Pandering to Racism

by craig on June 26, 2013 1:52 pm in Uncategorized

Here in Ghana people are stunned by the announcement that a bond of £3,000 will have to be submitted by visa applicants to the UK, redeemable on return.

It is unpleasant for a nation to be singled out as comprised of particularly untrustworthy individuals against whom special measures are needed.  Theresa May appears quite deliberately to be singling out countries whose citizens are normally black or brown – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Nigeria.  They are all citizens with extremely close ties to the UK.  For example, all of those countries supplied large numbers of men to British armed forces in two World Wars; with little resulting gratitude.

The true level of Britain’s regard for the Commonwealth is disclosed in all its arrogance; citizenship of the Commonwealth countries with the longest link to the UK will become a positive disadvantage in visa application.  Israeli settlers living in Occupied Palestine on the West Bank, incidentally, will still be allowed to enter the UK without any visa at all, despite membership of neither Commonwealth nor EU.  Paradoxical, isn’t it?

The measure shows the arrogant British disdain for these countries – of which India pre-eminently but also Ghana are fast growing and important trading partners.  Undoubtedly Ghana will retaliate with measures which hurt British businesses; many of my good friends are senior Ghanaian politicians, and they are all furious.  The rhetoric the British employ about transformation from colonial status to a modern partnership of equals is exposed for the tissue of lies it has always been.  This is a straightforward racist measure, aimed at securing the racist vote to the Tories.

Not does it make any sense.  If you are intending to enter the UK under false pretences, and have the intent illegally to settle and start a new life there, then £3,000 is scarcely a deterrent given the substantial economic gains you intend to make over the long period you intend to stay.  It will rather seem a good investment; people will find the money.  The people it will deter are those who never intended to overstay.  The extra cash upfront,  to the businessman for a business trip, for the student coming to study, for the tourist will drive them to go elsewhere, to the UK’s net loss.

More cruelly it will deter decent middle class people from coming to see grandchildren in the holidays, from going to the niece’s wedding,  from going to graduation.  Those things will become the prerogative of the wealthy, those with plenty of cash to spare.

This does nothing to deter illegal immigration.  It merely demonstrates populist racism, demonstrates contempt for some of the UK’s best-disposed friends, and demonstrates that the government thinks the right to travel is only for the rich.  It is contemptible.

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  1. “Once the cry was, “No taxation without representation”. Today the cry must be, “No debt without consultation.””

  2. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    28 Jun, 2013 - 10:04 pm

    Czesc, The CE!

    May I ask you a technical question? How do you manage to get bold characters and italics into your text?
    I know there’s stuff under the Submit Comment button, but when I click on it nothing happens.

    (I ask with the aim of making the “visuality” , as Ben Franklin would probably put it, of my comments as striking and compelling as the thoughts and ideas that underpin them)

  3. “I think that might be something of a minority viewpoint, Fred, and not only in the UK. I shall consider it to have been an essay (and a rather successful one!) at humour. ”

    You may say I’m a dreamer.

    But I’m not the only one.

  4. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    28 Jun, 2013 - 10:13 pm

    @ Villager, The CE, etc…

    I think I might have come across a rabbi (he’s a Jew as well) with whom Mary might get on like a house on fire.

    He’s called Rabbi Dov Weiss and heads up a sect in New York which believes that Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel are abominations and fundamentally against everything Judaism stands for. He’s also quite tall and so if the two of them got together, neither could be accused of talking down to the other.

    You can see a lot of him on Youtube – well worth watching for a not so often heard take.

  5. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    28 Jun, 2013 - 10:15 pm

    Fred : I’m sure you’re not the only one, and it’s a noble dream.

  6. Extraordinary !!

    “It is ‘discriminatory’ to the extent that it will be required not of all nationals of all states whose citizens need a visa in order to enter the UK but only to all nationals of certain of those states.”


    “you cannot question it by claiming that it violates human rights.”

    So you finally agree it’s discriminatory, but at the same time claim that discrimination does not violate human rights !!

    Not too hot on Human Rights are you !

    Would you think it inherently undignified & unjust to be branded as a “high risk” person purely because you have a British passport, and be required to have to provide a bond of 10,000 dollars if you wanted or needed to go to Canada, but not so for the people of France, Spain Eire, didn’t ?

    Re the principle behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the clue is in both its title, and in the preamble;

    “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”

  7. Czesc Habba!

    Just wrap the text with for Bold and for italics.


  8. Jives@ 4:25 pm

    Glastonbury how it was.

  9. “Someone call the Medic.”

    They did threaten to sink his ship last time he said he would go, I guess you must have missed that ! After all what’s yet another Turkish murder to the IDF ?

    Anyhow since you are here, perhaps you can help out somebody who shares the same view that I believe you yourself have articulated here before, namely that there is a predominately ‘anti-West narrative’ here on this Board.

    Somedays ago now KOWN posted the following;

    ““No, I genuinely don’t believe in the existence of the ‘anti-West narrative’ that you frequently inveigh against. I do think most posters on this thread are united by disgust and anger for much of what the West does, but that is not the same thing. As for the examples you cite – mistreatment of women in India, for example – I think the reason people don’t post on such issues is simply that these things are universally condemned and hardly worth the effort of pointing out on a forum where it can be tacitly assumed most people are on the same page. What gets people’s goat here, I submit without a trace of faux-naivety, is those instances where there is a chasm between the cruel things the west does and the way they are laundered and perfumed by such organs as the BBC.”

    However the person it was addressed to, keeps avoiding responding to it, despite often citing it as a main reason why he posts as he does here. Can you help him out ?

  10. Welcome home Craig!

    So sorry Ben but the CIA/NSA/TERRRRORISTS have an ‘FBI’ hand all the way up Lonnie Snowdon’s backside to operate the mouth.

    The love Lonnie holds for his son is about to be proven.

  11. TC, true but so was Kibo Noh? And now briefly ‘David’ who disappeared after one post? I’m only trying to establish if the earlier understanding of no sock-puppets has changed. Lets have clarity on the ground rules — so everyone can understand.

    You knew all along that Kibo was Sofia?

    When i broached the subject, why didn’t she own-up instead of continuing her deceit under both names?

    When she tripped why was she not apologetic, instead of being blasé ?

    Why did she continue to post the ‘Hasbara Troll Handbook’ libellously towards Habby? Why did she repost those extracts even after Jon had to delete them THREE times? Why wasn’t she a little contrite herself? Had she declared upfront that she was posting under two names egging Mary into the bunfight, despite your advice to Mary to stop calling Habby a troll?

    Why did you suddenly change your mind and turn anti-gabby as i perceive and continue to maintain that? In your usual objectivity have you weighed up the abuse that was showered on Habby including myself when he was seen to be picking up on Mary? And his consistently dignified response, often with a humorous edge? And over time he did change is tone at the worst calling the relentless random poster an Old Biddy.

    Are you concerned about the objectivity in the moderation of the blog and generally? Are you concerned about the tribalism that has precipitated here? Do you realise you fan that with easily fanned egos like Macky who are craving for appreciation and STILL to this moment calling the gentleman, whatever his views, Clown and Troll? (minus Habby rising to the bait.) He’s smarter than most and his shown flexibility of mind, by moving with the flow. Note he consistently ignored Sophie whose ‘jokes’ were so not funny but just childish ramblings in the end pure distraction from the issues at hand. But she still goes on with her favourite criticism of establishment narratives as if she just discovered e=mc square.

    Look forward to understanding what you’re really thinking and seeing if we can understand each other.

    With respect!

    PS And now Mary goes “Infiltration into Glastonbury. How many of those attending will have a clue about the Occupation, al Naqba and the ongoing oppression?” So Glastonbury-goers are going to have to sit the obsessive poster’s exam of politico-moral standards before enjoying their music. Quite what is going on here? Bizarre!

    Do i care what happens to this blog tomorrow? I give a damn — i’m not into attachment or sentimental and i don’t mind what happens. However i observe and live in awareness and call it as it is. I’m not overdoing anything but i do observe how others call it or are they playing their little insecure herd games. It s the same conflict all over the world.

    Finally, one thing that has been underdone is the moderation. Jon was missing for several weeks, all explained in the guise of ‘a light touch’. But even now our Resident News Junkie goes on and on and on throwing trivia in while Jon’s instruction are choose a subject and invite debate. Mary, debate? No why does she need to when she is allegedly the ‘heart and soul’ of the blog.

  12. “Fred : I’m sure you’re not the only one, and it’s a noble dream.”

    No, I’m not the only one.

    “In 1999, on National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom, the BBC announced that listeners had voted “Imagine” Britain’s favourite song lyric.”

    Now what is it you were saying about minority viewpoints?

  13. Courtenay Barnett

    28 Jun, 2013 - 10:39 pm


    ” Theresa May appears quite deliberately to be singling out countries whose citizens are normally black or brown…”

    A direct link between colonialism/imperialism and an embrace of the prevailing racist “order”.

  14. “The temptation of Washington’s money easily overwhelms weak characters such as Tony Blair and David Cameron.”

  15. NSA cipher dependent algorithms esp. Koken derivatives of Fibonacci may well lurk furtively in Edward Snowdon’s laptop.

    The Chinese will love the challenge…

  16. Dave Lawton. 9 26pm


    Alicia Keys: “I have come here to see what I’m buying with my tax money”

    What a brilliantly eloquent short clip.

    Now that is what I call weapons of mass destruction, not the Boston pressure-cooker device that could’nt even break the nearest windows on the Starbucks and Forum cafes.

    I hope I live to see those who instigated Cast Lead answer before the ICC.

    @Phil 8 24pm

    “No more windows!”

    Great list.

    I’d want to add Spideroak encrypted cloud data storage (probably not there because it isn’t quite 100% open source).
    It seems to be the best on offer and is easy to use with any OS and files can be shared easily.

    Ubuntu certainly my favourite OS to use but i’ve found Debian Linux good on an old laptop that can’t handle the size and complexity of Ubuntu. It’s quite minimalist, but it does everything it’s asked to and it doesn’t generate so much heat so the battery lasts longer.

  17. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    28 Jun, 2013 – 5:46 pm

    “I wonder if the poster concerned believes everything put out by Russia Today.”

    Habbabkuk; Perhaps it was all staged with actors and tomato sauce.

    Or even; maybe it was Assad supporters killing freedom fighting rebels.

    Do you support arming the rebels in Syria HB?

  18. So let’s open our doors to everyone with no checks or balances and allow them to stay and use are NHS schools and other public services. Like it or not Ghana is one of the main countries for migrants not to return. Anyone who has flown to Ghana will tell you that flights from Ghana to the UK are crowded full to capacity. Flights from the UK to Ghana are empty we either have a credible immigration policy or we abandon it and let everyone in. London is full to bursting with some Boroughs having twice the population they are budgeted for. The NHS is snowed under and the police can’t cope. You can romanticize as much as you want about culture and diversity but when we are full we are full. Accra has a huge population and they would all love to come to the UK so is Delhi and other cities. The problem is they can’t all possibly fit on this small island unless we build shanty towns in the parks and pave over all the Green belt. Overstating is a crime and millions commit it every year. If people generally want to come I do feel incredibly sorry as 3000 is a lot of money but what alternates are being suggested here???

  19. Flaming June
    28 Jun, 2013 – 9:11 pm

    “A welcome but rather unusual move from Erdogan in the light of his domestic problems.”

    Yes, a rather unusual move but don’t be taken in by this report.

    Nothing will take place without the permission of the Israeli government.

    It is just a political circus event.

  20. @Villager. 10 37pm

    “Why did she repost those extracts even after Jon had to delete them THREE times?”

    Let’s be accurate. My first rambling “Hasbara Handbook” post was indeed zapped.

    I think it’s relevant to the dynamic of this blog. You can revise how it works on the “Work for the UN” thread where everything I subsequently posted remains for your delight.

    @Kibo. 26 June:

    8 30am

    8 53 am

    11 29am.

    Also more on this subject from Aidworker1. June 28th 8 47pm

    It describes the dark arts of “Digressing, Hypocratising and Antipathising.”

    And another from me on “Groooming”at 2 19am today.

    Good to see you follow my contributions so avidly, if inaccurately.
    I find mind-mapping a subject helps.

    I would still love to study a copy of advice to professionals.

    Re poor David, wtf are you on about?

  21. Snowden is a “rogue”, so says the NYP;

    Not that I would encourage graffiti, but wouldn’t the name “Edward” written at the top of this be quite cool !

  22. Is somebody (the CIA? Trowbridge himself?) impersonating Trowbridge?

    [Mod: those items have now gone]

  23. Steve I am with you on “..when we are full we are full” -sadly the answer is we are never full; that is I suspect in accordance with the ‘out of view’ immigration policy or ISP (immigration strategic plan). £3000 is not too steep for middle class newcomers from Africa. It fills the ‘black’ fund.

    Our government’s masters love the gold frankincense and mur, the inter-banking and exchange revenue. Strategic loyalty is also important to Westminster. The City of London is protected by obedience, useful even valuable come the revolution.

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 12:25 am

    @ Macky

    “Would you think it inherently undignified & unjust to be branded as a “high risk” person purely because you have a British passport, and be required to have to provide a bond of 10,000 dollars if you wanted or needed to go to Canada, but not so for the people of France, Spain Eire, didn’t ?”

    I might think it was unjust and undignified but I wouldn’t claim that my humans rights were being violated.


    You would need a visa to visit Russia. A Cuban would not. Would you feel that this was discrimination that violated your human rights?

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    28 Jun, 2013 – 9:58 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie :

    “a child is a child.”

    “Exactly the point I was trying to make, Doug.”

    Not so HB the point you were trying to make was that certain posters here shout foul when a Muslim child is “accidently” killed by the US and remain silent when British kids are sexually abused by Muslims.

    You said to Jon:

    “You misunderstand the thrust of my post on the “Oxford 5″, which was not to hint that some other posters were in favour of child abuse/rape but to draw attention to what might seem to be a certain one-sidedness in their concern about children – loud when it’s Muslim Afghan children accidently killed by an American drone but silence when it’s British kids deliberately misused and tortured by Muslims.”

    Read again what I write below and answer ALL the points I raise.

    Are you obsessed with Muslims HB?

    You write above: “…Muslim Afghan children…”

    99% of Afghans are Muslim so why do you need to emphasise “Muslim” when you could have merely said Afghan children?

    “…accidently killed by an American drone…”?

    Could you describe a Jewish child (for example) being accidently killed by a Syrian drone?

    I think your mask is slipping HB.

    The majority of posters here I venture are wholeheartedly abhorred by child murder, torture and sex-abuse, whatever the religion, colour or creed of the abuser; a child is a child.

    A Muslim child abuser is as bad as a Christian or Jewish or Atheist child abuser.

    You seem incapable of seeing that this is the majority consensus among posters on this blog.

    Are you capable of answering the points above?

  26. The psychopathic war criminal lusts for more war, sounding off from Ramallah presumably. Perhaps he should see that video of more rebel butchery and beheading before feeding any more weapons into the mayhem.

    Ex-UK PM Blair threatens Syria, Iran amid calls for military action

    Kerry is back out there stitching up his billion dollar ‘investment’ plan. – another propaganda piece from Ms Knell.

  27. I just saw an excellent comment on this article.

    June 28, 2013 – 2:29 pm

    I agree with Ian Livingston. Israel IS the most amazing state in the world. A “state” with no Constitution, no borders except as loosely defined by some psychopath racist religious freaks and an ancient fairy tale, no universal legal system, no universal rights, no justice and ZERO ethics or morality.

    A “state” created by purely religious and political powers that had NOTHING to do with the natural migration of people. A ‘state” created at the barrel of a gun by Western countries bribed, swindled, manipulated and blackmailed by Jews within those countries. A “state” founded purely on the basis of unbridled racism by “G_d’s Chosen People”.

    I mean, this is a “state” that makes the Mafia look like Mother Theresa. Ruled by “people” who revel in every organized crime racket you can think of and are proud of it. Pure criminality, pure evil and pure injustice, incarnate.

    I’d say that qualifies for the description of “amazing.”

  28. There is no mask Doug – it leaked.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 12:42 am

    “but America’s apparent inability to force its will on the issue.”

    That is most frustrating for an Imperialist, Mark. Although I harbor little sympathy for any criminal organization, it must be a marvel of narcissism to realists like the Russians.

    Dad Snowden? You can see the puppet strings? Surely he’s being emotionally manipulated, but I think I cannot judge a father who faces the spectre of never seeing his son again.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 12:44 am

    It’s most certainly not a Guy Fawkes mask.

  31. Hi Ben, yes “..a father who faces the spectre of never seeing his son again.” exactly the emotional tool the players will use to terrorize Edward/Lonnie. Hence my crudity…

  32. Thanks for sharing some racist anti-Semitic statements Flaming June.

    The mind truly boggle at what you define as excellent.

  33. “I might think it was unjust and undignified but I wouldn’t claim that my humans rights were being violated.”

    Like I said before, you’re not too hot on human rights; I guess you still don’t understand why the Sus laws were scrapped, or why we have the 2010 Labour’s Equality Act, which actually makes it illegal to do to UK nationals that what this money bond proposal will do to foreign visitors, namely enable wholesale discrimination.

    “You would need a visa to visit Russia. A Cuban would not. Would you feel that this was discrimination that violated your human rights?”

    I repeat, normal established visa controls are one thing, but this new concept of being automatically classed as a lawbreaking ““high risk” & financially impeded so as to dissuade & make it very difficult to visit Britain, not because of anything relating individually to yourself, but simply because of what nationality you are, is contrary to the notion of universal human rights & equality. Can you really not see this ? !

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 1:19 am

    No hook for your bait, this time.

  35. Still, progress, or should I say enlightenment is being made; he has now admitted that the proposal is “discriminatory”, “unjust and undignified”, yet he still seeks to defend it !! How peculiar is that ?!

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 1:34 am

    Jaysus Mark. It’s difficult to understand the level of that kind of evil. As cynical as I get, the lack of familiarity with naivete makes it difficult for me to recognize it. You are right. I think they are filling him with all kinds of scenarios, including charges against him. For what, you say? ‘Aiding and abetting’, unless you agree to become a confidential informant, that is.

    This is a pattern with these people.

  37. Macky,

    FFS! Go a tad easier on Habbabkuk and Villager will ya? Youre whipping those guys too easily and so much its almost pitiful to witness.

    It must be like shooting fish in a barrel for you.

    Why do they stay for the swatting you deliver them??

  38. Its hilarious really.

    Most Good Faith posters here come singularly yet it takes 5 or 6 of them to try but still fail epically in their well-funded mission.

    Cant stop laughing at their uselessness.


  39. One can always tell when theyve taken a resounding beating.

    They pull a couple off the lesser-spotted subs off the bunch..

    Now,who was it who posted a link to Collective Narcissism the other day?


  40. Mark
    ‘The City of London is protected by obedience…’
    and I had always thought it was bought by cash …

  41. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:00 am

    ‘Hi Ben, yes “..a father who faces the spectre of never seeing his son again.” exactly the emotional tool the players will use to terrorize Edward/Lonnie. Hence my crudity…’

    Mark Many fathers in the ME did not see their sons (or daughters) again, nor the sons and daughters their fathers. Just as mothers and daughters have been lost to each other.

    Did you hear the British general saying that we should have talked to the Taliban ten years ago? Quite so. Wonder why B.Liar and Bush kept going. Silly question I know.

  42. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:11 am

    The CE ‘anti-Semitic’

    Not at all. I think you should check on what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians (semites) on a daily basis.

    Zionism in practice – Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

    24 hours to 8am
    24 June 2013

    3 air raids – 2 attacks – 25 raids including home invasions – 1 beaten – 1 injured – 3 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage – 23 taken prisoner – 9 detained – 112 restrictions of movement


    The daily log

    There are 562 pages there going back to 2005, each page containing records of 5 days’ atrocities.

  43. Elizabeth Morley

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:16 am

    Habakkuk said ‘citizens of Israel can travel to the UK and indeed to any other EU member state without a visa because Israel is not on the EU’s “common visa list”’. But according to Mark Harper’s reply to Andrew Smith’s second question about Entry Clearance Visas, Israelis do need ECVs and “visit visas”.



  44. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:19 am

    How wonderful for the Anwricans to be so universally loved that they encounter another no-go area.

    US travel warning over Egypt clashes
    President Muhammed Morsi’s opponents protest in Alexandria. Photo: 28 June 2013

    The US warns Americans not to travel to Egypt and has told non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave, as deadly clashes continued in the country.


    The boy Hague in the Yorkshire Post.

    William Hague: Putting Western values at heart of a networked world

    Published on the27 June

    Email thisPrint this

    WE are immensely proud of our alliance with the United States, and what our two nations stand for and have achieved together. We remember Churchill and Roosevelt, and the triumph over Nazi tyranny. And we think of Thatcher and Reagan, when the fall of the Berlin Wall unleashed the 20th century’s single greatest advance in human freedom.

    Nevertheless we are living through an exceptionally turbulent and unpredictable period in world affairs, which may endure for decades to come.


    So true William, in that second paragraph, while your lot are in charge. Sent any weapons to Syria lately?

  45. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:20 am

    Blast! How wonderful for the Americans…….

  46. It was me, Jives. But I guess you missed reading another link I posted on ‘Introspection Illusion’ that was subsequently drone-zapped. I thought it was rather instructive and relevant. You might have learned something.
    . . . .

    I think Habbabkuk has convincingly extricated the issue of ‘human rights’ from the topic of this particular immigration control. The word ‘right’ is itself highly debatable. Perhaps this is the nexus of this particular disagreement. You might have a human right to potable water but that doesn’t help you when you’re stuck in the desert without anything to drink. Reminds me of a man’s ‘right’ to have babies –

    People here seem to be unaware that this problem (overstaying + demanding bonds) is an indirect result of global over-population. You can expect many more ‘unfair’ and discriminatory policies of your govt over the next few decades as increased demand for the good life impinges on your self-imposed moral obligation, and naturally limited capacity, to deliver it to people who want it.

    As far as principles vs laws goes, if the latter fails to meet the expectations of the former then the law needs to change. You can’t run a system on generalised principles alone given the myriad exceptions and dilemmic conflicts that abound within simplified ideals.

  47. “FFS! Go a tad easier on Habbabkuk and Villager will ya? Youre whipping those guys too easily and so much its almost pitiful to witness.”

    I know it’s a bit cruel, like mocking the afflicted, but they can have a respite for most of the weekend, as I’m off now to Paris, to see the one & only Boss !

  48. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 8:05 am

    @ Elizabeth Morley :

    That’s interesting, and I agree that it would be good to get some clarity in this. But I would point out that it’s not really directly relevant to the subject of this thread, which is about the bond scheme for visitors from 6 countries (I’m guessing that Craig just chucked it into his lead-in post mainly for polemical emphasis)

  49. @ Macky. 8 05am

    Ce que le flot dit aux rivages,
    Ce que le vent dit aux vieux monts,
    Ce que l’astre dit aux nuages,
    C’est le mot ineffable : Aimons !

    For once I won’t mess with someone else’s poem.

    Enjoy the break. You sure earned it.

  50. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 9:41 am

    @ JON (Mod)

    pls refer to the post by Trowbridge Ford at 09h38, thnx.

    [Mod: 4 items removed, thanks]

  51. Is ‘Trowbridge Ford’ at 9.38am yet another impersonation? The language is way over the top – and deplorable, in case I have to spell that out for anyone.

    [Mod: 4 items removed, thanks – yes, looks like an impersonator]

  52. “Sometimes I’m a black. Not everyone realizes blackness has to be conferred upon you again and again.”
    ― Laura Yes Yes, How to Seduce a White Boy in Ten Easy Steps

  53. “Transcripts released this week by the Irish Independent record conversations in 2008 between leading Irish bank executives, joking about how they had scammed billions of euros to bail out the now-defunct Anglo-Irish Bank.”

  54. @Dreoilin

    Is ‘Trowbridge Ford’ at 9.38am yet another impersonation? The language is way over the top…

    I agree. Trowbridge doesn’t talk like that. It feels like a crude parody of the mild paranoia that informs many of his posts. (Paranoia which may, of course, be entirely justified.)

  55. “Is ‘Trowbridge Ford’ at 9.38am yet another impersonation? The language is way over the top – and deplorable, in case I have to spell that out for anyone.”

    I didn’t see anything wrong with the posts last night.

    I just assumed that as they didn’t know what an ellipsis was they were probably only a child themselves.

  56. @Roderick Russell

    Just read your essay on psycopathy and the super-rich. I enjoyed it very much, thanks. It’s also true, is it not, that those born to positions of tremendous privilege and wealth are mandated by their own egos to believe that they are innately different in order to be able face themselves in the mirror each morning? To acknowledge the truth, namely that they drew one of the winning tickets in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory Lottery would require them to confront some uncomfortable facts and hand out some of their loot. That’s a hell of a conjuring trick performed by the ego there. Prince Charles, for example, must know in his heart that he is a plonker, but still no doubt believes the preposterous opulence of his life is justified by his genealogy.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 11:25 am

    @ KoWN

    re last sentence : I wonder if it would be possible to be aware of the first thing while being unaware of the second. But, thank God, I’m not a shrink.

  58. Flaming June 29 Jun, 2013 – 7:00 am
    “Did you hear the British general saying that we should have talked to the Taliban ten years ago?”

    He also admitted the taliban will be back in control within months of the US withdrawal. Many of us were predicting that before the first american bomb dropped. What a murderous waste. What a discrace.

  59. Steve 28 Jun, 2013 – 11:22 pm
    “Overstating is a crime and millions commit it every year.”

    You won’t, not in a kerzillion years, find any overstating on this blog.

  60. @ Habbabkuk

    Does anyone know? Has there ever been an example in the history of the world of a king, prince, emperor, mogul, caliph or similar potentate renouncing his wealth and titles on the grounds that he was no different from anyone else and didn’t deserve the special treatment?

    OK The Buddha. Any others?

  61. “I agree. Trowbridge doesn’t talk like that.”

    KoWN, No, he doesn’t.
    Jon has got rid of those posts, thankfully.

  62. President of Uruguay:

    Villager: I’m thinking about it :) I do rather care about what happens to this blog.

  63. Something for the weekend:

    Are we all full of hot air, rationalising our lack of action by looking overseas and lecturing the like minded?

    I understand Craig’s experience and interests are international but maybe that is why we are here. But perhaps the international aspect divorces us from the drive to take action.

    I believe it given that the most effective way we can help the palestinians, the syrians, the sudanese et al is to change our country. Bring down the murderous establishment here who rain death around the globe. The establishment who despises us.

    Sooner or later observing crimes becomes voyeurism nomatter how much you cry foul. We complain that the majority of people are puppets of propaganda. Not us. We see through it. But what to do? Do I hope these puppets will stumble here, read my comment and experience epihany? Cause that ain’t gonna happen. We argue with trolls and preach to the converted. It make us feel better and deflates our outrage.

    I do wonder, if the likes of us are not prepared to discuss actions and act, then who?

    So, what do you think of Left Unity? I am no particular fan of Loach but considering the labour party is lost, is this the only game in town?

  64. doug scorgie

    29 Jun, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    The Venezuelan right-wing only accepts democracy if they win:

    “As part of ongoing attempts to prevent President Nicolas Maduro from consolidating his leadership in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, right-wing forces at home and abroad have reissued false claims that he was born in neighboring Colombia.”

    You have to laugh really.

  65. @Phil. 1 09pm

    Good point.

    Chanllenging outworn narratives is vital too though.
    Don’t both our individual and collective actions arise out of our interpretations of reality?

    “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.

    Plenty of food for thought here.

    Once the old narratives become objects of widespread scorn, no amount of orders from the top will hold the tide. Witness the implosion of the old Soviet Union. I’ve heard an old russian say he thought the cassette tape was a crucial new technology in the dismantling of the old memes. Look what we have to paly with now.

    Once a critical mass of people see the Emperors New Clothes it becomes impossible to impose the old fairy tales. Until that time the old order persists.

    We’ve all got families and friends. So do members of the uniformed protectors of the elites.

    Oliver Stone’s documentary “South of the Border” shows how, in Venezuela home grown democracy germinated and took root only after lower ranks in the army realised their allegiance to their families and nation came before allegiance to generals.

    The brilliant Irish documentary “Inside the Coup” focuses on the detail of the 2002 coup, and how spontaneous public mobilisation coupled with another army mutiny turned it around.

    It’s already happening among parts of our human family, so let’s take heart and persevere.

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité,…..time for tea!

  66. Not sure how many are aware of this site, which contains a wealth of info, interviews etc, exploring what’s going on in the world today:

    It’s really quite good at explaining geopolitics and economics in simple terms, and their whole archive is online.

    This interview for example explains Syria and currency wars without the “designed to confuse” complexity that we see elsewhere:

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 3:16 pm,0,7711506.story

    “”It is outrageous to try to delegitimize a state for receiving a petition for asylum,” Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said in a speech in Ecuador.

    Correa contended that the news media at first welcomed Snowden’s leaks about secret U.S. programs to collect phone logs and Internet emails but later suggested the actions were treasonous.

    “What a joke!” the president said in a tweet. The media, he said, are “making everyone forget the terrible things that he denounced in front of the American people and the entire world.”

    Correa added that, for the asylum request to be processed and approved, Snowden first must find his way to the Ecuadorean Embassy in Moscow or to Ecuador. “We don’t know it’ll be resolved,” he said.”

    Ecuadoreans are split on whether to give Snowden asylum.

  68. @ KingofWelshNoir – Your quote “It’s also true, is it not, that those born to positions of tremendous privilege and wealth are mandated by their own egos to believe that they are innately different”

    Thanks for your comment. That’s true, and their egos will be fed by a stream of yes-men and courtiers. Any who contradict them will soon be out of the circle. The most extreme example of this need to feed their ego is a belief in arrant nonsense like the “divine right of kings”. Most of the inherited super-rich don’t go this far, but they still believe they are special.

    However I would disagree when you say “in order to be able face themselves in the mirror each morning?” Not for one moment do the super-rich ever feel a need to justify their wealth. They seldom associate with people who would contradict that view. They will find a way to justify almost anything they want to do. And if it’s illegal, MI5/MI6 will ensure that it remains confidential. There are few who have the honesty of Andrew Carnegie in this matter, but a lot who, as my wife puts it, are “ignorant and arrogant”.

  69. Just been watching BA’s live talk in Soweto on BBC24. All the questions from the audience were soft, until a young man asked a question on US foreign policy.
    Unfortunately, the coverage then stopped.
    Probably just a coincidence.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Just a word of thanks to Craig. No ads. No pop-ups. It’s really annoying to visit sites who are rife with merchandise or services to hawk. A tip o’ the hat to you old boy.

  71. Kibo Noh 29 Jun, 2013 – 2:28 pm
    “Don’t both our individual and collective actions arise out of our interpretations of reality?”

    Yes but I do worry that we become a group talking to each other but never leaving the room.

  72. Thanks for Big Brother’s take in the LAT, BF, very instructive. Domestic US propaganda consistently tries to twist Snowden’s case into a bilateral foreign policy issue. The US government needs foreign devils and enemies within. But Snowden’s case has started the wheels of an international process that the US is desperate to derail.

    Russia has consistently maintained that action wrt Snowden should be under the purview of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This opens the door for Snowden to get laissez-passer under the 1951 refugee convention, and Snowden’s got a good case as a person in fear of persecution and torture for his opinions. Non-refoulement protects Snowden from being returned to a state known to torture rights defenders, e.g Bradley Manning. Espionage charges are classic persecution tactics used by police states fighting for impunity.

    As a rights defender (acting to promote freedom-of-information and privacy rights of the ICCPR and UDHR,) Snowden is in the remit of the special rapporteur on rights defenders, and subject to corresponding protective initiatives of the EU, the OAS, and international NGOs, incl.:

    The established principle is, a state cannot prosecute a person for defending human rights. Viewing Snowden as a rights defender short-circuits all the HERO! TRAITOR! HERO!! TRAITOR!! nonsense. The point is not Snowden’s virtues or US interests, but the importance of defending the human rights of privacy and freedom of information.

  73. Herbie 29 Jun, 2013 – 3:12 pm

    “Not sure how many are aware of this site, which contains a wealth of info, interviews etc, exploring what’s going on in the world today: “

    Yes, I’m a fan of James Corbett too. For those who have FreeSat or Sky TV, you can enjoy the novelty of watching truth coming out of your telly by watching the Corbett Report on Channel 191, or +1 hour later on channel 193. Paradigmshift TV rents air time on that channel and regularly puts out good stuff. They change their schedule often so it’s best to check times on their website here …
    … but, for example, tonight it’s on at 7.00pm followed at 8.00pm by UK Column News (not everyone’s cup of tea but they keep a beady eye on Common Purpose’s shenanigans, and the Media Trust, and other dark subjects) followed by Deek Jackson on FKN Newz.

  74. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie (13h58)

    “As part of ongoing attempts to prevent President Nicolas Maduro from consolidating his leadership in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, right-wing forces at home and abroad have reissued false claims that he was born in neighboring Colombia.”

    Absolutely terrible, dastardly and heinous! These dark, satanic forces must be stopped. What next – will they try to assassinate him with a feather duster?


  75. Herbie 29 Jun, 2013 – 3:12 pm
    “This interview for example explains [Syria and] currency wars”

    Interesting stuff. Buy the effing dip. If you’ve got the cash that is.

    Such doomsday mearchants who predict the demise of fiat currencies are very convincing but their predictions seem to not come true. There’s no propaganda like financial propaganda. Perhaps the ineviatable collapse will happen tomorrow.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    Cog; My scribbling doesn’t rise to the level of your suggestions.

    I don’t know why there isn’t more talk of UN involvement. Section 10 approaches the derogations of such policy and I wonder. Do they mean ’emergency’ in the sense of Syria or NK?

    Using sanctions against the US for failing to meet the International standards agreed upon., (US signed on amirite) looks like just the ticket. Veto, for sure, but the international scene is right up Obama’s ass and he would take the heat with some anxiety.

    Good show.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    waving off the gnat…….

    “The waiving of preferential trade rights followed threats from members of the US congress to drop the ATPA in July, when it is due for renewal, unless Ecuador toed the line on Snowden.

    “Ecuador does not accept pressure or threats from anyone, nor does it trade with principles or submit them to mercantile interests, however important those may be,” said Fernando Alvarado, the communications secretary.

    “Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits.”
    The announcement will enhance President Correa’s reputation as a bold leader unafraid to defy the US, just like the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez.”

    I think the Guardian deserves some credit for sticking to the story.

  78. The interviewee from Herbie’s Corbett video discusses the possibility of cyprus like bail-ins throughout the world. He says the banks are going to steal your money during a coming bank holiday.

    And it appears the laws to do this are being enacted right now. Of course in the world of financial propaganda it is presented as a good thing for tax payers (no more bail outs).

  79. “Such doomsday merchants who predict the demise of fiat currencies are very convincing but their predictions seem to not come true.”

    Fiat currencies are always demising. The point is that they’re a very poor store of value because bankers insist on continually devaluing them, to their own profit.

    The current currency wars, after the bubbles and pops, will be a speeded up version of this process laying waste the wealth of anyone who has it stored in fiat currency.

    Despite the small passing presence of Icke and Alex Jones, this is quite good too:

  80. This site contains some excellent free documentaries, exploring why things happen the way they do:

  81. “This report outlines 35 cases where Ministerial claims using statistics on the subject of Work and Benefits have fallen short of the standards expected of Government Ministers.

    We believe that this demonstrates a consistent pattern of abuse of official statistics by Ministers of the present Government to paint a false picture of benefit claimants in the UK in support of policies which are aimed at cost cutting to the detriment of jobless, sick and disabled people.

    Within this document, each case is presented, and fully referenced to source material throughout.”

  82. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    This is the video of beheadings that I posted yesterday with some commentary. Nothing about it in the corporate media. It is obviously not worthy of mention and is a completely normal happening in their minds. I could not watch it through but I am told that the headless bodies are shown still moving and then the heads are finally displayed on poles. Women and children were witness to it.

    I am sending it to my MP, who is a Conservative, with a plea to Cameron not to supply further arms or weaponry to the rebels.

    There is just one show of sanity in the HoC from John Baron who, with a group of fellow MPs, is requesting a debate and will attempt to remove Cameron’s power to take any further action in the long recess which Cameron has reserved.

    John Baron’s recent activity in the HoC.

    Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Syria (24 June 2013)
    John Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what definition his Department uses for an extremist when allocating military and non-military aid in Syria.

    Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Syria (24 June 2013)
    John Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the total number of (a) people and (b) people described by his Department as extremists fighting in Syria against government forces.

    Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Geneva Conference on Syria (18 June 2013)
    John Baron: What his policy is on the possible inclusion of Iran as a participant in the forthcoming Geneva conference on Syria.

    Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Geneva Conference on Syria (18 June 2013)
    John Baron: Politicians should leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a diplomatic solution. Does the Foreign Secretary therefore understand widespread concern that we are not giving diplomacy the best chance if Iran, a key player in the region, is excluded? Will he do what he can to encourage its inclusion?

  83. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 6:13 pm

    Doug Scorgie. 1.58pm Radonski Caprile is a bad loser.

    Venceremos. Long live Maduro, Correa and any other South American democratically elected leader who stands up to the evil Empire.

    Obama was speaking in Soweto and regaling the rather unresponsive youngsters with a reminder of Mandela’s 27 year long imprisonment. He told them to face the sun and to keep their feet going forward. What tripe. More of his empty rhetoric.

    He did not mention his prisoners in Guantanamo or Bradley Manning or the current pursuit or Edward Snowden or the over 300 extra judicial killings by Hellfire missiles from drones that have occurred under his watch.

    Weekend Edition June 28-30, 2013
    Power Over People

    by ROB URIE

    U.S. military adventures have historically combined imperial ambition—the acquisition of territory and colonies, limiting the reach of competing empires and ‘acquiring’ economic resources—‘natural’ resources, existing economic infrastructure and labor, under advantageous terms. The U.S. orchestrated coup in Honduras was for United Fruit, in Chile for ITT, Kennecott and Anaconda Copper and the CIA’s ‘war of attrition’ against Nicaragua in the 1980s to undo the nationalization of Coca Cola facilities. The botched war on and occupation of Iraq was a continuation of imperial designs on Middle Eastern oil by the U.S. and Britain dating from the early twentieth century. All of these and many, many more conflated the economic interests of particular U.S. ‘based’ corporations with the ‘national interest.’


  84. Flaming June

    29 Jun, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Corroboration from the Vatican.

    VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.

    Below is the news release from the Vatican, via

    On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.


  85. ‘But thank God, I’m not a shrink.’

    I am a paid troll, but thank God, I’m not a shrink.

  86. Phil 4 28pm

    “I do worry that we become a group talking to each other but never leaving the room.”

    Point taken.

    I still think the conversation is worth having even if we were all stuck in a room.

    Craig’s blog is like an effectively open source, attention grabbing info bazaar.

    Here any info or narrative can be examined , tested to destruction, (witness the Macky/Habba exchange earlier) and taken aboard or left on the shelf.

    Craig’s postings deserve to, and do, attract a good number of thinking, sentient people because what he’s writing fits with the state of the world as they experience it.

    Crowds are drifting away from the corporate media to read stuff life that. Mandated narratives creak with the strain.

    That can only be good. The more people are informed about what is so, the greater society’s chance to course correct with myriad individual and group actions on all the different stages life has rolled out for us.

    Then there’s the blog’s Comments Section, populated with a shiftng and wondrous ecology of entities, some with interesting info or observations to add to the pot, others with weird and wonderful patterns of behaviour to guide us towards or away from issues whose narratives they judge worthy of discussion or not. You couldn’t make some of what goes on in here up, could you?

    I’m sure there’s plenty of leakage into conversations out in society.


    Finally some graffiti I saw in a European capital not so long ago:

    “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SOCIETY. Margaret Thatcher 1979

    Another paradigm in bits.

    Yes, the times they sure are a changing!

  87. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 7:40 pm

    @ Jon (Moderator)

    I’m astounded, Jon, that you should have deleted my post of earlier on because in it I was attempting, in the stye of a frequent and most respected fellow-commenter on this blog, to give out some very valuable, relevant and not very-well- known information about a couple of public personalities.

  88. “I am a paid troll, but thank God, I’m not a shrink.”

    Guano, you can be very irritating. In the first place, you don’t actually know for sure who is a troll and who isn’t. You can only assume. And to announce that they are also “paid”, is just another unfounded assumption.

  89. BrianFujisan

    29 Jun, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    @ Ben 4 ; 54 pm

    Here’s another Beautiful Slap down of the Hypocrites on Eucador’s Stance Re Snowden
    Sublime indeed

    “DON’T COME LECTURING US ABOUT LIBERTY. YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK. Don’t act like a spoiled rude child. Here you will only find dignity and sovereignty. Here we haven’t invaded anyone. Here we don’t torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don’t have drones killing alleged terrorist without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don’t come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don’t have the moral right to do so.”

    Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, on the US Government.

  90. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 8:50 pm

    “Doug Scorgie. 1.58pm Radonski Caprile is a bad loser.”

    Thank you for reminding us that the full name of the losing candidate in the recent Presidential election in Venezuela is “Radonski Caprile”.

    Well, except that it’s actually CaprileS (father’s surname) Radonski (mother’s surname).

    Given the attachment some commenters have to giving Mr Capriles his full name,I am somewhat surprised that they have never referred to the winner, commonly known as Mr Nicolas Maduro, as Mr Nicolas Maduro Moros. Could it be that the part-surname “Radonski” is of particular significance for them?

  91. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    29 Jun, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    @ Dreoilin

    Oh, you should really show a little more tolerance towards the object of your irritation. After all, it’s not every commenter on this blog who can be said to post himself :)

  92. @Habba.8 54pm

    Two targets with one shot!

    However do you manage it?

    Maybe I should accept all that you peddle after all.

  93. “Oh, you should really show a little more tolerance towards the object of your irritation.”

    Hmmmmmm … I should probably show more tolerance all round. But the fact is, I’m tired.

    (I do wonder sometimes how many folk come online when they’re tired and then take out their tetchiness on others. I really do.)

  94. @Dreoilin. 9 29pm

    No one’s perfect………………………except, of course, me!

  95. For anyone new to the comments section, there’s a great dialog going on on the “Work for the UN” thread…………on how to contribute to and moderate said comments thread.

    All the fun of the circus, plus plenty to consider.

    Here’s a sample.

    @Passerby. 11 03PM

    Eloquent and relevant common sense. A good read too.

    I won’t repeat all but here’s a flavour:

    “A time comes when silence is betrayal…….”

    “Those wishing to change the current arrangements of this blog, perhaps ought to learn to scroll passed the comments these find offensive, and challenging to their sensibilities, instead of attempting to change the blog as per their liking. Simply put this blog is not their sitting room to be arranged and rearranged as per their preferences, reflecting their individuality.”

    “Hats off to Craig for providing this little speakers corner in the cyberspace.”

    And from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

    @Jon. 12 51pm

    I’ve had enough of copying and posting. Read full post yourself.
    Then you can give out to me if I was wasting your time.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    “The call between Biden and Correa – the highest-level exchange reported between the U.S. and Ecuador since Snowden’s June 24 plea for asylum – came just two days after President Barack Obama said he was “not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker” and should not have to speak personally with the leaders of Russia and China to return Snowden to the U.S.
    Obama pledged not to engage in “wheeling and dealing and trading and a whole host of other issues, simply to get a guy extradited so he can face the justice system here in the United States.””

    Obama says he’s not gonna send Jets to get Snowden; he didn’t say anything about mercenaries.

  97. Kibo Noh 29 Jun, 2013 – 7:21 pm
    “I still think the conversation is worth having.”

    Which of course it is. In fact, sorry for my somewhat sanctimonious comment. Upon reflection I was only hectoring myself.

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

    29 Jun, 2013 - 10:16 pm

    Kibo @ 9:54

    Thanks for that. I have been remiss in inserting red-hot pokers into mine eyes.

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