Timing is All 251


Meryl Streep took best actress award at the Golden Globes for The Iron Lady. There has been much media speculation about the motivation for Alex Salmond choosing Autumn 2014 for the independence referendum, largely centring around Bannockburn. Personally I can see the referendum coinciding brilliantly with Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral in London. That really would clinch it.


251 thoughts on “Timing is All

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  • Azra

    Uzbek : Thank you, pleased to meet you online too!
    I am not calling Iran a democracy or a liberal. What I am saying that there is lot of exaggeration in the west as to what goes in Iran.
    I do not know about your country, but Iranian women have many rights, no comparable to Saudi at all, . An Iranian woman can initiate and obtain divorce (for many reasons), few of heavy industries in Iran are run by women, Iranian women have had the right to vote for over 40 years, there are female MPs, Ministers , and even a Vice President (previous government).

    Also Iran is in no way comparable to Uzbekistan. Do not forget that Karimov is their bastard, therefore nothing much is said in the west about him and how bad his regime is. There is access to internet in Iran, and you can watch satellite TV, with news channel which are based in UK, USA or anywhere else. You can watch even the channel which Shah’s son or CIA sponsors in USA. Taking into account that the government can stop these (and very occasionally they do! Right now they are blocking BBC in retaliation to the Press TV), I can say Iran is miles ahead of Uzbekistan in receiving information and be allowed to watch critisizm and even insults directed at the government!

    Brain drain due to lack of employment, it is a problem in Uzbekistan or Iran, unemployment is high, whether that is due to the sanctions or population explosion I don’t know (Iran population has doubled since the revolution of 1979), but also there is the fact that the university graduate in the East have much higher expectation and refuse to get their hands dirty so to speak or take a job which they consider is beneath them (does this also sounds familiar! We have the same situation in this country).

    again let me say , I am not saying Iran is a liberal democracy, but it is not how it is portrayed in the west either, with more freedom than you expect.
    I cannot see too much difference in the method MPs/government are elected either! Here they belong to a party, and that party is purchased by corporate or bankers, in Iran is the same! the candidates belong to one side or the other (and believe it or not there are progressive/liberal candidates as well), people are free to choose!

  • Ben Fraklin

    Azra;

    As an Iranian, could you provide some insight from your perspective?

    Do you find using the internet is hobbled at all by your ISP rules?

    wiki;

    “Every ISP must be approved by both the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and must implement content-control software for websites and e-mail. ISPs face heavy penalties if they do not comply with the government filter lists. At least twelve ISPs have been shut down for failing to install adequate filters.[10] The state blacklist consists of about 15,000 websites forbidden by the Iranian government.[3] Before subscribers can access Internet service providers, they must first promise in writing not to access “non-Islamic” sites.[11] In 2008, Iran has blocked access to more than five million Internet sites, whose content is mostly perceived as immoral and anti-social.”

    I’m sure there is loads of disinformation our respective countries feed us in the guise of ‘freedom’

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Passerby
    .
    Well, it feels like I am being questioned by the KGB yet again. It has been long time since anyone DEMANDED answers from me and also only in specific order.

    As for democracy there is a spectrum of differentiations of democracy since it has originated in Ancient Greece. My understanding of it is when citizens are involved in formation of the government (at least) or government decision making on vital issues (would be ideal). By allowing citizens getting involved in formation of government puts government itself at least somewhat responsible to the needs of citizens, and what is even more important LEGITIMISE government in the eyes of its citizens.
    .
    Liberalism is something that is unfortunately almost inexistent in Muslim nations. With slight exception of Turkey, all other Muslim nations can be safely classified as either illiberal societies run by mostly unelected bodies or even dictatorships. It is hopefully that Arab Spring brings some addition to Turkey, but not as yet.
    .
    There is direct correlation of economic development to both democracy and liberalism. Having elected government legitimised in the eyes of its citizens, activities of which are supervised by independent judiciary and media helps to illuminate unwanted waste of both material and human resources. China might be seen as an example but even it proves that only when Chinese government allowed considerable freedom of economic activities only then Chinese economy started to grow. Despite Chinese growth it is believed that due to illiberal and undemocratic government Chinese economy as not as productive as other advanced economies. For instance production of goods in China is 4 times more energy inefficient than in Europe or in Japan but China covers this expense in artificial government subsidising of energy resources and extremely cheap labour not to mention artificial exchange rate of Chinese currency. And issue of legitimacy of Chinese government is also on the table and might in future contribute to instability and as a result economic decline.
    .
    To be honest I see no principal difference between monarchy in Saudi Arabia and Karimov’s own rule. The only exception could be that Karimov kills and oppresses mainly Muslims (even moderate ones who dared to speak or even think against him) due to his fear of religion that he obtained from long serving to Communists masters.

  • Azra

    Uzbek, I regularly read Foreign Policy Journal. The contributors are ex politicians, investigation journalists, academics…. What many believe it is CIA and USA financial contributions which is bringing out the oppositions in Moscow in droves.
    We in Iran have not forgotten CIA and UK role in unseating democratically elected government of Iran in 1952!

    They are still up to their old tricks and mischief making.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Azra
    .
    Not to say that CIA/MI5-6/KGB/Mossad have never ousted any regime even democratic one and I also remember how they ousted government in Iran. But I also quite often travel to Russia as well as have many friends there and believe me Putin is very unpopular especially in Moscow. There have been few rallies in Russia before but far from the size of current rallies and far from the capital and did not attract much attention.
    .
    Despite huge increase in oil and gas prices since Yeltsin left the office average Russians did not benefit from it as much as their elite (at present mostly related to KGB officers). Russians see all this and see that it is becoming quite clear that they will have THE SAME in the next 5 years (at least) and they are becoming quite UNHAPPY about it.

  • Dr Paul

    Back to the original post: ‘largely centring around Bannockburn’ — one cannot ‘centre around’ anything; one revolves around something, things are centred on other things. With FCO types making such fundamental errors, no wonder Britain lost its Empire.

  • macky

    I’m just sat through 100 minutes of a 2010 Jean-Luc Goddard film called “Film Socialisme”, in which the first third of the film in shoot on a certain cruise ship; The cruise ship is the Costa Concordia, sailing around the Med., and it’s disconcerting, in a Titanic sort of way, to think that all you have just viewed is now underwater.

  • Qark

    “With FCO types making such fundamental errors, no wonder Britain lost its Empire.”

    It wasn’t just bad grammar. The bastards set out to destroy national sovereignty to make way for the non-democratic EU. Promoting the petty nationalisms at the periphery is part of the treasonous programme to chop the UK into convenient chunks for incorporation into the Euro-Fascist superstate.

  • john stack

    OK We are back to basics. I like this site because of Craigs honesty , knowledge and wisdom in international and national affairs. But on this local note……
    Are there unconquered Scots with an unbreakable strength, gallant courage, unshakable purpose as belonged to Wallace and his MEN. Will the seed of freedom ever again ripen in young mens hearts . The cynical will think so. Are they unashamed to have allegiance to Scotland only. Is that past and gone? . Forever??. Was that it.?. Have too many been purchased , pacified or intimidated. Was English colonisation that successful and self perpetuating.
    I am asking seriously (as an outsider) . Are my definition of Scots there. I am NOT an FCO type. You are British or Unionist. I would love to hear from REAL SCOTS who do not fear Independence. I would love to know they exist.

  • Azra

    UzbeK, I can guess that Putin might be unpopular, the same as Bashir in Syria, or Gaadafi was in Libya, but all the same, I can see the hands of western agency in all of these uprisings or at least fueling these greatly. The affair of a country should be left to their nations. I remember few years ago, a journalist Iranian friend who was approached by American Embassy in Cairo and was asked would she be interested to broadcast from a radio station in Prague (anti Iranian propaganda), she told me she had no doubt it was CIA and refused. Two others a husband and wife team, took up the offer, and now they have been moved from Prague to Washington and are presenter in one of TV channels. I knew of them both, real scumbags, drunk, gamblers, fraudsters. Iranian in Cairo kept their distance from them, but these are kind of people that CIA pay. I respect greatly those sincere oppositions in any country, but there are lot of low lives around for purchase by CIA or other agencies, in Iran as well as Syria, Russia or elsewhere.

  • Azra

    and not a word about anti government demonstration in Saudi or Bahrain!
    I just had a message from a friend who was in Bahrain recently and he said the demos are still going on, and the Saudi soldiers are shooting and beating the demonstrators.
    Of course the rulers of Saudi and Bahrain our SOBs, same as dear Karimov, so we better all keep quiet!

  • Azra

    Ben Franklin:

    I really do not know about the rules and regulation re internet in Iran, but whenever I have visited Iran, I have been able to access all the websites including news websites, blogs, etc that I normally visit in UK. At one time Facebook was blocked, but from my understanding it is not any more, and I see posts from family and friends almost daily on FB.
    All I can say as an internet user, any government will have a mighty difficult job to block and filter websites as there are hundreds if not thousands of new website created every day!

  • Rose

    Dear Jives at 4.10

    Know how you feel – glad you feel better after listening to some music. I do too. Try singing it – even better.

  • Mary

    Hope Craig is OK and hasn’t gone cruising with Costa Crociere! The more I see of the amateur film, I think it is a miracle that more people did not perish. It looks and sounds absolutely chaotic as the people tried to get off. It is the worst publicity imaginable for the cruising industry whatever Mitchell comes up with. Tonight we hear that there was a dalliance going on between the Captain and a Moldovan woman.
    .
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/9026359/Costa-Concordia-mystery-of-blonde-on-the-bridge-of-doomed-liner.html but this might be some more spin to blacken Schettino even more.

  • Fedup

    Uzbek In The UK said; “…DEMANDED answers from me and also only in specific order.”
    ,
    You have waffled away pretty good there, lots of slogans and sound bites and no sense. Although your definition of liberalism pretty well is in line with the charges of hatemongering and prejudicial outlook levelled at you.
    ,
    Further you homily about don’t take Lavrov seriously, evidently is not all the widely shared;
    Russia warns West it risks war over Syria, Iran
    ,
    MOSCOW: The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has warned outside encouragement of anti-government uprisings in the Middle East and north Africa could lead to ”a very big war that will cause suffering not only to countries in the region but also to states far beyond its boundaries”.
    ,
    That is diplomatic talk for WWIII

  • Fedup

    Mark Golding – Children Of Iraq,
    Sure as heck Gonzo dog doo-dah band of CIA, ought to know about the five hundred thousand websites carrying the most vile and awful pornography that would land anyone in UK jails given the latent images from visits to these sites to remain on their hard drives, and to be found, ie took a peek at these vile, abominable, and perverted images.
    ,
    These sites are specifically targeted at that particular area, and not easily accessible from anywhere else in the world. The most insidious fact remains in the linkage of the perverted images to violence, a heinous crime in itself.
    ,
    Hence the charges of censorship that sound all well and good, hiding the awful reality, that is left to Iranians to protect their young from such disgusting, and perverted sites.
    ,
    Mark you are old enough to rememberer; the days in which CIA used to spike the school milk trucks in Cuba with all manner of deadly bacteria to make ill the Cuban school children who drank the milk from these trucks.
    ,
    Nothing ever changes when it comes to deceit and subterfuge of CIA, et al

  • Milligan

    John Stack – Are you even Scottish? Or are you another American blundering into matters you do not understand (as usual) Just like the 6th generation Irish-American Republican know-it-alls who still think we are living in the 1900s. You are doing an excellent job of messing up your own country without any help from us. Please take your Hollywood cookie cutter worldview elsewhere

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well, Ben, whatever happened to Larry? Thomas Paine wants to know.
    .
    The imperialists are trying their hardest to demonise Itan(ians), so that when they go in with the white phosphorus and the depleted uranium and the neutron bombs which will make their fortunes (again), they can portray Iran(ians) as orcs living in the Land of Mordor, ruled by Saruman (and Sauron).
    .
    To all those spinners of lies, as we say in Glasgow, “…on the bus wi’ ye!”
    .

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    “There is nothing here any more. Nothing. For thirty years Saddam built Iraq, and now it is destroyed. There are more sick than before, more hungry. The people don’t have services. People are being killed every day in the tens, if not hundreds. We are all victims of America and Britain. They killed our country.”
    .
    Tareq Aziz in his first interview in over seven years incarceration by the Americans.
    .
    As American forces slunk out of Iraq under cover of darkness in true Howard Zinn fashion; not regime change but region change, it leaves behind a country cleavered with sectarian divides – divide and conquer played to murderous fulfillment.
    .
    Tareq Aziz is the man who, above all, stands between the deceit, the lies, the duplicity, and who knows the wickedness of the Blairite spin, UNSR illegalities, US duplicity, CIA subterfuge, MI6 betrayal, BP bribery, Haliburton theft, Chalabi traitors and American big business – prepared to cull every last Iraqi, so long as America and Britain could get their hands on the oil and establish a base in this strategically vital country. The biggest US Embassy in the world looks pretty much like “mission accomplished” – for the moment my friends – for the moment.

  • Milligan

    It’s a stark indictment of the case for Scottish independence that it’s supporters are trying to engineer a referendum date for maximum political effect, in other words trying to hoodwink people into voting against their own interests. So if all goes to plan by 2014 and the UK is in the midst of financial collapse, Thatchers hearse on the Beeb with Dimbleby comentary, and Salmond leading a procession up the Royal Mile carrying the sainted relics from the field of bannockburn all on the same day.. maybe.. just maybe.. the scots will vote Yes???

  • Fedup

    Don’t do as I do, do as I say
    ,
    The signal of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) channels on the Hotbird satellite provider has reportedly been jammed by British technicians operating from Bahrain.
    ,

    The transmission of jamming signals on frequency: 12437 MHz, horizontal position, symbol rate: 27500, FEC ¾ began on Tuesday afternoon.
    ,
    The Eutelsat telecommunication giant declined to comment on the problem after IRIB contacted them for clarification earlier on Tuesday.

  • Ben Franklin

    http://crookedtimber.org/2012/01/17/goodbye-labour/

    “In an attempt to demonstrate their credentials as the takers of “tough decisions”, British Labour leader Ed Miliband (whom I backed as leader) and his shadow Chancellor Ed Balls have been telling the world that a future Labour government can’t guarantee to reverse Tory public expenditure cuts, and favour a public sector pay freeze, and even pay cuts for public sector workers (to save jobs, apparently). Well it is a funny world where a sign of your toughness is your willingness to pander to the right-wing commentariat. Of course I understand that a future Labour government will have to cope with the world it inherits and that difficult choices will have to be made. But in the interim, people are fighting to stop the coalition from vandalising Britain’s public services and punishing the poorest and most vulnerable. Faced with Miliband and Balls “signalling” (or whatever), those negotiating to defend workers will be told by their managements that “even” the Labour leadership concede the necessity for cuts and concessions. This simply cuts the ground from under the feet of trade unionists and campaigners. It also validates Tory policies in the eyes of large parts of the electorate. Well they’ve made their choice and I’ve made mine. It is a small one, and Ed and Ed won’t even notice, but I have left the party.”

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    SOPA – The noose begins chocking the web as America’s henchmen start smashing the light-tubes of the world fastest copier. Their cudgels are falling on freedom thinking heads of ‘OCCUPY TOGETHER’ as the US Government’s red curtain falls down on a crucial link effectively pulling the heart from within the parent site. This is just the beginning, as each light is smashed we unavoidably sleepwalk into darkness.
    .
    http://www.howtooccupy.org/ from {http://www.occupytogether.org}
    .
    Your call…

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