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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  • Republicofscotland

    Now that Theresa May has firmly stated that Brexit means Brexit and she will trigger article 50. One wonders why Labour won’t stand with the SNP to fight the Tories over the (HRA) Human Rights Act, which May wants to replace with (BBR) British Bill of Right.

    I see some firms are already advertising for staff, in our brave new Dickensian society, which is just around the corner.

    Pay attention to the small print.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlphaTrebleSix/status/769802006915678209/photo/1

  • Republicofscotland

    So we have a Saudi prince calling for the removal of Assad, as well as French President Hollande claiming Assad must be neutralised, which as we all know is a polite way of saying killed.

    The US has already illegally sent over 250 troops into Syria a sovereign nation. Yet the Great Satan (US government ) refused to join the coalition, of Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria to defeat Daesh, the US claimed the coalition was “unconstructive” what the Great Satan really mean’t, is the coalition wasn’t conducive with it overall goal in Syria, which in my opinion is the removal of Assad, and possibly install a puppet regime.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/08/saudi-prince-demands-us-ground-troops-remove-bashar-al-assad.html

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-natos-objective-is-regime-change-in-syria-frances-president-hollande-calls-for-the-neutralization-of-bashar-al-assad/5542737

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Israeli government on Thursday rejected a UN request for diplomatic immunity for a Palestinian engineer who worked for the UN in the Gaza Strip, but is now in prison after being accused of assisting the territory’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers.”

    Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said,

    “It is outrageous that a man assisting a terror organization could benefit from UN immunity,” Nachshon, added “It is clear that immunity is not a license to commit acts of terror.”

    Israel, benefiting from the US…… immunity? Anyone?

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4846543,00.html

  • RobG

    How can I adequately express my despair/disgust at the right wing lunatic asylum that Britain has become. I suppose I could try the opening part of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf4UNJqv_-A

    Folks might notice that Britain is now a hamster cage as far as the arts go, just like America.

    Fascism, by its very nature, does not allow artistic expression.

    But that’s ok: it’s wonderful to get dumber and dumber, while the 1% get richer and richer.

    • lysias

      There was little original art of much worth that came out of N*** Germany. Leni Riefenstahl’s movies were works of genius, but very little else that came out of Germany was. Even Strauss’s operas and other music of the period are distinctly less good than what he did before, and did after for his last couple of years. (I am quite fond of Die Schweigsame Frau, but, even if it was completed in the N*** time, it would be a big mistake to credit it to the N***s. The libretto was by the Jew Stefan Zweig, and Strauss got into trouble with the N***s on that account.)

      However, Stalinism was also a kind of fascism, and great art came out of Stalinist Russia. I’m thinking particularly of Prokofiev’s music, but much besides came out of Russia at that time.

      • John Goss

        Yes, I agree to some extent. Gorky is an example. However many great artists and poets (admittedly from former aristocratic circles) were suppressed. Mandelstam, Kuzmin, Yesenin and many other literary figures from the silver age had their works de-popularised, or were ignored in favour of state-sponsored artists. Like our own great poets, Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, they all had the privilege of a discriminatory educational system which is not to be encouraged anywhere because it is always based on wealth.

        Shostokovich is another composer who emerged during Soviet days and found favour in the west too. Stravinsky moved to France in the early thirties. Don’t ask why. Capitalism can destroy art in its own way just as totalitarianism can kill both its art and artists.

        Something died with the first world war (as well as countless people) something artistic. I would never belittle funded art (especially where and when it encourages people who do not know what artistic abilities they may possess) but then when real talent exists in elitist circles that should never be neglected or suppressed either.

    • Republicofscotland

      Thanks for that Rob, if I recall correctly Bach composed several passions but only St Matthews survived.

      This is one of my favourite pieces from it, the chorus Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder.

      Which means We sit down with tears in our eyes, in English.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaSvJZE3dCI

      • RobG

        Many thanks for that Republicofscotland.

        I’m not the least bit religious, but always appreciate fantastic music, whatever direction it comes from.

      • Mick McNulty

        When I discuss classical music I always recommend The Karelia Suite Intermezzo by Sibelius, a musical interpretation of the northern lights. It’s actually a Finnish nationalist piece that’s anti-Russian but there you go. Four minutes of bliss. Enjoy!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtIw5AkUEsE

        It’s one of those pieces we all hear parts of now and then and I’m sure everybody likes it. I first heard it as the theme music to the ITV current affairs programme This Week in 1968. As an 8 year-old kid watching opening images of the Vietnam War, and police brutality and mass arrests in Prague and Paris, all while this music was playing, it had a powerful and lasting affect upon me.

  • lysias

    There was little original art of much worth that came out of N*** Germany. Leni Riefenstahl’s movies were works of genius, but very little else that came out of Germany was. Even Strauss’s operas and other music of the period are distinctly less good than what he did before, and did after for his last couple of years. (I am quite fond of Die Schweigsame Frau, but, even if it was completed in the N*** time, it would be a big mistake to credit it to the N***s. The libretto was by the J** Stefan Zweig, and Strauss got into trouble with the N***s on that account.)

    However, Stalinism was also a kind of fascism, and great art came out of Stalinist Russia. I’m thinking particularly of Prokofiev’s music, but much besides came out of Russia at that time.

    • fwl

      Good to see mention of Stefan Zweig, who was a great writer. So restrained and intelligent. In turn he was a fan of a wonderful philosopher, who was considerably less restrained although somehow still laconic, namely Montaigne.

      Montaigne, with his ability to see all sides should be invoked as a patron saint by all who post here – to remind us we may be wrong, or maybe not.

    • RobG

      Lysias you raise a good point there. During the Soviet era there were a huge number of internationally recognised writers and artists. This wasn’t only political:- film makers like Sergei Eisenstein shaped modern cinema in the early 20th century.

      And looking at my bookshelf, there’s a huge number of Russian writers, ranging from Chekhov to Solzhenitsyn to Sholoknov.

      This will probably bar me from entry to the UK Labour Party (Ha!).

      • bevin

        “..Chekhov to Solzhenitsyn to Sholokhov…”
        Isaac Babel, Ilya Ehrenburg. Maxim Gorky… but not unfortunately Chekhov who was a giant of the pre-revolutionary literature. Not that Ian McNichol or the other clowns on the NEC would know..

    • bevin

      “…However, Stalinism was also a kind of fascism, and great art came out of Stalinist Russia. I’m thinking particularly of Prokofiev’s music, but much besides came out of Russia at that time.”

      I’m not sure about the theory that great art is impossible under fascism. But rest assured the Soviet experience does not contradict it: Stalinism was not a form of fascism. It wasn’t very nice. It was bloody and ruthless but it was not fascism.
      Fascism is not a term of abuse but an ideology of liberalism in decline: unfortunately there is no shortage of examples of its current fermentation.

    • John Goss

      Yes, I agree to some extent. Gorky is an example. However many great artists and poets (admittedly from former aristocratic circles) were suppressed. Mandelstam, Kuzmin, Yesenin and many other literary figures from the silver age had their works de-popularised, or were ignored in favour of state-sponsored artists. Like our own great poets, Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, they all had the privilege of a discriminatory educational system which is not to be encouraged anywhere because it is always based on wealth.

      Shostokovich is another composer who emerged during Soviet days and found favour in the west too. Stravinsky moved to France in the early thirties. Don’t ask why. Capitalism can destroy art in its own way just as totalitarianism can kill both its art and artists.

      Something died with the first world war (as well as countless people) something artistic. I would never belittle funded art (especially where and when it encourages people who do not know what artistic abilities they may possess) but then when real talent exists in elitist circles that should never be neglected or suppressed either.

  • Mark Golding

    PROVOKING NUCLEAR WAR BY MEDIA – John Pilger

    Milosevic whose heart condition was kept secret by US officials and denied surgery to save his life, died of a heart attack in 2006, a victim of war propaganda that today runs like a torrent across our screens and newspapers and beckons great danger for us all.

    Disinformation such as deceit from US ambassador David Scheffer who said quote that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59” may have been murdered by Milocevic’s forces was justification for Nato’s bombing, led by Bill Clinton and Blair, that killed hundreds of civilians in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios and destroyed Serbia’s economic infrastructure. This holocaust became the blueprint for Washington and Westminster’s subsequent invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, by stealth, Syria.

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/provoking-nuclear-war-by-media

    • Old Mark

      Great link Mark- If anything John Pilger has got better as he’s got older, and I certainly hope some of his wisdom, acquired in hotspots around the world over the past half century (beginning with Vietnam) rubs off on the journalism students at Lincoln, where he now appears to have a position.

    • John Goss

      Yes Mark, a great link. I read it a couple of days ago and shared it on some sites. Pilger is one of the world’s true journalists. Neocons, bankers and news editors no longer try to bribe him. Some people cannot be bought. When you find out who they all are please post the list. Thanks.

  • michael norton

    Dysfunctional Belgium
    Yet another bomb in Belgium, no update on the eXplosion in the sports center in Chimay for 72 hours, yet it was said probably not terror, “gas” but not connected to the gas – not of any interest to the BBC?
    https://www.rt.com/news/357230-belgium-chimay-sports-blast/
    Brussels bomb: explosion reported at city’s Institute of Criminology
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/bomb-brussels-institute-criminology-belgium-car
    A bomb has exploded at the Brussels Institute of Criminology in the north of Brussels but the building was empty and no one was wounded, according to local media.

    A car rammed through the barriers at about 3am local time on Monday and one or more attackers exploded a bomb near the laboratories which caught fire, broadcaster RTL said.

    State broadcaster RTBF said no one was injured but that damage at the site was significant. Police have been deployed in force and sealed off the area.

    The institute is in Neder-Over-Hembeek, a suburb north of Brussels. It is linked to the Belgian ministry of justice and carries out forensic investigations in criminal cases.

    Belgium is our host for the H.Q. of the E.U.
    Belgium is our host for the H.Q. of NATO

    yet every month there is another explosion.

  • Anon1

    Notting Hill Carnival, Day 1 (22:00hrs):

    5 stabbings (1 potential fatality)
    74 hospitalized
    105 arrests

    That was the “Children’s Day”.

    #blacklivesmatter

    • nevermind

      Indeed, the more abused children are during their youth, the more peace and reconciliation is expected by the Tories, via the tasers they hand out like sweeties to the police.

      • nevermind

        rents for council housing to go up by approx. £ 60 in rural areas and by over £130,- in urban areas, to reflect open market prices.
        Soon there will be no more social housing. Councils are still not building enough housing and developers are sitting on their hands.

        Should our parish councils go ahead and build their own housing as local developers? if they have the land? Is it enough to set up a community housing trust, I wonder?

        • nevermind

          I think that this set up is inviting people to do just that, Alan, and i hope that this will be ironed out in future so that only the correct email can sign on and post.
          Email registration should also be installed, it will limit the Hasbarra’s as they can’t just pipe in with their religious indoctrination at present.

          I’d like my preacher to be open, available and accountable to the pseudo religious rubbish they purvey on behalf of some victimised poor soul.

          • Alan

            Yes, but the mod can check your OS, IP number and Browser details once they get suspicious. 😉

      • Alcyone

        Actually, since you are prying, I shall indulge you since I’m in a very good mood. Not least because I had a wonderful massage last evening and very playful too. I hope that satisfies you? Haha.

        But even more stimulating is the video I just put up. Sadly it’s probably out of reach for a small-minded fool like you. But you never really know do you? An insight might still just hit you like a bolt from the blue. But will you recognise it? I fear you are way too heavily conditioned. And given your puzzlement about identicons, too old, confused and senile. Good Luck!

  • Alcyone

    For those who (want to) live their lives seriously, a fascinating conversation on (psychological) time, the ending of it and the nature of insight:

    “J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1980 – Conversation with D. Bohm 9 – Senility and the brain cells”

    David Bohm, a quantum physicist brings the rigour of rational, scientific thinking. Fascinating stuff!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmN3XStKAb0

    • Alan

      https://ratical.org/many_worlds/K/K.html

      Enquiry into the nature of thought and the source of conflict in the world

      In early 1993, the ratitor came upon some audio tapes of Krishnamurti, and soon afterwards of David Bohm. What these people were talking about made an impact within as nothing else previously. What they explored throughout their lives was the very ground of being. Their enquiries have made a deep impression on this one.

      • Alcyone

        Btw an extract from your own link:

        “Bohm was Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, at the University of London. As a younger man he had worked with Einstein in the 1950s and went on to become a quantum theory physicist, the next stage of physics beyond Einstein’s relativity. Difficulties during the McCarthy era, caused by his “radical” political views, led him to leave his native U.S. in 1951.”

        I don’t do BS, but sometimes one can of course be wrong. But “impress’, no.

        Have a Happy Sunday! Ooops feels like one.

        • Alan

          Sorry Alcyone, my daughter sprung a surprise visit on me or I would have answered, cos I just love the fascinating implications of quantum mechanics. He believed that the brain, at the cellular level, works according to the mathematics of some quantum effects, and postulated that thought is distributed and non-localised just as quantum entities are.

          http://www.metafysica.nl/holism/

        • Alcyone

          ““The non-binding referendum, its circumstances, and its slim majority achieved in those circumstances, is not an adequate ground for the UK to leave the EU…”

          Sneaky guy this Grayling. He is obviously struggling to see the “what is” of the result. Brexit means Brexit, chump!

        • Alcyone

          And nm you senile, you can make your own separate comment, as you should do, instead of just hitting the first Reply button you see. Wake up!

          • neverm,ind

            No, are you senile. As long as it is possible to trash your pseudo religious babbling I will use any button possible.
            grumpy today?
            give him the blue pill instead, and ask nicely for it.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Is this David Bohn the father of the David Bohn of Danbury, CT who tried to rub off with about a quarter million from the private company Preferred Technologies about five years back?

    Sure sounds like it since the company advertised being at peace with God rather than running off with all the moola.

    • Alcyone

      Spot the difference: BohM…BohN

      Jumping blind like that with spurious justifications doesn’t do your credibility any good. You’re well out of your depth here. zzzzzz…

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Right, simply ask the wring question, and posters show there true feelings.

        Sorry about reading Bohm’s name wrong, but I cannot afford to use my magnifying glass with all the small print.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Must admit that I had never heard of Bohm, but reading about him reminds me of people like Lord Rutherford, and his troublesome student, Joseph Needham, who Simon Winchester wrote so r==tellingly about, but Bohm doesn’t seem to have known about them.

          • Alan

            Bohm proposed in his book “Thought as a System” a pervasive, systematic nature of thought:

            What I mean by “thought” is the whole thing – thought, felt, the body, the whole society sharing thoughts – it’s all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it’s all one process; somebody else’s thoughts become my thoughts, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thoughts, your thoughts, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings… I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system. A system means a set of connected things or parts. But the way people commonly use the word nowadays it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent – not only for their mutual action, but for their meaning and for their existence. A corporation is organized as a system – it has this department, that department, that department. They don’t have any meaning separately; they only can function together. And also the body is a system. Society is a system in some sense. And so on.

            Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thoughts, “felts” and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society – as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times. A system is constantly engaged in a process of development, change, evolution and structure changes…although there are certain features of the system which become relatively fixed. We call this the structure…. Thought has been constantly evolving and we can’t say when that structure began. But with the growth of civilization it has developed a great deal. It was probably very simple thought before civilization, and now it has become very complex and ramified and has much more incoherence than before.

            Now, I say that this system has a fault in it – a “systematic fault”. It is not a fault here, there or here, but it is a fault that is all throughout the system. Can you picture that? It is everywhere and nowhere. You may say “I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem”. But “my” thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I’m trying to look at, or a similar fault.

            Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it’s creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Anyone notice this yet?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/paypal4palestine-campaign-palestinians/

    Paypal supports apartheid by refusing access to Palestinians.

    http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=7SszXna42786056115a7SszXn

    The CEO of PayPal is Dan Schulman.

    According to Wikipedia (‘Dan Schulman):
    The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act that mandates people in public facilities use bathrooms in accordance to their gender at birth was denounced by Dan Schulman.[15][16] He stated that “The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”[15][16] Schulman also cosigned an opposition letter with about 120 executives from major corporations.[17] In protest to the new law in North Carolina, Dan Schulman informed that the company is canceling its expansion to hire 400 people in the state[17][18]

    Dan Schulman wrote in the PayPal statement that; “While we will seek an alternative location for our operations center, we remain committed to working with the LGBT community in North Carolina to overturn this discriminatory legislation, alongside all those who are committed to equality,”.[15]

    Presumably there’s more mileage in the pink dollar than the Palestinian one.

    • Republicofscotland

      Thanks for that link Ba’al.

      Schulman, will hurt his business by not doing business, with the Palestinian people. I mean if Schulman can quite comfortably do business in Yemen and Somalia as the link states, why can’t he do business in Gaza, or the West Bank.?

      The whole set up stinks of apartheidism.

      The owner of ebay, Pierre Omidyar, (French of Iranian descent) might be pretty miffed at Schulman.

      Could Schulman, just have had his Gerald Ratner moment? I wonder.

    • Node

      Thanks Ba’al, I wasn’t aware of this. I have contacted PayPal through my PayPal account with the following message :

      Dear Paypal,

      I manage 3 websites using Paypal checkout.

      It has been brought to my attention that PayPal refuses to do business with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but allows Israelis and Israeli settlers to use their digital payment service – as if Palestinians didn’t have enough obstacles to overcome without discriminatory practice from a global banking business.

      I feel strongly about this issue. Apparently PayPal are considering their position. I will monitor the situation and await a statement from PayPal, but if this discriminatory behaviour continues, I will consider MY options. On one of my websites I offer Google Wallet as an alternative payment method. I am confident that transferring my checkouts exclusively to Google Wallet will not adversely affect my business.

      I would appreciate a reply stating PayPal’s position at this stage.

      Best regards

      [Node]

      • Node

        …. and we’re off ….

        We’ve received your Complaint Form.

        Your complaint has been assigned to one of our Complaints Management
        Specialists, who will investigate your complaint and respond to you as
        soon as possible. (All complaints are dealt with in the order they’re
        received).

        We will try to provide you with an answer or resolution to your
        complaint within 4 weeks. However, the timeframe may be extended to 8
        weeks to accommodate our investigation. If we need to extend the
        investigation, we will notify you after 4 weeks and outline the
        investigation up to that date.

        Yours sincerely,

        The Complaints Management Team

        PayPal

        • nevermind

          excellent, thanks for showing example Node, luckily I have never used their services and I hope that, should they persist with their racist banking plans, they will be BDS’d just as the other companies which have to learn to be equal in their social responsibility.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Good for you, Node. The more the story spreads, the more inclined they will be to reconsider. My infrequent use of Paypal is on hold until they do. (Celtic FC, please copy.)

  • Alcyone

    “ALMATY, Kazakhstan — President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan is in stable condition in an intensive care ward after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Saturday, his daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva wrote on Instagram on Monday.

    There is no obvious successor to Mr. Karimov, 78, who has run Uzbekistan since it was a Soviet republic. He wields sweeping powers, and the eventual transition of authority is expected to be decided by a close circle of his family and top officials.

    “At the moment, it is too early to make any forecasts about his condition in the future,” his daughter wrote. “I will be grateful to everyone who will support my father with prayers.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/world/asia/uzbekistan-president-islam-karimov.html?_r=0

    Yes we all know in which direction, Craig is praying.

    PS RoS Your copy-paste ticker-tape service here is a total failure. You’re fired!

  • Doug Scorgie

    michael norton
    August 29, 2016 at 09:00

    An explosion has hit crime laboratories in a Brussels suburb in what police are treating as a criminal but not terrorist incident.
    A question:

    how come the authorities in Belgium, very rarely describe an eXplosion as terror related, if you are having several a month, does it not start to look like terror?
    ………………………………………………….

    At the moment every explosion in Europe is being promoted by the MSM and some disingenuous politicians as possible terrorism.
    In the case of the explosion at the crime laboratories in a Brussels suburb:

    “Five people have been arrested after a reported ‘bomb explosion’ at top crime labs in Brussels and a blaze – which officials believe may have been started to destroy forensic evidence.”

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/brussels-crime-lab-blaze-five-held-over-fire-started-deliberately-to-destroy-forensic-evidence/ar-AAicNjJ?ocid=spartandhp

    That’s what struck my mind when I first heard about the bombing.

    • Node

      I wonder what the likes of Fred make of this…

      The SNP are nepotists and those maritime boundaries are correct and Nicola Sturgeon shouldn’t strut around Europe and the NHS in Caithness is rubbish and Alex Salmond said “once in a generation” and ummm, ….. what was the question again …?

    • fred

      I think Westminster providing tax incentives to oil companies to protect Scottish jobs and the economy of Aberdeen is a good thing.

      I think it’s a good thing the Nationalists lost the referendum because an independent Scotland could not have afforded to finance negative income from oil revenue.

      I think the SNP criticised Westminster for not providing even more incentives to oil companies to continue oil production in the North Sea.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11349432/SNP-accused-of-hypocrisy-after-demanding-Westminster-help-over-North-Sea-oil.html

      • michael norton

        Message to Nicola
        “WAKE UP UR BEING STIFFED”

        North Sea operators are facing demands to explain alleged links to tax havens, according to reports.

        It comes after the biggest single producer in the UKCS in recent weeks, China’s CNOOC, was revealed to be running its UK business through company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

        The Herald has reported that a number of other oil and gas firms working in the North Sea have corporate structures which include subsidiaries registered in low-tax “offshore” jurisdictions.

        https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/117812/north-sea-operators-accused-link-tax-havens/

        • Republicofscotland

          Michael.

          Why do you address Sturgeon, when North sea assets are not a devolved issue, the thieves kitchen, Westminster controls the North seas assets for now.

          That’s why in 1999, the thieves kitchen got together, and stole 6000, miles of Scottish waters to include several lucrative oilfields under the guise of fishing rights and maratime boundry changes.

          This unjust act secretly passed, without the consent of the Scottish People took approximately 15% of oil and gas revenues out of the Scottish sector of the North Sea taking £2.2 Billion out of the Scottish economy. This lost revenue is more than the proposed £35 Billion Scottish budget cuts for the next 15 years (£2.16 Billion per year).

          • michael norton

            RoS
            A Question,
            how much actual money has Scotland pumped into North Sea exploration / development?

          • Republicofscotland

            “And one of the significant tax powers that is not included in this new batch of changes is Corporation Tax, levied on the profits of companies.”

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35866776

            “PRT is administered by the Energy Group of the Large Business Service of HM Revenue and Customs (formerly the Oil Taxation Office of Inland Revenue). This group also administers the “ring fence” corporation tax and supplementary charge paid by companies on profits from oil and gas production”

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_Revenue_Tax

          • fred

            Keep repeating it doesn’t make it true.

            I’ve demolished your claims time and again. They are totally devoid of any semblance of reality. Just lies and propaganda aimed at the blood and soil nationalists.

        • fred

          Petroleum Revenue Tax is payable as where the company extracting it is registered and Corporation Tax is ring fenced.

      • Republicofscotland

        The GERS figures, however suspect they may be would, not be relevant in a independent Scotland. As Scotland would receive around 90% of the revenue from the North sea, instead of a mere 8% at present.

        Of course if consecutive Westminster governments had a brain cell between them they’d have created a oil fund similar to that of Norway’s but no Westminster has very seldom been blessed with acumen.

        Anyway a independent Scotland, if Westminster became stroppy and it probably would. Would begin life again without acquiring any of the national debt, which stands at a whopping unpayable £1.5 trillion quid. I say that because Westminster during the 2014 indyref threatened to keep all the movable assets of the dis-United Kingdom that were situated in Scotland.

        So Scotland may not begin life again saddled with a portion of the national debt, because Westminster would keep the movable assets that Scots had already contributed to, through tax.

        Nor would we need to contribute to the defence budget, nor foreign embassies, all, tax raised in Scotland would remain in Scotland. Nor would we need to pay a share of the ludicrous Trident renewal.

        Those are just a few of the benefits of Scotland calling its own shots.

        Though my favourite benefit would be the shutting up, of the unionist press and media stations for good.

        • fred

          Income from Petrol Revenue Tax last year was minus £562 million.

          Looks to me the less Scotland has of that the better off we are.

          • Republicofscotland

            Then why doesn’t Westminster devolve it to Scotland? If it’s such a hindrance,.

            You’re kidding yourself on as usual.

          • michael norton

            If Ms. Nicola Sturgeon calls Indeyref2 she can then ( if she wins) sort out everything, simples.
            All she has to do is call the second Ref?

        • Kempe

          ” Nor would we need to contribute to the defence budget, nor foreign embassies ”

          The SNP have already committed to an independent Scotland having its own embassies and remaining in or joining NATO which has a target defence spend of 2% GDP. Scotland will also end up with a huge navy as it orders 5-10 new ships every year to keep its shipyards in work.

          • Republicofscotland

            Kempe.

            Those commitments are now in a fluid position, since we lost the last indyref, the new drive begins on Friday, and I suggest so will new proposals.

            Scotland won’t need to have huge defence force, unlike Westminster, which is still trying desperately to project some kind of imperial military authority, which is pretty sad really.

    • nevermind

      yep and they all signed up to the Paris climate agreements, before they went home on a drilling spree, well here they announced the first fracking concessions a few days later.

    • Paul Barbara

      So, David slays Goliath, with technology. Such a thing!
      And, ASOMEONE has to win the Lottery, even if it is rigged….

    • Paul Barbara

      Bloody well right it should fail! One of the HUGE scams being foisted on the gullible people……

    • Alcyone

      A hushed silence at the MSM. How inconsiderate to do this on a Bank Holiday. Confirmed by wiki anyway. So, will the daughters continue to have their way?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        The source still seems to be Fergana, though I’d guess that it’s Russian intelligence. Not sure how Gulnara gets on with Lola: there could be the mother of all catfights, winding up with one of the significant others running the place as I don’t think Uzbekistan is quite ready for a female potentate. Very embarrassing for the US, which has still has some presence there, but they’ve probably got contingency plans. As the Russians will also have. In detail.

    • Anon1

      A few weeks ago I was worried that Craig might have kicked the bucket himself. But then I looked on Twitter and saw that he was celebrating the death of the Duke of Westminster. Phew!

  • michael norton

    Dysfunctional Govanhill ( MSP Ms. Nicola Sturgeon)
    Govanhill chipshop robbed.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-37212696

    man has appeared in court, accused of robbing a chip shop at gunpoint and abducting the owner’s wife.

    Nicholas McGurk is also alleged to have stolen the couple’s car to make his getaway after the incident in Coupar Angus, Perthshire.

    The charges relate to a robbery at Brodie’s Traditional Fish and Chips on Friday night.

    McGurk, from Govanhill in Glasgow, made no plea and was remanded in custody.

    He is alleged to have carried out the masked raid and assaulted Yung Hing Wong and his wife, Wai Man Wong, by brandishing a firearm and knife at them and demanding money on 26 August.

    McGurk allegedly threatened to kill the chip shop staff and pushed them, before binding Yung Hing Wong’s hands and securing him to fittings in the shop bathroom.

      • michael norton

        Quite.

        However, a question could be:

        Why do the BBC choose to run this story?

        I’ll leave to your imaginations

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Apologies, hadn’t bothered reading the link, as your post appeared to be the usual random item inserted to change the subject (if any). The robbery happened in Tayside. Which just may be why the BBC reported it under the Tayside and Central Scotland banner. The BBC occasionally does local news, as a point of information. The robber was from Govan. The report made no mention whatsoever of Govan’s MP; the parliamentary representation of criminals is a matter usually left to the imagination as irrelevant, and so it was in this case. It was you who brought that up, with the wholly new insinuation that Govan’s* disfunctionality (pathetic attempt at relevance) was due to its MSP. Why, is certainly a matter for the imagination. I have two hypotheses.

          1. You have joined Fred in his campaign to disparage anything remotely connected with the SNP, or
          2. You’ve got a fixation on posting MSM material just to show you’re alive.

          * You’ve never been to Govan, have you? Or even north of the border, I’m guessing. Let me give you a flavour:

          http://www.ilivehere.co.uk/govan.html

          Its dysfunctionality has been systemic, ever since Westminster killed off its shipbuilding industry.

          PS Fergana News Agency is still the only outlet announcing Karimov’s death, but other outlets seem to be buying it.

          And note also that Karimov was probably the main reason for the existence of this blog. Have fun discovering why.

          • fred

            “1. You have joined Fred in his campaign to disparage anything remotely connected with the SNP”

            Oh dear the haggis eating Braveheart cult really don’t like me introducing facts into the discussion do they? That’s the second one tonight.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            You overestimate your importance, Fred. I was merely referring to your miserablist posts in general terms. I have no need to read them, and the reference was to another poster’s apparent similarity of outlook. Much as you would dispute this, it’s not all about you. For the record, I loathe haggis, and am at least as English as you are. Now FOAD.

          • fred

            It is a bit rich though, you being one of the most fanatical posters here. Every day you are churning out post after obsessive post.

            All I do is dispel a few Nationalist myths and you start telling everyone that I am on a “campaign to disparage anything remotely connected with the SNP”. which is another of your Nationalist myths.

            I have a policy of commenting on the issues not on the other posters unless they comment about me first.yet you Nationalists seem incapable of doing that and the reason is obvious, because you do not operate in the reality based world. You are not concerned about what is the truth you only think about how to get people to believe the lies.

      • Anon1

        My Giveafuck-o-Meter registers more highly when a chip shop owner is taken hostage.sorry

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Well, it would, wouldn’t it? An actual immediate threat to your flatulent lifestyle.

          • Alan

            Cod and chips never made me flatulent; maybe you need to consult your doctor? Maybe lay off the baked beans, perhaps?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Was I addressing you? I was not. Unless you are Anon, which is a possibility (Otherwise, with your tongue positioned as it is, you need to beware his flatus). You may make amends by posting something other than tag-team trolling, however.

          • Alan

            No, but I was addressing you, another of the control-freaks who refer to others as “trolls”. I quote:

            “Control freaks are often perfectionists defending themselves against their own inner vulnerabilities in the belief that if they are not in total control they risk exposing themselves once more to childhood angst. Such persons manipulate and pressure others to change so as to avoid having to change themselves, and use power over others to escape an inner emptiness. When a control freak’s pattern is broken, “the Controller is left with a terrible feeling of powerlessness … but feeling their pain and fear brings them back to themselves.

            Control freaks appear to have some similarities to codependents, in the sense that the latters’ fear of abandonment leads to attempts to control those they are dependent on. Recovery for them entails recognising that being a control freak helped paradoxically preserve codependency itself.

            In terms of personality-type theory, control freaks are very much the Type A personality, driven by the need to dominate and control”

    • RobG

      So the accused didn’t shout ‘Allahu Akbar’.

      That makes a refreshing change.

      Maybe the MI loons/criminals are starting to push out an altered narrative, because they realise that only complete egits would believe the comic book stuff they’ve been pumping out thus far.

      And let me repeat my call for every single member of MI5, MI6 and all the other psychos to be arrested and prosecuted as total traitors and criminal scum.

      Because that’s what they are.

      • Alan

        Of course they did; it was a terrorist so they must have done. Don’t you read the papers?

      • Paul Barbara

        And didn’t even give a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute? Couldn’t possibly be Gladio, then….

      • John Goss

        Made me laugh RobG. I am hoping, forlorn as it may be, that when Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister there will be a call for the disbandment of MI5 & MI6 and all other secret organisations. I am glad you have refined your views in not wanting to see them all lined up against a wall and shot. 🙂

        • glenn_uk

          RobG must be getting all soft-hearted in his old age. Err… sorry, Rob – you did say you were 52, though 😉

        • Paul Barbara

          A bit of a dicey idea – JFK was going to disband the CIA and replace it with an accountable intelligence service; he was also going to ‘retire’ J Edgar Hoover. They survived, he didn’t.

          • John Goss

            That is because they are unaccountable. It would not be easy especially now that they, secret services, virtually run themselves by the diversionary businesses they have set up which appear as legitimate as all other businesses. But when the petro-dollar collapses it would be a good time to reassess what function they perform other than criminal.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ John Goss August 30, 2016 at 08:19
            What chance will unorganized, confused, penniless hungry hordes have against these War Criminal Socio/Phsychopaths?

  • John Goss

    Here is a subject hardly mentoned in the west. Why would they? They fuck a country up and leave it to its own devices. Geoffrey Pyatt, former US ambassador who was instrumental in organising the coup and its aftermath, has moved on leaving some poor minion to pick up the pieces. Poroshenko spends more time abroad than in Kiev (anybody got a recent photo of him in Ukraine?).

    At a more important level, because of the new rules that Russian is not to be spoken and Ukrainian is to be the language in schools teachers are leaving in their droves. But the children are lost. Ukrainian kids have difficulties with the spelling and the grammar because Russian is often the language used at home. Children from Western Ukraine are suffering badly in the rural areas. But Russian speakers are too, with the new fascist educational controls.

    http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160823/1044559730/ukrainian-language-instruction-problems-analysis.html

    • YKMN

      Well JG, I quote you the short piece by Christopher Booker last week in the Telegraph. . . One might argue with the occasional word – but I’m amazed how a single western journalist now starts to ‘get it’

      Eastern Ukraine speaks Russia[n], and will become Russian again

      Can there have been any great international drama in which Western politicians have more completely stood reality on its head than the unending crisis over Ukraine, which is yet again creeping back into the headlines?

      There was only ever one reason why the tragedy tearing Ukraine apart first erupted as it did in the winter of 2013/14: the hubristic itch of the EU, backed by the United States, to absorb Ukraine into its own ever-enlarging empire.

      For this, the West was happy to see an elected pro-Russian Ukrainian president ousted in a coup d’état by an unelected stooge favourable to the EU. It was wholly predictable that the Russian-speakers of Crimea and eastern Ukraine would prefer to be ruled by their fellow Russians in Moscow, rather than by some weird form of government in faraway Brussels that they didn’t begin to understand.

      It was dangerously crazy of the West to react as it did, with John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, describing Crimea’s vote to rejoin Russia as “an incredible act of aggression”; with Prince Charles comparing Putin to Hitler; and the EU’s ludicrous little “foreign minister” at the time, Baroness Ashton, being cheered in Kiev by 200,000 Ukrainians shouting “Europe, Europe”, many of whom had been paid by Brussels to do so.

      So, after nearly three years of a civil war that has already left 9,000 dead, the leaders of the West remain as humiliatingly impotent as ever over how to respond to a shambles they did more than anyone else to create.

      The only way this impasse will ever be resolved is by eastern Ukraine rejoining Russia. And President Vladimir Putin can wait, with his inscrutable smile, confident that, one way or another, that is what will one day come about.

      • John Goss

        Yes, how did Christopher Booker get away with writing the truth in a mainstream paper?

        I question the 9,000 dead. But it is probably in the ball park within perhaps 20% of the actual. The Kiev government would not dare publish the real figures. The brighter youngsters are getting out of the country before they get conscripted.

  • Alcyone

    Unbelievable, but true. I’d like to believe that you wouldn’t find a family like this one in the whole of Britain:

    “‘I’M NEVER GOING TO STOP’ Schoolgirl whose hobby is to shoot dead African wildlife insists she will carry on despite abuse
    American Aryanna Gourdin, 12, has posed for pictures alongside the dead bodies of giraffes and antelope”
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1693835/schoolgirl-whose-hobby-is-to-shoot-dead-african-wildlife-insists-she-will-carry-on-despite-abuse/

    How is this even legal?

    But then we kill millions of other animals for our food everyday without batting an eyelid. Is there a subtle kind of hypocrisy in that? Makes one think, and so it should.

    • glenn_uk

      You’re right – there is great hypocrisy in it. We like to call ourselves animal lovers, and people go all dotty about their dogs and so forth. But – as a whole – we couldn’t give a good goddamn about the miserable, wretched lives of the animals that make up the majority of meat.

      “I like my meat” is the usual idiot’s response to any challenge on this, and pretty much ends the discussion. As if liking some particular act is a moral argument.

      However, back to your point – anyone professing the slightest concern for animals, the environment or ecology should check their own deep hypocrisy if they eat dead animals themselves.

  • Alcyone

    The Karimov death news report should be an interesting case to watch regarding the reliability of the internet.

    Is he going to die or not?

    I imagine Craig has sources.

    • Alcyone

      “When they got rid of Gulnara, they started to form a plan. The fact that [Karimov’s illness] is public means that succession is already likely decided,” Luca Anceschi, a Central Asia expert at the University of Glasgow, told FP. “They are planning for continuity. It will be a leadership change, but not really a regime change.”
      https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/29/uzbekistan-islam-karimov-central-asia-russia-china-sick-stroke-hospital-what-comes-next/

      Of course it could simply be that they haven’t yet decided who will succeed the Devil. But, for how long, as Thursday is their National Day?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s really down to the reliability of the ‘Fergana News Agency’ (which, if I’ve got it right, is run by a dissident Uzbek expat in Moscow, begging the question of whether Moscow itself is the source-whether true or tactical), as well as that of the Uzbek hierarchy, which is probably equally questionable. I wouldn’t damn the Internet as a whole, merely the difficulty of sorting out the facts from multiple sources.

      We still don’t know if Schrodinger’s Karimov’s wavefunction has collapsed, however:

      https://themoscowtimes.com/news/tashkent-denies-death-of-president-karimov-as-supposed-successor-arrested-55149

      The Moscow Times has been described as militantly anti-Putin, so the divergence of opinion may be political.

      • nevermind

        I wonder whether the US troops at Kharshi Khanabad have any inkling of what is and what isn’t happening.
        If Gulnara has disappeared to Switzerland, the succession might have been decided, unless she was disappeared by her sis….

        • nevermind

          This seems to have been his last foreign missive, written by somebody. he could have been ill by then.

          “The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov expressed sincere condolences to the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella due to the human victims and destructions caused by the severe earthquake, which took place on August 25, 2016 in the Central part of country.
          The head of Uzbekistan conveyed compassion and empathy to the families and relatives of victims and those injured.”

          their bilateral relations of late with American countries.
          http://www.mfa.uz/en/cooperation/countries/378/

  • nevermind

    what a loss that would be to an unfair disproportional voting system, how would we get over it?

    • michael norton

      Well, yes.
      If we have been tricked, then it would expose the democratic inadequacies /shenanagins/ downright trickery
      of our present system
      I expect, if we di end up with full-blown Brexit
      it will only be because of the total collapse in belief in our present system, if the people are thwarted.
      I am sure that most members of the Lib Dem-SNP-Tory-NULABOUR-Green-Plaid members of parliament
      #would much rather stick with the E.U. shits because that is where they see their snouts in the future.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The thought of that being allowed to vote for anything makes me question my faith in democracy.

      • michael norton

        If you were not convinced either way by the hype, prior to the E.U. Ref.
        Those people desperately begging for you to vote to stay in the E.U. could have swayed you the other way.
        B. Obama
        N.Kinnock.
        A.Blair
        D.Cameron
        G.Osborne
        P. Mandelson
        J.Straw

      • nevermind

        have you ever heard of the ‘stop tax havens abuse act’? NM, because that legislation in the US were part of the negotiations Osborne frustrated and walked out of, on behalf of his banker friends no doubt, so not much show on that front.

        some 28trillion worldwide estimated to be bypassing national exchequers, these could have generated 280 billion in taxes.

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

        Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP, today on Radio four had it about right, the EU must work together to stop large companies abusing tax regulations via loop holes. If they want to deal/sell in EU countries, they should pay taxes according to where they sell.

        Those who want to leave can be rest assured that there will be another company interested that does respect their social responsibilities and tax requirements.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Find the lack of interest in Islam Karimov’s condition, from Craig on down, simply amazing.

    Is he dead or alive.? If dead, how did he really die? And was he assassinated? And if so, by whom? Etc., ad nauseam.

    Seems like the conspiracy theorists would be going wild, but there is hardly anything in the media about it.

    Just another indication of the dysfunctionality of today’s world.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Alcyone
    August 30, 2016 at 07:34

    American Aryanna Gourdin, 12, has posed for pictures alongside the dead bodies of giraffes and antelope”

    How is this even legal?”

    “But then we kill millions of other animals for our food everyday without batting an eyelid. Is there a subtle kind of hypocrisy in that? Makes one think, and so it should.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Alcyone its legal because its profitable – it is a pastime for the wealthy.

    It does not equate with killing for food because these people are killing for pleasure.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Ba’al Zevul
    August 30, 2016 at 09:17

    “We still don’t know if Schrodinger’s Karimov’s wavefunction has collapsed…”

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    We won’t know until they open the box.

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