The Self-Appointed Elite 331

I am an unrepentant enthusiast for the European Union, indeed a European Federalist. I think the freedoms of movement of people and goods within the EU are the most profound political achievement of my lifetime, and have made the world a very much better place.

I am therefore flabbergasted by the group of unpleasant elitist bastards who apparently will lead the pro-EU campaign for the referendum. How could anybody wishing to win a vote believe that a Board including Peter Mandelson and Danny Alexander is going to help? While the appointment of Lord Rose seems to confirm belief in the “Michelle Mone theory”, that selling knickers grants universal expertise.

Most egregious of all, the Executive Director is Will Straw, whose main qualification is that his father is a war criminal. Founder of the rabid anti-Corbyn website Left Foot Forward and every bit as Atlanticist as Liam Fox, Will Straw is as insanely pro-United States hegemony and as ultra-Zionist as only an extreme Blairite can be. He really is a deeply unappealing figure.

I have no doubt they will be flooded with corporate money. But what I want to know is this. If this referendum is supposed to be a democratic exercise, where every citizen is equal, what grants this self-serving sample of the metropolitan elite the right to nominate themselves as the In campaign? I don’t see how any decent person can have anything to do with them. Having had a lot of respect for Caroline Lucas, I must say if she really is going to work alongside Will Straw then my respect for her is going to plummet.

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331 thoughts on “The Self-Appointed Elite

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “I did actually wish I’d phrased it a little differently, tbh. How about: “No worse than that of several other European countries”?”


    Still not good enough, Glenn.

    I still prefer my own formulation, which was “as good as in those other West European countries and much better than in some of them”, on the grounds that I prefer to put things positively rather than negatively.

    Think positively!

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Your defence to an ignorance of Israel’s internal political status is to point to someone else’s ignorance in the rather arcane matter of Switzerland’s membership, or not, of international bodies.”


    Not that arcane, actually. At least, not so arcane as to prevent a couple of people trumpeting that false claim on order to make some silly (and of course negative) point about UK membership of the EU.

  • BrianFujisan

    By allowing Israeli actors that perpetrate or are complicit accomplices to unlawful acts and impediments to Palestinian self-determination to participate in research projects that it funds and administers, including projects that are developing technology that may be used in future unlawful acts, the EU lends legitimacy to Israeli violations of international law and renders assistance to the maintenance of these unlawful acts in a way that calls into question whether the European Union and member states are in violation of their own obligations under international law….

    EU funding to companies/institutions with confirmed involvement with the Israeli military (on-going research)

    Israeli military company/institution EC Contribution
    Elbit €403750
    Israel Aerospace Industries €2000
    Technion – Israel Institute of Technology €17,000, 000 +
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem €12,450, 000 +
    Motorola Solutions LTD €906,727
    Total €32,760, 477 +

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabis Bigotry

    “make some silly (and of course negative) point about UK membership of the EU.”

    Heh. Nothing arcane about UK membership in the EU. It’s consistent with power and corruption that never varies from historic perspective and participation. Empire protocols demand their consolidation of power without consideration for the people they purport to serve….LOL.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Talking of open democratic societies tolerant of dissent:

    Israelis shout obscenities at dying Palestinian child
    “Onlookers can be heard shouting insults at the bleeding boy, including, “Die, son of a whore!” Another person tells the police to “give him one in the head.””


    That’s rather weak, isn’t it, Bevin.

    All that proves is that Israeli society – just as every other society – contains a proportion of fanatics and highly disturbed nutters.

    It certainly does not disprove the contention that Israel – both in itself and certainly in comparison with all of its Arab neighbours – is a free and democratic society which tolerates dissent. The case of Jonathan Cook refers; I would not make a bet that a Jonathan Cook would last very long in any of the countries for whom you profess such admiration.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Are you talking about Israel proper?” Habbabkuk, earlier this evening.

    No, I’m obviously talking about the Occupied Territories – West Bank and Gaza -hence the use of the term, ‘occupation’.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Don’t be so daft. If you take your argument (well, of course it’s not yours, you’ve just lifted it uncritically from “global”) to its logical conclusion, you should be condemning any govt or organisation funding any project in any university that might conceivably make possible the commission of illegal acts at some future time. For instance, research into explosives, ballistics, viruses, automotive technologies, chemicals, metallurgy….the list would be potentially endless.

    Can’t you see how silly that is?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    I couldn’t work out where you were talking about because you referred to Jonathan Cook who lives in Nazareth which – as has been pointed out – is in Israel proper.

  • Resident Dissident


    “A letter 1st class is now 63p (12s 8d pre-decimal if you remember 🙂 )”

    Or even 12s 7d to those who remember even better that 7d was rounded to 3p!

  • glenn

    Habbabkuk: “Think positively!

    Sound advice, if a bit difficult to achieve these days. So please help me out – what positive aspects have there been to the country (at large) in any of its institutions having been sold off, usually on the cheap, and very often to foreign profiteers?

    I certainly understand if you cannot come up with any, and fully appreciate that answering such a question would not allow one to think positively about its implications.

  • Resident Dissident


    “I made the same comparison between the IDF & ISIS;”

    When will you learn that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and stop making ridiculous comparisons.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabis Bigotry

    “Think positively”

    Zounds! A hirsute conservative rejoinder with global implications! Now if only we could define conservative positivism.

  • glenn

    Unfortunately Ben, I believe “positive” means “good for the 1%”/ investor/ ruling class. If that means misery and suffering for everybody and everything else, well that’s just too bad.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabis Bigotry

    Glenn; He won’t address the facts of his or your case so the futility of asking is here for all to see. What is your positivism, Hab?

  • Macky

    @Resident Dissident, here’s another comparison for you; the violent occupation, and the race hate fostered by the Zionists in Israel, which leads to daily murders of unarmed Palestinians civilians, including of many children, both by the IDF/Police, and by mob lychings by armed Isrealis, all committed with impunity, reminds one of the impunity which anti-Semites committed their muderous crimes against Jews in 1930’s Germany;

  • glenn

    Ben: “Glenn; He won’t address the facts of his or your case so the futility of asking is here for all to see.

    I know, that’s why I kept asking. Sad really, isn’t it?

  • Stuffit

    What’s all this talk about ‘Israel proper’? There is nothing proper about an explicitly racist state founded by terrorists that holds the Geneva Conventions, and indeed all international law, in contempt.
    Jewish State has no more legitimacy than Islamic State.

  • BrianFujisan


    Here is some more –

    The approach of EU member states toward Israel is noticeably different than that of the United States. Labeling settlement products, let alone banning them; suspending arms exports; government minister resignation in protest of relations with Israel; a foreign minister calling for an immediate discontinuation of all forms of arms trade with Israel; and other such maneuvers are not to be expected from the United States anytime soon.

    The civil society of the EU has all the means at its disposal to bring about a change in EU policy toward Israel. Specifically, the EU can suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which grants vital economic benefits to Israel. The agreement states that “[r]elations between the parties, as well as all the provisions of the agreement itself shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles,” which constitute “an essential element of this agreement.”

    Another agreement that the EU keeps violating is the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports which asserts that member states will:

    Not issue an export license if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression;
    Exercise special caution and vigilance in issuing licences, on a case-by-case basis and taking account of the nature of the equipment, to countries where serious violations of human rights have been established by the competent bodies of the UN, the Council of Europe or by the EU.
    For Brussels and individual EU member states, all the pieces are in place to enforce EU agreements and start pressuring Israel to abide by international law. Once the EU takes its own agreements and European public opinion seriously, it ceases being Israel’s collaborator. That might prove pivotal in dismantling the longest ongoing military occupation in the post WWII era and undoing the world’s last apartheid regime.

    Why B.O

    FAT lot of good all that EUC aid is doing. Meanwhile They murder peace activists in international waters ( 9 dead on the Mavi Marmara )

  • glenn

    Stuffit: “(Forgot to mention that like IS, JS refuses to define its borders)

    Now that is one charge that can’t be leveled at Israel. It’s always (re-)defining its borders. They’re just extended a little farther out each time, that’s all.

  • Why be ordinary?


    How is the Commission responsible for the Mavi Marmara? If you think aid to the Palestinains is useless you should tell Mr Goss so that he can get off his bicycle.

    If the UK leaves the EU of course none of what you quote will apply to us at all, do you think that will make things any better? The fact that EU Member States are not pursuing the policy they decided in the way that you think they should is hardly the fault of the Commission, not least because the Member States have got foreign policy specifically excluded from the remit of the European Court of Justice (Ben: if you lived here you would know that it’s really not much of an Empire)

  • Mary

    Anyone who had a heart…..?

    Song title. 1960s.

    Not Mr Hammond and his cohort.

    ‘The allowance would be for a few hours to allow Assange to be able to have medical tests undertaken and to diagnose the cause. It said that the Foreign Office had replied on 12 October that it would not permit the “safe passage” to the hospital for purposes of medical tests.’

    Ecuador asks Britain to allow Julian Assange ‘safe passage’ for MRI scan
    WikiLeaks founder said to be requiring hospital visit for shoulder pain after 40 months inside Ecuador’s London embassy

  • Mary

    The great John Pilger writing last year following Israel’s massacre aka Operation Protective Edge in which 2,203 Palestinians were killed and 10,626 wounded.

    Breaking the last taboo – Gaza and the threat of world war
    11 September 2014

    “There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”

    For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can’t look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australia, in this epic crime.


  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Is the publication by The Intercept of official files on the use by Obama of drones to assassinate enemies most crudely payback by Russia for Washington also trying to kill Putin in a most destructive way by the mistaken MH17 shoot down?

    Sure looks like more stuff from Edward Snowden that James Bamford alluded to in his article, and little wonder that persons working with Snowden, especially Glenn Greenwald, are making out that it is from another leaker.

    By admitting it was Snowden would certainly lead to his demise, one way or another.

    Remember that Stalin finally got Trotsky.

  • Macky

    I trust everybody spotted that horrendous & damning little factoid contain in the Intercept’s drone report, namely that 90% of people killed in drone strikes are not the intended targets.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Re. Intercept,

    Came across this while Blair-hunting (he used regularly to charter a Bombardier Global 5000):

    It could be seen quite frequently on Flightradar, even this year, but I’d assumed it was USAF, not RAF. Are we still there? or did the RAF trial the plane on a patch normally covered by the Yanks? No doubt it is central to targeting bad mans.

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