Peak Kinnock 1209


Neil Kinnock appeared on both Dispatches and Panorama this evening bemoaning the presence of socialists in the Labour Party. Neither programme succeeded in finding anything sinister happening, but they did succeed in playing a great deal of sinister music. This must have been a great boost to the sinister music writing industry, for which we should be grateful. I think they have definitively proved that some people are left wing, and would like to have left wing MPs.

But seeing Kinnock reminded me of another bit of TV I saw today, a heartbreaking advert for Save the Children featuring a dying little baby, unable to ask for help. The advert urged you to give just £2 a month to help save her.

If 11,000 people responded with £2 a month, that would not save the little baby, but it would exactly pay the £264,000 per year salary of Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive of Save the Children and wife of MP Stephen Kinnock. Indeed if 20,000 people gave £2 per month, that would probably cover Mrs Stephen Kinnock’s salary, her other employment costs and the money paid to Sky for the advert. When you toss in Stephen’s salary and expenses, the Stephen Kinnock household are bringing in just shy of a cool half a million pounds a year from public service and charity work.

The salary of Ms Thorning-Schmidt is approximately twice that of her predecessor, Justin Forsyth, who was on an already unconscionable £140,000. I exposed their massive salaries at the time the Save the Children awarded a “Global Legacy” award to Tony Blair. Indeed to meet the salaries and other employment costs of just the top executives at Save the Children would take 80,000 people paying £2 a month. They would be funding executives with an average salary of over £140,000. For those in work paying the £2 a month, the average UK salary is £26,000 a year, and many retired and unemployed people scrimp to find money to give to try to help the needy.

The use of charities as a massive cash cow for the political classes is a real concern. David Miliband is on over 300,000 for heading the International Rescue Committee. When I listed the Save the Children executives, they included Brendan Cox, on over £100,000. He was the husband of Jo Cox, the murdered Labour MP. Brendan Cox and Justin Forsyth were both advisers to Gordon Brown and both moved to Save the Children when they lost their jobs on Brown losing power, sliding in on 6 figure salaries. Jo Cox was an adviser to Glenys Kinnock and left that job to be an executive at Oxfam before she too worked as a highly paid Save the Children executive.

Brendan Cox left Save the Children due to allegations from several women that he sexually harassed female staff and volunteers. Justin Forsyth left at the same time amid allegations he had not effectively acted to have his friend Cox investigated. This has not stopped Forsyth from now popping up as Deputy Chief Executive of UNICEF. Misery for some is a goldmine for others.


1,209 thoughts on “Peak Kinnock

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  • dave crawford

    It’s fascinating how the BBC present this topic the implicit message being that a move by the Labour Party to the left is somehow “bad” or undemocratic even when it is the grassroots that are driving the party in that direction. The BBC is deliberately sending out the subliminal message that the opinions of the left have no place in our supposed democratic system….and at the same time offering a platform to those in the PLP who are happy to ignore the wishes of their constituents and hold up their hands in horror at the suggestion of deselection.

    • Martinned

      Well, a plausible argument can be made that a move away from the median voter, as with Corbyn, is undemocratic, since it creates more distance (in ideological terms) between MPs and voters. The difficulty is that that assumes voters’ opinions are a given, which they are not.

      • glenn

        In that case, why don’t we hear the same language whenever a right-winger suggests yet further right-wing policies?

        Examples are numerous. Why was the BBC so insistent on calling Hugo Chavez a “dictator” all the time, when he absolutely was not one, yet never calls the head of the Saudi regime the same?

        No, it’s not plausible at all. It’s simple bias, distortion and typical of the BBCs Establishment agenda to discredit anything in the least bit progressive.

        • Martinned

          Because journalists are idiots? Remember Hanlon’s razor…

          As for Saudi-Arabia, I don’t think there’s any shortage of words reminding readers about its utter lack of democracy. The fact that the words typically used are “monarch” or “absolute monarchy” doesn’t change that.

    • Habbabkuk

      Crawford

      “..and at the same time offering a platform to those in the PLP who are happy to ignore the wishes of their constituents”

      ______________________

      Weasel words.

      What makes you think that the wishes of the constituents (= all those represented by a given MP) – or for that matter those Labour supporters who voted for a given MP – are identical to those of the members of a (usually extremely small) Constituency Labour Party which may prefer a person further to the Left??

      You have quite a conceit….

      • glenn

        What does your conceit say, Habbabkuk? It says you that know better than the Labour Party members. That you know their opinions are way different to that of ordinary voters in Labour constituencies.

        If you were honest, you’d note that these same people have become very tired with “New” Labour policies, and they didn’t like the direction the party was being taken. Labour’s share of the vote steadily decreased after 1997, and they lost a huge number of members. That only reversed when Corbyn appeared on the scene.

        Perhaps you’d like to explain why all these ordinary, decent, not-left-wing-at-all, doubtless “hard working” Labour voters didn’t rush to sign up as LP members, to vote that terrible man Corbyn out, and put in nice Mr. Smith instead?

        • Techno

          But you can’t win General Elections with left wing policies, that was the lesson from the 1980s and early 1990s. These members may be able to sleep at night with their ideological purity but Labour will be in permanent opposition.

          • Loony

            The times they are a changing and the past is a foreign land.

            Corbyn’s policies are of much less interest to people than the fact that he appears to be an honest man. People are increasingly fed up with being lied to. They are fed up with the endless killing of the foreign man, they are fed up being unable to afford anywhere to live, and they are fed up with multi million $ fraudsters trampling all over them.

            Taken as an aggregate whole people did not vote for Brexit because they thought it would make them better off – they voted for Brexit because they were fed up with EU leeches and fraudsters. People will vote for Trump not because they are racist, misogynistic, bigots but because they are fed up.

            This theme is underway all over Europe and change is coming whether people like it or not. If Corbyn is stopped then someone else will arise – perhaps someone far less pleasant than he is. None of the so called “moderate” people (but in reality ideological zealots prepared to destroy the planet rather than have their world view challenged) will ever again win popular support.

          • Loony

            It is not a question of what I believe.

            Look at the support for Podemos and Cuidadanos in Spain. Look at the support for the Front National in France. Look at the support for the AfD in Germany. Look at the support for the Law and Justice Party in Poland. Look at the support for Victor Orban in Hungary. Look at the support for the Finns Party in Finland.

            Basically look at evidence and it will likely serve you better than your current modus operandi of insinuating the “beliefs” of others.

          • Mick McNulty

            The ’80s was the first real move away from society and towards one’s self since the Victorian age, when Thatcher’s “greed is good” still appealed to so many who came to realize it only applies to a few, and the few does not include them. They know now that not only did they not become yuppies but it was their money the yuppies were pocketing.

            I think far more people are in tune with Jeremy Corbyn than TPTB want us to know, and if we could be confident the establishment will not rig elections we could probably prove it at the polls. Constantly knocking Corbyn’s chances is part of the rig, to make the results look like they were going to be that way all along. But we’re too dumb to see that.

          • Gracchus

            To paraphrase Willy Brandt, what’s the point of the left being in government if they can’t be left when they are in government? That is the screaming illogic of all these arguments in favour of Labour Part centrism: if you sell yourself as not left you must rule as not left. Precisely as Blair and Brown did.

          • Habbabkuk

            Loony

            ” your current modus operandi of insinuating the “beliefs” of others.”

            _____________________

            Hardly a matter of insinuating anything, Loony, when you state your beliefs so clearly yourself, surely?

            Your “This theme is underway all over Europe and change is coming whether people like it or not” refers.

          • Loony

            Habbabkuk – Here is today’s lesson in the English Language.

            The word belief means “an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof” or alternatively “trust, faith or confidence *in someone or something)”

            You will note that I have provided evidence for my contentions – evidence which highlights the growing support for non-traditional or centrist political parties or political figures in the US, the UK and a range of named European countries. All of this is independently verifiable and has nothing whatsoever to do with any form of belief.

          • glenn

            Techno: “But you can’t win General Elections with left wing policies, that was the lesson from the 1980s and early 1990s.

            Odd, then, that US politicians campaign on a progressive platform frequently, then tack back to the right in office.

            It doesn’t seem to apply in many other countries either – European, Latin-American, you name it. So what do you think makes the UK so unique?

            I’d suggest that it isn’t. This nostrum is a convenient fiction that the hard right likes to put about – and since they have the media under almost total lockdown, they do their best to make sure it comes to pass that anyone a bit progressive is thoroughly rubbished and demonised. See right here for examples!

          • Habbabkuk

            Gracchus

            It was good that you referred to the late Willy Brandt because it reminded me of something other readers would do well to reflect on.

            It is that the German Social Democratic Party only began to be seen as a serious contender for office after it dropped the far left-wingery which it adopted upon its foundation under Mr Schumacher. This occurred in the mid-1950s and even then it took a fair while for the party to finally win office.

          • Chris Rogers

            Poppycock is all i can say to that, witnessed by the Lefts revival across much of Europe and the USA – seems the usual anti-democrats are out in full force as ever on this Blog, the term fascistic comes to my mind!

        • Habbabkuk

          “Perhaps you’d like to explain why all these ordinary, decent, not-left-wing-at-all, doubtless “hard working” Labour voters didn’t rush to sign up as LP members, to vote that terrible man Corbyn out, and put in nice Mr. Smith instead?”
          ________________

          Simple inertia, Glenn.

          Same as happens during elections for trade union officials and meetings of the local branches of unions – only the most dedicated (or perhaps the most idealogical) turn up.

          • glenn

            So all the ideology and energy is on the hard left? Fascinating! What do you suppose accounts for this? What makes a Corbyn so much more popular than the other corporate candidates, that he gets more votes than the rest of them combined?

      • Bhante

        Has anyone noticed that Habbs has had a personnel change recently? Apparently unexpected, judging from the long “holiday” for finding and training a replacement. Poor old soul (Habbs version 1.0, that is) evidently had to go into early retirement. Habbs v. 2.0 was quite chatty when he first came onto the job, polite even, but then got a bitching from his boss for being too pleasant. Nose to the grindstone old man, just churn out your mindless propaganda, and be sure to divert attention from the real issues.

        Actually I think v.1.0 was not quite so obnoxious as v. 2.0, even though he was thoroughly tedious.

        • Habbabkuk

          Ah, “Bhante” has resurfaced.

          He must have been following this blog for quite a while to be able to attempt to distinguish between Habbabkuk 1.0 and Habbabkuk 2.0.

          Funnily enough though, the handle “Bhante” only popped up relatively recently.

          I wonder what his/her rprevious handle was – would he/she care to share…?

          But be that as it may, I remember thinking when I first read “Bhante”‘s posts a while ago : “this is a promising ‘un! Will soon be a candidate member of the Egregiousness of Excellences”.

          Keep up the good work, old pal 🙂

  • Ian Webber

    Is your money that good.will it buy you forgiveness.do you think that it could.will it buy back your soul.do you have one?

  • Burt

    Posted this as an answer to Paul Barbara before, but thought I’d put it here too: For an excellent rundown of what happened to the labour party check out these links if you haven’t read them:

    The Clandestine Caucus is a good rundown by Ramsay of the subversion of Labour over the years. A shorter version focusing on Blair is ‘The Rise of New Labour’.

    http://powerbase.info/index.php/The_Clandestine_Caucus

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster63/lob63-new-labour.pdf

    • Shatnersrug

      That was excellent Burt, thank you. Most of it I knew but in a compartmentalised way, it ties everything together nicely. Doesn’t say much for our future though, sadly.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland

      One could indeed ask. But G. ‘Dubya’ Bush’s ‘selection’ in 2000 and again in 2004 where ‘slam dunk’ fixed; and 9/11 occurred during the idiots ‘watch’, and all the subsequent wars, Patriot Acts, Torture OK’s etc. have followed on that ‘9/11 Attack’.
      Cui bono?

      I’m jolly glad Putin has got in; a Saint he ain’t, but he is a damn sight better than our sh*t-c*nt ”Leaders’.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I’m jolly glad Putin has got in; a Saint he ain’t, but he is a damn sight better than our sh*t-c*nt ”Leaders’.”

        __________

        Paul.

        I really find it difficult to differentiate between Western leaders actions and those of Putin. As Chomsky once put it, Russia, may not be as outwardly aggressive, as some Western nations. But I believe Russians don’t have as much free speech as we do, in the UK, for now anyway.

    • Habbabkuk

      Given that that particular flight was but one of a regular series of overflights, I have my doubts about the above theory.

      It is much more likely that the Russians shot down a U2 at that particular time (and not before) in order to sabotage a summit about which they were having second thoughts.

      • bevin

        “It is much more likely that the Russians shot down a U2 at that particular time (and not before) in order to sabotage a summit about which they were having second thoughts…”

        Blimey, we really have a live one here. This is a theory so idiotic that it has never previously migrated from the Conspiracy websites of the lunatic anti-communists, such as the John Birch society. I had no idea that this sort of rubbish was still current.
        Next: Habba on the need to wear tin foil hats to protect vital bodily fluids against Russian agents collecting them for the Politburo of Masonic, Bolshevik, Illuminati, which still rules the world from a secret bunker in Kronstadt.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Habbacheek
        In reality, the U2 was sabotaged, in order to screw up negotiations. The pilot was supposed to have died, as hitting the ‘eject’ button would have blown him to smithereens. Luckily, he was forewarned by someone about the ‘doomsday’ ejector seat, and ejected manually. And the reason the Russians didn’t shoot the poxy thing down earlier, was that it was flying too high for their anti-aircraft missiles. But, a US Pakistani agent screwed up the altitude reader, causing Gary Power to think he was higher than he thought.
        Hava Naguila!
        Some folks are aware of the true story of the murderous Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, and more.

    • lysias

      Before Oswald (who had been stationed at Atsugi Naval Air Station, from which U2 flights originated) defected, the Soviets did not have the information about the U2 flights that they had when they shot down Francis Gary Powers.

      • lysias

        And the evidence suggests that Oswald was a false defector, whose moves were being controlled by CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton. So the CIA may well have controlled what Oswald would reveal to the Soviets.

        • lysias

          Eisenhower approved Powers’s U2 flight, but he did not know Powers would be shot down. Perhaps others did.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ lysias
            Any evidence Ike OK’d the flight? My understanding is he was mad as hell that he had been ‘nobbled’ in a classic CIA ‘fait accompli’.

        • lysias

          The evidence that Angleton was controlling Oswald’s movements is to be found in the final chapter of the paperback edition of Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK by John Newman, a retired major in U.S. Army intelligence and an emeritus professor at the University of Maryland. He has written several books of history. During his Army career, Newman served two years as Assistant to the Director of NSA. So he has particular expertise in the interpretation of U.S. government documents, especially ones having to do with the military and intelligence.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ lysias
            IF you want to know about the reality of the JFK assassination, then I suggest you check out a few books:
            ‘Me and Lee’ by Judyth Vary Baker; ‘Doctor Mary’s Monkey’ by Edward Haslam, and ‘The Hit List’ by Richard Belzer and David Wayne.
            Oswald not only didn’t kill JFK, he did everything in his power to stop it, but was unable to.
            In his last phone call to his bride-to-be, he told Judyth to remember the name ‘David Atlee Phillips’. He said he was coordinating the assassination, and that he was a CIA officer. Oddly enough, like Jack Ruby, he died of cancer in 1988. That he died of ‘cancer’ will reverberate with folks who have read ‘Me and Lee’ and ‘Dr. Mary’s Monkey’. Maybe he knew too much..

  • Demetrius

    Personally, and perhaps I am unduly sensitive to creeps and shouty cheat beaters, Neil Kinnock has always had a sinister edge to him. He is the sort of person I would not like to meet if seeking credit or advice of any kind.

    • michael norton

      Lord Kinnock and his wife, Glenys, have amassed six public sector pensions

      They live the life

      do they still live in the Valleys?

          • Habbabkuk

            I take it you meant “you’ve hit him for six, Habbabkuk”?

            Six public sector jobs between them, six public sector pensions.

            Problem?

          • fwl

            Not cricket to put self interest before community. These pensions are gold plated defined benefits not lowly defined contributions based upon the performance of fund managers. We pay for them. Six? . One public sector final salary scheme might suffice for anyone and perhaps if they arise through service in different public services they might be consolidated into one (ie I concede six could really amount to two lifetime pensions).

      • Paul Barbara

        @ michael norton
        More to the point, will they still ‘live in the Valleys’ after Judgement Day?

      • Chris Rogers

        Michael Sir,

        My brother and his common law wife live quite close to the Kinnock’s here in South Wales and the Kinnock clan, in what is quite a poor and depressed area of Wales, never mind the UK, goes to great lengths to hide its wealth. Hilarious stories told by former employees and actual employees are plentiful, as are the legion of facts being discovered about his tax avoiding Son and daughter-in-law. The icing on the cake though is the fact that Stephen Kinnock lied about the fact that his daughter went to an elite Private college to finish her secondary education off, if said facts had been known to the Aberavon CLP membership its doubtful Kinnock junior would be in Parliament. Suffice to say, the Kinnock clan are greedy buggers and not to be trusted as far as you can throw them – they are very much detested in the local community, much of this due to the 84/85 Miners Strike and unheard of wealth they have amassed from the public purse – we are not stupid, but these buggers think we are, which best sums them up, namely deluded and rich.

        • Old Mark

          Chris Rogers-

          Thanks for your dispatch from the Kinnock’s back yard; one can only hope that the voters of Aberavon eventually tire of this jumped up little princeling.

          Reading Mrs Kinnock’s wikipedia entry is instructive, particularly the paragraphs on her tax affairs, which show how Stephen Kinnock’s tax status in Denmark changed with the weather aka he would alternate between being a ‘resident’ or a ‘non resident’ depending upon which status was the most advantageous, tax wise. Her response to these allegations of impropriety comes right out ot the Tessa Jowell playbook- oh, silly me for not getting my head around my husbands tax affairs, but I’m a busy professional woman dontcha know, how do you expect me to keep abreast of these trifling details!!

  • Nicola

    Wow that is disgusting how can you justify drawing sure a bloated wage from a charity for vulnerable children. These people have no sense of morality at all absolutely shocking.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      As noted in the usual place, it looks as if Blair has been forced to wind up Windrush and Firerush due to an imminent change in the Companies Act, forbidding companies from appointing corporate directors. Both chains of companies appear to depend on the inclusion of corporate directors, which must have been due to a desire to obscure the accounts, as they could perfectly well have had human directors, and there is no secret about Blair’s participation in most of them.

      Therefore, before I start cheering, I’d say Blair is making a virtue of necessity. I very much doubt that his modus operandi will change much, or that the cash he is promising to transfer to (his) pro-bono work will make much of a dent in his income.

  • Morag Frame

    As Tom Pride pointed out on his blog ‘Prides Purge’ the Panorama and Despatches programmes were sub-contracted and made by ‘Films of Record’ produced by Neil Grant, a former Brent East Labour Party Chair. Probably a good friend of Neil Kinnock as well as the BBB and Channel 4 and certainly an arch enemy of Ken Livingstone, for over 20 years. Another Blairite ‘babe’ lining his pockets!

  • lysias

    Interesting letter from former diplomat David Roberts entitled “Failures at the Foreign Office” in the 8 Sept. London Review of Books. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n17/letters :

    I was employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office until 2010, long after Oliver Miles left, and there is to my mind a lot of force in his assessment of its failure to speak truth to power over Iraq (Letters, 11 August). Returning in 2005 after eight years abroad, I quickly came to understand that this was not the FCO I knew and (almost) loved – an institution traditionally full of the most talented, eccentric and outspoken individuals. The new atmosphere of conformity and demoralisation was palpable, aggravated by the rapid turnover of foreign secretaries and junior ministers.

    Firmly in charge were the Blair collaborators, underpinned by a new generation of liberal interventionists propelled to stardom by the Yugoslav crisis of the 1990s – some having arrived sideways from politics, the UN, charities or the media. Longer-serving diplomats formed a passive resistance, or a silent majority at any rate, and seemed to be regarded with suspicion, as if fatally infected with the scepticism and circumspection learned during the long conflicts of the Cold War. Now, career advancement was expressly linked to volunteering for (futile but preferably repeated) stints of duty in war zones like Baghdad, Basra, Kabul and Lashkar Gah, a willingness to be shot at seemingly trumping all other qualifications.

    At the same time, in response to mounting pressure on resources from 2007 onwards, the FCO fell victim to a cult of managerialism that seemed to regard foreign policy as an inconvenient side-issue. Under a faddish doctrine of providing a ‘facilitating platform across government’, the FCO stopped trying to do anything well on its own, and was soon known to the general public only for its travel advice. The FCO entered the coalition years as a hollowed-out shell, symbolised by the scrapping of the diplomatic service language school and David Miliband’s dismantling of the splendid Victorian library.

    Some think that Thatcher started the rot by sucking foreign policy away to Number Ten. But it was Iraq that decisively ended the FCO’s position as a great – once the greatest – department of state. Where was it, for instance, in the EU referendum debate, the biggest foreign policy issue for generations? The appointment of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary might be seen as the final sick joke, a nadir of institutional humiliation. Ever the optimist, I cling to the thought that the same was probably said of Ernest Bevin, who turned out an unexpected success.

    David Roberts
    West Horsley, Surrey

    I wonder if Craig knows Mr. Roberts.

    • bevin

      I published the link originally, Lysias, but not the text. I’m glad that you have done so. It turns out that Habbab knows, or knows of, Roberts since he very kindly warned me that there was something sinister aboiut him.
      Just another smear. All in the day’s work. Heigh Ho.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Boris, the bonkers Brexiteer, has had his latest, brainstorm shot down in flames, by the PM.

    Boris had the idea of firing up the Royal yacht Britannia, again, and either Old Droopy chops HRH and her gaff prone hubby, or a gaggle of Tory MP’s (what it the collective term for a group of Tory MP’s?) Sail the yacht around the globe drumming up business for London.

    The vessel was decommissioned (code for we’re not paying to have the Royal spongers sail around the seven seas) in 1997, by Tony Blair (the one good thing he do in his miserable tenure as PM). Because the Royal money pit needed a £60 million pounds refit, on top of that it cost £11 million pounds a year to run.

    Lord West a Labour peer (says it all, really) backed bonkers Boris’s idea, Boris and his motely crew of backers, which number around a score, want to recapture British greatness, by pulling up in harbours all, around the globe to thrash out deals with local businessmen to bring orders back to London.

    The trouble with that idea, is that the dis-United Kingdom is no longer a big game player, the Asian Pivot has seen to that.

    It was said that HRH Saddlebag Face, was mighty peeved at Blair for not allowing her and her heirs to swan around the globe in a yacht funded by the taxpayer. Blair didn’t receive a invitation to Bald Willie and Kate Gold diggers Smiths wedding, because of the effrontery, over the Royal yacht Britannia, Blair ever the weasel like statesman, blamed Brown for the decommissioning of the yacht. Brown also, never received a invitation to wedding (a lucky escape me thinks).

    If nothing else Boris is good for a laugh.

  • Loony

    The RSPCA would appear to be a well respected charity.

    Here is a report of a court case in which the RSPCA failed in a bid to effectively double a bequest left to it. Unsurprisingly their case was predicated on seeking to downgrade the bequests left to other beneficiaries.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252213/Judge-slams-RSPCAs-court-attempt-double-300-000-left-generous-animal-lover.html

    Here is the RSPCA being criticized by a High Court Judge for wasting court time

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10042194/RSPCA-criticised-by-judge-for-wasting-valuable-court-time-by-calling-off-Hunting-Act-prosecution-at-11th-hour.html

    Here is the Chief Executive of the RSPCA boasting about how proud he is of wasting court time (albeit he does not use those exact words)
    http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/new-boss-jeremy-cooper-says-m-proud-rspca/story-29294841-detail/story.html

    • michael norton

      The RSPCA are not respectful of the elderly, they rip them apart, just like a hound ripping a fox aprt.
      They are Utter savages.

    • Ben

      Polls may have some gravitas in normal election years, but this one is far from normal.

      Poll takers recognize voters often don’t signal their true intentions.

      They may be a little embarrassed to admit they will probably vote Trump

      • lysias

        That is probably what happened in 1980. The polls just before Election Day had Reagan ahead by just 3 points. It looked like a very close election. And then Election Day happened, and it became clear Reagan had won by a landslide.

    • RobG

      Courtenay, I missed May’s UN address, and can’t find it anywhere on the likes of YouTube. Instead, this Channel 4 interview with her at the UN (note the chain around her neck, much like what a rottweiler would wear)…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOkGQukV7Zo

      I will repeat my prediction that this woman is so mad, so deluded, that when Corbyn gets re-elected next weekend she will call a general election, thinking that the tories under her leadership will romp to victory.

          • Alan

            Religions were designed to imprison the mind and engulf the emotions with fear and guilt.They were usually based on some ‘saviour-god’ figure like Jesus or Mohammed and only by believing in them and following their dictates can we find ‘God’ and be saved. That is precisely what the Babylonian priests said about Nimrod when the blueprint for control-by-religion was being moulded in Babylon. Those who refuse to believe this hogwash are condemned to stoke the fires of hell for all eternity.

            Staggeringly, billions upon billions have fallen for this scam over thousands of years, and still do.

          • Alan

            Here are just some of the ‘Son of God’ heroes who play the lead role in stories which mirror those attributed to Jesus and almost all were worshipped long before Jesus was even heard of:

            Khrishna of Hindostan; Buddha Sakia of India; Salivahana of Bermuda; Osiris and Horus of Egypt; Odin of Scandinavia; Crite of Chaldea; Zoroaster of Persia; Baal and Taut ofPhoenicia; Indra of Tibet; Bali of Afghanistan; Jao of Nepal; Wittoba of Bilingonese; Tammuz of Syria and Babylon; Attis of Phrygia; Xamolxis of Thrace; Zoar of the Bonzes; Adad of Assyria; Deva Tat and Sammonocadam of Siam; Alcides of Thebes; Mikado of the Sintoos; Beddru of Japan; Hesus or Eros, and Bremrillahm, of the Druids; Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls; Cadmus of Greece; Hil and Feta of Mandaites; Gentaut and Quetzalcoatl of Mexico; Universal Monarch of the Sibyls; Ischy of Formosa; Divine Teacher of Plato; Holy One of Xaca; Fohi and Tien of China; Adonis, son of virgin lo, of Greece; Ixion and Quirinus of Rome; Prometheus of the Caucasus; and Mohammed or Mahomet, of Arabia.

      • bevin

        ” I will repeat my prediction that this woman is so mad, so deluded, that when Corbyn gets re-elected next weekend she will call a general election, thinking that the tories under her leadership will romp to victory.”
        It would be the rational thing to do, as it would make re-selection very difficult and so she would once more face an Opposition consisting largely of Fifth Columnists, traitors and agents of foreign embassies.

        • Bhante

          Bevin “It would be the rational thing to do, as it would make re-selection very difficult and so she would once more face an Opposition consisting largely of Fifth Columnists, traitors and agents of foreign embassies.”

          That seems to be a typo!!?? My understanding is that most of the traiters and agents of a certain foreign embassy are Tory. Apart from a large number of Labour MP’s, that is, but all of those will surely face immediate deselection as soon as Jeremy gets re-elected leader. Even if they didn’t get deselected, it is hard to see the core traitors being very popular with the electorate.

  • Leonard Young

    Surely we’ve all been there. Exiting a supermarket or walking in a street and being ambushed by a chugger. “I’ve got a spare fiver. Here, have it”.

    “Er, no sir I cannot accept cash. What I want you to do is SIGN UP for a year and pledge a regular amount”. Me: “No, I say again, HERE’S FIVE POUNDS” in cash. I’ll tell you what, take a tenner. Here it is. Please take it.”

    “I cannot accept cash. Will you sign up and pledge a monthly gift”. “No”. “Well I can’t accept your cash”. “Fine, tell me where I can put a five or ten pound note in a box?” “You can’t”.

    Translate: “We have become a giant, global, corporate organisation with a management structure and we are run like, or indeed are, a PLC in all but name. We have huge admin expenses and I am an employee trying to earn a living wage. Meanwhile the executives of my corporation earn fabulous salaries while posing as altruistic heroes”.

    Well, you can all fuck off. You are not charities in the sense I understand. I don’t want to give to a corporation. I don’t want to line the pockets of over-paid chief executives who revolve through one door to the next. Sod off corporate charities. You have NOTHING to do with altruism and you are just another top-heavy corporate body: wasteful, corrupt, narcissistic, false, artificial, self-perpetuating business and the last thing on your mind is charity.

    So, back to the village fete, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t become corporatised either.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      What they want, of course, is a direct debit arrangement. They knock on doors too. Fetes are the province of corporate event managers these days – you thought you were joking?

      • Leonard Young

        “Fetes are the province of corporate event managers these days – you thought you were joking?”

        It’s been a long time. Last time I went to a fete, one had the opportunity to win 50p in a straw lottery (tickets inserted into a straw). Quaint but somehow more honest.

  • bevin

    This article on the OpenDemocracy site, by a Norwegian who has spent a dozen years in Britain, put Corbyn in perspective as a very familiar European Social Democrat.
    The only extremists in the Labour Party to worry about are those like Liz Kendall who is flirting with the Liberals and the Stalinists in HQ who today expelled enough councillors in Bristol to turn over control to their allies, and possible paymasters, the Tories.
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/jonas-fossli-gjers/jeremy-corbyn-mainstream-scandinavian-social-democrat

  • RobG

    This is all complete rollocks (well, she is a complete psychopath)…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/20/theresa-may-uk-ratify-paris-climate-change-agreement-this-year

    There are three full-size commercial nuclear reactors in Japan in complete and ongoing meltdown. This situation has never happened before in the entire history of the human race.

    But I know I’m wasting my time with this.

    Maybe in the future beings from another world will discover the complete wreck of planet Earth.

    These beings won’t be able to comment, because they’ll be laughing so much at how utterly fecking stupid the human race were.

    But don’t worry folks, man-made isotopes are good for you. Just keep on shopping…

    • Alan

      “Maybe in the future beings from another world will discover the complete wreck of planet Earth.”

      Actually, I can point you in the direction of a man who claims that Anthropos has already destroyed ten planets and that we are “Anthropos Eleven”.

    • Alan

      “There are three full-size commercial nuclear reactors in Japan in complete and ongoing meltdown. This situation has never happened before in the entire history of the human race.

      But I know I’m wasting my time with this.”

      You are indeed, because where do you think the uranium originally came from?

      http://es.ucsc.edu/~fnimmo/website/Nimmo_Kleine.pdf

  • Alan

    OK Craig, what did Marcus Tullius Cicero say a couple of thousand years ago?

    “A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?”

    This means nothing has changed in 2000 years.

  • David Lloyd-Wide

    I am at a loss as what to do. How can you stop elected politicians destabilise an area of the world, and then cash in on the result by gaining employment in organisations created to solve the problem.

  • fwl

    A question you might wish to consider is whether Trump represents traditional Rep elites rebranding for wider reach and electoral victory and / or did the Bush years of war and the financial crisis crack the Rep elite networks thereby opening up the party to new elites and if so who? To consider this more carefully listen not to what Trump says, but who funds and associates with him and who they in turn associate with.

    There are always individuals who rise together with their networks, but becoming part of the political elite can be slow save where there is disjuncture. Then access can become more rapid.

  • Dave

    The climate hoax is perpetrated in part by the nuclear lobby to justify nuclear power and this in turn is promoted to produce the material for new nuclear weapons.

    Since 3 mile island there have been no new nuclear power stations in US. Trident is a US weapon. So if UK announces the renewal of Trident it means US intend to renew their nuclear weapons programme. But as they have no new nuclear power stations, UK builds them instead to provide the material needed, under the guise of opposing climate change.

    But there are different types of nuclear power stations and I presume only certain types are suitable. So why proceed with the most expensive type at Hinkley. Is it because its the type needed for US/UK nuclear proliferation?

    • michael norton

      Dave, I agree with your main points.
      If the United Kingdom is to have a new fleet of nuclear submarines and a new arsenal of nuclear tipped weapons, then we must have nuclear scientists and nuclear technicians.
      To ” help” enough young people to indebt themselves by studying nuclear technology at university, it may necessarily
      be imagined, that a “clouding” of nuclear power, is required.

      • michael norton

        I do not know if the new French European Pressurized Reactor
        is the kind to make the material for nuclear weapons.

        Can someone tell us?

        • Clark

          No, the EPR isn’t ideal for production of very pure plutonium.

          Nuclear weapons can be made using “weapons grade” U233, U235 or plutonium. “Weapons grade” means that it is 95% or more pure.

          A nuclear reactor will make plutonium if U238 is included with the nuclear fuel, which is normally U235. The plutonium, along with many other isotopes, will be present in the used fuel rods from which it can be recovered by reprocessing.

          Less than a handful of historical reactors ever made U233. U233 was used once to make a fission bomb which was tested successfully, but U233 weapons have technical problems.

          Typical power reactors use U235 – they consume it as fuel rather than make it.

          A nuclear weapon requires only a few kilos of U235 or plutonium, whereas a typical power reactor contains hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods. Just one plutonium production reactor could supply all the plutonium for all the plutonium weapons in the world. U235 for weapons has to be obtained by enrichment since it cannot be made in reactors.

          Back at the start of the nuclear era there was very little plutonium, so nuclear power reactors were used to produce plutonium for weapons. The UK Magnox reactors and the Chernobyl reactors were examples; both could be run in different ways, on different fuel, optimised for either power production or plutonium production.

          Information is scant, but I think that the world’s various militaries run their own plutonium production reactors these days. But with 440 nuclear power reactors operating worldwide, there is no shortage of plutonium, so this cannot be the motivation for building new nuclear power stations.

          Sadly, global warming does not seem to be a hoax, but nuclear power isn’t a viable solution anyway.

          • Clark

            The history of the UK Magnox and AGR (“Advanced Gass-cooled Reactor”) programmes are revealing. Magnox was dual-purpose; power production, and plutonium production for weapons manufacture. AGR was to be the successor to Magnox. The UK planned to license AGR reactors and sell them all over the world, especially Commonwealth countries, but AGR fuel element fabrication and reprocessing would be restricted to the UK. The UK would thereby develop a captive market, dependent upon UK fuel element fabrication. All the “spent fuel” was to be returned to the UK for reprocessing at Sellafield, securing a steady supply of plutonium for the UK weapons programme, but gaining the UK the title of “The World’s Nuclear Dustbin”.

            Margaret Thatcher’s government decided to close the UK power reactor programmes and buy US water-cooled reactors instead.

          • Clark

            Since Thatcher’s policies were mostly about money, plutonium must have lost its value by then. That was in the ’70s or thereabouts.

          • Clark

            Sorry, the debate was ongoing in the ’70s. Thatcher’s government finalised the decision later; I’d have to look it up.

          • Clark

            According to RT, in 2012 there were 113 tonnes of plutonium stockpiled at Sellafield:

            https://www.rt.com/news/sellafield-uk-radioactive-plutonium-843/

            A different source I read a few years ago claimed “only” fifty to sixty tonnes.

            Either would be enough to build thousand of warheads, more than currently exist worldwide. However, much of the Sellafield plutonium is not fresh; spontaneous decay will have produced impurities within it.

            I don’t know whether it would be easier to obtain weapons grade plutonium by reprocessing “spent fuel”, or by purification from the stockpile. You could try asking YouKnowMyName / YKMN, who probably knows more than I do.

    • michael norton

      http://order-order.com/tag/hinkley-point-c/
      This chart from Bloomberg Energy is devastating. For the same budget as Hinkley we could get 20 gigawatts more electricity from gas, or the same for a fraction of the cost. Even solar would produce more energy at that price. Though with green renewable sources the capacity has to be discounted to reflect how much of the time the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Even so, that renewables are anywhere near competitive in cost terms means this has to be looked at by Phil Hammond with his calculator. George Osborne looked at it in political terms – the Chinese and the French will no doubt create some geo-political problems if May cancels the deal. The dash for gas makes far more sense…

      Well, CHINA has brought the cost of solar down, a fair bit, as they are mass producing the stuff.
      Windmills are becoming more efficient.
      There is a never ending supply of gas, especially when the new pipelines get contsructed from The Former U.S.S.R. states via
      The Caspian Sea, Iran, Iraq, Syria to the Med.

      • Martinned

        This chart from Bloomberg Energy is devastating. For the same budget as Hinkley we could get 20 gigawatts more electricity from gas

        I suspect that the point of investing in nuclear is to reduce carbon output, so I don’t think gas would work. (Even though it’s cleaner than coal.)

        Even solar would produce more energy at that price.

        Sure, if you don’t mind getting your rare earth metals in China. (Which is fine in the short term, but not necessarily in the long term.)

  • michael norton

    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair set the stage for a potential political comeback last night with the shock announcement that he is shutting down his secretive money-making empire.

    After nine years of raking in millions of pounds from foreign despots, the former prime minister said he wanted
    to concentrate on “charity” work.

    His dramatic move was interpreted as a desperate bid to salvage his reputation,
    which was recently damaged by the Chilcot report into the Iraq war.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3799383/Just-Blair-s-game-shuts-money-making-empire-question-set-comeback.html#ixzz4KslXfzGG
    SCUM

  • Republicofscotland

    Firstly, I’d like to say that if Russia is found culpable in the destruction of the UN aid convoy, those responsible should face the full wrath of International Law.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed the bombing was carried out by either Syrian or Russian aircraft. But Russian officials claim that the convoy caught fire. I can find only one or two pictures of the UN HGV vehicles, allegedly struck, (by Russian/Syrian forces) and in my opinion, they do look structurally intact, but badly burned.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/09/20/109097322-truck-news-large_trans++C_LLCXkS_z-CZqgOMP7BeysHzjQpVngxpF9kb9ZTW04.jpg

    Russian authorities in Syria, claim a indepth look needs to be taken in view of the White Helmets, who receive millions in financial aid from the US and Britain. With regards to their impartiality – the White Helmets, have recently been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.

    • Habbabkuk

      “.. if Russia is found culpable in the destruction of the UN aid convoy, those responsible should face the full wrath of International Law.”
      _____________________

      Which wrath would that be?

      • Republicofscotland

        Well Habb I’d say, that the perpetrators should know that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian, and human rights law. Shouldn’t such foul actions be dealt with as war crimes at the Hague?

        But I’m being silly, it’s only African foul deeds that are prosecuted at the Hague. God forbid one of the big superpowers such as the US, or Russia are held accountable for their actions.

    • Paul Barbara

      “Pro-Democracy Terrorism”: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a Propaganda Front funded by the EU:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-syrian-observatory-for-human-rights-is-a-propaganda-front-funded-by-the-eu-its-objective-is-to-justify-pro-democracy-terrorism/5331072

      A one-man band, a dissident, financed by the West – and his figures and pronouncements taken as gospel by the MSM and Western governments.
      Bit like the paid Iraqi dissident who came up with the Iraqi ‘WMD’ false info.
      But heck, he’s saying what the West wants to hear, and he gives it to them in spade. Wouldn’t want to upset his paymasters, would he?

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Paul for that, I was already aware of the SOHR’s status, being run from London by a disgruntled exiled Syrian, who runs a clothes shop. One does wonder why anyone, would take accounts from the SOHR seriously.

    • John Goss

      “Firstly, I’d like to say that if Russia is found culpable in the destruction of the UN aid convoy, those responsible should face the full wrath of International Law.”

      I agree. But the US should not be allowed to get away with breaking the ceasefire in the first place.

      It is out of character of Russia to target civilians, aid-convoys and hospitals. I wish the same could be said for the US and Israel.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will soon visit Bahrain on behalf of the UK government despite long-standing concerns over human rights abuses and UK arms sales.”

    “In April a report for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee blasted the theocratic Gulf state’s record on human rights abuses, not least during the violent crushing of protests during the 2011 Arab Spring with the direct support of another controversial UK ally, Saudi Arabia.”

    No doubt Prince Dobbie, will once again perform the duties of a court jester, dancing in circles and waving his ceremonial scimitar. At the same time Bahrain royalty will laugh and clap and egg on the their British puppet, as he spins and turns to his master whim.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/360011-charles-camilla-bahrain-trip/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

    • Martinned

      Wait, you’re in favour or against the Prince of Wales being a powerless puppet with no power over where he’s sent or what he’s supposed to do once he gets there?

      • Republicofscotland

        I’m not in favour of royality full stop, as for the heir apparents trip to appease his masters in Manama, it shows the royals for what they really are.

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