Daily archives: November 4, 2009

Cameron Retreats into a Sinking Pile of Ordure

David Cameron has just ratted on his much trumpeted commitment to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The argument that the Treaty is now ratified, does not in fact preclude a referendum. It is perfectly possible to resile from an international treaty; a referendum on whether to resile would be perfectly feasible, but Cameron has not the stomach for that fight with the EU.

To cover his retreat he unleashed a cloud of rhetorical proposals which have no pactical effect. A “referendum lock” law covering future treaties could simply be undone by any future government, but more practically would be unlikely to be invoked as the Lisbon Treay is designed to allow for amendment, to obviate the need for ratification of further treaties or formal ratification of the amendments,

But more importantly, the “Sovereignty Law” is a non-starter. If it had any meaning, it would require us to resile from the Lisbon, Nice, Amsterdam and other treaties in which sovereignty was given up (or “pooled”, as pro-EU jargon has it,) We cannot simply declare that the UK courts are not subject to the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights, or that the British govenment is not bound by the majority voting provisions of successive EU treaties, without resiling from the treaties that say otherwise. And if we are prepared to do that, the whole argument for not having a referendum on Lisbon fails.

The pretence that the German Constitutional Court sits above the European Court of Justice is a shameful lie. The German Constitutional Court has in fact never tried to strike down a ECJ ruling, a European Commission ruling, or an EU treaty provision. The Cameron ploy is not so much smoke and mirrors, as an effort to hide in a steaming heap of bullshit.

I do not for one second think he believes it himself.

It seems that Cameron is just a shifty snake oil salesman like Blair. Now there’s a shock.

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While I Was Away

Sorry to be absent from blogging for so long.

Here are a few bits of what I was up to:


This is an excellent quality recording I have seen of one of my talks:


Part 2


I was sharing a platform in Washington with Daniel Ellsberg. He is the godfather of whistle blowers, and for his revealing of truth about the Vietnam War he was at the time described, in all seriousness, by Henry Kissinger as “The Most Dangerous Man in America”. Ellsberg’s well-informed views on Afghanistan are particularly worth considering, in particular his knowledge that the proposed deployment of 45,000 more US troops is, in Pentagon minds, but the first stage in a ratchet to a colossal Vietnam style operation.


Dan also spoke to me chillingly about Pentagon plans of which he has certain knowledge to set up a network of informers and death squads, on models tried and tested in Vietnam and Central America.

I was also sharing a platform with Col. Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, a staunch Republican who argues that “The most dangerous man in the World” was and is Dick Cheney. For a view right inside the Bush White House, this was fascinating:


Part 2




An account of another speech I gave in the US is here:


I have also been very active on Uzbekistan, on which I shall be blogging separately. I attended a very good meeting of the Uzbek opposition in Brussels, but the only account I can find is hidden behind a subscription wall:


Finally, I have been in Dundee for University meetings, and with the other Scottish Rectors we launched a campaign to keep Scottish university education free in the coming troubled economic times:


I am also working with Dundee University Students Association against proposed restructuring – or course cuts – in the university. Law library opening hours have already been slashed, and the University Court moved to set up a “Redundancy Committee” to make compulsory redundancies, initially in the College of Art but I expect that is the thin end of the wedge.

They also, incidentally, voted to abolish the post of Rector’s Assessor, which would make it very difficult to do the job. The University plainly is looking to remove the capacity of Rectors to work on behalf of rhe students, preferring to link the University to contentless “Celebrity culture” by encouraging Rectors like my predecessor, Lorraine Kelly, who never once turned up to committee meetings.

It has been a fascinating period, but fortunately things should be a bit less busy now, so I hope to be blogging more regularly again.

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The Afghanistan Debacle

Matthew Hoh has resigned from the US State Department and makes some very important points on the Afghan War here.


I am personally very pleased to hear another government insider, other than myself, make public that it is the Karzai government who ARE the drug warlords – something the mainstream media are in general still very coy about. There is growing evidence that, as so often in the past, the CIA are mixed up in drugs money to further their schemes.


Gordon Brown’s statement on the tragic death of yet five more British soldiers today is a model of pusillanimity. He talks of “Working with the new Afghan government”.

What new Afghan government?

The farce of the Afghan election, and the Western reaction to it, is beyond description. Are Brown and Obama really claiming that Karzai did not know that one third of his votes were fraudulent, that a million false votes were being manufactured? That’s a pretty enormous logistical operation. Yet Karzai is still there, grinning. It’s like catching a man playing poker with seven aces up his sleeve, and then saying “Oh never mind, let’s say you won that hand anyway.”

Democracy is not exactly healthy at home either, where not one of our three main political parties offers a choice to voters – most of them – who want us to pull out of Afghanistan. The argument that fighting in Afghanistan somehow ties down the terrorists who would strike here, when in fact UK terrorists have been mostly home grown as a direct response to our fighting abroad, is still supported by all our faux-patriotic parties.

We should bring the soldiers back – and use them to shoot the politicians.

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