The Significance of Theresa May’s Disgraceful Quote 306


Theresa May’s disgraceful quoting with approval at Prime Minister’s Questions an anti-Corbyn twitter user has been grossly under-reported – and that under-reporting is itself part of what makes this of enormous signficance. But first just consider this sample of the account from which the UK’s Prime Minister quoted:

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Collins right wing laddism crosses the line into the grossly offensive and unacceptable. It is a puerile display of sexist, racist and anti-disabled hatred.

May’s folly in quoting Collins is extremely important for two reasons.

Firstly, if either Nicola Sturgeon or Jeremy Corbyn had done this they would be under simply colossal pressure from the mainstream media. Tarring by association has been the backbone of the mainstream media campaigns against both Corbyn and the SNP, and pages after page and headline after headline have been concocted around the slightest association of Corbyn, Sturgeon or Salmond with people a great deal less vile than Collins, over just single intemperate social media entries.

Will anybody attempt to deny it is true that if Corbyn or Sturgeon quoted a twitter account as offensive as this one it would be massive front page headlines?

Secondly, it is important because May’s tactic at Prime Minister’s Questions is to ignore the question asked, but reply with a pre-arranged jibe about Jeremy Corbyn. That is precisely what happened here. The “joke” quoting Lewis Collins by name was written by one of May’s political advisers – paid by the taxpayer – and then read out by her. May claimed that “Lewis’s” comment had been selected from replies to a Corbyn social media tweet canvassing public opinion. It seems to me massively improbable that this is true. Tory advisers are not sifting through tens of thousands of public social media replies to Jeremy Corbyn, and then happening to hit on this Tory commenter.

The truth is rather that Collins’ gross Tory laddism appeals to Tory professionals, and that May’s adviser who wrote the question is almost certainly a follower or fan of Lewis Collins’ output. And that seems to me to tell us something very significant indeed about this Tory government.

May needs not only to apologise profoundly for having quoted Collins, she needs to identify who wrote this answer for her. And sack them.


306 thoughts on “The Significance of Theresa May’s Disgraceful Quote

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  • Anon1

    [On-topic as just catching up with PMQs.]

    Has anyone else noticed that the SNP front bench resembles the waiting room at a Methadone clinic?

    • RobG

      You’re getting mixed-up with the government front bench – although less so now that George has been relegated to his coffin.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Has anyone else noticed that the SNP front bench resembles the waiting room at a Methadone clinic?”

      I take it, you’re talking from a position of experience then?

      _______________

      Re your 20.39 rant, on far right free speech exists because of the left “political correctness” so to speak, there are very few in here who are more anti-Muslim than you, maybe that’s why it exists in the first place to counter people like you?

    • Old Mark

      You’ve got the wrong Anon 1- when Robertson gets off his arse in the HoC I tend to be reminded of a weight watchers class, not a methadone clinic

    • RobG

      Corbyn embodies everything that’s good and decent about the British character; whereas May embodies everything that’s evil and corrupt.

      Most people understand this, which is why Corbyn will easily win a general election.

      In the meantime it’s fun to watch the Establishment and their minions shitting themselves at the prospect.

  • Anon1

    I’m going to call it a night as the mod is deleting multiple posts of mine for no apparent violation of mod rules. Maybe finds free speech offensive?

    Nice arse 5th tweet down, btw. ?

  • John Monro

    She may be taking a lesson in PMQ from our PM in NZ, John Key. Never answer a question in any meaningful way, but merely use it to make some smug and cynical jibe at the opposition. The media love it, the PM’s supporters love it, but ultimately this boorish behaviour is toxic to democracy.

  • lysias

    I think it’s always wrong to criticize someone for quoting something someone has said who has also said objectionable things. As long as the quoted statement is not itself objectionable, that ought to be all that matters.

    When the hasbarists condemn someone for quoting a source who has also said things that are arguably anti-Semitic, I have always felt that that is unfair. After all, they are not quoting an anti-Semitic statement, and that ought to be all that matters.

    The present case is, I think, no different.

    • bevin

      I’m inclined to agree with you. This excessive delicacy reminds me of Hitler’s vegetarianism, if you see what I mean?

  • Paul Barbara

    @ HabbabkukSeptember 8, 2016 at 13:36
    “..May’s adviser who wrote the question is almost certainly a follower or fan of Lewis Collins’ output. And that seems to me to tell us something very significant indeed about this Tory government.”
    _____________________
    ‘OK, so one adviser (out of the several she has) of one minister (out of a couple of dozen, although she is PM) is “almost certainly” (for which read “possibly”) a fan of Collins’s output (he might be aware of the output but not necessarily be a fan)……and that “tells us something very significant indeed about this Tory government”
    What, exactly?’

    That it is led by a moron; if ‘she’ wishes to be a ‘stand-up comedienne’, she should take note of what happened to someone who told the truth (as opposed to a ‘joke for the simple minded’): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ttJyzEfDIE

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Sharp Ears September 8, 2016 at 14:04
    ‘The Prime Minister
    Let me first say to Jenny that I fully understand and appreciate the concerns individuals have about wanting to be able to set up and have their own home. I fully recognise the difficulties some people face in doing that. I have to say to the right hon. Gentleman that he is wrong about the figures on council houses. We have delivered on the one-for-one replacement under right to buy.
    I noticed that the right hon. Gentleman had asked all his Twitter followers what questions he should ask me this week, so I thought I would look to see what sort of responses he had received. I have to say that the first one was quite good. In fact, he might want to ensure that he stays sitting down for this. Lewis writes, “Does she know that in a recent poll on who would make a better Prime Minister, ‘Don’t Know’ scored higher than Jeremy Corbyn?” What we do know is that, whoever wins the Labour party leadership, we are not going to let them anywhere near power again.’…..’

    ‘What we do know is that, whoever wins the Labour party leadership, we are not going to let them anywhere near power again.’…..’
    Bit sinister, wot? But par for the course for a Tory Dominatrix.
    Is that the Royal ‘We’, or Lizzie’s “There are dark forces at work, of which we know nothing.” ?

  • Burt

    (after a nod in CiF): Anyone seen the recent addition to Owen Smith’s entry in the register of members’ interests which shows a donation of a member of staff on secondment from the PR firm Quatro Public Relations Ltd (worth £9000) to help on his leadership campaign? (didn’t seem to have done much good on telly earlier)
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/160905/160905.pdf (under O for obvious)

    And the website of Quatro Public relations Ltd doesn’t look particulary ‘radical’…
    http://www.quatro-pr.co.uk/

    (btw – Hi Craig and commmenters – long time reader – keep it up, both (though maybe a bit less man>ball from certain posters would make for an easier read :))

  • Alan

    On Social Democracy and Elections.

    It’s that time again, when after four (or eight) years, the presidential election becomes “the most important of our time.” The clowns might be different, but the circus remains the same: filling vacancies on the Supreme Court, a rollback of abortion rights, foreign wars and targeted assassinations, the growing prison population, the expansion of the surveillance state… The campaigns of Trump and Sanders will surely be remembered as footnotes; the former is so buffoonish that even other Republicans can’t help making fun of him, while the latter, a Socialist Jew, is obviously unelectable to the Executive Branch. Sure to be forgotten as well (at least until the next time) is the excitement of a certain group of self-described anarchists who, every so often, throw aside what might generously be characterized as a half-hearted adherence to anarchist principles, and proudly embrace and exercise their rights as American citizens. To vote. Over the years, plenty of these part-time anarchists have chosen to engage in electoralism, but they have usually done so privately, not daring to try to convince anyone that such engagement furthers any anarchist vision or project.

    It was bad enough that there was a Hope Bloc to greet Obama’s 2009 inauguration; this time around we have to stomach the spectacle of anarchists being shills for a Social Democrat Surprisingly — or not! — pro-Sanders anarchists have something of an actual history to draw on. Murray Bookchin (when he was still pretending to be an anarchist) was a Sanders booster from the days when the current senator was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont; Sanders’ tenure as an elected official may have been part of a real-world experience that contributed to Bookchin’s municipal, and state-level pro-Green Party electoralist deviation.

    A quick reminder: when anarchists use the term direct action, we mean any activity undertaken individually and/or collectively outside/against/without the use of elected or self-appointed representatives, especially those in government. Like all principles are supposed to be, the anarchist promotion of direct action is non-negotiable. One of the contributing factors to the definitive dissolution of the First International was a split over the electoralist strategy of Socialists; anarchists embraced direct action as an explicit rejection of legal politics. It doesn’t necessarily mean breaking shit (although that can be part of it), but it doesn’t mean volunteering to get arrested, and it certainly doesn’t ever mean petitioning politicians to change policies or laws.

    From the 1870s, most anarchists have not considered legality and parliamentarianism to be worthwhile strategic or tactical principles; when Socialists — who do — set up their Second International in 1889, they almost automatically excluded and/or ejected anarchists from it. Social Democracy, the ideology originating in the Second International, has different wings, from the electoral-fetishist, right-wing, non-Marxists all the way to the left-wing, insurrectionary, Marxist state capitalists (who eventually rejected the gradualism embodied in the Second and set up a Third International in 1919) more commonly known as Leninists. It’s Important to recall that all Leninists (and their various sectarian subgroups who worship Trotsky, Mao, Che, Ho, Stalin, ad nauseam) have showed themselves to be among the most implacable enemies of authentically radical social change. For the last 100 years, from Mexico to Russia, from Germany to Spain, from Vietnam to Hungary and Cuba, social democrats have proudly presided over the slaughter of anarchists and other radicals who have promoted the non- hierarchical self-organization — aka, direct action — of working class and poor people.

    There’s no reason to think that Bernie Sanders would be any different.

    A presidential election year could be a time to point out and decry the many deliberate inadequacies of what constitutes American-style democracy: the near-total focus on religious issues; self-appointed Super Delegates; the pro-slavery origins of the Electoral College; the continual erosion of the provisions in the Voting Rights Act; the inordinate focus on Swing States; the Citizens United decision; to say nothing of the absurdity of having a two-party system that refuses proportional representation… Instead, pro-Sanders anarchists acquiesce to the junior high school level, lowest common denominator, internally contradictory, mythology of one- person-one-vote majority rule, and the average citizen’s (alleged) full participation in political decision making. That’ll show the state!

    Regular readers of this journal may find the observation unduly trite, but it bears repeating that most of what’s wrong with American anarchists, especially the activist subcategory, is that a sizable segment remains committed to some form of Leftism. From being immersed in projects championing some vague notion of Social Justice” to acting as unpaid social workers, too many American anarchists continue to wallow in the strategic mire of defacto social democracy, constantly working to ameliorate the worst aspects of neoliberal post-industrial capitalism. This was seen most clearly in the various Occupy camps around the country; horizontally organized charities are still charities; eviction/foreclosure defense is predicated on the idea of private property; representation (with or without the famous mandated delegates) remains unchallenged. It’s not that projects that provide food and shelter are useless or unhelpful; plenty of people otherwise unable to squeeze out a basic level of survival at the bottom of the capitalist pyramid certainly appreciate the help. But to pretend that these activities are the seeds of the new inside the shell of the old is a delusion. Like voting. Most of the organizational structures and decision-making processes in such projects tend to mirror the worst aspects of virtually all varieties of the Left, like paternalism, bureaucratism, and institutionalized authoritarianism.

    Electoralism, as an integral aspect of good citizenship, can’t be separated from this. Perhaps there’s some alluring residue of the patriotism left over from those junior high school civics classes, some form of loyalty to the whole “right of petition for the redress of grievances” thing. For whatever reason(s), too many anarchists continue to harbor illusions about the responsiveness of the duly elected legal representatives of the citizens of the United States; that’s why they still organize and participate in demand-based protest, justified by rights-based discourse. Shamefully, too many anarchists can’t seem to resist the temptation of propping up political parties espousing moderate progress within the bounds of the law.

    • bevin

      “… political parties espousing moderate progress within the bounds of the law…”
      Is this a reference to, that great man, Yaroslav Hasek, author of The Good Soldier Schweik?

      • bevin

        By the way it is not at all clear to me that Sanders would be unelectable. As a matter of fact his programme (as characterised above) would probably have been very appealing to the electorate.

        • lysias

          Polls showed that Sanders would have had a much easier job beating Trump than Hillary is having. I find it hard to believe the claims that Sanders’s (mild) democratic socialism and his nominal Judaism would have turned away many voters in this post-Cold War period.

      • Habbabkuk

        In the Czech and Slovak languages it is spelled “Jaroslav”. With a “J”.

        Spelling it with a “Y” could give the mistaken impression that the good man was Russian.

    • Habbabkuk

      Alan

      It would be courteous to readers if you were to acknowledge when you are lifting chunks of text from somewhere – for example by using quotation marks and giving the source.

      It’s all your own work?

      No, I don’t think so. The “Regular readers of this journal” at the beginning of the penultimate para refers.

      Thank you.

  • Margaret Mulheran

    Corbyn is so used to abuse it is like water off a duck’s back. He never responds in kind and that just makes his abusers look plain silly. Yes the Tories are the nasty party, full of public school perverts that this woman is really afraid of so she has to join in.

  • Old Mark

    [email protected]

    ‘Consider the Nation of Islam (a radical and controversial organization to be sure). However a stated aim of the Nation of Islam is “to improve the spiritual, mental, social and economic conditions of African Americans in the US and all of humanity” Surely these are laudable aims.

    How surprising then that an organization with such aims should publicly endorse Trump for President. Is the Nation of Islam racist against itself’

    Quoting the Nation of Islam’s support for Trump as evidence that he isn’t racist doesn’t really wash, Loony- they are essentially black nationalists/separatists with an Islamic veneer, and have a record (based on their shared distaste for miscegenation) of cosying up at intervals even to outright racists, let alone milder, closet versions such as Trump-

    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/23/opinion/l-what-about-the-nation-of-islam-s-historical-ties-to-fascism-275972.html

    I do however agree with you that, on Foreign policy, Trump may actually be marginally less dangerous than Hillary.

    • Anon1

      Node

      I’ll take you up on that £5 bet, but first I’ll need to know some details about Mr Goss’ charity. If it is the Putin Adoration and Benevolence Society then I would rather you pay my winnings into my bank account.

      And let’s make it a bit more fun, say 50 quid?

    • Laguerre

      “on Foreign policy, Trump may actually be marginally less dangerous than Hillary.”

      Marginally? Clinton looks like war from Day 1. Haven’t you noticed the propaganda offensive against Asad which has jumped off this week? Difficult to interpret it as other than to be ready to go the day Clinton takes power.

  • lwtc247

    No Craig. Being able to quote someone without importing their baggage is darn near to a human right as you can get. That the papers didn’t go to town on it actually means they have acted correctly. Just because they might (ok, would probably)go to town) if JC did it, doesn’t mean we should ‘want’ equally incorrect actions against May. You’ve ‘looked’ your way into a grumble point here.

  • Anon1

    Old Mark

    There are two choices, not that we can vote for either of them, and Trump is clearly the more desirable choice from a non-US perspective.

    That is not exactly supporting Trump, but the trouble is that saying as much is enough to bring down all hell from Glenn – I have experienced it myself – who immediately goes off on one accusing you of being some kind of goose-stepping Nazi dragging the world into a 1930s fascist nightmare.

    I do hope the poor chap is OK.

  • Anon1

    Craig has posted a particularly self-righteous tweet:

    “Farage allowed to enter the USA while I am not. Which one spreads racism and which one peace and human rights?”

    Note that he doesn’t accuse Farage directly of racism, for that could land him in hot water. And Craig’s belief in his own virtuousness is, of course, a subjective matter. I happen to believe Farage has achieved a lot more in he field of human rights than Craig in getting us out of the anti-democratic, unaccountable super-state that is the EU.

    But regarding Craig’s trip to America, all is apparently well – as it turns out he was flagged for having visited Iraq. Let’s hope there will be a blog post forthcoming on how he wasn’t, in fact, banned for his views…

    • michael norton

      I thought the short speech that Nigel F. gave at the Trump rally, was pretty good.
      The audience, who mostly did not know Nigel, seemed to like, as well.

      • glenn

        Of course they liked it. A couple of hard-right neo-fascists sharing a stage, working a crowd of extremely white, half-witted, angry racist morons. What’s not to like?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Anon1 September 9, 2016 at 09:56
      Oh, so that’s OK then, IF he was only banned for visiting Iraq. The US, on the other hand (as Chaim Bermant used to say), invades Iraq, devastates the country, causing around a million and a half deaths, over a lie, then proceeds to unleash it’s murderous ‘Islamic’ Mercenary thugs on Iraq (like it did unleashing the ‘Contra’ on Nicaragua), but heck, they are ‘Exceptional’, aren’t they?, so that’s obviously tickety boo.
      But a Limey visiting Iraq, and snooping about? Not on, old bean, no way’s you getting your ass near the ‘Land of the Free’.

      • Anon1

        You are going off the rails again, Barbara. Anyone who has visited Iraq is flagged for security reasons. Craig will be allowed to enter the US in due course.

        Your claim of a “million and a half deaths” is a wild exaggeration. Just the other day I was arguing with someone who claimed 150,000 (also a massive exaggeration). Seeing as you make it up as you go along, why not claim 150 million deaths?

        • Loony

          @Anon1 You must have remarkably good sources – much better than the sources available to the US Government.

          Here is Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, confirming and justifying the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP1OAD9jSaI

          As I am sure you are aware 500,000 is 350,000 more than 150,000. As I am sure you are also aware children are only one demographic and it is implausible to believe that US/UK economic and military action was targeted exclusively at children.

          • Anon1

            She didn’t comfirm it. She wouldn’t have a clue. She was just put in front of a TV camera, had a figure put in front of her and being ill-briefed and probably not the sharpest tool in the box, started trying to justify it rather than challenging the question as she should have done had she the slightest independence of thought.

            She’s a professional politican. It would have been the same had the interviewer quoted 350,000 or 650,000. It’s what she does.

          • Loony

            As a m matter of fact she did confirm it. Whether she was competent to offer the confirmation is another matter.

            The very fact that there is so much debate regarding the quantum of destruction wreaked by the US merely points to the fact the US government regards human beings similarly to how most people view insects. People do not set out to stand on insects, they don’t know if they have stood on any insects, they don’t care if they have stood on any insects and they are certainly not going to waste their time counting the insects that they have stood on.

  • michael norton

    Norway turns into an upside down world.
    http://www.euronews.com/2016/09/08/hairdresser-on-trial-for-refusing-hijab-wearing-client-in-norway
    A Norwegian hairdresser is on trial for refusing to cut the hair of a Muslim client wearing a hijab.

    It is the first case to go to court concerning the head covering in Norway.

    Hairdresser Merete Hodne faces up to six months in jail after turning Malika Bayan away from her salon.

    She refused to pay a fine for religious discrimination , which meant the case went to trial.

    The court heard that she saw the hijab as a political symbol representing an ideology that frightened her rather than a religious symbol.

    We might as well cut our own throats,
    and hand the asylum seekers the keys to Europe.

    • Paul Barbara

      It appears to me the hairdresser is the mischief-maker, not the lady in a hijab.
      If she persists in not playing fair, her salon should be shut down, and she should be prohibited from setting up a business in Norway that deals with the public.

    • fedup

      Ban SAS and the other plethora of special forces’ Burka too, they represent a political ideology and particularly virulent strain of criminality that frightens the dickens out of any sane person.

      The rest of racist drivel is pure sour grapes and an attempt to keep cover up the realities by appealing to the bases emotions of the intended audiences.

      The age old game of banksters ripping off the world and then blaming the poor and the immigrants to get away with their theft on gargantuan scale!!!

    • Alan

      It gets more interesting. The Muslim woman, reportedly changed her name from Charlotte Antonsen to Malika Bayan when she converted to Islam.

  • christina gooda

    What has happened to opening up Government to the public with May’s secret policies ??? All done so she can get through her policies hopefully unnoticed!!

  • Bhante

    What May’s quote shows is that she was using a moronic cheap slur to try to score worthless political points, that she is an uncivilised yobbo. So what is new? That is par for the course on the floor of the House of Commons, isn’t it? They are all a bunch of uncivilised, uncouth, purile yobbos. With one major exception, of course (and almost certainly a number of minor and less well known exceptions), namely Jeremy Corbyn. Indeed it is precisely that, together with a small number of other major personal qualities such as honesty, integrity, clean moral values, a clean conscience, humility, having respect and empathy indiscriminately for all other human beings, and placing a very high value on fairness and justice, that really sets Corbyn apart from all the others.

    When they were contemplating whether or not to bring in live TV coverage of the House of Commons, I can remember this was an issue – that it would show up the bad loutish behaviour of politicians – and I can remember a few politicians arguing that this would be a good influence on that behaviour.

    In my opinion it really doesn’t matter two hoots, ultimately, what Corbyn’s policies are or what party he belongs to, as long as he has those personal qualities – because everything else will simply fall into place of its own course, DIRECTLY AS A RESULT OF those same personal qualities. Whatever policies he has will, as a matter of course, be ones that tend to conform as much as possible with those personal qualities, and will thereby be good policies. His measured position on membership of the EU was a case in point – he neither fell into the trap of pretending it is all good nor that it is all bad, but honestly explained his reservations and in what way he felt it was the better of two bad options. I would vote for Corbyn whatever party he belonged to, because of those qualities, and that is also, I am quite sure, precisely why he is so popular – together with the fact that the current state of politics in Britain and in every other country around the world is so catastrophic that it makes politicians like Jeremy Corbyn urgently necessary.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Scotland appears to making influential friends within the EU. It would seem at first glance seem, that chief EU Bexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, (ex Belgian PM) has said that it’s wrong for Westminster to drag Scotland out of the EU.

    Verhofstadt, has openly said, that there would be no big obstacles, in the way of a independent Scotland joining the EU, (changed days from the 2014 silence on the matter.)

    EU leaders will meet in Bratislava next week without the dis-United Kingdom, to discuss, the growing irritation around Europe, over why Thersea May hasn’t triggered article 50 yet.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/former-belgian-prime-minister-appointment-in-brexit-talks-is-a-major-boost-for-scotlands-interests.22181

    • Old Mark

      What a joke that someone calling himself ‘Republic of Scotland’ is signing the praises of someone who, in a Belgian context, has form as a toady to their Royal Family (related to ours, but with even more skeletons in its closet)-

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1550250.stm

      Verhofstadt is also, of course, a raving federalist, so will seize on any event (such as Scotland’s putative love for the EU) to insert as manner spanners in the Brexit works as he can get away with.

      • Republicofscotland

        Old Mark.

        I’m not concerned over your opinion of Verhofstadt, Scotland is making allies and preparing the ground work around the EU, in the run up to a more than likely second indyref. If successful having the likes of Tusk or Verhofstadt on your side, could ease the transitional period greatly.

    • Habbabkuk

      Mr Verhofstadt (known in his Belgian heyday as “Baby Thatcher”) has said many things. Not everyone, everywhere, takes him very seriously all the time…..

      By the way, it is possible that Mr Verhofstadt is the EU negotiator representing the European Parliament.

      As I would humbly suggest that the European Parliament is not the weightiest of the EU negotiating partners the UK will face, it might be helpful if I told the ever-loquacious and always over-hasty Republicofscotland that the real “chief EU negotiator” is the egregious Michel Barnier, former French minister, former EU Commissioner and part-time circus clown.

      Hope that helps.

  • Republicofscotland

    Staying on the EU, MEP’s that is, World Cup, authorities must kick out five Israeli teams from settlements in the West Bank, claim a string of MEP’s as more sign the petition.

    Five Israeli teams are (allegedly) squatting on stolen Palestinian lands, the teams in question are, Beitar Givat Ze’ ev, Beitar Ironi Ariel, Ironi Yehuda, Beitar Ironi Ma’ aleh Adumim and Hapoel Bik’at Hayarden. All the teams apparently come from settlements ruled illegal under International Law.

    More than 60 MEP’s have put pressure on FIFA heads Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale, who heads up FIFA’s monitoring committee.

    It would appear that the EU is waking up and asking questions, as to why Israel, a apartheid oppressor state, is allowed to field teams on the international stage.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/scots-mep-leads-call-to-ban-israeli-teams-from-the-west-bank.22188

    • Habbabkuk

      “It would appear that the EU is waking up and asking questions, as to why Israel, a apartheid oppressor state, is allowed to field teams on the international stage.”
      +++++++++++++++++++++

      As Israel is not an apartheid state, any such questions would surely be otiose.

        • glenn

          Who am I to believe, an international group of legal analysts, set to work by the South African government, or our resident apologist for the most racist state on Earth?

          • Habbabkuk

            Oh, you fool, Glenn!

            You have probably never worked outside your Welsh valley and you have certainly never worked in any of the govt or international spheres you are always whining about.

            Fifteen legal analysts have produced a report on behalf of the anti-Israel South African govt!! Shock, horror and great surprise!!!

            If you knew anything about govt or international affairs, or about lawyers (national or international) you would also know that you could probably get together a legal panel of 15 lawyers who would find Stalin the greatest benefactor of the Russian people since Ivan the Terrible. Or that the invasion of Poland in 1939 was thre fault of the Poles for not letting the Soviets invade first. Etc, etc.

            Grow up for heaven’s sake.

          • glenn

            The day you stop acting like an apologist for war criminals, a fully paid up Israeli spokesperson, I might start taking you seriously.

            Pepper your comments with insults all you like. All I know about you is that you are completely anonymous, highly unpleasant, and perform the job of being a stooge for criminal regimes, plus a toady to the Establishment in general.

            So what exactly is there about you to be trusted, and taken on word, in any way?

        • Habbabkuk

          Baal

          A cunning sleight of hand O have come to expect from some others but not really from you.

          1/. I wrote “As Israel is not an apartheid state..” Note the word “Israel”.

          2/. The report which appears on your link has the title “Is Israel and apartheid state?” but curiously enough the report itself is about the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza (read the small letters at the foot of the title page of the report).

          This sort of conflation, Baal, is dishonest.

          • glenn

            Haven’t you rather overdone the disappointed parent routine, in the role of “authoritative parent -> rebellious child” , if one was to examine this tedious play of yours through Transactional Analysis?

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Brexit hasn’t even been triggered yet, but companies in the dis-United Kingdom are positioning themselves as close to the exit door as possible. Last week Japanese vehicle manufacturers that employ over 140, 000 people in the dis-United Kingdom sent a strong worded letter to Downing St, claiming a EU exit could see them move operations abroad.

    This week we have a major airline (RyanAir) boss say that all of its 50 new aircraft will be based outside the dis-United Kingdom, ( those jobs will go abroad) due to uncertainty, Michael Oleary, went as far as to call Westminster politicians “headless chickens.”

    I can’t argue with that. Is your job safe?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/ryanair-basing-new-planes-outside-of-uk-due-to-brexit-35030035.html

    • michael norton

      Republic of Scotland,
      in running down the United Kingdom you failed to mention the disgraceful Tesco, conglomerate, largest retailer in Europe.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37316125
      Three former Tesco executives have been charged as part of a continuing investigation into accounting irregularities at the supermarket giant in 2014.

      • michael norton

        Tesco “irregularities”

        Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler have been charged with fraud and false accounting, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.

        The three are due to appear in court on 22 September.

        Tesco said there had been “an extensive programme of change” since 2014.

        Mr Bush was managing director of Tesco UK, Mr Rogberg was UK finance director and Mr Scouler was UK food commercial director.

        Mr Bush’s solicitor said that he was not guilty and planned to fight the allegations.

        The SFO started a criminal investigation in October 2014, a week after Tesco announced that its profits had been overstated by £263m.

        Later, that figure was revised upwards to £326m.

    • Alan

      A double diversion; you are worse than Mrs May,

      The topic that you neat;y avoided RoS, is Verhofstadt, the man who even Tony Blair – staunchly pro-EU – blocked his bid to become European Commission president.

    • Anon1

      Is that the same Michael O’Leary who told Apple to tell the EU to “fuck off” after the EU asked Apple to pay Ireland £11 billion in back taxes?

      Strange bedfellows indeed, RoS.

    • RobG

      Mods, at the risk of sounding otiose, why is my moniker thingy back to it’s normal colour/pattern, when for the last few days it’s been different?

  • Republicofscotland

    I found this story somewhat hypocritical, as Israel condemned North Korea’s missilie tests. Of course I don’t condone NK’s aggressive missilie testing, hoping to create a long range nuclear weapon.

    However for a nuclear state such as Israel, (allegedly ) which flatly denies having WMD’s to come out and berate a fellow oppressor state, is well nothing short of ludicrous.

    http://m.jpost.com/Israel-News#article=6017RkZBRjY5Rjc1QkNFNEU5MzNCRjUyNTI4N0MxQ0UxNzY=

    • Habbabkuk

      “However for a nuclear state such as Israel, (allegedly ) which flatly denies having WMD’s”
      _____________________

      Factually wrong, RoS : Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it has nuclear weapons.

      I believe you have even criticised that position yourself on occasion on here.

        • Habbabkuk

          Glenn

          “Republicofscotland” (whom I shall henceforth refer to as “ELIE”) wrote that Israel “flatly denies having WMDs”.

          That is false as far as nuclear weapons are concerned. Israel had denied – nor confirmed – that it has nuclear weapons.

          How does that factual correction of ELIE’s mistaken comment make me s spokesman of the Israeli govt??

          I think you went off at half-cock there.

      • bevin

        And yet we all know that Israel does have these nuclear weapons. And no state is more aware of this than South Africa whose Nationalist government is reputed to have tested the Israeli devices.
        The fact that the government of this Apartheid state cannot tell the truth is not irrelevant but hardly a reason for accepting its word.

          • RobG

            Mick, I’m no explosives expert, but would say that the white-out is modern day high explosives. Whatever’s going on there, lots of people are dying in the darkness.

            The footage that came out of Yemen last year looks more like a ‘tactical’ nuke…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgPKxYVxb0

            Whether these are nukes or not, they are still weapons of fearsome destructive power being used in what are obviously civilian areas.

      • Republicofscotland

        Mordechai Vanunu blew the whistle on the nuclear plant in Dimona, Israel in an interview with The Sunday Times that was published on the 5th of October, 1986″

        “According to Vanunu, this plant had been producing nuclear weapons for 10 to 20 years. It is estimated that there may be around 200 nuclear weapons in possession of Israel’s nuclear weapons program”

        “Vanunu demonstrated his knowledge to Frank Barnaby and John Steinbach and they confirmed the credibility of his story. Frank Barnaby wrote in his Declaration of Frank Barnaby in the Matter of Mordechai Vanunu that Vanunu had the bare minimum knowledge of nuclear physics that a technician should have and accurately described the makeup of the nuclear plant in Dimona”

        “Vanunu has been in and out of jail after serving his 18 years issued by a closed door trial.”

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

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

        • Habbabkuk

          That is not the point, ELIE.

          You wrote that Israel “flatly denies having WMDs”.

          That is false as far as nuclear weapons are concerned. Israel had denied – nor confirmed – that it has nuclear weapons.

          Therefor what you wrote is incorrect – purely inadvertently, I’m sure. :0

          That was the point as far as our little interchange was concerned.

          • Habbabkuk

            Same mistake 🙂 “Israel has never denied – nor confirmed – that it has nuclear weapons”

          • Republicofscotland

            “That is not the point,”

            Oh, but I’m afraid it is the point.

            ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

            “That is false as far as nuclear weapons are concerned. Israel had denied – nor confirmed – that it has nuclear weapons.”

            It doesn’t have to, Vanunu, let the cat out of bag years ago, one could easily say that confirmation or denial is neither here nor there now.

            Israel keeping schtum on WMD’s after a whistleblower has revealed otherwise, reminds me of Comical Ali, in Iraq, when he said, “There are no American tanks in Baghdad” at that moment the US tanks could be see coming into view behind him.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfAeMtcURg0

            This sounds interesting.

            “Vanunu was lured to Italy by Cheryl Ben-Tov, a Mossad agent, where he was drugged and transported to Israel and convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize many times.”

            “Daniel Ellsberg has referred to Mordechai Vanunu as “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era”.

            https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu

      • Alan

        “Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it has nuclear weapons.”

        Wrong! A history lesson for you:

        “In 1975, the Israel–South Africa Agreement was signed.

        From the mid-1970s, the two countries were allegedly involved in joint nuclear-weapons development and testing. According to Seymour Hersh, for example, the 1979 Vela Incident was the third joint Israeli–South African nuclear test in the Indian Ocean. Richard Rhodes concludes the incident was an Israeli nuclear test, conducted in cooperation with South Africa, and that the United States administration deliberately obscured this fact in order to avoid complicating relations with Israel.

        By 1980, a sizeable contingent of South African military and government officials were living permanently in Israel, to oversee the numerous joint projects between the countries, while their children attended local Israeli schools. Scientific collaboration also continued to increase, with many scientists working in each other’s countries. Perhaps most sensitive was the large group of Israeli scientists working at South Africa’s Pelindaba nuclear facility.”

        So they obviously told the South Africans. Continuing:

        “The commanders of the South African Defense Force were present at the test-firings of Israel’s Jericho ballistic missile system, where they stood alongside the IDF generals. Israel’s ballistic missile system, the Jericho II missile, was subsequently licensed for production in South Africa as the RSA series of space launch vehicles and ballistic missiles. The RSA-3 was produced by the Houwteq (a discontinued division of Denel) company at Grabouw, 30 km east of Cape Town. Test launches were made from Overberg Test Range near Bredasdorp, 200 km east of Cape Town. Rooi Els was where the engine test facilities were located. Development continued even after South African renunciation of its nuclear weapons for use as a commercial satellite launcher.

        The RSA-2 was a local copy of the Jericho II ballistic missile and the RSA-1 was a local copy of the Jericho II second stage for use as a mobile missile.”

        H.T.H.

    • Loony

      I am aware of no connection between Israel and the nuclear program of the DPRK.

      I am however aware of a connection between AQ Khan and the nuclear program of the DPRK as I am aware that AQ Khan was protected by the US to the extent that the US explicitly ordered the Dutch authorities not to detain him. I am also aware that Khan (and by extension the US) played a critical role in the providing both Pakistan and the DPRK with a nuclear capability.

      Surely the most ludicrous aspect of this whole affair is that two states with literally insane ideas are assisted by the US in developing successful nuclear programs..

      Israel does appear to serve a useful purpose in that it can be relied upon to attract adverse attention and allow the culpable to remain in the shadows. Is that the fault of Israel or the fault of western liberals and their ever reliable Pavlovian dog responses.

    • lysias

      I also don’t understand how the U.S. government, the sole government ever to have used nuclear weapons against another country, and currently in possession of thousands of nuclear weapons and numerous missiles capable of carrying them, can condemn what North Korea did.

  • Republicofscotland

    “British spies have been censured by the government’s intelligence watchdog for breaking dozens of agency rules last year, including failing to obtain authorization to conduct surveillance and plugging cell phones into computer systems.”

    “Security services failed to follow procedures on 83 occasions, twice the number of mistakes made in 2014, the watchdog’s report stated.”

    “Intelligence Services Commissioner Sir Mark Walter said that all of these errors had led to an intrusion into privacy “to some degree.”

    “Errors made by British spooks included failing to obtain authorization to conduct surveillance, failing to renew authorizations, and operating outside the parameters set out in authorizations in the erroneous belief they were authorized.”

    So spies, fro the dis-United Kingdom have basically breaking rules, rules I’d imagine that are put in place to protect our rights to privacy etc.

    It is however very revealing that, they class the illegal acts as “mistakes ” and “errors.”

    https://www.rt.com/uk/358796-intelligence-watchdog-mi5-mistakes/

  • Ozzy F

    Racist hatred is now seen by the political class as essential to the management of neo-liberal capitalism. With the system unable to offer any solution to rising social inequality, economic insecurity, stagnant wages, or ecological catastrophe, scapegoats are required. Refugees and social minorities are obvious targets. It’s a major problem, because social conditions are only going to deteriorate, leading to a downward spiral of decline and hatred. The Tories are the obvious political sub-contractors to manage this process, and they’re keen to prove their credentials to their corporate sponsors.

    • Loony

      The problem you identify is everywhere and is growing.

      Take for example the recent decision of the City of New York to recognize 31 discreet genders. All those with a passing knowledge of biology will be designated intolerant fascists. Bored and disaffected people will be encouraged to develop their own unique gender identity. People adversely affected by inequality will be encouraged to obtain redress through the law and to sue for compensation on the basis of gender discrimination.

      Any failure to use the appropriate pronoun for people expressing various genders leave you open to a fine of $125,000 rising to $250,000 if the offence is deemed malicious.

      • michael norton

        Newspeak,
        before long us old codgers, who have “not moved on”
        will probably not be allowed to speak, as we don’t understand Newspeak,
        as, to us, it is meaningless political correctness, which we have no interest in.
        We will become non-people in our own land because we cannot or will not keep up with the modern world.

    • Tom

      Absolutely. And I have little doubt that our own government is behind the problems in Calais, and that their propaganda wing have been asked to stir up trouble on their behalf.

  • Republicofscotland

    Such is the voracious hatred of Assad and hìs regime, by the West, that when Baroness Cox made a private visit to Syria, to speak with the people, the press of the dis-United Kingdom vehemently berated Baroness Cox. Claims were made in the press that she (Cox) had held a meeting with a mass murderer.

    Baroness Cox said;

    “One of the things worrying the people we met in Aleppo is the way the Western media tend to have covered the tragedy of the suffering people of Syria.”

    “Everything tends to focus on what the Syrian Army and the government are doing and the allegations of the use by the Syrian Army of chemical weapons. The balance of the media coverage, as it comes in Western media, has been very one-sided.”

    Cox added;

    The media reaction has been “very, very aggressively critical,” Cox said. “My answer to that is, well, I think it is a bit one-sided to do this before we are here to speak for ourselves.”

    “Secondly, we were there for five days and we spent two hours with President Assad. The rest of the five days we were with the people, and in very dangerous situations.”

    One could glean from the barrage of condemnation aimed at Baroness Cox, that the West including its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, are hellbent on a regime change in Syria. In my opinion to install a compliant puppet.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/358815-cox-meeting-assad-syria/

  • Republicofscotland

    Theresa May hasn’t triggered Brexit yet, but the government of the dis-United Kingdom are already reaching out and making promises they probably won’t keep, sounds familiar?

    China and Vietnam are heading for a potential stand-off regarding territorial seas in the region, yet remarkably British ambassadors have visited both nations pledging to deepen and increase military support. As Michael Fallon was promising stronger ties with China, minister Earl Howe, was doing the exact same thing with his Vietnamese counterpart.

    It could be that Westminster, is hedging its bets, May daren’t offend Chinese investment, but currying favour with Vietnam, could in the long term help to exploit the Asian Pivot.

    • michael norton

      French police on Friday announced a new arrest in connection with an abandoned car found to contain gas cylinders in Paris over the weekend. The suspect is the boyfriend of a woman detained Thursday and is thought to have links to radical Islam.

      The suspect was arrested late on Thursday and was already known to French intelligence services for having links to Islamist radicals, sources close to the investigation told AFP.

      The suspect’s brother is also in custody over his relationship with Larossi A., a jihadist who killed a police couple at their home in a Paris suburb in June, sources said.

      The latest arrest came just hours after police arrested three women near a train station in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris as part of the investigation into several gas canisters found in a car parked near Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday.

      “A group has been neutralised. Others are out there,” French President François Hollande said on the sidelines of a summit of southern European states in Athens on Friday, adding that a terrorist attack had been “thwarted” thanks to the arrests.

      • michael norton

        Brothers planning Islamic State-inspired bomb attack arrested by London terrorist police
        https://www.rt.com/uk/358779-london-terror-brothers-isis/
        A suspected Islamic State-inspired bomb attack has reportedly been uncovered by London’s counter-terrorism officers in what has been described as the most “significant” terrorist plot against the capital in two years.

        Perhaps Islamaphobic Theresa May

        is not so stupid, after all.

      • RobG

        Michael, this one is total nonsense.

        You might have noticed that during the month of August the twerrorist attacks in the West totally stopped. Well, I suppose that the twerrorists have to put on their Burkinis and have a holiday.

        So now the holiday month is over; but come on, a car parked near Notre Dame, in a no-parking high security zone. no licence plates, its hazard lights flashing, and ‘Arabic documents’ found in the car.

        C’mon, how stupid do you have to be to believe this bullshit?!

        Perhaps as stupid as to believe that the authorities have good reason not to release CCTV footage of the ‘Nice attack’; and to not believe that the French authorities are doing everything they can to suppress this footage.

        Despite everything in front of their eyes, I realise that it’s hard for many people to accept/understand what’s going on here, and the huge implications of it.

        Cue the trolls…

  • mike

    BBC main headline: “UK-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘jailed on secret charges'”

    I had to read a few paragraphs of this to find out whether they were talking about Iran or the UK. Seems Iran is catching up fast with UK practices. We’ve had secret trials and detention without charge for some time.

    Great to see those British values exported.

    • Brianfujisan

      i seen that last night Alcy

      only we.. thanks to types like Craig can shout out

      it all makes me so unhappy…that i need tia chi ..and music from youtube

    • Republicofscotland

      Alcyone.

      More like she died, fighting off Turkish tanks, (if she died at all) rather than ISIS, in my opinion Putin’s new found friend Erdogan, cut a deal with Putin to allow Turkish forces to enter and take out Kurdish fighters, who’ve posed a problem for Erdogan. Why else would Putin allow Turkish forces to roll into Syria unhindered?

      Ironically Kurdish forces, are one of the few forces who are actually fighting ISIS, now, what does that tell you about Erdogan and Putin?

      • Brianfujisan

        RoS

        I was wondering about that.. Cheers…it;s a hard one to research… Bit like looking into Libya…. Long Stories

      • Alcyone

        Well, you’re making an assumption there about Putin, aren’t you?

        And frankly, I don’t have an understanding of the Kurd issue at any granular or even historical level. All I would say is if their people are divided between countries and they want their own nation, give it to them.

        The whole Syria story is a very sad one. I have no idea who the lot are that were hanging out with BoJo the other day; I wonder if he really knows either. All I know is that it is the West hand-in-glove with the Goddamned Saudis who initiated this frigging thing in an otherwise mainly peaceful Syria. We are in the 21st century dammit, regime changes have to take place from within. Look what they’ve done to Aleppo! That man standing for the US presidency was right to ask (contemporarily) What is Aleppo?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Republicofscotland September 9, 2016 at 20:33
        Quite simple, really…the Turks rolled in under US air cover.
        Nothing to do with Russia giving the ‘Green Light’.

    • RobG

      So you are suggesting that we should all subscribe to a fascist/CIA/propaganda rag?

      Many decades ago The Times used to be sublime. Now it’s just slime.

    • Loony

      ISIS fighters have some strange beliefs – one of those being that their prospects in the afterlife are severely diminished if they are killed in battle by a woman. To exploit this belief the Kurdish fighters have organized all female battalions to engage with the jihadists. By all accounts they have enjoyed success with ISIS normally retreating rather than risk the shame of death by a female.

      Some may wonder why committed feminists like Julie Bindel do not seek to emulate their Kurdish sisterhood. Julie apparently thinks that her cause is better served by ignoring extreme Islamic beliefs and instead concentrating on her well thought through idea of confining all men to camps. I do wonder if she would be provided the same access to media if she suggested confining all Jews or all disabled or all gypsies to camps.

      More generally is it not interesting that the example set by Kurdish women is steadfastly ignored by western feminists.

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