A Woodworm Off the Old Block 230

I used to discuss foreign affairs with Tony Benn over tea in his kitchen in Holland Park when I lived a short walk away. I get a mention in his later published diaries in this regard. I was therefore saddened to hear his son, Hilary, at Labour Party Conference today align himself with the establishment in a way much more in tune with their aristocratic ancestors.

Benn was sending out neo-con friendly signals like there was no tomorrow. The first came from the very start, when he paid unnecessary and fulsome tribute to the really horrible wee Dougie Alexander who had “served his constituents extremely well”. That really was a pathetic lie. Wee Dougie paid no attention whatsoever to his constituents and took them entirely for granted. Labour’s lack in Scotland of any foundation in the people was what made it so easy for us to topple the Labour monolith.

Benn went on to advocate the “Responsibility to Protect”, the Blairite code for supporting United States military and especially bombing missions abroad. The thesis that Western bombing improves and stabilises countries appears tested well beyond destruction, but the neo-cons stick with it because of the corporate interests it does so much to boost.

Benn disgracefully then called in the body of little Alayn in argument for bombing Syria. He even noted that Alayn had fled Kobani, which “the BBC had reported as almost completely destroyed”, without mentioning – as the BBC did not mention – that some of that destruction had been caused by repeated American bombings of Kobani.

I am sorry that Tony’s son turned out to be a vicious, warmongering, lying, neo-con bastard.

230 thoughts on “A Woodworm Off the Old Block

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  • Salford Lad

    @ JON,
    Every communication,be it mobile phone,landline ,fax ,internet e-mail,Skype is recorded. by GHCQ at Cheltenham.
    The streets are covered by CCTV.
    You do not have to be paranoid to realise we are all under surveillance.
    See Edward Snowdens revelations for confirmation. He reckons GHCQ is worse than NSA

  • Jon

    Fedup, I did not mean blanket electronic surveillance – we are agreed about that. I mean in-person surveillance, with operatives snooping about and a van parked outside.

    Jives, we are in agreement that we do not know how many agents are live at present. That is a good thing in one sense: it means you cannot persuade Ishmael, or anyone else, that their fears are justified. On the other points we’ll have to (respectfully) disagree.

  • Jon

    (Apologies, perhaps I did not make it clear I was referring to line-of-sight surveillance. Perhaps given the context of the discussion with Ishmael, I thought that was a given).

  • fedup

    They are: Omar Hussain from High Wycombe, Nasser Muthana from Cardiff, Aqsa Mahmood from Glasgow and Sally Jones from Chatham, in Kent.

    Under the UN’s al Qaeda sanctions regime the jihadists will face a global asset freeze and travel ban.

    Britain is the first government to propose foreign fighters for the scheme.

    So thousands have turned out to be five, including Sally. Whose assets are to be frozen. Boy their assets would be freezing in the cold of Syria anyway! How is the UN going to do sequestrate/freeze their pots that these did not have to take a leak in?

    In the other none news; the debts of Iraq, Afghan wars and making good the US bad mortgage debts have amounted to one and one quarter of a trillion that is £1,250,000,000,000 which evidently is not enough debt as there is a need for more debts in luie of war in Syria, for the time being at least.

  • Jon

    Salford Lad, I agree with all of that! The Snowden revelations have caused me to reassess the potential benevolence of state power, even in the theoretical context of socialist or social-democratic governance.

    I suspected the power-grab of the UK deep state to be undemocratic, but it was of a much greater magnitude than I would have guessed, and IMO it demonstrates either a subconscious malice or a deep authoritarianism amongst the people who willingly participate in it for a wage.

  • philw


    You dont need to have done anything to make the security services take a personal interest in you. What had Charles de Menezes done? You merely need to be in the wrong place, or talk to the wrong person, especially if you fit a profile or have dissident leanings. Spooks make mistakes. And bugging someone is not labour-intensive – computers can do first-pass analysis.

    It is a fact of life we have to live with, without getting paranoid

  • Jives


    Actually i missed oe n of your points that i feel worth addressing.

    I never at any point said Ishmael’s fears were justified i simply said in a milieu of mass surveillance his fears were POSSIBLE.. same for us all..

  • Jives


    “I suspected the power-grab of the UK deep state to be undemocratic, but it was of a much greater magnitude than I would have guessed, and IMO it demonstrates either a subconscious malice or a deep authoritarianism amongst the people who willingly participate in it for a wage.”

    Surely this countermands your earlier position??

  • Ishmael

    “I don’t think hearing the most paranoid interpretations of your unusual events is helpful for you”

    I don’t think the “most paranoid interpretations” is what jives said all, not even close.

    And i’m sick, sick, sick, like really sick, 40 years sick of the authoritarian meme in this society that WITHOUT FAIL people wrap in the cloak of comfort and caring. Really is horrible, like words can’t describe the awful feeling.

    Awful awful people, and if not actually doing it to me, ‘YOU’ ARE doing it to others I know about. All Prof is in articles already written.

    Yes I have talked to others, and went over it again and again with a very clear lucid head. And the ‘magnifying effect’ such as it is only confirmed by there agreement…I’m not an idiot Jon.

    But get this, I really don’t care. It’s utterly stupid and pathetic. I’m totally of minuscule consequence, and the state is clearly off it’s head. It’s not like many people don’t know, it’s not new news to anywhere outside a backwater..And even here people know really, they just can’t see, or don’t want to see clearly the obvious conformation. But it’ll soon be them…

    But I have spoken out, and will continue to do so. Not about whatever theories but support others with evidence and good public awareness campaigns. So why don’t you and Glenn drop this suspect, get out of my head, this subject is over.

    “I hope you find some peace soon.”

    What makes you think i’m not ‘at peace’, or have a level head.. NO it’s others obviously not at peace, i’m fine though I find these condescending degrading assumptions just totally off the mark….

    When it rains it rains, I’m fine being not ‘at peace’ sometimes.

    And ps, i’m fine with who I trust and don’t. So let’s be kind to Ishmael and get off his case shall we. Because we care SO much…You don’t even know me. It’s wrong and perverted to act like this. God I feel violated. Sickening.

  • Jon

    Philw – the de Menezes murder was a case of mistaken identity. I hesitate to call it cock-up, since that somehow makes light of the ruthless power of the state. But that the spooks get something wrong – even as dreadfully wrong as this – is not evidence that British streets are crawling with operatives. The biggest worry for me here was that no-one was meaningfully prosecuted for it.

    Jives – no, what I’ve said so far is logically consistent as far as I can see. That the deep state attracts people who are potentially psychologically flawed does not impact on the contention that thousands of people are presently under covert line-of-sight monitoring.

  • Ishmael

    While i’m ‘at peace’, do you want me to go through the violations of the British state? Endless ongoing violations of natural human rights?

    No i’m quite at peace thanks very much…

  • Tony M

    Tony Benn said every single e-mail, phone call etc. was being recorded and/or stored in 2002 in the above mentioned broadcast, and probably had been for at least a decade prior to that, long before Assange, Snowden and friends were on the case, as Sybil Fawlties from Torquay, specialist subject the bleeding obvious. Reel back another ten years or so to March 1991 when:

    “With no domestic sources of water treatment replacement or chemicals like chlorine; laden with biological pollutants and bacteria, epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid will probably take six months before the [drinking and sewage water] system is fully degraded. Conditions [in Iraq] are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks with the most likely diseases during next sixty-ninety days of diarrheal diseases (particularly children) acute respiratory diseases (colds and influenza); typhoid; hepatitis (particularly children); measles, diphtheria, and pertussis (particularly children); meningitis including meningococcal (particularly children), cholera […] Conditions in Baghdad remain favorable for disease outbreaks: almost all medicines in critically short supply; Gastroenteritis killing children – – in the south, 80 percent of the deaths are children”

    This political entity ‘Britain’ or the ‘United Kingdom’ as it is erroneously, ironically known, is a scourge upon the earth, a force for evil in the world, its peoples enslaved to the collective dementia of a depraved and demonic monstrous elite. The Labour and Tory parties should be officially, judicially disbanded, de-legitimised and their upper echelons spanning this period summarily executed.

  • Jon

    Apologies, Ishmael, I seem to have upset you. I hope it is clear that was not my intention. I do not think you are an idiot, I do not plan to get on your case, and I do not intend to condescend. You are right to be angry about the state of the world, but – in my view – that fire needs to be managed.

    Somewhat related aside: I spoke with an acquaintance about politics for the first time last year, after knowing him casually for a few years. His unabashed anger for what Blair and the Establishment did to Iraq came as a surprise to me, and he was not embarrassed about it, and nor had he compressed it into mild paper-reading opinion, as I perhaps had done. It reminded me that our anger should at times be furious.

  • glenn

    Jives: “I never at any point said Ishmael’s fears were justified i simply said in a milieu of mass surveillance his fears were POSSIBLE.

    Oh come on, just try to be honest once in a while. You were encouraging, and validating quite obvious delusions. Stop trying to be so cute and “right-on” – you were being a goddamned fool in justifying poor Ishmael’s rather obvious paranoia.

    Either you’re a fool, or you’re entertaining the delusions of a paranoid person for your own entertainment. Very little upside for yourself either way.

  • Ishmael

    “I seem to have upset you”.

    Not much Jon. But understand I get authoritarian ‘niceness’. And when I sense it real or maybe not, I just will not take it. It’s that simple. And without actually knowing people online some may get the short end of the stick, particularity atm…I care very little…

  • Jives


    Your contortions on this thread are clear for anyone to see.

    Why dont you listen to what Ishmael has actually said?

    Your position on this thread has been that of a deeoly confused child.

    Youre embarrassing yourself in tbe most bizarrely ridiculous manner.

  • Ishmael

    ” You were encouraging, and validating quite obvious delusions.”

    That you quite obviously have no back up for other then your assertions.

    O, your making me really question myself, Woe and sad is Ishmael… 🙁

    How many times, I REALLY DON’T CARE…..

  • Dave Lawton

    @ Peter Beswick
    “Or let them hear and see everything you do, not very nice I know but its a fact of life.”

    Peter I don’t give a damn any more. A few years they did send round a couple of kids who took some of my documents away and it was a bit of a hastle getting them back.I will say this
    they had no sense of humour most likely because they were youngsters. They behaved a like
    the custom officers who came aboard the ship I served in during my time in the RN. The youngsters
    were extremely officious but not the older guys. It`s all about climbing the greasy pole.

  • Tony M

    Another blogger has noted the absolutely stunning resemblance of De Menezes to Mandelson’s then boyfriend. They could have been twins. Who did they mistake de Menezes for exactly?

  • Jon

    Ishmael – not trying to be authoritarian here – my views are broadly anti-authoritarian – but do I see your point. I have been here for many years, and used to moderate for several of them, but I agree that no-one can really prove that they are commenting in good faith. Perhaps except for Craig, who has the benefit of a verifiable identity.

    My solution to this old dilemma is to assume good faith by default, and to reduce online interaction with people whose discourse I find disruptive.

  • Ben-Hemp Rules

    Oh my goodness the naiveté is pungent or should I say acrid. To think the deep pockets of the surveillance state doesn’t have the interest or wherewithal to have a file on everyone, with three NGO contractors and 2 MI5 interns watching every Briton is suggestive of some degenerative disease of the brain. This pod is a critical reason among many, why we are in this state.

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