Home Thoughts

by craig on December 11, 2011 10:42 am in Uncategorized

I am off to Ghana today, and it leads me to think about how very much I have come to love Ramsgate. Walks along the cliffs and beach and across Pegwell Bay with my family are a major part of my life. The sea has always been important to reviving my spirits. Ramsgate’s magnificent Edwardian esplanades stretch for miles, and the Ramsgate Society is now putting a commendable effort into their restoration. Ramsgate has almost entirely ceased to be a seaside holiday destination and I really do not quite understand why.

All these pictures are of places within an easy 15 minute walk of my house:

The depressingly ugly Turner Modern at Margate continues to attract the visitors, 99.99% of whom are blissfully ignorant of far greater art – and infinitely greater architecture - just down the road:

The lack of public interest in St Augustine’s and its highly limited opening hours (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoons only, from memory) appear to be a vicious circle.

Pegwell Bay still looks precisely as it did when Dyce painted it:

Right on the street where I live we have a particularly good ghost story:

All this just one hour and ten minutes from St Pancras. Unfortunately Ramsgate town centre has suffered disastrously from the decision to build a huge out of town shopping centre at Westwood Cross, but is showing some first signs of revival.

Want another reason to hate the big supermarkets? They are building a new Asda at the top of the High Street, and a fortnight ago the builders cut through a main sewer, flooding several houses including the local vet, where a number of recuperating animals in cages were drowned.

Here is a picture of a jumbo coming in to land over Ramsgate, taken from the Open at Sandwich. You can see my house in this photo:

I am baffled by the scheme to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, when just down the road at Manston, and already right on Britain’s first HS1 High Speed Rail route, you have the second longest, now civil, runway in the UK, fully operational but working at 1% capacity. Manston can take the A380 without modification. I have seen proximity to Schiphol given as the reason Manston cannot be used, but it is further from Schiphol than Heathrow is from Gatwick.

Anyway, time to pack…

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  1. Lovely photos Craig.
    Have an enjoyable and safe trip.

  2. Thanks. I should make plain the photos were pinched from around the internet, they are not mine.

  3. I used to live in Liberia/Nigeria/Cameroon..late 60’s to early 80’s…i really miss West Africa…”sigh”

  4. We have a lovely coastline. I spent a happy week around Ramsgate once.
    Offtopic, Rawnsley has a good piece about Cameron today, indicating his demands were miniscule, as Osborne and others have said, and that his demands were only to give something to the Tory right. Which makes it all the more staggering that his diplomatic skills were so miniscule he couldn’t get anything.

  5. Great scenery and a loss to the seaside holiday makers indeed, although apart from a few occaisions, I only know it from night time, t’was too busy during the day.

    You can see my house in this photo:

    yes indeed, there you are, right there in the centre right, one can clearly see you wearing your canary scarfe. c’mon Norwich, 4-2 against Newcastle should mean that they are staying up this season.

  6. Ramsgate is full of Chavs.

  7. Thanks and safe journey. Will you be ‘coming home for Christmas’ as the musak players in the superstores inform us.

    I agree about the sea. I was brought up in Dorset near the coast and when I return to any shore, I always find solace and refreshment.

    PS Will the stores and the garden centres sell all the Christmas junk that is piled up high? ‘Real’ Christmas trees range in price locally from £39.99 to £69.99!

    A favourite song. I like the melancholy within and the melody.

    PPS What a beautiful church. Much better than the ‘palace’ Pugin built at Westminster now inhabited by moral pygmies.{http://pugin.com/pugchur.htm}

  8. Safe trip, Craig – when are you coming back, though?

  9. ‘Course the Ramsgate Press Gang has thankfully shut up shop. There’s even a good Fish n Chips eatery there. Mind you the Kent Coast isn’t paradise on earth – surprise surprise earlier this year partying Aghan youths in significant numbers were engaged in murderous knife fights – hmmmm… not quite the Kent Coast tranquility one might rather prefer.

  10. Antelope Grazer

    11 Dec, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    ceased to be a seaside holiday destination
    Perhaps that’s a good thing. English seaside resorts have a unique grimness to them.

  11. Rehmat

    Deleted that. No connection between Idi Amin and Ghana that I am aware of – again you introduce the only subject that interests you, totally off topic.

  12. This is off-topic, but still of much interest. It’s a very recently produced document looking at the richest people in the world and detailing their interests, power and how they buy media and politicians to pursue their policy interests. It mentions a few Uzbeks too.
    So read all about your favourite oligarchs now

  13. Ramsgate has the best fish and chip shop in England, Olly’s fish and chips is different, the man has style, he skins his cod and his batter is heavenly.

    Have a safe trip Craig

  14. Ramsgate is superb architecturally, never been inside St Augustines. Must do next Spring. The Ramsgate population that one encounters every day though can be fearful, prefer Broadstairs where we live for that aspect. The whole coastline along Thanet is fantastic too.

    Never fear, as London becomes ever more abominable more and more folk will be willing to commute and purchase property across Thanet playing their own part in helping to regenerate the area, reenergising the independent shops and that sort of thing. Margate Old Town is transformed of late, various people are trying to do the same with Cliftonville and one hopes someone will take a corner of Ramsgate and attempt to do the same. Harbour Street would be a reasonable place to start.

  15. O/T : Syria


    According to sources in Jordan, during the last few hours foreign military groups, estimated at hundreds of individuals, began to spread near the villages of the north-Jordan city of “Al-Mafraq”, which is adjacent to the Jordanian and Syrian border.

  16. Take care Craig – yes nice place- I nearly bought a house in Ramsgate while working on the Channel Tunnel project.
    Like you Mary I spent some of my teens at my parents home at Durdle Door near Lulworth Cove. One day my sister and I both got caught searching around on Bovington Firing Range and we were escorted back to the guardroom in a military jeep to be collected later by our irate father and worried mother – happy days.

  17. That’s worrying BGD.

  18. Hope you have a great time in Ghana, Craig Murray.

  19. Those sunlit summer days seem so carefree in comparison to the present don’t they Mark?
    This is that vile person Ehud Barak making more threats. He is attending the World Policy Conference in Vienna, a gathering of fascist types organized by a French outfit called IFRI. The fact that we are approaching Christmas, a holy time of year for most people, is of no concern to him. Remember that the Vilnai shoah on Gaza was launched on 27th December 2008. 215 children were killed within 15 minutes of the start.

    Ha’aretz {http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-calls-for-paralyzing-sanctions-against-iran-1.400864}

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak says in Vienna that steps should be taken to target Iranian oil trade and central bank.

    Defense Minister Barak tells World Policy Conference Assad will be out in weeks; at least 18 killed in latest Syria violence Sunday, Arab League says will meet to discuss situation within ten days.
    Five Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by airstrikes this week with many injured.
    Breaking news on Ha’aretz just now
    21:56 Israel cabinet to meet over escalation of violence on Israel-Gaza border

  20. Love Ramsgate? Oh dear, it will be hard forsaking all this and migrating North of the border as a patriotic Scottish Nationalist. :)

  21. Ingo:
    I like my fish with the skin on.

  22. My sister and I visited Ramsgate a few years ago whereupon we overheard an unsavoury conversation between two vile middle-aged female racists at a bus stop. My sister who is white was at the time involved in a relationship with a black guy. She intervened by saying that she didn’t want to hear this kind of discusting talk. She was met by a sustained vitriolic outburst from one of these vile creatures. The bus arrived. They got on it. We caught the next available train back to London.

  23. Syria,
    As predicted some time ago and acknowledged by recent comments here, the ‘secret’ war on Syria is gaining momentum.

    From the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, a US/NATO wireless station is coordinating communication equipped senior foreign fighters, military and Intelligence defectors in Syria, providing locations on weapons cache stores and reports from US satellite intelligence of Syrian army positions and Hezbollah fighter locations and heavy armament. Col. Riad Al-Assad has taken command of paid CIA Syrian army dissidents. I also repeat again, many CIA paid terrorists or so called rebels from Iraq and Libya has amassed on the Jordan/Syria border, this according to my contact..
    Although secret the final objective is to oust Assad and accuse the Iranian backed Hezbollah of murdering hundreds of Syrian civilians including children. Britain and the US will also blame the elite Quds force for providing training and equipment to Syrian security forces ensuring a violent crack-down similar to the death squads in Iraq. Such deception will be used to coerce and push UNSC members to agree a resolution that will enable NATO to use all necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians under threat of attack in the country. The resolution will include a clause to enable NATO to intercept and destroy any military aid including military or intelligence personnel from Iran.
    The actions have a small window of 7 days and I expect major escalations in this scenario in the next few days.

  24. I’ve never been to Ramsgate but it was nice to read something a bit uplifting here for a change. What a bunch of miserable ***s some of the commenters are :\

  25. Mark_Golding, I posted BGD’s link to the breaking news about actions around the Syrian border earlier tonight. It might just be that nobody’s interested in politics on F.B. But I am surprised, especially with your source’s information about what seems to be being planned. If you live anywhere near Birmingham, I’d like to meet up with you. On Tuesday I’m going to be in London supporting Bradley Manning outside the US Embassy from 2 p.m.

  26. Assad while too gentle and relaxed in his denials & thereby perhaps more easy for some Americans to dismiss, comes over reasonably well in this interview with the gargoyle Barbara Walters:


  27. Antelope Grazer

    12 Dec, 2011 - 7:02 am

    Your IFG link is unimpressive, to say the least. Not only does it seem to have been written by someone who is barely literate*, its list of rich people who supposedly benefit from environmental degradation is just a list of rich people. Even though, not surprisingly, many of them have interests in companies which have imperfect records on the environment, for some of them no evidence is offered at all, beyond that their companies are not listed in some Dow Jones index. If that’s all we need to know to condemn them, what’s the point of this report? We can just read the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and tell ourselves anyone excluded must be a bad guy, or, as IFG put it, among the ultra-rich individuals who benefit most from—and are most responsible for—the deepening climate crisis.
    So, for example, here is the full reckoning of the terrible sins of the Kwok Family:
    Environment: Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) does not appear on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
    Nonetheless, Sun Hung Kai Properties proudly boasts that it has won several awards for environmental

    And here is the tally of wickedness of Savitri Jindal:
    Environment: The Jindal Group is absent from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Jindal Group has posted
    a relatively detailed, extensive environmental policy on its website.

    Besides, if this DJ Index is so reliable that nothing further need be said, why is a paragraph spent criticising the record of ArcelorMittal which, er, is listed in the DJSI?
    * Here’s a random example of the IFG’s startlingly ill-formed sentences:
    That’s because the global climate crises—just like today’s converging global crises in finance, food, water and other areas—is blocked by Washington and a political system corrupted and controlled by the ultra-rich.
    The crises is blocked, they is! Perhaps they meant solutions to the crises are blocked? It’s difficult to avoid the suspicion that this shoddy piece of work is designed to undermine the work of serious environmental campaigners.

  28. Have a good trip mate…..regards to all…

  29. Any significance in this visit of King of Bahrain to No 10? What will be cooked up?
    Mark is the Col Riad Al Assad you refer to a relative of President Assad and/or this father and son living in London whom I linked to in connection with Rosindell’s Register of Interests?

    ‘From the same register of Rosindell’s interests
    Several £thousands from the Iman Foundation, chairman Ribal Al-Assad, in straight monetary donations and funding for a trip to Lebanon. Ribal Al-Assad is a nephew of President Assad and is seeking for ‘a united opposition to the Syrian government’. His father, who lives in luxury in London with the son next door, is described as a war criminal by Robert Fisk.
    {http://www.iman-worldwide.org/index.php} Chairman of Iman Foundation
    {http://www.odf-syria.org/} He calls for a ‘united Syrian opposition’ on Sky News
    On the list of other destinations for Rosindell are Qatar, Bahrain, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Guernsey. Turks and Caicos Islands, China, Syria, Malta, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Kuwait, Canada, Isle of Man, Cyprus, USA, Canada and St Kitts and Nevis. All these ‘visits’ took place over the last 9 years. Romford, his constituency, doesn’t get much of a look in.’

  30. I guess you must be in Ghana by now. Akwaaba. As we say here: what is your “mission”?

  31. Too late Nina, he’s gone and incommunicado for a few days I presume.
    Yes Franz, had some uplifting times in the CCCP restaurant in Ramsgate, the vodka’s in there are heavenly and proper measures.

    Ramsgate has some very poor areas as well and on coming home one night, about 11pm, we saw a scantilly clad lady and her equally exposed girlfriend, one hand a pint, another barely clutching the pushchair with baby asleep, zig zagging up the hill towards mid town, a sad affair, they were so drunk they could hardly walk, anothyer side of our rundown seaside towns, could have been Gt. Yarmouth or South port.

  32. You live in a beautiful part of the world, Craig. It is good to be reminded of that amid all the squalor, the UK has so much beauty. The neglect of the church you mention is all part of the national inferiority complex. A lot of British things are underrated both at home and, therefore, abroad – at least that is my feeling from the point of view of an expat.

    Cheese: cheddar and stilton is not exported much.
    Wine: Britain could grow more of it.
    Cider: West country cider “scrumpy” used to be really good. Why is it so hard to find, even in the UK? Why do so few pubs offer it?
    Music: Elgar and Vaughan Williams deserve greater recognition outside Britain.
    And so on.

  33. Franz Would you like us ‘miserable ***s’ to be on happy pills and thus immunize ourselves from the ceaseless war propaganda let alone the effects of the plague on the world economy created by the gangsters-in-charge? Hard to ignore for this particular sentient being/old git.

  34. Mary:
    No, I am as depressed as anyone about the state of the world, but some people seem determined to subvert any attempt to remember the positive things. I wasn’t referring to the comments about politics, but to the sour observations about Ramsgate. Like most places I’m sure it has its positive and its negative sides. It looks quite nice from Craig’s photos.
    (I guess it’s the British disease. Back in the 19th Century Schopenhauer called England the “most melancholic nation in the world” – we have a long tradition, it seems, of being miserable b*****ds. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s just being surrounded by other miserable b*****ds :) )

  35. ;) As you say. I think that British seaside resorts will have a revival as the cost of foreign travel becomes more and more unaffordable. I used to visit my stepson and family in Capetown at this time of year when the return fare was in the low £hundreds. The current fare is over £1,000 and plus the horror experiences at Heathrow, I do not go now.

  36. ‘Standard Chartered expects a recession in the UK in 2012′
    I thought we were already in one!
    UK economy ‘to face bigger downturn’
    Standard Chartered expects a recession in the UK in 2012
    The UK economy is to contract by more than previously thought, according to a leading forecaster.
    Economists at Standard Chartered bank said the economy will contract by 1.3% in 2012, having previously predicted growth of 0.6% for next year.
    The eurozone economy will perform even more badly, the bank forecast, contracting by 1.5%.
    The Office for Budget Responsibility has said it expects the UK economy to grow by 0.9% in 2012.
    And a survey of economic forecasts in November, carried out by the Treasury, suggested growth of between -0.4% and 2.3%.
    However Standard Chartered said that “the mounting crisis” in advanced economies, especially the eurozone, has forced it to revise down its own forecasts.
    “We think there will be a triple shock to the European economy,” said Standard Chartered economist Thomas Costerg.


    Very seasonally cheery?

  37. Schopenhauer was one to talk. His Essays are full of gripes about the state of the world. Particularly the noise of carters’ whips, as I recall.
    Potential EU tourist destination. We need to work on this idea…

  38. Craig

    Good to be reminded of both Ramsgate and Ghana. What’s happened to the building that formerly housed EastCourt School? Best wishes to George Opie and anyone at the High Commission who still remembers me. Can you send the stone from Devonshire House back here?

  39. Komodo: I don’t think Schopenhauer ever claimed not to be a miserable bastard, but that doesn’t mean he was wrong about the British :)

  40. Mary, Unfortunately a break in a UK whether seaside or not is quite often more than a holiday abroad specially with the deals one can find. I spent a week in Cornwall (and there were signs outside of B&Bs and small hotel showing there are vacancy) with family and it cost me twice that a week in Bulgarian Mountains, even a recent trip to south of France costs less. I think Brits do not know how to be competative, lk

  41. Komodo: Schopenhauer was one to talk. His Essays are full of gripes about the state of the world. Particularly the noise of carters’ whips, as I recall.

    Are you not thinking of Nietzsche who had a funny turn after witnessing a guy beating his horse one day?

  42. No, Komodo. You meant Schopenhauer. I just looked it up. Carry on…

  43. Better a miserable bastard than a lederhosen-wearing, thighslapping oompah-playing German, any day…

  44. “Mark is the Col Riad Al Assad you refer to a relative of President Assad and/or this father and son living in London whom I linked to in connection with Rosindell’s Register of Interests?”
    No Mary I do not know of a family connection. Translation of his name varies possibly for security reasons because Turkey and Britain are keen to ensure his protection as a future leader of Syria. His name is Riyad al-Asad.
    Ribal’s uncle is Hafez a cousin of Bahar and brother to Rifaat.
    Rifaat, a war criminal lives in Mayfair and survivors of a massacre call him the Butcher of Hama. Now Rifaat is plotting against Iran with MI6 and I believe, although have not yet confirmed, is providing assistance from London to Colonel Riyad al-Asad who is in hiding and protected by Turkish secret service and an ex SAS soldier now close protection. Rifaat also has connections with Israel’s intelligence service and may although I have no proof been implicated in the death of Basil al-Assad.
    Thanks for your research Mary which has proved useful.

  45. Excellent photos of Ramsgate both here & on the link provided. Bon voyage Craig.

    ‘Your IFG link is unimpressive, to say the least.’

    I have to agree with that- the portrait of Roman Abramovitch it contains declares that he is rarely photographed ! The whole thing seems to have been written for a transatlantic student audience collectively enrolled on a joint honours course in Ecology & Sociology.

  46. Andrew Rosindell is a ‘nasty party’ Monday club inspired, close caged animal supporter and war peddler. Why the citizens of Romford voted for him I’ll never know – perhaps he is ‘under construction’ like his personal web-site.

  47. “Manston can take the A380 without modification.”
    Strafe it with a few Me110s, and I’m sure they’ll get it up and running again in short order.

  48. Mark I cannot be certain but I think Rosindell’s sote was working the other day. Perhaps some pruning is taking place!
    He and all those other Friends of Israel should look at this. A case of vengeance beyond the grave and a case of man’s inhumanity to man. Any human would assist in a case like this. But the old man and his dead wife were parents of ‘terrorists’ so no punishment was enough for the Occupiers.

    Israel ‘stops 80-year-old exiting Gaza with wife body’
    Published yesterday (updated) 12/12/2011 16:23
    The Erez crossing is the sole crossing out of Gaza via Israel.
    (MaanImages/Wessam Saleh, File)HEBRON (Ma’an)
    An elderly cancer sufferer was banned from accompanying the body of his dead wife through Israel’s Erez crossing from Gaza, family members said on Sunday.
    Huda al-Nmoura, from Hebron, died while visiting her sons in the Gaza Strip. Anees and Akram al-Nmoura were exiled from the West Bank after they were released from Israeli jail under an October exchange deal with Hamas.
    Huda’s husband Mahmoud Taleb al-Nmoura went to Gaza to bring back his wife’s body, but Israeli authorities prevented him from leaving the blockaded strip with the body via the sole passenger terminal at the Israeli border, his family said.
    The 80-year-old was deemed a security threat and ordered to return to Hebron through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, then take air or sea transport into Jordan, before crossing back into the West Bank.
    It was not clear whether the cancer sufferer could complete the three-country journey before Huda Al-Nmoura is buried in the town of Dura south of Hebron at noon Monday, relatives said.

  49. Why the citizens of Romford voted for (Rosindell) I’ll never know – perhaps he is ‘under construction’ like his personal web-site.
    I think it’s his appeal to the lowest common denominator, carefully nurtured, right down to the not-quite-a-pitbull he takes to the Commons with him. Represents truckers and taxidrivers everywhere, but he isn’t BNP.

  50. Staggering sums being handed over to the Tories. Just in the third quarter alone in a period of ‘austerity’, austerity for some that is.
    Thursday 1st December 2011 (Tables below on link)



    Total donations to the Tory Party in the third quarter of 2011 were £2,891,436 according to the recent figures published by the Electoral Commission. The donations from companies and individuals linked to finance, hedge funds, private equity, property and other city activities were £1,684,708 according to a new GMB analysis of the data. This is 58.3% of the total. In notes to editors below the details re each donation are set out a line by line with those linked to City and finance set out first.


  51. Mark I cannot be certain but I think Rosindell’s SITE was working the other day. Perhaps some pruning is taking place!


    Rosindell is one of the Tory right wing toadies who are standing up one after another applauding Cameron for his walk out in Brussels the other day. …bulldog spirit… standing up for Britain… support you all the way… toast of my constituents at the weekend…fighting our corner…etc etc
    … Breaking news… Tessa Jowell is to receive £200,000 in damages from News Group related to phone hacking. To them that hath… She is the one mainly responsible for landing us with the massive costs of the Olympics.

    They really are a repellent bunch.

  52. Omitted to say that Cleggover is absent.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16136672 live log

  53. Komodo:
    “Better a miserable bastard than a lederhosen-wearing, thighslapping oompah-playing German, any day…”
    Sometimes I think I am the only person in Britain who knows anything about Germany except for the cliches. It’s hard even to find a self-styled liberal in Britain these days who has any interest in the world outside, and in whom a Daily Mail reading bigot doesn’t lurk when you scratch the surface.
    Expand your horizons FFS.
    (And no, I’m not German.)

  54. Apologies OT and perhaps already reported.
    Re Flynn, Gould, Jews, zionists etc.
    A fascinating exchange of e-mails at
    http://jfjfp.com/?p=27228 An MP and an editor who hope we can’t tell zionism and Jewishness apart
    Brief description:
    “Martin Bright, the Jewish Chronicle’s Political Editor reports the apology by MP Paul Flynn for his comments on the UK’s Ambassador to Israel, 1. MP Denis MacShane took up the cause, 2. The indefatigable Elizabeth Morley tries to get MacShane to acknowledge that the issue was Zionism, not Jewishness. Two other citizens join in the email argument.”

  55. “BFP Exclusive- Developing Story: Hundreds of US-NATO Soldiers Arrive & Begin Operations on the Jordan-Syria Border”

  56. William Hague is in the US with Hilary Clinton, speaking at this very minute, about the very close and important relationship beteen the UK and US, while Cameron defends his actions in separating the UK from the rest of Europe. The hidden message is that Syria and Iran are the two countries left on their hit-list, having f****d up the rest of the Middle East.
    The two objectionable leaders have been discussing “Iran’s nuclear programme”. Hague says we need to return to negotiations. We will be concentrating on this in the early months of 2012. He finished off by saying “Britain does not have a more important ally than the US.”

  57. Guest it is worrying the build up of troops on the Syrian-Jordan border, especially with what Hague and Clinton have had to say a few minutes ago, which was mostly about closely monitoring the Assad regime. Syria looks like a stepping-stone to their long-term plans for Iran. They will never let people speak like they did in Hyde park in 2003. They just go straight into war. That’s the lesson they’ve learnt – you cannot give the electoraet a voice or they might not agree with you.
    Pee, yes, the way people like McShane distort what was actually said to what they would like to have heard said, without apologising for misleading people and parliament. It’s similar to “Animal Farm” where the ten commandments are on display but the pigs keep amending them so they can get up on their hind legs, and sleep in beds by just adding the phrase “except pigs”. That was Orwell. For me, and George Ivanov, the animals were and are much more ferocious than pigs!

  58. PS. Good luck with your enterprises in Ghana.

  59. John Goss, thanks for comment. It is also unacceptable that Flynn had to get on his knees and grovel an apology.

  60. @Antelope Gazer
    Oh dear. Looks like you didn’t get beyond the picture section and brief bios.
    Try again:
    I know there are 152 pages, but if you’re gonna diss it at least have the honesty to read the thing.

  61. Lets have a vote on who thinks i should sassist the russians in beating or containing nato? I certainly don’t want russia to have such an overwhelming advantage that they do nasty things .I need to decide fast

  62. @Franz – heh, I don’t think Komodo was being rude about Germans!
    Now for some light entertainment, this Briton ‘ere is going to indulge in some light-hearted self-deprecation. Ask google to “define an english person”, and see what you get. A miserable people indeed ;)

  63. @Jon, first offer is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? [guffaws]

  64. Latest on Twitter:
    U.S. asks Iran for drone back. Iran says drone has converted to Islam and is very happy.

  65. Ishmael – From my perspective Russia has paused the situation in Syria despite intense propaganda from the US and Britain that over 200 children have been killed by Bashar’s security.
    The flagship aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov along with a patrol ship, an anti-submarine craft and other vessels are on the Syrian coast near Tartus, the Russian naval base.
    Moscow has spoken out against further sanctions imposed by Western and Arab League states, and it has defended its right to sell Syria Russian cruise missiles to hit any INS warships that might engage the Syrian coastline (Latakia) at night.
    I am trying to get YK radio ham reports on the unfolding situation from Damascus (Morse code) SSB 14Mhz band and RTTY on the 10Mhz band.

  66. Mark_golding
    Wheels within wheels, the scenario is not as clear cut as the narrative holds.
    The bluster hides the obvious facts.

  67. Two links:
    The video of, “President Barack Obama is pressing his request that Iran return the U.S. surveillance drone captured by the country’s armed forces.” (Just imagine if it was an Iranian drone captured over America, and Iran asked for it back. There would be hysterical laughter in the USA.)
    And about the Beeb. Peter Eyre – ‘Middle East Consultant’.
    “I have always had so much respect for the BBC until the day that they censored me during their programme called “Question time” when it came to the City of Derby.”
    Worth reading. He claims they re-started the programme and cut out his initial remarks, pretending that the programme started with (what was actually) question No.2.
    He talks about the coverage of Libya and then says:
    “… Now we see the BBC playing out the same scenario in regard to Syria with the same very jittery mobile phone images and extremely false reporting. They give no account of the true situation which is the fact that Special Forces, Mercenaries, CIA, MI5 and Mossad operatives are behind the Syrian lines stirring things up. They also do not cover the fact that the French are helping in training of combatants on both the Turkish side and in Lebanon, not to mention the intense arms smuggling that is going on.”

  68. Ishmael,
    So you think after the latest round of interference in the internal affairs of the Russians (face book/tweeter protests), Putin is going to be taking it easy?
    No need for your help, Russians are pissed off, and looking to kicking someone’s arse. Georgia lessons were learnt by the Russians and by the looks of it US learnt nothing.

  69. Why did I get this message for several attempts to visit here tonight? Some interference happening or normal? I have never had this message before.

    ‘Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/tmp/) is not within the allowed path(s): (/home/craigm/:/tmp:/usr/local/lib/php/) in /usr/home/craigm/domains/craigmurray.org.uk/public_html/wp/wp-content/plugins/spam-captcha/spam-captcha.php on line 317
    Fatal error: session_start() [function.session-start]: Failed to initialize storage module: files (path: ) in /usr/home/craigm/domains/craigmurray.org.uk/public_html/wp/wp-content/plugins/spam-captcha/spam-captcha.php on line 317′

  70. Mary,
    Try and clean up your browser cookies and see if this happens again?
    If you don’t know how to do this, let me know which browser you are using and we can work something out together.
    Although one of my comments which has been submitted twice, has not appeared on the broad too.

  71. Somehow Mary the spam plugin was trying to access Craig’s temporary session folder instead of the public session temporary folder allocated to your request to post. Craig’s folder is restricted for security reasons so the request failed. Most odd.

  72. So the King of Bahrain is in the UK and has met Mr Cameron and all was smiles and hand shakes. I am guessing that the following means little to Cameron.

    At least 40 people are known to have been killed in clashes with security forces so far this year, including five documented cases of people being tortured to death in custody. Nearly 3,000 people were arrested following the outbreak of protests inspired by the Arab Spring and a further 700 remain in custody.

    Arresting doctors for treating people as well,what a guy but he is our bastard so no campaign to smear him and no immediate plans to bomb the crap out of Bahrain.

  73. The error message indicates to me some work or maintainence might be going on the sites installation, and this kind of error is very independant of your own computer/browser/cookies etc.
    I think there is no cause for concern in this case, except that those error reports should be disabled on a site like this – they may have been turned on just temporarily.

    Here is line 317 of latest wordpress spam-captcha.php

    316 function check_if_captcha_image($vars) {
    317 session_start() ;

    The warning and fatal error stop on line 317, which is right at the start of a function to check and create a captcha image.
    What fails is a global function called session_start -which couldnt find its temp directory anywhere, including in folders in ‘the path’ (a collection of likely directories) which it happened to correctly not be able to access all of. It just couldn’t find its temp directory basicaly- a maintainer possibly deleted it by accident and took a moment to fix.

  74. I was shocked last months by reports of the Doctors arrested, abused and seemingly sentenced to long imprisonment just for treating wounded protestors in Bahrain.
    Channel4 is advertising a Documentary next Monday called Syria’s Torture Machine.

  75. Antelope Grazer

    13 Dec, 2011 - 4:15 am

    I read enough to know it was a lazy piece of garbage. If you want to defend it, why don’t you answer the specific points I (and Oldmark) made?

  76. Antelope Grazer

    13 Dec, 2011 - 4:35 am

    In fact, on second thoughts, Herbie, don’t bother. There’s enough serious writing about the world’s problems. I wouldn’t want anyone to waste their time on poorly presented rubbish. In future, if you want to be taken seriously, don’t just say, ‘try again’ when someone dismisses your pet essay. And tell your friends to do basic proof-reading before handing in their work – even if it’s rubbish they should at least try to make it coherent.

  77. Thanks for the explanations on that message that came up. When I see the words ‘fatal error’, I get the heebie jeebies! I do always clear the cookie cache btw.

    This is strange.

    Ha’aretz have deleted an article that exposed the racism against black Africans within Israel but deny that there was any interference. There are some defences for them in the comments. Of course, there were instrructions from on high. Ha’aretz has a new part owner, Leonid Nevzlin. Just read his Wiki page.

    Salman Schocken, a wealthy German Jewish Zionist who owned a chain of department stores in Germany, bought the paper in 1937. His son, Gershom Schocken, became the chief editor in 1939 and held that position until his death in 1990.[20] Until August 2006, the Schocken family owned 100% of the Haaretz Group, but then the German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg acquired 25 percent of the shares.[21] The deal was negotiated with the help of former Israeli ambassador to Germany Avi Primor.[22]
    On 12 June 2011, it was announced that Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin had purchased a 20% stake in the Haaretz Group, buying 15% from the family and 5% from M. DuMont Schauberg. This means that the Schocken family now owns 60% and M. DuMont Schauberg and Leonid Nevzlin have 20% each.[23]


    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Nevzlin} Quite a catalogue.
    I had read earlier that Netanyahu is visiting Africa appealing for countries to take back those people who have arrived in Israel. {http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=444100}
    The little ‘state’ is indeed racist.

  78. “@Franz – heh, I don’t think Komodo was being rude about Germans!” (Jon)
    Come and take my pit bull if yer fink yer ard enuff!

  79. Quite a roll call in your good link Herbie. I noted a few Uzbeks in the list of names and faces including Usmanov’s. I thought it a good and well researched piece of work. The Nevzlin I quoted above is not in the list yet. With wealth of only $2billion, he is small fry in comparison to most of those listed.
    Had you heard that Canada has come out of the Kyoto Protocol? All that oil extraction production from the tar sands will continue apace.
    One of the names there LI KA-SHING, HONG KONG with wealth of $26 BILLION as of March 2011
    has a connection to UK electricity supplies. UK Power Networks is owned by Cheung Kong.
    Three networks known as the London Electricity Board, Eastern Electricity, and South Eastern Electricity board, were brought together by EDF Energy to form EDF Energy Networks. UK Power Networks began operations in October 2010 following the sale of EDF Energy Networks to Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, Power Assets Holdings and The Li Ka Shing Foundation in July 2010.
    Therefore a large population is dependent on this one company. My local town has suffered many outages lately and even the new Hindhead tunnel on the A3 was closed for several hours last week due to a blackout. Retailers who are having a hard time are not happy and neither are the householders. Quite often the lights dim and flicker.
    Wealth: Li Ka-shing owns stock in Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa (HW). Through HW, Li is the world’s largest operator of container terminals in what is now the region through which almost all manufacturing originates for exporting goods across oceans. He is also the world’s largest health and beauty retailer (by number of outlets), a real estate developer and a major supplier of electricity to Hong Kong. Li is a majority shareholder in Husky Energy, a Canadian oil firm that recently announced its third oil discovery in
    the South China Sea. Husky Energy is in a joint-venture with BP to develop the Sunrise Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada (which is proceeding despite BP shareholder concerns over its environmental impact).
    Li’s powerful allies include Lee Shau Kee of the Henderson Land Development, New World Development’s Cheng Yu-tung, casino and property magnate Stanley Ho, the Kwok family of Sun Hung Kai Properties, and Henry Fok Ying-tung. Li is regarded as one of Asia’s most generous philanthropists, having donated more than $1.4 billion to charity and other various causes. Beneficiaries include the University of California at Berkeley, which received $40 million from Li to build the Li Ka-shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, a new biosciences facility set to be completed in 2011. Li also has given UC Berkeley’s rival, Stanford University, $90 million for the Li Ka-shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, part of Stanford’s School of Medicine.
    Environment: Neither Hutchison Whampoa nor Husky Energy are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

  80. Nuid , that is very funny, but seriously can you imagine Obomber being so stupid as to asking for Iranian to give it back to them, it is their property after all! could not believe gall that idiot.

  81. Good article about human rights abuses in Uzbekistan hidden on the BBC web-site this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16154099

  82. Azra, it’s worse than that. The fruitcake John Bolton thinks the USA should go in and take it back. Never mind acts of war, or anything like that! The arrogance of it.
    “According to some earlier reports, President Barack Obama was given different options by the Pentagon to go into Iran and either retrieve the RQ-170 or destroy it, but he declined because, according to the sources, he didn’t want such a mission to be seen as an act of war.
    [John] Bolton, however, pointed out that it was not an adequate excuse.”
    More here http://in.news.yahoo.com/russians-providing-jamming-equipment-iran-worse-news-downed-073236387.html
    I posted a comment last night up around 10:50 pm (about the BBC censoring ‘Question Time’) but I put two links in (without brackets) so it’s got jammed in the system.

  83. Franz, I know how you feel about the indoctrinated British, they know very little as to how Europe, never mind Germany, works. Thanks to the non interest of the establishment, the lack of journalists with nous, the dumbing down process over Europe is ingrained, the result of three decades feeding on bent bananas.

    Thigh slapping Lederhosen are only to be found in the south of Germany, although I owe up to having had one as a Hamburg lad, just the sort of tough gear you want as a boy. Mine were the short type, they come in different lenght you know.
    Thats how far it went, no thigh slapping up north, we were Prussians after all.

    I’m also worried about the troop buil up in Jordan and off the coast of Tartus, all seemingly unattached to Assads etnic cleansing, but well advanced. Would be good to find out what alert status the US sixth fleet is under currently, cause the Ladny, leadship of the black sea fleet is meeting up with aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetzov and a special anti submarine vessel from the baltic fleet Chabanenko, an allround capability all heading for the eastern Med.
    Israel is at the same time stepping up the harrassment of Ghaza, goading everyone who spoke out against their blockade, not a good sign at all.

    The quiet period, when the west is turning to gluttony and excess, when the media is on half mast, is just what our military planners want, no supervision and very little attention from us.

  84. John Bolton also thinks Russia may have sold Iran “jamming equipment” (see link above) and the US military deny that. But they would, wouldn’t they? I hope Russia sells a lot more.
    “Drones: A deeply unsettling future”

  85. Mary/Mark/Crab – don’t worry about the odd server error at the moment. Tim Ireland is very kindly seeing if we can improve our spam control – we get a *lot* of automated messages on past posts, and it would be good to knock that on the head :)
    @Azra – agreed, pure arrogance. It’s not “can we have our ball back please”, it’s “can we have our spying equipment that we’ve been using against you”. Tough cheese, Mr. President. I tend towards Craig’s view of not supporting the Iranian regime, but nevertheless I hope they keep it. Or maybe they can manufacture a copy and send that one back!

  86. Nuid, John Bolton is another basket case. As though Iran is next State and they can just walk in and take the drone! If Iran had the capability to bring the drone down undamaged, they will have the capability to defend the country.. USA politicians get more and more stupid or desperate or both..

  87. good one from John Pilger, honest reporters are very few and far in between…


  88. Nuid John Bolton is the mouthpiece of US warmongers, he who does not hold back, truth is not his strong point and such lamentations have to be expected.
    I much more hope that Russia will deliver the anti aircraft system Iran longed for. Some air activity today, most of it high level. I suspect that some air capapbilities will already be shifting to other NATO countries, Greece and turkey would both be perfect.
    Thanks for the link to Pilger Azra, another god article from him, I like the detail Pilger provides.

  89. The link to the Pilger article is excellent- thanks Azra.

    His quip about Pentagon press releases masquerading as journalism is spot on; it describes the bulk of Con Coughlin’s output at the Telegraph, for instance.

  90. “Nuid John Bolton is the mouthpiece of US warmongers, he who does not hold back, truth is not his strong point and such lamentations have to be expected.”
    He’s a fruitcake, Ingo. He’d bomb the whole world into submission, if he got half a chance.
    By the way, my comment about the guy who says the BBC censored his part in “Question Time” has now appeared (just before Fedup above at 12 Dec, 2011 – 11:41 pm.) It’s really worth reading. Here, I’ll post the link again:
    Apart from BBC Question Time, he also talks about the ‘brainwashing’ going on about Syria.

  91. More power to John Pilger. How many Pilgers and Fisks have we got left?

  92. A powerful piece by John Pilger – thanks for the link Azra.
    The Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC) is located in a 12th Century Gilbertine Priory at Chicksands. The DISC is the UK Defence Agency responsible for training all personnel in psychological warfare.
    The unit shares space with the United States Air Force Security Unit.
    In the UK psyops has been renamed ‘Information Support'(IS) an decidedly Orwellian name change. Thousands of British service personnel have passed through the psyops course run by DISC.
    A UK psyops or ‘black propaganda’ team worked during the Iraq war according to Major Taylor who explained the purpose of misinformation via radio and TV psyops stations, he clarified how the unit encouraged the Republic Guard to desert or face terrible consequences. An attempt to target Saddam in his bunker by a cruise missile was a classic botched psyops job.
    The same techniques have been tried in Iran after the Presidential elections with psyops operations recorded and uploaded to YouTube. In Libya and now Syria the team again target government forces encouraging them to desert or face the music. The technique involves showing pictures of officers who complied and then gross images of tortured victims who did not.

  93. This appears to be the guy writing on PressTV (about BBC). I had not read this before

  94. Talk about brass neck. “We have asked for our plane back, and are awaiting their response” said Obama trying hard to hold back his laughter. A kid would be more bashful asking for his ball back from the neighbours yard, than the Yanks, asking for their spying kit.
    The notion of asking for their spying kit back is designed to make sense to whom? Is this some kind of denial about Iranians forcing down the oh so; stealthy, invisible, super duper, fandabidozi, technological marvel. In an attempt to distort the story to; RQ170 did an ET and has “phoned home”? ie the damn thing landed all by its little stealthy self, and rang home to be picked up after having had a chat with the natives?
    Fact that Iranians have spanked the yanks butt, aside, this turn of events still has not sunk in; Iran can and will look after herself. The predators always look for an easy meal/prey/victim, hence as any sane crack-head would do, Yanks ought to try and find a li’ll old lady that has left the bingo hall, instead of going after some guy whom can look after himself, in a manner of speaking sort of.

  95. @Antelope Gazer
    The only laziness here is your own. You clearly haven’t read the thing and that’s sufficiently demonstrated in your erroneous claim that the “full reckoning of the terrible sins of the Kwok Family” are as follows:
    “Environment: Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) does not appear on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
    Nonetheless, Sun Hung Kai Properties proudly boasts that it has won several awards for environmental
    That’s demonstrably not the case to anyone who reads the thing. Nor is what you claim of Jindal.
    If you want to be taken seriously I’d suggest you aim for factual accuracy, as a first step at least.
    Harping on about typos or errors in verb agreement is a rather pubescent skill, but thus far the only skill you’ve demonstrated.

  96. Peter Eyre the man behind the ‘missing nukes’ yet by putting together a number of ‘Not for South Africa Eyes’ communications we realise the whole affair duped South Africa into providing Israel with a viable nuclear weapons program. That is the real secret.

  97. What exactly are you saying about Peter Eyre, Mark? His blog says, “If you support war in any shape or form please do not enter my space. If you are a Christian Zionist or Jewish Zionist please do not enter my space.” (and a whole lot more)

  98. Nuid,
    Peter is a respectable genuine chap compromised to a degree by twisted information from dubious sources.

  99. Ok, Mark, thanks.

  100. @ Mark Golding. Others have referred to the creakability of the russian carrier. It is a heavily armed ship with Granite missile.

    Granite was the missile that was so secret the russians were prepared to go to war over whoever sunk the Kursk, to ensure no other nations, or individuals gained access to it. The Russian military deployed nuclear weapons on warplanes and on ships. They were told to deploy the nuclear weapons by someone not connected to the RG. The intelligence source told the Russians to prepare to fight an enemy that was not the United States, or NATO. And would most likely possess military technology far surpassing our best equipment

    A big problem we have in society is appointing legal people to run a business. They are no match for bankers. I remember the people who went into politics and those finance. The finance are happier and seem to have aged well. The politico’s on the other hand are close to death. The finance makes more income over the term because they have to think hard to keep winning while the politico is unable to think and syptom of bloated administration

    Yes the pictures of your aree are nice craig.

    @ In my final procedure I will outline the reason why I need to act
    1 There is probably no easy way..to remove th cancer of badness without me acting
    2 Nato which means the USA with a coat on, much like the wolf in red riding hood, must stop its outright slaughter of humans
    3 Netanyahoo & Lieberman, i’m gonna beat the shit of of these turkey’s. They made my job a little harder.
    4 I know the main intelligence supporting Iran and what it is doing, but do not assumne the americans are wrong,
    5 That intelligence is not sourced from any agency of any representative system across the globe
    6 I know the only intel USA has on Iran is old, circa 2001-2003

  101. Ishmael
    The tragedy of the Kursk was particularly agonising and distressing for me. I knew these Naval men were still alive entombed in a metal coffin with 300 feet of water above them. Awful.

  102. Mark,

    Yes they died a horrible death. I think of them now and then.

    I feel uneasy pulling it all together, their suffering is painful. There was a reason the Russians deployed their most powerful weapons and that is all I can say.

    It is difficult for me now because I am effectively gagged. You will notice the Russians have suddenly woken up. Parking in the Moray. Checkmate.

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