Doune The Rabbit Hole 450

I shall again be running the bar – the Whistleblower’s Arms – at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival from 22 to 24 August at Cardross, Port of Menteith.

I find this festival, which is very much a lifestyle event and features mostly new talent, an extremely life-affirming experience. Last year it brought me back from a very dark place. Some of this blogs most active commenters and helpers have been among the volunteers over the last couple of years, keeping the event going. Personally for me the festival is necessarily centred around Williams Bros and Thistly Cross, but there is a tremendous variety of music:


The event is very family friendly, and also an amazing place to meet new friends. It does not have any specific political orientation, but I might fairly say that the vibe is very much in line with the kind of unconstrained intellectual space promoted on this blog. On top of which Cardross is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The variety of local food on site, ranging from vegan to game, is one of the things I really enjoyed. It is a not for profit event and nobody gets a salary.

Tickets are not expensive by festival standards, and certainly cheaper than a weekend break in a hotel. But there is also the alternative of working your passage – the festival still needs plenty of volunteers.

I am genuinely looking forward to it enormously. Hope to see you there.

450 thoughts on “Doune The Rabbit Hole

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  • Clark

    “Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was chosen by the home secretary to head the inquiry into allegations of historical abuse.”

    She was Chairman of the Security Commission prior to its abolition in 2010.[citation needed]

    The Security Commission looks interesting. Its Wikipedia page is just a stub, but contains an interesting list:

    February 2000

    Lord Lloyd of Berwick
    Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
    Sir John Foley
    Sir Clive Whitmore

    Breaches of security which may have occurred arising out of the case of Chief Petty Officer Steven Hayden, convicted under the Official Secrets Act 1989 Cm. 4578

    May 2004

    Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
    Sir Charles Mantell
    Sir John Goulden
    Sir Iain Vallance

    To review vetting of those who join or belong to the Royal Households, those working closely with them, or who otherwise gain access to Royal residences Cm. 6177

    This woman appears to be an establishment insider.

  • Mary

    A flock of geese downed the US helicopter which crashed on the Norfolk coast.

    Poor birds. Minding their own business and along comes this horrible machine (which had been practicing killing people) and minces them all up.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    32 Palestinians killed in Gaza.

    Remember: 3 Jewish teenagers = 300 Palestinians (the one burnt alive by civilians doesn’t count)

    And counting.

    Kudos to Jordan, which has done what the Quartet’s extremely well-paid jetsetting envoy has not yet bestirred himself (or dared) to do:

    Jordan, one of just two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, has demanded an immediate halt to deadly Israeli air raids against Gaza.

    Government spokesman Mohammad Momani said that the raids that killed more than 20 Palestinians in purported response to rocket fire that has killed no one in Israel were “barbaric”.

    Jordan “condemns the military aggression that Israel has launched in the Gaza Strip” and calls for “its immediate halt”, Mr Momani said.

    He said the “barbaric aggression” had “negative repercussions on the Gaza Strip and the whole region”.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mr Scorgie

    “Sir Michael Havers:

    “…intervened three times between 1981 and 1983 to stop the investigation and exposure of Establishment paedophiles, and to prevent the publication of stories which showed that Establishment figures were members of the Paedophile Information Exchange.””

    Thank you for that information, Doug.

    You go on to give some detail on the 1981 affair concerning Sir Peter Heyman and MP Geoffrey Dickens.

    You said “intervened three times between 1981 and 1983.Could you also supply us with some chapter and verse for the two other times you allude to? I assume that Havers did not intervene another two times on the same Heyman affair. What were the other two times about?

    Thank you.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Poor birds. Minding their own business and along comes this horrible machine (which had been practicing killing people) and minces them all up.”

    Regrettable indeed; I love birds.

    But this is life (or in this case, death).

    It is not entirely unknown for planes to collide with other planes.

    “Poor birds. Minding their own business and along come these horrible cats (which had been practicing killing mice) and eat them all up.”

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Re the latest operation over Gaza:

    Is it conceivable that Hamas, which controls Gaza, might think it a good idea to ensure that rockets are not fired towards Israel?

    Which would presumably make it more difficult for Israel to justify “pounding” Gaza?

    I think the answer must be yes.

    Given that

    -these rocket attacks are of no military value (we are continually being told that they are crude home-made devices which tend to land in the desert and cause no Israeli casualties)

    – Hamas or whoever launches them should by now know that such firings invite stern reprisals

    is it conceivable that they continue to be fired from time to time precisely in order to invite military reprisals as a means of keeping tensions high?

    That would be very callous and cynical of Hamas or whoever launches them, wouldn’t it.

    Just askin’.

  • Kempe

    ” Poor birds. Minding their own business and along comes this horrible machine (which had been practicing killing people) and minces them all up. ”

    At the risk of being called pedantic again the helicopter was on a search and rescue exercise so it was practicing saving life, not taking it.

    Awaiting the predictable reaction of the paranoid conspiracy junkies convinced the crash was a false flag “psy-op”.


    Finally, some more drips from the massive files. It is comprehensive and outrageous, but sparing so far.

    “According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:

    • Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

    • Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

    • Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

    • Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

    • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Habbabkuk, 8 Jul, 7:19 pm:

    “The man [Brian Haw] was a demented, obsessive leech”

    Please explain why you think these three things.”

    Oh, having been inspired by the splendid example offered by sundry Excellences on this blog over the years, I just thought it would be interesting to experience what it feels like to sling a little mud around at a public figure.

    And I must admit it felt quite pleasant and I’m beginning to understand why the Eminences do it all the time.

    Good enough for you, Clark? 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    California Ben

    “comprehensive” and “sparing so far” – simultaneously?

    Have you been bogarting that joint again?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Whoops! Top of the page again!

    Sorry, Mary, I didn’t mean to, honest!

    But feel free to comment! 🙂

  • Mary

    Incontinent again I see.


    Not chastened in any way about the comment on Brian Haw. Vile.


    Tweedledum and Tweedledee are mirror images of one another, reintroducing the theme of inversion. With the exception of their names, the two little fat men are identical in looks, manner, and stance. They exhibit perfect symmetry, standing together with their arms around each other, so that when they extend their free hands they each reflect the other’s body position. Their conversation also displays a symmetrical position designated by Tweedledee’s favorite expression, “contrariwise.” “Contrariwise” functions as a transitional word that flips the premise of the conversation. Tweedledee usually addresses the other side of whatever Tweedledum just said.

  • Mary

    Believe what you like Kempe.

    It was practising low flying manoeuvres. Some say it had been firing live rounds at sea at targets.

    Carrying live ammunition. Some probably DU tipped hence the sealing off and the scare stuff with Norfolk plods in attendance.

    ‘Pave-Hawk helicopters are used by the US military for special operations in war zones. They are not heavily armed but are equipped with rapid fire machine guns and are used in special operations.’

    Sounds just like one of those Air Sea Rescue helicopters that Prince Will I Am has been flying doesn’t it?

    He has landed a P/T job (hence depriving another of the job) as an Air Ambulance pilot. Such caring people our royals. They would never think of becoming arms salesmen or piloting a helicopter gunship in Afghanistan to hunt down the people and kill them.


    ““I was a very conservative, Reagan-loving Republican,” said one of the targets, Faisal Gill. “If somebody like me could be surveilled, then [there are] other people out there I can only imagine who are under surveillance.”

    “I went to school here as a fourth grader – learned about the Revolutionary War, learned about individual rights, Thomas Jefferson, all these things,” he told The Intercept. “That is ingrained in you – your privacy is important. And to have that basically invaded for no reason whatsoever – for the fact that I didn’t do anything – I think that’s troubling. And I think that certainly goes to show how we need to shape policy differently than it is right now.”

    CAIR’s Nihad Awad used stronger language to describe his feelings about being targeted and spoke specifically about how the Muslim community has been treated in the U.S. in recent years.

    “I’m outraged as an American citizen that my government, after decades of civil rights struggle, still spies on political activists and civil right activists and leaders,” he said. “I’m really angry that despite all the work that we have been doing in our communities to serve the nation, we are treated with suspicion.”

  • Mary

    Thanks Ben for the link from Indymedia Ireland. It is an excellent site run by Miriam Cotton from memory. Mountbatten was notorious.

    I have been listening to this speech Gerry Conlon (one of the Guildford Four) made in November last year. It was on the same site.

    It is the most passionate and moving speech I have ever heard. It moved me to tears. He speaks without notes and has amazing recall for the facts and the names. Michael Havers’ name comes up incidentally.

    He died earlier this year sadly. His body was broken but his spirit was not

    RIP Gerry Conlon. We are very sorry for what was done to you and are ashamed. You will not be forgotten for your search for truth and justice. The latter was denied to you of course. Quite wicked.


    Mary; I knew about his preference but didn’t know he was a pedo. When he was killed by the IRA, I thought it was symbolic of something else, but Kincora, Ireland comes into play

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Incontinent again I see.”

    Because of my three posts in a row, Mary?

    And who was it who posted at 14h49, 14h58 and 15h29 – three times within 40 minutes?

    Why, I do believe it was……you!


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Prince Will I Am has been flying doesn’t it?

    He has landed a P/T job (hence depriving another of the job) as an Air Ambulance pilot.”

    Incontinence – another of Mary’s pissy but above all, silly comments.

    When a Royal does a useful job, Mary sneers that he’s taking away someone else’s job.

    When a Royal does nothing, Mary accuses him of being a parasite.

    You really have no self-awareness at all, do you, Mary.

  • Dreoilin

    “Official documents recording flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British Indian Ocean Territory where the United States is accused of carrying out ‘extraordinary rendition’ of terror suspects, have been destroyed by water damage.”

    (and if you believe that you’ll believe anything)

    link tweeted by Clive Stafford Smith who remarks, “Dog ate my homework excuse (again)”

  • Macky

    The mass killing war criminals that call themselves the Israeli Government are as predictable as they are obscene, expect the most intensive phase of the current killing spree to be during the weekend, as the World’s attention will be diverted by the climax of the World Cup, just like the World’s attention was diverted at the start of Cast Lead by the inauguration of Obama.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Brian Haw was a great man, like a modern Stylite; he had guts, integrity, passion, moral purity and humanity. I’m grateful to him for the stand that he took, and for so visibly articulating our moral outrage right under the noses of the warmongers. RIP matey.

  • MJ

    “Official documents…have been destroyed by water damage”

    “and if you believe that you’ll believe anything”

    There’s a good chance the statement is wholly accurate. If you chucked a load of documents into the sea they’d suffer water damage and be destroyed.

  • Dreoilin

    “There’s a good chance the statement is wholly accurate. If you chucked a load of documents into the sea they’d suffer water damage and be destroyed.”


    I take the point

  • Mary

    Macky Cast Lead (that horror) ‘ended’ on January 18th. Obomber became the president on January 20th. Remember all that ‘hope and change’ nonsense? It’s all got worse.

  • Dreoilin

    “In the approximately nine hours since this post was originally published, the casualty count in Gaza has reached forty Palestinians killed since Tuesday morning. Al-Akhbar English has published a list provided by the health ministry in Gaza with the names of the victims.

    “Among those killed, thirteen were aged sixteen or younger. The youngest victim, eighteen-month-old Mohammed Malakiyeh, was killed along with his 27-year-old mother. The oldest victim, eighty-year-old Naifeh Farjallah, was killed in an air strike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City,” Al-Akhbar reports.”

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