Swing to Mahama Across Nation

by craig on December 8, 2012 7:04 pm in Uncategorized

I am definitely predicting a first round victory for John Mahama, and also but with less confidence predicting he will get over 50% and there will not be a second round.

The regional swings look like this with 91 constituencies in my calculations:

Ashanti Region 1.9% swing to NDC
Brong Ahafo 3.9% swing to NDC
Central Region 1.9% swing to NDC
Eastern Region 0.5% swing to NDC
Greater Accra 1.4% swing to NPP
Northern not enough results
Upper East not enough results
Upper West 21.4% swing to NDC
Volta 3.2% swing to NDC
Western 2.9% swing to NDC

John Mahama needs an overall swing of 1.5% compared to the 2008 first round to overtake Nana Addo, and needs an overall swing of approximately 2.4% to get over the 50% margin and win in one round. That is an estimate based on the poorer performance of minor parties.

It looks like he will do it, but this is a projection based on a third of the results (not all of which were useful due to complex boundary changes). It is a fact that the majority of the first dozen or so results declared gave a definite swing to Nana Akuffo Addo and the NPP, across a variety of constituency types and regions, causing me and other pundits to jump to quite wrong conclusions. It cannot be ruled out that there will come a long run of swings to the NPP, but it is looking statistically unlikely now.

The swing is pretty consistent and there are not obvious anomalous results. The massive swing to Mahama in Upper West is in part a reflection of the expected northern excitement at having a northern president, and was predicted. I expect we will see larger than average swings to Mahama in Upper East and Northern as well.

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  1. Kwabena Antwi-Boasiako

    8 Dec, 2012 - 7:26 pm

    Northern Region will make the difference. Unfortunately for Mahama, NDC seems to have lost grounds in the NR, if my sources are to be believed.

  2. Kwabena

    Interesting. For non-Ghanaians, we should point out Upper East and Upper West are very small.

  3. Were you a psephologist in a previous life Craig? :)

    At least ‘Heretic’ has gone off the boil. Malicious and libellous IMHO.

  4. Hi Craig, my analysis seems to agree with yours. It is based on results from 136 constituencies as reported by peacefmonline.com. I assume a 70% turn-out. I am not sure if Mahama will win one-touch, but the algorithms leads me to believe he will win the first round.

    I should point out that I am not the same person as the other Kwabena who has commented above.

    NPP: 4,516,680 45.98
    NDC: 5,121,075 52.14

    You can view my analysis here: http://elections.parallaxgh.com/2012-election-results

  5. Why are results being published if voting is continuing today? Isn’t it normal to keep results secret (or actually not counted) until polling has been completed?

  6. Ed

    Voting was only continuing today in a few polling stations in a few constituencies where there were equipment issues. Those results were not published. Voting has just finished everywhere now.

  7. Totally O/T

    BREAKING: Morsi’s decree cancelled, constitution referendum to take place on time


  8. Craig, I think I have a better projection now, based on results from 185 constituencies as reported by peacefmonline.com

    NPP 5,327,721 47.46
    NDC 5,706,052 50.83
    NPP + NDC 98.29

    Have you updated your projection?

  9. Italy is in political turmoil. The thought of Berlusconi rising like a phoenix from the ashes is enough to put the kibosh on Monti. The next thing will be hearing of a Bliar comeback at this rate.

    Italy PM Mario Monti announces plan to resign
    Mr Monti, an economics expert, has been trying to steer Italy away from financial disaster Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he plans to resign after Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL party withdrew its support for the government.

    Mr Monti, who heads a non-elected cabinet of technocrats, said he will try to pass a budget and financial stability law before standing down.

    Hours earlier, former Prime Minister Mr Berlusconi said he will run for office again next year.

  10. Insightful work with the analysis Craig and Kwabena. Do you both reckon we are still heading for a second round?

  11. “At least ‘Heretic’ has gone off the boil. Malicious and libellous IMHO.”

    Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to respond.

    Malicious? Craig called me a liar and failed to point out a single lie, preferring instead more insults and refusing to address points. He could of course simply admitted that there is a ‘perception’ of self-interest in his promotion of Ghana’s elections and his relationship to the 2 candidates and left it at that. He brought it on himself.

    Libellous [sic] Utter crap. Craig’s been sussed and his fan base is unhappy. The only libel I see hear is “Human Rights Activist” on the header.

  12. Bradley Manning Guardian Person of the Year with 70% of the vote.

    Malala Yousafzai second with 22%.

  13. What’s the ‘sic’ for?

    li·bel·ous also li·bel·lous
    Involving or constituting a libel; defamatory.


    libel·ous·ly adv.libellous – (used of statements) harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign


    PS Excellent news on the poll result for Bradley Manning.

    Latest BBC report on the Ghana vote. They should revert to a system of indelible ink on a finger. Still counting because of breakdowns in biometric systems.

  14. Mary,

    I kind of agree on the indelible ink (the story of which is in The Catholic Orangemen) but people were sandpapering it off to double vote and injuring themselves.

    To be fair to the biometric scheme, the equipment failed in 200 out of 26,000 polling stations, and the majority of the failures were simply the batteries running out. The BBC is exagerrating the problem because they know bugger all about Ghana and have to write something.

  15. “What’s the ‘sic’ for?”

    Is that really all you’ve got? Pointing out that a word can be spelt more than one way. Pathetic.

    It amazes me that people will pick-up on a minuscule things like that while letting the glaring points I make simply sail past… how about at least attempting to address the point next time.

  16. I see that at least one of my comments have been deleted on the other “latest results” thread so that Craig’s deliberate evasiveness can not be readily spotted by the casual observer.

    I should point out that this was not because I was being anti-Semitic, inciteful or anything remotely similar but is a rebuttal to being called a liar and of knowing nothing about Ghana, a rebuttal surely worthy of an apology as I even gave him my old address in Accra.

  17. Craig That’s awful about sandpapering fingers. I don’t suppose the BBC have ever reported on electoral fraud in this country such as the ‘treating’ in Blackburn and the various postal voting frauds.

  18. Truth or fiction from the BBC?

    Ghana election: Opposition NPP alleges vote fraud
    Nana Akufo-Addo’s party say he won the election

    Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party has accused the governing party of conspiring with Electoral Commission staff to fix Friday’s election.

    Opposition protesters were dispersed from outside the commission’s offices in Accra by police firing tear gas.

    The NPP said in a statement that the National Democratic Congress had stolen votes across the country.

    NDC candidate President John Mahama had a narrow lead over NPP rival Nana Akufo-Addo, according to local media.


    Perhaps the services of Sir Jeremy Heywood, Sir Gus O’Donnell and Sir Christopher Geidt the Queen’s Private Secretary could come in useful. They were the triumvirate that landed us with Cameron and Clegg. How democratic was that for the British electorate all you Ghana election naysayers?

    ‘Documentary-maker Michael Cockerell described Geidt as ‘part of the Golden Triangle, the three crucial figures in British public life, who the public know very little about’. Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell and Jeremy Haywood, the new Permanent Secretary at No10 are the other two.

    These were the men who, after last year’s Election, helped decide who would govern the country. Geidt was briefed to observe proceedings and keep the Queen informed. His role was to protect the Monarchy and advise the Queen to appoint a Prime Minister only when a decision was ‘clear and uncontroversial’.’


  19. Further to Mary’s post, there a book too it seems which deals with this area of the bastard Cameron and Clegg’s political and constitutional legitimacy. Called Five Days To Power – by a Tory MP, one Rob Wilson. It’s mentioned in The Lobster magazine edition 64 preview Nobody told us we could do this.

    The similarities with the Ramsay MacDonald era National government panic is eye opening, democracy was suspended to form a “national government merely to reduce public spending by an additional £14m per annum, an amount equivalent to 0.35% of GDP at the time”

    Which brings me to books, ebooks particularly. The difficulty of getting books challenging establishment consensus published printed, distributed etc. Recognising that authors of such material expect some reward for their effort and risks taken, deliberately strewn obstacles overcome -there is a conflict with the heavy-handed futile attempts to suppress freedom from effortlessly digitally circumventing copyright and intellectual property across all media forms, recorded music, video and of course books, which all have benefited from, with no perceptible harm to the mega corporations, who’ve probably sold more product as a result. In the case of the Assange book, as easy funding by micropayments from the many, online methods, indefensible interference of banking institutions in transactions between third parties and such messing, sales of this are probably one lifeline which should be kept even by guilt-ridden ‘piratical’ book readers, if only for Assange to in token at least compensate the Ecuadorian embassy, government and people for their hospitality and for actions which have probably already saved his life.

    I’m not sure where Ghana is, though I probably could find it on a map, by a lengthy process of elimination. Yorkshire possibly or outer Manchester, not as far south as the Midlands?

    ‘Exciting Election’ on another thread seems a bit oxymoronic, from past UK experience.

    To the battlements!

    error: % 54334 % % integer division by zero in CAPTCHA %


  20. Multiply or add two single digit numbers. Number of possible answers: very small. Total time for a script to fire all 162 possibilities at the site: nanoseconds. Why not make it more human and more fun. And mechanically unbreakable.

    For example:

    Who was murdered by King Haakon’s cook?
    Who left his wife his second-best bed?
    What was the highest point of Mr Norgay’s career?
    Who was interrupted by a person from Porlock?

  21. Who was murdered by King Haakon’s cook? –> No idea, probably Haakon’s wife
    Who left his wife his second-best bed? –> Shakespeare
    What was the highest point of Mr Norgay’s career? –>
    Everest 1953
    Who was interrupted by a person from Porlock? –> Samuel Taylor Coleridge



    I have bought you a copy of ‘Catholic Orangemen’ (’tis the season of goodwill and all that).

    If Jon will send you my email address, perhaps you’d like to email me your postal address (or some suitable alternative).

  22. Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza

    Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells


  23. Hi Dreoilin,

    What a lovely offer! I will send to Arsalan your email as you request, tomorrow [update: now done].


    Oo-err, not seen that error before. You didn’t happen to record what sum was showing when it did that, did you?


    One or two spammers appear to be getting through the new defences. I’ll turn on more anti-spam laser cannons tomorrow morning.

  24. The above is from March 2009

    my bad

    Not that it’s irrelevant in light of the hysterics the US is claiming to have over Syria and “chemicals”.

  25. ‘I will send to Arsalan your email as you request, tomorrow.’

    Thanks a million, Jon. ‘Night

  26. That’s a generous and classy touch Dreoilin…hats off to you.

    See all you sock-puppets and disruptors? This is a warm,civilised and decent blog here-if only you would leave us to our own devices…

    Fat chance though eh?

    Night all.

  27. Our very own Dr Strangelove, aka Phillip Hammond, is ordering up a new toy.

    10 December 2012
    HMS Audacious: MoD announces £1.2bn submarine contract

    ‘It emerged last month that Astute had encountered several problems during its sea trials, including leaks and electrical switchboards which were were found to be fitted incorrectly.

    Concerns also emerged last year about the accuracy of nuclear reactor monitoring instruments during testing.’

    How galling that the taxpayers’ cash is being wasted on these very dangerous and leaky tubs. The lobbyists for BAE within the HoC and the Whitehall corridors must be feeling pleased with themselves.

  28. Just a few days of announcements of US and UK military spending here in £ and $ billions. Ten reports on one page covering the period December 4 – 7 2012

    Shocking isn’t it and Joe Public doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, or even care probably.

  29. I should have said … US military spending in $billions.

    This entry about BAE was for a Lockheed Martin contract.

    BAE Systems has won $81 million in contract funds from Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) to produce infrared seekers for a ballistic missile defense system, BAE announced Tuesday. BAE will produce 143 seekers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense program, for which Lockheed is the prime contractor (click here for our coverage of recent THAAD awards). […]

  30. Over 3,000 US troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for missions pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and northern Iraq, Press TV reports.


  31. I’m trying a new anti-spam setting, as a few bots here appear to have been programmed to get through the defences. Numbers may now appear as words – just answer numerically and it should work just as before.

  32. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 11:12 am

    I do not know much about Ghana but judging from what I know (about other countries) it is possible that free and fair elections in Ghana are to some degree owe to the fact that major powers (and superpower in particular) are not too much concerned with Ghana. It is quite contrary to my native Uzbekistan and its neighbourhood.

  33. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 11:17 am

    To continue from my last post; which supports the argument – leave people alone and they will find the best way to govern themselves. Although many lives could be sacrificed, but at the end success will follow, even in Africa.

  34. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 11:29 am

    And yet again, not everywhere in Africa things are as good as in Ghana http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20661758

  35. I don’t know about that Uzbek in the UK. Oil, gold and cocoa are there and there is a World Bank presence too. Where they go, the gangsters-in-charge follow.

    Grim news there about a build up of US troops in Iraq Dreoilin.

  36. Yes Mary. There’ll be a false flag attack in Syria as sure as eggs is eggs. And then they’ll be in there like a shot.

  37. December 06, 2012 – With dubious reports that Syria is preparing its stockpile of chemical weapons for use now dominating US media coverage, the familiar menace of WMDs in the Middle East has been resurrected once again to haunt the American public and gin up support for military intervention …


    Why can’t people open their eyes?

  38. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 12:20 pm


    Article states that UK is Congo’s second biggest aid donor after US. It says a lot. Aid? There is no such thing as aid. It is carefully directed support to push forward required agendas. Aid could be given to one against the other, and could quickly change sides when agenda requires it.

  39. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 12:23 pm


    Well, can we then trouble Mr Murray for his opinion on Ghana’s success story. I am curious on how the nation that is surrounded by other (much less successful) nations was able to stage free and fair elections that even Mr Murrays does not dispute.

  40. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 12:31 pm


    Perhaps it is because they (at least most of them) do not really give a sh…t about other countries. Ask people in the UK and most of them will blame f..cking migrants for the problems. I bid the same is true in US. Who gives a sh..t if bunch of people die in Syria. What do they care of are their jobs, mortgages, investments.

  41. It’s kinda interesting to look at The Guardian stats on their mentions of Chemical weapons at the bottom of the page, month by month and year by year.


    Look at the big jump in 2003, and the ramping up in the last 30 days.

  42. “Perhaps it is because they (at least most of them) do not really give a sh…t about other countries.”

    That’s more true in the U.S. than it is in Britain or Ireland, Uzbek. Having said that, I know numerous Americans who have devoted many years of their lives to activism against war. Like ourselves on this blog, I suppose they have a hard job swimming against the tide of MSM bullshit. They promote the likes of Dennis Kucinich, who never makes really big waves.

    And then you have the majority. For whom e.g. Netflix and DFS sofas outrank anything going on elsewhere.

    Which leaves the Tea-Party-type rump, who positively rejoice in the killing of foreigners. Especially if they’re brown and Muslim. They are beyond belief.
    I go to their blogs to vent when I’m very angry. The better the point I make, the quicker I’m banned. That’s how they operate.

  43. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p6ztb The World At One 23 mins in.

    Catch the blunt horror of the words in this Jane Corben report on the effects of drone warfare.

    The increasing use was justified as being ‘risk acceptant’ by some American female academic.

    Dennis Blair justified their use by saying that they were more ‘accurate’ than other weapons.

    Human beings are just disposables to these people.

    Adam Holloway’s words afterwards were the most chilling.

    {Prior to his election to Parliament, Holloway was commissioned in the British Army and served with the Grenadier Guards. During his military service he engaged in combat during the Gulf War and elsewhere, being promoted to the rank of Captain. After leaving the Army, he worked as an investigative journalist with ITN, World in Action, Panorama and the Sunday Times)

  44. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/10/277233/iran-decodes-all-data-on-us-rq170-drone/

    All data on US RQ-170 spy drone fully decoded: Iran cmdr.

    Senior Iranian commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh says all data on the US RQ-170 spy drone which was captured by the Iranian military last year has been decoded.

    Commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Monday that the data has been “fully decoded.”

    Hajizadeh stated that the IRGC has also discovered all the areas the drone had flown over.

    On December 4, 2011, the Iranian military’s electronic warfare unit announced that it had successfully downed the US RQ-170 reconnaissance and spy drone in the eastern part of Iran with minimal damage.

    The aircraft, designed and developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, had crossed into Iran’s airspace over the border with Afghanistan.

    The Iranian commander noted that the US President Barack Obama had told Israeli officials that the drone was doing a spying mission on Iran’s nuclear sites, but after decoding, IRGC experts found out that the aircraft had not conducted “even one nuclear mission.”

    I’m sure the Iranisns would have loved to have talked to Al-Hilli about that drone.

  45. Uzbek in the UK

    10 Dec, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    Interesting something from Russia.

    Major Russian news agencies reported that Putin today compared Lenin’s remains and mausoleum to one of the main historical heritages in Russia. In discussion about one of Russia’s ministers to bury Lenin’s body Putin responded that Lenin’s body in mausoleum not only contradict Russian heritage but also is one of the most important piece of Russian history.

    Interesting point of view from former KGB officer who nowadays attends all major public religious services in Russian Orthodox Church.

    Another interesting point is that it was Russian Orthodox Church who actively supported the idea of Lenin’s burial until few years ago when newly selected major Church figure Russian Patriarch was few decades back in KGB paid informants service.

    Realities of modern KGB Russia.

  46. Uzbek in the UK You will like this. Lebedev v Polonsky plus other tales from modern Russia.



    Anon On that American drone capture, ‘Lovely jubbly’ as Del Boy would say .

  47. ‘IN ERROR’ you betchya!

    Two minutes ago on the Guardian site there was the byline
    «Israel suspected over Iran nuclear program inquiry leaks.»
    followed by an open comments section.

    Not so Déjà vu in this august setting.

    Obviously there followed comments of the sort one would expect given this rare and unexpected opportunity to say what we all think of the Z entity on the page of another of their stalwart guardians..
    “Omigod! I can’t believe this. Israel lying? Whatever next! I better go and lie down and have a rest.” being typical of the tone that got through the censor, who must have been looking at something naughty on his screen instead of doing his job, or maybe a telephone call?
    Then there appeared
    10 December 2012 6:24 PMLink to this comment
    This thread was opened in error and will close now.

    followed by some more pertinent comments
    _ ———-
    comments for this discussion are now closed

    Below all this bs this;
    Top spies flock to Vienna, the home of the IAEA and where Tehran has replaced Moscow as the world’s bogeyman.
    The world’s bogeyman indeed!

    Hail Mary full of Grace.

  48. Fred,
    Talk about sour grapes!

  49. Killary, Obomber and Malala are in Time’s list.


  50. This report was highlighted on Radio 4 Today this morning. We should all feel ashamed yet US jails are criticized.

    Lincoln Prison’s failings ‘among the worst’
    The prison houses about 740 male inmates Continue reading the main story

    Prisoners at an overcrowded city jail are too scared to leave their wings to go to work due to levels of violence in the facility, a report has found.

    Inspectors found serious failings at category B Lincoln Prison, following an unannounced visit in August.

    Penal reformers say the levels of violence and drug abuse are among the worst ever at a UK jail.

    The National Offender Management Service (Noms) said it was taking urgent action.

    Among the report’s findings was the fact the Victorian jail in Lincolnshire was holding 50% more prisoners than it was certified to hold.



    The worst facts related were:

    The HM Inspectorate of Prisons found the lack of support for foreign national prisoners “a matter of great concern”. In one case, it was discovered that a foreign national had been detained for nine years after the date his sentence ended.Bold</strong

  51. 3000 US troops return to Iraq in addition to the 20,000 that only got as far as Israel.

    Obama’s plan for the Middle-East is to divide and rule, as seen in the splitting in two of Egypt by Mr Mursi. The division is caused by his backing the Muslim Brotherhood as a version of Islam that is founded on politics, lying , spying, deceit, power broking and more lying. The principle lie being in the foundations, that the Arab Spring was a spontaneous revolution, and that Al-Qaida is anything but a Western backed mercenary force with leaders who make up their own laws of Islam.

    Without doing anything else, this policy divides the Muslim world between those who would do Jihad for the love of honest, truthful, peacemaking Islam, and those who do Jihad for the interest gold of the Zionist banksters.

    Obama’s plan will probably succeed because a Tsunami of rage will split the Muslim world because of the utterly cynical nature of the new leaders imposed on it. But that Tsunami is going to overflow into unpredictable places like the Fukushima cooling pumps. The Clinton witch and Obamas pyjamas will be turned to stone.

    Isn’t that right, my African brothers and sisters? We will not allow ourselves to be divided and conquered a second time.

  52. Uzbek in the UK

    11 Dec, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Just to add to our earlier discussion about “f..cking migrants” bringing problems to real Britons http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20677515

    Just wait and see for the comments on BBC.

  53. Uzbek in the UK

    11 Dec, 2012 - 10:38 am

    Russian Novaya Gazeta (New Newspaper) revealed that the questions that public representatives asked Putin on 10 December were in fact given to Putin’s PR team in advance (on 9 December) and some (uncomfortable) questions were cut out. This meeting of Putin with public reps were “sold” to Russians as President Putin asked and responds to the questions in live debate. The theme of the debate was (guess what) Problems of Corruption in Russia.

  54. Uzbek in the UK

    11 Dec, 2012 - 10:40 am

    For those who understand Russian here is the link to Novaya Gazeta http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/55822.html

  55. Noteworthy that the man in charge of HSBC when they were money laundering in the US is now a Cameron Trade minister.

    ‘Speaking in July, Trade Minister and former HSBC boss Lord Green said he knew about wrongdoing.’

    HSBC to pay $1.9bn in US money laundering penalties
    HSBC has admitted its money laundering controls have been too lax

    Related Stories
    Peston: Who pays for banks’ sins?
    HSBC report: Key findings
    Global banking scandals explained

    HSBC has confirmed it is to pay US authorities $1.9bn (£1.2bn) in a settlement over money laundering, the largest paid in such a case.

    A US Senate investigation said the UK-based bank had been a conduit for “drug kingpins and rogue nations”.

    Money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of crime so that the money cannot be linked to the wrongdoing.

    HSBC admitted having poor money laundering controls and apologised.


    He is also a man of the cloth!
    Green is an ordained priest in the Church of England, having studied theology at Manchester University’s Northern Ordination course while in Hong Kong, and he is the author of the book “Serving God? Serving Mammon?”.


    Is he ‘aving a larf?’

  56. “The Clinton witch and Obamas pyjamas will be turned to stone.”

    Nice thought, that. Could we organise a plague of locusts in the meantime? Or a plague of boils maybe?

  57. Trust the Mail and the Telegraph to produce these leads online


    ‘British whites’ are the minority in London for the first time as census shows number of UK immigrants has jumped by 3million in 10 years

    Just 44.9% of Londoners are White British, according to census data

    7.5million residents of England and Wales were foreign-born in 2011

    Census data reveal just 59% now call themselves Christian as a quarter say they have no religion and 5% are Muslim

    Less than 90% of country is white for the first time ever
    Home ownership declines but more people have paid off their mortgages

    plus a handy UK map showing densities of ‘foreign born’.


    Census 2011: sharp rise in number of foreign-born residents
    The number of people living in England and Wales who were born overseas has risen by nearly three million to 7.5m, the latest census data shows.


    plus a photo of a packed out Heathrow passport queue.

  58. Uzbek in the UK

    11 Dec, 2012 - 2:36 pm


    Note the “The Foreign Office is fighting to keep secret an immigration blacklist of 44 countries” under the passport queue photo here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9736755/Census-2011-sharp-rise-in-number-of-foreign-born-residents.html

    The question is: Is this not a racist-segregation sort of thing? I bid most of these 44 countries are inhabited by Non-Whites.

  59. Blegburnduddoo

    11 Dec, 2012 - 2:50 pm

    I wonder whether American banks get cluttered for wrongdoing or are the regulators simply trying to cripple the competition?

  60. Uzbek in the UK

    11 Dec, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    Or American oil companies on this matter.

  61. I wondered aloud here a year or two ago about Avaaz. I had a bad feeling about them, though I admit at the time this was based on no more than the hideous management-speak of their website (they had all sorts of wonderful things ‘in their DNA’). Maybe some corroboration here – any other contributions welcome.


    ‘In February, Avaaz began a petition against the BDS Movement, a “global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005.’

  62. Is his success down to using that catchy song from The Muppets that has (almost) his name as half the lyrics?

    Seriously though, what are the policy differences between the two men? (not saying there are none i just have no idea what either of their platforms is)

  63. Vronksy – Avaaz are not propagandists for Israel. Anyone can start a petition on any subject on the Avaaz website.

    Just because an Israeli government sympathiser managed to get lots of people to sign his does not mean Avaaz are biased.

  64. March 2011: Syria Uprising
    Avaaz has been involved in supporting activists in Syria by providing communication equipment such as satellite phones and cameras so that videos could be posted online of the government crackdown. Additionally, Avaaz has sent in trainers to help teach how to use the phones as well as how to do citizen journalism. Avaaz helped to coordinate the entry of at least 34 international journalists into war zones in Syria, including the French photographer Rémi Ochlik and the American journalist Marie Colvin (both died during the battles in Homs) and French reporter Edith Bouvier, who was badly hurt.[43] To help evacuate the British photographer Paul Conroy from the city of Homs, on 28 February the group coordinated an operation by Syrian activists, helped evacuate 40 seriously wounded people from the neighbourhood of Baba Amr, and brought in medical supplies.[44] An article in The New Republic claimed that Avaaz has exaggerated its role in the escape.[45] In Syria, Avaaz set up a network of about 200 activists to provide video footage, which has been used by the international media and also helped to smuggle medical equipment into the country.[43]

    ex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz

  65. “In Syria, Avaaz set up a network of about 200 activists to provide video footage, which has been used by the international media”

    Was Danny Dayem one of those?

  66. “Anyone can start a petition on any subject on the Avaaz website.”

    That used not to be the case – maybe it’s the case now. Ali Abunimah highlighted the fact that people/members could only make suggestions, not set up petitions. Decisions about actual petitions were made by the ‘higher ups’ at Avaaz.

  67. Why does the BBC commit itself to the term ‘loyalist violence’, when there is nothing loyal or complying about such violence, surely these rogue elements are not loyal to the union or anything, not even to their own families/tribes, endangering them with their selective and selfish violent actions.

    Loyalists are terrorists are they not?

  68. Nevermind,
    Many belong to one of the various Loyalist paramilitary groups. But not all.
    The question has been asked here on TV if paramilitary groups are orchestrating the current violence, and the general thinking appears to be, Yes. But you have youths coming out on the streets on their own too.

  69. PSNI ACC Will Kerr has pointed to a loyalist paramilitary link to some of last week’s violence.

    Elsewhere, a DUP councillor whose home was damaged in a frightening weekend attack, has said that it is “open season on elected representatives at the moment”.


  70. I guess that quite a number of commenters on this blog believe that protest on the street is fine when it comes to opposing elements of the government’s economic (and other) policies, despite the fact that those policies have been arrived at by a majority in a democratically elected parliament.

    Why then should those same commenters condemn the street protests in Belfast against the decision of the Stormont executive (the decision of the majority of that executive) to stop flying the country’s official flag every day?

  71. Are there any capitals in Europe, other than London, in which a majority of the inhabitants are not white people born in the country concerned?

  72. Habbabkuk
    Does “opposing elements of the government’s economic (and other) policies” generally involve throwing a petrol bomb into an occupied police car?
    Or attacking police with ‘petrol bombs, bricks, masonry, bottles and fireworks’?


    And all this over a flag … which currently flies over the building for 15 days a year.

  73. I suggest you read up some more, Habbabkuk.

  74. I started watching the BBC documentary called “Cuba with Simon Reeve” tonight (9pm) foolishly thinking that it may be an interesting take on Cuba and recent changes taking place there.

    I stopped watching after 20 minutes in anger at the blatant western pro-capitalist propaganda against a country that chose to reject a US supported dictatorship and adopt a different social and economic system.

    The buildings that are collapsing through lack of maintenance, which Reeve and the BBC highlight and blame on the Castro government, are actually collapsing because the USA and other countries, through an illegal blockade, refuse to supply Cuba with building materials like cement, timber, aggregate and even paint.

    I will re-post when I have watched the whole programme after taking my blood pressure pills.

  75. As for your question about European capitals: for starters, it’s forbidden to ask ethnicity or religion in the French census.

  76. it is quite hard to be living in this miasma in these days…
    …people seem to value all those intelectual things..before they value our own humanity…I sure need a lot of strenght in order to carry on…

    a x

  77. am i the only one who cries for our souls ..?

  78. hey Craig, sorry, I did not mean to come on so weak…I love your words by the way…long may you continue to “give” us your energy…a x

  79. @Habbabkuk Because the decision was just to fly the Union Jack only every other day and to fly the Irish flag on the other days, which is pretty reasonable given almost half the population of Northern Ireland being Republicans – and because the street protests in Belfast were violent – and because no-one sane riots over which flag you put up unless it’s e.g the flag of an occupying military.

  80. Mark Urban has been busy on Newsnight tonight, not with his magic marker pen on a map this time, but with a map of Syria with red splodges indicating where Assad’s ‘chemical weapons’ are stored. Much use of words like ‘rumoured’. A snake oil saleman.

    His partner in crime was a Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.
    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/hamish-de-bretton-gordon/35/a9a/37a Enough said.

    Followed by a spokesman for the Syrian opposition who had a good American accent Yaser Tabbara http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaser_Tabbara and Adrian Sindall a former Ambassador to Syria in the 90s. The latter was pretty caustic about Urban and Tabbara’s views and was very measured. His own views should definitely be listened to by the likes of Hague and Cameron.

    This is a very long interview with Mr Sindall (which I have skimmed) about his life and work as an Ambassador. Interesting facts and opinions about Syria and the politics of the region .

  81. I guess Habbabuk it boils down to the fact that which flag or even if any flag or simply a pair of underpants is hung on daft great pole, is of complete indifference to people, in contrast with economic and other policies which if they aren’t of consuming interest to the bulk of the populace they should be, and if those policies do not serve the people governed’s mutual best interests then let it be known but pyromaniacs shouldn’t be invited to the party, should stay at home, contented with colouring-in books. If people are so enamoured of much else that such a trivial matter as a flag convulses a few them then the protestors need to carry out some self-examination and find some less rotten cause.

  82. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Dec, 2012 - 1:01 am

    What exactly, is the push=back on Syrian rebels? I understand there is some involvement from AQ and that Soviets and Iran support Assad, but is that the crux?

    It’s not like Assad has any human rights creds, is it? If it’s the hypocrisy of Western diddling in ME affairs, as the insect in the Ointment, what kind of dissidence can it be to support a tyrant?

  83. @ Ben Franklin.

    “It’s not like Assad has any human rights creds, is it? If it’s the hypocrisy of Western diddling in ME affairs, as the insect in the Ointment, what kind of dissidence can it be to support a tyrant?”

    None of them Ben,not East nor Weat have any human rights cred.Follow the money,greed,hubris and madness and you’ll get closer to some kind of truth.

  84. @ Mary

    Do the Mail on line and Telegraph with there views on the changing demographics of London, not appreciate that London and the uk are a place to better oneselves, which is wholy understandable and should be encouraged.

    There headlines are thus devicive as any form of racism is intolerable and it is a free world.

  85. Cameron breaks a promise. No surprise. Another state scandal is covered up.


    The author of the latest ‘report’

    In October 2011, with the approval of the Prime Minister David Cameron, Sir Desmond was appointed to head a Review into collusion by the security services and other agencies of the state into the 1989 murder of the high profile Belfast lawyer Patrick Finucane who was noted as a defence solicitor for Irish republican defendants charged with terrorist crimes.
    Sir Desmond was knighted in the 2007 New Year Honours, and is also a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of Saint John and a Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Francis I. He was sworn in as a Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in October 2011.

    Geraldine Finucane and her family have been denied the inquiry they have asked for. I hope she keeps fighting to expose the facts about what was a state organized murder of one of its citizens.

  86. On THAT rocket launch….


    BBC presenter just now. ‘Very worrying for the Japanese. Over to you Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Tokyo.’

    Rupert. ‘Yes very worrying indeed Carrie…..’

    Followed by Damian Grammaticus in Beijing. Ditto.

  87. A not so subtle threat from Ms Miller’s SPAD.


    Miller’s parents live/lived in her taxpayer funded second home.

    Are you laughing in our faces, Ms Miller?

    Assume this is her husband. If so, the couple are doing very nicely.

  88. Sir David Bell, now chair of Trustees of Common Purpose.


    http://www.commonpurpose.org.uk/about/governance on the short video
    and biog here

    Not to be confused with Lord Bell of Bell Pottinger.

  89. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 10:09 am

    @ Jives,

    It depends what do you mean by the Human Rights credit. If treatment of citizens within national borders then I put the west much ahead of the east. Or comparing your own rights with rights of North Koreans, Uzbeks, Iranians, Syrians, Saudis or other non western citizens you see no difference?

    Interestingly to note that treatment of foreigners in western societies is (comparatively) much better than treatment of citizens in non-western societies. You can trust me on this one as I have experienced both.

    Money and greed is everywhere as these are basic “sins” of every society. This was true to Rome, Arabic Khaliphate, Mongols you name it. On the other hand these “sins” have truely excelled only when Europeans started to do “business” on global scale.

  90. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 10:27 am

    @ Doug Scorgie

    I share your sentiments about Reevs views on Cuba. This was truly capitalist propaganda and US blockade although was mentioned few times, but was presented as something that needed to be done in order to save Cubans from totalitarian regime of Castro. And not a word about Cuban Missile Crisis that followed after Bay of Pigs CIA disaster.

    But despite this, fall of Cuban socialism is inevitable. USSR experienced this 20 years ago. There were also thousands of doctors and other overqualified people selling socks and other goods in open markets all over former USSR. State was no longer able to fulfill its functions and was dismissed (ironically to many parts of former USSR it came back in even more repressive forms) and millions of people whose artificially created social securities taken from them were faced with harsh realities of finding enough to last for another day. Luckily for Cuba it has huge community in neighboring US and it does not have such interethnic tensions and its economy is not such complicated as Soviet was, so my guess is that Cuba will soon turn into another Latin American country, but with overall better economic prospects. Comparing Cubans to their Latin American brothers one will notice significant advantage of Cubans in terms of education and overall social standards. If Cubans are able to preserve this level of social guarantees within economic transformation into capitalism it could become truly unique case of European style social-democracy amongst Latin American nations. But for this Cuban Authorities really need to work with its people to bring much needed economic transformation soon enough.

  91. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 10:43 am


    It seems that not listening their Ambassadors (or former Ambassadors) is something Foreign Office excels in. I think I know the case when one of their Ambassadors was not only ignored but kicked out from the job for insisting on right course of actions. One should ask why FO need Ambassadors and spend millions on Embassies worldwide if at the end only few “smart” people somewhere back door decide on right course of actions without even listening the very people they sent to get first hand intelligence. Do they need Embassies just to keep all these Oxbridge graduates properly employed?

  92. On the demographics of London :

    @ Dreoilin – your comment about the French census doesn’t answer my question, does it? A bit of a cop out, if I may say so. (and my comment didn’t concern religion, by the way). So – can anyone answer my question?

    @ Jay, in response to Mary – are you contesting the right of certain newspapers to talk about the changed demographics of London? Perhaps you feel that these facts should better remain in the shadows? Your indignation is all the more surprising if you feel that these demographics are such a good thing; you should be pleased that they have made the headlines, surely?

  93. On flying the Union flag over Belfast city council :

    @ Dreoilin and Duncan – well, you are right in that one can always read (even) more about any issue. On the assumption that you have, could you please elucidate? I was under the impression that under the new dispensation, the Union flag would only fly for 15 days a year. But Dreoilin claims that the Union flag only flies for 15 days AT PRESENT, whereas Duncan opines that, under the new dispensation, the Union flag would fly every other day and the Irish flag (why? Is Belfast part of the Ireland?) would fly on the other days. So who – if either – of you is right?

    @ Cryptonym – there’s no point sneering, presumably from your lofty perch as an “intellectual”, at the foolish plebs and peasants who do actually see the national flag as somewhat more significant than a pair of underpants. You know – or you should do – that flags, for better or for worse, have considerable symbolic power. That’s one of the reason why every new state adopts its own flag (cf the former Yugoslavian republics to take only one example). You may not like it, but that’s how it is. And I think my point of symbolic power is surely proved by the fact that it was the nationalists on Belfast city council, aided by the alliance party, which asked for and voted the new dispensation. If which flag is so unimportant, why did they bother?

    By the way : what do you good people think about the riots in London a couple of years ago? To be condemned as undemocratic?

  94. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 11:44 am

    @ Habbabkuk

    Can I trouble you for the question? Can you name me any other European capital that was at some point in history also the capital of truly global empire that included more people of non-white color than of white color?

    And French question by the way answers your question very directly. If census does not ask question of ethnicity how on earth would you know how many non white-French people live in France? Or would you just guess?

  95. Uzbek : I know that you’re not obliged to answer my question, but if you don’t want to I’d rather you just kept quiet rather than bringing forward what I might call “weasel” quibbles. No offence meant!

    But still, just for the sake of good order:

    1. Yes – Paris (French empire – territories in Africa, West Indies, South America, India (Pondicherry), Pacific…). But anyway, your quibble is irrelevant – we are talking about the demographics of today. In, say, 1946, when the British Empire really existed (and there were no Empire immigration controls) the percentage was miniscule.

    2. No, it is perfectly well known that the French authorities possess the relevant statistics, even though the question isn’t part of the national census. But anyway, don’t harp on about France – how about the other goodness knows how many other European capitals? Grateful if you – or abyone else – could name me just one (leaving France out, if you wish).

    Thank you for your interest, though.

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