Why is Sunny Hundal a Neo-Con Lickspittle?

by craig on October 14, 2012 11:49 am in Uncategorized

Sunny Hundal is pulling the Nick Cohen trick of claiming that “Lefties” who fail to applaud every action of Bush, Blair, Netanyahu and Obomber are actually supporting Osama Bin Laden’s cause.

The Taliban is an excrescence but it is not a spontaneous outpuring of human evil. Its roots lie in the devastation of Afghanistan by foreign invasion, first by the Soviets and then by the Americans, coupled with the failings of Pakistani society due in very large part to hideously corrupt governments and politically powerful military, aided and abetted by the West. The Taliban is, in short, as much a symptom as a cause of disaster.

Hundal is a sad figure. He asked me to join Liberal Conspiracy when it started, and I refused on the grounds it was going to be a vehicle for New Labour war criminals. It has become precisely that. Hundal’s basic decency has predictably been eroded as he was sucked in by the neo-con establishment. He joined New Labour and the Guardian and is now in the states working for the drone-killer President who has launched a campaign against free speech which has seen the prosecution of more whistleblowers under Obama than under all previous US presidents combined. Hundal recently helped the anti-whistleblower cause further by publishing a fawning “exclusive” interview with the odious Harriet Harman (Of course it’s exclusive – who the fuck other than sell-out Hundal wants to talk to Harman) repeatedly labeling Julian Assange as guilty of rape.

Hundal’s question “Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the taliban to Pakistanis” is a stupid slur. “Why is Sunny Hundal a neo-con lickspittle?” is a question worth discussion.

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  1. At the top the same puppet masters are pulling the strings. There is in reality no difference between the leftists and the rightists they serve the same cause. That is why grand centralised structures of power, like the EU and the banking cartels are so dangerous. They are tools for centralised power.

  2. The self-proclaimed leftists are not really leftist at all, they are corporate liberals, phonies. If they really were leftists, they would not be supporting any of the main parties, here or in the USA, as all the main parties now, more so than ever, are signed up to the same neoliberal economics.

  3. ” … and Obomber … ” Craig, please don’t get into the habit of this kind of name distortion. It really reduces your credibility.

  4. The fact is, if the USA, Saudi Arabia et al stopped supporting the military-security block of Pakistan (as they have, for 55 years), the Taliban would lose their major sponsors. The Taliban and the other Islamist paramilitaries are instruments of the Pakistan military-security block who are the real rulers of Pakistan.

    That is why any politician, political party, polician’s son or 14 year-old schoolgirl who dares to stand up and question the Islamist narrative in Pakistan gets kidnapped or assassinated. What is required – and only this will work – is a grassroots secular redistributive revolution in Pakistan permanently and definitively to remove the military from power – both political and economic. For that to happen, it would be likely that the Saudi Arabian regime would need also to be brought down. All of that can only happen from inside these countries. But it would be helped if the West and others stopped arming and otherwise supporting these regimes (and paramilitary Islamist cadres in the Middle East).

    Everything else is a red herring.

  5. Obomber or Bombs away Obama sounds credible enough to me. Watch and listen to “Obama Nation”

  6. Rob (12:19pm, 14.10.12), what, you mean like, ‘Margaret Thatcher, Milk-Snatcher!, or ‘Fatch’, Or ‘Is it a bird, is it a ‘plane? No, it’s my president, LBJ!’ Or, ‘Tricky Dickie’? Or ‘Sunny Jim [Callaghan]’. Or ‘Tony Bliar’? Or ‘Dubya’? Or ‘Ronald Ray-gun’? All of those names were was fairly accurate depictors, actually. It has nothing to do with credibility.

  7. hector mcglumpherty

    14 Oct, 2012 - 1:28 pm

    I stopped reading it due to atricles stating with the headline ‘Why you should think/do/etc…’ Reminded me too much of the SWP

  8. One of your best comments Craig – Powerful. witty, true – Bravo! – the basis of a speech on the paper anniversary of Occupy??

  9. Hundal once said on Twitter, as part of an attack on George Galloway in the wake of his Bradford election victory, that he didn’t ‘want any part of a left that supports dictators thanks. Maybe you do’. The implication being that Galloway is a dictator lover.

    He was challenged by Media Lens on how he could reconcile this position with his open and enthusiastic support for Barak Obama, who arms dictators to the tune of billions of dollars. Hundal, with a straight face, simply denied that Obama supports dictators. You can see him squirm in the face of the irrefutable evidence that Obama does indeed support dictators here:


    Hundal is basically a liberal bellwether, who’ll never say or write anything that strays too far from the cosy, liberal Establishment consensus (and the liberal Establishment are frequently reactionary and rather illiberal in their views). Ergo, Galloway = Very Bad Man, Obama = Very Good Man.

    That he has to contradict his own purported principles to hold these views speaks volumes about his level of intellectual honesty and independence.

    Not a particularly bad guy, but not a particularly good or insightful political writer either.

  10. The lick-spittlers answer to the resistance executed by the sycophantic door-mats, yearning rewards from their handshakers.


  11. I really think types like Cohen and SunnyCloudy are purely mercenaries with communication skills. Presstitutes for hire, they know the line of business they are in is providing smug justifications covering themselves and which others also complicit can adopt and further disseminate themselves, they rationalise the self-evidently species-suicidal inevitablity of triumphant western capitalism’s rotten cause, do all the thinking for those who’s programming has obliged them not to question inculcated holy truths. You could also include Monbiot and his conversion to nuclear power. Asked their price, they named it and got it. They are maximising for the present their non-cash assets, knowing that whenever it all inevitably collapses – this orgiastic looting of communally owned resources with the slaves worked to death for their daily bread – it’ll give them some advantage in the aftermath. They hope to fill the moat, electrify the fences, contract for some goons and slavering dogs and live in baronial splendour, or fuck off to some fortified far away hideaway. They’ve planned to make out like the sneak thief bandits they are, and now stoke the flames of the coming conflagration as they’re irksome to be off, tortured and it can’t come soon enough.

  12. ‘Kick their ass and take their gas’. Cohen, Hundal and friends are the journalistic equivalent of that t-shirt slogan, a toxic mix of privilege, prejudice and wilful ignorance.

  13. For those that missed it, here is Sunny Hundal’s interview with Harriet Harman:


  14. Typing without my specs on is fatal.

    I entered ‘dunny hindal’ in the search box and was asked

    Did you mean:

    sunny hundal

    dune kindle

    dune sandal

    Anyway, he’s here

  15. ” They hope to fill the moat, electrify the fences, contract for some goons and slavering dogs and live in baronial splendour, or fuck off to some fortified far away hideaway.”

    I’ve heard that there are shipbuilders who may specialise in ultra luxury, giant cruise liners, designed to be sold to groups of plutocrats; so that they can sail the deep oceans perpetually; only docking for supplies every so often, in safe ports.

    No tax, no vulnerability from Joe public, and no legal threats from national states. The perfect ‘get-away’ whilst all the Romes of the world burn. Noah’s ark for the elites.

  16. Cryptonym A case in point. Cohen in today’s Observer.

    The week I shed my anti-Tory taboos
    There are often as many differences within right and left as between them about the big issues – except one

    Nick Cohen
    The Observer, Sunday 14 October 2012


  17. I didn’t manage to find the Hundal/Harman interview. The link above was not correct. But I did discover a punjabi popstar called Harjit Harman. I think I am going to have some fun with this… next time I meet Harriet I shall ask her how her pop career is going, and that it is wise to have another career option when NewLab goes down the tube…..I know it is cruel to wind up the humourless but it is only the feeble weapon I have, and there is little retaliation possible. But pols hate having the piss taken out of them. The internet delivers, again, in its whacky way.

  18. “I’ve heard that there are shipbuilders who may specialise in ultra luxury, giant cruise liners, designed to be sold to groups of plutocrats; so that they can sail the deep oceans perpetually; only docking for supplies every so often, in safe ports.”

    We have them already, and on land. They’re called ‘gated communities’. They have their own schools, their own shopping malls and their own police forces. I visited one near San Diego just a couple of years ago. It struck me then that they were the mathematical inversion of a prison: don’t lock the bad in, lock them out. So many parallels in history and fiction: the Dublin Pale (origin of the phrase ‘beyond the pale’) and R L Stevenson’s sly metaphor of the ‘palisade’ in ‘Treasure Island’.

  19. @ Craig,

    ” working for the drone-killer President who has launched a campaign against free speech which has seen the prosecution of more whistleblowers under Obama than under all previous US presidents combined.”

    Here is the deal:-


    Accept it – or – fight for freedom, truths, rights and justice.

  20. Great post Craig and Thanks for the word presstitutes, Cryptonym, so true, loved your description.

    The roots of war and desolate views lie indeed in foreign occupations and strife, from centuries onward, not just the present history, such attitudes developing must have been visible for Burns before he got a hiding.

    Our European equivalent is the Balkan region, again ethnically and religiously splintered. Treated with regular disdain whilst riding past, the knightly crusaders on their seasonal trips to Jerusalem first saw to it that the local breeds would become war loving tempestuous and not very pleased at those passing by, as is expressively on view in Afghanistan. Welcome to stay for a while, but not forever. Business is fine, as long as you do not squabble with their cultural heritage, rites and rituals.

    This might go against our own ideas of morals, understanding of human rights, but we cannot force people to change at our pace, they need to think and find their own ways to change, the best we can expect is to advise and proclaim.

  21. I might be unfairly bracketing Hundal with Cohen and other war-mongers and apologists, he might gasp himself at some of the deceptive delusions and distractions the mass media perpetrate in the absence of providing news and sustainably credible opinion. Complacent and with hindsight dire Guardian editorial positions haunt and taint them, still they cling pathetically to the belief that the existing party based systems of political organisation can continue, just back one or the other and excuse the ineptitude and wanton damage.
    To them it doesn’t matter which one represents truth or any thing, just back one of them and play the game, hope for the best, safe that some ‘other’ will always yield enough menials and lab rat victims. A corpse of a newspaper for the vapid floating voter demographic.

  22. Sorry to disparage liberalism and I would never ever not bow down to disabilities.

    I see liberalism with the use of an eraser, although sometimes it may be best to just put a line through it.
    Sunny Hundal seems to lost his grasp on consensus.

  23. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 8:11 pm

    The Left (or rather, the putative Left) has been moved to the right for eleven years now rather successfully by the NeoCons. Fear is the mind-killer, and it’s been their stock-in-trade for decades. Whether they are called Birchers or White Supremacists, they have the same MO.

    “If you’re looking for the guilty…”

    V: Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

  24. Along with Mehdi Hasan, one of the most annoying voices on the supposed left operating in the UK today.

  25. Keith Crosby

    14 Oct, 2012 - 9:26 pm

    Fair do’s Craig, you are a rare thing indeed – a middle-class person who chose honesty over the money. The Hun’s only obeying orderz.

  26. Why? Because divide and rule is the best political ruse. You stand in the shoes of colonialism in order to confuse.

    I once heard an elder in the pulpit of the mosque tell a huge audience that the UK was Pharaoh and Asia the downtrodden children of Israel whom God was going replace UK power with.

    The dream of subjugating the British fills 90% of Asian hearts and minds. They would use any means possible, but in the meantime getting rich and play-acting proper- UK varlues is a good enough ruse.

    Why is it annoying? Because they suck up to the politics we hate while they are secretly climbing the slippery poles of power.
    In a few years, like the Maoris who took the bible but lost the land to UK missionaries, powerful, atheist Asians will rule the UK, but the indigenous people of this country will have Islam. Inshallah.

  27. Alternative to common decision-making practices

    Consensus decision making is an alternative to commonly practiced adversarial decision making processes.[5] Robert’s Rules of Order, for instance, is a process used by many organizations. The goal of Robert’s Rules is to structure the debate and passage of proposals that win approval through majority vote. This process does not emphasize the goal of full agreement. Critics of Robert’s Rules believe that the process can involve adversarial debate and the formation of competing factions. These dynamics may harm group member relationships and undermine the ability of a group to cooperatively implement a contentious decision.

    Consensus decision making is also an alternative to “top-down” decision making, commonly practiced in hierarchical groups. Top-down decision making occurs when leaders of a group make decisions in a way that does not include the participation of all interested stakeholders. The leaders may (or may not) gather input, but they do not open the deliberation process to the whole group. Proposals are not collaboratively developed, and full agreement is not a primary objective. Critics of top-down decision making believe the process fosters incidence of either complacency or rebellion among disempowered group members. Additionally, the resulting decisions may overlook important concerns of those directly affected. Poor group relationship dynamics and decision implementation problems may result.

    Consensus decision making attempts to address the problems of both Robert’s Rules of Order and top-down models. Proponents claim that outcomes of the consensus process include:[3]

    Better Decisions: Through including the input of all stakeholders the resulting proposals may better address all potential concerns.
    Better Implementation: A process that includes and respects all parties, and generates as much agreement as possible sets the stage for greater cooperation in implementing the resulting decisions.
    Better Group Relationships: A cooperative, collaborative group atmosphere can foster greater group cohesion and interpersonal connection.

    Or in anotherway “Lickspittling.”

  28. Craig – why is an intelligent experienced former ambassador such as yourself still wasting your time with this left right paradigm? Surely you’ve realised by now that all the so called opposing factions are working for the same people and the same institutions?

  29. KingofWelshNoir

    14 Oct, 2012 - 10:35 pm

    @Suhayl Saadi

    Come off it mate! ‘Tony Bliar’ (GEDDIT!) might be fine on a placard at a demo but in grown-up prose it’s just juvenile. Whether it’s an ‘accurate depictor’ or not has nothing to do with it. It’s a question of good style.

  30. In fact I would go so far as to say that the biggest impediment to the spread of the truth of Islam in this country is the silent racist ambition, entirely understandable after 250 years of being pissed on by specially trained persecutors, of Asian Muslims.

  31. V: Checkout their boots Ben – is that a riot cop?

  32. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    14 Oct, 2012 - 10:57 pm

    The fingermen? Sorry, Mark. No speeka.

  33. T-total.

    Most indulge, best liberal we had in ages, Charles Kennedy, messed it up.

    Good reason not to indulge.

  34. Suhayl Saadi
    14 Oct, 2012 – 12:23 pm

    Suhayl, very succinct summary of a highly complex and critical problem.

    Surprising that no one engaged you in any dialogue over this issue on this sunny Sunday. Is it because everybody agrees, or no one really cares, I wonder?

  35. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 12:04 am

    ” Is it because everybody agrees, or no one really cares, I wonder?”

    No disrespect to Suhayl, but if perpetual motion machine popped up tonight, and petrodollars went away, it would be a no-brainer.

  36. If you are:

    (b)A nutter
    (c)Living in poor housing
    (e)Spent all your money on drugs instead of food & clothes.
    (g)Earn a pittance

    Then you may be entitled to a government Smart card loaded with some money that you can spend in a government approved shop.

  37. Why is Sunny Hundal a Neo-Con Lickspittle?

    who cares
    the simple question is and i am hoping to get at least 100 replies from mi5 and gchq on this forum.

    hello james bonds.
    could you tell a simpleton what checks are done before the queen dishes out o.b.e. and knighthoods.
    what checks are done to protect the innocent royal family from murdering paedophile sodomite jingly jangly dj’s

    if i was dishing out awards vetiing would be important yes no.
    special branch reports done yes no
    dj’s going to the israeli war cabinet of interest to mi6 yes no.
    the future king being allowed to sleep under the same roof as a bbc child wrangling psychopath.
    instead of spending times on sites like this how about protecting are innocent royal family from bbc danger and reputational association loss

  38. the tragedy is too many $$$ for too many players for too long for peace to be allowed in pakistan/afghanistan.

    “How Jimmy Carter & I Started the Mujahideen” – Zbigniew Brzezinski

    was the following the worst idea ever? this has never been fully exposed…yet consider the terrible ongoing consequences:

    March 2002: Washington Post: From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad
    Violent Soviet-Era Textbooks Complicate Afghan Education Efforts
    By Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway
    Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.
    During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.
    “I think we were perfectly happy to see these books trashing the Soviet Union,” said Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID’s Central Asia Task Force.
    AID dropped funding of Afghan programs in 1994. But the textbooks continued to circulate in various versions, even after the Taliban seized power in 1996.
    Officials said private humanitarian groups paid for continued reprintings during the Taliban years. Today, the books remain widely available in schools and shops, to the chagrin of international aid workers.
    “The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse,” said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan educator who is a program coordinator for Cooperation for Peace and Unity, a Pakistan-based nonprofit.
    An aid worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages.
    The military content was included to “stimulate resistance against invasion,” explained Yaquib Roshan of Nebraska’s Afghanistan center. “Even in January, the books were absolutely the same . . . pictures of bullets and Kalashnikovs and you name it.” …
    Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin, who are described as obedient to Allah. Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says.
    “We were quite shocked,” said Doug Pritchard, who reviewed the primers in December while visiting Pakistan on behalf of a Canada-based Christian nonprofit group. “The constant image of Afghans being natural warriors is wrong. Warriors are created. If you want a different kind of society, you have to create it.”…

  39. O/T The Costa Concordia pre trial hearing opens today. Schettino and others from Mr Arison’s empire will face the music. There are 125 lawyers appearing.


  40. Am I stupid, a leading point, consensus describes how we political instrumented and we just skip over it.

    Neoliralism is a top down political system and Robert’ Rule as it is, has us divided and competing on a merry go round of opinion.

    Craig my point is you should quit the alchohol as it is proven to be detrimental and shape up.
    This point scoring is damaging and dividing and lets find a Mantra

  41. Anyone who regularly uses the term ‘the left’ is to be distrusted. This should be, I think, an iron rule. Like all rules, there can be exceptions – Lenin’s Tomb, or George Orwell spring to mind – but mostly it’s the rhetorical technique of mediocrities. The Left, in this technique, really just means ‘people who I disagree with’, or perhaps, ‘a handy sterotype for the purposes of elucidating an argument’. It’s not especially big or clever.

    As an aside, I’ve long thought that Nick Cohen no longer writes his own byline. It’s so bizarrely lacking in basic fact-checking, and its argument so tenuous that it really does look like its been written by the interns. I’m not even sure I’m kidding, his articles really are more than a little slap-dash …

  42. Hundal may or may not be a lickspittle.

    It is more certain that he is in denial.

    Specifically, he cannot bring himself to admit that, for a variety of reasons, most Pakistanis perceive the US to be a greater threat to their sense of well-being than the Taliban.

    And why?

    Having announced that they intend to bug out of the region, the US has set about infuriating a formidable cultural group that has defeated every intruder for the last 2000 years.

    I never thought that I’d see anyone more inept than George W. Bush. And then Obama came along.

    The Americans have no patience, no insight, no sense of history, no understanding of the possible. They used to have a lot of money. They don’t have that any more.

    Hundal cannot bring himself to admit these facts.

    Sad, really.

    [Mod/Clark: correction applied, see below.]

  43. Err … than the Taliban.

  44. I am very sorry that Malala Yousafzai was shot and that her life is threatened.

    Does anyone else have doubts that it was the ‘taliban’ that shot her, or like me, think that maybe other agencies were at work to further demonize the taliban? The attack on her has achieved much international publicity and I see that Hague was piping up this morning on the matter. See the BBC headline writ large below as an illustration of what I am saying.

    She is being brought over here for treatment, the UAE being the paymasters.

    Malala Yousafzai: Taliban shooting victim travels to UK

  45. I have just gone to Medialens and see the same question has been raised.


  46. Frank ‘I Was There’ Gardner again.

    Saudi Arabia ‘insulted’ by UK inquiry

    By Frank Gardner
    BBC security correspondent

    Saudi Arabia’s Sunni monarchy suspects Iran of covertly supporting Shia activists in Bahrain

    UK’s dilemma in balancing the Gulf
    Saudi Arabia’s al-Qaeda challenge
    Bahrain profile

    Saudi Arabia says it is “insulted” by a parliamentary inquiry into how the UK deals with the country and Bahrain.

    Saudi officials have told the BBC they are now “re-evaluating their country’s historic relations with Britain” and that “all options will be looked at”.


    He said on the radio this morning that he had been to see the Saudi Ambassador and other officials in the Saudi Embassy. He is obviously HM’s Unofficial Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The weight of his vanity and self importance is threatening to overbalance him.

  47. Re I have just gone to Medialens and see the same question has been raised.

    s/be I have just gone to Medialens and see that a question has been raised about the shooting of Malala being for political gain, ie the West as benefactors and not aggressors.

  48. Cryptonym 14 Oct, 2012 – 3:13 pm
    “You could also include Monbiot and his conversion to nuclear power. Asked their price, they named it and got it. They are maximising for the present their non-cash assets, knowing that whenever it all inevitably collapses…it’ll give them some advantage in the aftermath.”

    I find Monbiot sincere and so would welcome evidence that reveals he is corrupted. What exactly is the price he asked? I am unsure if you mean he has a secret stash of gifted gold sovereigns, or has booked his place in a post apocalyptic bunker.

  49. Put bluntly there are two types of conservatives: those who directly support the ruling order, and second those who systematically attack anyone who seriously questions or opposes the ruling order. I think Mr Hundal falls under the latter category.

  50. Ginger Nuts (was: Tea Cakes)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 9:20 am

    Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old shot in the head has been on the News every single day since her unfortunate run in with a trigger happy Pashtun.

    The media could be forgiven for this excessive coverage if it were not for the fact that just a few days before Malala was injured 5 Afghani women and 4 Afghani girls were MURDERED by NATO while out collecting fire wood.

    There may well have been survivors from that disgusting attack that are in desperate need of medical attention but we will not hear any of it, nor we will hear from the victims grieving families. That is simply the sort of News that you are not allowed to hear.

    [Mod/Jon: posted as Tea Cakes, but has posted in the past under Ginger Nuts, so fixing]

  51. Ginger Nuts (was: Tea Cakes)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 9:45 am

    US tipped again for Nobel Economics Prize, as Europe lags

    Sub-prime mortgages, multi-trillion Credit Default Swaps fraud, Stock market rigged, printing billions of dollars every month to prop up the long dead T-Bond market???

    Warmongering European countries get the peace prize and economic basket case the US gets this. The world is truly insane.

    [Mod/Jon: posted as Tea Cakes, but has posted in the past under Ginger Nuts, so fixing]

  52. To be fair to George Monbiot, Cryptonym,he has changed his mind on nuclear power. before he became a father his views did not much differ, only when the need to provide on a regular basis and for a family came along did he change his mind. I knew George from the time of the Newbury Bypass demonstration, we shared a roll up or two those days and he was more open to the substantial debate on issues that mattered, since he works from that newsrag and has a family to care for, he has changed considerably.

    George so obviously did not know of our massive latent potential for alternative technologies, especially in the east of England where rising sea levels and a slowly sinking land mass is offering us engineering projects that could solve our energy problems for some time to come, buying time it is also called, for this sinking is permanent and the last time I looked at the rise in sea levels, they were all going up over time.

    So, we need to safeguard estuaries and build dike’s and lock systems and whilst we are at it, use these tidal differences to generate electricity, a few tens of thousands of job in that for some time to come. We must marry the protection of our estuaries and homes with the production of latent energies that exist around us.

    George has not seen, or dared to look at the full potential without comparing it to the prediction of the nuclear industry he’s obliged to cover. For example a barrier across the Wash would reduce our need for two nuclear power stations, constant energy day and night

    Salinity in the Wash would slightly be lowered, enough to bring the combined green wrath of the RSPB, their tax dodging lawyers, allegedly, and other supposedly caring bodies down on you. Human peril is not on the radar of many Greens, their redux-environmentalism is not even decided by their members, but by leading questions imposed as choice by those who run the charity. So called Green bodies, whether its FoE, Greepeace or the RSPB, are all hierarchically ordered with campaign’s being decided by the top echelons, the members merely being allowed to agree with their choice of campaign. Their work has been directed to shuffle along for decades, keeping their profile up and the membership money flowing, a few emotive pictures and issues do the rest, whilst guilt ridden middle class families pay up and feel better for it. What a shame.

    It is selective Greens who are holding back major infrastructure work and the safety of the Fenlands and its inhabitants, 1/5th. of our national fresh food supply is produced there, with non existing threats to our bird population, these so called Greens are small minded, blinkered and selective.

    George has become accustomed to life and its needs to conform, may of us have done that in the past, including myself, change does not come easy and he’s obviously not a whistle blower or a rebel.

  53. Nevermind 15 Oct, 2012 – 9:59 am
    “George…obviously not a whistle blower or a rebel.”

    Most of your comment seems to say that Monbiot is wrong about nuclear, and compromised by family-needs/corporate-work. Fair, if debatable, points. But what do you mean by the whistle blower line? Are you suggesting he lies to keep his job? Do you have anything to back this up (beyond not agreeing with him)?

  54. @Nevermind
    Just to explain further my above question. I absolutely distrust the corporate media and agree that anyone who writes for it is compromised to some degree or other. However, although Monbiot may lie by omission I do not know him as someone who overtly lies and therefore I do hold store in what he writes. To dismiss everyone who writes for corporate media as a liar is too simple.

  55. @Phil. Far from calling him a liar, he is meticulous in his research, I think he has been using his column selectively, pleasing certain views. For example his story on a right wing insurrection or the political system.


    It is incomplete, he could have been much harder hitting and most likely was able to back up much more than this timid piece.
    I agree with his not so timid response to a poster question ‘ so, what’s to be done George’

    He answered’

    Only three solutions: mobilise, mobilise, mobilise. Do nothing alone. Don’t start a group if one exists already. Join, protest, march, demonstrate’

    I feel as if he has changed his personal outlook as to the effectiveness of the actions he is promoting and that this is normal for anyone who has started a family, that we are all in some kind of dependency loop, despite the article he’s written and the many valid protests he’s been on. I feel as if George must come Home one day and its not too far off.

    I’m in disagreement with his nuclear stance and expect him to write a long article on the Fukushima outfall and future resolve to this industry in the wake of another disaster, George is not a foe or liar, just a tad off course.

  56. “In a few years, like the Maoris who took the bible but lost the land to UK missionaries, powerful, atheist Asians will rule the UK, but the indigenous people of this country will have Islam. Inshallah.” Guano, somewhere above.

    Here we go again. Inveigling itself into every thread. Is this the ‘Genocide in Leicester’ theory, or the ‘Lizards in Hounslow’ Theory?

    So, on the one hand, we are slammed for being religious fundos, and on the other, for being atheists. A little like, ‘they take all our jobs’ and then also ‘they scrounge benefits’.

    Now then, now then… how’s about this then: We witness a powerful paedophile and his helpers on national TV for decades, given knighthoods, OBEs, open access to children’s hospitals and residential homes, the lot and everything covered-up – and guess what, Jimmy Savile was not Asian! Shock! Horror!


    Villager, at 11:53 pm on 14.10.12, thanks very much.

    Mary, at 8:33am on 15.10.12, the Taliban don’t need anyone to ‘give them a bad name’. They do things and say that they’ve done them and then celebrate doing them – they are, what they say they are.

    Except, of course, for the basic fact that they are the creation and instrument of the Pakistani Military-Security state (a military-security state consistently supported in every way by the USA/UK for over five decades). Not every act of theirs is determined by the Pak Military-Security and they got somewhat out of control during the latter part of Musharraf’s rule, but in essence, in Pakistan, they are the shock troops that keep uppity civilians in line. The growing tyranny of the Islamists in Pakistan enables – facilitates – continued de facto military rule.

    The shooting of Malalai will result in no real action, there will be no change in policy. The generals and their paramilitary cohorts didn’t give a hoot about having the Governor of Punjab shot dead, and his son later kidnapped, after he criticised the blasphemy laws, so they wouldn’t think twice before organising the shooting of some peasant girl. Think: Central American death squads. That’s the model. That’s no accident. All the generals were trained in the USA (School of the Americas or whatever it’s called now, the Hemispheric Institute – as though it were a weather forecasting body – or some such malevolent euphemism) or UK (Sandhurst), by the militaries of those countries and by the CIA. AS you know, it’s called neo-colonialism.

    So, we have NATO killing civilians and the Pakistan Army/their Islamist paramilitaries killing civilians – what a choice, eh? And both NATO and the Pakistan military will engage in PR stunts to obscure their real provenance/epistemology, which is, of course, the will to power.

  57. Suhayl.

    Whats your polital formula?

  58. Malala Yousafzai: meanwhile, somewhere else,


    “Assassinations”, eh? Someone’s decided to tell it like it is, then.

  59. I think two things influenced George Monbiot to change his stance. One was the emergence of the “Green Nuclear” intellectuals, including James Lovelock.

    The other was a result of the polarisation in the debate about nuclear power. Monbiot is quite right to point out the amount of poor “science” and scaremongering promoted by the anti-nuclear power campaigners.

    There is a knee-jerk response of “all nuclear is bad” that is quite prevalent. I’m considering returning to university to study nuclear engineering. I’ve become very interested in the possibility of designing nuclear reactors to “burn up” the “spent fuel”, thus finding a solution to the stockpiles of nuclear “waste”, and generating a lot of electricity in the process. Many people display an immediate suspicion and abhorrence to this idea; it’s “nuclear” so it must be “bad”.

    It’s almost impossible to be regarded as moderate in the nuclear power debate. Each camp identifies a moderate as being on the opposite side.

  60. It’s not even that Monbiot can find some novel or compelling justification for his turnaround. It’s nothing startling, just the old ‘the lights will go out’ fearmongering line as trialled by Bernard Ingham in his latter role as hireling nuclear energy lobbyist, a decade or more ago. Is he still alive and channelling Mrs Thatcher? I’d rather have any number of weather events and natural disasters than one more nuclear accident, the cumulative dosage is mounting. Overlooked again and again is the high probability of our and most coastally located nuclear plants being inundated and ending up distant offshore smoking ruins, with modest rises in sea levels, freak waves or coastal erosion. It might be that with our past dalliances and escapades with powerful nuclear horror, we have already sown the seeds of our extinction. The Government’s plans for new bubbling cauldrons of death all over the country has multi-party support: like invasion of Iraq did. When they sing the same tired songs from the same song sheet, terrible things usually happen, the decisions so misguided and short-sighted that even blame must be apportioned in advance.

  61. Cl;ark, nuclear is fine, as long as its Thorium and molten salt reactors, but the intention of our current and past operators were to produce weapons grade plutonium in a world riveted by cold war and obsessed with being bigger and better than then other side.

    If Britain has the largest latent capacity to produce benign alternative energy from its natural environment, without the need of nuclear power or long term obligation to recessive and active waste, should we be forced into a pro plutonium straight jacket when we full well know that the end result is a planned indiscriminate annihilation.

    We do know that the use of nuclear weapons is theoretically illegal as it will definitely pollute and involve third parties, so is the decisive planning to do more of the same also illegal?

    This is O/T just in from a friend, would love to know what Craig heard about this move to enrich the Met.

  62. And as so aptly tried and tested by their favourite news rag, both party political giants are normal, they conform to the rest of society in their daily habits.

    Gideon, Oh Gideon, have you brought your favourite whips…..

  63. For oneself, Monbiot, even if he is right on the environmental side of the nuclear debate, there is a huge deficit of nuclear power, in its current incarnation, that he neglects: the power of the state.

    Isn’t nuclear power the very symbol of the power of the modern state? Invisible to the eye, immensely powerful compared to the individual, unaccountable to the electorate, produced in maximum security installations by esoterically trained personnel, prone to concealing operational failures, downplaying risks (through use of sympathetic ‘objective’ scientists, aggressive PR, etc) and so on. Not to mention the industry being an unholy alliance of the private and the public, a brilliant example of the ‘too big to fail’ model, along with the public bearing the external costs (massive pollution, enormous startup and decommissioning fees) and also providing lavish subsidies at every step. There is also the vulgar socio-economic fact that the Monbiots of the world can afford to live far away (relatively) from sites of nuclear production.

    If Monbiot was arguing for some corresponding paradigm shift that would democratize the production of nuclear power, then I would have more sympathy for his argument. But to transfer one’s allegiance to nuclear power without doing that, is to simultaneously affirm one’s faith in the nuclear power industry, and that, to me, is ludicrous, particularly when one considers Monbiot’s gaze clears up considerably when he writes about the institutional rot and democratic shortfalls of contemporary UK society.

  64. Suhayl Saadi, ++ for your comment of 15 Oct, 11:17 am.

  65. Clark: All nuclear is bad, this isn’t a knee-jerk response. Glad to have been of assistance. And don’t call me a Luddite or I’ll smash up your machines.

  66. Cryptonym at 15 Oct, 12:36 pm

    “It might be that with our past dalliances and escapades with powerful nuclear horror, we have already sown the seeds of our extinction. The Government’s plans for new bubbling cauldrons of death all over the country…”

    This is exactly this sort of exaggeration that has alienated Monboit and others like him from the anti-nuclear camp.

    The argument has become so polarised that it is difficult to make sense of it. The anti-nuclear body make it sound as though harnessing renewable power is a simple proposition, and they don’t give proper credence to the dangers in other methods of power production.

    Even the worst estimates of deaths from the nuclear power industry are in a similar range to the deaths from other power production industries, on a deaths per unit energy comparison.

    But there is the “waste” already produced to clean up. We can’t dispose of that if we abandon the development of nuclear technology, which seems to be what the anti-nuclear lobby are aiming for.

  67. Nevermind, current power reactors are not used to produce weapon material. The old UK Magnox reactors were dual purpose as was Chernobyl, but the current, much larger reactors are not. There is more than enough plutonium for the warmongers already; it long since turned from an acquisition problem to a disposal problem. I think we’ve got about sixty tonnes of it at Sellotape.

  68. kingfelix, ++ for your comment of 15 Oct, 12:53 pm. Yes, decisions about nuclear technology need to be put back in the hands of the people, but with the current polarisation it would be difficult to have any sensible debate. Firstly, full disclosure is needed. The government and industry need to be transparent and accountable. Of course, they’re going to be reluctant to do that, partly because it will expose the vested interests concerned, but also because they know that the anti-nuclear lobby will fall on them like a ton of bricks, exploiting people’s scientific ignorance to score cheap points.

    The fight is going to need an armistice before any sensible debate can occur.

  69. I’m with Monbiot on nuclear energy – though not quite as shrill. Renewables are beginning to prove their commercial viability – notably in the rapid spread of small wind turbines augmenting farm supplies in the countryside as well as in the major companies’ investment in offshore wind farms. But the case is far from made, and commercial pressures can be pretty daunting, eg:


    Until the green solutions become general, with the next generation of developments emerging from laboratories into production, we need a stable and continuous source of power which at any rate does not excessively increase CO2 emissions. Ideally, it does not originate from the Caspian or Saudi Arabia. Nuclear power fits the bill, unfortunately. As an interim solution only.

    Mind you, there is a prevalent mindset that insists that 90% of the cars you see on the road, though designed to hold four people at least (and in the case of 4X4’s, six people, three large dogs, the daughter’s pony and several cases of Bordeaux) are occupied only by the driver. That buses are for the old and destitute. That supermarkets and shopping malls have to be heated to 25 Centigrade throughout the year. That…the list is endless. Obvious conclusion: energy is undervalued in this society. Its cost needs to go up. And then those wonderful market forces will happily encourage less costly energy sources

  70. Come on Cryptonym, aren’t you going to suggest that the “spent” fuel be “shot into the Sun”? Or have the anti-nukes finally worked out that trying to lift all our nuclear mess through our own atmosphere is a really bad idea?

  71. “Obvious conclusion: energy is undervalued in this society. Its cost needs to go up.”

    Hoo hoo, watch it Komodo; you’ll have the “The UN Is A Tool Of The Illuminati Planning To Kill Billions” lobby on your back!

  72. And this is why nuclear should be taken out of the hands of governments and their fund-raisers. They tell lies. The myth perpetuated for more than half a century that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were dropped to end the Second World War is total bunkum.


  73. Correction to my own comment of 15 Oct, 1:20 pm:

    “Yes, decisions about nuclear technology need to be put back in the hands of the people…”

    Decisions about nuclear technology need to be put in the hands of the people for the first time ever. But the people also need sufficient scientific literacy to hold a meaningful debate.

  74. Hoo hoo, watch it Komodo; you’ll have the “The UN Is A Tool Of The Illuminati Planning To Kill Billions” lobby on your back!

    No room. I already have “Lizards From Mars Did 9/11” and “Craig Murray Is A Tool of the Rothschilds” there. Perhaps on a foreleg?

  75. Thanks Suhayl. I bow to your greater knowledge. However, the taliban are portrayed as the enemy in the corporate media. Presumably that is what we are being told to accept. Anything which adds to the given image is welcomed I assume. I have just heard Ms Burley of Sky News spit the word ‘taliban’ out when she gave the headline – ’emergency treatment in the uk for young girl shot in Pakistan by the taliban’.

    Another question. How has the human condition been advanced by the jump from the 23 mile high capsule? I note that Red Bull were one of the sponsors. Every day I collect five or six empty discarded Red Bull tins when out with my dog. Just saying.

  76. Now that we are completely off topic.

    Has anyone else noticed that the so called high altitude jump on Sunday was faked?

    If you look very closely at this video you can see how it was done.


  77. John Goss, yes, the meme that nukes ended WWII has been repeated for decades, but it has always been obvious to anyone who thought about it that it was mere propaganda. A single demonstration on an unpopulated region would have been entirely sufficient.

  78. V droll Derek.

    Cameron and Salmond are kept in detention after school to write their lines.

  79. Scouse Billy

    15 Oct, 2012 - 2:20 pm


    Any knowledge/views on the Zinsser affadavit?

    i.e. nuclear test over the Baltic in Oct ’44

  80. From Mary:

    “However, the taliban are portrayed as the enemy in the corporate media. Presumably that is what we are being told to accept”

    The danger from propaganda is multi-directional. It not only obscures the truth, it suggests a direction to react in when the propaganda is recognised as such. But propaganda is constructed on the basis of what position it is convenient to project, so there is no reason to assume that propaganda points directly away from the truth.

    The Taliban are a convenient target for propaganda. I expect that the UN Security Council powers would like to keep India and Pakistan’s nukes pointing directly at each other, so they concentrate on the Taliban to avoid confronting Pakistan directly.

  81. More on Malala.

    The Staged Malala Yousafzai Story: You’re With Malala or You’re With the Turrrrorrists

    which links to

    The Staged Malala Yousafzai Story: CBS Crops Image to Hide Malala Walking to Chopper with Father

    Thanks to author Scott Creighton.

  82. Never heard of it Billy, but I thought you believed that some Tesla device could just snap all nuclear blast into hyperspace where it could be neutralised with sodium bicarbonate.

    Give me a reputable link and I’ll read it. If it’s another of your time-wasters….

  83. Scouse Billy

    15 Oct, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    Your first five words would have sufficed.

    Ah well I can’t reach sh/p-eople that far below the curve…

  84. The current drive is to monopolise and control energy supplies and operators, the real idea of alternative generation being taken up by communities for their own benefit has not really taken off yet, he says whilst the wind and rain is pummelling his windowpane and his plastic greenhouse is disintegrating from the amounts of energy available.

    Rivers, streams, estuaries, tidal sea currents, wave heights, their motion, wind, solar, more reservoirs, a national water distribution system…..the amounts of rainwater that falls annually.. should some of that be held back to generate peak time electricity?

    I argue that what is given as facts on consumption is wrong, that we do not know our real consumption levels because our mainly older housing stock is not updated insulated and or energy efficient. Without a parallel national energy saving campaign running next to the promotion of community energy generating schemes most suitable to a respective area, we would be blowing new smoke after old, the idea is to come away from fossil burning.

    Concentrated solar power is such a dramatically good idea using the latest available technology, a simple alternative that is cheaper than nuclear, more reliable as the sun shines all the time in deserts, with alternative power sources supplying the nights needs.

    I also have an argument with sustainability, whilst I know for sure that CSP would be there for a long time, I could not rely on fissile material for longer than 150 years, at a very long stretch. All issues surrounding nuclear fissile materials add to our already stretch health and safety list in society, it is exorbitantly expensive to protect society from nuclear radiation, we know that even low level rads. can have cell mutating effects, never mind the enriched materials used in nuclear reactors.

    Fallujahs birth defects have not gone up by a factor of ten, compared to pre Iraq war times, for nothing, its was the heavy use of depleted Uranium munitions we used to flatten the City that has lead to this, so why would we want to perpetuate more nuclear sources which will go wrong, we had a few accidents now to know this, when we can do different.

    The only reason to persist with nuclear power is commercial and military but this debate is never had in public and any incoming Government must swear to keep the nuclear status quo.

    One should not do so, I would swear to dismantle it, bit by barking mad bit.

    Except for the emergency reactor, should all else fail, sea currents stop, tides are asleep, no wind for weeks, the sun is on holiday and worse off all, the gas has run out on our patio heaters.

  85. O/T a great debate this morning, for once.

    Will we soon face up to a decriminalised situation in Britain, I’m sure that the lick spittle this thread is about would love to use this emotive issue to smirk and schmooze himself into the Washington DC prohibition circles, if they still exist, have not been taken over by coffee&crack mornings.

    My very public thanks to prof. Nutt and MS sufferer Julie, both who made their points very eloquently. thanks also to the Met for sending a lower than normally gifted officer to confuse their stance even further. His use of tabloid terms was duly noted.


  86. Clark.
    If you deny the Conspiracy theories, what is your own theory.
    Please enlighten us?

    Just human nature hoo hoo.

  87. I’d never heard of Sunny Hundal until I googled him. Seems to have abandoned his cultural heritage, anyway (no beard, no hair, no turban, no dagger). As Harry’s Place – no fan of Craig’s btw – noticed, his political allegiances seem to be disposable as well:

    Sunny Hundal, the Labour Tory Lib Dem Labour supporting blogger…


    There is a Hundal video there too. Warning: extremely silly, and cameraman is not always upright.

    Apparently he’s going to vote Green in the first round of the London elections – try to keep up, Harry – and is a right-on feminist from way back.

    “What is the point of Sunny Hundal?” seems to address the matter better.

  88. “Decisions about nuclear technology need to be put in the hands of the people for the first time ever. But the people also need sufficient scientific literacy to hold a meaningful debate.”

    As a matter of fact popular attitudes towards nuclear power have been very generous, optimistic and dangerously trusting. Mistakenly, in my view, the public still gives nuclear power the benefit of the doubt. And assumes that those who control it are careful and public spirited.
    What is needed in public debate is a proper distrust of the ruling class and its cannibalistic practices. If people were allowed to examine both the real economic costs of this form of power generation and the incalculable potential dangers it poses to the planet they would insist on the careful and exact dismantling of nuclear infrastructure, and a rigorous cost benefit analysis before any new experiments were permitted.
    At the very least they would insist that no further waste should be produced before an explanation of how it was to be disposed of had been furnished.
    The suggestion that “scientific literacy” should be a qualification for participation in this vital debate is question begging of the most basic kind.

  89. Mary, thanks. I think you’re absolutely right to be highly skeptical of anything the US/UK propaganda organs tell us. We see how they helped create and continue to supply and arm Islamist paramilitaries – according to Ahmed Rashid (Pakistani journalist who wrote a book on the Taliban and who has written several good ones since), the USA helped bankroll – paid salaries of Taliban officials, etc. – the Taliban right up until the autumn of 2001 and we see what they are doing now in Libya/Syria. Mark Curtis, as you’ll know, is good on this area (‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’).

    So, as we know, the mil-sec complex of the USA/UK (both directly via Special Forces, contractors and the CIA/MI6), trains and arms oppressive military regimes when and where it suits them to do so and also paramilitary forces, likewise. At times, they will be doing both simultaneously in a single ‘theatre’, supporting various interests, some of whom may be in conflict with one another (think of the way they support the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan but also support the Islamist paramilitaries that travel to and from Central Asia and other parts to Libya/Syria to help unseat the regimes/ cause mayhem there).

    Pakistan’s systemic co-creation of/ co-support for these paramilitaries is a useful strategic instrument against Russia and China (though in the past, and maybe still, who knows, for their own strategic reasons, China too has supported the Taliban, India, the so-called ‘Northern Alliance’) in Central Asia and by continuing the incipient state of war b/w Pakistan and India, also helps prevent a unified regional political/economic force developing in South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.). And also, the people they – the politicians (eg. Stephen “I’m a taxi” Byres) and generals (eg. allegedly Richard Dannatt et al, as exposed in The Sunday Times yesterday) – work for, can continue to sell lots of weapons to India and Pakistan. The USA also colluded with Pakistan in its illegal acquisition of nukes. Think of Brzezinski’s statements in recent years on these, and related, matters, which basically amount to acknowledging an ongoing policy of divide-and-rule.

    So, one day, in ‘Af-Pak’ (as the imperialists like to call it), the Islamist paramilitaries are designated ‘ultimate evil’, the next, in Libya/Syria, they are ‘freedom-fighters’ with ‘air-guns and pick-up trucks’. What they are, of course, is tactically useful to imperialist interests. The Pakistani mil-sec complex is one part of that ‘great game’ driven by international capital (of which they are a part). Big bucks, Red Bull, right enough! It’s the story of capitalism.

  90. Chris2, the amount of scientific illiteracy in the debate is staggering. People don’t know why our current reactors produce so much waste. They don’t understand that longer half-lives correspond with lower radioactivity. They don’t know about natural background radiation. All of this ignorance has been exploited by both sides. What we have now is an uncomfortable stand-off, each side preventing any progress in the other.

    “As a matter of fact popular attitudes towards nuclear power have been very generous, optimistic and dangerously trusting.”

    I disagree. Only a small proportion of the population are enthusiastic about nuclear power. Many accept it grudgingly because they are unconvinced by the alternatives, and many are strongly opposed.

    “they would insist on the careful and exact dismantling of nuclear infrastructure, and a rigorous cost benefit analysis before any new experiments were permitted.”

    Eh? We have no effective disposal method for “spent” fuel. We can dismantle the reactors, but we can’t dispose of the hot bits. We need more experiments.

    Chris2, you should be opposing the crap reactors we use (which the government want to build more of), not opposing nuclear technology in its entirety. Don’t you imagine that early humans had this debate about fire?

  91. Talking of hot bits (no…not them), heat exchangers in the high-level waste ponds could probably heat half of Cumbria. Is it waste?

  92. Jay, I’m pretty much in agreement with views such as those of Craig Murray, Noam Chomsky, Media Lens (the site more than the message board), Richard Stallman, etc.. I think that governments are too heavily influenced by Big Money in the form of corporations and finance, especially in their foreign policies which are much less susceptible to voter influence. And I think that the major force for the manipulation of democracy is the corporate media.

    On “conspiracy theories”, I’m in agreement with Julian Assange; these whacky theories can be proven neither true nor false, and they serve to distract from important issues that we can have some influence upon.

    Look at Suhayl’s contribution; this is excellent analysis, born of a thorough understanding of the area, its people, and their history. It does not reflect the corporate mainstream façade. Neither does it postulate some invisible, untouchable conspiracy pulling all the strings of every involved party.

  93. Komodo, of course it isn’t waste. That’s why I keep putting “waste” and “spent” in inverted commas. It’s fuel that is between 1% and 3% used. Using the other 97% to 99% would simultaneously neutralise the “waste”, and produce 30 to 100 times as much energy as has already been extracted from it; more, with more efficient power stations. That’s why I’m so keen to react the damn stuff.

  94. Nevermind, be careful about assigning the birth defects in war zones to depleted uranium (DU). Modern warfare releases a multitude of toxic chemicals; I have seen strong arguments that DU is not the cause. Personally, I’m undecided.

    Of course it’s easy to argue against DU because of the prevalent Nuclear = Bad belief-set. But if you convict the wrong person, the real murderer gets away with it.

    Rather than focussing on DU, it make far more sense to argue against war itself.

  95. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    15 Oct, 2012 - 5:20 pm

    Clark; I’ve always believed depleted uranium is an oxymoron. When those atomized particulates get absorbed or ingested, can it be safer than say, asbestos? I’ve often associated it with Gulf-War syndrome.

  96. technicolour

    15 Oct, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Re Sunny Hundall: I’ve been quite exercised recently by the number of people who are prepared to say things like ‘war is good for the economy’. Even when you point them towards Nordhaus (who worked out pre-Iran that it wasn’t; google William Nordhaus, economy, Iran) or more recent summaries like this:
    they don’t acknowledge it, or reconsider, or retract. You get the feeling that they will carry on saying it; it’s part of their programme.

    The worst thing was that I was complaining about this to a friend of mine and he said:
    “But war is good for the economy”.
    And it took at least fifteen minutes before he backed down, and then grudgingly.

  97. Nevermind at 15 Oct, 3:03 pm:

    “Rivers, streams, estuaries, tidal sea currents, wave heights, their motion, wind, solar, more reservoirs, a national water distribution system…”

    I, for one, don’t want little whining machines and interconnecting pylons all over our countryside and wildernesses. I’ll put up with it if needs be, but I’d prefer something better.

    “…we do not know our real consumption levels because our mainly older housing stock is not updated insulated and or energy efficient.”

    Capitalism and the market economy themselves are hideously energy-inefficient. Commercialism that produces baubles designed to lose their lustre and break, a labour market that moves workers hundreds of miles (Mary’s boiler fitters), thousands wasting their live away in traffic jams, or turned to purée on our roads, etc…

    “Concentrated solar power is such a dramatically good idea […] cheaper than nuclear, more reliable…”

    Yes, this is a matter of development, and it would be nice to see the funding of, say, one new PWR nuclear power station put into developing solar concentration instead. That would make a huge difference.

    “I also have an argument with sustainability, […] I could not rely on fissile material for longer than 150 years, at a very long stretch.”

    Well, there’s at least a millennium’s worth of thorium, but I’m not advocating that particularly. I just want the existing mess cleaned up.

    “…it is exorbitantly expensive to protect society from nuclear radiation,”

    Yes, it is, the way we do nuclear at present, because it produces so much hot crap.

    “The only reason to persist with nuclear power is commercial and military but this debate is never had in public and any incoming Government must swear to keep the nuclear status quo.”

    The reasons are commercial, not military. Each government looks at the term until the next election. In that very limited time-frame, it is much cheaper to keep nuclear power stations that are partly paying for themselves. The alternative invokes two costs; decommissioning the power stations, and building replacements.

    “I would swear to dismantle it, bit by barking mad bit.”

    …And that has to include committing to developing and building reactors that can dispose of the “spent” fuel.

  98. Ben Franklin, I don’t know. DU is less radioactive than natural uranium (obviously). It’s a toxic heavy metal, but you can hold it in your hand without danger. Maybe it’s many times worse when powdered. But all manner of chemicals get released in warfare. Is DU the birth defect culprit? I don’t know. But if we could restrain our governments from war, we’d be stopping the birth defects, whatever is responsible.

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