Wha Wad Be A Traitor Knave? 436


I was called a traitor by a Conservative MEP in a committee meeting of the European Parliament to which I was giving eyewitness evidence on the UK’s complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition. Doubtless that is recorded in the minutes of the meeting, which means I am marked down on a forest of European Parliament paper as a traitor in each of the European Union’s 24 official languages.

Nobody turned a hair, least of all me. There were some giggles as the Tory MEP immediately walked out of the meeting, which was viewed as childish. But nobody thought of it as way outside the normal levels of political discourse. Indeed it was quite mild by European parliamentary standards. It is, of course, perfectly true that I used to represent the United Kingdom and now it is my dearest wish to destroy it as an institution. It is therefore arguable that I am technically a traitor. I am not scared of names.

My Scottish readers will have realised that this disquisition on treachery is a reference to the Labour Party’s published dossier of evil cybernats. The majority of those cited qualified as evil because of use of the word traitor. I am devastated I did not get included. I am unsure that my ego will ever recover.

It seems to me that, in an argument which revolves around what constitutes a nation, the idea of treachery to the nation is one that logically is bound to intrude, on all sides. Indeed it can be shown to intrude into the entire discourse around unionism and nationalism over centuries. I have used the term myself.

It seems to me context is important. There is a legitimate discourse on whether treachery to either the United Kingdom or to Scotland is involved in the independence conundrum. To make plain that some consider a position or act as traitorous has a place in robust political debate. I deplore the idea that politics must be reduced to genteel commonplaces over tiny areas of disagreement. Passion is important. But to imply violent retribution is different, and comes under bullying and threat.

“Traitor” should not be shunned like a racist epithet. It carries a meaning which is important.


436 thoughts on “Wha Wad Be A Traitor Knave?

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  • John Spencer-Davis

    KOWN
    03/07/2015 7:17am

    Books do not have to be beautiful to be treasured. I still own the very first (paperback) book I ever bought with my own money – Eric Frank Russell’s wonderful short story collection Far Stars – and it’s filthy, scrappy and falling apart, but it means at least as much to me as any book I own. Sentimental as hell, no doubt, but true nonetheless.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • John Goss

    “Nobody seems able or allowed to think critically these days.”

    I try. But I need a break from conspiracies, whether theoretical or actual.

    Presumably those who discount this as “Hollywood” presumably think the same about the joint US/Russian-manned space-station.

  • Mary

    Abject cruelty.

    ‘Muhammad al-Kasbah : 15th PALESTINIAN willfully killed by israel military occupation criminals..

    Thousands attend funeral for Palestinian teen shot by israeli forces
    July 3, 2015

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians attended a funeral for Muhammad al-Kasbah, 17, who was shot dead by Israeli forces Friday morning near the Qalandia checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

    The funeral march went from the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah to al-Kasbah’s house in Qalandia refugee camp before his body was carried to the camp’s mosque.

    Al-Kasbah’s body was then brought to the al-Shuhadaa(Martyrs) cemetery.

    Mourners called for a response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians and to al-Kasbah’s death, as armed masked men opened fire in the air during the funeral.

    Al-Kasbah was the third son in his family to be killed, after two of his brothers were killed by Israeli forces during the Second Intifada.

    UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov condemned the shooting by Israeli forces in a statement released shortly after the funeral, urging all parties involved in recent violence in the area to “excersize (sic)restraint, maintain calm, and promptly bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice.”

    Al-Kasbah died when he was shot with two bullets in the head and chest after allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli military vehicle close to the Qalandiya checkpoint south of Ramallah, medics told Ma’an following reports of his death.’

    /..
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766290

  • Resident Dissident

    Mr Goss

    Apologies – I have no problem apologising when I get things wrong – It was a pity since it helped you avoid giving you views as to whether the suppression of CNT/POUM as detailed by Orwell and as ordered By Stalin was a good thing or not.

  • Resident Dissident

    Macky

    No the Kiev Govt should seek to follow the Minsk Accord unlike the rebels and the Russian Govt who clearly are not doing so.

  • Macky

    Resident Dissident; “No the Kiev Govt should seek to follow the Minsk Accord unlike the rebels and the Russian Govt who clearly are not doing so.”

    Good you recommend that the Kiev Govt should follow the Minsk Accord, but given your previous cries of outrage over a far right demo in Moscow, doesn’t this far right ” show of strength in the heart of Ukrainian officialdom” not concern you enough to not even mention it also !? Especially that bit about “demanded the nationalisation of Russian-owned businesses”, which is something similar to cries heard in 1930’s Germany.

    As to your allegations about the other side breaking the Accord, it remains just that, an allegation, and just like Kiev is alleging this, the other side are alleging that they are been shelled by Kiev.

  • doug scorgie

    John D Monkey
    2 Jul, 2015 – 3:55 pm
    “Netanyahu doesn’t want peace with the Palestinians, he wants peace without the Palestinians. He wants their land, all of it, he wants them to f*** off, and he doesn’t care where they go.”
    ………………………………………………

    Succinctly put John and accurate.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    2 Jul, 2015 – 4:10 pm

    “Are you sure about that, Monkey? Aren’t about 20% of Israeli citizens Palestinian Arabs?”
    ……………………………………………………….

    Not quite Habbakuk; Palestinians don’t exist in the apartheid state. They are referred to as Arabs and because they are not Jewish (and living in The State of the Jews) they are regarded as second class citizens.

  • Resident Dissident

    Macky

    I have never denied the existence of the far right in Ukraine, or supported them for that matter – they are unfortunately everywhere in Eastern Europe. Perhaps you should remember that Putin has made a loan to the Front National in France and Le Pen is a regular visitor to the Putin regime.

  • Resident Dissident

    You may also wish to consider what Zhironvsky, a fascist with considerable representation in the Russian Parliament and a consistent backer of Putin, says should happen to Ukraine.

  • doug scorgie

    Mary

    3 Jul, 2015 – 5:58 pm

    “Al-Kasbah died when he was shot with two bullets in the head and chest after allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli military vehicle close to the Qalandiya checkpoint south of Ramallah, medics told Ma’an following reports of his death.”
    …………………………………………………….

    Another tragedy Mary and Habbabkuk et al will tell us that Al-Kasbah should not have been throwing stones at armed IDF soldiers in their armoured vehicles. He must have known the risk he was taking. It was his own fault.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    “Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    2 Jul, 2015 – 4:10 pm

    “Are you sure about that, Monkey? Aren’t about 20% of Israeli citizens Palestinian Arabs?”
    ……………………………………………………….

    Not quite Habbakuk; Palestinians don’t exist in the apartheid state. They are referred to as Arabs and because they are not Jewish (and living in The State of the Jews) they are regarded as second class citizens.”
    _____________________

    Well, Doug, I shall refer to them as Palestinian Arabs if it’s all the same to you and you and the Israeli authorities can refer to them as Arabs if you wish. What difference does the name make? They are full citizens of Israel with the right (amoung the other priviledges of citizenship) to vote and have their own political parties.

    Remember : around 20% of the citizens of Israel are (Palestinian )Arabs: a substantial minority whose life is a great deal better than the life of their Arab brothers in any of the neighbouring Arab states, as evidenced inter alia by the fact that none of them seem to wish to leave Israel for a better life across the border.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    If you dashed across the road at the crossing when the matchstick man was red – and got knocked over and killed by a motorist – would you, looking down from your celestial cloud, accept at least some responsibility for your unfortunate demise?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Feel free to ignore if you can’t come up with a sensible answer 🙂

  • Resident Dissident

    “Another tragedy Mary and Habbabkuk et al will tell us that Al-Kasbah should not have been throwing stones at armed IDF soldiers in their armoured vehicles. He must have known the risk he was taking. It was his own fault.”

    Shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime? If the IDF had thrown stones and/or plastic bullets back surely that would have been appropriate – and not made things worse by creating a martyr.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    O/T

    I have just been reading MSN regarding tomorrow’s christening, of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/princess-charlotte-christening-exclusive-prince-harry-to-miss-out-for-second-time-as-a-godparent/ar-AAcwXZb?ocid=mailsignoutmd

    “Several thousand members of the public are expected to take up the Duke and Duchess’s invitation to share in the day by standing in a paddock outside the churchyard”.

    I do find that saddening. It makes us all sound like a lot of sheep. I find it hard to understand why people would wish to put in the effort to do that: Royalist sentiment is mysterious to me.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Resident Dissident

    “Royalist sentiment is mysterious to me.”

    Me too – but that doesn’t make the people concerned sheep, they probably all have what they believe are valid reasons for supporting their cause. People are sentimental about all sorts of things that others find mysterious – various religions, political dogmas, football teams etc. – one of the benefits of our society is that we can tolerate most of them.

  • Macky

    Habbabkuk ; “Feel free to ignore if you can’t come up with a sensible answer”

    Do you consider it rational to murder children who throw stones at armoured vehicles ?

    Do you think it morally justifable to murder children who throw stones ar armoured vehicles ?

    Your vileness is only matched by your stupidty.

    Resident Dissiden; “and not made things worse by creating a martyr”

    and it seems that your only concern is the bad PR this daily barbarity causes.

  • SingleObservation

    Hab.

    Full citizens of Israel eh? Suppose a young foolish Jewish Israeli threw a few stones at the ‘authorities’. Would he be shot in the head too?

    “Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building—as my dear friend and colleague Jeff Goldberg sat and said to my face over a table at La Tomate in Washington not two years ago—and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath be the Palestinian Arabs. Is this a historical injustice? Has the man below been made a victim, with infinite cause of complaint and indefinite justification for violent retaliation? My own reply would be a provisional ‘no,’ but only on these conditions. The man leaping from the burning building must still make such restitution as he can to the man who broke his fall, and must not pretend that he never even landed on him. And he must base his case on the singularity and uniqueness of the original leap. It can’t, in other words, be ‘leap, leap, leap’ for four generations and more. The people underneath cannot be expected to tolerate leaping on this scale and of this duration, if you catch my drift. In Palestine, tread softly, for you tread on their dreams. And do not tell the Palestinians that they were never fallen upon and bruised in the first place. Do not shame yourself with the cheap lie that they were told by their leaders to run away. Also, stop saying that nobody knew how to cultivate oranges in Jaffa until the Jews showed them how. ‘Making the desert bloom’—one of Yvonne’s stock phrases—makes desert dwellers out of people who were the agricultural superiors of the Crusaders”.

    Christopher Hitchens

    It’s a little warm in England today. How does it look in Tel Aviv today Hab?

  • SingleObservation

    The Royals are long past their sell by date.

    Sheeple only worship them because they’ve been told to. The corporate media support and endorse this worship.

    If people really knew they’d be out of power soon enough.

  • Mary

    I am laid up with a flu-like bug so was watching a bit of Wimbledon for my sins. Before play started on the Centre Court, Sue Barker was introducing a lot of old has-been sports personalities to the crowd. They were all guests in the Royal box – Lineker, Boycott and even Judy Murray of course!

    At the end of the long roll call and completely out of context, Barker moved on to the red Poppy display at the Tower and, after a bit of film of it was shown, she introduced the creator and the designer! Sports personalities? Oh yeah. Applause, applause from the crowd.

    Followed by 9 competitors from P Harry’s Invictus Games. Even greater applause. Followed by recognition of our wonderful military who act as stewards etc. At which point, the whole audience rose from their seats and clapped for some time. All that was missing was the National Anthem/Land of Hope and Glory and little Union flags being waved.

    The propaganda for war and militarism proceeds apace.

  • Mary

    Ref the christening of the royal babe, water from the Jordan is being brought over with which Welby will anoint her.

    The special water flown in for Princess Charlotte
    By Yolande Knell
    BBC News, West Bank
    4 July 2015
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33382957

    YCNMIU

    Why not go the whole hog and follow in the footsteps of Murdoch, Deng, their children and the Godfather, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair? Decamp to the Occupied West Bank as it is prosaically named.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2033808/Tony-Blair-godfather-Rupert-Murdochs-daughter-attended-baptism.html

    Other lowlifes who attended were:
    Hollywood stars Kidman and Jackman, as well as property tycoon Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Google co-founder Larry Page.

  • Daniel

    I saw that too, Mary. The propaganda isn’t even subtle these days. I was on the bus the other day and happened to glance over at a run-down council housing estate. Draped from one of the windows was a union jack flag with the words “support our armed services” emblazoned across it.

    That night on turned on to listen to Nick Abbot on LBC – at which point the discussion shifted to the Royal family. Caller after caller challenged the position of the host who was fundamentally critical of this bunch of welfare scrounging parasites.

    Aghast that so many callers sang their praises – particularly given the backdrop of the imposition of £13 billion of impending cuts to the most vulnerable – he began to question whether he was somehow living in a parallel universe.

    The fact that so many people have been brainwashed into supporting positions that run counter to their own interests, is a phenomenon that I will never understand until the day I draw my final breath.

  • Resident Dissident

    “and it seems that your only concern is the bad PR this daily barbarity causes.”

    fuck off!

  • Mary

    Edward Bernays was a successful teacher Daniel.

    History is a Weapon
    Propaganda (1928)
    by Edward Bernays

    [The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.

    So what do you do? It’s going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller’s image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War.
    /..
    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

  • Daniel

    I wonder how the hard-line Zionist propagandists at CIFWatch will spin that one?

  • Daniel

    John Pilger ‘introduced’ me to the work of Bernays and then I saw the Adam Curtis documentary which focused a large segment on him. I’m sure generations of women who have/are suffering from lung cancer hold him in particularly high regard.

  • Macky

    Resident Dissident; “fuck off!”

    Thanks for the confirmation; some people think you aren’t as bad as the Habba-Clown, but I really see no difference in substance, only in the style.

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