Berwick Upon Tweed 150

I am considering standing for Berwick upon Tweed on the platform of the constituency joining Scotland. This boundary adjustment would give the people access to free personal care, free prescriptions, no university tuition fees and the many other advantages of Scotland’s more society friendly government. It would give Scotland some thriving new communities and a more favourable future North Sea boundary.

I realise no Independent has been elected in modern times unless they were a sitting MP, or major parties stood down in their favour. In fact the 5% I obtained in Blackburn was the best showing since 1945 by an Independent where those conditions were absent. I realise this is a rather Quixotic reaction to my rejection by the SNP hierarchy, and would result in loss of time, energy and money. On the other hand, I understand quite a lot of people in Berwick wish the constituency to be in Scotland and it would be good to give them the chance to express that. As the seat is a Tory/Liberal marginal the alternatives are hopeless.

I think my friends really ought to talk me out of this.

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150 thoughts on “Berwick Upon Tweed

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  • nevermind

    Harry, I just know what you mean, I was Bushra’s election coordinator and agent, the most awful election I have ever been involved, and postal voting was widespread, I have seen them come out with heavy duty canvass bags full of envelops and the towns service providers as well as the police feeds out of Jacks hands.

    I also seen them at the polling stations, when large bearded chaps in long coats make comments to passing voters, ask them to identify themselves, not to forget that their relatives work for a certain employer, that this is important and that they best vote as their head of the ward has voted, etc.etc.all sorts of threats.

    Blackburn cathedrals Sacrister physically attacked me and pushed me against pillars in front of Jacks private police, if I had so much touched the man I would have landed in prison.
    Case was reported to the police that afternoon, nothing happened. Posters ripped of trailers in front of the working man;s pub, parking hustle and sporn and one sided hatred towards you.

    Lots happened, but Jack will get his comeuppance for other more sinister reasons, his time will come.

    Anyway, take care Harry, hope times will change in Blackburn, without his son taking over, he’s learning fast, visiting and talking to elders, here there and everywhere in Darwen and in Blackburn, the town seems doomed under the Straw/Patel empire.

  • Iain Orr

    Craig – you’re not doing well in your attempt to find friends to dissuade you. I can’t help either, since it would be a fine opportunity for those who campaigned with you in Blackburn and Norwich to use lessons we learnt then. It’s an advantage that your tone can be entirely positive, not having to do battle with a foul-smelling entrenched dragon like Jack Straw.

    I note that “The Times Guide to the House of Commons 2010” mistakenly calls Berwick-upon-Tweed “A LibDem safe seat” (p 103). In fact as an Independent you would have a good chance of mopping up disaffected LibDem and Labour voters. Who is the Conservative candidate you would need to out-debate? I can see the ironic appeal of Kenny’s suggested “Better Together” if you want to run as a party. But might not “Border Reivers” have more fighting local resonance?

  • Mark Golding

    ID found in getaway car – Cherif and Said Kouachi known to police – Homeless student Hamyd Mourad third suspect.

    Stalking in Reims, Strasbourg and Pantin Gennevilliers… Tomorrows Headlines:

    Police/Special forces shoot dead brothers – Young student taken into custody…

    Job done team.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    John, history has shown that indigenous people and their cultures were ruthlessy conquered by Islam across the world, a long time before the West made their own way to colonise distant lands.

    Yup, half of Europe was fighting the other half over flavours of Christianity before the 7th century, and didn’t have the spare energy , apart from occasional bouts with Persia, and Slavs, and Huns, and….. And hey, what about the Greeks and Romans? A real stay-at-home bunch, the Romans. Who was that Greek who made it to Afghanistan? Alex something The Great?

  • John Goss

    Mark Golding, 7 Jan, 2015 – 11:52 pm

    Ludicrous isn’t it? Just a minute, before I abandon this car loaned to me by the French secret services I’d better leave my identification behind. What a laugh! Anybody with a brain knows that people on a mission, like these CIA agents, do not carry identification. And these were professionals.

  • John Goss

    The suspects, as I see it, cannot get away. They have been identified by secret services that know their every move, and are watching them constantly. They were people who no doubt disliked the way Muslims are treated, (like I do), and they are people that the French police and CIA want to stitch up, like Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan in this country previously. It is the most farcical farce currently running at the MSM. The only trouble is these poor people will most likely end up dead in a shoot-out in which they never stood a chance.

  • Graham Ennis

    Craig, I think you should stand in Berwick. The oil is at stake. Much mischief can be made. Berwick has polled as YES, as you know. I think you can get enough votes to tip the balance in a marginal seat. This is worth two seats to the SNP block in london. Strengthens their bargining power. Berwick is also a Bailliwick, like jersey, in Constitutional terms, a historical oddity, like Jersey. This has been politely covered up by the Establishment. The town officials were appointed by Edinburgh………

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, 7 Jan, 4:49 pm; thank you for this comment, most of which I thoroughly agree with.

    However, I would not have stressed the foolishness of those who deny all such threats, since they have only mistaken a very small actual risk for zero risk, and they are small voices raised against that large portion of the very powerful corporate media which would instil us with fears similar to Jemand’s.

    Your criticism of Mary is entirely unfair; she specifically indicated “the third comment” which is highly relevant, and it is not her fault that someone else blathered on about “false flag” on the same thread.

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, beyond that, you seem to have delighted in polarising the argument out of all sanity by provoking people such that they oppose you. It’s as if you are trying to generate enemies and trick them into greater extremism so that they can be demonised.

    This is an abuse of your intelligence and debating skills, and reminds me of the entrapment programmes deployed against unstable Muslims in the US, and indeed the creation of extremism perpetrated by Saudi Arabia and supported by “The West” for its own objectives. It is both unethical and reckless.

  • Clark

    All, please consider whether you have risen to Habbabkuk’s bait. If so, I think that you have foolishly played into his hands.

    “If I can make you angry, I have given you something to think about besides the game”.

  • Jemand

    “I’m just trying to save the world from extremists!”

    What is an “extremist”? Can “extremism” be cured? Or are extremists those who naturally exist at one end of the bell-curve of personalities?

    The fact is you don’t know who is an extremist until they do something you object to. Then you bring out your magic wand, strike them with the magic label of “extremist” and puff – all associations with real factors that motivate their actions vanish. This mysterious illness of “extremism” is just like the medieval accusation of “witch”. It replaces all rational contemplation of the facts with a thought-terminating label. I believe that is what we call ‘ignorance’. I should have hoped we had moved on since the Dark Ages, but apparently not.

    And how are you saving the world from “extremism”? By acting as a voluntary propagandist for a medieval religion of violence?

    How’s that working out everyone?

    Blood on YOUR hands.

    – – – – –

    Ray Ibrahim –

    “At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured—especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government—that the sort of Islam embraced by “radicals,” “jihadis,” and so forth, has nothing to do with “real” Islam.”

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “All, please consider whether you have risen to Habbabkuk’s bait. If so, I think that you have foolishly played into his hands.

    “If I can make you angry, I have given you something to think about besides the game”.”

    Clark, my post wasn’t intended to bait anyone. By claiming it was, you reveal yourself to be no better than those commenters who automatically shout “troll!” or offer insults.

    There have been people on here – headed by Craig himself, I’m afraid – who have minimised the threat of terrorism (in Western Europe) or denied its existence altogether – according to them, this non-existent threat serves merely as a pretext for greater state control of the population.

    The Paris slayings demonstrate the foolishness of those claims and that was the point of my posts.

    (Of course, some of the usual suspects continue to deny the existence of terrorist violence in Western Europe by rapidly categorising any terrorist incident that does occur as a “false flag” operation.)

  • Iain Orr

    Habbabkuk – I’d be grateful for a response to my question to you in my comment on the Jim and Severin thread last night.

  • Abe Rene

    I have wondered about your Quixotic campaigns in East Anglia, Blackburn, and now Berwick. No doubt you have good reasons. 🙂

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, EVERY comment of yours on this thread contains some degree of antagonism or insult:

    Jan 7:
    16:49 “FOOLS”
    14:55 “original Trolls”, plus a false claim about Mary.
    18:00 “Silly boy!”; “You’re not a very good troll…”
    18:02, 18:05, 18:08, 18:17, 18:19, 18:22: all antagonistic.
    18:49 “one wishes to educate the Original Trolls and Useful Idiots on here”

    Craig’s “minimisation” of terrorism is an attempt to return it to its proper perspective – both he and I lived through the IRA campaign in Britain when bombs were exploding many times a year, yet still didn’t approach the degree of threat posed by motorised traffic.

    Craig has repeated stressed the reality of terrorism; your conflation of his views with those who deny it may be sloppy writing. I will not at present accuse you of dishonesty, as you may lack appropriate self-awareness. Since I have now pointed out that your comments are inciting anger and thus polarising debate, I shall judge you by how you proceed from now on.

    And before you start pointing to similar behaviour from others, I actually expect better from you, specifically. Since you have claimed to be superior to other commenters, have claimed to be performing “quality control”, and clearly have experience of working in politics at a high level, you have a duty to educate rather than inflame. The stakes could not be higher; it is a matter of grave importance.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    What a hell happened to all my posts? Can anyone please explain? What was in them that prompted deletion?


    Uzbek in the UK, I can see 10 of your comments on the ‘terrorism and nuance’ thread between 11:34 and 12:58 today. Were there others, and did you see them before they disappeared? There’s none in Trash. Are you on the right thread?

  • Peter S

    My post was removed too. My reference was to Craig’s characterisation of voters in the Scotland referendum and how that might influence Berwick constituents. It was not critical, merely questioning. Perhaps Craig wishes to erase the comment he made. But surely it is more sensible to explain/apologise or provide better rationale for the judgement than to remove refs only here when they exist in too many places now. A damn good, heartfelt, and reflective apology can work wonders and turn detractors. Unless Craig believes what he said initially. In which case it will be baggage which devalues Craig’s currency, appeal and any current appeal.

  • Peter S

    And to be clear: I do not wish Craig any Ill feeling on my part. The tut and crust of debate should not come down to polemic and sharpening a blog sword. It should be an openness to others views. If they agree with you, they are not worth listening to.

  • BrianFujisan

    Go for it Craig.. sounds like a plan

    But perhaps also Check out what Vronsky has to say Re Email.

    For a take on What inverclyde council leadership has to say on Austerity ect..i think one can get it again later on catch up –


    Peter S, same question; did you see your comments when you posted them, WITHOUT a message at the bottom in bold “Your comment is awaiting moderation”? Sometimes comments fail to appear in the first place. Usually the automatic spam filter is responsible for that. If they appeared and later disappeared, then they were deleted by one of the team.

  • Peter S

    I did not notice any message but thanks for the helpful pointer. My comments were there yesterday. Gone today. I’m not suggesting anything suspicious. But would propose you simply organise a way of moderating that makes sure faith in commenting is restored. I respect that you need to screen out offensive stuff. I support that. But maybe the filter is a little too hit and miss. I don’t have good solutions to put to you. But I may have some free time coming available and could possibly offer to be a moderator for a while. I’d be ruthless and perhaps that’s the step change your blog needs? I disagree with a lot of your contributors and with some of your own views. But I strongly believe in free speech and that would not be a constraint on fairly expressed opinion. I’d need your respect in return for my anonymity.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Iain Orr

    Is this the “question” you referred to earlier on?

    “I hope you will acknowledge that Mary, Glenn and others have provided you with plenty of evidence to support the view that many (not all) of this and earlier governments’ politically-led policy initiatives for greater involvement of the private sector in health care have had unwelcome consequences at many levels.”

    (BTW, it appears to be a hope or a request and not a question)

    If it is, then I don’t think I can acknowledge that, actually, because I do not believe they have demonstrated convincingly “unwelcome consequences at many levels”.

    If I wanted to be provocative I should say that if the behaviout and efficiency of GPs – who are most certainly not privatised but represent the NHS in its “purest” form – are anything to go by then a little privatisation there might be welcome.

  • Peter S

    Craig, I am offering to moderate your blog for two months as a guest editor. What’s worse?

  • Peter S

    If it helps as a moderator, I would value:
    I won’t allow personal attacks. If you disagree, debate the value or principle not the person:
    Don’t allow a comment to be exclusive: Jews, blacks, Poles, Scots, women, men, children. Be human in your reply.
    Don’t goad or be goaded.
    Construct not deconstruct.
    Disagree disagree disagree
    Agree when it works for you and maybe that can make something happen

  • Roderick Russell

    MODERATOR – Please remove the above comment (10.19PM). I have reposted it under the caption “Terrorism and Nuance” where I meant to post it in the first place. Thanks. RR

    [ – done]

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