Daily Archives: April 3, 2015


Whisper it Gently: Iran Played a Blinder

Three months ago, I published this: “I remain hopeful that Iran will realise that there is a huge opportunity here. If Iran tactically backs down on its nuclear programme in the current circumstances, that will not be a defeat for Iran but a defeat for the neo-cons.”

That is precisely what has happened. My own Western diplomatic source with access to the talks, has told me today that he estimates 96% of the movement since December has been on the Iranian side, and only 4% on the international side. At the end, the Iranians took everyone by surprise by agreeing to take 2,000 more centrifuges out of use than anybody ever thought they would.

The Iranians have played a blinder by conceding. When Netanyahu had stripped off his thin cloak of international respectability and revealed himself to the world as an arrant racist warmonger, and Israel enjoys less popular support in the West than ever, Iran reveals itself as sensible, moderate and forward thinking in terms of its international relationships.

What is more, Iran has embarrassed and isolated its enemies. The enemies of this deal stand starkly displayed as the Saudi Arabian Royals, Israeli Zionists and United States Zionists – and a more evil combination it is difficult to imagine.

I remain strongly opposed to theocracy. Iran’s human rights record remains very poor and its treatment of gays utterly unacceptable. But by making plain that it is telling the truth in denying it is pursuing a nuclear arsenal, it is making a step in the right direction. If the West shows good faith – which I do not take for granted – and lifts sanctions, then we will see further development in Iran that I hope may produce improvement in democracy, society and human rights. But for now Iran has played a blinder.

If the congressional Zionists do manage to stymie Obama on this one, that will harm the US more than Iran as it will leave Israel and the US alone in sanctioning Iran, and almost certainly a situation where the US is sanctioning EU companies for trading perfectly legally with Iran after the EU lifts sanctions. The EU lifting of sanctions will not be conditional on the US lifting sanctions.That will drive a wedge between the EU and US. So this is a win/win situation for the world whatever Congress does.

It is worth reading the comments section on my December article, and seeing just how many commenters could not see that taking a step back would bring a victory to Iran, and that the Ahmadinejad policy of macho confrontation was deeply unintelligent. Sometimes you win by stepping back and watching your assailant blunder over.

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It Didn’t Happen

If you thought that Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly mentioned the waste of money – 100 billion pounds – on updating the Trident nuclear missile system, during the leaders’ debate, plainly you need to be committed to a state mental institution. It is unthinkable that Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons should ever be questioned on British mainstream media.

It is so unthinkable, that IT NEVER HAPPENED. Not one British mainstream media report of the debate mentions Trident missiles or nuclear weapons. A Google news search on trident missiles or on nuclear weapons throws up zero references to the leaders’ debate or Nicola Sturgeon in British mainstream media today. Not one of the broadcasters’ highlight packages repeated Nicola’s outrage at the country’s throwing away money on weapons of mass destruction when so many children are living in poverty.

The media manage to report the many polls and commentators that say she won the debate, while suppressing what she actually said.

So there is nothing to see here. Go back to sleep. IT NEVER HAPPENED. YOU IMAGINED IT. IT NEVER HAPPENED.

Seriously, is that not really, really sickening and deeply, deeply scary?

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Appalling BBC Bias

In 90 minutes of BBC coverage and analysis of the leaders’ debate on the BBC News channel, the single Scottish commentator the BBC have had on that channel – and he has appeared three different times – is the ludicrous Torcuil Crichton of the Labour Party (and Daily Record), introduced by the BBC as though he were an independent commentator. Without being challenged by anybody, Crichton has again and again been allowed to expound the ridiculous argument that Cameron benefited from Nicola Surgeon’s strong performance because it weakened David Miliband.

This is ludicrous because of course it makes no difference to the balance of the House of Commons from a Tory point of view whether the Scottish MPs facing them are Labour or SNP. Three times Crichton has been on, making his invalid point, with nobody making the obvious response – or indeed any response. Three times – separate times, they are not repeats – he has been allowed to make a jibe about the SNP promising “a land of milk and honey”, as his Labour Party dismissal of anti-austerity economics. Again, without reply.

The BBC is an utter disgrace in the way it covers Scotland. My personal view is that post independence we don’t need state propaganda in news or current affairs, and should simply sack everybody in the BBC news and current affairs departments in Scotland, without compensation.

On the debate, without detracting in any way from Nicola Sturgeon’s excellent performance, I think the personalisation of it is wrong and that what the polls are reflecting is a strong desire right across the UK to support anti-austerity policies and no nuclear weapons. Sadly this is probably the last time even the possibility of such policy options will be allowed a significant hearing on mainstream media in England for the next five years.

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