerated about the anti-Jewish material there, and that the site hosts anti-Jobbik and anti Ku Klux Klan articles, too?”

    There’s a ‘search this site’ box on the home page, Clark. He searched for ‘holocaust’ and posted a link to the results page.

  46. “War is only Hell for the recipient when the drones fly”

    True is the literal sense Ben, but I did recently read two surreal reports about drone operators, one was about their “bravery” being ackownledged by being awarded medals (!), and the other report was about the PTS that they also suffer.

  47. Mackie

    Seymour Hersh’s revelations about the sarin attack have the ring of truth about them, but not ALL of the truth. His account puts the blame on Turkey, that they acted autonomously, that they manipulated Obama.

    This doesn’t square with the way Obama first declared his “red line.” At the time, it seemed very likely to many on this blog including me that Obama’s declaration was specifically designed as the first step in a planned sequence which would result in the USA having the excuse to attack Syria. And indeed that’s what very nearly panned out.

    I can’t accept that Obama’s declaration and Turkey’s false flag activities just fortuitously contributed to the accomplishment of the same goal.

  48. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    A Node; I think you give Obama too much credit. He plays his games but he is also being played.

    He often makes good copy with sound-bytes like “We will be the most transparent Administration….”

    Someone had other plans and a little bird whispers in his ear. He might think he’s playing 3-D chess, but the game is more like 3-D HD.

  49. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator 7 Apr, 2014 – 4:41 pm

    “A Node; I think you give Obama too much credit. He plays his games but he is also being played.”

    So why do you think Obama made his red line speech about Syria using chemical weapons?

  50. Ben, continued ….

    I didn’t say it was Obama’s plan, just that he declared it. I don’t think any US president these days makes US policy. Neither do I think Turkey makes it.

  51. Technicolour

    Yesterday I wrote:

    “Nothing authoritative or conclusive about the 2011 survey by the not impartial Commonwealth Fund. It merely asked what patients from different countries thought of the health care they received. Perhaps those that pay for their health had higher expectations and were more likely to complain than those being treated by the ‘free’ NHS? And we all know the British are an unfussy and uncomplaining lot – especialIy with regard to the Sacred Cow.”

    And what do I see on the front pages of today’s papers? An article by Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, making the exact same point in the Daily Mail:

    “Tens of thousands of elderly patients are enduring appalling NHS care because they are too frightened – or too polite – to complain. They suffer in silence fearing even worse treatment if they dare to raise criticism, England’s health watchdog Dame Julie Mellor warned. She said she had investigated cases of pensioners being effectively starved on wards and treated without a shred of dignity. But these, she believes, are just the tip of the iceberg because many over-65s are reluctant to complain. She said: ‘Often older people fear negative repurcussions when they make a complaint, or they simply don’t want to make a fuss’.”

    Rather makes a mockery of the survey you said you would never tire of posting, and which Habbabkuk correctly pointed out you were nailing your colours too confidently to, doesn’t it.

  52. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    “So why do you think Obama made his red line speech about Syria using chemical weapons?”

    To show he can be ‘tuff’ and to putatively display his ‘compassion’ for the citizens.

  53. The asylum gates are open.

    Watch This Drone Taser a Guy Until He Collapses
    http://time.com/19929/watch-this-drone-taser-a-guy-until-he-collapses/

    Brought to the world by the well named Chaotic Moon.
    http://www.chaoticmoon.com/about/

  54. A Node;”I can’t accept that Obama’s declaration and Turkey’s false flag activities just fortuitously contributed to the accomplishment of the same goal”

    Check out the comments on the Moon of Alabama link, many agree with you.

  55. technicolour

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Anon: No.

  56. Clark 2:55 pm

    The site hosts holocaust denial and grotesque cartoons of Jews reminiscent of 1930s Nazi propaganda and you want me to acknowledge its anti-racist credentials?

  57. Technicolour

    “Anon: No.”

    Well that clears that up then!

    Despite being called soulless, heartless, hate-filled, right-wing, and so on, for wanting any and all options for the NHS to be on the table, I think it is actually you who is the heartless one.

    How many more must suffer because people like you will not budge on your almost religiously-held view that the NHS must always and for ever be totally and utterly free, no matter how bad it gets?

  58. “To show he can be ‘tuff’ and to putatively display his ‘compassion’ for the citizens.”

    Your political reality is so different to mine that we ain’t going to agree. Yours is much nicer. I hope you’re right.

  59. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:08 pm

    “Surely an ex UK Ambassador could not be so puerile?

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)!
    7 Apr, 2014 – 8:16 am
    Top of the morning to you, Mary (as the Irish are reputed to say), and congratulations on getting in at the top of page 6! It was your turn, after all.”
    ____________________-

    Who was it I wonder, Mary, who wrote the following on 31 March at 16h54:

    “H. is sneaky. His posts…are on the bottom of p2 and top of p3, for maximum effect – or so he thinks.”?

    Why, I do believe it could have been your good self.

    Puerile?

  60. doug scorgie

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    6 Apr, 2014 – 9:28 pm

    “..if you look at the link I provided you will see that the latest increase goes further than removing a price subsidy but involves Russia imposing an export duty on the gas it provides to the Ukraine.”

    “Well, there you are, Mr Scorgie! What say you now? Facts + link!”

    What link was that Habbabkuk?

  61. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    Anon

    “Habbabkuk 8:14am

    He’s such a pseud I’m calling him Benjamin Zephaniah from now on.”
    __________________-

    That sounds promising! But who exactly is Benjamin Zepaniah?

  62. Macky “Check out the comments on the Moon of Alabama link, many agree with you.”

    Oh yeah. Thanks. They explain it better than me too.

  63. Habbabkuk – I’ve looked on Debretts but am none the wiser – isn’t there some sort of title Mary ought to be addressing you with as an ex-Ambassador?

  64. “That sounds promising! But who exactly is Benjamin Zepaniah?”

    Just some tw*t who reckons he’s a poet.

  65. The sort of stuff Sofia reads

  66. “Habbabkuk – I’ve looked on Debretts but am none the wiser – isn’t there some sort of title Mary ought to be addressing you with as an ex-Ambassador?”

    Misogynist has-been?

  67. doug scorgie

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Resident Dissident
    6 Apr, 2014 – 7:02 pm

    “Doug Scorgie you have quoted selectively from the article you link to…”

    I didn’t reproduce the whole article which is why I supplied the link so that other posters can read it and make their own minds up.

    “The writer reaches the same conclusion as yourself – but they most definitely do not reach a definitive conclusion as you and Mr Goss do.”

    ResDis you are the one that reached the definitive conclusion that the takeover and ousting were “not illegal” yet you supplied no back-up for that statement.

  68. excrescency?

  69. technicolour

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8877412/NHS-among-best-health-care-systems-in-the-world.html

    “The success of the NHS stands out despite the fact that per capita health spending in the UK is the third lowest of the 11, at £2,170 per head, compared with £3,200 in Switzerland and £4,950 in the US”

    This is what this government, despite their public promises, have done to the NHS since that report:

    £11bn worth of our NHS has been put up for sale
    35,000 staff have been axed, including 5,600 nurses.
    Half of our 600 ambulance stations are earmarked for closure. One-third of NHS walk-in centres have been closed and 10% of A&E units have been shut.

    “We are inexorably moving toward a system ruled by bogus choice, competition, market forces and diversity of suppliers. By opening every NHS corner to “any qualified provider”, the whole service can be taken over by private companies, with a few token charities and mutuals. NHS hospitals, faced with the consequences of cherry-picking by private consortia, risk bankruptcy when left to deal only with complex cases”

    The writer has 35 years experience of working in the NHS, from a junior doctor to a GP, and then chair of a Primary Care Trust and is now deputy chair of the BMA council.

    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/jan/08/nhs-extinct-government-policy-privatisation

    These are only some of the qualifications of the woman currently attacking it:
    “In 1989, Mellor was appointed Human Resource Manager at TSB and then served as Corporate Human Resources Director of British Gas between 1992 and 1996. She then worked as a consultant on employment and consumer issues until 1999, where her clients included TSB, Motorola, Northern Foods, Xerox, the National Health Service, the Department for Education and Employment, the Home Office and the Employers’ Forum on Disability.” (wiki)

    And this is what the government has to say about the suffering of old people:

    The Times March 27 2014

    “Saving the lives of the elderly is less valuable to society than saving younger people, the NHS treatments adviser has declared for the first time.
    Laying out plans to take benefits to society into account when assessing new drugs, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that age would inevitably be a factor as the young have more years left to contribute”.

    I mentioned no names in my concerned description of people Anon – cap and fits? I do hope not.

  70. What does Netanyahu mean by ‘retaliate’? A thug.

    Netanyahu: Israel will answer Palestinian unilateralism

    Israeli PM Netanyahu Prime Minister Netanyahu did not spell out how Israel may retaliate

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says his country will retaliate if the Palestinians take further unilateral steps in pursuit of statehood.

    He told a weekly cabinet meeting that Israel would not continue peace talks with the Palestinians at any price.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26910400

  71. doug scorgie

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:40 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !
    6 Apr, 2014 – 9:33 pm
    Doug Scorgie to Kempe:

    “Why don’t you back up your claims Kempe ie “Yanukovitch formally resigned” and “he’s tried to retract his resignation”?
    2Perhaps you could provide links to prove your case?”
    ____________________
    “When I read Mr Scorgie’s (invariably belated) comments I sometimes feel like posting “the earth goes around the sun” and waiting to see if he’ll ask me to provide links”

    Habbabkuk why do you constantly answer on behalf of the other trolls? Are you the boss?

  72. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:46 pm

    “6 Apr, 2014 – 9:28 pm

    “..if you look at the link I provided you will see that the latest increase goes further than removing a price subsidy but involves Russia imposing an export duty on the gas it provides to the Ukraine.”

    “Well, there you are, Mr Scorgie! What say you now? Facts + link!”

    What link was that Habbabkuk?”
    _____________________

    Why, the link mentioned in the part of the post I reproduced. Have you gone back to the original post to find the link and if so, have you “been arsed” to read it yet?

    Duh!

  73. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:50 pm

    “Habbabkuk why do you constantly answer on behalf of the other trolls? Are you the boss?”
    _________________-

    Perhaps I’m just taking a leaf out of your book, Mr Scorgie.

    But what is it to you anyway?

    Casses-toi, mon petit bonhomme! :)

  74. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    Doug Scorgie

    The earth revolves around the sun. That is a fact.

  75. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    And it turns on its axis. That is also a fact.

  76. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    Technicolour

    “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8877412/NHS-among-best-health-care-systems-in-the-world.html”
    _________________

    Have you followed my suggestion and read through the many comments to which that Telegraph squib gave rise? If so, have they given you pause for thought?

    PS – I did notice that the Telegraph article appeared to take a couple of points out of the report, but did not reference the report in any way. Do you have a reference, and have you by any chance read the report (or at least its executive summary) as opposed to only the Telegraph article?

  77. doug scorgie

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !
    6 Apr, 2014 – 9:38 pm
    Further to the above
    “Perhaps you could provide links to prove your case”
    ______________
    “Let us say, Mr Scorgie, for the sake of argument, that I posted to the effect that the Jews were the source of all evil, and supplied quotations from “Mein Kampf” as links.”

    “Would I have proved my case by providing those links?”

    Habbabkuk I’m sure there are extreme right-wingers that would quote from Mein Kampf but, as you know, it proves nothing.

    Your (and others) aversion to back up the statements you make (statements made as if they are fact) shows that you are disingenuous and unable to corroborate what you say.

    Like many right-wingers you have no regard for facts if they don’t support your irrational ideology; you have to continuously lie; mislead, distract and obfuscate.

    (Mazel tov)

  78. Technicolour still sticks by her “report”, which is in fact a pretty worthless survey.

    The ombudsman reports that tens of thousands of elderly NHS patients are suffering in silence and what does Technicolour call it? “Attacking” the NHS.

    No doubt you would prefer it all brushed under the carpet, complaints not reported and whistleblowers harassed from their jobs. We must, after all, defend OUR NHS at all costs, and anyone who suggests that the spiralling cost of modern-day health care might be better paid for by a partial subscription that works pefectly well in numerous European countries is automatically a “greedy, right-wing privateer” who wants to create a hellish US-style system in which the poor are left to die on the streets.

    Pure ideological commitment at any cost, Technicolour. Yours and others’ refusal to accept what is best for the patients means you are partly responsible for the often appalling treatment they suffer at the hands of the NHS.

  79. While there are those who contribute to this blog who would discard all Russia Today reports this one is quite similar to MSM which appears to catching up a bit, probably because it too has a reputation which has fallen into disrepute over recent years. Further it includes reference to Craig Murray’s evidence to the Commission on Torture.

    http://rt.com/news/blair-cia-kidnap-program-713/

  80. Sorry, not the Commission on Torture but the Joint Committee on Human Rights regarding torture.

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:26 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    “Perhaps you could provide links to prove your case”
    ______________
    “Let us say, Mr Scorgie, for the sake of argument, that I posted to the effect that the Jews were the source of all evil, and supplied quotations from “Mein Kampf” as links.”

    “Would I have proved my case by providing those links?”

    Habbabkuk I’m sure there are extreme right-wingers that would quote from Mein Kampf but, as you know, it proves nothing.
    _______________________

    Exactly, Mr Scorgie, that’s precisely what I was getting at : links by themselves prove nothing.

    Why, then, you somewhat tiresome pleas for links, links, and still more links?

    Would not your energies be better channeled into assessing the quality of any links supplied – even if that meant upsetting your fellow Eminences?

  82. How would a partial subscription charge for the NHS improve healthcare and treatment of patients?

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    A short while ago I posted “The earth revolves around the sun”.

    I should like to thank you for – exceptionally – NOT asking me to provide a link.

    Some signs of progress there..

  84. Please provide links to support the assertion that Doug is showing signs of progress.

  85. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    Of course it’s difficult to deny the Sun is the center of the Solar system now, just as we now know tomatoes are not poisonous. But the ignorant still hold sway on their intransigence wrt to matters they can thinly deny without abject embarrassment.


    The unsigned document according to which Galileo was prohibited from teaching the Copernican theory:
    Special Injunction (26 February 1616)

    Friday, the 26th of the same month.

    At the palace of the usual residence of the said Most Illustrious Lord Cardinal Bellarmine and in the chambers of His most Illustrious Lordship, and fully in the presence of the Reverend Father Michelangelo Segizzi of Lodi, O.P. and Commissary General of the Holy Office, having summoned the above-mentioned Galileo before himself, the same Most Illustrious Lord Cardinal warned Galileo that the above-mentioned opinion was erroneous and that he should abandon it; and thereafter, indeed immediately, before me and witnesses, the Most-Illustrious Lord Cardinal himself being also present still, the aforesaid Father Commissary, in the name of His Holiness the Pope and the whole Congregation of the Holy Office, ordered and enjoined the said Galileo, who was himself still present, to abandon completely the above-mentioned opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend in any way whatever, either orally or in writing; otherwise the Holy Office would start proceedings against him. The same Galileo acquiesced in this injunction and promised to obey.

    Done in Rome at the place mentioned above, in the presence, as witnesses, of the Reverend Badino Nores of Nicosia in the kingdom of Cyprus and Agostino Mongardo from the Abbey of Rose in the diocese of Montepulciano, both belonging to the household of the said Most Illustrious Lord Cardinal.”

  86. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    “without abject embarrassment” Heh. What am I saying? They are invulnerable to shame and embarrassment, as we’ve had reinforced in the past few days. :)

  87. Goss

    “While there are those who contribute to this blog who would discard all Russia Today reports this one is quite similar to MSM which appears to catching up a bit, probably because it too has a reputation which has fallen into disrepute over recent years. ”

    Except that the anonymous source gave the story to the Telegraph and RT is merely
    reporting on it.

  88. “But the ignorant still hold sway on their intransigence wrt to matters they can thinly deny without abject embarrassment.”

    Another classic. I’m framing them and hanging a series in the lavatory for guests to enjoy.

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    Clark

    “How would a partial subscription charge for the NHS improve healthcare and treatment of patients?”
    __________________

    Clark, you’re missing the point.

    Introducing such a charge would neither, of itself, improve or worsen the NHS; it would however, if other spending levels were maintained, provide more money for the NHS.

    I think you’ve missed the point because my original post underwent a diversion for which Technicolour is largely to blame. I had pointed out that the monthly charge suggested an idea by Lord Someone or other (I forget his name) was merely a variant on how the healthcare systems current in all western European countries are (partially) financed; and I concluded by observing that those systems seem to work perfectly well. Technicolour responded by posted his link to an article in the Telegraph which referred to a report lauding the NHS. That response was not an answer to the points I had made, but instead attempted to take the discussion along the path of “where is healthcare better or best”.

    Now as to Technicolour’s link itself. This was an article based on a certain report (which was not referenced properly, as it happens). A read through the numerous comments to which that article gave rise reveals the following salient points (I only take up a couple of them, and it would only be fair to say that those points were challenged by other commenters on the article):

    - the report on which the Telegraph article was based only dealt with the excellence (or otherwise) of the NHS in the matter of chronic illness

    - there are other reports, most notably by the OECD and the European Commission, which appear to establish that the UK’s NHS does not do so well in the provision of healthcare

    - this is in part because the indicators in those other reports cover a wider field of inquiry; for example, they include preventive healthcare, non-chronic illness healthcare and healthcare outcomes (eg, for various forms of cancer).

    Had I read all the comments, I would no doubt also have found elements similar to those some other posters here on this blog have pointed to – eg the question of expectations.

    This is why I advised Technicolour not to pin his colours to firmly to the mast of that Telegraph article and the report on which it was based. But, as I’ve said, it is in any case diversionary to attempt to take the discussion along the lines of “free at the point of use makes for a better health service” when the starting point was simply to note that a “patient pays something at the point of use” system is common currency in continental Europe.

    Hope that helped.

  90. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 7:02 pm

    Anon

    “Please provide links to support the assertion that Doug is showing signs of progress.”
    ______________

    You’ve got me there, Anon!! :)

  91. Wild and unfounded speculation.

  92. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    “Another classic. I’m framing them and hanging a series in the lavatory for guests to enjoy.”

    Don’t forget the postcript. The quote isn’t complete without it. I wouldn’t advise placing it near the WC. Constricted sphincters don’t ease the constipation.

  93. An additional funding method for the NHS would need new administration facilities thus increasing costs. The article linked by Technicolour suggests that the NHS is already cost effective.

    If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

    If you think the NHS needs more money, it could simply be allocated more money via the current funding routes. On what grounds are you advocating a change in the way the NHS is funded?

  94. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 7:28 pm

    All these bankers seem to have more insider knowledge that is inconvenient.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-07/ceo-liechtenstein-bank-frick-murdered

  95. Oops

    Things fall apart…

    “Donetsk separatists declare independence, set May 11 as date of referendum”

    “The latest development in Donetsk is an indication that the (Kiev) government is losing its grip over eastern parts of the country fast, despite its attempts to keep a straight face.”

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/donetsk-separatists-declare-independence-set-may-11-as-date-of-referendum-342366.html

    What looks to be happening is that the economically viable parts of former Ukraine are joining Russia, leaving the EU to fund and live with the backward fascist bits.

    And all Putin has to do is let entropy do its work.

    These neocons who are running the west aren’t very bright, are they.

    After three spectacular losses in a row, surely we ought to be thinking of a change of management for our team. Our present lot just aren’t world class, are they.

    I’m sure we can all agree on that.

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 7:39 pm

    “Wild and unfounded speculation.”
    ____________

    I fear you are, as so often, absolutely right!

  97. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:06 pm

    Hurby

    “After three spectacular losses in a row, surely we ought to be thinking of a change of management for our team.”
    ___________________

    Aren’t you being slightly illogical with yourself, Herbie? By calling for a change of management, you appear to be asking for a better, sharper management. That better, sharper management might just get the better of your hero rasPutin in future. Is that what you’re hoping for? If it is, then I might just have to withdraw the charge of blind anti-Westernism with which I’ve taxed you in the
    past.

    And now, stop being such a chump.

  98. Ba'al Zevul (I Regret To Report)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    From a quick check of the DNS etc they seem to be a strange lot – “Best Companies Ltd”. They have FIVE Mail Exchange (MX) servers for that domain. That’s ridiculous overkill and I have to wonder what that’s for. These servers are also on four different subnets and are configured to support encrypted email (STARTTLS) (although that’s become more common recently).

    I have found at least two ?brothers*, running a variety of management consultancy-type outfits, with various holdings and an LLP or two, at a Wrexham address. Capitalisation isn’t huge. No names, and no packdrill, but that’s enough data, Squonk. Another director in the group seems to spend his time travelling the world and handing out prizes to ‘good’ employers – what this means is currently undefined – but the prizes seem to be paid for by other people.

    *Might account for the similarity of style.

  99. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    Clark

    “If you think the NHS needs more money, it could simply be allocated more money via the current funding routes. On what grounds are you advocating a change in the way the NHS is funded?”
    _________________

    Clark, you aren’t listening. I am not advocating anything; if you had bothered to read my posts carefully, you would have noticed that I was commenting on the suggestion made by Lord X by pointing out that financial participation by the patient at the point of care is an established feature of western European health care systems. Or can’t you understand my English?

    As to your “if it ain’t broken claim” – I’d be careful about following up on that argument if I were you. A system where, apparently, you are lucky to be able to get an appointment with your GP in the same week (it probably won’t even be with your own GP) or where (as I saw the other week when on a visit)these “NHS walk-in centres” or whatever they’re called are overflowing with people whose expressions indicate that they’ve been there for several hours, does not appear at first sight to be a system to be proud of. Continental Europeans wouldn’t be.

  100. Anon,

    “Except that the anonymous source gave the story to the Telegraph and RT is merely reporting on it.

    Please point me to the place in the Telegraph article which RT copied to make reference to our blog leader.

    “In 2009, former ambassador to Uzbekistan and former Rector of the University of Dundee, Craig Murray, gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights that:

    “When in early March 2003, at the meeting in London, I was told that it was now policy to accept intelligence that may have been obtained from torture I was very surprised. I was told directly that that had been agreed, that it had the authority of the secretary of state and had come from Jack Straw. I was told that he had discussed it at a meeting with Sir Richard Dearlove.”

    However, he did state that while a CIA operative had been in attendance at an interrogation session and MI6 had received information via the CIA, there had “on occasion” been instructions not to use evidence obtained through torture. “

  101. Habbabkuk, since you seem incapable of understanding context,

    if the funding method ain’t broken, don’t spend money on fixing it.

  102. Dear, oh dear.

    No, habby. A sharper western management wouldn’t involve itself in these zero sum games, especially with the sun in their eyes and the wind at their opponents back.

    Insofar as sensible European leadership is acutely aware of this problematic, we must conclude that the US neocon agenda is antithetical to European interests.

  103. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    ” I am not advocating anything”

    I can see the epitaph now.

  104. Resident Dissident

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    John Goss

    Since you acknowledge that our MSM produced a story that was critical of our governance, which was then duly reported by RT, could you please let us know where in the Russian MSM we can find stories that are critical of the Russian regime?

  105. Resident Dissident

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    Perhaps you could point us to something regarding the Russian government stirring up unrest in Western Ukraine in order to provide a pretext for further land grabs. Or where they comment on the resolve of the Ukrainian authorities in not rising to such provocation.

  106. Ba'al Zevul (I Regret To Report)

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Further to b.co.uk …
    It’s part of the JH Austin Group, and JHA does IT, which I guess accounts for its high count of mailservers:

    http://www.jh-austin.co.uk/WhatWeDo.aspx

    Lists its people on another page on-site….

  107. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:36 pm

    Crawford will retire in a few years. Get your apologies ready. :)

  108. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:41 pm

    They’re Microsoft Certified Partners, so the high licensing costs of multiple servers providing access to Legions of meat-puppets to ply their trade and test newly configured intrusion programs.

    http://www.jh-austin.co.uk/News.aspx

  109. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    7 Apr, 2014 - 8:42 pm

    “…intrusion programs are discounted……”

  110. The Mail piece on the NHS is yet another example of the destabilizing by the corporate media of a fine institution of which the majority of us are proud.

    Remember. It’s destabilize, dismantle, destroy.

    I called into the surgery this morning having been advised on a voicemail that some test results had come through. I was given an appointment for this Wednesday morning.

    Two years ago when I broke my wrist, I was hospitalized for a week. The care and kindness I received was overwhelming. The workload for the staff was immense but they stayed cheerful throughout in spite of some who moaned about nothing. Now morale is so low a large percentage of nurses want to leave their profession as staff numbers are reduced and the workload increases. The destabilizing is taking effect.

    My GP who I remember coming to the practice as a new member of staff has just retired. On his last day, some patients were seen leaving in tears as the practice nurse told me. That is a demonstration of the closeness of the bond between patients and doctors. Sadly he is retiring as a widower. His attractive wife died of breast cancer a couple of years back. I used to see her when she came in for bone scans when she was in remission following surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. Secondaries returned and the disease had metastasized. It is very sad for him.

  111. “Anon,

    “Except that the anonymous source gave the story to the Telegraph and RT is merely reporting on it.

    Please point me to the place in the Telegraph article which RT copied to make reference to our blog leader.”

    Thought not!

  112. This MP Michael Meacher knows what he is talking about.

    The cat is finally out of the bag
    Saturday 5th April 2014
    Tory-in-disguise Lord Warner has confirmed what campaigners knew all along – the plan to end our NHS as a service free at the point of use
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ff0b-The-cat-is-finally-out-of-the-bag

    ~~~~~

    Next time you are voting, remember these names who voted for a war on Syria.

    Syria: How did your MP vote in the Commons over military action?
    Aug 30, 2013
    By Jason Beattie
    David Cameron asked MPs to back military action in principle but dozens of Tories joined Labour to vote against him
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/syria-how-your-mp-vote-2238483

    How about the weedy LDs who joined with the Ayes? As for those who didn’t vote, what cowards.

    Many of those who voted in favour would have voted for the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which set the dismantling of the NHS in process.

  113. “”Please point me to the place in the Telegraph article which RT copied to make reference to our blog leader.”

    Thought not!”

    What on earth are you drivelling on about, John? You claimed the ‘MSM’ was slow on the uptake on a story reported by RT. I showed you that the story was broken by the Telegraph and followed up by RT. Whether or not Craig Murray of the Guardian, BBC and Mail gets a mention is entirely irrelevant to the fact that you appear not to even bother to read the articles you link to.

  114. Today Norfolks ten year saga with incineration has ended, the council has ditched the contract and will be fleeced by Cory Wheelabrators generous contarctual breakage clause to the tune of 30.5 million.

    I NCC would not have cancelled the contract today, as Mr. Pickles could not see fit to give them any idea of whether he would back up the planning permission after cal;ling it in last September, they would have occured another 5 million debt by May 1st.

    Excellent news which will hopefully result in methods being approved that actually reduce residual landfill and household waste.

    Ten years of campaigning has paid off, a US company with a record for ‘gross pollution’ as long as your arm, has fleeced a local council by doing absolutely nothing except propose a project, get a contract signed that is tight and preferentual to them and then wait until the council cancels the project, what a scam.

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/video_it_s_all_over_norfolk_county_council_votes_to_ditch_king_s_lynn_incinerator_1_3528254

  115. Julie Bailey, who blew the whistle on the appalling state of care at Mid-Staffs, with patients drinking water from flower vases and lying in their own urine, where up to 1,200 patients died unnecessarily over a three year period, was actually hounded from the town she lived in. She had excrement posted through her letterbox, the tyres of her cars slashed and her mother’s grave vandalized.

    What you are dealing with here is a sort of cult, critics of which are treated as heretics. It’s going to take a brave person to push through much needed reforms.

  116. “Today Norfolks ten year saga with incineration has ended”

    Thank God for that.

  117. Take note you tr—s.

    Survey: Nurses question impact of Francis report at frontline
    5 February, 2014

    More than half of nurses believe their ward or unit remains dangerously understaffed one year after a seminal report drew attention to the dangers of staff shortages, according to our latest survey, which suggests little has changed at the NHS frontline.

    http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/patient-safety/exclusive-staff-levels-still-dangerous-a-year-after-mid-staffs-report/5067631.article

    +++++

    06 Feb 2014

    ‘Today, in a foreword to a report by the Nuffield Trust, Mr Francis also pays tribute to NHS staff.

    He says: “The vast majority of front-line staff, who are consistently hard-working, conscientious and compassionate, have to understand that criticism of poor and unacceptable practice is not aimed at them but is part of a struggle to support everything they stand for.”

    It was something that quite patently needed to be said.

    Over the past year, NHS staff I have spoken to have often been in despair at the fall out from Mid-Staffs. They have felt that the rhetoric from ministers and, yes, the media has been relentlessly negative, as if what happened on those wards at that trust was happening on all wards at every trust.’

    http://blogs.channel4.com/victoria-macdonald-on-health-and-social-care/nhs-reform-year-francis-report-midstaffs-changed/1857

    ++++++

  118. MSM is catching up. Here Seymour M. Hersh contradicts, partly from a leak at Porton Down, the former MSM global accusation that Syria’s Assad had used sarin in a chemical attack on his own people. Thanks to the Russians brokering a deal to dismantle chemical weapons another Cameron/Obama planned war was averted. Don’t expect the dissenters will apologise but the blame for the sarin attack was Erdogan’s Turkey (possibly at the behest of NATO).

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/04/06/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

    “There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’”

  119. Resident Dissident

    7 Apr, 2014 - 10:28 pm

    Anon

    While I can agree with you that there is a lot wrong with the management of the NHS and in particular it is often run more for the benefit of doctors and senior management than its employees, I’m sorry but I don’t see how increasing the use of the market mechanism/asking for monetary contributions other than taxes will do much to address those problems, with the possible exception of some form of charging for hypochondriacs and others who abuse the service. The basic concept of the Health Service is that it should be there for those in genuine need regardless of their means – largely because when we did have access to Health rationed by price then the health of the less well off was demonstrably worse than the rest. Yes there are inefficiencies and poor service but I don’t believe that they are beyond the wit of man to fix by means other than the price mechanism – talking and listening to users and acting on what they say, and training and employing professional managers rather than relying on over paid consultants (just look at the rates they charge and the overheads they support before making any efficiency claims)might have something to contribute.

    There has been an increasing trend for many of services to become increasingly driven by the price mechanism e.g. water metering and school buses are two that I have seen in recent years – I am well enough off to pay, but I suspect that less well off families have to make real sacrifices to do so. We just need to recognise that some things are cheaper and more efficient when they are collectively funded through our taxes (school, health, public transport, TV (just compare the cost and quality of the BBC with Sky) rather than using the price mechanism – just are there other goods and services where the opposite is the case.

    You are right that we don’t want the soviet style workers committees that many here would want to see (I have seen former Soviet health services and they are not a pretty sight) but there is something between that and creping privatisation.

  120. What on earth are you drivelling on about, John?

    Go back and read the comment you took issue with. You misunderstood. I was praising the Telegraph in saying that MSM was catching up in reporting the truth. I never said RT broke the story. In fact RT credits the Telegraph and all those MSM links came before. I included the RT link because it was the only one that mentioned Craig Murray. Now do you understand. If not read the previous comment of mine about how the MSM is catching up with an honest report about what happened in Syria rather than the shit it had been asking us to believe before. Peace.

  121. Nevermind,

    Well done, glad you realised your efforts with successful outcome.
    Are you totally against incineration, is the Finnish model of waste management one to replicate, I believe that I am right in thinking the Scandinavians have better principals regarding material consumption and waste. A new regime on consumption will welcomed by the majority if correctly applied.

    http://www.asrm.ro/evenimente/evak/WasteManagement_final.pdf

  122. Resident Dissident

    7 Apr, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    Putin’s puppets will obviously see the Hersh article as definitive proof that Turkey did the gassing – just as previously they blamed the Qatari’s/US anyone else other than their fellow puppet the slobbering Dauphin. I’m afraid the argument that Assad wouldn’t do it because he was winning the war anywhere doesn’t really cut it with me – bad guys can just be bad for the sake of it, don’t belive me look up the Hama massacre.

    There are times when I wish Hersh and his fellow conspiracy theorists might just try to acquaint themselves with Occam’s razor.

  123. It’s a bit disconcerting when you address the ventriloquist and the dummy answers.

  124. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:04 pm

    Hurby

    “No, habby. A sharper western management wouldn’t involve itself in these zero sum games, especially with the sun in their eyes and the wind at their opponents back.”
    _______________

    Which, when translated, means for example that if the Rooskies moved to “protect” the Rooskie minorities in the Baltic States the West would simply rill over without protest?

    You really are the useful idiot as described by Resident Dissident, Anon and others.

  125. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:05 pm

    “roll over”

  126. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    Clark

    “Habbabkuk, since you seem incapable of understanding context,

    if the funding method ain’t broken, don’t spend money on fixing it.”
    __________________

    I think that the general implication of your posts (and those of others) is that only the UK has hit on the right funding model and all the other western European countries have got it wrong. Do you really believe that?

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

    And I’d very much agree with Anon when he says

    “What you are dealing with here is a sort of cult, critics of which are treated as heretics. It’s going to take a brave person to push through much needed reforms.”

    The UK version of healthcare is indeed a cult and is, in a way, an example of the sort of British hubris (“we do it better” / “only we can do it properly”) which has done the country a disservice in many areas since the war.

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

    ad Resident Dissident : every western European healthcare service makes special provision, in different ways, for low income, disadvantaged groups: so your comment that “the basic concept of the Health Service is that it should be there for those in genuine need regardless of their means”, while correct, is not a convincing argument against Continental “pay something at the point of service” models.

  127. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:33 pm

    Clark, Technicolour (or anyone else):

    I hear from acquaintances who have had recourse to the NHS over the last years that – apart from the quasi-impossibility of getting a GP’s appointment speedily – when you do finally get to see one, you are rationed to 10 minutes. I also hear that waiting times in A and E are very long.

    What is your explanation for why this should be so, given that you appear to think that the NHS and/or its financing model don’t need any fixing?

  128. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:41 pm

    Resident Dissident

    “While I can agree with you that there is a lot wrong with the management of the NHS and in particular it is often run more for the benefit of doctors and senior management than its employees,…”
    _______________

    I think you’ve let the real cat out of the bag with that one.

    Surely the point is precisely that the NHS should be run NEITHER for the benefit of doctors and senior management, NOR for its employees BUT for the benefit of its users the public.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What you wrote illustrates the truth of those who claim that in the end, every large corporation (whether private or public) ends up serving the interest of its members rather than those of the people it is meant to serve.

  129. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Apr, 2014 - 11:45 pm

    Monsieur Goss, although old enough to remember Peter Brough and “Educating Archie”, has obviously still not learnt that you’re meant to address the dummy and not the ventriloquist.

    Pay attention, there!

  130. On topic (apologies)

    Is Fred about? No? OK, keep your voices down, something’s just occurred to me.
    I was writing my address and I wondered ….
    If we get an Independent Scotland, will the last line of my address still be United Kingdom? Presumably not.
    But what about the rest of the UK? Retaining the country name of UK would be illogical but what’s the alternative? Britain, no. Great Britain, no. British Isles, no. Looks like it would have to be England, Wales and N. Ireland bit of a mouthful, or just carry on with UK and hope nobody notices.
    And now that I think about it, what about the Union Jack. Well the name’s going to have to go for a start. Och, it’s all getting too complicated, just keep our bits of the flag, your welcome.

  131. Now that Fred’s been mention;

    Fred; “I honestly do not understand why that woman is not in prison where she belongs”

    Possible answer via the BBC;

    “But she is slavishly loyal to Dave”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26919839

  132. BrianFujisan

    8 Apr, 2014 - 1:34 am

    Macky…

    You have been Productive recently..

    Thank you for Syria Gassing… stuff… And Ukraine…

    A wise one Speaks -

    Is There Anyone Out There Who Still Believes in Barack Obama’s Lies? by William Blum

    Does anyone recall what NATO said in 2003 when the United States bombed and invaded Iraq with “shock and awe”, compared to the Russians now not firing a single known shot at anyone? And neither Russia nor Ukraine is even a member of NATO. Does NATO have a word to say about the right-wing coup in Ukraine, openly supported by the United States, overthrowing the elected government? Did the hypocrisy get any worse during the Cold War? Imagine that NATO had not been created in 1949. Imagine that it has never existed. What reason could one give today for its creation? Other than to provide a multi-national cover for Washington’s interventions.
    One of the main differences between now and the Cold War period is that Americans at home are (not yet) persecuted or prosecuted for supporting Russia or things Russian.
    But don’t worry, folks, there won’t be a big US-Russian war. For the same reason there wasn’t one during the Cold War. The United States doesn’t pick on any country which can defend itself.
    Cuba … Again … Still … Forever
    Is there actually a limit? Will the United States ever stop trying to overthrow the Cuban government? Entire books have been written documenting the unrelenting ways Washington has tried to get rid of tiny Cuba’s horrid socialism – from military invasion to repeated assassination attempts to an embargo that President Clinton’s National Security Advisor called “the most pervasive sanctions ever imposed on a nation in the history of mankind”.(5) But nothing has ever come even close to succeeding. The horrid socialism keeps on inspiring people all over the world. It’s the darnedest thing. Can providing people free or remarkably affordable health care, education, housing, food and culture be all that important?

    Full Copy @

    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/is-there-anyone-out-there-who-still-believes-in-barack-obamas-lies/#more-160648

  133. Habbabkuk, 7 Apr, 11:33 pm; no, you’re the one who keeps saying that there should be some payment at the point of treatment, so the onus is upon you to prevent evidence that your proposition would lead to improvement. We don’t need any “convincing argument against Continental “pay something at the point of service” models”, because we don’t have such a model. Rather, those who would introduce such a model need to present an argument for it.

    To me, the revenue collection method looks irrelevant to patient care and health treatment, and quite honestly, I suspect ulterior motives that will make things worse, like diverting money to investors and shareholders.

    7 Apr, 11:21 pm

    “every western European healthcare service makes special provision, in different ways, for low income, disadvantaged groups”

    So in addition to instigating additional methods of raising revenue, various “special provisions” will have to be implemented and maintained as well. Habbabkuk, this all costs money, and it does nothing to improve patient care or treatment.

    Resident Dissident, please talk some more sense to Habbabkuk; he might just take some notice of you.

  134. Ben,

    Sorry but can’t trust you,after many months of posts.

    You seem way too conveniently locked in against Habba et al as a good cop/bad cop makeweight.Faaaaar too comfortably offset.

    Sincere apologies if i’m wrong,Ben.

  135. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 2:59 am

    “Sorry but can’t trust you,after many months of posts.”

    No worries. I don’t really visit or comment to overcome trust issues. I’ve learned a lot.

    That’s why I’m here.

  136. Resident Dissident

    8 Apr, 2014 - 6:56 am

    “While I can agree with you that there is a lot wrong with the management of the NHS and in particular it is often run more for the benefit of doctors and senior management than its employees,…”

    Habba – I meant its patients and users – not employees. I just got that bit wrong – but not the rest.

  137. Resident Dissident

    8 Apr, 2014 - 6:59 am

    Habba

    There have been various attempts to introduce pricing/internal market into the NHS over a number of years – do you really think that they have contributed to an improvement in its performance? If not – why do you think more of such measures will help?

  138. Res,

    Try, those needing care.

    PATIENTS.

  139. “I was writing my address and I wondered”

    Do you know I don’t believe I’ve ever used United Kingdom in my address, nor ever received a letter with that on it. I just stop at the post town, it’s always been sufficient, maybe the county as well. On international post I would put Scotland, I figure everybody knows where that is.

    I too was thinking yesterday, while looking at a scruffy old Saltire being used as curtains, that as in England, it seems to be the Nationalists who have least respect for their flag.

  140. You have to hand it to the Commons wag -

    Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. This has just crossed my mind, and I thought I had better use it before you do: how do you solve the problem called Maria?

    ~~~

    John Mann and David Winnick attempted to get a debate but were met with verbiage from Bercow.

    3.32pm John Mann (Bassetlaw) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister said this morning that he is “very open” to suggestions on how to reform the system that some would describe as MPs regulating themselves through the Committee on Standards. I note that there is no ministerial statement so that the House can make suggestions for the Prime Minister and the Government to consider. What opportunities might there be for the House to discuss not the behaviour and actions of any individual Members but the principle of self-regulation of MPs by MPs?

    Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Undoubtedly these have been very bad days for the reputation of this House. My hon. Friend’s point on self-regulation is interesting, and of course it has been voiced by other Members and by people outside the House. Before the House rises on Thursday, what mechanism is there for us to discuss this important issue? I do not want to raise the particular case, but the general question of how we regulate ourselves and recognise the amount of criticism, justified or otherwise, that has been expressed outside by many people, and by no means just the media, over the past few days.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140407/debtext/140407-0001.htm#14040711000573

    Dale Campbell Savours said this in the HoL.

    Lord Campbell-Savours (Lab): My Lords, is not under registration among young people only a symptom of the disconnect between the politicians and the people? Does not the sight of a Cabinet Minister hanging on when she should go only aggravate that condition and that disconnect?

    Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, the noble Lord is absolutely right. We all know that there is a broader and long-term problem, which did not arise simply with this Government, of popular alienation from politics, and a sense that national politics and Westminster have little to do with the lives of young people in particular. All of us here and in the other place have a shared interest in combating that, rebuilding trust in politics, and regaining a sense of shared citizenship and political values. The Government cannot do that on their own.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140407-0001.htm#14040716000789

  141. Another gem from the Lords

    Atos Healthcare
    Question Asked by Lord Morrow

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in light of the announcement that Atos Healthcare is exiting its contract in respect of fit-for-work tests, whether they plan to initiate an investigation with published terms of reference into that company’s performance, including complaints made directly to Atos Healthcare and through any other agency including the Department for Work and Pensions.[HL6467]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Department has closely monitored the performance of Atos Healthcare and will continue to do so until Atos exits the contract as described in the Written Ministerial Statement of 27 March 2014. There are no plans to carry out any investigations into performance.

  142. ‘A leaked draft of a UN report claims that if proven in court, actions testified to by victims of Rwandan forces in Congo/Zaire would constitute genocide.xii And perhaps most telling of all, Tony Blair has posted an opinion piece in the Guardian praising Rwanda as a “beacon of hope”. I am not being flippant when I say that praise from Blair, a personal associate of fellow war criminal Paul Kagame, should be read as an admission of oppression and injustice.’

    From: http://ongenocide.com/2014/04/
    Rwanda: Western Guilt and Hypocrisy, the Misuse of Genocide and Genocide Denial
    6880 words.

  143. Ba'al Zevul (Chilly, Innit?)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 8:13 am

    “There are times when I wish Hersh and his fellow conspiracy theorists might just try to acquaint themselves with Occam’s razor.”

    ResDis – Whatever the truth of Hersh’s allegations (he has a track record of being somewhere near the money, in fact), the enthusiasm with which the BBC and others have followed-up the story suggests that this is now the US/UK line. Erdoğan has been getting too close to Islam for our (and many secular Turks’) liking. Hersh maintains that the sarin-bearing projectiles (a) don’t resemble Assad’s known inventory – very likely true, they look like Chinese kit, not Russian/FSU – and (b)were made in Turkish workshops – very likely to be completely unverifiable.

    It may be that we are preparing to accept that Assad has won, and looking for facesaving attitudes to adopt.

  144. Ba'al Zevul (Chilly, Innit?)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 8:26 am

    “Tony Blair has posted an opinion piece in the Guardian praising Rwanda as a “beacon of hope”.”

    That should pretty well ensure Rwanda’s total collapse within the year.

    What Tone is trying to do is counter all the hurtful things people are saying about him and his sacred mission to introduce large companies to cheap labour and others’ resources. His sole successful example of, er, humanitarian intervention (TM) – though he did not, as the Wiki entry suggests, lead his loyal army personally into Freetown – was the suppression of armed insurrection in Sierra Leone, and Tone would like to invoke this by association with other African issues. Sierra Leone seems to be appearing in press releases quite a lot right now.

    For another, fairly convincing take on why Tone decided to take FCO advice and send the army in, see:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/node/137744

    This is more like the Blair we know and love. It has my vote, by a whisker.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/node/137744

  145. There was an account on Radio 4 this morning by one of the residents of the sacking of an Armenian Christian town by Islamist jihadis. Not online yet.

    This is the RT account.
    http://rt.com/news/armenians-kessab-syria-attack-381/

  146. From Medialens

    Seymour Hersh interviewed on BBC R4 The World Tonight
    Posted by Robert on April 8, 2014, 12:05 am

    From 39 minutes http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03zqzvz

    Item concludes with State Dept rebuttal

    The programme also tweeted the link to Hersh’s article https://twitter.com/BBCWorldTonight/status/453285926203301888

  147. Ba'al Zevul (Chilly, Innit?)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 8:37 am

    From what I can see, when Hersh says he has well-placed sources, he has them, or a near approximation thereto. His track record suggests that he is not a fantasist. I would expect the State Department denial – it’s routine. And sometimes, re Hersh’s stories, shown to be completely untrue.

  148. Sofia Kibo Noh

    8 Apr, 2014 - 8:40 am

    Business as usual. Hired guns in Ukraine.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2576490/Are-Blackwater-active-Ukraine-Videos-spark-talk-U-S-mercenary-outfit-deployed-Donetsk.html

    “This war did not spring up on our land, this war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land without a price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things… This war has come from robbery – from the stealing of our land.” Spotted tail

  149. Ba'al Zevul (Chilly, Innit?)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 8:51 am

    More on Blair’s Guardian piece -

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2014/04/tony-blair-s-latest-intervention

    …”But Rwanda’s newfound stability has come at a cost, which Mr Blair barely gestured to. Mr Kagame’s opponents have been stifled, sometimes literally. Many, inside Rwanda and outside, have been killed—including Patrick Karegeya, former intelligence chief, who was assassinated in a South Africa hotel-room in January. Mr Blair does not mention them, or indeed the Rwandan plot to murder two dissidents in London that was uncovered by British spies in 2011.

    He scarcely even mentions Rwanda’s far grosser abuses, waged in Congo, by its army and through local proxies, during the best part of two decades of war and plunder. Millions have perished in those conflicts, in which Rwanda’s culpability has been many times proved by a litany of UN and independent investigations.

    There are only two possible explanations for Mr Blair’s one-dimensional appraisal of Rwanda. One is that, despite his mission to bring “practical change” to the Great Lakes region, he really has only the thinnest understanding of it. Another is that, like most informed Western apologists for Mr Kagame, he considers his abuses an acceptable bill for his successes.

    That may be right; though it is not a view widely shared among regional experts, who fear Mr Kagame’s reluctance to relax his grip is storing up a future explosion in Rwanda. It should also be pointed out that apologists for his regime, including Mr Blair, have a lot of personal credibility invested in Mr Kagame.

    AND -

    …Iraq, where almost 8,000 civilians were killed in political violence last year. Quizzed by the BBC on that continuing nightmare, Mr Blair offered this thought: “In the end what we know now… is that when you remove the dictatorship, that is the beginning not the end.” What an insight that is.

  150. Thanks Mary for the Radio 4 Seymour Hersh link. I do detect a sea-change in the way reporting through our media is becoming more responsible. I really welcome this. There is nothing worse than having to make apologies for your own media. It has been a bad few years of late since the BEEB has been supporting the insupportable war on Islam. I used to listen to Radio 4 all the time until those with an agenda took over.

    I did smile at the State Department’s statement, despite refusing to comment, still blamed Assad for the sarin attack. This pretty well supports the leak from that department who said:

    “My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.”

  151. Ba'al Zevul (Chilly, Innit?)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 9:05 am

    Light relief – came across this excellent site in the course of my researches, and even laughed at some of it. A rare event.

    http://eveningharold.com/2014/04/05/pippa-middleton-humanely-destroyed-after-fall-at-grand-national/

  152. This from a good doctor who has been working in the NHS for 35 years.

    The NHS is on the brink of extinction – we need to shout about it
    Government policy and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it will be gone in as little as five years if no one speaks up

    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/jan/08/nhs-extinct-government-policy-privatisation

    cf his work for the his patients with that of the upstart Jeremy Hunt who, as well as having a privileged upbringing, grew rich from his online company, Hotcourses. ‘Hot’ being the currency in Tory Boy circles.

    Better luck next time Jeremy.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hotcourses-jeremy-hunt-misses-out-3100095

  153. This is the result of a poll of 2066 American citizens who were asked to mark the position of Ukraine on a map.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/files/2014/04/Ukraine_Full.png

    Where’s Ukraine? Each dot depicts the location where a U.S. survey respondent situated Ukraine; the dots are colored based on how far removed they are from the actual country, with the most accurate responses in red and the least accurate ones in blue. (Data: Survey Sampling International; Figure: Thomas Zeitzoff/The Monkey Cage)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/07/the-less-americans-know-about-ukraines-location-the-more-they-want-u-s-to-intervene/

    I seem to remember that the same applied to knowledge of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  154. As the MediaLens Editors have stated, another definite must-read Anti-Empire Report;

    http://williamblum.org/aer/read/127

  155. doug scorgie

    8 Apr, 2014 - 10:51 am

    Scottish independence a threat to world peace!!!

    The Better Togetherers are getting desperater and desperater.

    “The former secretary general of Nato has said that Scottish independence would be cataclysmic for the West in an era of international turmoil.”[mostly caused by Nato]

    “Speaking in the US, Lord Robertson said a “debilitating divorce” after a “Yes” vote in September would threaten the stability of the wider world.”

    “He said he believed the American administration was worried about the possibility of Scottish independence.”

    “Lord Roberston was speaking at the Brookings Institution where he said the US should make its [anti-independence] views public – as should all British allies.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26933998

    I’m surprised he didn’t say that an independent Scotland would be an opportunity for Al-Qaeda and they would set up a training camp in Auchtermuchty!

    The Brookings Institute’s 21st Century Defense Initiative:
    The 21st Century Defense Initiative (21CDI) is aimed at producing research, analysis, and outreach that address three core issues: the future of war, the future of U.S. defense needs and priorities, and the future of the U.S. defense system.

  156. @Jay, the way is now free for multiple solutions to be applied. As with all management structures, waste or otherwise, they evolve with time.
    I proposed a three day exhibition at County Hall to show off what is available and the most appropriate for Norfolk.
    Here in Britain many landfill sites are in a precarious state and some, next to watercourses that feed consumate water into our pipes, should be prioritised to be reinstated.
    Gassification of landfill waste works and has little emissions compared with incineration, an old method being rapidly replaced with recycling.

    rather than concentrating onb one model, councils need solutions for a guaranteed uptake of recyclables by business, end of life responsibility, waste minimisation and in the case of the worst pollutants, product re design. It will take time top take hold, but it is a growing industry. Our landfill sites could all be reinstated if we had the will to adopt more than one method of resource recovery.

    Waste is also political and some companies are front for organised crime, the laundering of money. Making waste disappear is a good business for some and hence business waste should be included into recycling regulatory framework.

    much more work to be done, we have to find 8 million in 40 days, or let them, Cory Wheelabrator, whistle for the rest. Somehow I do not think that they would like to have their environmental record openly disclosed in court, should they have any designs on other local authority plants. Being seen to leech local taxpayers into paying their gross debts abroad does not sound like good publicity and good economic prospects.

  157. Doug, are you expecting a Ukraine style support for the cause of the union from the ‘oh we’re so worried’ US?…;)
    Will the US now be looking to support certain football clubs and their supporters into rowdy and loot behaviour, if they don’t get it their way?

    indeed should certain nmations know for their history of subdefuge, have strict quotas of immigrants, so their extracurricular activities can be observed (playing golf with Trumps and Trimble)

  158. Fred:
    “Do you know I don’t believe I’ve ever used United Kingdom in my address, nor ever received a letter with that on it. I just stop at the post town, it’s always been sufficient, maybe the county as well. On international post I would put Scotland, I figure everybody knows where that is.”

    I doubt that many Chinese postal sorters would know where Scotland is. You’re not going to find ‘Scotland’ or ‘England’ in any official international postal guide:
    http://www.foreign-trade.com/resources/country-code.htm

    I’ve got a small internet business and all international addressing is done from a drop down box where ‘United Kingdom’ is the only appropriate choice. After independence :) ‘Scotland’ will be added to those dropdown boxes and there will undoubtedly be a period of grace where ‘U.K.’ is still acceptable for all countries of the British Isles, but sooner or later, an international postal designation is going to have to be decided upon for England Wales and N. Ireland. I suppose the easiest option is to retain ‘U.K.’ but it would be inaccurate and an ironic reminder of past glories.

    I’m sure someone somewhere has prepared for this eventuality, but they don’t seem to have told Mr Google.

  159. “Al-Qaeda and they would set up a training camp in Auchtermuchty”

    I thought it was a festival camp Doug! :)

    But I guess there will be a few plain-clothes investigators weaving in and out between the revelers. I notice they’ve already ostracised the foot-stompers. Foot-stomping is definitely on the list of terrorist activities in my book and I believe some of the organisers are now being held with Moazzam Begg in Belmarsh prison.

    http://www.footstompin.com/forum/1/20783/1

  160. I have just heard a stirring version of the Irish national anthem from Windsor. A whole lot of bowing and hand shaking going on.

    Camilla is dressed as if for a funeral whereas the Queen is in bright colours.

    http://irishnationalanthem.net/lyrics.html

  161. Robertson weighs in. Nu surprise.

    His interests
    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-robertson-of-port-ellen/672

    Some commentary
    http://www.tpuc.org/blair-covering-up-paedophile-scandal/

    The Medialens editors:
    Another warning about Scottish independence, and this time it’s ‘cataclysmic’
    April 8, 2014

    BBC News now giving headline coverage to the thoughts of George Islay MacNeill Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, GCMG, FRSA, FRSE, PC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26933998

    George Robertson has, of course, been a loyal servant to Western state power – not least as UK Secretary of State for ‘Defence’ and NATO Secretary General. So he clearly knows what he’s talking about.

    ~~~~

    Enough said.

  162. No surprise!

  163. “there will undoubtedly be a period of grace where ‘U.K.’ is still acceptable for all countries of the British Isles”

    I think not.

  164. Sorry, Dreollin, I shouldn’t have made that mistake.

    Correction : there will undoubtedly be a period of grace where ‘U.K.’ is still acceptable for all countries of the former U.K.

  165. :)

  166. Nick Clegg has been soulless and gutless in his subservience as junior partner to Cameron, but now, as an election appears on the horizon, he has made a decision I applaud. Free school meals will be available from September for the first three years of a child at school. This is going to be the best meal some children get all day. Well done Clegg. At last.

    In Kiev the thugs that have taken over forcefully removed a pro-Russian MP from the rostrum and fighting broke out. That’s what the Yanks, and we, have paid for, a parliament full of thugs. Praise to the BBC for reporting this.

    (On topic). George Robinson thinks that if Scotland gets independence it will be disastrous (cataclysmic) for NATO countries. This is another good reason why I will be supporting the Yes vote. NATO, of which Robinson was a Secretary General, has been responsible for so much death and unnecessary aggression in the world, if it were to be dismantled tomorrow it would be no loss and a blessing.

  167. Let no discussion involving George Robertson go by without mention of Dunblane’s dark secrets. Not even the Guardian is above dropping hints …..

    “Campaigners yesterday called for a review of the 100-year secrecy rule imposed on some documents seen by the inquiry into the Dunblane killings which were never made public.
    [.....]
    There have been allegations that the lengthy closure order was placed on the report after it linked Hamilton to figures in the Scottish establishment, including two senior politicians and a lawyer.
    [.....]
    There has been much speculation about the identity of the politicians in the report. It is known that in June 1996 Michael Forsyth, then Scottish secretary and MP for Stirling, congratulated Hamilton on running a boys’ club in Dunblane. George Robertson, now general secretary of Nato, withdrew his son from a club run by Hamilton amid concern about its militaristic nature”

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/feb/14/ukguns.scotland

  168. Carrot and stick.

    Be a good donkey, George. We need a front man for one of our military operations. There’s a Lordship in it for you, but step-out of line and we re-open the Dunblane files.

  169. A Node the Guardian report is the tamest I’ve read about George Robinson and his association with the alleged paedophile ring run by Hamilton – having his child removed from a club!

  170. Yes, John, but the fact that the Guardian makes such strong hints after the Scottish Sunday Herald was sued for contributors to its website making similar comments ….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Robertson,_Baron_Robertson_of_Port_Ellen#Dunblane_libel_action
    …. is an indication that the story is more than rumours.

  171. Damn, my 2nd correction of the day.
    The Guardian ran that story a few months before the Sunday Herald was sued.

  172. “the forces of darkness would simply love it” if the UK broke up, Lord (George) Robertson said.

    He should know.

  173. “A Node the Guardian report is the tamest I’ve read about George Robinson and his association with the alleged paedophile ring run by Hamilton – having his child removed from a club!”

    Don’t think that by changing George Robertson’s name to Robinson that you are excluded from a potential libel action – though you may be by being a worthless low life who Lord Robertson doesn’t think is worth the bother.

  174. technicolour

    8 Apr, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    Clark, thanks for your points about the NHS – beautifully put. Quite agree.

  175. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    “In court this week, Lyon denied he could have downloaded pornography at work, because other people had access to his computer and anyone could walk into his busy, open office.”

    This is a continual problem. No respect for employer work stations where people are paid to be productive, but spend hours online with personal matters.

    Now, of course if many servers are provided for internet mischief, then it fits the job description.

  176. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    “MOSCOW — Under the attentive eye of Russian state television, several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators in the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, declared on Monday that they were forming an independent republic and urged President Vladimir V. Putin to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force, even though there was no imminent threat to peace.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/world/europe/russia-crimea-ukraine-unrest.html?hp

    Isn’t this the way things started in Kiev?

  177. ” There will undoubtedly be a period of grace where ‘U.K.’ is still acceptable for all countries of the former U.K. ”

    Even the SNP reckon Scotland won’t actually become independent until March 2016 so time enough to sort out postal addresses and “.jok” (or whatever) websites.

  178. Ba'al Zevul (Shamelessly Plugging)

    8 Apr, 2014 - 3:53 pm

  179. “Isn’t this the way things started in Kiev? ”

    Similar, although of course you won’t see any accusations that the Russians could possibly be driving things behind the scenes and staging “false flag” incidents to ratchet up the tension or questioning of the legality of the new “independent” republic.

  180. Kempe 8 Apr, 2014 – 3:50 pm

    “Even the SNP reckon Scotland won’t actually become independent until March 2016 so time enough to sort out postal addresses and “.jok” (or whatever) websites”

    You’ve missed the point again, Kempe.
    After independence, Scots will be able to write ‘Scotland’ as the last line of an international address. You’ll be able to write ‘Israel. What will the English, Welsh and N. Irish write?

  181. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    China’s military capabilities are significantly greater than Russia’s.

    ” Taiwan watched Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine very closely. After all, the island nation, which is claimed by China, has long feared Beijing might do the same thing.

    “We learned a very important lesson that we have to modernize our military by spending [to] develop [weapons and equipment] ourselves or working closely with the Americans,” Andrew Hsia, Taiwan’s deputy defense minister, said Wednesday at a Center for a New American Security event in Washington.”

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140402/DEFREG02/304020027/Taiwan-s-Takeaway-from-Russian-Annexation-Crimea-We-Must-Modernize-Military

  182. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    “Afterwards witness Rachel Cross summed up the feelings of many of the audience when she said: “I kind of liked Lord Robertson’s speech. To be honest it made more sense than claiming that a united England and Scotland is all that stands between some Russian or fundamentalist Islamic takeover of the world. Now that really would’ve been mad.”

    I’m not going to touch that line…. :)

  183. Just as you see barristers for each side hobnobbing with one another, Miliband, Cameron and Clegg are having a nice chat prior to the Irish President’s arrival.

  184. Silence on Patrick Rock, late of No 10 since his arrest. Now why is that?

    Patrick Rock child porn arrest: Top aide to David Cameron arrested over abuse images allegations

    Mar 04, 2014 00:19
    By James Lyons

    Veteran Tory adviser Rock has been an ally of the Prime Minister since they first began working together 20 years ago
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/patrick-rock-child-porn-arrest-3204811

  185. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    It’s a daisy-chain, Mary.

    “Rock, dubbed “the most powerful Cameron adviser most people have never heard of”, was a protege of late PM Margaret Thatcher.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/patrick-rock-child-porn-arrest-3204811#ixzz2yJG4Nnbw
    Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

  186. David Cromwell of Medialens writes:

    Media blacks out Seymour Hersh exposé of US lies on Syrian gas attack
    April 8, 2014, 4:21 pm

    By Patrick Martin
    8 April 2014

    Nearly two days after the London Review of Books published a lengthy exposé by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh detailing efforts by the Turkish government to stage a provocation to bring the US military directly into the civil war in Syria, the US media has blacked out the report.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/04/08/hrsh-a08.html

    DC

    A reminder of what happened last time

    An Awkward Silence – Burying The Hersh Revelations Of Obama’s Syrian Deceit:
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/751-an-awkward-silence-burying-the-hersh-revelations-of-obama-s-syrian-deceit.html

    DC

  187. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Mary; Wasn’t it Solomon who said ‘There is nothing new under the Sun”?

    Hersh continues:

    ‘A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening.’

    The former official said that this ‘distortion’ of the facts by the Obama administration ‘reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam.’

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

  188. Good on Sabina Higgins.

    ‘The decision by the President Michael D Higgins’s wife to visit her old friend in a “private and personal” capacity has been hugely controversial because it could be interpreted as a PR coup for the Shannonwatch group, which has been campaigning to end foreign military use of Shannon Airport.’

    Activists claiming boost to cause after Sabina Higgins jail visit
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/activists-claiming-boost-to-cause-after-sabina-higgins-jail-visit-29942489.html

  189. I always write England,Scotland , Wales or Northern Ireland on letters and Xmas cards , and they always get there.The Chinese do know where Scotland is as do most countries around the world.If they sell whisky,they know where it is. I preferred Great Britain…. never liked the rebranding to UK and therefore refused to take part.
    Used to take the hump when I lived in Sweden and they called the whole of the UK England.It was a windmill I couldn’t ignore and I wrote to TV stations, Atlas printing companies,radio stations etc to make sure they knew there were a few more countries on the Islands.
    It didn’t help but made me feel better.
    Why would George Robertson step down after only 2 years in the job as NATO chief ? Why would evidence have to be hidden for 100 years for the paedophile case of Holly Grieg ? Many unanswered questions. Perhaps independence will re-open the file. It would have paralysed Blair’s cabinet just before we began dropping bombs on Baghdad.Can’t have all these macho War types into bairns. Doesn’t go down well with the voter.

  190. ” After independence, Scots will be able to write ‘Scotland’ as the last line of an international address. You’ll be able to write ‘Israel. ”

    My point was that they and the rest of the world will have two years (almost) to sort it out and so will rUK or whatever we elect to call ourselves. I could write Israel but I fear it would confuse as I live in the home counties (of England).

  191. Thanks, Fred, very interesting

  192. Kempe,

    “rUK or whatever”

    Any suggestions? Choosing something that doesn’t draw attention to the split is tricky.

  193. Ben-Scot NON-collaborator

    8 Apr, 2014 - 5:19 pm

  194. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    8 Apr, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    Resident Dissident

    “Habba

    There have been various attempts to introduce pricing/internal market into the NHS over a number of years – do you really think that they have contributed to an improvement in its performance? If not – why do you think more of such measures will help?”
    _____________________

    You’ll know that I only post about something when I’m as sure as I can be of the facts. I don’t know enough about these various attempts to which you allude to be able to answer your questions. But that doesn’t matter, actually, because my original post wasn’t about those attempts; it merely pointed out that a monthly charge, as suggested by Lord X, is akin to what happens in all western European healthcare systems.
    It should also be noted that an element of pay-at-the-point-of-use in fact already operates in the UK – when you take your prescription to the pharmacy.

  195. Getting near the rollover to 1200 comments but where’s Habbabkuk?

    We low-lifes are not likely to be sued for defamation of character by George Robertson (a high-life no doubt) mostly because we have not said anything libellous.

    Apologies for writing Robinson instead of Robertson. No doubt those who can never latch onto a piece of substance and dismantle it get great pleasure in pointing out a simple error and making a big issue of something trivial. Get something of substance to challenge and they just attack the person with snide insults like calling us a low-life.

  196. Speak of the devil!

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