Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat 391


Contrary to the usual mainstream media inaccuracy, Sir Ivan Rogers has not resigned from the FCO as he was a Treasury civil servant. The clue is in the phrase “resigned on principle”. FCO people are not big on principles.

Indeed, the FCO was almost as strongly against the Iraq War as it is against Brexit. Yet the only two British diplomats who resigned on principle over the War on Iraq/Terror, those disastrous Blair/Bush policies which have devastated the Middle East and multiplied a hundredfold the terrorist threat, were Carne Ross and myself. We were also among the very few British diplomats I knew of at the time who always wore waistcoats. Which just goes to prove that the lack of a waistcoat is definite evidence of deficient moral character. (I have not forgotten the resignation of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, who was an excellent FCO lawyer but not a diplomat).

Brexit is a disaster for the UK, but probably will not spread as much harm across the entire globe as the invasion of Iraq. I do not expect to see any FCO resignations over it, much as they may mutter in the canteen. The government continuing to pay the fees for their children at the UK’s most expensive boarding schools, continues to be the main motive in life for the vast majority of British diplomats. It is strange to think that 15 years have now passed since my first Ambassadorial appointment, and had I not suffered from a conscience I would now be on my final, and probably very senior, Ambassadorship. Tim Barrow, who takes over as British Ambassador to the EU, joined the FCO two years after me and I knew him slightly. He was a very humorous though somewhat earnest young man. Crucially, I recall he wore a waistcoat.

My two autobiographical books, Murder in Samarkand and The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, rather give the impression that the FCO is full of nasty bastards. In fact this is not true at all. I was just extremely unlucky in my two last postings. Before that I had some really admirable bosses including Brian Barder, Michael Llewellyn Smith and Christopher Hum. Like them, many other prominent FCO types including Jeremy Greenstock, Christopher Mayhew and Charles Crawford (who turns up to criticise this blog from time to time) are among the nicest people you could wish to meet. I am pretty certain all of them are horrified by BREXIT, but I am equally sure the institutional culture is such that their successors will all work on at the FCO to try to make the best of an appalling job. It is rather like a determination to slit your own throat neatly and accurately.

Ivan Rogers’ strictures on the lack of government planning and preparedness are quite correct. Brexit is a seat of the pants exercise resulting from a ruse to hide political divisions in the Tory Party. The only definite principle appears to be that the preservation of a pure stream of racist thinking on immigration is sacrosanct, and every other interest or policy must be sacrificed to that. In Liam Fox and Theresa May, the political leadership lies in the hands of two people lacking totally in the required intellectual capacity, while all the senior civil servants who support them – including Tim Barrow – are engaged in a policy with which they fundamentally disagree. I think we are about to see a pig’s ear of a policy with a pig’s arsehole as a result.

I am now back from holiday, and starting working again, though as you may have gathered still in somewhat whimsical mood.

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

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391 thoughts on “Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat

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  • Resident Dissident

    It used to be the case until at least the mid/early 1990s that in our Moscow Embassy that the FCO employees received a soap allowance – with the higher grades receiving a larger allowance than the oiks – presumably because they smelt more. My experience of dealing with the business liaison people in the Consulate was that they were universally hopeless and that their business knowledge was invariably many years out of date.

    • Resident Dissident

      That said they did have one employee who was subsequently poached, who though he had zero business acumen, was absolutely superb at introducing you and himself to everyone in the room.

      • Resident Dissident

        I should say unless there has been a drastic improvement in the quality of the Moscow Embassy then I expect Tim Barrow to be taken to the proverbial cleaners by the Eurocrats – waistcoat or not.

  • Sharp Ears

    Yet another civil servant (recently retired) out of the EU woodwork. Are there any left? LOL

    ‘The UK will not be able to buy access to the single market after it leaves the EU, says one of the most senior UK officials to have worked in Brussels.

    Jonathan Faull, who retired last week, said that access to the single market “is not something that’s on sale”.

    He also warned the UK should not assume it can broker a deal with Angela Merkel if she wins re-election as German chancellor.’

    Access to single market ‘not on sale’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38523368

    They are a cheery lot. Not.

    • Sharp Ears

      Always making sure that their nests continue to be feathered of course. Imagine the perks, the pensions and the salaries.

      British Eurocrats scramble to avoid Brextinction

      UK staffers in the EU institutions still have more questions than answers about their careers.
      Sept 22nd 2016
      http://www.politico.eu/article/british-eurocrats-scramble-to-avoid-brextinction-commission-parliament-council-employment-rights/

      Brexit task force leader Jonathan Faull to retire
      The European Commission’s most senior Brit will leave after a 38-year career.
      http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-task-force-leader-jonathan-faull-to-retire-european-commission-official/

      ‘The European Commission’s most senior British official, Jonathan Faull, said Tuesday he will retire in January after a 38-year career in the institution that included a high-profile but unsuccessful attempt to keep his country in the EU.

      Faull, 62, has held several top Commission jobs, including four different director-general posts since 2000. Most recently he was head of a special Commission task force on negotiating a package of reforms aimed at convincing U.K. voters to stay in the EU before Britain’s June referendum.’

      38 years spent in the EU? Perhaps he should find another life now.

      • Habbabkuk

        If Jonathan does feel like finding another life it will certainly not be as a “commenter” on an internet blog, Sharp Ears. His other life will be a real life.

        • Dave Price

          You spend a lot of time commenting on this blog, Habbs. Is this your real life? 🙂

          • Habbabkuk

            No, of course not. I see it as a sort of volunteering in the interests of general sanity and the maintenance of a healthy, positive approach to things. How about you, Dave?

          • Dave Price

            Well, I’m not a ‘commenter’ like you and Sharp Ears if that’s what you mean.

            I tend to come here to read Craig’s latest, and occasionally I find interesting links from some contributors who have far more time to research than I do. I have to say I don’t put you in that interesting group. Your self-appointed role as ‘policeman’ is not backed up by any particular insight or evidence.

        • Sharp Ears

          ‘His other life will be a real life.’ As good and as useful as mine I hope,

          Are you acquainted with Mr Faull in your perambulations around King Charles Street and other hangouts of HM Foreign and Commonwealth Office? The funniest part of the Brexit show is to see Boris installed as Foreign Secretary. If this country was not seen as a joke before, it is now.

          • RobG

            Quote: “The funniest part of the Brexit show is to see Boris installed as Foreign Secretary. If this country was not seen as a joke before, it is now.”

            Very well said.

          • Alcyone

            Your usual self-hating stuff. What’s new? Fortunately, it doesn’t spill over into Boris’s psychology though, nor into that of other Brexit leaders and supporters. Brexit is an opportunity to make Britain great again. The wind has been taken out of the collective self-haters sails.

            Further, Boris has a great sense of humour; that helps in getting business done one-on-one which is eventually how many difficult bilateral issues get solved. It’s also great that Boris described Riyadh’s leaders as “puppeteers”. Further change is coming with Trump’s rather more refreshing, open-style of leadership. I can see Johnson and Trump getting on rather well together and I hope Saudi Arabia will be one country they will want to box-in.

            It’s you and your bigoted ignorance that is the joke.

          • Habbabkuk

            Well, Sharp Ears, the only thing we really know about your second (so to speak) life is that you spend an awful lot of time “commenting” on internet boards and blogs in the interest, it seems, of general negativity. But hey, whatever grabs you! 🙂

            Re Jonathan Faull, there is a slight acquaintance. He has indeed had an impressive career at the European Commission (and worked his way up through the ranks). No doubt he would have wanted to stay on until normal retirement age (65) but he is unlikely to suffer in pension terms since maximum pension is, I believe, acquired after 35 years of service.

    • Babushka

      Do you have any theories as to what Mr Kerry might have been up to in Antarctica for two days around US Election Day, before heading to New Zealand, RobG?
      No surprise to me at the time, that the NZ PM suddenly quit his post, soon after.
      But Antarctica?

      • Muscleguy

        The public resignation of John Key might be portrayed in the MSM as ‘sudden’ and timed after Kerry’s visit but he told his successor, Bill English, of his intention to go several months previously.

        So your attempt to link the decision to resign to Kerry is something of a conspiracy theory.

        Note when I lived in NZ or when/if I/we return I never once or would never vote for Key’s party so don’t think I’m defending the slimy shit, just the facts of the matter.

        • Muscleguy

          Also if there is a link it will be of the form that Key has long liked hobnobbing with the great and good of the world order so would have wanted to be in post for Kerry’s visit for his own self aggrandisement.

          That is far, far more likely an explanation for the relative timings than Kerry telling him Illuminati like to get gone and scared Key scarpering sharpish in response.

          Your conspiracy theory needs an ignorance of the facts and of John Key’s nature and personality to have any decent probability.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ RobG January 6, 2017 at 00:05
      You aren’t referring to THE ‘John Kerry’ of Harvard’s Skull&Bones, surely?
      Their antics put Cameron’s Porcine Necrophilia in the shade!

  • giyane

    “The government continuing to pay the fees for their children at the UK’s most expensive boarding schools, continues to be the main motive in life for the vast majority of British diplomats”

    There are many disadvantages to the boarding schools, and very few advantages, so I doubt this motivation is much more than being aware of their and their spouses serious lack of parenting skills, if they had to bring up their children themselves.

    The premises of boarding schools are appalling.
    Good teaching is available to those who are psychologically healthy. In my own case I ended up doing irrelevant subjects like Latin and Greek because the teachers were more human.
    Pastoral care is non-existent. There is a lot of shouting, bullying, scaremongering from people who do not care about you.
    Children are separated from their parents at age of 7 or 8 , at a time when most children in the world have daily contact, feedback and attention from their parents and family and friends.
    You are brought up by other children, as you would be if you were in a care home.
    Not all those other children of rich, parentally dysfunctional parents are nice. Some of them are children of spies and other psychopaths and some of them are gay. Worse than this, your fellow students are serial sexual predators on your heterosexual relationships, while you are at school and long after.
    There is no helpline in the school and the communication channel to your parents is permanently closed.
    You have to deal with life on your own.
    Everyone on the outside thinks you are spoilt and arrogant and have advantages and priveledges they are denied.
    You talk in a way that makes people think you have been to elocution lessons.
    You end up doing menial jobs, to prove you are normal, but you have had no parenting. You know nothing of the world.
    Of course you can never experience the extreme tribulations of being brought up by parents and attending a comprehensive school. 99% of the population doesn’t understand you, nor you them.
    I find I have more in common with people who are brought up in other institutions.

    So what are the advantages? You end up studying maths under the tuition of merchant bankers.
    You study English under the tuition of creative minds who are not fettered by the school curriculum.
    You reject completely the right of anyone except your absent parent to exercise any authority over you.
    Sexually and emotionally you don’t care if you are a bit of a bastard, so you are hard to blackmail.

    I assume that any FCO employee who had survived the public school experience would find it impossible to represent the views of the great unwashed as expressed in a referendum. One of those unwashed would have to articulate their ideas in their own way. What might look to Craig as intellectual shortfall in Fox and May, might be exactly what is required to deliver Brexit.

    The intellectual shortfall of hatred of all things foreign, might be what is needed to put an end to a Federal Europe controlled by France and Germany. I’m not sneering at them. Good luck to them. Go to it and the best of British bulldog luck to you. Tell em how it is and put em straight on a number of things.
    Don’t give in to neo-EU-Fascism.

    • Shatnersrug

      I presume you were a boarding school kid. If you relate your own experiences, I’m so sorry. Those years of your life are so precious and to be forced into prison when you’ve done nothing wrong is an evil tragedy that should have been left in the last century.

  • Paul Barbara

    Why are so few people aware that the best thing about Brexit is to put a spanner in the works of the NWO ‘One World Government’ (‘One World Gulag’) that the Banksters/Corporatists have in mind for us?
    The EU is just a giant piece of the NWO jigsaw, which they intend to FORCE on the world; wakey, wakey, Sheeple!
    Now BRICS, that’s a whole different kettle of fish (though the Empire seems to have nobbled Brazil, shades of the ’60’s abominations).

    • giyane

      Paul Barbara

      Sabots in the works of Obama. Sounds good to me. No wonder Kerry is complaining.
      http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/john-kerry-blames-britain-for-derailing-obamas-plan-for-intervention-in-syria/ar-BBxWSwS?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=UE01DHP

      My immediate problem this morning is a jammed PVC front door lock. I have managed to twist off the key and I am thinking of applying a powerful blow-lamp to the whole lock mechanism in the hope that part of it is plastic and will drop off internally.

      I hope the NWO order isn’t planning such drastic measures on us for our temerity, thinking, I could get the whole thing done and dusted before my wife gets back complaining about the locksmith’s bill.
      Go on Obama, apply your incendiaries to our economy and reputation. You are our bastards, fruit of our political DNA. I can live with the shame of not bombing Damascus for you. What did your last slave die of anyway?

    • Uzbek in the UK

      “Now BRICS, that’s a whole different kettle of fish”

      Not sure what sort of “different” you are trying to stress but I agree with the different in principle. One can look and think very hard trying to find similarities between the BRICS members? I for instance cannot see any positive similarities at all.

      And despite all the rhetoric every single member of BRICS has more trade with US and EU then between each other.

      United Europe is more than banks and corporations. It is union of nations which slathered each other (and often involved their colonies) in millions during last 2 millennials. It rose from the aches of the last and most disastrous war in Europe. Since the collapse of Berlin Wall there was no need to form the unions within this United Europe as there was no threat of invasion because all have been united (and those who were not queued to join). Disastrous Balance of Powers was made redundant in Europe. And it was all good. Banks and corporations have benefited no doubt. But have not we all to?

    • DEFCON 1

      Can we have the equivalent of the 26k JDAMS translated into assads DIY barrel bombs,140k? Habba seems to think “war criminal” assad should not be allowed to use DIY barrel bombs only DIY barrel bullets?

    • nevermind

      Don’t think Mr. Clapper wears waistcoats, but he is adamant that there has been rogue intermediaries that have leaked Russia’s hacks to Wikileaks.

      What would be good to know is when these emails were received by Wikileaks, to establish a timeline. The Benghazi emails have been received some time ago and Seth Rich can’t be interviewed anymore.
      If it was not him, then who is this establishment faction in the US that has undermined Hillarious election.
      Nafeez Ahmed has got some hints as to why this has happened. America is at a cross road and must find another cause for war to keep its economy going, one Ford factory and 700 new jobs are not going to be enough.

      https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/why-the-united-states-is-at-war-with-itself-393c9fd3e918#.nzbc3tovm

      And here is why Trump is going to ignore global warming concerns, he has read the HSBC report on an 80% decline in fossil liquids being taken out of the earth.
      Now is the time to cooperate with Magreb countries and install large CSP plants in global deserts to produce the energy we need from solar heat. The world will grow together for the energy needs it will experience and those that go ahead with alternative energy methods, simple technologies that can power our future, will be in advantage to others.

      https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brace-for-the-financial-crash-of-2018-b2f81f85686b#.qfl988dqe

  • DeepGreenPuddock

    Coincidentally, I have resumed wearing a waistcoat, after a lapse of many years not doing so. In my youth I used to wear rather natty Harris tweed waistcoats acquired from the rather conservative/ outfitting organisation called Dunn and Co, now defunct. My virtue is now evident.

    • nevermind

      DPG, I used to wear a waist coat when playing pool or snooker, must get the one out the Missis made for me, if I can find it.

      Moreover will the Bar staff at DTRH next year wear appropriate waistcoats?

      • Alcyone

        Now, here’s Assanges third sub-segment interview with Hannity:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vm-1ombjqI

        PS Craig, I had an insight that you should arrange (particularly given the new book) to be interviewed by Larry King.on his show at RT. He’s not dead yet, and it should prove to be an easy PR move. Timing is everything. Either of your pals George G or Ray McG can arrange it.

  • Anon1

    “Brexit is a disaster for the UK”

    How so? Even the BoE has admitted it had a “Michael Fish moment” when predicting economic disaster for the UK.

    Or do you mean it is a disaster for bureaucrats looking forward to a seat on the Brussels gravy train?

  • Alcyone

    Here’s a thought for the day, especially if people are still deliberating on New Year’s resolutions:

    “A feeling for all living things

    It is odd that we have so little relationship with nature, with the insects and the leaping frog, and the owl that hoots among the hills calling for its mate. We never seem to have a feeling for all living things on the earth. If we could establish a deep, abiding relationship with nature, we would never kill an animal for our appetite, we would never harm, vivisect, a monkey, a dog, a guinea pig for our benefit. We would find other ways to heal our wounds, heal our bodies. But the healing of the mind is something totally different. That healing gradually takes place if you are with nature, with that orange on the tree, and the blade of grass that pushes through the cement, and the hills covered, hidden, by the clouds.”
    Krishnamurti to Himself, p 10
    http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-daily-quote/20161231.php

    AND, a gift to those commenters here who are constantly propagating FEAR or those who simply want to crack it:
    Krishnamurti, Jiddu – Freedom From Fear
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKoTBgZIIXY

    Very powerful stuff, not for the weak-minded.

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Krishnamurti on FEAR:

      The agony of renewed pleasure is desire demanding comparison. Does comparison lead to imitation, conformity and fear? I’m not telling you it is so. But once you see it is so, you will not be afraid. Jump in the thoughtless river.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Whilst, I don’t really care whether Scotland is Independent or not from The UK, and I think she is very impressive as a political leader, it seems to me, she is far more interested in remaining in The US controlled EU Dictatorship, than gaining Independence for Scotland. I always thought she was a bit dodgy. In fact I reckon the SNP have been done, if its real reason for existence is Scottish Independence, rather than being part of the Globalist Dictatorship.

    “Nicola Sturgeon: Second independence referendum ‘off the table’ in event of soft Brexit ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/06/nicola-sturgeon-second-independence-referendum-table-event-soft/

    Tony

    • Republicofscotland

      “Whilst, I don’t really care whether Scotland is Independent or not from The UK,”

      _____________

      Tony.

      I’m pretty sure Scots, don’t really care whether you care or not.

      If you had been paying attention over the last 6 months you’d noticed, that remaining in the EU has been Sturgeon’s priority, independence will come eventually.

  • Dave

    Man made global warming, now called climate change due to the lack of warming, is a globalist scam, a global scare as a pretext for global governance and the de-industrialisation of the West, now being derailed by Trump, will allow for the re-opening of British coal mines. And the “Left/Labour” promotion of the scam shows how they have betrayed their roots, because once they hailed coal miners as the vanguard of the working class, but now just as enemies of Planet Earth!

    An elementary explanation of the scam is many things determine climate, but carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas, which is naturally occurring and variable, only makes up about 0.038% of the atmosphere and the man made bit is a tiny fraction of this and because the natural bit varies it can easily eclipse the man made bit, making it irrelevant.

    • Alcyone

      Personally I think mental pollution is far and away the bigger problem! Let’s hold another big conference and make it more expensive than ever, with lots of sideshows and petty bureaucrat parties. Where shall we go: Copenhagen? Kyoto? Rio? Paris? Mecca? The Vatican? Aeolia? Hawaii? Ko Samui? Or should we just meet in The Swamp, D.C.?

    • MJ

      “Man made global warming, now called climate change due to the lack of warming”

      Yes, climate change began in 2007, about the time that the hockey stick showed itself to be not a hockey stick at all, not even an ice-hockey stick, but just a regular stick lying on the ground.

      If you claim that climate change was happening long before 2007 then you’re a denier.

  • Alcyone

    There are a fair few false idols falling around us as a result of Brexit and now Trump’s ascent.

    “Gentlemen, he said
    I don’t need your organization, I’ve shined your shoes
    I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards
    But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination
    Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards

    Peace will come
    With tranquillity and splendor on the wheels of fire
    But will bring us no reward when her false idols fall
    And cruel death surrenders with its pale ghost retreating
    Between the King and the Queen of Swords”

    Changing Of The Guards
    WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN

    Listen to it on Spotify. I remember seeing him perform at Farnborough soon after the release of Street Legal. The Truest Living Poet. Life is Beautiful!

  • alasdairB

    ‘He was the mildest-mannered man
    That ever scuttled ship or cut throat
    With such true breeding of a gentleman
    You never could divine his true thought’
    Byron’s ‘Don Juan’ seems to appropriately describe many within the FCO and particularly the resignation of Ivan Rogers . The Murray dictum on trust and waistcoats equally applies.

    • D_Majestic

      Nice to see someone else who reads and hopefully enthuses over Milord’s work. I often wonder where this scuppered isle would be now if Byron had led a successful revolution.

  • Aubrey

    No one was in a Brexit situation before! Some of the countries were not included in this Euro union but they didn’t have the right management to make things happen. So, should we think about the right management guys with waistcoat?

  • John

    Apologies if I missed it, but nobody seems to have made a Brexit Faull guy joke yet …

    Good to see you back, Craig.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Happy New Year Mr Murray! Hope you had enjoyable break.

    I think in general diplomats cannot be trusted at all. Diplomacy is the profession of telling lies and seeking compromise by luring others into your lies. There are of course some trustworthy and men of principals like yourself but (as yourself) they at some point find their principals in conflict with their profession. And that is real test for them. Most of course, as pointed out in this post, choose profession for stated reasons (salary, privileges, etc.).

    As for Brexit, it is going to be real test not only for diplomats but for the society and most likely for the union. The future will show, but I am personally not optimistic at all.

  • Sharp Ears

    Glanced at the Heil when out. Copied unless you want to read about Tesco shoppers in their nightwear,

    Jan Moir (who she?) gushes over Sir Tim.

    ‘Is it so terribly wrong of me to find Sir Tim Barrow so terribly attractive?In theory, the bushy-bearded career diplomat is no heart-throb, perhaps registering only the merest blip of interest on the International Daniel Craig-o-meter.

    Yet, in practice, there is something so alluring about the new head of the UK Representation in the EU — and that is despite his penchant for three-piece suits, his lovely wife and four children.

    Sir Tim (pictured) is dashing, capable and with a winning twinkle in his eye. He also must be a maverick — no one with a beard like that shimmies through the ranks of the Civil Service chinless wonders with such ease and elan.

    And it’s a proper, crumb-catching beard, not one of those affected stupid hipster ones — which makes him even more intriguing.

    When I mentioned my guilty crush to a few friends, they both cried in unison: ‘Oooo, he’s gorgeous!’

    Yes, that’s right. We are terribly sexist and shallow. But we will be taking an even keener interest in the Brexit negotiations from now on.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4093444/Why-pity-women-shop-Tesco-pyjamas-JAN-MOIR-says-nightwear-shopping-trips-lack-personal-pride.html

  • Loony

    Good to read that the FCO is against Brexit and that “Brexit is a disaster for the UK” Just goes to show that the FCO is either fully delusional or fully contemptuous of the mass of humanity whose interests they manifestly do not represent.

    The EU is over, it is finished it is as dead as a famous dead parrot. It is no surprise that the elites cannot comprehend this simple fact. The only question is whether the institutions of the EU are dismantled in a relatively civilized and genteel manner as the British voted for or whether it is razed to the ground by furious European nationalists.

    You who sneer at the ignorance of the British population may soon have cause to tremble before the fury of entire populations. Grow up and look at the world as it is as opposed to how you imagine it to be. Your slavish devotion to the cult of the EU runs the very real risk of bringing about the outcomes that you so falsely claim that the EU is designed to prevent.

    Or could it be that you will actively conspire to see Europe burn just so that you can say “I told you so”

    Soon now France will rise as will Italy – European people are united in their desire to be rid of the EU.The people will not be denied and if the FCO is an enemy of the people then it must either reform its thinking or it will be washed away – for the times they are a changing.

    • bevin

      Yes, I agree. This is a debate centred around the proposition that the (Norwegian Blue) parrot is in splendid health and that it would be tragic to turn down the opportunity to share the cage in which…it is cold and stiff.
      Talking of dead parrots- Interesting developments in the “Putin done it. Honestly I have secret info !!” case.
      “What would be good to know is when these emails were received by Wikileaks…” the FBI has never asked the DNC for access to its computers!! And now teenagers, with no connections at all to either Russia or Putin, are being charged.
      And Trump is demanding to know, quite properly, how it is that NBC receives a copy of the latest NSA secret report on the same day as Obama. The answer is obvious enough: Obama must have leaked it!

  • Republicofscotland

    The prime minster of Norway, Erna Solberg, has come out and said (after the Sir Ivan Rogers fiasco), that Britain is woefully short on experience of negotiating in the EU, and that could lead to a hard Brexit.

    Her views come at the same time as Jonathan Marland, a former David Cameron envoy to Europe, who fears that Whitehall’s skills to deliver just aren’t there.

    Add to this, the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane’s view, that he fully expects Brexit to harm UK growth, and a picture emerges of a incompetent government, unable to make sensible decisions.

    • bevin

      “… a picture emerges of a incompetent government, unable to make sensible decisions.’
      No, a picture emerges of a ruling class refusing to accept realities which threaten its comforts and job prospects.

    • michael norton

      The European Empire is held together by the glue of imagination.
      As BREXIT comes into view, others must question their imagination.
      France is soon coming to THE CRUNCH, it has a new Prime minister, Bernard Cazeneuve,
      Bernard was Minister of the Interior and the instigator of the infamous State of Emergency,
      which has been going on for fourteen months now, yet is France any more safe, any more happy or settled, I think not.
      France sees 650 cars torched on New Year’s Eve
      http://www.thelocal.fr/20170102/france-sees-650-cars-torched-on-new-years-eve
      “In something of a tradition for the French, vandals torched a whopping 650 parked cars.

      While the figure is worse than the 602 the year before,
      the ministry was quick to point out that there has been a 20 percent drop over the last five years.

      Meanwhile, Le Monde newspaper accused the ministry of deflating the figures, reporting that 945 cars were actually on fire during the night – an increase on the 804 that it reported were torched the year before.

      The paper said that the government was only reporting on the cars that were “directly” torched, ignoring those that caught fire nearby from leaping flames.”

      There is to be an election for the President of France, soon, the present incumbent has such awful approval ratings, he has withdrawn his hat from the ring of fools.

      France is very unhappy.
      Marine has said, her first step, will be to extract France from Euroland and from Schengenland.

      • michael norton

        Italy, the third largest economy of Euroland, is also in deep do do.
        A Prime minister (Matteo Renzi) has tried to get his throngs to endorse greater power for the Prime minister
        but they did not want that outcome, so Matteo Renzi fell on his sword, reminiscent of Dave Cameron.
        The banks are failing, immigration from Africa is out of control.
        One more blip and an emergency election will be held.
        The glue that binds Italy is in great danger of becoming unstuck.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The European Empire is held together by the glue of imagination.”

        _________

        The EU is suffering economically but in my opinion, it will survive. The dis-United Kingdom however will not, eventually Scotland will vote for independence, and trade with the EU and what’s left of the UK, it makes sense.

        The glue that holds Scotland under the Westminster influence, lies in the media, it’s an absurd situation, Scotland must be the only country in the world whose TV stations, are owned by a foreign country. Therefore a strong foreign influence against independence is pushed by the foreign media.

        Even Catalonia has its own TV stations.

        Add to that over 90% of newspapers in Scotland are also owned by firms from foreign countries, mainly England-(Gannet) the USA.

        The Mirror group which owns quite a few nationals is run from Canary Wharf London, no prizes for guessing their stance on Scottish independence, throw in Murdoch’s and Desmonds pro-unionist rags, and the stacking of the deck is complete.

        Take out the foreign media lies, and the lies of the foreign (Westminster ) politicians and the 2014 result would’ve been very different.

  • Loony

    So many lies. So many liars. So much money spent to disseminate the lies and to promote the liars. And is it all for naught?

    Look here comes John Harwood. I know most people have never heard of him, but apparently he is a political reporter for something called CNBC and is a friend of Mrs. Clinton – so he probably knows (or appeals to) people like himself.

    He used Twitter to gauge how the lies are going by asking people whether they believe Wilileaks or US intelligence agencies. In tests 7 out of 10 Americans said they preferred Wikileaks. Unless of course the Russians hacked Twitter to provide a false result.

  • mauisurfer

    binney and mcgovern:

    > Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or other cyber-protection systems and then extracts data. Our own considerable experience, plus the rich detail revealed by Edward Snowden, persuades us that, with NSA’s formidable trace capability, it can identify both sender and recipient of any and all data crossing the network.
    >
    > Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization — on a thumb drive, for example — and gives it to someone else, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did. Leaking is the only way such data can be copied and removed with no electronic trace.
    >
    > Because NSA can trace exactly where and how any “hacked” emails from the Democratic National Committee or other servers were routed through the network, it is puzzling why NSA cannot produce hard evidence implicating the Russian government and WikiLeaks. Unless we are dealing with a leak from an insider, not a hack, as other reporting suggests. From a technical perspective alone, we are convinced that this is what happened.
    >
    > Lastly, the CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in this electronic arena. Given Mr. Clapper’s checkered record for accuracy in describing NSA activities, it is to be hoped that the director of NSA will join him for the briefing with Mr. Trump.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-hacking-intelligence-20170105-story.html

    • Alcyone

      Chomskyfest, Phil? Don’t be ridiculous, my first reaction.

      Second reaction: Will Chomsky have a haircut before appearing?

      Third reaction: Will Craig iron his shirt this time round ?

      Fourth reaction: Do not trust self-proclaimed ‘intellectuals’, with or without a waist-coat, waste of time.

      What a World we ‘live’ in. So many potentially good brains, utterly wasted. Almost all of them are listed as authors, except Craig who is former something or the other. Craig you should read the best-seller The Power of Now even if it’s Krishnamurti decanted.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Turkey has declined the US military’s offer to provide air support for its troops in Syria, asking Russia to take on the role instead”

    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/01/05/504919/Turkey-US-Russia-air-support-Syria

    Could Erdogan be refusing US help, after the Gulen attempted coup, and with the US refusing to hand Gulen over to the Turkish authorities, has Turkey decided not to involve the US this time.

    As for Turkey accepting Russia’s help, could Russia be aiding Erdogan, in attacking the Kurds, under the guise of attacking IS.

    • michael norton

      You have a point RoS
      If Russia, wishes to make Syria a part of Russia, which I think is the long term agenda, I doubt Putin will want a Kurd state in Syria.
      Much as Adam did not want a Kurd state in Iraq.

  • michael norton

    Mexico will pay U.S.A. back for wall – Trump
    Ministry of Truth
    President-elect Donald Trump made building a wall, paid for by the US neighbour, a central campaign pledge.

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