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.

  96. A whitewash job just now by Cameron in the HoC.

    No state conspiracy BUT agents of the state were involved in the murder.

    Pat Finucane murder: ‘No overarching state conspiracy’ says PM

    A review of the murder into solicitor Pat Finucane concludes that were was “no overarching state conspiracy”, the Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

    But Mr Cameron said the report by lawyer Desmond de Silva confirmed that agents of the state were involved in the 1989 killing and that it should have been prevented.

    The review found RUC officers proposed Mr Finucane be killed.

    It said they passed information to his killers and failed to stop the attack.

    Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalists at his north Belfast home.


  97. “@ 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.”

    It wasn’t intended either to answer your question or as a cop out. It was intended to point out that you might have some difficulty finding the information when YOU google for it. I have no intention of looking for you.

    “and my comment didn’t concern religion, by the way”

    I’m well aware of that. I thought people might find it interesting vis a vis the French census, nonetheless.

  98. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 12:55 pm

    @ Habbabkuk

    Of course you would rather I keep quiet.

    Demographics of today is somewhat consequence of empirial past. Looking at most European capitals you would be quick to discover that when it comes to non-whites they come from former colonies. Thus Paris would mostly have non-whites of North African decent whereas in London these are South Asian, Central, West, East and South African decent as well as from Middle East (something British Empire inherited from Ottomans).

    Although France could not be either qualitatively not quantitatively compared to British Empire but this again confirms my thesis that demographics of today is consequence of empirial past. There were no other European empires that reached parity with either Britain or even France. Spain colonised Americas where they quickly reduced ethnic majority into minority. And in Lisbon you can see a trace of Portugal rape of Africa.

    And again you ask to name you another European capital but to leave out France because as you learnt in France it is illegal to ask ethnicity question in their census.

    And finally if London claims to be truly Global city then this comes with demographic “burden”. One could not claim to have Global city which does not demographically represent the Globe. And this demographic “burden” also comes with some benefits. Consider this, there are certainly more foreign born millionaires and billionaires who live in London then in any other European capital. Many more have properties in London and even more have some sort of investments in London based firms. This should at least make demographic “burden” pill easier to swallow to neocons like yourself or like Douglas Murray who was also concerned with demographics on BBC yesterday.

  99. “But Dreoilin claims that the Union flag only flies for 15 days AT PRESENT”

    I was quoting the BBC, the link to which I gave you above. I wouldn’t normally have had the faintest idea about that flag, if this controversy hadn’t arisen. If a tourist had stopped me in Dublin and asked me about that flag, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Nor would the vast majority in the Republic, I suspect.

    “(why? Is Belfast part of the Ireland?)”

    Of course it’s part of Ireland. Technically it’s a part of the UK, since the partition of Ireland in 1921.

  100. According to the Irish Independent:

    “Councillors agreed by 29 votes to 21 to bring City Hall into line with Stormont and other Government buildings and fly the flag on 17 designated days.

    “It is the first time the Union flag has been taken down from the Edwardian building in more than a century.”


  101. @Habbabuk – According to the BBC it was a change made by a vote of Belfast City Council from flying the Union flag every day to flying it only on some holidays, such as the Queen’s birthday, but really it doesn’t make much difference exactly what number of days the flag was to fly or not fly – it’s insane to have people making death threats against councillor, attacking police and throwing petrol bombs at police in their cars over how many days a flag flies.

  102. @Mary – I think for the purposes of this report an ‘overarching state conspiracy’ seems to have been defined as something like ‘an explicit order from an elected government minister’, and I reckon it’s probably quite likely that Thatcher’s ministers didn’t know, and didn’t want to know, about this sort of thing, and probably wouldn’t have been told, even if they asked.

    Presumably, when MI5 briefs everyone that Finucane was a terrorist (and don’t tell anyone that he’s going to be killed), when members of the RUC suggests to loyalist assassins that the assassination would make them very happy (and don’t work at all to stop it), and the man in the UDA picking out who to murder just also happens to be working for Army Intelligence, that’s just simply not overarching or conspiratorial enough. Everyone involved is just unilaterally working in a private non-governmental capacity for their own private non-governmental purposes. Got that? The government is only whatever a minister’s signature is attached to. Everything else wasn’t us, honest!

  103. I imagine all of this is relevant too

    “A public consultation costing up to £12,000 was launched last year, asking people who work in or use City Hall about the levels of unionist and military memorabilia in the Edwardian building.”

    If (and I say IF) the building is saturated in unionist and military memorabilia – a building which is for the use of all citizens, both nationalist and unionist – I’m not surprised that changes were proposed.

    And equally, the protests were predictable.

  104. From Mary’s link

    “And he cites five specific areas of collusion.

    First, “there were extensive “leaks” of security force information to the UDA and other loyalist paramilitary groups”

    Sir Desmond finds that “in 1985 the Security Service assessed that 85% of the UDA’s ‘intelligence’ originated from sources within the security forces…”

    Bastards. We all guessed as much at the time, but obviously we couldn’t prove it.

  105. Shame on King who was NI Secretary at the time. He went on to become Sec of State for Defence under Thatcher and Major and still lurks in the Lords in a murky capacity for Agent Cameron. Hope all involved in this revolting murder rot in hell.


    Perhaps he can ask his God for forgiveness for this next Sunday when he is in church.


  106. Habbabkuk

    I’ve been reading your comments on the Belfast City Council flag issue, and it’s very hard to work out what exactly your position is on the matter.

    Are you arguing that the Union flag should be flown every day and that if it isn’t the rioting is justified or at least understandable?

    Why shouldn’t that flag just be flown on those official days as it is everywhere else in the UK? Why every day? What’s that about?

    And what’s wrong with flying the Irish flag a few days a year out of respect for the substantial minority of citizens who think those colours are nicer?

    Don’t you understand that the settlement included provision for both identities to be respected equally?

    Republicans and nationalists have bought into the whole British thing to a remarkable extent, so why can’t shouldn’t these so-called Loyalists give an inch occasionally?

    Or perhaps there’s something else going on?

  107. This disgusts me. Everybody knows the Israelis have broken international law in their possession and proliferation of nuclear weapons. But that started ages ago. Don’t the Israeli Zionists make you sick taking away a man’s freedom?


    This is the same as the Yanks want for Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Perpetual imprisonment to cover up their disgusting war-crimes. We really have to take some kind of action. The wrong people are in power. Evil people.

  108. Has Douglas Hogg been mentioned in any of this state-sanctioned Finucane murder?

    “In 1989 Douglas Hogg, then junior home office minister, told the House of Commons some solicitors in Northern Ireland were “unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”. Michael Finucane has described these words as “a verbal hand grenade lobbed into the cauldron of Northern Ireland”.”


    And let’s not forget that the British state sanctioned murder and terrorism from early days, way back to 1970, so much so indeed that it’s now clear that rather than damping things down, the British state was ramping them up – false flags – the whole works. Of course we’re more familiar with this strategy today as we see it every conflict daily.

  109. More on Hague and Cameron’s decision to go to war with Iraq. Hague says he has been a member of Friends of Israel since he was sixteen.


    No more support for AVAAZ petitions from me.

  110. Cameron was working within the belly of the beast aka the Conservative Party, at the time. He was born in 1966 so he would have been 23 at the time of this murder.

    ‘Before going up to Oxford to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics he took a gap year, working initially for Sussex MP Tim Rathbone, before spending three months in Hong Kong, working for a shipping agent, and then returning by rail via the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

    After gaining a first class degree, Mr Cameron answered an advertisement for a job in the Conservative Research Department.

    He progressed quickly through the ranks and was soon briefing ministers for media appearances.

    TV job

    He worked with David Davis on the team briefing John Major for Prime Minister’s Questions, and also hooked up with George Osborne, who would go on to be shadow chancellor and his leadership campaign manager.

    He was poached by then Chancellor Norman Lamont as a political adviser, and was at Mr Lamont’s side throughout Black Wednesday, which saw the pound crash out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    By the early 1990s, Mr Cameron had decided he wanted to be an MP himself, but he also knew it was vital to gain experience outside of politics.

    So after a brief spell as an adviser to then home secretary Michael Howard, he took a job in public relations with ITV television company Carlton.’


    Reading on:
    ‘But Mr Cameron’s period at Carlton is not remembered so fondly by some of the journalists who had to deal with him.

    Jeff Randall, writing in The Daily Telegraph where he is a senior executive, said he would not trust Mr Cameron “with my daughter’s pocket money”.

    “To describe Cameron’s approach to corporate PR as unhelpful and evasive overstates by a widish margin the clarity and plain-speaking that he brought to the job of being Michael Green’s mouthpiece,” wrote the ex-BBC business editor.

    “In my experience, Cameron never gave a straight answer when dissemblance was a plausible alternative, which probably makes him perfectly suited for the role he now seeks: the next Tony Blair,” Mr Randall wrote.

    Sun business editor Ian King, recalling the same era, described Mr Cameron as a “poisonous, slippery individual”.’


    Quite so. Nothing has changed.

  111. I have unsubscribed.

    ‘I’ve supported AVAAZ petitions for a long time. My understanding is that AVAAZ has taken a partisan role in supporting activists (i.e. rebels) in Syria thus linking in with NeoCon/Zionist intent on destabilising the Middle East to steal oil. I cannot offer my support any longer. Perhaps AVAAZ started off with good intent, as so many things do, before it became corruted. Bye!

    John Goss’

  112. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    “Theresa May says UK plans more visa interviews for students” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20692893

  113. The other thing about the Belfast City council flag thing is that there’s a substantial proportion of East Belfast, from the inner city out to the suburbs, which is controlled by another council, Castlereagh Borough Council. This is a major Loyalist/Unionist council and the decision doesn’t affect them. They can make their won decisions about flag waving.


    So, if any of these rioters were from East Belfast, and we know they were since that’s where a lot of the worst violence took place then they’re out of order as they’ve got their own council to make these decisions.

  114. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Dec, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    Well Done Tory. Something to lean on next general election. Economy is failing. Social cuts are plunging more and more middle income into red. Housing market is out of reach for more and more yonger generation.

    Immigration, that what Tory will use in 2015.

  115. Interesting to see how BBC propaganda works:


    from: “Pat Finucane murder: ‘No overarching state conspiracy’ says PM”

    to: “Pat Finucane murder: ‘Shocking state collusion’, says PM”

    What a truly disgusting outfit it is!

    And of course they’re doing similar with every other story they touch. Are they just run directly by MI5 these days. There used to be at least a middle-man kinda thing, but these days it seems MI5 governs their every output.

  116. John

    From your link

    ‘“The US is said to have stockpiled weapons retrieved in Libya for future supply” to the insurgents.’

    This of course is what is/was going on in Benghazi. (Along with a ‘black site’, where prisoners were being detained, according to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s lover.) And this is why the “embassy” (a CIA operation) in Benghazi was stormed, leading to the death of Christopher Stevens + three other Americans. The fact that the Obama admin + Susan Rice were foosthering around (my mother’s phrase) talking about protests against an anti-Islam film simply shows how concerned they were that this information wouldn’t go public.
    Obama has claimed to have shut down all “black sites” but apparently he hasn’t. [Surprise!]

  117. ‘Shocking state collusion’

    We still don’t know the full truth about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974, which killed 33 civilians and injured almost 300.

    We had some hopes that our weakling Taoiseach Enda Kenny would collar Cameron about that during the Queen’s visit to Ireland, but no such luck. As far as I know, things remain as they were – the British Gov’t refuses to release their files.

    From the link above

    In Northern Ireland, Sammy Smyth, then press officer of both the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) Strike Committee, said:

    “I am very happy about the bombings in Dublin. There is a war with the Free State and now we are laughing at them.”

    Further down

    A subsequent report by Henry Barron into the Miami Showband massacre, the killing of Seamus Ludlow, and the bombing of Keys Tavern found evidence of extensive collusion with the same mainly UVF personnel, amounting to “international terrorism” on the part of British forces.[36]

  118. And let’s not forget the part played by the Sindo and its propagandists during the troubles. Although published in Dublin, they were much worse than anything broadcast in Britain.

    “Pat Finucane controversy

    The newspaper was sued by relatives of the murdered solicitor Pat Finucane over allegations that Finucane was a volunteer in the Provisional IRA. Finucane was a solicitor who came to prominence due to successfully challenging the British Government over several important human rights cases in the 1980s.[33] He was shot fourteen times as he sat eating a meal at his Belfast home with his three children and wife, who was wounded in the attack.[34] His killer was a member of the UDA and an informer called Ken Barrett.[35] The Stevens Report found that Pat Finucane was never a member of the Provisional IRA and that his death was the result of collusion between the UDA and members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The paper was sued by relatives of Finucane over comments made by their security correspondent Jim Cusack, and over an opinion piece written by the Unionist writer, Ruth Dudley Edwards who claimed that various “relatives, friends, associates and clients” of the Finucane had killed people. The paper was forced print an apology to the family of Finucane. The political magazine, the Phoenix estimated that the libel action cost the Sunday Independent €500,000 in damages and legal costs [36]”


  119. Regarding the flag issue,this is being used as a “flag of convenience” the underlying reason is the census result.When First Minister Peter Robinson emphasized about a week ago that the majority of catholics in N.I. supported the union I thought that something was in the wind.A few days ago we got the figures, 48% of N.I.`s population is now protestant or from protestant background.This was never supposed to happen,the designers of the gerrymandered N.I.state thought that there would be a permanent circa 70/30 split in favour of protestants.This in my view is the real story behind the violence.

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

    12 Dec, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Heh. The question remains unanswered, and suffices, in itself, as an answer.

  121. “This in my view is the real story behind the violence.”

    I’m sure that’s having an effect behind the scenes, Fred.

    (I must awa’ or there’ll be no Christmas in this house!)

  122. Fred E

    The only thing I would add is that middle class Catholics are getting very comfy in the new state. There’s no guarantee that they’d vote for UI. They may just be happy having their own wee entity.

    The bigger danger is the loyalist working class community feeling left out and the same applies in a different way to the Catholic working class community.

    As ever we come back to the fact that people’s economic circumstances are far more important than their identity, and that that sort of understanding has been absent from “left” politics for far too long. Indeed the “left’s” focus on identity politics has been to the detriment of those it claims to represent. That’s the ticking time bomb in all of this.

  123. It’s kinda funny though. You have to laugh.

    In many ways the Daily Mail has become the most radical mainstream outlet in Britain.

  124. John Goss 12 Dec, 2012 – 2:30 pm
    “I have unsubscribed.”

    How did you do that?

    I signed an avaaz petition early on but soon tried to distance myself from them. I can’t recall the details but I was only able to not receive further communications from them. There was no way to remove myself from their db – so I still remain amongst the huge number they claim as a supporter. Very annoying. In the end I gave up. Tossers.

  125. The above Phil is me (normally with the frog pic). I have just installed a new ubuntu (linex) and am experiencing some frustrating niggles – one of which is not being able to see what is written in the name & email boxes here.

    [Mod/Jon: fixed!]

  126. Further to my 8.50am post, the Telegraph have obviously hit a Tory sore point.


    I said it before but when Komodo (where is he?) and I were looking at MPs’ expenses when the scandal broke, we kept finding the name of John Lewis as a named donor in the MPs’ registers of interest. Not the department store but a private individual. Coincidentally that is the name of Ms Miller’s father who, along with her mother, is her dependent as stated.

    I note it is being said that Miller should recuse herself from the discussions following Leveson and subsequent decisions.

  127. doug scorgie

    12 Dec, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    From the Daily Telegraph online by Ruth Dudley Edwards:

    “The Prime Minister was right today to apologise unconditionally for the appalling involvement of some agents of the British state in the gruesome murder of Pat Finucane. But let’s bust the myth that Finucane was a human-rights lawyer. A human-rights lawyer is someone who disinterestedly protects people from abuse by the state or by terrorists. Pat Finucane didn’t do that. He was an IRA lawyer who worked for terrorists against the interests of justice.”
    What a cow!

  128. doug scorgie

    12 Dec, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    IRA members Danny McCann, Sean Savage and Mairéad Farrell, were shot dead in Gibraltar by the SAS in 1988; they were unarmed.

    The authorization for the operation would have to have come from the Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe or the Prime Minister Mrs. Thatcher – or both. These things don’t happen without Ministerial clearance.

    The same has to be true of Mr. Finucane’s murder.

    More recently is the death of Dr David Kelly which if murder, would have to have been authorised by Tony Blair and/or Jack Straw.

    Then the death in 2010, of Gareth Williams who was found dead in a zipped and locked holdall placed in an empty bath; a death no longer in the news.

    You don’t have to be a conspiracy nut to know that ‘The State’ takes people out.

  129. Dyed in the wool it seems Doug.

  130. Pat Finucane’s family dismiss report into his death as a ‘sham’ (video)


  131. doug scorgie

    12 Dec, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    David Cameron Zionist

    In his speech yesterday to the Conservative Friends of Israel the little turd said:

    “It’s only when you visit the Lebanese border as I have done, when you look through binoculars and see the Hezbollah flags just hundreds of yards away that you can really understand the fear that so many Israelis live with day-in, day-out.”

    Can he not understand that in the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians see Israeli flags every day on land that once belonged to them and that they live in fear of the daily Israeli attacks on their land, homes and lives?

    It appears that Palestinians don’t exist.


  132. Interesting that a hole in the ground shown earlier by Sky News as background to a story about “Assad using Scud missiles” has just been shown on Channel 4 as Alex Thomson talked about a car bomb at the Interior Ministry!

  133. I’ve just unsubbed from Avaaz, at their website. When I hit Submit on my message to them, I came to a page with said this:

    “If you are suggesting a new campaign, we have just developed a new petitioning tool that let’s any of our members create a petition, share their campaign, and win campaigns across the world.”

    which seems to confirm what I said at 11 Dec, 2012 – 5:47 pm, above. Members used not to be able to create petitions by themselves.

    This is the page I used to ask them to remove me from their database:


    (I had alread sent two blank emails to unsubscribe@avaaz.org but received no confirmation.)

  134. Avaaz does a lot of positive things. I’m not going to refuse to take part in all the things they do that i agree with just because they allow some petitions i disagree with (and don’t sign). They had a petition calling on all European governments to vote for allowing the Palestinian Authority non-member status at the UN, plus contact details for sending messages to the heads of the British, French and German governments. They have petitions against pesticides that are killing off bees and all kinds of other important things.

    I’m not convinced by the belief that every mainstream organisation is some plot by the establishment. It’s not true of Amnesty or Human Rights Watch and it’s not true of Avaaz either.

  135. Dreolin wrote “Interesting that a hole in the ground shown earlier by Sky News as background to a story about “Assad using Scud missiles” has just been shown on Channel 4 as Alex Thomson talked about a car bomb at the Interior Ministry!”

    I think you should point that out on the Sky News website so they have to correct it. Some Sky News reporters are pretty good (e.g Sam Kiley on Gaza as Craig said) but in general i’d trust Channel 4 a lot more than i’d trust Sky.

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

    12 Dec, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    I agree Duncan. There is way too much hand-sanitzer in circulation and some sources, besides RT News and Press TV, need to be given some space.

    With regard to CIA drug trade and recent newsworthy events, has anyone seen this…….?


  137. Doug Scorgie Imagine what a Palestinian reading that must feel.

    The ‘speech’ follows those of Brown and Blair before Cameron’s which were very similar in content. I see Prosor came over from the US to fill his face with his cronies. The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel is fairly new and is situated between Waterloo and Westminster Bridge. The Park Plaza CEO and some of the other directors are Jewish so I guess the CFoI get a special rate!

    The CEO is one Boris Ivesha.

    ‘Boris Ivesha President and Chief Executive Officer DOB: 08/10/1945
    Boris has been President of PPHE Hotel Group since 1991. In 1972 he was appointed General Manager of the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London, a position he held until 1979, when he became Managing Director of the Carlton Hotel in Israel.
    Boris established the Yamit Hotel in 1984, served as the hotel’s President and brought the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts brand to the Group in 1994 in collaboration with the Red Sea Group. He has been one of the major drivers behind the expansion of our portfolio, and he sits on the Investment and Operational Committees.’


  138. Dreoilin, Uzbek et al : again, quite a few obfuscations, petty quibbles, sleights of hand and, of course, the obligatory insult, in your posts. Too many to de

  139. Dreoilin, Uzbek et al : again, quite a few obfuscations, petty quibbles, sleights of hand and, of course, the obligatory insult, in your posts – instead of answering the questions, of course. Too many to deal with at this late hour, but let me respond to just a couple of the ones I can remember.

    1/. Belfast is indeed part of the geographical entity called Ireland. But I’m afraid that Belfast and the six counties as a whole are more than “technically (your word) a part of the UK” – they are legally and constitutionally part of the UK. Do you agree, Dreoilin?

    2/. “Neocons like yourself” – thank you for the insult, Uzbek. I wonder how you manage to identify me as a neocon from my simple question about demographics? If you really are an Uzbek and if you really live in London, I would suggest you abandon facile insults as a tool of argument and discussion, lest I should feel tempted to return the insult by saying something like “you can take the Uzbek out of Uzbekistan, but you can’t take Uzbekistan out of the Uzbek”.

    3/. And now to return to the more serious Dreoilin – you are so insistent that we cannot know the demographic situation of Paris that I’ve started to wonder if you are claiming that white French people are in an even greater minority in Paris than white British people are in London. Are you claiming – or at least hinting at – that, Dreoilin?

    No, let’s be serious : there is NO other European capital with the same demographics as London. You all know that as well, but for some strange reason none of you will say it. I wonder why that should be?

  140. technicolour

    12 Dec, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    London is great, dear Habakuk. Why worry?

    Loving the new icon, Dreolin, will search for one equally as beautiful.

  141. Northern Ireland is certainly part of the UK and based on a poll ast year that showed 73% of people there wanting to remain part of the UK, i suspect if there was a referendum a majority would still be for staying part of the UK.

    The people who issued death threats to councillors and attacked police over the Union flag not being flown every day of the year any more are still nutjobs though.

  142. Duncan

    It’s entirely up to yourself what you do about Avaaz. Obviously.

    As for Sky News, I’ve left a polite comment on their site, but I doubt if it will get through moderation.

    Meanwhile, a new alert from Medialens:

    Won’t Get Fooled Again? Hyping Syria’s WMD ‘Threat’

    “And now to return to the more serious Dreoilin – you are so insistent that we cannot know the demographic situation of Paris that …”

    I said nothing of the sort, Habbabkuk. I told you to go and find out for yourself.

    Hey Tech!
    That’s me in the avatar. *blush*
    I thought I’d come out of the closet. :)

  143. “[the six counties] are legally and constitutionally part of the UK. Do you agree, Dreoilin?”

    What a silly question. Do you expect me to say No, a thousand times No? and bring out an AK-47?

    I have not given up hope of a reunified Ireland. But not necessarily in my lifetime.

    Goodnight all

  144. Oh my, America is horrifed by Syria’s “indiscriminate” use of Scud-type missiles and the effect on civilians. You gotta laugh, you really do.
    A proscribed bunch of imported fundamentalists, funded and armed by us, yesterday butchered 125 alawite civilians, and now America throws its hands up in horror because the regime has launched some missiles. And that’s before we factor in 35 dead kids in Gaza, to add to the 300+ during Cast Lead. America has a very selective concern for civilians, it seems.

    Separately, I read that Russia has just delivered some Iskander surface-to-surface missiles to Syria, and there’s a sizeable Russian fleet now off Tartus. Given the 1930s-style state of global capitalism, maybe a “proper” war with someone who can actually fight back is the default solution.

  145. Reports of another massacre by ‘our’ rebels operating in Syria.
    Channel 4 News

    “The villagers [in Aqrab] say the rebels then came back from al-Houla and took over the place. Most people fled but around 260 were corralled into one section of the village and it is there that they were hit by missiles fired by rebels.”

    Also in many places videos, pulled by google/youtube/nsa of small children lining up and being forced to carry out beheadings of Alawite civilians.

    Nice company Cameron and Hague are keeping and funding. Who is governing Britain, evil swine that the Tories are their petty spite and greed and stupidity could not compass this?

    They’ll hang for it all the same though.

  146. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=475153869217357&id=100001094792472&refid=8&_ft_=qid.5821197471011518405%3Amf_story_key.102191466489928

    Nazi Watch

    Nofar Mizrahi who murdered unarmed Palestinian teen in Hebron Mohammad Salayme describes her excitement at the murder today: “It was an adrenalin rush, the policeman at the scene said ‘I owe you my life’…I saw the Palestinian pull out a gun like instrument (sic, no gun was present on the body) & thrust it onto a soldier. Quickly i loaded my weapon & was looking for the right angle & understood i only have few seconds, because the soldier could get hurt…I shot 3 bullets(Mohamma­d received 6 shots) I knew if i did something wrong the soldier could have been killed. As someone whose duty is to protect I must do it for my fellow & my country”

    Her commander Amos Yaakov praises her: “I praise her for acting swiftly & professionally in order to finish the event(sic). this is how our soldiers are suppose to act & this is what we train them for.”

  147. How the Israelis put it


    Border Patrol officer shoots, kills Hebron ‘gunman’

    Border police in Hebron on Wednesday killed a 17-yearold Palestinian who was seen to pull out a gun and threaten one of the officers at a checkpoint located near the Cave of the Patriarchs.

    Later, a police sapper determined that the gun was a toy pistol made of metal. Judea and Samaria Police have opened an investigation.

    I’m sure the “Judea and Samaria” Police will investigate impartially.

  148. @Phil 12 Dec, 2012 – 5:05 pm

    “I have just installed a new ubuntu …”

    Be careful with Ubuntu, all is not well


    “If you ever recommend or redistribute GNU/Linux, please remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend or redistribute. ”

    would like to close the other accounts except that one. miliband expects to be in offices before the 2014 Scot Referendum and date for a GE in 2013 is set

  149. @ Dreoilin (10.25 pm) – of course I wasn’t expecting you to say “no”. Just trying to correct the carelessness or sleight of hand suggested by your use of the word “technically” to describe the status of the six counties vis à vis the rest of the UK.

    @ Technicolour : welle, personally, I don’t like London, but that has nothing to do with the demographics :)

  150. So many assurances. Just like those given to those living on the circumference of the Gulf of Mexico?

    Should we tell Cameron to frack off?


    Permission for Cuadrilla to proceed at Blackpool is a given for today in the HoC according to John Humphreys on Radio 4 Today. They had some breezy professor on who dismissed all concerns. He sees UK shale gas reserves as a tenth of those extracted offshore around the UK!

  151. Anon Thank you for your two posts which I have circulated. Yet another example of how little a Palestinian life is worth to the cruel Occupier.

    A contributor to Medialens has written this to the BBC.

    BBC – ‘fake gun’ youth killed by IOF
    Posted by junglefish on December 13, 2012, 8:32 am


    Dear BBC

    There is no evidence that the teenager who was shot was carrying a fake gun. You only have the word of the Israeli police spokesman. Other eyewitnesses have denied the presence of any such item. Please see these two articles:



    Why have you not included the views of the victim’s family? Why have you accepted the Israeli viewpoint as fact?


  152. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 10:24 am

    @ Habbabkuk

    I did not realise that calling you Neocon would insult you as I also meant no offence to you. And observe that generally I never start “insults” until provoked. One who uses arguments only without getting personal would never hear any insult from me.

    Also, Neocon is not necessary bad, it is just different from the views of most of the readers of this blog. But hey, there are millions of Neocons around the world and most of them are Anglo-Saxons. It is not that I called you racist or fascist.

    And now back to the rhetoric. You said “No, let’s be serious : there is NO other European capital with the same demographics as London. You all know that as well, but for some strange reason none of you will say it. I wonder why that should be?”

    I said that there is no other European capital that enslaved and robbed so many other people around the world. Paris is number two but as France prohibits asking ethnicity questions in their census I thought we agreed to leave Paris out. But otherwise if you go to Paris you will feel little difference between it and London in terms of non-whites. And you still keep asking the same question.

    And also just to let you know that you Essex Girl remake does seem slightly insulting. Not at least because it feel slightly racist.

  153. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 10:34 am

    After an exchange on Twitter with Gulnara Karimova, Andrew Stroehlein, Communications Director at International Crisis Group, has written an open letter to the daughter of the Uzbek president.


  154. Phil, I’m not sure I have unsubscribed to AVAAZ, only that I’ve had an email confirming that I do not want to receive more petitions by email. I’m using ‘Causes’ more and more now. The only trouble is I don’t know who are the people behind these hosting services; any of them. They all seem to be asking for donations.

    Duncan McFarlane, if I see a petition from AVAAZ, and I agree with it, I will probably still sign it. But if what Mary writes is true, and it usually is, then AVAAZ is using donations, possibly made by say, animal rights’ supporters, to bolster up an illegal war in Syria, it is a misappropriation of money given in good faith.

  155. Uzbek : if no offence was meant, then none is taken. But I think you know that “neocon” is not usually used on this blog with favorable connotations.

    As a matter of interest, how and why did my original question “provoke” you?

    And thirdly : no racism involved in the question; if anything, I’m even more interested in the number of white non-British living in London than I am in non-whites.

  156. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 11:47 am

    Glad that we finally sorted ‘offence’ matter.

    If you read your post to me 12 Dec, 2012 – 12:29 pm you will get the idea on what usually provokes me.

    Well if it is no racism at all why do then distinguish at all between white Britons and white non-Britons? Are not we all humans on that matter?

    By the way you might also know that British Empire colonised white people as well as non-whites. Some are still under UK umbrella and Windsors toes.

  157. “Just trying to correct the carelessness or sleight of hand suggested by your use of the word “technically” to describe the status of the six counties vis à vis the rest of the UK.” — Habbabkuk

    If ‘carelessness or sleight of hand’ was sufficient to change the status of NI I have no doubt it would have been done by now. The six counties are part of Ireland and always will be. What government they have is open to change, and this is written into the Good Friday Agreement.
    Why don’t you respond to Herbie at 12 Dec, 2012 – 1:55 pm instead of quibbling with me?

  158. Cryptonym on 13 Dec, 12:52 am: thanks for your link to Richard Stallman’s article. Yes, Ubuntu has been moving in the wrong direction for a while, but note that the issue is very minor in comparison to proprietary software, where you can’t even determine how many malicious features have been embedded.

    I think that there’s a parallel with Avaaz; both issues exemplify a fundamental problem regarding popularity and scale. As any organisation or endeavour involves more people, so its scale moves away from that of individuals. The entity becomes more difficult for individuals to influence. It becomes more “corporate” (ie. formed into a body), even though it isn’t a typical corporation.

    At the same time, the growing power of the endeavour attracts the attention of other powerful entities, and they find ways of applying influence at critical points. It may also invite such influence, as Canonical / Ubuntu have done with Amazon, for the corporate advantages such alliances offer in the forms of money, publicity, power etc.. As an example, here is what I received from Avaaz this morning, with my emphasis added in bold:

    Hey Avaazers,

    As we grow into a movement of many millions, our courageous community keeps tackling issues big and small, and time after time, we’re winning! Now we’re stepping it up — adding more spice to our secret sauce with an awesome new community petitions tool that lets each of us launch campaigns and be the change!

    Here’s how the recipe works:

    1. Take an issue you’re passionate about and turn it into a campaign by starting a petition on our new community petitions site.
    2. Use our fabulous social media tools, make sure everyone knows, signs on and shares.
    3. When it goes viral, we’ll work together with experts to make the issue explode in the media.
    4. Then we’ll force key decision makers to confront the issue .. and push .. and push .. until we win!

    Obviously, “social media tools” in point 2 are susceptible to “Cass Sunstein”-type influence by advocates paid to influence the debate, and the “media experts” of point 3 establish alliance with the murky worlds of corporate spin, PR and advertising. The corporate media will also select and promote those socially organised endeavours which it finds least threatening and with which it holds most in common. It has to promote some, or it loses credibility with too many of its “consumers”.

    I’ve been thinking about this problem for years now. I don’t think there is a “magic bullet”, that some organisation could arise possessing such fundamental purity that it was not susceptible to these effects.

    Avaaz at present continues to be a decent campaigning tool for people who don’t have the time or the inclination for more committed political activism. It also serves as a useful instrument that indicates which issues are about to receive the attention of the corporate media.

    Ubuntu’s popularity attracts many software developers and testers, it’s wide user-base leads to faster bug fixes and support for the newest hardware. It serves as a good introduction and stepping-stone to the full freedom available through familiarity with its underlying GNU/Linux system.

    I’m going to continue to promote certain Avaaz petitions, and to recommend Ubuntu as an introduction to free software. Despite their faults, their popularity gives them significant advantages over smaller, similar endeavours. We shouldn’t permit our search for perfection to detract from our efforts towards improvement, as this would lead to political paralysis.

  159. Two years in prison for the man who damaged a Rothko painting at the Tate Modern. Yet war criminals like Bliar and now Cameron and Hague walk free.


  160. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Mr Lyon, (the toothless lion) is looking into Ms Miller’s expenses. That’ll be a little tap on her wrist then if he finds anything untoward.


  161. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 1:06 pm


    Stalin used to say “killing of one man is murder, killing of millions is just statistics”.

    Sometimes (most of the time) greater crimes go unpunished. 200 years ago people used to go to prison for not being able to pay 20 shillings debt whereas those who killed and robbed thousands in faraway places were given peerages and estates.

    Nothing is new under the sun.

  162. “Two years in prison for the man who damaged a Rothko painting at the Tate Modern. Yet war criminals like Bliar and now Cameron and Hague walk free.”

    Glenn Greenwald on much the same subject, but this time in relation to

    HSBC, Too Big to Jail
    The New Poster Child For US Two-tiered Justice System


    (The captcha seems obsessed with the number 9!)

  163. What about Avaaz’s covert and overt support for the rebels?

    News for AVAAZ SYRIA
    US formally backs Syria opposition. Endgame for Assad?
    Avaaz Daily Briefing ‎- 1 day ago
    US, EU recognises Syria opposition as rebels close in on Syrian capital Damascus, and as international ‘Friends of Syria’ meet in Morocco.

    Avaaz – EU: End the terror in Syria
    A petition calling on the EU to impose sanctions on Syrian leader and help end the terror.

    Avaaz – Syria: stand with the protesters
    Peaceful activists in Syria need our support to back their advocacy and organizing efforts.

    More than 28000 Syrians have ‘disappeared’ – Avaaz
    18 Oct 2012 – The Assad regime has disappeared thousands of Syrians. Here are a few of their stories.


    No terrrrr or crime at all from the rabble rebels. Libya Mk2 all over again. See how that’s going now.

    Avaaz – Protect Syria’s Children Now!


    28 May 2012 – This photo shows the bloodied bodies of dozens of innocent children, murdered by the Syrian regime. These images are almost unbearable, …

  164. “Peaceful activists in Syria need our support to back their advocacy and organizing efforts.” — Avaaz, via Mary

    Yeah right. The Syrians I follow on Twitter are disgusted and back Assad – not because they love him, but because they know what the opposition is made of.

    And meanwhile, the Landdestroyer blog is claiming that the Syrian “opposition” is ‘led by long-time servants of Western corporate-financiers’.

    US-Created “Syrian Opposition” Led by Big Oil Rep

  165. “This photo shows the bloodied bodies of dozens of innocent children, murdered by the Syrian regime.”

    A lot of fake video came out of Syria via “Danny Dayem” who was finally “outted” after a debacle on CNN, iirc. We don’t know for sure who is massacring who, but Alex Thomson seems to have his eyes open:

    “So yesterday reports of another mass killing. This time scores of civilians from the minority Alawite community in the village of Aqrab killed after rebels reportedly visited from the al-Houla area a few days ago. According to Aqrab villagers they kidnapped the son of the local Alawite religious leader.

    “The Aqrabi villagers say they mounted a counter-attack to try and free the hostage. There were armed clashes and injuries.

    “The villagers say the rebels then came back from al-Houla and took over the place. Most people fled but around 260 were corralled into one section of the village and it is there that they were hit by missiles fired by rebels.

    “Precisely how this came to be is as yet unclear and this report is only from people Channel 4 News has spoken to both in and near to Aqrab itself.”


  166. Mary at 13 Dec, 1:13 pm: “What about Avaaz’s covert and overt support for the rebels?”

    I don’t know. I signed the Avaaz petition for Palestine’s “Observer Status” at the UN, and some of their recent petitions regarding media ownership and Internet freedom. I don’t see how abstaining from those petitions could have influenced Avaaz’s stance on Syria.

    I also don’t know what is going on within Avaaz. Public opinion to “do something” about Syria remains high, as it did over Libya. I don’t know to what extent Avaaz’s stance on those issues is driven by the opinions of its members, versus political and corporate influence – also remembering that these influences interact.

    My best guess is: support and promote those petitions that you agree with while arguing against those you disagree with. And don’t give Avaaz any money because they may well abuse it.

    What we really need is widespread publicity of irrefutable evidence of proxy war being conducted in Syria, which would swing progressive opinion. Should Syria’s government follow the Western example by offering to “embed” journalists within Syria’s armed forces?

    Regarding Avaaz, maybe a “Vote Against this Petition” button sould be implemented; they got a lot of complaints from members over their Libya campaign. Suggestions?

  167. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 2:18 pm

    @ Dreoilin

    Current Syrian conflict (for Syrians) is sectarian conflict more than anything else. Similar to Iraq but in reverse order where Sunni Muslims are in minority whereas Shia Muslims as well as various Christian fractions are in minority and which are in more privileged position. This is also complicated by interests of external parties US-EU, Russia, Iran, Israel etc.

    To judge this one need to carefully look at Syrian history and particularly at its decolonisation period. Syrian opposition is not perfect (Lenin used to say that revolution benefits charlatans) but oppression of majority (which ever it is) is always temporary solution to the problem.

  168. The cowardice at the heart of our relationship with Israel
    The Tories’ shameful reluctance to criticise Tel Aviv is putting any hope of peace at risk

    Peter Oborne

  169. Queen and hubby pop down to their local bank branch, check the vaults and meet the new manager, Mr Carney who takes over when Mr King leaves.


  170. Mods/Jon – I’m cross-pasting this comment on several pages, for reasons the first line makes clear. Please delete from any page where you feel it’s too off-topic.

    There’s been a request to “tell the world” about this one.

    The Swedish FOI site Undermattan and another blog specialising in leaks of Swedish Government malfeasance – corruptio.blog.com/ – have both been abruptly closed down. Both are heavily pro-Assange and are venues where crucial information about the Swedish handling of the sex case against Assange has first emerged.

    Use Google translate on this page. It gives a list of the names and times of networks visiting the Undermattan site immediately prior to the closure. Very revealing:


    Here’s the explanation Undermattan received from its host to their enquiry as to why they’d been closed down. The answer was apparently that it was done at the behest of the Swedish Army Special Intelligence unit:



  171. Uzbek in the UK, 13 Dec 10.34

    Are you aware of this story, reported yesterday in the Swedish press?

    “Teliasonera negotiated directly with the Karimov-regime”:


  172. Dreolin – thansk for posting that. Had missed it. Channel 4 news reporters all seem to be pretty good and objective

  173. Clark – yep, agree with all of that on Avaaz

  174. Habbabkuk

    “1/. Belfast is indeed part of the geographical entity called Ireland. But I’m afraid that Belfast and the six counties as a whole are more than “technically (your word) a part of the UK” – they are legally and constitutionally part of the UK. Do you agree, Dreoilin?”

    It’s a stupid question of little substance.

    Dreoilin is correct that the six counties are part of Ireland and she was correct to point out its technical relationship to the UK.

    Anyone who thinks or even attempts to suggest that NI is part of the UK in the way that Hampshire or Yorkshire or even Finchley are part of the UK is wrong. I’d suggest that your use of the words, “they are legally and constitutionally part of the UK” is an attempt to gloss over the very unique status that NI occupies within the UK.

    The very fact that those born in NI are entitled to Irish citizenship ought to alert you to that unique and indeed technical status.

    It’s quite simply the case that the UK has no interest in holding NI to the UK and will exit once its people decide that that is what they want. That’s not the case with any other part of the UK, including Scotland. They’re prepared to fight to hold Scotland. They’re easy about letting NI go.

    The UK at the moment is merely fulfilling its international obligations to maintain security whilst the people within sort out their issues, and everyone knows this.

  175. Arbed, do you know how those sites were “closed down”? I’m too busy at present to look it up. It isn’t easy to shut down a website without the cooperation of the web host. Was it done by legal pressure? If the domains were taken out of the Domain Name System (DNS), the sites will still be accessible if we can find their IP addresses.

  176. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    @ Arbed

    Well, nothing new is here either. Every investment over 1 million USD need to be negotiated directly with Karimovs or their inner circle and their blessing obtained (bought) otherwise the investment will have burning effect. The same is true in most of former Soviet republics but Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are particularly bad in terms of security guarantee for foreign investments.

    Teliasonera is by far not the only company that paid cut to Karimovs. My opinion is that Teliasonera’s case was made public by Russians who lost their over billion USD assets in MTS-Uzbekistan. If one looks closely at any large foreign investment in Uzbekistan (luckily there are just few of such) one would quickly come across at least 30% cut in order to secure investment for few years. MTS itself paid cut to Karimovs back in 2005, however, Gulnara decided that time has come to milk them for more (luckily for her Uzbekistan started rapprochement with US and did not need Putin’s protection as since 2005).

    If you are interested below are two more info links to this case.



  177. Arbed at 3.13. That’s disturbing. So much for freedom of information. Can Anonymous not get back at them?

    By the way did you get my email sent a few days back? No need to respond to it, just answer on here with a Yes or No. Check your junk. Thanks.

  178. @Clark 13 Dec, 2012 – 12:39 pm re Ubuntu

    Yeah it is very minor, easily enough disabled once aware of it and whatever domains it reports to can also be blocked (via host file entry or local dns fix etc, if ip addresses aren’t used directly with no lookup). I came across it on that site linked but not on Stallman’s own site (political notes and such, which are pretty sound), maybe didn’t look hard enough and info on it is there somewhere too. It isn’t to me, fully a reason to unrecommend Ubuntu, as compared to any microsoft o/s it is still a million times more secure, trustworthy and stable and free. Seems an odd and nasty thing to do, reporting text strings searched for in files on local storage, a step in the wrong direction, a privacy intrusion, to be sure but the sort of thing microsoft has long been up to.

  179. Uzbek in the UK

    13 Dec, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    I urge every twitter user to challenge Gulnara Karimova via her twitter


    Be warned that you might be challenged by her supporters (mostly paid state security staff and waterboys) but if someone wants to challenge her on any of the vital issues twitter seems to be the only chance.

  180. Herbie: “The UK at the moment is merely fulfilling its international obligations to maintain security whilst the people within sort out their issues, and everyone knows this.”
    Some imagine that, those who are ought to denigrate and dismiss the family, professional and political connections and positions which as many Northern Irish have within the UK after hundreds of years of membership, as the Scottish and Welsh have.

  181. I have also supported some of the petitions on Aavaz, some very vaguely written.
    I think a campaign for a no button with every petition should find enough support, should we start a petition, as ‘the concerned’?

    Thanks for that disturbing news from Sweden, I suppose many will now wake up as to what is going on in the Swedish justice system.

    Did somebody manage to take screen shots of some of the most important info? I can bet that some would have collected the info.

    If you as a private person would go against the Swedish Army intelligence unit, how intelligent are they really, when the site has been a thorn in their eyes for so long? and start a website with the information in another jurisdiction, would/could they be extradited to Sweden via an EAW?

  182. John Goss, 4.10pm

    Ahh! Thanks for the alert. I’ve just found your email in my Junk folder, just as you predicted :) I’ve sent you back a few links by email and also posted same on Craig’s “Why I’m Convinced Anna Ardin is a Liar” thread, if others are intrigued about this particular line of research of yours. (I’m hoping that thread can stay ‘live’ as I think it’s becoming a useful resource where people can access some of the serious research done by bloggers on the Assange/Wikileaks case, and I know Flashback checks in there from time to time.)

    Hope that helps.

    Re meeting up at the Swedish Embassy on the 20th, hope you can make it. Have you seen the details of what’s planned? It sounds like it’s going to be fun.


  183. Clark, 3.54pm

    No, I don’t know any of the details, I’m afraid. Like you, I’m a bit hampered from finding out more – I don’t speak Swedish so that adds extra time to doing any digging on my own (plus, of course, I’m rather clueless as regards tech-geekery, as you know… ;)

    If you’re on Twitter you could try just tweeting this guy and asking him to send you more in-depth details, or put you in touch with one of the other Flashbackers who are likely to know them (most speak excellent English):

    https://twitter.com/ulvdis (Espressino)

  184. Cryptonym, I think the privacy problem with Ubuntu is caused by the new Unity desktop, specifically the “Dash”. It’s intended as a universal search tool; you just type in a key-word, and it displays likely matches with files, software, etc. The trouble is, it displays suggestions from the online “Ubuntu Software Centre” too, so of course it has to submit the search string…

    But Canonical have gone further, and started selling that info to Amazon. That was bound to piss off Richard Stallman. He disliked Ubuntu, but he hates Amazon:


  185. Thatcrab: “family, professional and political connections and positions”

    Those shouldn’t, in most cases won’t be affected in any way by each of the home nations, which is how I like to think of England, Scotland, any part of Ireland, Wales, giving Westminster government the boot, England included as while it’s especially their parliament, it harms that people as well, whilst for a tiny subset, the party never ends. It is a system of government which has become so deep rooted, so presumptive, ossified and malign that it is a complete monster. Look at bailouts of criminal and inept banks and bankers, crackpot pick and mix free-market dogma, Iraq, the present madness in Syria -we didn’t sanction any of that, it isn’t in our name. A system of government such as that, mutates horribly, crave more pwer, becomes so bad that it deserves to be banished to the history books periodically. This mother of all parliaments guff is just that, late 19th century romanticising, the UK is no model democracy, not even any kind of democracy, we can do better, have a duty to do better, the practice of government can’t stand still, must continually evolve, be pushed to better things or quickly reverts to tyranny, as it has. A case of sour grapes, straitjacketed thinking or simply fear of change, a very odd comment to to make; you won’t make Westminster function better, serve the people as per its purported purpose, stop its fascist descent, it’s a write-off. We should be forming parallel systems of government, new institutions, so one day soon, we can simply turn Westminster’s lights off and usher the members towards the dank prison cells we’ve vacated for their new lodgings.

  186. Kwaku Yeboah

    13 Dec, 2012 - 5:41 pm

    Craig, what do you think about Nana Akuffo Addo and the NPP refusing to concede claiming widespread rigging when none of the independent observers witnessed any of the alleged rigging?.

  187. Cryptonym – I very much agree. But denigrating Northern Irelands British status for the sake of Irish unity rather than Human unity, serves the kind idea which conflict is made from, nation building, rebuilding, denying etc. It disturbs and threatens peace in NI, hopefuly Scottish and Welsh in their fine attempts to divorce themselves from Westminster will connect to humanity and not a new old combative idea of each other.

  188. What horrible and disgusting acts have been carried out in the name of this ‘country’ of which I was once a little proud.

    Blair and Straw, with the CIA, produced Mr al-Saadi and his wife and family for rendition via Hong Kong and Bangkok, to Gaddafi for torture.


    Some years later, Cameron and Hague, with the US act in concert to destroy Gaddafi and his country.

    Straw was a co-defendant in the case which was settled for £2.2m so that the revolting details of our country’s activities are kept secret. There are many more similar cases to come re Guantanamo and the like apparently. Straw is not free to speak after they are concluded apparently.

    How many more years to wait? The BBC correspondent James Robbins described the case as ‘murky’ just now. How much more ‘murk’ to come?

    Straw, Bliar and the rest of them should all have been strung up.

  189. Straw is not free to speak UNTIL after they are concluded apparently.

  190. Thatcrab

    The status of NI is as it is. It’s not in the same position as Scotland and Wales, and hasn’t been since partition. Ireland as a whole, had a different position within the UK.

    It’s clear though that a lot of work needs to take place that people can be happy enough to live together in NI as it is even within the UK, before anyone starts to push for UI.

    Im sure whatever arrangements take place for a future confederation of Ireland will be driven more by northern business interests than anything, and when its in their interests they’ll provide the propaganda and the people will follow.

    I think too, it’s worth saying that the business, family and professional relationships that exist between ROI and Britain are much stronger and deeper than those between NI and Britain.

  191. A ‘debate’ took place in the HoL today, moved by the Bishop of Exeter, entitled Israel:Arab Citizens.

    There followed Lord Palmer, aka Monroe Palmer, strident head of Liberal Friends of Israel. Lord Bew likened Israel to Ireland. He belongs to the Anglo Israel Association.

    Even David Steel declared that he is a ‘Friend of Israel’.

    I could not read on as it was making me feel sick but in case you want to have a dekko


  192. Via the BDS newsletter:

    52 leading international figures call for a Military Embargo on Israel

    University of Oslo to end G4S contract over support for Israeli apartheid

    Israeli arms companies forced to pull out of major aerospace convention in France

    Major boycott of Israel victory as PSI congress adopts boycott resolution

  193. It’s all very bizarre, this Friends of Israel stuff. It seems more like fealty than friendship, to me. I mean, what’s with this always having to declare your friendship every five minutes. They’re dealing with a very insecure and paranoid partner here.

    Real friends rarely need to declare their friendship. They just know and feel, and more often denigrate eachother so secure are they in it.

    Anyway, maybe we should just create a Craig Murray Blog Bestest Friends of Israel Society, for an easier life at least and for the funding and trips and business deals…

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