Chagossians Have No Right of Self-Determination 300


“We do not agree the right of self-determination applies to the Chagossians”, says Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan, who later clarifies that they are not “a people”. If you can stand it, you can watch the urgent question in the Commons today which forced the government to defend the decision they had sneaked out via a written answer.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/99da1ec6-4cd2-4f51-9d90-41463e0ed657

The debate starts at 10.34 – if you put the cursor to the bottom of the picture a slider appears. It is excruciating to watch. In an unusually full House of Commons (not a high bar) there is indignation and real anger on all sides, with even Tories describing the decision to continue the eviction of the Chagos islanders as “dishonourable”.

The government argues that the Chagossians are not “a people” distinct from the Mauritians, therefore they do not have a right of self-determination. This piece of sophistry is designed to answer the obvious question of why the Chagossians have less rights than the Falkland Islanders or Gibraltarians. The actual answer – that the Chagossians are not white – is not one the government wishes to give. It also begs the question, if the Chagossians are Mauritians, why are the islands not a part of Mauritius?

The government produced a paper on prospective resettlement, imposing arbitrary conditions on where and how the Chagossians could live designed to make life as difficult as possible. Those conditions included that there could be no civilian use of the airstrip – which I am glad to see Alex Salmond challenged in the Commons. Chagossians could work at the US airbase, but only on condition their partners and children would not be permitted to be with them. Fishing – their traditional activity – will be banned by the UK government’s marine reserve.

Given these conditions, Duncan kept reiterating, only 223 Chagossians actually wanted to return. And that was not a viable population (which will be news to many inhabited islands).

Support for the government was very thin. The most notable contribution was from the Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne MP, who oozing contempt for dusky foreigners intervened solely to state that it would be impossible to return the islanders because the government would be put to the expense of building a prison for them. (He really did say this, I am not making it up, you can see it on the link.)

It takes New Labour however to win the lying through your teeth prize, which the unctuous Chris Bryant duly did. He deplored the deportation of the islanders, ignoring the fact that he had served as a minister in the 13 year Blair/Brown governments which did nothing to right the wrong and indeed fought against the islanders as hard as the Tories. But Bryant wished it to be known that the Labour government’s introduction of the marine reserve had no connection at all to denying the islanders the right of return, as was frequently wrongly claimed. Having said that the lying little bastard sat down.

The most amusing moment was when Kate Hoey stated that she knew Alan Duncan personally and he was a decent chap whose heart was secretly not in this despicable decision. Duncan felt the need to deny this vehemently, knowing that being less than totally heartless, particularly in matters relating to Imperial treatment of foreigners, was career death in the May government. I must say, from Duncan’s demeanour I saw no sign he has ever been troubled by humanitarianism.

I was proud that no less than five SNP MPs intervened and many more bothered to turn up, while another Scottish MP. Alistair Carmichael made a very good and principled point on the absolute right of the islanders to live on their islands. It was the SNP who made the most obvious point of all, that it made no sense for the government to claim that a population which had sustained itself on the islands in the 1960’s quite happily could not do so again. Indeed modern technology will make it rather easier.

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300 thoughts on “Chagossians Have No Right of Self-Determination

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  • RobG

    James Clapper, the totally corrupt fecker who heads the NSA, amongst other things, has announced his resignation…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-clapper-resigns_us_582dc57ce4b099512f81196f

    This creature, who blatantly lied to Congress whilst under oath, should have been put in jail a long time ago.

    But it’s them dang twerrorists, ain’t it, who are coming to get us, which excuses the likes of Clapper; and when the public no longer believe the twerrorist bullshit (which is all created by western intelligence agencies – aka Crime Inc), they start pumping out the ‘Russian threat’.

    See, there’s always got to be a ‘threat’. It’s good business and keeps the plebs under control.

    If you take the USA (and Israel) out of the equation, the world has never been as peaceful as it is now.

    The US empire is rapidly collapsing (and poodles like the UK will go down with it). One can only hope that the collapse of the USA will mirror the collapse of the USSR; ie, not too much mayhem.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that sensible post Mike, I agree with you and Rod earlier that we are all willing accomplices to the actions of our Government, and or pitchforks are big sellers this xmas.

    After the artificial outrage here at Trumps misogyny, the bad mouthing of this product of consecutive US administrations and its financial systems, his verbal racism and total ignorance of global environmental facts, his bumbling knowledge of global affairs, was all ignored, at best frowned at, as this Government here was quick to use his existence to give colonialism and inherent racism a new shiny neo liberalist coat, the neocons and neo liberals are now sharing the pillow with racism.

    The Chagos islanders have been victims since the 1970’s and not one political party can absolve themselves from this shame. We have enacted racist policies, whilst Trump is still talking about implementing some.

    I’m surprised at the affront of this sloganising Government which feels safe in being able to out their veiled racists and human rights abusers, and that they can get away with it.

    If some of us would dress in Nazi uniforms and march up and down Whitehall, the hypocrites would be aghast, call the police and have you arrested for incitement.
    yesterdays debate has incited me!

    • michael norton

      The theme of The Donald is to re-sequre jobs for Americans in America.
      So home grown energy will be a BIG part of Trump policy.
      Saudi need to find other customers, so China/japan/Indonesia/E.U./India
      all dwindling
      Indonesia has plenty but is an expanding market.
      Japan is a stable market – no extra needed.
      China will buy some but most will come from Russia/Canada
      India seems the Saudis best bet.
      But Saudi is on a downward slide in world importance, especially with The Donald in power.

      The E.U. is not going to last ten years, it is almost done.

        • michael norton

          At a forum in Berlin this week,
          FRENCH Prime Minister Manuel Valls lobbed a rhetorical grenade into the room when he warned, “EUROPE COULD DIE”

          He used his podium to warn Germany to ‘invest more’ to boost growth across the EU, or face the consequences.

          He urged attendees “to hear the anger of the people,” and poured scorn on Angela Merkel’s liberal immigration policy, warning that Europe needs to say more clearly “who can and cannot enter and stay” on the continent.
          RT

          • michael norton

            Valls comments mark a watershed. They are the first time a serving leader of a powerful EU state has publicly said he fears for the project’s immediate future. They are also a “cry for help.” Perhaps a final warning to Germany how it must change tack or watch the alliance it cultivated unravel due to ideological hubris and domestic greed.

            it looks like the Prime minister of FRANCE
            thinks there is a chance the E.U. will soon implode.

    • Laguerre

      “I had thought that the main reasoning in developing fracking in the U.s.A. was for the USA to be come self sufficient in energy
      so they could tell the Saudis to bog off?”

      Two reasons why not: 1) Fracking wells have a very short life. Two years and they’re finished. More, the mining cost is very high, much more than Saudi Arabian crude.

      2) The petro-dollar. The US Dollar is stabilised by oil being priced in dollars. At any rate, the US seems very sensitive when anyone suggests oil being priced in other currencies.

      With the decline in the oil price, and the impending bankruptcy of the Gulf oil states (there is a lot of evidence, anecdotal though it may be), it may be that the preservation of the petro-dollar is no longer worth it. To abandon it would throw the US dollar into a wild ride, before which even Trump may hesitate.

    • nevermind

      I can just about envisage it Mark G., you are 200 miles away from the chagos and are met with a destroyer, some ten rubber dinghy’s zipping around with fully armed Goons/Ork’s, loudhailers blaring

      ‘you are now entering an internationally agreed and sanctioned environmental reservations, you have no permission to land on Chagos or any of the other islands, turn around or sail course SSE for Indonesia.’

      You ignore this fluff and sail on, the moment you are able to see the chagos this threat to the marine environmental reserve will morph into a threat to the USA and its forces there, result being that you get one more final warning and then they board you.
      You’ll probably end up on some prison ship together with alleged terrorists/people they like to disappear and torture, from around the world. After some weeks/month/years and more protests than cups of tea, you’ll get released.

      but you would have made it there and could bare witness that the place has been ruined by unsustainable living conditions and pollution, soldiers fishing is prohibited in that marine reserve, but I doubt that it would be enforced, and various liquids seeping into pristine coral sands, what are they doing with their frying oil? the cleaning fluids used in cleaning aircraft parts, lubricants, spills, kerosin? My guess going by the legacy history of other bases and conflict areas around the world, is that its very likely that the main island is now more polluting to the overall marine reserve than any outside influence.

      Who knows what they plan to leave behind should they ever leave.

      • michael norton

        There are four countries which have Kurdistan underlying them,
        Iran, Iraq,
        Turkey and Syria, by far the smallest portion is in modern day Syria.

  • Habbabkuk

    Macky

    You have still not answered my question, posed in the courseof our exchange of yesterday:

    “So what’s your answer – self determination/independence within a new, unitary state for the Kurds of Turkey, Irak and Syria or just for the Kurds of Turkey?

    PM – RoS managed to answer (in the end) so I’m sure you’ll wish to as well.3

    Will you now do so?

    • Macky

      I have already answered this, but either you are unwilling or intellectually unable to see that; further I suspect that your strange song & dance over this Kurdish issue is either a deliberate diversion/attempt to hog the debate over other issues being discussed here, or it’s an ego stoking narcissistic trip for you , either way, I have nothing more to add on this, or at least to you that is.

      • Iain Stewart

        “I have nothing more to add on this, or at least to you that is.” Macky 14:34
        Maybe you could kindly repeat your answer, which some of us missed, what with the navigation of these threads still being somewhat difficult. The Kurdish question does seem relevant to the present debate on the Chagos islanders, as well as to the recurrent theme of self-determination in general (and Scotland in particular). Habbabkuk’s queries may irritate or provoke at times, but they are generally interesting (often amusing) and never lacking in intellectual ability. (Diversion of the other sort seems to be the speciality of Michael Norton.) Thanks in advance.

        • Macky

          @lain Stewart, there only one other page to check, and the number of my posts there are in single figures, so if you cant’t find my comments on the Kurdish issue, then I’m don’t hold-out great expectation that even if you do find them, despite being written in clear & unambiguous language, that will you understand them; a view especially reinforced by your comments about Habbabkuk, who after years of observing, I classed at best & at most generous, as an empty headed clown.

          • Iain Stewart

            “I’m don’t hold-out great expectation that even if you do find them, despite being written in clear & unambiguous language, that will you understand them” Macky 15:37
            Well I didn’t expect such a rude reply, but if demonstrates such a level of self-opinion that your views on the Kurds are probably not worth the effort of hunting out. At least clowns are entertaining.

          • John Goss

            Macky, I don’t know what you were partaking of between 14:34 and 15:37 but I want some. 🙂

            We could really do with an editing facility. Craig can edit and re-edit his posts but we are stuck with all the typos that make it possible for empty-headed clowns and their Toytown supporters, who generally have no sensible contribution to make, to ridicule those of us with reasoning abilities.

        • Habbabkuk

          Thank you, Mr Stewart, for those gracious words. They have reassured me in that I was beginning to wonder if I had somehow overlooked Macky’s answer. I see from your post that I haven’t.

          • michael norton

            Apparently about 10% of the population of 80000000 Iranians are Kurds – or might describe themselves as such, most live on the Western border, adjacent to Iraq.

          • Why be ordinary?

            Not undisputed, but many believe the Kurds to be the forerunners of the Medes as in the Empire of the Medes and the Persians

      • Habbabkuk

        I don’t think you have answered, Macks. You have obfuscated but, be that as it may, here is the question again (slightly amended to take account of Michael Norton’s clarification about there being Kurds in a part of Iran). A simple “yes” or “not” would make your position clear. Failure to do so will make me wonder if you are unwilling to answer and, if so, why. 🙂

        “So what’s your answer – self determination/independence within a new, unitary state for the Kurds of Turkey, Irak, Iran and Syria or just for the Kurds of Turkey?

      • Habbabkuk

        And when you’ve answered that question, here is another, related one.

        I take it you disagree with the UK govt’s position that the Chagossians are not a “people”.

        That being so, you must think that they are a “people”.

        In your opinion, are the Kurds a “people”?

        Again, a simple “yes” or “bi” would be fine if you could manage that.

        Thanks for the interesting exchange.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Must say I still am amazed at posters lack of interest in Sweden’s right to self determination when the Anglo-Americans, headed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, were willing to assassinate its PM Palme in the hope of triggering a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War which would have at least resulted in the end of all of Europe if it had not been for all that spying about it for Moscow which allowed it to take counter measures which permitted it not from spinning completely out on control.

    Oh, right, it’s just another of my loony conspiracy theories,

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Must say that I don’t have much use for razors, but what little I know about the ones you refer to only strengthen my conspiracy theory..

            The stupidity was that of Al Schwimmer who did not go to the trouble of getting PM Palme to agree officially to take those 80 HAWK missiles on November 17, 1985, as I recall, and other weapons intended for Iran. and Oliver North not getting Palme to agree after the fact, resulting in this ‘loose cannon’ persuading Reagan maliciously to allow the assassination to go ahead with the idea of getting rid of the USSR in the process.

            So back to your drawing!

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Thanks, Sharp Ears, but I had a longish post about it yesterday on the previous thread.

        I should have talked more about the American scum involved in the plot, especially still living, ‘loose cannon’ Oliver North, Robert McFarlane,and other Reagan White House plotters.

        And they can all be forced to go to Sweden to testify, as even apparent assassin Captain Simon Hayward has no worry about a possible execution as it doesn’t permit the death penalty which should help make Julian Assange willing to back there as Stockholm would only allow his extradition to the USA under this condition.

        Perhaps, you should rely more on your eyes.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Sounds as if our Hitler Light is becoming more like the real thing, wanting to pursue all Muslims by getting ones to inform on the others, like the Jews in Hitler’s Germany which resulted in him wanting to totally eliminate them to the very end.

    Already should be collecting evidence about Trump’s impeachment, and removal from office.

    • John Goss

      I have read somewhere that an ex-wife said he used to have a copy of Mein Kampf by his bedside.

      The prospect of having Trump as president is only marginally preferable to having the murderous Clintons back at the helm. The really positive thing for the time being is that Trump looks like he wants to isolate the US and work on internally making the country strong again. Hitler did this to begin with. So although I feel sorry for the US populace, especially certain ethnic sectors, it might make Europe, North Africa and the Middle East less of a nightmare in the short term.

        • michael norton

          Well, I suppose if The Donald can get along with Vlad ,
          Russia can have Syria and the U.S.A. can have Israel.

      • Resident Dissident

        Funny how you can express a preference for someone with what you see as Nazi tendencies if you see it as supporting your political objectives. The ends justify the means yet again. Support for the Ivanov Romney alliance (or similar) will follow in short order.

  • michael norton

    O/T
    The Scottish and Welsh governments are to be allowed to intervene in the Supreme Court battle over how Brexit should be triggered.

    The government is appealing against a High Court ruling that MPs must vote on triggering Article 50 – something the PM wants to happen by April 2017.

    Scotland and Wales’s senior law officers can intervene in the appeal, which begins on 5 December.

    UK PM Theresa May said on Friday that the UK’s work on Brexit was “on track”.

    this is going to put the Scottish cat among the English /Welsh pigeons.

    BBC

  • michael norton

    O/T

    Labour MPs want to reverse plans to reduce the number of constituencies because they are “frightened” of losing their seats to the pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum, the Commons has heard.

    Labour’s Pat Glass’s bill aims to retain 650 MPs as an alternative to the government’s move towards 600.

    But Tory David Nuttall claims some Labour MPs fear re-selection due to the “threat” posed by Momentum.

    New boundary proposals would see fewer MPs and create equal-sized seats.
    BBC

    Is this about saving money or Gerrymandering or both?

    Why should M.P.’s fear reselection, they are after all, there to serve their constituents, if their constituents no longer want the M.P.’s they should fade away.

  • Republicofscotland

    In order to lease Diego Garcia to the US, Britain had to avoid giving the islands back to Mauritius, when that country became independent in 1968.

    So, in 1965 the “British Indian Ocean Territory”, as the archipelago is now officially known, was invented for the sole purpose of setting up the base. It is the only new British colony, to be established since decolonisation.

    This was a violation of UN Declaration 1514, of 1960 stating the inalienable right of colonial peoples to independence, and Resolution 2066 of 1965 (which Britain never signed), instructing Britain to “take no action which would dismember the territory of Mauritius and violate [its] territorial integrity”.

    Britain retains the islands to this day, promising to return them to Mauritius as soon as the US, and the UK are done with them.

    You often read or see British or US diplomats, condemn, other nations, that have forcefully, taken lands or removed indigenous peoples.

    One wonders why would those nations,that the Brit/US, diplomats refer to bother to pay attention, when in it’s clearly a case of do as we say, not as we do.

      • Old Mark

        Martinned-“giving back” implies that those islands belonged to Mauritius at some point before. When would that be, exactly?

        When Mauritius was a French colony the archipelago now known as the ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’ was effectively an outpost of Mauritius- and the Chagossians, as I pointed out yesterday, are in a very large proportion descended from slaves moved from Mauritius to Diego Garcia in the 1790s, when the French colonists established a coconut plantation there, which they wished to develop with slave labour.

        Mauritius has a defensible claim to sovereigny of the BIOT both because of the links that existed in French colonial times, and subsequently, as in the British colonial period the Chagos islands were effectively admisistered from Mauritius (rather as Ascension Island & Tristan da Cuhna were administered from St Helena).

        The only arguments against Mauritius reclaiming sovereignty of the islands comprising BIOT are-

        1. Realpolitik- the septics would much sooner deal with the junior partner in the fabled ‘special relationship’ over the matter of their leased base on Diego Garcia, rather than a potentially uppity third world island country containing a large number of anti western and potentially highly litigious subcontinentals.

        2. The more romantic argument, namely that the Chagossians, a largely slave descended (and thus largely African origin) population, are indeed a distinct ‘people’ from the Mauritians (who are of much more mixed origin, with Indians and Chinese both larger ethnic constituencies on the island that the smaller population, cognate to the Chagossians, that is principally descended from African slaves).

  • Republicofscotland

    A very interesting point Habb, one which you’ll need to source the answer yourself.

    However, Mauritius, didn’t gain independence until 1968, three years after the British government set up the, British Indian Ocean Territory, which effectively avoided Mauritius and any claims it may have had.

    • Habbabkuk

      My point seems to have been deleted, but never mind. You are right, though – it was interesting, as are, indeed, all the points I make.

      But to substance : the negotiations on Mauritian independence would, presumably, have included the question of whether the Chagos islands should be “returned” to Mauritius or not. Hence my question about whether the non-“return” was a unilateral act by the UK govt or whether the Mauritians agreed.

      I do not know the answer to that but your remark that I’ll “need to source the answer” myself would appear to indicate that you don’t either.

  • Habbabkuk

    A bon entendeur as they say:

    ” Marine Protected Area
    Terrestrial Protected Areas
    Science Expeditions

    Marine Protected Area

    The British Indian Ocean Territory has some of the most biodiverse waters on the planet with over 220 species coral, 855 species of fish and 355 species of molluscs. To ensure the future protection of this unique environment the BIOT Commissioner declared a 640,000 km² ‘no-take’ (where all commercial fishing and extractive activities are prohibited) Marine Protected Area on 1 April 2010. This decision doubled the previous global no-take area, as well as providing protection to approximately 1.5% of the total global area of near-surface coral reefs.

    BIOT MPA

    In March 2015, following litigation brought by the Republic of Mauritius, the Marine Protected Area was the subject of an award by an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Its Final Observation was:

    “In concluding that the declaration of the MPA was not in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, the Tribunal has taken no view on the substantive quality or nature of the MPA or the importance of environmental protection. The Tribunal’s concern has been with the manner in which the MPA was established, rather than its substance. It is now open to the Parties to enter into the negotiations that the Tribunal would have expected prior to the proclamation of the MPA, with a view to achieving a mutually satisfactory arrangement for protecting the marine environment, to the extent necessary under a “sovereignty umbrella”.

    Contrary to subsequent speculation, the Tribunal’s finding was therefore not to declare the MPA illegal, but rather that the United Kingdom should have consulted the Republic of Mauritius more fully about the establishment of the MPA, so as to give due regard to its rights. The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Mauritius have now begun bilateral consultations to do this, and we remain committed to working with the Republic of Mauritius to explore all aspects of its interests in relation to the MPA.”

    • Republicofscotland

      Thank you Habb, for that information, though adding your source, would’ve been beneficial, for all commentors to read, however I’m prepared to believe the veracity of it.

      Indeed David Miliband in the final months of the last Labour government, breached its obligations to consult nearby Mauritius, and illegally deprived it of fishing rights.

      The Chagossian’s caught in the middle of, shall we call it skulkduggery? Are the losers, no matter the outcome between Britain and Mauritius, over the MPA.

      • Habbabkuk

        Hang on a moment – I thought people were getting exercised about the denial of fishing rights to returning Chagossians? And now you are talking about the denial of fishing rights to fishermen from Mauritius (a thousand miles or so away)…?

        • Republicofscotland

          Habb, returning to the Chagossian people. Not only did Britain have to effectively steal the islands, it also had to get rid of the people.

          The US took Diego Garcia, only on condition that all the Chagos islands, were uninhabited – the Chagossians, had to go.

          To achieve this, Britain simply pretended that there were no Chagossians, and conspired to make sure their unlawful removal went unnoticed.

          The Foreign Office invented a false history, claiming that the Chagossians were only itinerant labourers, with no right of abode on the islands. This was a lie and they knew it – many Chagossians were fifth generation islanders.

          It is on record that one senior Foreign Office official described the islanders, in a letter, as “mere Tarzans and Men Fridays.”

  • fwl

    I seem to have gone into moderation. Anyway:

    Duncan’s comparison with the Pitcairn islands is inappropriate. The inhabitants of the Pitcairns are long established but not exactly the indigenous inhabitants. It is not a fair comparison.

    • fwl

      And my post remained in moderation presumably for making a point that another group of exiled people returned to their homeland and succeeded against all the odds.

  • fwl

    The compensation was said to be 15 million in today’s money i.e. 15,000 per person?!! A small PI claim in other words.

    • michael norton

      Why not get worked up about China stealing Tibet?
      It hurts a lot more people
      that a few islanders who were only laboures from M. or Africa.
      Anyway, lots of them live in Dear Old Blighty now, surely better than living with the Americans on Diego Garcia?

      • bevin

        If China did steal Tibet it was sometime before Culloden, which is to say a very long time ago. The events in the Chagos islands began very recently when the British government, in effect, sold the islanders’ land to the United States to dispose of at will.

        • fwl

          Bevin you have been listening to propaganda. The Chinese invaded and conquered Tibet and have tried to repopulate it with Han Chinese. We also misbehaved in Tibet (Younghusband).

          • bevin

            No, Fwl,
            I have been reading history books. Peter Perdue’s China Marches West is a good start.
            It is you who have been listening to Cold War propaganda, if you believe that Tibet was acquired by the Mao government since 1949.

          • Neil

            Bevin, this is a reply to you not fwl (unfortunately the system doesn’t provide a reply button for you).

            Sometimes the best stuff on wiki is not to be found on the actual articles:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Nishidani/Archive_20#To_be_fair_to_China

            “I don’t care for being ‘fair’ to any political entity (China, Russia, America etc.). It’s not a priority of governments in international affairs certainly to be fair. 99.999% of Chinese know nothing of Tibet for that matter, (the same could be said of the diaspora re Palestine.) It’s quite simple: Tibet was a distinct country from ‘China’ culturally, linguistically, and socially. It constituted a major civilization, with a distinctive ecology, material life, social system, cultural patrimony, and distinct languages (the book titles in Tibetan literature run to, so far, 480,000 items). China, under a man who was to prove to be [a] genocidal socio-/psychopath, overran it. They believed that Mao’s Little Red Book contained more wisdom that the Buddhist canon preserved better in Tibetan than in any other Asian language. I still haven’t got over the anger I felt at the Red Guards swarming like a biblical insect plague into ancient monasteries of that of Jokhang in 1966 and the sight of ancient bronzes of Avalokiteśvara thrown off the top stories and lying smashed in the streets, or piles of medieval texts on bonfires. The invasions that secured modern Chinese suzerainty were barbaric; the administrations that followed bureaucratic nightmares; the Red Guards were illiterate thugs, and the Chinese government has pursued its Han racist nationalism there ever since, promoting ethnic cleansing of the landscape, and resource extraction. If the cost of this is ethnocide, they’ll do it. Nishidani (talk) 08:31, 5 April 2016 (UTC)”

            BTW, the above “Nishidani” is no believer of “Western propaganda”, quite the contrary, as is obvious if you read the rest of his work.

          • Bhante

            To suggest that the Tibetans were better off under the Lamas than under the Chinese government is to absorb Western propaganda lock stock and barrel. Power in the Lamas’ government was reserved for about 18 aristocratic families who imposed an exceptionally brutal feudal regime on the people. Almost the entire Tibetan population were serfs and were treated like the negro slaves of the 18th century. The monks who administered this regime were also the executioners of the regime’s brutal punishments for misdemeanors, such as chopping off a serf’s hands for petty stealing. Can you imagine “Buddhist monks” taking a hatchet and chopping off people’s hands? It is a grave deformation of the Buddha’s teaching of kindness and tolerance. Buddhist monks – following the teaching of the Buddha – should not in any case be governing a country nor administering punishments. The Tibetans under Chinese rule are finally free from their feudal serfdom, and also receive an education which they were denied before (apart from the 18 elite families). Not surprisingly, they are much happier with Chinese rule and the Dalai Lama is not pupular there. There is a massive wall of propaganda in the West in favour of the Tibetans in exile, sponsored by the CIA, but the truth of the matter is very different. Even the brutal British who went to Tibet during the lamas’ rule were shocked by the conditions the Tibetan serfs were forced to live under. Such treatment is incompatible with the teachings of the Buddha.

          • Resident Dissident

            Bhante

            Don’t you understand that you are meant to leave a country after a decent interval after achieving regime change – or do those rules only apply to Western democracies.

      • fwl

        MN I do. And about how wimpish we and even the US have been about it. We are even wimpish about Taiwan. It is amazing how difficult it is for a KMT minister to come to Britain or most EU countries or even the US and deliver a public speech. However, I do not wish to encourage this incoming regime to change its position as I fear they may go looking for excuses for mischief.

        • fwl

          Neil, don’t be too angry. Nothing is really lost. Tibetan Buddhism is great but that which it manifests and points towards is not lost. On a more earthy level C20 China defied imperialist destruction and somehow held together and rebuilt. Some people moan that China is not spiritual and praise Tibet but China has great spirit even if it doesn’t chose to package itself in attractive planetary clothing. Anyway agree with much else of what you said. Tibet was no more China than Gascony British (if you get my drift).

        • michael norton

          A good question could be:
          If the United Kingdom had not leased Diego Garcia to the U.S.A.

          would MH370 have gone missing?

  • Laguerre

    What was the question? I’ve forgotten. The reason why the Kurds in Syria and Iraq are not independent is economic, not political (that is, the Turks forbid it). The KRG in Erbil is bankrupt. The Peshmarga only fight because the US pays for them. As for the Syrian Kurds, Rojava, they have absolutely no economic resources. They attack if they’re paid. In neither case are they willing to fight into Sunni cities. Not surprising that the attacks upon Raqqa and Mosul have foundered. The NeoCons in power could have better sense.

  • lysias

    As Vine’s book to which I refer above makes clear, what the Pentagon was looking for was islands where they did not have to worry about any indigenous population making trouble for their military plans. So Diego Garcia was only of interest to them if the indigenous Chagossians could be removed.

      • lysias

        That was the excuse. The ancestors of all of us of course at some point went to the place where they came to be indigenous.

        Indigenous certainly, relative to the U.S. military that proposed to make use of the place.

        The Israelis claim that the Palestinians only came to Israel/Palestine in the last couple of centuries.

        Am I to take it that you agree with the excuse?

        • michael norton

          It is a difficult, perhaps unanswerable question.
          As you may suggest, we are all from Africa.
          So is the first family to reach an island, then able to claim they are the Indigenous, or only after a thousand years?

          • Shatnersrug

            I don’t think any of us are able to claim anything with very much certainty – even our modes of speech and language are restrictive and indefinite.

  • mauisurfer

    The US wanted an uninhabited place for its base. So the UK obliged by removing the island’s residents to Mauritius, with an insulting ccompensation payment of less than £3,000. The English-language document accompanying that payment, that the Chagossians had to sign, removed their right to return. The majority of the islanders did not speak English.

    And the UK government sent a strong message to anyone who considered fighting the removal. Investigative journalist John Pilger detailed that caution in his book Freedom Next Time:

    The Chagossians love their dogs; they are inseparable.

    ‘At first they tried poisoned fish balls,’ said Lizette.

    Then they paid a man to walk around with a big stick, beating them to death, or trying to… They backed several of their big vehicles against the brick shed where the coconuts were prepared; hundreds of dogs had been rounded up and imprisoned there. Then they gassed them through a tube from the truck’s exhaust. You could hear them crying.

    The long fight for human rights

    The Chagossians have continuously campaigned to return to the island since their ejection. They were expecting a decision from the UK government on their latest effort on 16 November. The answer was no. The government refused on the grounds of “feasibility, defence and security interests, and cost to the British taxpayer”. Instead, it pledged to throw more money at the issue.

    The government of Mauritius is now considering challenging the decision at the UN. It claims the rejection is a “manifest breach of international law” that “outrageously flouts their [Chagossians’] human rights”.

    quote above is from:

    November 18th, 2016 Carlyn Harvey
    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/11/18/busy-freaking-trump-parliament-bonfire-human-rights/

  • Nicholas

    This is indeed the very same argument the British government rejects in the case of the Falklands/Malvinas islands dwellers.

    Stamped, signed and sealed double-standards, incontrovertibly.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Everybody, including the UK Government, deplores the way that the Chagos Islanders were deprived of their homeland, but the UK Government is still at it – the deprivation continues.

    “Bryant wished it to be known that the Labour government’s introduction of the marine reserve had no connection at all to denying the islanders the right of return, as was frequently wrongly claimed.” No? Read the words of Richard Mills, Political Counselor at the US Embassy in London, as cabled to the US Secretary of Defense among others, regarding the views of Colin Roberts, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Director of Overseas Territories and the originator of the Chagos Marine Protected Area on the instructions of David Miliband.

    “Summary. HMG would like to establish a “marine
    park” or “reserve” providing comprehensive environmental
    protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian
    Ocean Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth
    Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on May 12. The
    official insisted that the establishment of a marine park —
    the world’s largest — would in no way impinge on USG use of
    the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He
    agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the
    details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests
    were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld.
    He said that the BIOT’s former inhabitants would find it
    difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for
    resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago
    were a marine reserve
    . End Summary.”

    “Roberts acknowledged that “we need to find a way
    to get through the various Chagossian lobbies.” He admitted
    that HMG is “under pressure” from the Chagossians and their
    advocates to permit resettlement of the “outer islands” of
    the BIOT. He noted, without providing details, that “there
    are proposals (for a marine park) that could provide the
    Chagossians warden jobs” within the BIOT. However, Roberts
    stated that, according to the HGM,s current thinking on a
    reserve, there would be “no human footprints” or “Man
    Fridays
    ” on the BIOT’s uninhabited islands. He asserted that
    establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to
    resettlement claims of the archipelago’s former residents.

    Responding to Polcouns’ observation that the advocates of
    Chagossian resettlement continue to vigorously press their
    case, Roberts opined that the UK’s “environmental lobby is
    far more powerful than the Chagossians’ advocates.””

    My italics. Note the insulting reference to “Man Fridays”, which is a direct echo of the words of the Foreign Office during the original forced resettlement that caused, rightly, considerable outrage when made public. This is 2009 we’re talking about. The contempt of the Foreign Office for the people they wronged has not changed in the intervening decades.

    https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09LONDON1156_a.html

    Impossible that Bryant could be unaware of this.

    A 2004 feasibility study concluded that the islanders could be resettled for £66 million. No money for that, which almost everybody in the UK would like to see, but, miraculously, the taxpayer is expected to find £369 million for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. Tell you what. Let’s refurbish Buckingham Palace for £200 million and knock down the unrefurbished portion, and give the £169 million left over to the islanders to resettle. I reckon if that were put to a referendum there would be overwhelming support for it.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Oh, you know what Colin Roberts is doing now? He’s Governor of the Falklands.

      It just takes the mickey.

      • nevermind

        Thanks for digging that up John Spencer Davis, Chris Bryant’s ghastly show of ‘nowt to do with me, Gov.’ was to please the new member of the privy council John Mc Donnell, who will now have to chime in with this Royal decree.

    • bevin

      It would be of real interest to discover what special measures the US forces are taking to ensure that marine life in this sanctuary is not disturbed by the sort of pollution for which the Pentagon is famous.
      Or it might be were it not that the answer is obviously going to be ‘none, whatever.’
      And there was talk, so recently, of Bonnie Prince Miliband returning from exile over the water to lead the Labour party back to the promised land of office, graft and revolving doors.

  • Anon1

    On BBC Any Questions just now, after the hysterical cries of racism had died down, Saint Nigel put the case calmly, patiently and without losing his cool against a hostile presenter and panel, for Brexit, for building a relationship with President-elect Trump, and for rethinking our aggressive stance against Russia. All very sensible.

    Not one hand-clap. NOT ONE.

    Therefore, either,

    a) The debate is rigged.

    b) There is no public support for Brexit, Trump, Farage or UKIP.

    Which is it BBC?

  • Bhante

    O/T
    An interesting development in Poland. The Polish government was supporting the US pro-Bandera coup in Ukraine, but now that is getting exceedingly awkward for them.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/11/19/banderite-ukraine-headache-for-poland.html

    Poles celebrating Polish National Independence Day on 11th November staged anti-Bandera protests – the celebration of dependence is itself intrinsicly linked historically to the fight against Bandera nazis. Ukrain has made things worse through numerous provocations, and the Polish government seems to be forced to support the protest movement, for example with a bill pending in parliament against denial of the nazi history of Bandera. It wiil be interesting to see how this develops, especially with signs that the ultra-corrupt Ukrain government appears to be going into self-destruct mode.

    • bevin

      Yes, it is difficult to understand how right wing Polish ‘nationalists’ can continue to sponsor a movement which had as one of its founding objectives the killing of Poles. And which was responsible, under the overall command of the Nazis, for the deaths of at least a hundred thousand of them.
      The difficulty arises from the Banderistas insistence on celebrating their crimes annually.
      Of course the Israeli government has no difficulty supporting Kiev either, even though the same Bandera fascists acted as Hitler’s more than willing-eager- helpers in the destruction of Galician Jewry.
      It goes without saying that, November 11 hypocrisies notwithstanding, HMG is one of the most committed allies of the ‘Social National Party’ of Ukraine, led by graduates of its own ‘Josef Goebbels Institute of Political Science’ despite the fact that it is the direct descendant of the SS which so many of those in whose memory politicians wear poppies fought to the death.

      • Habbabkuk

        “It goes without saying that, November 11 hypocrisies notwithstanding, HMG is one of the most committed allies of the ‘Social National Party’ of Ukraine, led by graduates of its own ‘Josef Goebbels Institute of Political Science’ ..”
        ________________________

        It might go without saying for a committed Putin supporter and West-hater, but some of us would be happy to see some credible evidence for your assertion that the UK govt is one of the mist committed allies of the SNP.

        Thanks in advance for the credible evidence I’m sure you’ll now hasten to post.

        • bevin

          It is employing the British Army to train their militias, militarily self educated since 1944 and in desperate need of the technical advances since those days.
          Whether the MoD supplies lecturers directly to the JG Institute is something you can probably answer more easily than I.
          Have you been to the Ukraine recently?

          • Habbabkuk

            A big thank you to the Mod(s) for deleting my reply to Bevs!

            Are you a pal of his?

            (In essence, I said that the British army trains the armed forces of quite a few countries and queried whether that justified the assertion that the UK govt is “one of the most committed allies of the Social National Party”. And then, noting that Bevs was “backing up” one assertion with another assertion, I asked Bevs to provide credible evidence for his second assertion)

    • Habbabkuk

      I note that the “article” linked to appears on a somewhat dubious website and was apparently penned by one “Vladislav Gulevich”, a “political scientist, analyst at the Center for Conservative Studies at the Sociology Department of Moscow State University of International Relations”.

      Sounds as if he could be a rather impartial and truth-seeking sort of guy.

      I recommend that people read the “article”, if only to get an idea of which Poles were doing the demonstrating and which Polish political party introduced the bill into the Sejm. They might then draw certain conclusions…. including on Bhante’s bona fides 🙂

      • bevin

        “Sounds as if he could be a rather impartial and truth-seeking sort of guy…”
        Why is that? Do you foam at the mouth whenever a slavic sounding name is mentioned? Foam and sneer simultaneously?
        There must be clowns in Kharkov who react similarly to names like Professor John Smith or Cohen. And you are just like them.

        • Habbabkuk

          “Vladislav Gulevich” – if he exists as a real person at all – claims to be an employee ( a political analyst) of the Moscow State University of International Relations.

          The latter is funded and run by the Russian State, which, as we all know, is tolerant of dissent, welcoming of the most diverse views and firmly attached to telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

          It is therefore inconceivable that Mr Gulevich is writing as a propagandist for the Russian state, very well aware of which side of his bread is buttered.

          **********************************

          PS – I have no objection whatsoever to Slavic names. My objection is focussed, rather, on the misuse of the name of a great British statesman by a lowly Putin shill.

  • Sharp Ears

    In the welter of the news from America, did anyone notice that the Investigatory Powers Bill slipped through and had its third reading. It is now law. Whatever SIS did before, now they have complete oversight of our computers, phones, mobiles and the rest.

    I expect Her Maj has given it the nod by now in exchange for her 66% rise in allowance.

    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2016/11/investigatory-powers-act-imminent-peers-clear-path-for-uk-super-snoop-law/

    and

    I saw what you did there —
    Why the Investigatory Powers Act is a privacy disaster waiting to happen
    Op-ed: once Internet Connection Records exist, they’ll be perfect blackmail material.
    Glyn Moody – 17/11/2016,
    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2016/11/investigatory-powers-act-privacy-disaster-waiting-to-happen/

    Who says that this country is not fascist?

    • Habbabkuk

      “Op-ed: once Internet Connection Records exist, they’ll be perfect blackmail material.
      Glyn Moody – 17/11/2016,”
      _________________________

      That makes the flesh creep but before readers’ flesh creeps too much I wonder if you could flesh out your thought a little? A couple of examples of what might give rise to the sort of blackmail you’re thinking about would be helpful.

      (your own examples or, if you can’t think of any, examples provided by Mr Moody, perhaps)

      Thanks.

    • Habbabkuk

      “I expect Her Maj has given it the nod by now in exchange for her 66% rise in allowance.”
      ________________________

      I hadn’t realised that the Head of State of the United Kingdom was constitutionally entitled to refuse to give the royal assent to legislation duly passed by Parliament, Sharp Ears.

      But it is always good to learn something new from others on this blog.

      • Sharp Ears

        At least we didn’t get the usual – If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear……

  • Je

    Alan Duncan can’t have been much bothered about humanitarianism when he voted for the invasion of Iraq. This is small beer by comparison – but indicates he hasn’t much changed.

  • Sharp Ears

    Lord Judge has severely criticized Truss, the Lord Chancellor aka the justice secretary. He described her as an inexperienced minister for chiming in with the No 10 response to the High Court decision and not supporting the judiciary as expected from a Lord Chancellor.

    Liz Truss may have broken law in failing to defend Brexit judges, warns former lord chief justice
    ‘She answered to Downing Street when she should have been independent,’ says Lord Judge
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/liz-truss-broken-law-failing-defend-brexit-judges-warns-former-lord-chief-justice-igor-article-50-a7426511.html

    I read the Times account this morning which is broadly similar to the one above but the paywall limits the online version to the first few paragraphs.

    ‘Truss may have broken law in failing to defend Brexit judges
    Frances Gibb, Damian Whitworth
    November 19 2016, 12:01am,

    A statement by Liz Truss, centre, supporting the independence of the judiciary was “too little, too late”
    Richard Pohle/The Times photo

    Liz Truss has caused a “constitutional breakdown” and may have broken the law by failing to defend judges, a former lord chief justice has warned.

    Ms Truss’s near-silence is a breach of her statutory duty as lord chancellor and, if she were taken to court, she would probably be found to have acted unlawfully, Lord Judge said.

    “She is in relative terms a very inexperienced politician with no legal experience, who has been silent — and answered to Downing Street when she should have been independent,” he told The Times. “It is very serious. At the heart of it is a constitutional obligation on the lord chancellor to speak and on this issue there has been silence.”

    Lord Judge, 75, who was lord chief justice…

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/truss-may-have-broken-law-in-failing-to-defend-brexit-judges-8qczrmjlz

    +++++

    btw Murdoch was photographed visiting Trump Tower yesterday. Mending fences?

    • Habbabkuk

      Is that the same Lord Judge I seem to remember you laying into with all your usual brilliance on a couple of occasions?

    • Habbabkuk

      And the same “Times” (prop. Rupert Murdoch) I also seem to recall you laying into with your usual brilliance on more than a few occasions?

      But I admit everyone is entitled to new friends.

    • giyane

      There is no doubt that all of politics is unlawful. It is the science of breaking the law.

      Public school twits like Nigel Farage who have not even a gnat’s feelers of understanding what ordinary UK people want constantly mouth the will of the entrenched elite as the will of the people. The judges have upheld the law in the case of Brexit that loud-mouths like died in the wool Thatcherite Theresa May do not have the right to second guess the reasons why the British public voted to leave Europe. The public have a right to express their own views and be represented by MPs in the houses of Parliament, not be told to shut up while May and her weeja board relay the worst possible outcome of Brexit from , like Blair and Iraq, God.

      You’ve got to laugh when a political Muslim who serves the Muslim Brotherhood creed of eternal fratricide and nihilism states that it’s a pleasure to hate God’s enemies. Why does he not kill himself, for serving the imperial aims of USUKIS?

      By observing my political Muslim friend I learnt one brilliant political trick: Always attack from the back. Kaida shaytana dhaeefah/ the plan of the devil is weak. He went to see his cousin on the pretext of maintaining family ties and proceeded to knuckle him in the back of his neck commando-style, which if he’d done it properly might have knocked him out or killed him.

      Similarly the Paraquat went to Iraq to attack Syria (and therefore Russia) from the back. The Paraquat i.e. USUKIS with Saudi Arabia and Turkey never intended to keep Mosul. They took it so they could create a Salafist caliphate inside Syria at Raqqa. Our normal minds do not easily comprehend the workings of shaytan in the polical class. Thank God.

      In the context of the EU Brexit is a deliberate move which appears to be an own-goal on behalf of the powers that be, but which will turn out to be a cunning plan to kick us peeps further into feudalism. Mrs May was the Tory chief whip, in other words the most manipulative person in the Tory ranks. The idea that she is somehow a break from war-mongerer Cameron and his patsy William Hague is a joke. The evil old hag is Grendel’s dam, come back.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Habbabkuk

    I don’t think too much imagination is required here to envisage potential blackmail scenarios. The Investigatory Powers Act, as I understand it, will require internet providers to keep a record of your browsing activity for a year. Since most of us live almost our entire lives online these days, this information represents, potentially, a veritable roadmap to the soul. If you have political views you would rather keep to yourself, mental health problems and other health problems, if you’ve had an abortion or visited a STD clinic, if you’re married and visited online dating sites, if you’re gay…everything about you that you might not want made public will be collected. The police apparently will be able to access it without a warrant. Is it so hard to imagine unscrupulous cops using it against you? What if you are a whistle-blower, like Craig, that the State might like to deter from speaking out? And it isn’t just agents of the state who might misuse it, it’s a certainty that the databases will be hacked, either by ordinary criminals or foreign intelligence services. The point about blanket mass surveillance like this is not only the specific possible abuses, it is the fact that we end up policing ourselves, the way drivers slow down when they see a cop car. The policeman takes up residence in our own heads. In Orwell’s 1984 the surveillance was done by TV in every home that functioned as a camera. This is more subtle but comparable in terms of the knowledge that the state is collecting about you. And really, who gave them the right? This seems far worse than anything the STASI ever did

    • bevin

      It is far worse than anything that the Stasi ever dreamed of doing. And Habbakkuk, no doubt, will have denounced the Stasi with considerable force, using words like Totalitarian and arguing that only under capitalism, with its unique dependence upon individual freedom, the rule of law and civil liberties, can our rights and freedoms-now virtually extinguished- be preserved.
      One heard the sermons a thousand times, larded with warnings against socialism or collectivism and full of dark hints as to the ant-like dystopias to come if ever private property were jeopardised- if indeed, what with the dreadful levelling tendencies of income taxes, it had not already come to that.
      Happily, now that a regime of surveillance far more comprehensive than anything, that forgotten liberal, Stalin ever conceived, has been instituted under the benevolent auspices of the greediest and most ruthless ruling class in history, it seems that this was mere over reaction. A youthful folly of the Tory class.
      Do these people really not understand that Mr Ulbricht and the GDR not only justified their spy regime on the basis that the country was threatened by terrorists but had far more reason-see John Le Carre if necessary- to think so than Mrs May and her minions can possibly summon up in the way of actual, trained and dangerous terrorists?

      • Habbabkuk

        You previously asked me: “Have you been to the Ukraine recently?”.

        This latest post from you prompts me to ask you, in return: “Did you ever visit the “German Demicratic Republic?

        I suspect not.

        • giyane

          If your words could be carbon-dated – that would put your mind-set somewhere in the mid ’70s.

          We are in the post-Obama era now, post-Russophobia cold-war bulls**t.
          For your delight here’s a link to one of your favourite thinkers: our Thierry. Wow! :
          Somebody beginning with capital N and ending in O has been destroying the evidence.

          http://www.voltairenet.org/article194035.html

          • Habbabkuk

            Giyane

            I make a point of reading mist links rather carefully but I must admit I make an exception for Monsieur Meyssan. Except when I need a good laugh, of course and my sitcom dvds have been lent out.

            Have a great evening now, and don’t worry – it’s not going to happen!

    • giyane

      King of Welsh Noir

      Yes the police have taken residence in our heads. Yes I presume they spend all day tracking suspects by mobiles and emails. Yes, in the Muslim ghetto there are lavishly paid spies who do the same to Muslims on their narrow criteria of who is breaking shari’ah law.

      But there is a much greater law than the spy app. It says in the Gospels: Judge not lest ye be judged, and it says in the Qur’an: Do not spy. The spy app. is highly profitable because of its blackmailing power. But when satan goes whining to God: Look what these humans are doing, breaking all your laws, usually it’s satan that gets the boot. Something to the effect of: Get lost satan the accursed, and leave my believers who believe in My laws and regret and repent for breaking them alone.

      How much the spyers have hybris/pride in their money and power, so much the spied-on need humility and honesty. That might be too Calvanistic or Pilgrim’s Progress for most on Craig’s blog. But that’s how I deal with the arseholes of the political wing of Daesh.

    • Habbabkuk

      KOWN

      Good to read you again. Let me comment on your post as succinctly as possible.

      ” Since most of us live almost our entire lives online these days”
      ______________________

      Really? I think we must know rather different people.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “.. If you have political views you would rather keep to yourself, mental health problems and other health problems, if you’ve had an abortion or visited a STD clinic, if you’re married and visited online dating sites, if you’re gay…everything about you that you might not want made public will be collected.”

      __________________________________

      You are confusing and conflating “collection” and “making public”. Furthermore: If you have had health problems or an abortion you are on file somewhere anyway (certainly if you have used the NHS). If you don’t wish your political views to be known to others, then don’t express them to strangers. Similarly, if you wish to keep quiet about being gay or indulging in adultery, then don’t advertise the fact that you are gay or adulterous by going into the internet (also: be proud about the former and be prepared to assume the consequences – if any – of the latter).

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “The police apparently will be able to access it without a warrant”
      _________________________

      A warrant is easy to obtain at the moment.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “Is it so hard to imagine unscrupulous cops using it against you?”

      _____________________________

      It is possible; but I imagine the police have better things to do with their time (unless, of course, they are looking for evidence of illegal activity).

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “What if you are a whistle-blower, like Craig, that the State might like to deter from speaking out”

      ________________________________

      Well, rather more “direct action” against Craig didn’t prevent him, did it. More generally: for your fear to be realistic, you would have to assume that the authorities know that someone is about to blow his or her whistle before the whistle is actually blown if they want to put pressure on him/her.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ~” And it isn’t just agents of the state who might misuse it, it’s a certainty that the databases will be hacked, either by ordinary criminals or foreign intelligence services.”

      __________________________

      Well, that has certainly happened – I believe that the hacking of the Ashley Madison dating website (not by “agents of the state” is a recent example. But in that case you should be against any kind of database (online or hard copy) shouldn’t you. Are you? In fact, you should be against the keeping of virtually all records of any sort (even in hard copy form).

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “The point about blanket mass surveillance like this is not only the specific possible abuses, it is the fact that we end up policing ourselves, the way drivers slow down when they see a cop car.”

      ___________________________

      But most of us already police ourselves, don’t we? If we didn’t, then we would not be living in a society but in a state of nature (see Hobbes i.a?). Life would be anarchic and unbearable. We already – most of us – bow to legal and societal constraints and the state protects us against those who do not feel bound by those constraints.

      BTW, your example of drivers slowing down when they see a police car puzzles me: again, perhaps we know different kinds of people. If I may ask a personal question: do you slow down when driving within the speed limit when you see a police car? And is so, why?

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “The policeman takes up residence in our own heads”

      _____________________

      If by “policeman” you mean respect for the law and a variety of generally-accepted conventions then this is perhaps to be welcomed.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ” And really, who gave them the right?”
      ________________________

      The question of the rights of states (both together with and as opposed to the rights of the citizen) – even the question of what is or what should be the state – falls into the realm of political philosophy. And that is a vast and ever-developing (in terms of discussion) area – one into which this exchange should probably not attempt to enter.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      “This seems far worse than anything the STASI ever did”
      ___________________________

      With great respect, you are talking nonsense. I liked the elegance of your prose, but you are approaching the whole topic as a novelist (which you are) and not on the basis of proportionality and a rational assessment of probability and feasibility. If you were, you would not have written that last sentence.

      • John Goss

        I agree with KOWN. Modern tracking of each individual with plans to keep all of their browsing history for twelve months is intrusive. I can’t even find my own browsing data. We know the spooks and those who mouth on their behalf have been doing this for yonks but this will legalise their nefarious activities.

        The way this is going means that if Noddy gets arrested for parking his little yellow car on a double yellow line Special Branch could go through his browsing record and, if they did not like his attitude, give him further grief for having visited sites like “Mr Plod is fond of uniforms” or “Clockwork Mouse enters the kennel-hole of Bumpy Dog”. Yes it stinks.

        The Stasi could not keep data on every individual because in its day computers and mass electronic data-gathering was in its infancy. There was a time constraint as to what could be typed in on each individual. Today each individual does the typing for the secret services and it is on record indefinitely. They will not remove it after twelve months. They will archive it.

        Today the spooks, of all countries, are being handed the tools for unprecedented blackmail. There is nothing individuals can do about it. It is much, much worse than the Stasi. It is a reflection of how the world has deteriorated. It is the spooks that need abolishing. I will say it again. It is the spooks that need abolishing.

        • Resident Dissident

          Of course not a word about the Russian and Chinese governments blocking certain social media sites unless they are hosted on servers that they control – Linked In was the latest only this week,

  • Trumpinski

    Trump will solve the Chagos Islanders issue in due course, most likely during his second term.

    • RobG

      Trump is lining-up a Horror Show of his cabinet appointees.

      And the likes of you still don’t get what’s going on here…

      Mind you, the Russian Duma (Parliament) didn’t get it either and cheered Trump’s victory…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HzAdP3y-k8

      I think the Russkies will rue the day that a bozo like Trump became president.

      The official bullshit is that just 60% of eligible Americans turned out to vote…

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/14/us-election-2016-voter-turnout-fell-to-58-per-cent-this-year-est/

      Most alternative sources show that only 40% actually bothered to vote.

      It’s all a complete and utter joke, perpetuated by the Presstitutes.

    • michael norton

      Our Queen is to host The Donald, soon but not in Buck House as this needs 1/3 billion pounds of public money to fit new toilets
      in all the bedrooms, new wiring, new plumbing, new chandeliers & so forth,
      she will host The Trumpeteers in the Castle at Windsor, in the mornings they will use American riffles to shoot the deer on The Long Walk.

  • mike

    Why can’t the fucking BBC tell us that civilians are being shot by the “brave rebels” for TRYING TO LEAVE east Aleppo?

  • RobG

    Yesterday the Investigatory Powers Act (aka ‘Snooper’s charter’) became law. In one sense the Investigatory Powers Act codifies what the security services have been doing totally illegally for the last two decades…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/19/extreme-surveillance-becomes-uk-law-with-barely-a-whimper

    No one ever questions the legal basis of the security services, so it’s a waste of my time to go in that direction; but what people should be really worried about is that this Act of law firmly cements Britain as a full-blown police state (this Act makes Britain by far the most repressive of any western states that call themselves ‘democracies’). With the most right wing government in history, Brits are now just a whisper away from the full works, yet most Brits are still too dumb to realise what’s going on.

    I despair.

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