Theresa May’s Terrible Instincts 341

In December 2002 I cooperated closely with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boven, who was paying an inspection visit to Uzbekistan. As I recorded in Murder in Samarkand “against the protocols, the Uzbek authorities refused to let him enter the SNB holding centre in Tashkent, the most notorious of all the torture sites.” I upbraided the Uzbek Foreign Minister for this.

That kind of contempt of the UN is perhaps expected of dictatorships. But consider this. The Immigration detention centre at Yarls Wood became notorious for the sexual exploitation of female detainees by staff, on a large scale. In April 2015 the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo, visited the UK. The government denied her entry to Yarls Wood. In accordance with UN protocols, she went anyway, and was blocked from entering – on the direct orders of Home Secretary Theresa May

You very probably did not know that, because the great problem our society faces is an over-mighty executive government backed by corporate wealth which controls a corporate media. But it is typical of May’s instincts, and they are terrible. Her default position is retreat into secrecy and blatant abuse of power. That is precisely what we are seeing over Brexit, where there is no plan and much to hide. May’s natural instinct is to brook no opposition, debate or discussion of her actions, but to proceed on the basis of executive fiat, with as little information as possible given to parliament, devolved authorities and – Heaven forfend – the public.

Everything you do on the web is now stored for twelve months by the security services. They can hack into your laptop or phone to see what is on there without any conditions at all. Not only do they not need to convince a judge you are suspected of a crime, they do not need to even pretend to actually suspect you of anything at all. They can just decide to target you and go fishing. The UK has now zero right to online privacy and the most vicious security service powers of any democracy. Indeed when you combine powers with capability (and the security service are recruiting tens of thousands more staff to our stasi state) the UK is now the most authoritarian country in the world. The legislation. passed this week, was framed by Theresa May as Home Secretary and received no significant opposition from the UK’s complicit political class.


This mass gathering of data is nothing to do with fighting terrorism – being lost in a massive ocean of irrelevant data is actually a major hindrance to fighting terrorism. It is about social control. I have nowhere heard this better explained than by John Kiriakou, former senior CIA agent who was jailed as part of the Obama administration’s vicious war on whistleblowers, after Kiriakou blew the whistle on CIA torture. Kiriakou’s speech on receiving the Sam Adams award in Washington is well worth hearing, and beings 1 hour and 3 minutes in here.

It was May who sent poster vans around London urging immigrants to go home, and whose anti-immigrant instincts were so strong she banned the tiny number of Afghan interpreters for UK armed forces from being given asylum in the UK. That May is intellectually out of her depth is plain even to Conservatives every Prime Minister’s question time in the Commons. Expect her to fall back more and more on those instincts for secrecy and authoritarianism – and the abuse of the massive powers of the state.


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341 thoughts on “Theresa May’s Terrible Instincts

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  • Haward

    Watching her the other day I thought that she was already beginning to lose it. Her blink rate twitching hand-wringing and so on is really odd. And her mouth contorts into very odd shapes. Maybe our best hope is the men in white coats and not the men in grey suits

    • Anon1

      Do Edward Snowden’s handlers allow him to tweet about Russian state disappearances of dissidents and journalists ?

        • Hmmm

          This is the elephant in the room for all Russia haters. They say provide evidence when people question western official versions but never put up when attacking Russia.
          No doubt Habba will pop up with a what about soon…

  • Tom

    @craig you’re so damned clever you can rattle off these brilliant commentaries, most of which contain at least one word I enjoy looking up, then hit publish without needing to check what you’ve just written. This results in a tiny amount of typos escaping for your thousands of readers to unravel, for example here you wrote date instead of data.

    If you can’t be bothered to read what you write, it’s easy enough to add an editor layer in WordPress which I expect many might be pleased to do voluntarily.

    Finally and most pedantically, inserting a series of **** does not make a line with differing media sizes. Making a horizontal rule, or line as most of us refer to it, is easier than most people think. It’s one small, short, and simple command; .

    • Tom

      You also need to consider relaxing restrictions on HTML in comments as the HR in angle brackets was automatically redacted by your code censuring bot!

  • nevermind

    After reading her report highlighting sexual violence in the UK and Northern Ireland, why did the UN rapporteur not mention her exclusion from Yarls wood by the home secretary in her report?

    Quiet astonishing to hear that there were concerted efforts by men to stop women taking part in the peace and reconciliation process there.

      • nevermind

        the report I’m looking at jumps from para.27 to 33, there is no 29, unless we are looking at the washed spun and dried version of it.
        gosh these civil servants are busy…..

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Per Craig’s link:

          “29. The Special Rapporteur regrets that, despite her repeated requests from the start of the mission, the Government did not permit a visit to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. In compliance with the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders of the Human Rights Council (Council resolution 5/2, annex) and the terms of reference for fact-finding missions by special rapporteurs/representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1998/45, appendix V) governing official country visits, she attempted to visit the Centre independently. However, she was denied entry and was informed by the Centre’s director that instructions had been received to deny entry to the Special Rapporteur.”

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Subsequent paragraphs may go some way toward explaining this denial.

            “36. Concerns were raised about allegations of ill-treatment and abuse within immigration detention facilities, including at Yarl’s Wood. Prior to the visit of the Special Rapporteur, there were numerous media reports of allegations of abuses in the detention centre, based on the testimonies of both former Yarl’s Wood detainees and former Serco employees. Such reports refer to a culture of bullying and intimidation of detainees, with guards often entering rooms without knocking and women being constantly monitored with no respect for their privacy. More serious allegations include sexual activity, not always consensual, between staff and detainees, and the existence of “blind spots” in the facility where these activities have taken place. The Chief Inspector of Prisons has stated that, even if/when sexual activity was “consensual”, this “can never be less than abusive given the vulnerability of the detained population”.

            37. The Special Rapporteur was also informed of these allegations during her interviews with NGO representatives and through submissions received prior to and after her visit. Some NGOs also reported cases of physical assault and threats by staff during the process of removal and deportation. These include allegations of sexual assaults perpetrated on three occasions against one individual by a Serco employee and the failure of the police to conduct an impartial, adequate or effective investigation into the victim’s allegations. The Special Rapporteur also heard directly the allegations of a former Serco service provider, who shared concerns about the safety and well-being of individuals who had been subjected to abuse, or were likely to be subjected to abuse, and who remained vulnerable. Claims include detainees not receiving a full and proper in-depth mental health assessment; the untimely and inadequate treatment of detainees who had subjected themselves to serious self-harm and suicidal acts; the inconsistent application of individual safeguards; and allegations of sexual assaults not being properly investigated.

            38. The 2013 report on Yarl’s Wood by the Chief Inspector of Prisons was based on more than 50 confidential interviews, and found the establishment to be largely respectful and a safe place for detainees. No evidence was found of a culture of victimization or systematic abuse. The reaction of some NGO service providers to this finding is that such a claim could be partly explained because victims interviewed had not yet been granted refugee status, and that it is usually former detainees who will talk more freely about their experiences, both positive and negative, after their status is secured.”

          • Sharp Ears

            It was a great surprise the other day to see that the Chief Inspector of Prisons is none other than Peter Clarke since February. I remember him when he sat alongside Ian Blair at press conferences in 2005.

            ‘In June 2002, Clarke became head of the Anti-terrorist Branch, later merged with Special Branch to form the Counter Terrorist Command, a role which put him in direct control of the investigation into the 7 July attacks on London and the failed bomb attempts of 21 July 2005.’

            Jean Charles de Menezes was killed by Metropolitan police officers on July 22nd 2005.

            There is a contrast between past incumbents and present, Ramsbotham and Owers in particular. Ramsbotham had the desire and keenness for improvement in the prison system but Howard and Straw put an end to his ambitions for that. A humanitarian too.

            1981–1982: Philip Barry
            1982–1987: Sir James Hennessy
            1987–1995: Judge Tumim
            1995–2001: General Sir David Ramsbotham
            2001–2010: Dame Anne Owers
            2010–2016: Nick Hardwick

          • nevermind

            Thanks for that John, that makes it all very clear, I wish there were fines for not complying with UN rules one has signed up to.

            I’m flummoxed as to why I can’t see certain paragraphs, must be my steam computer.

  • Oliver Cromell 2.0

    May is the most troubling PM in recent history and considering all her predecessors were seriously flawed this should underscore my comment. In fact, I think think she is dangerous. Don’t be deceived by the gender, psychopaths come in both. May is a globalist puppet of this there is no doubt. You only had to listen to her Mansion House speech. She has sold out our liberty. The UK is Orwell’s vision come to reality. There is little doubt she will do her best to scupper Brexit whilst trying to create a position where control of her party can be kept. Ultimately she will fail unless, of course, the blackmail obtained on her MPs is sufficient to seal lips.

    The UK is in serious trouble from top to bottom. From the totally corrupt ruling class down to the brainwashed millions of useless idiots who will do nothing to prevent a dictatorship forming. In fact, they will welcome it with open arms.

    There is no British Trump to drain the Westminster swamp. The opposition consists of failed idealogies led by clowns.

    There is one hope. How ironic it could come as a gift to the world from a pervert caught sex-texting little girls. If the details on Weiner’s laptop are ever allowed out for public consumption we might, just might, be able to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start.

    One can live in hope.

    • Anon1

      “The UK is Orwell’s vision come to reality.”

      Not quite. We don’t do the rats gnawing away at your face part quite yet, but I suppose Theresa ‘literally Hitler’ May is working on it.

      Because Britain is a fascist state, etc

    • giyane

      “The opposition consists of failed idealogies led by clowns.”
      Her Majesty’s government consists of failed idealogies led by clowns.

      In the case of New Labour Jeremy Corbyn stayed on the straight path of democratic socialism when his party swerved off right, through the iron fence, into the neo-con swamp, a slough of despond if ever there was one.

      In the case of Her lovely Majesty’s goofernment, the failed ideology of the Market is infallible adopted by Gordon Brown spectacularly sank into the swamp quicksand. It had had its brake pipes and steering rack sabotaged by the opposition Tories City friends. Otherwise Mrs Thatcher’s legacy was permanently unelectable.

      It was plain to all that it was New Labour’s adoption of neo-con and market ideologies that had caused the 2008 crash. Since the Tories came back UK borrowing has risen like a jet plane taking off, in order to get the economy into the stratosphere of auto-pilot-economics where scrutiny is unavailable or too expensive to commission.

      It is now 100% obvious that Mrs May’s incompetence will result in a 2017 general election in which Jeremy Corbyn will win. This old man he played one, he played nick-knack …This old man came rolling home.

      • giyane

        After Thatcher’s defeat, and the infighting against John Major who remains the Tories only human politician, most of the brains drained off into other careers, leaving the dross and the very young to play with the controls and pedals they couldn’t touch with their little toes.

        May became the sheep-dog for these undisciplined amateurs, nipping them into order and checking their stupidity from having a referendum on leaving Europe amongst other stupid right wing fantasies.

        The Tories are now exhausted like a flock of sheep that has been chased around the field 20 times.
        The country is waiting for one blow on the whistle of common-sense by a sensible person like Jeremy Corbyn, or maybe even his challenger Owen. The whistle is for the sheep-dog May, and its terrible instincts. Then the sheep can carry on grazing swedes and incubating lambs.

      • michael norton

        Tony Blair is coming to a capitol city near you soon,
        Look Out Old Labour, he is coming to get you.

        • giyane

          · Alien: Resurrection (2/5) … they remove the alien and repair the clone for further study. … Cast: Sigourney Weaver, …

          Can they do that? I thought the clone was scrap.

    • Habbabkuk

      “The UK is in serious trouble from top to bottom. From the totally corrupt ruling class down to the brainwashed millions of useless idiots who will do nothing to prevent a dictatorship forming. In fact, they will welcome it with open arms.”

      It must be tough being one of the very few people to know what is REALLY GOING ON.

      Be assured of my silent moral support as you walk your lonely path.

  • Anon1

    “It was May who sent poster vans around London urging immigrants to go home”

    This is incorrect. A lie, in fact, because you know it not to be true. They urged illegal immigrants to go home. Do you support illegal entry to this country?

    That said I doubt a single illegal immigrant read them. It was a stunt, designed to make the Tories look tough on immigration, when in actual fact the Tories with May as home secretary broke all promises to the electorate and presided over the greatest numbers of immigrants being admitted to this country in its history.

    • Habbabkuk

      My recollection corresponds to that of Anon1.

      An edit of the post would appear to be called for in order to dispell any suspicion that the error was deliberate.

  • Mick McNulty

    Hitler lost the war but he’s going to win the battle of ideas about eighty years after he died.

  • Sharp Ears

    I totally agree.

    I put up a link on the previous thread to IPSA being enacted and received the usual response from an unnamed contributor.

    I also said that this country is now a fascist state.

  • DtP

    Yep, it’s bang out of order and I speak as a Tory. We all knew it was going on anyway, but that’s perhaps neither here nor there.

  • Anon1

    The thing to note about these new powers is that they are the result of too much state. But the left is always demanding more state, higher taxation, more dependency on the state, more state interference in people’s lives, more offences that should not be the concern of the state, and all the regulations and powers to interfere that are needed to enforce them.

    This is what you get. You created this monstrosity. We on the libertarian right are the only opposition to the growth of the state. We want the liberty of the individual to be put first and the state to be stripped right back to its bare essentials.

    • giyane

      ” Too much state “. This blog becomes more and more like the Moral Maze, in which the same participants regurgitate the status quo like dried potato. ‘There’s more dog trash in a pound of Smash’. But you have to eat the Smash to get to the more original contributions.

      • michael norton

        you only have to look up North to Scotland to see what a proto-totalitarian government looks like.

        • michael norton

          The main priority of Police Scotland is LGBTI hate crime.

          That is crime as defined by the SNP.
          Not crime committed by SNP M.P.’s

          • giyane

            michael norton

            “The main priority of Police Scotland is LGBTI hate crime.”

            Mrs Thatcher used sexual liberalism as a tool to create regime change in the 80s.
            Why would Nicola waste a good political tool? Faux feminist Clinton fucked up big time.

            Donald Trump is like chauvinist champagne. Such a shame I’m Muslim and not American.

    • K Crosby

      That’s the “left” not the left, we want rid of the state to have a society based on the rule of law.

  • fred

    I don’t see too much which is new in this bill, just the law catching up with reality.

    Back when everyone on the internet knew each other by their first names I was told emails weren’t like letters, to think of them like memos or postcards and never put anything in one I wouldn’t want public. Being part of a vast global network has it’s price and privacy is the price we pay. Electronic payment means your bank knows where you shop, that is the price. Your loyalty card means the shop knows when you shop and what you buy, they can put your name and address to the data. The ways people are sacrificing their privacy to be part of the modern world are endless.

    There are opt outs. If you don’t want anyone to know what is in your emails there is encryption and if you don’t want people knowing which web sites you visit there are anonymous proxies. There are PAYG SIM cards you can buy with cash. Even though you are safe at home behind locked doors when you go out onto the internet you are going out into the world and just like in the real world you are visible and people can see what you are doing.

    Far more sinister, in my opinion, is the Scottish named person scheme. Children will be used to compile a database of the private lives of their families. There is no opt out other than not having children. You are monitored 24/7, you can turn off a computer and you can turn off a mobile phone but you can’t turn off your children.

    • Kempe

      The main purpose of loyalty cards is to gather details of your shopping habits which can be used to target junk mail and spam. So if you routinely buy pet food for example expect mail shots from animal charities, companies offering pet insurance etc.

      • Clark

        Yes but where does the data get sold on to? It’s commercial data, so the customers have very limited rights to find out. Dodgy spivs operating out of a Portacabin turned up on wheelchair users’ doorsteps trying to sell stair-lifts. Is there any restriction on selling onwards to websites for sexual fetishes about disabilities, for instance?

        • fred

          And each time we connect to we also connect to:

          • Clark

            Yes, that list has lengthened in recent years, though it’s still relatively short. Maybe it’s time to install the RequestPolicy add-on, though it increases hassle:

            “Be in control. RequestPolicy is an extension for Mozilla browsers that increases your browsing privacy, security, and speed by giving you control over cross-site requests”.


    • Clark

      Privacy is indeed bound to be eroded.

      I propose for discussion that the output from all such systems be made public. If the data is sourced from the public, it should be made available to the public. To do otherwise is to make it a private commodity.

    • Habbabkuk

      A post from Fred which is, above all, sensible. And thus a welcome relief from the hysteria sprayed around by certain others.


      Readers may not know this but there are a few European countries where you can’t buy a pay-as-you-go SIM anonymously; you have to show ID to buy such a SIM and your details are recorded by the seller ans sent on to the authorities.

      Personally, there should be such a system in the UK as well, life should not be made too easy for ill-intentioned people.

  • Bort

    Theresa May was already promoted to her level of incompetence when she was made Home Secretary. I do not like her one bit.

      • michael norton

        do you know if the Idiot Hollande is standing

        last time i checked he was the most unpopular President of FRANCE
        Maybe with all this TERROR
        he has become more popular?

        • michael norton

          Sixty “personalities” say stop “Hollande bashing”

          Catherine Deneuve, Benjamin Biolay, Juliette Binoche and Denis Podalydès say stop “Hollande bashing”.

          In an appeal published by the Journal du Dimanche, some 60 “personalities” took the defense of the head of state, too often victim, according to them, of virulent and systematic attacks.
          “This denigration damages the institutions of the Republic”

          “Right from the start, Francois Hollande has faced an incredible trial of illegitimacy undertaken on his right and on his left,” say dozens of “people” from the world of arts and culture, economy and research.

          “This permanent denigration undermines all the institutions of the Republic and the presidential function. It still continues today despite the stature of a statesman that Francois Hollande has perfectly embodied, both in the international crises and in the appalling tragedies that our country has passed through, “they write again.
          “What has been accomplished is systematically wiped out by this Hollande bashing”

          “It is as if, in four years, we have never heard or retained all that has been accomplished, systematically obliterated by this Hollande bashing,” adds the call which quotes a long list of domains in which ” Is exercised the action of the president like the national education, the security, the economy, the social, the culture or the ecology.

          Perhaps he is being bashed because he is a useless, strutting idiot?

      • Resident Dissident

        And as a libertarian do you think she will shrink the role of the French state or just possibly direct it elsewhere?

      • Laguerre

        You failed to notice, Anon1, that that article is a load of nonsense. Even in that IPSOS poll Marine Le Pen is **not** in the lead. Juppé is 6 or 7 points ahead of her. She is in 2nd place, and the article, in trying to find something to say, tells us that she is ahead of Sarkozy who is in third place, but Sarkozy is widely recognised as having no chance. All that’s for the first round, when the French get things off their chests. For the second round, pretty much all the polls say that Le Pen will lose against a wide variety of opponents, including Hollande until recently. Well of course, polls haven’t been too good recently, but the distribution of the poor and disinherited is not the same as in GB and US.

        • Kief

          Trust me. There is an undercurrent of distrust amongst the French regarding Neoliberalsim and the Polls could reflect that emerging distrust of the Media And that could lead to the same dishonesty expressed to Pollsters in the US. I feel certain already happening in Germany and UK.

          • Kief

            Also, there are rumors…only rumors that Trump will consider France as one of those countries who harbor Jihadists for immigration vetting purposes.

          • michael norton

            Frau Merkel is going to stand
            for a fourth time.

            She’s got some cheek after cruxifying her own country.

          • Laguerre

            “Trust me. ” Why should I? As far as I remember, you are not someone who lives in France, so how would you know?

          • Kief

            How would I know?

            There is something called zeitgeist and it rolls like a juggernaut. Look it up if trust is an issue.

  • reliably

    So why is it that the UK has ‘the most vicious security service powers of any democracy’. Not just now but historically — taking Ireland as an example and the tortures there, or the long-standing and almost bizarre Official Secrets Act? What is it about these policies that make them so appealing to the British establishment?

  • Tom

    She is a puppet, nothing more. Always has been.
    May will be in place while it serves the purpose of the elites – probably to save the public school brigade from taking the blame for the economic and political disaster on its way. See also John Major.

  • Republicofscotland

    Between, RIPA and the Snoopers Charter, and, that Britain has more CCTV camera’s per-head than just about any other country in the world, Orwell’s “Big Brother” prediction is well on the way to being implimented.

    Also as you say Craig, you can now be arrested in Britain, and held without charge for a unspecified amount of time.

    Just look at the infringements of our civil liberties and our rights on this site, you’ll be shocked and appalled. Our rights have been diminished through collusion, and false propaganda, that we’re all likely to be killed by terrorists, we’re not.

    Governments (including the Westminster one) often wish to keep its citizens in a state of fear, (and if need be create that fear). Then more often than not, those very same citizens will cry out for more protection, which manifests itself, in the shape of infringements on our liberties, under the guise of protecting us all.

  • Republicofscotland

    “he Immigration detention centre at Yarls Wood became notorious for the sexual exploitation of female detainees by staff, on a large scale. In April 2015 the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo, visited the UK. The government denied her entry to Yarls Wood. In accordance with UN protocols, she went anyway, and was blocked from entering – on the direct orders of Home Secretary Theresa May”


    Thankfully in Scotland Dugavel detention centre is closing down, human rights groups, are, said to be appalled at the cold and inhuman treatment, given to the detainees.

    The Westminster government came up with a plan to build a new detention centre in Renfrew, near Glasgow airport.

    However Renfrew councillors have shot down Westminster’s plans, for a new centre. The councillors in my opinion are to be commended for their actions.

    Of course the Home Office’s neferious plan, was to shuttle people out as quickly as they arrived, hence the location of the prison by another name, before any of them gained access to Scottish law.

    Do Scots really want to be part of a union, where, those in need of genuine asylum (probably caused by British actions abroad) are locked up on arrival, treated very poorly, then virtually frogmarched back onto a plane waiting on the runway?

    No independence is the way forward, staying in the union, is in my opinion regressive.

  • Republicofscotland

    “That is precisely what we are seeing over Brexit, where there is no plan and much to hide.”


    There have been numerous warnings from economists and financial institutions and think tanks, that Brexit, especially a hard Brexit will severely damage, the economies of the Home nations.

    Theresa May and her Brexiteers are like fish out of water right now, floundering at every question posed to them over Brexit and its implications.

    Unless of course you represent the Japanese car industry in the UK, then your given reassurances, that when everything goes belly up (and it will) that a ruddy great financial package awaits you, at the taxpayers expense.

    Also lets not forget that the City of London, will have access to the Single Market as well. Theresa May knows only too well not to upset her corporate masters, nor her party’s financial backers.

    Those couple of points aside, we know (and I gingerly include the Brexiteers, Davis, Hammond Fox, etc, who can’t stand each other) that virtually no information, or semblance of a plan has been forthcoming from Theresa May, regarding Brexit.

    All we seem to read and hear is, it would be folly to reveal our hand before the negotiations begin. What hand is that, we may ask? Also its our future, shouldn’t we have a say in that hand, before they decide to play it?

    For all intents and purposes, it would appear that a handful of politicians are gambling with our future, and your children’s future, with a card hand that no one will see, until negotiations begin. We’ve just to take Theresa May’s word, that she’s holding all the aces, in a game where the stakes are enormous.

  • Phil the ex-frog

    FFS. It’s not just Trump. May is also extra super duper exceptionally evil. And wow, let me tell you, the authoritarian state is brand new. None of this stuff ever happened before. Before, when I was in charge, the state/CIA/FCO was a delight! Now, sad face, it’s all gone wrong. Listen to me! Buy my book!

    The almighty alliance of clear thinking whistle blowers (here to save you from who we once were).

    • Kief

      Ah, Trump is still a Trojan Horse. His secreted contents will be shown soon. But if his ribald caricature of himself was a show, he is some kind of genius. We just don’t know yet what kind.

  • RobG

    What does a police state look like..? is often a question that is posed by those wondering what the hell is going on.

    A few years back, Naomi Wolf gave a very good speech about this at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum. If you have the time it’s well worth watching…

    People like me have been banging on about this for years now. We’re now approaching the end game. The police state has been passed into law (not just the ‘snoopers charter’ but also the various amendments to the Terrorism Act, et al), the body politic is totally corrupt and there is now a marriage between government and corporations.

    We’re screwed, folks, but carry on watching Britain’s Got Talent, etc.

  • michael norton

    Off Topic but spiffing good news

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said he “can’t interfere” in local party democracy amid reports that Hilary Benn is facing deselection.

    “Labour leadership doesn’t involve itself in local selections to the local party. That’s democracy,” he said.

    It comes amid reports of a “takeover” of Mr Benn’s local party by Jeremy Corbyn-supporting members.

    Mr Corbyn sacked Mr Benn as shadow foreign secretary in June, sparking a wave of resignations from his top team.


    Angela the Eagle next

    • Phil Ex Frog

      Yeah, not that I am in a position to be certain but this seems to be playing out in several South London constituencies too. You got to suspect it’s widespread and just suits all sides to not discuss it at the moment. The reality of deselection is going to be hard. Word is momentum are having trouble getting the new members to attend meetings.

  • Kief

    “The UK has now zero right to online privacy and the most vicious security service powers of any democracy.”

    If you haven’t seen Zero Days, find and watch. You need to be up to speed on cyberwarfare as Trump may be Stuxnet 2.0 and that will suck us all down the drain.

    • Kief

      Even Facebook is pulling it’s fake news problem out of it’s arse. Sorry to be so Trump focused, but he is potentially a sea-change for the media in the US. He has broken every media tradition about the Transition and they have been locked out, relying on rumor to report falsehoods like Romney already being chosen as SS. They need their asses tanned big time. They are Nightcrawlers, and why would they be different in Russia?

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Serious films are the most subversive enemies we have, putting crucial events and persons in false contexts where the heroes are too often the betrayers, the spies are always the betrayers, innocents are pictured as scapegoats, crucial events are written off as the work of local loonies, possible armageddons are seen as the nightmares of conspiracy theorists, etc, all in images that the common person can savor.

          • Kief

            Subversive? Is that a bad thing always?

            Film is a very effective propaganda tool for those who have no filters but educational if you do.

  • michael norton

    You could not make this twaddle up

    Scotland lights candles for Aleppo

    Edinburgh University chaplaincy has organised the scheme, which aims to raise funds for the charities Oxfam and Medicins Sans Frontieres, who are working in the region.

    Members of the public are invited to attend an event, to organise an event of their own, or to light a candle in their home to show support.

    Rev Dr Harriet Harris, Edinburgh University chaplain, said: “Every day, the people of Aleppo have less food and fewer medical supplies, and aid is not getting through.

    “We want them to know that they are not forgotten – the people of the world are watching and are upholding their humanity.

    “We are helpless to deliver food, medicine or peace, but we will light beacons to send a message of solidarity and hope to stem despair and renew resolve.”
    BBC Scotland

    The only thing that is going to save Syria is Russia.
    They are trying to crush Aleppo of insurgents, quickly, then the legtimate government of Syria
    will take control.

    Or would you prefer the Saudis/U.S.A./Turks to sort it out?

    • Trumpinski

      White Helmets seem to have pocketed Boris’ cash and done a runner before a real Boris bombs them to death.

  • bevin

    There is nothing fortuitous about the timing of these measures. They are designed to ensure control over society just when, in dramatic fashion, the impotence of the traditional media, as a means of ensuring conformity with the powers that be, is starkly apparent.
    The days when a unanimous chorus of disapproval, sneering and fear mongering could kill the candidacies of a Corbyn or a Trump, could ensure that voters did the ‘right thing’ when asked to choose between what their experience taught them and what the European Commission desired, could make the poor wait shamefaced while their birthrights were auctioned off in privatisation sales, could puzzle the brains of consumers as utility costs skyrocketed in order to provide hefty profits to foreign rentiers..those days are gone.
    People have become aware of what is being done to them and what needs to be done to prevent further damage or to restore their living standards.
    The internet has become a forum in which we can freely exchange ideas and opinions and from which, if we grow up, we can build democratic movements of reform. And that is the danger, the mortal danger, which the government has acted to counter.
    Under the new regulations the entire society can be controlled by secret police. Every jury list can be vetted in advance, to exclude the ‘wrong’ sort of people; all political parties, Trade Unions, Professional Associations-all organisations- will be instantly susceptible to state pressure and control. Within each one of them there will be a faction controlled by the state ensuring that nothing offensive to the rulers will come from them.
    It takes no imagination at all to understand that, in a society in which the state’s police forces, not only have access to all internet data but control over it the state is capable of doing anything that it wishes-it can fabricate entries into personal dossiers as easily as it can set them up. It can control employment and promotions, it can decide who goes to University and what sort of people teach them, it can preserve the lives of its friends and allow its critics to die of diseases untreated or undiagnosed…and it can do much more.
    And all that now stands between us and this dystopia is the good faith of the ruling class and its agents. We will be told that all the information collected will be unused except in extremis.
    And if you believe that, you will believe anything.

    • RobG

      Bevin, I agree with what you say, but perhaps you should have mentioned that the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (aka Snooper’s Charter) just codifies the totally illegal activities that the UK security services have been carrying out over the last two decades (it goes back much longer than that; this Act just deals with modern communications).

      At this point I should pause for effect, but I know it will be a total waste of time, because thesedays most people seem to think it’s perfectly ok for government agencies to act completely outside the law.

      After all, them dang twerrorists are coming to get us!

      (cue the next totally blatant and clumsy false flag, just to keep things bubbling along)

  • labougie

    Any copyright lawyers out there who might comment on the following?
    If I sit down and write a poem, it is automatically my copyright. The data stream I create by my activities on the Net is also my copyright. Can I legally defend my copyright against thise who would seek to use it without my permission?

    • RobG

      labougie, you make a very good point here.

      I’m not a legal eagle, but would say that the Investigatory Powers Act effectively demolishes copyright; everything belongs to the state.

      You can argue the finer points here – and no doubt there will be lawsuits about it, whilst lawsuits are still allowed – because it can be argued that intellectual property ‘scooped-up’ by the security services is not re-publishing; but it can also be argued that it is re-publishing, because a large number of people will be able to see/hear it, even if they don’t actually do so.

      We certainly are in a brave new world…

  • ProvokeTrump

    A theatre cast boos Mike Pence, and Donald Trump starts foaming at the mouth, launching a Twitter war and demanding an apology. We need more of this! Anyone who has read Saul Alinsky knows that a protest action should be calculated to get a response. With the mentally deranged Trump, that seems easy.

    He’s got short fingers! His wife worked as an escort! He boasts about conquering women because he can’t get it up! Let’s annoy the mad bastard into starting Twitter wars, not a nuclear war. The aim is to get him to go so OBVIOUSLY mad, so completely crazy, that he has to be removed from office and locked up in a mental hospital.

    Please use the tag #ProvokeTrump. And don’t forget to inform @RealDonaldTrump, so that he knows of the action and can go loony in response!

    Repeat: #ProvokeTrump

    • craig Post author

      While I have no problem with most of what you say, I do not think it is right for people to attack his wife. If she were a sex-worker, which I doubt, I don’t see why sex-worker shaming suddenly became acceptable on the left.

      • John Goss

        Having worked in theatre I’m surprised you give acknowledgement to ProvokeTrump (who he or she?). Most who work in the theatre in my experience are left of centre. But audiences are different. They comprise everybody who can afford to be entertained in a live arena, who has an interest in the arts. They also comprise the electorate. Writers are arbiters of a viewpoint they wish to get across usually depicting conflicting aspects of life, the nitty-gritty of flawed characters and the heroes who reveal character defects.

        Trump has many faults. He was, rightly or wrongly (we don’e know yet) elected. To make theatre a platform for political assassination through his soon-to-be vice president Pence is a dangerous precedent (if precedent it is). Also really despicable people like George Soros sponsor the arts and this protest has all the hallmarks of Soros stamped on its backside. Far better for the left to accept the democratic decision of the electorate (in the case of theatre its audience) and see what happens. Then judgements are in order.

      • Mick McNulty

        There’s a lot of nonsense about a left/right divide being so black and white that we all fall into one camp or the other, as proven by the notion all Hillary’s supporters are “leftist”. What a crock! She often stood to the right of Mussolini. I’m on the left and consider her a most dangerous, wretched woman, and many Sanders supporters went on to support Trump rather than vote for Hillary.

        Blaming everything on the left is an American thing, a McCarthy rollover from the ’50s. It shows a lack of sophistication, especially as they’ve never been ruled by the left at any time in their history. Then they fail to realize their beloved Saviour Jesus Christ, and Lincoln’s “Government of the people, for the people and by the people” were as socialist as it gets. You can’t lean further left!

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