71 thoughts on “Unanswerable Argument for Yes

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  • doug scorgie

    5 May, 2014 – 9:08 am

    “He is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for American Progress in Washington DC, where he worked from 2008–09 as Associate Director on Economic Growth…”

    Will Straw got a police caution for drug dealing in 1997. If he wants to go to the US he requires a letter of special dispensation from the embassy to be let past the border.

    He obviously hasn’t had any problems, unlike Nigella Lawson.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Will Straw got a police caution for drug dealing in 1997. If he wants to go to the US he requires a letter of special dispensation from the embassy to be let past the border.”

    On a point of info : is a caution sufficient to get someone barred, or is it a conviction? If the former, then you have a valid point; if the latter, then not.

  • Tony M

    I have to say I find Scottish strawberries are unquestionably the best, if organic, even better, consumers given a choice always choose them.

    The Israeli franken-fruit produced on stolen-land, fertilised by the blood and bodies of the Palestinian people ploughed under I expect to be toxically-laden with chemical fertilisers, herbicide residues and pesticides, a bitter harvest of bad fruits, nothing but superficial gloss, inside rotten to the core. Look for the number 729 leftmost on the barcode and leave them to wilt and wither on the shelf.

  • Mary

    The late Labour minister Barbara Castle commended her then assistant, the current Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, for his ‘guile and low cunning’.

    His son Will, 29 is a shrewd chap, too. He worked in America during the 2008 presidential election for a blog called Think Progress, which dug up dirt on Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

    Shrewd: Jack Straw’s son, Will worked for a blog in the run up to the 2008 presidential election which dug up dirt on Sarah Palin – photo

    Now he’s planning a blog called Left Foot Forward, focusing on Tory leader David Cameron and a future Conservative government. Jack’s tipped him off that Labour’s had it, perhaps.’

    Goggle eyed and gormless in the accompanying photo.

    Ephraim Hardcastle.


    The Mail do not like NuLabour to state the obvious.

    On BLiar and Chilcot again with BLiar looking ragged.

    Tony Blair besieged as Cameron says: End the excuses and print Iraq War report
    Former PM accused of trying to delay publication of Chilcot Inquiry
    Well-sourced reports suggest that it will savage his handling of the conflict
    Blair has argued criticism could dent Ed Miliband’s General Election hopes
    Comes as former Labour leader struggles to maintain his standing


    and yet another portrait of the arch war criminal

    At 60, Blair goes for the youthful look: Former prime minister goes for jeans and open polo shirt in new portrait
    Thee image of the former PM was painted by British war artist Ken Howard
    Standing in front of Northern Ireland mural with the slogan ‘No Surrender’
    Howard was Official War Artist to Northern Ireland in 1973 during Troubles


  • Kempe

    I was reminded of other politicians who followed their fathers into parliament like Pitt the Younger and Winston Churchill.

    Nothing became of them either.


    Nepotism is endemic throughout most cultures. One of the most prolific practitioners are Police and Firefighters. The ‘Good Ol’ boy network is the only in, save some limited Affirmative Action where a smattering of minority groups give a nice bit of shade.

    I think most of our activities are imbued with chinks in human armor. Human nature is the battleground, and that seems to be a perpetual war of ‘me and mine’ versus others not part of our group.


    “At 60, Blair goes for the youthful look: Former prime minister goes for jeans and open polo shirt in new portrait
    Thee image of the former PM was painted by British war artist Ken Howard
    Standing in front of Northern Ireland mural with the slogan ‘No Surrender’
    Howard was Official War Artist to Northern Ireland in 1973 during Troubles”

    It’s kind of funny that once they’ve made their nut, these guys go all casual and easy-going toward re-inventing public image, eh Mary?

  • Mary

    Even worse is that taxpayers’ money was spent by the HoC on a portrait of the warmonger.

    ‘It was commissioned by the House of Commons for the parliamentary art collection.
    Now it will be hung in Portcullis House, the modern parliamentary building opposite the Palace of Westminster, alongside pictures of other former PMs and leading political figures.’

    A review by David Lee, Editor of art magazine The Jackdaw
    This is a stylish, formal portrait by a capable young painter whose portrayal of composer Thomas Adès in the National Portrait Gallery is among the finest recent works in the collection.
    Everything about this picture up to the head works satisfactorily, the white of the shirt peeping under the jacket buttons is an especially clever trick to liven the gloom.
    It is entirely convincing, if unexciting. Sadly Blair looks to have assumed the dull, unrevealing look of concentration many adopt when sitting for a portrait.
    This kills any work stone dead. It is not revealing of his state of mind though the sombreness and the concentration may perhaps signify disappointment.
    Unfortunately the head is so odd there is no averting one’s eyes from it.
    He seems to be suffering some dreadful brain inflammation.
    It is very distracting, as is his hair which more resembles a cheap toupée than the wispy thin grey locks we’re all used to.
    I can’t think of another official portrait where a seeming deformity has so affected the way the picture is viewed.
    In order to counteract the large head the Commons will have to hang the picture high up in order for it to be viewed from below. It ought then to look passably normal. Notwithstanding the head, it’s a tidy if dull effort.
    The problem for portraiture seems to be that we know already too well the appearance of the sitters from television and newspapers. Paintings look somehow fake.
    Gone are the days when artists could effortlessly produce a picture that didn’t look somehow strange and was entirely convincing in all its facets.


  • technicolour

    In fact I’ve seen the portrait live in Portcullis House and it is, literally, chilling: makes people, not just me, shiver. A darker, more revealing portrait of a man would be hard to find, and great art: makes you think of ‘My Last Duchess’.

  • Mary

    Yes it’s the dead eyes Technicolour and the size of the head, out of proportion.

    I just had a strange experience after finding this below, the first official portrait. The url disappeared from the top of the screen then all went black. In the end I had to close down and reboot!

    Tony Blair’s first official portrait unveiled

    The artist is the son of the now deselected ex MP Tim Yeo following lobbying indiscretions from which he was cleared.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Yeo (needs updating)

  • Mary

    Yeo was on Radio 4 Today before 8am defending the ConDem agreement with EDF to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point which an academic lawyer and others are saying is virtually null and void.

  • Ba'al Zevul (In Vimto Veritas!)

    So why campaign together? Essentially, it seems, because it would be “more weird” to pretend he wasn’t his father’s offspring – and also because Jack Straw knows everybody in east Lancashire and has honed his vote-gathering technique to perfection after more than three decades standing on a soapbox outside Marks & Spencer in Blackburn town centre most weekends.

    I think that says it all. And Jack’s press releases rarely omit the reference to M&S, as Craig noted earlier. It’ll be Lord Jack of St. Michael if (when) they ennoble the weasel.
    Question is, did the proposal to move M&S to the new mall really fall through because Jack didn’t fancy campaigning outside whoever took over the site – Poundland, say, or Coral?

    Footnote: Jeremy Paxman’s book, “Political Animal” alleges that Straw has to bribe a busker on the same site to shut up when he’s having a public blether. I really think this is a commercial opportunity for the street entertainment profession, and as many as possible of its members should make their way to Blackburn for these events.

  • Ba'al Zevul (In Vimto Veritas!)

    Punnets and punnets of nice, juicy Israeli strawberries is what we want.

    And the prize for unnecessarily introducing Israel goes to….

    But while we’re there, nice juicy Gaza strawberries aren’t on the shelves today…


    For the Jewish holidays, apparently. They have quite a lot of holidays –


    None of which, not even the Second Passover*, was yesterday or today.

    *“There were, however, certain persons who had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They approached Moses and Aaron . . . and they said: ‘. . . Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present G‑d’s offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?’” (Numbers 9:6–7).
    In response to their plea, G‑d established the 14th of Iyar as a “Second Passover” (Pesach Sheni) for anyone who was unable to bring the offering on its appointed time in the previous month.

    Might need more than a couple of alternative dates if you’re in the IDF, hey?

    (Captcha denies that 5 X 1 = 5)

  • Mary

    Be grateful ye tenants! And keep paying the rent to the rentier.

    Earl to sell mountain to pay off tax
    The Earl of Lonsdale, who is trying to sell a mountain to pay off a hefty tax bill, has said he chose shifting the peak over evicting people from their homes.

    Lake District mountain sale: Earl ‘didn’t want to evict tenants’

    So much loot, so many wives, so many legal wrangles. What a crowd.

  • Mick

    What is the problem with the Earl trying to sell off one chunk of land (the mountain) so that he was not forced to sell other assets which would deprive people of their homes and, in the case of tenant farmers, their livelihoods? Surely it is a good thing that has not chosen the latter course of action?

    Perhaps if death duties were not so crippling for those who are asset rich and cash poor there would be no cause to sell any of the land.

  • Mary

    Tony M Earlier you questioned the right of one man ‘to own a mountain’. Rightly so.

    There is a discussion here on Medialens which starts by asking how a Lowther came to ‘own’ it.


    The mountain in question was featured in Sunday’s Countryfile. The item served as an advert for the sale. YCNMIU.

    ‘Mountain for sale
    Ellie Harrison Ellie Harrison is in the Lake District exploring a mountain which is on sale for the first time in four centuries. She discovers what a potential buyer could expect for their money with the help of a trusty Wainwright guide. These detailed records have been indispensable for fell walkers for 50 years. Ellie then meets the mystery seller himself and goes off-road to experience the finest views. She also visits a tenant farmer who introduces her to his hardy flock of Herdwick sheep, which thrive on the mountain.’

  • Abe Rene

    I note that the article does not quote him saying “Drug-pushing is an activity for scumbags, and I am truly sorry.” I note also that his Good Neighbour Paterfamilias is on hand, which should make any local churches think twice about daring to give an equal platform to human rights activists and ex-senior diplomats with New Labour officials.

  • Ba'al Zevul ( :-) )

    I was reminded of other politicians who followed their fathers into parliament like Pitt the Younger and Winston Churchill.

    One (at a time) may be accounted a misfortune…this is stretching credulity a bit, though:


    The trouble with our representatives is that they are not our representatives, or indeed anyone’s representatives other than their party whips’.

  • Mary

    Scottish students say “yes” to boycotting Israel Posted on May 2, 2014 –

    The Palestinian-led campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel is continuously winning greater support among students in Britain and Ireland.

    During March, referendums endorsing BDS tactics were carried at the University of Dundee in Scotland, the National University of Ireland – Galway and King’s College London.

    On 27 March, a referendum was held by the Dundee University Student Association (DUSA) for students to vote on twelve different motions put forward by different societies on campus. The motion submitted by the Action Palestine society was approved with the largest majority of students voting ”yes.” Out of 660 votes cast, 479 (72.6 percent) supported the motion.

    DUSA boasts of being the number one student union in Scotland and the result of this poll indicates that students want it to take an ethical stance in opposing injustice in Palestine.


    PS What is there in the Education Act 1994 that prevents DUSA from implementing the motion?

    ‘In Dundee, the response from the DUSA executive has been that it couldn’t implement the motion in its entirety, citing restrictions imposed by the UK Education Act of 1994. The association’s response did not explain why it felt restrained by that law.

    The Dundee University Action Palestine society hasn’t released a statement yet as both the society’s members and the DUSA executive are awaiting further details of how the BDS motion will be implemented.’

  • Clark

    Miss Castello, 9:20 pm; excellent link. Thank you.

    “Scottish Independence: Why progressives across the UK must support the Yes campaign”

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