Locked In 265


I am very proud to say that the trailer is now ready for Nadira’s debut short film, Locked In. It is a searing exposure of the harshness of immigration detention and the injustice of the fast track system. Locking up asylum seekers in the UK, who have suffered torture and abuse in detention in their own countries, is an appalling practice.

Nadira both wrote and produced the film and directed the post-production. The story is based on a number of true incidents including cases in which I was personally involved. Nadira’s research included interviews with asylum seekers, NGO’s, lawyers, journalists and policemen. The film highlights the work of Medical Justice (recently renamed Freedom from Torture), and organisation for which I have explained before I have the highest regard.

The film is being offered to festivals at the moment and will eventually be released online. The film’s website is here. Nadira has made a serious career change into film, and is now writing her first feature and considering a number of offers to direct.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

265 thoughts on “Locked In

1 2
  • Charlie R. Soles

    QUOTE ‘As a political exile myself from Central Asia, I felt strongly motivated to create this short film. I wanted to raise awareness of peaceful protesters who were persecuted by their own governments around the world and the hardships of the asylum process.

    The protagonist of Locked In was always a part of me. When I ran away from the regime in my country to the UK, I was stateless for a while and really experienced the hardships of gaining legal status. UNQUOTE

    This is far distant from your usual high standards of truthfullness…..

    Nadira was not a “political exile” and as for running away from the regime, she came to the UK with you….

    Saying this i am sure it will be an interesting film and i wish Nadira well in her new career.

    • craig Post author

      Nadira is a political exile – she still can’t go back to her home country, and would very much like to. Murder in Samarkand gives details of me rescuing her from the police station in Tashkent. After coming here she was then stateless for some six years before she got her British passport. But really I don’t think this nit-picking is helpful or needed.

      • gan

        Murder in Samarkand

        is probably the best book i have read..cos of the truth..And the Fighter… I mean Real Fighter

        i love science fiction .. or real.. Asimov….Sagan.. C Clark

        • Alcyone

          Clark, are you part of the gang of protected species here? Most of us wouldn’t get past the moderators here for 5 minutes with that.

          Btw, I don’t mean to discourage you from commenting, fwiw I think you think you spend masses of useless time on the 911 post; and, it would be interesting to hear your views on more contemporary matters.

          • Habbabkuk

            Clark

            Might it be that “Charles R. Soles” is one of our US readers – which could explain why the initial of his second given name is included?

            I understand that Americans of all stripes have this endearing habit.

            I once heard somewhere that one of the US Presidents didn’t in fact have a middle given name and so added an initial at some stage during his political career so as to appear more American. I find that very quaintly American.

            Subject to correction by any of our American readers, I believe the chappie concerned was Harry S. Truman.

      • Chris Rogers

        Just goes to prove that all it takes is one person to make a difference – well done, it brings honour on Scotland and the UK, although it leaves a bitter taste how Westminster now deals with asylum issues – which blights our nation in my humble opinion.

  • giyane

    ” Locking up asylum seekers in the UK, who have suffered torture and abuse in detention in their own countries, is an appalling practice. ”
    UK politicians, as Mrs May stated yesterday , think primarily about UK interests. They are quite capable of ignoring the fact that the UK created those dictatorships which torture people in custody in order to limit protest against their own colonial theft. They are also capable of thinking that victims of torture from the colonised dictators do not have the same rights as UK citizens.

    That’s the way they think and it needs challenging. in this life you’ve got 2 choices, either make change by fighting and making life much worse in the process, or adapt and create alternatives to the status quo, and this sometimes involves the artistic process.

    Well done Nadirah stretching the minds of your UK host government. Their pale faces and rictus grins will not melt as a consequence of your witness, but your witness will have entered their consciousness, and on the day of Judgement, it will be their witness as well. They will be questioned on whether they were aware of the consequences of what they had done.

  • Republicofscotland

    From watching the trailer it comes across as a hard hitting picture of the treatment of those detained by the Home Office.

    Scotland has its very own lubyanka in the shape of Dungavel, where horror stories of the treatment of asylum seekers are often leaked.

    Thankfulky Dungavel is to be closed, though the Home Office has tried and failed as yet to build a new one near Glasgow airport, in an attempt to spirit potential asylum seekers out of the country before they can feel any benefits from Scots law.

    I wish Nadira well in her fledgling career, if the trailer is anything to go by, she’ll do well.

    • radar set

      Scotland is detained by the Westminster government. Brexit against Scotland’s wishes. No guarantee that Westminster won’t revoke devolution. Scotland governed by a party with 1 solitary Scottish MP. English Votes For English Laws at Westminster but English votes for Scottish legislation or amendments at Westminster. Scotland likely to get TTIP and out of the ECHR against the wishes of the majority.

      Scotland had best seek asylum at the EU.

  • Sharp Ears

    Well done to Nadira. I can imagine the amount of work and planning that went into the preliminaries and getting the funding. I hope it receives acclaim and plenty of showings, Though not sadly in the local Odeons who show mainly Hollywood CGI junk based on war and killing.

    Here is the IDMb link.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5352348/

  • laguerre

    Very nice, professional, piece of work, to judge from the trailer. All the best hopes for success.

    For British policy towards refugees, I don’t have much hope. There’s a very nasty atmosphere developing since the referendum, piloted by the one who sent out panel vans saying “Go Home!”.

    • K Crosby

      Racism has been British state policy since the Aliens Act 1905, please don’t blame it on people who wanted out of the billionaires’ masturbation club.

      • laguerre

        You’re right to a certain degree. I should have spoken of ‘renewal’. There was opposition to the ‘Kindertransport’, and my Polish father-in-law was involved in the post-war forced repatriation of Poles who fought for Britain to certain death under the Soviets.

        In the fifties and sixties when I was growing up, the issue was West Indians, who were wanted by the state to provide workers, but still faced personal racism.

        By the way, when you refer to the “billionaires’ masturbation club”, I presume that you’re talking about the new British tax-haven regime, where foreigners won’t have to pay much taxes, as proposed by our present government.

        • Habbabkuk

          Laguerre

          “…. my Polish father-in-law was involved in the post-war forced repatriation of Poles who fought for Britain to certain death under the Soviets.”
          ___________________

          I do not know in which way you are using the word “involved”.

          Or perhaps getting mixed up with the forced (and shameful) repatriation to the Soviet Union of emigre Russian soldiers fighting, for example, in the Vlasov army; these were people who found themselves in the US and UK occupied zones of Austria and northern Yugoslavia at the end of the war. The definitive work on this was written by Lord (Nicholas) Bethell.

          To return to the Poles : these were soldiers fighting in what were called the “Polish Armies of the West” under overall British command.

          At the end of the war, there were those in the then British government – the Labour govt, by the way! – who were rather keen that they should not be allowed to settle in the UK (or move on to Canada, Australia, the US and elsewhere0 but should, instead, be forcibly returned to post-war Poland, then under Soviet occupation. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was a foremost champion of such a forced repatriation (as far as refugee Jews were concerned, his preoccupation was diametrically different – that they should NOT be allowed to go to Palestine).

          Luckily for those Poles, Bevin’s and the govt’s desires met with considerable opposition – foremost within which were a number of Conservative MPs and peers (but not of course the lefter elements of the Labour Party).

          So, in the end, those soldiers who did not wish to return volontarily to Soviet-occupied Poland were incorporated into the so-called “Polish Resettlement Corps”, created by act of Parliament, the objective of which was to permit their incorporation into UK civilian life. The Corps was wound up in 1948/9 if memory serves.

    • Sharp Ears

      This happened under Theresa May’s watch when Home Secretary. It is a terrible indictment of the partly privatised penal system. Not Locked In but Locked Up.

      A young father develops paranoia and injures his father who was stabbed when trying to prevent his son from killing himself. He is sent to Chelmsford Prison on remand as there is no mental health bed available. He had been assessed by G4S and the family had pleaded for medical treatment for him but it is not available. The prison medical service is operated by Care UK, founded by Lord Nash, a Tory donor and now a minister in the Lords. Care UK was acquired in 2010 by Bridgepoint, a private equity outfit. Their European board contains Lord Stuart Rose and Alan Milburn, a BLiar Minister for Health and a Cameron adviser. Lord Patten chair of the BBC was also on the Board until recently.
      http://www.bridgepoint.eu/en/investment-portfolio/care-uk/
      http://www.bridgepoint.eu/en/about-us/european-advisory-board/

      The son eventually commits suicide by electrocution from a TV which was returned to him although the suicide risks were known about.

      The report on the BBC website detailed all of this but there was no mention of G4S or Care UK on the 6pm BBC News on Channel 1.

      The prison ombudsman found weaknesses.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-38717606

      ‘The two-week inquest heard that he was unable to speak to his family while he was in prison because telephone numbers were taken down incorrectly.

      The jury unanimously concluded that “financial considerations” were made in deciding to downgrade Mr Saunders from constant watch to half-hourly observations.

      It said there were “multiple failings” including an “wholly inconsistent” review system and a “complacent” approach to Mr Saunders’ state of mind.

      The jury also found an assessment of his mental health needs was “not adequately conducted” and there were “multiple failings in recording and passing on information”.

      Mr Saunders was one of 102 inmates known to have taken their own lives at prisons in England and Wales in 2015.’

      The inquest
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-38689048

      The prison, like many others in the UK, is understaffed.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Prison_Chelmsford

    • Habbabkuk

      “.. panel vans saying “Go Home!”.”
      _____________________

      I was under the impression that the writing on the vans made specific mention of “illegal immigrants” and not” refugees”. Am I wrong?

      • Habbabkuk

        I have now checked what the message displayed on the vans.

        It read as follows:

        “In the UK illegally?

        Go home or face arrest.

        Text HOME to 78070 for free advice, and help with travel documents”.

        So that should help to lay to rest the erroneous assertions that the vans said “Go home” to refugees.

  • K Crosby

    Refugees Craig; what is asylum? It’s a refuge that people seek. Perhaps it’s a mistake to accept the fraudulent terms of the fascist state?

  • Anon1

    “Economic migrants” is what we should call them.

    When your objective is to pass through as many safe states as possible until you arrive at the one with the highest welfare payments, then you are an economic migrant, not a refugee.

    • Anon1

      And if you are not here legally then you are an illegal immigrant and should be deported as per the laws of this country and all other countries.

        • glenn_uk

          Not wishing to speak for Anon1 (who I don’t like very much and share very little common ground with) … but if you don’t have borders or any form of control over who does what in your country, you don’t have a country in any meaningful definition of the term.

          As for the “why”, if a law is not enforced, it should not be a law – because it is then an arbitrary instrument of the state, which can be abused.

          • glenn

            Clark: “I wanted Anon1’s answer.

            Huh, fair enough. Still harbouring a massive sulk because I dared to criticise you on the 9/11 thread, several months ago, I see (my sole crime, as far as I can tell), and despite my overlooking your deeply personal attacks thereafter.

            If only world leaders had your forbearance, eh Clark? The world would then be a truly wonderful place. Be the change that you wish to see in the world, and all that. You are most impressive in that regard, and your example humbles us all.

    • giyane

      Anon

      European NGOs deliberately assist refugees all the way to Calais from Africa. Erdogan is now meeting his contract with the EU to imprison refugees because he is short of friends after the CIA ‘s war against Muslims in Iraq Yemen and Syria has become unstuck due to WikiLeaks and popular revulsion at Obama and Clinton.

      All these migrants are refugees from USUKIS created colonial proxy war-crimes. All of them are funnelled by the richer European nations to meet their richer, less willing to look after babies, population shortfalls. Your idea that these refugees are economic migrants sounds like those bestial Catholic nuns enslaving pregnant teenagers and supplying childless families with stolen orphans.

    • Ronald MacDonald frae ower the watter

      Sounds like you’da fitted in there just nicely considering the hatred you seem to show for the “Scotch”.
      Always ready to do them down in your snide little comments.

  • bevin

    So what makes people economic migrants?
    Why do people, whose ancestors have lived in a country, suddenly decide to leave and, risking everything, seek employment elsewhere?
    Generally because their own counties’ economies have been ruined. And often enough by the country into which they seek to migrate. In Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia, for example, millions are being driven from their ancestral lands, their villages and houses burned down, to clear the way for Palm Oil plantations set up to supply western markets. We should not be surprised if the victims turn up at our doorsteps offering to work cheaply.
    After all that is what has happened in Mexico and elsewhere in Central America where peasants have been driven north, many to their deaths, the lucky ones to the precarious existence of illegal immigrants by successive US government actions: NAFTA and corn dumping being one, mining and other activities involving land seizure and degradation being among the many others.
    Most migrants do not want to leave home. They are forced to do so by wars and the economic crises of commodity production and capitalism.
    Which was true centuries ago of the Scots cleared from the Highlands and driven across the Atlantic, for example- forced into economic migration. And no more popular with the indigenous populations than their modern day equivalents are with Anon1 and other fascists, who, however, find no fault at all with mass migrations into Palestine.

    • glenn

      All very well, but note that these people you illustrate are dispossessed because of the demands of the investor class, capitalists and exploiters of the environment and people who live in these far off places.

      When the conditions become sufficiently intolerable, such people may migrate (for economic reasons) to the country where those investor classes reside. But the investor classes themselves, in the stockbroker belt, leafy suburban dwellings and so on, aren’t going to be suffering an influx of the migrants. No – it will be those already bumping along the bottom, those whose jobs have been outsourced and are already feeling under great economic pressure here who will find themselves in competition for cheap labour all of a sudden.

      What’s the solution to this? Why, to label the working poor in this country, who do not appreciate the extra competition for labour, and sharing meagre housing, schools and other resources, as merely “racists” and thus dismiss their concerns without further thought.

      • bevin

        I do not disagree with you. I am not one of those who call those calling for immigration controls ‘racists’. I believe that any community has the right to protect itself from cheap labour, for example, which is why I believe that all laws controlling Trade Unions should be repealed.
        There should also be a government commitment to Full Employment and homes for all. In the meantime repealing the laws recently passed to ban squatting would be a start.
        But I’m not going to take it out on some poor bloody refugee just because we haven’t as a society got the guts to call the ruling class and its social satellites to order.

      • giyane

        Glenn at 23.52 23/01/2017

        You are 100% correct. And this is the deliberate intention of the powerful , to scapegoat the people affected by immigration for the problems caused by the neo-colonial local/NWO partnerships in crime.

        It would help if on this blog Craig could concede that immigration causes problems so that blame for the problems can be properly allocated to the neo-cons and their local partners. This is the essence of the triangular nature of colonialism, that sufferings inflicted on one group, benefit another group, and a different group get the blame.

        Black Muslim slaves, chained to the boat, provide free labour to the sugar plantations etc. European consumers benefit from the products grown in the Caribbean sun. Islam gets the blame for what Arab-speaking slave-traders have done. What is happening in Syria, in the coalition between USUKIS and the Al Qaida and Daesh terrorists, is exactly and intentionally the same. None of Al Qaida and Daesh have one single sausage of Islam. Al Baghdadi is an Israeli. But Islam gets the blame. Plus ca change…

        At this moment of time, when the imposters of the Syrian revolution meet for discussion in Kazakhstan, these revolutionaries’ only connection to revolution is that they and their proxy sponsors like Senator MCCain and Boris Johnson are revolting. Neither the jihadists or the Calvinists can trace one hair of true Islam from their respective Holy Testaments. They are colonisers and oppressors, and Islam and Christianity are adamantly opposed to oppression and exploitation. ….plus c’est la meme chose.

    • laguerre

      Regrettably, Bevin, it’s a bit more complicated than that. There was an article the other day about a Sengalese village, where all the youth had left, to chance the crossing to Europe, except one, and he’d failed. Senegal is not in danger, but the people are no longer willing to accept the poverty that they’ve had. So off to chance the crossing to Europe and a job cleaning toilets. They’ve heard of better, and they’re no longer willing to tolerate what subsistence farming gives. It could be global warming, but I don’t think it’s that, more they’ve heard of better, and it’s worth investing to put a member of the family on the road, with the chance that it may fail.

      • bevin

        Hard to talk about poverty in Senegal without reflecting on its history, which is one of centuries of imperialistic interventions, from the slave trade to the military conscriptions to the replacement of subsistence rural economies with commodity producing capitalist enterprises.
        What you say is very interesting but it hardly contradicts the point that I was making.

        • laguerre

          I wouldn’t disagree, Bevin, Though I’ve always wondered why sub-Saharan Africa didn’t produce great civilisations of its own, being the birthplace of humanity, and why it wasn’t black slave-owners taking ignorant British tribesmen, picked off the coast of Cornwall, to be slaves in America.

          I’ve always presumed that it was diseases, the unpreventable spread of noxious bacteria and viruses in the warm tropics which was the problem, but I don’t really know.

          At any rate the history of Senegal goes far back beyond the slave trade. They could have made it beyond subsistence farming, but didn’t. Before the French arrived.

          • MJ

            “I’ve always wondered why sub-Saharan Africa didn’t produce great civilisations of its own”

            The archaeological site of Great Zimbabwe demonstrates that it did.

          • Laguerre

            re MJ

            One site in a continent is not much, and scarcely comparable to a hundred Roman cities or a hundred Chinese cities, or indeed rather less Mayan or Aztec or Inca.

          • bevin

            I’m not going to argue but I was referring only to the contributions that Europeans have made, in the modern era, to ‘underdeveloping’ Senegal.
            As to ‘making it beyond subsistence farming’ I am not sure that anyone ever did that- or can.
            Regarding the absence of pyramids, fora and palaces in sub Saharan Africa, surely all that they tell us is regarding local architecture; to measure the achievements of a civilisation, as we tend to do, by the splendour of the places where it has set men to kill each other, buried the rich or carried out ritual sacrifices is not a very reliable method of discovering the real markers of civilisation, one of which perhaps, is having better things to do than snatch natives from their own countries and flog them to third parties.

          • SA

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kingdoms_in_pre-colonial_Africa

            Of course this the history according to the west that ‘no great empires existed in Subsaharan Africa’
            And of course the Nile bsource did not exist before Livingstone ‘discovered’ it.
            Reminds me of writing on packets of chillis in Waitrose: ‘Chillis: discovered by Columbus’. The fact that the natives were using chillis before the devastations of the Spanish invasion of Central and America is of course neither here nor there.

          • Sid F

            “Though I’ve always wondered why sub-Saharan Africa didn’t produce great civilisations of its own, being the birthplace of humanity”

            The Rift valley is probably nearer Scotland than Senegal.

          • lysias

            It’s not just palaces that are missing in most of sub-Saharan Africa, it’s also writing.

          • Old Mark

            Re the ‘great civilisation’ that created Great Zimbabwe, it is worth pointing out to the African cultural cringe merchants here that the assemblage at the Gt. Zimbabwe site was built around the same time as the great cathedrals of Chartres, Salisbury, Lincoln in northern Europe, and not in distant prehistory.

            The Zimbabwe remains are at a level of structural complexity and sophistication no higher than stone age structures erected in northern Europe 4000 years ago- and even then are an outlier when compared to the rest of sub Saharan Africa, where single storey hutments were the structures most commonly encountered prior to the twentieth century European incursions into the continent

            Compare these images of Great Zimbabwe-
            https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=great+zimbabwe&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj239-EjdzRAhVIDcAKHQ-vAIoQ_AUICCgB&biw=1024&bih=639#imgrc=4Q1u8gg8GvGcMM%3A

            To images of fortified dwellings on Orkney from 4000 years ago-.

            .alamy.com/zooms/076e1d71805f477ea5d26ab9587cc160/broch-of-gurness-a-fortified-dwelling-dating-back-to-the-iron-age-bc0dn0.jpg

    • Chris Rogers

      Here, here Bevin, wise words indeed, and as an economic migrant myself, I can attest to the huge sense of loss being miles away from your nation of birth.

  • giyane

    O/T on the front page, sincere apologies. The UK part of Trident, the boat and missile delivery system, works.
    The US-made missile, works. But the guidance system provided by Israeli companies puts 20000 fingers up to the US and UK taxpayers by pointing the missile at Florida instead of the Atlantic Ocean.

    2nd hand car salesman Cameron covered it up. May has full confidence in our system. But the nuclear war-head will only fly where Israel tells it to fly. Nobody can swat that annoying green bluebottle that jumblied up East and West last June.

        • Republicofscotland

          Though there’s no presumption over the 566 illegal settlement that are currently to be built in East Jerusalem is there now?

          The settlement are illegal under International Law.

          • Habbabkuk

            Yes, it looks as if that will be fact, therefore you are right about no presumption.

            Since the Mods allowed you to raise this matter: this decision to allow more building comes hard on the heels of the recent UNSCR Resolution, various farewell pronouncements by outgoing President Obama and, of course, the election of President Trump. It will be interesting to see if and how President Trump and/or State will react to the Israeli decision (if they already have but I’ve missed it, could someone perhaps inform)?

          • Republicofscotland

            “(if they already have but I’ve missed it, could someone perhaps inform)?”

            _________

            Habb.

            Firstly do try and do your own research posting otiose comments without research is beneath you.

            As for your query, well Trump has intimated that the US embassy at Tel Aviv, will be moved to Jerusalem, even though that move may be illegal under international law, the move coukd foment unrest.

            David Friedman the hard line US ambassador to Israel wants to live in Jerusalem.

            A provactive and volatile idea.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-us-embassy-israel-tel-aviv-jerusalem-reports-israeli-media-a7540476.html

          • Habbabkuk

            RoS

            I think you misunderstood my question, which was whether President Trump and/or State have reacted to the announcement of new constructions in Jerusalem. It wasn’t about the siting of the US embassy. Try again…?

          • Habbabkuk

            RoS

            ” Trump has intimated that the US embassy at Tel Aviv, will be moved to Jerusalem… the move coukd foment unrest.”
            ________________

            While waiting for your answer to my question, I’ll comment on the above and say no, I don’t believe there will be any unrest anywhere. A little agitation at the UN perhaps, and certainly on this blog and possibly a bit of the usual stone-throwing in the West Bank but that’ll be about it, I imagine.

            If the US does go ahead and do it, I could imagine that (1) some other countries will follow suit; let’s face it, it’s rather silly having your embassies 35 miles away from the seat of government (it would be as silly as foreign ambassadors to the UK being based at St Albans or Guildford), and (2) those govts wishing to differentiate themselves from the US in Arab eyes, thereby earning themselves some dubious brownie points, wold remain in Tel Aviv.

          • Republicofscotland

            The United Nations General Assembly does not recognise Israel’s proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is, for example, reflected in the wording of General Assembly Resolution 63/30 of 2009.

            Which states that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.

            There must come a point in time when the world decides enough is enough, with regards to Israel coveting Jerusalem for itself, moving the US embassy into Jerusalem, is a step towards claiming Jerusalem for Israel.

            However under the UN’s guidance Jerusalem is corpus separatum.

            ______________

            “While waiting for your answer to my question,”

            I’ve decided you can wait a bit longer or you can look up the answer yourself, for a change.

          • Habbabkuk

            I shall interpret your response as an admission that you are either unable (= you do not know) or unwilling to answer the question. Somewhat surprising from someone as vociferous and up-front as you usually are but I’ll leave it at that for now. 🙂

          • fwl

            On US embassy in Jerusalem. Would it possible for countries to place embassies to Palestine within Jerusalem?

          • Habbabkuk

            Fwl

            I have no dog in this fight (if a fight it is) but will offer you a couple of fairly banal thoughts in the full expectation that someone whose diplomatic and international relations savoir-faire is even richer than mine will immediately contradict me.

            Firstly, thus could only concern those countries which have recognised “Palestine” as a country and which have the oinventional kind of diplomatic relations with that country (the second does not automatically flow from the first; cf a couple of decades of US-Iran relations).

            Secondly and more practically : I imagine that the State of Israel would not allow anything of the sort at the moment given that it does not recognise “Palestine” as a country (with the various practical consequences arising from this non-recognition)

            PS – lest someone should raise the point, let it be said that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is not in fact an occupation of a non-existent country called “Palestine”. It is the occupation of a part of Jordan because, as you probably know,Jordan claimed jurisdiction over the West Bank (and administered it) in the period between the partition of the land area known as “Palestine” and the 1967 war. To be noted in this connection that Jordan signed a peace treaty with the State of Israel (like Egypt but unlike Syria).

      • lysias

        Whatever the problem with the Trident launch was, U.S. missiles apparently have the same technology. Independent: Trident: Barack Obama administration asked David Cameron to keep failed nuclear missile test launch secret:

        A British military source told the newspaper: “It was the Obama administration that asked the Cameron administration not to comment on this.

        ”The US administration may have been worried that there could be similar problems on other missiles.

        If the problem was Israeli-provided guidance, this apparently means that U.S. missiles use the same guidance. Scary thought. The Israelis secretly doctored the Stuxnet virus so that it would spread far more widely than the U.S. wanted. They could also doctor missile guidance programs that they provide other countries, like the UK and the U.S.

        • Habbabkuk

          That is speculation (“The US administration may have been worried”) given to and reproduced in a MSM newspaper. There could be several reasons why the British military might wish to feed that particular line to the MSM other than the old and discredited meme that Israel controls everything everywhere.

        • Habbabkuk

          “If the problem was Israeli-provided guidance, this apparently means that U.S. missiles use the same guidance.”
          _____________________

          No, it doesn’t.

          It may surprise certain readers, but technology can break down on occasion even in the absence of “doctoring” by the Israelis. 🙂

  • Phil the ex-frog

    I am very proud to say the full length feature (0:40) of my made before breakfast film is now available online. A socio-political musical: Murray’s Euro Lipsync War. I am considering a number of directorial offers for after tea.

    https://youtu.be/0aTpmoQsOX4

    • Alcyone

      Good for a laugh Phil. Did you make that yourself?

      This is better than some of your rude, or tending-to-rude remarks about Craig.

      • Phil Ex-Frog

        Alcyone

        Why thank you. Yes, I made it myself before breakfast this morning. Linux software of course. BTW I am a million miles from the rudest person around here.

    • Sharp Ears

      Puerile more like.

      There is this message under it.

      ‘This video is unlisted. Be considerate and think twice before sharing.’

      • Phil Ex-Frog

        Sharp Ears

        I aspire to neo-situationist puerile with a streak of bottom-sink drama. Not many would see that. Thanks.

        And you are correct there is that message after it.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the Supreme court in England has ruled that the Tory government cannot trigger Article 50, without parliaments consent. The Ministry of Truth aka the BBC are broadcasting that as a victory for democracy, knowing fine well, that Labour will make sure the Tories triggering of Article 50 happens. The SNP are in reality the only opposition to this hard right Tory government, Labour capitulated long ago.

    The Supreme court, added that the consent of the Home nations is not required by the British government to trigger Article 50, so much for the union being a equal partnership.

    The SNP are in the process of tabling 50 serious amendments, that they want before Article 50 is triggered. David Davis has said he wants Article 50 to be pushed through parliament quickly and smoothly, I bet he does.

    Holyrood must demand access to the Single Market, or more likely set the wheels in motion for indyref2 possibly in 2018. The Sewel Convention, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

    • MJ

      Everyone’s vote counted equally regardless of which part of the country they were in.

      Securing the UK’s departure from the EU is nothing to do with being hard right, it is to do with fulfilling the sovereign wishes of the population.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Securing the UK’s departure from the EU is nothing to do with being hard right, it is to do with fulfilling the sovereign wishes of the population.”

        ___________

        On the contrary the idea for the vote to leave the EU was manufactured in the minds of the right of the Tory party. It then became a game of oneupmanship within the party.

        The Brexit thinking Tories soon had UKIP onside, the whole reason for their existence was/is wrapped up in the Brexiteers idea of splendid isolation.

        Soon the press were pushing Brexit, (not all ) and EU citizens and Johnny Foreigner were demonised, the seed of xenophobic discontent was then planted in the minds of British citizens, the rest as they say is history.

        Brexit is a big contrived plan brought about by the Tories, the aim was to dupe people into voting to leave the EU, it worked, any many people like you didn’t even noticed you’d been taken for a ride.

        • Habbabkuk

          Wherever, the idea of the vote arose, the fact is that the will of the electors was Brexit.

          The last 24 months or so have really been the Years of the Sore Losers, haven’t they.

          The Scotland referendum, BREXIT, the election of The Donald.

          The attachment of the Sore Losers to democratic process has been shown up for the falsehood it is.

    • Habbabkuk

      “… so much for the union being a equal partnership”
      _____________________

      Who said that the Union was, or was intended to be, an equal partnership?

      Have you ever read the Act of Union?

      But to give more practical example from an organnisation of whose virtues RoS is firmly persuaded : the EU.

      In the European Union, whose Members States are pledged to “an ever closer Union”; most voting these days is by qualified majority, a development welcomed by almost everyone as, i.a., enhancing the democratic functioning of the EU.

      But the various Member States have different numbers of votes….according to the size of their populations. In other words, they are not “equal” in this ever=closer Union.

      What are the populations of the different components of the United Kingdom?

      • Republicofscotland

        I suppose you are correct, only a fool would believe that Westminster would be capable of allowing the Home nations to remain in the Single Market.

        Maybe it’s time the SNP took a leaf from the book of Parnell and Arthur Griffiths, and walk out of Westminster.

        • Habbabkuk

          Ah, but simply “walking out of Westminster” would mean breaching the Act of Union, wouldn’t it. But I agree it’s a good soundbite.

          Have you red the Act of Union yet? If not, I should advise you to do so.

          Any comment on the substance of what I wrote at 15h47?

        • lysias

          There was also an Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland, which Sinn Fein breached when they walked out of Westminster in 1919.

  • Sharp Ears

    I hope that in due course Craig will comment on today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Article 50 appeal and especially vis-à-vis Scotland. The whole has become a lawyers’ paradise since the intervention from Ms Miller and her backers.

    Nicola Sturgeon says she is not going to dictated to by the Westminster government on this. The Supreme Court said (8 to 3) that Scotland and NI do not need to be consulted!

    ‘Ministers will also be relieved that the judges decided the devolved assemblies don’t need to be consulted – a ruling the other way on this would have been political dynamite, which would have almost certainly blown up Mrs May’s Brexit timetable.’

    Supreme Court fires starting gun on parliamentary Brexit battle
    The Government wants a short, tight bill that can be passed quickly by Parliament, but expect fireworks, writes Beth Rigby.
    http://news.sky.com/story/supreme-court-fires-starting-gun-on-parliamentary-brexit-battle-10740838

    • Habbabkuk

      “The Government wants a short, tight bill that can be passed quickly by Parliament,”
      ___________________

      Obviously, and rightly so.

      Important to get the 2 year negotiating period started quickly in order to reduce uncertainty as much as possible.

      That should be obvious to both Brexiteers or Remainers of good faith.

      • Republicofscotland

        “started quickly in order to reduce uncertainty as much as possible.”

        ____________

        Habb.

        Uncertainty is the only certainty that Brexit brings, along with mass job losses, lower wages, poorer living standards, higher prices, stricter laws on human rights and workers rights.

        Brexit will be a unmitigated disaster for those not wealthy enough to be cushioned from it.

        • Habbabkuk

          RoS

          “Uncertainty is the only certainty that Brexit brings, along with mass job losses, lower wages, poorer living standards, higher prices, stricter laws on human rights and workers rights.”
          ________________

          Well, you may be right but on the other hand there are many who not only deny that but go as far as to say the exact opposite.

          Let’s face it, nobody knows for sure. In the same way, in fact, that nobody could be sure, in 1973, what the economic effects of UK membership of the EEC would be.

          You are of course fully entitled to paint whatever picture you want but you should resist the temptation to pass off personal opinion for fact.

          • Republicofscotland

            “You are of course fully entitled to paint whatever picture you want but you should resist the temptation to pass off personal opinion for fact.”

            __________

            Habb.

            Well I’ve gleaned my information from respected think tanks such as the Fraser of Allander Institute.

            Or the influential EY Item Club, think tank, who modelled their report on the Treasuries own model, you of course are entitled to counter those opinions, but please keep your wild accusations to a minimum.

          • Habbabkuk

            RoS

            I have no wish to “counter” those opinions and will limit myself to again pointing out (since you have perhaps not understood) that those are opinions (which happen to coincide with yours) but not facts.

            I would add that I’m touched by the faith you place in the Treasury’s economic models given the Treasury’s record over the last 60 years or so.

            Lastly, I wasn’t aware that I had made any “wild accusations” – at least not as wild (and apocalyptic) as your”.. mass job losses, lower wages, poorer living standards, higher prices, stricter laws on human rights and workers rights.”. Gamma double minus.

    • Habbabkuk

      One should either accept the Supreme Court’s ruling in its entireity or reject it in its entirety.

      It is pointless welcoming that part of its ruling which refers to Parliament and the triggering of Article 50 and signifying disapproval of the other part which ruled that the regional assemblies do not need to be consulted.

      One should not cherry-pick.

    • Habbabkuk

      a second comment re the comment at 15h16:

      the entire judgement was delivered by 8 against 3 – it is misleading to imply that the 8 to 3 majority only applied to the part of the judgement relating to the consultation of regional assemblies.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Anon1 January 23, 2017 at 21:33

    “Economic migrants” is what we should call them.

    “When your objective is to pass through as many safe states as possible until you arrive at the one with the highest welfare payments, then you are an economic migrant, not a refugee.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Are you a member of the R Soles community Anon 1?

    “A study conducted by the Economic and Social Research Council’s Centre for Population Change (CPC) earlier this year looked at just this, and found that the UK had below average levels of welfare spending among developed nations, with many European countries out-ranking us.”

    https://fullfact.org/immigration/uks-welfare-system-most-generous-europe/

  • Habbabkuk

    Irrespective of the merits or demerits of independence for Scotland and an independent Scotland’s membership (or otherwise) of the European Union, is there not an fundamental inconsistency in certain commenters supporting both Scottish independence from the UK and, at the same time, Scottish membership of the EU?

    I suppose that the rationale for Scottish independence is that Scotland will be able to forge its own destiny in the economic, social and political fields for the good (as they see it) of the Scottish people and nation.

    So the question is : would this aim be possible if Scotland were to become a member of the European Union, given (1) the objectives of the European Union as set out in the Treaties, and (2) the way in which the European Union reaches the great majority of its legislative (and even some other) of its decisions, ie, by qualified majority?

    On the second point : Scotland, with a population of around 5 million, would have around the same number of votes in the Council of Ministers as Slovakia, ie, not very many. Nor would it have many MEPs in the face of legislative arrangements in which the European Parliament acts as co-legislator together with the Council of Ministers in the majority of legislative decisions.

    Membership of the European Union involves what is kindly called the “pooling of sovereignty” (and unkindly a “certain loss of independence”. Which, it appears, is exactly what the proponents of Scottish independence wish to break away from where the UK is concerned.

    Thoughts? Or, failing that, comments?

    • Republicofscotland

      “On the second point : Scotland, with a population of around 5 million, would have around the same number of votes in the Council of Ministers as Slovakia, ie, not very many. ”

      ______

      As opposed to how many votes just now under the union in the EU, Zero.

      _____________

      “Membership of the European Union involves what is kindly called the “pooling of sovereignty” (and unkindly a “certain loss of independence”. Which, it appears, is exactly what the proponents of Scottish independence wish to break away from where the UK is concerned.”

      Insignificant by far compared to the loss of sovereignty under the union, such as the control of immigration, or controlling all economic and fiscal levers, media control, natural assets, such as oil and gas, but overall independence to move away from Westminster narrow parochial outlook on the world.

      • michael norton

        RoS you lot up in the far North get to share in our pooled wealth.
        Soon there is to be development of Lithium in The West Country.
        The United Kingdom Government has said this is of Strategic importance.
        Elon Musk is expecting to manufacture 600,000 units ( battery packs for electric vehicles) by 2025 / year.#
        Gigafactory One is situated in Nevada, near by the only place in America where lithium is mined.
        Mr.Musk is looking to construct Gigafactory Two in Europe.
        Northern Ireland has a massive reserve of gold, this is now being worked on.
        One of the worlds largest potash mines is being developed in North East England.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2158222/A-billion-tons-precious-mineral-discovered-Whitby-Scarborough.html

        Scotland can share in the wealth of the rest of the United Kingdom.
        You are welcome, no need to thank us, come and fill your boots

        • michael norton

          Apart from fertilizer, some of Potash’s other uses, may be of interest to Scotland.

          In addition to its use as a fertilizer, potassium chloride is important in many industrialized economies, where it is used in aluminium recycling, by the chloralkali industry to produce potassium hydroxide, in metal electroplating, oil-well drilling fluid, snow and ice melting, steel heat-treating, in medicine as a treatment for hypokalemia, and water softening.

        • Republicofscotland

          Michael.

          I admire your misplaced optimism, but listening to Professor Lucas today on the BBC, shoot holes in May’s hopeful trade deals with Trump, one couldn’t help wonder if May has bitten off more than she can chew.

          http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/government-society/departments/political-science-international-studies/staff/profiles/lucas-scott.aspx

          Lucas claimed that Trump is a US protectionist, his latest actions would appear to back that up. The withdrawing from the TTP deal, and the imposition of severe penalties of US companies that decide to produce products outside the US only add to that approach.

          Lucas also said that Trump is at loggerheads with certain government departments, that don’t at present have the staff to thrash out deals with Britian, one could say that the British government doesn’t have the personnel either to work out complicated and in the case of CETA (a good sounding board) protracted deals with the EU nevermind the US.

          But May travelling to Washington and meeting Trump (throw in the idea of deals) has a bolstering effect on the British psyche that everything after Brexit, is going to be okay, it isn’t.

          • Habbabkuk

            In general, it seems obvious that any single country would find it easier to negotiate a trade deal with another single country than with a bloc of 28 countries encompassing a vast range of different and often diverging interests (and obsessions in some cases).

            CETA was complicated and lengthy precisely because a single country(Canada) was negotiating with a bloc of 28 countries (the EU). And remember the last-minute hitch after the negotiations had finished when the Regional govt of Wallonia, Belgium refused for a while to agree – for purely internal (Belgian) political reasons.

        • michael norton

          Graphite – Graphene

          developed in Manchester.

          Mines in North East England

          Some time before 1565 (some sources say as early as 1500), an enormous deposit of graphite was discovered on the approach to Grey Knotts from the hamlet of Seathwaite in Borrowdale parish, Cumbria, England, which the locals found very useful for marking sheep. During the reign of Elizabeth I (1533–1603), Borrowdale graphite was used as a refractory material to line moulds for cannonballs, resulting in rounder, smoother balls that could be fired farther, contributing to the strength of the English navy. This particular deposit of graphite was extremely pure and soft, and could easily be cut into sticks. Because of its military importance, this unique mine and its production were strictly controlled by the Crown.

      • Habbabkuk

        1/. Incorrect : Scotland benefits from the votes of the UK – 29 (same as Germany, France and Italy). Not many when set against the total 352 votes for all Member States but somewhat higher than Slovakia’s 7.

        2/. You cite control of immigration and economic and fiscal levers. If you believe that an independent Scotland within the EU would have more control over immigration from the EU and most economic and social levers than it would have as part of a UK outside the EU you’re living in dreamland. But carry on….

        • Republicofscotland

          “1/. Incorrect : Scotland benefits from the votes of the UK – 29 (same as Germany, France and Italy). Not many when set against the total 352 votes for all Member”

          ________

          Habb.

          I wonder if you’re being deliberately obtuse, or worse still you don’t really understand.

          Scotland hasn’t a voice at present in the EU, it’s British ministers who vote. Scotland has to abide by that.

          I will give you an example, since you seem unsure, Scotland’s Fisheries minister Richard Lockhead, whilst in Europe has to sit behind the British minister, whilst he (British minister) does a deal which includes Scottish fishing grounds.

          Lockhead cannot not interfere in the process, indeed on one occasion Lockheads counterpart could not make a EU meeting to thrash out a deal. A uninitiated Tory peer took his place, who had no experience regarding fishing grounds. Lockhead had to sit behind the greenhorn and keep quiet until the deal was done.

          • Habbabkuk

            “Scotland hasn’t a voice at present in the EU, it’s British ministers who vote.”
            ___________________

            Exactly,RoS – British ministers who represent the entire United Kingdom and vote in the best interests of the entire United Kingdom.

            And that, by the way, is why Mr Lockhead – who is a minister of the Scottish government – sits behind a minister representing the United Kingdom, the member of the European Union being the United Kingdom as a whole and not Scotland.

            So who’s obtuse…? (seriously, though, your abuse shows that you have run out of puff and so I intend to leave this subject for now).

          • Republicofscotland

            Habb.

            I appear to be banging my head of a brick wall.

            I’ll try one more time, though I doubt I’ll get through to you.

            Westminster make the decisions in the EU Scotland has no say whether they like that decision or not, they have to abide by the deals.

            The rest of the UK’s interests might not necessarily be of the best interest to Scotland, that’s why Scotland is better of independent.

          • Habbabkuk

            You’re just repeating yourself like a gramophone with a stuck needle and it’s still nonsense.

  • bevin

    “This is the difference between Obama and Trump
    Obama: his State Department issues a mild statement criticizing the construction of Israeli settlements but does nothing about the matter.
    Trump: his State Department does not issue a statement against Israeli settlements and does nothing about the matter.” Asad AbuKhalil

  • nevermind

    thanks for letting us have a preview, looks as gloomy as the subject of incarcerating children in detention centres.
    No doubt these children have to be kept safe from some of the children’s services around the country, hallo Norfolk, but should they be in a safe, open and learning environment?
    Looking forward to the whole of the film.
    Many posts from Habby not one of them said anything to the issue, why not? inexperienced in issues of detention? surely not, headmaster.

    As for yesterdays coming down to earth from cloud/court 9. Now that the position of parliament has been made clear on the issue of whether an appointed Mrs. May can run roughshod through Parliaments procedures and disregard MP’s, can we just asked ourself whether a Government, which has cheated at the last GE and might not be legitimate at all, can design and present acts of parliament that will change the economy of the country and the living standards of its subject?

    here are my questions to the Electoral Commission today.

    With police investigation outstanding on the legitimacy of this cheating Government, how do you rank its ability to take and design acts of a Parliament which change the future of this country, when they have been deliberately trying to divert from this fraud.
    Does it really take another lawyer and court to settle this question? when your guidelines, applied with rigour to all other candidates, have been flouted and amount to electoral fraud, a criminal act?

    What do we do with an agency that can’t be impartial and is eroding what little is left of democracy by colluding with the ‘illegitimate’ Government of the day.
    Do we, the public, as well as election agents and election managers, pander to its ( the E.C.’s) status and deliberations alone?
    What reforms would you say are now urgently necessary to stop fraud by parties and its agents?

    yours sincerely

  • michael norton

    This might be a pointer for how electricity prices pan out in future.
    It is quite shocking.
    It is about France but could likely be applicable to the United Kingdom.

    http://www.euronews.com/2017/01/25/edf-accepts-closure-of-france-s-oldest-nuclear-plant

    EDF has finally voted to begin the process of closing France’s oldest nuclear plant after accepting a government compensation plan.

    Under the deal the company will be paid €490m for dismantling the 39-year-old Fessenheim plant and the retraining of its 850 workers.

    “French nuclear reactors are ageing, they will close for nuclear safety reasons and one will have to prepare EDF and its employees to turn to sustainable energies. That’s what EDF needs to do.”

    EDF has stressed the plant’s closure will still require a government decree, subject to the company obtaining official authorisation for its new generation EPR reactor in Flamanville.

    • michael norton

      So, if the French tax payers are going to be made to cough up to clean the site up and for the re-traing of staff into re-newables schemes, why would the United Kingdom want to go further along this road, why not save all the money and grief and go for re-newables – now?

  • indyref 2 indyref free

    This Supreme Court decision which rubs Scotland’s nose in the dirt without so much as a tactfully worded ruling will reverberate and finish off what’s left of the union.

    Gordon Brown and his Vow said vote No and get full self government short of independence. Vote No to keep Scotland in the EU. The result. Brexit. With Scotland having no influence at Westminster whatsoever. The people of Scotland are effectively powerless for big decisions.

    The EU might not be a perfect political union but all members do have an influence. Scotland has zero influence now in the UK and as the Supreme Court has done as a favour by demonstrating, there is no way power is going to come back to Scotland as part of the UK. If Scotland is foolish enough to stay then Westminster will not resist the chance to abolish devolution and revert to Scottish Office control.

    • fred

      Has nobody told Nicola McThatcher the tale about the little girl who cried “independence”?

      Time she either shit or got off the pot because she’s becoming a laughing stock and dragging Scotland down with her.

      Health, education, policing everything is falling apart while our elected representatives are getting their jollies swanning around Brussels pretending to be statesmen, which they aren’t.

      • indyref 2 indyref free

        Given your debating tone and level of reasoning wouldn’t you be happier commenting on the Daily Express web pages?

        • Republicofscotland

          Or the Turncoat aka the Scotsman newspaper, that just happens to be 200 years old today, though sales are plummeting quicker than Theresa May’s reputation as a competent OM.

    • Habbabkuk

      Indyref2

      “With Scotland having no influence at Westminster whatsoever.”

      ______________________

      This thread is rich in factual errors and here is another one.

      The SNP has slightly over 50 MPs at Westminster, a number closely in line with the population of Scotland within the United Kingdom.

      It cannot therefore be said that Scotland has “no influence” at Westminster.

      How it chooses to use that influence is, of course, a matter for the SNP.

    • Habbabkuk

      Indyref2

      “This Supreme Court decision which rubs Scotland’s nose in the dirt without so much as a tactfully worded ruling”

      ________________________

      The Supreme Court rejected, unanimously, arguments that the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly should get to vote on Article 50 before it is triggered.

      The Supreme Court consists of 12 judges, which figure includes 2 judges from Scotland and 1 judge from Northern Ireland.

      (To be noted that Scotland is over-represented in the UK Supreme Court if one were to go on the respective population figures for Scotland and the UK as whole)

  • indyref 2 indyref free

    The Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee have recently released their report on the effects Brexit would have on Scotland. The Committee consulted widely in Scottish industry and civil society. The report is worth reading as Scotland’s farmers, industrialists, trade unionists, academics and environmentalists have plenty to say on the detrimental effects being out of the EU will have on Scotland. One of the things the report mentions is that there are some 1200 or so EU nationals in Scotland working as doctors.

    How absurd that these doctors are working in a country courtesy of the EU, and that country is supposedly democratic but had no say in whether it stayed in the EU or not.

    • fred

      I have no doubt people from Europe will continue to be working as doctors in Britain even after Brexit. There are no plans to stop people coming here completely.

      The big problem where I live is that in order to get a decent job Scots have to move to England. My neighbour’s children go off to university and they don’t come back because there is nothing here for them. It’s emigration not immigration which is the problem but what are the Nationalists doing about it? They want to create yet more competition for what few jobs there are.

      Train our children to be doctors and let them work in our local hospital instead of closing our hospital down and making our children seek work south of the border.

        • fred

          Right now we’d settle for any doctors less than 100 miles away. A girl near where I live went into labour while driving herself the 100 miles to the nearest maternity unit because there were no ambulances available. Is it any wonder young people starting out in life, starting a family, don’t want to remain in the land of their forefathers?

          • Phil Ex-Frog

            Fred
            “They want to create yet more competition for what few jobs there are.”

            I’m surprised you say this Fred. I expect it from the right wing nuts here but I have to wonder why you would join the chorus blaming migrants for poor employment opportunities.

            Do you really believe immigration to be a significant factor that deserves mentioning before many other factors that contribute towards poor employment opportunities?

          • fred

            No Phil, I don’t blame immigrants for the poor employment possibilities because we don’t have very many immigrants to blame. 99.3% of our population are white and 97.9% of those are British.

            I blame the Scottish government.

      • michael norton

        Scotland’s trade with UK rises to £50bn
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38743532

        Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK continues to be worth four times more than its exports to the EU, according to Scottish government figures.

        So let us imagine the gurning Sturgeon, pulls Scotland out of the United Kingdom.
        If they will still be allowed, even more of the young people of Scotland will flee to England for jobs, no more money will flow from the U.K. to Scotland.
        Almost no British service personel will be stationed in Scotland, no more R.N. ships will be built for the U.K. in Scotland.
        The U.K. will no be obligated to purchase Scottish Hydrocarbons, nor to purchased Wind power electricity.
        Will Scotland then have free prescriptions, free bus passes, free universties?

        If Sturgeon holds another Referendum, she better spell it all out for the good people of Scotland, so they reall know what they will be voting for.

        • indyref 2 indyref free

          With Scotland independent and in the EU and in the single market. And with England/rUK out the EU and the single market is the rUK going to compound it’s economic problems by being reluctant to trade with Scotland? What are the Little Englanders aiming for? Autarky?

          As for service personnel. There now aren’t that many service personnel left in Scotland.

          • fred

            With Scotland independent and in the EU it would be Europe who decided if they traded with England or not and under what terms. If you are part of an economic block you abide by their rules.

          • michael norton

            It is almost certain that in five years the E.U. if there is anything left, will be a ruined shell of its former self.
            It is “quite” likely that Marine Le Pen, will be the next French President.
            She wants to ditch the Euro, come out of Schengen, come out of the E.U. and seal her borders.
            Other European nations are also disgusted with the E.U.
            their current governments are terrified of giving their people a Referendum
            as they suspect vast swathes of Europeans have had enough of the E.U. crap.
            Yet Scotland ( The S.N.P.) want to fill their boots with the E.U. crap.
            That is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

          • lysias

            The latest Dutch polls show Geert Wilders surging. Dutch election is March 15. Could Holland be out of the EU before France?

          • Habbabkuk

            “Could Holland be out of the EU before France?”
            _______________

            Neither will leave the European Union, Lysias. Stop playing silly buggers on here with those faux-naive “questions” 🙂

      • Republicofscotland

        . “It’s emigration not immigration which is the problem but what are the Nationalists doing about it? They want to create yet more competition for what few jobs there are.”

        ___________

        Scotland hasn’t been allowed to grow, for a long time now Westminster has control over immigration, and over the decades it has refused the entry of skilled workers who could’ve created businesses that would’ve increased employment.

        Scotland has really only had a renewed parliament for 18 years or so and in that time pre-2007 the unionist parties ruled and didn’t have any plans to grow the Scottish economy, indeed they just sat back and took orders from Westminster, they still do.

        The unionist parties at Holyrood still stifle and hinder Scots progress, that’s why independence is required to have control of every fiscal lever and immigration through independence.

        Westminster has kept Scotland small and managable, it wouldn’t do to have a prosperous little nation on England’s doorstep as the McCrone Report showed years ago.

        • fred

          So that’s 18 years of devolution and you still blame Westminster, 10 years of SNP government yet you still blame the other parties.

          Change the tune, the Nationalists took control they have to start taking the responsibility for their failings, they can’t keep blaming everyone but themselves.

          • Republicofscotland

            “So that’s 18 years of devolution and you still blame Westminster, 10 years of SNP government yet you still blame the other parties.”

            __________

            Yes, infact Holyrood was manufactured in the manner that no one party would have a majority.

            The unionist parties block and vote against just about every SNP proposal at their masters request in Westminster. They have no coherent policies of their own they are in effect just parties of protest, anyone whose watched FMQ’s on a regular basis knows this.

            The unionist parties can’t even get behind the SNP’s budget, which could lead to a snap election, in which I forsee the unionists taking another severe beating, on tip of the council elections later on this year.

          • fred

            The SNP did get a majority, in 2011, they had a 5 year dictatorship to do as they liked.

            Pity they didn’t grow a backbone and start taking some responsibility instead of whinging and whining and looking for someone to blame.

        • Loony

          “Scotland hasn’t been allowed to grow…Westminster has control over immigration”

          Do you have any connection with reality? As of this moment Scotland is a constituent part of the EU. Any EU citizen is free to relocate to Scotland – that is about 500 million people. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Westminster.

          The fact that millions of people have not chosen to relocate to Scotland says nothing about Westminster but a lot about Scotland. It is a racing certainty that if the odd 20 million EU citizens did decide to move to Scotland then it would not take long for Scotland to start asking Westminster for help.

          • Republicofscotland

            “The fact that millions of people have not chosen to relocate to Scotland says nothing about”

            _________

            Looney, I’ve no idea where you are getting your figures from. Scotland’s population has stayed static or decreased, until recently a slight rise of the figures occured last year, to take the populatuon to around 5.5 million.

            At least 170,000 of those are EU citizens not millions as you excessively put it. Add to this that Westminster controls on immigration in Scotland have been stringent, and you are left with a aging population, indeed the Home Office have even removed the post-study work visas that allowed graduates to extend their stay in Scotland (live and work) by two years.

            I do wish you’d do some homework now and again.

          • Loony

            What you write is simply not true.

            Any EU citizen has the right to live in Scotland – there is no Westminster veto. There are no visa requirements on any EU national be they be students or anything else. These are facts and they are uncontested by anyone other than you.

            The question is not who has stopped people moving to Scotland since the answer is no-one. Rather the question is why so few people have chosen to live in Scotland. The answer to that question must be found in Scotland since it can be found nowhere else.

  • michael norton

    The United States of America continues to be Scotland largest overseas market outside of the EU, buying goods and services worth £4.6bn – more than any single EU country.

    Wow, that’s pretty spectacular
    and now The Scottish Donald is president of the U.S.A.

    You should try and capitalize on that.

      • Habbabkuk

        It certainly would be.

        Brussels, for instance is full of offices representing various German, Spanish, Polish, etc regions and collectivities and these regions probably have representations in Washington and some other important capitals as well (Lysias to advise on the position in Washington, please).

        Of course, those representations are there mainly to encourage trade, exports and inward investment and not foreign policy per se.

        If the Scotch govt is not doing the same then it is missing a trick or two and should get its finger out instead of posturing and blustering.

      • Loony

        A Scottish Embassy in Washington? You have got to be having a laugh. The new US government despises the EU and by extension despises any wannabe state who want to immediately join the EU.

        I doubt Trump would let you set up an embassy in Pierre, South Dakota much less Washington

  • michael norton

    Nicola Sturgeon claimed Scotland’s voice is being ignored and stepped up her calls for Indyref2 after the Supreme Court ruled Holyrood should not get a say on triggering EU withdrawal. The First Minister reacted ANGRILY to the court’s rejection of the Scottish Government’s arguments that the Article 50 process should require the formal approval of the UK’s devolved administrations. “It is becoming clearer by the day that Scotland’s voice is simply not being heard or listened to within the UK,” Ms Sturgeon said. “The claims about Scotland being an equal partner are being exposed as nothing more than empty rhetoric and the very foundations of the devolution settlement that are supposed to protect our interests – such as the statutory embedding of the Sewel Convention – are being shown to be worthless. “This raises fundamental issues above and beyond that of EU membership. Is Scotland content for our future to be dictated by an increasingly right-wing Westminster Government with just one MP here – or is better that we take our future into our own hands?

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-steps-up-indyref2-calls-after-supreme-court-ruling-1-4347343

    She should not hesitate- go for it now.

  • michael norton

    Even more likely Marine Le Pen will become the next French President.

    French prosecutors probe report of fake work by Fillon’s wife

    French financial prosecutors said on Wednesday they had opened a preliminary investigation into the possible misuse of public funds following a press report about conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon’s wife working for him as a parliamentary assistant. The frontrunner in the April-May election has acknowledged his wife Penelope had worked for him when he was a legislator, but has fiercely denied the report in Le Canard Enchaine that she earned a big salary for work she never did. Financial prosecutors said they had opened an inquiry for misuse of public funds and misappropriation of assets “relating to the employment of the wife of Francois Fillon”. (Reuters)

    • michael norton

      FRANCE opens inquiry into extreme-right-wing-presidential-candidate-Fillon’s wife,
      Fillion was expected to be the next President of France.
      http://www.france24.com/en/20170125-france-opens-inquiry-right-wing-presidential-candidate-fillon-wife
      French investigators on Wednesday launched a preliminary probe into claims the wife of presidential candidate Francois Fillon earned 500,000 euros ($538,000) for a suspected fake job as his parliamentary aide.

      The investigation for “misuse of public money” was triggered by a report in the Canard Enchainé newspaper, which claimed that British-born Penelope Fillon was paid from money available to her husband as an MP for the northern Sarthe region.

      It is not illegal for French parliamentarians to employ family members, providing the person has a genuine role.

      At issue is what work Penelope did to earn a salary of sometimes around 7,000 euros a month
      between the late 1990s and the late 2000s.

      Marine Le Pen has taken the lead in the latest poll of French presidential candidates, confirming that she and her right-wing National Front are no longer outsiders. A survey for Le Monde and a unit of Sciences Po showed Le Pen pulling ahead of center-right candidate Francois Fillon in the first round of presidential elections scheduled for April 23. The survey of nearly 16,000 likely voters put her chance of winning at 25 percent to 26 percent vs. 23 percent to 25 percent for Fillon.

      • Habbabkuk

        “FRANCE opens inquiry into extreme-right-wing-presidential-candidate-Fillon’s wife,”
        _______________________

        I realise that some “commenters” like to operate in a fact-free zone but it might be useful to note that M. Fillon is centre-right and not extreme right-wing.

        • bevin

          These are not facts, but opinions.
          In my view Fillon is extremely right wing, whereas the fascist Le Pen is an extreme centrist. Those too are opinions, rather than the conventional (MSM) wisdom, (which is always open to contradiction) copied and posted.

          • Habbabkuk

            I suppose that, for a Trot, anyone to the right of the Liberal Democrats counts as very right-wing.

            Good to see you agreeing with Norton though 🙂

          • lysias

            The historian George Mosse, who was a scion the German Jewish newspaper family and who therefore had personal experience of fascism in its most virulent form, expressed the view in his book The Fascist Revolution : Toward a General Theory of Fascism that fascism, including Nazism, was a totalitarianism of the center.

      • lysias

        If the runoff election in France is between Fillon and Marine Le Pen, as it is likely to be, the Socialists who voted for Chirac against Marine’s father Jean-Marie may be unable to vote for Fillon’s extreme right policies, and either sit out the election or even vote for Marine.

        Marine Le Pen may well win.

        • Habbabkuk

          No, that’s incorrect for the simple reason that M Fillon does not represent “extreme right” policies and, moreover, is no more right-wind than M Chirac, who did not represent “extreme right” policies either.

          Hence the chances of Mme Le Pen winning as are slight as the chances of you telling us which Oxford college you claim to have attended.

          • bevin

            You really don’t understand.
            It cannot be ‘incorrect’ because it is a matter of opinion. Perhaps you could ask one of the Masters to walk you through “Fact and Value”? It is something that you will need to know about when you go to Oxford.
            It is perfectly reasonable to categorise a Thatcherite as being of the ‘extreme right wing.’
            It really is ridiculous that you insist on the right to make these sophomoric pronouncements which only reveal the intellectual emptiness and lack of curiosity that lies underneath the conventional conformist exterior.
            As to this gratuitous self wounding “I suppose that, for a Trot, anyone to the right of the Liberal Democrats counts as very right-wing.” Can you not see how silly it is?
            Please grow up and, whilst you are doing so, give up the ad hominems, they are stunting your growth.

      • lysias

        Center-right? I don’t think so. The Wentworth Report:

        While Fillon has adopted Le Pen’s agenda of tougher immigration controls, there is a gulf of difference on economic issues, as well as on France’s relation to the EU bloc.

        Fillon, a prime minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012), is an economic neoliberal hawk. He proudly claims the late British premier Margaret Thatcher as one of his ideological mentors. Fillon is promising to slash public service jobs and budgets, while also gutting French labor laws to remove statutory caps on maximum working hours and to increase the retirement age.

        It is hard to conceive of a more politically tone-deaf candidate for the presidency. This year France has seen months of massive public protests against the very hardline austerity measures that Fillon is advocating.

        So, while his tough rhetoric on clamping down on immigration and his socially conservative opposition to gay marriage might appeal to some citizens on the political right, Marine Le Pen appears to be more in tune with concerns of the broader electorate. Those concerns are motivated by economic insecurity and loss of democratic accountability in an era of seemingly implacable financial globalization. …

        Whereas Le Pen wants to follow Britain in quitting the EU altogether to reassert national control over the economy, Fillon has no such ambitions. He is a candidate for globalization and austerity, the very program that has become a totemic hate symbol driving the populist mood for revolt. …

        Under Marine, the FN has also adopted a more leftwing economic agenda, such as protecting employment rights, increasing the minimum wage and vowing to fight corporate capitalism by spurning neoliberal international trade deals. …

        • bevin

          All of which makes the suggestion that Fillon and Le Pen will emerge in the lead, after the first round, unlikely.
          Unlikely that is unless the Socialist Party, as a final gesture before disappearing, backs Fillon, just as Tony Blair or Hillary Clinton would do in similar circumstances, rather than a Corbyn like candidate such s Melencthon or last weekend’s surprise victor whose, not very well known, name, I am ashamed to say, I forget.

          • bevin

            In which case, I meant to add, Le Pen’s victory would be assured. what are the Bookies offering?

    • Habbabkuk

      It is extremely unlikely that Mme Le Pen will become the next President of the French Republic.

      Even if she were to come out top in the first round of voting, most of those who voted for the candidate that came third and was therefore eliminated after the first round would vote for Ms Le Pen’s remaining rival in the second, decisive round.

      The precedent of the Presidential election involving Messrs Chirac, Jospin and Le Pen is significant in this regard.

      To claim that Mme Le Pen will be the next President of France is at best wishful thinking and at worst just silly.

      Very much like suggestions that France or The Netherlands will leave the European Union, in fact.

      • Loony

        It is not clear that the past serves as a useful guide to the future.

        Who is next to leave the EU is not that interesting a subject, because the EU has essentially ceased to exist. Sure there are still buildings and officials and they still pass laws and pontificate on sorts of matters – but they do so in a zombie like state.

        The British delivered the decisive blow – albeit it was not recognized as such by those who are mentally enslaved by the EU mindset. No doubt the British administrative classes held (and still hold) the view that actually leaving the EU can be delayed for ever.

        The mass of the British people have been reinforced by Donald Trump – who is as keen to end this farce as he is to build a large wall. Even before he became President he checkmated the Germans (the strongest economic power in the EU) – they are no longer capable of exerting any form of influence and all their attention will be diverted to measuring the outflow of money from Germany to the US.

        Soon Trump may appoint Professor Malloch as US Ambassador to the EU – a man noted for his belief that the euro will fail. Why only today he has recommended people short the euro. What on earth is the EU going to do in the face of such an assault – repel it with a wall of Greek money?

        Neither the British administrative classes nor the EU functionaries have the remotest capability of even understanding what is going on – even when it is laid out before them in crystal clear terms they will not understand. There is not the remotest conception as to how fast Trump is moving. There is no understanding that his constant self contradiction is a simple cover for the work of a master strategist.

      • RobG

        Sure, the bookmakers got it wrong with Brexit, and they also got it wrong with Trump.

        Here’s an average of the latest opinion polls on the French presidential election:

        Marine Le Pen – 26%
        Francois Fillon – 25%
        Emmanuel Macron – 19%
        Jean Luc Mélenchon – 14%
        Manuel Valls – 11%
        Benoit Hamon – 7%

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_French_presidential_election,_2017#January

        Manuel Valls and Benoit Hamon are on low figures because the ruling Socialist Party is still deciding who will be their presidential candidate (Hollande has bowed-out of going for a second term because he’s the most unpopular President in French history). Valls and Hamon will square off on the second and final vote next weekend. Manuel Valls is widely hated in France (when he visited Nice in the aftermath of the ‘terror attack’ he was roundly booed by the crowd). Benoit Hamon is too far to the left and is pro-immigration. Whatever, after the Hollande years the Socialist party is finished when it comes to the forthcoming presidential election.

        The only left candidate who will get substantial votes is Jean Luc Mélenchon, who is not even standing for a political party. He is the head of a movement called ‘Unsubmissive France‘ (LF), which was founded early last year and came out of the massive protests that have been happening in France, protests against the neo-cons/globalisation. This guy has a mass movement behind him, none of which is reported by the presstitutes, either in France or in the other vassal states of the rapidly crumbling American empire.

        We live in interesting times.

        • michael norton

          I can not see how The favored one, Fillon can continue, whilst him and his Welsh wife are under scutiny for fleecing the French Tax Payers of the best part of half a million Euros.
          Even if she answered the phone and kept his diary and brought him tes, 1/2 million?
          It is not credible, in our terms that means she was paid more for being his companion than a British M.P. gets for representing 100,000 constituents and attending The Mother of Parliaments, hence Fillion would be wize to abort now and hope the investigation goes away.
          Say the two Socialists merge, Manuel Valls – 11%
          Benoit Hamon – 7% giving one of them, probably Manuel = 18,
          still not even within spitting distance of
          Marine Le Pen = 26

          I predict Marine Le Pen will be the next President of the Republic of France.

          • RobG

            Michael, you really need to stop reading the Daily Express.

            There’s a real world out there, and it’s the world that people like me talk about.

1 2