The Sad End of British Liberalism 213

Tim Farron’s paean of praise for Tony Blair yesterday marks the disgraceful end of the political embodiment of a great tradition of thought. In truth there is no ideological reason why the Blairites should not join today’s Lib Dems after their imminent humiliation in the leadership election. What they do next will be entirely down to their calculation of career advantage. There is no ideological reason both Lib Dems and Blairities should not fold into the Tories. However that would destroy the chances of giving the electorate the mere illusion of free choice, when they have still not given up the idea of removing Corbyn and destroying the chance of actual meaningful choice.

Because the Lib Dems, Blairites and Tories all subscribe to a single ideology of neo-liberalism at home and neo-conservatism abroad. Under Kinnock then Blair, the opposing ideology of organised labour was expunged from the Labour Party, and even such obviously popular and necessary objectives as re-nationalising the railways were foresworn. Under Clegg, the Lib Dems abandoned their own, even older, radical tradition and signed up to the twin gods of finance sector led economies and neo-imperialism.

My own political thought springs entirely from the Liberal tradition. I am a Radical, not a socialist. If asked to name the single book which had most influenced my political beliefs, would unhesitatingly name Imperialism by J A Hobson – a great and truly ground-breaking work, now almost completely neglected. But beyond that my influences include Paine, Hazlitt, John Stuart Mill, Keynes, Beveridge and Grimond. I am not a utopian but a much better society is possible. In the 1970s we enjoyed state ownership of utilities and natural monopolies, free university tuition and student maintenance, and a more humane benefits system and powerful trade unions. Those things would be a good start towards ending the runaway inequality which replaced them.

The intrinsic link between neo-liberalism at home and neo-conservatism abroad was demonstrated by Thatcher. In her first term as Prime Minister she was massively unpopular and well behind Michael Foot’s Labour Party in the opinion polls. What turned it round and saved the neo-liberal project was not an economic upturn – unemployment remained over 3 million – but the colossal wave of jingoism unleashed by the Falklands War. It is precisely the phenomenon analysed by J A Hobson in Imperialism, the use of wars abroad to gain cheap popularity at home while boosting the sectional financial interests of the arms manufacturers, and political, military and security classes.

As I am next week at the Sam Adams award presentation to John Kiriakou, I commend to you this speech at a previous presentation by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, which addressed this exact subject. It is well worth hearing.

Now Tim Farron has appealed to the Blairites to join (and the Guardian has followed it up with a second article today) I do hope that some of the genuinely radical loyalists who remain in the party realise they either have to make one last organised and determined fight to regain control, or give up. After thirty years of membership, I left the Lib Dems over two things – the declaration they were unequivocally a “Unionist party”, and their failure to stop – or even attempt to stop – Tory continuation of New Labour’s privatisation and “marketization” within the NHS. I saw genuine liberals like Charie Kennedy sidelined, ignored and sometimes ridiculed.

I am as nostalgic as the next man, but now it has completely abandoned any pretence at ideological connection to its origins, I can see no possible purpose in the continued existence of the Liberal Democrats.

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213 thoughts on “The Sad End of British Liberalism

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  • Sharp Ears

    Farron and what he says and does is inconsequential.

    Blair’s spin doctor, Campbell, is being rehabilitated. He even gets a place on Question Time which he used last night to denigrate John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn. Odious.

    • Manda

      Unfortunately the whole establishment is behind and been co opted by the Neoliberal project and BBC has always been the establishment propaganda arm whatever way the wind blows. We must support and spread alternative voices such as Craigs in an effort to diminish their and corporate media power.

    • mark cunliffe

      Campbell was disgusting last night. His usual unashamed, hard nosed, over bearing self (his rehabilitation in the media is heavily reliant on his claims that he suffers from depression, as if that excuses him being a dick with blood on his hands) he had the gall to admit Iraq did them no favours, yet refused to explore exactly why, or what his own part in that war crime actually was. All he kept on saying was ‘we won three elections’ Someone really needed to tell him that it isn’t about just gaining power, it’s what you do with it. I wish McDonnell had just said that, rather than enter into the spat Campbell was so deliberately engineering.

      • Manda

        I didn’t watch it but it sounds like Dimbleby did his job and let Campbell have free rein to spout. BBC is bad for my health so I no longer watch or listen to it.

    • Shatnersrug

      The Guardian is a joke and so is their pathetic attempts to rehabilitate the Lib Dems. Both organisations are a busted flush – and the Blairites know it, which is why they haven’t jumped ship as they did in 83.

      I don not accept that it was merely the faulklands jingoism that lead to the re-election of thatcher – I believe it was a combined effort – I believe whilst thatchers rattled her sabres, the establishment right of the Labour Party did what Queen and Establishment expects of them by splitting the party taking a younger Polly Toynbe with them. Even meaning that the new SPD were polling above labour and the conservatives. But of course this didn’t last once the establishment through the press had had their left split the focus went back on the Iron Lady. When election time rolled round many went back to their natural postition but with a sizeable split towards the SDP helped admirably by a MsPolly Toynbe who stood as an SDP candidate in the down at heals inner-city Lewisham seat, she stole enough of the left vote to see the Labour MP unseated and in his place a new Tory MP. Score 1 establishment 0 to (dis)organised Labour.

      I would not be surprised if there is a book I white hall entitled “what to do if real socialists ever get a sniff of power) that has the precise instructions laid out in it for an aggressive media campaign in the centre left liberal papers involving the BBC and various establish “left” figures across the main parliamentary parties, with the conservatives offering a rigid unwavering patriotic jingoistic in the background.

      The only reason I can see that it hasn’t worked this time is because the Guardian has so insulted its base that it has lost the edge in “left wing” comment, in part due to social media and in part to its own ineptness.

      • bevin

        Completely agree. The Jingoism (a classic case of ‘second time as farce’) was a minor part of it. The crucial move was the SDP split. I was in London at the time and I was amazed at the, completely unexpected, enthusiasm for the SDP shown by people that I knew to be life long and right wing Tories.
        Like the SDP before them the current PLP majority is led by traitors, dealing in the support of that generous and forgiving bunch, the working class and completely confident that no evil deed that they inflict on the Labour movement will go unrewarded.
        MPs, like the old SDP Reichstag deputies, should leave signed letters of resignation to be activated by General Meetings of their constituency parties. Instead of the CLPs look askance at them they are closed down, disenfranchised and purged. As is happening in Brighton and Hove.

        • Habbabkuk

          “MPs, like the old SDP Reichstag deputies,”

          Perhaps an unfortunate precedent…?


          ” should leave signed letters of resignation to be activated by General Meetings of their constituency parties. Instead of the CLPs look askance at them they are closed down, disenfranchised and purged. As is happening in Brighton and Hove.”

          Which would make a mockery of the will of the electorate which put named, individual MPs into Parliament. The will of the CLPs (how big and representative of the electorate in general and how representative even of Labour voters in general are they?) would prevail over the will of the elctorate at large.

  • MBC

    De-privatising, you meant?

    Good piece. Many thanks. The whole shape of British politics is moving. The Tories are half UKIP BritNats.

  • Neil Saunders

    That should read “renationalisation”! Mill is not one of my heroes, but otherwise very little to disagree with here.

  • Manda

    I agree wholeheartedly. UK and western world has had a single cross party ideological rule since Thatcher/Reagan era when Neoliberalism/Neoconservatism became the dominant ideology.. There is an urgent need for true Conservative, Liberal and Socialist parties and the ‘Neos’ could form their own party so citizens have a real choice and the destructive distraction of party infighting ends and the major problems caused by this ideology can be addressed..

    I think this discussion encapsulates what has happened nicely.

  • John Goss

    Unlike you I am a Socialist and come from a Socialist background, though my grandfather was a Liberal. I share almost all your criticism of those who have taken over the Labour Party and changed it to what it has become. Because I am a Socialist it probably hurts me more than it might a radical. I share Larry Wilkerson’s admiration for Tom Paine, as did one our great eighteenth century novelists, Robert Bage. Paine came from a Quaker family and he carried that philosophy with him though not a Quaker. “Education is all in all.”

    My understanding is that ‘Blairite’ is a banned word and people in the Labour Party who use it can have their voting privileges removed. Searches go on of Labour Party members social media accounts using a number of keywords that would identify Corbyn supporters then emails (or letters) are sent removing their right to vote in the leadership contest. Not since McCarthyism has there been such a witch-hunt by the elite. Help is at hand for those suspended from voting.

    • John Goss

      Labour Party members can be banned for mentioning support regarding any other party, including The Green Party. There is opposition to Momentum, but it has Laodicean support. It is called Labour First. There is a recruitment drive going on and one of the major concerns is to prevent socialists gaining control of constituency parties. This objective is summed up in a document I have seen of which this is an extract.

      “Immediately after conference Labour First will be focussing on creating local groups in as many areas of the country as possible so that people can meet together to organise against Hard Left attempts to take over local parties and deselect MPs and councillors.”

    • mark cunliffe

      “Searches go on of Labour Party members social media accounts using a number of keywords that would identify Corbyn supporters then emails (or letters) are sent removing their right to vote in the leadership contest. Not since McCarthyism has there been such a witch-hunt by the elite”

      Absolutely. And yet how many social media accounts of Labour party members and active staff are used to denigrate Corbyn and get away scott free? It’s appalling to see so many people biting the hand that feeds them and doing the job of the right in this country against their own democratically elected leader.

  • Goodwin

    I welcome the re-emergence of a rabid left and a rabid right providing welcome relief from the (centre-left, bleeding heart, Christian Democrat or whatever) neo-liberals in the middle and providing some semblance of choice.

  • Manda

    “After thirty years of membership, I left the Lib Dems over two things – the declaration they were unequivocally a “Unionist party”, and their failure to stop – or even attempt to stop – Tory continuation of New Labour’s privatisation and “marketization” within the NHS”

    The 2012 Heath and Social Care Act was the Lib Dems biggest betrayal of citizens. It effectively abolished NHS England legally.
    Following the covert privatisation of NHS is a trail of the cross party ideology working for corporate/banking interests, the corporate state. All did their bit from Thatcher onwards. An hour long Peter Bach film demonstrating the decades long cross party project.

    • michael norton

      Trouble with the LibDem’s is the are rabid for the E.U. they can’t accept the British are seriously pissed off with the coming superstate.

      “The plan also suggests merging the eurozone economies by completing the Capital Markets Union, which would effectively see the eurozone’s financial systems all joined togetherinto one big European economy.

      The roadmap echoed Mr Juncker’s earlier released federalist plans which is designed to move the EU further towards becoming a United States of Europe within nine months.”
      Daily Express

      • glenn

        Would you PLEASE stop quoting the bloody Daily Express at us.

        If I wanted to rot my brain, I’d buy the rag and read it myself. It really is not incumbent upon you to keep quoting the damned BS it publishes. Anyone stupid enough to wish to do so can buy it, or read it online. This blog is not where I go for a compendium of the wisdom of the Daily Express, so would you kindly stop reproducing its BS?

        • michael norton

          So do you think the LibDem twats want to get us back into the E.U. even though the Great British Public have voted for out.
          Little Tim has made that statement, several times.
          How democratic is that?
          The LibDem people are fanatical about the E.U. Their last leader Clegg, still imagines we will eventually be forced to join the Eurozone.
          The LibDem’s are away with the fairies.

          • glenn

            No, Michael, that’s not what I said at all.

            Kindly stop quoting that blasted mindless rag, The Express at us. Please. That’s what I was saying. Stop quoting The Express. Stop – Quoting – The – Express. Nobody here wants to know what it says, so stop reproducing every headline in it here. Nobody wants to know.

            Is that not cogent enough for you?

          • michael norton

            So you still refuse to understand that the LibDem’s are rabid for the E.U.
            That little Tim is going to return us to the E.U. after we have left, when Little Tim finds himself as Prime minister.
            Clegg is going to do his best to force us to join the Eurozone.

            This is what these people really imagine is going to happen
            but they also want the voting system to be changed to make it more suitable for them,
            they are antidemocratic loons.

  • Mick McNulty

    I think the Labour right and Tory establishment are working together to wipe out the left completely to create a one-party state with the illusion of an opposition. They can’t all fit on the Tory side of the House and that would be obvious anyway, so some must sit opposite and they’ll present themselves as the opposition while sat there, but the only opposition will be the internal strife within such a big party.

    • John Goss

      “I think the Labour right and Tory establishment are working together to wipe out the left completely to create a one-party state with the illusion of an opposition.”

      It takes a long time for ideas like that to sail across the Atlantic. 🙂

  • Martinned

    In the 1970s we enjoyed state ownership of utilities and natural monopolies, free university tuition and student maintenance, and a more humane benefits system and powerful trade unions.

    I don’t think “enjoyed” is the word you were looking for. “Suffered through”, perhaps?

    Also, are you seriously going from Mill to state ownership of everything in just one line?

    • Republicofscotland

      “I don’t think “enjoyed” is the word you were looking for. “Suffered through”, perhaps?”

      What you really mean’t is you didn’t like the unions having a voice, or the ability to take action. I wonder are you still suffering under the VVD party?

      Still I suppose the mass influx of immigrants to the Netherlands must have the VVD in a quandry, afterall one of their mantras is economic liberalism, which not only promotes privatisation, but also free movement of people.

      • Martinned

        I think that unions most certainly should have a voice. Balance of power between employers and employees is essential for the prosperity of the country. Monopsony in the labour market is as bad as monopoly. But there’s a difference between unions having a strong voice and unions running the country.

        The VVD has always struggled to reconcile its conservative wing and its liberal wing. In the Netherlands, the only real conservatives have historically been the Christian-democrats (as in Germany). So the VVD was always the closest thing to a secular conservative party. That wasn’t so much of a problem when the party was small, as it was for most of the post-war era, but since 2010 it’s been the largest party in Parliament, and the schizophrenic nature of the party has become more obvious.

        (The big example of that problem in action actually goes back a little further, to the 2006 leadership election between Mark Rutte, the (social-)liberal candidate, and Rita Verdonk, the conservative. I waited to become a member until I was sure I wouldn’t be joining a party that Mrs. Vonk was leading. These days, they let the conservatives out when they need to explain to voters why they shouldn’t vote for Geert Wilders, and they let the liberals out when they need to explain to voters that voting VVD is the only way to keep Wilders from taking over the country. We’ll find out whether that works in March next year.)

        • Republicofscotland

          Thank you for that info Martinned, I wonder if Alexander Pechtold’s D66, would’ve made a better fist as the government, rather than Rutte’s. I’m sure D66 are a member of the (ALDE).

          • Martinned

            They are, and they are increasingly positioning themselves as the liberal party for cosmopolitan rich people. They were always to the left of the VVD, but now they’re the only part (other than GL, perhaps) who is not even trying to howl with the wolves and appeal to low-income populist voters.

      • Why be Ordinary

        The Unions could have done themselves and teh country a favour by backing the Bulllock report. Too many on teh left assumed that they were being carried by the tide of history, but it ran out and left them with Thatcher

    • bevin

      “Also, are you seriously going from Mill to state ownership of everything in just one line?”
      Do you actually know anything about Mill?

  • MJ

    “After thirty years of membership, I left the Lib Dems”

    Sorry to be pedantic but I don’t think that can be right. The party wasn’t formed until 1988. Prior to then you could have been a member of the Liberal Party or the SDP.

  • Martinned

    More generally I can see how, if you’re several hundred miles to the left of Stalin, everyone to the right of Gordon Brown pretty much looks the same, but seriously???

    Clearly the British party-political system would make more sense if the Blairites joined the Liberal Party to form a liberal centre party, but the UK FPTP system makes that effectively impossible. That doesn’t mean there aren’t differences between the major parties.

    • Manda

      I maintain Stalin was not left at all he became a dictator. He turned USSR into a brutal corporatist state. Left = democracy especially where wealth is created. USSR was not a Socialist state it got stuck in state Capitalism and became as brutal as dictatorships or absolute Monarchies.

        • Manda

          I know little about Communism. I expect it is like many words, it has various meanings. My understanding of Socialism is that democracy is the fundamental component. Power in the hands of the people. USSR and Mao communism were top down state controlled, not bottom up people powered. The state took the role of the Capitalist controlling the wealth production and distribution, deciding what to produce, where to produce and how to produce. It went on to dictate to the citizens how to live their lives not allowing citizens a choice, it developed an ideology based on forced collectivism. Another feature of Socialism (as I understand it) is respect for the individual within the framework of democratic decision making.
          In a true Socialist community all decisions are made by democratic mandate including and especially wealth creation. So wealth stays in the hands of the people, government is an instrument of the citizens not a powerful entity that can become beholden to wealthy individuals or victim of a bizarre ideology.
          If what developed in USSR and China was communism I don’t subscribe to that one bit. An all powerful state will always become tyrannical to keep it’s power.
          The key seems to be who has the wealth and controls it. Socialism subscribes to democratic control and distribution of wealth creation so the huge inequalities we see now would not develop. That does not mean some are better off than others but who in a company would vote for the huge pay differentials and bonuses we have today? Who would vote to work with toxic materials or spew them into their local environment? Who would vote for no taxes to fund schools/good education, healthcare, local amenities and infrastructure?

          I don’t want to go to a de facto state dictatorship based on some ideology of everyone has to be the same and loyal to the ideology first and foremost even above family and if that is what Communism is I want no part of it. There was no democracy in USSR under Stalin only sham elections.

          • Manda

            Apologies, this sentence should say
            “That does not mean some are ‘not’ better off than others but who in a company would vote for the huge pay differentials and bonuses we have today?”

          • Martinned

            My understanding of Socialism is that democracy is the fundamental component.

            Yes, and equality between men and women is a fundamental component of (fundamentalist) islam. Ask any muslim and they will tell you stories about the great respect shown by the Prophet to women. And yet, after 1400 years of trying to turn women’s equality in islam into a practical reality and failing at it, maybe it’s time to accept that if women’s equality is going to come from somewhere, it is going to come from people adhering to the teachings of Mohammed less rather than more.

            Likewise, lots of socialist thinkers talked about how important democracy was, but no one’s ever made it happen in reality other than by being less socialist and more social-democrat. Saying that a communist isn’t a real communist/socialist/whatever because he didn’t create a proper democratic system of government is missing the point: that’s exactly why he *is* a communist. If he had implemented democracy he would have been a social-democrat.

          • John Goss

            In one comment Martinned you have tried to foment religious disharmony and socialist division. It won’t work old chap. Those still slumbering like lions will soon rise up in huge Shelley-inspired numbers and democratically take back what your lot stole from them.

          • Republicofscotland

            Martinned 14.19 comment.

            First paragraph, well said, you made very good points there.

            Second paragraph, I’d say finding a way to mix, democracy with capitalism, and socialism to a degree, its the secret formula that no country has been able to create yet. Is it even possible to do so?

            Capitalism to create the wealth, democracy for all to have a say and socialism, so all can share in the wealth, there’s no place for communism, in my opinion.

          • Resident Dissident

            Martinned is fomenting socialist division in exactly the same way that Orwell did in pointing out the detestation of democracy by the hard left and communists. As to fomenting religious disharmony in point out that Islam has done little for women’s equality (and therefore true socialism) I wonder if Mr Goss would level the same accusation at his heroes Marx and Lenin who did quite a lot of the same thing – even before the latter started pulling down churches (yet another idea he gave to Stalin along with the Cheka and the Gulag).

        • Republicofscotland

          Good point Martinned, I am struggling to think of a true communist country, certainly not Russia, or China, Cuba has just opened its doors to American privatisation. As for North Korea, how can it be a true communist country, when it’s ruled by a monarchic family clan.

          One could go as far as to say, communism, is more about control, than prosperity.

          • Manda

            For some reason I am unable to reply to Martinned or one or two others so this is mainly for him/her.

            “Saying that a communist isn’t a real communist/socialist/whatever because he didn’t create a proper democratic system of government is missing the point: that’s exactly why he *is* a communist. If he had implemented democracy he would have been a social-democrat.”

            I said I didn’t know much about Communism and took USSR and Mao’s China as examples. The government is not the most important part to democratize, it’s ownership of industry/wealth creation so wealth creation stays firmly in the hands of citizens they can then maintain control over the government. Socialism has a different economic model to Capitalism. Democratic Socialism is just restrained Capitalism to try to reduce it’s exploitative and accumulative nature of siphoning more and more wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. I don’t see much restraint in Stalin’s Russia but if they had even minimum democracy Stalin probably couldn’t have become tyrannical, he would have been voted out sooner or later and yes, USSR may have become a Social Democracy. The problem comes with wealth/asset/production ownership concentration and decision making being held in few hands in Capitalism, Politics is able to be bought to ever increasing degrees and revolving doors become the norm legalizing corruption. As the beneficiaries become richer along with their enablers they become more powerful, buying policy to advantage them at the expense of citizens/tax payers and are also able to fund various groups with politically correct or enticing stated aims to spread into society to subvert and control opposition and spread their vision with perks. Think Soros, the Clinton Foundation etc. Of course the ‘winners’ always attract a following of devotees and those who cannot think in other terms mainly because they have known nothing else and are not encouraged/educated to question only to rationalize difficult often moral or ethical decisions in terms of their thinking.

            I don’t think there are any countries who have managed to create a Socialist country. Cuba probably got closest but under 50 years of extreme US sanctions etc. Socialism is the gravest threat to Capitalism (apart from unrestrained Capitalism itself) and has always been attacked, subverted, demonized and bombed to reinstate a full on exploitative Capitalist ideology or corrupt any ‘wayward’ government that comes to power. Who has the money and power? These days according to OXFAM 62 individuals have more wealth than the lower 50% of people on the planet on the global wealth scale. Now that is what free market Capitalism produces and they are on a roll, who knows where it will lead unless checked and soon.

          • Alan

            “Cuba has just opened its doors to American privatisation”

            No it hasn’t! Obama announced that America is willing to share the world with Cuba but for some strange reason the output of Granma International seems to be blocked.

          • Alan

            Don’t you know about Cuba? The mighty American soft-drink manufacturer thought it owned all the sugar in Cuba, like it did in Hawaii, until Castro and Che Guevara taught them otherwise.

          • Alan

            Thanks Glen, so it is BT who sees fit to interfere with my freedom to read what I like, because using a proxy I can indeed read Granma. So what does it say about America, contrary to RoS’s claim?

            What September 11 has left us

            U.S. discourse on terrorism bears little relation to reality

            Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | [email protected]

            september 15, 2016 09:09:36

            September 11 is just another box on the calendar. But history has been responsible for filling this space with events that mark the fate of entire peoples.

            Even as the firefighters and rescue workers were still searching for survivors in the rubble of the World Trade Center, and well before the warmongering speeches by President George W. Bush, the Co­man­dante en Jefe Fidel Castro stated in Havana: “None of the problems affecting today’s world can be solved with the use of force, there is no global, technological or military power that can guarantee total immunity against such acts.”

            History once again proved him right. What lessons can be drawn from the failure of U.S. policy and what can be done to break the vicious cycle of violence and death that threatens global stability?


            This September 11 marked the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Cuban diplomat Félix García at the hands of a terrorist in the UN headquarters in New York.

            His murderer, Eduardo Arocena, was a member of the Omega 7 organization, operating from U.S. territory with the consent of the authorities.

            In their efforts to overthrow the Cuban Revolution, U.S. administrations did not hesitate to use or allow the use of the same methods they claim to fight across the world today.

            Similarly, Washington encouraged and supported the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile, also perpetrated on September 11, 1973.

            The torture, assassinations and persecution used by the Chilean military dictatorship and others on the continent were justified with the alleged objective of halting the spread of communism. Little did it matter that Allende had been democratically elected at the polls.

            Several decades later, these same methods are applied with slight variations against countries with progressive governments in the region such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, without considering the possible consequences.


            Recent years have demonstrated that the use of force does not resolve the underlying problems. Two unsuccessful wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, with billions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands dead, are the greatest proof of this.

            A new type of unconventional warfare was intended in the case of Libya, where millions of dollars and weapons were supplied to armed gangs of radicals with the aim of overthrowing the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

            The country went from being an example in terms of social indicators to a lawless hell where the force of arms commands. Libya also became a meeting point for extremists and mercenaries who then migrated south on the continent, destabilizing neighboring countries and others as far afield as Mali.

            Syria is fighting terrorists and at the same time must deal with illegal groups with Western training and funds to overthrow the legitimate government.

            In Europe, the example of Ukraine is also proof that violence generates a vicious circle. The West supported the most extremist sectors in Maidan Square, including neo-Nazi groups, which led to the rupture of constitutional order and sparked a civil conflict that seems to have no end.

            A dead child washed up on European beaches has become the symbol of the millions displaced by violence in the worst migration crisis since World War II.


            One of the ideas being imposed today is the link between terrorism and religion, but a simple review of history takes this thesis to pieces in an instant.

            U.S. authorities spend billions on foreign conflicts and scarcely devote any resources to solving the causes of their own internal violence. There are more than 400 extremist groups inside the country, many of them white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

            Recent terrorist acts on U.S. soil have been perpetrated precisely by members of these groups. The most recent of these occurred in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist opened fire and killed nine people in a town that was emblematic of the civil rights movement in the United States.

            Returning to the Middle East, it is very simplistic to address the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism without analyzing the evolution of a region with thousands of years of history, subjected to a colonial and neocolonial regime in the recent past.

            Arab nationalist projects, many of them secular and progressive, were undermined by Washington for fear of losing its control over the region’s energy resources. It was easier to dominate a fragmented and radical region. It is also in the interests of its strategic ally, Israel, to prevent the development of its neighbors which exceed it in terms of population and resources.

            It is striking that the plans and projects of terrorist groups are nonexistent or incomprehensible, even to their fellow countrymen and women, beyond the false messianic project of a global caliphate. Terrorism is quintessentially irrational and violence is an end in itself, responding to dynamics of exclusion and marginalization that have only increased in recent times.

            Speaking 14 years ago, Fidel noted: “This international struggle against terrorism cannot succeed by killing a terrorist here and another one there, that is, by using similar methods to theirs, sacrificing innocent lives. It is resolved, inter alia, by putting an end to state terrorism and other repulsive crimes, by putting an end to genocide and by honestly pursuing a policy of peace and respect for established moral and legal standards. The world cannot be saved unless a path of international peace and cooperation is pursued.”

            What might the news this September 11 have been if that path had been followed?

            In short, RoS, Obomber talks out of his backside.

          • Resident Dissident

            The problem ROS is that the communists have yet to find anything better than the market mechanism as a means for allocating resources to producing what people want rather than what those in control think they want.

            I disagree with you that there should be a split between capitalism (or the market mechanism) for producing the wealth and socialism for its allocation – I do believe that there is a role for socialism for certain goods and services where collective provision is more efficient and can consider externalities that markets cannot handle and also for regulating markets so the worst excesses do not occur ( better that markets are made to distribute their benefits more fairly I’m the first place – than relying on the tax and benefit system to do it all afterwards). There is of course a debate to be had about the balance between all these factors and the degree of emphasis to be placed on each one – that of course is where political discourse exists in most western democracies, although it now appears that Craig has now abandoned that discourse and thrown his hand in with the fundamentalists.

          • Republicofscotland

            RD. 23.16 comment, thank you for that, well thought out comment, I do agred with much you say in it.

        • Manda

          I’ll add this link of Prof R.D. Wolff speaking about Socialism to explain my thoughts clearly and simply. The title fits me and is not intended as a reflection on any other commentator here. This how I have come to understand what happened in USSR re Socialism v State Capitalism. I am not a fan of Wikipedia I’m afraid.

    • Resident Dissident

      “More generally I can see how, if you’re several hundred miles to the left of Stalin, everyone to the right of Gordon Brown pretty much looks the same, but seriously???”

      Of course Mrs Thatcher applied similar logic in reverse when talking about TINA.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    In the last course I taught, I recall Lance Davis and Robert Huttenback in their Mammon and the Pursuit of Empire refuted convincingly the Hobson-Lenin theory of British imperialism in the late 19th century, so it seems something well worth forgetting.

    • bevin

      Davis and Huttenback were wrong in many respects. Your students would have benefited from a course in which the importance of Hobson’s analysis and the implications of Lenin’s use of it were explained.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        J. A. Hobson’s Imperialism, with a new introduction by Philip Siegelman, was an assigned text in the course, so students were left to make up their own minds.

        And what are all the mistakes Davis and Huttenback made?

        • bevin

          I’ll get back to you but it will take a while to get a copy of the book.
          The smell of econometrics and Cobden is in the air.

      • Resident Dissident

        Of course Lenin’s use of Hobson’s analysis meant that the Soviet Empire avoided imperialism altogether? LOL

  • Mark Golding

    the use of wars abroad to gain cheap popularity at home while boosting the sectional financial interests of the arms manufacturers, and political, military and security classes.

    And money…

    “The $10 billion, 1,500km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey….would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey… The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would have given the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. ….

    Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.

    Robert F Kennedy Jr. “Syria: Another pipeline War”:

    • MJ

      Now of course Russian gas is going to be piped to Turkey and Iranian gas to Syria. Funny how things can change, though there’s still a lot to play for. Makes no odds to the consumer of course.

      • nevermind

        Indeed, more fossil fuel, more wells and more deposits coming on line, all keeping energy prices low.
        Global warming has nothing to do with eating up your dinner and making the sun shine next day, its about large TNC’s bigger than most countries in wealth, not listening to the signatories of Paris, like all three monkeys have manifested themselves in one bad mother f…..g bad ass Golum, not seeing hearing or speaking.

        We could generate all our global electricity needs from the sun, ideally in those countries who have got most sunshine. Weren’t it for this oil/gas/access to both, war in the middle east this idea would have already been on the drawing board, in cooperation with middle eastern countries and without bombs.

        Sadly the desertec project has folded, due to ongoing financial troubles, due to investors not having confidence that any long term, project was feasible in a ME torn apart by war and strife and interference by the oil/arms lobbies. and was seen as too ambitious and one track, it is now changing directions away from large projects.

  • Anon1

    Once again we see a collective amnesia from the left over the dreadful state this country was in when the great Margaret (pbuh) took office.

    The “colossal wave of jingoism” was that unleashed by the far-right Argentine junta when it launched an aggressive and unprovoked assault on British sovereign territory in an attempt to hide its woeful mismangament of the country’s economy.

    • MJ

      Craig is correct to note that in her first term Thatcher was massively unpopular and well behind Foot’s Labour Party in the opinion polls. Perhaps you’ve forgotten.

      • Resident Dissident

        Craig is not correct – the Labour’s Party’s lead over the Tories started shrinking shortly after Foot became leader and was practically gone by the time of the Falkland’s War – the SDP was a factor in Labour losing its lead. Craig should know better than rewriting history in this manner

        Anyone who canvassed and worked for Labour in 1983 knows that the suicide note and the perception of the party’s extremism was a factor in Labour’s performance during that election – don’t let the ghosts from 1983 convince anyone otherwise.

        • John Goss

          Utter codswallop. It was the media again that did Foot in as they, and you, are trying to do with our Labour leader, a man fairly elected by Labour Party members. But because the career politicians are not as likely to have such a good life under Corbyn they have started stabbing him in the back. They did not even give him a full twelve months before they tried, in Stalinist manner, to depose him. It will not work. So what will they try next? The Labour Party membership has never been as healthy and some (a good number of MPs) do not like that. Nevertheless Jeremy Corbyn does not do abuse or bullying as this article demonstrates. He is a bridge-builder. Just what is needed.

          On the other hand Owen Smith, whatever his qualities, is more of a dictator (with a small d) in that he does not agree with the democratic rights of ordinary people. Ordinary people voted for Jeremy Corbyn a year ago and will do so again. For the likes of Smith this was unacceptable or he would not have stood against Corbyn. His small dictatorship is further endorsed by his non-acceptance of the Brexit vote also voted for by ordinary people. I was not one of them but I accept the decision as being the will of the majority. Smith does not seem tobe able to do that.

          • Resident Dissident

            Corbyn does not abuse – he just gets people like you to do it for him. Owen Smith is not a dictator – and had every right to stand against Corbyn, the Labour Party constitution allows democractic challenges to its leader and deputy leader every 12 months.

            Asking for another referendum on Brexit when it is finally determined what that actually means is not undemocratic either. People are allowed to change their minds.

  • seafront

    Liberalism bases itself on the three pillars of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity inherited from the French Revolution. European liberals have tended to achieve faithfulness to the ideals of Liberty and Equality. Equality before the law that is. But what liberals have consistently failed to do, and this is the Achilles heel of the ideology, is grasp the importance of Fraternity. Without some adherence to the idea of the collective good liberalism all too often is diverted into egoism and the obsessive pursuit of individualism. The French/Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas identified this weakness and posited that it accounted for the failure of liberal France to protect the army officer Dreyfus from the false charges of the anti-semites.
    More recent commentators such as the academic Nelson Maldonado-Torres have echoed Levinas’s critique of liberalism.

    English liberalism is hopelessly middle class and anglocentric despite the old Liberal Party having electoral strengths in Scotland and Wales. This class and geographically based liberalism was particularly prone to the neglect of Fraternity. When economic neoliberalism came along with it’s strong bias towards egoism British or English liberalism did not have sufficient defences against it due to the lack of adherence to the idea of the collective.

    Scotland continues to combine the two ideas of the collective good and liberty in sufficient quantities.

    • Martinned

      Liberalism bases itself on the three pillars of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity inherited from the French Revolution.

      Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence.

    • bevin

      This critique of liberalism long pre-dated your Franco-Lithuanian philosopher. It was old by the time that Marx caught up with.
      The English political writer William Cobbett identified the faults on liberalism and its associated political economy in the early C19th. So did Charles Dickens.
      The kind of liberalism of which Craig writes arose largely in reaction against the appalling suffering and communal degradation consequent upon the attempt to run a society in which ‘callous cash nexus’ defined the relations between individuals. The evidence against liberalism in practice was so overwhelming that it engulfed the Liberals themselves.

      Municipal Socialism, in a practical form, begins with Joe Chamberlain, just as the revival of Cobbett’s peasant platform was the life work of that great, forgotten, liberal, Jesse Collings, who assisted Joseph Arch in founding the Agricultural Workers Union. Both of course split from the Liberals over Irish Home Rule, but many of their ideas continued to guide a Liberal party increasingly interested in Home Rule in Scotland and Wales as well as Ireland.

      As for Mill, it is always useful to reflect, when considering his liberalism, that he didn’t regard Indians or other non Europeans as fit to rule themselves, and, indeed inherited from his Dad an important part of the the task of ruling India himself. Monopolies and state enterprises abounded.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I can see no possible purpose in the continued existence of the Liberal Democrats.”


    Would someone please tell Willie Rennie that, the branch manager of the LibDems in Scotland, always claims that his party are a force to be reckoned with.

  • Mark Golding

    God bless whistle-blowers:

    Turkey’s secret pact with Islamic State exposed by operative behind wave of ISIS attacks

    The elephant in NATO’s room: state-sponsorship of Daesh:

    Ahmet Sait Yayla was on the front line of Turkey’s intervention in the Syrian conflict. He was Chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Operations Division of Turkey’s National Police from 2010 to 2012. But after witnessing Turkish state collusion with Daesh, he chose to speak out, accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of deliberately sponsoring the group.

    • michael norton

      According to the BBC Turkey is in Europe, I do wish they could get that right.
      ‘Terror plot’ forces British and German embassies to shut in Turkey
      The British and German embassies in Turkey have been forced to shut amid fears of a militant attack.

      The embassies in Ankara both stayed closed on Friday after intelligence warned of a possible threat during the festival of Eid al-Adha.

      Four people arrested earlier this week as part of an investigation into the warning have no links to terror groups, the authorities say.

      So-called Islamic State and Kurdish rebels recently carried out attacks.

      British ambassador Richard Moore said on his Twitter account the closure was a “reasonable precaution”.

      However, apart from saying staff were working “closely and cooperatively” with Turkish authorities, he would not be drawn on the nature of the threat.

      I think if the BBC looked into an “O”level geography class they might see that Ankara is in Asia.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yip if it’s not nailed down the Tory/LibDem/Blairites, mentality is to sell it, on the cheap, to rich donors or helpful powerful businessmen, who return the favour, in the form of a financial benefit, stashed away neatly in a Cayman or Virgin Island bank account, encased in a plethora of convoluted shell companies.

    The NHS in England, is in the process of being steered towards its fatal iceberg, after which a myriad of private companies will flood in and fill up the water tight compartments. First to go will be the lucrative sectors of the NHS, the last to go will be those sectors that show less of a profit.

    One must ask themself, does privatisation make a public service better, for the public?

  • K Crosby

    C19th liberalism was a soulless statist ideology and gave birth to two bastard children, fascism and Stalinism, which joined socialism as an equally statist pretend alternative. Liberalism lives on and pats them on the heads occasionally as it luxuriates in the pretence that it is any less bestial by calling itself liberal democracy or liberal capitalism. Only a non-statist ideology like anarchism is qualitatively and morally different.

  • Ben

    “I am a radical, not a socialist”

    What does that mean? Is a socialist more militant than a radical?

    • MJ

      Ben: in late 18th/early 19th century Britain, long before socialism had been invented, there was a strong tradition of radicalism that campaigned hard for parliamentary reform. It was focused largely on the Whig party, which became the Liberal party.

      • Ben

        Interesting parallel to US radicals like the Know Nothing Party contemporaneous with the Whigs before extinction….the model for the Tea Party. When Republicans like Lincoln were liberal and Southern democrats populated the KKK the term ‘radical’ got tossed around quite a bit. According to mainstream dictionaries, Craig accurately describes himself as ‘radical’. Thanks for the Primer.

        a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims.
        revolutionary, progressive, reformer, revisionist, militant, … moreantonyms:
        reactionary, moderate, conservative
        a group of atoms behaving as a unit in a number of compounds.
        (especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough:
        “a radical overhaul of the existing regulatory framework”
        thoroughgoing, thorough, complete, total, comprehensive, … more
        advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social change; representing or supporting an extreme or progressive section of a political party:
        “a radical American activist”
        revolutionary, progressive, reformist, revisionist

      • bevin

        The Whigs, notoriously, refused to implement anything beyond the mildest reforms of the electoral system, Radicals called for universal or household suffrage. Lord Grey refused to be a “traitor to my class.” Their first action when taking over government was to proceed against the starving farm labourers, holding special tribunals, sentencing dozens to be hanged, transporting hundreds and using the military to smash peaceful demonstrations for increased wages.
        And then there was the new Poor Law of 1834 finest fruit of liberal/utilitarian theorising, setting up Bastilles across the country and criminalising unemployment and poverty.
        The Whigs were Blairites before their time, ‘shoyhoys’ or scarecrows Cobbett called them, not real opponents of class tyranny and injustice but stuffed dummies tricked out to deceive the gullible into supporting them, so that they could take over office and share the spoils among themselves.
        The Radicals were not a party but a tendency ranging from the Utilitarians headed by Chadwick and Gradgrind to radical Tories like Sadler and Oastler and men like Fielden of Oldham: some of them were the very worst and cold blooded of men others sacrificed all for the poor.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Should read my book about Lord Chancellor Brougham aka Radical in The Times, and the struggle he had with the Whigs to get him elected for neighboring Yorkshire, and then the struggle he had with the Lords to accept the Reform Bill. Then there was the ending of slaver, and the fight while drugeed with Lords Russell and Durham about further electoral reform.

          Lord Grey was merely the figurehead of the Government, and he finally quit, forcing the King to bring in the Tories to stop the radical disintegration of the whole system

          You need to complete your reading about what was really going. Too much Cobbett, E. P. Thompson. and Tory historians.

    • K Crosby

      Radical is a rhetorical term for a statist poseur, someone who will talk the talk of the 3rd Republique and act the act of a proto-fascist stooge.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    6th September 2016

    His Excellency Peter Beckingham

    Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands

    Governor’s Office

    Grand Turk

    Your Excellency,

    Re: Ode to Governor Peter Beckingham


    a) Her Majesty’s Government’s responsibility for the finances and development of the Turks and Caicos Islands;

    b) Your Excellency’s need effectively to address the questions raised relative to crime in the Turks and Caicos Islands;

    c) Your Excellency’s need to address the Constitutional issues surrounding the

    appointment of Robert Shuster as a judge of the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands; and

    d) Her Majesty’s Government’s overall responsibilities to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    For the purposes of this letter, may I quote:-

    “Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right,” – Hannah More (1745-1833), English writer and philanthropist.

    “All men having power ought to be mistrusted,” – James Madison ( 1751-1836), Fourth President of the United States of America.


    This is now my farewell message to Your Excellency.

    In reflecting on Your Excellency’s tenure in the Turks and Caicos Islands, there are two characteristics which have struck me.

    First, Your Excellency’s consistent failure to do anything of significance, to the good of the Turks and Caicos Islands; and

    Next, Your Excellency’s resolute determination not to make any forthright decisions.

    In a certain sense, perhaps these might both be viewed as the same.

    On the other hand, here I am, struggling, defending people’s rights (see I do this out of professional commitment, and always with little or no pay. In that article, the British journalist, Charles Laurence, wrote these words:-

    “Whether or not Misick is ever put on trial or found guilty, his time as Premier has shown how loose Britain’s control of this colony is. Its attempts to promote tourism and devolve responsibility have come at the expense of good governance, and the islanders resent it.”

    I cannot be far wrong to conclude that Your Excellency has been paid for what Your Excellency has done all Your Excellency’s professional life. In those circumstances, there is, and must be, a concomitant duty to perform in the job paid for.

    I am confident that the principle of speaking truth to power remains a right of those who stand up for the rights of others. Yet, I wish to do so without intimidation, and shall not be deterred by the two death threats and one indication of arson on my home, that I have experienced in my legal career in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Her Majesty’s Government’s responsibility for the finances and development of the Turks and Caicos Islands as quoted from the West Indies Act 1962, Sections 8 and 9

    “8, The Secretary of State may-

    (a) from time to time make, to the government of any colony to which section five of this Act applies, being a government whose resources are, in his opinion, insufficient to enable it to defray its administrative expenses, grants of such amounts as he may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine; and

    9. The expenses incurred under the last foregoing section by the Secretary of State shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament, and any increase attributable to an Order in Council under this Act in sums payable under any other enactment out of moneys so provided or out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom shall be paid out of moneys so provided or out of that Fund, as the case may be.”

    This law imposes a duty on Her Majesty’s Government to address the financial needs of a British Territory such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, whenever the prescribed circumstances exist.

    Yet, it is my experience that the welfare of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its people are systematically ignored.

    Consider the law, and the need to provide adequate and effective legal representation via the legal aid scheme, as contemplated by the Constitutional provision in Section 6 (2) (d):-

    “6…(2) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence—

    (d) shall be permitted to defend himself or herself before the court in person or, at his or her own expense, by a legal representative of his or her own choice or, when the interests of justice so require, by a legal representative at the public expense;”

    At the moment, however, non-resident attorneys employed for the purposes of cases brought by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team ( SIPT) are paid, at local expense, in sums of $3,000 and more per day accompanied by expenditures for support staff, while, by contrast, resident attorneys under the same legal aid scheme are offered in the Court of Appeal, the paltry sum of $1,200 to represent a person appealing a conviction for murder. Since the attorneys in the SIPT cases are non-resident, generous payments to them do not promote the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. And, if the reason to be advanced for the inability to offer resident attorneys more than the measly sum previously mentioned is a lack of resources, then is this not precisely the circumstances Section 8 of the West Indies Act was intended to address? And if Her Majesty’s Government, represented by Your Excellency, does not step in to rectify the blatant disparity herein mentioned, is HMG not failing to fulfil this self-imposed obligation under the law? And if Her Majesty’s Government fails to honour these responsibilities imposed by Act of Parliament, is it right that HMG would hold Turks and Caicos Islanders to any higher standard?

    If Her Majesty’s Government is going to fulfil the statutory obligations to the Turks and Caicos Islands, if the provisions of the West Indies Act 1962 have any meaning to HMG at all, then Your Excellency must note the need for considerably more infrastructure throughout the islands. Your Excellency must also be aware of the need for:-

    1) better roads,

    2) improvement of the physical infrastructure of schools,

    3) monetary allocation for scholarships and proper monetary support for education,

    4) better funding of the police force; and

    5) other urgent demands.

    Your Excellency’s need effectively to address the questions raised relative to crime in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Your Excellency has both a need and a duty, as Her Majesty’s representative in and for the Turks and Caicos Islands, to address the questions raised over the acutely rising level of crime in the Islands, and the rate of recidivism in Her Majesty’s Prison on Grand Turk. The problem is large enough to merit the attention of the University of the West Indies. My published study of Her Majesty’s Prison was noted by UWI. The University held me to task for two (2) years and then awarded me full academic accreditation to be able to engage in a broader and comprehensive prison study in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Your Excellency not only ignored me and my letters, Your Excellency went further and ignored the University of the West Indies, though the University, at my request, had agreed to engage in the study at no cost to HMG, or the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands. At the very least, a formal reply from the Governor’s Office ought to have been forthcoming. It certainly is what proper protocol demands in such matters. It is beyond imagination that Your Excellency, on behalf of HMG and the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands could simply ignore the offer of the free services of a team of highly trained and experienced professionals, including a forensic psychiatrist, criminologist, statistician, and planners, in an area of critical need in the Islands. This shows a level of disrespect for the University of the West Indies, which one is compelled to attribute to arrogant indifference. For Your Excellency’s information, however, the University of the West Indies is a product of the Asquith Commission, a commission of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, under the auspices of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was originally instituted as an independent external college of the University of London. Since its inception, students and faculty have been recognised in fields ranging from the arts and sciences, to business, politics, and sports. Notable alumni and faculty include Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, Heads of Government, Olympic medalists, etc. And all that Your Excellency could do in the face of such history and record of achievement, is totally refuse to even send a reply?

    Your Excellency’s need correctly to address the issue of the appointment of Judge Robert Schuster.

    From the fact that this appointment is made and then allowed to stand, it would appear that Her Majesty’s Government has no respect for the Turks and Caicos Islands. How else could we view the appointment of a Judge who was totally condemned by Amnesty International, the Law Society of Tonga, the International Bar Association, even by Your Excellency’s own British Judicial Administration, which demoted him from Supreme Court judge to Magistrate in Montserrat?

    I fully, forcefully and frankly refused to appear before him, as have a few other principled legal colleagues of mine. Doesn’t the Turks and Caicos Islands deserve judges of solid reputation and ability? Or – shall there be pressure to have me kow-tow? I went further and championed the cause for his Constitutional removal from office. Nothing really works in the Turks and Caicos Islands – does it – Your Excellency? Nothing that was Constitutionally necessary was done on Your Excellency’s part – so – the Rule of Law?

    Her Majesty’s Government’s overall responsibilities to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    This all takes me to where I started and the half has never been told!

    Your Excellency even went as far as signing an Executive Order designating Her Majesty’s Prison as an appropriate place to put the mentally ill ( i.e. to save public expenditures from the UK) even when the antiquated Lunatics Ordinance here stipulated that such persons must under TCI law be sent to mental institutions overseas for proper care. This is totally shameless and without any respect for the European Convention on Human Rights to which the TCI is subject under British jurisdiction. But Your Excellency, after all, as a Governor in a colony – isn’t Your Excellency not simply playing that historically consistent role of neglect accompanied by indifference, based on the evidence?

    Please debate me on television before Your Excellency leaves the Turks and Caicos Islands so that the people can fully understand what I am saying and if corrections are deemed necessary, can be made. Otherwise the truth simply stands as stated.

    Conclusion – Independence.

    ‘Flag independence’ is a false flag. Do read what I said to former PM David Cameron:-


    The reality is that countries which are so deeply engrained in racism, exploitation and baton change domination are not likely any time soon to start being just. So – what next? Let the rich British territories such as Bermuda, Cayman, BVI first decide upon the path towards a viable future and set precedents that do work – then the TCI, being far less developed, can advance by following such viable examples towards more politico-economic autonomy.

    Is Your Excellency willing to even deliver this letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – or – so much as debate the humble, poorly informed human rights lawyer – who has but paltry state support to defend people’s Constitutional rights.


    ____________( Signed)__________________________________

    Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett – Attorney-at-Law

    cc. Concerned international organisations.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Wow, I only came across Col. Larry Wilkerson recently. You could also read former Canadian Ambassador Peter Dale Scott for a really deep analysis – or indeed Thierry Meyssan..

    “From 10 September 2001 to today 15 years of crime” by Thierry Meyssan”

    Intro – “The United States and their allies will be commemorating the 15-year anniversary of 9/11. For Thierry Meyssan, it’s the occasion to take an honest look at Washington’s policies since that date – it is not a pretty picture. There are two ways of looking at it – either the White House’s version of the 9/11 attacks is correct, in which case their response has been particularly counter-productive, or else it’s a lie, in which case they have succeeded in pillaging the Greater Middle East.”

  • Juteman

    England is a feudal state, and always has been. Power will always be held by the few.
    The Irish managed to escape. Unfortunately, I think Wales has been captured, but the Scots have a narrow window to escape its clutches.
    I fear colonisation has killed the Welsh fight to escape, because of its easy access from London. Cheap property prices in Scotland are allowing London folk to sell their average house for millions, and buy a similar property up north for a tenth of the price.
    Unfortunately, the majority of them seem to bring their Little Englander attitudes with them.
    If Scotland doesn’t act soon, it is fucked.
    Cameron didn’t allow EU citizens to vote in the EU referendum, but we allowed English folk to vote in the Scottish referendum.
    I want everyone resident in Scotland to continue to be able to vote, but I fear that freedom might kill Scottish independence if we delay too long.
    It’s a horrible situation to be in.

    • fred

      The SNP has always claimed their nationalism was civic not ethnic in an attempt to distinguish themselves from people like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

      Are you saying you think they should now drop the pretence?

      • Juteman

        Read what I said, Fred. I still want you to be able to vote No.
        So you agree the EU referendum was blood and soil ethnic?

        • fred

          I wouldn’t say that of those who argued remain but yes, I do believe many were motivated to vote leave by blood and soil nationalism.

          • Juteman

            So do you think any future Scottish referendum should be based on ethnicity like the English EU referendum, or civic like the last Scottish referendum?

          • Juteman

            So the English EU referendum vote only hypothetically excluded EU citizens?
            I see your thinking now.
            Blood and soil English nationalism is good, Scottish civic nationalism is bad.
            Glad to clear up your nasty view on self determination.

          • fred

            Read what I said.

            Nothing hypothetical about the Brexit vote, it’s the second Scottish referendum that’s hypothetical.

            How did the rally in George square go? Many turn up did they.

          • Juteman

            Hitler would have approved of the modern British State. He admired the old Empire too. The blood and soil EU referendum was right up his street.

          • fred

            The major parties did oppose the separation of Scotland from Britain and Britain from Europe.

            Just two years ago the SNP were trying to take Scotland out of both.

      • Republicofscotland

        A ludicrous assumption, the SNP government and indeed Scotland as a whole, is a open and inclusive society. It welcomes people from all over the world.

        It’s the Home Office in London, that kicks people out of Scotland such as the Brain family, the logic is one of prohibiting the re-population of Scotland, and the exodus of young Scots to find work, in foreign lands, ever wonder why England has a far greater population, than Scotland?

        Brexit has shown us that the far right xenophobic parties in Westminster the Tories, and UKIP’s MEP’s are the real blood and soil nationalists.

        You do seem to have a rather unhealthy obsession, with the SNP, and the Nazi’s.

        • fred

          “A ludicrous assumption, the SNP government and indeed Scotland as a whole, is a open and inclusive society. It welcomes people from all over the world.”

          But the Jewish population of Scotland did decline by 8.7% between 2001 and 2011 while for the UK as a whole the Jewish population increased by 1.3%.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The conflict is not between Liberals, Labour, Tories or anyone else. The conflict is between what the markets want and what the people want, which are increasingly different outcomes. Politics has become a market stall. Here you can buy (and by God pay for) Persil, Tide and Daz…in different boxes but containing an identical chemical, probably made in the same factory (I am obliged to a Cumbrian friend for this specialist insight – the factory is in Cumbria). Politics cannot deliver fair treatment and social justice. All it can produce is branding.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I’ve often asked that. This blog is no more helpful than anyone else, and I note that you are not offering solutions either. But I’d suggest that education has a lot to do with it. Courageously done, this might convince enough people that marketers are in the busiiness of selling stuff people don’t actually want or need, that deferred gratification is no bad thing and that running into debt only fuels the next crash. Lots of little stuff, leading to a significant attitude change, all of it undermining the status quo and in tiny increments returning economic decisions to the individual. Oh, and shoot anyone who uses the word ‘branding’ in everyday conversation in any other context than marking livestock.

        • RobG

          Ba’al, amidst the smoking ruins after the last (and biggest) mass slaughter just about every country in the world signed-up to this, and I’m going to include it in full:


          (Adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 1948)

          Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

          Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

          Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

          Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

          Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

          Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

          Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

          Now, therefore,

          The General Assembly

          Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

          Article 1

          All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

          Article 2

          Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty..

          Article 3

          Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

          Article 4

          No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

          Article 5

          No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

          Article 6

          Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

          Article 7

          All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination..

          Article 8

          Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

          Article 9

          No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

          Article 10

          Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

          Article 11

          1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

          2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

          Article 12

          No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against
          such interference or attacks.

          Article 13

          1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

          2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

          Article 14

          1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

          2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

          Article 15

          1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

          2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

          Article 16

          1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

          2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

          3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

          Article 17

          1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

          2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

          Article 18

          Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

          Article 19

          Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

          Article 20

          1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

          2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

          Article 21

          1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

          2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

          3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

          Article 22

          Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

          Article 23

          1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

          2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

          3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

          4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

          Article 24

          Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

          Article 25

          1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

          2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

          Article 26

          1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

          2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
          friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

          3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

          Article 27

          1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

          2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

          Article 28

          Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

          Article 29

          1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

          2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of mortality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

          3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

          Article 30

          Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth

          Sounds rather sane to me, and is exactly what the likes of Corbyn put forth.

          In otherwords, at the end of World War Two the entire world signed-up to socialism (because that’s what the UDHR is).

          I wonder what went wrong?

          • RobG

            I get rubbished for posting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which remains the cornerstone of all international law (but don’t tell Washington that, because they think they are ‘exceptional’ – at mass murder, perhaps).

            God, what a world we live in; and God, what creatures I have to suffer in this world.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I’m not rubbishing anyone, Rob. Just pointing out the bleeding obvious, that wonderful principles are usually easier (and just as good for your PR profile) to sign up to than to commit to. The UN was a good try, but probably scraped the limits of what was possible in the way of supporting human rights, before the memory of WW2 faded, and normal inter-state business was resumed. It wasn’t a lot, but it’s less now, as its signatories find all sorts of excuses for non-compliance, and in the absence of any means of enforcement.

            And it never did question the unassailable right of big business to rule the world…

        • Loony

          There are no solutions. The system has taken over and all people are now essentially enslaved by the system. The system cannot be unwound – but it will collapse. When it happens the collapse will be catastrophic for people alive at the time.

          Intellectuals sneer at religion and the concept of God but are so blinded by their own hubris they cannot see that they themselves worship at the alter of exponential growth, and that they have constructed an entire socioeconomic system to act as the great Cathedral for this new religion. This religion is all encompassing, heretics are not tolerated, and it is far more cruel land bizarre than anything practiced by the Aztecs.

          There are too many people – so who do we kill? This question is far too tough for the sane human mind and so it will be left to nature. Nature is not aligned with the concept of human rights and it does not do marketing, so no doubt its chosen solution will not meet with popular approval.

          All a person can do is seek to understand. Here is Professor Al Bartlett setting out the problem

          • Ba'al Zevul

            TY Loony. You’re quite right about the base problem, too many people, of course. There are no acceptable solutions there. I hope for no more than a finger in the dyke.
            Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows….or… by opposing end them, eh? Well, maybe it’s time to dig in. Both a cashless society and direct debit put your earnings more firmly in the hands of the finance industry. They’re not completely done deals for all transactions yet. Oppose them.

      • Shatnersrug

        Well that’s the 64 billion dollar question. I’m not sure there is one anymore, a legal system that controls the markets in a very firm way would be a start, but seeing as corporations behave like the mafia I can’t see that happening now, they got it stitched up just watch the treatment of John McDonnell on QT last night, savaged by the establishment in service to capital. I believe the was a window in 2009 to do something about it, and I even think steps were taken but I think the Tories capturing the government with the help of the Lib Dems put an end to that. The useless meme of austerity fed into the prejudices of the wealthy who’d been dying to call the poor in society lazy. I honestly believe Cameron and Osbourne willed that view into existence, before them Keynesian investment was the order of the day.

  • RobG

    Wikileaks have now published the latest leaked documents from the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) currently being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries…,%202016%20Publication

    In waves apparently made by President Hollande, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is now sunk. Hollande’s part in scuppering this trade deal may or may not have something to do with the fact that there’s a revolution going on in France (now the holiday month of August is over with, they are manning the barricades again). TISA is just the same animal as TTIP, but without the publicity, and of course there’s also CETA…

    … which is just the Canadian equivalent of TTIP, which will allow US corporations in by the back door.

    Had enough of acronyms..?

    Well, I’ve had enough of the fascist take-over of the West.

    I mean, how bad does it have to get before people finally stand up to this shit?!

  • Habbabkuk


    “In her first term as Prime Minister she was massively unpopular and well behind Michael Foot’s Labour Party in the opinion polls. What turned it round and saved the neo-liberal project was not an economic upturn – unemployment remained over 3 million – but the colossal wave of jingoism unleashed by the Falklands War.”

    Well, there has been much argument about that.

    But how do you account for Mrs Thatcher’s victory at the 1987 General Election (with an increased majority over 1983)?

  • Habbabkuk


    “It is precisely the phenomenon analysed by J A Hobson in Imperialism, the use of wars abroad to gain cheap popularity at home while boosting the sectional financial interests of the arms manufacturers, and political, military and security classes.”


    Well, let’s look at that a little more closely, limiting ourselves to the UK and testing your claims as they might apply in the period generally seen as the heyday if British imperialism (1870 to 1914).

    1/. The use of wars : minor colonial wars which were, on the whole, not popular with the population in general and which did not impinge greatly on the public consciousness as compared with other developments in national life;

    2/. Arms manufacturers : a relatively small and unimportant sector of economic activity at the time;

    3/. The political classes : meaningless;

    4/. The military classes : small. The British army had little influence if you judge by its state and size and the resources granted to it (the case of the 1914 BEF attests);

    5/. The security classes : which were they – did they exist until the very end of the reference period?

    • Alan

      “The security classes : which were they – did they exist until the very end of the reference period?”

      They came to be important during the reign of Elizabeth 1st, and have remained so ever since, but then surely you know that Habbabkuk?

      • Resident Dissident

        Perhaps I could return the compliment by speculating on your background and how you make a living – let me start the ball rolling by guessing you are an idle public school twat living on an inheritance while propagating your ersatz leftie nonsense?

        Note to the mods:
        Whats sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

        • RobG

          Your speculations are completely wrong, as usual.

          You have the definite whiff of MI-whatever, because you are so dumb and blindly subservient to the Establishment.

          But of course you will no doubt say that the spooks wouldn’t be all over a blog like Craig’s, and be doing their best to subvert it, because we live in a real ‘democracy’, don’t we old boy.

          Go read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which I posted a little bit earlier.

          Britain signed-up to it, don’t you know, and Britain has broken just about every one of its thirty articles (along with America).

          God, it’s great to live in such a wonderful democracy, innit.

          • Resident Dissident

            “Your speculations are completely wrong, as usual.”

            It never stopped you – the changing of the subject would suggest I am on the right track.

          • Resident Dissident

            I should add that you have missed the “Universal” bit when it comes to Human Rights.

        • Anon1

          “let me start the ball rolling by guessing you are an idle public school twat living on an inheritance while propagating your ersatz leftie nonsense?”


      • Resident Dissident

        I should add if anyone wants some really good spy fiction, far better than 007 on youtube, I would recommend Alan Furst’s latest “Midnight over Europe” which I am going to continue reading now before going to sleep.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      1/ Initially. They became a lot more popular with the public once the propaganda machine got into gear. Jingoism first became a thing with the Crimean war, and the popularisation of the second Boer war followed distinctly familiar lines. Then there was WW1, with its immense initial support, based on misplaced patriotism, propaganda and manufactured hysteria. Quite a big war, that…

      If the British public did not support war, the government needed to manufacture support and decided the only way to accomplish this was to create hatred against the Boers. There was no attempt to present the facts, or even to avoid war (continues interestingly).

      2/ I’d be interested to see your source for this. By the end of the Victorian period, Britain was, as I am sure you will not need reminding, the most powerful military presence on the planet. Its naval forces were updated frequently to take account of technical developments, and outnumbered anyone else’s by two to one. Its infantry weapons were used worldwide, and it had long exported its goods even to potential enemies (the first steam turbines used by the German navy were made by Parsons of Erith, indeed. We imported Krupp armour steel around the same time), but most of our production was in-house. It was a major export industry, and continues to be.

      3/ Not meaningless at all. Most of us will remember Thatcher’s popularity booming after the Falklands: the principle is an old one. See also Pitt re. the War of Jenkin’s Ear for an earlier approach to popularity via conflict.

      4/ But we have repeatedly seen the appeals for more equipment and men which inevitably accompany a new war. In peacetime, the military can be ignored and sidelined; it is war which gives them meaning, and cash.

      5/ ‘Security classes’ is, perhaps, a trope too far. These have historically been offshoots of the military, and might be included with them.

      So, on the whole, your pedantic dissection of a sentence snatched from its context doesn’t stand up to what I am sure you would describe as rigorous analysis if you were doing it yourself, Habba. 3/10. Must try harder.

  • Peter

    Like you I also consider myself more of a classical radical rather than a socialist, and am also an enthusiastic and active supporter of Corbyn. But when you name check your 19th century influences you miss the big one who’s ideas really blow me away: Henry George. If you aren’t acquainted with him I really hope you will make an effort to become so. Really profound ideas, one of the all time greats in my book.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    British Liberalism is not dead. You are merely observing it from your own political point of view – most of the time from an armchair. Yes, I know you go to political meetings – virtually no one else does. They are not interested in you or your policies – even though your policies and your propaganda – have massive effects.

    The vast majority of British people are really nice, and exceedingly tolerant of for example – enormous culture change of entire local communities.

    We just tolerate you – whilst some of us – actually do something for a living. Some of us actually deliver products and services…whilst all you do is talk about it. You do not supply or provide anything to improve anyone’s lives. You are not very good.

    In the real world (and the sound on the video you posted is completely awful – why is that? I wouldn’t tolerate that..and the real news network is normally highly professional)

    Meanwhile – I just write what I believe to be true – but I am no longer allowed to have a conversation here – because yet again – I am banned – subject to some authoritarian moderator’s view (some of who’m have openly admitted their deepest thoughts)..

    And yet, I care about you – and suggest no you don’t want to do that. I know a few train drivers – and it makes such a mess..Yet they – living in the real world – have to put up with that too.

    Welcome to America.

    England is O.K…not perfect – but we largely get along inspite of the likes of you.


  • ASch

    Liberalism was always for Tories with a social conscience who don’t want to be associated with the working class (hence not socialists). Now the Labour right (aka Blairism) doesn’t want to be associated with the working class either, you’re analysis is right, they could just form one big Tory party.

    Interestingly the joint leader of the Green party, undoubtedly the most progressive party in the UK, does call herself socialist.

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