People or War?

by craig on July 4, 2014 10:21 am in Uncategorized

We could have built 120,000 new homes, desperately needed. Instead we spent the money on a bloody big ship. To what purpose? An aircraft carrier is of no use to defend the British Isles – land based planes can do that much better. It is to enable our armed forces to operate elsewhere, far from here. In other words, it is not for defence, it is for attack. It was ordered in the Blairite era of enthusiastic invasion of other countries.

Look what that left us. The Middle East in turmoil, half the world hates us, a wrecked economy. Oh and a bloody great ship. Thanks for that.

Not only could 6.2 billion pounds have built 120,000 social housing units around the country, but doing that would have created 200,000 more jobs, and helped cool the housing bubble, as well as giving families nice places to live.

Next time a disabled person has their benefits cut, we can say “Aah, but look, we’ve got a really good boat!”

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  1. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 10:35 am

    You’re forgetting the £2.5Bn we contributed to the F35-B’s that will (it is hoped) fly off the bloody thing.

  2. Got it in one, Craig. The cost of these two projects could do untold good for our population. Instead have state-of-the-art killing machinery to deal with terrrrrrsts, or indeed anyone else we don’t like or who disagrees with our wonderful leaders and their masters.

  3. Well, they can always ground it off the coast and use it for social housing?

  4. And let’s not forget that other bargain, Trident. As Frank Zappa said, government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.

  5. It was built as a defensive ship though, to defend Labour’s chances of remaining in power. It probably won them a few MP’s in the shipyard areas but they lost the battle and the rest of us lost a lot of wealth.

  6. lucythediclonius

    4 Jul, 2014 - 11:11 am

    Been tried before
    Hitler’s rearmament program was military Keynesianism on a vast scale. Hermann Goering, Hitler’s economic administrator, poured every available resource into making planes, tanks, and guns. In 1933 German military spending was 750 million Reichsmarks. By 1938 it had risen to 17 billion with 21 percent of GDP was taken up by military spending. Government spending all told was 35 percent of Germany’s GDP.

    Many liberals, especially Paul Krugman, routinely argue that our stimulus programs in America aren’t big enough, so when they fail it’s not an indictment of Keynesianism. Fair enough. But no-one could say that Hitler’s rearmament program was too small. Economists expected it to create a multiplier effect and jump-start a flagging economy. Instead, it produced military wealth while private citizens starved. Employed on the largest scale ever seen, military Keynesianism created only ruin.

  7. £6.2 billion is just to build the ships. Add the cost of the aircraft, operating costs and the cost of escort and support ships and onland support. A truly enormous figure that they are in no rush to calculate for us.

    Its a strange design – the size and cost of a conventional carrier, but only able to carry VSTOL aircraft.

    And if the build quality turns out to be anything like HMS Astute…

  8. I think I enjoyed the piece I did when HMS Astute got stuck on the sandbank, more than anything else I have ever blogged. Unfortunately all the pictures have disappeared, which rather spoils some of the jokes.

    In fact the pictures seem to have disappeared on all old posts. Can the Mods help with that at all?

  9. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸a.node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Best guess for the cost to the UK of the big bank bailout was 11% – 13% of GDP

    GDP in 2011 = £2296 billion

    £2296 billion x 12% = £276 billion = 5,341,935 new homes


    4 Jul, 2014 - 11:56 am

    Just looked; it seems that images were never copied from the old Moveable Type blog; I can’t find any pictures or other media pre-March 2011. They could be copied from a back-up if anyone still has one; I can’t find one myself.

  11. Just the insulation of existing homes would have kept the construction industry alive during the recession. Many trades would have been involved in additional improvements.

  12. Harvard’s Kennedy Law School of Government, estimated that the projected costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be as much as 6 Trillion dollars. And for those who do not know what that looks like here is just 1 Trillion dollars.

  13. Not forgetting the £2bn cut in the NHS budget, the handing over of £13bn of contracts to the privateers and the closure of care homes and day centres.

    No doubt it has been a boon to BAE, Thales and Babcock.
    ‘They are both termed Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), a partnership of BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence. Overall, six shipyards around the UK – Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne – have been involved in building various parts of the carrier.’

    I name this ship ‘A bloody great waste of money and God bless those who never put to sea in her’ and bang goes a lovely bottle of single malt from Islay

    The true cost of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

  14. Whisky to help name HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth

    The link to that quote about the consortium.

  15. HMS Not So Astute here + some photos.

    Royal Navy chiefs left red-faced after brand new £1.2bn nuclear submarine is left high and dry off the coast of ScotlandBy David Wilkes and Steven Henry
    Updated: 17:12, 24 October 2010

    Commanding officer could face court martial over blunder
    Royal Navy experts launch service inquiry after early-morning accident

  16. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    Cost to taxpayer of private finance initiative (PFI) = £300bn

    £300bn = 1000 brand new hospitals plus 5000 brand new schools plus quadruple scientific research funding plus give £1000 to everybody in the UK plus a bloody big ship


    “The average cost of a new secondary school with 1,300 pupils and a sixth form in a high-cost inner-city area is £25-30 [5000 x £30m =  £150bn]

    A general hospital would cost considerably more – at least £50m, and very probably twice that [1000 x £100m = £100bn]

    The Science Budget is administered through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It was £3.1 billion in 2005-06 and rose to £3.2 billion in 2010-11. At Treasury’s request the Science Budget is ring fenced. [3 x £3.3bn = £10bn]

    bloody big ship = £6.2bn


  17. Lets not mention that in an Independent Scotland that the First Minister would still be keen to sell bloody big ships to goodness knows who – presumably depriving the buyers of funds that could be spent on schools, hospitals and education.

  18. I may not find much of an audience for my opinions on this topic but let’s see…

    Yes £6.2 billion could have built many thousands of new houses but in reality it would have been spent on another pointless government scheme, probably something to do with IT which would have cost three times the budget, would have never worked and then would have been scrapped. Social housing was not a piority under Labour and it certainly is not one under the Tories. At least with a tangible asset like an aircraft carrier the nation has something useful, to both us and to the international community. One needs to only think of the humanitarian relief operations which the Royal Navy has been involved in over the past decade to understand that RN’s function is not confined to bombing from the sea and gunboat diplomacy. Britain is not just a maritime nation in a historical sense it continues to be one by the fact we import the vast majority of goods by ship. It stands to reason that we should have a strong navy.

    That said, while a blue sea navy with aviation assets is a powerful thing to possess it would have been far more sensible to invest in a greater number of the versatile Type 45 Destroyers and to speed up the design and construction of the Type 26 Frigates. T45s can operate independently and with the correct payload can still ‘project’ power while doing more useful things such as sea-lane security, air defence, counter narcotics and counter piracy operations. Same goes for the T26s minus the power projection as I don’t believe they are being designed to carry land attack cruise missiles. At a build cost of £1 billion for a T45 we could have built six more for the cost of the carriers, which added to the current six in service would be an appropiate surface fleet for a nation of our size with our global responsibilities.

    These carriers started life as something of a vanity project and are certainly the result of New Labour’s belief that Britain should be the USA’s partner of choice in military operations – the fact the Americans insisted that the next generation of RN carriers were larger and able to integrate into an American carrier battle group underlines this point.

    Now we have them, well half a one with another building, the onus is about using the carriers responsibly and that is down to the politicians not the Admirals.

  19. A marine disaster, the Costa Croc. There is something very eerie about a sunken ship. Time standing still while the barnacles get to work.

    Costa Concordia: Police video shows inside wrecked ship

    Two and a half years ago. It seems more recent than that.

  20. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    ESLO 4 Jul, 2014 – 1:06 pm

    “Lets not mention that in an Independent Scotland that the First Minister would still be keen to sell bloody big ships to goodness knows who – presumably depriving the buyers of funds that could be spent on schools, hospitals and education.”

    I genuinely believe that that is the most pathetic comment I have ever read on this blog.

  21. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    Its a strange design – the size and cost of a conventional carrier, but only able to carry VSTOL aircraft.

    I believe the original plan was to carry the F35A, not the VSTOL B. Then someone discovered that the deck catapults wouldn’t work with the A, and we went for the B, with a smaller payload (as you say, rather negating the need for a floating city) Then, of course, we discovered that landing a F35B which hadn’t dropped its ordnance on brown people would be impossible/dead tricky as it relied on some forward way to stay airborne. So we had to have the B’s further modified. Something like that, anyway.

    IOW a cockup from start to finish. (F35 has been the most expensive project ever conducted by the US military, btw.) Meanwhile the US Marines are still using our old Harriers. Their description of this fine a/c is a glowing one, rightly.

  22. craig: “we can say “Aah, but look, we’ve got a really good boat!”

    ozwry: [loathe to criticise, or suggest edits…]
    suggests replacing “good” with either:

    feckin’ big
    big feckin’

  23. The brutality of occupation

    4th July 2014

    Revelations from the inquiry into British abuses in Iraq are the inevitable outcome of military adventures, writes IAN SINCLAIR

    The Medialens editors have drawn attention to the use of the phrase ‘military adventures’ in the introduction.

  24. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸Mary

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:39 pm

    Just playing with your signature A Node. How do they do that?

  25. Lots of porridge in the diet today being handed out by the judges.

    18 months for Coulson and 5 years 9 months for Harris.

  26. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Habbabreak ™ works for ————·´`·.¸¸¸Mary , too.

  27. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    I have to admit, Mary, I took advantage of the mods’ good nature to experiment on the what-2000-people-look-like thread until I got it right.
    I nearly went for an elaborate multi-line job before settling for the wavy line.

  28. Anode – believe what you want but this is what the SNP are saying:

    “But a spokesman for Scottish government veterans minister Keith Brown said UK military contacts could still be carried out in an independent Scotland.

    He added: “Scottish companies will be able to bid for Ministry of Defence contracts that are put out to competitive tender so UK military orders could, and should, still come to Scotland.”

  29. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    Your comment was pathetic for reasons unconnected to SNP policy.

  30. rolfy’s life ´`·.¸¸¸


  31. YouKnowMyName

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    Craig’s HMS Astute article still preserved here in full

    The WayBack Machine

  32. Habbabreak works for Ba’al too I would assume. Pathetic.

    Soon everyone will be in their own personal bubble talking to themselves. Indicative of society in this country at the present time.

  33. Youknowmyname

    Thanks – I enjoyed seeing that again

  34. The two QE class carriers will cost over £6 billion. Assuming a full compliment of aircraft each, the planes will cost another £7.5 billion.

    The cost of operating the planes over their lifetime will run about £17 billion & the cost of operating the boats over their lifetime will run about another $4 billion. As we all know, government cost estimates for keeping their big toys are always wrong so these numbers are conservative.

    Nevertheless, instead of building thousands of homes, dozens of hospitals, investing in useful infrastructure that we can all benefit from such as roads, tunnels, bridges, train stations, bus stations, railways, high speed internet, cell phone connectivity etc, the British have decided to invest the money on having two floating airfields from which they can kill brown people in countries British people rarely holiday in anyway.

    Rule Britannia!


    4 Jul, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    Harry Law;

    “BAGHDAD — Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran”

    I think $7 trillion is a low-ball. It ain’t over yet.


    4 Jul, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    There goes yet another development of affordable housing.

    The UK drew up plans to train and equip a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel army to defeat President Bashar al-Assad, BBC Newsnight can reveal.

    The secret initiative, put forward two years ago, was the brainchild of the then most senior UK military officer, General Sir David Richards.

    It was considered by the PM and the National Security Council, as well as US officials, but was deemed too risky.

    The UK government did not respond to a request for comment.

  37. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 3:52 pm


    4 Jul, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Thanks for reaching across the pond, Ba’al. :) The 4th is not much of a holiday for me. Too much bullshit to deal with.

  39. Ken Grayling

    4 Jul, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    It occurs to me to wonder what would happen if the BB ship were to be torpedoed. Unless they’ve developed a forcefield it will truly be ‘all our eggs in one basket’

    It also occurs to me that none of our present ‘enemies’ are appropriate targets of such a device. Still, we’ll be a ‘world player’ and feel pride at having such an asset. HMS White Elephant

  40. Ken Grayling,

    Only two possible outcomes if the BB ship was torpedoed, it would either remian afloat or it would sink.

    While our enemies may not be appropiate targets for airstrikes most could still be targeted and most likely destroyed by carrier based aviation.

  41. July 4th.

    Wave them flags


    Be Proud

    And welcome to the Emperor’s New Baby


    “The UK drew up plans to train and equip a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel army to defeat President Bashar al-Assad… secret initiative, put forward two years ago, was the brainchild of the then most senior UK military officer, General Sir David Richards… considered by the PM and the National Security Council, as well as US officials, but was deemed too risky.”

    This rather contradicts the Armed Forces’ usual assertion that they are merely “doing a job” for which they are tasked by the elected government. Sounds more like Sir David was eagerly seeking new wars in which our forces could participate.

  43. We could have built 120,000 new homes, desperately needed. Instead we spent the money on a bloody big ship.

    Britain no more needs 120,000 new houses than it needs 182,000 net immigrants per year. Immigration is a racket that drives the construction industry and real estate market, while driving wages lower: these being the actual goals of those bullshit, anti-racist, globalist, immigrant-loving liberal shysters.


    4 Jul, 2014 - 6:53 pm


    “This rather contradicts the Armed Forces’ usual assertion that they are merely “doing a job” for which they are tasked by the elected government. Sounds more like Sir David was eagerly seeking new wars in which our forces could participate.”

    It’s not a violation of Posse Comitatus, but it is interesting how many generals populate the political spectrum. They often think they are better equipped to rule than some temporary occupant of the White House, like our own American Caesar Macarthur .



    4 Jul, 2014 - 7:21 pm

  46. ‘The two QE class carriers will cost over £6 billion. Assuming a full compliment of aircraft each, the planes will cost another £7.5 billion.’

    What a scandalous waste! This obvious point stares us in the face, but according to Ms Whyatt on the Beeb’s evening bulletin the carrier instead represents ‘a potent symbol of a united kingdom’ and (to round off her vox pop, in case we missed the point earlier) it also ’embodies a kingdom still united’.

    The most cringe- worthy commentary from a Beeb journalist since the guff it produced for the ‘Royal tours’ in the 60s and 70s.

  47. No, the most potent symbol of a united kingdom is Savile fucking any child that moves at Alt-na-reigh.

  48. Hasn’t someone mentiom Trident?

    Why can we not vote for a party that doesn’t support this?

  49. As the era of huge battleships were over the era of aircraft carries are over (the can be tracked and targeted by the relevant ICBMs no more the hassle of chasing them around with submarines etc.), but is it a good enough excuse to redirect commissions, benefits (no arguments for this kind of benefit scroungers) and allowances. If the chaps drew a cheque made out for “cash” that would be considered fraud and embezzlement, however allocating huge sums of money on totally useless projects and achieve the same objective but without the stigma, and in fact with the added bonus of kudos for being a strong pillar of defending the fatherland!


    4 Jul, 2014 - 9:17 pm

  51. In 1973 in Small is Beautiful E. F. Schumacher wrote
    ‘People matter’ and that ‘without education, organization and discipline all resources remain latent untapped potential’
    In 1977 in A guide to the Perplexed he wrote
    ‘In the whole of philosophy, there is no subject in greater disarray than ethics’ and he said ‘to ask the question of purpose (good for what?) has been called the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ – virtue is its own reward! None of the great teachers of mankind would have been satisfied with such an evasion. If a thing is said to be good but no one man can tell me what is good for, how could I be expected to take any interest in it’


    4 Jul, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    War; what is it good for?

  53. Ukraine are attacking Russian border posts again.

    The Kiev Nazis are determined to exterminate those “subhumans” and “parasites” in the East.

  54. @Aidworker1

    Here in Scotland we did, twice, with a bigger majority the second time and they are still riding high on all polls.

    Oh and they have given us the best opportunity we are ever likely to get to be rid of them. it’s a prime motivation for me to vote Yes on September 18.

  55. “Here in Scotland we did, twice, with a bigger majority the second time and they are still riding high on all polls. ”

    In the 2010 UK elections most Scots, over a million, voted for Labour who are in favour of Trident. Another nearly 900,000 voted for the Conservatives and Liberals who are now in power. They far outweigh the SNP and Greens, just over 500,000 between them.

  56. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 11:24 pm

    Apparently we need the bloody big ship for humanitarian purposes.

    There was a defence dept spokesman on Newsnight just now justifying the £6.2bn warship on the grounds that it is sometimes the only way to get relief aid to 3rd world victims of natural disasters.

    I hope you cynics feel ashamed of yourselves now.


    (From 2010)

    “Both the Labour and Conservative manifestos expressed a commitment to the extension of home-ownership. However, the Labour manifesto did not include any figures on the numbers of new homes that might be delivered beyond 2011. The Conservatives would seek to abolish regional housing targets and devolve decision making over the number of houses built to local authorities.”

    We don’t build houses anymore. It used to be a central plank of Government: build some houses for growing population. I think the Housing Minister used to be important. Not now. Interesting article, apparently now councils are meant to build a house when one is sold under the right-to-buy system. They don’t, ’cause they are skint. I’m not sure how many are built at national, governmental level. None, probably, though I’d have to do some research on that.

    So, it looks like the Tories have ingenuously devolved house building to skint councils, and the useless Labour Party have said nothing. As ever, it’s all been left to the magic of the market. This never works, but they keep at it. Maybe one day it will? Until then, Governments refuse to use their powers of central planning to build enough houses, prices rise, people go homeless. And we build a silly ship instead. Over here in Oz they bought a bunch of crap jet fighters, a week before announcing an austerity budget. So it goes. The Sarlak is hungry.

    Of course, if more houses were built, this may ease the rise in prices. This would be a good thing, unless you have a vested interest, like a property portfolio, or an economic system built around ever increasing house prices. I think I just explained Government policy there, almost by accident.

    Maybe Indy isn’t such a bad idea. In principle, I’m against, don’t like nationalist movements. But ridding ourselves of the UK ‘democracy’ is a strong argument, given the utter uselessness of the Labour Party.

  58. Maybe slightly off topic for some, but here is some very good news:

    In stark contrast, our Middle East Peace Envoy has only even visited Gaza once in all the seven years he has been in that role. Reminder of petition (26000 signatures, needs more):

  59. Fascinating discussion with New York lawyer, Kathy Manley, exposing how US domestic law is used to create a fear of terrorism.

    As a result of her involvement in one dodgy case, she decided to take a look at the others, and has produced an analysis which fundamentally challenges the narrative of our being under threat from terrorism.

    Manufacturing Terrorism:

  60. Apparently this new war vessel is as long as the Palace of Westminster and so perhaps a good idea would be to place both Houses of Lords, Commons and a good section of Whitehall into it and sail it off into the sunset or the Persian Gulf. That should save us billions in future public waste and debt (with which this ship is probably paid with).

  61. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 12:31 am

    @Peacewisher 4 Jul, 2014 – 11:49 pm

    Thanks for bringing us an uplifting story : that the Algerian World Cup team has donated their £9m prize money to Palestine. Awareness and empathy are not commonly associated with today’s spoilt footballing celebs.

     “Their donation is an act of pan-Arab and pan-Islamic solidarity that carries the echo of Algeria’s more heroic period as a beacon of decolonisation and Third Worldism in the 1960s.

    But it is also a simple gesture of humanity, in a world where such gestures are conspicuously absent. And for that reason we should celebrate it too, and be glad that even in these dark times, a team of footballers has done something that is unselfish, splendid, and really quite noble.”

  62. The mad. mad. mad, men.

    ‘By their works, ye shall know them’ or similar.

    F-35 Burns on Runway During Testing
    by William Boardman / July 4th, 2014

    One $100 million Air Force plane leaks oil, another bursts into flame

    Troubles never seem to end for the F-35 Strike Fighter. Not yet fully operational, the nuclear-capable fighter-bomber recently had different test versions either leak oil in flight or burst into flames on takeoff.

    The F-35 is the world’s most expensive weapons system – $400 billion and counting. The estimated lifetime cost of this military-industrial project is $1.5 trillion. The F-35 is already close to a decade behind schedule and its cost is already more than twice the original estimate. The Pentagon has lowered its performance specs and it’s still years from being operational.

    According to Motley Fool, the estimated additional cost to operate and maintain the F-35 for 55 years is another $1.1 trillion. At more than $2 trillion, the F-35 is projected to cost more than half the entire Iraq War, so far.


  63. Foolish grin

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:20 am

    Had not seen the HMS Astute post – beautiful. Black humour and satire especially really funny satire is always the best argument; especially funny is the bit about they learnt the sandbank strategy from Lawrence of Arabia.

    More humour please. When you make someone laugh you have got them and the message gets through.

  64. Foolish Grin

    5 Jul, 2014 - 9:00 am

    e.g would be a Tony Blair country fixing pastiche of Lou Vincent’s straight to camera match fixing confession

  65. Paul Johnston

    5 Jul, 2014 - 10:03 am

    Curious as to which half of the world doesn’t hate us?

  66. @A node:

    It just shows that people are capable of doing wonderful things either alone or in groups. Of course, the bigger the group the greater the effect… and I think that might have been some of the thinking behind putting an end to the Stonehenge gatherings in the mid-1980s… Maggies other “enemy within”?

    Of course, the mainstream media don’t seem to have touched such a “good news story”. Help for Gaza is verboten, and charities raising money for the desperate in Gaza are terrorist sympathisers. It seems to be moving that way with the Donbass people as well, as far as the MM media are concerned.

    One important exception:

    In spiritual terms, it is said that people can bring forth up to half of the original positivity of a wonderful act by focusing on it, so lets all keep thinking of those Algerian footballers on a regular basis… :)

  67. Hope it’s true – that report is full of caveats.

    I thought Brazil were terrible in last night’s match. They set out just to kick Colombia off the park. It was a deserved irony that Neymar got injured. The Germans will stuff them.

  68. No one has pointed out the almost-surrealism of calling a bloody big warship “Queen Elizabeth”. I know that the Navy has had battleships named after members of the Royal Family before, but it was an “imperial” family then and people still deferred to them and anyway none of them was a sweet little old lady. No need to arm HMS QE with aircraft we can’t afford anyway – just give her a bloody big handbag (and, for “mercy missions”, a packet of lozenges).

  69. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    craig 5 Jul, 2014 – 10:28 am

    “I thought Brazil were terrible in last night’s match. They set out just to kick Colombia off the park. It was a deserved irony that Neymar got injured. The Germans will stuff them.”

    I agree about the game, and also about Germany stuffing them, but I hope we’re wrong. Germany play ‘better’ football, and definitely ought to win, but I’ve yawned through every one of their games. I don’t believe this is some sort of sub-conscious conditioning on my part about German efficiency and organisation – they just are boring to watch. Whereas Brazil are seat-of-the-pants viewing. The emotional burden they carry for all their compatriots doesn’t lead to clinical football, it leads to reckless mistakes and glorious triumphs and tears of pain and joy.

    I wouldn’t bet on Brazil, but I’ll be supporting them.

  70. Anne Diamond (late TVAM presenter/media hack/hacked by NotW when her son was buried/Leveson witness) was quite pleased about the existence of the new aircraft carrier when reviewing the papers on Sky this morning. She said that when the Ark Royal turned up at ‘a trouble spot’, we all felt safer and reassured. Her thinking did not extend to exploring reasons for the ‘trouble spots’ occurring in the first place.

  71. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    Absolutely OT –

    I don’t believe it. Why are slebs even considered to be special cases? They’ve spent their entire careers getting people to look at them, and suddenly their houses are sacrosanct? You know, the houses they bought to rub their wealth and famousness in the faces of passers-by? Get net curtains like poor people have to, you arrogant, paranoid gets.

  72. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:30 pm

  73. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    Did you link to the image, ANode? All I’m getting is a page full of cars. Not the (ho, ho) Knesset at all…

  74. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 5:50 pm

    The link works for me, Ba’al.
    Hey it’s half time. Want to talk footie? Are you sure you don’t? Huh.
    OK, only a little.
    Argentina are up for it. Belgium ain’t.

  75. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    Maybe someone who hacks reads this blog is having a little larf, ANode – some other Israeli links to pics of the Knesset are similarly unproductive. Probably a kickball fan…if not a pushbiker. *imitates Munch’s Scream*

    For anyone with similar problems –

  76. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 6:08 pm

    Better yet –

    Can’t make your link work, though Even from page source.

  77. Oh Baal at 4.12 – you’re so rude. Keep it up.

    PS – gets? Is that the same as gits but a bit more avaricious like?

  78. The cost of war. A terrible waste of fossil fuel but hope human life was not lost. Deep anger must lie behind an action like this one.

    Taliban torch hundreds of ‘NATO-supplying’ fuel trucks near Kabul

  79. Leaked document by the RAND corporation may be blueprint for mass public disorder in the United Kingdom.

    The document provides three stages for the conduct of a military operation in eastern Ukraine.

    The first stage implies total isolation of the region considering that all local citizens are terrorists or sympathizers.

    The Region should be encircled with troops and sealed off entirely from any flow of goods and persons. Broadcasting services, Internet connection, telephone and mobile communications in the region shall be shut down.

  80. Peacewisher

    5 Jul, 2014 - 9:57 pm

    The sad thing, Mark, is that the plan seems to be working…

    Is Ukraine the new Isreal?
    (Isreal better watch out…)

  81. As you say Peacewisher the plan is absolute and palpable. (Isreal)

  82. I was joking when I started to write it, but people know I like to speculate outrageously, and one day I might be right (!) More criticism of Israel from EU countries than hitherto, but Ukraine still seem beyond reproach. Maybe Isreal was the original plan to beat USSR, but now they’ve come up with a better one???

  83. Derick Tulloch

    6 Jul, 2014 - 12:00 am

    Very impressed by the quality of troll you attract, Craig.

    Less impressed by having my taxes pay their wages. Not getting value for money, as it were!

  84. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    6 Jul, 2014 - 2:07 am

    “The Electronic Intifada has obtained video images showing the faces of the suspected kidnappers and murderers of Muhammad Abu Khudair, the Palestinian teenager who was abducted on Wednesday morning, burned alive and dumped in a Jerusalem forest.”

  85. Peacewisher

    6 Jul, 2014 - 9:15 am

    US State Dept. “profoundly troubled” by Israeli action:

    Change of policy?

  86. The co editor of Dissident Voice is spot on in this essay. The Palestinians must decide for themselves how to proceed. It is not for outsiders to decide on what actions they should take, not Chomsky not us, not anyone else. The US should butt out of it too,

    Who Decides for the Palestinians?
    by Kim Petersen / July 5th, 2014

  87. I think you’ll find that much more than half the world hates Britain. Not just for its warmongering, but for the way that also translates into the state’s treatment of its own people. It’s easily the worst and most unethical country to live in.

  88. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    6 Jul, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    Rose –
    Think ‘get/s’ is archaic Irish for offspring, but derogatory, usually of animals, and with the suspicion of bastardy. As in ‘bitch’s get’. Less friendly than ‘git’, which may be its London derivative.

  89. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    6 Jul, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    The F35 A or B are dangerous to fly, have a blindspot were you don’t want it and are the worst option. Why we buy these when we could do so much better in Europe is a question that should be asked to the usual backhanders.

    and here

  90. Re the RAND plan: I wonder which corporations will be brought in to construct internment camps and processing facilities? Maybe KBR, Bechtel and Halliburton. The Kremlin has shown remarkable restraint so far. I wonder how long that will last with an open corporate neoliberal prison right on the border. The place will be flooded with Academi and G4S mercenaries. A nice privatised staging post for actual incursions into Russia proper.

  91. @Aidworker

    You may not have noticed but people in Scotland have voted very differently for local, Scottish, Westminster or European elections. There is an argument that post devolution there was little point electing SNP people for Westminster as they will always be too small to effect change. Labour may still want Trident renewals but they are much more sceptical than the Tories who do so much more reflexively.

    So the GE results while different from the Holyrood ones I was referring to may still have much of the same attitude to Trident. Politics after all is the art of the possible.

    Note that for Holyrood elections we can give our party votes to the Greens to also indicate a desire to be rid of Nukes. Westminster elections not being proportional offer no such nuances. So voters must perchance reassess who to most effectively vote for.

    And finally the SNP currently lead at all and every level of government including Westminster voting intentions. A pollster recently asked GE voting intentions in the event of a No vote and that indicates the SNP would win wide numbers of Labour constituencies.

    So it seems the Labour party should not count on the usual mass of Scottish MPs regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Something to bear in mind in terms of voting intentions. At UK level this sort of thing is not likely to be taken into account. Mind you you can bet Milliband’s voting gurus will have. Bear that in mind in terms of his comments on the referendum. If they get more and more desperate you will know why.

  92. Note too that by voting Yes we will not just be taking their MP jobs away from them, we will also remove their retirement plans wearing ermine in ‘the other place’. Again bear that in mind with every statement from a Scottish Labour MP. For them it really is personal. For others as well though the SNP people will have a large quota of ‘job done’ satisfaction to add to any pangs they might feel at leaving Westminster. The SNP do not nominate lords so that one has never been an option for them. I expect room will be found for many on the SNP’s party list for the post Independence Scottish elections as well.

  93. “Get” yes, I’ve seen it spelled ghett in lyrics, it is or was common in oral use in the west of Scotland and is most usually preceded by ‘lazy’.

    “Then I compare notes with your older sister, I am a lazy ghett, she is as pure as the cold-driven snow” (Belle and Sebastian)

  94. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    6 Jul, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    Australians use it too. From an Ozzie political forum:

    “I totally agree you fat lazy ghett – in order not to receive a government pension you and your equally fat missus would need to be drawing in $72k a year on top of your obvious assets… if you are single you are dragging in over $47k a year.”

  95. And finally, the logic of voting for unionists for Westminster after a Yes vote also evaporates. Firstly they have behaved atrociously, lying their heads off, doing Scotland down (too wee, too poor, too stupid) and generally burning vast amounts of political capital in desperate pursuit of a No vote. Secondly why would we trust a unionist MP grumpy about having to leave in 18months with having Scotland’s best interests at heart at Westminster? I can see them trying to run interference during the negotiations and at the votes for the necessary bills that will have to be passed.

    So I can see a LOT of SNP people heading for Westminster after a Yes vote. Note the SNP came top in the Euro referendum here despite doing practically no campaigning on the ground. I’m not the only person who got literature from everyone but the SNP for the Euros. So that the SNP might decide not to invest much effort in the next GE after a Yes vote in no way demolishes my point.

  96. A photographer, using a specially adapted lens, managed to take an interesting shot of an F-35 during vertical takeoff on a rare occasion when the plane didn’t self destruct.

    The best part about the F-35 is that it only has a single engine. The last high performance military aircraft to use just one engine rather than the usual two was the F-104 Starfighter. It was known as the “Widow maker”. Fortunately, the F-35 comes with a Martin-Baker ejector seat, possibly the only part of the aircraft that works reliably.

  97. Dimbleby Dumbs Down

    The day after the Guardian’s “exclusive interview”, Clinton spoke “frankly”, if not exclusively, to the BBC’s David Dimbleby.

    “The way I kept score in my Presidency”, Clinton said, “was, Did more people have jobs or not?… What was our record in the world? Did we advance peace and prosperity and security or not?” (The Clinton Interview, A Panorama Special, June 22, 2004,

    Dimbleby said not a word in response to the man who presided over “infanticide masquerading as policy” in Iraq, according to 70 members of the US Congress (Quoted, Philadelphia Enquirer, April 1, 1999). In May-June 1999, John and Karl Mueller wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs that the “sanctions of mass destruction” imposed by Clinton had up to that point killed more civilians in Iraq than “all the weapons of mass destruction in human history”. (Quoted, Edward Herman, ZNet, November 21, 2000)

    In his August 1998 cruise missile attack on the Sudan, Clinton targeted and destroyed the al-Shifa factory producing most of sub-Saharan Africa’s pharmaceutical supplies. The German ambassador to the Sudan estimated that, deprived of life-saving medicines, “several tens of thousands” of Sudanese had died as a result of the attack (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, 9-11, Seven Stories Press, 2001).

    Ahead of East Timor’s August 1999 referendum on independence, Indonesian troops armed and trained by the United States, slaughtered thousands of people across the occupied territory. Indonesian historian John Roosa, an official observer of the referendum, reported:

    “Given that the pogrom was so predictable, it was easily preventable… But in the weeks before the ballot, the Clinton administration refused to discuss with Australia and other countries the formation of [an international force]. Even after the violence erupted, the administration dithered for days.” (Quoted, New York Times, September 15, 1999)

    Clinton rightly berated Dimbleby for focusing excessively on the wretched Lewinsky affair – Dimbleby spent about 25% of the interview on the issue mentioning “oral sex” three times. Clinton suggested that the focus should be on serious humanitarian issues, such as whether, as president, he had “brought a million people home from Kosovo”. Later in the interview, Dimbleby affirmed that Clinton had indeed been “prepared to use bombing raids to save Kosovo”.

    In fact the mass exodus of people from Kosovo began +after+ Clinton and Blair began bombing on March 24, 1999. In the summer of 2000, the International War Crimes Tribunal reported that 2,788 bodies had been found in Kosovo, including Serbs, Roma and combatants. The idea that the intervention was intended to halt mass expulsions and genocide has always been a convenient fantasy. Dimbleby said nothing.

    In the 1999 Clinton-led attack on Serbia, public transport, factories, food processing plants, hospitals, schools, museums, churches, monasteries and farms were bombed by Nato. The former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, said:

    “They ran out of military targets in the first couple of weeks. It was common knowledge that Nato went to stage three: civilian targets.” (Quoted, John Pilger, op., cit)

    In discussing Iraq, Clinton declared how, in December 1998, “Saddam kicked the inspectors out to try to force us to lift the sanctions”.

    Blair made the same point in a Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman in February last year, claiming that inspectors had been “put out” of Iraq (Blair On Iraq – A Newsnight Special, February 6, 2003).

    Above is an extract from
    The Guardian And BBC Interview Bill Clinton

    Make Room! Make Room!

    July 6 2004

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