We Can Rule the World – Err, No We Can’t

by craig on September 1, 2013 1:48 pm in Uncategorized

Alistair Darling has warned Scots that they will lose diplomatic influence if they leave the United Kingdom.  He gives Syria as an example.  Syria having been such a resounding diplomatic success for the UK, and the UK having contributed hugely to the successful resolution of the conflict – or presumably his reasoning is something like that.

An Independent Scotland would almost certainly not have invaded Iraq and would be most unlikely to have occupied Afghanistan for ten years.  It would thus not have squandered vast sums of money, not contributed to the continued political disaster of both countries.  An independent Scotland would not be a permanent member of the Security Council.  This would impact terribly on the population, who would be benighted like the peoples of Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Australia, in all of which  the lives of ordinary people are absolutely intolerable because of their non membership of the Security Council, and all of which have been repeatedly invaded and wiped out in nuclear attacks continually throughout the last six decades.

I worked in multilateral negotiations in both the UN and EU and found colleagues from countries like Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada to be professional competent and influential.  The Scots certainly can be all of those.  Small countries contribute to policy, to peacekeeping and to humanitarian effort.  This latest bit of unionist nonsense is contemptible.

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  1. Donald MacDonald

    1 Sep, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Alistair Darling is contemptible.

    Fixed that for you.

  2. “An Independent Scotland would almost certainly not have invaded Iraq and would be most unlikely to have occupied Afghanistan for ten years”

    Iraqis and Afghans must be relieved about that. My understanding is that an “independent” Scotland would not only retain the pound and stay in the EU, it would also be a member of NATO, with all the obligations that that entailed.

    Would an “independent” Scotland have its own independent military force? If it wanted to invade Iraq and occupy Afghanistan, would it be able to?

  3. Donald MacDonald

    1 Sep, 2013 - 2:35 pm


    Those are SNP policies, which could not bind a future Scottish Government.

    And why would Scotland want to invade these places.

    Keep up.

  4. “Would an “independent” Scotland have its own independent military force? If it wanted to invade Iraq and occupy Afghanistan, would it be able to?”

    That’s one of the worrying parts.

    If an independent Scotland isn’t going to be having any foreign interventions who are they planning on using those 15,000 front line troops against.

  5. “If an independent Scotland isn’t going to be having any foreign interventions who are they planning on using those 15,000 front line troops against.” Fred, 2:36pm, today.


  6. MJ,

    Apart from the issue of the pound, which is debatable at least beyond a transitional period, all attributes you list would apply to many of the smaller countries in Europe – Ireland and Denmark spring to mind as comparable. Would you use similar scare quotes to describe their independence?

  7. Oops, Ireland’s not in NATO. Still, you get the idea.

  8. ‘Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence’.

    Get it. Read it. Pass it on.


  9. James Mason

    1 Sep, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    I agree with the argument that Scotland would not undertake these ventures should it become independent. But I also believe its values as a world interlocutor would be marginalised as a result. Scotland would sit alongside the Marshall Islands as a world power. That may be acceptable to the people of Scotland and possibly a respectable place to sit in world opinion. But no one outside to Scotland will bother to ask for the dialling code for Glasgow or Edinburgh when it comes to consultation on international affairs. Why bother?

  10. Craig Evans

    1 Sep, 2013 - 3:18 pm


    Well said, why would an independent Scotland want to have this “clout”? We will find our way in the world and our influence will come from the way we act, the alliances we make and the values we hold.

    These seem far away from the vested interests in Westminster, the City of London and Washington.

    Vote YES in 2014

  11. foolish finking was frank fool

    1 Sep, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    All countries align themselves with others. Britain plays a funny role aligning itself sometimes with Commonwealth and sometimes with Europe and sometimes America, as a bridge between Europe and America but mostly aligned with America. So with whom would Scotland align? It is not going to be China or Russia? Doesn’t US still make use of Scottish bases. Wouldn’t US state department consider that an independent Scotland would be even more easily manipulated than the UK. Independence has emotional attraction but surely a better model is a properly federal UK. US is not such a bad example in terms of its domestic set up.

  12. An independent Scotland could join several other countries without an armed forces, just a police force. Possibly a couple of maritime patrol/search and Rescue aircraft. Maybe a few soldiers with light weapons for UN peacekeeping. But that is it.

    One might think some air defence fighters – but the Russians can blow Scotland to pieces with ballistic missiles anyway – so why bother…

  13. @ James Mason, 2.51 – “Scotland would sit alongside the Marshall Islands as a world power” Scotland would also sit alongside Norway. Are you saying that no one outside to Norway bothers to ask for the dialling code for Oslo when it comes to consultation on international affairs?

    Vote YES in 2014

  14. “And why would Scotland want to invade these places”

    Search me. My use of the word ‘if’ was meant to indicate that it was a hypothetical question.

    “Ireland and Denmark spring to mind as comparable. Would you use similar scare quotes to describe their independence?”

    Ireland yes, Denmark no. Denmark has its own currency.

  15. Chris Jones

    1 Sep, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    @James Mason “But no one outside to Scotland will bother to ask for the dialling code for Glasgow or Edinburgh when it comes to consultation on international affairs. Why bother?”

    And Scotland is consulted on international/imperialist affairs now is it?

  16. mike cobley

    1 Sep, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    If the diplomats and civil servants from smaller countries so competent and so influential, why is the world so fucked up?

  17. Krishnamurky

    1 Sep, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Only 40-50% of the oil in any well is normally extracted,£2 TRILLION so far. Apart from ongoing production and new tech, there will be a chance to pump water (and raise the remaining oil to the surface)into these “exhausted” wells (that have the bonus of having all infrastructure already in place)using free night-time electricity, fracking in the North Sea, etc. The sky is the limit. And we are talking for a population of only 5 million? Its clearly a no brainer, if only never to have another Rifkind rooting for war (to serve israeli interests) as a “representative” of the Scottish people.

  18. Who wants to he a world power?
    Trident doesn’t put food on the table.
    Maybe we won’t need foodbanks after 2014.

  19. Fred: Why does an army have to have foreign interventions ?
    Scotland’s 15,000 troops would be used for Defence.
    At the moment, the UK seems to have confused the Ministry of Defence with Offence.
    Or are you one of these people that thinks the UN is something to sidestep and disregard ?

  20. Alistair Darling, the man made Chancellor of the Exchequer by the powers that be!, Alistair Darling, the man who had his finger on the heart and pulse of global financial dealings, Alistair Darling, the man intrusted with the financial health and welfare of the nation!, Alistair Darling, the man who by his own admission knew NOTHING about the financial armageddon that was unfolding or what was going on in anyway until he read about it on a news stand in a shop in Spain while on holiday!!!.

  21. Trouble is, you’re making it sound so attractive but I live in England – how can *we* declare independence from the United Kingdom of Westminster?

  22. Craig, I can confirm that life in Australia was absolutely intolerable prior to us assuming the presidency of the UN Security Council just today. Well what can I say, everything has changed!

    For me personally, membership of the UNSC has had an immediate, positive effect on my life. I’m no longer feeling my old depressed self – which is a good thing because it’s a filthy habit. I recommend others joining the UNSC, the benefits are many and the fees are comparatively low, much lower than buying the World Cup or Commonwealth Games.

  23. “Labour refuse to support Dundee SNP Council’s No Eviction Policy or the abolition of the Bedroom Tax”



    Then Scotland will be just another increasingly restive subject nation of the US Empire. But more and more of us are simply ignoring the dying US Empire – see South America.

    Plus they too can then use those great Anti-Fascist Anti-Empire tools the UK invented and gave the world. Yes, Monty Python. ; ) The means to be creatively (highly) offensive about those who would murder, torture-to-death, commit illegal war, genocide and even use chemical weapons to create a fake reason for more murder.


    The US Empire collapsing not with a whimper, but a bang. No change there, then! –

    Johan Galtung latest – the revered father of peace studies. 5th March 2012 – Transcend Peace Organization –



    Europe – the ECB – Neo-Conmen, neo-liberal tools, of the EU Elite in cahoots with the US Elite. Perfectly according with Johan Galtung’s theory of Imperialism that handily explains colonialism, US neo-colonialism of the 1950s and 1960s and today’s neo-neo-colonialism of the US Empire???

    ‘A Structural Theory of Imperialism,’ _and_ how to combat it! ; ) – Johan Galtung, 1971 – revered father of peace studies –


    Plus ‘A Structural Theory of Imperialism – Ten Years Later – 1981. _More_ on how to combat Empires. Strangely enough the pdf is unreadable – the Empire has willing hands everywhere? – Printing it helps a very little!

    See ‘Online Papers’ and search for ‘Imperialism’ at Transcend Peace Organization –



    Just say “Up yours” to USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazi mass psychosis! –


    USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    – “You lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian –


  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    1 Sep, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    DoNNyDarKo says :

    “Fred: Why does an army have to have foreign interventions ?
    Scotland’s 15,000 troops would be used for Defence”

    My question is : defence against whom?

    Surely it is the opinion of many Scottish independentists that Scotland will no longer have any enemies once it is free of the contemptible United Kingdom, that well-known and much-hated vassal of the evil American Empire?

    So surely an army will not be necessary at all? Surely Scotland could do a Costa Rica?

    Or perhaps not (whisper : employment…jobs for the boys from Fettes…nice uniforms… parades and ceremonies and a nice ministry for Scottish politicians….OH, but I forgot that Scottish politicians will be…different….from English ones :) )



    “The Kremlin has released the official text of President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on the Syrian crisis. What is striking is that Putin spoke far more extensively than what the media reports suggested, and, second, he spoke on virtually every aspect of the explosive situation.”

    Certainly, Putin towers head and shoulders above other world statesmen today in taking a highly principled stance, given Russia’s involvement in Syria, knowledge of Syria and the Middle East and the big role it has been playing to cobble together Geneva 2 despite all odds. 

    “Putin’s bid to launch peace doves over Syria,” by MK Bhadrakumar, ex-Ambassador of India, September 1st, 2013 – MK Bhadrakumar blog –


    Kremlin official text – “Answers to Journalist’s Questions,” August 31st, 2013 – Vladivostok – President of Russia –


  27. Krishnamurky,

    Water injection has been used on most North Sea oil fields since the beginning. They have been developed since day one with “enhanced recovery” techniques.

  28. Ex Pat – Putin is a psychopath. Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya and the assassination of his opponents abroad. Russian arms are also part of the flames burning in Syria.

  29. “Putin is a psychopath. Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya”

    You sure about that?

    Someone presented a fine argument here yesterday that Prince Bandar Bush of Saud controlled that operation.



    The US Empire is a fascist enterprise – run by those who use the methods of Nazis daily. Illegal war, murder, torture-to-death, laying waste entire countries. That’s what Snowden’s data _proves_ beyond a shadow of doubt, just as the Collateral Murder video did about Iraq. But Snowden will do that for every arm and every operation of the National Security state. As he said in an interview, the individual CIA man can see one or two utterly indefensible murderous wasteful counter-productive operations in a career but the Network Systems Administrator can see _thousands_ of them. He can see that that is business-as-usual (*). As John Stockwell said thirty years ago.

    The US Empire has killed 12m to 16m in 60 years. It is a monstrous evil. Putin is an ant compared to an elephant in the totals murdered, torture-to-death and genocided, imo.

    John Stockwell has put it as clearly as any man could. –

    “I don’t mean to abuse you with verbal violence, but you have to understand what your government and its agents are doing. They go into villages, they haul out families. With the children forced to watch they castrate the father, they peel the skin off his face, they put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these things to the children.” These are not just words. It is also real. Real mothers. Real children. Real fathers. Real death.

    “We do not parachute teams into the Soviet Union to haul families out at night and castrate the father with the children watching, because they have the Bomb, and a big army, and they would parachute teams right back into our country and do the same thing to us – they’re not scared of us.” – http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/StockwellCIA87_2.html

    Video – John Stockwell – “Third World War” – Forty years of Secret Wars of the C1A – 6 million killed – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ioJGMCr-Y

    John Stockwell – http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/John_Stockwell.html

    John Stockwell – ‘America’s Third World War’ – 6 – 20M killed –


    Johan Galtung – the US empire has murdered 12m or 16m in forty years. “The difference is between overt murders and including covert murders by the US.” In illegal wars and genocides. –

    ‘How would we know that the Empire is dead?” – Johan Galtung –



    Putin is the head of Russian political / business ‘family’, with the prime minister as part of that ‘family’. Do they use extreme measures if needed? Undoubtedly.

    BUT, As a politician, is Putin’s the voice of an international statesman preaching peace, respect for international law and peaceful co-existance. YES HE IS.


    Hence he is anathema to those under the sway of hte US Empire mass psychosis – that illegal war, murder, torture-to-death, and genocide are justified because ‘we’ say so. Just. Like. The. German. Nazis.

    > Ex Pat – Putin is a psychopath.

    Evidence? A sociopath? Who in government is not? Compared to ‘Pumphead’ Cheney? Hardly. Compared to the Nazi US Empire and the tens of millions slaughtered, in sixty years, don’t make me laugh.

    > Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya

    Was the US Empire giving Russia another Vietnam?

    > and the assassination of his opponents abroad.

    Berezovsky and the US Empire had much more to gain, imo. Far more likely a US Empire false flag, unless you’ve been asleep for the last forty years.

    > Russian arms are also part of the flames burning in Syria.

    Compared to the US Empire’s contribution? Hardly.

    (*) SNOWDEN

    Snowden: “When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale then the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing but over the course of a normal person’s career you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. And when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from them.”
    “But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.”

    See Mondoweiss, google or Policymic –


  31. All these terrifying conequences of Scottish independence, none of them even remotely believable. And still they haven’t cottoned on to the real threats, like our plan to annex Northumbria.

  32. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    1 Sep, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    Better Together. No names, no pack drill. Who are they? Who is funding it? Agent Cameron et al?



    Interesting stuff from Fabricant. Not sure what he is suggesting though when he says ‘a Westminster government could rule on central issues such as defence and foreign policy’.

    New Act of Union would strengthen UK, says Fabricant

    Related Stories
    Salmond and Moore in referendum push
    EU vote ‘threat to UK’ says Jones

    A senior Conservative MP says a new Act of Union giving the four UK nations equal powers would strengthen the country.

    Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant told BBC Radio Wales that Westminster would still be responsible for matters like defence and foreign affairs.

    His call comes ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum next year



  33. Brus MacGallah

    1 Sep, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    Alistair Darling – the man who smoked so much reefer he actually believes the bullshit he spouts

  34. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    1 Sep, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    I agree with Someone above. Darling was there in NuLabour from 1997 through to 2010, writing the cheques for Afghanistan at the end. Literally a grey and rather faceless man.

    Chancellor of the Exchequer In office 28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010

    Secretary of State for Trade and Industry In office 5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007

    Secretary of State for Scotland In office 13 June 2003 – 5 May 2006

    Secretary of State for Transport In office 29 May 2002 – 5 May 2006

    Secretary of State for Work and Pensions/Social Security (1998–2001) In office
    27 July 1998 – 29 May 2002

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury In office 3 May 1997 – 27 July 1998

  35. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    1 Sep, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Info on Better Together. Note the large donors.

    The pro-union campaign disclosed its donor list on 6 April 2013.[12][13] Donations of more than £1.1m had been received from approximately 9,500 donors.[12] The Herald commented that ″The preponderance of business people is a blow to Alex Salmond, who has made a stronger economy a cornerstone of the SNP’s case for independence″.[13]

    Among the major donors was Douglas Flint CBE, the Glasgow-born chairman of global super-bank HSBC. The largest single donation was one of £500,000 (almost ″half the total″[12]), which came from Ian Taylor, an international oil trader with a major stake in the Harris Tweed industry, after a meeting on Lewis with Alistair Darling, the Better Together chairman and former Labour Chancellor. Taylor, chief executive of Vitol Plc, has given the Conservatives £550,000 since 2006.[13]

    Other donors of more than £7,500 included Edinburgh-born crime writer C. J. Sansom, who gave £161,000, and engineering entrepreneur Alan Savage, who handed over £100,000.[12]


    Three of the campaign’s four largest donors by April 2013, responsible between them for £686,000 of the total £1.1m received, included Douglas Flint CBE, the chairman of HSBC, Ian Taylor, chief executive of Vitol,[13] and C. J. Sansom, who described the Scottish National Party as “dangerous” in a note appended to his recent novel Dominion.[14] All three drew criticism from Yes Scotland,[14] for accepting them from benefactors ‘outside Scotland’.

    The campaign’s acceptance of the £500,000 donation from Ian Taylor was also criticised by the pro-independence organisation National Collective, who pointed to “serious incidents […] linked to Ian Taylor’s business background”.[15]

    The Herald also pointed to Taylor’s links to “dubious deals in Serbia, Iraq, Iran and Libya” and UK tax avoidance. Angus Robertson of the Scottish National Party added: “This information is extremely serious and raises questions the No campaign must answer. Material in the public domain states that during his tenure as chief executive Mr Taylor’s company paid $1m to Serbian war criminal Arkan, who was indicted at the Hague for crimes against humanity… Also during Mr Taylor’s tenure it is reported Vitol paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime in return for oil supply contracts, and was involved in a tax avoidance scheme in the UK for over a decade. His donations to the Tories were questioned and criticised by Labour’s Douglas Alexander in relation to a conflict of interest about oil contracts in Libya, so the No campaign must have been aware of these matters.”[16]



  36. “Alistair Darling – the man who smoked so much reefer he actually believes the bullshit he spouts”

    I just got a feeling I slipped into a time warp back to the 50s.

    Reefer, when was the last time I heard that word, ah yes, now I remember.


  37. “Literally a grey and rather faceless man.” Mary, at 10:03pm, today.

    Politically, I agree with your statement, but I think you do mean “metaphorically”, not “literally”. Otherwise, this nondescript politician would be something out of the hallucinatory film, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, with the control turned to monochrome. Well, that excellent film was about Vietnam Veterans, so I suppose there is a tangential link.

  38. Who needs diplomatic influence anyway? We need jobs, sustainability, an educated and literate population, sensible environmental policies, a small military organisation for defence only and proper infrastructure, social and physical. Diplomatic – that is international – influence will then take care of itself. Darling, like so many others, is putting the cart before the horse. With friends like him, Unionists really don’t need enemies.

  39. Ex Pat – Putin isn’t “preaching peace” – he’s arming Assad.

    “Do they use extreme measures if needed? Undoubtedly.” That’s a very twisted defence of the completely unneeded invasion of Chechnya that Putin ordered. Tens of thousands died.

    And not as bad as someone else is the lamest of arguments. Its the one the Israelis always use – don’t look here, look elsewhere. Putin is not a good man. He doesn’t deserve your eulogising.

  40. Suhayl Saadi
    1 Sep, 2013 – 10:14 pm
    “Literally a grey and rather faceless man.” Mary, at 10:03pm, today.

    Politically, I agree with your statement, but I think you do mean “metaphorically”, not “literally”.

    Oh no Suhayl, she means literally. But don’t forget its all in the mind. And this is a mind that has declared it hates her country. You can see what The Beatles had to say about it:


    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    All right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But when you want money
    For people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    All right, all right

    Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free you mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    All right, all right
    All right, all right, all right
    All right, all right, all right

    Sofia, if you’re reading, the last verse is what i’ve been saying to you. The Beatles really did “get it”, didn’t they? Apart from putting it so beautifully.

    And here’s one for a laugh:

    Harry Pinsker! There’s a character for your nexr project, Suhayl. If i remember correctly, he was the Beatles accountant and it was his birthday the day of that rooftop concert(?) — what i’d give to roll back to that day/venue!!!

  41. Thanks for that important link Fred — always good for a laugh

  42. doug scorgie

    1 Sep, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    James Mason
    1 Sep, 2013 – 2:51 pm

    “Scotland would sit alongside the Marshall Islands as a world power.”

    So it’s all about POWER to you Jimmy?

  43. foolish finking was frank fool

    1 Sep, 2013 - 11:19 pm

    Fabricant has a point the UK needs to be renegotiated rather than split up, but how to do it fairly is very difficult. Wales & Scotland have long grievances for having their history deleted and wealth depleted, but it is worth trying to reorganize rather than just pulling up draw bridges.

  44. “This latest bit of unionist nonsense is contemptible”.

    And pathetic. And clearly delusional. Another risible Better Together comment.

    Their campaign fascinates and appals in equal measure. Do they really, after 400 years, know and understand so little of Scotland and the Scots that they imagine our culture, aspirations and attitudes to be on a par with that of the Home Counties?

  45. @Vronsky “All these terrifying conequences of Scottish independence, none of them even remotely believable. And still they haven’t cottoned on to the real threats, like our plan to annex Northumbria”

    If Scotland gets Northumbria, Wales will unquestionably have to claim Blackpool. And possibly London

  46. Totally off topic
    I decided, for the first time, to see what was in my Spam folder before deleting the lot. I was surprised to see emails addressed to ‘adriana’. As this is the only forum on which I have ever used the name ‘adriana’, I’m wondering how the senders got my email address. Can anyone tell me whether my email address is likely to have ended up in places other than penis enhancement and other sex sites?

  47. Adriana,

    Gravatar is an enormous hole in this website.

    Gravatar always know your registered email address (obviously) and every single post you ever make on any site which uses gravatar.

  48. Propaganda ‘Adriana’ – fuck off and hone your skills before asking imbecilic and inane questions.

  49. Mark.

    Can you speak for Gravatar?

  50. Thank you AlcAnon.

    Mark Stephen Golding, sorry, I didn’t know there was an aptitude test for posters on this site. Obviously there is no civility requirement.

  51. Oh and btw, I’d be interested if Craig or admins could answer if they are aware of “Gravatar” and its potential implications?

    There really is no requirement or obvious reason I can see for a “specialist” blog like Craig’s to be using it.

    But maybe I am missing something.

  52. Yes Gravatar – as a cryptoanalyst I have broken the Gravatar unsalted MD5 hash by applying brute force on a known format i.e. email use of @Domain in the SMTP string. Is is not easy. However a Gravatar ties you identity to all the rest of the sites that use Gravatar – thus you must be prepared to lose a bit of privacy and risk impersonation.

    To the informed there are much easier ways to harvest email addresses than hacking Gravatar therefore I feel ‘Adriana’ is slinging negativity by conjuring fear and awe which is below my consciousness. Therefore I have cast him out.

  53. Mark,

    So if this site dropped gravatar and switched transport default to a recent (plenty bits) spec diffie-hellman variant key negotiation, where there would be no problems for the users (they wouldn’t notice a difference other than registering avatars locally) you would be all for it?

    Personally if I was an intelligence service I’d want access to gravatar. So I assume it is compromised.

    “Adriana” suggests female. But you’ve cast “him” out. Sorry just noticed that at the end.

  54. Thanks AlcAnon I admire your intensions. A waste of energy however; it is an email address.

    I was not so arrogant to cast out a poster- bless her. Not at all. I was trying to cast out fear, an intrinsic property of the male genome used to cheat death, ever present when out hunting.

  55. Mark,

    Peace. If we can agree on that it will do for now:-)

    WW3 must not happen either. I hope we can also agree on that.

  56. Solid AlcAnon – just solid.

  57. I don’t think Gravatar needs to be “compromised” for Western intelligence services to have access to their aggregated data on unique email addresses. Gravatar is obviously not a charity so they have commercial clients and some of those clients are just as likely to be NSA/GCHQ/ASIS as they are to be purveyors of junk remedies. Who’s to say that some of those spam advertisers are not fronts for intelligence agencies?

    The problem with this is not just identification of specific posters on this blog but ID of posters across a spectrum of sites. I can’t see any reason to save our ruling masters a few CPU cycles by voluntarily IDing ourselves consistently for the dubious benefit of having a vanity pic.

    And with frequent suggestions to “fuck off” from regulars on this blog to other visitors, is it any wonder there are so few new commentators contributing these days?

     @Jon – please note my email address will now change

  58. great start for our “Presidency”!

    (Foreign Minister Bob) Carr says West could act on Syria without UN as US, allies gear up for probable military strike
    Australia assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council this Sunday for the next month – a period during which the situation in Syria is expected to dominate its deliberations…

    Australian military planners in Washington work on Syrian war plans

    Academic wary of US military presence
    With US forces in military bases dotted all over the north of the country,
    Australia is now hard-wired into the American military system, with
    potentially dangerous consequences, a political studies academic says

  59. hmmm! first mention i’ve seen in MSM – but it dates the MOU to 2012 (or it’s a guardian typo?) when it should be 2011. writer is no Assad fan btw:

    by Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books:

    30 Aug: Guardian: Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
    Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines
    In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”
    Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

  60. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    2 Sep, 2013 - 7:36 am

    ‘She’ doesn’t hate her country. She hates its systems and its corruption.

    Do leave off Villager and get it right. Cease your persistent ad hominem attacks too.

  61. You’ve made a good point in the case for an independent Scotland – namely, that it would not share in the responsibility for Britain’s blunders in foreign policy. The loss of international clout would, I am sure, not be missed by a country, if it were more prosperous and better run.

    The “if” is important however. Consider the financial trouble that Ireland and Iceland got themselves into in the past decade. An independent Scotland wouldn’t be bailed out by the UK if it happened.

    In the end, the people resident North of the border will decide, hopefully on rational grounds, whether they wish to stay in the UK or not. I hope that they will stay, but will respect whatever decision they make.

    I doubt that people resident by their own free choice on the Isle of Thanet will have any part in that decision, however. :)

  62. BBC’s today programme have just run a piece about how even some republican congressmen are not believeing the case for war. Apparently it’s going to be a “nerve-wracking week for the whitehouse”. Not a word, let alone of such concern, for the poor fuckers waiting to be bombed.

    Last night r4 said there is a case for recalling parliament to vote again. They didn’t mention what that case might be.

    A R5 chat show last night had an american talking head repeating all the lies. Even the presenter suggested the people were no longer listening to the ‘campaign’ for war and all the listeners texts were anti-war.

    The propaganda is relentless.

  63. Jemand 2 Sep, 2013 – 2:56 am

    I don’t think Gravatar needs to be “compromised” for Western intelligence services to have access to their aggregated data on unique email addresses…The problem with this is not just identification of specific posters on this blog but ID of posters across a spectrum of sites.”

    Personally, I doubt anyone in any government agency is hunting down people who comment on craig murray’s blog.

  64. Soory, my I posted my above comment with no formatting to make it clear the first part was quoting jemand.

  65. Phil,

    You are a five star idiot. They record anything they can.

    Interesting you consider Craig’s blog insignificant though.

  66. MJ: “Denmark has its own currency.”

    True but not terribly relevant. No doubt Scotland would initially continue to use the UK Pound but somehow I doubt that would last all that long – particularly if there was any possibility of the UK leaving the EU. The most likely options, it seems to me, would be adoption of the Euro (unlikely under present circumstances but who knows in a few years’ time) or having its own currency (Scottish Pound, presumably).

    More broadly, Ireland’s non-membership of NATO and Denmark’s non-membership of the Eurozone supports the idea that countries of comparable size and geography to Scotland can make their own decisions on such matters.

  67. interesting to read Pepe Escobar in Asia Times back in May 2012 on the pipelines. wish the pipeline narrative was getting out to the public:

    Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

  68. On the clout that an independent Scotland would have in international affairs, I go along with Craig Evans (1 Sept 3.18 pm)that this will depend on its actions and values rather than with James Mason’s tendentious and imperfect comparison with the Marshall Islands (pop 70,000). The Republic of the Marshall Islands is “a presidential republic in free association with the United States, with the US providing defense, funding grants, and access to social services” (Wikipedia).

    Small countries which have had considerable influence on issues of global significance, because of the efforts their politicians and officials have made to become well-informed about issues that matter to them and have thus become valuable contributors to international policy making. One example is the the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Malta played a huge part in creating momentum in the UN for negotiations to get underway; and Irish diplomacy made sure that there was a clause (the “Rockall clause”)preventing isolated rocks from generating bast EEZs for the country exercising sovereignty over them.

    I’m not currently in favour of independence (especially if only carried by a divisively thin majority of those voting – which, as a Scot living in London, does not include me); but lack of international clout because of size/ population seems a weak argument (cf the historic influence of Venice, the current voice of the Maldives and Tuvalu in the debate on climate change; and the personal authority over the last century of a number of individual leaders from small European countries). It is also a morally suspect argument – wanting to get one’s way by bullying rather than by example and persuasion.

    Douglas Hurd’s tired cliché about the UK “punching above its weight” might be more accurately applied to a smaller country – like an independent Scotland – that used its influence to support the development of and respect for international law.

  69. lots & lots of detail:

    3 June: Global Research: Dmitry Minin: The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis: Syrian “Opposition” Armed to Thwart Construction of Iran-Iraq-Syria Gas Pipeline

  70. Oddie, good to see that Global Research is back up again and that is a good article. Yesterday and for several days Global Research, one of the better real news outlets, was under attack and, those who clicked the link, like Phil, would know that this article was not available. It is now.


  71. I notice the “shower of shills” say nothing about the real news and their heroes’ efforts to keep it out of the public domain.

  72. Fred said;

    If an independent Scotland isn’t going to be having any foreign interventions who are they planning on using those 15,000 front line troops against.

    Now that is the best rebuttal ever.

    Although, you should lock the knife drawers, just in case you decide to stab someone or self-harm, all because you have a knife and you have to use it!

    Compelling reason that Scots should go on invading as in the Carry on film fashion; without wearing any knickers and letting their kilts fly! On the other hand disband their army and let the England do the dirty on them yet again!


  73. Circle of life is complete;

    Morsi to be tried for ‘inciting murder’: Egyptian state TV

    Mubarak is off the hook, and now Morsi is where he belongs.

    The will of the Egyptians I suppose!

  74. Just wondering if it will be the Campbells or the McDonalds in charge of the army.

  75. @Je 3:36 1-9

    “…. – but the Russians can blow Scotland to pieces with ballistic missiles anyway”

    … as could the Americans, the French and probably the Israelis too for that matter.

    Why is it assumed that the former is a possibility but the latter unthinkable? Why are the Russians always cast as the Baddies – potential or actual I wonder?

    I suggest a good ponder on that question will tell us a lot about how we are conditioned to view the world – The Russians are still synonymous with the Cold War USSR in the minds of the masses for example, rendering their continued demonisation for declining to see things the globalists way, that much easier.

  76. Continued….

    Whereas they (The Russians) are about all that stands in the way of more war and the complete forced re-ordering of the ME per the article Mary linked earlier and now up on Wikispooks too – It’s a real cracker and explains suppressed elite policy towards the ME very clearly indeed.

  77. @Fred – 11:53

    Very Droll :-)))

    Still having a good old chuckle at that one.

  78. Just wondering if it will be the Campbells or the McDonalds in charge of the army.

    The titular heir to the Duchy of Cumberland (as in Butcher Cumberland, 1745) is this deadbeat quasi-royal….


    If he were to reclaim the duchy, I’m sure the Campbells would rediscover their ancient allegiance and sell out to the English. Again.
    So – the Macdonalds. Or better yet, the Camerons….scrub that, maybe.

  79. So – the Macdonalds.

    The Wee Frees from the Western Isles?

    And they accuse Alistair Darling of scaremongering.

  80. More likely the heavies from Castlemilk…or Dundee. Clan Macdonald knows no boundaries -the Wee Frees were the ones who couldn’t hack it down South, and as you say, even they are terrifying. Be very afraid, white settler.


  81. AlcAnon 2 Sep, 2013 – 9:22 am
    “They record anything they can.”

    To think the feds are after you for commenting here is fearful to say the least. They might be looking at visitors to a very few genuinely seditious sites but most not places where opinions expressed are little different to say what some mps hold for example.

    And even if they are looking, so what? You are breaking no laws commenting here. What do you think will happen? Let me tell you. Nothing. The proof is in the pudding that many here make no effort to cover our tracks and I don’t believe anyone is being persecuted yet. My guess is that craig is by far the most watched person here. Others will be on databases but not for commenting here. Can you provide one example where someone has been shat on for writing a comment on a mainstream blog?

    The (deep) state likes you to be afraid. Possibly it only survives in it’s current murderous incarnation because good people aren’t looking or good people are afraid. My advise is don’t buy into the fear.

  82. Phil,

    You are welcome to try Craig’s challenge.

    Which was try saying something really derogatory about Vladimir Putin. Then try visiting Russia.

    According to Craig someone is paying attention.

  83. doesn’t look like the Gulf guys got their way…tho this is being spun in some MSM:

    Arab League urges UN-backed action in Syria
    However, some influential members of the League, including Egypt, Iraq,
    Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria, have expressed opposition to foreign military
    Egypt’s foreign minister on Sunday said that his nation objected to “any
    aggression in Syria”.

  84. Abe Rene at 08.18:

    “Consider the financial trouble that Ireland and Iceland got themselves into in the past decade. An independent Scotland wouldn’t be bailed out by the UK if it happened.”

    No indeed, but both Ireland and Iceland are still managing quite fine by themselves no? Whereas Scotland got into similar trouble as part of the UK (Independence would mean we would be free to create our own banking controls and not be ruled by the ‘city’ as Westminster currently is…). And actually the UK did not even bail itself out in 2008, most of the money came from the good ‘ol USA…

    Please read this to better understand how a future iScotland could and would be able to bail out any of its’ banks that failed, should we choose to bail them out and not follow the Icelandic model or some other alternative of our creation.

    An iScotland would certainly be more prosperous (google “McCrone Report” and download the pdf if you have not read it already), whether better run or not remains to be seen but if the electorate felt Scotland was not being well run we would be in much better position to change our govt than at present, where we basically get the govt the south of England votes for..

    On topic – Scotland currently has no power on the ‘world stage’ as we are not represented on any international body, only the UK is – and UK govt will never put Scotland’s interests ahead of those of England/rUK should they differ. See for example the Iraq war in which majority of Scots MP’s voted against (in line with overwhelming public opinion inside Scotland) but as part of UK we went to war anyway…

  85. “No indeed, but both Ireland and Iceland are still managing quite fine by themselves no? ”

    No, the £7bn the UK tax payers gave them helped save them.

    “And actually the UK did not even bail itself out in 2008, most of the money came from the good ‘ol USA… ”

    Could you provide your source for that information?

  86. Fred – try reading the link in my post above

  87. http://tinyurl.com/q6xbzu5

    “The UK government bail out of RBS and HBOS amounted to £65bn a lot of money but the US federal reserve made emergency loans available to RBS of £285bn and to HBOS of £115bn and $552.32bn to Barclays – sorry who bailed out the British banks again?”

    Basically banks that operate in more than one country were bailed out by all of those countries roughly in accordance with the proportion of the banks’ total business based in each country. Thus RBS was bailed out by USA so heavily in accordance with the proportion of business RBS had in USA – effectively the Fed bailed out RBS’s US customers who otherwise would have lost their cash. I suspect this is also why UK bailed out Ireland and/or Iceland to tune of 7billion (if this is correct) – they were effectively bailing out UK customers (in Iceland’s case the UK ‘customers’ were govt itself and many local authorities IIRC).

    So IF we assume RBS is a Scottish bank (HQ office in London) and IF we further assume it was to fail in similar manner at some future date following Scottish independence, then IF the Scottish govt chose to bail out said bank, it would only have to bail out the bank in accordance with the amount of business it actually holds/does in Scotland – estimated to be about 5% of the current UK total..

  88. I wonder if Freds Union Jack underwear is getting a bit sweaty?
    The latest Panelbase Scots Indy poll gives 44% Yes, and 43% No.

  89. @Robin

    A bank borrowing money from a central bank isn’t exactly a government bailout, it’s what banks do and what central banks are there for. A loan was taken out and then it was repaid with interest, happens all the time.

  90. @Juteman

    I think anyone with any sense at all knows that independence would not be all gains. There would be winners and losers, swings and roundabouts, gains and losses, advantages and disadvantages. It’s a matter of weighing the balances not fanatically screaming “scaremongering” at any possibility of negative consequences.

    I’ve noticed the moderation policy regarding those posting purely to make personal attacks on other posters on this forum does not extend to Nationalists shouting down and intimidating those who think the people of Scotland deserve to be informed.

  91. I agree with you Fred, independence won’t be all gains, though any mistakes will be our own.
    Calling me a knuckledragger didn’t bother me, but you’re correct though, British Nationalists like yourself seem to be able to post anti-Scottish insults with impunity.

  92. “Promises, Promises … Detroit, Pensions, Bondholders And Super-Priority Derivatives”


  93. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    2 Sep, 2013 - 8:57 pm

    “British Nationalists like yourself { ie, Fred }seem to be able to post anti-Scottish insults with impunity.”

    Fred was talking about anti-independence posters being shouted down with insults on this blog, you dimwit.

  94. And i don’t understand this ‘information’ thing, Fred.
    Does a German need any information on why he should let France run his country, or not?
    The referendum question is simple. Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes or no.

  95. “I agree with you Fred, independence won’t be all gains, though any mistakes will be our own.
    Calling me a knuckledragger didn’t bother me, but you’re correct though, British Nationalists like yourself seem to be able to post anti-Scottish insults with impunity.”

    First of all I am not a British Nationalist, never have been, never will be and your repeated calling me one I count as a personal attack and intimidation. Please understand that not being a rabid fanatical Scottish Nationalist is not the same thing as being a British Nationalist or a Unionist.

    Secondly, I haven’t called you a knuckledragger, I made reference to Nationalist knuckledraggers, if you thought the description matched yourself that isn’t my problem.

    Thirdly, remarks about Scotland or any other country are not personal remarks about another poster, it is not a personal attack any more than criticism of America or Israel or any other country. It makes me wonder what sort of place an independent Scotland would be if criticism of the country or it’s government would not be tolerated.

  96. “And i don’t understand this ‘information’ thing, Fred.
    Does a German need any information on why he should let France run his country, or not?
    The referendum question is simple. Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes or no.”

    I live in Scotland, we vote for MPs to go to Westminster and run Britain and we vote for MPs to go to Hollirood and run Scotland.

  97. BrianFujisan

    2 Sep, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    Ex Pat @ 7;16, and 8;47

    Thank you… Exelents posts, Great links

    here’s a great piece from information clearing house

    Impeachment: Congress Fires Opening Shot Across Obama’s Bow.

    “Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.” In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:…”President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.’”

    “We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional.”

    Text from letter of Rep. Scott Regall (R, VA) to Pres. Obama
    Signed by 140 Reps, including 21 Democrats

    The letter of Scott Regall (1) to Barak Obama has exploded on the scene with its opening words:

    “We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
    “While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active engagement of Congress – prior to committing U.S. military assets. Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”


  98. Adriana, not sure how spammers got hold of your email address. If other people report a problem too, we’ll look into it. For extra security, you don’t have to use your real address if you prefer not to.

    In the meantime, my apologies that Mark Golding was abusive towards you – this is out of character for him, in my experience. He may not know that you’ve posted quite a few times, but that would be no excuse anyway.

    (Aside: there is some disagreement here as to whether outright abuse ought to be removed, or left standing as a record of what was said. At present, it is left unless there is suspicion of bullying, or a thread is being derailed).

  99. BrianFujisan

    3 Sep, 2013 - 1:44 am


    To be Fair Jon is Correct, that one was a wee bit out of character for mark, i was very surprised by that comment.

    Anyhooo Stick around please

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