Feile An Phobail Belfast

by craig on July 30, 2013 2:05 pm in Uncategorized

The Respectability of Torture

St Mary’s University College, Thurs 1st August, 7.30pm


Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, was a whistleblower who was removed from his ambassadorial post by Tony Blair for exposing the Tashkent regime‟s use of rape and systematic torture, including the boiling to death of political opponents. He has also spoken out against Central Asia‟s appalling dictatorships, regimes which are allies of the West, involved in torture and rendition, and was accused of threatening MI6‟s relationship with the CIA. Now a human rights activist, author and broadcaster, he outlines the dynamics of torture and the hypocrisy of incriminated Western governments.


My first public appearance for a while will be in Belfast on 1 August where I shall be giving a talk.  Long term readers of this blog will recall that, while my focus is largely on international affairs, the domestic political achievements I most hope to see are a united Ireland and an independent Scotland.

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  1. BrianFujisan,

    I have through my long life noticed that all too often High IQ = Low common sense.

  2. “Unfortunately the military has long learnt this lesson. For example, changing the practise range target from a bull eyse to a human shadow had a huge impact on desensitising soldiers to kill.”

    That combined with a pavlovian conditioning process yes. The most effective method they learnt from Germany was dehumanisation of the enemy though.

  3. BrianFujisan

    1 Aug, 2013 - 6:37 pm

    Indeed Someone

    wonder why there is such a frenzy going on lately regards other intelligence here n there…

    Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), and 2008 presidential candidate says that there is “an extraterrestrial influence that is investigating our planet.”


    I see the us are improving on Diplomacy

    US ‘evaluating’ value of summit with Russia after Snowden granted asylum


  4. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    1 Aug, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    @ Phil :

    “It is provenly possible to have an army of politically engaged soldiers who are involved in the decision making process and encouraged to take moral positions. The great examples that I know are the anarchist armies in spain and ukraine.”

    I’m with Komodo on this one. He was a practitioner and knows what he’s talking about.

    BTW, I’ve never heard of your anarchist army in Ukraine, but if by the Spanish one you refer to the POUM brigade then you should read Orwell (and historians) on that : much motivation, but the internal democracy didn’t do much for its organisation and efficiency.

    The Soviet army functioned for a short while without ranks and that was soon dropped as well.

  5. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    1 Aug, 2013 - 6:56 pm

    Oh, I now see that Phil has already made my point about the P.O.U.M, I didn’t see it before I posted.

  6. @Habbabkuk
    “The Soviet army functioned for a short while without ranks”

    The soviet army? That’s funny. Don’t let a complete lack of grasping the subject interupt you.

  7. Not nice, but necessary.

    Necessarry for whom? and why this selective predilection for a stale establishment and some greedy breeding royals.

    Far from it, Komodo, those few who think they have to be bastards and sacrifice every principle that is human to make this thiefdom work and function for the upper 2 %, are consensual cowards.
    Oh dear we so need the SBS/SAS…. For f….g what? To make out that there is nothing wrong training Al Nusra’s filth, anything you say Gov. yes sire three bags full sire. Full of shite sire, brain dead and dangerous.

    Yes we shoot people abroad, Gibralatar? no problem we do it tomorrow.
    Wars do not happen because bad people want them to occur, they happen because good people have given up caring, a society living on minority scum rule, party politicians rule OK.

    And now to late tea.

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

    1 Aug, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    ‘consensual cowards’

    I’m stealing that. Just so you know. :)

  9. “Double-Feature: “Bradley Manning Verdict Convicts Washington” and “Hiding Economic Depression With Spin” — Paul Craig Roberts”


  10. Technicolour 1 Aug, 2013 – 6:09 pm
    “and its happened in Bristol too”

    Great. I had no idea shared space was progressing and here on the wild roads of britain. I love that the bristol traffic lights were proven a waste when they broke.

    That traffic regulations cause accidents and slow down traffic is counter intuitive and startling.

  11. “Full of shite sire, brain dead and dangerous.”

    And I’m taking that.

  12. That traffic regulations cause accidents and slow down traffic is counter intuitive and startling.

    I urge anyone interested to read Techniclours links. The implications for our relationship with authority are fascinating.



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

    1 Aug, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    “That traffic regulations…”

    I thought the story was about traffic circles which have proven successful in reducing accidents.

    I have observed that when traffic lights are out, the public tends to be more cautious and engaged when crossing intersections. It’s a false sense of security at times when you have the green.

  14. technicolour

    1 Aug, 2013 - 10:29 pm

    Ben, below from the Bristol report (am going to finish reading tomorrow). Phil, well put: fascinating and counter intuitive. I feel for these pedestrians, even though….

    “Once again, we found ourselves writing a report that
    concluded that the disabling of all junction controls re-
    sulted in improvements to traffic capacity and reductions
    in journey time for both vehicles and pedestrian alike,
    and hence a reduction in queues and delays. The road-
    user satisfaction surveys showed, however, that a high
    proportion of pedestrians did not feel as safe without con-
    trol and would prefer green man crossing facilities, even
    though most acknowledged there was less delay. Indeed,
    the idea of the lack of any formal control was particularly
    opposed by local visually impaired groups and some dis-
    abled pedestrians. Nevertheless, during the weeks of the
    trials there were no incidents or accident”

    PS a united Ireland would be perfectly sensible, I think.

  15. “Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.”



  16. Has 14 pint Billy been drinking the Kool Aid?

    “The UK foreign secretary has called Iran’s foreign minister saying he is open to improve ties.”


  17. “Has 14 pint Billy been drinking the Kool Aid?

    “The UK foreign secretary has called Iran’s foreign minister saying he is open to improve ties.””

    Not necessarily, Mark. The UK befriended Libya…

    Beware billies with fourteen pints in’em, I suppose.

  18. Sofia Kibo Noh

    1 Aug, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    The Awkward Truth, Studiesshow that “road
    users could quite happily optimise the use of road space
    and behave perfectly adequately without any need for
    the modern traffic management paraphernalia
    ; just simple, aesthetic urban design.”

    Maybe we are already in the throes of a phase-change as the old ways cease to deliver and new ones spontaneously emerge. My earlier reference to the changes that occur in insect colonies alluded to that kind of spontaneous phenomenon.

    Who would choose Windows after they have used Linux?

    Who would put their long-term faith in fiat currencies when Bitcoin increasingly demonstrates an alternative?

    And despite all the effort to suppress human co-operativeness and solidarity things like Prout just keep emerging.

    Imagine the difference it would make if our young people were coached in communication, team-dynamics, conflict resolution, non-violent assertiveness and basic trading even once a week.

    Can we do and be all the little things that will make them take root? I think so.

    Will we always have to deal with human greed and violence? Alas, I think so too.

    But I finish this day encouraged.

    Thanks everyone.

  19. Sofia Kibo Noh

    1 Aug, 2013 - 11:35 pm

    @Dad! 6 52pm

    And I thought you knew EVERYTHING!


  20. Sofia Kibo Noh

    1 Aug, 2013 - 11:45 pm

    “Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning. I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations.” Edward Snowden. Aug 1st 2013

  21. Mark at 11 pm. Thanks for the link. “Hague also raised the issue of Tehran’s nuclear dossier which is the subject of an international dispute and talks over it is currently at stalemate.”

    Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were also the subject of an international dispute. You can no more trust Squealer than you can Napoleon.

  22. My G.P. wants to charge me 100 pounds for one job specific medical report, while I am currently applying for work from several companies. Is that fair, when he gets 150 K as a practise manager from the state. Then he fobs me off with steroid creams and statins for my other ailments to save his practise money.

    The best doctor in the new NHS is the one who saves the most money for the government and uses his public service employment to squeeze the governments’ patients for personal cash.

  23. John, we are still getting laughs out of the Steve Bell cartoon that Flaming June noticed:

  24. Mark

    As Craig said:
    ‘States are the enemy and we are the people’

  25. on a previous thread, i posted about Israeli firm, Nikuv, being involved in Zimbabwe & other African countries. followup:

    31 July – Businessweek: Lesotho Probes Israel’s Nikuv Over Tender for Identity
    Lesotho’s Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses said it’s
    investigating an Israeli company, Nikuv International Projects Ltd., over
    allegations it paid bribes to win a 292 million loti ($30 million) contract
    to supply electronic passports. ..
    The investigation is politically motivated and is related to a change in
    government that took place in elections last year, (Nikuv’s) Bekker said
    The issuing of ordinary passports has been stopped in Lesotho after Nikuv,
    which is also running the Zimbabwe voter registration, was contracted to
    issue e-passports and I.D. documents…

    On its website Nikuv says that the company focuses on projects for
    “governmental sectors” and initiated its activities in Africa in 1994 in
    Nigeria. It had “since expanded its activities to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana,
    Botswana and Angola in IT and additional areas like agriculture and

  26. BrianFujisan

    2 Aug, 2013 - 2:18 am

    SO MUCH For The NSA “only collecting ‘metadata’

    A professor writer reportedly received a visit from law enforcement agents after she looked up information on pressure cookers via Google and her husband looked up backpacks.

    However, since the original story was published about the incident, some details have come into question.

    Still, if Michele Catalano’s story is true, it sheds light on how the continuing and expanding use of the PRISM program run by the National Security Agency (NSA), along with other surveillance programs, is manifesting itself in the lives of American

    More at EndtheLie.com – http://EndtheLie.com/2013/08/01/writer-reportedly-gets-a-visit-from-police-over-google-searches-for-backpacks-and-pressure-cookers/#ixzz2allhWOrL

    ALSO –

    Senate Commits High Treason:

    “Classifies” votes to HIDE FUNDING FOR SYRIAN REBELS

    “It’s like a pandemic in Washington, D.C., this idea that ‘I don’t have to say anything, I don’t have to justify anything, because I can say it’s secret,’” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank.

    In our increasingly Orwellian country, it’s getting hard to tell the difference between parody and reality. But this is very real. And Harper is correct: it is a pandemic.

    Everything is secret in Washington. Who are we at war with? That’s classified. Who is the government spying on? That’s classified. Are we bombing multiple countries on a regular basis with remote-controlled airplanes? That’s classified. Which senators voted for an incredibly unpopular and dangerous plan to give weapons to unaccountable Syrian militias as they fight in a chaotic civil war that should have nothing to do with us? None of your god damned business.


  27. “London Assembly demands to know why housing cash was diverted from poorest”


  28. Phil,

    Your rejection of and antipathy towards “competition” is wholly political. Competition is an observable fact of life, as is cooperation, and both are not mutually exclusive.

    Competition drives a positive selection process and cooperation drives a synergistic process. Both produce positive outcomes and are necessary to optimize the survival prospects of both individual species and symbiotic communities of different species.

    Put simply, competition drives improvement and cooperation drives performance.
    . . . .

    Regarding road traffic experiments where road rules and/or traffic controls are removed, it sure seems to be working out well in Asia and Africa.

    Recommend sorting in descending order of fatalities per 100K vehicles – 

  29. “It’s like a pandemic in Washington, D.C., this idea that ‘I don’t have to say anything, I don’t have to justify anything, because I can say it’s secret,’” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank.

    Lord save us. I’m agreeing with a director at the Cato institute. I didn’t think it was possible.

    Personally, I am the view that Obama should be impeached, no question. Jim probably agrees. The world has gone insane.

  30. I am not at all sure that Eire would be enthusiastic about union with the North because of the expense, unless of course the UK agreed to pay for it (fat chance). I wonder whether people like Craig who are not resident in Scotland would even be allowed to vote in a referendum on Scottish independence. The best thing may be to let things stay as they are.

  31. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 7:25 am

    @ Jemand :

    “Recommend sorting in descending order of fatalities per 100K vehicles –

    Nice post; nothing like a few facts to put to rest the wilder notions cooked up by some. :)

    BTW, I trust you noticed the shocking discrepancy between the figure for Israel (3,7) and that for the Palestinian territories (5,6), a difference of around 50%? Surely another example of insufferable discrimination and oppression?

    Have a good day, everyone, and drive safely!

  32. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 7:28 am

    @ Abe Rene

    “I wonder whether people like Craig who are not resident in Scotland would even be allowed to vote in a referendum on Scottish independence.”

    I seem to recall that I was wondering some time ago who would be entitled to vote in that referendum and asking whether any of the prolific posters and pro-independentists knew what SNP policies on that were.

    Answers came there none, of course (inconvenient question, I suppose).

  33. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 7:55 am

    We are not all in ‘it’ together.

    Half Of UK Nation ‘Living On The Edge’

    More than half of all British adults are finding it hard to make ends meet and are “living for now”, a major report says.

  34. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Racist, fascist ‘Great’ Britain.

    The new stop-and-search – spot checks near stations to hunt for illegal immigrants
    Onlookers described their shock at the operations, with one member of the public saying it was akin to ‘Nazi Germany’

    ‘The Labour MP Barry Gardiner has now written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, demanding an investigation into the checks which he said violated “fundamental freedoms”. The raids come just a few months after Ms May took direct responsibility for immigration from the disbanded UK Border Agency.

    “We do not yet live in a society where the police or any other officers of the law are entitled to detain people without reasonable justification and demand their papers,” Mr Gardiner wrote. “The actions of your department would however appear to be hastening us in that direction.”

    Witnesses who saw the operations in London claimed the officers stopped only non-white individuals, and in Kensal Green said that when questioned, the immigration officials became aggressive.’

  35. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 8:10 am


    NEWSFLASH: UK Border Agency ID Checking People of Colour At Train Stations


    Twitter is full of reports of the UK Border Agency stopping and performing random ID checks on people of colour in South East train stations today.

    The above picture (click to enlarge) was taken by twitter user @SaveKRLibrary at Kensal Tube station in the capital this morning. There have been so far unconfirmed reports coming in from other stations.

    The following account was reported to the Kilburn Times:

    “…according to several witnesses the officers were aggressive, intimidating and were specifically targeting non-white individuals.

    Kensal Rise resident Phil O’Shea told the Times he was threatened with arrest when he asked what was going on.

    He said: “I thought the behaviour of the immigration officers was heavy-handed and frightening. They appeared to be stopping and questioning every non-white person, many of whom were clearly ordinary Kensal Green residents going to work.

    “When I queried what was going on I was threatened with arrest for obstruction and was told to ‘crack on’.

    “I asked that officer for his name but he refused to give it and said I could read his number on his shoulder but I couldn’t see a number there.”

    Matthew Kelcher, who lives in All Souls Avenue, also witnessed the operation, he said: “They said they were doing random checks but a lot of people who use that station are tourists so I don’t know what message that sounds out to the world.

    “They seemed to be picking out foreign people in an intimidating situation.

    “Kensal Green is a diverse community which is settled and they (the government) are going about it on the wrong approach.

    “This is more about publicity than dealing about the issue.”

    This is not the first time UKBA have made such strident public appearances, but the timing of the move seems part of a conspicuous ‘zero tolerance’ pantomime, as the political parties compete in a race to the bottom on immigration policy.

    This week, the #RacistVan is touring London streets delivering the government’s new ‘Go Home’ campaign against illegal immigrants. The van is tells illegal immigrants to go home and has received a wave of criticism from the twittersphere, ably coordinated by @PukkahPunjabi. The government plans to roll the #RacistVan out nationwide.

    The following picture is the actual #RacistVan


  36. Sofia Kibo Noh

    2 Aug, 2013 - 8:25 am

    Before I get taken to task for the naïve optimism of my last “co-operative/competitive” post (11 32pm yesterday) I’d better elaborate a bit.

    I used the examples of Linux and Bitcion because both are examples of co-operatiive approaches making something better than what is on offer within the old competitive paradigm. In both cases cutting edge solutions have been created by networks of people inspired by a co-operative ethos.

    The undisputable fact about Linux is that it works better than Windows, using less computing power.

    It’s early days to be claiming too much about Bitcion but I have a sense that we should watch that space. A currency that has already been traded to the value of over a billion dollars and which cannot easily be parasitised by bankers maybe shows that humanity can do with the tools of exchange something akin to what we have already done with the tools of production information technology and communication.

    Both come from an ethos which recognises that, in some areas at least ,we can win with each other more than we can win against each other. Of course there will always be areas where we will have to be fierce and assertive. Rule of law cannot co-exist with rule by the lawless. Shock and Awe (aka Blitzkrieg) can never partner peaceful diplomacy. A culture of unbridled extraction and consumption cannot be called sustainable however many PR campaigns are run.

    Of course there is plenty of room for competition to make a better currency, operating system or whatever. I suppose the crucial point is whether competition is with or against.

    How we nurture cultures of co-operation is up to us, but we all make thousands of small decisions daily, which cascade into our shared reality.

    And even when naked force wins the battle something surprising can grow into the space created. I might be stretching my history here, but from my take on it, although at the Battle of Thermopylae the Spartans put an end to the advance Persian dominated old world order, it was the more “open source” style Athenian culture that was eventually adopted in the mediterranean lands.

  37. Sofia Kibo Noh

    2 Aug, 2013 - 8:37 am

    @Flaming. 8 10am

    Re putting darkies in their place.

    What do these people say to their families when they get home after a days work? I bet not much.

    Proud to be British?

  38. Anyone resident in Scotland is entitled to vote in the referendum.

  39. @ BrianFujisan 2 Aug, 2013 – 2:18 am
    “SO MUCH For The NSA “only collecting ‘metadata’”

    “Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. The joint terrorism task force did not press Catalano’s husband on the dilemma facing liberals over whether quinoa consumption is ethically sound – many Bolivians can no longer afford their staple food now everyone in Brooklyn is eating it.”

    I apologize to any of you indefinitely incarcerated without charges or perhaps prematurely vaporized because of my prior lame comment here regarding a conspiracy to import punnets. Shoulda known agencies are humourless.

    “In the mid-year review for 2010/11, GCHQ proclaimed: “Our partners have felt the impact of our capability too, with NSA in particular, delighted by our unique contributions against the Times Square and Detroit bombers.””

    Are there parallel universes? Both those disasters were barely averted only by the perpetrators defective equipment, not by anything the agencies did. Or are they congratulating themselves on gathering evidence post-fizzle?

  40. “Anyone resident in Scotland is entitled to vote in the referendum.”

    Probably, but strictly speaking we don’t know until the franchise is defined in a (Scottish) Government White Paper expected in November. Whatever, it will be different from the franchise at other elections if only by the inclusion of 16-year-olds, so we have no database of voters. Expect voter registration to be an issue.

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 9:22 am

    @ Vronsky

    “Anyone resident in Scotland is entitled to vote in the referendum.”

    Yes, that’s probably correct. But I think you’re more than right when you say that voter registration will be an issue. How about a Scot who happens to be resident (perhaps temporarily, for work reasons) in England at the time of registration/the referendum? Should, say, a Pole who might be working and resident in Scotland at that time, but whose stay may well be for a couple of years only, be eligible to vote? The issue of what you might call “Scottish by direct descent”, ie, one or both parents (not grandparents or further back) born in Scotland but their children were born “abroad” (England)?
    I look forward with keen interest to the November White Paper.

  42. If you are on the electoral roll, you can vote. It has nothing to do with ethnicity.
    I may have been born in London, but i can’t vote for the mayor if i don’t live there.

  43. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 9:34 am

    Sky seem to be enjoying this. Note the words ‘thrown out’. Nice.



    Did you notice the image of the handcuff on the moving billboard?


  44. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Promogroup – the company that trails the immigrant poster around (wasting fossil fuel the while) also have Promobikes, Promoscooters and Promovans! In fact any Promo you can think of. What Agent Cameron and his cohort would approvingly call ‘entrepreneurship’.

    OK to advertise American junk food though.


  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 9:57 am

    re spot checks for illegal immigrants

    Just a few comments :

    1/. Can I assume that posters here agree that illegal immigration (I am talking about illegal economic immigration and not asylum seekers or refugees as defined by international conventions) is not a welcome phenomenon (for a variety of reasons, exploitation of the people concerned not being the least)?

    2/. Can I assume that posters agree that the govt is entitled to do everything possible to combat the phenomenon and that this should include measures and actions to identify persons who have somehow gained entry? And that govt policy should not take the form of saying the equivalent of “we will do the utmost to stop illegal economic immigration at the point of entry but if you happen to overcome that hurdle then we will leave you in peace” (ie, pass GO and collect your £200)?

    3/. Can I assume that actions and measures undertaken by the public authorities charged with upholding the law should, to the extent possible, be efficient and that this will inevitably involve, where appropriate, a measure of targeting?
    (an example from a different area would be stopping motorists for a breathalyser)

    4/. Do posters here agree with a couple of the comments reported above : for example, that these operations are akin to life in “Nazi Germany” or that being asked to identify oneself constitutes an erosion of individual liberties and freedoms, given that identification is required in most other areas of modern life in a complex state (driving licences, state benefits, bank accounts, taking up employment..etc)?

    5/. Do posters consider that action against illegal economic immigration is an electioneering ploy, and if so, (1) does it matter (given that the matter is apparently one of some public concern, and (2) in which way it is more of an electioneering ploy than general economic policy, the NHS, public services in general…etc (also, apparently – and legitimately – matters of public concern?

    6/. Finally, on a more practical level, what other measures would posters like to see the govt undertake in replacement of the measures being criticised, in order to counter illegal economic immigration wrt to illegal immigrants already inside the UK?

  46. The above poster obviously hates the poor and immigrants and wants to abolish compassion.

  47. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 10:11 am

    “nothing like a few facts to put to rest the wilder notions cooked up by some” – dear Habbakuk, did you actually *read* the reports? Or even an extract from the reports? One was from the Telegraph, you know. Jemand: same questions. And what driving in quite different conditions – roads, weather etc – has to do with reports of how the system here works, I do not know.

    Re your above post: there’s a general and visceral sense of shock which you clearly don’t share.

  48. Very good talk by Craig in Belfast. Well attended – especially for the very first day of the festival. Interesting questions and discussion afterwards. I thought the whole thing went very well. (Craig’s sense of humour much appreciated, as ever.)

    On the way back to our hotel, coming down the Falls Road, we had an egg thrown at our car. It hit the windscreen on the driver’s side, with a loud ‘Crack’. Totally unexpected. It was probably some youngsters fooling around.

    Anyway, after a huge breakfast, we’re heading back south.

  49. @Jemand; “just a discussion about the pretensions of people (in particular, lefties) who purport to feel it more than others and the superiority they think that it confers upon them”

    Not a rather pointless exercise in second guessing & making rather snide assumptions ?

    “compassion is of little or no value if it is absent of action. It is only an emotion, after all, and not an expression of commitment or effort to perform a moral duty”

    Compassion is the natural empathy that we feel towards others when they are suffering, and there is no choice about it, you either feel it automatically or you are emotionally impaired; for some people who are sensitive enough to the plight of others, it is almost like a curse, as it is not a nice feeling to feel the suffering of others. Unlike the chicken & egg analogy, compassion is the root cause of any action and/or moral duty, and it is definately not something that somebody purposely feels in order to get high on an ego superiority trip (!), so instead of making assumptions about others who you only believe “purport” to care about the plight of others, you would be making much better sense if you could provide argumentation as to why you believe they are being insincere.

  50. The “general and visceral sense of shock” probably extends no further than the Twitter mob of middle-class lefties that can always be relied upon to kick up a storm over such things. The mob can’t wait for something like the “racist van” to come along so they can take to Twitter, brimming with self-righteousness, and chant their “Racist Tory scum” / “Fuck off back to Eton” slogans whilst patting each other on the back for their latest efforts with Photoshop. The reality is that the “racist van” is just a gimmick and a sop to the voters; most illegal immigrants probably couldn’t even read it anyway, and would likely not give a toss even if they could.

  51. Nevermind: I was absolutely NOT claiming the royals and the “stale establishment” were necessary or desirable. If bad people don’t make wars, how do you rate GW Bush vis-a-vis Iraq? Good person? Good advisors? It wasn’t an apathetic America that allowed that to happen. It was a gung-ho America which encouraged it to happen. An America (arguably) misinformed by bad people. Sorry, but I don’t buy your thesis.

    Necessary for whom? Ask rather necessary for what. For some protection of our national interest and claim to autonomy against other national interests and claims. Granted, this is overhyped by our “leaders”, but it is still a valid requirement.

    Yes, the Gibraltar killings were shameful. I’m no fan of Rumsfeld, but stuff happens. The IRA weren’t exactly models of restraint either.

    Sorry, H. I wasn’t a practitioner, it would be dishonest of me to let that go. I managed five years without being within 100 miles of a shot fired in anger, and I’m very happy about that. (I did some fairly arduous stuff though.)

  52. Anon: Fuck off back to Eton.

  53. Good on you, K. For Queen and Country!

  54. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 11:10 am

    ‘“general and visceral sense of shock” probably extends no further than the Twitter mob of middle-class lefties’

    this has to have been said by one of the middle class bitterati. ‘probably’. i mean, cleaners and careworkers don’t give two hoots about fairness, decency, humanity, politeness, or their slightly tanned neighbours, the oiks*


  55. For Queen and Country!

    No. To get away from my bloody awful parents…Mail readers.

  56. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 11:34 am

    More on the necessity to pursue British war criminals.


  57. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 11:41 am

    Racist Australia. I see we used the services of the visa issuing company VFS until it was discovered that the confidentiality of applicants was breached.

    Australian Immigration – the Snowden Link?

    by Murray Hunter / August 1st, 2013

    With the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship already under siege over the treatment of refugees in detention camps, deaths in custody, and the abandonment of the principals of the UN Convention on refugees in regards to boat people, another disturbing aspect of the department’s handling of its portfolio is emerging with the recent appointment of VFS Global as the sole processing partner of visa applications for entry into Australia.

    This appointment process of VFS appears to have been undertaken very quietly without the usual press releases accompanying a major policy decision. The lack of transparency in this agreement is dubious at best, where the department selected a single company as a service delivery partner to handle visa applications and the taking of biometric data from applicants on its behalf, which has effectively created a monopoly for VFS Global


    The VFS-Snowden Link?

    The London based VFS Global is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuoni Group, a public-listed company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. What makes VFS interesting is that the chairman of the parent company, Henning Boysen was closely involved with Booz, Allan & Hamilton in the area of predictive intelligence, the same company that Edward Snowden worked for. Like Booz, Allan & Hamilton, WFS Global almost solely acts as a contractor for Government in data collection services. Two other directors were previously involved with Boston Consulting Group which has long been suspected of having close links with the US intelligence community.


    Nice stuff.

  58. K – I’d still have loved my parents had they been Morning Star readers.

    Technicolour – if you have dropped the capitals and punctuation to try and give the impression that you are down with the plebs, then it’s not working!

  59. “British war criminals.”
    “Racist Australia.”

    Obviously you have to have a certain few characteristcs to be deemed a war criminal or racist by the Murrayistas!

  60. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 11:52 am

    Wow. A humanist speaks.

    ‘In a television interview later, Kerry said of the drone strikes, “I think the program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it.”

    “I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it’s going to be very, very soon,” he told Pakistan Television, when asked whether the U.S. had a timetable for ending drone strikes aimed at militants in Pakistan.’

    Kerry hopes Pakistan drone strikes to end ‘very soon’

  61. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 11:53 am

    curses, anon, you have seen through my cunning disguise but I can dissemble no longer. No more will the Duc de Richelieu hide in the shadows. Doff, peasants, doff, to your master!

    (the laziness of RSI, actually, but good try, Anon, as we all kno the plebs cant spel, innit)

  62. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    What we always knew. We are the poodle of the US.

    Snowden Leak: GCHQ ‘Paid £100m’ By US

    Fears about the relationship between US and UK spy agencies are raised in the latest documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.


  63. “If you are on the electoral roll you can vote”

    Actually, that that is *not* so was my point. My American wife (for example) is a US citizen and although a long term resident is not eligible to vote in British elections. However she expects to be able to vote in the referendum. She is a very active campaigner for a ‘Yes’ vote – in general I notice that non-Scots find it easier to recognise the referendum question as a simple one with an obvious answer.

    Many people eligible to vote in 2014 will never have been on the electoral roll before – non-EU citizens and 16 year olds (EU citizens already have the UK franchise, I am told). It remains to be seen if British citizens who avoided electoral registration in order to evade the poll tax will allow their existence to be recorded now. I very much doubt it – having done a lot of door-to-door canvassing I notice that some people value their invisibility.

  64. K – I’d still have loved my parents had they been Morning Star readers.

    Maybe they were lovable. Pity they didn’t pass it on.

  65. “No more will the Duc de Richelieu hide in the shadows”

    More like just another self-hating, middle-class loser with an axe to grind!

    K – Hang on a minute – wasn’t it you describing your parents as bloody awful because of their choice of newspaper?

    And do tell, was it something that happened in the military or a lack of love from your parents that led you to become the most dangerous thorn in the side of the British Establishment?

  66. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    30 years minimum in jail for each of Daniel Pelka’s murderers.

  67. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    “More like just another self-hating, middle-class loser with an axe to grind!” – don’t be too hard on yourself, please. I think this obsession with class is peculiar: where does it come from?

  68. Two mentions constitutes an obsession?

  69. From the Daily Mail, Technicolour. Along with all the rest of it.

    Lovably – K

  70. Harrible

    You remember surely back in the days of the Captivity, and you were taking in food to Daniel in his lions’ den and we were a bedraggled crowd of oppressed slaves? And some people said we should get out of this mess through practising our religion and some people said through lying, spying and political manipulation? And the political people got on fine and became freemen, selling their kinsmen to the authorities and the proper Muslims got targeted, droned/ fed to lions?

    yeh? The political people got military contracts for delivering essentials and so-called law-keeping. The ordinary people who saw through the politics became refugees. It doesn’t matter whether it is escape from a totally corrupt post-soviet Eastern European country or from a Zionist progrom to un-pick Islam in Pakistan, the people who come to safety are not leaving because of economic reasons. They come because they have been stitched up by the political opportunists from their own community who have played the Empire’s political game against their own people. (In Afghanistan, using the good name of the Taliban).

    In Syria or any other Zio-torn country, (Zio including the ravages of Communism as well as the ravages of the War on Islam,) it is only a tiny segment of the society that is supported by Empire to subdue the rest. There are many resistance groups emerging in Syria who protect their communities from Zio-political Islam and ordinary criminality. The Great Game of oppressing Islam and removing Muslim assets has been transformed by the internet into a miserable game of conkers played by thieves and brigands. And trolls.

    Why do you resent the instinct for survival and freedom amongst refugees and why do you support our own UK state/NWO/Zio oppression who are starting a new civil war in Egypt in order to gain the water resources that feed the Nile for Israel? You are a truly Harrible specimin of hasbara trollery. Harrible harrible harrible.

  71. And do tell, was it something that happened in the military or a lack of love from your parents that led you to become the most dangerous thorn in the side of the British Establishment?

    You sound/read like a comic stereotype lefty social worker, there, Anon. There is hope for you yet. No. It may have had something to do with being suddenly transplanted from an aspirant bourgeois background , as an Other Rank, to the world as most people experience it, though.

  72. p.s.
    Of course there will always be a segment of refugee society that is the lying, spying, Mafia political, wishing to come for economic reasons, and who start to climb the slippery ladder of politics by working for MI5/6 and our own UK intelligence agencies. These scum also need to be reminded that they are not welcome in a community that is trying to escape from political oppression. This is the real problem of becoming a refugee – that the political potato-tomato-stall merchants who sold their own people at home, start to sell their own community in this country. Or worse, start selling us English Muslims to the Queen.

  73. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 1:21 pm

    Seriously, Anon:

    “The reality is that the “racist van” is just a gimmick and a sop to the voters”

    – well, yes, except it’s slightly more sinister than that, isn’t it? a ‘sop’ would be distributing free half pints. Instead, as so many people including this nice young man point out, it’s couched in the language of hate; and designed to stir up fear and resentment among the people who can read it:

    George the Poet

    Nor, as part of the same climate, do the testimonies of the people who saw the operations at kensal rise (thanks for the link, mary) sound as though they’re responding to a ‘gimmick’. They sound as though they’re responding to a frightening and aggressive situation.

    most illegal immigrants probably couldn’t even read it anyway, and would likely not give a toss even if they could.

  74. I thought this guy was interesting. Alternative universe explored….


  75. Home Office is now a tool for stirring up racial tension

    Over the last few weeks we’ve seen some very visible signs of the Government’s “hostile environment” crusade. There have been vans out on the streets with threatening slogans and, reportedly, non-white people being visibly stopped and searched.
    The Home Office is responsible for community cohesion. Yet we are increasingly seeing what appears to be hostility towards non-white immigration, which will do nothing but incite racial tensions and divisions …

    Hitler had a bum rap by the looks of it. He is perhaps much misunderstood, he should have only wished to provide a “hostile environment” to the illegal immigrants, end the torrents of the hoards of “immigrants swamping” Germany, and really was a nice guy all around after all. Although he was a bit a misguided and shot a few bullets in the wrong direction and at the City folk here in London.

    What in hades has happened to this country?

    The fascists are no longer content to remaining as cryptofascists and are now openly and in your face declaring their fascism and are getting away with it too.

    Is this aggressive posture of the Home Office born out of the diabetes of the Theresa of May?

  76. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 1:37 pm

  77. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    This, though:

    “Police on trains in Germany used to check people of color for no other reason than they were people of color. Suprisingly the German traveling public started protesting when they saw this happening. Shouting at them, taking pictures, going up to then and saying “check me first”. Amasing. – the police seem to have dropped the tactic” (comment on Mary’s link)

  78. What’s this all about then?


    Washington (CNN) — [Breaking news alert, 8:41 a.m. ET]

    Al Qaeda is linked to a terror threat that has prompted the State Department to direct its embassies in key Middle East nations, including Egypt and Israel, to close Sunday, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, told CNN’s “New Day” Friday. “It’s my understanding that it is al Qaeda linked, alright, and the threat emanates in the Middle East and in Central Asia.”

    [Previously published story, 8:56 p.m. ET]

    A terror threat prompted the State Department on Thursday to direct its embassies in key Middle East nations, including Egypt and Israel, to close on Sunday with the possibility they could remain idle longer.

  79. doug scorgie

    2 Aug, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    2 Aug, 2013 – 7:28 am

    “I seem to recall that I was wondering some time ago who would be entitled to vote in that referendum and asking whether any of the prolific posters and pro-independentists knew what SNP policies on that were.”
    “Answers came there none, of course (inconvenient question, I suppose).”

    Not an inconvenient question Habbabkuk, just a stupid one!

    To vote on Scottish independence one must reside in Scotland and be registered to vote there.

    I know it’s difficult but keep running it through your mind and eventually it will click.

  80. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    I cannot see the downtrodden (though they don’t realize that they are) indigenous British standing up like that Technicolour. All you hear at bus queues and on public transport is the talk of ‘too many immigrants’ especially when attempting to discuss the causes of the bank crash.

    Milton Mayer They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945

    [..]This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.[..]


  81. Hmm, Sunday is Obama’s 52nd birthday coincidentally or otherwise.

    And closing even the Israeli embassy because of a supposed terror threat??

    Wonder if any other countries will follow the US lead and will the UK announce any embassy closures?

  82. http://israel.usembassy.gov/wm08012013.html

    Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens August 1, 2013

    Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

    The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4. The Department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. It is possible we may have additional days of closings as well, depending on our analysis.

  83. Fanning the flames of immigration anxiety is a component part of agent Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ – I call it the ‘Big Society Gap’ as correctly identified by think tank ‘Civil Exchange’ as having zero common vision and zero common goals between younger and older people, affluent and disadvantaged communities, rural and urban areas and white and ethnic minority people.

    The real ‘Big Society’ is dead RIP; the ‘Big Society’ died when agent Cameron abandoned his ‘connect with the people while washing up and chastising the kids’ – the ‘home video’ was pulled with the demise of Tory secret weapon, ‘Webcameron’ a subliminal advertising exercise which promulgated:

    “”I want to tell you what the Conservative party is doing, what we’re up to, give you behind-the-scenes access so you can actually see what policies we’re developing, the things that we are doing…”

    Yeah right Mr Cameron! we found out the hard way; behind the scenes you were fucking spying on every British man, women and child. Why? Because that knowledge is power and essential for us[Tories] to rule by divide.

  84. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    From the Medialens editors.

    Immigrant checkpoints are naked state racism
    Posted by The Editors on August 2, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Today is Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the start of the liquidation by the Nazis of the “Gipsy” camp at Auschwitz on 2 August 1944. Today is also being marked by racist, illegal state targeting of immigrants on the streets of Britain. The parallels are clearly not exact, but the sentiments are.

    At a time when most people are struggling to pay their bills, when wages have been driven down by zero hours and other slave-like “contracts”, when the ConDems are fighting for votes against the nationalist Ukip, it comes as little surprise that the Home Office has unleashed its dogs.

    They may not be wearing brown shirts, but the UK Border Agency officials might as well be. Setting up checkpoints at key locations around London, Durham, Manchester, Wales and Somerset, they have patently targeted non-white citizens for identity checks.

    This is racial profiling with a vengeance. Stopping people on this basis to ask them for their identity is patently unlawful, as is the Home Office boasting that they have caught “offenders” before people detained have even been charged.


  85. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    @ Vronsky:

    “(EU citizens already have the UK franchise, I am told).”

    Partly. Just to clarify :

    Under EU legislation, EU citizens have the franchise in a Member State other than their own and in which they are resident, but only :
    – in municipal (local) elections, not general elections
    – if they apply for the franchise (and, in so doing, undertake not to vote in the same type of elections in their country of origin; Member States are obliged to exchange information on such applications).

  86. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    @ Komodo

    “Sorry, H. I wasn’t a practitioner,”

    I wasn’t clear enough, I meant that you have served.

  87. ”I want to tell you what the Conservative party is doing, what we’re up to, give you behind-the-scenes access so you can actually see what policies we’re developing, the things that we are doing…”

    Yeah right Mr Cameron! we found out the hard way; behind the scenes you were fucking spying on every British man, women and child.

    Cogent, Mark.
    Check out Martin Rowson’s Silly Season:


    A jagged gash in the weft of reality. Indeed.

  88. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    @ Mr Scorgie :

    ““I seem to recall that I was wondering some time ago who would be entitled to vote in that referendum and asking whether any of the prolific posters and pro-independentists knew what SNP policies on that were.”
    “Answers came there none, of course (inconvenient question, I suppose).”

    Not an inconvenient question Habbabkuk, just a stupid one!”

    Oh, OK. You obviously know ahead of the rest of the citizenry what will be in the Scottish govt White Paper mentioned by Vronsky in his post of 08h59 thus :

    “we don’t know until the franchise is defined in a (Scottish) Government White Paper expected in November.”

    I feel you should discuss this with Vronsky, don’t you?

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    [Mod/Jon: abusive attack on Passerby, deleted]

  90. doug scorgie

    2 Aug, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    “Newspaper forced to apologize over anti-Semitic clue in crossword puzzle

    Tribune Media Services newspapers printed a crossword clue where the three-letter answer for Shakespeare’s ‘Shylock’ was ‘Jew’

    In response the Anti-Defamation League asked the paper to print an apology and refrain from using clues that perpetuate negative Jewish stereotypes

    The paper issued an apology and promised not to print the clue again”


  91. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    “Immigrant checkpoints are naked state racism
    Posted by The Editors on August 2, 2013, 1:34 pm”
    ( a load of over-the-top guff follows – see at 14h39)

    If the F.P. felt like showing us she has a mind of her own, she could stop simply cutting and pasting egregious bits of nonsense like the one above and, for instance, have a crack at the questions I submitted at 09h57 today.

    All others “viscerally shocked” by the spot checks at Kensal Green are also welcome to join in, of course!

  92. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    @ Komodo

    “Cogent, Mark.”

    You are the maestro of the oxymoron, Komodo, I take off my hat to you (cf avatar – no hat)

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

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:14 pm


    I am keeping an eye on these ‘threats’. I don’t believe anything the USG says and it could be an op to garner support for surveillance. Waiting for some Wikileaks/Manning/Snowden pushback to change public opinion back to preferring security over liberty.

  94. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    Six in a row. For goodness’ sake, find someone to play with him down at the beach volleyball court.

  95. doug scorgie

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    Interesting debate on Zionism

    BBC (Persia) Hardtalk

    The debate (in English) starts around 1min in.


  96. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    Same old stuff from the crowd at BBC Watch about that Doug.


    See the comment below the article from Elizabeth Morley.

  97. when Going to Edinburgh soon, I shall black up, see whether I can be caught in the immigrant dragnet, our very own beginnings of an even more sophisticated golden dawn, Goetter daemmerung on all these scroungers, but only those who can’t afford to come here with loot they garnered from others hard labour.

    Most of them are desperate to work, the tales of Dick Whittington are still pandered, although today these golden paved streets are just for self pleasuring psychopath bankers, the vast majority of us feel a hard wind blowing.

    Thanks for all the great links provided.

    Bradley Manning is not a murderer, Lt.William Caley is/was. So anything more than two years in the slammer, taking account of the three years of psycho torture endured already, I think there is a chance for the US to re-address their Trust vacuum and let him go.

    Free Bradley Manning NOW!

  98. technicolour

    2 Aug, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    Habbakuk: did you read the traffic reports yet? Have you watched To Shoot an Elephant?

    I’m very keen to hear your responses!

    Mary: I’m finding the great British public positively seething with tolerance and resistance, actually. Anyway, even people who have been thoroughly misinformed or fearmongered can be quite quickly reassured with the facts, I think.

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

    2 Aug, 2013 - 5:02 pm

    Yes Nevermind. Calley served just three and one-half years for his crimes. Manning faces how many?

  100. This is an interesting little video on the tolerance of Muslims in England (4’35”):

    Are extremists invading Britain?

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