The Dysfunctional United Kingdom 2388

Recently an Angus mother of three infant children was separated from them and jailed for ten months for over-claiming £10,000 per year in benefits. Meanwhile the Duke of Westminster evades £3.6 billion in inheritance tax through a transparently fraudulent use of trusts which “have the option” to give the money to someone else instead.

The United Kingdom is a socially backward and sometimes vicious polity, an island which prides itself on the state enforced conservatism which allowed it to evade intellectually motivated reform and retain a historical legacy of gross injustice and privilege.

For historical reasons land reform is an immensely popular cause in Scotland, and one of so many areas where SNP timidity is a deep, deep disappointment. The fact that they are covered in buildings does not make the vast London estates of the Grosvenors any more acceptable than the unnecessarily empty Highland estates where golden eagles are destroyed so the chinless wonders, hedge fund managers and sheikhs can blast away at tame grouse.

The late Duke of Westminster is characterised as a “philanthropist” by mainstream media even though the percentage of both his income and his wealth he gave to charity was less than most ordinary people’s mite, myself included, and I am willing to bet that what he did do, was tax-deductible. That a parasite who sat on £9 billion of unearned money in a country where disabled people commit suicide from poverty, and who got two O levels from Harrow, was Prince Charles’ closest friend, cuts through the lying propaganda about the Royal family we are constantly fed.

The political class have a deliberate will not to enforce inheritance tax on the super wealthy. They have a political will not to tackle landlordism, which as it affects both residential and commercial tenants is a fundamental malaise of the British economy. Neither problem is technically difficult. The problem is that the political class as a whole are in the pockets of the super-wealthy, promote their interests and ache to join them.

Which is why in the UK it is important that the threat to them posed by Corbyn is maintained, and why in Scotland it is essential that the SNP membership now push their own leadership into bold action on fundamental land reform and Independence. To call the current SNP approach to both issues desultory would be excessively polite.

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2,388 thoughts on “The Dysfunctional United Kingdom

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  • Doug Scorgie

    michael norton
    August 30, 2016 at 09:34

    “I’d like to say, as someone who whole heartedly voted for BREXIT and wants it to be extreme BREXIt – no continuation-connection with the E.U. whatsoever, I will never vote again, if we are betrayed and BREXIT does not come to pass.”


    With your attitude towards foreigners perhaps it would be better for the majority if you didn’t vote again – on any issue.

    • michael norton

      thank you for your kind concern
      and for your understanding of democracy, it makes me proud to be British.

  • Doug Scorgie

    It’s not the cough that carried Karimov off; it’s the coffin they carried him off in.

    • YKMN

      According to the Russia-based Central Asian News Agency (Fergana) Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov died of a stroke on August 29 at 15:35. The news has yet to be confirmed by the government, which insisted yesterday that the President was hospitalised but in a stable condition

      which is not in itself a contradiction of that death, mortally shuffling-off, being definitely ‘stable’ in most cases in the last 2016 years, nearly all cases, allegedly

      Website ( komsomolskaya pravda ) is saying “we don’t know if he’s dead, but as 1st Sept is a holiday, the Uzbek people will be informed in 2 – 3 days” they also gave the two potential successors, one was the current PM and I can’t remember the other name. . .

  • michael norton

    Dysfunctional France

    Horror in France: Police woman stabbed in throat at police station in Toulouse

    A man, reported to be of Algerian origin, tried to grab the officer’s gun and it is understood that when he failed, he pulled out a knife, repeatedly stabbing her in the throat.

    The woman is in a serious condition and the area around the polcie station is in lockdown.

    French media are reporting a 31-year-old man has been arrested.

    It is claimed the man entered the station under the pretence of making a complaint.

    The motive behind the attack is unclear.

    Perhaps it was terror?

      • YouKnowMyName

        Ruud Lubbers, cool name – gets a mention here

        A en B
        In 1985, after the discovery of the weapons caches in Heythuysen (1980) and near Rheden (1983), the organisation was reorganised. It was decided that the caches would be cleared and would only be refilled when there was a clear threat of war. In the meantime, the weapons and explosives were maintained by the Dutch Military Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee).

        At the same time, the organisation was renamed to A en B (A and B), with A being the former O (Operations) and B being the old I-branch (Intelligence). Nevertheless, most people kept using the old name O&I. The tasks of the two branches were reconfirmed by (then) Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers as follows:

        A-service (Operations)

        Psychological warfare THAT IS WARFARE & PSYOPS
        Mental resistance of the population

        B-service (Intelligence)

        Intelligence gathering (military, poliical, economic)
        Infiltration and exfiltration of people and goods THAT IS CRIMINAL SMUGGLING DRUGS MAFIA etc

        Despite the various incidents with caches in the 1980s, the existence of the organistion remained secret for a long time. All that changed when in 1990 the Italian SBO ‘GLADIO’ started appearing in the headlines. Gladio was suspected of involvement with some ultra right-wing incidents and terrorist attacks. As a result, (then) Italian Prime Minister Guilio admitted on 3 August 1990 the existence of the secret SBO Gladio and revealed that it operated under NATO control.

    • YouKnowMyName

      Thanks PB, MN,

      you should also remember to check-out those nice Dutch geheim agenten who made these webpages

      in case there’s a difficulty with the link, wrong color & or ‘broken’, what have you – I’ll put the relevant text here:-

      (remember there was documentary evidence that a certain organisation broke in to the deepest safe in the kremlin, read the detailed ‘cold-war’ plans and became very worried for their own jobs – so decided (allegedly) to keep on telling ‘porkies’ to the president – that’s just to put the afraid of imminent attack of the linked text, OUT of context)

      . . .As the countries in the West were constantly afraid of an imminent attack by the East, many western countries developed a secret underground army that would stay behind in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Union and their partners.

      It was thought that after a Soviet invasion, the government of the invaded country would make its way to a ‘safe’ country, like the UK or ultimately the USA. The Stay Behind Organisation (SBO) had the task to pass strategic information to its government in exile, setup a resistance organisation and carry out sabotage activities, as to undermine the authority and morale of the aggressor.

      Many European countries had such an SBO and although it had a different name in each country, they are commonly called Gladio by the public, after the Italian branch of the network. The Swiss SBO, for example, was called Projekt-26 or P26 whilst in The Netherlands it was first known as O&I (Operatiën en Inlichtingen: Operations and Intelligence) and later as A en B. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 [10] and subsequently the collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) and the Iron Curtain in 1991, the Cold War came to an end and the SBOs were gradually dismantled.

      though there is A LOT of dispute as to whether the agents actually disbanded, I believe I have met some personally, but maybe I’m just another drunken idiot on the internet. . . BBC mentioned Gladio, once, in the context of the Madrid terrorist bombings

      more info, you say?

      For communication between the agents and their government (in exile), but also between agents themselves, it was necessary to have radio equipment that could be used for long-distance communication. The equipment had to be small so that it could easily be hidden. In many cases the equipment was stored for many years in secret storage facilities (caches), often undergound.

      In the early years, morse code (CW) was used as the main operating mode, and operators had to be trained in that ‘language’. Furthermore, the operator needed in-depth technical knowledge of antennas and the (complex) operation of the receivers and transmitters of the era. It will not come as a surprise that many operators were in fact radio amateurs (hams). Rumour has it that, in the 1970s, the Russians assembled longs lists of European radio hams that would be eliminated in case western Europe was invaded.

      Between the start of the Cold War and the early 1980s, each European country developed its own stay-behind operation, each using a wide variety of radio equipment. In fact it is often not clear when a radio set was used for the the Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS), for espionage activities, for Special Forces (SF), or for use by stay-behind armies. Some of the popular radio sets are listed on this page, but other spy radio sets may have been used for stay-behind purposes as well.

      Because of the wide variety of (incompatible) radios, and because of the increasing danger of using Radio Amateurs as operators, the ACC (Allied Clandestine Committee) that was attached to NATO headquarters SHAPE in Mons (Belgium), decided in the late 1970s to order the development of a pan-European system for communication between all stay-behind organisations in Europe.

      This included some non-NATO countries as well [1]. It was also decided that the equipment should no longer use morse codes but digital data signals, protected by serious cryptography. The equipment had to be fully automatic, so that it could be operated by a non-technical user.

      The project was given the codename HARPOON and in late 1980, the order was granted to AEG Telefunken in Ulm (Germany). In 1985 the highly adaptive HF radio set was ready for use and the Field Station became known as the FS-5000 [6]. The complete system was designated SY-5000.

      The system was capable of sending digitally encrypted messages over distances of more than 6000 km in under one second.

      [NEW YORK IS ABOUT 5500KM FROM EUROPE] In 1989 the Dutch stay-behind branch (called O&I) was the first to have fully automated radio traffic handling via their base station NEBAS [6]. By March 1991, all FS-5000 sets had been delivered, just before the various organisations were dismantled.

      though there is A LOT of dispute as to whether the agents actually disbanded,

      Cooperating NATO countries
      The following NATO countries took part in the pan-European stay-behind network [3]:

      Germany (West)
      United Kingdom
      United States

      Cooperating neutral countries
      The following non-NATO countries took part in the pan-European stay-behind network [3]:


      In the Netherlands a secret stay-behind organisation was formed just after WWII had ended. For many years, this organisation was known as O&I (Operatiën en Inlichtingen: Operations and Intelligence). Although its name was changed a number of times, it is often called Gladio by the public.

      O&I was operational from 1946 right until the end in 1992 when it was dismantled by the Dutch Government. During this time, the network consisted of 100 to 200 agents that were trained in a variety of skills and were able to operate a range of clandestine radio sets. According to several investigations, the Netherlands was the only country that had a completely automonous [sic] stay-behind organisation. It was not controlled by NATO, MI6 or the CIA.

      what’s that, you demand the references that led to the previous strategy of tension ?


      Leo A. Müller, Das Erben des Kalten Krieges
      1991. 156 pages. ISBN: 3-499-12993-0


      Dr. D. Engelen, De Nederlandse stay behind-organisatie in de koude oorlog 1945-1992
      Ministerie van Algemene Zaken, Ministerie van Defensie & Rijksarchiefdienst/PIVOT
      The Netherlands, National Archives, Institutional Investigation, 2005. (Dutch)

      Danielle Ganser, The British Secret service in Neutral Switzerland;
      An Unfinished Debate on NATO’s Cold War Stay-behind Armies.
      Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 20, No. 4, December 2005, pp. 553-580.

      Daniele Ganser, NATO’s secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe
      ISBN 978-071465607-6, 2005.

      Geschiedenis van de Sectie Algemene Zaken, Hoofdstuk VI, Consolidatie
      History of the Section General Affairs, Chapter 6, Consolidation. (Dutch)
      Describing the period May 1970 – December 1981. Dutch National Archives. Top Secret. Partly declassified and released in 2007 under the FOI Act.

      Geschiedenis van de Sectie Algemene Zaken, Hoofdstuk VII, Voortgang
      History of the Section General Affairs, Chapter 7, Progress. (Dutch)
      Describing the period December 1981 – May 1987. Dutch National Archives. Top Secret. Partly declassified and released in 2007 under the FOI Act.

      Geschiedenis van de Sectie Algemene Zaken, Hoofdstuk VIII,
      Van Stroomlijning tot Ofheffing
      History of the Section General Affairs, Chapter 8, From Streamlining to Dissolution. (Dutch) Describing the period May 1987 – January 1994. Dutch National Archives. Top Secret. Partly declassified and released in 2007 under the FOI Act.

      Telefunken Racoms, History
      Timeline -> 1985, SY5000 adaptive HF system to NATO special services.
      Telefunken website. Retrieved May 2009.

      Wikipedia, Cold War
      Retrieved January 2013.

      Wikipedia, Iron Curtain
      Retrieved January 2013.

      Wikipedia, Berlin Wall
      Retrieved January 2013.

      more (including pictures) at

      • Paul Barbara

        Interesting info – BUT – the point is, the Soviets DIDN’T invade, and the ‘Gladio’ ‘Stay Behind Forces’ were used instead to kill innocent civilians and policemen, to spread terror and a ‘Strategy of Tension’ in the European countries (including the ‘Colonels Coup’ in Greece, and three or four coups in Turkey (with the recent one an abject failure, due to (most likely scenario) Russia forewarning Erdogan, possibly saving his life, and being one step ahead of the plotters.
        THAT is what is important about Gladio, not it’s original purpose, but what it was used for (and is still being used for) – an unconscionable reign of bombings and shootings against ordinary civilians (not unlike 9/11, 7/7, and any other real (rather than hoax) terrorist atrocities ascribed to Muslims these days (in those days, it was blamed on the wicked ‘Reds’.
        And, it didn’t only reach into Asiatic Turkey, but to Latin America, courtesy of the CIA and the Vatican (and P2).

  • michael norton

    IS group’s voice of global jihad & instigator of Lone Wolves, in Europe, killed in Syria
    In a statement released on jihadist media sites, the IS group said Adnani was
    “martyred while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo”.
    The message, however, provided no details on whether he was killed in an air strike or ground attack.

    Maybe the tide is turning in Syria.

    I heard on the wireless this morning that France and Britain are calling for sanctions to be stepped up on syria.
    I can’t think how that will possibly help.

  • michael norton

    Timothy Farron Leader of the Liberal Democrats hath spake

    The Liberal Democrats campaigned for a Remain vote and, following the result, Mr Farron said he would campaign to keep the UK in the EU at the next general election.

    He does not yet grasp the irrelevance of the party he now leads.

    Does anybody of intelligence, imagine that after BREXIT has happened, there will be any traction in re-joining the E.U.?

  • michael norton

    Not quite so Dysfunctional

    some good, innovative news for a change

    The Crick: Europe’s biggest biomedical lab opens in London
    Europe’s biggest biomedical laboratory, the Francis Crick Institute, has opened in London.

    The £650m building, behind St Pancras station and the British Library, will be home to 1,250 scientists.

    Named after the co-discoverer of DNA structure, the Crick will examine fundamental questions about how illnesses develop, in order to find new ways to treat conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and diseases of the brain.

    The director of the institute, Sir Paul Nurse, said the Crick would “attract brilliant, bold and creative scientists from the UK and around the world”.

    It is great to have a good news story for Britain.

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